Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 27, 2013

Coming Next on Skywriter: An Intensive Exploration of the 12th House

©1-27-2013 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

All of a sudden, I’ve been hearing from so many Skywriter Readers with 12th house stelliums that it’s got me curious. Do you folks have a newsgroup or something? The 12th IS the house of secrets, so is there a secret society, perhaps? With a secret handshake and passwords?

And, if there is one, why haven’t I been invited to join? I’ve surely paid my dues—70 years of living with a 12th house Sun-Jupiter conjunction has had me on a lifelong quest to discover how to use it well.

There are already 10 articles on the 12th in the archives here, which you’ll see links to below. Still, your questions have made it clear that this topic is far from exhausted. So I’m creating a new series to explore some of the many manifestations of this complicated sector of the chart. I LOVE a good meaty series, with readers joining in!

12moddsn-a2dFor those of you with a strong 12th house, I hope you’ll find plenty of new insights in the series. Since it will remain online indefinitely, you can take it at your own pace and refer back to it whenever you feel the need.

Still, being part of a group with a joint intention to grow toward more positive expressions of the 12th should have a healing effect well beyond the words you read.

It also helps to read the comment sections of these posts and share you own thoughts, though I know that’s not so easy for us 12th house folks. Skywriter’s readers are insightful and earnest in their participation, so these discussions are lively, informative, and inspiring.

Here are Some Articles I’m Considering for the Series: 

  • How Well Are You Using your 12th House Planets? Test Yourself!
  • Introverts and the 12th House—the Surprising Advantages
  • Love and the 12th House
  • The 12th House and Secrets: How Sharing them Safely Can Heal
  • 12 Great Articles about the 12th House: What Other Bloggers Have to Say
  • Readers Ask: A Q&A Session about 12th House Transits on 2/17 at 2:00 PM PST

Don’t want to miss them? Here’s how to subscribe to Skywriter: To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.” You’ll automatically receive new posts by email.

To Readers  with Nothing in the 12th:  I often grab a topic by the tail and shake it until it stops moving.  If this series isn’t anything you’d care to read, please don’t unsubscribe, just delete the emails, and the next topic that comes along might very well be one that you can relate to.  Meantime, here’s a link to an index of the topics covered here in the past, over 570 articles in all.  Download it here:   1-Articles Index Skywriter 1-2013.

A Head Start:  Links to Posts on the 12th and Stelliums

Here are links to posts on this blog on the topic. If an intensive study of the 12th house and how you use it would help you avoid some of the difficulties of this house position and to capitalize on its strength, start here.

A Miniseries on the 12th house:

Articles on Stelliums:

New to Skywriter? Check out the INDEX OF SKYWRITER’S 570+ 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: 1-Articles Index Skywriter 1-2013.)

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  1. Hi Donna,
    So glad you are re-visiting 12th House. I am profiting from the previous discourse. With Pisces on 12th cusp and Aries in the middle and Neptune conj. Libran Sun in 6th….and it goes on…I am just in a position of being able to “hear” and implement suggestions. Uranus has been transiting my 12th for EVER…or at least it feels like that.
    I have looked forward to your articles in Mountain Astrologer for years. Someday, I hope to take your correspondence course as my knowledge of Astrology is erratic…or maybe has lots of
    Thank you

    • Hi, Carolyn, I’m glad its beeen helpful. Oh, yes, when Uranus is transiting a house, it’s there for the duration–about 7 years. Donna

  2. Thanks Donna ….I look forward to the response. I have the Jupiter , Chiron, Neptune conjunction in the 12th house with Neptune closest to the Asendant by 4 degrees away. Jupiter there is a blanket of protection when in dangerous situations and unseen help comes to the fore. I love seclusin in natures beautiful unspoiled places. Of course this is healing . They say Jupiter and Chiron shared a cave on mount olympus so they must be natural roomates…thats cool and Jupiter and Neptune relate to water…Neptune of the seas and Jupiter with the thunderbolts bring water rains and lightning to heal earth. Yeah sometimes my little old cabin ( granfathered into a 6 million acre Nat. Park, of Islands and lakes) would sometimes seem to be right in the center of Thunderstorms where I felt safe and rocked in the arms of the gods!
    I can access past lives easily and life lessons from the past when they impact this life now.
    I also do art works and write from seclusion which launches me into the public where I am at home as well.
    My oldest son has mercury in the 12th and my youngest has venus, mars,and mercury in Aries . Aries is intercepted in the 12th so its behind the 12th….what flavor does this ad?

    • Oh, yes the 12th is a place of respite and,for me, much needed solitude. Donna

      • How about intercepted planets in the 12th house?

      • I’m not all sold on interceptions because with different house systems, you get different sets of interceptions. With my chart, in different systems, I’ve had interceptions in the 10th, 11th, and 12th, and I could argue for each of those signs.

        To me, all it means is that you have one pair of interceptions (like 12th-6th) that makes those large houses, but then you also have another pair of interceptions that create a pair of shorter houses. So, when a slow-moving transit goes through the large houses, it lasts a longer time than the average sized house. Not always a good thing! Donna

  3. Thanks Donna. I didnt think of the duration of transits. I thought may be the intercepted sign was hidden from expression or that its expression would take more effort since the ruler of the house would be different.

    My younger son with venus, Mars and Mercury in Aries intercepted is experiencing the Uranus transit. His natal Uranus opposes and is parralle his Taurus Sun on the Ascendant. Chiron in the 12th is 7 degrees away from the Sun. I will observe him closly and see what transpires. So far he has made one admission in counciling of one of his personality habits he would never see or awknowledge before.
    I pray this 12th house transit will bring him insight. He is so gifted yet his past life hangups block his gifts from full expressiont.Hes a stuborn fighter however and that gives me more hope for him.

    • That’s the traditional definition of what an interception means, but I’ve never quite bought it. Donna

  4. Donna, it is so wonderful to see you blogging again. I knew you couldn’t stay away.

    I have a question about the 12th house, and of course it’s inspired by my own chart but I think it’s of general interest.

    How to you think the 12th House relates to the Ascendant? In a previous post on the 12th you linked to above, someone asked about the same configuration I have, Uranus conjunct the ASC but in the 12th house, and your answer was very informative. But I’m curious about the orbs of the Ascendant. This might apply to all houses, but I suspect it might be more important on the ASC.. or maybe this is more a 1st House question.

    I’ve heard that if you have a planet within a few degrees of a cusp, you should consider it to be positioned in the next sign. I have never figured out how that works, or what’s a workable. I have Uranus at 8 Leo, in the 12th, but the ASC at 15 Leo, that’s within ~7 degrees, almost a wide enough orb to not be considered a conjunction. But if it was a tighter orb, wouldn’t I have to count it in the 1st House?

    And could this move to the next house be more significant in the 12th house, since it puts it past the start of the houses cycle? I think I understand the Ascendant’s role as an angle, but considering it overall, as a chart’s dawn (so to speak) I don’t quite know how to think of it.

    • Good to hear from you, Charles–and I glad you’re glad!

      I did talk in one of the old posts about how a 12th house planet that is conjunct the Ascendant works–and will talk about it again in one of the posts I’m planning, but here’s a quickie.

      It’s a “secret” that everyone knows but is the elephant in the room that nobody talks about. Or maybe, since 12th house planets are sometimes unconscious, it’s a secret that everyone knows except the person who has it, so people find it difficult/unsettling to try to talk about with the person. Thus it can create estrangement, as people think the person is being deceptive about the qualities associated with that planet.

      As for orbs on that conjunction to the Ascendant, I go with the research findings of the Gauquelins that a planet within 10 degrees of one of the four angles is a powerful part of how the world perceives you, even when it’s in the cadent house next to the angle (12th for the 1st, 9th for the 10th, 6th for the 7th, and 3rd for the 4th.)

      Do join the Q&A I have planned on 12th house planets, Charles. I love those sessions and have missed them. Donna

      • Cadent houses wow, that’s exactly the concept I was groping around for, and didn’t know existed. I am greatly indebted to you, every time you drop these little hints that open whole areas for me to study. More, please.

      • Donna you could be onto something and it explains why people always asume I am a Medicine Woman…Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter conjunct with Neptune 4 degrees from the Asc. I resent it when people asume this because its not true. I am closer to a Magician with occulty type experience and knowledge. As far as healing I am interested in herbal experimentations but have no desire to hang out a shingle. On the otherhand I was gifted with a Healing implement to carry at Dances for ” the people” which means I only carry it and the spirit beings that come with it do the healing, NOT ME. I love this detachment and the dancing.

  5. I have UR within 1 degree of my Libra AC, in the 12th house. Also conjunct the AC in the 12th is JU & PL, and MA is there, too, widely conj. PL. I make an effort to access the energy of these planets and not let them undo me (having SU/ME in the 1st in exact opp. to SA helps). Walks in nature, yes; spirituality a constant in my life; meditation (though I’m not that great at it.) I’ve even tried holotropic breathwork (it’s quite the work-out!) I love film, martial arts, yoga. Volunteering is one of the best ways for me to access those 12th house planets, especially with so-called down-&-outers. Very satisfying to my soul.

  6. Looking forward to this series with much anticipation. I have no planets in the 12th house, myself. so it’s really helpful for me to glean a deeper understanding of this house that I can use in interpreting clients’ charts. That said, Saturn transited my 12th house recently, and it was certainly a time when career-related matters felt hampered for me, went underground, and become highly spiritualized. The 12th is a very mysterious house, and we may never fully plumb its secrets, but your insights are always inspiring, Donna!

  7. I’m thrilled to see you getting more active again on Sky Writer and I trust this means you (and you’re hands) are feeling stronger.

    I’ve missed your insightful posts – and my 12th house Saturn/Pluto conjunction (both also conjunct my Ascendant) is desperately in need of some insight right now. I’m a Scorpio, and Saturn’s current transit through Scorpio and Pluto’s loooooong slog through Capricorn seem to be stirring up all kinds of self-doubt and self-condemnation…

  8. I feel sort of feel left out, my 12th is blank although with Pluto transiting my 12th and opposed my Sun in the sixth plus a full Moon in my 12th (July 2011) I lost 30+ lbs and that turned my life around.

    Off the subject: When Saturn was conjunct my Moon (August 1984) my grandmother passed, my mother-in-law just passed last Sunday, January 20th, where was Saturn,conjunct my Moon again! Just wanted to share.

    Thank you all.
    Paula B.

    • I think transits should count here too!!

  9. Yeah! I have a 12 H Cancer sun/mercury & Leo venus/uranus just 1 degree away from my ASC. All of which squares my 4H scorpio moon/neptune. At mid age, i still haven’t learned how to utilize this discordant energy to my advantage… would love any articles that give insight on the convoluted nature of the planets within the 12H & other houses… thanks much, have really loved your posts and happy to see you back!

  10. PS _ sorry, meant all the LEO that leo mars conjunct ASC too) squares the scorpio… Cancer sun obviously doesn’t…

  11. I read your post just before going to bed and had a long dream about a young girl who had been incarcerated for blabbering about secrets, after many arduos trials we managed to rescue her :)

    Glad you take up the 12th house, I just realised, what often scares me with people with Pluto on the ascendant, is that they are so openly acting out these Plutonic themes that are so private to me (why can’t they just manipulate secretely??) but I have made a resolution to walk right into everything that scares me and say hello to the monster…

    • Haha, Mads! Your dream made me laugh out loud (for real, not the lol inner chuckle).

  12. 12th house moon in Taurus 29 degrees: Need alone time, very emotional, intuitive

    • Shows how important the houses are, Jen. My moon in Gemini and House 8, and if my emotions do fluctuate in a very Gemini fashion, they are also intense and deep-rooted in a House 8 way that would not normally be associated with a Gemini Moon.

  13. Ha, I have THREE planets in the 12th House — Neptune (oy!), Mercury, and Mars. Fun times. Working hard to move beyond the martyr/victim/savior complex. Or maybe I just need to surrender?

    • Hey, Katie! Don’t I remember you from before? Worked with the 2nd Saturn return gals? If they’re all conjunct, then what you have is a triple conjunction, and that’s in some respects stronger even than a stellium. Check out some of the stuff here about stelliums. Donna

      • Your memory serves you correct, Donna! I work with the Saturn Sisters in addition to my own astrology work. Glad to see the Skywriter blog whirring back to life. And I do have a triple conjunction in the 12th. Thanks!

  14. So thrilled to see you back and blogging about the 12th house. I, too, have Sun and Jupiter in the 12th, although they’re perhaps a bit too far apart for a conjunction (Jupiter 3.44 Aries, Sun 12.48 Aries). But Jupiter is in an out-of-sign conjunction with Mercury in 27.37 Pisces and Sun is conjunct my Asc. I am not sure whether it would count as a stellium. I am definitely a loner, spending most of my time reading and writing. I am also somewhat depressive. You wrote how planets in the 12th can be “the elephant in the room”, visible to everyone but their owner – I wonder what my elephant is! Looking forward to your new posts.

    • Not really too wide for the Sun, though the Sun is separating from Jupiter. Not exactly a triple or stellium, but a huge emphasis on the 12th anyway. I’ve just been reading about introversion, and how it can be an advantage in terms of pursuing our talents. The article said that we don’t necessarily dislike the company of others, just prefer our solitude in order to pursue our interests. And we find others too distracting.

      It’s surely true in my case–in my 20s to mid-30s, I was definitely ill at ease in public, but after that I opened up socially a lot (a progression or transit?). LOL–I have the reputation in the astrology world of being a recluse, but it’s not exactly true. I go out with friends several times a week and enjoy the heck out of them, but I require days and days of solitude to do the work I am here to do (writing, especially). And also to shake off the energy of others, which I absorb like a psychic sponge.

      One of the articles I want to write for this series is about this very topic, and I hope to get some feedback from other 12th house people as to whether they are more introverts or extroverts. It sounds like you’re one of us. But tempting as that is, I’m working too hard on my stellium book and it’s going too well now to let myself get distracted. Donna

      • Hi, Donna,
        Re: the 12th house and introversion/extraversion…My 13 year old Sagittarius daughter has Venus at 28′ Libra and the Moon at 3′ Scorpio in the twelfth house. She is a classic introvert, and she also needs lots of down time “to shake off the energy of others, which [she] absorbs like a psychic sponge.” After big occasions like birthday parties, she needs to take a long shower (I’m guessing it helps wash the “feel” of all those other people off), and drink buckets of herbal tea, or she melts down into cranky tears. She excels in one-to-one situations, and is the first to befriend any new or troubled kid in a social setting, but when the atmosphere gets loud and “festive” she finds a quiet corner and watches instead…and comes away with insights that are beyond her years. “Amy is going through a hard time, because her parents aren’t together any more….Some kids think David is rude, but he’s just really honest about his feelings….” She has a subscription to Scientific American Mind, and pores over each issue. She has expressed interest in becoming a children’s therapist when she grows up.
        I hope your research sheds some more light on the mysterious, much- maligned 12th!

      • Mary what’s in your daughter’s 5th house (speaking of parties)?

      • Good example. Hmm, maybe I need to put that post up first, since people are already chiming in. However, the writing on my book is flowing so fast and well, I can’t stop it now.

  15. I am not sure if I should post here, having “only” Jupiter in the 12th house, but my recent life experiences (with the Uranus transit) tells me that there is nothing insignificant about Jupiter sitting there in the chart of a triple sagittarius. But I AM looking forward to the series

  16. posting again to get notifications (excuse me Donna)

  17. Hi, mimitabby. my daughter’s fifth house begins at 22′ Pisces, and is empty! Good point.

  18. Donna,

    Like you, I have no planets natally in the 12th, but Saturn is now transiting my Scorpio 12th. I too, am having career challenges; looking for a new job when I thought my last one would hold me over until retirement. North Node is also in the 12th which puts South Node in the 6th…I can’t win. It will be 2 years before Saturn passes over my AC.

    • Hi, Fern, I think you misunderstood me (or perhaps your comment was directed to another Donna). I have the Sun and Jupiter in my 12th, so that’s a substantial but in some ways very positive influence on my life path. Donna

  19. Hi donna I’ve the 12th in pisces with sun and mercury conjunct to saturn and mars! The positive side of it is the empathy I can feel for others. This is super for the understanding and sometimes hard because it also can put me really down because of the negative mood of someone near me. In concrete life I want to signal that the 12th is also the 6th of the 7th so in fact my husband is always troubling with his health and tends to be depressive. Hope I gave some input. Bye Cla

  20. Hello, I have the Sun in 12th in Virgo and Jupiter conjunct the sun in 11th in Placidus house system and 12th in Koch system. I’ve applied the Koch and assume it’s 12th as well. I feel bad situations have been made a bit better maybe because of this Sun conj Jupiter. My ongoing conflict has been the 12th house working behind the scenes versus Venus conj. Uranus in the 10th house wanting to be seen. The 12th usually wins because I’m very introverted. I also have Mercury in the 12th right on the ascendant, I have trouble sharing my thoughts and feelings with others. Sincerely, Marie

    • boy, i can relate. 12H cancer sun/mercury but 3 leo planets conjunct the ascendent (incl venus/uranus). These aspects, i feel, give me a ‘bi polar’ type behavior pattern whereas i hide out and then want to ‘shine’. i’m also introverted. Very, very few people know who i really am… Hopefully your jupiter/sun aspect brings you more fortunate resolutions…

  21. Hi, Donna,

    My 12th is empty except for NN in Taurus and I’m another “isolationist.” Ilive alone and need absolute quiet – no TV or radio chattering in the background. I feel at home with my own thoughts, unlike some people I know who have to have plenty of “noise” in the background. I’m no party animal and I need solitude after being in a group environment. I can sympathize with Mary’s daughter.

  22. Hello Donna,

    I have a 12th house Pluto/Uranus in Virgo forming one end of a T-square, with Saturn/Chiron on the opposite end in the 6th, Pisces. My sun in Sag 3rd house is t-boned by this not so friendly line up of energy. I might also mention I have Taurus moon 8th, opposing Neputne in Scorpio, 2nd house.

    Yes, I’m prone to dark moods and I NEED them to feel the juice of life. Obviously I need alone time. My t-square is mutable, I always have many things on the go. I work several jobs with a schedule that always changes. I get something like neropothy through my entire body on a regular/irregular basis. No rhyme of reason to this so far (30 years of adult life) I work as an yoga teacher, energy healer, intuitive, astrologer. At times I feel really good about the work I do and then if a lapse in work occurs, I tend to really question by abilities, self-worth, the work I do and its validity. Sometimes I really struggle, wrestle with feeling completely inadequate and then somehow I find my inspiration again. At this point in life, I can see the cycle for what it is, but it still can take me off guard.

    • Hi, Trisha, about the neuropathy you mention, the 12th is one of the health houses, but they often are conditions whose cause is unknown, yet intensify with stress or emotional upheavals. One feature of Uranus is what I call “problems with the wiring” i.e. neurological. Given Uranus and Pluto in Virgo, there may some connection with Right Livelihood issues.

      I’m glad you brought that up, as it’s making me wonder if I can find an article on the internet about health conditions and the 12th house. Donna

  23. Hi Donna,

    I was born March 18th 1971, and having just experienced an emotionally traumatic 2011-2012, the SR 2013 symbolises…CHANGE. Inner Work and Transformation…together with Outer.

    I say this as I’ve 9 planetary bodies (full-on planets plus asteroids) in my 12th House Pisces. So, flowing from the boundary of the 1th House to the left of the chart:

    * Neptune in Pisces, natal 11th Sagittarius.
    * Mercury in Pisces, natal 3rd House Ares.
    * Chiron in Pisces, natal 3rd House Ares.
    * Venus in Pisces, natal 1st House Aquarius.
    * Sun in Pisces, natal 2nd House.
    * Mars in Ares, natal 1st House Capricorn cusp 12th House Sagittarius.
    * Uranus in Ares, natal 9th House Libra.
    * Eris in Ares, natal 3rd House Ares.
    * Pallas Athena in Ares, natal 2nd House cusp Pisces.

    I’m attempting to understand what all these mean for me, and with Pluto starting it’s Capricorn transit in April 2013 for the next 10 years, together with the 3rd of 7th Uranus-Pluto Squares just passed (May 20th was a tough ol’ day), I’m feeling … pressured. Like in a pressure cooker, and I’m wondering how I’m able to season the dish while I’m on the inside!

    I’ve delved into the aspects, and I’ve Sun Opposition Pluto natal … Pluto in the 8th House Virgo (I reckon the Hellenistic Astrologers terms the 2nd House well, as the ‘Gates of Hades’) … and my intuition on this is to recognise, acknowledge, and accept the Shadow aspects of Pysche which are represented by the planets resident in the 12th House. A Depth / Archetypal Astrology method has helped me in leaps-and-bounds, and there’s plenty more inner work to be on with. I’ve started using Active Imagination, together with facilitating dialogues with and between these archetypes. A deeply humbling process :{/

    That said I hope this a. makes sense to others here, and b. helps others! :{D



    • I can understand that it sounds overwhelming, Rich. To put into a different perspective, every single Piscean alive on this planet had Neptune, Chiron, and several inner planets in Pisces in their solar return this year, as that stellium went on for several weeks. Granted, maybe only one in 12th had it in the 12th house, but it sounds like you are making use of some excellent tools to grow a great deal this year. As a 12th house Sun/Jupiter natally, I love that house and wouldn’t want my Sun to be anywhere else. Donna

      • Thanks Donna, it’s good to know I’m experiencing this change with my Piscean brothers and sisters :)

        I’ve caught myself noticing, and challenging, ‘shadow’ patterns/tendencies in daily life, more and more. For example, tonight I my first date in over 1.5 years.I caught the negative self-talk, and replied, with compassion, “it’s okay, I know you’re afraid. I recognise that. Let’s just go ahead and enjoy the evening anyway, eh?” My 12th House Venus has become jittery and anxious, and wants nourishing in gentler ways…friendship before romance.

      • You’re doing such wise things, Rich. One thing I’ve come to understand in my years in astrology is that our fears are not necessarily neurotic. Often the soul feels anxious when we tackle new things, and it’s often a combination of knowing we’re tackling things on a new level of difficulty plus some excitement about it. Excitement can feel like anxiety–I see them as next to one another on the color wheel of emotions. Donna

  24. Good post however I was wanting to know if
    you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Kudos!

    • Actually, there are a dozen articles about the 12th house in this series. Check the links at the end of the article. Donna

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