The Twelfth House
House of Pisces
Ruling Planet: Neptune and Jupiter
House of Universal Consciousness
Awareness through the experience of non-separation
Sun in the 12th house
The Sun in the 12th House indicates that consciousness is being opened out by the experience of functioning in the world with a perspective which gives no great awareness of self as a separate being. The vibration in this area of the horoscope weakens the dualism inherent in perception of human kind. A 12th House child does not readily distinguish between self and other, mine and thine.
In their childhoods, 12th House people are not encouraged to think of themselves as individuals. The circumstances responsible for this are numerous and, on the surface at least, very different in nature. This placement is common in the charts of children brought up in orphanages, put up for adoption, or required to spend long periods in hospital. This placement may be found in the charts of children sent away to boarding schools, no matter how exclusive and no matter how loving the parents, in the charts of children born onto large families where clothes and toys are common property and the directed attention of the parents a rare commodity, and in the chart of an only child smothered by a parents love and concern.
In every case the child’s individuality is overlooked. Within the home and within the institutions, he is treated the same as everyone else and is not encouraged to recognised what makes him distinctive. Where the parent is smothering he exists for the needs of the parent, not in his own right. The early years of a person with the Sun in H12 tend not to be easy and are frequently unhappy. A person with this placement is prone to bullying. Other children detect his inability to stand up for himself and are likely to take his natural givingness as evidence of the need to buy friendship. Through out his life a H12 person runs the risk of being bullied, exploited and misunderstood by people who as unnerved by his lack of self-interest, as they are contemptuous.
By the time they reach early adulthood, many H12 men have cultivated a tough or flamboyant image.
In his dealings with the world a 12th House person tends to be handicapped by his lack of self-interest and competitiveness. Unless he adopts these qualities along with a worldly veneer - and some Ascendant signs, notably Capricorn and Scorpio, make this more likely than others - there is a temptation to drift or retreat into drink and drugs because he can see no purpose to the struggle. In terms of spiritual development, however, a person with this placement of the Sun is greatly advantaged by a perspective, which sees unity rather than separation. A 12th House person tends not to think in terms of Heaven and Earth, rather he is aware of God’s imminence. It is characteristic of experience in the House of Pisces that for what is denied on the physical plane there is compensation on the spiritual. Psychic, particularly clairvoyant powers are often conferred by this placement of the Sun There appears to be no one profession which attracts 12th House people more than any other. They are found in all walks of life and fame is by no means denied them. As artists they tend to be concerned with the universally applicable. It is notable that 12th House celebrities are frequently seen as embodying the spirit of a movement or they become the figurehead of a trend or fashion.
This placement of the Sun is often found with the Moon in one of the houses of Relative consciousness, indicating that the soul, having learned about self and other is now learning that the dualship perspective can be transcended. It may be that the Sun in H12 indicates the completion of a cycle of soul development.
With Saturn in the 12th House a person tends to be haunted by the spectre of existentialism, the fear that existence is random and meaningless. Yet this placement is found in the charts of some of the most renowned spiritual luminaries. In H12, as in any other, Saturn rewards effort. People with this placement who strive to find a meaning for existence may come to great truths.
It is possible that people with Saturn in H12 are dealing with more than individual Karma, and in working through their own fear and negativity they are helping to transmute the Karma of Mankind. For such a task the rewards are commensurate but there may be years of doubt, darkness and depression before they are experienced.
People with Saturn in H12 are likely to have a parent who is a depressive or has a fearful, defeatist view of life. If not actively over-protected, the child is taught by example that existence is an intrinsically negative experience. Safety is sought in structure, both literally and metaphorically: there is a tendency to hold onto scientific truths and admit little that is not empirically provable. Many find talk of the ‘life beyond’ unnerving. Agoraphobia is also a common condition amongst people with Saturn in H12.
Uranus With Uranus in the 12th House there is a developmental need to build a sense of individuality which is not dependent upon external forms of distinctiveness or shows of non-conformity.
People with this placement of Uranus tend to be born into families where there is a strong sense of propriety and an emphasis placed on conduct and appearances. Any form of exhibitionism is actively discouraged in their childhoods.
People with this placement tend to grow up considering themselves to be ‘ordinary’. They have, however, great potential to develop spiritually by following their own insights and intuition rather than an established path. They have access to a vast reservoir of energy and inspiration from the planes beyond the physical, if they can only become aware of this. The difficulty with this placement, if Uranus in H12 is unsupported by other outer planets, is that, a person’s sense of being ’nothing exceptional’ comes between him and his will to explore a path which may take him away from orthodoxy, and he may be unable to approve the development of his own psychic potential.
Neptune in the 12th House gives a person access to limitless grace in the form of ability to access understanding, which is possible, only when the partial view has been transcended. This placement may also confer considerable psychic ability, particularly in the form of clairvoyance.
As with Uranus in H12, however, a person needs to know he has this potential and put himself in a position where it can be developed, or he may have no conception of what is available to him.
People with Neptune in H12 are frequently born to parents who pride themselves on their practical sense and realism. The child is usually brought up to ‘look after number one’. From this bleak and unappealing world, the child with Neptune in H12 tends to retreat into a private realm of fantasy. The aspects made by Neptune to the inner planets will determine the extent to which the fantasies can be translated into a form which others can share or whether they remain locked away in a person’s mind. Regardless of whether a person with Neptune in H12 is able to channel its influence into artistic or literary form, he will in his daily life, be capable of acts of the most extra-ordinary selflessness. They may be sporadic and he may be disinclined to divulge his own motives but such acts are usually prompted by compassion for a person or animal in distress. The cost to himself whether reckoned in time, effort or cash, is often considerable. Secretiveness, bordering on the obsessive, is common with Neptune in its own House and there may be a tendency to hide behind images and aliases.
With Pluto in the 12th House consciousness is opening up to a power which can 'will into being'. Pluto in H12 has access to the Creator’s power and the purposes to which he will use it will reflect his level of development: he can manifest what he lusts after or he can will into being what he knows to be of benefit to mankind. For whatever he brings into being he will be held directly responsible.
A person with this placement of Pluto frequently knows much cruelty and abuse in childhood, be it of a physical, emotional or mental kind, and the perpetrators are usually the parents or guardians who have power over the child by virtue of their custodial role. From them the child has little opportunity to escape at the physical level and in order to get away he forces open a shutter in the mind which gives him access to enormous psychic power.
It is the law of the 12th House that for what is denied at the physical level is compensated at the immaterial.
The power of a person with Pluto in H12 is most readily evidenced by their often unconscious use of what has become known in New Age circles as Creative Visualisation: if he can hold an image or picture an outcome and give it his emotional energy he can bring it into being.
When used consciously, Pluto in H12 gives a person great charisma and the ability to make others into the agents of the outworking of his will. The responsibilities of this are enormous and the karma incurred through the use of the power conferred by Pluto in H12 is unlikely to be burned off in the course of a single lifetime. A person with this placement, if he is to work consciously with his powers, needs to be able to recognise and resist the voice of his desire nature.
People with Pluto in the twelfth have incredible powers of creative visualisation. If he knows how, a person with this placement can bring into being a new reality that he can control.
When read with this in mind, Sepharial’s description of Pluto in the twelfth may not seem so irrelevant.
Pluto (in the twelfth house) has a very peculiar influence in that it can destroy enemies, and so prevent possible personal loss, unhappiness and strain. The banishing influence will operate very markedly when the actions of enemies, or unfair competitors, becomes too marked, for in a very subtle manner, circumstances will arise that will seem to banish the enemy or competitor from the person’s environment, and remove them to such a distance from the person that their power to do harm will be negated.
The Moon in the 12th House is an indication that in other incarnations the emotions have been evaded and left unresolved. The sign of the Moon will reveal the qualities, which were emphasised to the detriment of the emotional level. If the Moon occupies a water sign this suggests that the emotional reactions were not owned.
People with the Moon in H12 tend to be born into families where emotional considerations are played down, if not ignored outright, in the name of expediency or practical sense. The parents, most significantly the mother, may be afraid of examining their emotions, in case by doing so; they wrench the lid off Pandora’s box. In such a situation, the domestic atmosphere tends to be charged with unacknowledged and unresolved emotion. The child is taught by example that his feelings are to be ignored and goes on the run from them, frequently by concentrating on the area of life indicated by the house position of his Sun.
This placement may also be found in the charts of children who do not know their natural mothers and those who have experienced little nurturance from them owing to some incapacity, which makes the child the effective guardian of the parent. It is also common in children of mixed parentage who have no clear sense of cultural identity.
Until his natal Moon in H12 is stirred up by a stressful transit or progession involving the outer planets, a person with this placement may function very ably despite the mood swings, sometimes quite severe, which are a characteristic and which a person usually professes not to understand or be able to control. Stressful transits and progressions, however, especially from Uranus and Pluto, release all manner of acknowledged fears and complexes and put a person under considerable pressure which frequently affects his health. Schizophrenic breakdowns and psychotic episodes are not uncommon when a person with Moon in H12 continues to disown what is being discharged from his unconscious. At such a time, never having developed an 'emotional identity' he may also be subject to invasion from the emotional energies of others.
These breakdowns, be they of the mind or body, usually last only for the duration of the transit or progression and then a person is able to function as before. He then has to decide whether to heed the warning he has received and attempt to solve the enigma of his own emotional nature or go back on the run from it.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: The 12th House is without doubt the house least readily understood by students of astrology, probably because it is the subject of some of the least lucid commentary by writers on astrology. Western astrologers, pre-Jung, tended to present the 12th House as the black hole of the horoscope: the place where planetary energies disappeared to re-emerge in the form of some dementia or incapacity. There was much talk of hidden enemies, large animals, institutions and bondage. Such dedications are valid and from the point of view of horary astrology extremely useful. For the purposes of natal astrology, however, they are not adequate.
Although the post Jungian psychologist astrologers have added greatly to our understanding of the 12th House their liberal use of the term the Unconscious has tended to erode the distinction between the 12th and 4th Houses.
The Collective Unconscious is accessed through the 4th House. It is all that has been in the consciousness of mankind. The 12th House is the house of Universal Consciousness. What is accessible through this house has not passed through the filter of mankind’s dualistic, ego-centred perspectives. It is the gateway to all possibility, and to Truth, which is apprehend able only when the partial view has been transcended.
In the Tarot Neptune is represented by The Hanged Man: from the point of view of the world he is seeing things upside down. So it is with H12, the House of Neptune, where planetary energies are not for use on the physical plane or for personal gain. From the point of view of person centred astrology, the 12th House, which inverts the energies, is inside out and the planets, which occupy it, are debilitated. If person centred astrology is put in the service of spiritual advancement, however, and each life in the service of something larger than itself, then the 12th House, the area of the horoscope where the dualistic distortion is weakest, becomes a house of enormous opportunity.
As stated in the text, the law of the 12th House is: that for all that is denied at the physical level there is compensation at the immaterial. Pluto, when operating through H12, can manifest circumstances in which there is terrible suffering in childhood. As Pluto approaches the last degrees of Scorpio, its own sign, and the sign of power and sexuality, the sexual abuse of children gives every appearance of reaching epidemic proportions. One of the things we can do for these children and for mankind is show them how to claim their spiritual compensation.
Mercury in the 12th house
Mercury in the 12th House with the Sun reinforces the impartial perspective and although it increases the difficulty a person experiences in defining and promoting his own interests, it enhances his capacity for spiritual understanding. When Mercury is in H12 and the Sun in H1 a person operates from an understanding that the whole is the sum of its parts: people with this combination tend to develop and project themselves with a sense that in doing so they are making a contribution to something more significant than themselves alone.
With Mercury in H12 and the Sun in H11 a person is likely to approach communal endeavour with a greater compassion and awareness of the emotional level than is normally associated with the house of Aquarius. A person with this combination is also likely to speak through the group, using it as a medium for his views and ideas. When Mercury is in H12 with the Sun in any placement a person is not encouraged in childhood to express his opinions or preferences and tends to have difficulty in his adult years in speaking out.
When Mercury in H12 is afflicted by Mars, Saturn or Uranus then there may be a physiological reason for problems in communication
Venus IN THE 12th House
Venus in the 12th House confers the ability to love selflessly and unconditionally. In their childhoods, people with this placement of Venus are often made to feel that others more needy have first call on the parents’ love and time. Although it may indicate a loveless childhood, it may also show up in the charts of people who grew up in a warm environment but one in which there was no scope to be demanding, often because a sibling needed special attention. It may also indicate ‘smother love'.
In their adult years people with Venus in H12 expect little back from others and their relationships are frequently characterised by imbalance in the matter of loving and giving. Although they may have a vision of the ideal relationship in which there is reciprocity, it is notable that many people with Venus in H12 feel stifled and trapped when they are made the focus of another's affections. They know true fulfillment when they are able to merge with a higher level of consciousness.
Mars IN THE 12th House
When Mars is in the 12th House the assertive and self-directing energy of the planet is turned inwards. A person with this placement frequently becomes a seeker of spiritual truth, working hard to transcend the limitations of the ego perspective. In his dealings with the world, however, he experiences considerable difficulty in acting in support of his own interests and is usually better equipped to work as one of a team rather than facing competative situations alone. Mars in H12 is not an uncommon placement for sportsmen who feel uncertain about the desirability of expressing assertiveness off the pitch or sports field.
People with Mars in H12 frequently have a parent who is either afraid of displays or wilfulness and anger or has a dominating will. Either way the child is discouraged from being assertive or self-directing. This placement is often found in charts with the Moon in Aries or 1st House, Leo or H5, indicating other lifetimes have given the soul experience of self-assertiveness and outer-directed behaviour. In the current lifetime a new approach is required.
Jupiter in the 12th House
Jupiter in the 12th House confers a great love of solitude and open spaces. People with this placement require a lot of quiet and time alone. In solitude, Jupiter in H12, especially if it is retrograde, can pick up the still, small voice. People with Jupiter in the House of Pisces rarely experience loneliness and possess great spiritual resources. In childhood they are likely to be solitary and usually learn to keep their spiritual understanding and any religious beliefs this might lend itself to, a private matter. The parents no matter how understanding, rarely share the child’s convictions and may have a view of life, which is almost exclusively materialistic.