The 12th House – Astrological Poker Face: Where Are Your Tells?

showing your handIn his book The Gift of Fear, Gavin DeBecker talks about the phrases people use when they’re attempting to manipulate your judgement. They are red flags that should give us pause about a person’s subconscious motivations or even their very conscious intentions. “Trust me,” or “I’m not gonna lie,” spring to mind. It’s redirection, like a magician pushing your attention to his left hand while he uses his right to perform the trick. People who are relying on integrity don’t need to tell you how to feel or push you into a particular judgement. When doing so they are displaying what card players term a “tell,” in an attempt to control others’ perception of their intentions. You can find out more about the poker face in this poker tips website.

A tell comes from the subconscious and would be associated with one’s own subconscious undoing, a 12th house matter. So where do you look to determine where your own tells originate? The 12th house. The sign on the cusp of the 12th house is indicative of the nature and focus of your subconscious. Planets tenanted there also have an effect. Determine the ruler of your twelfth house, in my case, Cancer, which is ruled by the moon. So I look at the placement of my moon, its sign, house position and aspects, to determine where I am likely to trip myself up. My moon is in Capricorn, in the fifth house with both easy and challenging aspects. Ask me about my mother then sit back and listen closely to hear me fall over myself with poorly disguised tells about my emotional state.

The 12th house and its ruler point to the areas where our subconscious issues reside. “I have a GREAT relationship with my mother!” Perhaps, but what I’m really saying is it’s complicated but I want you think that it’s not. That’s the tell. Anything that follows that statement is suspect.

What sign is on your 12th house cusp? Where is its ruler? Do you see it as reflective of your subconscious issues? Do you give “tells”?


66 thoughts on “The 12th House – Astrological Poker Face: Where Are Your Tells?”

  1. Avatar

    So, with Mars as the ruler of my 12th, I’d look to my 4th where I have Mars in Leo? Is that right? Then how would I determine my tells? Shit, now I’m all confused.

  2. So wait, you have a 12th house that is ruled by the moon and the you look at your moon? I don’t see. I have Mars in the 12th in Capricorn, so I should look to my Saturn in Sagittarius?

  3. scorpio. pluto in the 10th. power struggles/mistrust of the Standard. hell yes.

    do i give tells…yes i do. just try and tell me what i should do and see what nincompoopness spouts forth.

  4. Cap 12th House, ruler in 11th. I have an excellent poker face. When gambling; BlackJack and Poker 75 percent of the time I can see the tells. I also love “The Gift of Fear”.

  5. My 12th house issues are not subconscious at all. Relationships are my big failing/deprivation in life. It is starting to feel like I have no control over this area of my life which honestly feels like being diagnosed with a terminal illness. It feels like I will be lonely forever and there is nothing that I will be able to about it. Especially since I have venus in Capricorn in a very exact t square with saturn and pluto. Meaning my standards are high. If I settle I wont be alone but I cant get it up for a guy I feel I am settling for. 12th house ruler venus in capricorn 3rd house. You don’t need to press me hard to hear where my short comings are. Other women treat me like a leach because I am gorgeous and always with out a man. My presence automatically makes them feel threatened. Single woman with no man she must want mine. 11 years single and counting.

  6. REAW and Dina, yes! if it feels confusing just put it in the hopper and let it stew. don’t sweat it. let your subconscious puzzle it out. beth, yes to you too, but extra-mysterious! if you’re going to spin it you might as well spin it with positive overtones. πŸ™‚

    my take on anything 12th: put it in the brain hopper, blur it out and forget about it. feed in the info and then let it marinate. it’s not a conscious mind thing. it’s like talking about the tao/zen.

  7. (((((((toomuchpluto))))))) I don’t know how you come across to others but to me you’ve always felt warm and powerful.

  8. Sadge on the 12th House Cusp

    Jupiter in Cancer with more stressful aspects than easy ones.

    Subconscious issues with giving, family, mothering, and freedom. It is really upfront because the dynamic sits across the ASC/DC axis.

  9. Aries 12th House.. hmmmm ok.

    so.. then.. I have Mars in Taurus in the 12th House.. so let’s see…

    Hmmm… buried aggressions? Ok.. Im going to try and let it percolate.. see if I can make heads or tails of it…

  10. (((TooMuchPluto))) I don’t care how gorgeous you are- you can come hang with me anytime!! I wish I could grab you and really hug you right now!!!

    My empty 12th house is ruled by Libra and Venus lives in my 5th house (Aries). My tell? I guess the saying ‘Many a truth is told in jest’ would sum that up. If I start with the sarcastic (yet funny) retort… you’ll know you’re pushing my buttons.

  11. (What is this poker face you speak of? 12th house Merc in Taurus next to a busy first house Gem wants to know)

    12th house Taurus, ruler is Venus – which is in 2H Cancer natally, snuggled up to my Mars. The harder I try NOT to say something, the meaner it is and the more I want to say it. My friends know that if I’m being uber-polite, the volcano is simmering below it and I’m deciding if I’m going to let it blow.

    I think I’m missing something else here but as you say, I shall let it marinate.

  12. ThankYou Satori Great Posts as Usual !!!

    12th Empty House Cancer Moon Ruling and my Moon is in The 3th House in Libra Venus Ruling !!!

    Blessings !!!

  13. Thanks Satori and Carrie that really means a lot to me.
    Oh I did not say not sure if its implied Libra in 12th with pluto.

  14. Avatar

    Okay, it’s been brewing a bit… The fourth has to do with family, parents, real estate, privacy and decorating one’s home… Leo is a proud sign which can be aloof when threatened… My tells are a lot about family and parents. Mars put me at odds with my family from a very young age. Leo is the pride that keeps me self-sufficient and aloof when they try to push my buttons. My tells have much to do with protecting my self from familial attacks? Does that make sense or am I missing the point?

  15. I’m a bit lost here too!

    My 12th house cusp is in Leo, and Virgo also shares the 12th house, but I have no planets there. I’m a very open person, I hate secrets and secretive people (which has been hugely difficult since the Man has a 4-planet stellium in his native Leo in H12… inc not only his Sun but his Pluto, Merc and Uranus). And I have always been his BIG secret!

    So… if my cusp is in Leo, that points at my Sun (in Cap). And maybe also at my Merc? But how do I try to work out what my ‘tells’ are?

    All I know is, if I say ‘believe me’ – I really do mean you can believe me! LOL

  16. @ toomuchpluto – ya know girl, I’m sure you do, I’d love to meet you too! I’m sure we’d get on famously. Big (((hugs)))

  17. Leo ruled 12th; sun in 2nd.

    I want to earn like a man? πŸ™‚ Not sure if that’s a plausible reading, BUT I will say, I have felt competitive and jealous of partners in my life for their jobs, status, earnings and material possessions. And the benefits and power that come from earning, and the ability to demand things as a breadwinner.

    But that might not be it at all! :p

  18. Cancer on the 12th also, with moon in the 3rd, let me Tell you, its terribly aspected. I dont even know what to say now, is everything that comes out of my mouth bringing about my self undoing? ::sigh::

  19. Avatar
    curious wanderer

    Ay. The Sun rules my 12th, and my Sun is in opposition to my 12th house Leo Jupiter. There are a ton of aspects, both supportive and challenging, surrounding this aspect.

    I’ve had the feeling for quite awhile now that I’m staring something big in the face, but can’t quite see it. When it peeks out, it blows my mind.

    Marinating is good. πŸ™‚

  20. Thank you BP πŸ™‚

    I wonder if your 12th house being ruled by the sun may mean your issue may have something to do with 5th house issues which is children/creativity? I know we have spoken about how your writing has been transforming with Pluto to mercury.
    You have Capricorn in the 5th?

  21. I’m grateful Satori for this post today. I don’t usually don’t tell that much about myself on the blog; though lately have had thoughts about re-connecting with my 12th House Sun. Something about me was deemed intolerable by mom…. …too bad…so sad …it was a long time ago. So what if I had inadequate ego support? Sorrow used to be the first thing people noticed about me. I wore a badge of “victim”, and buried it so darn deep; it’s hard to dig it back up. People seem surprised to hear I’m a Leo Sun. I’ve long showed everyone the Virgo Ascendant.

    Neptune is in my second house natally, and it’s currently in transit opposite this 12th House Sun….so even if it is too deep to recover in a lifetime, at least today I felt it’s deep cry and sigh. Not so bad really. I never realized that Pluto on the late cusp of the 11th influenced it; though connecting with people here seems significant.

  22. Virgo on the cusp of the 12th house. Mercury in Scorpio in the 3rd house. It is the apex of my t-square and the apex of a minor grand trine. I live to learn but my relationship with my brother and sister is terrible. You can hear the stress in my voice when I talk about them. They feel like my hidden enemies.

  23. Virgo 12th house cusp, Cappy Mercury in 3rd exactly conjunct Neptune, making only easy aspects to Moon and Pluto.

    Weellll, let me tell you about my sister. πŸ˜€ Sometimes I will say she’s my worst (hidden) enemy, sometimes I will say I have an extraordinary connection with her. I feel both statements are true. What I say about her depends who I’m telling and how I’m feeling. But I admit to representing her very one-sidedly to people who don’t know her.

  24. 12th house cusp is Sadge.
    Jupiter (in Aries) is in 3rd House trine Neptune in 12th and conjunct moon in 3rd.
    I’m grateful for these aspects as they enable me to spontaneously (Aries?) connect to my subconscious and spill out into writing (House 3) the hidden emotions. I can then reflect on them, and try to understand rationaly what happens inside of me, which I fell “intuitively” to begin with. I think this can also explain that I’ve been searching inside (H12) to find “truth” (Jupi/Sadge).

  25. Libra on cusp of 12th, so Venus (some people are talking about Eris/Persephone/Lilith as potential Libran rulers…) Formerly Earth, right?

    Moon in 12th.

    Venus is in Scorpio in 1st. Neptune rising on Scorpio cusp.

    I’m going to have to let that stew and brew… Satori, thank you this is really (going to be) enlightening.

  26. I have Sadge in 12th house cusp (neptune is living in there as well) and that means Sadge ruling Jupiter Scorp in the 10th house conjuncts Libra Pluto that also conjuncts Libra Saturn Midheaven.

    Does this mean father/authority issues. Or do I have a real poker face when it comes to feelings and stuff.

  27. Holy Roses, Good one Satori,

    Virgo on the 12th, mercury on the 2nd/3rd cusp. Pluto/Uranus conjuct in the 12th, opposite Saturn/Chiron, 6th, forming t-square to sun & merc.

    Issues around education/communication, am I smart enough, I guess?!
    I do stutter regularly when I teach yoga! Its not big, but its there. Its all about me doubting my effectiveness. My Dad had a stutter too. (BIG Ah-Ha Moment! Thank-you!)

    I’ve travelled the abusive side of Pluto touching everything in my chart, to the healing side. Pun intended.

    My health is my obsession. I have some pretty weird practices that I keep secret to most.

    Does that work?

  28. I’m trying really really hard..probably too hard to learn and understand.
    K, so Capricorn rules my 12th house. Jupiter is there too. My Saturn is in my 5th house which is ruled by Gemini. What I’ve read about Saturn in 5th is that it can mean “natural enthusiasm being squelched or channeled in a disciplined way”
    But..what I really got and I’m hoping I’m on the right track..that my tells probably come from how I express myself creatively. And I have a tendency to want to stick to that because I’m a “closet” writer. I rarely let my loved ones read what I write, but publish it online anonymously for strangers ALL THE TIME. It’s like my secret vent, and I always thought maybe I didn’t let those close to me read it because I was afraid they wouldn’t understand, now I’m thinking I don’t want to let them read it because they WILL understand exactly what is going on in this convoluted thought process of mine.

    IDK..letting it stew, but thinking I may be on the right track.

  29. Oooh… Sun in 12th in Aries. I always feel that I ‘lack self awareness”… I make statements like, “I don’t know myself” and I’m always out trying to find it.


  30. Too much Pluto. We must be astro twins. I’m a Taurus/Aries Asc with Venus and Mars squaring my Pluto! I rarely fall in love, but when I do it’s all-consuming. I had been single for 8 years trying to learn how to handle my Romeo & Juliet tendency. A Scorpio came along 3 years ago who I thought was my soulmate, but who brought the same ectasy and pain. I’m still trying to heal and TIRED of this pattern I thought I had broken. Sob.

    Pisces is ruling my 12th house. So, if I follow Neptune he’s in my 8th house which is ruled by Scorpio. I guess this means that when I’m into a guy I try to play it cool so I don’t scare him away with my intense intimacy.

  31. @ TMP #24 Yes, I have my Sun conj Venus in the 5th in quite early degrees, Venus first. My 5th is roughly half Cap and half Aqu (I think)

    I certainly have very complex issues about my childhood, after being adopted by a nutter! – and even my own attitude to children, for various reasons I wouldn’t go far into outside the Colosseum.

    My adoptive mother always insisted on secrecy about the fact my sister and I weren’t hers, and I hated, really HATED having to lie about what to me was the core, essential FACT of my reality – the REAL me: that I was adopted.

    I also have complex issues as regards my creativity. My Merc is also in Cap but it’s in H4 I think, though it may be in H5 as well. Although I’m published, ie I’ve had quite a lot of magazine-style journalism of various types out there, I’ve never published any of my poetry nor my fiction. One big reason for that is that I felt I could only use my own experience, and that would be difficult to handle given the importance of personal relationships and the support they have always provided me (Saturn conj Mars in H11!). That consideration has now more or less dispersed, as people die or I become isolated form them. Pluto transiting my Mercury and Cap stellium indeed!

    I guess I try to hide my nature from people who wouldn’t understand or appreciate particular facets of me. I have several overlapping ‘persona’ as I move in widely differing circles!

    But working all that out, above, has been useful, very useful, so thanks TMP and Sartori for steering me through the astrology!

  32. hmm Sadge 12th, Jupiter in 12th… i think i am just plain bad at keeping secrets. not of others but of myself like if i ate a meal someone lovingly prepared for me, i might say this is DELICIOUS! but my face will look like its ready to vomit…

  33. uhm, my sun rules that house :/
    and i guess my blurty approach to sticky/ugly topics could be that… but i kinda’ have grown more inured to it. often it’s that or say nothing.

  34. Wow! What a great article Satori. I never thought about it that way…

    Libra is my 12th house cusp, and yeah, I have problems finding equals and partners that don’t sabatoge me in some way, and the 2 times I fell in love, both lovers loved me in return but weren’t in love with me (What the hell is that?) I’m still good friends with both of them, but I found it very disturbing that they could still be with me when they already decide our relationship wasn’t heading anywhere for them.

    Anywho, the ruler Venus is in the first (in scorpio conjunct pluto) and trines Mars/moon/Jupiter (in piscses/5th) and sextiles Neptune (in Capricorn/3rd)

    LOL! I have no idea what my subconusis “tell” is, but I do know I have serious issues with my looks, love life, and education. It bothers me, and no one wants to be bothered either, so I don’t share my problems in those areas and ignore them myself half the time.

  35. @Beloved Moon- we share the Libra on the 12th cusp, and Venus in Scorpio 1st.

    I’ve found that I’ve tried to underplay, or suppress, the vulnerabilities, (which resemble yours) but they don’t stay hidden. I think it’s naturally in conflict w/the intensity of the Venus/Scorpio, which operates for better or for worse. That Venus/Scorpio in the house of self is definitely a place I trip myself up.

    Certainly makes me high maintenance, both for myself and others. Gets in the way of my Libra Moon’s desires, which include partnership and harmony. I think it’s going to be interesting to look at how my Venus placement keeps me highly charged and “off balance” where I would most like to be capable of harmony.

  36. Sadge on the cusp of the 12th house. Mars in the 12th @26 degrees i.e. the Galactic Center.

    Ruler Jupiter is in Libra in the 10th, conjunct Mercury and Uranus. Jupiter/Uranus can mean swings of good/back luck. And Mercury in the 10th has represented my career.

    Not sure what to make of this, have to think more about it.

  37. How weird. I just posted a thread on which I used the word ‘nincompoop’ and now it’s on a comment I wrote on this thread!!

    T. Neptune in my 3rd is so weird. I’m picking up all kinds of weirdness.

  38. hmmm, interesting. Leo on the 12th house cusp, Venus there widely conjunct my Ascendant and in tight trine to Jupiter and tight opposition to my Moon.

    Sun in the 11th squaring Pluto and Pallas.

    To shine or not to shine, that is the . . . I’ll go to sleep now.

  39. So glad to see this today. I keep meaning to order that book and seeing this reminded me I wanted to do so. Thank you!

  40. hmm Virgo on 12th house cusp and Mercury in Libra in the 12th house, I communicate too much about hidden things? i’m always in communication and fair handed with my enemies? πŸ™‚ then I obscure it all with neptune in my first and conjunct my sun. must really confuse people, then they can’t tell whether i’m genuine or not or who I really am, when I am just being myself. I think i just illustrated my point.

  41. Aquarius on my 12th, uranus in my 9 house. Not sure how it manifests. I was always into higher mind/education matters, but always wanted to bring something of my own, with a different twist. I love challenges.

  42. I love this article. It literally advanced my knowledge of astrology. Thank you so much.
    Does this concept can be applied to any house or point such as MC and IC?

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