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Home > Astrology > 12th House

On February 3, 2012, astrological Neptune made its final ingress into Pisces and will stay there until 2026! This is potentially a time when each of us (and the planet) can expand our spiritual awareness! Conversely, it could be a time of mass spiritual delusion. More likely... it'll be a little of both.

"In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order." Carl Jung The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, p 66

"All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination." Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, p 67

"Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?” Lao-Tzu

Matters of the 12th House
(With affinities to Pisces and Neptune)

Yep! I'm the first to admit that, in traditional astrology, the mysterious 12th house (with affinities to Neptune and Pisces) has had a rather gloomy and even downright nefarious reputation. Planets in the birth chart placed in this house have been thought to be hopelessly lost and in a nebulous, impenetrable fog.

The 12th house has traditionally been associated with addictions, secret enemies, prisons, and other institutions where one is "hidden away." So having Saturn in the 12th house (for example) might be traditionally associated with an irrational fear of going to prison and/or of being institutionalized at your local Mental Health Institute.

[Note: I've oddly enough noticed that folks seeking a definition of what it means to have Saturn located in the 12th house are actually quoting the above description; seemingly without reading on? Hello? Hello? All folks desperately seeking information on Saturn in the 12th house that are bent on quoting me: Please first take a "chill pill" and then actually take the time necessary to read the full article... ]

But Here's the Low Down
The 12th house is also our connection
with what the renowned Swiss psychiatrist Dr Carl Jung, MD monikered as the "collective unconscious." As such... the 12th house can also be our connection with dreams, imagination, visions, fantasy, romance, illusions, and redemption.

There's No Escaping It...
Further, according to archetypal astrologer, Dr. Karen Hamaker-Zondag, the 12th house may also likely refer to
events and emotions that we experienced while still in our mother's womb and/or during the first year or so of our life. These are experiences occurring so early in life that we're virtually unable to consciously remember them happening. But the images and emotions connected with 12th house events nevertheless remain active within our psyche and continue to unconsciously effect us in our everyday life and in our relationships with other people.

At first glance... the effects and results (i.e. the baggage) of the 12th house may in some ways appear rather similar to the experiences of the 4th or 8th houses (discussed in other sections of this web site). However, generally speaking, our 12th house experiences took place and were formed at a time so early in our development that we were not able to be active participants in the events.

Soaking it all up...
As very young children, we were literally "psychic sponges" actively soaking up the images, emotions, and events in our environment.
Thus... the 12th house irrational feelings and fears we're left with as adults are often quite vague, unclear, and downright "foggy." We're never able to put our finger on and/or pinpoint the source of these irrational feelings and fears. And, as a result, our 12th house feelings and fears may leave us with the uneasy and queasy feeling of somehow being "victimized" and "violated" by life without ever knowing just exactly why.

12th House Inheritance - Unlived Life of Parents
The 12th house may also have strong connections with inherited "family life issues" or "gifts" that our parents (and perhaps our parents' parents) were given...
but they refused or were emotionally incapable of consciously giving expression to and/or resolving these "family life issues" during their own lifetimes. And now it's been left up to the child (you) to experience and resolve these energies for the parents.

"Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent." CG Jung - from The Development of Personality

Astrologically, planets in the 4th, 8th and 12th may suggest energies, patterns and qualities which are inherited but which need individual consciousness to release their most positive dimensions. Left unconscious, they may release more destructive dimensions, impelling the individual into compulsive behaviour which results in events which feel "fated." Liz Greene - from the article "The Oracle and the Family Curse"

Water Houses

  • 4th House - Undifferentiated Unconscious
  • 8th House - Personal Unconscious
  • 12th House - Collective Unconscious

To target 12th house issues that remain active in your life? Look first for any planets located in the 12th house. Also look for the planetary ruler of the 12th house and any planets that aspect the planetary ruler. For example, if your birth chart Moon is located in the 12th house - then look for experiences and needs surrounding the issues of emotional security, the need for nurturing, and possible crippling, irrational fears of abandonment.

Plain English...?
Putting this in plain terms - if your birth Moon is in the 12th house, then there's a strong chance that your birth mother (Moon) may have been going through some very emotionally difficult times just prior to or after your birth...
or... becoming a wee bit foggy, again... there may be some of sort hidden sacrifice surrounding the archetypal image of "The Mother."

And if Mom was going through some hard times - then don't even try to kid yourself...

it will be something you'll eventually
have to deal with in your own life

and in your own fears...

Sign on the Cusp?
If, for instance, Taurus is located on the cusp of the birth chart's 12th house, then look to see where Venus (the ruler of Taurus) is in your chart and which other planets aspect Venus.
(Cusp is just a fancy word for the very beginning of a house.)

Any Hope?
Okay, I figure you're wondering at this point, if the 12th house has any redeeming value at all?

Absolutely, yes! Most assuredly, the 12th house has many extraordinarily priceless gifts to bestow upon an individual. For one thing... the 12th house is all about your own heroic task of freeing yourself from unconscious inherited crippling fears and bringing redemption to the unlived lives of your parents!

I'm also a strong advocate for the many other hidden riches contained within the various life experiences of the 12th house! But be forewarned that the riches of the 12th house may be an "enrichment" that the average person in our "modern scientific world" may not be exactly thrilled or (for that matter) comfortable with...

Next Page > Continue on with the 12th house Gifts

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