Mars In The 12th House: Natal, Transit, Synastry, & Solar Return

mars in the 12th house

The 12th house is the area of the subconscious mind, dreams, past life memories, and emotions that we don’t want to recognize. It’s the place where we push down those big scary things to try and forget.

Because the 12th house is typically subconscious or unconscious, it can be hard to figure out exactly how Mars, the planet of action and drive, would fit.

With Mars in the 12th house, your motivation, drive, anger, and other Mars-related qualities are pushed down into the subconscious. It will take active work to make them fully conscious.

Mars In The 12th House Natal:

If you have Mars in the 12th house, you probably struggled to assert yourself in a natural way when you were young. You couldn’t openly express what you wanted and definitely couldn’t go after your desires.

Most often, I find that people with Mars in the 12th house felt caught between helping others and doing what was truly right for them, especially in childhood. This can apply to their parents if one or both of their parents expected the child to serve the parent in some way or it can apply to other caretakers.

Now, with Mars in the 12th house, you may still struggle between doing what you are told is “right” and doing what’s actually right for you. It may be very difficult for you to be assertive.

Sometimes, children with Mars in the 12th house are lucky enough to have parents who see these traits and help them learn how to be more assertive. This is rare but it does happen.

More likely, children with Mars in the 12th house had parents who either didn’t see that they needed help with assertiveness or who actually abused these qualities in their children for their own gain.

With Mars in the 12th house, you need to learn to put yourself and your own interests first. You may have a vague sense of guilt or existential doom that follows you around, so you try to help others to assuage these feelings, but it doesn’t work because these negative beliefs were created from false lessons that you learned in childhood.

You might feel defeated when you have just started a project. It’s easier for you to quit than it is to see it through. Mars is related to drive, so it can be difficult for you to really access your internal motivation with Mars in the 12th house.

It might feel like any efforts to be seen or heard don’t work, so you might as well not even try. You don’t have confidence that you deserve what you want, so you give to other people instead of asking for what you need.

As you probably know by now if you have Mars in the 12th house, giving to others never really fixes the difficult emotions rolling around inside of you. Although you don’t show it, your subconscious mind always knows what you want deep down. You never really truly forget what you authentically desire, even though you don’t express it.

You tend to do things for others or for the “greater good,” even if doing these things conflicts with your own inner voice.

For example, you may join the army for your country even if doing so contradicts what you need. You may work at a job that you hate because you feel that you should. Even on a smaller scale, you probably run to the rescue of people who don’t always reciprocate, but you will simply feel too guilty if you ignore them so you must help.

Of course, this will manifest differently for every person. Not every example in this description will apply to you.

The crux of the matter is that, with Mars in the 12th house, you end up fighting others’ battles instead of your own. You feel constantly torn between yourself and others and have a persistent, nagging sense of guilt that follows you around. In some way, you self-sabotage because you can’t handle all the negative feelings brewing in your subconscious mind.

With Mars in the 12th house, you may also have difficulty expressing your anger in a healthy manner. You repressed your anger during childhood because you were taught by someone that it wasn’t OK to show anger at all.

You might also be afraid of your own anger. There is so much of it brewing that you feel once you begin to get angry, you’ll never be able to stop. 

With Mars in the 12th house, your anger can be displaced. You may get angry at someone who doesn’t deserve it or blow up over something inconsequential. The anger will show up where it doesn’t belong because you are like a pressure cooker and need to release it somehow.

When you feel overwhelmed, you may be a bit of an escapist, turning to drugs, alcohol, sex, or even experiences that give you a “high.” You’re inclined to jump ship and run away when your emotions begin flooding you. It’s common for people with Mars in the 12th house to think: “What’s the point?”


Becoming assertive will be a learned skill for you. It’s not something that comes naturally, but learning to assert yourself will make you feel much more peaceful inside. It will also help to dispel some of the built-up anger you feel.


In a relationship, you may be drawn to those who either are or appear slightly unattainable. With Mars in the 12th house, you can also be attracted to the idea of someone rather than the reality.

Sexually, you may have some issues. You are drawn towards the unattainable person, but when you’re suddenly with someone who actually is attainable, you don’t know how to unlock your emotions and be vulnerable. You can come off as closed-off or detached.

This is simply because you don’t access your emotions on your own, so until you learn more about your subconscious mind, you won’t be able to access those feelings with someone else (which is even more terrifying).

When you’re actually in a relationship, you have trouble asking for what you want and need. In fact, you probably feel guilty for even having needs, but are simultaneously angry when you feel like a doormat.

Lessons For Mars In The 12th House Natal:

Mars in the 12th house is all about learning how to handle your anger and express your needs in a healthy way, instead of stuffing your thoughts down or blowing up. Luckily, it is quite possible for any individual with Mars in the 12th house to learn to be assertive.

This isn’t something that comes naturally. Books, research, therapy, and practical experience can all help you with Mars in the 12th house to express yourself in a positive, constructive way. Your tendency will be to revert to your previous methods when you’re afraid, but you will overcome this with time.

Mars in the 12th vs. Mars Retrograde

Mars in the 12th house has some similarities to Mars in retrograde, but the energy is not as strong. Because the 12th house is all about the subconscious and the past, someone with Mars in the 12th may have experienced a strict household or felt that they could not express their feelings, anger, and drive for some reason.

This karma does not run as deep as that of Mars in Retrograde. The person with Mars in the 12th won’t have the extreme ups and downs, but they will need to learn that their own anger is valid and that it’s safe to express anger in a constructive way.

These people can also benefit from learning about implosive anger and working on following their inner guidance. They may want to consider some self-therapy (or actual therapy, if that feels right) to learn about anger and how to properly express their feelings in a constructive way.

Mars In The 12th House Transit:

When Mars enters the 12th house in transit, you will feel less “driven” than normal. Sometimes, Mars in the 12th house creates a sense of stagnation and confusion, similar to the sign of Pisces.

Mars in this placement can be very confused about the way forward. He doesn’t always know what he wants or how to get it. He may float through life or he may change his mind over and over without actually accomplishing much.

With Mars in the 12th house transit, you may find it tough to start or complete projects. You might even have trouble figuring out what the project should actually be about.

You may also find that you have trouble confronting people or sticking up for yourself. During the Mars in the 12th house transit, everything can seem really murky and confusing. You may question yourself and feel unable to act because you just don’t know the truth.

Sometimes, Mars in the 12th house can indicate health issues that change your normal routine or slow you down. This is especially likely if you’ve been driving yourself at a punishing pace.

Mars in the 12th house generally indicates rest. This transit is a time to take that “one step backward” so you can take two steps forward when Mars goes direct again.

Confinement is often a lesson when Mars transits the 12th house. This placement can indicate actual physical confinement, but you might also experience some kind of mental or emotional prison, whether this is imposed or of your own making. This is a time when you’ll struggle to take action and to break away from the chains that bind you.

You may also feel a bit erratic with Mars in the 12th house. Because you struggle to see things realistically during this time, your actions probably won’t make much sense to you once the transit passes. However, this can be a time of immense creativity, so focus on any projects that are intuitive rather than actionable for best results.

Mars In The 12th House Synastry:

Mars in the 12th house synastry can be a really thrilling placement. The Mars person can usually help the 12th house person come to know themselves on a deeper level by unlocking the unconscious mind.

This couple may enjoy spiritual activities together or anything that makes them think “big,” about the deep, philosophical issues in the world. This is because Mars, a driver of the relationship, naturally pushes the 12th house person to open up and dig down into their psyche.

However, the 12th house person can start to feel like the Mars individual is too aggressive. Mars may unknowingly pry into things that the 12th house person is not yet ready to deal with in a way that feels insensitive.

Meanwhile, the Mars individual might feel like the 12th house person doesn’t appreciate everything they do. Their actions might not go over well, even if they have good intentions. They may also become annoyed if they feel that the 12th house person would rather ignore their unconscious traumas instead of dealing with them.

The Mars individual could also feel that the 12th house person doesn’t find them sexually attractive. This may not be the case, but because Mars is in the 12th house in the synastry chart, the 12th house person is probably not open about the attraction that they feel towards Mars.

The Mars in the 12th house synastry placement can be a difficult placement to have in a relationship. It often indicates that the couple isn’t on the same page. However, if the 12th house person is willing to do the work to deal with the unconscious issues that Mars brings up, and if Mars is willing to be a bit more sensitive, then this relationship has a lot of potential to be deep and to transform both people.

Mars In The 12th House Solar Return:

The year is one for spiritual growth; with Mars in the 12th house solar return chart, your action this year is to embrace the inner self. It’s about connecting with guides and the soul.

This may also be a year to deal with unconscious issues. If you have any traumas that you’ve buried deep in your unconscious mind, Mars in the 12th house will push you to reveal and then conquer your fears this year.

Now is a time when the deeply buried wounds of the past are coming to light, ready for healing. While this can feel scary or extreme, it’s actually a necessary period. Mars in the 12th house for the solar return chart shows that you can’t move forward until you’ve dealt with the past.

The progression of Mars into the 12th house indicates a period of life in which you’ll find it difficult to define and pursue your personal goals and ambitions. Direct action may be tough this year. You probably won’t be starting anything brand new – at least not with Mars energy – but you will clear out the stagnation that would otherwise hold you back.

Sometimes, Mars in the 12th house solar return chart means that you are held back by an oppressive situation, while other times it can mean that you simply can’t find the energy to accomplish your goals.

Remember that the energy of the chart is always balanced and that you need to go through this period of “down-time” in order to create something wonderful in the future.