The 12th House is the most mysterious House in your birth chart. It rules faith, spirituality and your secrets, as well as selfless service to humanity like volunteering to help others. It's embodied in your best friend Jane who has such a great heart, always volunteering for something, whether it's to read to elderly people at the convalescent home or collecting clothes from the neighbors to bring to the Salvation Army. You see it in action at your son's little league baseball game as you watch your neighbor, Bill, taking time out of his busy work schedule to volunteer to coach. You see this benevolent service to others, as you notice Aunt Sally always busy baking cookies for someone's fundraiser.
Additionally, this House contains the secrets of the man who trolls the Internet every night, visiting pornography websites after his wife has gone to sleep; and the woman who lives with fear and shame because she's regularly abused by her spouse. It also hides the illicit affair that the minister's wife is carrying on with a member of the congregation.
This is the area in your birth chart where you connect to your mystical inspiration; or your spiritual or religious faith. It's also known as the House of Illusion, Secrets, Self-undoing and Self-deception. This House reveals all the things about "you" that YOU don't know and can't see - that everyone else can. Located here are your hidden strengths, weaknesses, and what you don't want others to know about you. This is the House of denial. It's the rear view mirror that you look at to see who you are, but the image you view never quite matches reality. I once had a dear friend named Mary who deluded herself so much, we called her "Queen of De-Nile."
Like Mary, you may deceive yourself or just make excuses because there are things about you that might be too painful to recognize. Does that sound familiar? Many of us have a personal wound or deep hurt that might be painful to recall. If you have one, it lives in your 12th House and may explain a great deal about what is going on in your life.
The hurt may have occurred in the past, that day at school when a child wet his pants and everyone made fun of him, calling him names that stuck for years. For another person, their wound may be from a childhood memory of being sexually molested. These experiences can cause a person to repress the existence of their pain. In fact, the pain may be too great or too frightening to explore. Yet, these traumatic experiences can cause self-esteem issues, depression and even drive such individuals to various addictions because they can't live with the torment they suffer on a daily basis.
Some people unconsciously re-create their hurts by attracting relationships that bring them the same pain they experienced when they were young, such as the abused child who grows up and marries an "abusive spouse." In their effort to escape the pain they're feeling, they may follow a path to a destructive addiction. The most common are alcohol and drugs, however, there are people who are addicted to sex, compulsive eating, excessive TV, shopping or gambling as a means of escape.
The good news is that the inner workings of this House give such victims the possibility of bringing their pain and hurt to their consciousness where they can make the healthier choice of resolving what has bothered them. If you're willing to uncover truths about yourself that are buried deep within, you can find great wisdom and understanding that will allow you to begin the healing process for any hurt you've suffered.
Sometimes these revelations can come through some sort of self-discovery, therapy or psychoanalysis. It's also possible that the healing process occurs through volunteering, because you've suffered and experienced the pain others have. So, you want to help, out of the gratitude you feel for being helped. Or, you may be like Chiron, the centaur in Greek mythology who was the "wounded healer." He helped others because of his ability to empathize with their suffering, since it was like his own. It didn't make his wounds go away, but it gave his life more meaning and significance. You may find that in helping others heal, your own wound may heal, but even if your wound isn't healed physically, you may get healed spiritually, as a byproduct of your great work. The influence of the 12th House makes you want to help others because you see them as a part of your larger self. This House connects you to your compassionate nature where your service may, at the very least, bring you a quantum of solace.
Where Are the Secrets Buried?
This the area of your birth chart where you hide yourself from others. It contains the hidden side of yourself that's buried in your personal subconscious mind and in your dreams. Here is the place where you keep all your memories of past lives, even if you're not consciously aware of them. The 12th House should be considered your "secret cellar," holding your treasures as well as your junk, and all those things about you that you'd rather others not know.
Here's the place where your secrets are stored that may help you uncover your emotional blocks. This area of your birth chart is where all your hidden fears, paranoia, mental health, and psychological problems live. This House is the secret location where you keep your "worries and secret sorrows, the ones that you bear alone, never telling anyone about." It's your own private retreat where your psyche goes to escape. This is the place to look within your inner self to see all the behind-the-scenes maneuverings you keep from everyone else, especially those things you do when no one else is watching you. This House rules your need for seclusion, your interest in the occult or psychic phenomena, clandestine affairs, hidden enemies, hidden talents and resources, karma, mysticism, meditation, sacrificial service, repression, neuroses and self-destruction.
If you've ever had fears of being locked up and hidden from the world, you should know this House rules confinement of all types that have the effect of removing you from society such as hospitals, prisons, restraints, institutions, asylums, anywhere you might be detained for whatever reason.
This is the last House of your birth chart and the end of a complete cycle. The 12th House is the most mystical, since it's about endings and the key to everything you've learned from all of the life experiences of the previous 11 Houses of your birth chart. Because this House is directly plugged into your subconscious, it offers you the psychic opportunity to abstract some meaning from your past. Consider this final House of your birth chart as the end of road and the accumulation of all your experiences, holding the secrets of your life and the subconscious motivations that have guided it. If you have the courage to explore this House, you'll be provided with a final opportunity for psychic liberation from the hurts, wounds and any secrets that have haunted you. This House's greatest gift to you is the special opportunity to selflessly serve others for their benefit.
If you want to know where your personal transits are -- and to find out if you have any in the 12th House - that are affecting you now, go to the Free Transit Calculator and enter your birth date. You may learn secrets you never knew before.
Larry Schwimmer is an astrologer in private practice. www.AstroDecision.com
Read Larry Schwimmer's latest books, What the Hell is Going On in My Life? Using Your Birthdate to Find Answers About Relationships, Career, Money, Sex & Health;and How To Ask For A Raise Without Getting Fired - And 24 Other Techniques For Resolving Conflicts At Work & In Life; and Winning Your Next Promotion In One Year (Or Less!).
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Larry Schwimmer is president of Astrodecision.com, a San Francisco-based consulting company. The firm uses planetary cycles analysis to counsel individual and corporate clients on picking the "best dates" to make successful decisions of all types: personal, marketing, financial, and political. The firm currently advises a diverse client base that includes politicians, presidents of major corporations and an MLB baseball team. Schwimmer is an internationally known business consultant, life coach and astrologer (with a Fortune 500 M&A background). Visit his website: www.astrodecision.com