A Month to Stay Inside: Sun in the Twelfth House

by | Oct 31, 2017 | Astrology In Daily Life, The Twelfth House | 9 comments

I’m in a room with a group of women. Each woman is being asked the same question about the world events we’ve been experiencing. As I listen, I realize no one has answered from the perspective of spiritual consciousness and I get excited to share and start formulating what I would like to say. After everyone else has shared, it’s finally my turn, when suddenly the group disbands in a hurry and moves to another room. I’m left with words on my lips, but no one to hear them…

This is a dream I had while the Sun was transiting my twelfth house. Can you hear the twelfth house themes of: anxiety, invisibility, powerlessness? It is no coincidence that these types of feelings appear both in waking life and in our dreams during transits to the twelfth house.

Once a year, for 30 days, the Sun will pass through your twelfth house*. We feel at loose ends, uncertain about the future or even who we are. Fears and anxieties tend to visit us. Astrologers typically advise taking plenty of down time during this month. To not push. We are at a low point in our energy and power. Ancient texts link the twelfth house to bed rest, illness, incarceration, solitary confinement- situations where we have little, if any, physical freedom. There are also allusions to being unconscious about facets of our self during this time, so acting prematurely or in haste can bring untoward results.

I’m not one for doom and gloom astrology, yet the above fairly reliably bears out. Why does this happen? To answer that question we need to understand the idea of angularity in the birth chart. The twelfth is one of four cadent houses (3, 6, 9, 12). Cadent is a Latin word, meaning “falling” or “declining” and is the root word in cadaver, corpse. According to Deborah Houlding, as planets move through succedent houses (2, 5, 8, 11) they are said to be “rising to power”, planets moving through the cardinal houses (1, 4, 7, 10) in the “seat of power”, and in cadent houses planets are “falling from power”. But the 12th house has it especially hard; whereas the 3rd and the 9th houses are still able to gather some light from the Ascendant, both the 6th and 12th gather no light.

You might feel as though you are falling at this timefalling backwards into old fears, vulnerabilities, insecurities. You may even feel you are failing, somehow. That all the work you’ve done of recent months suddenly amounts to a pile of sawdust. But as the saying goes, feelings aren’t facts… They just want be experienced and released. And this is key to understanding how to effectively work with the Sun’s transit through this house.

Imagine you are clearing a pool of debris. You’ve gotten to the point to where the pool is all clear- except for that niggling leaf at the bottom, and maybe a rock. These minor things now loom large precisely because everything else is gone, and it has become imperative that you clear this final thing. The rock or leaf is a metaphor for an old insecurity or emotional pattern, and the pool, clearing your consciousness. The twelfth is the house of surrender, letting go, of release into a greater connection to Source and we get there by way of purifying our consciousness of any lingering misunderstandings. This time signifies the very end of a cycle, and at the very end there’s always a bit of clean-up and let-go.

Which is why when I’m in a twelfth house time I honor that I’m in a phase of letting go. When sadness, or regret arises, when a past situation suddenly starts bothering me again, I vow to feel the feeling fully so that I can let go more deeply, and not take it with me into my Sun in the first house time– a time of new beginnings.

We are more aware of our fears during this time, and it’s important to acknowledge them and also not let them run our lives. I literally sit myself down, feel them fully, then give those fears a Divine litmus test by asking my Soul “is this really true?” Almost always, when asked sincerely, I’ll get a “no”. Don’t gloss over fear. Ultimately, fear is an illusion, but you’ve got to know that before you can be free of it.

I take more time and care with my body-mind, noting that my body typically has more chemical and food sensitivities during this time. I clean up my diet. As an energy sensitive being, my vulnerability to picking up external energies is higher; I stay home more, and avoid or limit people and places who compromise me energetically.

As my energy teacher often instructs, “stay inside“. While it may sound like she’s telling me to stay inside my house (which may also be needed!), staying inside is about focusing inward: withdrawing your attention from energies, people and things external to you, and placing your gentle and present attention on how you are doing and feeling. It’s asking: “what do I want or need?” “how do I feel right now?” “what’s going on in my body?”

The Ego who is used to distraction, who equates self-worth with productivity and success, who prefers looking outward and looks for satisfaction there, does not favor the twelfth house experience, to put it mildly. You, too, may feel like a two- year-old being told to stay inside while everyone else is outside having fun. Yet this is the season for retreat. There’s a twelfth house lesson we all learn, eventually: when our soul consciousness really wants us to stop and listen, it can create illness, limitation or calamity. This facilitates finally listening to what we’ve been distracting our selves from, to our detriment. To avoid this, listen to inner signals, intuition, synchronicity, slow down, hermit up.

Always, it’s a time for gentleness, kindness. We can allow our self walks by the sea when we need them, compassion when we feel foggy or uncertain. We can be generous with our self – in our aimlessness, solitude, vulnerability. Inward regrouping is occurring on such deep levels we don’t yet understand. All this non-doing and just being is a different sort of work, so we deserve to curl up in our PJs and stream our favorite shows.

One of the more fascinating facets of any astrological time is how our willingness to flow with, and not resist, a cycle, changes our experience of it. If we don’t regard the vulnerabilities and tendencies that arise right now as “bad” or a sign we’ve fallen into old habits, if we don’t judge our need for inwardness and slowing down as wrong, if we can value the time we need to recover and recoup our energies, we receive the delicate grace of release and renewal. Because, remember, it is exactly that- a phase of a larger cycle.

The wheel is always turning. We will rise, with the Sun, to our seat of power again. For now, we can feel our deeper feelings, let our identity and it’s ideas of “doing” go, and dissolve into the bliss of being.

*To figure out your twelfth house time:

Go to Astro.com and enter your birth data. Click on chart drawing, Ascendant. Next to the wheel, on your left you’ll see a box with planet glyphs, then another small rectangular box attached to that box that contains something like this: AS, 2, 3, MC, 11, 12 with letters and numbers following. Look to the letters and numbers following the 12. That’s the zodiac sign abbreviation, and the degree where your 12th house cusp begins.

For instance, in this example the 12th house cusp is 21’28’ degrees of Virgo. So this 12th house month runs from the time the Sun is in 21’28’ Virgo – 16’11’ Libra (where the AC, abbreviation for Ascendant, begins). Now that you know your degrees, consult your favorite ephemeris for these exact dates.



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  1. sa.gu


    Saving this as a reminder. This time of year, what is Christmas to the world is my time to follow the road of the hermit. This is a year where I have done so to the utmost so far and it’s doing such a world of good.
    Reading this helped me to settle down further amidst those niggling thoughts of doubt that this ether doesn’t have to be. This fog can be wiped away if I just sway my arms enough.
    Ignoring the fact that all my arms want to do is hold me instead.
    I’m giving in to my own embrace.

    Thanks again.

  2. Sandy

    Thanks so much! So many deep insights. I am in this phase now and needing this advice so that I don’t beat myself up for noticing old patterns.

  3. Nicole

    In rarely leave comments but I’m an instant you’ve turned me from stranger to fan with this inspiring and beautifully written gift.

  4. Dara-Osun

    Beautifully written. I’m a fellow Astrologer and in my “quiet month” right now… I too am not into doom and gloom astrology, but the 12th house experience is of consequence for sure. I am going through all the aspects you’ve mentioned, but mostly with awareness and grace toward myself, except for when I am consumed and forget lol. “Feel the feelings” is so accurate, and I love the leaf and rock analogy. Today I am feeling a bit of anger, irritation and fury, which are not typical for me. I am letting myself feel them though and I can feel them passing. I’m a jewelry designer, so I’ve decided to craft (which is meditative for me) with some of my solitude
    . The New Moon and Virgo stellium transit is all happening inside my twelfth house right now. I’m getting back in my hammock with a cup of tea. Maybe I could stay there until this is all over lol Wish me luck!

  5. Pinky

    My sun is in the 12th house, so no escape for me in this life ?????

  6. Sarah Jean Crow

    Currently going through this transit. I was having a grand ole time when the sun was in my 11th and then bammmm dissolvement of the ego. I learned about transits while this occurred and thought about all the years past. Always go into my shell this time of year. Fascinating.

  7. Jessica

    Sarah Jean, I am going through this, too, right now. I had been thinking about this all weekend. Feeling all the feels which despite their intensity and number, not making a big deal over it, acknowledging their existence and allowing them to just be as I practice really good self-care. Thanks for writing. xx

  8. Mar

    Hi Jessica, I’ve experoenced this not only when a planet has been transiting my natal 12th house in Scorpio but also while a big transit hias occupied my Aries stellium. Which happens to be the 12th house to my Taurus Sun. Are there more 12th houses than one, what you think?

  9. Emily

    Thank you thank you thank you. I’m crying reading this and really needed to hear it.

    The part where you say “ If we don’t regard the vulnerabilities and tendencies that arise right now as “bad” or a sign we’ve fallen into old habits, if we don’t judge our need for inwardness and slowing down as wrong” is exactly the permission I needed to give myself. I’ve been feeling so angry and ashamed of myself for not measuring up to my expectations of “doing”. I had started projects that I somehow now am incapable of working on. I’ve been having horrible dreams. I feel so lazy and exhausted and like I’ve fallen short of everything I wish to do and be. I was wondering “is this ever going to end? How do I fix this”. I needed to hear that this is just a phase in a bigger picture. To know that it’s temporary and it’s not any indication of me as a person. I seriously can’t thank you enough for writing this. I hope it brings others the same compassion that it brought me today. <3

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