I’m planning on moving for the third time in just over two years (Uranus is transiting my 4th house) and have an ever-increasing disdain for all material possessions. As I pack and move, I look at my things and realize that this is my baggage. This is the stuff I’m carrying around.
Do I really need to carry it with me for the rest of my life?
The bane of my moving is books. No matter how many books I get rid of, my books seem to grow cryogenically. The minute I stop moving my addiction has me buying more books (yes, I own a Kindle and buy books on it too).
When we say someone has “baggage,” it refers to emotional baggage, not the physical stuff we carry around. But our physical stuff, I believe, represents our emotional baggage just as our money represents our values and emotions.
The areas of the horoscope that represent our emotional states are the fourth, eighth and twelfth houses. As I went through my books, again, I re-discovered what each of these houses truly represents in terms of emotions and “baggage.”
Fourth House Books
When I moved the first time, I struggled over whether to keep a seven-pound art history book from college. That’s when I first realized that I was carrying a seven-pound book through my life and decided to do it no more (if you want it, you can find it at Half Price Books).
Why was I so attached to this book?
I realized it was nostalgia. The book represented a time in my life when I discovered myself through art and art history. It represented the beginning of my late high school (we used this book there too) and early college life. At that time, Uranus had just begun its transit of my first house. My passing interest in astrology was moving to deep interest and I found myself wondering how I’m made it from “there” to “here.”
The book survived a transit from my first to my fourth house.
The fourth house is at the bottom of the horoscope and represents our foundation. It’s funny that our foundation would rest on a water sign rather than an earth sign. That shows you that our true foundations are not the house we live in but the “home” we emotionally occupy.
That’s common knowledge, I think.
Uranus transiting my fourth house has made me, on the mundane level, re-assess my book collection. On the emotional level my entire life is being re-evaluated. The constant moving that is being triggered from external events over which I have no control (Uranus) has made me face up to my habits and where nostalgia has me carrying around a useless seven-pound book.
Don’t think I’ve rid myself of all nostalgic books. I’ve just come to realize that nostalgia can weigh seven ounces instead of seven pounds.
Eighth House Books
If the fourth house is our emotional foundation, the eighth house represents our intimate emotions and our emotional connection to others.
I would say that most of my books are fourth and twelfth house driven but I, like others, carry around a lot of eighth house stuff. Parting with eighth house items can be even more difficult than parting with fourth house items.
Eighth house items are gifts or items shared with others, others with whom we have an emotional attachment.
While I don’t want to carry my eighth house items all over the earth, those that gave them to me may question why a certain item is no longer on a shelf or wall of my new home.
It’s the thought that counts, we always say, but the item reminds our loved ones that we haven’t forgotten the thought.
Some baggage, then, we carry for the sake of others.
Twelfth House Books
The twelfth house is the “hidden” house of the horoscope, the place where we have secrets and hidden enemies. In the colloquial term “baggage,” I think we are talking about the twelfth house.
While the fourth and eighth houses can also represent “baggage,” the fourth relates to family and the eighth to marriage which are both socially-sanctioned states. We’re expected to carry baggage through family and marriage.
Have you noticed that people gain a lot of weight after marriage? While it’s clearly food driven, I believe it also represents the “baggage” we start to carry for others.
The twelfth house, in contrast, houses those weird habits we hide that are driven through unconscious emotional states. The only socially-sanctioned twelfth house activities, to me, are those relating to losing oneself through religion.
Otherwise, the twelfth house is taboo emotional states.
Twelfth house books, in my collection, relate to the topic you are reading now – astrology. The site does not have my name on it because I live in conservative Columbus, Ohio and find it best to keep the topic separate from my daily life (which I do not enjoy doing).
While I don’t like having this “hidden” house, we all have something to hide (even Sagittarius). Maybe, then, the twelfth house is an acknowledgement that we all have to adapt to our surroundings and that some part of us won’t fit so the twelfth house is a place to put this part of ourselves.
The twelfth house might be that extra drawer you have for stuff you don’t want your mom and dad to see when they visit.
Who travels without baggage?
Since “baggage” represents our emotional states, we’re never going to get rid of it entirely. Who would travel without baggage?
While we may not need ten pairs of shoes for our weekend trip, we do need shoes, right? We must carry something.
I sure hope this post doesn’t encourage you to travel without a change of underwear or dental floss . . .
As I’m interested in meditation, I think of how a silent retreat reduces our needs to what is essential. During the retreat you use your toothbrush and forks and towels. The only difference is there is no emphasis of those items or the emotional states that occur with speech turned on.
The silent retreat reduces the excess, unneeded baggage, it doesn’t eliminate the baggage.
Also while going through my baggage (aka “books”), I discovered a few gems that I will continue to take with me on this journey called life.
Sometimes our baggage is just packed too tight and we forget that we have a really nice pair of pants tucked into the corner of the suitcase. When we get rid of the silly vacation souvenirs, we can find the items that truly provide happiness and pleasure.