The previous 11th House was of the greater society, culture, or community that we are a part of. This is where we begin to lose our personal identity and become a part of something bigger, something greater than ourselves, like a revolution, a political movement, a social cause, or a cultural shift. Moving into the 12th, we tap into the deeper emotional drives and impulses of our society, and are able to bring it to the surface and show everyone what it looks like. In return, we become a symbol for what that planet represents. For example, Mars here is often found in the charts of sports stars, serial killers and rapists, sex icons, and rock stars, all of whom embody the masculine qualities of aggression, violence, selfish sexuality, impulsive actions, and athleticism the planet employs.
Just as you and your mother were once seamlessly connected in the time before your birth, all life is connected together on a cultural, spiritual, and emotional level. Going down into the darkness of your emotional mind, you eventually emerge to discover how you are intertwined with all of creation, and vise versa. Here, you are in tune with the subtle undercurrents of the world, picking up on their fears, their dreams, their thoughts, their moods; trends, movements, and all your people's collective beliefs. These ideas slip into your head from the outside and you take them on as your own, like one small drop dissolving into an ocean of others.
Being open and exposed to everything (especially pain and other people’s negative emotions) all of the time can be exhausting. A perfectly natural response is to cut yourself off and withdraw into solitude to regain some inner peace. The desire for seclusion, but the loneliness and lack of fulfillment that comes with it, is why the 12th House is often compared to a prison or asylum – you are at once alone in your cell and connected within a larger system to other souls around you - and why this House is so often associated with suffering or self-undoing. Escapism, addiction, and delusional thinking are the biggest problems to look out for. Emotional problems dealing with trauma and repression are issues as well. Because these planets are ignored, denied existence, repressed, or unaccepted within ourselves, they remain immature, undeveloped, and largely negative. However, they still influence you from unseen depths and can unravel your life from the inside out.
When you are still young and figuring yourself out, these planets will be hidden from you, and the reasons behind your suffering will not be apparent. Because they sit in your subconscious mind, they cannot be consciously accessed. They live below the surface, residing in the dark waters of your emotional mind. You must look for their influence in other things that come out of your subconscious: dreams, emotions, imagination, beliefs, and all instinctual drives. You must understand how these planets are driving your actions from an unseen place, influencing you in ways you do not see or understand yet.
As you build upon your empathy and powerful psychic intuition, your higher purpose as a healer reveals itself. Even if you want to disconnect and withdraw, you still have to eventually become saviour (or martyr). These planets, though they may be parts of you, do not belong to you. They must be made sacred and then given away for the greater good of the entire world in an act of selfless sacrifice. Your enormous empathy and compassion is a testament to how these planets want to merge, dissolve, and unite with everything around them. These planets are what parts of you lives on within the collective mind, even after you've passed on. What exactly you become a symbol for reflects your personal journey into emotional and spiritual enlightenment, and how you progress in this lifetime.
IF YOUR CHART WERE AN ACTUAL HOUSE
The 12th would be the town the home resides in, and the wider world of people around it. It may seem to be one tiny home, occupying one bit of land, isolated and secluded from the rest. But nothing exits inside a bubble. This house lives within a larger framework - a neighbourhood, a borough, a city, a country - and although it may be one small, autonomous structure, it is still connected to the wider world around it.
DOMAIN OF THE 12th HOUSE
Life before birth (previous lifetimes, and/or prenatal life inside your mother's womb)
Rebirth, or life after death (ascending to a higher plane, dissolving of your energy into the world, or an afterlife)
Parts of you that live on in the collective identity long after you are gone, such as your icon status or becoming a historical figure
The subconscious mind, and all contained within it (emotions, memories, instinctual drives)
That which is real to you, but not objectively real (dreams, imagination, symbolism, art, secular practices, occultism, psychic powers, the perceived effects of drugs and alcohol, and all things religious and spiritual)
Prisons and asylums, where one is imprisoned within a network, both isolated and interconnected
Saviours, martyrs, and spiritual icons
PLANETS IN THE TWELFTH HOUSE
Having the Sun placed in the 12th House is usually found in the chart of those whose mothers and fathers often fought with each other, ultimately resulting in some kind of disconnection from the father-figure. You grew up often feeling shorted on his support and encouragement, and your Sun was left ignored. As a result you suffer from a lack of healthy self-interest, self-love, aggression, competitiveness, and stunted creativity. Early life was difficult because you were constantly a victim of those around you. Bullying, exploitation, abusive relationships, and being smothered and controlled by your mother drove you to adopt a tougher, cooler, more emotionally distant veneer. But despite the facade you wore, deep down you remained depressed, introverted, shy, and misunderstood.
As mentioned before, the planets that are put in this house want to melt into collective unity with all things. That is why powers of compassion, empathy, and intuition are so prevalent in those with 12th house personalities, and why many act as a medium between the personal and collective worlds. The ego may not want to dissolve and become a part of everything around them (especially as it is so sensitive to negativity), which usually results in a complete denial of all things in this area of life. And yet the unseen parts of the world are so curiously fascinated, and somehow so fulfilling, that you will continued find yourself pulled back in by those around you. There is the chance, especially given your frequent pain and the crowds you run with, that you turn to methods of escapism like drug use or alcohol. Or perhaps spirituality, secular beliefs, occult, or religion may be what captures you. Other times it may be the imagination, creativity, writing and artistry that fulfill your desire to daydream and get lost in another universe. You are so shy and so secretive that no one may ever know which you indulge in the most.
The planets that are found within the 12th house have their origins in the mother, given to us whilst we were in the womb and built up while we were children. Having the Moon here indicates that with your mother you have a complicated relationship that has led to some deeply-rooted psychological complexes. Even after you were born you have continued to share an emotional, psychic connection (one that persists long after she’s departed from this world). That is because your Moon, symbolizing your emotions and all her maternal energy, is concealed within the depths of your subconscious mind, where it was planted long before you were born. Although hidden away from your consciousness you still possess an extraordinary and overwhelming sensitivity to your surroundings, especially to the pain and suffering of others. A natural response is to retreat into introversion, away from all people, where your heart can be kept safe. You may give the impression of being detached, shy, and self-contained. People may find you mysterious, calm, or difficult to read. But what they do not see is how open and vulnerable your feelings really are, and how thin the line between your emotions and those of others’ really is.
All the subjects and themes contained within the 12th House are likewise difficult to pin down and dissect, mostly because they are things which are not objectively real but still fully experienced by you. These are things like spirituality, secular beliefs, dreams, the imagination, and your unseen connection to the universe and all of humanity. You frequently have vivid dreams and a colourful imagination ripe with symbolism, mythos, and fantasy. You find yourself drawn into stories and may even uncover fruitful talents as a writer. Having your Moon in the 12th bestows a powerful emotional association to all of these matters, which fluctuates in rhythm like the Moon itself. You retreat into your mind or into your secular spirituality whenever you need a safe place to go into, particularly if your strong compassion and empathy has become too overpowering. You may also try to numb yourself with drugs and alcohol. Other times, just as the Moon waxes full, you will go into the outside world and become “mother” to other people. You go out of your way to be saviour, even though you also try to keep this area of your life a secret.
Mercury is not particularly productive or powerful within this house. When in the 12th the supposedly logical, rational, and intellectual part of your brain is muddied with the waters of the subconscious. You cannot see reality as it is in front of you – your vision is clouded with emotions, imagination, and illusions. It is difficult for you to tell the difference between your own thoughts and feelings and those of the people around you. Everything is connected; there are no distinctive lines drawn in between. The reason you are so secretive is that you do not know how to let people in and communicate these troubled, passionate feelings. And part of the reason you are so shy and soft-spoken is because you do not want to expose this side of yourself to others. A distinctive part of this placement is not talking very much. When people first meet you, they may not hear more than three loosely-strung-together sentences of small talk before you both go on your separate ways. But when you do open up, an entire world of imagination and anxious thoughts spill into the conversation. And before you know it, you’ve cracked open and let people see what is inside your head.
When you begin to open up it takes no time at all to notice your latent pessimism. In fact, one of the biggest obstacles you face in life is learning to overcome your negative thoughts. Nothing ever goes right, nothing is ever good enough, the world is full of horrible people, cruelty is everywhere, and everything is terrible all of the time. You are always equipped with a list of a million things in your life to complain about, aided by the distorted information you use to explain your troubles with. As well, you suffer from various shades of paranoia, especially about not being able to trust people and thinking they are out to try and hurt you. Obsessive, disturbing, or intrusive thoughts surface daily. You might think this is an exaggeration or a caricature of how you actually are. But observe and compare what you say and how you think to another, happier person, and you will immediately notice a difference between your temperament and theirs. Not everybody worries as much as you, nor does everyone suffer from periods of depression, hopelessness, or anxiety as often as you do. It is not normal or healthy for you to live like a prisoner in your own mind. Luckily, for your sake and the people who care about you, you possess all the power and capabilities to correct your own behaviour.
Our 12th House planets are given to us by our mothers, first through our umbilical connection to her in the womb and then throughout our young childhood. While she was pregnant she was dealing with turmoil within her relationships, possibly due to emotional problems, some form of abuse, or extramarital affairs. What you took from her was a strong but confusing femininity; one that you grew up somewhat ambivalent about and eventually chose to deny altogether. You see yourself deeply in love with Piscean people that you cannot be with, falling only for the unattainable in a relationship that ultimately cannot be. You find yourself compassionately loving those that can never fully love you back, allowing you to play out the role of saviour or martyr. Or you may find yourself being taken care of in an imbalanced relationship where you are the child being saved. Your search for perfection keeps you from ever being satisfied with what you have. Secret affairs are conducted by you as if your love cannot be confined to just one person at a time, and by your partner, as if you are drawn to those that will eventually hurt you. Overall, your relationships are wrought with shade of abuse, rivalry, envy, and deceit, and the overarching theme is “sacrifice”. But it is not only your relationships which are sacrificed to the world. Venus has other domains as well.
The 12th House is also your connection to the collective, and planets placed here show how you unite with the greater whole. With Venus here, you connect to the universal collective through beauty, harmony, the arts, and your loving relationships, and it is those things that you feel the need to “give up” to the world. When engaged creatively in the arts, the hearts of the world flow through you. Left on the page is a universal story that every person can relate to. A love of things symbolic, romantic, mythical, and fantastic in nature draws you to a world of imagination and dreamscapes. Often incorporated into your work are subtle, hidden themes that suggest you have a deep affection for the unseen levels of our world. Your personal style is a fusion of many others, combining to create a universally pleasing aesthetic. Whether you journey into visual arts like drawing and painting; performance arts like acting; poetry and creative writing; music like singing, playing instruments, or dancing; fashion design and modeling; or anything in between, your Venus becomes an enchantress in this realm. It is your destiny to discover that your purpose lies in giving beauty, harmony, pleasure, and love to the collective. But there are some issues that you must overcome first.
Energetic, fiery Mars is our inner warrior. He is the greatest source of power and strength we possess; our raw masculinity that strives to conquer, to aggressively go after what we want and achieve everything we ever wanted. He is connected to our sex drive and our potential for violent action, as well as our ambition and drive for success. Submerged in the deep waters of your subconscious mind he is left to dwell in a place where you do not see him. It might not even seem as though you have a Mars. You deny your competitiveness, aggression, anger, selfishness, and all your sexual desires, ignoring them and pretending they do not exist. It may feel safer not to let him out or let anybody know he is there. But repressing this side of yourself inside of your emotional mind does have some serious consequences for your mental and emotional health. You may passively let others control, manipulate, and walk all over your life. Then you have explosive, violent outbursts or manic episodes that appear at inappropriate times or over insignificant things. Other times you feel just sort of vaguely dissatisfied with what you do, never feeling as though you are getting what you want. Sulking, whining, submissiveness, lack of enthusiasm – all are symptoms of a weakened 12th House Mars energy.
Another part of Mars in the 12th House is escapism into secret fantasies of strength and power. One look into your violent imagination and sexual daydreams and it is obvious where your Mars resides. When you are creatively or imaginatively engaged your artistic style is very bold, aggressive, and emotional. Your characters are often dark, subtly powerful figures or they are tough and full of rage. You can accurately portray horror, destruction, anger, and subjects struggling with forces beyond their control. Plots are full of action, music is loud, paintings are colourful, and you bring a healthy dose of sex appeal to everything you do. This placement is shared by rock stars, revolutionaries, action heroes, sports figures, and writers alike. Art, fitness, beliefs, and spirituality are healthy and fulfilling ways for you to live out your Mars without it becoming overwhelming or destructive. It is also a way for you to give your masculinity away to the world without feeling as if you’ve lost anything. It is very important that you have some sort of healthy escapist outlet for your Mars. If you do not, the negative aspects of this planet will undo you from the inside of your head out, and you will destroy yourself in the process.
Ceres is confused within this placement. Planets in the 12th House are said to be impressions we inherited from our mother in the womb which stuck with us past our birth into this real world. Though an individual person with an individual body, we still have this part of our self that remembers being connected to our mother, sharing a body, being kept warm and fed and safe from harm. Although we are not aware of planets here, as they seem to blend and merge with those spaces outside of our practical real-world reality, they are still very alive inside of our imagination, our spirituality, and our primordial emotional selves. When your mother was pregnant with you she already had a deep, connected love for you. She resembled the great earth mother that our ancestors worshipped – full bodied and fertile, devoted and selfless, loving and emotional in every way. But the 12th House is far more complex than her devoted love would allow. It is not at all uncommon for those with this placement to be the youngest child born a few short years before their parent’s separation. But despite being confused by their strange relationship with one another, you remained close to both of them, absorbing maternal and paternal love throughout your young life.
Some say that we all hold a secret, primal desire to return to the warmth and comfort of the womb. For you this is entirely true. Womb-like places and relationships appeal to you. You wish to be alone in the dark, quiet spaces, and yet you also wish to be spiritually and physically intertwined with another person. You are at once intensely private and intensely connected on an emotional level. This yearning to be the eternal child always taken care of by a parent is one source of your eventual undoing, especially when you reach adulthood and begin forming romantic relationships with people. You do not look for that equal, adult, mature kind of love from your partner. Instead you look for the kind of love a parent gives their child, where you are coddled, taken care of, catered to, and loved selflessly no matter what you do. This style of love is basically non-reciprocal, and you are supported by another without needing to support them back. While healthy parent-child relationships do begin like this, this dynamic is not appropriate for romantic or sexual relationships. You cannot take and take and take and only give back your immature brand of love.
Jupiter is truly powerful within this house. Jupiter’s house placement shows where we seek profound truth and where we find it, and in your case it is in the subconscious. Withdrawing into the deeper recesses of the mind you emerge wiser to the workings of those intangible parts of life found here. You find humanity’s truths lie in the imagination, spirituality, dreams, symbolism, the occult, and both the personal and collective subconscious. Study these subjects and you find them to be infallible. How could anyone ever doubt their astrology readings, or what their therapist says, or the symbolism of their nightmares, when these never fail to be true? You may ask yourself how anybody could not believe in the things you see are so plainly accurate all of the time. It is because you find truth through faith and are not opposed to using your intuition to guide what is right and wrong, true and false, real and imaginary. But be warned – this house is full of tricks and illusions, and you must be careful what you put your faith into. The roads of this house are just as likely to end in drugs, alcohol, false idols, oppressive religion, martyrdom, and you sacrificing your happiness for others. This placement can very well lead to your undoing if you are not careful.
You may not believe that your personality holds many of Jupiter’s characteristic qualities. This planet may be a at home, but that is not to say that it is any more easily expressed than other planets that find their way here. Even normally lucky, expansive Jupiter finds itself shackled and wrought with distress. This is the house astrologers associate with prisons and asylums because this is the house where you must spend long periods alone working on your inner self. Jupiter here signals that you withdraw into your mind and prefer to expand inwardly; to work on yourself and to ruminate on enlightenment. You learn the most in these periods of isolation, where your solitude (and even loneliness) gives you introspective insight into yourself. You are surprisingly open and willing to learn from life and the world around you, expanding your inner horizons through culture, psychology, philosophy, politics, spirituality, history, and different schools of thought. Afraid of going out into the world and exploring it directly through travel and experience, you resolve instead to learn and study people from behind a closed door.
In the months leading up to your birth your mother was stressed over money her relationship with your father. During your childhood you saw her further taking on a defeatist attitude towards everything life threw at her. Your father may have been absent or otherwise unable to provide a sense of security for the family. Looking into the past you are still haunted by these painful experiences, the memories of which you continue to secretly dwell on. Unable or unwilling to confront these negative emotions, afraid of being engulfed by them, you banish them to the inner recesses of your subconscious mind. But repressed memories never go away; pushing them down, they hide in the darkness and continue to influence you in subtle ways you are not aware of. By denying “weak” emotions and not submitting to authority you give yourself a feeling of control. You seek out structure and permanence but suffer from bouts of doubt, insecurity, depression, and have nervous breakdowns, and have a multitude of trust issues still buried underneath a calm exterior.
When one looks at your dreams, imagination, and spirituality – all things of the 12th House domain – they see how those things are influenced by Saturn lurking underneath. As long as you repress your emotions other areas of your subconscious mind will be repressed as well. It is your inner craving for security and structure that compels you to initially reject and deny all things spiritual and imaginative, just as you reject and deny your own repressed emotions. You may seek out drugs and alcohol to help manage the depression that stems from painful experiences. Yet even though this may work at times it is an unhealthy and unproductive way of managing your feelings. Like flowers sprouting out of the soil, your belief structures and creative ideas carry a certain Saturn quality into the outside world. For a period of your life you will struggle to dedicate yourself to faith and will be more secure in the world of science. Many with this placement are capable of becoming doctors, politicians, and scientists for this reason. Something about objective scientific proof that something is real comforts you. You will also be imaginatively and artistically stunted, focusing more on technical and practical skills instead. When you do consider divinity, unresolved feelings from your parents are projected onto fate: anger, cynicism, hopelessness, and a feeling rejected, overlooked, and not cared about.
Chiron placed in the 12th House indicates that shortly before, during, or after your birth, your mother underwent a traumatic experience. It was likely either the loss of someone close to her, or she may have suffered in an abusive relationship, or something very similar. In any case, you inherited a great deal of her pain and sadness whilst suspended in the womb, and you saw her emotional turmoil during your coming early childhood years. While still young (likely before adolescence) you also experienced your share of painful emotional incidents. At the hands of a parent, family member, or close friend you were made to feel abandoned, rejected, insecure, or saddened, and in the worst case scenario were hurt and abused by others. You internalized your pain and anger, blaming yourself and falling into despair. And eventually, as evidenced by Chiron’s placement, you buried your wounds deep into your subconscious mind. Repressing and denying your unsavory emotions, ignoring your injuries, and pushing down that which you did not want to remember, you effectively hide all that had to do with this piece of your personality. But, as you as found, these unresolved emotional issues do not just go away just because you choose not to look at them.
All planets which lie in the 12th House live in the subconscious mind, as for whatever reason we choose we cannot feel them fully and so abandon them to be drowned in the dark waters of our emotional brain. But they can still be seen in that with grows out of these waters; our spirituality, secular beliefs, imagination, and even our dreams, all carry parts of that planet with them into the outer world. As you have Chiron placed here, these things will all carry evidence of your pain and insecurity with them to the outside world. You frequently have nightmares. You are insecure in your artistic ability and feel your work has to be kept secret; your imagination, you complain, does not come up with anything good. You have difficulties with organized religion and are much more comfortable with individual spirituality or secular practices (if you choose to adopt any). Your relationships with divinity, fate, the collective, your mother, and God, are all damaged because you are hurt and made to feel unimportant, abandoned, and betrayed. To numb this pain you turn to alcohol or drug use. Otherwise, you will withdraw into privacy and suffer in silence.
It is likely that either something spontaneous or unusual happened to your mother while she was carrying you, or else the pregnancy itself was different somehow. You were thereafter born into a family where you do not quite fit in, and you grew up feeling as though they (and others) have tried to turn you into what they believe you should be. Perhaps they were wary of how you would affect their public image, too revolutionary for their old-fashioned values, or simply too weird for them to understand. This rejection made you uncomfortable with the parts of yourself that were different. It also spawned the seed of your distrust of authority, rebellion against the rules, and a refusal to submit. As far back as you can remember you have been an outcast, an outsider, strange and misunderstood. And for just as long you have hidden this part of yourself, banishing it to live in the waters of your subconscious mind.
You have gone to great lengths to sheath your creative genius and wear a plainer disguise. Even going so far as to adopt different “personas” for different people and situations, you switch from one personality to the next depending on if you are with friends, family, coworkers, authority figures, and so on. In attempting to blend in and be “just like everyone else”, you abandon everything that makes you unique to some dark place somewhere, where nobody can know how strange you really are. But Uranus, being the planet of spontaneity and revolution, placed in the house of the Subconscious, can suddenly turn up in some surprising places. You may go through bouts of insomnia or lucid dreams. Strange experiences on drugs or alcohol may occur in your lifetime. When tuning into your imagination you find flashes of creative ideas, the origins of which you cannot fully explain. Your approach to the spiritual and emotional sides of life is original and inventive as well; it is said that parapsychology, spiritualism, and metaphysics in particular (all of which seek to blend contemporary science with strange and revolutionary ideas) excite those with this placement.
This is a blessed placement for Neptune to be in. The waters of your soul run deep and still. To you she gives extraordinarily sensitive emotions and an intense and vivid imagination. Compassionate and utterly receptive, you cannot help but feel like your heart is always exposed. You spend your whole life open and vulnerable, as though you can physically feel other people’s energy radiating off of them. Gifted (or cursed) with boundless empathy, any time you spend in the company of other people can be overwhelming for your gentle nature. In response you seclude yourself, perhaps hiding behind a closed door or by yourself in your bedroom. In quiet isolation you can re-center yourself, calming the waters inside of you that accumulated everyone else’s positive and negative emotions. It is in these hours alone that your superb artistry can be expressed, your vivid imagination ignited. Softly painting, reading, writing, or crafting by yourself, you can get in touch with your creative spirit without being interrupted by the wolves outside.
Neptune can show where you set up such high expectations for beauty and happiness that nothing in this earthly realm could possibly live up to them. In the 12th House, your idea of heaven is heaven itself – a paradise that exists not in this world, but in the next. Nothing in this world of suffering and sadness could compare to what you have in mind. But do not let delusions of heaven serve as your cushion from the harsh realities of this world. Balance must be found between enough belief to feed your soul and enough practicality to survive. You should not deny this spiritual side of yourself that believes and has faith in things unseen. Even if you experience a loss of faith in your primary religion, you should search for a system of beliefs and values as a substitute. You may say you are gifted with psychic powers, or you may claim to have personal spiritual experiences that cannot be proved but are as real to you as anything else. Despite isolating yourself and hiding from the rest of the world, you have a great need inside of you to transcend this earthly plain and be united with God(s), Mother Nature, the universe, your culture, and with other people. You should seek to surround yourself with like minded and loving supporters.
While your mother was pregnant she was enduring some kind of emotional turmoil or even trauma, the memory of which was transmitted to you, where Pluto still lives in your subconscious emotional mind. To put it lightly, you were born during a major transformative shift in your mother’s life that persisted through your childhood. You are very likely to have seen your parents’ divorce and/or have been separated from one or both parents at an early age. Many either don’t know their father or see their mothers abused in some way. There is a strong link to the dark feminine aspects of our society within your psyche, and true to that you are likely to have undergone your own share of traumatic experiences; sexual abuse, mental illness (including depression, drug addiction, or alcoholism), unspeakable secrets, painful deaths, being uprooted from your familiar family life, and living under all-powerful, oppressive, manipulative, exploitive, and controlling authorities. What emerged from these difficult times is an abandoning of Pluto into the inner recess of the mind, where she cannot be seen or heard from again. This automatic rejection of this side of your personality, and all the complexes and neurosis associated with the trauma you and your mother endured, snowballs into something bigger later on in life.
But the 12th House is not just that of your personal subconscious. It is your connection to the collective and to all things not objectively real but experienced by you: spirituality, secular beliefs, dreams, and the imagination, to name a few. It is here one finds symbolism and fantasy, the mythical and the universal. Just as you and your mother’s bodies were joined when she was pregnant, all people are connected together on a spiritual level, and planets in the 12th House represent how you connect to the greater whole. As you have Pluto here, you compete with the world for power and control, at any cost necessary, and you frequently become symbolic of that which is “taboo” and forbidden to talk about. Pluto is very sensitive when placed here – rattling her cage with sexual impulses and destructive urges – and you fear that anything might trigger a sudden onslaught of intense emotions you cannot control. A natural reaction is to withdraw entirely into privacy to protect yourself, being aware as you are to the looming threats that await you in the outside world. Initially denying your Pluto even exists, you prefer to keep your secrets secret and your threatening strength under a heavy veil. But you cannot hide your Pluto forever.