The Mysteries of The 8th House In Astrology
I have been meaning to write a piece about the 8th house for the longest time because oddly enough, most of the questions I receive on my blog are not about partnerships or the 7th house but about sex and the 8th house.
This has surprised me which leads me to conclude that priorities have changed in our society over the last 150 years with the invention of romantic love.
Not so long ago, in the Victorian era, it was all about the legal contract two people entered into the marriage state which is 7th house matters. The only talk of 8th house matters was about dowries and estates, which the bride brought to the equation. Intimacy and sexuality was not referred to. All you have to do is pick up a Jane Austen novel and it usually revolves around 7th house matters.
Fast forward to today, people are putting more emphasis on the mystical union two souls share. Most of us want the soulmate connection which has a lot to do with what we see in the media but it is also 8th house matters.
The most perfect quote I have ever read that sums up the 8th house comes from astrologer Eric Francis,
“The 8th contains our concept of surrender; what prompts, or induces, or leads, or pushes us into surrender. We tend to keep this secret. It would be interesting to peer into your mind in those last 10 seconds before orgasm and see what, ultimately, allows you to let go. I think that is the 8th house at its most beautiful psychic depth. In some respects the 8th house is the power game we play with ourselves (by granting or denying that thing that helps us let go); and at other times it is the leverage we use against others to concentrate power, or try to; but of course there is that point of frustration — dualism.”
The 8th house represents death, inheritances, jealousy, obsession, prostitution and sex. The 8th house is the kind of sex you like. For instance, if you host Gemini or Mercury in your 8th house, you will enjoy variety, energetic and inventive love-making. However, if you have Capricorn or Saturn in the eighth house you will probably enjoy plain vanilla sex that follows the rules.
The 8th house has to be viewed with its polarity the 2nd house.
The 2nd house is the resources and energy you bring to the union. The 8th house is the energy and resources your beloved is prepared to share with you or surrender to you. If this equation is unbalanced and it always is, this is where the discontent starts in the union.
What once was the happy and satisfying sexual relationship devolves into the acrimonious divorce. Like 1st and 7th house polarity, it is a tough balancing act which very few have mastered.
With women having equal rights and bringing home the bacon, this equation has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. The balancing act has become more difficult in spite of the fact that both parties are on equal footing or at least moving towards it.
I guess the question is, can this equation only work with an imbalance, as it has in the past?
The allure of the intimacies of the 8th house will continue to delude us. It is the only explanation I can find why we are so interested in 8th house matters. Perhaps we feel cheated by the 8th house because no matter how hard we try we can’t capture that perfect moment we share with another and make it last forever.
In closing, I will depart with a look at one of the most beautiful and enduring love stories in history which was founded by 8th house matters.
Diane de Poitiers has the distinction of being celebrated as one of the most famous mistresses in history. She was a French noblewoman and the favourite mistress of Henri II.
Theirs is not a conventional love story. Henri lost his mother at a young age. Diane, who was 20 years older stepped in and played the role of surrogate mother to the young Henri.
Sadly, Henri had a very tragic childhood. Him and his brother, Francis II, were prisoners of Charles V of Spain for 4 years because their father Francis I, lost the war to Spain. Failing to pay the ransom, his sons were taken from him as prisoners of war.
This left a mark on the young Henri but what stuck with him was how Diane came to say farewell the day he was taken away by Charles V. From that moment onwards, Diane had a special place in his heart. After he was released, he began a clandestine affair with Diane which lasted 25 years.
It was a clandestine liaison at first but later when Henri became king, he made it clear to everybody in France that his heart belonged only to Diane. His wife, Catherine de Medici had to play second fiddle.
When we look at Diane’s chart we notice that Diane has a Sun/Mercury conjunction in Virgo. Apart from being a reputed beauty, she possessed a sharp mind. Mercury in Virgo is in its rulership which works optimally.
While she was a young widow she ran her husband’s estates and later on the King entrusted her advice on political matters. They even signed legal documents as HenriDiane.
Diane had a watery nuturing Cancer ascendant which made her a natural mother. She had two daughters from her first marriage. Initially, this nuturing persona is what appealed to the young, lonely Henri. It also put her Sun/Mercury conjunction in the fourth house emphasizing her ability to be mothering.
Her Moon was in Leo which made her generous, warm and loving.
Diane had 21˚ of Capricorn on her 8th house cusp. Her Saturn was at 20˚ Taurus which was a sensible, practical Saturn to have with regards to money matters. It was making a trine to her 8th house cusp and her Sun/Mercury conjunction. This meant Diane had no problems attracting support and resources from the wealthy but she also had a knack for administering her resources efficiently. In fact, towards the end of her life, she was one of the wealthiest women in France with several estates and châteaus.
Henri’s chart below shows us a very fiery personality. He had his Moon, Sun and Venus in Aries which accounted for his athletic ability. All three of these planets trined very nicely with Diane’s Leo Moon and Venus.
Diane had her Mars at 11˚ Aries which widely conjuncted Henri’s Sun and Venus. Theirs was definitely a fun-filled, fiery union.
Henri’s Mars was in Diane’s 1st house which was an indicator of sexual attraction.
As always, I look to Saturn to see how it factors into this long-lasting union. As we saw in Diane’s chart, she had a 8th house cusp at 21˚ Capricorn. Henri’s Saturn falls right ontop of Diane’s 8th house cusp forming a grand trine from Diane’s Saturn at 20˚ Taurus and Diane’s Sun/Mercury conjunction in Virgo. This lovely configuration accounted for the longevity of their love and Henri’s generosity towards her. It is very rare to have a grand trine in synastry but when you do find it, it is a soulmate connection.
Their extraordinary love story survived against all odds for 25 years. Sadly, it came to conclusion the day Henri died from a mortal wound he received in a jousting match.
Diane never got to see her lover again because his wife Catherine di Medici barred her from his death bed, even though he kept calling out Diane’s name in his final hours.
After Henri’s death, Diane was exiled to her château where she got to live out until the end of her days. She died seven years later at the age of 66 from complications from a riding accident.