The 12th House & Self-Undoing

steen wine is a mockerThe 12th house is associated with self-undoing of any kind. Addiction is a good example of self-undoing. A person exists, “unimpaired”.  They get themselves high as a kite – all kinds of things happen.

There is the depreciation in the moment, but the effects of the drug use are not contained.  You can hurt others, for sure. But I’m talking about the long term affects which may not reveal themselves for years or even decades to come. 

This is the nature of the 12th house.  It has no boundaries!

If your 12th house is emphasized, you’ve probably had experience with something like this, but not necessarily as the person who causes themselves problems. You might be the person who helps the person who causes themselves problems. This can also be tricky. Helping the self-undoing can become your own undoing!

Is the 12th house emphasized in your chart? Tell us about self-undoing.

74 thoughts on “The 12th House & Self-Undoing”

  1. Now all planets in Cap – my 12th hpuse will soon undo me on 2020. I am as solitary as possible, after qrand disapppointments in my social life while Saturn transited my 11th house. I blocked so many students and friends.
    I have ascendant 5 Aquarius.
    You have quite similar situation, with all these major players in your 12th, dear Elsa?

    1. Avatar
      Hildegardes Girl

      12th house Virgo with Saturn in AQuarius in 5th…damn. Im nervous. Im trying to head off anything that will undo all starts March of next year. Ill get a taste of it then back into Taurus, then forward for 3 years. NOT looking forward to this.

  2. Hi Alice – I, too, am a 5 degree Aquarius Rising. Yes, I “lost” many local friends and group activities a few years ago due to moving to a new city. Last year was pretty isolating for me, also, until I made the concerted effort to meet new people at church, the grocery store, and at my gym. I’ve enjoyed reshaping (12H Capricorn) my life in this 12th House period of my life and I’ve removed (Saturn) the extraneous. I’m applying hard-earned wisdoms and I’m finally living life on my terms and not someone else’s. Good luck to you!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing and suggesstions! I am looking for what is right for me, who am I professionally now after so many years of hard work and research.
      When Pluto will reach 5 Aqua it will be interesting – luckily exact trine to my Sun and IC.
      Just like you I have survived Uranus and Neptune transits on my ASC. I hope I will change again constructively. How these transits were for you?
      With Uranus I made ground-breaking rebellious research. With Neptune I was in rainbow fog of occult and spirituality for very long. Meditated seriously and hard.
      I have Saturn 29 Cancer, Mars 5 Leo and Uranus 3 Scorpio so Pluto and Saturn hit will be a bit hard.

      1. Hi Alice! I had to dig out my family calendars to review what I was doing when Neptune and Uranus crossed my ASC.

        Tr Uranus had three Rx periods in 1997 irritating our ASC. The most significant Uranus event was my son’s near fatal accident.

        When Tr Neptune crossed my ASC I seriously began studying photography and built a home darkroom.

        I haven’t thought much about what kind of impact Tr Saturn and Tr Pluto will create once it crosses my ASC. Both transits will be in a separating trine with my natal Sun. I think the effect will be more out-with-the-old and rebirthing a new me! I might be moving since it will be squaring my IC and natal 4H Mars.

        8H Libra Sun 2*; 1H Pisces Moon 9*; 11H Sag Saturn 19*; 4H Gemini Mars 1*; 7H Leo Uranus 15*; 7H Virgo Pluto 3*; 9H Scorpio Jupiter/Neptune conjunction 3*; 7H Virgo Venus 20*; 8H Virgo Mercury 24*.

  3. As I was waking up this morning I had this thought that maybe I should contact Elsa for a consultation regarding my stellium in the 12th house and particularly thought of my “self undoing” tendencies as of late. LOL. Imagine my surprise when I find this post. Ughh…the universe really does have a sense of humor! 😉

  4. Stellium in Pisces and Taurus 12th. My view:

    Self-undoing 1: Smoking too much weed to counter sensitivity counters 3D-development in 3D-world, but is related to:
    Self-undoing 2: Tear down shell of 3D personality to reveal soul self.

    Path toward nr 2 can be hard to decipher. Ultimately I believe all self-undoing functionally relate to nr 2 as its destination.

  5. Sun in 12th. Too much day dreaming, music and astrology. I really need to spend more time in 11th due to my stellium and nth node in Capricorn. Love hiding in my inner sanctuary -12th, too much.

    1. I understand that hiding tendency, as I have Sun conjunct IC. Maybe you cant change it just make your time alone more useful for yourself

      1. I agree with not changing as we need to look after our emotional well being. I have a strong Saturn in fourth and mars in 10th so this ensures that in between 12th house recreation I am very motivated/hard working with my studies.

  6. I get into trouble when I give people too much credit. I also have too long of a delay between when I see they are trouble and I respond to save myself. I also do the hiding thing, I do it to recharge my batteries. Recently due to autoplay, I heard someone talking about energetically washing yourself clean beneath a waterfall of white light. I have been trying to do that when I feel like I have picked up someone else’s emotions/issues. Sun, Mercury and Mars in the 12th house.

  7. “..recharge batteries”..Yes that’s how I refer to my 12th house time as well. I must try visualising the waterfall of white light, sounds good. In recent years I’ve moved from showers to the bath tub. Aromatic bath oils, water and relaxing music rejuvenates.

    1. With Saturn and Pluto transiting in 12th I definitely regenerate, meditate, serve others who are close to death more than ever.

    2. 2 years on; boy has self preservation been imperative over these last 12 mths of ours. Bathing with Epsom salts & lavender oil, accompanied with tranquil music, continues to de stress me. The visualisation of the white light waterfall worked nicely, and I’m thinking that expanding that vision on a global level with prayer, may be very worthwhile.

  8. Avatar
    Miguel Melchizedek

    It’s only self-undoing because these forces are “spiritual”/subconscious. 12th = Pisces which is complementary to Virgo, the secrets addict. Every psychologist knows (?) that all that’s hiding becomes disease as in dis-ease, discomfort, malady – Healing comes from bringing all the hidden, read subconscious, stuff into the light. Then they’re no longer secrets. No longer in the dark. No longer doing their own thing out of one’s control. No longer self-undoing. Consciousness heals The Truth Shall Set You Free!

    1. Love how you’ve articulated the 12th/Pisces. I struggled with how little the internet seems to understand this house as there is often way too much focus on the” undoing” part and not on the “self”. Oxford dictionary defines self as “a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action”.

      So often with the 12th house we don’t see ourselves or some area in our life that distinguishes us from others very well. Perhaps necessitating a release, possibly ego stripping or “undoing” to reveal/un-hide our essential being. Perhaps the 12th house is better described as “self-awakening”. Whether a person achieves “self-awakening” in this lifetime or not, is a separate topic.

      1. Very interesting (and positive) approach to the concept of self-undoing.
        So 12th house doesn’t have to be ALL bad.
        Thanks for this encouraging idea!

        1. Avatar
          Miguel Melchizedek

          No houses or planets are evil even though medieval/mid-evil astrology decrees so, they either work for you or against you depending on where you position yourself. For the normal astro unknowing/ignoring people it tends to be true because they precisely ignore what’s going on. People who study astrology have the power to do something about it namely transmute the energy or at least utilize it non destructively. For instance excessive Mars ?Fire? may be offloaded at the gym instead of letting it pressure cook and explode in your face by way of being robbed at gun point or stabbed or hurt in a car crash. Mars is known in medieval astrology as malefic. But the great malefic is Saturn. With that one it is really really hard to have it work non destructively. Even trines and sextiles. But it’s possible 🙂

  9. Avatar
    the laughing goat

    12H Sun and Mercury in Capricorn…

    Was a high functioning alcoholic for many years and have been in recovery for 19+ years. Addicted to cigarettes for many more years and in recovery for 9+ years.

    I undo my self undoing. 🙂

    1. Well said!
      And Caps are pretty tough people. It might take time, but they achieve their goals. Congrats for that.

      1. Avatar
        the laughing goat

        Thanks for the kudos – very much appreciated!
        I forgot to mention quitting smoking pot 23+ years ago… I jokingly refer to myself as a Professional Quitter.

  10. Sun, Mars, Pluto, and Mercury in my 12th, Virgo.

    Self-undoing….resources and endless work sucked up by ungrateful family, and by a typical workplace that could care less about me or others in my office working 70 hour weeks and skipping vacation time. But, I put a halt on most of this a year ago, with the encouragement of friends and husband. Me first now vs addiction to helping and servitude and trying to please.

  11. Merc, Mars, Ven + Plu in Virgo. 12th house cusp is however Leo. To boot Ven, Mar & Pluto are conjuct!
    Strong leaning towards the spirits, but not in a destructive way – more as a means of escape. Escapism is a big theme! Is escaping destructive??? Wanting to be in an another world?

  12. My 12th contains Jupiter at 24 deg. Cancer and Mars in 1 Leo.

    I see people all around me get “breaks” and I rarely do, even when I’m making an effort to create my own luck. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, but I can’t help but feel like its 12th-house placement interferes with my ability to catch a break.

    Mars in the 12th? With it being in Leo (I have a boatload in my first house proper), I’m sort of relieved it’s there because it keeps me from being too bombastic. The bad side of it is that I have to watch stuffing my emotions until I explode). I almost immediately get over it, but others don’t.

  13. Here is one of my 12th house experiences. The first time that Saturn transited through my 12th house, I was in the process of obtaining a Catholic annulment and studying for specialty exams. I felt utterly alone. I spent a lot of time contemplating my background and psychological makeup. It dawned on me for the first time that it was not all Mr Terrible’s fault that things ended up the way that they did. I felt that I did not have the luxury of self-pity. I instead focused on both completing the annulment process and on working on my next phase in life.

  14. I have Neptune very comfy in my Scorpio 12th house home.It makes aspects to Sun,Mars, Mercury, Venus, chart ruler Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. I was a very drifty dreamy sort of kid always going off on my own in the woods or just my bedroom and getting lost in thought and later books and drawing stuff that I trucked with me. I’ve had to negotiate these tendencies as an adult or I wouldn’t get anything done. I can get lost in just about anything printed or digital, as I don’t have the boredom gene and can always find something to “lose myself” in.

    As an older person now I see the whole zodiac as a continuum of self-undoing starting with the ego’s formation in the first house and getting less and less self-involved as you progress through the signs and finally culminating in the twelfth. I see it as a natural process exerted upon the self, though–not self- volition per se. It’s more “undoing of the self” You can help it along with volition, I guess but the process of being a human EXERTS on me and I can feel the unraveling. lol

  15. Avatar
    Hildegarde's Noviciate

    People tend to look at “undoing” in referring to the 12th house. A sort of “coming apart” of the self in an emotional sense or a breakdown of life as you know it
    And it is. But I interpret it as an “undo our human self” as it is the house of the soul and not the corporal aspects of our existance(like the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th house etc).
    The undoing of physical boundaries that tie us to this physical life.Ive worked in nursing homes and hospices and I see that shift in those nearing their time here.
    12th house people hide themselves and their existance by nature like animals that hide themselves when they are dying. We are by nature detached…above all those little scenes of things that others are occupied with.
    We feel alone even in a crowd of people. We are simply not there with them.
    Its a superpower.

    1. “We feel alone even in a crowd of people. We are simply not there with them. Its a superpower.”

      Wow. This resonates. Thanks Hildegarde for putting something I’ve felt, but haven’t been able to put into words. Packed 12th house, via progression.

    2. Avatar
      the laughing goat

      “We are by nature detached…above all those little scenes of things that others are occupied with.
      We feel alone even in a crowd of people. We are simply not there with them.
      Its a superpower.”

      Yes… absolutely yes.

    3. You really nailed it, Hildegarde! I (Sun-12th) play golf weekly with a great group of gals and I love them dearly, but I am completely disinterested in what they have to talk about. I’ve always been that way. I’m glad to know it’s a superpower. Thank you.

    4. Very well explained. I have Saturn in the 12th and it feels as if I have always been subconsciously disciplined to maintain detachment. It does feel like a superpower, a gift.

      Mars is 29 degrees in 12th but conjunct the ascendant so it displays more in the 1st.

  16. I was thinking about this today, as my sun,merc and saturn in scorpio 12th house. My using food for comfort has been my undoing, and now that I am older with hypothyroidism and diabetes the struggle is real to lose weight to regain health. My work history has been self undoing do to my problem with authority figures. Held me back because I have never been a kiss a@@.Years of being “imprisoned ” in relationships .My ego being chipped away bit by bit.

  17. Is there a way to do your 12th house well? Say if you were Leo rising and your Leo Venus and Mercury were tucked in there too … 🙂

  18. Avatar
    Hildegarde's Apprentice

    With Merc in the 12th house, your voice would have been suppressed…your expressions of self. Perhaps the food was a way of shoving it down…just thinking because I do that…
    I have issues with authority too sometimes but Im getting better. Perhaps we simply dont see the value of it because most authority is just contrived.
    I mean…Your authority ends when your life does, doesnt it? And we know how fleeting that can be.

  19. Hi elsa, ” helping the one who is self undoing becomes your own undoing ”
    It s really interesting.. Can you develop more?
    I have a pluto retrograde in 12 th,close to my ascendant and ruler of my North node in scorpio 2nd house,..
    I am searching for info for 12 th house retrograde pluto and it s never really clear
    But the 12 th house isn’t clear…
    For my case, I feel helping the undoing but I always ask my self about my motivation.. Am I doing it by real compassion, by guilt, by a distorted need to have power…by a mixt of all these and even more than I don’t have conscience of…
    Maybe the 12 house is all about conscience… Be absolutely honest to yourself..
    Sorry for my English

    1. “helping the one who is self undoing becomes your own undoing ”
      It s really interesting.. Can you develop more?”

      As one example of many, a person can be an addict (of whatever type). The compassionate person, trying to save or care for the person who is undoing themselves, can slip and wind up sacrificing / undoing their life in supposed service to the first person.

  20. I Have natal Sun & Venus in 12th house. I think that the sun there asks me to shine and not hide my light. I used to feel uncomfortable telling the truth. Venus in 12th is usually exalted. My progressed Venus is now in Pisces. It is teaching me to offer softness…

  21. I have Neptune in 12th, square Venus (and my Venus’only aspect).
    I’m not sure if it’s my undoing, but it is the undoing of my relationships with men.
    I didn’t have boundaries & this led to horrible things. Ugly, scary, demeaning, stupid, shaming – the whole works.
    A ton of crap, to put it lightly.

  22. Now I understand my accomplished, loving sister-in-law’s 12th house stellium. (“If your 12th house is emphasized, you’ve probably had experience with something like this, but not necessarily as the person who causes themselves problems. You might be the person who helps the person who causes themselves problems.”)

    She seems to have all the professional, marital and material blessings in the world and is a religious person – but suffers deeply from her children, one of whom committed suicide, and the other, with incapacitating psychiatric issues. People who don’t know her don’t see the 12th house suffering.

  23. The 12th house has always been a part of my life, but through relationships. I have a Pisces Moon emphasised by its conjunction to Jupiter (in 6th) and all my significant relationships have been with people with 12th house planets. There is a strong resonance between these placements. I couldn’t claim to understand the 12th in words because its something you feel. It is another place, the ‘mystery’. To live on Earth you need to bridge both places – someone used the word 3D, or I suppose what is manifest or form – Saturn’s realm. To be active in both. One thing that can help is to imagine your 12th house planets as being in your 6th house, to make them more tangible and conscious. Also examining what Saturn is doing and your Cap house too. Cap in 12th or Saturn in 12th has the possibility of a great becoming, but certainly not easy. I think overall, accepting paradox is part of the process, that we are both something and nothing at the same time. TS Eliot was a 12th houser, his Four Quartets are a written expression of the 12th experience. Writing can help too!

  24. Elsa, how do you regard planets at the very end of the 12th house conjunct the Asc?

    Many authors describe the conjunction to the Asc as very much like the planet being in the 1st house, and seem to ignore that you can get conjunctions from the 12th side.

    1. Avatar
      Christine Beauchamp

      They may conjunct the Asc. . . but they’re still in the 12th house. If your chart is accurate you can watch them in action. 12th house placements are Very Different than 1st house placements.

      I like the use of houses . . .but some astrologers don’t even use them – – they just draw a line and put all placements on the line.

  25. I’m shocked to hear this description of the 12th house. In a good way! I’ve been reading about astrology for 20 years and this is new to me. My Sun, Mercury Saturn, Mars, Venus in Capricorn in the 12th house. I’m unsure if my lack of personal progress is the point or is it an opportunity to redeem myself after baaaad past lives. Thoughts? Opinions? Advice? 🙂

    1. I think you will get great insight inside the forum if you ask in there. But still I would say to also look at your progressed chart- the inner you at this moment and at the transit chart to see the transit planets in houses to see where you can seize an opportunity, to get a new angle on your 12th house planets. ‘locked up and suppressed’ expression of these planets versus ‘transcending and elevating’ the expression of these planets. Good luck!

  26. Avatar
    Christine Beauchamp

    I have a loaded 12th house – – all Leo Sun / planets. I’ve had to ‘observe’ life more than live it on my own terms. In my early years I made many errors in judgement. Now I make better judgments but have to help or take care of those who do not think wisely. More recently I took care of my very ill husband who passed away in August just after my Leo birthday. I will never forget watching the man I loved pass away before my eyes and there was nothing I could do to help him. I would say heavy 12th house placements provide lots of sadness. . .but I knew another man with loaded 12th house. He was a very happy man. . .he has passed on now. . but had many friends and a kind heart.

  27. I have sun in Pisces in 12th. I am 75. The first 60 years of my life were not good. Then I decided to stop trying to fix lost souls who will very likely never be fixed and work on myself. Things get progressively better. When I leave here, I’ll be whole at last.

    1. Avatar
      Christine Beauchamp

      AGREED! Sounds like something Stuart Wilde would say – – we spend the 1st 60 years trying to figure things out. . then the rest of our time is ours, finally.

      Sounds like you’re already whole.

      1. Still working on it Christine, but close! I’m one of few people I know who is happier now that I’m older. It’s nice.

        1. Avatar
          Christine Beauchamp

          I’m with you gal pal. Keep hanging in and hanging on because I can’t do this alone without others who think as you do. Its a process that can be quite difficult. But we get to an age where you realize . . . it doesn’t matter so much we should put our life on hold indefinitely. We don’t have forever.

        2. Avatar
          Hildegarde's Noviciate

          Youre right Christine. I get where Sue is coming from. I’m 59 and the transition has been tumultuous for me. Im seem to be angry frustrated and weeping all the time. It’s a time of life where you eventually give up putting everyone else in front of you. The sad part is I wish I had learned the lesson earlier. I probably wouldn’t be as bitter. But I know I’ll recover. With Pluto going into Aquarius in a few years into my 5 and 6th house, I hope I do

          1. Avatar
            Christine Beauchamp

            No, don’t be bitter. .. this can be Tough Stuff. I studied with teachers for years to understand it. Life can be difficult. . . and honestly I still fall in the pit – – the pit never disappears. Have compassion for yourself. Realize you would not be given 12th house placements if you didn’t have the strength and fortitude to deal with those placements. You maybe just forget that from time to time.
            Also realize we’ve had lots of water placements for a long time. No fire – – so tears are a part of that. . . but now some planets are in Sag (fire). . and your tears should lessen a bit. I hope so.

          2. Avatar
            Christine Beauchamp

            And if you’re 59, you’re in your 2nd Saturn return. . . Breathe. . . look back to what happened at 28, 29, 30 years of age. Hold on for ages 58, 59 and 60. It takes 2.5 – 3 years to complete.

  28. I have NN in pisces in the 12th and all I ever hear/read about is how awful it is…So why would anyone have their NN there?? >_<

    1. I don’t like it either…mine is in capricorn. I’ll use the word weird instead of awful because the unconscious can make reality come alive. I like to find more about the unconscious but I admit I am going at it in a SN 6th house way, by learning about how our brains work, about cognitive behaviors, therapies. Reading, analyzing, criticizing- 6th house things. Still can’t get carried away by spirituality, painting, sitting in silence or just flowing with the entire world and accepting the fact that one ‘is’. It takes a huge amount of time for anyone to ‘reach’ their north node potential, especially in this house where it’s like you have a bridal veil over your eyes. North Node in 12th, a weird lot to have.

  29. I have Mercury in the 12th house in Aquarius, opposite Mars in Leo the 6th. Everything I said in confidence at work always got me in trouble.

    1. Avatar
      Christine Beauchamp

      A prominent lesson for you. Mercury in the 12th. . . opposing Mars. . . all people won’t understand or see from your perspective, and take the line of least resistance – – preferring instead to argue or fight rather than consider what you have to say. Talk to those who are Trine to you. . they may be more agreeable, less combative. Aquarius sees from a different perspective. Don’t take it personally. Many are not open enough.

  30. Thank you for responding. It’s been much better since I retired. I can concentrate more on writing using the trine from Mercury (and Mars) in the 12th to Jupiter in Sagittarius in the tenth. Much more better.

    1. Avatar
      Christine Beauchamp

      Writing is a great use of that energy – – getting your words out, attracting those ready to hear them. . . . not being insulted by them. People have to be ready. . there are only few.

  31. I have Mars in Aries in 12th house
    Every so often the carpet gets pulled from under my feet by circumstances out of my control & I get catapulted forward into the new.
    It’s devastating
    In between carpet pulls I jog along thro life, but can never really relax, as so far the catapulting has been a painful experience & I dread the next pull especially, as I get older, around my health, which is generally good.
    Sudden death of loved ones Sudden loss of resources, finances, inheritances Betrayal & Separation
    I’m ever hopeful that one day I will be catapulted into a place of bounty & joy !!
    In the meantime I practice Gratitude & Patience Acceptance of nothing in life being a permanent fixture. And yes Cancer Sun encourages me to retreat under my Duna to recharge sometimes for days.
    Thanks Elsa your a shining star ?

  32. Thank you, I’ve always been so confused about the 12th house.
    I have my venus, north node, and pallas there 12th house Taurus.

  33. Just learning about the 12th house for the first time. I never new Pluto in the 12th house in Leo would be so challenging. Looking back over 70 years, now I understand. I barely survived.

    1. Avatar
      Christine Beauchamp

      Yes, Pluto will do that – – and you will learn from those harsh lessons. Sometimes it takes harsh lessons for us to learn. And you did survive. . . so that’s a good thing.

      Pluto conjuncts my Leo Sun in a 12th house Leo stellium. I learned thru great suffering. . . . but I learned.

  34. When I look up “self undoing” in my dictionary it says: 1986, 1992, 1995, 2012” etc.
    My sun is in Virgo in isolation in the 12th house. I’m afraid to say I’ve learned a lot, as if it’ll come back and bite me – that’s 12th housey right there. Luckily, I have mercury in Virgo conjunct my ascendant, which sounds great but is square Neptune conjunct IC. I have a hard time NOT living in my fantasy world. The stellium in libra is where my grit and grounding lie, but oooph it’s tough reality that is also life saving. I seem to move in between the two states of experience.
    I have terrible stage fright and fear of being consumed by the collective if I truly express myself. I was bullied growing up and now I overcompensate a little with defensiveness.
    My dad passed away when I was 5. I always feel him with me and I don’t know how to explain that.
    Great post, Elsa. Not sure how I missed it in Feb.

  35. Christine, yes isn’t it real. Nice to know another friend like yourself and how we made through! More fun, fun, fun to come I’m sure. I will find out more when Elsa goes over my chart. Let me know how it’s going jrskiff@gmail. Robin

    1. Avatar
      Christine Beauchamp

      Trying to recover after losing my husband (together 36 years). . . very difficult. I’m also not a fan of eclipses, which can take things from us we may not be ready to give up. I am [email protected] Please do stay in touch Robin. I wish you well on the journey. Christine

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