What an Empty 12th House Could Mean in Astrology

With your natal chart broken up into 12 houses, but only 10 planets generally considered in an astrology reading, you are bound to find a few houses sitting unoccupied in your chart. What if one of those houses is your 12th? What, exactly, does it mean to have an empty 12th House?

If you have an empty 12th House it simply means you didn’t need any planets present to achieve what you came to this life to learn. It certainly doesn’t mean that you will have a bad experience in your 12th House, you just didn’t need any planets there in order to reach higher levels of spiritual connection.

Wondering what your empty 12th House may mean for you? Read on to learn more!

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abandoned home symbolizing an empty 12th house

What does the 12th House represent?

You will hear many names thrown around when describing the 12th House. There is the House of Self-Undoing, the House of Secret Enemies, the House of Troubles, and even the House of Bad Spirits. In my opinion, this is the most difficult house to define.

The best way I can describe your 12th House is the parts that exist within you that you are unaware of. This is the house of unconscious triggers and drives that move you toward and away from things largely without your consent or knowledge.

Your 12th House is your hangups and where they came from is up for debate. Some feel as though these are residual effects from childhood, or further back, stress passed along to you from your mother while you were in the womb. And some astrologers take it back even further, connecting this house with your karma, residual feelings, and patterns of behavior leftover from past lives that have stuck in your unconscious, unbeknownst to you because you have no memory of it.

*Want to know what my VERY favorite astrology books are? Find out here!

So why all of the dramatic and unsettling names for the 12th House? Well, traversing this house full of unconscious issues can feel like trying to fight an invisible enemy.

If there was one thing I could read about the 12th House that most astrologers could agree upon it was that experiencing this house won’t feel easy. Much like the 8th House, in order to grow in our 12th, it will more than likely be a by-product of a difficult experience, something we don’t want to face but have to.

To ignore your 12th House issues is to be held captive by them. These unconscious drives, fears, and desires can push you in directions in life that you don’t want to go, yet you keep finding yourself there, confused about exactly why this happened…again. Doing the hard work of self-exploration is a must if you would like to come through your 12th House better on the other side.

This all may sound like something to dread, but your 12th House also brings with it the potential for incredible personal growth.

Plus, your 12th House isn’t only about baggage. This house also covers the territory of your sense of oneness and your connection to something bigger. It is realizing that, for a species that knows their days on this planet on numbered and that we may very well all go to a greater “home” after this one, most of the things we worry about are absurd and meaningless.

So, this so-called House of Troubles is about letting go, both of the baggage lingering in your mind, but also of your attachment to earthly matters. And, it is also about reconnecting with the spirit, with the collective unconscious, with something greater than ourselves.

*Learn more about houses in astrology in our article all about them here.

What is an empty house in astrology?

As the name implies, an empty house is simply a house with no planets sitting in it. So the real question is what exactly is the significance of it?

As with many details in astrology, not every astrologer agrees on the exact meaning of an empty house. My thoughts on the matter come from the branch of astrology I lean toward, Evolutionary Astrology, which takes the stance that every person is born with the chart that is right for them. If you have an empty house, it just means you didn’t need a planet there.

Think of your chart as a map toward achieving personal growth, pointing you in the right direction toward learning what you came here to learn. An empty house, then, would just mean that all of the planets were needed elsewhere.

So, I don’t believe that an empty house indicates a person will struggle or lag behind in that area of life. And, I also don’t think that a house with no planets is one that you can just breeze through with little work on your part.

This is because your chart is a system, and a system that is meant to work together. Any time you read one piece of your chart on its own without considering the rest you lose insight. Other placements in your chart could actually make your seemingly uninteresting, empty house much more influential than it may seem at first glance.

You can find out more about what could make your empty house more significant in our article all about it here.

What if my 12th House is empty?

Working through your unconscious baggage and forming a sense of oneness is still completely possible for you even with no planets occupying your 12th House.

person standing in front of a body of a large body of water thinking

This was the only house I read about where it seemed as though astrologers would almost consider you “lucky” for not having planets sitting in your 12th because planets may indicate something that needs to be worked through. With that mindset, planets in your 12th place more energy there, so a lack of them may might (and that is a big might) make your passage through the house a bit less cumbersome.

But lack of challenge doesn’t necessarily equate to better or easier. Even if you face fewer trials and tribulations for lacking planets in your 12th, you may miss out on the incredible spiritual growth and connection that comes from it. This doesn’t have to be true, of course, as it may simply take a more conscious effort on your part to spur your development in those areas as you don’t have planets in that house pushing you toward it.

When thinking in terms of Evolutionary Astrology, you were born with all of the tools you need in order to learn what you came here to learn. So, exposing your own unconscious triggers and gaining self-awareness is definitely possible for you, empty 12th House and all.

*Learn more about Evolutionary Astrology in our free mini-course for beginners found here.

And if you still want some insight as to how you could experience your 12th House, your chart still offers you insight through the sign on your 12th House cusp (or boundary line). The traits, predispositions, and desires of your 12th House sign can offer you information on the style in which you approach 12th House matters, possible strengths in those areas, and also offer some cautionary guidance in the form of pitfalls you should watch for.

Do you welcome the type of raw self-reflection that may be encouraged in your 12th House, or do you prefer to look the other way, ignoring those “unpleasantries” of life? Is your exploration into your own psyche fueled by experiences, relationships, or sitting alone in a forest? Do you approach investigating “your issues” and strengthening your spiritual connection as something that you meticulously work toward? Are you drawn to mysticism? Knowing the sign of your 12th could help shed some light on all of these 12th House-type questions.

chart detail showing an empty 12th house in scorpio
Chart of Georges Lochak from astro.com

From the example chart above, you can see that this individual has an empty 12th House and that its cusp sits in the sign of Scorpio. Even though they have no planets occupying their 12th House, we can use the sign on their 12th House cusp to gather information about how they may experience matters of this house, including strengths and challenges that Scorpio may bring.

With a strong sense of their own mortality and connection to something bigger, they may be able to keep the more trivial parts of the human experience in perspective, realizing that much of what society focuses their time and energy on is meaningless.

Penetrating and pensive Scorpio may bring to this person a great willingness to explore their unconscious triggers. Personal transformation in these areas may flow easily with little resistance. And, their self-analysis may seem intense and highly emotional.

This Scorpionic strength of diving deep into their own psyche could also become a challenge when taken to an extreme, however. Getting “lost,” going too far into the depths of their own unconscious before they are ready, allowing it all to pull them down to the point where they lose perspective, could be a pitfall that this individual should watch for.

This isn’t a proper chart reading, of course, as I only proposed a few general ideas of how Scorpio could be expressed through the 12th House with no regard for the rest of the chart! However, this can give you an idea of how the sign on the cusp of your 12th House could offer you valuable information, especially when read in the context of your entire chart.

Want to learn more about why your empty house could actually be more influential in your chart than it appears at first glance? Click here to read our article all about it!

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