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Rodney King and the Twelfth Houserodneykingimage

When it comes to having a bad reputation, no sector of the horoscope can top the 12th House. The 12th is considered the house of limitations, hospitals, prisons, secret enemies and self-undoing. Ancient astrological texts go even farther, calling it the “house of the evil demon.” In more modern language, we might call it the house of the victim.


On March 3, 1991 Rodney King became a victim. When Los Angeles police were filmed beating him as he lay helpless on the ground after being stopped on a DUI, King became a symbol of the victimization of people of color in that city and across the nation. (Click here to see Rodney King's horoscope.)


King had the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus in the 12th House. Moreover, they were all in the sign of Aries. When you mix the 12th House with Aries there is always the threat of violence and bloodshed. Mars in King’s horoscope is conjunct Uranus and opposed to Saturn indicating that he was prone to rebellious and erratic behavior (Uranus) for which he invariably suffered (Saturn.) The events of 1991, though reprehensible in the extreme, were an expression of this pattern.

But not everything that comes out of the 12th House is negative. When Rodney King said he forgave the policemen who had attacked him and made his famous “can’t we all get along” speech he was expressing his 12th House planets at a higher level. Yes, the 12th House can be a painful place but it also the place where we gain sympathy for the weak and an understanding that we all are, in one way or another,  victims.

In the modern world the 12th House doesn’t always manifest itself as a hospital or a prison or even as a bunch of baton swinging cops. For most of us it makes its influence felt through a call for self-sacrifice or the imposition physical, emotional or social limitations. If we react to these manifestations with self-pity and resentment then we have truly put ourselves in a 12th House prison. However, if we accept the sacrifice we must make with love and forbearance, the 12th House can become the gateway to a higher form of freedom.

Rodney King may have found that gateway, at least briefly, back in 1991 but the 12th House was not finished with him. The kind of perpetual self-undoing that comes from drug and alcohol addiction is also a common 12th House matter and King struggled with this problem. Unlike the beating he suffered at the hands of the police, this manifestation of the 12th House didn’t stop after 15 minutes. It continued to plague King for the rest of his life and it was very likely contributed to his recent death.

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