Psyche and the Twelfth House in Virginia Woolf’s Life and Work

Virginia Woolf

In the ninth house of perspective expansion, Virginia Woolf’s Mercury is exceptionally aligned to provide the verbal and mental dexterity to handle any subject, regardless of loftiness. This raw intellect goes into overdrive when combined with the preposterously powerful Sun conjunct MC in Aquarius, where Mercury is both co-present, and ruling the chart. We could all dream of having a placement this well-suited to being an icebreaker in the man-world that was Academia at the turn of the century. 

However, this placement exists in tension with a very different part of Woolf’s inner world, Neptune in Taurus in the twelfth house, indicating a propensity to become lost in a rabbit hole of sensation. This square aspect between Mercury and Neptune indicates that a person’s “higher mind” may encounter discomfort or resistance when coming up against the reality of living in a body and the needs of the nerve endings within it. 

In the murkiness of the twelfth house, the psyche’s journey down this rabbit hole may be fraught and confusing. Progress in this part of Woolf’s world may not have been linear (see The Waves or Orlando for wonderful examples of this), but there’s a potential here for experiencing a tangible heaven on Earth, even if only in the mind or spirit. A conjunction here of Neptune and Jupiter in Taurus may have given Woolf’s cloister some length, breadth, lushness, and luck. Success allowed Woolf’s personal dream to become a reality large enough for the world to fit inside. 

Turning in another direction, Neptune also forms a conjunction with Saturn, indicating that there may be problems, limitations, or delays when it comes to experiencing stability in the physical world. 

The link between structural surety and personal freedom that hums in this complex square is exactly the disconnect explored in one of Woolfs’ most well known works, A Room of One’s Own, in which she makes the case that one cannot explore the heights of one’s goals and personal capacity without having solitary space with a bed, desk, and lockable door. 

An Neptunian out-of-sortedness with the body, porous mind combined with the Saturnian awareness of the limits of time and space also recalls Orlando, wherein Woolf explores the insider intricacies of living inside many different bodies and different selves across time.

House system used: Whole sign houses
Chart placement analyzed: Mercury in Aquarius 9H square Jupiter-conjunct-Neptune in Taurus 12H


Aubergine Bliss
writer / researcher 

Constantly searching for a more equitable co-regulation with the Earth and Stars. If I’m not negating the influence of the Plutocracy I’m faded on the beach looking for a natal chart more perfect than Rihanna’s. 

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