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A Healing Prison

Every now and then an astrologer comes along to inform me that a hospital is a house 12 matter. So I’ve decided to put my thoughts in an article and just give them the link from now on.

This issue is only one of the many instances in Traditional Astrology where there is a failure to understand the essence of a symbol. And often the failure was committed a few hundred years ago, committed to ink and now is just parroted without a second thought. At best, the failure was simply of not establishing the context of the “rule” whereby a specific context ends up becoming a written general rule, which is an all too common error.

With the possible exception of a mental asylum, we go to hospital as a patient because we are ill and need help. Not because we did something wrong against ourselves due to madness or against society and must therefore be locked up against our will. We go to hospital because we want to be helped and stay alive and well. None of those qualities have anything to do with house 12. A hospital is not a prison.

The essence of a hospital is illness. It is the house of illness before anything else; before any other qualities. Without an illness there is no treatment, no doctor, no medicine, and no hospital. The essence of a hospital is not healing. Healing is secondary and dependent on the existence of illness.

Yes, but the hospital limits us.

Come on! Any limitation we we experience in our lives by going to hospital is secondary to the illness. The essence of a hospital is not “limitation” (Saturn). The essence of a hospital is “active intervention” (Mars) which the patient is ultimately wiling to undergo, even if kicking and screaming.

The rulership of sex does not go to Saturn just because you have to use a condom. It is Venus. Period. The condom is a consequence of Venus. Saturn is a secondary trait in such a case.

That is how we arrive at the meaning of a symbol, and can tell if some passage in a book, written by someone dead or alive, is right or wrong; by distilling the concept, by peeling the layers off of concepts until the essential concept is laid bare. That is a skill many astrologers were never taught in their schools or by their private teachers.

A hospital is house 6, not 12.

And it is not house 11 either, a “safe harbor”, like some propose. Unless you are ill there is no need for such a safe harbor. Again, illness is the essence. There is no escaping that. Go to the essence, push thought further, distill the idea.

Wait, don’t click the hate button yet!

Can you do horary interpretation using house 12 for a hospital?

You sure can. It is symbolically incongruent, but you sure can.

Our spirit guides, who are the ones who pull the strings about who asks what to which astrologer at what time, could not care less about our intellectual squabbles down here. All they care about is giving a message to those who need it.

If you disagree with the above and want to use house 12 because you think a hospital is a healing prison (or have not thought about this in depth at all), by all means, go for it.


You may find a German translation of this article at Karolina Furrer’s web site at: stundenastrologe.com

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