The 12th House: Keys to the Kingdom

The 12th House: Keys to the Kingdom

by Eileen Nauman

The 12th House is the door that opens to the other worlds.

Copyright 2011 Eileen Nauman
All Rights Reserved


Welcome to Medicine Garden!





Pisces the fish is the natural ruler of the 12th house. They are two fish bound to one another. And symbolically, it gives us the answer to the positive elements of the 12th house.

I can remember reading so many awful things being said about the 12th house when I was learning astrology, that I was horrified.  And when I saw I had two planets in there, Pluto 9 Leo and Mars 15 Leo, I thought for sure I was cursed and damned.  At least according to astrologers who parroted what other astrologers had to say about this cursed house.

I was raised to realize that everything, whether in astrology or not, had a light and  dark side.  And when applied to astrology, every planet, luminary and the twelve houses were a sliding scale between those two, plus the gray area in between.

I think it’s about time to crawl out of my 12th house and speak up for the entirety about the potential of this house.  There’s light in there too.  Let’s look who the owner of this house is:  Pisces.  These are two fish swimming in opposite directions and connected by a ribbon wrapped around each of their tails.  They are a water sign.  And a terminal house.  Not to get off on a tangent, but “terminal” always brings up the idea it is the “end of the line” or ‘death.‘  And they are not about either of these things.    A water house is about our emotions.  And  more than anything else, it is our emotions that get us in–and out–of all our life experiences.  Our emotions run us whether we want to admit it or not.  And of course, as we move into our next incarnation/life, we are wounded via our emotions–and then spend a good part or all of our life working through the wound to emerge healed on the other side of it.  That’s why ‘terminal houses’ of the 4, 8 and 12 houses emerge as vital to our growth as human beings.  They are the houses of Cancer (4th), Scorpio (8th) and Pisces (12th).  They are “terminal” only in the fact that you will be working consciously, daily, on whatever emotional wounding you have in this lifetime, that’s all.  And if you do the work, you get the rewards.  And what rewards they will be.

Because “terminal” is not well understood, in part this is why the 12th house has gotten a bad rap.  It is a house of water and therefore, symbolizes our emotions.  You don’t have two fish swimming around opposite of one another and not get this idea.    And so, when we view the 12th house, we have to remember the bottom template energy expression for it is from our emotional base.  The emotions are either going to be worked on, worked through to the end where we receive reward–or not.  Free will choice is always invoked here.  The people who do the work, get the gifts.  Those who don’t, get a lump of coal in their Life Stocking, instead.

People who have a planet(s) in there, are going to be triggering this house energy, and the emotions that come with it.  But all is not lost.  If you watch a fish swim it has the capability of rising and lowering itself in the water. And it moves forward and can even swim in reverse and go backward.  This is one of the many messages from the 12th house for us.  Have you developed the same abilities as the fish to swim through your own life?  Chances are, if you haven’t, you are confused, disoriented or having a series of uncomfortable experiences.  All are designed to get you back on track…to look at yourself and realize you have far more ability and motion to go in MANY directions; not just the one direction you’re in right now.   And the most interesting ability/skill of the 12th house and Pisces is the ability to rise and lower itself with the help of an internal bladder.  The fish bladder either inflates with more air to help it rise, or deflates to lower the fish into the depths.

The question then begs to be asked:  are we able to rise and lower ourselves in our own life?  Can we lower into the depths of our Unconscious to connect with the veritable treasure chest of information, archetypes and myths that are waiting for us?  Or not?  Are we able to rise into the state of Consciousness to connect with the Universe/Cosmos or whomever you believe in?  Indeed, the symbol of the two fish bound by their tails swimming in opposite directions is precisely about this….the “tension of opposites” to communicate via our intuition with our Unconscious treasure house and at the same time, connect through our Crown chakra at the top of our head with the pure Love/compassion of Goddess/God.   This is one of the most powerful gifts of the 12th house.  The ability to spread your Spiritual wings and fly in one direction or the other–or to be in an incarnation where you’re at both ends of this spectrum and holding this energy in a healthy way.  Any of these three is receiving the fruit from the Tree of Life, quite literally.  It’s a blessing.

Let’s explore this mythic and archetypal premise of the 12th house.  The Unconscious (Carl Jung) is a treasure trove of archetypes, myths and I believe, past life knowledge/skills/abilities that we have accrued over thousands of incarnations.  When we can plumb the depths (lower and deep within our own psyche) we can then open the treasure chest of knowledge.  Our soul is the keeper of all our experiences and knowledge and skills and abilities.  And it through (only) the Unconscious that this connection exists in our present lifetime.  I feel if more people realized how important it is to meditate at least 2-3 times a week, they could get in touch with their own Unconscious to reap the incredible benefits from it.   As we plumb our own inner space and depths, just as the fish lowers itself into deeper water, we can not only open this treasure house up but we can create a new connection in this present life with the contents.  And we receive the talents/knowledge/skills consciously which is a great gift that keeps on giving for the entirety of our lifetime down here.

This is the zodiac sign for Pisces, two fish swimming in opposite directions fromone another and bound by the ribbon on their tails.

This is no small feat and the potentials are breathtaking and amazing. Doing this will have a profound transformation in your life.  This new connection is developed through meditation or other spiritual practices such as yoga.  There are many paths to the Unconscious and its not my intention in this article to talk about them in depth.  Whatever you believe and is your spiritual practice can be a ‘tool’ to this inner wealth we all have.  Let me give you an example of why you might want to forge this connection.  In many, there is a desire to do something; a yearning.  Some call it a passion.  And yet, we never act on it.  Our 3rd dimensional left hemisphere of our brain (the every day brain for living in this world of ours physically speaking) gets in the way and yammers that you can’t possibly become a dancer, a song writer, a writer of books, an artist….and on and on.  The brain throws up all the reasons why we CAN’T do something our heart pines to go explore and become.

What if I told you that if you yearned to be a writer, that you had many previous lifetimes working at writing?  We have a passion or yearning for something because it is already a PART OF US.  But it’s hidden away in our Unconscious.  And we need a ‘key’ to get to it.  The key is meditation, yoga, etc.  It is some spiritual discipline, that over time, opens up the Unconscious within yourself to directly connect with your writing skills that you have accrued over past lifetimes.   And, as you make the connection, the desire to write will become overwhelming.  And you will begin to find time and place to work on your writing.  If you are of sufficient skill, you may well publish in this lifetime.  Or, who knows?  You may make a CAREER out of writing!  All of this is possible.

This is the importance of the 12th house whether you have planets in it or not.  You have a zodiac sign on the cusp of your 12th house and you can then look at that planet, no matter where it is found elsewhere in your natal chart to see how it is aspected.  For example, I have Cancer on my 12th house cusp.  The Moon rules Cancer.   I would look in my own natal chart that my Moon is at 10 Pisces; so there is a harmony between it and my 12th house.  Pisces rules the 12th and my Moon is in that sign.  In a way, it is “mutual reception” where the planet is in the opposite sign with the other.  In this case, however, we are talking about a house cusp, the planet that rules that cusp, and how it relates to the House of Pisces.  So, not a true mutual reception, but you see my point.  Whatever you call it, it has harmony between the 12th house, the owner of it, Pisces.

If the sign on the cusp of your 12th house and planet that rules it is in the sign of Pisces, this is a foretelling that you can not only create easy access to your treasure chest of information and skills, but you may well make a career out of it.   And if not a career, certainly these will be tools and knowledge you will use in every possible way throughout your life on every level of yourself–both in your own, interior life as well as the outer, external life.

The next thing you need to look at is that planet on the 12th house cusp that is not in this house.   What are the aspects to this planet?  Hard aspects such as the conjunction, square, inconjunct and opposition is going to show that it’s tougher to reach your Unconscious treasure chest.  Hard, but not impossible.  If you have soft aspects like a sextile or trine to this planet, it’s easier and sooner that you can connect with your inner treasure chest.  Either way, you CAN do it.  It’s just a matter of “gotta wanna.”  You  gotta wanna do it.  And it all comes down to you, your desire and passion to connect with this inner treasure chest or not.

The other connection is via the Crown chakra and hooking up or plugging into the Cosmos on a pure love/compassion level.  Anyone who has had a Kundalini experience, has had this connection; however brief.  When our higher mind through the brow and crown chakra are opened up, the Kundalini energy, which sits at the base of our spine, rises like the rainbow snake she is, and she twists and winds through each of our seven chakras, until she shoots out of the top of our head, into the other dimensions and connects with this intense God/Goddess love that is always there.  This connection is called “enlightenment” because not only are we bathed throughly on every level with this universal love, we also can see/perceive/know things that ordinary human beings do not. This is what enlightenment means….you head is suddenly exploded with the light of the Cosmos and then you perceive on a heightened level for yourself and others.  There’s much more to a Kundalini experience, but I don’t want to lose focus on the understanding of the ability to connect.  Remember, the Pisces fish has the ability to rise and so do we.  We can literally engage our own Kundalini and she will “rise” to move through all our chakras and connect in with the greater consciousness of the universe.  This is, if you’ll pardon my pun, a heady potential!

Pisces, the fish, has been greatly boundaried by those who don’t understand this sign or the house it rules.  They are about the potential “awakened” human being versus the one who is ‘asleep’ or the ‘walking dead’ down here on this 3rd dimensional plane we call Life.  We are much more than a physical body.  We are in an incarnation to learn, develop and grow. And nowhere is the spiritual potential so large as in the 12th house and through the sign of Pisces.  If one needs any more support of this argument, please read my article on the Vesica Pisces, one of the oldest known symbols found by archeologists.  The mystics of the ancient world knew and used it to enhance and improve their spiritual life.  And in Latin, Vesica Pisces literally means the “fishes bladder.”  That is the bladder that allows us to lower ourselves into the depths of our treasure chest Unconscious and aids us in rising to connect with the Universe via our Kundalini energy.  Please go to: to read more on the Vesica Pisces.  This is also another way to develop yourself to unlock your Unconscious as well as connect in the opposite direction with the cosmos via the Kundalini energy.

Those who have one or more planets in the 12th house are in for a wonderful gift! Any planet in the 12th shows that you have literally brought in talents and skills and knowledge from one or more past lives.  The more planets in there, the more you know and are adept at doing (many skills).  These are wonderful possibility!   Instead of seeing the 12th as a horrible or awful place to have planets, you need to reshape your thinking your thinking about it.   That planet or planets are a key(s) to these abilities, skills, creativity and knowledge.  Who wouldn’t want this?!   If you want an example of a 12th house in full expression, look at Leonard da Vinci’s life.   Truly, he was a Renaissance man of the first order.  He had so many talents, skills and knowledge, plus being a visionary, that it leaves one breathless.  But he took full advantage of his 12th house, grounded and manifested it.  And in doing so, he continues, to this day, to help lift our world in the most positive of ways.

The planet in your natal 12th house and the sign it is in will tell you much about the possibilities.

For example, if Venus is in there, then there’s Venusian ruled possibilities for you.  It could be you want to be a musician, a song writer, an artist, a dancer or to be in the liberal arts in some way.

Or, if Mercury is in there, a writer, speaker and lecturer (a teacher).

And if Mars is in there, a true athlete and perhaps os Olympic quality. It also gives you extra energy to accomplish more than most.

Jupiter would be about expanding spiritually to take huge advantage of all the information and skills you brought in with you. Being intuitive successful at business and making money would be found with it.  Or you could be a mystic teacher, guru, monk or practicing some spiritual routine that will reshape yourself and others.

Saturn would enable you to bring and physically manifest what you know into this world of ours to help others.    Saturn isn’t always about limitation.  Many forget that one of the main attributes of Saturn is to MANIFEST on this world of ours.  You have Saturn here, you’re a mover and a shaker.  You are a doer and you are creating and manifesting all the time.

Uranus here will given you the sudden insights, the epiphany, the aha! and the Eureka moments that will help you be seen as a visionary or inventor that you are.

Neptune here is all about your spiritual knowledge and bringing it back to work on yourself or to share and lift others.   This is truly a compassionate place to have this planet.

Pluto is always maligned as evil if found in the 12th house. To that, I say “baloney!’  Pluto is the transformer and kundalini experiences are powerful for the person who has this position in the 12th house. Further, Pluto is about being a catalyst for others throughout your life.  Shamanic and all the other healing arts and skills are here, too.

Look at the aspects of your planet(s) in the 12th house to other planets.  For example, I have Mars 15 Leo in the 12th house.  It makes an inconjunct to my Moon at 10 Pisces. But it also has sextile to my Uranus and Jupiter.  I have Pluto at 9 Leo in the 12th.  And yes, it is conjunct Mars.  This has given me a “nuclear” powered energy to do more than most people, and also the ability to expand and contract time as I need it in order to get everything I want to do, finished.  I’m also a shaman via family lineage.  My Pluto is inconjunct my Moon.  Pluto is sextile my Sun and my Neptune.  All in all, my 12th house planets are an amalgam of hard and soft aspects–just as yours will likely be, too.

If we didn’t have hard aspects to our planets in the 12th house, likely we would squander our skills/talent/knowledge.  Or, it might mean that with only soft aspects you continue to expand your own spirit and spiritual abilities, but it’s an “inny” for this lifetime and not an “outy” where you share what you know.  If you have only hard aspects, it means a struggle to reach into your treasure trove and other worldly connections. It doesn’t mean you won’t do it–you certainly can.  Usually later in life.  Hard aspects merely mean you see the challenges in your life as ‘stumbling blocks’ or ‘building blocks.’  If you have a combo of hard and soft aspects, it means you must work through your wound(s) (hard aspects) before you get to the cream of the soft aspects.  If you work through the hard aspects, then you can turn around and share what you know with the world.  By doing this, you can literally lift the energy of this world through your own knowledge/skills/talents.  And when you lift the energy, you’re also lifting your own.  It’s a win-win for all.

Why have astrologers maligned the 12th house? I believe it is because they don’t understand it.  You understand a house clearly when you have planets in it.   With my Mars conjunct Pluto in Leo in my 12th house, I can write knowledgeably about it because I live it every day of my life.  I see how my 12th house has been an incredible compass and guide for me all my life.  Pisces is about intuition.  And people with a planet(s) in the 12th, have very strong intuition.  The only question is:  are they using it or not?  Do they trust what they get or not?  If they do, this intuitional compass can help you traverse through life in the best of ways, as it has for me.

If you really want to do major spiritual work on yourself, look to the 12th house.  You have a planet(s) in there, this is a strong focus.  You are a mystic.  The only question is are you working at it?  Or not?  For some, you are already a mystic and you’re turning around to share your knowledge/compassion/wisdom to help lift others.  You’ll know where you are whether it’s self-work or working with others during this incarnation.  And more than likely, it is a combination of both–inner work continuing on honing your spirit for the heart chakra and practicing compassion — and the outer work of putting it into everyday use in your world.  And as you get your spiritual stuff cleaned up and working properly, you automatically influence, in a positive way, the entire outer world in large and small ways.

I hope by sharing this view from my own 12th house experience, that it widens your scope of understanding about this magical, mystical and powerful spiritually-based house.  The two fish being bound by the tail is our map, in a symbolic way, to help us become better humans beings inside and out.  Ultimately, the 12th house is the path toward enlightenment.  Be glad you have a planet or two in there.  You’re on a very powerful path and not everyone gets that chance to be on.  Do use this knowledge for your own awareness to take advantage of what is right there in front of you.  Who wouldn’t want to know about extra skills, tools, wisdom and knowledge?  Well, it’s right there in your astrology chart.  Look at your 12th house. And even if you don’t have a planet(s) in it, you still have a planet that is ruled by it.  THERE is your treasure chest!  Your path to enlightenment.  Your skills/knowledge/abilities that you probably have yet to tap into and investigate are right there waiting to be discovered.  And the good news is: you can do it.  So, let’s all be like the Pisces fish and move forward, backward, and up and down.  By having the ability to do all these things, we become a better being who can lift this Earth’s energy, and all those who live upon her.  What better focus to have than that? It’s pure Love and Compassion being practiced in action on all levels and dimensions.   Thanks to the 12th house energy and expression.

Knowing the importance of the 12th house can help everyone grow spiritually.