Natal Mars in the 12th House

Natal Mars in the 12th HouseSo what happens when our inner warrior is hidden away in the 12th house? This is an interesting placement for Mars. The 12th house is the area of life associated with the unconscious, spirituality, dreams. It is also the stuff we push away and don’t want to think about. It’s known as the house of self-undoing as things that are repressed eventually bubble up through the unconscious and can come out at the least opportune times. When we aren’t aware of why we act the way we do, this can have a detrimental effect on our lives and relationships.

With Mars in the 12th house, our drive, will, motivation and fighting instinct is secreted away in a very private area of the chart. Typically, planets in the 12th house can be given up for a greater good. In a study done by Gauquelin, it was noted that many sports men and woman had this placement. If we think of Mars as energy, your competitive side go-get-it side, then this makes sense because there is often a feeling with sport that what you are doing is for your team or for your country. You give over your power for a greater aim than simply your own.

This is also the house of isolation, so you may be drawn to solitary pursuits or pastimes like running for example. Sometimes people with a 12th house Mars are very self-driven behind the scenes so can be strongly motivated to simply ‘do their own thing’. But this is private and for them alone and they may not like others interfering.

Some with Mars in the 12th house fight for a cause. The 12th house is the house of hospitals and institutions and can relate to those who are lost and forgotten in society. Mars here may have an urge to help, to DO something. Sometimes, because this is the house indicating no boundaries and is therefore limitless, you may never know when to stop. You may always feel the need to be doing something and yet at the same time feel whatever you do is never enough.

Because Mars is connected to your physical energy levels and strength, for some this placement can indicate you need more rest than others. Maybe you are the kind of person who is physically drained when around too many other people. Some time alone will help to re-charge your batteries.

You may end up fighting everybody else’s battles other than you own. Your own anger and frustration can be bottled up by this placement. Anger can be displaced. In fighting for someone or something else, maybe you don’t look at or even see your own anger.

This placement can indicate someone who doesn’t like to show their anger – maybe when they were little they were told ‘it’s not nice’. Perhaps you are submissive, agreeable yet secretly you’re working hard to get to the top and beat them at their own game. Because the 12th house can represent the womb before birth, sometimes it can indicate that your mother found the pregnancy with you challenging. Maybe you kicked hard! Perhaps you don’t show you’re anger because you were frightened into keeping it hidden. Maybe you were bullied.

You may be afraid of your own anger. Perhaps you’re scared that if you show your anger, if you get into it – you’ll never stop. It can feel like imploding. You may be the kind of person to rage in silence. You may have dreams of fighting or battles or perhaps angry thoughts come to you seemingly without reason. In extreme situations, where Mars has been denied altogether, Mars turns the battle on himself so self-destructive anger and self harm can result. Mars in the 12th can be the poster child of being your own worst enemy.

Maybe you run from confrontations. Maybe you feel like there’s a hidden or invisible enemy. Perhaps you are an escapist. Maybe you’re inclined to jump ship when the going gets tough. Perhaps it’s just that you feel like it’s not worth fighting for. The challenge with this placement is that sometimes you can feel defeated before you ever start. It’s a ‘what’s the point’ aspect. You may have a feeling that you are ineffectual or you just can’t assert yourself.

Because Mars is connected to your desires and sexual attraction, you may find it difficult to openly pursue those you are attracted to. Secret desires may be unrequited or perhaps you are drawn to those who are unobtainable. Perhaps you just find it hard to ask for what you want from a partner. Sometimes relationships can trigger psychological complexes. This can be damaging or healing depending on how it is handled. Some people with Mars here may be celibate. On the plus side, Mars in the 12th house can indicate that sex is a spiritual experience, perfect for investigating tantric practices.

Look to the aspects that Mars makes in your chart. If they are positive, it may show that one of your karmic lessons in this life is to use your Mars for others. In a past life you may have honed your Martian energy – maybe you were strong and powerful yet kind and compassionate. Maybe you had mastered your body through martial arts or athleticism. Perhaps you were a natural leader and you bring that quality into your current life. Mars in the 12th can be on a mission. You are called to take action on those things that promote peace and connection between all things. Mars here could be said to be a fight for peace.

With challenging aspects, maybe in a past life, there were unwise actions or problems with anger and competitiveness, so in this life, it’s about learning to use the energy of Mars more effectively both for yourself an others. It may be about learning how to handle anger on a personal level, dealing with unresolved anger and ultimately forgiving yourself.

Working at its best, Mars in the 12th can indicate you are kind, compassionate and peaceful yet willing to challenge people and situations that seek to put others down. You are self-motivated and able to assert yourself without fear. As this can be a very creative house, Mars here may motivate you to become the quiet but talented artist or musician.

The positive side of Mars in the 12th house is that here he is in spiritual warrior. Where Mars is in the chart, he likes to feel strong. He shows something we want and where we tend to actively go out and get it. In the 12th house, this can be the active pursuit of the soul and a desire to work on your spiritual life. Your dream life may be very active too so it can be helpful to keep a dream diary. You have all this energy deep inside of you to draw upon. If you follow a healing path, you may have a very high perception of other people’s energy levels. Mars here can call you to initiate your own healing quest. When you feel stuck and unmotivated, an act of kindness for someone else may help to get you started again.

Natal Mars in the 12th House – Celebrity Examples

Nicole Kidman – Mars in Libra
“I would rather be tough on myself than have other people be tough on me.”

Britney Spears – Mars in Virgo
“I’m not at the point where I’d feel safe in a house alone. I would be really scared. I’m the kind of person that when I get up to go use the bathroom I have this big long hallway, and I just know someone’s going to jump out and get me.”

Heath Ledger – Mars in Pisces
“I like to do something I fear.”

(Note Heath Ledger passed away due to drug abuse)

Johnny Cash – Mars in Pisces
“I’m very shy really. I spend a lot of time in my room alone reading or writing or watching television.”

(Note – also battled issues with drugs and alcohol)

Maria Montessori – Mars in Cancer
“If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.”

Painting – Detail from ‘Mars and Rhea Silvia’ by Peter Paul Rubens

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30 comments for “Natal Mars in the 12th House

  1. Nancy
    February 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    You have to learn to disengage from other people’s “stuff” when you have Mars/12th. They can bring you down, drain you dry, energy vampires, because you’re going that extra mile, all the time. It can be a professional or personal theme or both. One’s empathy can go too far…Boundaries are necessary big time. Just say “no.” You learn to get it right w/ time and experience.
    Not an easy placement, but if you work it right you can leave the world a better place than what you’ve found it. You’re constantly championing for the underdog–people & animals, but you have to learn to champion for yourself, too!

  2. Maria
    February 19, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Oh yes, super sporty! Although I like to practice “solitary” sports modalities, and group class in the gym makes me anxious. I guess my love for Rugby comes from my (12th house) Mars in Taurus – there is nothing in the world as stubborn as a good scrum, you know. 🙂

  3. February 19, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Haha – love the rugby reference! I never did understand rugby but my Mars in Taurus gets fixated with watching football – especially cheering on Portugal 🙂

  4. February 19, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Very wise words Nancy! I also love your reference to ‘championing’ yourself. Perfect!

  5. a
    March 2, 2015 at 5:59 am

    QUESTION: is this the same or true with aries in the 12th house. i have no planets in the 12th house. but mars is opposition my mars which is in libra. thanks.

  6. March 2, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Hi a. Thanks for your question. No, this would be a little different if your Mars is placed elsewhere in your chart. Mars opposite or square Neptune would have a similar flavour to Mars in the 12th house. For you, it means that transits to your Mars would result in changes/shifts in your spiritual perception or unconscious caused by movements in the areas of life indicated by your natal Mars position and the transit house. Mars opposite Mars can sometimes feel like a bit of a low point, sometimes frustrating, sometimes you want to jump the gun. Impulsiveness/anger/conflict can be the main issues with Mars opposite Mars. The good side is that used at its best it can offer energy to pursue your own goals.

  7. Ruby
    March 16, 2015 at 1:56 am

    This is a really helpful post. I can relate to much of what you said. (e.g. being bullied, being athletic, and being spiritually-driven).
    I’m wondering how this works if my 12th house is in Aries? I have Mars in Aries in my 12th, as well as my north node.
    I often feel like I am playing the game of life on a pretty difficult setting!
    Insights appreciated!

  8. joram
    June 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    yes; great article…pretty much malefic planets can do excellent in the dusthana houses.

  9. joram
    June 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I have always been fascinated by the occult subjects especially spirituality expanded and explained through astrology but my mars and saturn are retrograde in the 12th house .Talk about the effects of retrogression,aspect and the sign.Thank you.

  10. July 4, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks for reading Joram 🙂

  11. marijana
    August 20, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    could you please answer me, i am not that good in english.
    my 12 house ruler is taurus and mars(tau) in 12house, aspects with mars sun (ca) trine mars moon (aq) trine mars and mars trine saturn (ca).
    I often get darined by situations and some people, but what about my secret enemies and my emotions?

    thenk you very much 🙂

  12. August 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Hi Marijana – There are many ways you can strengthen your Mars. Much of it is about connecting with your inner protector and defender so that you can learn to set appropriate boundaries instead of feeling drained by others. For example, therapy, shadow work, journalling, having a strong spiritual practice, chakra work and so on. If you would like to explore you chart further, I offer readings here http://www.leahwhitehorse.com/readings

  13. September 29, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I want to thank you for such a vast and varied description of Mars in the 12th house.
    My Capricorn Mars in the 12th house always stumped me for it is a difficult placement for Mars. Recognition is not its strong point! However, here is a list that fits your description:
    Animals and people that are lost and wounded come to me for help
    30 years ago, I became a Vegan for the planet/animals
    I am an energy healer for over 25 years, helping people transform their lives
    I am a vocal instrument in a kirtan ensemble, sacred chanting
    I raised two boys to be compassionate, caring men!! who love and enjoy women!!
    ( my major accomplishment)
    Oh yeah, I was also a star athlete as a child

    Thanks to my Mars in the 12th house!!
    I’ll stop blaming it now for not being in my 1st house!!

  14. September 29, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Wow Holly, you really embraced that 12th house Mars – fabulous!

  15. Castella
    November 7, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    I have 12H Sagittarius stellium (Mars, Venus, Jupiter) square 3H Pisces Saturn and trine 8H Leo Moon. Publicly I’m known as a hypersensitive, moody, temperamental, and ambitious loner; which I’m not proud of. I’m actually really sad at the fact I can’t really make friends in daily scheme; people always said I didn’t bother to try. Deep down I want to blend in, but inside my head, ‘responsibilities’ always shouting at me, haunting me with guilt if I don’t obey them, so I end up doing my works rather than spending time with my classmates. I feel if I don’t succeed, I worth nothing. But in the end, when I do get succeed, nobody is there to celebrate with me. I feel so lonely. All I ever do is accepting my solitary tendencies and live with it.

    Back then, I joined a brotherhood in which some of the members hadn’t liked me. I cracked here and there because of the clashes. But slowly, they saw my completely opened shell and since then, they smothered me with genuine affection. Our leader once told me, “It’s like you’re bringing a plate full of fruits everywhere, but nobody want to give them a try. Yet when they finally they do give it a try, those fruits are actually really sweet.” Upon hearing that, I immediately cried. It feels like somebody finally gets to see my deepest need and wish to be accepted. I have so much to give, but somehow I don’t know how to give it to others because they’re used to see me as stiff and unpleasant person…

  16. prasanna sridharan
    January 9, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Hi leah thks fr d explanation..i have mars in aries in 12th house so is it like double blow in relationships aspect or will it be beneficiial in makin me learn frm mistakes.??.
    thks in advance 🙂

  17. chris
    January 10, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I have this: in Aquarius, I do painting and film production and filming most of it is always behind the scenes.

  18. Zeynep
    March 2, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Hi! I have Mars in Cancer in 12th house and all my life i’ve had problems with anger management… I usually avoid confrontations and tried to be calm but when i’ve had enough of the situation that bothers me i just burst it out all anger… And unfortunately became something else… I dont want to be like that because the “actual me” cant even look the violence scences in the movies… So i cant find where this all repressed anger came from? I’ve tried past life regression it helps a bit… Please do tell me how can i help myself? How can i heal my Mars? I want to focus the positive aspects of Mars in 12th but in not sure what is it? Can you help me? Thank you so much!

  19. March 2, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Hi Zeynep – Thanks for your comment. I noticed you said you usually ‘avoid confrontation’ and whilst I understand why, this may be part of the issue in that the conflict ends up building up to and then becomes unmanageable. Maybe there’s something here about setting boundaries. I also notice you separate yourself from you anger (the ‘actual you’ that doesn’t want to watch any violence). The more you put distance between you and your anger, the more that part of you will ‘shout’ louder to be heard. Repressed anger/rage can stem from many things – perhaps from childhood or perhaps from things that happened in adulthood. There are several different routes you can try – naturally therapy may be useful to explore the roots of this in a safe environment with support. You could also try shadow-work or inner child work. If you would like to explore this more from an astrological/spiritual perspective, I offer readings here http://www.leahwhitehorse.com/readings

  20. Dharmesh Sharma
    April 23, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Possibly the best description of this placement ..so analytical and deeply touching every point and aspect of this placement..wonderful

  21. NukNuk
    June 11, 2016 at 5:03 am

    Interesting description of mars in 12th. I have this placement in Taurus. Competition has never been something I’ve seen as a necessary feature of human nature. Competition in itself seems to be quite detrimental to society from past to present. I see anger as just another expression of fear. Why would one get angry? When one fears that they are not getting what they want. I care not for sports or country. They are both trivial. I agree with your points on “motivated to simply do their own thing”, being drawn to isolation, and kindness, being compassionate and peaceful yet willing to challenge people and situations that seek to put others down. Yet this isolation is a means to explore the self. When one truly knows thyself.. we are limitless. Why are there homeless in the streets?… Competition. I don’t agree with your thoughts on sexual frustration though… problems with relationships. My experience with the same or opposite sex has been mostly as fluid as water. One has only has to give in relationship. When I fail to assert myself it is always because I don’t value myself over another. Mars in the 12th is the drive for spirituality. But not just spirituality, the essence of spirituality. I don’t need another to tell me about it, I pioneer it. But I also have Jupiter in the 12th in Aries. I feel at home here.

  22. June 11, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Hi NukNuk – thanks for sharing your experience of this aspect in your chart. It seems as though you have gained (with Jupiter) a great understanding of how this works positively for you.

  23. SpanishKoala
    June 27, 2016 at 4:21 am

    I have Mars in Scorpio, and in the ascendant as well. My sign is Cancer. It is this a bad “combination”? From what I have read so far there are many negative elements in my chart. I think this also is because I have at least 3 retrograde planets! I enjoyed your work, thank you very much. Any advice or feedback will be highly appreciated. (English is not my language, sorry for mistakes)

  24. Pei
    August 13, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    My mars is in Leo in the 12th house.

    I am interested in martial arts, simply watching Kung Fu movies. But I don’t do sports at all.

    You mentioned about isolation.

    To be honest, I always want to have good relationships with others but I failed. Although the Jupiter is in my 11th house, I can’t get into a group or be accepted. My experiences are like that one of the members disliked me without a reason ?at least I donno?, then she ?usually a she?made others EXPEL me. Those failures triggered my shame and sadness, so I choose to be alone.

    After many years, I get used to be alone. I do have some close friends but it seems it’s difficult for me to talk about my heart. I dunno whether it is because of mars in the 12th house or I am afraid that I will scare my friends away.

    All readers, but I still need to tell you guys: be brave to be yourself. I tried to get friends so I suppressed myself and I dunno why they started to use me. In the end I exploded and end the friendships.

    Something good about mars in 12th house is self motivation. I can see many people’s pain and I learn to be a person who can help them and improve the world. Now I do not force people to see my good and do not force others to accept my help. I just observe and be the best supporter to myself. I am working on my anger: accept it and love it and heal it. I am still on the way.

    Fingers crossed.

    Thanks for the detailed description.

  25. Kevin Zhu
    September 23, 2016 at 12:47 am

    I have Virgo on 12th house for Mars, I am having depression & anxiety right now.

    I remember that while I was young, I only have few people that I know could be called as friends. I do not hangout with others close usually(Even I was playing with them, but it is just a relationships involved with playing together), I want to play with others and have fun, but I cannot join the environment: when some other people that my friends knew were playing together, and they asked me to join them, what I would think is, those people are just my friends playmate, not necessary mine. While I am having fun with them, I would often get some interests and try to know them. But the fact is, I found out other people do things that I do not like to do.(Or maybe sometimes it will take too much energy to do it.), and I often found myself having a different way of thinking compare to others. I cannot join the big group. And that is how it comes up, only me.

    I have a sort of low self esteem. I often set a high goal, a beautiful goal, that I will be much motivated toward this goal. But the reality is not that good. That is why I have a low self esteem.

    I have a low social connection with others, sometimes when chat with someone too long times, I will be really tired. and shutdown the conversation.

    One thing I am proud of myself is I know LOTS! I know lots of different things from different degrees, even though I am a Computer Science student, I am currently trying to learning how to write good fictions, I have a huge variety of interests: Astronomy, Math, Computers, Photographing. My curiosity is coming from the principles of those different subjects, if you got the principle, you could sometimes understand everything in that area! This is fascinating! The more I know, I could explain more things! such as how a camera lens works, It is simple, but how it works is complicated, that is why it is beautiful that people who design this could put highly functional things into a small thing!

    Ok I think I write too much= =, let it ends here.

  26. September 24, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Hi Kevin
    Thank you for sharing your experience of this aspect. I’m sorry to hear you are suffering from anxiety and depression. That is something I have suffered from too throughout my adult life (although in my case I do not have Mars in the 12th house). I do hope you find some peace. I know it can be a long road but there are many things that we can do to help ourselves as well that make a difference. I love how you are proud of your knowledge. You sound very creative!

  27. pamela danz
    October 1, 2016 at 4:03 am

    Thanks for this. I am learning to understand myself and the aspects of anger that have surfaced throughout my life. I have mars in 12th house of Gemini. I definitely see a pattern in my relationships. Im learning to walk away at those ‘heated’ moments, and it takes practise! I’ve always had an interest in spirituality and even more so in the occult these days. I am a highly driven person with periods of preferred isolation. I walk a lot and meditate on the positive things in my life that are working. As well I practise forgiveness.

  28. Ra
    March 15, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Beautiful ?? Each & every word is expressed With conviction.

  29. Deepak
    March 22, 2017 at 6:17 am

    I am a Sagittarius ascendant & mars in conjunction with sun in 12th house in Scorpio sign with the Jupiter aspect Ind from 6th house. Any thoughts how the Mars mahadadha plays?

  30. July 3, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    I have Mars retrograde in Leo on the 12th, squaring Uranus on the 3rd in Scorpio. Together with Mars on the 12th I have the Moon – with great aspects!! Then close by I have Saturn at 0º of Virgo, also retrograde, right in the Ascendant line. HELP 🙂

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