American astrologers, like me, will mention that the 10th house of the horoscope is about career. When Americans meet each other, we often ask, “So what do you do?”
According to The Culture Code, for Americans work represents WHO YOU ARE. (Money, by relation, represents to Americans PROOF of who we are says The Culture Code).
I’d say the 10th house of the horoscope represents this WHO YOU ARE. It’s your reputation, your public image. That Americans have made it the focus of personal identity (which is the opposite, the 4th house) is simply a cultural choice. That we have turned “job” into the concept of “career” is also representative of that cultural trait.
Do you have a job or career? What’s the difference? Is that how you define yourself?
10th House Transits
When planets transit your 10th house of reputation or public image, changes to the public image are common and the type of change indicated by the planet making the transit. This house is at the top of your chart.
The moon transits your 10th house every month so for a least a day or two our public image is as controllable as a gossip magazine being blown about by the wind.
Mercury (communication) spends about a month a year affecting your public image. Mars (active principle) spends a month every two years.
Jupiter will spend a year, Saturn a couple, Uranus up to seven, Neptune 15 and Pluto feels like forever.
To get a sense of what a 10th house transit looks like to the public, let’s look at a few peeps with some 10th house activity at public-imaging changing times of their lives.
What could be more representative of public image than royalty? Royalty is public image by default. In the past, it was also a bit of an 8th house experience as royalty did rule your life simply because they had the strength, power or means to do so (which often involved you providing sustenance to them so they could do this).
The Spanish King Juan Carlos has decided to step out of the 10th house royal domain.
Juan Carlos is a Capricorn sun, the sign that rules the 10th house. Capricorn and its ruler Saturn are magnets for responsibility and all the burdens that come with it. Capricorn energy is serious and exerts a stern force internally and externally.
Transiting Pluto is in Capricorn conjunct King Carlos’ sun. The 10th house in King Juan Carlos’ chart is at 28 degrees of Capricorn. Pluto won’t go there for another five years or so.
While King Juan Carlos is officially abdicating, the transits suggest he won’t fully abdicate until about 2019. He may stand behind his son who will rule in his stead.
The big change with Pluto in the 9th, which is right before its path in the 10th, is that we change our thinking about the situation. The 9th is about higher thought so we come to a new world view, philosophy, religion or idea that leads us to our new public image in the 10th.
When King Edward VIII of England abdicated (to marry a commoner) in 1936, Jupiter was right at his midheaven (the beginning of the 10th house). Jupiter was in Sagittarius and moved soon afterward into Capricorn. The movement from Sagittarius to Capricorn suggests King Edward moved from a more freedom-seeking life to one of more responsibility.
When American President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 (a modern “abdication”) due to the Watergate Scandal, Saturn was transiting his 10th house (while Pluto was transiting the 1st). Because Nixon’s house of public image was ruled by Cancer the opposite sign of personal emotions, leaving public life would have been doubly difficult as public attention was like family attention. In public was the only place Nixon may have felt he belonged, felt like family.
The 10th House is the Highest
Maureen Dowd, New York Times columnist, recently decided to go to Colorado, eat some pot-laced candy bar and had an unfortunate reaction.
From the BBC story, Dowd is quoted as saying:
I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didn’t answer, he’d call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy.
I strained to remember where I was or even what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed-brick wall. As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.
While this doesn’t qualify Dowd for an official “image change,” I think smoking pot does give you a little bit a “cool” (although not as cool as the late Christopher Hitchens undergoing waterboarding).
But what kind of cool makes someone comatose and paranoid?
Dowd currently has Neptune in Pisces transiting her 10th house. I suspect that the pot is just the beginning.
If Dowd is truly a drug virgin, she might not be aware that channels in our greatly-underused brains (what do we use, ten percent?) are opened from drugs and the world is a different place perceptually.
Neptune in the 10th says you are a bit fuzzy in your public image and the public may also project some very weird stuff onto you. Pisces is the empathizer and often falls into the victim. It can be the savior or scapegoat (as noted with Justin Bieber’s Neptune transit).
Dowd’s entire experience is a Neptunian breakdown of boundaries and the experience may not pass through her as easily as the candy bar that contained the marijuana. Experiences like that make you question reality, the most intense and scary of Neptunian challenges.
With drinking, there’s some folk knowledge of different types of drunk: the happy drunk, the sad drunk, the violent drunk, the can’t-stop-talking-about-my-ex drunk, etc.
Dowd is a Capricorn sun with Pluto conjunct moon in Leo and Saturn/Neptune/Mars in Libra. Without the marijuana, these placements can be considered a bit paranoid and frankly complex and challenging. Her next marijuana trip may contain extreme jealousy.
The Neptune experience, in just about any sign, dissolves ego. In Pisces, it’s all the worse because Pisces is a mutable water sign – energy in constant fluctuation. We all have ego, regardless of sign, but some egos are stronger such as the fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius). Capricorn (ruled by Saturn) and Scorpio (ruled by Pluto) also are associated with strong egos.
Dowd’s strong personality probably dislikes uncontrolled change and any kind of experience that reeks of humiliation so the complete collapse of ego (I’m dead and no one told me) must be extremely terrifying. Leo represents assertion of the self and if you’re not even a self, what can you assert?
More mellow personalities may have had more mellow responses in a more stereotypical marijuana-ish way.
In other words, if you’ve never let the boundaries down, be careful during a Neptune in Pisces transit of the 10th house. It’s sort of the best and worst time to dissolve the boundaries between self and the perceived universe. In the 10th, the universe is watching.
Hello from Indiana. I’ve been reading your blog with interest. This post brought a laugh about old times. I have placements similar to Dowd’s. Back youthful days I shared a joint with friends and then called out with my last bit of energy,”Help, I’m dying!” They were in the kitchen, raiding the fridge, and totally ignored me. We all had about the same dosage, but I was the one who “died” from it. You are quite right about the terrifying effect. Ms. Dowd had something of a Neptunian reputation prior to this story. In the article she refers to her preferred buzz from chardonnay. So, now maybe this theme “comes to light”?
Your comments made me laugh out loud (for real). That’s college friends for you – raiding the fridge while you’re having an existential crisis. It’s making me think & laugh about college days.
Have a good day.