Today the Moon is in Pisces, the natural 12th house, the most immaterial and intangible house of liberation, retreat, energy expenditure, & the astral realms. The Jupiterian energy of Pisces is merciful and limitless. The changeable 12th house is therefore largely the house of “Yes”: “yes” to any whim of a thought, “yes” to the removal of mental boundaries, “absolutely” to any suggestion, “certainly” to any delusion.
As you likely know, it is not just the house of liberation but also the house of mental insanity & asylums. For this reason, those who are attracted to the pursuit of liberation (spirituality) are often uncomfortably oriented in this house. They aren’t just dipping their toe in 12th house subjects, or even standing with one foot here, but are fully swimming in this house of erosion & dissolution. The “Yes”’s that the 12th house presents then means spirituality itself often becomes a delusion. Belief is powerful & believing in anything basically guarantees you will gain some sort of mental-level result from it. If you’re strongly immersed in the 12th house, you can say one chant and feel an intense response, light one candle and feel your body shaking with fear, say one prayer and notice your whole body pulsing. These kinds of results tend to indicate some level of an unstable mind: a person who is ready to merge & unite with even the smallest suggestion they give to themselves. They are eager to empower & expand an inner whisper of fear until they’ve convinced themselves they’ve had a demonic experience. They are eager to elevate a small bodily tingle to the position in their mind of a kundalini awakening. With the abstract nature of spirituality, many confuse it with the idea that anything abstract you experience is in itself spiritual. For a fear-based & ungrounded person, objectively assessing an experience with a planet or a Goddess, divination, etc. leads to just about as good of results as when that person checks why they have a headache on WebMD. In the latter case, they decide they have a lethal brain tumor, in the former case, they decide the Goddess is punishing them mercilessly. Spiritual practice is meant to free you from the fluctuations and rampant thrashing of your ego, but for many it literally means jumping onto it like a rollercoaster: crying & praying for all the lost souls around you in *bodhisattva* compassion one night, then shivering in demonic-entity fear, then laughing in so detached & enlightened along the way. This is why, in the 12th house realm of “yes”, the main thing we need is a consistent & healthy dose of No’s. There isn’t any advice in the past that has stuck with me as much as the simple word “No” popping the falsehoods I had been blowing up like a clown inflating a balloon animal. While new age practitioners often hold a sickly-sweet bag of “Yes’s", traditional practitioners hand out these sharp “No’s” abundantly. "No, it doesn’t matter if the candle flickered when you said the mantra. No, it doesn’t matter if you all the sudden felt like crying. No, it doesn’t matter if you felt a tingle. No, that deity isn’t scary, your imagination is scary."
When spirituality so deeply mingled with psychology in the modern world, it changed greatly. For many, it lost a lot of its essence or grounding because it began to so value the whims of the mind, which is essentially what traditional spirituality is working to transcend. Spirituality didn’t mean valuing every fluctuating emotion or mental projection. It didn’t mean treasuring your psycho-somatic symptoms above anything else. It didn’t mean interpreting all of your shadow's projections as “intuitions” and using them to demonize other people. Spirituality meant simply: attaining concrete results. Gaining esoteric knowledge from within that could be clearly demonstrated. Not emotions, not tingles, not even crazy dreams. Just palpable understandings, demonstrable improvement— tangible treasures you attained from entering into intangible territory and keeping your sanity. It’s helpful to not only be thoroughly dissatisfied by psychosomatic results, but to completely obliterate them at even the slightest moment they begin to creep in. Slam down the word “No” over the colors you think you’re seeing, the tingles you think you were feeling, the emotions you felt were rising, and you’ll find that almost all of them disappear instantly and that you were just playing “spiritual experience” like a child plays house. In the uncontrolled realm of House 12, these no’s & limitations you place around yourself (when you feel your ego running away with you) eventually help to free you from your own flailing mind & unconscious commitment to self-deception. With the No you so lovingly scold yourself with, you realize just how loudly your ego was screaming a moment before, whether it was suggesting forcefully that your Kundalini is awakening or that you’re cursed, either way. It’s the No’s that you produce within yourself or internalize from any useful teacher that become like walls to help limit the rampant roaming of your ego and keep it within a healthy, functional pathway instead. The No’s become a map in House 12, to remind you to be objective, to not believe just any thought or feeling you have, and to just wait and concentrate. To stay still in a wild, ever-changing realm. To stay skeptical in a realm where people are usually eager & desperate to believe anything. To stay concentrated in the dominion where Suggestion is the reigning King. Demand verifiable, objective results & attainments from magical workings or daily practice, not psychosomatic or solely emotional ones. Don’t let celebrating shallow fluctuations distract you from the stagnation that is happening deep below the surface.
The embrace of delusion in House 12 is exactly what makes spiritual growth so uniquely difficulty and such an incomparable challenge. Spirituality is so much more than just letting go and “trusting yourself” intuitively; you have to earn your own trust first. You have to prove to yourself you can check your delusions. In the physical world, there are always ways to verify things. You can’t say you’re rich and prove it with $10 in your bank account. You can’t say you’re the world’s strongest person unless you can lift something stronger than *everyone else in the world*. You can’t tell the cops someone stabbed you in the stomach and be standing there unwounded, and expect them to arrest him, as you’re obviously delusional. You can do that with spirituality however. You can take on any form of powerful Godhood or weakened victimhood you want to. You can proclaim you’re enlightened, you can proclaim someone is an evil spirit or a witch who cursed you (putting the responsibility for your own weaknesses, shadow, or mistakes in someone else’s hands), because nothing is going to limit you. There’s almost nothing to put you in check here, so in a way “spirituality” is sometimes an ego-safe-haven for those who struggle to succeed in the physical plane (and thus why traditions posit that all 4 aims of life must be attained, and must blossom from one another. This in itself removes the potential for someone to approach spirituality with an escapist attitude). You’re your only “check” in the 12th house, so always check yourself. When you obsess over the array of tortures & distractions the mind presents, you do the opposite of the true goal of transcending the tortures of the mind completely. Once it’s all over you realize— maybe it wasn’t the deity that was scary, or a witch cursing me. Maybe I wasn’t saving those “lost” people I tried to pray for in my pride. Maybe that deity, the “witch”, those lost souls weren’t the dark thing at all; maybe I was. And taking self-responsibility in that sense is the pathway to true transformation. As Hegel put it:
“Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives Evil all around itself.”