The Astrology Lab

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The 8th house in astrology: The monster hiding under your bed. (It’s you)

The 8th house is home to the heaviest feelings, the darkest desires, and a very irrational, subjective state of mind. It’s where we find some of our most powerful, all-consuming emotions and drives. If I had to describe the 8th house musically, it would be comparable to Meg Myer’s “Desire” or Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C# minor (Op 3, No 2). It’s when your blood is simmering beneath your skin, from anger, from betrayal, and you start fantasizing about your plan of revenge. It’s when we’re so deeply depressed, we consider the worst alternative. When we’re passionate. When we obsess over a person, an outcome, an idea. We all have the 8th house in our charts, but those with significant planets or the nodes in the 8th house will feel the intensity more than others.

The 8th house correlates astrologically with the sign of Scorpio or Pluto. So imagine that Plutonic energy wrapped up in a tiny sliver of your natal chart, and anything that lands in that house immediately plunges straight to the depths and lives there. Planets in the 8th house have emotional depth unseen to the eye, unseen to probably 99% of people that the 8th house person interacts with on a daily basis. It is a private house, the most secretive of all 12, and yes: 8th house people can keep a secret better than anyone else. Sometimes, even from themselves. Those with significant planets/luminaries in the 8th house are either very comfortable with their darkness or running from it. Ultimately, the goal is to integrate those darker aspects of self with the rest of you. You can’t be at war with yourself forever. Accepting those urges and emotions is where it all starts, and often this entire process is triggered by some sort of traumatic relationship or event.

If you meet someone with planets in the 8th house, chances are you don’t know them as well as you think. There will always be aspects of their personality that are completely private, known only to themselves or to a handful. But they do have a distinct, mysterious allure. You keep peeling away layers but can’t quite reach the core. Many 8th house individuals struggle with issues trusting and being vulnerable in relationships. When the trust of an 8th house individual is broken, they might struggle to forgive. And they’ll never forget. Fool me once, shame on you; that’s the only chance you get. Scorpionic personalities are not known for their forgiving nature. They’re known for their sting. Often 8th house personalities can get in their own way, over-analyze, obsess (no, really, obsess) far beyond the point of self-destructiveness. They’re curious about the depths of others, and sometimes even project their own nature onto those outside themselves. There could possibly be some interest in psychology and understanding the motivations of others. The individual’s maturity level depends on how conflicted the planets are falling in the 8th house and what life experiences have taught them. If a conflicted moon, squared by multiple planets for example, that 8th house moon may be considerably more self-destructive than one with trines, sextiles, and no hard aspects to it. Generally with age comes wisdom and integration of 8th house energies with those not so dense. 8th house individuals make loyal friends, accepting therapists, intense lovers, and some of the most ruthless opponents you’ll ever meet. If you get on their bad side, anyway. I wouldn’t suggest that.


The Vertex and Anti-Vertex in Astrology

The vertex is a relatively new angle of study in the astrological world. It was only discovered in the mid 1970s by Edward Johndro, and research seems to be lacking ever since, especially on the point opposite the Vertex, deemed the Anti-Vertex. Technically speaking, the Vertex is the point found at the intersection of the Prime Vertical and the Ecliptic. The west point is called the Vertex, while the east point is called the Anti-Vertex. If you plug your chart information into the Astrodienst website (which you can do for free), you can easily calculate your vertex placement that way. From what I’ve learned and experienced over the past ten years studying astrology, the vertex plays a heavier role in charts where it is closely aspecting another angle or a planet. Charts that don’t have their vertex forming those close aspects may not see its effect as much in the three predictive measures commonly used: progression, transits and lunations.

The vertex is about having faith in something larger than us and trusting the timing of those unseen forces. The vertex itself is that unknown factor, the magical connection between everything, our inner knowing and outer manifestation, unexplained synchronicities, dare I say “God”? The alignment of ourselves with something beyond our awareness, and being able to sense the push and pull of those forces in our lives. Many astrologers toss around the word “fate”, but there is always free will that trumps any astrological forces. Even the vertex. However, those unseen forces (astrology and otherwise) are always there whether or not we’re aware of them, comply, resist, ignore, or align with them.

Technically the vertex is an axis, with the anti-vertex at the other end. The anti-vertex is how we make sense of vertex experiences or other’s vertex experiences. I think the best way to describe the vertex is through metaphor: picture a girl letting go of a balloon and watching it disappear into the sky. Trusting, letting the forces beyond her control take over. The anti-vertex on the hand is like watching a spider weave its web, trying to make sense of those complex connections and recognizing the role we all play in our lives, what we catch for ourselves so-to-speak. A vertex experience would be running into a person the day after dreaming about them. The anti-vertex analysis of that, at least on my end, would be to look into the astrology and look for any common patterns. There are other ways to look for patterns. I’ve found that anti-vertex people LOVE Myers-Briggs personality typing. Love it. Whatever is necessary to make sense of reality. Keep in mind that everyone’s ‘reality’ is different though as we each sign up for a unique experience here.

Another way to think of the difference between the vertex and anti-vertex involves loci of control, where the vertex represents an external locus of control and the anti-vertex an internal locus of control. Ultimately, we should all strive for balance. That’s why the vertex has an opposite point and forms an axis in the chart. You need one to have the other. The vertex inspires the questions while the anti-vertex tries to find answers.