Posted by: Donna Cunningham | February 1, 2013

A Sensitive Guide to Planets in the 12th House—Guest Blog

2-1-2013 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 As readers of this blog know, we’re in the middle of a series of articles exploring the 12th house of the astrology chart. I’m also simultaneously writing a book about stelliums, and this week the writing is going exceptionally well, so I haven’t had time to do anything on the series. However, this post is one of two planned with links to articles on the 12th by other authors.

In searching the internet for articles about the 12th house, I came across this excellent series by an astrologer named Julie O’Mahoney. I didn’t find a bio or contact information, so I couldn’t write to her. Although that kind of omission often serves as a red flag on an internet site,  in this case, the writing is illuminating, insightful and sensitive and the illustrations are exquisite. Perhaps she’s just an extremely evolved and exceptionally private 12th house type.

Here are links to her 12th house series:

And Here are Links to Skywriter Articles about the 12th House:

 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 these emails, and the next topic that comes along might very well be one that you’re eager to learn about.  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.

 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.)



  1. Donna,

    How wonderful that you are continuing to focus on the 12th house. An enigma to me for most of my life. Now, as I peruse the internet, not so much. I keep finding gems of information, such as the one you posted for us, more often.

    One issue that I find intriguing, especially with my stellium of Virgo and Libra planets in the 12th (Sun, Mercury, Mars, and North Node- true not a planet), is the familial or inherited issue described in the linked articles you provided. That perhaps we 12th house people, inherit a lot of crap from our ancestors, with the flip side being, we inherit a goldmine of talent, strength, and insight too! The most difficult part for me on this beautiful ride called life, is to use this mystical insight and wisdom for myself first and then others. It is almost a duty for us because we can distill (after working diligently on ourselves) to literally, as is in my case, separate the wheat from the shaff. Forgiveness for self and others is a mantra with me.

    Another insight that I would like to share is something I have stumbled upon recently about the 12th house and working with others in different countries. The 12th house instead of the traditional focus on “instituions, jails, and places of assylum”, also encompasses working with foreigners, and excelling, indeed, holding places of prominence in other countries. As if our country of birth holds not as much prominence (darkness, shadow) as other countries would. Another issue to look into. Which planet rules the 12th house and what countries correspond to that house? Just an idea.

    I enjoy reading your articles on this blog so much, and I am so happy that you will be coming out with your new book soon, Donna. Thank you for sharing your heart, soul, and mind.


    • Two perspectives I hadn’t heard of, but interesting to ponder. However, on the Ancestral connection, I wonder if that would be more common for someone with the Moon, Cancer planets, or the ruler of the 4th or 10th in the 12th. Donna

      • I suppose what I meant with the ancestral connection would be- what planet rules the 12th house? In my case, Virgo, so Mercury might be a family that writes, travels, or is more of a mental-type family versus intuitive. Or perhaps the person with a mercury rulership might need to develop more of these mental attributes vs. relying exclusively on intuitive hunches. BUT perhaps, as many astrologers, and intuitives who have branched out to publish, etc might need degrees to give their “message” more clout. In any case, these are thoughts that intuitively came to mind. Didn’t mean to drone on!

      • Always willing to consider a new idea. But then it’s also good to check whether something else in the chart might explain it. Donna

      • I’m a Cancer with Moon and Uranus in the 12th connected to 8th house (ruled by Cancer) planets and Pisces is in the 4th. No surprise that my maternal family is full of psychic public servants, caretakers (e.g., nurse turned politician) and religious (really, spiritual) people (e.g., preachers with non-traditional, inclusive ministries).

        Maurice Fernandez has a theory that our 12th house, Pisces house and Neptune house indicate career more than our 10th & 6th because they represent what the public wants from us. In my case, this is true. People give me any amount of money for spiritual advice, chart readings, listening to their problems, etc…but I can’t get hired for what I actually wanna do. My maternal family have weird career shifts for similar reasons (e.g., detective turned barber).

    • Yes! Your theories resonate.

      “Foreigners” love me and the feeling is mutual. I feel like an alien in my home country…visited South Africa and felt at home, finally, then cried tears of sadness when I returned to the States. I learn about “foreign” places and it feels more correct for me. I wonder if that’s because of past lives lived elsewhere…I thought the displaced feeling came from Pisces in the 4th, but that’s another way to explain how we inherit our ancestral knowledge – from our past selves! In the shower and in dreams, I get spontaneous memories of previous lives that I have not consciously lived. Scorpio Moon and Uranus in the 12th.

  2. I noticed there are no articles on Uranus in the 12th. Is that an oversight?

    • I didn’t find that and I think one other planet on her site. Donna

      • Yep, I didn’t find anything on Mercury in 12.

  3. As one with Saturn in 12 in VIrgo (conj. Mer. sq. Chiron) I agree that a person w// Saturn in 12 tends towards helping the less fortunate or the helpless. My current ‘day job” is as a search technician for the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect. It is a rather tedious, behind-the-scenes job that the rewards come from knowing that I might be the one person standing between children and those who would abuse and/or neglect them. There is also a reward knowing that I have cleared the ‘good guys’ to go ahead and work with/adopt/foster kids,etc.

    In my past, I was incarcerated in psych hospitals for reasons that had more to do with family dysfunction than any actual mental illness on my part. I was the ‘scape goat’ in the alcoholic family system. I bore the family secret and was also the one that cracked it open and exposed it for healing. I think this is also very Saturn in 12.

  4. I like Julie’s website a lot, and its been around a long time. But it is frustrating since there are multiple projects in various stages of incompletion. The Planets in Houses series is frustrating since sometimes never gets around to the planet and house I want.

    Oh hey BTW, this might be a good place to call out for a lost astroblogger, Ravenesque. She specialized in asteroid interpretation and I followed her through several different websites she created and abandoned just as quickly. I think she felt her work wasn’t getting out to the audience that she intended, and I reassured her that there were people like me who valued her work and please never abandon us because you think we don’t love what you’re doing. Because we do, and we do understand how hard it can be to be a creative person. And now she’s gone again. Where are you, Ravenesque?

    • If I remember correctly, she closed her site down for financial reasons.

  5. No Venus in the 12th either. Boo!!

    • The wonderful thing about blogs is that it’s free information. We’re not owed any posts specific to us. She writes when she’s inspired to write (double Pisces with aspects to Neptune) rather than writing mechanically or by some routine schedule (that would be Virgo), which is why her posts have such depth and heart.

      Try interpreting your own chart for yourself.

    • We’ll have a post on the 12th house and relationships on Valentine’s Day.

  6. Thanks for this post and the dedication to the 12th house series, Donna. Astrology Place is one of my favorite blogs. Julie has a lot of Piscean and Neptunian energy, so I imagine not including her contact info is a way to establish firm boundaries.

    I completely understand wanting to share insight in a public forum yet not wanting to be fully available to the public. It can be overwhelming.

    • Forgot to mention that my 12th house planets tightly aspect my MC.

  7. You’re telling me! I have 5 planets in Gemini in the 12th house. Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Venus are in a stellium and then I have Uranus.

  8. My 12th House ( in Cancer ) is empty 😐
    Will you write an article about the empty 12th House?

    • No, Mun, you would 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. (Hmm, that turned out to be a good question, didn’t it?)

      Where I will talk about empty 12th houses is when we do the Question and Answer Session about transits to the 12th a couple of weekends from now. Donna

      • The ruler of my 12th House is the Moon and Moon is in the first House of my chart.
        Then I should examine what;s going there right?
        Ok, I will wait for more 2 weeks ^^
        Thanks for replying, Donna ♥

  9. Hi Donna. When you do your Valentines Day blog on 12th house and relationships I just want to remind you of the great book Skymates II by Steve and Jodie Forrest. Their descriptions of composite 12th house relationships are spot on. I know because I have one. Thanks for returning to Skywritet!! So glad to be seeing your posts again!! Regine

    • LOL! Already been there and collected those links! Donna

  10. By the way I neglected to mention that the way the Forrests treat the 12th house in Skymates II is really beautiful, positive and heart opening.

  11. Hi Donna, thanks for the links to my blog I noticed a nice spike of visitors and checked where they were coming from. I am not a 12th house type (more of a Neptune type like Jara said and would feel swamped. I do have Sun in Pisces opposite Saturn in Virgo rising on the Ascendant, and so I am a very shy, self-protective/guarded person, and the rest, so just a few issues [laughs]. However, that wouldn’t stop me coming over here and saying a big thank-you.

    My baby boy has his Sun in Scorpio unaspected in the 12th house, so he will be interesting to watch as he gets older. I have had enough exposure today so I better take my over-sensitive skin and shield back over to The Astrology Place (my hiding place) [ha ha].

    Thanks, Julie.

    • How great to hear from you, Julie! I was much impressed by your work and hoped you wouldn’t mind my sharing it with my readers, but couldn’t find a way to write to you. Count me as a fan! Donna

    • Julie appeared (& then disappeared)! Awesome. Lol

  12. Thank you so much for your blog on the 12th house. I have multiple sclerosis, a stellium in my 6th (Uranus, Mercury in Leo, Sun, Pluto, Venus in Virgo) and Chiron and Mother Earth in my 12th (I think Chiron was retrograde at birth, if that means anything). Was told by an astrologer in the past that I need to “go to my 12th” because of the overload in the 6th, and that would help with the MS. However, I still need help in understanding Chiron and Earth there–related to my health and my life purpose. Can you help me?

  13. I have Mercury conjunct Pluto and the South Node in Virgo (with Virgo on the 12th house cusp, making the ruling planet of my 12th, Mercury, also in the 12th), I also have Uranus and Jupiter in Libra in the 12th also conjunct Mercury as part of one big stellium, with Jupiter one degree away from my Libra ascendent.

    So, you could say I am rather 12th housian. How does it impact me? I was born with a severe hereditary hearing loss and also have a chronic pain condition that I’ve had for the last 13 years, as a child, I had asthma which magically (Jupiter?) disappeared when I moved to Arizona from San Francisco at the age of 12.

    On the upside, besides being an astrologer, I also am a spa reviewer and spend a lot of time retreating (12th house) in beautiful (Libra) places and later writing (Virgo) about them, mostly for the internet (Uranus).

    Pluto rules my 2nd house and with Neptune also in the 2nd and Pluto in Neptune’s house, making money from my various work endeavors is rather elusive, but Jupiter in the 12th and Neptune part of a grand water trine to my North Node in Pisces in the 6th and Venus in Cancer in the 10th (sextile Pluto), seems to mean that I always am rather magically taken care of and have never wanted for anything.

    As Pluto by transit is currently squaring my Jupiter rising and my ascendent (while conjunct my IC) , am revolutionizing my awareness of pretty much everything, but the issue of luck, expansion and manifestation is really big on my movie screen right now.
    Thanks for starting an interesting 12th house conversation Donna!

  14. I have a Gemini Sun in the 12th house and on its cusp, with mercury rising in cancer conjunct Uranus in the twelfth,
    My Gemini sun also conjuncts Mars in Cancer. My 4th houseLibra planets, Moon/Neptune/Saturn conjunction squares mercury/uranus and also squares Chiron in the 6th. Did that mean health problems? yes it did, problems from addictive behavior when I was young and also problems from exposure to environmental toxins that I didn’t know existed and had no control over. Living with this T square brought me hospital stays and hard to diagnose illness. In spite of this tragedy, I have gained insight and I have learned a lot. I share medical info with anyone who has health problems and I have treatment info that many others aren’t aware of so if anyone else struggles with 12th house health issues, they may contact me at I had heavy metal poisoning and mold toxin exposure which disabled me and which I am addressing now . Most people aren’t aware of these types of exposures, so if anyone is interested, please feel free to contact me.
    It is interesting, that when I was young, with my Libra moon, I felt that I deeply needed a romantic relationship but I began my twelfth house awareness when I had graduated college and I had lived alone in a brownstone in Brooklyn, NY. I had lived an upper apartment there and one morning I awoke to blissful solitude, with the sun shining into my peaceful empty room. I had a flash of awareness at that moment and I thought, ” This is so wonderful and I like this I too much. How am I ever going to share a bed and a room with a man?” I want a relationship but I need my own sanctuary, I need my own space.” And so I did. I never really wanted to share my bed and my bedroom. “I am strange”, I thought but this was who I was.

  15. Thought I would share the events of the past 24 hours. Yesterday morning, I came upon a contest for a 10 minute play, written in classical language on the theme of “greed”. After googling greed and finding some interesting tidbits from classical stories, the plot I will put in play form, for the contest, began to unfold; first, while I was in the bathtub and later, while I was outdoors, skating. By this morning, I had a full synopsis written, of a convoluted, multi-layered story of love, betrayal, greed, and ultimately redemption for all, a la the stuff of Shakespeare. I then checked my daily horoscope on Astrodient. It turns out transiting Venus is currently conjunct natal Mercury in the third house opposite natal Pluto and trine natal Neptune in Libra in the twelfth house. (Transiting Neptune is conjunct natal IC, opposite natal MC., trine natal Neptune.) No wonder this story, “downloaded” so quickly!

  16. I would like to add, after a moment’s reflection, and in considering the personal message for me on Astrodienst today, which focused on the transiting Venus opposite natal Pluto aspect, if I hadn’t allowed this story to reveal itself to me, I could easily be spending the day wallowing in the mire of a broken heart; of my own feelings of bitterness, regret, longing…ruminating about the betrayal I suffered at the hands of my ex. Instead, I feel light and inspired, and not tethered to the pains of the past–at least for today. I do believe we heal ourselves through our creativity and I am ever grateful to my 12th house Neptune!

  17. Dear Donna, I saw you in London years ago and cherish the memory. After reading your bit about Jupiter in the twelfth (Pisces) I would say you are spot on. Since I have the predicted broad grasp of things, however, I am left wondering why the wittering on about charities since one would be hard put to find one that isn’t corrupt? I have many good hearted friends who pour cash and effort into these money making scams and it pains me when I know that a mere one percent, if that, gets to the cause they are supporting. Donations to help Third World children end up buying Mercedes for some local bigwig; money given for cancer research helps suppress knowledge of natural medicines to the benefit of drug companies.

    There are certainly good ways of giving and there are worthy recipients but charities are just keeping a lot of fat cats fat. There are a lot of Piscians out there who are a lot gentler than I and maybe less realistic who would take you literally.

    Love getting your stuff. My broad grasp is really broad and I don’t check every litle transit like some of your readers but a little delve into your posts can help put me back in touch with myself and reality, so thanks.


    • Hi, Nickie, thanks for your kind words and for bringing up this subject. Yes, I agree that there are plenty of corrupt charities out there and a wise person will investigate before donating. But, then, one of the tricky things about the 12th is learning to be very discerning about who or what you serve, as there are many unhealthy and unwise ways of serving that drain you and enable the person who isn’t willing to work to improve their life, most likely in a codependent way. The tricky thing is finding a way to help others that enriches their lives and your own. I guess a clue would be that if you start feeling resentment toward the person/group/cause, then you’ve done too much. A life lesson for us 12th house types, really. Been thee, done that myself, but long ago learned to always keep my relationships in a good balance of giving and receiving. That would be a good post and a good discussion in itself, but after a dozen posts on the 12th, I thought I’d give it a break and come back to it in the future. Donna

  18. When I click the links given on the Julie O’Mahoney’s 12th house series, it indicates “This blog is open to invited readers only”..please guide resolve this…

    • Hi, Vimal. If I recall correctly, she’s an extremely private person (12th house type), and I had a hard time tracking her down for permission to reblog her material. Apparently, she’s now ever more private than she was at that time. Too bad, she had some wonderful insights. Donna

  19. My son birthtime is9:19 morn 20 july2012 m quite worried about him ad constellation of three planets in12house mer moon sun

    • Hi, Archana. I can see that you’ve soaked up much of the negative interpretations of the 12th house, when there are a broad range of ways 12th house planets can be used. On Skywriter, there are about 15 articles about the 12th house, including one on the Sun in the 12th. Use the search engine on the site to find the series. I would especially recommend the one about the 12th house and the strengths of introverts. Buy Tracy Marks’s important book on 12th house planets as well. Donna Cunningham

  20. Hi Donna, thank you for putting up all those links about the 12th house 🙂 I love re-reading it all 🙂

    I myself have a huge 12th house with planets figthing to get some attention, but I love having them there!

    Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, South Node, Part of Fortune, Eris and some other points and astroids – all in the 12th

    I think it’s a wonderful house ;D

    • Hi, Potter, what you’ve got going there is a big 12th house stellium. I highly recommend Tracy Marks’ gentle and wise book on the 12th house. I also have a new book on stelliums (The Stellium Handbook) that has tools to help you understand each planet in a stellium. Donna

      • I’ve really thought about getting that book aswell! 🙂

  21. Would you be able to give a little insight on a natal intercepted Jupiter/ Aries in the 12th? Which is also square my natal sun/mercury/MC in capricorn

    • That would take at least a page of written interpretation, and I’m working hard on a book. If you continue reading the series of articles on the 12th on this blog, you’ll get more insight. Donna

  22. the site moved Donna, so you should contact her.

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