Use of the Terms ‘Public and Private’
Some students become confused by Lilly’s use of the terms ‘public’ and ‘private’, as in the 7th and
12th houses where he attributes public enemies to the 7th house and private enemies to the 12th. Lilly
wasn’t using these words in the way that we commonly use them today, but uses the term public to
mean ‘known’ and private to mean ‘secret’, ‘hidden’ or 'not able to be seen'.
Wherever the querent is aware that they have an enemy, the enemy will be described by the 7th
house. The same applies to thieves, attackers and murderers, even when the identity of that person is
not known. The type of enemy depicted by the 12th house is someone whose activities are hidden. It is a secret enemy that the querent is not aware
of. An example of how this might apply in practice could be an afflicted 11th house ruler positioned
in the 12th house or conjunct the 12th house ruler, depicting a ‘friend’ who is acting against the querent in
secret. Or, if the 7th house ruler is placed in the 12th, it will show the enemy is in hiding.
As you will see in the next lesson, the 12th house has a lot to do with secrets and with facts or
events that have not yet surfaced to public awareness. Generally it is a very negative house, but we must always be very
careful to apply the general meanings of the houses to the specific context of the chart in question
and, as you will see later, to judge the true quality of the meaning from the dignities and relationships of the planetary
rulers. We are only able to do that when we understand the underlying principles involved, rather
than simply memorising the list of rulerships and significations.
An example quoted in the text you will be referred to next is a horary where the querent asked about the possibility of a succesful pregnancy. The chart shows that pregnancy has already occured (although the querent was unaware of it) by the presence of the Moon in the 5th house (pregnancy) separating from a
trine to Venus, ruler of the 5th house, positioned in the 12th (hidden matters). The chart for that horary is reproduced
below. Later, you will be able to see from your own studies how a collection of strong, positive indications of pregnancy
were present in the chart, allowing me to judge the meaning of the 12th house in a more positive vein
because of the specific circumstances of this chart.
The main factors for a successful outcome in this
chart are that the Moon is the significator of the
querent and makes a very positive trine aspect to
Venus, significator of the quesited. The aspect is
separating however, suggesting a past influence
rather than a future occurrence. Pregnancy is
reinforced by the main significators in water signs (which are known as 'fertile' signs)
and application of the Moon and Venus to Jupiter, also located in the 5th house. All of these planets are naturally conducive to pregnancy including Jupiter which is a significator for successful outcomes generally.
Normally, the presence of the 5th house ruler in
the 12th would give cause for concern about the
strength of the child, because the 12th house is cadent and
denotes weakness and limitations. However, all the
other considerations suggest that there is no
prevalent danger so my judgement was that a
recent conception was in such early stages that it
was not yet known to the querent.
The pregnancy was confirmed within a few days. This came as a big surprise to the querent who had been trying, without success, to have another child for almost 10 years. The pregnancy resulted in a healthy baby girl.
© Deborah Houlding 2003