Looking Again at the Astrological Houses:
The Twelfth House (H12)
The Twelfth House – My experiences as a student and teacher of Astrology indicate to me that of the twelve houses, H2 & H6 are the houses most likely to be trivialised, whilst H7, H8 & H12 are the hardest with which to get to grips, House 12 being the most elusive of all them all.
Indeed, I have always found it rather difficult to write about House 12 because the energy of Neptune, its natural ruler, brings about a strange erosion of thought form, as is the case when trying to give readings to clients whose Neptune is in close aspect to the astrologer’s Mercury. The reading is an exhausting struggle against a process of entropy that leaves one unable to think straight or find the words with which to communicate. One wants nothing so much as to be able to say: Let’s just forget it!
In Karma, Astrology and Transformation, Stephen Arroyo writes of this contact, complete with diagram to explain it. We can share our experiences in this way but, unfortunately, knowing about it does not really help when we are being faced down by Neptune, which is looking through the personality to find an agent of the Soul.
In H12, the (Spiritual) Soul overshadows the personality and, through Neptune, interferes with the personality’s defence mechanisms in the form of its self-centred perspectives. The personality is under constant pressure from the Soul not to limit and restrict itself with exclusivity and separation, but to stay open to all that is out there and able to be made part of the human experience.
As we will see in the final article of this series, it is the influences of H12 and Neptune that accounts for youthful impressionability that ends around the end of our second decade of life, when Saturn takes over from Neptune and begins a process of crystallization.
Anyone who has read Annie Dillard’s A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek need only recall her (unforgettable) account of the emergence in the confined space of a mason jar, of a polyphemus moth from its cocoon, to understand what is at issue here. This experience from Dillard’s school days haunts her still and it haunts the reader; but what happened to the polyphemus moth, unable to stretch out his wings before they hardened, is liable to happen in the life of each of us. From our late 20s onwards our own wings begin to harden, metaphorically speaking. If we have not been able to stretch them out, then, like the polyphemus moth, we never will never be able to fly unless the Sun and inner planets are in H12. With Sun and inner planets in H12, Neptune will continue to carry on the work of the Soul’s work and defy the process of crystallizing of the personal reality..
This is the compensation offered through H12, although it is not offered in a currency that the personality can readily use. First, the personality has to come to understand what the Soul wants of us, its agents in incarnation. And second, the personality must be willing to sacrifice itself to the Soul’s purposes and be willing to cooperate.
Childhood is usually very hard for those born with Sun in H12. They are frequently bullied in a very obvious way for seeming to be different, from the other members of the family or from their peers. They do not know how to defend themselves, and in any event, would not know who or what they would be trying to defend. They do not know that they are different, only that they are often very frightened of what is done to them and of which they do not speak about to others, They cling to secrecy for protection. Incarnation is a bitter experience to many H12 children, because they have a sense that they belong somewhere else and will try to find at least a place of retreat on another level. In this way, their psychic abilities are developing from a very early age, but escapism through drink and drugs is the line of least resistance through their lives.
The sadness of Pisces and H12 is for the loss of the connection to things of a higher world. Our self-centred perspectives prevent us from finding such a place in a world of personality consciousness.
The astrology books of the pre-War era focused on the disadvantaged personality, not on the compensations, which is why they are generally bleak on the subject of the House of Pisces.
From a psychological perspective, the H12 child’s weak sense of identity is attributed to a lack of attention and regard from the parents. Although the circumstances may include cruelty and neglect, these things do not define the H12 experience. What defines it is that the child is treated a commodity rather than as an individual, a footnote in the lives of others, rather than an individual in his or her own right.
- Such an experience simply would not befall a child with Sun in H1, and asking questions about this is useful for checking birth time. There are few childhoods more markedly different than that of the overlooked H12 child and the H1 child who is encouraged to take life by the forelock and become its master.
- If Mercury is in H12 with the Sun, the child is not entitled to a viewpoint, or may have physical problems with speech and hearing.
- If Venus is in H12, the child learns young that there are others around more deserving or needy of the parents’ love.
- Mars in H12 (in Hindu Astrology, Kuja Dosha, the Victim in the Marriage) is fearful of anger and will never use aggression against another no matter how badly bullied they themselves are.
- Jupiter in H12 knows to keep the beliefs secret to avoid ridicule and punishment. The working of Neptune in H12 is similar: a person with H12 will conceal their charity, sacrifices and level of spiritual awareness. They fear to be exposed.
- Saturn in H12 feels unprotected by the father and authority figures and exposed to the randomness of a world without point or meaning.
- Of all the planets in H12, Saturn will bring the most lasting distress through this existential nightmare, although Pluto can bring extreme emotional or physical violence. Uranus in H12 fears to be an individual and to express itself authentically, When it is with Pluto the reason is fear of punishment; on its own in H12, Uranus finds the concept of the Self uncomfortable and its indulgences distasteful.
- Yet all these placements which make the personality so wary and disadvantaged can be upgraded in the service of the Soul. Then, the individual with Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune in H12 can make contact with higher levels of being that expand understanding and confer genius. Mars learns to channel energy into non-harmful activities to good and useful effect, often excelling in sport. Saturn learns to rely upon the Soul-aligned self, often after borrowing the structure of formal teachings to assist this process. Pluto confers exceptional powers of creative visualisation and the ability to manifest onto the material plane.
H12 people who become famous often become so for what they are able to bring through to awaken a sense of possibility in others.
David Bowie had Sun in H12.
The presence of Moon in H12 is a matter of considerable significance to the esoterically orientated astrologer, because it indicates the cauterization of a certain line of development.
A child with the Moon in H12 will have a fractured relationship with the mother, the symbol of continuity, either through the death or neglect of the mother., There are cases where the circumstances are more benign, yet the mother is still not a mother-figure, as can happen when the mother and child become friends and equals through sharing certain levelling experiences, or the child becomes the parent to a needy mother.
Whatever the circumstances, the inability of the mother to serve as a conduit for continuity leaves the child with the opportunity to break free from the ‘family business’ (to find out what that is, examine the Moon sign and the house that the Moon rules) and make a fresh start, referencing the Sun.
Too much emphasis upon psychological perspectives that encourage self-pity and inner child fixations can be very unhelpful to a person with Moon in H12 because the past cannot be changed, and identification with pain, loss and aberration may lose an individual the opportunity to move on. An esoteric astrologer will not find aberration in a chart, only in the way certain kinds of situations are perceived.
Although I am aware that the Moon in H12 can brings some of the most emotionally painful of human experiences, including episodes of mental instability in adulthood, the focus needs to stay on the developmental purpose. I am very clear about this in readings
As regards the mental instability, the important word here is episodes — brought by stressful transits and progressions, especially those involving Uranus that can be timed by a competent astrologer. As far as possible, avoid pharmaceuticals and let instability rule, as DK puts it in Esoteric Astrology, in order to do its work of releasing awareness free of its confining structures.
This release of the spirit from bondage of the restricted view of the personality is the essence of the H12 experience, and its very point when considered from the angle of the development of consciousness.
- The orthodox planetary ruler of H12 are Jupiter (Ray 2) and Neptune
(Ray 6); the esoteric ruler is Pluto (Ray 1)
Qualities of Sun in H12
Inner planets in H12
Outer planets In H12
Qualities of Uranus in H12
Moon in H12
Union; merger with the Soul; escape from restrictions of time and physicality.
Part of Body:
The left-hand side in man;
To expand awareness and move beyond the confines of personal reality
Inspired; visionary; compassionate; retiring
Provide a connection to the Soul that will either disrupt or enrich personality life
|Expose the personality to forces, beyond its control that occasion much suffering in childhood but open out the mind to embrace extraordinary capacities|
Uranus gives up its panache and rebelliousness in H12 and chooses to work through conventional and an understated way and accept disciplines. The purpose that this serves t must be sought in the life as a whole
A person with this placement is being separated from that which past life has made familiar, in order to make a new start with a different kind of awareness. The mother is an agent in this process.
Looking Again at the Astrological Houses