The first six houses of the zodiac wheel represent the space on the planet’s track (the ecliptic) that was below the Earth. Thus, this space was invisible to you and to anyone living at your birthplace when you took your first breath as an independent being.
The first six houses signify arenas of potential experience in the astrological blueprint in which an individual is working toward creating a personality. Self-development is the focus here.
A specific value is given to every individual by the universe when a newborn comes into the world and takes the first breath of life. The first six houses provide the psychic substance that enables each person to develop the value they carry and learn to channel it into the world as a contribution that in some way can improve current conditions here on Earth.
The seventh house in the chart represents the beginning of the part of space that was visible in the sky when and where you were born. It indicates the arena of life experience where you become aware that there are other people who carry other value and that some of them are willing to make an exchange with you. Individuals meet one another in the seventh house and then merge in the eighth.
An eighth house merger signifies an important relationship-one that seems to have a fated quality. There are some connections that a person cannot possibly avoid for the mirror the relationship holds up is the mirror of truth and it offers a reflection that is not to be taken lightly. In fact, nothing that the eighth house contains in terms of potential experience could ever be taken lightly. This is the place where the road turns and the pathway is either all the way up to the top or all the way down to the bottom. Historically this is the house that some astrologers start to shudder at, as soon as they see a chart laden with planets in this domain. It indicates the place one consciously enters to take a roller coaster ride through forbidden territory, meaning the areas of life that many people are uncomfortable talking about to strangers and even to friends.
Whenever you join forces at a deep level with another person, you are on eighth house terrain. This includes any sexual relationship, any business partnership where joint resources are a focal point and any association where the partners involved are struggling to maintain a give and take arrangement that can satisfy both of them.
Only the strong at heart need to sign up for a lengthy eighth house excursion. If you do not know who you are, the complex energies you are subjected to in this part of the chart might destroy your identity. That is why this house is called the house of death. How interesting that the place where sexual relations and financial transactions between two parties is played out is also the house where ultimately every one of us is played out.
One word sums up all the experience buried in house eight and the word is transformation. To the well travelled soul who has built up sufficient personal substance and who is passionately committed to plunge into the underworld to learn the mysterious secrets of existence, the eighth house is waiting with open arms. Nevertheless, while overly optimistic or just plain naive individuals can easily slide beyond their depths here, they can also rise above their pain for there is no better place in which to heal one-self.
Do not expect to stay in your comfort zone as you navigate the perilous landscape of house eight for the road leads to spine tingling and hair raising experiences. In this arena, everything you think you are is stripped away, as you are exposed to your own vulnerability and humbled in the presence of a force that is entirely beyond your control. Think of any experience you have ever had where you felt utterly powerless, such as lying on an operating table in a hospital while a team of doctors cut you open. Imagine what it would have been like to be a prisoner in a concentration camp where every single day, death stared you in the face until life became so unbearable that you welcomed death. Visualize being homeless and penniless and out on the cold, wet streets not knowing what would happen next, yet fearing that any moment something horrible would.
Despite the nightmare scenario the eighth house brings into our reality, it can also lead to results that turn out to be blessings in disguise. If you did not know who you were before, a journey through this environment could inform you, but you need courage to pass through the initiation. Once you have completed the tour, you are sure to be a stronger, sharper and more self-possessed person than you were prior to your descent. At first it may seem as if the whole world has turned against you and no one cares whether you live or die. Then all of a sudden the power and the awareness that intense sexual experiences and ego-busting relationships opened up for you initially takes you to higher and higher levels. No wonder the phoenix, the mythical bird that rises from its own dead ashes, is a prime symbol of the metamorphosis that takes place here.
The eighth house is also suggestive of the kundalini energy that rises from the root to the crown and paves the way for cosmic consciousness in the house to follow (house nine.) Eighth house trials provide you with an undeniable sense of just how much there is to you. You begin to penetrate into one of the universes ‘cosmic jokes’ and come to realize that every person that has gravitated into your orbit was, one by one, showing you the depth of the consciousness that you have been invested with (and the unrelenting power at your command to use it to transform yourself and and everyone that you contact.)
Heaven and hell have been presented in the past as places one goes to, according to the cosmic report card you are handed upon exiting the Earth plane. More likely, religious tradition aside, they are states of consciousness and one does not need to leave the Earth to experience them. Individuals who play on the eighth house field are inclined to delve into areas that nice, polite people avoid like the plague. Here murky and tempestuous emotions surface between people; emotions such as jealousy, resentment and rage and they inevitably lead to a shattering denouement that rocks the world of the participants. The eighth house is obviously not about love, but it is about desire.
“It is desire that brought you here,” said the East Indian sage Sri Chimnoy, “and it is desire that will bring you back.”
What individuals desire is what often trips them up. Desire urges a person to abandon caution, so that a richer and more powerful experience becomes theirs for the taking. One leaves the soothing cosiness found in the opposite house-house two-and dares to dice with death for the thrill of it all. The darkest of human emotion, the most gruelling of human experience and then the final chapter when the spirit is extricated from the physical body are all contained in this arena. It is no wonder that the eighth house voyager becomes well-versed in human psychology.
Some event in a person’s life opens up a channel that is shut down in most of the human race at this time. This channel allows for feats of wizardry that startle the minds of those accustomed to a more typical form of mental processing. As you enter this dimension, all filters and covers are blasted off and mind reading is definitely on the menu. Prepare to have your secrets laid bare for there is more lurking in the corners of house eight than the physical senses could ever capture.
For those who only feel secure with things they can put in a box and slap a label on, this atmosphere ought to ‘give them the creeps.’ No wonder that a lot of eighth house inhabitants end up in therapy or become therapists themselves. They are dealing with emotions that are deep and dark-emotions that they have dragged out of the soul soup so that they could eventually be cleared up for the good of the world.
A successful passage through house eight is a victory of epic proportions and its repercussions are profound. An analogy to describe the process is one in which swamp waters finally find an outlet to the sea and begin to flow after being mired for ages. Something stagnant that had lost most of its vital force is now empowered to overcome whatever has blocked its value from being successfully shared with the world. Something or someone that the world seemed to give up on is by some miracle regenerated and renewed and with this added strength, the world has one more force to help raise the vibration of the planet.
In reducing this house to its most basic meaning, it is about sheer survival-not so much on a physical level but more on a psychological one. On its highest level, it is about connecting with the invisible world even though its activities seem highly visible. For sex, death and transformation are still a mystery to most of us. They are likely to remain so until the vibrations we resonate to accelerate and become rapid enough to take us into a dimension where nothing is separate from anything else and nothing really dies. Then we will all know the truth-that the experience we call death is the real life, only you have to choose to be embodied and go through the eighth house before you can realize who you really are.
Paul Six October 4, 2009 Edinburgh, Scotland, UK