I know a Capricorn who went to an event she didn’t really want to go to and fell wildly in love with the first person she spoke to at the venue. He was a Virgo, it was mutual and both parties were free to date/mate.
They became ‘serious’ with dizzying velocity but seven months later there were problems in paradise because of – according to my acquaintance – “his friends, all ten thousand of them.” Knowing that her previous partner had been deemed “pathologically antisocial,” I was sceptical at first.
Surely multiple friendships/popularity is not as difficult to manage as a partner with no friends or who glowered tediously at yours? Well, apparently no.
My Capricorn acquaintance wove a story of friendships so vital they came before all else – always. Every anecdote was in reference to them, they were in constant contact and deferred to in every matter. What’s more, there was a gigantic circle of them – some interconnected – others becoming so.
They were all perfectly pleasant to her but in what the Capricorn felt was a bright, artificial manner, like they were being polite to someone’s weird visiting relative. At this point I actually thought she might have gone secretly nuts, the pressure of being in a relationship that was hurtling toward a serious life commitment having gotten to her.
I asked if he was just super-well-networked but maintained a much smaller circle of intimates but no.
He spent 100% of his leisure time with them and was apparently “bored” by being alone. He counted their time together as being “alone” and couldn’t work out why she didn’t want to join the entourage.
It came to a nasty flashpoint one Lunar Eclipse evening when she was mid-meaningful conversation with the Virgo – about whether or not they wanted children, her apprehensions/aspirations about the concept of childbirth/motherhood etc.
He (a) referenced what “Wendy said about having had twins” and then (b) broke off the dialogue for some lengthy Virgo-esque group chat marathon to do with flight booking details. It spiralled and they were very quickly no longer a couple.
I did, however, peek at his birth chart at mid-crisis and voila – the Sun, Moon and about four other planets in the 11th house. He was the embodiment of this sector as being about friends, community, the social sphere etc. And when you have a cluster of astro-factors in one place, the themes of that house are a preoccupation, like it or not.
But there is more to this…
People with 11th house emphasis don’t just gravitate toward ‘the group’ or consider friendships important – they’re socially wired to a degree that baffles those without this astrological feature.
They’re open to society at large and essentially in a relationship with the current culture. It’s easy to use metaphors like ‘pack animal’ but deep down, many 11th housers see themselves as part of some greater organism, consciously or not.
It can be brilliant for business because they’re networked to the hilt and it’s all real but they’re also able to read ‘the market’ with unerring accuracy. Style-wise, the fashion designer Nicholas Ghesquiere – his Taurus Sun, Venus + Mercury are in the 11th – is like a mood-barometer of the public zeitgeist.
And for inspiration, he’s forever listening, retuning and listening some more. Another example: Irving Berlin, the celebrated American composer and songwriter, had a whopping 69% of his birthchart in the 11th house.*
He said he always aimed to reach the heart of the people – “not the highbrow, nor the lowbrow but the vast intermediate crew.” Another composer said of Berlin that he “honestly absorbs the vibrations emanating from the people, manners and life of his time and, in turn, gives these impressions back to the world—simplified, clarified and glorified.”
Love or hate her, Kim Kardashian – Moon, Mercury and Venus in the 11th – does a similar stunt. She practically invented the whole #squadgoals meme of a few years ago.
Group therapy is an 11th house kind of ideal, as the psychiatrist/Jungian analyst Jean Shinoda Bolen (Goddesses In Everywoman) epitomizes here: “We create a ‘temenos,’ which means ‘sanctuary’ in Greek. In a women’s circle, every woman in the circle is herself and an aspect of every other woman there as well. There is no vertical hierarchy in a circle, and when a circle is a temenos, it is a safe place to tell the truth of our own feelings, perceptions, and experiences.”
A Cancerian, she has her Sun, Venus, Mars and Pluto in the 11th house. Is it possible that sort of people who get the most growth from group experiences of this nature have at least one factor in this sector? The ruling planet, btw, gets extra weighting – having it in a house is like having three things there.
You could say that the first house is “I”, the 7th house is “We” and the 11th is “Us.” Loads of people are sociable or community-oriented to some degree but 11th house people think in terms of “us.”
They also unhesitatingly fling themselves into new friendships – some with a sexual component, some not – if you’re thinking this sounds Aquarian – yes! The 11th house has a similar vibe to the 11th zodiac sign.
The avant-garde author Kathy Acker had the Moon, Venus, Mercury and Mars in the 11th: she’d unabashed ‘I’d like to know you’ letters to people she admired and said that she’d always craved fame so that “people whose work I want to find out about would talk to me.”
The author of Blood and Guts in High School also said that her greatest motivation was “to make it possible for people like me to be in society.”
Eleventh house people often retain their friends, no matter what. Yves Klein, the performance artist best known for his creation of the sublime International Klein Blue, started out with two teenage friends as creative partners – everything partners – and the trio stayed super-close until the end.
My Capricorn acquaintance eventually encountered a more seventh-house oriented person and they’re happy together: she spotted her Virgo 11th-houser ex on Linkedin recently, beaming amidst a big bunch of people at a conference.
*The list with percentages of the birthchart in a particular house is here. To my surprise, Franz Kafka had 67% of his natal chart energies in the 11th house astro. I had him pegged as a recluse but a new translation of his diaries reveals that the literary icon was quite the party creature.
“How easily grenadine with seltzer goes through one’s nose when one laughs,” he wrote after one of his frequent outings.