Thursday, July 7, 2016

The 8th House: Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty

Well, here it is. The final house in my house series: the 8th House. It has taken me a full year to write profiles for every house but it’s been worth it. I’ve really enjoyed taking as much time as I need to fully understand and decode each house. It’s something that’s definitely made me much better at astrology, as I only had a slightly clichéd understanding of quite a few of these houses before writing the profiles for them. Now, on to the 8th House; another house that impacts me very personally, as I have Venus in the 8th. Jupiter in Virgo is currently transiting my 8th and conjunct my Venus, so this part of my chart has become a bigger deal lately. As I and many other people with planets in the 8th House can tell you, living with this energy can be very painful and it also can be ultimately rewarding, depending on what course you decide to take.

Just look at the rulers of the 8th House: the planet Pluto and the sign Scorpio. This energy is all about create-or-destroy, in the sense that Pluto tears down the old in a sometimes excruciating way in order to make room for the beautiful and transformative new. Also, in the sense that Scorpio is associated with the shedding of skins to become a richer, stronger, wiser version of oneself. But this is usually only achieved after enduring a lot of emotional pain. So, your 8th House can go either way. The sign and/or planets that are in the 8th House are going to be expressed very intensely and powerfully. This can be a very powerfully positive or very powerfully negative manifestation. It’s why we 8th House people often either go to the extreme of batshit-craziness or healing awesomeness. Figuring out how to heal other people and ourselves occurs after enduring those heavy lows.

"Twilight in the Wilderness" by Frederic Edwin Church

I feel like this is why the 8th House is described in such a scary way by many astrologers. It’s where you have to go through Hell, in a certain sense. We’ve all been there and even if you have an empty 8th House, the personal Hell that you’ve lived through resides there. It’s just going to manifest through the sign that’s on the 8th House cusp. No one goes through life without emotional and psychological scars, unfortunately. And having no planets in the 8th does not mean that you haven’t been scarred or damaged. It just means that the damage might not have been as heavy as those with 8th House planets. Still, the 8th House is where one’s personal demons lie and the process of coming face-to-face with these demons requires you to get down to some raw emotional truths.

These truths often come out in relationships. It’s very fitting that the 8th House follows the 7th House, in this respect. Through the 7th House, we establish good friendships, officially commit to the person we’re dating, cultivate business partnerships, and find our rapport with the public. Don’t forget that the 7th House is naturally ruled by lovely Libra. So, whatever’s in your 7th House represents the ideal elements of the relationship; what it will take to keep things harmonious and balanced. But, the evolution of the astrological wheel of houses means that the 8th House is what happens when things go out of balance in your relationships. Trust issues could threaten your friendship, infidelity or lack of intimacy can derail a romantic relationship, disagreements over money can sour the business partnership, and a public backlash could occur that threatens your popularity. In short, the 8th House is what happens when things get real between you and other people; sometimes painfully real. And these are moments that are going to bring out your demons: the fears, obsessions, resentments, or unhealed emotions that rest in the darkness of your psyche.

So, yes, the 8th House is your dark side. You’re going to need to look at the sign or planets in the 8th in order to figure out just how your shadow material expresses itself. It won’t be an easy thing to confront or explore. But, it’s necessary because this darkness can only stay hidden for so long until someone or something provokes it out of hiding. Say, for example, you have Gemini on the 8th House cusp. Your dark side represents all the shadowy Gemini traits: manipulative, deceitful, verbally cutting, someone who really knows how to screw with people’s heads. With Gemini in the 8th, your mind-fucker side can emerge in relationships in a destructive way, making you obsessively or secretly manipulate the situation to your advantage.

You might have Aquarius on the 8th House cusp. This shows that your shadow side contains some of the scariest traits of Aquarius, like the icy detachment and the totally bizarre, erratic ways. So, when things get down to the nitty-gritty in relationships, your darkness can emerge by making you go surprisingly cold or causing you to become wildly provocative or unpredictable. It can frighten the other person and it can frighten you just as much, if not more. Most of us are somewhat terrified of our 8th House placements. They are so powerful and also have such a primal force behind them that expressing them can make us feel evil, psychotic, cruel, or animalistic. I won’t lie: there is that “psycho” side to your 8th House sign and/or planet(s). But, you’ve got to figure out the underlying motivations behind why this insanity is emerging because a genuine button is definitely being pushed when it does.

This is why the 8th House is the container of our emotional, psychological issues. They can disturb or unnerve us. But, sooner or later, we need to get to the bottom of these emotional problems or else they’ll do nothing us ruin the good things in our lives, including the ideal fulfillment or happiness we seek with other people through the 7th House. This is why Scorpio, the sign of the psychologist, rules this house. When we’re in 8th House mode, we put ourselves through therapy. And the purpose of therapy, of course, is to find healing and to transform as a person; all Scorpio/8th House themes. So, to figure out your inner darkness, you have to first identify why it’s there. Your 8th House energy is carrying some sort of wound from the past.

With Gemini in the 8th, it could be this very painful experience of being lied to that made you develop this secret, hidden motive to outsmart other people and gain more information than them that just turned very dark. Aquarius in the 8th House can show long-held emotional pain around the feeling of being treated coldly and of not having your personal feelings be heard. Therefore, an inner motivation has developed covertly that has caused you to shake off personal connections and to be the odd one out in ways that end up becoming really destructive. It takes not only great insight but great compassion for one’s inner pain to be able to understand these issues and then heal them. Rage, fear, bitterness, anxiety, or shame may surround the expression of your 8th House placements. Yet, when you see that beneath all of these troubling emotions is a cry for help or a yearning for love, you will be able to transform them and overcome them.

This is why those of us with 8th House planets are constantly in therapy. But, it’s usually not literal therapy. In fact, most 8th House people rarely partake in actual therapy or, at most, go to a counselor only for a brief period of time. It’s not any sort of arrogance of not needing therapy. Having an occupied 8th House makes you very aware that you’ve got issues. It’s more so that having planets in the 8th gives you a natural ability to be your own therapist. We are deeply introspective individuals and possess this lack of fear when it comes to delving into the darkest part of ourselves. With my placements here, it’s because being so introspective and so aware of my issues is something I really value (Venus), and something that. I am so used to hashing through my psychological baggage and this has gradually helped me transform the way I love myself and others (Venus). Being an 8th House person is like living many different lives because of the dramatic transformations we put ourselves through on account of this deep self-awareness.

For the majority of us, we really don’t have a choice. I don’t like to make sweeping generalizations but it is pretty much a given that having 8th House planets means that you have been really traumatized in life, at some point and for some reason. This is what makes us so aware of the darkness in ourselves, in others, and of life itself. For some of us, it has occurred through our upbringing, with us enduring physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse. For others, it can be the death of a loved one in childhood that rocks us to the core. Also, there just could have been a ton of emotional drama one absorbed while growing up; the sense that things were always going to be volatile and upsetting. Also, even if the childhood was relatively healthy or stable, you can see the 8th House person who goes through trauma in early adulthood, getting into an abusive relationship, having someone very close to them die, or surviving some other very painful event.

Yet, the 8th House also shows how you’ve survived that emotional pain. The planets in the 8th are indicators of your survival techniques. Jupiter in the 8th, for instance, would show someone who learned how to magically find the positive in the terrible situations they faced; someone who developed a belief that what didn’t kill them made them stronger. The Sun in the 8th would mean that you found your confidence by identifying as a survivor. For me, Venus in the 8th gave me the strength to find some sort of harmony in the face of the emotionally difficult things I’ve been through and a way to love myself regardless.

So, do not fear being an 8th House person. Yes, it does give you a certain amount of inner darkness. But, it also makes you a survivor, a powerhouse, someone with wonderful emotional strength. When I think of the 8th House, I think of emotional resources; the internal things we can draw on that keep us going. Of course, having an empty 8th House makes this true, as well. Someone with only Cancer in the 8th House, and no planets, would primarily draw on their nurturing, responsive, emotionally aware side to get them through anything emotionally painful or difficult. Whenever you’re faced with psychological challenges or difficulties, with that placement, you will know how to take good care of yourself and also be a source of support for others in their trials and tribulations. This is why “power” is such a keyword for the 8th House. When we talk about power here, we shouldn’t think of being in control. We should think of having the ability to know our inner strength and to reach down within our depths to be able to access it.

This is also why your 8th House placements cannot be expressed with the intent of controlling anything or anyone. In the end, this is a Water house. It’s emotional, it feels deeply, it goes with the currents. So, you also need to find the strength to let the expression of your 8th House just flow. When you do, you will end up feeling empowered and enriched. The process of 8th House empowerment is also what allows you to conquer those demons of yours. Any resentment, fear, anger, or other unresolved pain you hold on to ends up having power over you. And when it emerges in ways that ruin your relationships or your stability in life, you can feel like this terrible fate is taking over. It isn’t. You just need to find peace with your inner demons. When you do, they will have much less control over your life. In the process, that person that hurt you in the past – whether it was a parent, relative, friend, lover, or whoever else – will no longer have control over your life. Because if you still haven’t healed your feelings toward them, they’ll keep hurting you and without having to actually hurt you; just because of their presence in your psyche.

When many people speak of the 8th House, they speak of “inheritance.” This gets many stuck on the “other people’s money” aspect of this house that I really don’t buy into (more on that in a bit). But, for me, the inheritance of the 8th House is far more emotional than anything. It’s no coincidence that many of our 8th House issues are family-oriented, in nature, especially for those who have been victims of abuse, abandonment, or any other neglect or mistreatment while growing up. These are toxic inheritances that have been passed down from generation to generation: your grandmother’s controlling nature becomes your sister’s, your father’s temper becomes your brother’s, your mother’s alcoholism could become your own. This is another not-so-pleasant part of the 8th House: figuring out the issues you’ve inherited and just what to do with them.

First off, they are problems that must be forgiven, no matter what. It’s the only way to move forward. Secondly, you have to figure out what to do with these energies: transform them, subvert them, or kill them off. The control-freak tendencies of your grandmother could be a twisted expression of amazing strength or just the sign of a truly impossible person. Your father’s temper can be transformed into formidable passion or it could just make everyone’s life a living hell. The 8th House is about transmuting the shadow, using this alchemical process to figure out if gold lies within there or if the material is just useless. If the psychological inheritance you’ve received could enrich you in some way, then use that. After all, power does not always stem from lightness and goodness. But, if the psychological inheritance does nothing but destroy, then get rid of it. Going through such a process will put you firmly on the path to being empowered.

Now, as far as the other people’s money aspect, those with 8th House planets do usually end up, during some point in adulthood, receiving significant money from others through a financial inheritance or some sort of assistance. But, it’s often not a positive process. To receive an inheritance, someone has to die and someone you probably loved. And to be financially assisted by others definitely robs you of your power as an adult and can lead to toxic games of control or battles for power. So, I always advise people to focus on the “emotional riches” of the 8th House instead. Yes, this house can also mean taxes and joint bank accounts and all the rest of it. But, frankly, that interpretation bores me. If you want to learn about managing money and handling finances, look at the 2nd House. In my opinion, the 8th House goes much deeper than that.

It does require trust to open that shared bank account with your partner; typically seen as an 8th House process. But, it requires much more trust to share your feelings, secrets, and thoughts with them. That’s why I also say that the 8th House is about the intimacy of your relationship with someone. Whatever’s in the 8th shows how you go deep with someone else and it won’t always be an easy experience. Major revelations occur here, including the painful things you’ve been through in the past that you’ve told very few people, if anyone. So, that kind of sharing requires huge trust, which is why having planets in the 8th House makes trust a very important factor. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve probably given less specific personal accounts in this article than any of my other house articles. Suffice to say, everything I’ve just said about being an 8th House person applies to me. But, the details are too touchy to air out on the Internet for everyone to read. And, after all, as an 8th House person (with a strong Scorpio and Pluto influence, to boot), I do have to have my secrets!

When you think about it, sex is quite a secret and it makes sense that it is applied so much to the house of secrets and mysteries: the 8th House. But, 8th House sex is not like the fun, casual sex of the 5th House. It’s actually not so much about the sexual act but the emotions behind it. Why aren’t you having an orgasm? What fantasies aren’t you sharing with your partner and why? Do you want to be more dominant or more submissive and what does that say about you? When you have planets in the 8th, you are automatically labeled as some sexy beast. And while 8th House people do have a lot of sexual energy and do easily provoke very sexual responses in others, we also usually have quite a few sexual issues to work out in order to fully enjoy sex. Sometimes, it is the residue of being abused or betrayed or hurt in the past and it’s coming out sexually. But, we do possess a ton of passion and this yearning to intensely connect during sex, all of which ends up being very magnetic and can create some real magic in the bedroom. Whatever is in your 8th House, sign or planet, it is the deeper sexual connection that you are capable of making. And like anything in the 8th, if something is getting in the way, you need to examine it and transform it.


  1. Hello! I have Uranus in Aquarius on the 8th cusp. What would this mean for me?

  2. Hello! My 8th is empty but my sun conjuncts pluto which is the ruling planet of the 8th, so I can kind of identify with the plutonic energy. Like chichi55, I have aquarius on my 8th house. On a bad day, I can definitely play out the darker side of aquarius. Way too cold, aloof, uncaring and sometimes without a reason.

  3. Great post- been waiting for the 8th house, thank you. I too have Venusand Mercury in the 8th. I can truly relate to the whole death-rebirth cycle in life. Anyway, I really see this is the shadow house that leads to being whole- not depended on anything or anyone but the true light of your soul that lives on beyond reality. Unlike the 7th where you need other people- here you need to deal with yourself and then you can really help others cross that bridge and be whole. The darker it is the brighter the light- so any planet can shine here- it just takes time.

  4. Magnificent job you have done on 8th house, Wayman! Thanks!

    I have Neptune in Sagittarius in 8th house in tide orb(0.00 degree) opposition to Mercury in 2house ,- i had to build strong value system foundation, which i did not inherit from any of my family member, - which would work impeccably for me.

    My Neptune in 8th house is also in trine with Jupiter in Aries in 12th house - my favorite aspect, which became very strong in my life only after i have worked out Neptune opposition Mercury value system concerning my beliefs, my faith, my creative abilities, my independent intelligence capacities, self worth.

    8house is GREAT!!! Gives the opportunity to build spiritual muscles, to find out for ourselves and to demonstrate, - what we are truly made of.

  5. This timely follows the north node cancer article. My north node is in cancer in the 8th House. Im just abit confused with how the nnode cancer manifests in the 8th house. Feels very intense. :-(

  6. Hi.
    First I must tell you that your blog is really inspiring. Thank you. Things about astrology which I read here I saw nowhere else. Really, thank you.

    And may I ask? I know that you don´t like think about 8th house like "another people money", but would that be truth? Because I have Moon in 2nd house opposite Venus in 8th house and ... we have little conflict in home. I'm still studiing and living with my parents, so I live from their money. But mom wants me to have part-time, of course, for me to pay my expenses as much as possible. But I feel, still more and more, that I just can´t work for money sake, I need purpose, meed to love my job (maybe Uranus and Neptune in 2nd house?). And money really don´t mean so much for me... So I feel that I don´t have a choice, freedom, because I must listen to her wish, I must work when I don´t want. I feel that I need enough my own money for me to be free and have a choice if and where to work, but its not easy and I think it isn´t really solution for this. Conflict about money of another person. Would that be because this opposition?

    Thank you very much.

    1. Thank you. And yeah, like I said, I think getting financially supported or assisted by someone else as an adult happens to so many 8th House people. It happened to me. Long story short, I personally wish it didn't. It was a toxic, controlling, manipulative relationship and it only robbed me of my feeling of true power.

      Breaking away from it was hard as the 8th House can keep you very enmeshed with someone like that. But it was so empowering when I did and when I left the relationship begind as well. I will tell you that I will never go back to living like that again, in any relationship.

      I am not saying that your relationship with your mom is toxic and controlling. But you still have to want to financially support yourself. With your 2nd House Moon, this is a strong need of yours and your mom (Moon) encouraging this makes sense (but then again, most moms would). If you can't do that, you can't learn your true value (2nd) and you will keep inviting destruction into your life (8th). Venus being in the 8th also means that not knowing your value will keep you entangled in these situations that keep you out of touch with your real power.

      It's definitely not impossible to make your own money. You may just not want to, on some level. But since you're living with your parents, this will help you feel some sense of control and self-empowerment as an adult.

      So that's why I don't promote the "other people's money" element of the 8th. I think it can lead to unhealthy patterns in relationships.

    2. Wayman, from everything I've read, you are the only one that has stressed the incredible danger of depending on other people's resources. I think today's society does not encourage independence anymore, emotional or financial.

      I know a woman with Venus there and she's always had partners that supported her financially and emotionally as well.
      My boss has Sun in 8th house and she benefited greatly from her marriage. However, it is a difficult situation because it's like her marriage is a business deal that she constantly needs to work for. There is no emotional support only work hours.
      Another friend has a Leo stellium there, he is an athlete and he had to fight for sponsorships from a very young age. The world of sports is a lot more about money than sports. He is a very unusual Leo but very adamant about keeping people out of his personal stuff.

      I have known them all and there were moments when I wanted to offer them a hug. They are pretty badass on their own and I hope they see it as well. When they don't see it, they piss me off to no end.

    3. Wayman, I must really thank you for your reply, because you started flow of many revelations, awareness, for me.
      And you are right, relationship with mom was very much and maybe still is manipulative. When I look back, many people and relationships in my life was manipulative and destructive for me, undermining my selfworth. I read your post about shadow in 12th house for second time now and my 12th is in Scorpio and even Pluto and N.N. are here, so maybe that all am I. This is really time of self-reflection.

      Thank you very much for your words and your time.

  7. That was a great piece of work, Wayman!!

  8. Hey Wayman! Thank you for this post. It was really deeply toned and insightful and there was some new viewpoints refeshing to read. Like you, I have never been keen to that "other peoples money" sentence they use to explain this house’s nature, so the emotional inheritance was more understandable for me, and so was the line that money would somehow come with painful events.
    I have read that having many planets in this house would give a person some scorpionic vibe but wonder if Pluto aspceting many planets would do the same thing even if a person had an empty 8th house in their birth chart?

    Like have already stated on your blog before, I have some planets in the sign of pisces here, and I must say, life have sometimes felt like being on boxing match while I am sleepwalking. :D It doesn’t really give me that much courage that I also have a north node and a chart ruler here in pisces. I guess experiencing these upheavals is something that I need to go through to find spirituality and a way to let go. :)

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  10. With my sun, Chiron, Lilith & Jupiter in H8 AND being Pluto dominant, I read a lot on H8 and I've to say that your post is absolutely the most astute & profound one I've read!!! I identify with every word so many thanks. ��

  11. This is so empowering and different from anything out there. THANK U!

  12. I have my sun in virgo in 8th house, my mercury in virgo 8th house, my moon in scorpio square my venus in leo 7th house I have my lilith in leo 8th house what do you mean please?

  13. I have too my moon in scorpio square my mars in leo 7th house

  14. I have my 8th in Cancer and I definitely have a talent for self-nurturing myself back from the abyss. From very early in life I understood the importance of self-parenting. A bit humiliating to accept that if I don't nurture myself nobody will, but it has been necessary. And it has saved my life. I am thankful for the power of my 8th.

  15. Such an empowering post. From a Saturn/Venus/North Node conjunct Aries 8th house - I send you thanks from the bottom of my Sun/Mercury conjunct Taurus 8th house heart. I have gone through hell and two marriages to figure this all out. And, I am still figuring it out.

    1. Wow, that sounds like a ton of challenging energy in that house, especially with Saturn and the North Node there. Good luck on your journey!

  16. My 8th house in aquarius . what does that mean?

  17. My 8th house is in Aquarius, and i have my moon there at 23 degree... I have strange dramas, I can sometimes with easy read symbols or connect to some kind of energy that i don't understand.
    Actually i don't understand a lot of it i just know that is weird in combination with my 12th house VENUS.
    Moon trine Pluto orb -3°20'
    Moon trine Saturn orb -4°41'
    Moon sextile Neptune orb -4°36'
    Moon inconjunction Venus orb +2°12'

  18. I love the article! I have Venus conjunct Ceres and Eris in Aries in my 8th house and my Venus is Square Neptune and Uranus in the 5th. So I feel a lot of this energy daily apart from My Pluto in Scorpio aspecting all my angles...great read!

  19. I really enjoy all your articles about my problematic planets in houses.
    My 8th H being in Aquarius is really making it extremely easily to be detached when I feel oppressed or scared. Uranus sitting on very close on my 7th H cusp opposite my Sun. It is so very difficult for me to trust someone and be intimate. Saturn in 8th (lord of my 7th H) surely makes all of this even more difficult although I don't know how exactly but maybe that I need too much time to get over the pain and too much time to trust anyone. Sometimes I really feel like I am a cold person although I am emotional.

  20. My 8th house in Libra, no planets. Sad but true. Thank you for your article it is very insightful and gives me a certain understanding to start healing this aspect of myself.

  21. Thank you for this great writing! How would you see Jupiter, Vertex and Lilith in Cancer in 8th? I would really appreciate your answer. Thank you.

  22. I have the Moon, Mars, Venus, and Uranus conjunct in Scorpio with all of them in the 8th house except Mars (barely in the 7th). Fun right?!
    This is a great post. In fact I find all your posts to be incredibly accurate and a lot more insightful than a lot of information on astrology (which I've studied for about 20 years). You definitely have a gift for this! I am having a lot of fun delving into all your information!

  23. This is definitely one of the best I have read on the 8th House! and believe me, I have read a lot of articles on the 8th as I have Sun Mercury Uranus and Pluto in Virgo in the the 8th but with Leo on the Cusp. I am now in my mid fifties and just about coming to terms with my heavy heavy childhood trauma, it definitely isn't an easy house to get to grips with even for professional astrologers, I salute you🙏🙏🙏

  24. Hello Wayman, exceptional article, thank you. I didn't even want it to end. Can't wait to read the other houses now after stumbling accross this gem.

  25. Learning so much...thanks Wayman!