In my not so humble opinion, there are a few Houses in Astrology that most people misunderstand, even experienced Astrologers. Oh, they get the “gist” of it, but when it comes to real interpretations, many glibly explain the House and leave it as soon as they can. It’s just so complicated. One of these Houses is the 8th House. Many just explain that it is the House of sex, and then leave it to interpret other parts of the chart, and while it is the House of procreation, it is so much more than sex.
In summary, the eighth house refers to all joint resources. That means it rules combined money and combined efforts. It is inheritance, death, wills, and all legacies of the dead. It rules occupations dealing with death, and taxes and insurance. Occupations dealing with death sounds like an odd pairing with insurance and taxes, but they are related and the 8th house is where you would look regarding those matters.
It is a house of transformation through others, and the transformation of personal motivation for better or worse. It rules the re-cycling of old, discarded habits and resources, as well as spiritual regeneration, and paranormal matters.
One of the least understood areas of the 8th House is indebtedness and how one is obligated to a partner. While the 2nd House shows us how a partner is obligated to the Native, the 8th House shows us how the Native is obligated to a partner.
Think about the word ‘obligated’ for a moment.
That’s a complicated issue, but it is an important part of the 8th House. What are our responsibilities to our partners? What do we need to give to a partnership in order for it to be successful? Many are asking their partners for what they need, and never ask themselves what they owe a partner. It’s an important part of a successful relationship/partnership, and Astrology addresses it in the 8th House. The condition of the 8th House will illuminate what the Native owes a partner.
The 8th House is also the judgment of others. It is competition and the self-mastery over others. This is a giving or taking House (there is no middle ground), and will contain the elements of the use and abuse of Power.
And, yes, it is sex for procreation.
The 8th House contains a deeply intense desire nature to join with another, which usually manifests as sexual desire. As humans, intense desire for anything usually manifests in sexual desire. It can be a force powerful enough that it usually is suppressed due to fear, and the real desire nature is denied. What does that mean? It means that most people get lost in the desire for the physical act of sex and the ultimate climax, but never understand the deeper meaning of the sex act. Humans desire to be sexual, but are afraid of being really intimate. The 8th House is where real intimacy occurs. It is the true “we”, and the sex act is an attempt to become one, whether we realize it or not.
As we look at the 8th house regarding sex, we find one of the most complicated Houses in Astrology, and the most widely misunderstood. The 8th house is closed in, and is a highly controlled area of life which rarely surfaces above ground. A native processing a strong 8th house is usually considered to be highly sexed, very secretive, and somewhat cunning by nature, and possesses a knack for receiving love as well as possessions from others.
The emotional and physical needs are very powerful but often difficult to satisfy or express, partly because the 8th house sexual needs are very much more spiritually oriented than the playful and pleasurable requirements of the 5th house, or the animal instincts of the 2nd house.
In the 8th house the native must take the emotional and feeling nature as a channel of expression in order to begin to function in personal relationships with others. In the 8th the flow of emotions is from the native toward another [NOT the other way around]. The 8th house is primarily concerned with emotional exchange. It is all about matters of sex, emotional crisis, and the death and re-birth of the instincts as powerful desire. It is where our individual instincts die and become woven in instincts for the “we”. A true partnership is formed in the act of sex in the 8th House.
Now, we all know that not every act of sex is about intimacy. We know this instinctively. Sex for pleasure is found in the 5th House, but we are talking about the 8ith House right now, so try and understand that Astrology makes a distinction here. And, while people associate the 8th House with sex, most people never achieve the union that the 8ith House promises. In many ways, each act is almost like ‘chasing the dragon’ and eludes most partners constantly. But, that does not mean there isn’t a desire to achieve that intimacy and union. That is a function of the 8th House—to achieve that union through intense desire. It is easy? No.
This is also primarily a house of crisis despite its obvious appeal to the media mentality of “Sex” as always being a “good thing”. This house operates around specific points in life where the emotional ties to others force the native to realign his/her energies and attitudes regarding some vital area of his/her feeling nature. Sex here is merely a reflection of the native’s emotional and mental energies-which are in turn a reflection of still more complex issues.
Here money can take on an emotional significance regarding a “dependence vs. freedom” dynamic. Indications are strong regarding chronic problems with partners who take advantage of the native financially.
There is also a strong indication of a retributive nature. The native seeks to right the wrongs he/she has suffered through partners. Have you ever been unable to ‘let it go’ with an ex? Seek some kind of karmic revenge? That is all about the 8th House.
The 8th is a battleground of self-discovery and self-mastery through constant crisis. And, there is no greater battleground or crisis in energies than those released through the act of sex. The union occurs on physical level which takes the native “for a moment” out of himself. It is virtually the only time the native can feel himself to be at one with another human being. We all think we can empathize and understand others, but in all reality, we can only identify with them if their experiences are similar to our own. We do not actually become one with others, nor can we actually see their POV. Sex is the one way that we can ‘try’ and become one with another if only for a few minutes.
It is this intimate emotional oneness to which the 8th house refers. There is a death of individual awareness and the truth of mutual awareness. It is not easy to achieve, and usually one partner will dominate the other in an effort to reduce the feeling of vulnerability. This is why this is also the House of “use and abuse of power”. Joining with another, physically mentally, and spiritually makes the Native feel vulnerable. That vulnerability causes one partner to usually exert control over the other partner in some manner or another. It is this need for control that eliminates the ability to join with another successfully in the 8th House.
Joining with another in true intimacy feel like ‘losing control’, and it is in a way. It is losing control of self in order to join with another. In the union both have mutual control over the union itself—NOT each other. This is why this house is seen as the house of “control freaks”. LOL True partnership is not about one person having control, and the other submitting. It is about both forming a union where each has control over the union itself.
So, are you confused yet? I know I am. LOL This is a complicated House, but basically remember that it is not a House that is all about the sexual pleasure we all enjoy. It is about intimacy that is expressed through sex many times, and the reason this is a House of ‘Sex for Procreation’ is because a successful union creates something.
The act of sex for pleasure does not share, it takes for the most part, but mostly it is just each individual having sex to achieve an orgasm. They can like each other, even love each other, but they are in it for the pleasure. [And there is nothing wrong with that BTW] But, that is a function of the 5th House, not the 8th House.
And to tie this in with death, the word for Orgasm in French is “le petite mort” and it means “little death”. I can’t think of a more fitting analogy for the 8th House. Each act of sex in the 8th House requires a little death from the individuals in order to achieve the intimacy of true partners. The “I” dies, and the true “we” is formed.