The Twelfth House: Your Own Worst Enemy

sabotageIt’s no surprise to me, I am my own worst enemy
Cuz every now and then I kick the living shit outta me…
The smoke alarm is going off and there’s a cigarette still burnin’…
Please tell me why my car is in the front yard and I’m…
Sleepin’ with my clothes on;
Came in through the window last night and you’re
Gone…gone. ~ Lit, My Own Worst Enemy

Ah yes. Welcome to the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing, where you sabotage yourself and are the creator of your own downfall. Sounds pleasant, yes? Just wait, it gets better. The Twelfth House also governs secret enemies (yup, including the seemingly-kindly elderly neighbor lady who always smiles and waves hello, although she is the mysterious person who repeatedly calls the city to complain when your grass is 1/4 inch taller than she thinks it should be), things we hide from others as well as ourselves, difficulties in general, the subconscious, sorrow, suffering (perceived or actual), and places of restriction. The word restriction can refer to feelings of being, for example, emotionally confined but it also applies to more literal places of confinement, including but not limited to prisons, hospitals, jails, asylums, orphanages — if it’s a place where your freedom is limited, it’s covered by the Twelfth House.

As you have probably either already heard or now suspect, House number Twelve has a terrible reputation. Dane Rudhyar, who is considered to be the father of modern astrology, once stated that “there are no ‘bad’ houses.” But this matters not to clients who freak out wanting to know what brand of doom is inevitably going to befall them because Pluto is in their Twelfth House. And while it’s true that this House doesn’t govern a lot of the happier areas of life, these more unpleasant subjects are, in fact, parts of everyone’s life…and some House has to rule them. And so, here we are!

One of my favorite astrologers, the awesome Bob Marks, has stated that most of the folks he’s seen who have several planets in the Twelfth House are sensitive, caring people (typical of the sign of Pisces, this House’s natural ruler) who tend to put up with way too much bullshit from others. He goes on to say the rest of the people with many planets in this House are, and I quote, “serial killers and mass murderers.” (God, I idolize that man, who has been a huge influence in my own astrological studies and work…but I digress.)

This is the House where any bad karmic debts owed will be collected. We all have them. Every single one of us. And this is the House where we will paykarma the piper. The House where our anxieties, illnesses, losses, grief, and frustrations lie. Pisces is the depressive, dreamy sign which is the Twelfth’s House natural ruler; thus, Neptune and its rose-colored glasses of denial is the natural planetary ruler of this House. The House where the martyrs and the rescuers reside.

Woohoo! you cheer as you do a happy dance of relief around the room (stop it already, you look ridiculous.) You’ve just nervously scanned your natal chart and found that your Twelfth House is completely devoid of any planets, asteroids, or nodes. Therefore, one could reasonably conclude that you’ll breeze through life nearly worry-free, dealing with sunshine-filled days, not an enemy in the world, healthy as a horse, and good karma just falling right out of the sky and into your lucky little lap…right?

Wrong. (Broken record time.) There are ten planets and twelve Houses in a natal chart. It is obviously impossible to have a planet in every House, meaning everyone (yes, including you) will have at least two completely empty Houses…and most people will have more than two empties. It might seem that you caught a break that the Twelfth House happens to be one of your vacant Houses…but it just seems that way. Empty Houses are still interpreted in a natal chart, they are just interpreted in a few different ways.

One way we would look at an empty Twelfth House is to first determine its natural ruling sign (Pisces) and planet (Neptune.) We would examine the qualities of Pisces and the personal influences of Neptune which will reveal how you deal with the life areas covered by the Twelfth House. Another way to interpret an empty Twelfth is to look at the sign/planet by which it is ruled in your natal chart. Let’s say, for example, that it’s Scorpio/Pluto (and let’s also hope that actually isn’t the case.) We would then take a gander at the characteristics of the sign of Scorpio and the influence Pluto has on an individual in the life areas ruled by the Twelfth House. Either or both of these methods can give some interesting insight to your Life in the Twelfth House.

Occasionally, a House is vacant simply because it governs areas of life that are at least in order to such a degree that they don’t warrant a large chunk of your day-to-day attention. In that case…um, yeah…you can consider yourself one (fairly) lucky son of a bitch. So how do you know which of these scenarios applies to your empty Twelfth House? Easy: get yourself a personalized, detailed natal chart which will cover why, in your case, you might have gotten a little lucky (or not.) Check out prices for various charts on the right-hand side of this article and pay using the convenience and security of PayPal, email me at BornUnderABlondeSign@gmail.com, or simply post your inquiries in the comments section. You can also visit (and don’t forget to “like”) Born Under a Blonde Sign’s official Facebook page (also to the right of this article) and post any questions or comments there as well.

Moving on…for those of us who are cursed with have planets in the Twelfth House, let’s take a closer look at the meaning of each of the planets when placed in this House and the personal influences they have on our lives.

niteowlsThe Sun in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
Normally, wherever the Sun is placed in the natal chart is where we shine or need to shine. In the case of the Sun in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing, the Sun is somewhat obscured by the clouds of dreary Neptune. This results in a native who needs their space and solitude to reflect in seclusion so that they are able to summon their inner strength. This one might actually avoid the spotlight or if they’re forced into a visible position, they might pretend to be someone they’re not. Are you a night owl? There is a fascinating trend among those with this Sun placement to be third-shift employees (especially in places of restriction) or simply be more productive in the overnight hours. A Sun-in-Twelfth often has trouble relating to others and feels alone and uncomfortable in a crowd. The native is compassionate and helping others is one way to part those clouds and let some rays of the Sun shine into this otherwise melancholic House. My Cancer-Gemini cusp love has this Sun placement and as I’ve previously stated, he will bend over backwards to do anything he can to help anyone who needs his assistance: a stranded motorist, a friend with nothing for lunch, you name it: if he’s got it and you need it, it’s yours; if he can do it and you need it done, he’ll do it. And he never complains about it. Ever. Although his schedule requires him to be at work at the ungodly hour of 8am, my man is a bonafide night owl. If it were up to him, he’d stay up til 4 or 5am, sleep til 1-2pm, piddlefart around for an hour or so, and stroll into work around 3 or 4pm. And oh, how the man requires his “me-time.” He will retreat to his man cave (we live in an apartment, so that’d be the bathroom), sometimes for 2 or 3 hours at a time, emerging only for a cold beer from time to time. He despises the spotlight and has a job behind the scenes, though not in a place of restriction (he works in a body shop.) The solar Twelfth House individual tends to be rather critical of themselves and wonders why no one understands them. Generally speaking, the Sun, which governs the ego, is uncomfortable in the Twelfth House as its light seems to be somewhat perpetually blotted out, leaving the Sun-in-Twelfth person feeling insecure, as if they don’t really fit in anywhere. The lesson here is to ease up on yourself. Simply knowing this is the case is beneficial because it allows you to recognize why you feel the way you do, giving you the home-court advantage in overcoming the limitations the Twelfth House tries to impose upon you. You go!

The Moon in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
Ohohoho, does this one have Moon-imposed mood swings! But when the Moon is in the Twelfth House, the native will usually try to conceal that fact.┬áThe Moon-in-Twelfth person frequently doesn’t understand their own feelings, despite the fact that they are otherwise incredibly perceptive. Their emotions often overcome — and overtake — them, and many times the native can’t quite define what they are feeling and isn’t even sure why they feel the way they do and have difficulty pinpointing what their own emotional needs are. Although empathetic and sympathetic toward others, their own inner confusion sometimes leaves them emotionally unavailable to help. There are many times when the native must withdraw from the world for a period of time to try and figure themselves out in a peaceful environment, even if its within their own home. If at all possible, they will avoid contact with others during this time of reflection and rejuvenation. The Moon here gives a native with sensitive feelings which are easily hurt. Their energy levels ebb and flow depending on their mood, as does their ability to deal with certain situations. Personal satisfaction is found doing anonymous random acts of kindness behind-the-scenes. This one definitely has an interest in all things metaphysical or supernatural, and most likely has a keen psychic ability. If the Moon is favorably aspected here, the native will find success in occupations out of the public eye, perhaps in places of seclusion or restriction (hospitals, prisons, or even working from home.) This lunar position also increases the likelihood of a secret love affair; if the Moon is positively aspected it will be able to remain a secret. However, if the Moon is negatively aspected it often indicates that any illicit affair in which the native might be involved will be revealed, leading to a great deal of trouble and moodswingsheartache (duh), as well as a tendency to attract two-faced, backstabbing “friends.” That’s right, I have this Moon placement (so does my lovely Libra former stepmother in-law.) Furthermore, my Moon forms a square (challenging) aspect with Mercury. This is where I sheepishly admit to having once had an affair when married to my now-deceased Sadge first husband, with my also-now-deceased Cancer ex-husband. Mercury is talkative, and when in a negative aspect with the Moon, it becomes super-chatty when anxious or nervous…which ultimately led to my own self-undoing and my affair being revealed. I have attracted my fair share of so-called friends and acquaintances whom I believed truly liked me, and whom I even liked, only to discover their true colors by what they spoke about me to others (yeah, but I didn’t like them anymore after that.) I wish I could blame the exposure of my affair on one of those friends in sheep’s clothing, but nope…it was my own self-undoing at work. While I don’t consider myself psychic, I do have pretty nifty intuitive abilities which rarely steer me wrong (when I pay attention to them, that is.) Additionally, I thrive on random acts of kindness, and I don’t require accolades for them. It truly nourishes my soul to do for and help others in any way I can. I’m not just saying that; it’s who I am. And yeah, my moods practically swing around on chandeliers…but with age, I’ve become more adept at hiding this…I think (I hope.)

Mercury in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
Mercury is usually a very active, chatty planet. But in the Twelfth House, when it comes to secrets, the native won’t blab your deepest, darkest confessions. Whatever you tell them goes into the vault and stays there, period. If you have a friend with this Mercury placement, confide your little heart out with no worries and hang onto this friend forever. Sometimes the Twelfth House Mercurian has difficulty developing confidence in their abilities of clearly expressing themselves, so they aren’t always ready to talk about their feelings…not because they don’t want to, but because they aren’t sure they know how. This leads to them feeling misunderstood, guilty, or even leaving them prone to shady situations and/or people who don’t have the native’s best interests at heart. Mercury-in-Twelfth sometimes thinks too much, overanalyzing their feelings, which makes it difficult for them to trust their intuition as all this overthinking causes difficulty distinguishing between intuition and fear. The native is drawn to symbols and imagery, and grasps ideas best when presented visually or emotionally. This one is intrigued by all things involving psychology and the workings of the mind, and they are naturally compassionate, more than willing to self-sacrifice to serve others or help anyone in need. There is an ongoing inner search for spiritual truth and enlightenment. The native is an artistic, poetic person; a humanitarian, a caregiver who would be successful in careers utilizing those qualities, such as nursing or counseling. My Scorpio daughter has this Mercury placement. It’s absolutely true: she’s a wonderful confidante, she’ll do anything in her power to help anyone. She’s the person who gives her spare change to the guy holding a sign on the exit ramp (and she doesn’t care what he’s gonna buy with it because “what if he really is hungry?”) She’s the one who takes in the person with nowhere to go, feeding them and giving them a place to sleep. She is definitely attracted to symbolism and this is evidenced by her numerous tattoos; not just random wtf-ever body art, but meaningful and spiritual sayings and symbols. She volunteers in her church’s child care on weekends, and her career aspiration? To become a nurse. And she would be wonderful in that capacity.

affairVenus in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
When the planet of love, beauty, and pleasure is in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing, the effect on the life of the native is one of romance. Their partner, when in a relationship, is the native’s world. As a result, this one is hurt in love rather easily and because of difficulty establishing boundaries between their needs and the needs of their partner, as well as their devotion being mistaken for weakness, they are prime to be taken advantage of as well as being/feeling used. A Twelfth House Venusian is drawn to partners with unusual backgrounds or eccentric personalities, as well as relationships that are secret, challenging, or unorthodox in some way. At the same time, the native is often hesitant to openly express their feelings or affection because of a fear of their love not being reciprocated. They are also likely to fall in love with someone who is married or otherwise unavailable and/or to have an affair while married themselves at some point. The Venus-in-Twelfth often feels like they have to sacrifice something for a partner; to give up someone, something, or even some part of who they are in order to be loved and accepted. In addition to a Sun placement in this House, my Cancer-Gemini cusp man also has this Venus placement. As arrogant and boastful as this might sound, I can assure you that I am, in fact, his world. How do I know that? Because he tells me…all the time. He is unbelievably devoted to me and to our relationship, and while I absolutely do not and would never take advantage of this unwavering devotion (a fact to which he will readily attest), it’s easy to see how, with the wrong woman (*cough* his cheating, lying, junkie whore ex-wife *cough*), it could happen (and with her, it did.) Which brings me to my next point: our relationship itself is unorthodox. How so, you ask? The way we met. In September 1993 at the age of 21, I was visiting a longtime friend one afternoon at her apartment when her new live-in boyfriend, whom I had not yet met, came home from work to grab some lunch. She introduced us and because he was there to eat, we didn’t really interact. But as the years passed, I became friends with him as well, they eventually married and had a daughter (both events at which I was an attendee), and long story short, we both found ourselves divorced and available with a decade-long (albeit secret) mutual attraction, both physical and intellectual, and in January 2003 we officially became a couple. Excluding what we refer to as the Great Hiatus of 2011, we have been together almost 11 years. I should note here that while we never even discussed with each other — in fact, we hid — our mutual feelings over all those years, let alone ever had an affair, we definitely had a connection and feelings for one another which we probably shouldn’t have…as we were both married and unavailable. He even confessed to having wished on many occasions that he had met me first rather than his wife/my friend…and I then revealed to him I too had wished that very same thing, way too many times.

Mars in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
Mars is the planet of aggression and assertiveness. Because we hide things in the Twelfth House, the native with this Mars placement will tend to hide or repress their anger. But they can’t do it forever and from time to time, it’s going to explode in one way or another. The native can even be fearful of asserting themselves. The influence of the Twelfth House saps the energy from the person with this Mars placement, often resulting in low self-esteem and a general feeling of weakness or defeat, particularly in childhood. They tend to be pleasant and agreeable, bristling at the idea of conflict or uncomfortable confrontation, regardless of how badly you treat them. But again, this can only go on for so long before the suppressed Martian energy erupts like a volcano and heaven help the unfortunate soul who triggers it. Even when the native has calmed down, don’t expect an apology, regardless of what they did in their tirade. If you were the one who provoked it, it was probably a long time coming and to the Twelfth-House-Martian, that doesn’t justify an apology. Here again, along with the Sun and Venus, my adoring Cancer-Gemini cusp man has Mars in the Twelfth House. Incidentally, with three planets in the Twelfth House, I should probably point out that my man is not a serial killer or mass murderer; he is one of the “most folks” to which astrologer Bob Marks referred when discussing people with many planets in the Twelfth House: my love is sensitive, caring, and definitely puts up with way more bullshit from people (yeah, including from me) than he should. He had a difficult childhood which involved some physical and mental abuse, about which I won’t go into detail; however, he definitely felt emotionally beaten; just mentally depleted. As a result, he cannot stand the notion of conflict and he will put up with a lot…until he just can’t take it anymore and he finally does blow his top. However, it’s never in the form of a violent assault and battery on the one who finally poked the bear one too many times. When he’s had enough — and it takes a lot to get him to that point — it’s mostly incredibly loud, telling you in no uncertain terms exactly what he thinks about you and/or what you’ve done to get him to that point, and lots of shouting, which is jaw-dropping in itself because it’s so atypical of his usual everyday gentle persona. And don’t hold your breath waiting for him to humbly apologize for his verbal tantrum once he’s cooled off. It won’t happen.

Jupiter in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
If you had to have a planet in the Twelfth House, lucky Jupiter is the one you would want it to be. When placed in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing, Jupiter is your veritable Superman, swooping in just in time to save you from whatever dubious debacle you’ve found yourself in. Good fortune comes to the native through spiritual work or the arts. This one finds inspiration using meditation, self-introspection, and seclusion. Whatever Twelfth House Jupiter’s idea of a worthwhile cause is, at some point in their lifetime they will likely make a great personal sacrifice to champion for it. It could be related to something in healing or medicine, philosophy, or spiritual or occult issues. Jupiter’s lucky influence tends to protect a native from physical harm as well, particularly from enemies. There might be some close calls and near-misses but these folks have a fascinating tendency to really catch a break when it comes to bodily injury: it’s often much less serious than it could have been. My older son, a 6’4″ Sadge in his mid-twenties, has this Jupiter placement. I hesitate to even mention any of his close calls with physical injury or harm lest I jinx his good fortune, but it’s true…even going all the way back to his time in the womb, the boy is lucky to have survived his C-section birth (as was I, who developed severe complications in late pregnancy.) He was once involved in a rollover Jeep accident as a shotgun-riding passenger — the only one wearing his seat belt (atta boy!) — and although he was hanging upside down from his seat belt after the crash, he escaped without a single scratch. (Thankfully, the others were not seriously injured, by the way.) And it does seem that he has quite a bit of last-minute luck in sticky situations where someone or something, just by chance, comes along to rescue him.

Saturn in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
If you had to have a planet in the Twelfth House, planetary schoolyard bully Saturn is the one you would not want it to be. (Sorry.) This is the planet alonethat throws up obstacles and limitations wherever it’s placed in the natal chart, and in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing, although we have a native who is quite dependable and can always be counted upon to be there for others, they don’t always have someone they can count upon to be there for them. Depression is often associated with this Saturn placement, and not just regular depression. When this one gets depressed, everything they have ever been depressed about in their lives seems to rise to the surface, sometimes to the point where it is so debilitating that the native can barely function in daily life. They often have long-standing feelings of guilt coming from somewhere they can’t even identify. The native frequently has bouts of intense anxiety and feelings of vulnerability, possibly from repressed emotions or situations dating back to their childhood. The Saturn-in-Twelfth tends to feel overwhelmed by life with a lack of control of their emotions. I highly recommend someone with this placement who strongly relates to this interpretation to seek the services of a professional counselor or a trusted friend in whom they can confide. This can help uncover the reason for the feelings of guilt and old issues resurfacing, which can then be dealt with and lead to a more peaceful, happier life with much less anxiety and fear.

Uranus in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
The native with this Uranus placement longs to change the world and has an intense need for personal freedom, but the restrictive nature of the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing results in a suppression of these desires. Instead, they could manifest in different ways such as the Uranus-in-Twelfth living vicariously through others; encouraging them to do the very things that they themselves want to do but shy away from. The native will continue searching for new and better ways to advance the world, but won’t necessarily act on them. This is because although the Uranian influence normally embraces change and forward-thinking, this is blunted by its placement in the Twelfth House. They are drawn to people with similar ideals, who are creative and value their own personal freedom as much as the native does. Though they are often eccentric geniuses, they tend to keep these qualities hidden because it feels safer for them to do so. They are attracted to the bizarre and will be attracted to study subjects that others find strange.

Wasted away again in Margaritaville…guilt
Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame, but I know…
It’s my own damn fault. ~ Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville

Neptune in Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
Neptune (a.k.a. my lifelong archnemesis) is the natural ruler of the Twelfth House so when its placement in the natal chart is in this House, it is in its dominion; in other words, it’s right at home. Does this increase Neptune’s influence over the life areas governed by the Twelfth House in this case? You bet your ass it does. The native with this placement has remarkable intuition and has impressive inner strength which they are able to summon at will, despite their mild-mannered nature. The Neptune-in-Twelfth is exceptionally compassionate to the plight of others and desperately wants to fight for the underdog, but the suppressive nature of the Twelfth House makes it difficult for the native to take action, resulting in feelings of depression and guilt. I’ve mentioned a hundred times (or close to it) how Neptune has us wearing rose-colored glasses, seeing and hearing only what we want to see and hear. That being the case, escapism behavior is very common with this Neptune placement, as Neptune rules drugs and alcohol so the likelihood of substance abuse and/or addiction is greatly increased here. Remember, the Twelfth House rules places of restriction as well and this combination could result in a Twelfth House Neptune individual finding themselves in a rehab facility — or worse, in prison for crimes related to drugs or alcohol, including DUIs, public arrestintoxication, possession, or even drug dealing. If you have this Neptune placement, this is valuable information I’ve given you, so please use it! You have the unique advantage of knowing, because of your natal chart, that the odds are not on your side so if you would like to avoid incarceration and/or rehabilitation facilities, be mindful of your drinking habits, never drink and drive (that applies to everyone, but especially to the native with this placement), and think twice before delving into the world of drugs, whether illicit street drugs or legal prescription medications such as opiates or benzodiazepines. The planets are not in your favor here. My Sadge sister in-law and best friend of 30 years had this Neptune placement. She was a raging alcoholic who regularly combined opiates and benzos with her booze. Not only did she find herself hospitalized for alcohol poisoning more than once and involuntarily locked up in rehab more times than I can count, she also wound up behind bars for alcohol-related offenses on at least ten occasions. On February 13, 2012 her body finally succumbed to her addiction and drug abuse at the age of 41, at which time she found herself in an urn…which is probably the most restrictive place of all.

Pluto in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
The all-or-nothing planet of extremes, Pluto is another one that can predispose a native with this placement to depression and addiction. Wherever it is found in the natal chart, Pluto does not know moderation. Emotions are repressed here, and grudges are held. Remember that holding on to a grudge or hate for someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Your hard feelings have zero effect on their daily life. On yours, however, it’s like carrying a backpack filled with unnecessary heaviness like anger and resentment. The lesson here is to put the backpack down, leave it, and walk away. It might sound difficult or even impossible, but you truly are only poisoning yourself by holding on to old demons. Once you conquer your own issues, you will be amazed at how much weight will be lifted from your shoulders and you will also be able to help others do the same. The Twelfth House Pluto individual is especially intrigued by anything hidden, mysterious, or taboo. The native seeks to uncover who they really are, and they find dream interpretation exceptionally fascinating and helpful in this process. Pluto-in-Twelfth probably has exceptional intuition or psychic ability with complex subconscious energies contributing to this. Death is no stranger to the native, and they probably will experience or have experienced quite a few more than usual losses of loved ones during their lifetime.