Those who have Mars in their 12th House are consciously accepting the passion and the fire that they possess within themselves. The planet in the 12th shows how a person needs to “wake up” and with Mars located in the 12th, this person needs to be awakened in terms of understanding what drives them and motivates them, as well as what enrages them. With this placement, when you’re living unconsciously, it can be all too easy for you to blind yourself to your passion, anger, and assertiveness. But, this only means that these fired-up feelings and states will rise to the surface in a very destructive and messy way. As a result, you can easily feel victimized, confused, or overwhelmed by your more temperamental and driven side. But, by working through your denial or your disillusionment, you will be able to recognize that this inner fire is an inescapable part of your humanity and can subsequently honor its expression within yourself and your fellow man.
Planets in the 12th represent one’s prenatal experiences and how they come to shape the deeply unconscious part of yourself. When you’re in your mother’s womb, you are not an individual, separate person. There are no boundaries between you and her, which is a feeling that all people with planets in the 12th struggle with later in life when it comes to people, in general. It is very common for mothers with children who have 12th House planets to have dramatic, upsetting, or unusual pregnancies. With Mars located in the 12th House, the mother may have been continually frustrated and even angry. The hormonal imbalances of the pregnancy could have brought her rage to the surface in uncontrollable ways. It also could’ve been the fact that something in her life during those nine months put her in a perpetually pissed off state. This might have been dramatic conflicts with people in her life, which could have included the father of her child.
It's very possible that lots of arguing and disharmony rocked this relationship between the two parents, which affected the mother by putting her constantly on edge, anticipating a fight. And all of this volatility, of course, has a profound effect on the child inside of the mother. In fact, if you have Mars in the 12th, you might have been a really hard “kicker” when you were in your mother’s belly. There could be stories about how you were kicking so hard or so frequently that she thought you were ready to come out already. But, in your own very unconscious way, you were fighting back against the emotional rockiness and explosiveness that you were always living with. Your time in the womb was quite a battlefield and when you are finally born, you are born with a tremendous amount of anger and combativeness that goes so deep that you can’t even put it into words.
The thing about 12th House planets is that the experience in the womb is dramatically different than the early environment one encounters. These states feel like very opposite worlds and it can leave the 12th House person with this profound yearning to “go back” to the other state of consciousness. Once the 12th House Mars child is born, there is a significant emphasis on keeping things peaceful, civil, and balanced. It’s as if the mother figure is now trying to avoid all of the conflict that she went through when she was carrying the child. So, you were brought into a world that stressed harmony and getting along. There was an insistence on not being selfish and not playing nicely and easily with other people. And there could’ve still been intense conflict in the atmosphere. But, it was definitely swept under the rug or just never talked about, to the degree of your caregiver(s) putting smiles on their faces even when it’s obvious they weren’t happy.
In actuality, there is still a ton of frustration that one or both of your parental figures were struggling with. They just didn’t know how to vent that anger or deal with it in a healthy way. The adults in your life also didn’t really know how to go after what they wanted and be honest about their desires. It’s something that could have made it challenging for them to actively pursue their goals in life. But, it’s also something that permeated the little things, making it a total ordeal for them to assert themselves or be direct. Instead, there was a lot of tiptoeing or sugarcoating. There could have even been outright manipulation that was used to try and get what they wanted.
In any case, there was this air of private or secret suffering in your household in terms of not being able to be upfront about one’s desires and frustrations. It’s something that you really absorbed on an unconscious level. Children with 12th House planets are so empathic and impressionable that they can very easily take on the parents’ problems as their own. The thing is that you have always possessed an incredible courage and self-motivation; an inner aggression that absolutely will not quit until a victory is obtained. But, you learned how to suppress and silence this side of yourself. Mars in the 12th House means that you absorbed your environment’s “peace at any price” creed to the point of becoming oblivious to the fire that was burning inside of yourself.
The sign that Mars is in indicates just how you neglected your inner passion and drive. If it’s in Gemini and in the 12th, this means that you ignored your desire for stimulation, objectivity, learning, and active communication. If you have Mars in Scorpio and in the 12th, your desire for depth, intensity, intimacy, and power went ignored. It got to the point where you not only approached life with this emphasis on harmony but you found yourself being turned off by those who you deemed too aggressive or too selfish. Life can seem like a mad, mad rat race to you, full of people who are so self-involved and inconsiderate that they’re willing to run people over to get what they want. Such selfishness doesn’t really fit your self-image as someone who not only is so nice but who takes things easily and calmly, never in an urgent rush for anything.
However, 12th House planets have a very sneaky, indirect way of expressing themselves. They don’t just disappear. They just come out in ways that the person is not conscious of or is in denial of. So, while you may love to think of yourself as this peaceful individual who isn’t trying to shove himself or herself to the front of the line, you are actually far more selfish and aggressive than you realize you are. When you lack higher consciousness, you are only playing nice in order to gain the upper hand and win. Beneath that easy smile is a lot of ferocity and it can be downright cutthroat. That’s because when it comes out, it comes out in a very messy and uncontrolled fashion. You could become really controlling in an attempt to do something thoughtful for someone else. It doesn’t take long for the person to realize that you’re just doing it for yourself and your own gratification. You also may try so hard to enforce the peace and insist on others playing fairly that you end up forcing your own agenda on to someone else in a very dominating way.
The worst thing about how intensely you can want what you want is that you may not realize or admit to how badly you want it. In its unevolved expression, a planet in the 12th is like sleepwalking. You don’t know what you’ve done until someone turns the light on and stops you. With Mars in the 12th, you can “sleepwalk” by stepping over everyone to get what you want and not thinking twice. And when someone tries to call you out for your viciousness or meanness, you get confused. But, make no mistake: there is a side of you that can be really mean and careless with other people’s feelings or needs. It doesn’t mean that you’re an awful person. It’s just that this aggressive energy gets so bottled up that when it’s finally expressed, it’s not pretty. All those sweet nothings melt away and you’re chewing someone up and spitting them out.
This is also reflective of the fact that your temper can be extraordinary. Mars shows how we lose our temper and get mad. But, with Mars in the 12th, anger is such a confusing state for you that it is very hard to express it directly. Instead, it comes out very indirectly and when it does, it’s almost like a dissociative state. People with a 12th House Mars can truly morph into a completely different person when mad, like an actor playing a scene where their character is angry. Mars in the 12th in Aquarius means that you can change into a full-on rebel when mad who holds nothing sacred and is completely, coldly indifferent to how people feel about it. With the 12th House Mars in Virgo, you can morph into the most vicious critic when mad, ripping everything and everyone to shreds with the most accurate, dead-on judgments.
It's something that can really rise to the surface when you’re drunk. I do think that how a person acts when they’re drunk has to do with whatever is in their 12th House, whether it’s the sign on the cusp or the planets. This is because this house is where we lose ourselves and let go of our usual behavior. Mars in the 12th House does indicate, to me, that you have the potential to be really mean or confrontational when you’re drunk. You could lose your temper very easily when you’ve been drinking, as well, starting fights or finishing them to a degree that shocks people used to your normally sweet, calm demeanor. Also, the reason why I feel like the 12th House is your “drunk self” is because it’s the part of yourself that you don’t hold on to. In the morning, it’s all over and you go back to being your usual self. So, hearing just how pissed off you were or how you went off on someone the other night could be quite a shock to you, as well, especially if you don’t remember it.
Essentially, the 12th House Mars person is working through their anger. It’s like this Pandora’s Box that you don’t want to open because, if you do, who knows if you’ll be able to contain it again. Once you start to “wake up” to your secret, unconscious patterns and behaviors, you will probably feel this way. You might be reminded of so many things that made you mad, like some offhand comment that someone said months ago which you brushed off then but secretly held on to. It’s a process that feels like letting a beast out of a cage. But, you need to develop an unconditional love for that beast, understanding that this rage and ferocity are just a part of your humanity. It’s an energy that needs to be lovingly accepted and worked through or else it’ll eat you alive.
Letting go of early conditioning that kept you in a passive, indolent, or overly compromising frame of mind is also important. You have to come to terms with the fact that you were raised by people who didn’t know how to handle their more primal, animalistic side, either feeling very overwhelmed by it or distancing themselves from it dramatically. These are patterns that you need to avoid. 12th House Mars people can easily feel victimized by other people’s anger but it’s often times a result of their own indirect rage. You can be outrageously passive-aggressive, indulging in all sorts of things from extended silent treatment to ridiculous guilt trips to pity parties that last for days to irrational fixations on every little thing but what you’re actually mad about. This can end up driving someone else up the wall and make them explode and then make you feel like the victim.
Yet, when you accept your own inner ferocity, you can find inner peace and healing. The thing you have to realize, though, is that the “real world” will never offer you enough satisfaction in regards to expressing that fierce side. Day-to-day life can be disappointing and disillusioning for you because people can be too dishonest, too indirect, and too unable to get things off of their chest. There can be too much passivity in daily life for you and not enough oomph. So, even when you get to the stage of being more honest about your inner frustrations, reality can still let you down. This is when you need to reach the level of higher awareness that all 12th House people must strive for, seeking satisfaction in things that are not entirely of this earth.
Spiritual practices will be a wonderful outlet for you and your aggression. Mars in the 12th House individuals will eventually find that whenever they try to pursue desires in everyday life and in a way that is strictly going to benefit them, they always end up empty-handed. Those desires and goals can seem like mirages to you that constantly disappear just when you’re ready to catch them. But, developing a strong spiritual life will help you see that the goals and desires you should be pursuing are things that are on a higher plane. Through astrology, numerology, the Tarot, meditation and yoga, or anything else that keeps you in touch with your inner peace and the cosmic order, you can set strong goals for yourself and go after them. By striving to master your Saturn Return or to achieve successful meditation every day, you will find true expression for your inner drive.
Mars in the 12th also makes you deeply motivated by selflessness. This is why when you call yourself unselfish, you are quite correct. But, you are selfishly unselfish. In the end, you get what you want by helping people get what they want. And you can do this without expecting anything in return. You exist on a higher plane by motivating others to pursue what they want in day-to-day life but not getting caught up in any of that goal-chasing yourself. So, you can be sort of a divine life coach, in this sense, pushing others to challenge themselves and be great but doing so with compassion. You can empathize with what it feels like to suppress your desires and not know what you want. But, at a conscious level, you know that all of humanity deserves to know what they want and get it. So, you will be a healing force for others by selflessly helping them do just that.
Those with a 12th House Mars could make for wonderful spiritual advisers and teachers because of this. Also, artistic inclinations are represented by the 12th House. With Mars here, you escape the passivity and indirectness of everyday life by entering a Universe, through your art, that lets you vent all of your desires. As a writer, actor, singer, dancer, or visual artist, you can express a raw passion and a fearlessness that is not so apparent in your general, everyday behavior and attitude. You tap into something universal by accessing the force within that we are all capable of accessing. Mars in the 12th House people, then, disappear into their art by being explosive and forces to be reckoned with. You can regularly tell stories or create characters that center around overcoming challenges and emerging victorious or battling repression to get what you really want. Anger and frustration can be a recurring theme of these stories and characters, as well as sexuality.
Mars does also represent your sexual desires and how you have sex. Mars in the 12th shows that you want to get utterly lost in it and that you also have the ability to tap into your partner’s deepest fantasies. This can be very psychic as well as downright self-sacrificing, as you may not be as willing to bring your fantasies to life with them, depending on the Mars sign. In fact, you could find yourself more satisfied by indulging in those personal sexual fantasies alone, since the 12th House does represent what we do alone. There could be a streak of secrecy to this. But, inevitably, you always want to feel like you can enjoy a part of your sexuality just for yourself and not have to give it all away. This also manifests in your dreams. Your dream life can be very erotic and sexualized but also very violent and upsetting. In these dreams, you can come to understand all of your desires in their rawest forms, whether they are scary, sexy, or simmering under the surface.
But, that is if you get to sleep on time, as Mars in the 12th shows that you’re most energized late at night, which can be the best time to exercise for you, even if this ends up keeping you up you later. This placement gives you a boundlessly dynamic energy within but it’s something that you express moderately. Planets in the 12th House are a transcendent expression of that planet, at their best. Once you get through all of the messiness and self-destruction, you can express a ton of the good of that planet without being tainted by its downsides. Mars in the 12th shows that you have the potential to express a drive, determination, courage, and fighting spirit that virtually have no limits, all while still being stable and even-keeled and not too caught up in petty disputes. You have a fire within that never stops burning but it burns patiently and quietly, as you confidently wait your turn.