Astrology: The Twelfth House

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

The Twelfth House is located just before the beginning of the natal chart, suggesting the symbolism of this being home to aspects below the surface of awareness, like the unconscious mind, collective and our own prenatal conditions. The Twelfth House is ruled by Pisces and planet Neptune. Before Neptune, it was traditionally ruled by Jupiter. It is a cadent house, meaning it is the last of a quadrant. In the first two houses of the fourth quadrant we were show to society, introduced to what we can share with the world, and got an essence of humanity. It only makes sense what goes beyond that is even more out of our conscious wheel-house and into the depths of the unknown. There is no material reality here, in fact, material items hold no weight at all and that is because this is the house of your Soul.

Pisces, a water sign, adds a spiritual depth to emotions. Pisces and Neptune rule over dreams, illusions, introspection, and sensations of psychic insight and energy movement we just can’t explain fully because it is beyond the confinement of words. Also, the inner-workings and programming of the unconscious mind, people (in general) just don’t spend enough time exploring. In traditional astrology, this house was seen as the native’s separation from society through asylums, jail, hospitals, and nursing homes. With the theme being isolation, a modern approach is this being home to parts of the human psyche and personal characteristics we keep confined from others, out of fear of judgement or just not fully understanding them ourselves.  Psychotherapy falls into this house not only because of its association with the unconscious mind, but the miraculous aspect of re-wiring and conditioning the human brain.  Traumatic events are not vices, they open doors for people to break soul contracts and alchemize their lives. This house is where we go for a deep retreat and to heal all lifetimes, lineages, and contracts.

In the 12th house we are not in the physical world anymore and as someone who has their Sun, Mercury (Ruler), Venus, and Jupiter here, I can attest most of the time I don’t feel of the physical world either, I have had to open myself to being here and it is a continuous, conscious process.  I was excited to put my own spin on the Twelfth House and try to explain it is more than isolation and resistance that feels much like karma, but the truth is, having natal planets here present a very different life experience.  For one, you will likely be a sponge to energies around you, in return- requiring serious time alone for processing.  There is a quieting of the Ego/Sun here that makes the pain and suffering of others more apparent, but you don’t naturally have the ability to understand it all, that’s where the work comes in. You must recognize life without boundaries is as hazy as Neptune himself.  Getting the most out of this house with personal planets involves clearly defining where you end and another begins, and understanding you will be misunderstood by people.  You can use this as a reason to keep yourself in solitary confinement or you can appreciate this as a gift you would not be given without the inherent ability to master it.

A chart with 12th house dominance can manifest in naturally feeling other people’s energy and I do not mean empathy, though they can also exhibit that; but this kind of feeling others general ‘embodiment’ is a slightly different experience. It is very much traced in mysticism.

I had always joked about the dental floss thin line that stands between the ‘eccentric’ (for lack of a better word) and those struggling with mental illness without knowing just what this means, but the 12th house has this covered.  Mental illness, addiction, and escapism fall into the twelfth house because, like those spending time in the ethers, receiving messages from the collective or wherever, the soul is going off somewhere else. Many 12th house dominant charts will also include more Earth element to set off imbalance. But, even without any planets, everyone has a Twelfth House, and similar facets like empathy and psychic foresight can be seen with other particular arrangements like much of Astrology (Neptune is a big player in these themes).

Collective consciousness / Akashic records or however you define the recordings of all human experience is accessible here through meditation. Synchronicities and messages from beyond the veil are accessible as well.  Blessed are those who have come to this awareness or are open to it because for many this works as a missing piece, an ultimate connection and belonging that only the spirit body can provide. This awareness can be attained by anyone, but first, the mind has to be quieted. As spiritual as this house is, it is matched with the severity of the mind.  If the mind is sick, the soul can suffer. The ultimate hack to opening this house is acknowledging universal pain, surrendering to the Soul, and incorporating spirituality into the mind and body connection. Yoga, Reiki, hypnosis, meditation, chakra energy healing, etc. all live in this house to bring this connection into the human experience. What this connection allows is self-acceptance and by achieving that we are able to reach the end of a long, personal cycle and know, just because we take our hands off the wheel does not mean we are giving up and prone to a lifetime of suffering. That is a fault in programming. There is a spiritual closure and awakening we can attain by exploring the 12th house with respect to things we have done or have been done to us, even if they are from beyond this lifetime. The lesson here being, all forms of self-undoing are only reflections of the mind and until the mind is healed, physical reality will work as a mirror. The irony of it all is, in this human experience, there is no option of hiding after all, only sitting alone with all that is.

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