You are very curious about the hidden, the unconscious, and the unknown with Pluto in the 12th house. Psychoanalysis, the study of dreams, and similar practises are all part of this quest. You find yourself utterly fascinated by all of these inquisitions into your own mind. Doing things that need you to rely on your extraordinary powers of intuition, perception, and psychic ability. It’s possible that you’ll feel an intense desire to delve into the unseen aspects of existence and investigate the hidden corners of the human psyche as you go into the depths of your own subconscious. You also have a strong psychic sensitivity to the inner workings of other people’s life. According to Sue Tompkins, being in such a position is like living in a psychological garbage dump; you end up taking on everyone else’s pent-up sadness and anxiety, even if they put up a brave front. With all your other impressive skills under your belt, it’s good to know you have a wealth of healing potential, regenerative potential, competence, and strength to draw on in times of need. This also means that there are times when you experience significant personal development and growth during the course of your life.
According to Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Volume 1:
Common characteristics of Pluto in the 12th house include: being deeply private, not what you seem as interpreted in other’s eyes, deeply sensitive; taking things to heart; being amazingly shy at a core level; being ultra-emotional; although you may not know it, you can be extremely giving in a silent way; having many deep and unresolved fears, and aura of dreaminess, and powerful dreams or never any dreams because of exhaustion; being naturally psychic.
Pluto in the 12th house brings about complex, incomprehensible feelings of shame and oppression. Mostly because Pluto’s location in the house of the collective, it’s possible that you’ll end up playing the scapegoat. Whether you believe what Howard Sasportas says, “The 12th house is a metaphor for the bigger whole from which you emerged when you were born. Pluto faces the unpleasant parts of this legacy there; the collective shadow, or what people as a whole feel is repulsive or unacceptable. You might have to face the centuries’ worth of pent-up resentment, animosity, destructiveness, and hatred, accept it, internalise it, and perhaps transform it. Essentially, you’re in control of the garbage collection service for the entire country. It’s either you act out the collective shadow and let all that pent-up energy out, or you bottle it up and try to figure out how to use it constructively. You facilitate shifts on the level of the group quite frequently, and sometimes in mysterious and cryptic ways. It’s possible that periodic isolation is required for processing emotional complexities triggered by social encounters. Exposure to institutional settings, like hospitals or jails, may also have a profound effect on you.”
A history of abuse, brutality, or violence, or the feeling that something sinister is hiding in the shadows of your own past, is a common factor. Thus, the difficulty of being born into this position is that you must overcome the collective shadow of pain, loss, and despair. The transforming planet Pluto is attempting to alter this dark facet of your existence, but doing so will necessitate your bringing your underdeveloped, suppressed portions into the light of day.
According to Donna Cunningham:
You may repress an urge-to-power and yet control in round-about ways you little understand. For instance, being the seemingly helpless victim also serves to conceal the power urge – have you ever ‘rescued’ some poor helpless soul who later took over your total life and all your energy? No doubt you learned that victimhood is powerful! (Please understand that there are legitimate victims, but here we are talking about the illegitimate ones, the ones who are forever drawn to these situations thinking that their suffering is some sort of moral victory.) Unconscious fascination with power can also lead to contacts with underground characters, negative psychism, and various unsavory scenes where power is used in a murky way. Healing submerged resentment can go a long way toward lifting this position out of its negative manifestations into the constructive. In the house of secrets, the deep, dark secret is ever the possibility; and revealing it in the right therapeutic places can release you from its power.
Professionals in the fields of mental health, crisis management, counselling, and crime prevention often have this position marked on their natal charts. The impetus for this comes from a desire to contribute to society in a meaningful way. Hidden health issues, addictions, excessive escapism, and a crippling feeling of powerlessness are all issues that might arise in your world. So, it can represent a deeply ingrained, primal will to survive that lies dormant in your family’s psyche and predates even your own memory. This house shows effects beyond your conscious control, which can be released through counselling, self-analysis, and soul-work, as noted by Stephen Arroyo in his book Astrology Karma and Transformation.
In the words of Paul Haydn:
You possess a psychic sensitivity to the hidden lives of others, registering their thoughts and feelings through your links with the unconscious mind. This may manifest as confusing and conflicting thoughts, emotions and impulses arising in yourself, which may well not be yours to begin with, but someone else’s being received through your sensitivity. Responding to the inner suffering of others, together with a personal sense of insecurity, can lead you to prefer more privacy and seclusion, to be free of the imposition of the social psychic atmosphere. If this process becomes understood, then a form of psychic protection could be used to minimise such intrusions; and you may find that a form of inner intuitive guidance could begin to guide your life and actions. You may need to follow some form of path or spiritual belief which can bring some clarity into your conflicting emotional patterns; a transformation on that emotional level is essential for you, to become free of those neurotic and negative emotional guilt feelings.