We all know about the long-held association between fame and the 10th House. And yes, there is a very long list of really notable public figures who have planets in the 10th House and/or conjunct the Midheaven. But, there are also certain people who believe that planets in the 12th House can also be major predictors of fame. I’ve read this a few times and I do think that it’s true. In the end, the 10th and 11th and 12th Houses are all dealing with the masses. But, the question is that if you are connecting with the masses through your achievements and public self/status (10th House), through your ideals for humanity/society and your ability to offer or engage in something progressive, exciting, or original (11th House), or through a knack for merging with the sheer consciousness of the collective itself (12th House).
There is a lack of being a sole, separate individual when we are in 12th House territory. If you have planets in the 12th House, there are countless different currents of energy that are working through you and speaking through you. This is how fame ends up landing in a lot of 12th House people’s laps. In some way, they become famous for something that’s bigger than themselves. The classic 12th House person is an artistic type: an actor, writer, singer, dancer, etc. So, this is the obvious way that all of the currents of the collective unconscious speak through a person. And this gift for honing one’s imagination, empathy, and ability to transcend the self can manifest in art in such a powerful manner that it brings the person fame.
Most really well-respected and eventually well-known actors, singers, musicians, and writers have planets located in their 12th House. It’s ironic because many of them are such pure artists that they would rather just totally focus on their craft, without a lot of that hype and overwhelming attention that comes with fame. But, it is this pure, deep artistry that ends up making them famous. Meryl Streep (12th House Venus), Daniel Day-Lewis (12th House Saturn), Cate Blanchett (12th House Moon and Saturn), and Heath Ledger (12th House Mercury and Mars) are just some of the examples of 12th House people who have gained fame for being actors of the first order. In this case, they are representing something bigger than themselves: what it means to be a true actor, with all the discipline and depth and penchant for transforming that it entails.
It’s not just the status of their public self via the 10th House that people are responding to. It’s also the riches that are within their 12th House. Actors with planets in the 12th are usually very private, in some way or another (Angelina, though, seems to be the rare exception). They may rarely give interviews or give them but then totally disappear once their press junkets are over. Also, there is often a very stark contrast between the person that they are in interviews and the person you see on-screen, confirming the sense that this is not a mere “celebrity” but a true artist who can merge into becoming someone else. Sometimes, they are experts at somehow concealing or downplaying those parts of themselves, through their public persona, that end up emerging in their work.
Jennifer Lawrence may be the biggest star of her generation but she has earned all the acclaim she has for a reason. While her Sagittarius Midheaven manifests by making her a lovable, hilarious, irrepressible goofball in interviews, she definitely shows her Saturn in the 12th House by giving a career full of very serious, gritty, understated performances. With her North Node also in the 12th, she experiences her truest fulfillment and reaches her greatest potential by achieving this transcendence. Whether she actually is assimilating the personalities of others or expressing a profound inner maturity that her off-screen silliness often overshadows, a big reason why she has become so famous is due to this ability to become something greater than her everyday self.
I think this contrast can be viewed in a lot of famous performers with 12th House planets. There will be the person you meet in interviews or on the Red Carpet and then the person that you see on-screen or on stage, like with Cate Blanchett, who is a cool, intellectual, quirky Aquarius Midheaven off-screen yet displays the blend of raw vulnerability and commanding gravitas of her Moon conjunct Saturn in the 12th when she acts. This goes back to the “behind-the-scenes” quality of the 12th House. Planets here are not usually entirely direct. But, they need to be expressed somehow and such a direct outlet can be found through being a performer. I feel like, when a performer with an occupied 12th House is truly striving to “disappear” into their work, they will end up fully expressing their planets in the 12th House, living them out vicariously through their characters or personas in a way that allows that planet’s energy to become completely, directly visible.
And the effect on their audience is so beautiful, because the 12th House person taps into the well of the collective unconscious when they do so, mirroring back to us all of our struggles, dreams, fears, and hopes. The person stops being just themselves and transforms into a magical sort of archetype that people can project things on to. So, a 12th House person can be the ultimate artist, someone who can really tap into the souls of other people in an uncanny way. Yet, how this is done will be a mystery, as the 12th House operates mysteriously. The public doesn’t know what happens behind-the-scenes whenever an actor shoots a film or rehearses a play or a singer records their new album. This is a totally private process, which is why those behind-the-scenes interviews and specials can be so fascinating but, ultimately, only give us a taste of what really happens.
And when the performer’s project is released, it’s like magic, as you see all of the beauty of the art but none of the tricks. It’s the reason why actors can struggle to describe their process and why people are so intrigued by the idea of their process. But, actors with an occupied 12th House feel an even greater need to keep the veil up between the public and those who that they work with. Sometimes, the veil is kept up between themselves and their process. Famous actors with this influence, in interviews, are either very inarticulate about their acting process or describe it in a language that sounds downright mystical. Either way, this only serves to create a shroud of mystery around them, making their gift seem all the more magical, bringing them more fame.
Also, there are a lot of people in politics who have a strong 12th House. In their case, they are standing for something greater than themselves in the sense of the good of their nation. This isn’t the intellectual idealism and striving for the greater good that defines the 11th House (although it’s not surprising to also see people with many planets in the 11th go into politics). It’s more about responding to their country as one mass consciousness. It’s tuning into the collective unconscious in a different way than the famous performer with planets in the 12th. It’s about tapping into those fantasies and obstacles and experiences that we all have been through, at some point or another. A great politician has to find a way to make sure that he or she gets as many people on board with his or her platform. The best way to do that is to understand the emotions that all the people who are listening have once experienced and how they can reach and affect those emotions, to make them feel like you can make their dreams (a 12th House keyword) come true.
This evokes a wide range of reactions but, again, it’s different than the wide range of reactions of the artist. The actions of politicians affect us in a much more personal way and, as a result, are a lot more polarizing. It’s why political figures can incite the most irrational feelings in people. They hold so much power and when they do things we don’t agree with, it can easy to feel like a victim to such actions, whether this feeling is conscious or unconscious. This sense of victimhood is another theme of the 12th House. Energies here have felt victimized. But, the thing is that an actor can play out those planets’ sense of victimization and gain empathy from their audience, as there is no power struggle involved. Politicians, however, can seem so all-powerful that it’s like the reverse occurs. It’s like the victim-complex of their 12th House planets are somehow taken on by the public.
So, you get the case of President George W. Bush (Sun and Saturn in the 12th) who outraged many in his country by making them feel deceived and lied to. You also see the case of President Barack Obama (Saturn and Jupiter in the 12th; I know a lot of famous people with Saturn here) who seemed to disappoint many people by not following through on the changes he promised. But, it’s all a very ambiguous area with politicians. They are known for not being the most direct, straightforward of characters. So, are many of these political figures playing out the evasiveness and indirectness of their 12th House planets, doing so behind-the-scenes?
We don’t know what happens when these politicians meet with their advisors or their team in the privacy of their offices. Just like with an actor delivering a performance, we don’t see anything that goes on until the politician gives his or her speech. So, there is just as much mystery at play. But, are these political figures transforming into characters of their own? To be in politics is to know how to manipulate and how to craft a speech or lead a rally in a way that will sway the emotions of the people. If there are planets in the politician’s 12th House, then they are very powerful, in this sense. Behind-the-scenes, they are soaking up all of the information that they are being briefed on and advised about, in the sponge-like 12th House way, and then presenting themselves on-screen in a way that will tap into everything that’s collectively occurring within their jurisdiction.
All politicians are trained manipulators but the ones with planets in their 12th House are true experts at it. It’s why they are the most memorable, polarizing, and iconic political figures around, for better or worse. In a way, they become their own archetypes, although the line between their “character” and their actual self becomes much murkier. Bush became the inescapable butt of every joke. Was he really that dumb or was he somehow playing the good old boy act? Obama became the essence of cool, whether that was a relaxed, likable cool or a self-containment that maybe was too contained. Then, you have Nelson Mandela, with his Moon and North Node in the 12th. Was he a political renegade or self-sacrificing saint or both? And our current Presidential Election – which I do not want to get started on because a) I get anxiety just talking about it and b) this is not a platform for my views or yours – features two of the most confusion-creating, hard-to-pin-down politicians of our day, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, both of whom also have planets in the 12th.
What famous artists and political figures with planets in the 12th also have in common is their isolation. This is another reason why I think fame is connected to the 12th House. The isolating part of fame is well-known. But, I think famous 12th House people feel it on a deeper level. To be a 12th House person is to already know what isolation or loneliness is, to be acutely aware of the desire to not want to leave the house or to just “take a break” from regular life for a while. With planets in my 12th House myself, I can say, from experience, that it’s virtually a rite of passage for every 12th House person to go through a distinct period of being exiled from everyday life. Sometimes, it’s forced and sometimes, it’s voluntary. But, it’s a time where you feel quite immersed in the isolation yet capable of accessing a real sense of bliss and deeper understanding because of it.
While many other famous people may find it bothersome to feel like they should endure periods of seclusion, it probably won’t bother the very private 12th House person. Jennifer Lawrence has actually said in a couple of interviews that she feels like she was made for fame because she is okay with not leaving her house for certain periods of time. It’s easy to avoid paparazzi and overwhelming fans when you’re bingeing Netflix in your living room! And while politicians aren’t necessarily avoiding tabloid and social media exposure, they still have to spend a lot of time alone, immersed in their relentlessly busy jobs.
Either way, such a position does reinforce the innate distance between you and the regular world that every 12th House person feels, whether they are famous or not. And when you actually are a public figure, this recurring solitude gives you the recharge and the inner peace that’s needed to go out, deal with your hectic and sometimes draining public, and give them the sense of fantasy, escape, or hope that they need from you.