The 12th house: Know thyself, or else

Today, class, I would like to take you down into the depths of your psyche, so come with me on a 12th house excursion, as we dive to the deep and see what life under the sea is like.

For that’s what goes on in this house: all the buried sediment of your life lives here.

You know those sea creatures who barely have eyes, and survive by feeling their way through the inky black sludge that is the bottom of the deep sea floor? They are the denizens of your depths, and will be our tentative, sightless guides as we ponder this murk.

The 12th house in your chart is either tenanted or it’s not. If a tenant is squatting there, it’s likely you only know about it because, like a ghost tramping about in your cellar, you hear it go bump in the night. You haven’t heard denial until you’ve heard someone who has no idea their 12th house planet controls them, deny that’s what’s happening.

  • Pluto in the 12th? I’m not controlling! Are you kidding? I give everyone complete freedom, until they disagree with me, that is.
  • Saturn in the 12th? My childhood was idyllic, except for Uncle Rutabaga, and we don’t talk about HIM.
  • Sun in the 12th? I own my own power, except my husband takes care of all the little ‘details’ I can’t handle.
  • Moon in the 12th? I’m never sick. I just have this persistent cough.
  • Venus in the 12th? I’m gorgeous, I know, that’s what everyone says, but does this make me look fat?
  • Mars—you guessed it. This one is never angry.
  • Mercury hides their intelligence, or is inordinately proud of it and can’t let anyone know.

Planets in the 12th tend to cover their abilities the way cats hide litterbox offerings.

It’s an insecure house, a house of inferiority, because planets here are uncomfortable. They feel guilty for existing, and then they never get the attention they so desperately want. This is the house of introverts and shy people, people who struggle too often to feel okay about expressing themselves, who never believe they are okay as they are.

I am sad just writing this, but there is hope, 12th house people! You’ll feel better knowing that you’ll have to earn this happiness, though. 12th house people, like 6th house people, want to suffer a little (okay, they want to suffer a lot) to know their trek on this planet was worth it, and are happiest when the world obliges by strewing their already-thorny path with boulders.

This gives them something to struggle against, and that’s how they know they’re alive, too much of the time. Hence the denial, running away, and tragic ends. I strongly suspect Anna Karenina had Venus in the 12th, and if she were real, she’d have Pluto there as well, preferably in Pisces, for dramatic effect.

Hope lies in acceptance of one’s self as merely mortal, something the true 12th house person has some trouble with because they come into this life aware of truths most of us only dimly discern. Divinity and attainment of the godhead seem to be just out of reach for the 12th house person, but because they are so close to the source of inner knowing and wisdom, this house has the potential, like no other, to produce people who have true humility, true goodness and purity of spirit.

Your family of origin gave you what lies here; you learned it like the little sponge you once were, absorbing this energy, so don’t be surprised if you are unconscious you possess these abilities. For those who believe in karma, this house represents what you own and what you owe. For those who believe in past lives, much of what you used to be can be found here.

It’s the land of Ward Robe that leads to Narnia, the pirate’s bounty in Davy Jone’s locker. It’s buried away for a reason—so no one can find it easily. Therein lies the work of a lifetime, and it’s why we go to church, to psychiatrists, and to astrologers: to find a way to unlock the door to this room.

12th house planets are usually not overt until you bring the energy to the surface. This might come after some life trauma, but it’s more likely that insight will require trips to visit a therapist, a past life hypnotist, a non-traditional medical practitioner, a medium, an astrologer, the church of Scientology, or practitioners of Zen Buddhism—any of a number of resources designed to assist you in suppressing your conscious, rational mind, and release the messages your inner world is trying to show you.

Many use drugs to facilitate this release, but drugs are not strictly necessary on this journey, although unless it’s life-endangering, I say give it a go. During 12th house transits, I remember the words of my allergy doctor: “Go ahead, mix your meds. Who knows? You might attain Nirvana.”

The 12th house also represents a time of year, in that the Sun transits through the 12th house at a certain time of year for you. Each year, you get another opportunity to go inside your psyche and feel around, much like Mary Poppins searching inside her carpet bag, or Pandora rummaging around her box.

Ask yourself if you are especially “tired” this time of year, if you find you need more time alone, more time to ruminate, more time to allow whatever comes up during daydreams and fantasies and sleep to simply emerge.

Do you find that you have a lack of energy? That’s your body’s way of saying you’ve been living too much in the hectic light of day, and now it’s time for 12th house slumber. As with dreams and nightmares, the 12th house does not mean your mind is inactive. Instead, it is being prepared, like the ground lying fallow in the winter, for a new season of activity.

But what happens to the ground as it lies fallow? I’ll tell you what happens, since we’re extending this metaphor. First of all, it “rests.” This means it isn’t used for new plantings. The ground has become depleted of oxygen and other nutrients, all of which have gone into creating whatever was recently harvested.

During the transit of the Sun through the 12th, attention is being brought to this part of your reality; you are, temporarily, used up, and it’s time to rest and let nature work its miracle of healing and regeneration. The sludge that lies at the bottom of the oceans keeps many life forms alive with the nutrients that fall there, and this is what is going on in your 12th house psyche; dark stuff, the stuff of dreams, fairytales and nightmares, fall to the bottom and occasionally get dredged up.

Dark yucky sludge is not pleasant to look at, so it’s usually sifted through and allowed to fall gently back to the ocean’s floor again.

However, sometimes the sifting process that occurs when you take your deep sea submersible down there, unearths something useful, beautiful, or amazing. It is my belief that no other house is more capable of self-transformation and true attainment of spiritual truths, and I’m not saying that out of ego; my own 12th house is untenanted, so I have nothing at stake here, I just report what the voices tell me.

However, the 12th house is a potentially spiritual house, one that requires the 40 metaphorical years of isolation in the desert to find the treasure chest lying inside the submerged wreck everyone likes to put in their aquarium.

How to attain spirituality in the 12th? First, by owning what belongs to you. With the 12th, it’s too easy to see others as the problem (unconscious prejudices learned in childhood live here, along with everything you do not like about yourself, as well as untapped strengths and abilities you disown for one reason or another).

Everyone you’ve ever known who declares they’re nothing like the people they deplore has a weak, vulnerable, all-too-negatively human side, which lurks like a noisy ghost under the floorboards of this house. Someone else’s planets falling in your 12th tend to make your weaknesses transparent to them, a very uncomfortable feeling when they see right through your defense mechanisms and call you on all your tricks and denials.

Transits through the 12th might bring all of your inadequacies to light in extremely uncomfortable ways, until you own your negative self and the energy you expend on denial is no longer suppressed. I know it’s hard, but think of these transits as opportunities to know yourself better. Or else.

82 thoughts on “The 12th house: Know thyself, or else”

  1. No one is as shocked as the 12th house person to find something out that was or is obvious to everyone else. 😉 There is a sense of being asleep for most of one’s life, and it’s too bad the native gets put down for this, since the sleep is necessary for something else to come to light. Lots of fairytale figures sleep through the boring bits. 🙂

  2. How eye-opening, says the blind woman with Chiron and Ceres in 12th house Capricorn and MARS on the cusp of the Asc! Can’t tell you what a hellish ride the past few years have been with this blind-fold on as Pluto transits these Planet/asteroids! Going in to seclusion has helped a LOT and your suggestions are great! The things I have tried are therapy (traditional) and soon past life, psychics, meds, cds on self-hypnosis and guided imagery, reading, reading, reading to try and unravel these hidden inner mysteries (numerology and astrology have become obsessions), and the next thing I will try is auricular therapy. If all else fails, there’s always John of God in Brazil, (haha)…Pluto is not great for maintaining sanity as it transits the 12th when it hits anything in the 12th….He leaves in February and I am counting the days…But I must say in all honesty, I have truly grown in the area of spiritual depth and self-knowledge. It has been the Dark Night of the Soul though. If a person could WILL themselves to go to sleep and never wake up…well, I would have been gone long ago. Today I am beginning to get a glimmer of the light at the end of the 12th house tunnel. I can almost see the ascendant! Yippee!

  3. 12th house north node, venus and pallas….this article sums the 12th house up perfectly…=)

    thank you.

  4. thanx for your thoughts.finally I have found someone who “speaks my language”.I am quite new to astrology but I guess it’s my sun,mercury and jupiter in 12th house that tells me to dig deeper and depper into the realms of my underworld.I shall follow you you here on my quest of acquiring the knowledge of self-discovery.thank you

  5. I love this post and found it very thoughtful and well written. Even the images you chose to accompany it are hauntingly beautiful – they speak to me and closely mirror images I’ve encountered through dreams, healing work and art I’ve been inspired to create. With natal Uranus and Pluto in the 12th (and both strongly aspected), I plan on bookmarking it to refer back to whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed – it’s special.

    Oddly enough, just days ago the Sun finished its annual transit through my natal 12th, and precious sleep/rest was mostly denied me – exhausted as I was, I’ve only now begun to sleep again. Finding your post today feels a bit like stumbling across Divine encouragement, so thanks. 🙂

    1. Thank you very much for your comments, and for subscribing! It’s always good to have a new reader. The 12th house is of great interest to many people, I find; it’s obviously not easily understood, and so many pieces of the puzzle seem to lurk there, hiding away in hidden cupboards and behind closed doors… so transits through that house might help, or might befuddle until clarity is accomplished. One can but hope for clarity in the gloomy murk. 😉

  6. Thank you for writing such an inspiring article for this 12th houser. It gives me hope that better things are to come for me after the long sleep!

    12th house Sun, Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter

  7. Wonderful article on the 12th House, my favorite house to explore. Lovely art work as well. You are very talented.

    1. Don’t conflate the 12th house with Pisces. One is a location and a place for planets to dwell; the other is a sign in the celestial heavens. Each has its own characteristics, not all of which overlap neatly.

      1. Oops. That was a Freudian slip because at one time, I did conflate the two. I meant t say in the 12th house. But anywho….for me personally, anger is definitely experienced but at the same time, there is always a persistent 6th sense telling me that very very bad things will happen if I respond the way I’m inclined to and they probably would. Whereas other people would get away with expressing anger, it would cause serious setbacks for me in the form of an untold number of new enemies, imprisonment or worse. Even the simplest expressions of anger are met with opposition. It’s like the universe says that I’m not allowed to be angry

  8. Chiron in Aquarius at 10º in 12th house & Pallas Athene in Pisces at 4º in 12th house. Can anyone expand on these placements for a neophyte? Thank you

    1. Do you mean you’re a neophyte about these two planetoids/asteroids, or that you’re a neophyte in general? I don’t believe in doing readings out of context with the rest of the chart, because these placements do not function alone. I’d prefer seeing your entire chart in total before making a comment about the way these two might function for you, but in general, 12th house points/planets tend to work pretty much the way I’ve written about them in the above blog entry… they are there, but you might not have claimed the power of each one. Or, in the case of Chiron in the 12th (in aspect to what, other than Pallas?) you might have chronic problems that are hard to pin down. Anything in the 12th is usually murky or hidden, and we’re quite often in denial about the energy. If you’re not, with that combination (Pallas in conjunction to Chiron) I’d wonder if you were a nurse or a carer of some sort. Someone who works to heal others? Or you’ve had people over-relying on your strength to care for them. Again, without the entire chart, this is just guess-work.

      1. Sorry, neophyte in all ways I guess. I am born 7/4/1956 at 11:15pm in Lubbock, Texas. But I don’t want to take advantage of your good nature. Thank you for responding.

  9. awesome article and it comes at a great time in my life…..I have Pluto transiting through my 12th house/Capricorn and bringing up alot of things for me!! I have no planets here however I do have natal Pluto and Sun in Libra in 8th house and am Cappy rising with poor Saturn intercepted in my 7th!!! Needless to say I am going through some serious transformations!!

    1. I completely understand. For any number of reasons, and although I don’t have anything in the 12th natally, the Pluto transit through the 12th was the hardest transit I’ve ever endured, but then, Pluto is strong in my chart. I felt like I was scraped out and served up raw. Now I’m a new, clean and shiny person. Sort of. Thanks for reading, and I’m glad you got something out of it!

  10. Pluto right on ascendant and approaching cap sun at 23 degrees // considering solar reading soon for this year should be a doozy–

  11. This post is helping me with understanding how the 12th house 5-planet stellium in my solar return chart might be operating. I can relate to the theme of cleaning out the closets — and claiming what is mine hidden beneath the clutter. My job this year? Bring these inherited gifts into the light of day. Thanks, Alison.

  12. It was an awesome explanation and perception on 12th house that I have never read before. Also once we know the real meaning behind it, it would help a lot to get over it. Thank You !!!
    Can you please tell how would the married life and Mercury and Venus Dhasa be for my friend with below details. (Pisces Ascendant; Aquarius Moon Sign; Mercury,Venus and Moon in 12th house)
    Date of Birth : 28/03/1987 ; Time : 5.45 AM; Place of Birth : Kaatu Mannar Koil, India (5.30 hrs East of GMT);
    Longitude : 79.43 E, Latitude: 11.24 N

  13. hi. i wanted to learn more about my 12th house planets. and yr post was really useful. i jus wanted to ask for more advice regarding planets in 12th house, as i have 5 planets in the 12th house, and it is said to be more difficult for ppl having many planets in the 12th house to solve their problems.

    i have (aquarius) venus , (capricorn) mars , (aquarius) jupiter , (aquarius) uranus , and , (capricorn) neptune in the 12th house, and i wonder if u can help me . as i find my 12th house too complicated for me to understand. especially so, with the many aspects connecting to the rest of my chart planets, and those among the 12th house planets. thanks.

  14. Hi a great article and its good to read more on this magical topic. I have a 12th house sun and its depths have been a life long struggle to understand and bring to light, and thats with the aid of having studied astrology. I definitly feel that most times I am not really part of this world yet still physically a part of course, the dancing with the barries of worlds between worlds is the greatest experience of having a sun in the 12th house, there are no limits. That of course can extend either way.
    Thanks for your work


  15. Really nice post. I am just begining to study astrology and your article has been very helpful to understand the 12th house. Just have a question, what if the Black Moon is in this house? Congratulations, this is a great site!

    1. Well, Enrique, I’d need to see the entire chart. BML is, however, a powerful influence wherever she or it, however you think of it, is placed. What you’d need to do, of course, is take a look at the aspects made to the rest of the chart; what does BML aspect in the 12th? Let’s say a man (you, possibly) has a point or planet posited in the 12th that is associated with feminine types of energy—any planet or point found in the 12th is most likely expressing in a relatively unconscious way, unless the person is determined to see him or herself clearly. That’s one way to interpret planets in the 12th; another is to say that the person has a tendency toward expressing 12th house type energies, such as an interest in things or issues related to the 12th (the list is long, and includes such diverse items as ‘prisons’ and spirituality, broadly defined).

      So anyway, you have this 12th house, which covers any number of issues, and you find a feminine-type energy in it, and/but you’re male. How does this energy then express? Given the way most people function, the greatest likelihood is that your relationships with women or with feminine-type people reflect unconscious issues having to do with BML, a controversial point in the chart, but generally associated with troubled energy. Look here for more specifics on BML: and

      I do not use BML on a regular basis, and will generally only look at it if a client starts talking about certain issues s/he’s having trouble with. But my take on a planet or point falling in your 12th is that it requires the native to take a close look at how s/he is not expressing that energy consciously, because the greatest likelihood is that s/he is probably seeing that behavior in others but not in her- or himself.

      In other words, 12th house planets tend to be projected, if the native is not consciously aware of their energies. Not only that, but one tends to attract that issue into your life in some form or other and then gradually bring the energy into consciousness; depending on what this involves, the process can be very painful, or just protracted, but the goal is always to push the individual towards wholeness, and seeing the larger picture.

      Ignoring the 12th house usually means you live out the planets/energy through someone who brings that energy into your life, eventually forcing you to own your own behaviors and attitudes. These would, most likely, be fairly ‘dark’ energies with the 12th combined with BML, but that’s just one opinion. I would imagine there are positive spins to put on that combination, but to be sure about any of it, I’d have to see the whole chart.

      I do not necessarily see the 12th house as ‘always’ representing any one particular style of behavior, but since the 12th has the glow of the group mind (the masses) about it, you can also see it as one of those influences that makes it possible that the person involved will express whatever planet or point is posited there, beloved of the masses or equally reviled by the masses. The 12th is not always expressed only personally, after all; sometimes the native is expressing the will of the masses, although I tend to see that combination more with the personal planets.

  16. I’m a 12th house Sun, Mercury and Moon thought this one is really close to my ASC.
    However your interpretation is one of the best I have read! It really let me thinking and saying:aha!, yes! i’m like that.
    My sun is in Leo, so of course i want to shine sometimes, but i now understand that maybe i’m not born to that and I accept myself.=)
    Actually, I think I like having a 12th h sun. Well, it’s obvious since it allows me to be alone all the time and that’s something I love <3
    The only thing that kind of bothers me is that I have read a 12th h sun has Piscis energy, so I feel I tend to fall in the victim category sometimes and to project my personality on people and in a very neptunian way, i think?…

  17. I have the Sun, Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury in the 12 house and have been avoiding finding out what it really meant for many years.
    Finally some things happened in my life and i got to this point. I was ready to find out what is waiting for me in the shadows.
    Thank you for making it into a beautiful deep world worth exploring.

    1. Take a look at these two links: and They are both considered ‘water’ houses, in that each is affiliated with a water sign; Scorpio is associated with the 8th and Pisces with the 12th. Aside from that, there are, of course, some big similarities, but fundamentally, every sign represents its own set of mostly unique characteristics, and though Scorpio and Pisces are, or can be, equally secretive, amongst other similarities, they each come at the similarities for different reasons. In general, when signs are opposite or in some other way similar (they share an element or modality, for example) they might do the same things, but usually for very different reasons. Hence, although you expect to find some similarities between the water houses (4, 8, 12) it’s important to keep in mind that they are not the same.

  18. Hello!~
    I was wondering if you can provide one little information, as what do I do to undermine myself, please?
    Saggitarius in 11th and 12th ( jupiter virgo,intercepted in 8th- square my sun) I am basically curious about this inter-conectedness, jupiter/saggitarius is a problem in my chart ( also seem to have the wrong people in my life as friends…e.g secret betrayals that I somewhat find about)
    Thank you!

    1. This is a very large question! If you would like to schedule a reading, I can help you better understand your entire chart, because the kind of problems you’re talking about can be seen in more than one place in the chart. There are usually deep reasons having to do with your expectations about relationships, intimacy, and self-worth, that lead to having people in your life who end up betraying you. Usually, there is a fairly complicated dynamic going on between the two people, and it isn’t until later in life you begin to see how you unconsciously colluded with the other person, and set yourself up to be hurt. Other people might see the red flags long before you do, and that’s part of how we’re in denial about people’s motives. Anyway, if you want to talk more about it, here’s the link to help you schedule an appointment with me: Thanks very much for commenting and contacting me. 🙂

  19. Oh, thank you very much for answering! 🙂
    Now I see the extra-lenght of my question and that it might be troublesome to answer as it is. (sorry!!)
    You are very right regarding that the whole chart must be considered ( oh, and don’t I have some doozeys in there! )
    But I am on a rough patch right now, where money is an issue and I am saving for health matters. Maybe after times get calm, than, I could try and contact for an appointment.
    Still, this question gets me really driven to get to the bottom, because it’s really a wild card…saggitarius and pisces, it seems like they could be good friends in mixing energies. 🙂

    1. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to give a quick answer to horoscope questions. I’d suggest if you are trying to save money, Astrodienst has a good forum, and I’ve started one. You get advice for free on Astrodienst; I don’t think all that many people are on the forum I started (yet, or maybe ever!) Good luck and best wishes!

  20. Thank you!! 🙂
    I’ll keep observing this site, as I love your interpretations on the Nodes in houses! I hope you won’t grow tired until you get to 12th house NN, hehe (looking forward to that one).
    Best wishes!

    1. No, I won’t grow tired… this series is a commitment, and it will be finished. It seems to need a fair amount of time to research, however. I am very glad you’re getting something useful out of it!

  21. Yes, the Twelfth House really does get people going! Thanks for this article, Alison. Perhaps you and your readers might like to read my article “Contemplating the Twelfth House
    : an optimist’s take on self-undoing” – most recently published in March 2015 at Astrodienst –
    Ps. I have either five or six planets in the Twelfth, depending on which system you use, so I know of which I speak…!

  22. Hey! I’ve been doing some research into 12th house for some time now, and I have to say that I really enjoy your description of it. My sun is in Pisces, though it’s in the 11th house. I have 3 personal planets in 12th house (Moon in aries, mercury in pisces, and venus in aries) as well as a Pisces BML in 12th house. Life has been interesting, to say the least. Most of it feels very hazy. I’m very artistically talented and inclined though I’m so insecure about my talents that I kinda waste them. I’m working on it though. Sometimes I just know things without knowing how, I feel vibes and pain from people, even people I’ve never met! I’ve had multiple experiences where it’s like I’m literally reading someone’s life without having any idea how. I even have dreams that come true. I guess my question is how do I go about integrating all of these aspects into my personality without completely losing myself? I don’t fear much, but I am scared that I can go so far “out” that I may not be able to come back to the real world.

    1. I understand completely what you’re referring to, and the simple answer is ‘develop good boundaries.’ Now, there are many books written on this subject. You’d have to let me know if you have any sense of guilt if you do not somehow take care of others’ needs, because if that’s part of the merging-into-others’ reality, then that complicates the picture. If, however, this is a more amorphous and therefore unstructured response to others, that’s a somewhat different problem. A lot depends, therefore, on the source of the feelings. There literally is not a lot you can do if you are just simply picking up other people’s ‘messages’. You can work with your inner energy/world to turn that skill off, but completely stopping, I have found, also shuts off the flow of artistic ability and/or creativity.

      But it might be different for you, and if you can find a way to shut out the influences, that’s the key. What you don’t want is the ‘sponge’ way of living, where you just randomly find yourself feeling exactly what the other person is feeling without a filter and without a way to stop the feeling. Also take into account who you’re interacting with, because some people are just going to be worse for a sensitive person to deal with. Here’s one source you could take a look at and see if it works for you:

      Also, are you finding this situation is getting worse, or has it always been like this? The reason I ask is that this issue might be looked at through transits. Let me know if you feel like it’s getting worse and you don’t know what to do.

      I don’t know if I made it clear enough in that house analysis, but the 12th is a very sensitive house (of course much depends on the rest of the chart). My personal 12th is kind of like this huge “numb” place that only becomes an issue during transits. That means I know it’s there, I’m more aware of it than I used to be, but it kind of functions in the background, unconsciously, until something hits it, like a funny bone pain or a deep nerve pain. I don’t know if you know what I mean, but that’s what it feels like. In other words, when there’s a difficult transit, I REALLY NOTICE IT. The rest of the time, with Sagittarius on that house cusp for me, and Jupiter ruling my chart, I get to blissfully ignore my issues and live in denial. 😉

  23. Thanks so much for the quick reply! To answer your first question, no I really don’t feel guilt. It’s more of a “I feel this as if it’s happening to me” kinda thing but as I’ve gotten older, I’m getting a little better at being “selfish” with my emotions and stepping back when I need to. (I’m 22 btw) The best way I can describe it is it’s as if I find a secret little portal into people’s brain and I can explore in it. I have also gotten better at figuring out if what I feel is mine or not so that’s a plus. The situation isn’t necessarily getting worse. In fact, I think it’s a lot better because now I’m aware of it whereas in the past, I just thought I was going crazy. Everything in my birthchart points to art and healing, so I’ve kinda just accepted this as my way in life. When I try to reject that part of me, my world turns grey and sluggish, like I’m psychologically backed up. But with so much pisces and 12th house influence, it’s a bit of a challenge to stay plugged into the “real” world. I’m so much more plugged into the ethereal, spiritual realm. Buuuut, at the same time, mental illness runs rampant through my family. I’m also the only pisces in an air/fire dominant family. They look at me like I’m crazy because I see and experience things so differently, and sometimes I have to wonder if they’re not as far off the mark as I would like, especially with my Lilith in both pisces and 12th house. And let’s not even discuss my love life, lol. I’m kinda long-winded, so I hope I’m not typing too much, and I appreciate any insight you can give me.

    1. I think ‘outliers,’ people who do not meet the norm of the expectations surrounding them, are partially born so as to show other people what is possible, but also to help the individual see yet another version of reality. Ultimately, I suspect it’s a ‘good’ thing you’re not like the people around you, not because you’re ‘better’ than they are, or they’re ‘worse’ than you are, but because it helps you expand your abilities, it expands your emotional/visceral ‘reach’, so that you become aware (a key word with the 11th) of other people’s realities. How can you possibly know who you are if you’re so much like other people that you can’t even see the differences?

      So that’s why it’s evolutionarily helpful to be different, because a) you need to know who you are and b) you have to be able to offer more to your creativity, which you cannot do if you are a cookie cutter version of everyone else. I don’t know if you’ve taken a look at the 11th house stuff I’ve written, but the message is, basically, yes, you are “crazier” than everyone else, and it’s a feature, not a bug. 😉

      The 11th house: It’s important to acknowledge the power of your Sun in this equation; it’s not just your 12th house planets involved in this perception-of-reality.

      Combining Pisces with the 11th house is going to feel vaguely crazy-making, if only because it’s a water sign in an air-element house. Plus, the 11th is necessarily going to give you the ability to distance yourself to gain perspective on other people’s emotions, at the same time your natural Pisces instinct is to get up close on something so you can get a better look at it. I don’t know the rest of your chart, so I cannot comment beyond that point. But it’s an interesting problem, trying to combine air and water.

      I’d attribute the fast response to the fact that my brain is functional and I am at the computer today. Otherwise, I’d be apologizing. 😉

  24. I have Sagittarius stellium here (Venus, Mars, and Jupiter) and I daydream on daily basis. I listen to music anywhere and anytime to prevent myself from absorbing too much of others’ energy. The tiredness goes away if I get proper sleep (which is 9 to 12 hours a day). I have taken stabilizers for my mood disorder (the stellium trines dramatic Leo moon). I was told I couldn’t see the world as it was and had escapist mentality; as I have Neptune in 1st house. I once thought the stellium square aspect with Saturn (chart ruler, 2nd strongest planet after Jupiter) was a doom; but it actually saves me from completely escape from reality and ends up being more productive.
    This article is very well written and relates to us, 12th housers. I’ll definitely check out more of your writings.

    1. One of the things I’ve long noticed about the previous generation of astrologers and astrology is how negative their ideas are. It’s weirdly judgemental. Anyway, if your Saturn is square Sagittarius (but I don’t know which particular sign it’s in) then it’s likely that that on its own indicates so many stressors on you already. Saturn squares are usually quite unpleasant, and you could easily slip into Neptune as a compensation, it seems to me.

      1. Saturn is in Pisces (3rd House). Sagittarius and Pisces are strongest and 2nd strongest signs according to Yes, Saturn square Sagittarius makes me guilty in having too much fun; so that’s why whenever I go out, I always bring my homework to avoid that feeling, it sucks. But when holidays come, I spend the holiday feeling grumpy and unrelaxed, craving for something important to do. It’s worsened now since I’m not as ambitious as I used to be; I feel so lazy and unmotivated it angers the Saturn.
        Thank you for the fast replies.

        1. Saturn does seem to take back or prevent some, if not most, of the expression of the sign, particularly Fire signs. Liz Greene’s Saturn book talks about this effect of Saturn, and it does seem to be true. However, I have to say I have noticed this more with Saturn in Fire signs than other signs, particularly if Saturn is in square to personal planets.

  25. I am a seasoned astrologer with planets in the 12th house, and I recently wrote an article about that. So it is nice to discover your insightful article a couple of weeks later. For someone who doesn’t actually have planets in the 12th house, your intuition is spot on Alison (do you have a strong or heavily aspected Neptune perhaps?)

    Well done, and thanks for the effort and insight you put into your article about the 12th house.

    1. First of all, thank you very much for reading. I could possibly attribute my understanding of the houses (and what goes on in them) to about 45+ years of reading, studying, and practicing astrology. 😉 I have been told that I am an “intuitive” astrologer, and although that’s nice to hear, there are so many astrologers who learn this stuff the hard way, by slogging through the books, paying attention to human interactions, etc., that I don’t want to go too far letting aspiring astrologers think that they simply can’t do this because they lack the necessary chart configurations or something. At this point in my rapidly aging existence, I chalk up a lot of what I (think I) know to experience. Plus I have worked with a lot of people, and looked at a lot of 12th house placements through the years.

      A lot of monarchs, for example, have 12th house Suns, and I think this makes sense, since even though they are well-known, and sometimes live their lives in a fishbowl, they also live their lives protected from the “real” world, usually behind the ramparts or walls of their wealth.

      I have found that many 12th house people live their lives in a very protected manner, but each person finds their own method of creating or accepting this distance from the outside world.

  26. Can you shed some light on me or something?
    I think saturn is transitting my 12th house.
    I have a capricorn asc,
    Pisces moon and aquarius saturn in my 2nd house,
    And a sadge sun mercury venus and mars all in my 12th house
    I am going through a lot. Just 2 weeks ago i was thinking of suicide. Now here i am posting this message… on christmas! Merry christmas btw.

    1. Yeah, don’t commit suicide. If you ever do feel like things are getting really difficult, although online people can be somewhat helpful, the people who are set up to talk to you and get you through the next few hours or so are the best ones to turn to. Now, I will tell you that transits on their own cannot “make” you sad or depressed. The greatest likelihood is that some things have happened to trigger perceptions you might have had for a long time and either not been entirely aware of consciously, or perhaps you’ve carried them a long time and now you’re seeing them and dealing with them. 12th house transits are a metaphor for difficult, hard to see issues that we carry a long time. The worst thing about figuring this stuff out is the first few days or weeks are really hard, and that’s when you most need someone to talk to. There are also books you can read if you feel like you’re ready. You’d have to tell me what kind of issues you think you’re dealing with, though. Best of luck. Do not try to endure the worst of it on your own.

      1. I have family problems, school, money, and relationship. All at once! So i cant talk to anyone. I am not just some troubled teenage kid. Im too old to be in school, and it feels like everythings falling apart. I dont know how to handle all these stuff.

        1. Well, I do hope you find someone you can talk to. I understand you’re not a kid. 😉 And I lost someone a few years ago who was also not young, and also wouldn’t have talked to anyone. He kept trying to solve surface-level problems and then gave up entirely, and killed himself. I personally have never been the same since, and I sure don’t want to see any of that happen to you or the people in your life. All I can say is please talk to someone. I do know the process the mind goes through during these times of stress; we develop a kind of ‘tunnel vision’ and can only see what isn’t possible, rather than what is. Okay, I want the best for you. I don’t know what that is, but I will hope for the best.

          1. Right, that tunnel vision thing. Thank you. I dont know which for but thank you. You seem so kind my pisces moon loves you already.

          2. Thank you very much. 🙂 I’m a Cancer, Sag rising with Moon/Jupiter in Scorpio in the 11th house. I care very much, too much most of the time, and then get in trouble for it, one way or another.

            Listen, while all my 8th house planets were opposed by Neptune for some years there, I was seriously depressed. I have fought depression on and off. It’s just that I’m getting so old now I realized that if I don’t get the stuff done that I wanted to do, I’m going to die with not enough to show for having lived, so I feel a lot of pressure to impart this message before I leave this Mortal Whatsit. I’ll tell you, I will probably move to a state that supports euthanasia when the time comes, if I haven’t already gone to meet my reward. I don’t believe in out-living one’s time on the planet.

            Be well, or as well as you can manage, and remember that anything you do affects a lot of people. I remember this one hair stylist I had who committed suicide, but you know, even my hair stylist affected my life, and when she left, she left behind her a lot of devastated people, and I was so angry. Perhaps an irrational response, but very authentic. I think the best people commit suicide. It’s not the horrible Donald Trumps who ever give up; it’s always the most caring, sensitive people who can’t take it anymore.

  27. What about neptune being here? somewhere I read it is not that bad position for neptune? mine is in Cap.

    1. Well, I would never take just one planet out and then judge it based solely on house or sign. Each of the planets works in coordination with the others. You have to assess aspects, for one thing.

  28. by vedic system i have sun.mars,mercury,venus, rahu in 12th house, though none of them are in 12th by placidus or campanus or koch.
    txk – i have the same combination, just my moon in capricorn on the ascendant conjunct uranus and neptune ;] midheaven conjunct pluto in scorpio. I also feel the saturn transit, but though i feel it like a severe cleansing, like a metal saw devouring some pretty gross layers. and there’s constant exchange between extreme pain and huge almost orgasmic relief. i now know that i waited all my life for this saturn transit to show me the authentical way. pluto also coming close to my ascendant and moon conjunction.
    Speaking of 12th house, in my childhood there was a general lack of content about life, values and basically everything in family and in environment generally. I kind of got moved against my will to a small town, which was very isolated and with very intellectually poor people living there. people who grow up there, just don’t get far in life (no good schools, no athletes, no experts on anything, no nothing..), basically because the environment is too poor in many aspects, but i got away somehow. Thats just how i consider my 12th house. what is in 12th – you will have a huge deficiency on those things represented by the planet. So when saturn hits – try to take the best of it, because saturn shows the reality and i feel it.

  29. Hello Alison, upon checking someones Moon nodes (axis 12/6) I found so fascinating this reading about the house 12 after having “visited” house 6 following your advise.
    Then I came across this fascinating interpretation from you about what a planet means when in House 12, and did check some charts I was curious about. I wonder now what does “Chiron” and “Jupiter” mean when in house 12 (not at the same time, they would be different cases)?

    So funny to read what Mars represents in this House… I once met someone whom would literally blow up in anger anytime he saw his ideas contradicted or he felt insecure or hurt. Thanks for this fabulous gate 😉

    1. I always think you have to take the fundamental meaning of the planet and the house and kind of sift them together to create a synthesis meaning that you can live with. That’s really all I’ve ever done. I just think about it a lot, and come up with an idea. Then I check the charts of many people and see how my idea fits. It doesn’t always.

      For example, I think that any planet falling in the 12th has a lot of work to do to prove to me that it isn’t in hiding, that it isn’t somehow existing in the dark, and that it will require being poked at quite a bit to get it to express overtly. I would expect the same to be true with Chiron and Jupiter (or anything in the 12th). Basically, consider the nature of this planet and asteroid; what are they there to do? What energy do they symbolize? Then think about the nature of the 12th house, and start asking questions about whether or not you notice the energy being very clearly expressed (more likely at the Ascendent) or whether the energy basically goes unexpressed until maybe a transit triggers something, and now the person learns to or begins to activate their Jupiterian or Chironian skill or learns the skill, bringing it out of hiding and integrating it into conscious awareness.

      It’s entirely likely you never really know for sure with 12th house planets. I know of someone who absolutely denies that Saturn in their 12th means what I think it means in their life, and who am I to disagree? All I can say is, there’s the possibility of this outcome, and then the person goes, not over my dead body or whatever. Only the individual knows the truth; 12th house planets, to me, are sort of the ultimate mystery, because they are so easy to deny, and therefore, unless you catch the person at it, you can’t exactly know for sure whether their 12th house energy ever really activates.

  30. And… definitelly I am experiencing that lack of energy, the rumminating and a need to be in silence and alone. Saturn in transiting Sagitarious (and there I have Mars alocated and it is House 6…). Being a Scorpio, I had already gone through a quite long Saturnian phase (as it kept going retrograde, for and back…) and, before, in Libra (where I have Venus and Saturn) and then was when my long term relationship brok up (with the man with mars in house 12). I´m feeling drained…
    I wonder if very possibly House 12 may be affecting (I do not have planets there though)…
    So many thanks for reading. I love your posts. Thank you for sharing all of this 🙂

  31. Thank you for your replies Alison, and for taking the time to elaborate so carefully, thorough your insightful answers 🙂 Yes, I agree with you about sifting as an strategy to understand the nature of the 12th house (because I can see an strategy is a bit what you need for such an enigmatic axis between 12 and 6).
    The first case with Jupiter in the 12th House, happens to have Uranus in 6th House (House in Cancer). The person come across as very helpful, positive and someone people finds comfort out of his company. However, he inside himself is not a happy person at all having had a very frustrating life in marriage and with opportunities that couldn´t achieve or had to let go in professional life… But he hides this very deeply. You need to get to know well his life and tracks to be able to see beyond mask…

    Chiron, now, as long as I understand this subject, isn´t about health cores? The case with Chiron in 12th House is a doctor… and he happens to have Uranus in the 6th House (as the previous case, but this one has Scorpio as a host). He is a natural healer… but paradoxically he strives himself with mental health and doesn´t want to accept this as reality. He´s emmotional life is ruled by Neptune and there´s been precedents of betrayal, delusion and distorsion of reality by not wanting to accept facts.

    I´m going to MC to make to another coment, as such would not belong to this section.

    Thanks again for your insights

  32. While planets in the 12th house can be a source of great internal disturbance for much of ones life, there is a golden egg hiding in the black depths. If one has the courage to know oneself beyond superficial layers of consciousness, beyond the conditioning of the external, one will find an inner peace and fearlessness that is unparalleled. There is a reason you have planets here and while for some it may be suppressed, with understanding it becomes all so obvious. Thought is a barrier to understanding. Thought is within the realm of time. You cannot understand the timeless without stilling the thought process an ending of the past of yesterday. Jupiter (aries), mars, chiron, and ketu reside in my 12th. While at first struggle was inevitable with assertion, I have come to understand right action. Most assume reaction to the environment, to memory, to an idea is action. Right action comes only when one fully understands oneself without any influence from an outer authority, to stand alone. Achievement, sensate values, the ego now reign supreme in society which is an extension of ourselves. Striving over another creates conflict in relationship, accelerates greed, and makes peace a thing of dreams. True peace can only come through right action and right action only comes through self understanding.

    I enjoyed your article, interesting and articulate.

  33. Hi Alison,
    Reading this made me feel calmer. I’ve got Pluto, Jupiter, Uranus and the South Node all conjunct in the 12th house trine mercury/gemini 8th and have Jupiter/venus/merc transiting the lot at the moment. Massively uncomfortable few weeks where I feel like I took a knife and slit myself open from neck to the bowels and let every dark, shameful or terrifying feeling spill onto the floor. I’m amazed that I’m still alive – and that I haven’t broken anything too much. I have put myself and the people around me through a confusing time and I’m not even sure why. But what to do with the sludge that I’ve dredged up? My mind is so tired thinking about it. Thanks for an inspiring read. M

    1. Thank you for reading. I am having Saturn and Mars transit through the 12th right now, and I remember why I hate 12th house transits. I was muttering to myself the other day about sludge dredged up from the depths. Not having a good time. The question of ‘why’ comes down to unprocessed gunk that you did not consciously deal with before and some form of negative emotion about it that lingers; guilt, sorrow, fear, etc. It’s like an echo of the thing you’re remembering, a ghost impression of what was once active, alive, and real, but is now ‘merely’ a grey shadow in the corner you can barely see although you know something’s there.

      But this process, of dredging ‘it’ up (whatever it is) and fully feeling it (again, or for the first time) is the reason the article is called ‘know thyself or else.’ The downside to these transits is that there is much we do not consciously recognize about how ourselves, our emotions, mostly, and that these bits and pieces of emotions linger (including previously unexpressed rage or even ‘mere’ irritation with someone you’re now picking apart or biting the head off of).

      My only ‘advice’ about this house and these transits is to cut yourself some slack and back off when you feel this inner monster rise its head up from underneath the floorboards, and if you can, just observe yourself. You need to know why you’re reacting the way you are, and at some point, the lightbulb might come on in the basement enough for you to see the ghost in the corner reminding you, oh yeah, I hate my cousin because she did X to me X years ago, and I completely buried that emotion but its ghost still lingers just out of sight.

      It is my contention we carry a lot of unexpressed rage and sorrow and [fill in the blank] that doesn’t get out into the light of day often enough and that’s why 12th house transits are particularly bad for ‘nice’ people.

      1. Ah, how lovely to see your reply. Mars and Saturn sounds pretty intense you poor thing… rage and sorrow right there! It is cleansing to face your demons. You’d think as you get older that you’d have slayed those beasts but they come back under different guises. I’ve been armpit-deep in sludge and felt every raw emotion over the last few weeks. and made some quite seismic mistakes, too, but I find that as I forgive myself, the people around me are doing the same … or I hope they are! Thanks for such a helpful read at a difficult time and good luck with Mars/Saturn. x

        1. My immediate response to the idea of ‘sludge’ is that that makes complete sense to me. It does feel as though one is wading through emotional muck. Plus, I notice with this set of transits through the 12th that I am spontaneously remembering pretty deeply-buried moments in life, and not very many of them are all that earth-shattering, they’re just moments. Thank you once again for your comments and for reading. 🙂 I wish you the best too.

  34. one of the best text on 12th house. along with spiritual solutions .excited to know more about 12th house.

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