The Eighth House: Get Born Again

painfulendingsnewbeginningsSo gather up your jackets, move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend…
Closing time
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. ~ Semisonic, Closing Time

Over our journey through the previous seven astrological Houses, I’d say, and hopefully you’d agree, that we’ve enjoyed an informative, relatively lighthearted safari as we’ve navigated the jungles of a vast array of life areas: money, ego, relationships, travel, communication, home, and family, just to name a few. Next we will explore the Eighth House. The House which makes many folks uneasy. It stirs our deepest fears and governs segments of our lives that most of us would rather not confront.

If you ever had a Tarot card reading and had the Death card placed in front of you, if you were unfamiliar with Tarot, your8th heart might have skipped a beat as you drew in a quick breath, praying the reader wasn’t about to deliver a death sentence to you or a loved one. Well, not unlike the poor, misunderstood Death card in the Tarot deck, the Eighth House of astrology is often referred to as the House of Death, understandably resulting in a negative, if not downright scary light being cast upon it. The first thing I’d like to point out here — and pay attention grasshoppers, because this is important — is that in the Eighth House, just like the Death card in a Tarot reading, the term “death” isn’t necessarily meant in the literal sense. Am I implying that whenever the word “death” is mentioned in the Eighth House that it’s never meant literally? Of course not. Sometimes it does allude to actual physical death. But just as often, “death” is a metaphor which refers to endings and/or new beginnings and/or changes. Although we touched on sex (but mostly romance) in the Fifth House, here in the Eighth House we’ll be taking a closer look at sex and sexual tastes/preferences, and even fetishes. The natural ruler of the Eighth House is the passionate, intense sign of Scorpio; therefore, this House also governs sex, death, and rebirth — which, again, are both literal and metaphorical life cycles.

Other areas of life covered in House Eight are what are known as shared resources. This includes inheritances, taxes, settlements, and other people’s money in general; i.e., credit cards, charge accounts, mortgages, loans from a bank or even from your best friend, as well as financial support received from another person such as alimony. Spiritual and emotional support are also areas governed by the Eighth House.

So let’s say you’re perusing your natal chart and there’s nary a planet, node, nor asteroid to be found in your lonesome, completely vacant Eighth House. Good GOD! Does this mean your life will lack passion, sex, change, new beginnings, or — wait for it — that you will live forever, never to experience death?

Great questions! Here are my answers to each of them, in no particular order: no, nope, nuh-uh, and not a chance. As previously mentioned (seven times, to be exact), there are twelve Houses and ten planets (including the Sun and the Moon) in a natal chart and as any six year-old can tell you, it is mathematically impossible for a planet to occupy every House. There will always be at least two empty Houses in a natal chart, and more often than not there will be more than two. If your Eighth House is vacant, it can be interpreted in a few different ways. First, we would take into account the traditional qualities of Scorpio, which is the natural ruler of the Eighth House. Additionally, we would examine the ruler of your natal chart’s Eighth House and use the characteristics of that sign, in addition to those of natural ruler Scorpio, to determine how you approach the issues governed by the Eighth House and in what ways these things affect your life on a personal level.

Furthermore, an empty Eighth House could mean nothing more than your life’s focus doesn’t revolve around the life areas here; perhaps you’re not overly concerned with the issues governed by the Eighth House. This isn’t to imply that these things mean nothing to you, it could be that you simply have other priorities. Or better yet, it can suggest that your Eighth House life areas are so naturally well-ordered that very little effort is required on your part to keep things running smoothly (you lucky bastard; what’s that like?)

But moving on: for those of us with planets in the House of Sex, Death, and Rebirth, let’s examine how the effects of each of these planetary placements would be expected to manifest in the life of the native.

improvementThe Sun in the Eighth House
A Sun in Eighth native feels an intense urge to experience more, more, more…particularly about themselves. Remember, the Sun is our ego and wherever the Sun is in the natal chart is where we want to shine. This individual is constantly seeking ways to make self-improvements, to change for the better. This could be in the form of a physical makeover but because of the native’s tendency to reject the superficial, it’s more likely the makeover would be one of a spiritual or emotional nature. You’ll find these folks browsing the self-improvement section at Barnes & Noble. They are especially interested in what society considers taboo; they want to uncover truth in these areas and are likely intrigued by the occult or metaphysics. The Eighth House Sun person is particularly intrigued by philosophical questions and theories about life and death…and life after death. This strong interest in spirituality could manifest as a result of a close, personal loss due to a death or it could be that the native simply finds this area of study interesting. It should be noted here that negative aspects in the natal chart of the individual with this Sun placement often result in premature, violent, or otherwise sudden death. This is not written in stone, it is simply something to take under advisement, rendering the aforementioned events 100 percent avoidable. That said, fame is often achieved posthumously, even if only briefly, possibly due to the cause of death itself which could be attributed to something which would make news headlines (plane crash, automobile accident, homicide, etc.) The solar Eighth House individual stands strong in a crisis and handles themselves well under pressure. Sexually speaking, this fiery individual likes their sex the same way: hot, intense, passionate. There is a curious pattern of Sun in Eighth folks losing a father/father figure relatively early in life; this could be due to his literal death or perhaps abandonment, either physically or emotionally (for example, he might have been alive and in the vicinity, maybe even in the home, but even though he was there, he wasn’t there. Make sense?) Another interesting trend is that Eighth House Sun natives seem to attract friends/love interests with Scorpio Sun signs. A good career for a solar Eighth House person is anything that involves managing other people’s money: accounting, banking, etc.

The Moon in the Eighth House
The Eight House governs sexual energy and change, while the Moon holds reign over, well, change as well. This can result in a native who is sexually restless and either constantly seeks new sexual challenges and/or changes sexual partners frequently. This is an unfortunate effect of the Moon which often gives an emotionally insecure native. In matters of sex, this one likes a lot of cuddling and nurturing, while simultaneously having an innate need to nurture a partner. The Eighth House Moon individual truly wants to connect deeply with another human being but the changeable lunar influence can be an obstacle here. If the native can recognize this, it’s entirely possible to push through it and obtain the intimacy they desire. Overly jealous and possessive, a Moon in Eighth person can send a partner/potential partner racing for the escape hatch faster than you can say “where the hell have you been?!” This individual is somewhat of a paradox: they desperately desire closeness with a partner, yet they are mistrustful of anyone who displays an interest in getting close to them. If the Moon in Eighth native can nip this tendency, they are intensely loyal, loving, devoted partners. While they want to accumulate their own material assets, they have an emotional need to control other people’s money. This one is also the type who races to the mall to embark on a monumental shopping spree during periods of melancholy. On that note, inheritances for these natives tend to come from the mother or maternal side of the family, though like the tides, finances tend to ebb and flow.

Mercury in the Eighth House
Mercury is the planet of communication and in the Eighth House of sex, here we have an individual who requires a talkative partner. Shrinking violets and quiet types need not apply, for an Eighth House Mercurian, whose mind and mouth both run about a mile a minute, is curious, spontaneous, and up for conversational marathons. Chatty Mercury in the House of sex also hints at a native who enjoys some naughty, sexy banter before — and during — a sexual rendezvous, as they are primarily aroused in the mind. If you’re witty, talkative, and up for some mid-sexual interlude play-by-play commentary, Mercury in Eighth wants you! Outside the bedroom, the native has a studious, inquisitive mind which serves them well in the areas of finance, medicine, or any field requiring intense study or research. They are masters at analyzing others, particularly any hidden motivations. The Eighth House Mercurian is authoritative and persuasive in their manner of speaking which benefits them well in almost any endeavor. Don’t even think about lying to this one, however; they’ll see right through you and they make uncanny detectives and investigators. They are highly intuitive and it’s not unusual for a Mercury in Eighth individual to have psychic or even mediumship abilities (also known as after-death communication, or ADC.) Because of a highly active mind that never seems to shut off, the native has a tendency to overanalyze and will sometimes become suspicious or paranoid even in situations in which these behaviors are not warranted.

Venus in the Eighth House
Charming Venus in the Eighth House of sex is drawn to charming partners. This one wants to be romanced, to enjoy dinners by candlelight, to have sex in luxurious surroundings, and for the love of all things sacred, please show a modicum of class and keep the vulgarity to a minimum. This one loves all the beautiful things money can buy…that is, all the beautiful things your money can buy, so get your checkbook ready because you’re gonna be dropping a LOT of money on this one. You should also be aware that an Eighth House Venusian doesn’t take sexual trysts lightly; there is an intensity to their physical interactions with a partner. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — unless you’re looking for a one-nighter; this one ain’t goin’ for that — however, be advised that Venus in Eighth is bored by the mundane and if things become dull, it’s not beneath them to create drama for the sake of excitement. And drama isn’t a lot of fun…particularly the manufactured variety. The thing is, this one has a fear of allowing themselves to be vulnerable in love, and their fear of betrayal can result in a jealous, possessive native. If you manage to gain the trust of an Eighth House Venusian, once they are assured that you would never abuse that trust you will be richly rewarded with complete and total loyalty and devotion…with one caveat: they will expect (read: demand) the same from you. If you are aware of this going in and you’re good with that, you won’t be disappointed. The native here is attracted to the taboo, the things we’re not supposed to even think about, let alone talk about: the forbidden, the hidden. You’ve probably noticed that most Eighth House placements mention a native who is drawn to the taboo, and you’re right. But the key difference with a Venus in Eighth native is although they’re tantalized by taboo things, they are more likely to feel guilty for these thoughts, maybe even silently admonishing themselves (“Stop it; you shouldn’t think such things!”) or even blushing when having risque thoughts. In any event, the fact remains: the more off-limits something is, the greater the Venus in Eighth individual’s desire for it.

Mars in the Eighth House
Think about this for a minute: the planet of action in the House of sex. Hmm. This combo gives a native who has no qualms debtwhatsoever about making a move on the object of their sexual desire. Between the sheets, they have energy to spare…with one exception. According to astrologer Bob Marks, if the native’s Mars placement is in Gemini in the Eighth House, he or she will likely be the quintessential two-pump chump, if you will. If your sexual partner’s Mars is in Gemini in the Eighth House, my advice to you is to finagle things so that you get yours first! (You’re welcome.) On an unrelated note, because the Eighth House also governs other people’s money (as previously mentioned, credit cards, charge accounts, etc), when we add the Martian impulsivity to that, we have a native with a propensity toward overspending and shopping sprees they can’t afford, racking up massive debt on credit cards they won’t be able to pay off until circa 2045, resulting in a less-than-stellar credit rating and causing a great deal of tension between the native and their partner. A trend here is for the Eighth House Martian to become involved in a dispute over an inheritance. There is an unfortunate pattern with this Mars placement of early sexual trauma, perhaps in childhood, which the native struggles into adulthood to overcome. Frequently, true and lasting passion with a partner isn’t found until later in life than most, but it is definitely well worth the wait. The feeling in the native tends to be something along the lines of, I always thought I’d had good sex before, but this is the best sex of my life! A lesson for the native here, possibly resulting from earlier sexual trauma, is to learn to trust their sexual partner and to realize not everyone is out to betray them.

1nighterJupiter in the Eighth House
A Jupiter in Eighth native has a formidable knack for ferreting out information and uncovering the underlying cause of any problem, instinctively knowing how to solve it. This one loves mysteries and figuring out solutions to sticky situations. An Eighth House Jupiter individual…how do I put this…well, they enjoy sex, and a LOT of it (Jupiter is the planet of abundance) and they often take sexual liaisons somewhat lightly (read: they’re fine with one-nighters, so if you’re the type who forms quick emotional attachments and ready to propose after one roll in the hay, you’re better off not even going there with this one in the first place.) Multiple partners ain’t no thang for the free-loving Jupiter in Eighth; in fact, they are often attracted to sexual partners from different backgrounds or ethnicities, possibly folks hailing from another country. The native is a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do individual who doesn’t exactly practice what they preach, meaning they’ll warn you how risky unsafe sex with multiple partners is and shake their finger at you, demanding that you “don’t do that!”…as they head out to the local “no-tell motel” for an evening of indiscriminate sex with a couple they met online an hour ago who may or may not be bringing a goat and/or a midget with them. Jupiter is also the planet of luck and as long as the gold and platinum credit cards keep turning up in the mailbox, the native will continue to overextend their credit line (Jupiter’s abundance influence) which can obviously cause many a headache down the road. The good news here is that with Jupiter’s influence of luck and abundance, an Eighth House Jupiter individual often experiences a natural, peaceful death at a ripe old age.

Saturn in the Eighth House
Planetary schoolyard bully Saturn loves to place obstacles and delays in our path, and where in our lives those obstacles tend to manifest depends upon Saturn’s placement in the natal chart. When the planet of obstacles and limitations is planted in the Eighth House of death, legacies, sex, changes, other people’s money, and new beginnings, we will typically have a native who doesn’t benefit from any area governed by the Eighth House until later in life, usually age 40 or later, and even then it’s largely a result of the native’s own efforts, hard work and toil. Although the native can be somewhat anal about their finances because of all the difficulties and delays they’ve dealt with throughout their life, they manage other people’s money beautifully, even better than their own. The native’s credit score is usually relatively low, compounding their dilemma (damn you, Saturn!) This placement of Saturn is associated with longevity, surprisingly enough, which is wonderful news for the Eighth House Saturnian. The Saturn in Eighth approach to sex is controlled and anything but spontaneous; it’s practically scripted. Oooh, sexy!

Uranus in the Eighth House
Eccentric and downright strange Uranus in the House of sex, death, rebirth, change, and other people’s money results in a native with the unorthodox approach to sex you would probably expect: they don’t want to have the same sexual experience over and over, they want to experiment, and may God have mercy on your mundane soul if you dare suggest sex on top of the refrigerator two nights in a row. The Eighth House Uranian is a paradoxical oddball: while they reject socially accepted sexual practices simply for the sake of rebellion, they replace them with their own draconian and no doubt far-out set of unbreakable sexual laws requiring strict adherence. One of my closest friends (formerly a friend-with-benefits, now completely platonic) has this Uranus placement. He explained from the get-go that he had very stringent rules when it came to sex, and our encounters would be no different: we would only engage in sex at night, in bed, before going to sleep. Morning or daytime sex — any spontaneous sex for that matter — was out of the question. Furthermore, only certain positions (two) were acceptable. Third, although we were never in a traditional committed relationship, we were roommates and we agreed that as long as we were in the aforementioned FWB/roommate arrangement, we would not engage in sexual congress with anyone else (how’s that for an “it’s complicated” Facebook relationship status?) Now in his defense, he laid out these stipulations in full disclosure prior to our first sexual experience. (In hindsight, I’m a little surprised he didn’t draw up and then have me sign a Sheldon Cooper-esque “Friends With Benefits/Roommate Agreement”…but I digress.) Moving on to an unrelated topic, a Uranus in Eighth native is advised to practice extreme caution around electricity or machinery. Yeah, I know, that’s ridiculously generic advice that is applicable to everyone. But the thing is, for some reason there is a strange yet clear pattern of accidents, injuries, and even fatalities involving Eighth House Uranians and electricity/machinery. This is why I urge the native to pay particular attention to safety precautions if and when they must work on or around these things. This Uranus placement lends a remarkable gift for healing with the hands, such as with Reiki or even massage therapy. If the native isn’t already involved in anything like this, it’s well worth considering. Natives of this placement will often admit to struggles with suicidal ideations; though more frequently in their early years, it sometimes persists throughout their lifetime.

Neptune in the Eighth House
Dreamy Neptune in the Eighth House gives a native who is incredibly intuitive, experiencing frequent episodes of deja vu and prophetic dreams which they love to analyze. They are on a seemingly endless search for spiritual meaning and they often ponder questions of life, death, and beyond. This individual has an embarrassingly low tolerance for alcohol: two beers and they’re all yours. A Neptune in Eighth has a deep desire to connect on a soul level with a sexual partner. Neptune is the planet of imagination and in the House of sex, the native has an abundance of sexual fantasies and enjoys role-playing. Because Neptune sees what it wants to see (remember those rose-colored glasses), STDs are a concern here because of indiscriminate perceptions of sexual partners. The native tends to see a partner as they wish they were rather than as they actually are. The Eighth House Neptune individual frequently gives more pleasure in the bedroom than they receive…but they are totally fine with this. They need to please…they want to please. Outside of the bedroom, the native is incredibly generous and they live by the motto “what’s mine is yours.” The problem, however, is they tend to forget the other half of that motto, which should be “…and what’s yours is mine,” leading them to be easily taken advantage of or being deceived. The rose-colored glasses come into play when it comes to finances as well (“I have checks; therefore, I have money!”) and this can obviously cause much difficulty, and it’s usually not until mid-life or later when the native finally develops the willpower/ability to see the situation for what it is and manage their finances responsibly. If you are the partner of someone with this placement, the safest bet is for you to handle the finances. Alternatively, an Eighth House Neptune person is particularly prone to being defrauded by people they trust, so extra vigilance and care is required when allowing others to handle their financial affairs. An inheritance is likely but there will probably be delays or difficulties in actually collecting it, possibly due to a contesting of a will or a family feud. Neptune is the planet of illusion, and the death of someone with this placement often occurs under mysterious circumstances (this isn’t to imply any foul play; however, a cause of death might not be immediately obvious.) Drugs or alcohol, which Neptune rules, are common culprits in these deaths. Even if not directly responsible for the death, these substances are frequently found in the decedent’s system postmortem.

Pluto in the Eighth House
Pluto is an incredibly intense, all-or-nothing planet of extremes and it is right at home (or in it’s dominion) in the Eighth House, fetishwhich it naturally rules. With this placement, the native tends to experience an above average number of unusual events. Naturally drawn to the occult, all things taboo, hidden, or dark, the Pluto in Eighth individual has an uncanny knack for seeing right through people and getting straight to their underlying motivations or hidden agendas. These natives are naturally gifted healers and they make excellent hypnotists, therapists, crisis counselors, investigators, detectives, and psychologists. This person will ask questions that will make others’ jaws drop…and the answers they receive will be the truth; it’s as though people sense the native will know if they are lying (they’re not wrong.) Eighth House Pluto folks are intrigued by the darker side of life as well as mysteries. They crave deep, passionate intimacy yet are simultaneously fearful of it. Sexual relationships are often complicated and unconventional, with a frequent taste for submission and domination as well as control. As the planet of obsessions, Pluto’s influence can give an individual who is obsessed with sex (sorry, no, this is not necessarily a good thing!) When Pluto is in the Eighth House, the native can count on a lifetime of power struggles, especially in regard to finances. Pluto is the natural ruler of the Eighth House, so death and rebirth (read: change) is a constant theme in the life of the native.

Turn and face the strain
Don’t wanna be a richer man
Turn and face the strain
Just gonna hafta be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time. ~ David Bowie, Changes