Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 3, 2010

Daybreak and the 12th House Sun

©6-23-2010 by guest blogger, Jeremy Neal of Chirotic Journal

Donna says: In looking for new perspectives to share on the 12th house, I was delighted to come across this article by Jeremy Neal—and in the process to discover a blog full of exceptional material.  This post is reprinted here with his permission.

Why exactly all the fuss about the 12th house Sun?

I hear the reality of a 12th house Sun bemoaned on a frequent basis. That Venus in the 12th has its plus points too, but generally, wouldn’t it be better for me if…? It’s funny, because nobody makes a great hue and cry about having Sun or Venus in Pisces – which is fundamentally the exact same condition with only a nuance of difference at best – and yet the 12th house, like the 8th and to some extent the 4th gets this ongoing bad press.

It all stems from the astrology of the ancients of course, for whom a 12th house Sun had undoubtedly harsher connotations in a world without the leisure and affluence to support any but the most worldly of considerations.

And that’s all it is really. People with an 8th or 12th house Sun have to be identified with non-worldly, non-superficial objectives. For the 8th, that means that privacy and power are the keystones of personal expression and self-development.

In the 12th, the ego has to be transcended – which can potentially be astonishingly difficult because the level one exposition of that imperative is to be everyone’s doormat – a common complaint levelled both at and by your average Piscean incidentally – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher and Gordon Brown, all British Prime Ministers, shared a Sun in the 12th. Hardly doormats or ‘background’ types. So what makes the difference between the future leader of the nation and the future heroin addict or perennial fall guy?

For various reasons, superfluous to this discussion, I have been attending to this issue of late. Why does it happen that the 12th house Sun so often, as Alan Leo said it, is “promised much improvement in worldly affairs as your life advances”?

Sue Tompkins – whom I respect greatly even though I believe in this instance that she has it wrong – determines that the Sun in the 12th is so tired of being overlooked that they push themselves forward with even greater vigour in later life. Of course, this seems logical, but if that were the case then why should they often manage it so well? It’s not as though arriving late at the party qualifies one for being the life and soul of it after all. Surely, those who have put more time into the business of being out front in life really ought to benefit more obviously.

I think the answer is very simply found in the instance of the Secondary Progressed chart. This perspective is sorely neglected in contemporary astrology, because the nativity is not in stasis. We are not fixed any more than the seed determines the tree. Certainly, it determines the species of tree, but myriad elements of environment, meteorology and soil acidity will shape the resultant outgrowth.

In this way, transits and progressions quite deliberately progress our nativity. It might not be therefore that the Sun literally emerges from the cabined confines of the 12th, but countless aspects of strength and dignity are shifted in the ongoing miasma of cosmic interrelationship as the chart progresses.

In Tony Blair’s case, for example, he graduated from Oxford in the same year that his Jupiter emerged from the 12th house.

The  Sun had moved out of the 12th two years previously at the same time as his association with the Anglican minister Peter Thomson awakened within Blair a deep concern for religious faith and left-wing politics. The Solar identity begins to emerge at the exact moment that the Sun emerges from the 12th house by Secondary Progression.

This is no mere coincidence: it happens in every case. With Gordon Brown, the Sun emerged by SP from his 12th house in 1996, less than a year from the Labour party being elected to office whereupon he became Blair’s chancellor; and too the year that – when you follow the news stories of the day – Brown actually thrust himself into the public consciousness. This is not coincidence.

Of course, anyone with an 11th house Sun has by definition therefore, to weather the relative obscurities of the long years of the 12th house transit. Consider as an example George W. Bush, whose Sun crossed the Ascendant by Secondary progression in 1983, the same year his father (Sun) became president. In 1995, when he was elected to office, his SP chart evinced not a single hard Ptolemaic aspect, a most beatific astrological disposition.

The impression that any retrospective of Bush’s life confers is really one of obscure origins, a slightly murky past (complete with alcoholic tendencies and DUI convictions!) and an earlier life that is lived, to some extent, in the shadows. This period concurs perfectly with the 12th house transit of his Sun by Secondary Progression.

In some ways then, it is perhaps better to be born with Sun in the 12th than with Sun in the 10th, because there is a life that starts well and ends – if not badly – at least with greater obscurity than it began.

The arc of that narrative is clear too, consider the businessman (10th) who makes his fortune then through a growing consciousness of the plight of less fortunate humanity (11th house) eventually becomes a philanthropist and gives all his money to the world’s poor and afflicted (12th).

Of course, we will never escape the blueprinting of our emergence into incarnation, so the 12th house Sun will ultimately require an identification with something that represents the infinite, that corresponds archetypically with the return to Eden.

That is why selfishness backfires in the long run on the 12th house Sun and the Pisces Sun alike, but to believe that such placements confer a life-sentence of obscurity and defeat is provably very wide of the mark.

Sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness comes the light.”
Jean Giraudoux.

NOTE: If you’d like to read more by this insightful astrologer, Jeremy’s blog also has more articles on the 12th house here: Mars in the 12th: dazed and confused…  and here:  Venus in the 12th,  and an article to complement our recent discussion of Neptune in the 3rd here:  Lost in Translation: Neptune in the 3rd.

Readers, do you have a 12th house Sun?  What have you learned about yourself in this miniseries of posts about the 12th house?  Tell us about it in the comment section.

Jeremy Neal says of himself:   I am a full-time, professional astrologer and have been student of the great art since age 12. I was taught the rudiments of my vocation by my grandfather who was also an astrologer, to date I have provided astrological insights for many hundreds of individuals. I work very hard to help people with their life issues and problems, and if you are interested in my services then visit my consultation website www.astrologyhour.com. I am also happy to answer astrological questions on my blog,  Chirotic Journal, so please feel free to ask anything and I will try to make a reasonable answer from it if I am able. I live in rural Sussex, England, with Alice. You may contact me directly using chirotic.school@gmail.com.


Responses

  1. Wow! Great article and great series of articles. I tell you what Donna, we 12th housers (I have a stellium there no less) are built of stronger stuff than first imagined. How could we not?
    Could it be that because our sun sign is “hidden” so to speak, that we are a wealth of silent strength and intelligence?
    Yes, I have been used as a doormat for years, but perhaps as in Mark Twain’s great novel, “The Prince and the Pauper” it takes being “wiped on”, it takes seeing the underbelly of the human condition or psyche to truly egg us on to bigger and more important things. Instead of cynicism, we develop empathy, instead of allowing our anger to fester, we paint beauty, write beauty, treat the overlooked kindly (without allowing them to walk all over us). In other words, perhaps our roles as 12th house hiders should be renamed “observers”? Perhaps as observers, we accrue important knowledge that will one day serve us as strengths? I doubt it will ever be easy, but I do believe we can choose to incarnate with the lessons we need to learn.
    Right now my husband and I need all the strength our 12th house suns have allowed us to garner. Instead of these hardships carrying us under, we are now ready to do battle. With the insecurities of society and what others have said we must accept. If anything, we 12th housers are armed with fortitude!
    Thanks Donna, for allowing me to share, and peace to you all.

    • That was my hope in doing this series, Adela, to let our 12th house folks see how much the 12th has to offer. I sincerely wouldn’t want my Sun anywhere else–it’s who I’m meant to be and have spent many lives preparing for. Donna

      • The article on the 12th house was very helpful and encouraging. My Taurus Sun has had a hard time in bringing my work and life direction out to the surface. In my particular case I have contributing factors : a 6th house Neptune in scorpio squaring my 9th house Saturn. Knowing that I have potential to improve considerably with transits and secondary progressions is uplifting. Thank you very much.

      • We always can use our knowledge of astrology to help us improve–that’s the real point in studying it. The Neptune-Saturn square does complicate matters. Have you seen my article on Neptune-Saturn aspects at: https://skywriter.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/getting-a-grip-on-saturn-neptune-aspects/ ? Read the comment section–there’s amazing sharing from others with this aspect. Donna

  2. Hmmm…so it’s true, secret societies spawn politicians ( every self-serving one of them)…

  3. Happy birthday, Donna!

    • Thanks, Natalie, and all of you who wrote to wish me a happy birthday. Donna

  4. Happy birth Donna!

    For all people who have planets in the 12th house. Please, make exercises of the new gereracion disciplines such as pilates and gyrokinesis, strength all the body. To improve everything involved in this ancestral house. Only new disciplines. Not yoga, martial arts, Tai-chi.

    Regards,
    FranK.

    • Hi Frank,
      Interesting afvise about Pilates. I have the Sun and Jupiter in 12, and I just discovered the great benefits of doing Pilates vs. aerobic (and other high energy type exercise ) did you mean to say that yoga,tai chi are not as good as Pilates for those of us?
      Thank you
      Lidia

  5. hi, i have my sun, Jupiter and north node in 12th in Sagittarius …

    someone (who did not even like me) once said that i am such a contented person …

    i consider my self truly blessed in every aspect…even when things go wrong, i can see the silver lining and the whole picture…its been like that for as long as i can remember…when i was little and even now i have a strong sense of god covering my back. certain intuitions about what i need to renounce and aspire guide me.

    i’m not shy and even if i am quite reserved,i am perceived by others to be very over-confident…

    i gave up my career when i was quite young and volunteered for free to help build one of the most effective animal welfare organizations where i achieved the most phenomenal and unprecedented break-throughs.

    maybe i should mention my moon is swakshetra in the 7th and mars too is swakshetra in the 11th. and jupiter swakshetra in the 12th.

    i have always had this belief that nothing bad will ever happen to me , nobody can harm me and that no matter what, i have the power to move mountains .

    the urge to renounce public acclaim and success is very strong as is the urge to help the downtrodden and weak and right the wrongs.

    if u need more pl mail me…
    thanks

    • Hi, Marieen, It sounds like you’re making beautiful use of that Saggitarian 12th house stellium. Did you read the article on this blog about Jupiter in the 12th? Donna

  6. its me again..i forgot to mention my relationship with my father…its tremendous and fulfilling and he’s always been the go to for me whenever i needed anything , even to this day( i’m 37 now)…i have 2 older brothers but i’ve always been his fav no matter however willful i got. he’s been a huge influence of honour and principle and pride.

  7. Thanks Donna! This is a great article. I have Sun in Gemini (Gemini cusp) in the 12th house, along with Venus in Cancer. After working with various spiritual disciplines, and reading about the 12th house, I’ve learned that planets in the 12th demand that we use them for service to humanity. Although I’m working on my soul purpose, it’s been a long journey!

  8. Hi All,
    I have a 12 house sun at 9 Scorpio conjunct Neptune at 8, and a rising of 13 Scorpio trine my 16 Cancer Mars in 8th- talk about not wanting to come out in the open with my psychic abilities – no one else in my family has the gift and I never feel as I am understood. But with Uranus in Leo on the MC and Pluto in the 10 Virgo I must come out in public Oh the anxieties lol

  9. Hello again..have always been on an ego trip about my 12th house Cap sun..thought I handled certain “difficulties assoc with 12th house” VERY WELL ..thank you very much ! have had a christian connection to God forged when I was very young..so my spiritual sense I almost take for granted.

    I agree the urge/need/compulsion to escape might never ebb and I struggle with that . the one thing I covet and do not question is need to be alone. i need to be alone like people need to breathe air.

    Finally I agree with Frank about new modern forms of exercise practice aND CHOICES. I love Pilates.
    Thanks!

  10. Hi,

    I have the sun, mercury, saturn and pluto in the 12th. I have the sun in libra but the rest in scorpio. It’s a little intense, if not in the real world then at least in my head! I’ve found that having a place to hide is KEY. Otherwise the bombardment of outside influence gets into me and i forget who i am. I need to have a safe place to work on ideas and personal things where no one can see hear or interupt me. Its purifying

    • Boy, can I relate! I call myself an urban hermit. That’s quite a stellium, and both Pluto and Saturn can create a powerful need for the healing of solitude. Check out the articles about stelliums on this blog. My newest publication is The Stellium Tool Kit, an owner’s manual for stellium holders. Read about it here: Donna

      • Thanks for the reply, will definitely check it out.

    • Hillary Clinton has a sun in Scorpio in the 12th house.

      • Yes, David, I’ve followed her chart for years–actually it’s three Scorpio planets squared by Pluto, Saturn and Mars on the Midheaven but in the 9th house. I don’t think she’ll wind up getting elected because the woman has secrets and powerful enemies. If she gets the nomination, I have a feeling one of her secrets will be leaked just before the election, turning voters against her. Donna Cunningham

  11. Thanks for this article! I remember reading it some time ago I think… I’ve started being interested in progressions and it’s really informative.
    I have a 12th house Leo Sun at the very beginning of the 12th so technically it won’t be in the 1st until years.
    But I was wondering though if it’s about to go through the natal 1st house/conjunct the natal ascendant, could it be interpreted as having the same effects or it is completely different?

  12. my brother is astrologer, I have the sun in Scorpio in the 12th house with Mercury and Neptune. Besides a stellium in the 10th house (Pluto, Uranus, Venus and Jupiter). He always told me it was a bad sign that I should go to a psychiatrist if he did not want to kill myself. Thanks for giving me a different light to the darkness of my brother.

    • Oh, Paula, I’m sorry you had to live with that negativity directed at you. First of all, Pluto and Uranus were conjunct in Virgo continually for about a decade in the 1960s, and so everyone born on the planet in that decade had Pluto and Uranus conjunct in Virgo. So there were vast numbers of people born during that decade with three, four, or more planets in Virgo, especially in the fall months when the Sun, Venus, and Mercury would have traveled through that sign.

      Virgo develops a plethora of useful skills and works hard to make a difference in the world–and they have been the dominant adult generation in the workplace for many years now. Uranus rules technology, and they’ve contributed immensely to the technological advances, especially in health care (a Virgo concern). Venus and Jupiter–the two benefics–would be the least of my worries there. Many iconic figures like movie stars and big musicians were born with Pluto, Uranus, plus something else all conjunct in Virgo. J.K. Rowling had four and, starting out as a welfare mother, she’s done well for herself.

  13. My mother has a 12th house stellium of four personal planets, Sun, Mercury, Venus & Mars and I had already noted that this house placement is common amongst politicians. However, I have never thought of my mother as particularly paranoid, except for one thing. When I bring up the topic of euthanasia, she repeatedly argues against by saying it leaves it open for children to kill their parents to speed up their inheritance. What that always leaves me wondering is whether she actually thinks that myself or my siblings would knock her on the head if we had half a chance just for a measly inheritance? I now realise this is a classic 12th house response.

  14. Hi dear ,loved your article which is full of wisdom.i have sun with jupiter in 12th house in sagitarious sign . Extremly eager to know what are its effect on my self esteem?pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeese reply!

  15. I have always considered my Sun 11th house until I read these articles about 12 th house Sun. Sun Capricorn 3 degress from the 12th house cusp. Many of the things you mention here apply to me.

    With sp my Sun has been in my intercepted 1st house in Pisces for most of my adult life. . I am so waiting because in 2 years it will progress into Aries and I am already feeling the change. With the my Suns progresstion through the 12th and then in Pisces I feel I have had a double dose.

    Neptune finished it’s transit of my 12 th house and stayed on my ascendant for about 3 yrs. Now Neptune is transiting my intercepted 1st house with Aquarius on the cusps and all 30 degrees of intercepted Pisces until I leave this planet.Many change in the air.I have always felt a strong connection to Pisces/ Neptune yet have no planets in that sign. Also natal Neptune was stationed when I was born.

    I really enjoy your articles they are eye opening.
    Adrienne

    • In working with clients over the years, I’ve often observed that a planet that close to the cusp of a house–say within 5º — can resonate to both houses, maybe combine their meanings. The other factor to consider is that in different house systems (e.g. Koch vs. Placidus), a planet near the cusp may change houses. And factor #3 is that the cusps move 1º for every 4 minutes of clock time, so if your birth time were something rounded off, it’s iffy, so if you were born about 12 minutes earlier, that would place the Sun in the 12th house. Donna

  16. Great article! I wanted to test your theory and look at progression and wha la, it fit to a tee. I am a Gemini 12th house sun person and due to other factors in my chart experienced a dramatic childhood where I played the victim role.I decided to look and see when my sun left my 12th house and noticed it corresponded with the year I moved out of my childhood home. It seemed fitting🙂

  17. My ascendant is Leo 4 and my Sun is at Cancer 29. I have always had a sunny, outgoing disposition and a “big” personality. But, true to 12th house things I’ve read, I enjoy solitude. At age 64, my progressed Sun is in the third house, just going into Libra. I haven’t noticed changes with regards to the houses so much, but there have been HUGE differences in the signs! Amazing! I enjoyed “being” Leo while I was growing up, but I am so glad to be getting out of Virgo and into Libra–I couldn’t believe what a critical neat-freak I turned into. Libra will be much better and I can feel the change coming already. By the way, my mother and grandmother were both astrologers and I have studied it since I was a teen. So I was paying attention to my progressed Sun. I enjoyed frittering away the entire day perusing your website. Nicely done.

    • Thanks for sharing, Rian. I am also a 12th house Cancer Sun, Leo rising, but was in my late 20s when my Sun finally rose. In your case, the Sun is in the 12th but only 5 degrees from conjunct the Ascendant, so it’s very strong AND rules the Ascendant. And yes, I do notice when planets change sign by progression. As a writer, I especially notice the sign changes of Mercury, as my natal Mercury is in Gemini and part of a stellium in that sign. Donna

  18. I came across your site by chance today whilst trying to figure out interceptions. Natal 2-8 Virgo-Pisces+ 4-10 Scorpio-Taurus. Thinking back on various aspects of my life/family. My solar return today 3-9, Cancer-Capricorn, 6-12, Libra-Aries. Although I’m just learning astrology. Plenty of books and thank goodness for all the forums and their kind members who have and continue to give of their knowledge freely.

    Your 12th house interpretations plus all who have kindly posted about theirs made me take a step back and think about mine. Uranus in Cancer 12th, Sun, Venus, Lilith in Leo 12th. Leo Asc, Pluto, Oscil Lilith, Merc in the 1st, Leo; then the Virgo Moon = paralysis by analysis:-)

    Over the years, my sister, a Pisces 8th house Sun who has much astrological knowledge–her own esoterical website (far too complicated for my pea-brain and don’t understand this) yet she’s unable?/unwilling? to give me the time of day with her knowledge; though does put me down by mentioning “oh you’re the worlds greatest expert now” on anything astrological that I should mention. Needless to say–I just don’t mention. Some years ago she did plop in front of me the book Jan Spiller “Astrology for the Soul” opened at north node in Aquarius.

    So my Sun has progressed into Libra, exact conjunct to Mercury, conjunct POF and perhaps because of this, I now no longer need affirmation.

    • Hi, Barbs, if anyone in my family were even remotely interested in astrology, I’d jump at the chance to teach them. But you’re lucky you’ve found people on the net who love to share. I’ll send you an index of the more than 550 articles on astrology, sorted by subject, to boost your studies. There are more than a dozen articles here about the 12th where you’d learn more, but I especially highly recommend Tracy Mark’s book on the 12th house. (?Your Secret Life…something like that.) Read the comment sections on those 12th house posts too–it almost feels like a family reunion for me, with a Sun-Jupiter conjunction there. Donna

      • Thank you Donna for such a swift reply in sending me your “links” in my quest for more knowledge about my 12th house. The Tracy Mark’s book has been mentioned on another forum. Time for me to make a real effort to locate a copy:-) Meanwhile, plenty of reading:-)

  19. Wow thanks so much for all the information here. Now I understand me somewhat better. I have my Cancer sun and mercury in my 12th house. I do need extra time alone. I have been trying to figure out where my psychic gifts come from and now I think I know. 🙂

  20. I have a 12th house sun… A lot of times in my life Sensitivity is an understatement. I am like a psychic sponge in more public places and will become depressed, its painful feeling others pain. Alone time helps me to get rid of the negative energy. I love photography and reading fiction. I am very imaginative. I love the art forms. Art and music has a very healing and therapeutic effect on my life

  21. My sun, mercury, and Mars are all in the 12th house. Right now my Saturn is apparently transiting through the 12th house, as well. I’m pretty much feeling like I’m in another world. Not my world, that’s for sure. I feel like there’s something in my head that I’m close to figuring out, but I can’t quite get there. The past year (I’m a year into this transit) has been probably the hardest year of my life emotionally and I have spiraled madly to this point. I even told my mother the other day I felt I needed to be hospitalized, that I was too sick to do it on my own. Then I found out about Saturns transits. Someone even said that one in this transit might want to be hospitalized. Because they feel so lost, so confused, so not themselves but at the same time so entrenched in their past and mistakes and failures and anxieties… something has to change. I sometimes feel like everything is so bad and awful and scary that I can’t even see past this moment, past tomorrow. I guess that’s the murky waters of the 12th house for ya. I’m waiting eagerly for my first house transit, but at the same time I’m uncertain because my Saturn IS in the first house. As well as my Neptune & Uranus. I’m fully ready to shed my past and start anew and hopefully experience this rebirth everyone keeps talking about. I just have to hold out until then, and see that there is hope. If not hope, I at least want to see what the heck is going to happen from here. My sun, mercury, and mars are ALL in Sagittarius, as well as my first house/rising AND my twelfth house. I don’t really know what all that means too well yet, but I do know that until this current year of my life I barely related to being a Sagittarius at all and I felt it didn’t describe me. I always identified much more to Capricorn/Aquarius/Scorpio, my moon is in Aquarius and so is my Saturn. My Uranus and Neptune are in Capricorn and my Venus is Scorpio in the 10th house. I’m currently coming to embrace it more, but I still feel much is hidden underneath. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say. Basically, I’m pretty lost, clearly, in the middle of the 12th house. Reading all this, I feel much closer to connecting what is somewhere in my head, hiding from me–but I’m still confused. If you can make any sense of my word vomit, I would be much obliged.

    • Hi, Rachael, it does sound like a tough time,those Saturn transits in the 12th, but it’s all working toward getting better grounded, and seeing any self-destructive ways you may be using those 12th house planets so that you can more consciously find better ways to use them. I’d highly recommend Tracy Marks’ kindly and soulful book about 12th house planets. If you keep reading the articles in that 15-article series about the 12th, you’ll come across it. Donna

  22. I have four placements in the 12th house (Sun, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter) and I find that those areas need the most improvement. The Sun and Venus are in Aries, while Mercury and Jupiter are in Pisces. I’ve always had trouble being assertive, which is very strange given the that I am a double Aries. Fire also dominates my chart, but that is hampered by all the Piscean influences. As I’ve grown older, I find that there are moments when I can be aggressive, but those moments fizzle out as quickly as they arrive. I feel like I’m living a double life most of the time. I do my job and play to the proverbial camera and lights, yet the only selfishness in my general character is my need for privacy and solitude. That’s just a few broad strokes, mind you.

    • Hi, Dustin, of all the stelliums in the 12th, you’ve got all good ones as far as potential lifelong development. There is a series of about 15 additional articles on the 12th on Skywriter, so have a look at the rest of them,. Donna

  23. Hi Donna, I am just beginning to understand and explore the impact and implications of my stellium in the 12th house (Sun/Mercury/Uranus/Pluto). It has posed challenges throughout my life but I absolutely embrace it. For some reason I know – just know – that it is my source of strength and has informed not only my worst but also my best actions and will continue to do so as I strive to evolve. Thank you for your excellent insight and outstanding writing. Natalya


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