12th House Musings (repost from previous blog)

Photo credit Hubble Heritage

The 12th house is associated with secret enemies, self-undoing, imprisonment, confinement, and institutionalization. Pisces is on the cusp in the natural zodiac, making it a mutable, water house. The great benefic Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces and ethereal Neptune is the modern ruler. Mutability signifies adaptability and changeability. Water denotes feeling and emotion. How does that translate to hiding things from yourself, retirement, and the unknown? Since Saturn rules confinement shouldn’t it be the natural ruler of the 12th house?

The Sun rules my natal 12th house. The first day of my retirement, progressed Sun, in the progressed 3rd house was sextile my progressed 1st house Jupiter. Natal Saturn was in the progressed 2nd house, sextile the progressed 12th house cusp, trine the progressed 6th house cusp. My natal Pluto was conjunct the progressed 10th house cusp, opposing the progressed 4th house cusp. My natal Mars was conjunct the progressed 7th house cusp, opposite the progressed 1st house cusp. Although progressed Neptune was in the progressed 12th house, I do not consider it significant as it had been in the house for a number of years.


My aspects show how many areas of life are affected by a transformative change. They also show a release from confinement. It’s interesting that opposite the house of toil and service (6th house) is where you find yourself often times when you refuse to work or can’t work. Lois Rodden, in her book Money: How to find it with Astrology, described the 12th house as a place of retreat.

The twelfth house is the house of retirement, of unemployment. Criminals or the handicapped fall under the twelfth house jurisdiction if they are in prison, an institution or in some other place of confinement or retirement. This protects not only the person but society. When we withdraw into a hospital at the time of physical illness or injury there is a total relinquishment of self; our body, our very life is given over to the care of others, which can be a great relief at the time.

According to Rodden, aspects between the 12th house and 8th house, another water house, affect the experience of the 12th house.

“There may be more than one period of “retirement” in the lifetime, as when a woman is childbearing, or with vacations or episodes of unemployment. When well aspected, this is a safe place in which to retreat from the mundane demands, to dream and replenish our spirit. It is even possible that having a nervous breakdown is the healthiest survival tactic possible under circumstances of unbearable stress….If there are difficult or no aspects between the twelfth house and the eight house, such problems can occur of being outside of the system, a lack of hospital, medical, or retirement protection. In these cases, watch for an appropriate aspect to move into place to instigate the desired effect.”

I was watching a clip from Jimmy Fallon’s show with Barbra Streisand as a guest. Barbra said she stopped singing because she forgot the words to her songs. I did an internet search afterwards and found reports showing that on June 17, 1967, while performing in New York, Barbra developed stage fright and forgot the words to “When the Sun Comes Out.” She later revealed that she received death threats due to her support of Israel. The stage fright lasted until April 20, 1994. I thought Barbra’s retreat period would present another example of 12th house activity.

On June 17, 1967, a tight conjunction between natal Saturn and Uranus and progressed Sun squared Barbra’s progressed 5th and 11th house cusps. The natal conjunction is in her 2nd house of income indicating an unusual or unexpected restriction of an income source connected to entertainment. Uranus is the ruler of her natal 12th house. Her progressed Sun was ruler of her progressed 5th house. Progressed Venus in the 12th house was square a progressed Moon/Mars conjunction in her 3rd house of communication. Receiving threats of death fit the description of this aspect scenario. When she toured again in 1994, her natal Venus was square her progressed 1st and 7th house cusps. Venus was out of her progressed 12th house. Progressed Pluto was conjunct her 3rd house cusp, opposing her 9th house cusp. Her financially successful world tour opened at a foreign venue on April 20, 1994. Her natal and progressed charts for 1967 and 1994 are below.




It occurred to me that confinement is a normal accompaniment to water. In order to hold water in your hand you must contain it by forming a cup with your palm or it will slip through your fingers. From here it can be inferred that all water houses have properties of confinement. Homes (4th house) are confining, institutions (12th house) are confining, but how are taxes, death, and insurance confining (8th house)? I suppose that physical structures associated with other people’s money (an 8th house concern), such as banks are confining or having to depend on someone else’s resources is confining.

Photo credit Jason

I am learning to view houses as element groups, thanks to Lois Rodden’s book. It makes sense and bears out in practice. For example, Rodden wrote the following paragraph which I believe gives the gist of how connections work with elements:
“In the charts of people who have great financial wealth, the water houses are connected to each other and to the second house in at least one or two interlinking patterns of relationship. This relationship requires interpositions, such as the eighth house ruler posited in the twelfth conjunct the second house ruler while the twelfth house ruler is in the fourth house. The interpositions are more important than aspects, though they are frequently accompanied by aspects.”

The 12th house is not often thought of as a money or financial house, but it makes sense since Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces. It is not noted often either that Neptune is associated with luck and good fortune. My own observations have proven this to be true. A well-placed Neptune activated by transits or progressions is essential for a winning sports team. Neptune represents the spark, excitement, and wish energy needed to buoy luck.
Rodden conducted a study of lottery winners and composed a list of 10 patterns that were consistent in their charts. Aspects involving Neptune appeared twice on the list – “3. Natal Jupiter in aspect to Neptune. This does not have to be one of ‘the big four’; it is often one of the lesser aspects, such as a semisextile or semisquare. 4. Natal Mars in aspect to Jupiter or Neptune.”

Considering the 12th house in the light of Neptune, Jupiter, water, and mutability, gives one a slightly different perspective. I think it may hold the key to finding luck where it was concluded that none existed.

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