©2-8-2013 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
I wish they had a virtual metal detector to help uncover the gold that gets buried in the comment sections of many of the posts on this site. If I can be allowed to brag on my readers, they are a bright, introspective, insightful bunch. Getting back to blogging after more than a year away, I enjoy their input all the more.
Since many of you don’t follow the comment section, I wanted to share some great exchanges and observations from the recent posts about the 12th house.
About an Empty 12th House: Mun asks, “My 12th House ( in Cancer ) is empty. Will you write an article about the empty 12th House?”
Mun, you’d just consider the various meanings of the sign on the cusp of the 12th. There’s a wealth of meaning to be gathered from that alone. Oh, and look to see where the planet is that rules the 12th, for that can also carry the meanings of the 12th to the matters of the house it’s placed in.
For instance, with Cancer on the cusp of an unoccupied 12th house, you’d look at the house the Moon is placed in and examine what’s going on there. Donna
EJ asks, “Considering the element of introversion on an empty Gemini 12th house: could this be someone who is more hesitant to speak up? Even though Mercury is not placed there physically? “
Yes, I believe so. Perhaps it would come from feeling that speaking up would be too self-revealing or make you feel too vulnerable. Donna
About Intercepted Signs and Planets in the 12th
Louise asks, “I have two signs in the 12th house, one intercepted. Do I consider the rulers of both signs?”
The sign on the cusp determines the house ruler. What’s important is any planet in that house.
The second time an interception is important is during a transit to that sign by one of the slower-moving planets (Saturn on out), because the intercepted sign makes that a very big house (as much as about 45 degrees). So any time there’s a transit of the slower-moving planets through that sign, the transit lasts a long time and represents important and life-changing developments in the areas of life connected with that house. Donna
A summary of other exchanges: Unless you’re born at the equator or your Ascendant and Midheaven are at right angles to one another (as often happens with Virgo or Libra Rising), you’re likely to have a pair of intercepted houses directly opposite one another. Thus, you have about a 1 in 6 chance of a 12th house/6th house interception in your chart.
In different house systems you might have a different set of interceptions. In my chart, for instance, when I tried three different house systems, I came up with different sets of interceptions depending on the system—the 10th/4th, the 11th/5th, or the 12th/6th. I could argue for all three, which makes me skeptical that any of the theories about interceptions are all that valid.
When an intercepted planet forms an aspect to the Midheaven, that does strengthen it and make it more visible externally (just like a conjunction to the Ascendant does), but then there’s the potential for sabotaging your success if your negative expressions of that planet show up in your career.
At the very least, a square between a 12th house planet and the Midheaven creates a conflict between the part of you that wants to retreat from the world and the demands of a career that places you in the public eye.
If a planet was intercepted but scored high on the Planetary Strength tests, that would trump the interception, I believe. (The Planetary Scores Tests are linked on the home page of this blog.)
Another thing about interceptions: I’ve never quite bought into the teaching that being intercepted makes a planet less accessible or somehow less important. Try going through a 2-3 year transit from Pluto or Neptune to an intercepted planet, and see how important that is!
Anyway, given that the 12th house planet is already secret, hidden, or even unconscious, how in the world would you know what an interception adds? On what scale would you measure the strength of that vs. a 12th house planet that wasn’t intercepted?
Let’s face it, a lot of these interpretations are pretty subjective, and yet we totally buy into what a teacher, writer, or professional astrologer tells us about our 12th house and we take that into our self-concept like it’s set in stone. Take anything negative you hear about this house with a grain of salt. Donna
How Progressions Change 12th House Planets
Melo says “I have noticed that I am less social since many of my 10th and 11th House Planets dumped into my 12th by Progression.”
A reader says she was originally very introverted but shifted into more of an extrovert and notes, “These transformations took place when my progressed Sun was in Sag, and I think that was also a factor in ‘progressing’ beyond and transcending the feeling of being stuck and ‘fixated on’ my introvert nature.”
Thanks for bringing the progressed chart into the picture. I believe you’re onto something about progressions bringing about a change from introvert to extrovert or vice versa.
I, too, have noticed definite changes and evolutions over the years when my natal planets progressed into new signs, and if I tracked back, I wouldn’t be surprised if when my 12th house Cancer Sun and Jupiter progressed out of the 12th and over my Leo Ascendant, I did get over some of my extreme shyness and self-consciousness. Before long, I was able to give lectures with a good degree of comfort.
I had one more light bulb moment about progressions of 12th house planets. When a progressed planet changes signs, it always moves into the next-door sign, which is in the opposite polarity.
So very extroverted signs are followed by very introverted signs–Aquarius becomes Pisces, Libra becomes Scorpio, and so on. And very introverted signs are followed by very extroverted ones–Scorpio is followed by Sagittarius, Pisces is followed by Aries, and so on. (I know, like most theories, it works well except when it doesn’t!)
But this is just one more reminder of the perfection of the zodiac in describing the rhythms of lives and the magical ways our lives unfold, especially as seen in the order of the signs and the houses. Donna
This and That about the 12th
Jerry asks, “What if the 12th house is on the cusp? I have mine on the last degree of Libra plus a few minutes. Would Scorpio also have an influence?”
It would have more of an effect if there were 12th house Scorpio planets as well. But since the cusps moved 1 degree for every four minutes of birth time, it wouldn’t take much of an error in the given birth time to put Scorpio rather than Libra on the cusp.
Why not try both the 12th house signs with the template and see which sign makes the most sense in terms of how you deal with 12th house matters? Donna
AstroBella suggests: “Have you read the Highly Sensitive Person books by Elaine Aron? They have helped me immensely in valuing my high sensitivity that is not normally valued very much in this culture. I think my high sensitivity and being an empath relates a lot to my 12th house planets.”
Jara says, “I think the planets that are in the 12th and what sign(s) is in there describe how a person deals with solitude. I like to eat (Moon), be on the Internet (Uranus), pray, cry, love, have sex, deeply research etc. alone or in an intimate setting (Scorpio).
An astrologer asks, “When you’re preparing for a consultation with someone with a strong 12th house, how do you really KNOW what someone will do with their stuff? (Any of their stuff not just 12th house)”
A lifetime gives 12th house types a great many years and stages of life in which to evolve into the higher meanings of the 12th. In the consultation, we listen intently to the client and try to determine where they are in expressing all the planets. As you note, there is absolutely no way to know just from looking at the chart at what level of evolution they’re expressing the chart features. Donna
Elizabeth asks, “Is it true that we focus more on the 12 house endeavors, or the 12 house matters become more prominent as we get older? I can see this would be the case if we believe the houses describe our progression from the time we are born (1st house) through our old age (12th). (Do you accept this interpretation of the houses?)”
Good question, Elizabeth. As someone who is now an older 12th house Sun, I’d say I was always preoccupied with 12th house matters of one kind or another from an early age–at least 10 or 12–and for many years, not in a happy way. But the content of my preoccupations and the answers I tried to use to resolve them developed and became progressively more complex as I matured and learned spiritual principles to deal with them.
I think as we get older we have the experience to hopefully develop greater spiritual wisdom (not everyone does–some older people are just the same miserable wretches as they always were, only more so.) But, in retirement, with fewer responsibilities, some of us may digest our life experience and become more inward, removed from the world, contemplative, and quiet. Donna
“Which do you think is a bigger indicator of illness; the 12 house or the 6th house?”
The 6th and 12th represent different types of illness, an which one is more important would be the one with the most planets. The 12th is–or becomes–chronic and is often related to suppressed emotions (a psychosomatic component) or to some sort of self-defeating pattern, say an addiction. 12th house health issues often are conditions whose cause is unknown, yet that intensify with stress or emotional upheaval. The 6th is more an ordinary illness, but often due to overwork or to occupational health hazards. Each sign has an associated body part, and so the signs involved in those houses can show our physical vulnerabilities.
I searched the internet for a good medical astrology article on the 12th house, but didn’t find any, suprisingly, and I’m not a medical astrologers, so am not qualified to write it myself. Donna
This is just a sampler of the great discussions we have in the comment sections of posts on this site. Tip: if you look at the front page, the number of comments on a post is shown. If it’s over 30, you might want to take a look to see what additional insights came out in the discussion.
And if you have anything to add on the 12th house features discussed here, do share about it in the comment section below this post.
Here are more articles from Skywriter’s series on the 12th house:
- 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
- 12th House People as Introverts: the Power of Solitude
- A Sensitive Guide to Planets in the 12th House—Guest Blog
- 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