The Eighth House: Transformation and Transcendence

tranformationAll the natural water houses, the fourth, eighth and the twelfth houses are naturally difficult to understand. When we talk about matters concerning the water signs, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, we are wading into the waters of emotions and of the soul. These are the houses of our private lives: the houses of our secrets.

The fourth house is our house of family, of intimacies exchanged within shared living spaces, of family secrets. The twelfth house is the house of our connection with the wider Universe, our psyches and the intersection of body, mind and soul. The eighth house is where we deeply explore the mysteries of the Universe, how we process our earthly experiences to gain spiritual knowledge.

The natural ruler of the eighth house is Scorpio, which is ruled traditionally by Mars and in modern times by Pluto. While the fourth house is tenanted by a cardinal sign and the twelfth a mutable, the eighth carries the fixity of purpose of Scorpio. Part of the Scorpio strategy is to “hide in plain sight” of not revealing the seething emotions of this sign. He does this in order to avoid having his emotional nature exploited.

As does all the the water signs, Scorpio senses reality in multiple dimensions. Cancer naturally understands the mundane emotional multi layer geography of family life, and Pisces understands herself as a citizen of an incredibly multilayered Universe. Scorpio stands in the doorway between the mundane to the Universal. Scorpio senses that there is more to life than the five senses to present and he naturally seeks to attain arcane knowledge to validate this perception.

The modern ruler of the eighth house is the powerful planet Pluto. Discovered in 1938 it was, until recently, the last of the modern planets. It defined the boundary of our solar system for most people.

The Greek God of the Underworld has a history rich in personal drama. The son of Saturn, he was swallowed at birth, along with his siblings, by his father, to avoid a prophecy that Saturn would be overthrown by one of his children. Freed by Jupiter, he formed an alliance with Jupiter and powerful Neptune to depose Saturn as King of the Heavens. In drawing lots for the dominion of the world, he drew the Underworld, where he ruled dispassionately, presiding over the fate of souls dispatched to his realm by death. Unlike his philandering brothers, his heart was engaged only once when he spied the beautiful daughter of Mother Earth, Ceres. Breaching the crust of the earth, he kidnapped the girl and forcibly made her his wife. The earth has not been the same since. It was transformed from an evergreen paradise to a barren place by Ceres’ grief over the loss of her daughter. At the intervention of Jupiter an agreement was brokered where Persephone could be with her mother half of the year. Since then the earth experiences four seasons with Spring and Summer as the time Persephone spends with her mother.

The Eight House itself is rich these dramas, sex, death, rape, loss, and dramatic transformations. In a world that the Buddhists insist is only an illusion, it is where we deal with endemic change to our world and our beliefs, where we enter as one thing and emerge another. It is where we are stripped to our essential essence then forced to build a new reality for ourselves. In the end it the place of transcendence were we emerge from this painful journey with a new understanding of how the Universe works.

Photo published under a Creative Commons License from Flickr

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