©12-26-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
This is the first post in a series suggested by VR, a Grand Prize Winner in Skywriter’s recent contest to find new topics for 2011.
When I first began studying astrology in 1968, astrologers did not automatically come equipped with rose-colored glasses. They were not afraid to forecast personal disaster—in fact, they appeared to relish it. Nowhere was that more true than in the ways the 12th house was portrayed to students and clients.
(Note: Slight exaggerations may occur—strictly for your edification. If you’ve blundered onto this blog by accident, please don’t post indignant diatribes in the comment section. This is meant as astrological parody. Lighten up! You’ll find links to more balanced articles on the 12th below. )
In that pre-Deepak Chopra, pre-Eckart Tolle era, the 12th was described as a veritable House of Horrors. Those unfortunates who had the Sun or Moon (or, God save us, a STELLIUM) there left the consultation room quaking, because they now knew they were screwed.
It was the house of prisons, hospitals, asylums, and other institutions. The 12th also ruled drunk tanks back in the dark ages before they had rehabs and 12-Step programs for darned near everything.
It was known as the house of secrets, secret vices, and secret enemies. The house of the unconscious and of self-undoing, which is an antiquated term for shooting yourself in the foot.
If you were having a transit or progression to a planet in the 12th, you may even have concluded that there was no hope or help for you, unless you betook yourself to a monastery, where they began by shaving your head and then amputated your 8th house.
What I don’t get is why they dumped all those disasters into one house. Surely it would have been fairer to spread them around. The happier houses like the 5th or the 3rd could have taken up some of the slack.
By now, those of you with planets in that perilous sector must have questions, but you’re probably afraid to ask. Besides, if you did ask, people would know your secrets.
Not to worry—below are answers to concerns a person in your shoes would probably have. You’ve come to the right place, because with two planets in the 12th, I’ve definitely been there, done that.
Q: Will my secret come out?
A: Are you kidding? In this age when surveillance technology, a.k.a. snoopology, is readily available to anyone, there ARE no secrets! It’s not a question of whether, but when.
That’s where your astrologer comes in handy, giving you timing of 12th house transits that might Reveal All so that you can work on damage control in advance. One secret I can’t fathom is why politicians and other news figures think that the sleazy things they do won’t come out and that they’ll get away with it!
Q: Worst-case scenario, will I go to prison for what I’ve done?
A: I hear from quite a number of prisoners in my Dell Advice column, but they mostly want to know when they’ll get out. (Watch for transits to the Midheaven, involving planets that cross from the 3rd to the 4th, the 12th to the 1st or the 9th to the 10th.)
There was one instance in which I unknowingly was hired to do a day of readings for a flock of felons who hadn’t been caught yet. It took naive old me most of the day to figure out why every one of them asked whether I saw any legal problems in their future.
But, as it turns out, I was quite accurate in my predictions for several of the gang, who were subsequently put away. It was a matter of the 12th house AND the 9th being activated at once.
Several had Pluto or Neptune transits to 11th house planets as well, and my warning that a friend might betray them turned out to be all too true. One of the Bros flipped on the others!
Q: Do I have any secret enemies? Is __________ conspiring against me?
A: If you’re really worried about that, look at rulerships—what house the ruler of the 12th is in, and what houses are ruled by planets in the 12th. Then read A Who’s Who of your Horoscope–the Players in all 12 Houses to find out who to worry about. (Update: Apparently many of you ARE worried about secret enemies. 239 of you have read that article in just 3 days!)
Okay, here’s a serious thought for you to ponder, given that the 12th is also the house of self-undoing. IF you do have secret enemies, it’s usually because of:
- things you’re doing that you THINK are secret but really are apparent to everyone around you, as is commonly the case when a 12th house planet is within a 10° conjunction of the Ascendant.
- Or secrets you’re keeping from yourself that cause you to behave in ways that alienate other people. When they can’t raise the issue openly with you because you deny that you’re doing any such thing, they wind up feeling like they have no recourse but to go behind your back.
Q: What secrets AM I keeping from myself?
A: I’m not so sure I want to answer that—and especially not here on the internet—because if I did, then you’d have to kill me.
But you can figure it out for yourself by a thorough examination of the signs in the 12th and especially by analyzing each planet in that house—including its sign and aspects.
Think about ways you’re disowning that planet’s energy and needs and how you might be projecting its undesirable qualities onto others (like those secret enemies you think you’ve identified in other houses of the chart). And then shock yourself by accepting that just maybe, deep down inside, you’re a lot like Those People.
Q: How can I stop shooting myself in the foot?
A: See above. Awareness in and of itself is a deterrent, especially if there are future transits that look like trouble.
Use my transit tracker to look at past aspects to the 12th or a 12th house planet. This handy one-page reference summarizes the transits of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto from 1990-2012. Download it to look back on past transits and to look forward for the next few years: Transit Tracking Table for 1990-2012.
Then find healing tools like those in the category METAPHYSICS/HEALING/SELF-HELP on the right hand side of this blog to help you turn the energies of those planets around. If it’s a long-standing pattern and the accumulated emotions are tough to work through, find qualified people to help you.
When you see a transit coming, reflect on past meltdowns during transits to that part of your 12th and how you contributed to the situation by things you did or didn’t do. If you own up to your own part in the situation and change the ways you use those energies, you need not go though a replay of the earlier transits.
Readers, as we head toward 1-1-11, here’s a chance to start the new year on a better track. Look at back at past 12th house meltdowns and see what ways you contributed to the situation. What natal and what transiting planets were involved? What did you learn, and what helped? Share what you can in the comment section.
Coming next in this series: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the 8th House –but Were Afraid to Ask. (Relax, Readers, there won’t be 12 of these grim visions!)
By now you need a more positive look at this house, yes? See Skywriter’s Complete Miniseries on the 12th house:
- A Sensitive Guide to Planets in the 12th House—Guest Blog
- 12th House People as Introverts: the Power of Solitude
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 12th House
- New Insights into the 12th House from our Q&A Session
- A Tool for Analyzing Your 12th House Sign
- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the 12th—but Were Afraid to Ask
- The 12th House—Comparing Ancient and Modern Views
- 7 Secrets You May not Know about the 12th House
- Daybreak and the 12th House Sun
- 12 Famous People with 12th House Suns
- 80 Qualities of Venus in the 12th or other Venus-Neptune Combinations
- Jupiter in the 12th—When Does Good Luck Turn Bad?
- Transits from the 12th House to the 1st–Like Night and Day
- INDEX OF SKYWRITER’S 438 POSTS by category. Excellent resource for students. Save it to your hard drive rather than print it, and then all the links are live. Download it here:
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