Creative Connections & Client Communications
Considerations for the 8th House
For any astrologer, the 8th House or the 12th House (or both) are most difficult. Old teaching stories abound: hidden enemies, incarceration, terminal illness for the 12th; death, depravity, inheritance for the 8th. We should take a fresh look at this situation and improve our comfort level with these Houses.
Please see in the Archives under this department, “Counseling Insights” the essays about the 12th House posted January 30, 2000 and February 29, 2000.
Here, let’s explore some of the creative insights about the 8th House –presented in my book The Creative Astrologer in the final chapter, “Analytical Guidelines and Creative Connections.”
The 8th House
The 8th House is the second House of the 7th, the other’s self worth. In psychodynamic terms, opposite the 2nd, it is the awareness from one person to another of the potential exchange of resources. This is a vital area of values within the love-given (5th), love-received (11th) Succedent Grand Cross. When the significator of the 8th House is under developmental tension, the client can ordinarily not manage (recognize) compliments well (will not say, “thank you!” when a compliment is given; so the compliments will eventually stop), is afraid of giving compliments because he she feels diminished by doing so. There is a difficulty with the process of recognizing how fine one is in relation to how fine others are. Why is this so? What are the interrelationships with the parental axis? How is this echoing relationship difficulties suggested through the significator of the 8th House?
Please know how infrequently so few of us support, compliment, praise others. With some people it is a “never-happens” situation. When was the last time, in personal life or in consultation relationships, that you have heard ”You can really be proud of that! Congratulations. Wow!” Just think of that! There are parents who have never ever said such a thing to their children in their lifetime! If you have not used this marvelously simple, highly effective phrase of empowerment lately, try it, please. Try it soon, sincerely, with someone, and watch and listen to the reaction (in yourself too!).
Pluto in the 8th House in the American culture extremely often suggests the use of psychotherapy to help balance perspective for better living. The client’s language, her or his understanding of developmental concepts, will usually corroborate this quick. “Why have you been to a psychotherapist? What was rewarding for you about it?” Questions like these serve two functions: not treading on the toes of the therapy received, and saving time in the astrology consultation developing the (same) scenario.
With Pluto in the 8th,sex and control issues can be very important. Who is controlling whom in the relationship? Why? Why is it uncomfortable? Why is it attractive at the same time? For what does all the jockeying for position compensate?
within this psychodynbamic of values, the 8th House is part of the sexual profile, a secondary part in my opinion, to leadership by the 6th House. Strong transit reference to the significator of the 8th House in the years fifteen to thirty can very often suggest abortion (affairs of death; the 8th House is the fourth House [end of the matter] of the 5th).
The 8th House is not necessarily the House of Death (just because Scorpio is on this House in the natural distribution of the Signs). Think about the 8th House as management of the affairs of death, the circumstances of death. this death usually belongs to someone else, to which circumstance the client is called to serve, manage, console, arrange recovery from, etc. The Moon in the 8th House, vocationally suggests so often the consultant’s position (similar to the Moon in the 12th House, behind the scenes), that of someone advising, editing, changing, refashioning (from interior design to rewriting a Bill in the Senate).
This sense leads us to the 8th House as also the House of Healing. This is especially important in analysis when there is a spiritual dimension indicated in the horoscope as well. Is the client expressing this dimension? How can it be brought into the life along with the major profession?
The ideas of inheritance come from the 8th House being the second of the 7th, others’ monies/values. In this day and age –let’s face—inheritance is infrequent; it rarely comes up in a consultation. BUT Alimony prevails: the 8th House shows the alimony received, expected, ordered. Also, insurance matters, taxes, government funds like social security.
Going further derivatively, we can see the 8th House as the sixth of the 3rd, the work environment/conditions with a sibling. The 8th House can represent the critical illness of one’s brother or sister-in-law, since the 8th is the twelfth dynamic of the 9th, the seventh of one’s 3rd House, the spouse of a brother or sister. –The point here –should such conditions prevail in importance within a consultation—is that the extended symbolizations, built upon the 8th House, will most probably affect the client in terms of the 8th House. This would include reciprocity of resources with a sibling in a job relationship, with real reflection upon one’s self-worth concerns patterned much earlier in the early home with the sibling, and, in the in-law illness situation, a challenge to one’s values as a helper (healer).
On this last point –the illness of an in-law through sibling relationship—we can also see the ninth as the twelfth dynamic of the 10th. What would the drain off be from one’s professional status or strategy, let alone the possible exploitation of self-worth defeating animosities from the past, or from loans, financial upkeep?
Analytical “gymnastics” with the 8th House (or any House) helps us become more comfortable with the House analytically. We don’t need to get fancy with show-off descriptions; we just need to be observant and resourceful … and helpful in conversation.
Next Update: March 31, 2002