Diary of a Twelfth House Progressed Moon… dot dot dot

by | Apr 28, 2011 | Moon, The Houses, The Twelfth House | 23 comments

You may be wondering where I’ve been. My progressed Virgo Moon just entered my Twelfth House. Need I say more? I mean, meticulous, organization loving Virgo in the house of nebulous confusion? You can just imagine how hard it has been for me to put together a proper sentence, let alone rub two sticks together! Okay, I’m poking fun at the Twelfth House, and I’d be far more anxious if I didn’t have astrology to tell me that my sense of losing steam, eventually, will lead somewhere…even if I have no idea where, yet.

Oh, yes, I’ve seen the looks on the faces of people who recount the progression of the 2 1/2 year passage of the Moon through their Twelfth House– traditional house of troubles, toil and loss. One acquaintance, a portrait artist, said that during her 12th House Moon progression, for the first time in her career she didn’t have commissions lined up and therefore no solid financial future. She also had to ‘let go’ of an already failing relationship, ultimately, a necessary loss, though that didn’t make the giving up any less slow or painful. She experienced this progression as one of the most difficult periods of her life.

When I see a client with the progressed Moon transiting this final house of the zodiac, it can quite dramatically alter my interpretation of all other transits. The progressed Moon is always, where our heart is, and there’s something about the Twelfth House Moon that says, My heart’s just not in it anymore.

Let’s say you have a zillion transits happening to your MidHeaven -and- a progressed 12th House Moon: your worldly role is ‘up’ and so is meditating on the mountaintop. In your life, you may be getting married, getting a promotion or moving house but, oh, that Moon. A Twelfth House Moon emphasizes something quite emotionally different is happening, on the inside. So how do you really feel about leaving your single life, your job? Maybe there’s a strong sense of loss accompanying a change or leaving home, or a misty eyed sense of leaving a phase of life behind. As it should be. There’s also the potential for confusion and meltdowns if you don’t honor your need to withdraw, and emotionally sort what you are ready to leave behind. In life and astrology, we can be happy and sad, celebratory and grieving at the same time.  Twelfth House gremlins will play when we don’t make time for quietude.

Ah, but it’s so easy to give advice, isn’t it? Just what am I to make of my own Twelfth House progression? (Just in case you think the Astrologer has always got a grip on their own transits, think again. Like a surgeon trying to operate on one’s self, I’d be poking at Saturn and Pluto all day long. When it comes to our own chart, we lack all objectivity). I do however figure I’ve got a running start on ‘letting go’, seeing as how in addition to four Pluto transits, Saturn has been transiting my Twelfth for about two years (remember the kids hokey pokey song, where you put your left foot in, and out, and turn all about – then you feel a little sick after spinning all about?). What was (albeit sometimes) questionably working, no longer did it for me- and that’s disorienting. Commitments I had taken on during my progressed Eleventh House Moon, which once nourished me, now felt empty. And the book… the book I began to write around that time has been far more difficult to than I imagined (no I did not take the ‘advice’ of my predictive astrology software which said “now is not a good time to start a book” Bah. Try telling a person to stop showing up at their job). Themes of disintegration, withdrawal and psychic examination continue. Slowing down, space out time, and alien feelings of regret settle in. I could feel it coming.

Here’s where knowing astrology can be a lot like that Zen idea of a finger pointing to the Moon. If we put too much focus on concepts and theory, if we focus on the solidity of our theory (maybe this is more true with the ephemeral Twelfth House), we can miss the spontaneous moment of awareness when the planet tugs at the corner of our consciousness, opening it.

Twelfth house planets want your conscious attention– and your willingness to have a direct experience of them. In the movie Enter the Dragon Bruce Lee instructs his karate student to kick him. Then asks, “What was that – an exhibition?! We need emotional content…Don’t think, feel….It is like a finger pointing the way to the Moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.” Heavenly glory. That beats moodiness, whining, unhappiness, confused emotional misery, which is what can happen if we don’t honor this end of the cycle loss & let go.

So what will I do with my Twelfth House Moon progression?  First, I ask you to forgive me for all my misspellings & editorial blunders in advance, especially those of you with Virgo planets– I’m working on it! Virgo Moon wants precision; the Twelfth House experience is hazy, uncertain, making it hard to get a grip. Many days I feel emotionally blah & un-sexy. Right around tax day, I literally forgot to mail the taxes. It was more than Mercury retrograde; the synapses that said ‘this is important!!!’ just didn’t make it to my brain. There are also strange oriental heart yearnings, which, like trying to tempt a long lost creature out of hiding, I try to whimsically encourage. Well I guess in approximately 2 1/2 years, when the Moon crosses into my First House, Ta-dah! Till then I can reflect, dream, be in nature, do nothing, follow only with heart and let the rest go. I just know something new is coming in…Now, if only I can remember where I put the car keys…

p.s. – If you haven’t appreciated the not so subtle influence of the progressed moon on your life, take a peak at your own Moon progressions by going to www.astro.com click on free horoscopes/extended chart selections/choose ‘progressions’ in the drop down, and then crack open  The Changing Sky by Steven Forrest, and Astrology of the Moon by Amy Herring.

and…for an excellent article on the mysterious 12th house, check out: The Twelfth House by Dana Gerhardt


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  1. Amy Herring

    Oh, Jessica, this may be my favorite entry I’ve ever read from you! It seems 12th house progressions of the moon are contagious! My favorite line: “there’s something about the Twelfth House Moon that says, My heart’s just not in it. ”

    SO apt. I am less than 2 months away from my progressed lunar entry into the 1st house and I finally had enough mental clarity to STOP asking myself the questions “why isn’t my heart in this? How do I get my heart into this?” and START asking “what IS my heart into, REALLY?” Of course, the answer wouldn’t have come earlier on, but it finally did, and true to astrological form, it surprised me.

    The sense of timelessness and the sense of worldly things just no being important – you captured it elegantly, as always.


  2. Jessica

    Amy, Big thanks for readership and for your sweetness and your share. My readers and I appreciate it. Contagious, yes. Losing heart, and to some degree faith, is anxiety provoking. And no matter how armed with astrological information we are we’re still learning our humbling elementary 101 lessons — I just realized (again, after getting back from 2 trips I complained about more than I should’ve) that no matter how reluctant my Ninth House Cancer Sun is with the schlepping of travel, my energy gets charged up. Doi! Glad that you arrived at the right question, girl — and curious about your surprising answer — which we may find out in 2 mos, eh?

  3. Tom

    I know the feeling. With my mars-jupiter conjuct in the 12th house, I’m always going up against the ‘let’s just float along in our Piscean dream’ versus ‘how about I conquer the world first, then float along like a daisy?’

    But one thing I see with 12th house/Piscean things is that sometimes NOT pressing the action or issue, is the way to make it progress faster and to it’s ideal state. Needless to say, my 12th house Mars does not approve of this logic…:)


  4. Les

    Funny, my progressed Moon just entered my 12th house also, at 20 Cancer. It hasn’t felt right since entering Cancer, frankly, my natal Leo Moon enjoyed that progression in Gemini in the 11th – so sociable! I’m thinking that just moving into Leo 10 degrees away will be more comfortable, even though still in the 12th. My Ascendant and Moon at 17 and 18 Leo, so I’ll be coming out in two big ways! Meanwhile, Neptune is transiting opposite my natal Mercury in Virgo, so I know what you mean with the spacing out stuff. But the pMoon entry into the 12th has really pushed my disinterest in my job in a big way. I really don’t think I can wait out 2+ years more, so I’m looking around again, but for something more along the lines of nonprofit, service-oriented, more meaningful. Transiting Pluto is in a long transit trine/sextile my MC/IC which I think also lends power to this. And next year’s solar return chart has Neptune conjunct the MC. In the progressed chart, my pMoon is still in the p10th house. But yes, I’m feeling a lot more need to make some time for solitude – and I will seriously need this to tolerate my job for the meantime!

    So glad to hear from Amy as well on the insight and emergence coming!

  5. Jessica

    You bring up a good point Les, and I have been pondering the same (hinted at question) Do we have to wait 2 1/2 years to figure it out? Maybe Amy has thoughts on this (she did, after all, write a book on the progressed moon ;), but here’s where the rest of the chart helps. Neptune also is on the MC in my solar return (this year), and professionally I’ve been far more drifty and in search of inspired life forms, as well as spent a good amount of time floating in 12th house subject matter, dreams, mysteries, craziness — as Moonkissd attests — and searching for a new vision for my professional life. I also have a slew of Pluto and Uranus transits squaring/opposing/joining my Sun T-square and nodal axis. Serious life changes have been building. I am, however, just now beginning to receive the new vision and realize that it may 2 1/2 years before I can ‘come out’. Since I understand the metaphysical law that release must happen before something new can emerge, there is *something inside of me* reaching the end of a cycle, and there will be necessary sacrifices to get there, I’m currently contemplating what to intentionally ‘give up’ and clear out. So while the 12th house p Moon is a time when something inside of us, as Steven says, is “failing…and standing in the way of a new beginning,” I’m seeing this as a gestation period when a lot of preparation work can be accomplished. Which not only seems more hopeful– but also more true to my experience, so far 🙂

    As an aside, I also recall one woman who had been fielding major interpersonal tension in a professional partnership. When P moon entered the 12th, the bubble finally burst and she said hasta la vista to that role. It appeared to be a huge relief for her, and all involved. Our continued life happiness is at stake during this time, too.

  6. Les

    Yeah, it’s an interesting question about what can be done versus waiting. My worry is that waiting means not having the contemplation and releasing time I need because my job is so demanding/exhausting – maybe similar to the woman you mentioned. Maybe before the big coming out there’s an interim step that gives me space to learn and grow before stepping up to a bigger stage (there’s Leo Ascendant for you! All my Virgo planets are happy enough behind the scenes). “Our continued life happiness is at stake during this time, too.” Amen to that!

    Anyway, thanks so much for sharing this thoughtful post — and the resources such as Amy’s book. Good luck with your progression, and I’ll be checking in! It’s so valuable to me to know what others are going through and/or have gone through during this time. Astrology offers such a wonderful roadmap that way.

  7. Neeti

    Great post as always, Jess. My progressed Moon will be out of my 12th in a couple of months. The hardest time during this period was when it squared my natal Neptune. And half my 12th is Pisces… I cried a lot.

    Really looking forward to it moving into the first! 🙂

  8. Jessica

    Good to hear from you Neeti. Oh how misery loves company. It seems like there are a few of us out there …and I thought transiting Saturn in the 12th was bad! No, really, great to have astrology as a mirror because it allows me to creatively understand this part of myself. I was walking in nature last weekend and realized how nurturing solitude and contemplation feels right now and I suspect that’s in tune with the best of a Progressed 12th Moon. If I can only curb the temptation to co-miserate and embrace the nurturing aspect of the 12th house, the real challenge!

  9. Regina

    “Let’s say you have a zillion transits happening to your MidHeaven -and- a progressed 12th House Moon: your worldly role is ‘up’ and so is meditating on the mountaintop.”

    YEP! That’s me in a nutshell. I have an Aries 10th house, and all that amazing Aries energy we just had in early spring SHOULD have lit me up like a stage spotlight.

    Nope. My 12th house pMoon just quietly slunk to the back of my hermit cave in the woods and said (as you so perfectly put it): “My heart’s just not in it.”

    But I definitely do see and feel the “letting go” that’s necessary right now. Letting go of LOTS of things, tangible & intangible. And I’m learning to just have faith.

    I have almost exactly one year left until pMoon goes into my 1st house, and I know I’ll be a completely different person when that happens. Different and better! 🙂

  10. Jessica

    Regina, You’re my star example and I didn’t even know it! Of course I was talking about myself, too. So much is still under wraps and the way forward is still not clear (unnerving) but we can trust the process. Here’s to finding what our heart is into. XO

  11. Samantha

    I know this is a very old post but my progressed Moon is going through my 12th house right now in Scorpio and your post is so accurate. I also have Saturn going through my 12th house and about to conjoin my Sun. My Mercury-Pluto are conjoined in Scorpio, and Saturn and my progressed Moon went over it at roughly the same time back in October-November 2013. It was one of the hardest times in my life.

    With my progressed Moon in the 12th it really does feel like I’ve run out of gas. The phrase “my heart is just not in it” is too true. Until I looked at my progressed chart I wondered if I was burned out since I have been in school for so long without a break. I’m finishing up my last classes and it’s been hard for me to focus at times. This really has been a time for me to retreat, withdraw into myself and clear away things in my subconscious that no longer work. I’m taking advantage of this time but I will be glad when both my progressed Moon and Saturn move into my first house in 2015.

    So thanks for this post.

  12. Dan

    I know that it’s probably an effect of the age after all (19 in September).
    But, my progressed moon entered the 12th sometime in mid-2012 and will leave a few months after my 21st birthday in late 2016. Well, 4 whole years.

    A lot of difficulties, hell yeah ; and it’s frustrating to see most of your peers having fun while you’re stuck in self-reflection.
    Since my birthday in Sep. 2013, the prog. moon moved into Aries, so it fuels the need to reevalute the start of my life and where I want to be headed with great intensity.

    It’s making me feel the consequences of having isolated myself (opposite natal Sun/Venus/Mercury in 7th). Like most people my age, my studies are at first plan and I make plans to travel (trine natal Jupiter 9th). Some big fun is probably waiting around the corner in late 2015-2016 when it’ll square my natal Moon (5th), Uranus/Neptune (11th) , and oppose natal Mars (8th).

    Positive side, I revisited a lot of childhood memories (or maybe that was transit Jupiter conjunct my natal moon), found out about lucid dreaming (is there a more 12th house activity ?) , reveal emotional trauma, and constantly working on my self, I can’t deny that.

    Thanks for the article anyway, it’s relieving to understand that this time will pass.

  13. Lisa


    I know this post is old but I have a question regarding progressed moon in 12th, its about to pass over my ASC & I wanted to know if easy going or is it going to get more intense before it gets better.? I read somewhere progressed moon crossing the ASC causes major illness, I hope not because I’ve already been a lot with my health last 2 years with Saturn in Scorpio.

  14. Sienna

    My progressed Virgo moon has just entered my Cancer 12th house, I’m already feeling the intensity. In my solar return chart Saturn is in my 1st house… Double whammy. Whatever it is, I think I’m ready for it.

  15. Milena

    I just quit my 10 years professional job and I am pretty surprised of the same experience shared here in the comments. Progressed Moon is at 29 degrees Sagitarius in the 12th house. So I needed that 2 1/2 years to get prepared to leave that “toxic place” . Saturn transits 12 th as well, I am nowhere!!!

  16. Barbara

    I just finshed my prog moon in my 12th house today! omg. I lost my mom during this 2.5 years, and sold my childhood home. I had health issues as a result of the anxiety and basically withdrew from the world to recuperate and rehabilitate. Its been a long and scary road, that’s for sure. I’ve also changed a lot emotionally through grief counseling and am a different person now as I rebuild. I also had Uranus conjunct my Sun and square my Moon in the 12th house at the same time. So, since I use whole sign, my prog moon just entered Leo today….my first house! Woo hoo . Am sooo ready to continue to heal and move forward.

  17. Michel

    Dear Jessica, I just discovered that my moon progression is about to move into my first house next month. Thank god I had not looked at where I was for over 5 years but due to the grief I felt, I needed to see where this was in my chart. Golly this has cheered me up. Loved to read your article even though it was written over 6 years ago…Thank you!

  18. Sarah

    It would be interesting to know how things shifted for you after this ended and how long before you recognized the changes and gained perspective. I am halfway through prog moon in the 12th house, also In scorpio which seems a double whammy. I cannot imagine how this will turn out for me so far

  19. Isa

    This is my 4th return here.. just to look at that picture again.
    I found the perfect soulful cello music to go with it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g97xprC8tPw&t=3544s

    Progressed moon in 12th is indeed no light thing to experience, and its only just started. I ‘m glad I found your article about it -really helpful. In general I’m feeling yuck.

  20. Jessica

    Isa, I’m glad you are taking comfort in knowing you are not alone! Beautiful music. Jessica

  21. Renee

    I am 7 days away from finish thing very same 4.5 year transit. Can you share what happened for you on the other side of it?

  22. Jessica

    Hi Renee, Honestly I no longer remember what happened when it entered the 1st! For ideas for yourself, you might want to look at the article on Saturn entering the first house– Saturn and Progressed Moon cycles are closely related as they’re both 28 or so year cycles. Plus, it will give you ideas about what to expect with the first house, generally.


    p.s.- The progressed moon transits a sign for about 2 1/2 years, and approximately the same amt of time for houses.

    best wishes,

  23. Sue

    Absolutely spot on! Thank you!

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