The twelfth house of the horoscope forms the essential experience-pattern of Neptune's vibration and function. As we consider a blank wheel we see that this house is placed at the end of a cycle of development; it also, since Life is a continuous process by incarnations, "sits on the back of the first house." (The first house, of course, is the first breath of the next phase, or cycle, of on-going.) In this "sitting" the twelfth house may be taken to symbolize the "burden of sin" which the traveler must carry, for a time, as he continues his journey on the Path. It is the redemption of this "sin" which impels the person to incarnate again for a new cycle of experience. The twelfth house is the astrological symbol for the biblical phrase "original sin;" each person brings his own memory of sin--or unregeneration--from his previous embodiment. In relationship to the wheel as a whole, the twelfth house stands as the "accumulated residue" of a cycle of experience; in relationship to the first house it represents the essence of what is still to he regenerated by adjustment of the individual consciousness to the Cosmic--through succeeding experience.
During any particular incarnation we use the planetary vibrations as "tools" for our development. Frictional planetary aspects represent our needed lessons in the use of our faculties--they are Life's way of "alerting us" to development-needs. The twelfth house indicates, essentially, what we were as personalities in the past. It tells the story of the way we looked at life last time and to what degree we subconsciously tend to live this incarnation in terms of what we were in the past. This picture, in the case of the twelfth house being tenanted or its ruler being "bound" by frictional or gravitational aspects, can be taken as an explanatory clue for the way many people tend to live in "back-going terms." They go through the progressive physical phases of childhood, adolescence, and maturity as everyone does, but the strong memory pictures of the past make it almost impossible for them to express themselves or to understand their experiences in terms of what is represented by their Ascendant sign--the present. Let us consider the different types of twelfth- house Ascendant patterns from this standpoint for application to different horoscopes.
Pattern I: Same sign on twelfth cusp and Ascendant; succeeding sign on second cusp. This is analogous to being held back a grade in school. It means the person is continuing, in this incarnation, a phase of experience directly connected with his viewpoint in the past; it suggests that the person was out of incarnation for a relatively short time--he comes right back to what he was; to the degree that the ruler of the chart is afflicted the person becomes his own secret enemy--since that planet also rules his twelfth house; by this pattern Life says to the person: "I shall give you one more chance to make good."
Pattern II: The same as Pattern I except that the succeeding sign is intercepted in the first house: this suggests that the person has been out of incarnation for a longer-than-usual time; he needs to establish his link with past conditions by living part of this incarnation in terms of the past so that, by objective experience, he may be made aware of his potentials for self-undoing and, so, recognize his need for regeneration and redirection; the sign intercepted in the first house is the traveling companion who has gone ahead but who waits quietly by the roadside for the Ascendant person to catch up. When the experiences which reflect past-life consciousness have been undergone and the person has been brought to a seeming stop in his development, the awareness of the intercepted sign is brought to the attention of the person to alert him to on-going; the intercepted sign calls out: "Hello there-I'm glad you finally found me; take my hand and let's get going." If a planet is found in the intercepted sign study it carefully by quality and aspect; since "planets are people" this planet will describe the type of people who will reflect the on-going qualities of the person. This pattern promises progress in this incarnation--the "pull of the past" can be transcended; if the intercepted sign is not occupied, its ruler, by position and aspects, will serve to describe the "companion waiting ahead."
Pattern III: Twelfth house containing an intercepted sign: a very complex combination of "memories;" planets in either of the twelfth house signs will objectify the past conditions; to the degree that they are frictionally or gravitationally aspected will the person by pain- experience, face his "flowers of evil"--the seeds of which may have been planted even previous to the last incarnation. This pattern is "payment long overdue;" it is in the nature of a "notice of eviction"--unredeemed in this incarnation the bill will have to be adjusted in a future cycle of experience.
Pattern IV: The same sign on the eleventh and twelfth cusps: this, on whatever "level of the spiral," links the potential for secret self-undoing with the unredeemed areas of consciousness pertaining to relationships in general. The eleventh house, in relationship to a cycle, is the culminating point of relationship-consciousness; we call it the "house of friends" because friendship is the essence of Love that has distilled through fulfillment of all relationship-experience on a given cycle. The unregenerate aspects to the planetary ruler of these houses--or if unafflicted, to its planetary dispositor--will indicate how the person tends to "block himself" in relationship-consciousness; careful study of fraternal, parental, and marital relationship-patterns will reveal the type of experience which the person needs most to "work on" to fulfill his cycle by Love. This pattern is also in the nature of "pay-up day" since the eleventh house is a culminating point on the cycle.
Pattern V: Afflicting aspect to twelfth house ruler-- no interceptions: the indication of why, what, how, and through whom the person expresses his unregenerate past in terms of the on-going of this incarnation; this is a "reminder of the past" and strong, critical stimulation of the planet may "pull the person into his subconscious," but the regeneration of the pattern by constructive elements in the chart assures direct on-going.
Pattern VI: Planet in the twelfth house, but in the Ascendant-sign: This is the most purely on-going of all the twelfth house patterns. There is a "secrecy" about the environmental expression of this planet but because of its position in the Ascendant-Sign the person automatically tends to express the vibration in terms of his consciousness of present personality. Unregenerate forces acting on or through this planet may, of course, be redirected in terms of the planet's own essential good; another agency of redirection is assured by the regenerate quality or aspects of the ruler of the chart as it disposits the twelfth house planet and is the focus for personality-expression and personality-fulfillment in this incarnation. Afflicted aspects of the twelfth house planet and/or patterns of afflictions pertaining to the house that it rules will indicate conditions and relationships that the person subconsciously tends to think of as "enemies" because, focused through his Ascendant-sign, they "challenge his on-going;" he has to use the vibratory powers of his present ASC to redeem or transmute those conditions.
Pattern VII: First house unoccupied, ruler of the chart in the twelfth house and the twelfth house sign: afflicted aspects to the ruler in this pattern represent karmic adjustments to be made through limiting and confining environmental conditions; regenerate aspects show the potentials for flowering of personality-qualities in work or activities connected with the sick or confined or "generally unfortunate;" it is a clinging to the past--the person is not quite ready to establish an on-going expression of personality; such a person seems to be born "in back of his contemporaries"--he is not "modern" in his viewpoint. Certain elaborations of this pattern can indicate that the person, being very gifted in some way, expresses in the modern world "something wonderful from a past age"--he lives in the world of "now" but he symbolizes the world of "then."
Pattern VIII: Ruler of the twelfth house in the Ascendant-sign, first house, or intercepted in the first house: "This is astrology's answer of "no!" to the teaching that early environmental conditions are the basic cause of later difficulties. By this position of the twelfth house ruler the early environment-influences are seen as effects from the unregenerate past. The person incarnates through certain parents, in a certain place and lives under certain conditions in his childhood because an unregenerate area of his consciousness needs that kind of a start for his on-going in this incarnation. The "bad memories" are immediately objectified in the early part of life; analyzing the chart by application of "cause and effect" will give a clue as to the person's inner reason for incarnating under those particular circumstances. This pattern is "secrets brought out into the clear light of day"--if the twelfth house is unoccupied the secret karma is out-pictured in the person's childhood, by the combined effects of early home- life, surroundings, and associates. Harmful influences which have the appearance of "deviating the person" are simply the objectifications of his surface-subconscious; this pattern may point to an attitude of deliberate wrong-doing in the past--of such a nature that the person is "pulled into" the same kind of picture so early in this incarnation that he hasn't the power or intelligence to combat the wrong influence--he just "falls right into it."
Pattern IX: (cyclic): Any two adjacent houses covered by the same sign, hence ruled by the same planet: Wherever placed in the chart, this pattern carries out the principle of " present-in-terms-of-past." Any Sign of the Zodiac can be twelfth house; any sign can be Ascendant. The cyclic pattern of twelfth house in relationship to Ascendant may be described as: that area of consciousness, unregenerate, which impels reincarnation; the cyclic pattern of Ascendant in relationship to twelfth house may be described as: The progressive means by which unregenerate karma is redeemed by reincarnation. As a compound pattern of Cosmic symbol, the above phrases can be applied to any part of the chart which shows a linking of past to present.
In reference to Pattern IX we may say that the house with the higher degree on the cusp represents the department of life to be fulfilled by that particular planetary vibration in this incarnation; the lower degree house (the previous) represents an experience or relationship which still waits fulfillment or regeneration. Since the third, fifth, seventh, ninth, and eleventh houses are the houses of progressive- relationship-patterns (the fourth and tenth being the houses of parentage) we can determine--in Pattern IX--what, in the past, has impelled the present relationship or how their relationship established in the past is to be fulfilled in this incarnation. Mercury, Venus, and Mars normally rule two signs each; involved in Pattern IX they, of course, extend their influence to a third house which serves to "complete their picture;" the other planets, normally ruling one house, can, in Pattern IX, rule two.
Pattern X: (cyclic) Planet in the house it rules, but in the following Sign: in this pattern we see the "twelfth house relationship to Ascendant" expressed in terms of the planet's own vibration, not by house position. If the planet has an afflicted aspect the indication is that continual expression of its cusp-sign vibration "holds the person to the afflicted past" and assures depletion of constructive or regenerate expression. The environmental indication or mode of expression is the same now as it was in the past, but this incarnation demands expression through progressive planetary vibration; the latter of course, refers to the planet which disposits the one concerned. This pattern is, potentially, very on-going since the person, from past experience, is accustomed to expressing the planet in that particular house. It also can indicate a strong possibility that the early environment or parental influence may tend to emphasize the cusp-sign expression; the parents, in this instance, would represent the "pull of the past." The pattern demands of the person that he exert the expression of his own personality and integrity to "forge ahead on his own" in that department of his life.
All of the patterns are variations of the statement: "-and He took upon Himself the likeness of a man;" the "redemption of the world" (unregenerate consciousness to be redeemed by experience-in- incarnation) by the Spirit (those levels of consciousness which have been aligned to Truth). Let us study our horoscopes with the renewed awareness that each stellar design shows us the picture--on all phases of our lives--of why we were born and how, by regeneration, we can attain the "second birth" which is the transcendence of the past.