You might have noticed that the zodiacal signs express polarity in multiple ways. One is that one sign expresses up and/or out, then the one after it expresses down and/or in. This is one way the energies of masculine (former) and feminine (latter) present in astrology and correspond to fire and air (masculine) then earth and water (feminine) in alternation around the Wheel. Fire, Earth, Air, Water is the cycle. Aries (fire) bursts up and out of the hibernation of winter. Taurus (earth) follows. It settles the fire so that it can be used to generate life. Gemini (air), then, breathes into the stability and sometimes intransigence of earth which results in movement and adaptability. Water comes next with Cancer. Unto itself, movement is unproductive. Flow is productive. Flow includes the paradigm “this follows that predictably.” Additionally, in flow all components are aggregated together into one whole, each part serving the other and the whole. Think of a river or the sea.
The 8th house corresponds to Scorpio, the 8th sign of the zodiac. Scorpio is a Fixed Cross, Water sign. Going in the direction of the masses, Scorpio follows Sagittarius- a mutable fire sign. Master DK calls this “natural order” and “retrogression through the signs.” EA, pg. 653. Going around the Wheel in the direction of the disciple, spiritual maturation plus service, Scorpio follows Libra – a cardinal air sign. Master DK calls this “spiritual order” and “correct passing through the signs.” EA, pg. 653,
From either direction, Scorpio directs energy inward and down into the psyche, the unconscious, and the subconscious. Fixed water is deep water. Deep water is dark water. Dark can manifest as malicious, secretive, or sexually magnetic but can also manifest as unafraid, willing to probe, and to bring the truth to the surface from the bowels of bureaucracy, or habitual patterns, or self-infatuation, or denial.
People stuff things under rugs, into closets, into the recesses of memory, shoeboxes of photos and tokens of the past. Yet, the past is present in the present. The inner is expressing through the outer whether demonstrating as rage or greed, interest in others and their well-being, a meditative practice, or the types of movies someone watches or books he or she reads. The inner is expressing, and one’s psyche is present in one’s present. The 8th house represents this dichotomy. Planets in the 8th also represent this: the deep, unseen, often unknown or unrecognized features of ourself along with how the inner is currently expressing and the redeemed manifestation of that which has been recognized and illumined.
The 8th house commonly represents that which is inevitable. It is the house of death and taxes. Death cannot be evaded, neither can taxes in most social structures. Yet, death and taxes point to something more: that change, transformation, and destruction of that which exists is assured and will come through the mystery of time. Second, that debts have to be paid and that refunds of life’s currencies come in the forms of beneficence, positive circumstances, ease in one’s life, friendship, and many types of wealth, most of which are not monetary. In this way, the 8th house is classically a house of karma; but always remember that karma is a neutral term. There actually is no good or bad karma; there is seed and fruit. Circumstances or people in our life being “good or bad” is a matter of perspective and state of mind or a matter of taste. 8th house planets are focal points of energetics that are ripe. One would look to the attributes or skills of such planets for all that they can offer personally, spiritually, in relatedness to others and to life. It is likely that 8th house planets will be part of the primary theme of the chart or unto themselves display the primary theme. In other words, the theme of the chart is inevitable, inescapable. It is so because you, the Soul/higher nature, have said so to your personality. This can be very powerful to live and might include definite challenges; but as Master Morya said, “We do not ascend by smooth steps.” He also said, “Give me good enemies.” Both could be construed as 8th house mantras.
Just as the fruit of death will follow the seed of birth, energies seeded will bear their fruit in some way and in some time. Kindness, respect, generosity, diligence, meditation, etc. will benefit self and others now and for all time to come. Negative thoughts, words, and actions debit from the good currency amassed over lifetimes because we knowingly choose harm or detriment to others with negativity.
The three rulers of Scorpio are Mars/Pluto exoteric, Mars esoteric, Mercury hierarchical. Mars was the traditional/exoteric ruler of Scorpio until Pluto was discovered around 1930. Master DK says that during these few hundred years of change, transformation, death, and learning how to truly live with all of Life (here on Earth) that Pluto rules Scorpio exoterically. This is due to Scorpio being “the sign of discipleship.” Essentially in DK’s teachings, discipleship refers to a person realizing responsibility for thoughts, words, deeds, and for others (as widely as “others” wants to be considered). Discipleship is predicated upon discipline to the good personally, societally, spiritually, and globally. All of these planets, then, influence the 8th house and any planets inhabiting it.
Mars rules Aries on the common turn of the spiral, rules Scorpio in its role of discipleship, and rules Sagittarius as the undaunted will to accomplish the highest goals. Pluto rules two water signs: Scorpio traditionally and Pisces esoterically. It is not a hierarchical ruler of any sign. Mercury rules four signs: Gemini and Virgo traditionally/exoterically, Aries esoterically, and Scorpio hierarchically. It is well worth one’s time to ponder these turns of the spiral for any planet as well as how different attributes of planet and sign are brought forward by the various rulers.
Scorpio is a water sign, the element of relatedness and symbiosis. As such, the qualities of Mars and why it resonates with Scorpio will be different than the Mars’ qualities resonant with Aries. The power of desire, its magnetic even hypnotic character, is being engaged on the traditional level of both Mars and Scorpio.
Human beings are driven by desire even when we don’t recognize that. In the Greek and Roman myths, Mars was a being of few needs but his appetite for those few was substantial. Combat, sensual pleasure, and looking good were about the extent of his interests; but each of these has relation at its core. Combat, including debate, requires at least one other person. Sensual pleasure can be achieved alone but is a lot more fun with someone else involved. Looking good is like sensual pleasure; done for oneself and the mirror is pretty boring. Strutting one’s stuff and having others turn their heads, now that’s fun. 8th house planets influenced by traditional Mars will have a beguiling quality to them, rather like them being lunar. We like our Moon! Similarly, we will like our 8th house planets. The challenge is to not be hypnotized by their common skills, attributes, and definitely not by their default patterns. Remember: vampires had a hypnotic way with their victims. Desire, attraction, and ingrained default patterns do too.
8th house planets will be used quite fully in relationships like 7th house planets or 1st house ones. The challenge is that the 8th house is the house of indebtedness and of death.
Pluto is the planet of endings, conclusions, deep exploration and forensic or microscopic research. Each of these is a transformation or produces one. Pluto and Mars energies are intense. Whatever Mars or Pluto touch by aspect of conjunction will be intensified, made stronger (for good or ill), and will be lived strongly by the native. This applies to 8th house planets as well.
Being one of the premier planets of transformation, Pluto’s influence on the 8th house means that those planets are intended for change: de-construction and renewal. Pluto is about what’s underneath: under the Earth, under the rug, under the words we say. It is about the root, that from which ideas, ways of being, ways of avoidance or aggression or joy are fed and grow. It is this tap root, unseen but visible in life sources our behaviors that Pluto wants to get at, unearth, or cut through. From this point of view, 8th house planets represent our personal and/or spiritual roots and ways of being. If they are serving, then incremental change is good enough – but change is a a given. If how the native lives 8th house planets is detrimental to life, Pluto’s influence could exert destabilizing power through circumstances and people. Think earthquake, eruption of volcano, or tidal wave. The planets’ roles in our lives is evolution. No one would want to waste a life; our higher nature certainly is not going to.
Mars rules Scorpio esoterically
Mars esoterically will include a certain heedfulness that lower/traditional Mars does not. Esoteric means that which is hidden or not known yet. With Mars, that which awaits recognition is mind: thoughtfulness, thinking something through so as to view the likely consequences, as well as the the strength of mind as a power of living consciously and conscientiously.
Mars rules sharp things, pointed things, as well as armor and methods of defense. On the esoteric/soul level of ruler, Mars presents as insight and its precision, being truthful with one’s self and acting upon truth, and it signals the armor of patience, the armor of diligence, the armor of selflessness, the armor of generosity, and the armor of ethical living. The best methods of defense are offensive: that which has the good or beneficial already in place. One girds oneself in virtue. Another is mantra. Man- tra is Sanskrit and means “to protect the mind.” If one is muttering mantra, one is not thinking negatively.
Esoteric Mars’ influence on the 8th house is that of insight and heedfulness. Additionally, the skills or attributes of the planets in the 8th house are intended to further the armament of compassion-wisdom.
Mercury rules Scorpio hierarchically
Do you see that the esoteric ruler of Scorpio fostered, elicited, and cultivated the mind and mindfulness? Now, the hierarchical ruler of this Fixed Water sign is the primary planet of mind: Mercury. But, Mercury in this highest position is not common mind, analytical figuring out mind. It is the intuitive mind and the essence of mind, i.e. Awareness.
Mercury unites energetically. It bridges, links, associates, finds rapport. It braids, entwines, entangles, creates a thicket or finds the way out of the thicket created. Mercury working with water is like an electrical charge interacting with water: both respond powerfully. If you are living this influence on 8th house planets, then those planets are facets of your intuitive relation with the worlds inner and outer. They are part of your innate linkage, rapport, and entanglement in the ranges of sensitivity that a human being is capable of. Use these planets’ skills well. If that is done, then they will catalyze change in environments and in others that are not yours to own but them to live.