Princess Diana perished in a car crash on the eve of a solar eclipse on her Eighth House Pluto, she lent credibility to the well-established
idea that the Eighth House is a good place to look for information
about death. But new students of astrology might find it perplexing
to read in almost every textbook that the Eighth is also the house
of business deals and bankers. The "other people's money" theme is
an extension of both inheritance and dowry, or the money passed with
a bride from her father to her new husband.
Sex in the Eighth House?
from these two core concepts—death and dowry—have grown a
fascinating Rorschach of modern Eighth House associations,
including secrets, secret orders like Freemasonry, witchcraft,
power wielded over others or the power others wield over us,
control and all relationships where these elements are present.
Playing off of dowry and inheritance, a variety of monetary
themes have emerged, such as taxes, debt, shared resources,
common values, investments and corporate takeovers.
we are also taught to look to the Eighth House as a source
of information about sex, as if people naturally stroll into
the nearest bank or funeral parlor when they are feeling frisky.
The current prevailing logic goes something like this. The
French call orgasm the "little death," so that makes sex an
Eighth House thingamabob. When you die, you "let go," and
when you have sex you should really let go, so that's a match.
And money is about power and sex is about power and power
is sexy, so bingo.
gestalt reveals more about the way our culture thinks than
it does about the nature of astrology. To plant sex in the
Eighth House of financial deals, death, inheritance and the
transfer of the female body as a property-right is actually
a fairly accurate picture of how we think of the subject.
We do get possessive of our sexual partners, we often treat
them as property, and most astrologers would agree that jealousy,
the volcanic eruption of attachment, is an Eighth House theme.
for the sex business, open any big-city weekly newspaper and
see hundreds of ads for sex hotlines, escort services, and
pay-per-call personal ads designed to ease, or rather capitalize
on, our sense of alienation.
sex need to find a new house to live in? I think so.
About the Eleventh?
is considerable evidence in the culture to suggest that sex
may indeed be finding a new home: the Eleventh House, the
modern home of our friends and our hopes and dreams. As early
as 1647, William Lilly reported that one question of the Eleventh
was whether people loved one another, a concept I have never
seen mentioned in any modern astrological text, and surely
one more befitting of sex than, say, embalming.
recent article in Time magazine ("Henry and Mary and Janet
and …," by John Cloud, November 15, 1999) provided some of
the first national coverage ever to the "polyamory" movement,
which is a way of life in which multiple partners practice
committed sexual relationships. Far from the polygamy of the
Mormons, these relationships generally do not take on the
same possessive nature as marriage; they have flexible structures
and are expressed in a variety of forms that vary to meet
the needs of the relationship.
as an intellectual concept and social movement, has been around
for about 35 years, with some of its roots in the now-defunct
Kerista community in San Francisco's Haight district. Popular
novels like Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert
A. Heinlein and The Harrad Experiment by Robert
Rimmer provided vision and philosophical legitimacy to the
concept, which rippled outward from its cultish beginnings
to a grassroots movement with organizations in many states,
regular social functions in most major cities, and a national
magazine, Loving More.
days, polyamory usually happens among a circle of friends,
and one of its many forms is called an "intimate network,"
an interweaving of sexual and affectual relationships among
an extended group of acquaintances, quite at home in the Eleventh.
How this differs from cheating is as un-Eighth House as you
can get: there are not secret affairs waged behind the back
of one's primary lover. Polyamory is designed to be an honest
experience, not something shamefully hidden away in the dark
corners of one's life.
if polyamory is not practiced in a pure form, the idea that
we can be lovers with our friends is gaining popularity, particularly
on the West Coast of the United States, the laboratory for
all kinds of astonishing social experiments. Even the popular
sitcom Seinfeld documented the fact that, more
and more, people no longer find it necessary to detonate romantic
relationships to shards when they are done, but can live in
friendship and peace with former lovers, whom they continue
to love. Ex-lovers can become the closest of friends while
they accept each others’ new partners.
we practice polyamory or not, making a transition from the
Eighth to the Eleventh means that we will need to learn to
think of relationships as something besides power trips or
financial arrangements, and of sex as something besides a
business deal. Circles of friends, love between people, openness
and honesty, equality and good things happening as a reward
of discipline, are all keywords for the Eleventh House, the
perfect theme for such an experiment.
you accept the logic that the Eleventh House has an Aquarian resonance, then rethinking our love relationships is the perfect
example of where Saturn meets Uranus: blending structure and
innovation; commitment and experimentation; friendship and
erotic partnership, and creating a way of sharing friendship,
sex and affection that takes us far away from the realm of
bidding for our pleasure in the house of wills, caskets and
research by Maria Henzler.