The 11th House: Stark Naked in the Classroom
I once peed myself in the middle of a History lesson… and when I say I peed myself I mean it literally and not as an expression of how horrified I was about what humans have done to each other over the course of our history, nor do I mean that I peed a little while laughing at some ancestral shenanigans.
It was Niagara falls onto the chair over the edge down to the floor into a puddle.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of doing something like that, perhaps you’ve had one of those dreams of finding yourself stark naked while at school which so many people seem to have, which I’ve also had… although my dreams of that sort usually entail being stark naked while peeing in a toilet which just happens to be placed out in the open as though such an activity is meant to be shared with the social group.
Oh, and no, it was not a dream when I peed in History class… but that experience is now a part of my dreamscape.
What did my teacher and my classmates do when this happened? Was I laughed at once people got over their surprise and disgust? Was I thrown out, rejected and ostracised for being such a loser? Was I punished even though embarrassment is often punishment enough? Did I have to leave the school, move town, change my name, to erase this horrific event in my history?
This is the message I get if I try to find out about my 11th house – the house of friendships, relationship with my peers, place within the group, within humanity, the human race – using the Astro Click Portrait on Astrodienst. I often recommend that interactive horoscope to people who want to learn how to read their natal chart, and it is informative, but sometimes… computer says No!
In some ways this is actually quite a good interpretation of that part of my chart and of that part of my life.
I did leave that school a short while afterwards, and my reason for leaving was connected to that incident… but it was connected to what came before, what lead up to that venting of pressurised inner turmoil in public.
The way my teacher and classmates behaved when that happened is actually something which made me consider staying, but the cons outweighed the pros… in the future which followed I occasionally wished I’d stayed, but I didn’t know what would come afterwards.
My main reason for leaving was due to a bully – an adult bully whose job was to look after the children in that school once classes were over. It was a Boarding School and she was Head Matron. If you woke up in the middle of the night from a nightmare, calling for mommy or daddy, your mommy and daddy weren’t there or anywhere near, they’d abandoned you in this place because they didn’t want you anymore, she was your mommy and daddy now, and she was the one who was supposed to soothe you… by telling you to stop being a brat, go back to sleep or she’d make you stand at the end of a long narrow corridor in the dark for the rest of the night listening to the creaking and moaning of an old big house.
I was the youngest boarder – something I only realised because people kept pointing it out and looking at me with a mixture of pity for me and disapproval for my parents. I wet the bed regularly – something I’d never done before then and never did afterwards – which I understood was a terrible thing to do and not nice to clean up. And while this woman (of a certain old age = was probably very fed up of looking after children by then) was mean to everyone, she took a particular and special dislike to me. The other children were very protective of me, partly because they were older and it was an instinctive reflex to care for the toddler of the group (I was 6, not a toddler anymore but to 7/8 year olds I was the baby), partly because they’d been on the receiving end of her bullying and noticed it was worse with me, and partly because I was weird, funny, and completely socially awkward in a rather cute way.
I’d never socialised with my peers like this before, although I did do a couple of months in kindergarten, but usually I was surrounded by adults – which made me rather precocious around grown ups (which was most likely part of the reason this old matron hated me – I talked back to her as though she was an equal and didn’t respect her superiority over me, her fearful authoritah!).
Usually I find the work and words of Donna Cunningham to be excellent, but this is one of those times when you read an interpretation of a placement in your chart (I have the sign of Cancer on the cusp on my 11th house) and it’s just not you, your experience and your life at all.
Mind you, if you were to put a total negative spin on this – terrible relationships with women usually due to them being demanding, needy, emotional wrecks and me not being sympathetic, nurturing and caring about them enough, smothering mother, women and home life regularly the source of deep seated insecurity and self-esteem issues, not safe in the womb at all, forced to play mother to the mother who rather liked being an eternal child and keeps telling you that you might be the reincarnation of her dead mother (the grandmother you never met) – that would be spot on.
While I wasn’t afraid of this old matron (although she did turn up in my nightmares later on in life, the really frightening monsters in my dreams were all little old ladies – one summoned a demon into my body after breaking into my house while I was sleeping and tricked me into helping her with her demonic summoning) in the usual cowering from a frothing at the mouth giant hellbent on crushing little you (I was used to adult bullies by then – both my parents were bullies, so were some of their friends, and the people in their social circle to whom I was exposed because I was dragged to adult gatherings on a regular basis since I was born), I did do my best to avoid her when I could.
And that was why I ended up peeing in History class.
I had Ballet after History, and there had been some classes before, and lunch, History was the penultimate class of the day… to avoid having to go back to my room to change into my leotard and risk bumping into the matron (who often seemed to be laying-in-wait for me to turn up so she could get something out of her system), I had put the leotard on under my uniform first thing that morning and that made it too complicated to pee in the time allotted between classes and lunch without being late – and if you were late to class you got sent to the matron, and matron presided over my table at lunch so I didn’t want to be late for that – I always had to sit next to her because I was the youngest (and because of that incident when the porridge disagreed with me so I threw it up).
Everyone at school knew what was going on because it was a small school and people talk, word spreads quickly in communities, but no one could do anything directly, so they did things indirectly. When I bought that gun at the local church jamboree everyone knew about it and it was quickly confiscated – it was a toy and the church was selling it so it was okay to buy it, right? Nah, I knew I shouldn’t have bought it before I did because it was a gun and little girls should not buy weapons, especially not from churches where they don’t approve of violence (even though what you learn in History class tells a different story).
But I was homesick…
a very interesting take on this cusp.
I’ve often struggled with the whole sympathy thing. I personally don’t want it, it doesn’t nurture me to get it or give it, but I realise that other people do want it and it does nurture them to get it and give it. I’m crap at giving it because feeling sorry for and pitying people just doesn’t come naturally to me. Empathy I can do, that does come naturally, I don’t have to think about doing it, I just do it. I feel my way. Empathy is different from sympathy even though for many people the two things are synonymous – and me and those people who think that… well I’d like to agree to disagree, live and let live, but some of them tend to like to tell me I’m wrong about the two things being different and bash me with their view until (I bleed and they can make sure I’m human rather than a robot… but their actions make me wonder about them, not if they’re robot or human because their actions are very human… just well, they’re not explaining this sympathy/empathy thing very well with what they’re doing) I either see things their way or they decide I’m a lost cause and probably a sociopath.
and my mother sending me handkerchiefs with the days of the week embroidered on them (seriously woman, when did your child ever not use her sleeves to deal with her runny nose, and when did your child ever say – send me hankies to wipe my tears of missing you, then I’ll know how much you love me… who was this fantasy child you thought you had!?) from wherever in the world my parents were on that occasion (sending postcards to let me know that without me they were freed from a burden), made…
me long for…
the ‘home’ I had wherein I could more easily ignore the fact that my parents didn’t give a shit about me. Being at boarding school made that stand out painfully, especially as some of the people there seemed far more concerned about me than my parents were, had ever been or ever would be. Having people care about you… can be painful, it can hurt in ways you never thought it could. It usually comes in the form of tiny gestures, a hand which helps you up off the ground when you’ve fallen but doesn’t try to rip your arm off as payment for helping you, a smile which says I understand when you’ve just said something stupid and doesn’t curve into a now I have something to hold over you for the rest of your life, a don’t worry if you’ve peed in History class these sort of things happen and we’ll all pitch in to clean it up even though it’s gross, we’re all gross sometimes… like little needles pricking you, whispering… this is what love is, it’s not that other thing you keep being told it is. It’s not jumping off a cliff to prove your love to someone who tells you they love you unconditionally but just do this one thing for me, fix this about yourself, change that annoying trait, they can’t feel your love unless your sacrifice your life for them… not that.
excerpt from Astrodienst – The 11th House by Dana Gerhardt
The Headmistress loved her school and pupils, and checked up on the pupils individually at the end of each week. She was a bit like Maggie Smith… not in Downton Abbey but as Miss Jean Brodie. Yes, there was the small issue of the matron… shortly after I left that school the matron was gracefully retired and the really lovely assistant matron was promoted.
One of the beautiful banes of my life is that things often change for the better once I’ve moved on. Places I’ve stayed in finally get renovated. People I’ve known finally take that leap of faith in themselves and go after what makes them happy rather than staying stuck where they were unhappy. I used to think I was some sort of harbinger of change (and my Pluto/Uranus in the 1st house kind of backs that up), before that I thought I was the problem and once I was gone so was the problem… that led to some dark moments… many of the changes had nothing to do with me directly, those things had been in the process of changing before I was there and had I stayed they’d have changed…
I didn’t say anything to the Headmistress about the matron, I wasn’t going to rat on the matron… it never even occurred to me to say anything to the Headmistress about the matron in our one-on-ones because… I’m not sure why I didn’t… probably due to my training – never bother adults with your childish problems.
Dolly Parton – Cancer 11th house cusp/Moon (ruling planet of Cancer) in Virgo
I did end up bothering two adults with my childish problem. Once I was home for the Xmas holiday, I refused to go back to the orphanage… I mean boarding school.
Looking back… that was one of the top three stupidest decisions I have ever made in my life, and making stupid decisions is a specialty of mine so it has stiff competition for the top spot. If I could go back in time… I’d have to make that decision again because there are good decisions I’ve made too to consider, they’d be lost if I changed my timeline.
My mother was adamant that I would go back. She had been sent to boarding school as a child and it had made her into the woman she was today! The kind of woman who regularly told me how awful being at boarding school had been for her, how traumatic – she was at boarding school when her mother died and the Headmistress announced the death in a stark naked fact manner “Your mother is dead, now get back to class”.
My father was adamant that I wouldn’t go back – for once in his life as my parent he took my side and seemed to care about me. But what was really in it for him was an awesome subject and great reason for a fight with my mother.
Christmas that year… was pretty much like Christmas every year – my parents screaming at each other with me stuck in the middle, only this time the fight really was about me… or was it. It was a bit like I imagine a cherub who happened to be flying between Zeus and Hera would feel when they were having another one of their epic fights, thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me.
I could have really used the comfort of that toy gun… that toy gun wasn’t about violence, or maybe it was… symbolic of the sort of violence which society inflicts on the psyche of the individual, which sometimes takes the form of the individual inflicting harm upon themselves or grabbing onto something to protect themselves from further harm, but the harm has already been done.
Yukio Mishima – Cancer on 11th house cusp/Moon (ruling planet of Cancer) in Virgo
It was about… me being able to be me (5th house, where my Sun resides, opposes the 11th house – the creative self versus the hive mind).
The little struggle I had about buying it or not buying it before I bought it was also a struggle between being true to myself or betraying myself for the sake of someone else, something else, of what the hive mind would do to the little bee who tried to be a little bit independent.
Fear of the consequences of the opinions of others, the group, inspired by how society, the people around me, seemed to have nothing better to do with themselves but watch others to judge them and get a buzz from their righteous indignation…
Speaking of getting a buzz out of the drug of righteous indignation, the other day I saw – Hated in the Nation (Black Mirror, season 3) – which is basically about online bullying and the extremes it can take from a variety of angles. This season of Black Mirror focuses a lot on matters of the 11th house – our place within the group, the human in humanity, and how far we’ll go for the approval of others (episode one – Nosedive – is all about getting ‘points’ and ‘ratings’ from everyone you meet which ups your social status, and the dark consequences of that). Charlie Brooker, the creator, is thought-provoking as usual, he sees society through a glass darkly and asks us to look into his black mirror, and may what we see inspire us to pause and reflect as individuals and as members of society.
Black Mirror also touches upon matters of the 12th house… which will be my next and final post in this series.