The 8th house is obviously the most misunderstood of all the houses. It represents the eternal mysteries, that which we least understand about ourselves. This house represents the time of day when the sun is setting, and darkness slopes into town on the back of shadows. Whether we like it or not, it is deeply rooted in our cultural awareness that we are prisoners of time. Shadows might have little sway over our conscious, rational mind, but in the part of us over which we have little control, we still feel afraid in the dark.
The world looks very different when daylight fades and night seeps in. All the fears you repress and suppress live in the 8th, but it’s also the place where the seeds we planted in the fecund soil of the 4th are in the process of being fertilized. Every ancient symbol associated with this house speaks to cycles of germination. In the autumn fields associated with this time of year, seeds drying after they’ve been scattered by farmers during autumn’s earlier threshing, still give life to birds and burrowing animals.
Yet the month of November casts cold fingers over the throat of its opposite time of year, May. The young girl of May has become the mature woman, and now she is aging, gazing in the mirror of what was, and what might have been. Truly, this is a sad house, a sad time of year. The challenge here is to remember what we were, and look ahead to what we will become. We bring the 7th house experience of the ‘otherness’ of ourselves to our relationships. We have, we possess, we relinquish—these are all 8th house themes. We will die someday, but not now.
Think of the 8th as a house for the living who are profoundly aware of the necessity of change, because, as with the XIIIth card in the Tarot, this house rarely means a literal death; it is a house of transformation. All you have, all that was yours in the 2nd, comes to fruition here. What have you made of yourself? What are you now? What do you have to give others? What do you possess? What can you relinquish? These are all relevant 8th house questions.