Signs on the cusp of the Eight House

topic posted Thu, May 13, 2010 - 8:36 AM by  Partha
The Eighth House—The Astrological Cyclotron

One of the greatest instruments for practical development lying in the hands of small and great is the instrument of speech. He who guards his words, and who only speaks with altruistic purpose, in order to carry the energy of love through the medium of the tongue, is one who is mastering rapidly the initial steps to be taken in preparation for initiation…In the reservation of words, esoterically understood, lies the conservation of force; in the utilization of words, justly chosen and spoken, lies the distribution of the love force of the solar system…

The Tibetan Master, D.K. —Initiation Human and Solar, p.74.

Atomic scientists use an instrument in their work called a cyclotron. This machine serves to smash atoms so that the energy contained within these tiny units can be released at the time their forms are destroyed. This allows the potential power contained within the atom to be channeled into other areas for purposes that are either constructive (the necessary energy to run a city) or destructive (the atomic bomb). In essence, the nature of the atom has been transformed so that its essential energy may be used for other uses. The Eighth House in the horoscope is such a cyclotron in terms of our lives. It is thus the domicile of some of the most challenging and compulsive areas of life: death, sex, money and taxes! It is no wonder then that this house and its nature ruling sign and planets (Scorpio, Mars, and Pluto) have such a notorious—and often erroneous—reputation among astrology students.

We can summarize the potent dynamics of the Eighth House by one word: transformation. We can also add a couple of other words that amplify this definition: regeneration and rebirth. Although the Eighth does indeed tell us a great deal about the nature of one’s physical death (as well as one’s attitude to death in a more figurative sense), this house reveals a great deal more to us. This is the area in the horoscope that reveals the nature of those crises in our lives that take place in order to create both psychological as well as spiritual growth and development. It is thus that we pass through the transformative doors of our various stages in life in order to “die” to one phase of our evolution in order to be reborn into another. The most obvious of these cycles of regeneration are related to our sexual functions: the transformation into potentially sexually active people at adolescence and then during another phase of hormonal shift at menopause. Thus the Eighth, Scorpio, Mars and Pluto clearly speak to us of the time when we can become life givers and when this stage of life is no longer biologically available to us.

Sexuality is an area of human existence that on the one hand points to our contribution to physical immortality and on the other, to the complete degeneration and degradation of the lower self/personality. It is through our sexual processes that we establish our physical continuation through our offspring and as a result, contribute to the genetic pool of future generations of humanity. It is through the reorientation of the sexual urge and the generation of sexual energy into other healthy channels that the more mystically inclined achieve states of higher consciousness, the artist paints his portraits, the writer writes his books, the musician composes his symphonies, and the actor creates the intensity of his stage presence.

Yet for too many of us, sexuality becomes an obsessive tool of self-annihilation and destruction. What is a natural and beautiful facet of human nature becomes when perverted and circumscribed by fear, prejudice, crime and abusive commercial advertisement, a harmful expression of aggression and warped instinct. The Eighth House and the position of its ruling planet by sign, house, and aspects to other planets in the chart, tells the astrologer a great deal about the sexual orientation, habits, and expression of the individual. What is important for us to realize is that we must travel through the sexual door of the Eighth in order to enter the House of the spiritual path, the Ninth.

We find our mates in the Seventh House, but it is through our sexual contacts with our partners and the accompanying emotional interactions that our “urge to merge” is either fulfilled or dissolved. As the Eighth House is the second from the Seventh, the Eighth contains the resources of our partners either from the standpoint of marriage or business. In a broader context, the Eighth reveals to us the circumstances surrounding our financial dealings with others. It is also the house that concerns divorce settlements, will, legacies, royalties, stock dividends and any losses or gains coming from investments.

It is as the house of death that the truest meaning of the Eighth as the astrological cyclotron reveals itself. There is an ancient spiritual saying that reminds us: “Death is but a change of form; life itself is immortal.” The house opposite the Eighth is the Second, the house that contains our material resources, possessions, and most importantly, our values and attitudes towards money, possession, and ownership. This is the domicile of Taurus, symbolized in the Old Testament by the “Golden Calf.” Scorpio and the Eighth House speak about the death and destruction of form on the one hand: on the other, they teach us about the regeneration of form and the new possibilities that life offers us as we regenerate and uplift our life values. The price that we pay for such growth is death, release and detachment. These lessons are not the easiest for earthlings whose desires and attachments are held tightly in place by gravity.

Let’s now examine the meaning of each of the signs of the zodiac when placed on the cusp of the Eighth House.

Aries: This sign/house combination reveals a person who is ever seeking ways of personal transformation. The individual usually has to confront these challenges head-on. Sexuality is a potent urge as a sign of Mars is on a naturally Mars-ruled house. This is a person who is responsible for his ways and means of regenerating his resources but usually creates the opportunities to do so. Conflicts may come about through the right use of resources that are owned in common with others but such difficulties may be somewhat modified if Mars is in positive aspect with the ruler of the Seventh House. This is a person who is not afraid of opening up new doors of creative self-expression, releasing the past and getting on with life. As in all delineations, the entire chart has to be examined to verify a single conclusion but we can say in general, that there is a tendency for a person with Aries on the Eighth House cusp to be called upon to initiate other people’s transformational changes. This can give a person the often-thankless task of becoming a “devil’s advocate,” but any house ruled by Aries denotes the area in life where a person takes the lead.

Taurus: This sign is exactly opposite the natural astrological rulership of the Eighth, Scorpio. As a result, the effects of this sign/house combination are polar opposites of this domicile's natural orientation. Scorpio and the Eighth are energies that seek transformation and regeneration. The Scorpio native will find herself in difficulties when she resists the changes that are presented to her by life. Taurus and the Second House work towards the maintenance of the status quo and increasing physical manifestation and possessions. They need to be considered as “conservative” influences in the natal chart. The result of having Taurus on the Eighth can therefore be quite challenging, as the urge for necessary transformation may be blocked due to attachments to material substance. It is like saying at the time a flood is approaching your house: “I will not leave without my sofa!” Yet money from partnerships often flows easily enough unless Venus is afflicting the ruler of the Seventh House, in which case money-related partnership issues will prove difficult. The question life is often asking is: “How can I release and circulate my resources in order to bring forth greater benefits to myself and others?” Sexuality is very strong often with an equally powerful need for romance.

Gemini: In many cases, when Gemini is on the Eighth House cusp, Scorpio will be the rising sign. As a result, there is a strong relationship in existence here between the First and the Eighth Houses and consequently between the creative processes of transformation that these positions indicate. This is an individual who has to learn how to develop and expresses a flexible attitude towards life’s major changes and transformations. Life will be a constant series of changes and this person has discovered (or in time, will certainly do so!) that life continuously brings situations before us that require our ability to adjust. Fear of loss is to be replaced by a “let go and let flow” understanding of things. Sexuality can fluctuate with long periods of intimate involvement followed by periods of chastity. If other factors in the horoscope substantiate it (such as a strong Venus/Uranus aspect, Mercury in a mutable sign in aspect to Mars in a mutable sign, etc.), bisexuality may be the individual’s natural sexual orientation. This is an individual who usually enjoys working with other people’s resources. In fact, such work may be this person’s profession as Gemini on the cusp of the Eighth is an indication of a person who acts as a financial go-between, agent, bank teller, or stockbroker.

Cancer: Whatever sign appears on the cusp of the Eighth speaks most specifically about the area of life most needing to be transformed. It is very common for this sign/house combination to bring forth those situations in which a person has to confront and transform the past, especially in terms of one’s relationship with one’s family. The area of contention may easily have something to do with the family’s sexual or financial attitudes and one’s resulting way of dealing with one’s own sexuality and material resources. If the Moon is afflicted particularly to Pluto or Mars and/or to the ruler of the First House, it is usually the former area of life that brings conflicts. Should the lunar affliction be to Venus and/or the Second House ruler, it is more often the financial area and the family that is troublesome. Crises involving Cancer and the Eighth House are important as they provide opportunities to release one from certain subconscious family patterns that are not helpful to our emerging individuality. Money may come into one’s life either through one’s own family or one’s partner’s. Indeed, it may be through the attachment to the family’s purse strings that the individual remains attached to the family’s umbilical cord. Should the Moon be well placed (especially in good relationship with Neptune) and the individual has reached a certain degree of spiritual and emotional maturity, Cancer on the Eighth is an excellent position for a person to be of incredible value in helping others go through their own emotional crises.

Leo: Personal passions are stimulated when the Lion occupies the cusp of the Eighth House. If the sexual nature is over-stimulated by the fire of the Sun’s rulership, it is often difficult to see other people objectively. The development of consciousness requires the opening of the heart. This is impossible when self-identification (Leo) is too intimately connected with the desire nature. As a consequence, this sign/cusp combination brings about those crises in life that condition the transformation of the lower self. This often takes place for all people through experiences of the broken heart. Yet losses in love are not necessarily the fate of a person with Leo on the Eighth. What is important is that self-centeredness within the context of sexual and financial situations be transformed into a higher and more refined field of expression. When matured, an individual with Leo on the Eighth can be a source of tremendous regenerative potential that is both uplifting and healing. Such an individual can be a vehicle to increase the inherent creative and material abundance within the scope of all partnership dynamics.

Virgo: This is fundamentally a most positive combination as it indicates the urge to find those techniques and processes that stimulate healing and wholeness. Virgo on the Eighth gives the person the potential to transform and develop one’s skills so that they may be expressed on a more refined level of expression. In terms of sexuality, Virgo in this position can lead to either a highly discriminatory attitude towards sex and a highly selective choice of one’s sexual partners or it can give rise to some rather particular sexual interests. It should be remembered that Virgo tends to focus on small details. In terms of sexual habits, this can give rise to fetishes and other “peculiar” objectives of the desire nature. In order to determine if this is so, the astrologer should carefully examine the relative positions of Mercury with Mars and/or Pluto as well as the ruler of the Fifth House. An individual with Virgo on the Eighth tends to do well with other people’s resources as this position adds a distinctly practical note to the use of money. It is an excellent indicator for a person who is a bookkeeper, accountant, and efficiency expert, or waste management controller.

Libra: As I have mentioned earlier in this article, the Eighth is a house of necessary crises and conflict. It is vital that as evolving entities we enter into the correct battle and experience the “right losses” and “correct victories.” You cannot grow by maintaining the status quo—nor should you initiate an unnecessary or untimely battle. Libra on the cusp of the Eighth can be quite challenging, as there is often the urge to create stasis rather than transformation. Libra is known in esoteric terminology as “the sign of pause.” Sometimes, quite often in fact, it is important when to know when to stop and consider one’s next move. But the resistance to change and especially to the sacrifice of certain relationships that are inimical to one’s growth has to be avoided. A person with this sign/house combination, especially if Pluto or Saturn afflicts Venus, may create a holding pattern in relationships that can be most harmful. This is however, the sign of the Scales so “on the other hand,” this position can be most helpful in perceiving the exact time to make such important transformational changes. When positive, Libra on the Eighth gives a most balanced perspective when it comes to dealing with such existential crises. This time, the astrologer should consult the positive aspects between Venus and Pluto or Saturn to support this conclusion.

Scorpio: As this is the natural ruler of the Eighth House, there is no other sign/house combination that brings out the character of this domicile more than this one. Sexuality and the direction and subsequent transformation of the desire nature are major themes of the individual’s life. Please keep in mind that in most cases with Scorpio on the Eighth, Aries will be on the Ascendant and Mars will therefore rule and link both of these houses. The astrologer should therefore carefully examine the condition of this planet as one’s sexual orientation for good or ill, will determine much about the personality and life of the individual in question. As one would expect, money and the right use of other people’s resources will also play an important role in one’s life. When negative, this is a person who will tend to abuse such resources for their own benefit. When positive, this is an individual who has the regenerative ways and means to bring about increase and abundance for both oneself and others. Death will be an issue that is either confronted with a great deal of fear and apprehension (see the relationship between Mars, Pluto and Saturn) or be a great “friend,” as the person is quite willing to pass through the door of transformation into a better life.

Sagittarius: When the “Celestial Archer” is on the cusp of the Eighth, matters surrounding death, and the personal crises leading to major life transformations are often approached with a philosophical sense of adventure. Sometimes this sign/cusp combination indicates that the very nature of such crises are rooted in the person’s belief system, a system that periodically has to change, becoming more universal and refined in the process. (This would especially be the case if Jupiter were in Virgo in the natal chart.) In terms of sexuality, the individual with Sagittarius on the Eighth can either be quite open and free-minded or completely circumscribed by one’s religious background and early life training. The latter would be the case if Jupiter where in Cancer with the Moon in Capricorn and/or in an afflicted relationship with the Moon. Care would have to be taken that the individual does not have too much of a cavalier attitude in his or her relationship to money and other people’s resources. An afflicted Jupiter with this sign/cusp combination leads to waste and a lack of prudence when it comes to saving.

Capricorn: This position indicates a person who cares a great deal about finances and who has the tendency to be quite conservative in this regard. Investments are usually made with an eye to how resources will increase over time. This is definitely not the chart of a “day trader!” If Saturn is well placed, especially in relationship to Venus and/or the ruler of the Seventh House, this is a person with a strong sense of responsibility in terms of other people’s resources. A healthy person’s attitude to sex when Capricorn is on the Eighth is that sexuality is a normal part of one’s life and should not be taken out of context. In some cases however, Capricorn on the Eighth can indicate a person who uses sexuality as a control over others. An afflicted Saturn in Scorpio for example, especially if square to Pluto, would certainly contribute to this conclusion. When positive health indicators are noted, especially in this case with Saturn in positive aspect to the Sun, Moon and/or ruler of the Sixth House, longevity is noted. Positive Saturn/Moon combinations with Capricorn on the Eighth, especially if the signs Taurus and Cancer are indicated, can lead one to surmise that inherited wealth is likely.

Aquarius: The Water Bearer on this house cusp one indication of a person with profound interests in metaphysics or the natural sciences as it points to a person who like to probe into the mysteries of life. In terms of money, this sign/house combination gives the urge for “creative financing,” and a penchant for finding new approaches to regenerating both one’s own and other people’s resources. Investing with a group of people (friends) or investing in a group project are other natural tendencies with this position. Aquarius on the Eighth supports a more collective attitude towards life and would therefore be more naturally inclined towards mutual funds over individual stocks for example. This is a person who may be prone to investigate sexuality in ways that open oneself to new experiences. This would be especially true if Uranus dominates the sign and is in strong aspect to Mars, Venus and/or the rulers of the Fifth and Seventh Houses. Should Saturn be the dominant influence—and the reader will recall that both Saturn and Uranus rule this sign—then look for a more conservative attitude regarding sex. The exception to this would be Saturn in Scorpio for should this be the case (especially if Saturn were in a difficult aspect to Mars and/or Pluto), the individual would tend to be very controlling in sex somewhat unfeeling in terms of personal sexual expression. Such a person would definitely not be called a romantic!

Pisces: The Fish bring out the deeper psychological or spiritual issues connected to the Eighth House. When this interest is positive, this is an excellent sign/cusp combination for a psychologist, sex therapist, artist or mystic. If taken to extremes, Pisces on this cusp can give rise to issues of sexual addiction and the consequent need to lose oneself in sexual activity. This position can be a good indication for the renewal of financial resources as Pisces brings the bounty of the “universal ocean” into one’s life. This would be especially the case if Neptune and/or Jupiter were well configured with Saturn and/or Venus and the Sun and/or Moon were in an earthy sign. On the other hand, should Jupiter and/or Neptune be in a difficult configuration with the ruler of the Fifth House, a tendency towards an addiction to gambling is noted. Should Jupiter and/or Neptune as rulers of the Eighth be in a difficult aspect to Pluto and/or the ruler of the Twelfth House, look for underhandedness when it comes to dealing with other people’s financial resources. Should these planetary relationships be positive, the astrologer could conclude that the individual has “good karma” when it comes to being financial supported by the universe as the tendency will be for surprising abundance to appear in one’s life.

Alan Oken

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