Those with Saturn in the 12th house can find great inner strength in this lifetime through gradually opening up to the vast, unknown, and chaotic depths of their own souls. It is the struggle for spirituality, a struggle which can bring lasting peace to themselves. Above all, these people are humble and capable of great devotion, service, and selflessness. They have the capacity to work productively behind the scenes and in private. A deep responsibility is felt for all the suffering in society, and a common feature of this placement is a dutiful nature displayed towards those less fortunate in the world. Some of them take this responsibility on the material plane and help to care for the mentally ill, elderly; those who have suffered misfortune and loss. That is, those people who feel they are somehow separate from humanity. Many find themselves working in hospitals, orphanages, and prisons and it so often becomes a life-long career.
Amongst other things, the 12th house rules secrets, all that is hidden, and the subconscious. As a cadent house, it naturally rules the mind and is optimum for dealing with all kinds of phobias and anxieties from childhood, perhaps even further back. This house is about dissolving boundaries and entering the unconscious life, but Saturn abhors dissolution. Those with Saturn here sometimes feel a lack of stability, dread of the irrational, and fear of losing control over themselves. The task for them is to learn how to face the unconscious mind, and find illuminating experiences in the vague, the mysterious and unseen, and bring these collective images into some kind of form.
Saturn retreats to the Twelfth House to deeply contemplate why things turn out the way they do. In this house is where we hide a lot of our loose ends, but Saturn always finds them and gets very anxious. What could be suggested is soul structuring, where we learn to build consciousness carefully on our most internal levels. Saturn is learning not to fear the limitless world of the spirit within. By establishing a meditative atmosphere where stillness is emphasized, we can learn to recognize the reality of our spiritual self and feel its constant, protective presence. Twelve Faces of Saturn: Your Guardian Angel Planet
Feeling weighed down by the sense of isolation and loneliness, Saturn in the 12th house types have great depths, but are afraid of their secret thoughts or their secret feelings. Yet their lonely, quiet natures have observations and experiences that are more penetrating than those of the more outgoing kind; their thoughts are weightier, and it fosters within them something that is bewilderingly beautiful, poetic, and captivating. Commonly the 12th house brings up uncomfortable images of chaos, insanity, sickness, and the eventual loss of the self, and there are deep fears around letting go emotionally, representing those who feel they need to protect and defend themselves against their inner churning sea worlds. Therefore, they may spend some of their time working in solitude and find themselves reviewing the past through a state of deep introspection.
Those with Saturn here are also often burdened with the need to sacrifice their personal goals. Firstly this is done through a sense of guilt, and secondly through obligation and finally, the chains of responsibility. However, they need to bridge their sense of loneliness and separateness with a sense of community and continuity, it is far better to be a vessel and to try and express rather than repress a 12th house Saturn. Astrologer Liz Greene says the 12th house is always a difficult house unless the path of service is pursued, and that somehow the release of energy in this way alleviates much of the frustration and sense of aloneness which accompanies 12th house planets, and makes the required sacrifices bearable.
Guilt looms large with this placement of Saturn although it is generalized rather than specific guilt. It may cause a man to seek penance through solitude, or there may be religious penance in the literal sense resulting in the monk or the nun. It may apparently be involuntary penance as is the case with incarceration; but the man himself chooses this course although he may not consciously believe he will have to pay. It may result in sickness or withdrawal from conscious awareness through drugs, alcohol, or insanity. Or it may be much more subtle and less drastic, as in the case of the man who is always alone and always feels separation from the rest of humanity and the rest of life, no matter how many people he surrounds himself with. Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil