The eighth house in astrology is a bit of a mystery — which is right on theme for this house. The meanings this area bestows upon a birth chart vary depending on who you ask. For some, this house is better left in the depths, because let’s be honest, it’s no fifth house of fun (though the two do share the signification of sex, but more on that later). Instead, the eighth house lodges the things in life deemed impertinent for discussion in polite society. It’s taboos. It’s death, the occult, inheritance — basically anything that might offend your relatives at dinner.
The 12 houses in astrology reveal where celestial energies are going down within a chart. You have the subject, which is the planet, the flavor (aka the sign), then you have the area or place where it’s all happening: the house. “It's everything we deal with as humans,” professional astrologer Taryn Bond tells Elite Daily. The houses represent the journey through life. The first house is your introduction to the world, the second house introduces the physical aspects of life, you find a partner in the seventh house, and so on. You keep traveling until you end at the spiritual 12th house of the collective conscious.
The first six houses in astrology pertain to life’s personal facets. They’re about you, your upbringing, and your personal drive. At the seventh house, the exact opposite of the ascendant or first house, things cross over to the realm of “the other.” The last six houses delve into topics involving your external interactions. As the opposite of the second house of material possessions, the eighth house deals with other people’s money and possessions. Specifically, it can be seen as what your partner brings to the table immediately following the seventh house of marriage.
Again, there is a fair bit of nuance when it comes to delineating the eighth house. “It depends so much on what kind of astrologer you ask,” notes Bond, “because in the traditional perspective, the eighth house is literally called the ‘house of idleness,’ but now modern astrologers are like, 'it's deep psychological transformation,’” she explains. For a holistic approach to understanding this house, it can be helpful to take a page from a variety of astrological perspectives. Here’s everything to know about this mysterious house, according to professionals across multiple branches of study.
How Do You Know Your Eighth House In Astrology?
Like it or not, everyone has an eighth house — though it can be louder for some people than for others. To see what kind of role it plays for you, you’ll need to pull up your natal chart by plugging your birthday, time, and location into an online chart calculator. The houses are computed based on your birth time, so no, it’s unfortunately not going to work without that. Now’s a great time to ask your parents where that birth certificate is.
Once you’ve tapped in your birth details, there’s just one last step: choosing your housing system. Sorry, what? Here’s the deal: There are multiple formulas available to calculate where each house lines up through the signs in the sky, beginning with the first house (which is always the same regardless). It’s possible that one method will give you a different house lineup than another. Say you have a chart pulled from an astrology app, and it says you have Taurus in your eighth house. Great. But then you go on a different website and it tells you that you have Aries in the eighth.
What likely happened is that the sites used different housing systems. The two most common are called Placidus and Whole Sign, but there are many more available. What’s most important is that you’re aware of which your calculator is utilizing (keep in mind that some websites don’t have the option to choose the house system, and these will most often be preset to Placidus).
Placidus is a quadrant system that uses the first, fourth, seventh, and 10th houses as anchors, dividing the chart into four sections. The 12 houses are split into unequal parts, making it possible for one sign to occupy multiple houses and other signs to be skipped. Whole Sign is pretty self-explanatory: One whole sign takes up one whole house. Each house is an even 30 degrees, which simplifies things greatly.
“It's personal preference,” Bond offers. She recommends looking at many different charts of people you know and celebrities to decide on a system. You can also take both methods into consideration simultaneously, but sticking to one tends to be easier when you’re starting out. There’s no right or wrong system, but it is important to note that Placidus can yield some skewed-looking charts for those born at extreme latitudes.
What Is The Eighth House In Astrology?
The major terms associated with the eighth house include finances, taxes, death, transformation, endings, sexuality, psychology, and mental health. “My nickname for the eighth house is the house of all the things that are a part of everyone's life that most people don't want to talk about,” Bond shares. It’s those deep, secretive, and even mystical things, she explains. “It's the house of things that flow, things that touch something beyond this world and bring us to a place of mystery, but it's also things that bring us to psychological extremes.” Bond correlates it to “that breakdown before you have a breakthrough,” noting that the eighth house is “taking you to your boundaries and then pushing you past them.”
It’s intense, and the eighth house can scare people, especially given its denotation of sudden change. “Things like death [are] a part of the eighth house, but a lot of times ... it's more of a metaphorical kind of death, or it's [describing someone] who's exposed to that a lot,” Bond explains. Endings of all kinds can be seen as a sort of “death,” but with that, the eighth house ushers in something new: transformation. It’s also where inheritance lives.
“It's opposite of the second house, which is your physical possessions,” Bond adds. “So it's basically the losing of physical possessions or the sharing of possessions, which includes your body.” It’s also been said to represent the merging of souls and the deep integration of two lives into one — the challenge is doing so without losing yourself in the process. The eighth house can also signify divorce, which heavily deals with division of property and resources.
According to traditional Hellenistic astrologer Dalanah of the Moon Matters astrology podcast, the eighth house is an examination of what price you’re willing to pay in order to gain something. “In Hellenistic terms, [the eighth house] is called ‘death and taxes,’ but I really like ‘prices and power’ better because it has to do with the resources of others,” she tells Elite Daily. “Think of the second house,” she continues. “The second house is resources: It's money, it's food, it's time ... The eighth house is opposite of that, which means you're dealing with other people's money, other people's time, other people's everything, and that can even include debt.” Dalanah provides the example of Steve Jobs, who had a very prominent eighth house. “He worked exclusively with other people's money and time and resources to create something,” she explains. It’s not uncommon for eighth-house people to regularly deal with others’ finances.
You’re not going to find anything surface-level in the eighth house — this is the place for digging in deep. Those with strong eighth houses are often psychologists, therapists, researchers, astrologers, intuitives, or psychics. “This is also the house of magic,” Bond says. “Some people use the word ‘occult’ for it, but I really like the word ‘metaphysics.’ [It’s] things that are divination techniques, like astrology, tarot, and witchcraft, but also specifically the routes of discerning information that are taboo ... things that have been cast aside or even ridiculed by society.”
This house also rules obsession and addiction, and people with planets in the eighth house are usually drawn to investigate the deepest — and sometimes darkest — parts of the human experience.
The exact nature of how someone’s eighth house shows up in their life will depend on the planets there as well as the sign. For example, if you have Gemini in the eighth house, you might have some off-the-charts intuition. “Gemini in the eighth house can have a very active internal world, a very active psyche,” Bond notes. This is also seen with Mercury placed here. Additionally, you can look where your eighth house ruler is located — which is especially helpful if you don’t have planets in your eighth house. For example, if your eighth house is in Capricorn, you’d check the sign and house that your Saturn is sitting in because Saturn is its planetary ruler.
Which Sign Rules The Eighth House?
As if choosing a house system wasn’t complicated enough, there are also multiple branches of astrology to consider when delineating the house meanings. In some modern practices as well as in Vedic astrology, it’s common to pair the houses with the zodiac sign of correlating order. For instance, the eighth house would carry the energy of the eighth sign: Scorpio. It’s worth noting that traditional astrology isn’t too big on this idea, as the zodiac signs won’t provide a comprehensive description of the houses.
“The signs and houses are very different, so it's very important to always know that going in ... but there's a natural harmony between the zodiac signs and houses,” Bond previously told Elite Daily. With that in mind, you can’t deny the similarities between Scorpio and the eighth house. Both have the rep of being secretive, deep, dark, sexual, intense, transformative, and even magical.
When you link them up like this, you can look at the eighth house through an elemental lens as well. The water houses — the fourth, eighth, and 12th — are about all things mystical, karmic, and spiritual. In Vedic astrology, an ancient spiritual Hindu practice, each element belongs to one of the four goals of life. “The last part of our goals of life is spiritual liberation, which is Moksha,” Camila R. Quintero, LCSW, a licensed psychotherapist and professional Vedic astrologer, says. How we reach that spiritual liberation, Quintero adds, is through water, aka deep emotions. “The eighth house [is] Scorpio,” she tells Elite Daily, “which deals with intensity [and] transformation.”
Transits To The Eighth House
If you’re looking for a heads-up on any upcoming major transformations or happenings with the deep and dark, you’ll want to keep an eye out for eighth house transits. What’s an eighth house transit? What you’re looking for is any planet moving through the sign you have in your eighth house.
For example, if there’s a full moon in Pisces and you have Pisces in your eighth house, the moon is transiting your eighth house. You’d then apply the meaning of the planet — in this case, the moon — to your eighth house. “The moon is your subconscious world,” Dalanah says. “It's that deep inner world. And if that's going through the idle place, it can feel a little stuck,” she continues. “It's transformative in the sense that you're trying to shed your emotional skin, so it could be a very emotional time.”
If it’s the sun moving through your eighth house, you’ll experience emphasis to your eighth house for the entire astrological season (about a month) that the sun spends in the sign. “The sun is an illuminator,” Dalanah expresses. “For those 30 days, that area of your life is illuminated, so this is a time when maybe you are reevaluating your relationship to other people and the resources that you get and give to and from them.”
However, with the rather ridiculous amount of meanings attached to the eighth house, you can never be too certain what these transits will bring. “Personally, I would advise people not to try to predict eighth house transits,” Bond says. “It can be unexpected things,” she continues. “It can be a loss, it can be a gain. It can be ... issues with taxes in the government [or] it can be death of any kind.” You might undergo an internal shift in your worldview as well. Say it’s Jupiter transiting the eighth, Bond offers, “and finally you get the energy and the wind in your sails to actually go to therapy ... It can also be a time when you're more intuitive.”
The eighth house in astrology is one of the least understood, which is right on par for its mysterious nature. Once you start connecting the dots in this area of your chart, it becomes easier to understand and nurture the parts of yourself that you might rather not talk about. Plus, if nothing else, who doesn’t want an astrological clue about their potential *psychic abilities*?
Taryn Bond, professional tropical astrologer practicing synthesis of evolutionary, modern, traditional, and intuitive techniques rooted in a humanistic, soul-based astrological approach