Denial is not just a River in Egypt–Astrology’s 12th house of Karma

Astrology has fascinated me since I was a child. My mother was an astrologer. I would sit and watch her piecing together numbers like a jigsaw puzzle then translate them into lovely symbols that she meticulously placed in drawing of a round circle divided into twelve segments (called “houses”)—like a pie. “Hmmm,” she would sometimes say, or mutter, “Oh my,” or  “Well, that’s interesting.” She was like a surgeon probing into the secret spaces of a body, looking for clues and answers. 

I wanted to be like her. to be able to read the hieroglyphs on the “pie” and know that they hold the secrets to all of our questions and all of our secret self.  

When she started teaching me astrology, when I was about nine or so, I was like an Egyptologist discovering the Rosetta Stone. At last, I would be able to read the secret language of the stars. I was so eager. However, I had no head for math and some of it was a struggle, all that adding and subtracting, referring to charts, and such. Eventually, it sunk in and became a breeze. Now, like almost every astrologer in the world, use a computer to do the math. The good stuff is in interpreting it (called delineation in astrology-speak). The rest is just numbers.

So, by the time I was 12, I was doing astrology charts for schoolmates. Not really good ones; it took some more maturing for me to understand the nuances and depth of an astrology chart. 

If everyone knew the magic contained in an astrology chart, perhaps this would be a better planet to live on. I’m not complaining, but I see what could be known if everyone could read the planets the way astrologers do. 

Okay, so I’m starting with the 12th house instead of the 1st because it is the beginning and the end. It is where we came from and where we are ultimately going. 

The 12th house has always been a difficult one for astrologers to understand and interpret. It traditionally represents our journey to cosmic unity—not just understanding and knowledge, as in the 9th house, but through the experience of dissolving the boundaries of time and space—object/subject—to return to the universal home from which we emerged.

In light of the traditional meaning of the 12th house above, I have to ask myself, what then is the logic and reason for us to differentiate and move from that pre-birth state of unity into individualism if only to rejoin the formless? Perhaps it is that because we are only an extension of the universe, we must also follow the same path as the universe—to come forth from the void with a bang, separate into individual galaxies, and then to dissolve back again into unity. Just like the stars that are born, live and die, their death provides the energy-matter for other stars to be born. Perhaps ours does too. 

Unity is a strong urge within all humans, either conscious or unconscious, yet there are fear and resistance. This poses a major conflict. This conflict is symbolized by the 12th house’s “ruler” glyph of Pisces, two fish tied together but swimming in opposite directions. 

As a human being, we face this dilemma—pulled in two directions. We want to lose our sense of isolation and separateness and yet fear disintegration of our individual consciousness. Because this fear is so deep-seated, we seek unification through sex, love, power, and sometimes altered states of consciousness (sometimes substance-induced).

It is in the 12th house where we find suicidal patterns and other forms of self-destruction because they are unconsciously motivated by our desire to return to cosmic wholeness and escape the lonely individualism of physical life. On a more positive note, our experiences with meditation prayer, and divine devotional practices are also shown here. 

At another level, the 12th house shows our mother’s psychological state while we were still in the womb and how it affected us (prenatal imprinting). If you are a believer in reincarnation you can discover Karma from past lives—what we brought over and will operate in this lifetime. If not a believer, the genetic code for inherited challenges shows up here.

The 12th house describes unconscious self-undoing patterns and also secret “enemies,” which are a reflection of our unconscious drives manifested outwardly to reflect back to us. It shows how our subconscious can sabotage what our conscious mind says it wants.

Planets contained in the 12th house fill in the details, actions, and sub-forces operating in our lives, but they all go through the filter of the sign influencing the house. 

How can you find out what’s on your 12th house? Have a chart done. Or, if you know what time you are born and in what city/country, email me and I will be happy to calculate it for you.

Below are brief descriptions of what your 12th house sign holds for you. Keep in mind that your complete chart can greatly alter and adjust what is here.

12th House Signs:


There is an underlying dissatisfaction with status quo and a restlessness to “get on with it.” You might feel that something is wrong with your life but can’t put a finger on it. The life lesson here is to deal with unconscious anger so it doesn’t become destructive to you or possibly others. Any unconscious anger will reveal itself in dreams and visions. 


You need a practical reason, and an advantage to be had in order to apply yourself to study, understand, or use the power of your subconscious, metaphysics, dreams, or the past. Paradoxically, Taurus here can sometimes cause you to be stuck in the past and have a hard time letting go in order to move ahead. 


It is important for you to build a bridge between your conscious and unconscious mind—to integrate into awareness what is operating in the hidden psyche. You can do this through introspection, soul-searching, psychotherapy, dreamwork, spiritual practices, or even through literature.

Watch negative thinking. It could be the root of many problems. Learn to transform obstacles into blessings. Clear thinking might be hindered by unconscious emotional fears and uncovering them allows you to transform them. 


You have brought with you a natural ability with channeling and mediumship. Take it carefully though, you are very open and may go too fast resulting in overwhelming feelings you aren’t ready for. Your karma deals with emotions and secrets that will need to be faced and worked through before you can live up to your full potential in life.


Any unconscious feelings of self-importance need to be uncovered and dealt with. Pride makes you hide sorrows and troubles from others. Letting others in on your pain can be as painful as what caused it in the first place.  You are better as a power behind the throne than in the public eye as a leader. During alone times, you discover the deepest levels of yourself that light the way toward your wholeness.


You want to integrate your whole self and know yourself completely. Do this through meditation, spiritual practices, dreamwork, and trusted teachers. Never let a fear of appearing foolish stand in your way of self-discovery. Don’t judge yourself against the ideals of a less aware public.


You are sensitive and can feel others’ emotions so acutely, you mistake them for your own. You have an innate desire to transcend separateness and merge with a greater existence, to abandon yourself to something divine and whole. Music is a way to do this. You also have a natural healing ability.


You have a strong, and tangible “shadow self” that you are dedicated to uncovering. Death interests you, either a fascination or a fear. Your dreams hold important keys to your destiny, your spirituality, and your deep fears. Dreams help yo resolve blocks, solve problems, and meet challenges/


You are someone who is one jump ahead of everyone else. You might have a mystery solved before anyone else has a clue. Sagittarius has a lot to do with lofty ideals and global thinking. In the 12th house, these things are under the surface of your consciousness. You often seek but don’t know why. You are secretive about your spirituality and philosophy. On the outside, you are cautious and cool, on the inside, or with those you feel safe with, you are a superhero with a witty sense of humor and playfulness.


You might spend much of your time alone, even though you can be outgoing and sociable with friends. Sometimes Capricorn here indicates a fear of being alone. Success in life must be earned rather than being handed to you. There are unfounded fears and worries. You have a gift with the occult but need a practical reason in order to study or develop it.


You might look “normal” to others, but you are a fierce individualist, a little hesitant to reveal your inner quirky nature. You would have a talent for astrology and psychic sciences if you studied them. Your innate psychic abilities might come through with flashes of insight and transformative experiences. If you are suppressing your psychic ability or your desires for an unconventional life, you will attract eccentric people into your arena who will mirror your unconscious self.


This is Pisces’ natural house where the best or the worst qualities of this sign could manifest. You are sensitive to undercurrents and unseen forces. You are in touch with the spirit world, even if you don’t know it. The danger with Pisces here is becoming swamped with emotions and feelings that other people seem to handle with ease. Learn to let go of needing to live up to the expectations of others. Be your own person and you will have fulfilled your destiny. Dreams, visions, meditation, and music are ways for you to fulfill the best potential in you. 

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