1st House: We develop our ego in order to have a stable reference point. We fortify it through various props (work, status, relationships, etc) and character development. This is all good and necessary, but we need to know that ego is basically a fiction (a persona, or a mask) that is shaped by all of the accumulated experience of your past.
12th House: The previously defined personality doesn’t work anymore. Something occurs that might perhaps feel like a failure to the ego, making it realize its limitation. In the best case, you forget about yourself for a bit, because of the total shock or newness or awesomeness of the experience. You expand, connect to the universe through nature, art, spirit…You begin to awaken to the oneness that you’re a part of.
Ascendant – the point of reference, the point of stability – reside between these two Houses. If you’re trying to find stability through your personality alone (i.e too far into the 1st House), you will experience the limitation through some 12th house experience. If you’re too far into the 12th house, you may not know who you are, and begin to lose the boundary and focus necessary for stability.
Most of us are stuck in the 1st house, in the narrowly defined personality, and that is why 12th house practices such as meditation (or simply taking a walk in nature with an open heart) can gently expand your awareness, bringing you back in balance.