The 8th House, the House of Death

The twelve houses acts as fields of experiences for the planets to express their significations. 8th House themes include:

  • Death
  • Wills and inheritances
  • Debt and taxes
  • Other people’s assets
  • Mental Anguish
Image of Psyche opening Pandora’s Box

The 8th House can feel like a Debbie Downer. But I’d like to offer you another perspective. Astrology is a language of time that utilizes the concept of light. Ecclesiastes tells us there’s a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted, and on and on. The Houses that aren’t directly tied to the life-giving Ascendant by one of the five ptolemaic aspects—the conjunction, sextile, square, trine and opposition—do not receive light. Hence, these houses often deal with topics that are the declining part of the “times under heaven”. The houses that do not aspect the Ascendant are the 2nd, 6th, 8th, and 12th.


Planets in the 8th House can express themselves by dealing with shadow material. Since this house is not oriented towards the light, planets here can feel more intuitive and underground. Oftentimes, we find energy healers, coaches, and therapists with 8th House placements guiding others through their subconscious processes. An 8th House planet aspecting the Midheaven often expresses itself through the work of the native.

Other People’s Money

If the 2nd House (resources, wealth, money) supports the 1st (self) then it’s easy to understand why the 8th House (other people’s money and shared assets) would support the 7th House (our relationships). Planets here can symbolize the capacity to earn money from 7th House people such as clients. They can also speak to your significant other’s finances. To get a full picture, we would want to look at the condition of the Ruler of the 7th to see how well it’s able to provide for the topics of the 8th House.


Our 8th House comes online in a variety of ways:

  1. We have planets in the 8th and this is where they strut their stuff
  2. A transit or progression triggers the ruler of the 8th
  3. By progression: The progressed Moon or Sun enters the 8th House
  4. By profection: Profections is a traditional technique that elevates one house every birth year. We are in a 8th House profection when we are 7, 19, 31, 43, 55, 67, 79, 91 years old.
  5. The Lord of the Year is located in our 8th House in our Solar Return and/or we have a packed 8th House for our Solar Return.

When we know 8th House topics will be taking center stage for us, we shouldn’t expect doom and gloom. I’ve seen this time play out in several ways for clients:

  1. Paying off debt(s)
  2. Getting finances in order
  3. Going into debt/bankruptcy
  4. Preparing a will or talking about end of life issues
  5. Someone dies
  6. Receiving an inheritance
  7. Volunteering with hospice
  8. Partner’s finances come into the spotlight as there can be changes or discussion around making changes.
  9. Unexpected money (like a stimulus check)
  10. Dealing with tax issues more than usual
  11. A psychological journey where person faces their fears and works on personal development. People often begin therapy at this time or take a therapeutic journey (i.e. sacred planets)
  12. Becoming a therapist, shaman, life coach, or guide for others working on their shadow.

The 8th House may be known as the House of Death, but where would we be without death? The 8th House, like all the other houses, are part of the natural cycle of life. The best way to enter 8th House times are with a sense of curiosity and understanding that these experiences will evolve us, not unlike a darkroom where images are developed.