I'm all about the Water houses. There's a never-ending well of depth, mystery and soul to drink from the 4th, 8th and 12th House of any birth chart. You can find out which planets you have in your 12th House with an Essential Birth Chart report, and without fail, each time I tackle my own chart something new reveals itself, particularly in these psychologically rich areas.
Because this month's www.InsightfulAstrology.com teleconference is all about the 12th House of Spirituality, I've been contemplating its strengths and pitfalls with an even greater focus. In case you haven't heard, the 12th House of a birth chart is the place where you lose yourself. There is no more ego. In fact, there is nothing but an urge to merge with a divine source of energy. Here is the House of Unconditional Love and Compassion, imagination and sensitivity. Here is one of the most psychic houses in the zodiac (all Water houses are).
But if one or more of your planets happens to live here, you might be more familiar with the other side. Fair warning: it can be downright tragic. You see, the 12th House is also known as the House of Sorrow, Isolation and Self-Undoing. Planets here represent a blind spot in our lives -- an energy that, no matter how hard we try, seems to constantly slip through our fingers. Because we struggle to consciously connect with and materialize that planetary energy, any attempt to manifest it often gets us into trouble. If you have a 12th House planet, it seems doomed to remain elusive.
Is your Sun in the 12th House? Textbook Astrology suggests your very identity is nebulous, and you may suffer from not being able to express yourself the way you truly yearn to. Is it your Moon? Perhaps you can never seem to reveal your true feelings to others, leading to an almost aching sense of isolation and lack of emotional nourishment.
Venus in the 12th House
What about Venus? Ah, my personal favorite because I happen to own a 12th-House Venus. According to old Astrology lore, someone with this placement is doomed to overwhelming pain and sorrow in the love department and often has at least one experience of unrequited love to endure.
Are these declarations about your 12th House planets true? Well, to be honest, yes. But remember, that's the shadow. 12th House energies are only awful enough to get you on the VIP list for your local mental institution when you refuse to become conscious about and work through the defensive mechanisms your psyche implements related to that particular planetary energy.
It doesn't have to be this way. In fact, there is another side to the 12th House. If you would only stop being your own worst secret enemy (12th House rules secret enemies) you might begin to see that whatever planetary energy you have in your 12th House are unconscious, inherited patterns you're meant to unravel and constructively work with in this lifetime.
Cleaning your 12th House
If it's true that in order to benefit from anything new one must first discard the old and outworn, then the 12th House is the epitome of that proverbial closet that simply must be cleaned out. When you're ready to embrace the pain, sacrifice and nebulous energy of your 12th House and open up to the incredible creative potential in this area of your chart, you have taken a bold step that's likely to lead you straight to enlightenment.
The 12th House is not an area of the chart to take lightly. This is a house that needs work and doing that work hurts. Adding insult to injury, it's an unconscious house, so you don't even see what's wrong with how you express your 12th House planets. At least not initially.
But if you're willing to submerge yourself into the deep, isolating journey of your 12th House, you're destined to learn a thing or two about sacrifice, compassion, suffering and healing. You might even come out the other side of the experience thanking your 12th House. Indeed, people with strong 12th House energy do have amazing empathy and healing ability.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional
In the end, the 12th House is about surrender. Once you're willing to let go, it's actually pretty amazing what tends to happen. Everything usually falls right into place.
So, what's the final verdict on the 12th House? In the humble opinion of my Jupiter in Pisces in the 12th House, the answer may be found in the old Buddhist saying: "Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional."
Sit with your pain and fear. Acknowledge and meditate on them. Don't ignore or medicate ... feel. This is the only way to let go and experience true release. Then, you will not only have an immaculate 12th House closet, but you'll finally be able to clearly see the secret opening behind it. The one that leads to heaven.