Your Secret Self: Illuminating the Mysteries of the Twelfth House [NOOK Book]


The Twelfth House is where the angels of our creative inspiration and spirituality, and the demons of our shadow self reside. Tracy Marks, psychotherapist /astrologer, provides penetrating insights into the inner workings of both the hidden weaknesses and strengths of the Twelfth House, and provides practical and easy-to-use worksheets to support the process of recovering buried facets of ourselves.

  • Part I: ...
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Your Secret Self: Illuminating the Mysteries of the Twelfth House

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The Twelfth House is where the angels of our creative inspiration and spirituality, and the demons of our shadow self reside. Tracy Marks, psychotherapist /astrologer, provides penetrating insights into the inner workings of both the hidden weaknesses and strengths of the Twelfth House, and provides practical and easy-to-use worksheets to support the process of recovering buried facets of ourselves.

  • Part I: The multi-faceted meanings of the Twelfth House
  • Part II: The meaning of individual Twelfth house planets and signs, their rulers and placement
  • Part III: Psychodynamics of the Twelfth House -the emotional conflicts associated with it, and the process of integrating and liberating Twelfth House energies
  • Part IV: Self Transformation through Dreamwork and the dream experience using case studies related to the Twelfh House
  • Part V: The Collective Shadow, focusing on the Twelfth House of the United States.

This is an updated, expanded and revised addition of a book published in 1989, with over 30 pages of new material.

The Twelfth House in astrology is concerned with self-defeating patterns as well as with inspiration and compassion for self and others.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892545865
  • Publisher: Ibis Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,113,174
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Tracy Marks, M.A., is a licensed mental health counselor, astrologer, writer, instructor, and nature photographer. Her transformational astrology books, including Astrology of Self-Discovery and The Art of Chart Interpretation, have been translated into nine languages and have sold over 150,000 copies. A psychotherapist since 1985, she is currently maintaining both counseling and astrology practices in Arlington, Massachusetts, as well as teaching in continuing education programs.
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Read an Excerpt


Illuminating the Mysteries of the Twelfth House

By Tracy Marks


Copyright © 2010 Tracy Marks
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-89254-161-4


The Twelfth House: Your Hidden Wisdom


When from our better selves we have too long Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop, Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired, How gracious, how benign, is Solitude.

—William Wordsworth

The man who has no inner life is the slave of his surroundings.

—Henri Frederic Amiel

A man who is unconscious of himself ... sees everything that he is not conscious of in himself coming to meet him from outside as projections upon his neighbor.

—Carl Jung

They say, best men are molded out of faults, And, for the most, become much more the better For being a little bad.

—Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

Good does not become better by being exaggerated, but worse, and a small evil becomes a big one through being disregarded and repressed.

—Carl Jung

So every bondman in his own hand bears The power to cancel his captivity.

—Shakespeare, Julius Caesar


Have you noticed when the Sun ascends each day, that the first house of the horoscope through which it travels is the twelfth house? As it crosses the horizon, beginning its cycle through space and time toward the midheaven and around the wheel, it calls upon you to move first downward and backward into the past. The twelfth house is the reservoir of the past, of all that lies beneath the surface of consciousness—feelings, thoughts, images from early childhood, and further back still, from past lives. It is what we hide from ourselves and others, and what emerges within us, threatening and enriching us, in solitude.

The twelfth house is the storehouse within us in which both our inner demons and angels reside. In order to move upward and contact the angels—the sources of our creative inspiration, spirituality, and the highest expressions of love and service to humanity, we must first move downward. We must face the ghosts of the past, the failures, the humiliations, and the painful experiences which haunt us. We must encounter our unresolved problems, and all that we dislike within ourselves—our anger, greed, cruelty, extravagance, vanity, as well as all the qualities in ourselves which we like and value but nevertheless hesitate to acknowledge.

Later, we will explore together the process of confronting twelfth house energies, a very difficult but ultimately freeing process, full of dangers and joys. But first, we need to understand the numerous and related meanings of the twelfth house itself. Whether you are a beginning astrology student, still learning basic definitions of planets, signs, and houses, or an advanced student, deepening your under standing of the chart, you will most benefit from this book if you relate the material in it to the planets and the signs in your twelfth house.

Take a few moments now and recall your twelfth house. What sign appears on your twelfth house cusp?.... Is it the same or a different sign than the sign of your eleventh house or your ascendant and first house?.... What, if any, other signs are in your twelfth house?.... What planets rule your twelfth house signs, and where are these planets located in your chart?.... If you have no twelfth house planets, then you may not need to focus on your inner world as much as people with twelfth house planets do. But the planets which rule your twelfth house sign or signs will have a special significance in your life, because they will indicate how and where you channel your subtle and often unconscious twelfth house energy.

Look again at your twelfth house. What planets reside there?.... In what sign or signs?.... What other houses do they rule in your chart? The twelfth house meanings of each of these planets will influence the houses that these planets rule. If you have several twelfth house planets, your twelfth house energies may extend into many realms of your life.

If you have three or more planets in your twelfth house, (or two, if one of them is the Sun, Moon, or Neptune), then a large part of your consciousness is already in the twelfth house, digging through its garbage and its gold mines. If you have one or perhaps two planets there, you particularly need to come to terms with twelfth house energies. These planets may hinder or support the drives indicated by other planets in your chart.

Consider now all the aspects which your twelfth house planets or rulers make to other planets, signs, and houses.... How many planets, signs, and houses are involved with your twelfth house energies?.... These aspects to other houses are pathways of energy through which your twelfth house planets manifest themselves, seeking compensation and escape from conflict, as well as outward expression for their inner gifts.

Do conjunctions predominate? If your twelfth house planets conjunct each other, but make few aspects to other dimensions of your chart, then you may need to retreat deeply within yourself, you may feel disconnected from your twelfth house energy, and you may experience a split between your inner and outer selves.... Do squares predominate? Then you will be drawing from but battling with your deeper energies; you may be forced repeatedly to confront and change your behavior.... . Do oppositions predominate? Then you are likely to gain understanding of yourself through projecting your deep-seated patterns onto others, and through viewing yourself through the mirrors of your personal relation ships.... . Do trines and sextiles predominate? These will aid you in discovering constructive outlets for your twelfth house energies. But your primary problem may be lack of motivation; you may not feel challenged enough to develop your psychological resources. Peace with yourself may be too easy.

In addition to the planets in your natal chart, consider also the planets by transit and progression which are passing through your twelfth house now.... Transiting outer planets and progressed planets may have been influencing your twelfth house for many years and operating within the recesses of your psyche like natal twelfth house planets. These planets too rule houses in your chart, and make aspects to other planets.

As you reflect upon planets in your twelfth house natally, planets ruling it, and planets temporarily passing through it, consider both their positive and negative manifestations. Saturn, for example, can indicate repression and oppression, limitation and restriction, fear, withdrawal, and deprivation. But Saturn in the twelfth house, operating in an inward manner, can help you fully commit yourself to inner development or to a path of service; it can mobilize the self-discipline required for solitary work. You have the potential to express both positive and negative meanings of your twelfth house planets, but you are not likely to be able to find their most constructive expressions until you have at least begun to confront, own, and work through the negative, destructive tendencies within you.

Your Twelfth House Profile


Sign on the cusp __________

Second sign __________

Third sign (if interception) __________

The planetary ruler of the cusp, __________, is in the sign _______in the__________ house and makes these aspects:

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

Does a sign rule the 11th & 12th, or 12th & 1st? _________


Which planets? ______

Planet #1, ______, is in the sign _______ and rules the _________ (and _________) house(s) of my chart. It makes the following aspects:

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

Is this planet in mutual reception, in its own sign, or in its own house? __________

Is it the focal planet of a pattern or aspect configuration? ________

Planet #2, _________, is in the sign ________and rules the _________ (and _________) house(s) of my chart. It makes the following aspects:

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

Your Twelfth House Profile

Is this planet in mutual reception, in its own sign, or in its own house? _______

Is it the focal planet of a pattern or aspect configuration? ________

Planet #3, _______, is in the sign _______and rules the _________ (and _________) house(s) of my chart. It makes the following aspects:

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

aspect _______ to planet _______ orb _______

Is this planet in mutual reception, in its own sign, or in its own house? ________________

Is it the focal planet of a pattern or aspect configuration? ________

Diagram the planets involved in your 12th house. Include planets in and ruling the 12th house, and the planets that they aspect.


What outer planet transits or progressed planets are passing through your 12th house: What is their position in your natal chart (house position, house rulership, etc.)? ________

__________ ___________

The Inner Life

What then are the debilitating and life-enhancing meanings of the twelfth house? What does the twelfth house represent? First of all, it is the house of solitude. If you have several planets there, (especially the Sun, Moon, Venus, Jupiter, or Neptune), you probably crave time alone and enjoy remote environments where you can commune with your inner world. What emerges within you when you are alone? The Sun here indicates an inner warmth, vitality, a confidence in your inner resources; the Moon, emotional needs and sensitivities which demand your attention; Mercury, a frenzy of thoughts and worries, nervous mental energy which may motivate you to read or write; Venus, feelings of peace and love, and an appreciation of beauty which, you may channel into artistic pursuits; Mars, sexual desire, previously unacknowledged resentments, and a restlessness which goads you to keep busy; Jupiter, rich and expansive faith, and a questing for the; wisdom gained through exploring and expanding your inner horizons.

Saturn in the twelfth house indicates deep-seated loneliness, fear or guilt, despair or negativity which may be difficult to confront. But it also shows the ability to apply yourself with determination or concentration to some solitary task—perhaps to your work, which helps; you to bring order to the internal chaos. Uranus inclines you to express yourself in inventive, often unconventional ways when alone, seeking activities which allow for constant change and mental stimulation. Neptune suggests creative inspiration, transcendent experience, or fantasies and dreams which captivate you. Finally, Pluto in the twelfth house indicates so much intensity lurking beneath your calm surface that you feel driven with your total being to explore the depths of your psyche; or in contrast, you may feel driven to move outward, away from the threats of volcanic eruption, to focus single-mindedly on some activity which requires you to use all of your energies.

The twelfth house is the house of confinement as well as solitude, and may indicate either voluntary or involuntary confinement at some point in the life cycle. Many people with strong twelfth houses have chosen to live in ashrams or alone in some remote location. Others have been confined in prisons, hospitals, or mental institutions, often because they have misused their energies, or because they have become so out of touch with their minds, bodies and emotions that they were drawn into seclusion so that they might regain contact with themselves. Many people with twelfth house planets, wishing to serve humanity, feel called to work with the institutionalized and to vicariously experience their conflicts. Such confinement may be a choice which a soul makes in order to confront and integrate otherwise inaccessible facets of itself.

Apart from solitude and confinement, your twelfth house planets may suggest that you are oversensitive to public attention, and that you desire to operate behind the scenes, quietly expressing yourself and sustaining yourself without public acknowledgement. If you have Mars or Saturn here, you may in particular be threatened by competition and prefer to work on your own, or in an environment free from external pressures.

Often, the twelfth house desire to remain in the background results in indirect or evasive action. Mercury in the twelfth house may incline you to ramble in speech rather than directly express your thoughts; Mars, to assert yourself or express your anger in subtle, circuitous ways, such as by making wisecracks or by edging your way to the front of a line rather than overtly asserting yourself; Pluto may unconsciously motivate you to gain power in your relationships by using your penetrating psychological insight as a means to manipulate others.

Whatever planetary energies are located in or ruling your twelfth house, you are generally quite protective of them. Many planets here suggest that you are a private person; one or two indicate that you keep to yourself certain vulnerable facets of your experience (as indicated by the nature of these particular planets). Although you may talk about your personal life, you only directly reveal these twelfth house energies with the few people you most deeply trust. Because they indicate your Achilles heel, your points of maximum vulnerability, you are easily wounded by other people's unempathic reactions to these parts of yourself.

If your Moon is in your twelfth house, you are unwilling to disclose when you are hurt or need comfort or sympathy, or to let people directly see your feelings, perhaps because you fear being regarded as weak or childish. With Mercury or Jupiter here, you may feel threatened by the mental abilities, beliefs, or methods of communication of other people, and may hesitate to share what you are really thinking. Venus in the twelfth house may indicate that you are affectionate in private but unwilling to display affection openly; Mars, that you keep your anger to yourself, so as not to hurt other people or drive them away; Uranus, that you hide your idiosyncrasies or unconventional habits, interests or activities from the public eyes so as not to be considered abnormal or odd; Pluto, that you keep your deepest desires and passions to yourself, and are reticent about facing and expressing your real issues in regard to money, sex, or death.

Excerpted from YOUR SECRET SELF by Tracy Marks. Copyright © 2010 Tracy Marks. Excerpted by permission of NICOLAS-HAYS, INC..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents




Part One: The Twelfth House: Your Hidden Wisdom          


Your Twelfth House Profile          

The Inner Life          

Displacement Patterns: Aspects          


Sensitivity, Service & Imagination          

Spirituality and Transcendence          

Becoming Whole          

Twelfth House Keywords          

Your Twelfth House Profile          

Notes on Your Twelfth House Profile          

And Then the Chart Spoke          

Part Two: Twelfth House Planets & Signs          


Planetary Rulers of the Twelfth House: By House Placement          

Sun (Leo) in the Twelfth House          

Moon (Cancer) in the Twelfth House          

Mercury (Gemini, Virgo) in the Twelfth House          

Venus (Taurus, Libra) in the Twelfth House          

Mars (Aries) in the Twelfth House          

Jupiter (Sagittarius) in the Twelfth House          

Saturn (Capricorn) in the Twelfth House          

Uranus (Aquarius) in the Twelfth House          

Neptune (Pisces) in the Twelfth House          

Pluto (Scorpio) in the Twelfth House          

For Further Understanding ... Read Myths          

The Lunar Nodes in the Twelfth House          

Part Three: The Psychodynamics of Twelfth House Conflicts          

The Disowned Self          

Family Dynamics          

The House of Atreus: Family Curse or Conditioning?          

The Inner Wound          

Defense Mechanisms          

On Repression          

Inner Persecutors & Demons          

The Dynamics of Shame          

Maintaining the Family System          

Guilt, Suffering, & Self-Defeating Behavior          

On Fear & Anxiety          

Part Four: The Process of Integration: Twelfth House Liberation          

The Commitment to Wholeness          

The Process of Change          

Coping with Anxiety & Fear          

Encountering Our Shadow Selves          

Accepting Our Shadow Selves          

Embracing Our True Selves          

Part Five: Self Transformation Through Dreamwork          

Why Do Dreamwork?          

How to Recall Your Dreams          

Hints for Dreamwork and Dream Interpretation          

Dream Symbology          

Frequent Dream Themes & Their Symbolic Meanings          

The Dream Questionnaire          

"The Water Giver Dream" Worksheet          

Cosmic Dreams          

The Dream Experience: Twelfth House Case Studies          

A Twelfth House Dream Journey (March, 1988)          

Trusting Inner Guidance          

Dreams of Violation          

Dreams of Incapacity & Capacity          

The Inner Male          

Dreams of Aggression          

Beyond the Body: Dreams of Expansion          

Encounter With the Shadow          

Owning the Body: Increasing Capacity          

Dialogue with Daphne          

Letting It Out & Letting Go          

Part Six: The Collective Shadow          

The Collective Shadow          

Nazi Germany          

The United States          

The Larger Collective          


About the Author          

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