After the game, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.
~ Italian proverb
Besides taking some much-needed retreat and Mercury retrograde time, I admit I have been procrastinating on our topic for August, which is the Eighth House. With so many Plutonic challenges cropping up around us every day, is it any wonder I have hesitated a bit to delve into this House?
Astrologer Dana Gerhardt affirms, “Writing about the Eighth house isn’t easy. ‘After all,’ says my friend Geraldine, ‘who truly feels comfortable talking about their experiences of love, death, and sex outside the privacy of personal conversation?’
“The Eighth,” Dana continues, “comes up in most of my astrology consultations. But usually I’ll enter through a side entrance, discovered in the course of conversation, without announcing I’m going in. I’ll step out just as gingerly. This is the house of secrets after all.
“It rules sex, other people’s money, taxes, debts, loss, and death. As a beginning astrologer, it’s easy to be intimidated by this house. Planets in a solar return Eighth can make you quiver.
“Transits to the Eighth might suggest years of calamity and doom. Over time, however, this knee-jerk fear gives way to deep respect. Survive an Eighth house transit and you’ll be reborn. Valuable lessons will be learned. Eventually you’ll regard the Eighth as a kind of spiritual master who only shatters you for your higher good. Your ego holds no dominion here. In this house greater forces run the show.”
This is pretty characteristic of Pluto and Scorpio, which in fact rule this house of death, other people’s resources, inheritances and sexual bonding.
In fact, astrologer Carmen Turner-Schott points out that we should look to the Eighth House for, “All issues that are deep, intense and taboo…Energies of this house are very powerful and extremely regenerative. Many changes and upheavals may manifest within this house and constant growth is experienced. Experiences with astral entities, ghosts and spirits are common.”
In it, she adds, “Sacrificing one’s self or emotions for others or other people’s sacrifices for you are usually manifested.”
Perhaps Dana describes it best when she notes, “It’s difficult to talk about the Eighth, but we all know Eighth house territory. From childhood onward, we crawled through this archetypal jungle on our knees.
“There was that mysterious tension in the air whenever your Aunt came to visit. Or how, with a single word, your grandmother could turn your dad into a child. It was the odd feeling you got when your uncle invited you to sit on his lap.”
She strikes a very evocative note when she writes, “The Eighth carries your psychological inheritance—the potent invisible currents that no one talked about. Here were the electric fences strung across the rooms when your parents argued about money or sex. Here, too, was the power of your mother’s purse, full of mysterious totems and the smell of money.
“Maybe you tried a few magic spells to make it come to you. But mostly you were under others’ spells here, shaped by rituals and defense mechanisms absorbed without your comprehension—your father’s deep self-loathing, your mother’s rage, handed from female to female down your family line.”
How does the Eighth House look to us now, as adults? Where have you felt the dark power of death, surrender, and soul healing from this House?
Dana sums it up neatly, saying, “In later years, perhaps when a transit touches this house, such legacies might be painfully stripped away. Buried Eighth house secrets might suddenly spring to light. This is the house that keeps the therapists in business.”
And Tarot consultants, too, I might add.