Most of us just move around from A to B, and we don’t spend too long thinking how we have got there. Occasionally, in more tricky situations like a crowd or on slippery stairs, we look down and focus; paying attention to each step helps us navigate the challenge.
Our feet are the unsung heroes, often working overtime to take us a couple steps or many miles; at difference paces and in different styles. At the very least they hold us up. Yet they’re often seen as a socially unacceptable part of our body: hidden away, complained about, over used, and easily damaged. Essential and yet rejected— just like the 12th house. Frequently forgotten at the bottom, your 12th house can trip you up.
Whilst I’m not inclined to say that the 12th house is completely subconscious: like many an overworked foot, the 12th is far enough from our mind to be easily ignored.
But ironically, it is actually what keeps the rest of your chart standing. Without its support at the bottom, we can only hold our head up so high. That is why planets there can make or break your chart—earning the 12th house a name as the House of Self-Undoing.
People often forget that the 12th house is ruled by Neptune, the planet of divine love. It is not the same kind of personal love that Venus offers; it is love on a grand universal scale. The relationship we first have to ourselves, then our family, our community, and so forth is expanded to include everything. Consequently 12th house planets and signs need to be appreciated as they are our gateway to something bigger—a universal connection that we know as ’spirituality’.
However we need to simultaneously understand that planets here are meant to be somewhat behind the scenes. Feet don’t disappear when you’re not looking at them, but it would be ridiculous to walk around staring down all the time. You would miss what is in front of you, putting you out of touch with reality. This is how 12th house planets can lead to delusion.
The 12th house needs a different kind of attention. It is more of an intuitive feeling—where the sign and planets need to be felt and listened to without a constant need for visual proof or recognition. Much like the knowledge of a pin beneath your foot when you step on something sharp. We don’t need to be watching the floor the entire time to believe that a pin could really be there. So like every house, the 12th requires balance. We look down occasionally, but we generally have to trust that our feet know where they’re going.
People with a lot of planets in the 12th need to learn to rely heavily on spiritual trust. Their planets will develop through intuition, rather than through reality. This house is the most creative house because it rules imagination, and nothing is more creative than imagination, because in there, everything is possible. Though some people might be put off by the lack of direction or boundaries, this is the kind of creative freedom and adaptability the 12th house offers. The 12th house is meant to inspire and be open to inspiration. The chance to take a sign or planet and make it more—a unique part of something bigger.
It’s actually the freedom of the 12th house which scares people. It is about re-imagining how the planets could be expressed. As mentioned earlier, the 12th house describes a universal connection, something which we are only a small part of. While this talks about the bigger picture, it doesn’t give any guidelines on a personal level. Our daily life is not the bigger picture, it’s about dealing with us. While other houses offer more direction, this house allows you to develop in whichever way your imagination chooses. The only guideline is this sense of spirituality.
For example, many people with their sun in the 12th house reject the idea of having an ego—a sense of individuality. In fact, having your sun in the 12th house does not mean that you have no ego, you just have to learn to set your own boundaries. The sun is a personal planet, but to have it in the 12th house means that a part of it is not personal. Part of it is about the universal connection. This means that you cannot progress until you realise that you are more than just your ego. You cannot remain self-centred all of the time because that would mean standing still with your eyes to the ground. But dealing on a grand scale we get lost. You have to find a way to make it personal to you as well as part of the bigger picture.
In a world where we are constantly influenced by society, our upbringing, and our family: the 12th is our undoing because we have total freedom. It is not what we have been conditioned to deal with. There are infinite possibilities, and that is frightening. But the more we reject whatever is represented by our 12th house, the more we trip ourselves up. People get scared at the freedom and do nothing because they fear the unknown. We may feel lost, but the 12th house is about trusting that we will get there as we learn to create ourselves. That is why the 12th house contains your hidden talents and intuitive gifts—it’s an ocean of untapped ability.
The fear of actually exploring this house is what keeps it repressed. But when it comes to the 12th house, often the only one who rejects those traits is you—because you see them as undesirable, weak or too sensitive. Ironically everyone else can see your 12th house as clear as day. Whether the planets there are internalised or exaggerated, they become defining traits of your personality. Due to the 12th house’s limitless nature, anything in there is expanded infinitely. It is deeply personal to you, but also how you connect to everything. Consequently, at your deepest level you are more your 12th house sign or planet than anything else. It is you at every level. In some sense, the highest level of intimacy into another person’s psyche happens when you get to know their 12th house. You may see within them something they don’t even understand about themselves.
Ultimately the best way to deal with the 12th house is to understand that awareness, acceptance and trust are all the proof we need. It’s important to know that having a full 12th house doesn’t mean you’ll never be popular, or famous, or successful: because this house at its purest is not about any of those things. It is about a strong spiritual connection that keeps you standing on faith alone. When you are not recognised, vulnerable, silenced, or crushed, your connection keeps you powering on. It brings a great inner acceptance of life and inner strength. And the reward for finding your feet is knowing that you will always stand tall.