©2-5-2013 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
In this Skywriter series, we’re exploring the ways people express their 12th house planets. This little-understood and much maligned placement has traditionally been assigned a variety of unfortunate attributes. I’m hoping that together we can gain new insight into how it can be used in a balanced way, capitalizing on its strengths and avoiding self-destructive behaviors.
My impression, from doing charts for close to 45 years, is that many of us 12th house folks are introverts, and that we both love and need our times of solitude. Many of us find that being in the company of others—especially in groups—for any length of time can be anywhere from distracting to draining.
One of the things that keeps us from feeling okay about ourselves is that the Western world places a judgment on introversion. It’s seen as being maladjusted, like it’s something we need to fix. We’re told we need get therapy, get a lover, or get a life.
Having my chart done for the first time helped me understand that introversion was not something I needed to fix; it was part of who I am. With my 12th house Sun and Jupiter, that 12th house retreat from the world is one of my strengths, the wellspring of my creative work.
My writing requires long periods of solitude and total silence—no television, no phone calls, not even music while I work. I need it for the introspection, contemplation, and outright drifting and dreaming needed to delve deeply into a topic.
I’m not exactly a hermit, for I love spending time with my friends and enjoy meeting and talking with people. I’m such a psychic sponge, however, and so noise sensitive that being out in public for several hours is jarring in a way that only long hours of solitude can relieve. My idea of Hell would be having to live with other people. (No, wait, Hell is one big, loud, crowded party that goes on for an eternity.)
Studies Show: Being an Introvert Can Be a Good Thing!
By “coincidence,” I’m stumbling across new psychological research about introverts in magazines like Psychology Today and Scientific American Mind. The studies document that there’s a bias against introverts in both social and business settings. Many parents prefer their extroverted children over the introverted ones, for instance.
And, yet, researchers are finding that introverts have some surprising advantages in their actual job performance, especially in tasks that require focus, concentration, and the ability to work alone for long periods. As managers, they’re able to listen to employees’ ideas and feedback in a way that improves both morale and effectiveness in the work.
One major writer on this subject featured in the December, 2011 online issue of Psychology Today is Susan Cain, the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts, How to thrive in a world that can’t stop talking. (Order the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352145.) The book description notes:
“At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
“Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so…And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.”
You can take her test on whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert here: quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert? (And Why It Matters …. And hear what she has to say here: Quiet, Please: Unleashing ‘The Power Of Introverts’ : NPR. Her blog Quiet: The Power of Introverts – By Susan Cain is an ongoing examination and discussion of introverts, extroverts, and their roles.
Other Resources for Introverts
The famous Briggs Meyers personality test based on the Jungian types goes beyond the introvert/extrovert spectrum and places you in a combination of four psychological functions by which we experience the world: sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking.Take a sample test here: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp .
Additional articles on introversion from Psychology Today:
- How to Get Along With Introverts Part I
- Overcoming Holiday Shyness
- Are You A-Freyd of Introverts?
- Introverts, Extroverts, and Habit Change
- 6 Success Tips for People Who Are Anxious or Sensitive
And here are some related articles on the 12th house and solitude by other bloggers:
- The Twelve Houses: the 12th House of Solitude, Retreat and Self …
- Twelfth House Isolation | The Astrology Place
- Solitude - 12th House – The Lion and the Lightning Bolt
Some Research of Our Own: I’d love to hear from readers with a strong 12th house. Are you an introvert, an extrovert, or an ambivert (a mixed type)? If you don’t consider yourself an introvert, what chart features would tend toward extroversion? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
Here are more articles from Skywriter’s series on the 12th house:
- A Sensitive Guide to Planets in the 12th House—Guest Blog
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 12th House
- New Insights into the 12th House from our Q&A Session
- A Tool for Analyzing Your 12th House Sign
- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the 12th—but Were Afraid to Ask
- The 12th House—Comparing Ancient and Modern Views
- 7 Secrets You May not Know about the 12th House
- Daybreak and the 12th House Sun
- 12 Famous People with 12th House Suns
- 80 Qualities of Venus in the 12th or other Venus-Neptune Combinations
- Jupiter in the 12th—When Does Good Luck Turn Bad?
- Transits from the 12th House to the 1st–Like Night and Day