Transits of the Twelfth

Most astrologers don´t really know what the 12th house signifies. They reason and imagine, they ramble about “hidden things”, secrets, problems, and the overused idea of “self undoing”. I will admit before I hear sounds of protest from those other astrologers, that I don´t really know either what´s in the twelfth.

I would hazard a guess though. The 12th house is like a swamp. Any planet that goes wondering off into this house gets its feet full of mud and dirty water. When a planet passes through there it gets tired very easily. In the swamp it is hard to move around, you´d be lucky to walk 100 meters in a day, and even if you did, it might actually be in the entirely wrong direction, or in a circle. Sometimes it´s a matter of realising that all you are doing is running around in circles, and that there is no point really in pursuing such futile objectives. This is when the 12th becomes a place where you pitch up tent or make a tree house, you stop bothering with the struggle through the impassable terrain. What do you do in such a situation? Dream of home, dream of a “better place”. The 12th has plenty of that irritation associated with it, like a permanent irritation of the mind, mosquitoes and sand flys for example, fear of what´s out there making strange sounds in the pitch black. Such fearful or unknown things are the reason for the vast association of the 12th, with sorrow, with fearfulness, with not being sure whether you´ve done the right thing by sitting put, with giving up on impossible objectives. It´s the reason why the ancients gave the 12th a dark reputation, it´s the reason why this is the place of “hidden enemies”.

There can still be beauty in this house though. When you stop trying with the hassle of the world. When you leave every thing behind, when you go out into the forest alone, when you yourself become hidden from the world, or when something that represents the 12th house in your life keeps itself concealed despite the fact that you know it´s there. Mystery is beautiful, mystery and not knowing entirely what there is, is food for dreams, food for what we know is there but what is unacknowledged. Through the 12th perhaps it is possible to glimpse the soul of things, to know and to see, what isn´t ordinarily seen. The soul is said in some books to be formed from all of the actions and things that a person does over lifetimes, that is, things that are unknown even to them. And even if you tried to register all of the deeds, the actions of life you´d be hard pressed to remember every word that you´ve ever said in anger or in kindness. More importantly thought but not said. The 12th house I have come to believe, registers it all, remembers it all, and will be “remembered” when transits to this place take place.

With planetary transits to the 12th house, some essence of the planet is in fact muted. It´s not that the planet stops working. The contrary is entirely true. The planet is swamped, its energy goes through water, mud, dirt, trees, through darkness, it´s like the Sun during an eclipse, the Sun is still shining, but you can see the Corona, you can see things that you wouldn´t ordinarily see. The energy and beams must go through a prism, because the ordinary mode of expression is not allowed. Mercury transiting here will produce dreams of a mental nature which last whole nights and will tell you what you missed in the daytime, when you were listening but weren´t listening, at work or at school. Saturn transits here for a l0ng time. While it´s here it´s possible to dream up what you want in life. But obviously the physical requirement in the first place is not not have what you want and to be unhappy and lost. One thing that I´ve always noticed with transits of the Moon to my natal 12th house is a tiredness which is almost total exhaustion, the Moon of course rules the body and daily life.

11 responses

15 01 2010

I very much enjoyed your insightful look at the 12th house and wanted to share my own experiences with this often misunderstood house.

Since I have two natal placements in my 12th house, Uranus & Pluto, I’m probably more familiar than most with 12th house issues, and a recent transit of Saturn stands out as being particularly significant. It was during a time in my life when I was overwhelmed with the responsibilities of caring for an aging parent, and dealing with all of the accompanying frustrations, especially as I watched her suffer and was unable to ease that suffering in any meaningful way. When Saturn first entered my 12th house, it formed a conjunction with my Uranus (lord of my 6th house) and opposed my natal Chiron (also coincidentally in the 6th). Then as Saturn’s transit continued, it formed a second conjunction with my natal placement of Pluto (lord of my 3rd), which squares my Mars in Gemini, in the 9th. As Saturn first hit my Pluto, I developed a painful medical condition known as “Frozen Shoulder”, which limited the use of my left arm. Then when Saturn eventually retrograded over this same point in my chart several months later, my right shoulder froze up as well. I was unable to work, or sleep, or dress myself, and still I had to manage the care of my parent.

In my isolation, I was forced to face my own vulnerability and powerlessness, and to find my true power was in letting go of the illusion that I was ever in control. At the start of the transit, I felt abandoned by God, but by the end I realized that God was all that was left. I was reduced to nothing, stripped away, my spirit refined. As I began to heal, I became grateful for every day that I felt normal; daily chores that once had seemed burdensome now seemed like blessings, in that I was able to do them.

I’ve read much about the 12th house and how those with natal planets placed there can project the unacknowledged, unintegrated aspects of themselves onto others. While I think the 12th house can be that, I also believe it’s so much more. The 12th house can teach us about our weaknesses as well as our strengths, and of the potential in all of us for both light and dark. For those of us that dare to see, it provides a glimpse into the human spirit and allows us to see the depths of corruption as well as the beauty and strength of compassion. When we’re willing to lose everything, we become transformed. To me, that’s the true gift of the 12th house.

19 01 2010

Thank you very much for sharing that. With my twelth house Saturn transit I learnt more about myself than I ever did. It certainly forces us to be still and to meditate on life.

22 12 2010

Thank you for this article on the 12th. I can relate. These recent several years, I’ve had transiting Chiron, Neptune, Uranus, and Jupiter here (in the 12th), plus have North Node Pisces and am ASC Pisces/ Neptune ruled chart.

My life has to date has been about themes of powerlessness, surrender, humility, changes, uncertainty, etc. It seems I’ve become a wiser, more detached observer of “all” that is. Sometimes, it’s a lonely road. Yet through each cycle, I’m left with profound gratitude- that keeps me humble;)

8 01 2011

Transit Jupiter and Uranus are about to enter my 12th house, natal Mercury is at the start. Any idea how this will play out?

30 01 2011

My 12 house falls at 19 degree Libra.

Last few months, I have been going through a very unusual phase of my life. Interesting point is, Saturn does not enter my 12 house till October 2011, but I think I have already started feeling the effect of Saturn’s transit through my 12th house.This early experience is chilling. In fact, I only looked at my transit to find out why I was feeling so unusually different.

I recently finished a transit of Venus through my 12; it was a not a pleasent experience. I am very worried (“scared” is the best word to express my feelings, I suppose) about the upcoming staurn transit through my 12th house although I normally appreciate Saturn as it has a very prominant presence in my birth chart. I find your insight and understanding of planetary impact simple yet deeply spiritual. I can relate to the vibration of your thoughts in a harmonious way.

So I was just wondering, if you could possibly help and guide me go through this transit? I would not mind personal consultation if that is more suitable for my situation. Please let me know?

I would eagerly wait for your response. Best regards.

31 01 2011
Night Sky

Give me your data and I’ll take a look. Thanks for reading my Mystic Mountain stuff.

20 03 2011

Hello, and thank you for your wonderful site
I have a question regarding the 12 house. I’m somewhat confused, my ascendent is Pisces, which would make Aquarius my 12 house, however I’ve also read that my sun sign, which is Scorpio, is the first house, and that would place Saturn in my 12 house at this very time. So could you tell me which to I observe, my ascendent as first house or my sun sign as first house.
Thank you so very much, as Saturn in the 12 my not be too much fun : )

21 03 2011
Night Sky

Ascendant is the beginning of the first house.

29 03 2011
Mainul Ahsan


29 05 2011

Hi! Just found this site, haven’t even looked deep enough to know what your name is (don’t know if you’re one or many) but, wow, so far you’re lookin’ like chocolate cake to me! I’ve got Pluto in the 12th at the moment and loving every moment of it (I think only a natal stellium Scorpion could say that). Not saying it’s easy – the days of digging through all that lead is damn excruciating at times, but when the moments come that I uncover the gold, WOW!!!!! Yesiree, Heaven on Earth for me. This Phoenix is taking flight ~*~

12 01 2014

Ehh I hate it when planets transit the 12th house. Saturn transiting it produces the hardest, most difficult times in my life. However when the Sun or Jupiter transits it, I have had some of the greatest, easiest times of my life. The energy so beautiful, you can taste it. There is something nostalgic about the 12th house that can be enjoyed. I once did get lost in a swamp some years back, exploring deep woods. Instead of treading in the disgusting waters and ruining my cloths, I chose to jump from mound to mound.

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