The Lunar Review

The 12th and Last House in Astrology

The 12th house on the zodiac wheel houses the sum of your experiences of this lifetime, or if you believe in reincarnation, the totality of all your past life experiences. As it would be too confusing for a soul to have many, explicit memories of past lives, there is an element of amnesia involved. This is the hidden part of ourselves, the shadow side. Certain aspects of the self remain hidden, unintegrated, but remain influential nonetheless.

The soul does not engage in self-exploration here, but seeks to dissolve. The ego goes to die in the House of Surrender. The last house on the zodiac wheel welcomes the completion of all cycles, in order to prepare the soul for rebirth. Death, the ultimate ending, brings about a purification of the soul.

The soul is then free to enter the 1st house with a clean slate.This house allows for novel experiences to transpire. A new self emerges from the cosmic waters of the mother’s womb. 

The 12th house is prime ethereal real estate. Within this territory, time runs differently. Sometimes it’s fast, slow or even non-existent. Dreams, unbridled imagination, collective subconscious, meditation, altered states of consciousness, even the intangible future and the past, are but fragile fragments of our mind in the 12th house.

The future and the past merge and mix, creating ripples and fluxes in the current moment. Living in the moment, consciously experiencing the Self is a 1st house endeavor. But it couldn’t exist without the filters working mysteriously, and undercover in the 12th house.

Accepting what was, is, shall be, and never was or will be, requires 12th house abilities. To quietly contemplate, meditate, pray, dream, imagine or allow oneself to be lulled by ethereal vibrations and the sound of silence.

The endings of all things, from a relationship to your life, is a 12th house stop. All the emotional, psychic, physical consequences and repercussions must be dealt with, but on a level surpassing the visceral one. 

This is a level where deep rumblings beneath the surface are hard to ignore but we lack the ability to explicitly pinpoint and define the feelings. It’s not even a place where we relinquish control, we simply never had it in the first place. We can only allow space for a metaphysical unraveling process. 

If we play our cards right, the places of isolation represented by the 12th house such as hospitals, prisons, and mental asylums can lead us not to insanity and confinement, but instead move us to charity, or find bliss in the confines of an ashram or our bedroom.

Action in this house is tricky business. It’s also called the House of Undoing. Actions and reactions have potential to bring us to our knees. This quiet, dark house is for contemplation, meditation and surrendering. The battlefield is hidden within, and not appropriate for other’s prying eyes.

Since this is the house of the unknown and unfamiliar, there can be hidden enemies lurking about but hidden talents as well! If you look at the sign on the cusp of your 12th house you can discover what unrecognized skills you possess. For example, if Leo rules, although you might not know it, you could thrive in the spotlight, displaying charisma, and leadership, with the right circumstances.

The 8th House shares similarities with the 12th. Both are water houses, dominated by emotions, and a heightened sense of intuition. They pull us into mysterious, inner journeys where we face hardship and challenges, in order to transform us.

The 8th house asks us to explore themes of power, sex and death. Taboo subjects, secrets and fears abound in this house. It is also the house of joint finances, and transforming through intimate relationships. Intense excavation is necessary for self-discovery.

Actively churning up the earth, getting your hands dirty and digging deep into your psyche will deliver the best results. The 8th compels us to take action and refine our souls.

Dark places need light cast upon them to illuminate fears, insecurities and camouflaged problems. This requires thought, strategy and action. In the 8th house you can toil like a slave to dredge up the products of your shadow self. These dregs are then ripe for assimilation into our being, in the 12th.  

The main difference between these two houses is that the 8th is where we can actively  charge our lives with power and transform our very being. The 12th is where we learn to accept all that is. With great humility we learn to surrender in the last, most silent, darkest house of all.

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