The seventh house in our horoscope corresponds to relationships and describes our one-to-one partnerships, both personal and business. At the heart of this public house lies the agreeable side of relating displaying a more flattering, and perfect face. With Planets in this part of the chart we usually give them away to others, and it is also referred to as the house of ‘mirroring’ and projection. We can give away our energy to others, either consciously or unconsciously, and we ascribe these character traits to other people. Furthermore, the seventh house is often descriptive of the need to be liked, courteous and considerate, always seeking to find balance in a partnership.
The house that follows, taking us into much deeper terrain – is the 8th house and the shadow side of relationships, a hidden house, where all the hard-core emotional stuff lurks, and what essentially concerns birth, sex and rebirth. It deals with joint accounts, shared resources and generally other people’s money on the financial side. The darkest house on the astrological wheel also deals with inheritances and this includes – psychological. It is usually described as the parental legacy. Much of it is seen as a kind of emotional transference and it’s where the shadow lives an energy we are concerned with when we talk about the notion of transformation.
As we know relationships can be full of emotional games such as fighting over money, carrying personal baggage around with us and then dumping it onto our partner (crap we dish out), blame games, silent treatment, and power-struggles that happen in the majority of partnerships is all 8th house stuff, or as Howard Sasportas says:
The ruins and rubble from childhood are excavated in the 8th house. The Twelve Houses
In the games department, we tend to let our ego’s get too involved and we have a self-protective pride that gets in the way of being real. The archetypes of the 8th house explore the unconscious motivations, and it is where all the “unpleasant” aspects of relating are reflected. Symbolic of the repressed emotions in the psyche, feelings that have been left unresolved in Pluto’s domain are like worn-out-loops of tape we inherit from childhood (4th) that we continue to let roll.
The water houses have a lot to do with the subconscious, it has no filter or rationale and we generally believe the early messages we are given. If we are shown violence and dispute as a way to solve our problems we embed those beliefs. We also take in emotional clues and sponge up the emotional atmosphere and all of this get lodged right there in our unconscious. Usually, all of this stuff is what we take to psychotherapy, work out in counselling rooms and take to rehab, and these areas of help are also found in the water houses the very same domains where the problems arise. Every relationship problem from jealousy, infidelity to deception, well, all of that psychological drama that gets played out has its roots in childhood.
Many times the subconscious is running the show, our subconscious doesn’t think about anything but is in control. Our family relationships are the foundation for how we interact with people in the future. If our childhood was relatively secure, then most of the reactions are not too extreme. However, if the person has grown up in a house of conflict, and it features abandonment, neglect, or the person experienced some kind of early trauma usually the reactions are more powerfully rooted in the unconscious. Fearful people tend to go into a hyper-alert mode in relationships, tending to be untrustful, suspecting the worst and making it hard to get close.
It is thought that one of the most common effects of early abuse is the inability to experience intimacy. It can be frustrating for a partner that is being blocked access, and it’s a ‘no-go’ area that is deeply painful for the individual, but also leaves the other half feeling frustrated emotionally, and sexually unfulfilled. The 8th house rules the psychic battlefield and when a domestic battle breaks out in a relationship, all the unconscious hostility pours forth, and the “stuff” we have been avoiding in a relationship for fear of conflict and separation is laid bare. If we have kept a partner in the dark by keeping secrets then we are unknowingly holding back a part of the self, creating a conflict in the bond and by now you should know that the 8th house demands honesty.
During a conflict, perhaps the jealous and controlling nature of a partner needs addressing in the bond. We may even find out our partner has been cheating or is unhappy in the relationship, and has felt this way for a long time, and so we are left to deal with a deep sense of betrayal. The 8th house deals with feelings we have left simmering for the longest time, and when the subconscious is screaming we may call each other nasty names, argue, and make insensitive remarks to one another.
When powerful emotions erupt in a partnership it is seen as a reflection of the unhealed hurts from the past looking for somewhere to surface (8th). A real relationship needs to be able to endure a tough emotional crisis, struggle and hardship, and pretending won’t cut it here. The house of inner-conflict will test our emotional strength and through a crisis a relationship will move closer together, meaning it can form a deeper connection. On the other side, it can rip through the very fabric of the partnership tearing it apart at the seams. Pluto then reveals itself through finality, endings and closing chapters on life. We see this happen frequently witnessing the casualties of love carrying the broken shards of a once perfect relationship.
Relationships often involve being totally naked, vulnerable and partaking in the scary parts of relating to one another honestly, learning to be loved despite our imperfections.When someone we deeply care for takes their love away insecurity creeps back in like a shadow, whispering in our ears all the things we hate within ourselves, and all of those 8th house feelings that we buried. Often involving all of the things that we believe nobody else could love. The terrifying feeling of being left alone, abandoned, and fearful. The feelings come on strong, pain, grief, inferiority, resentment, aggression, frustration and despair. The more insecurity from childhood the more an individual tends to exhibit abnormal jealousy, arguing, and manipulative game playing, acts as a kind of emotional armour protecting the real vulnerability underneath.
For many when a relationship hits troubled waters in relating and sexual matters they feel it would be a hell of a lot easier to leave the relationship and fall in love with a brand new person by simply starting all over again, but that doesn’t mean we have left our emotional baggage behind along with a partner. However, sometimes what we really need is the courage and humility to tear off some essential layer of ourselves and reveal to each other a new level of who we are, and that can be really scary. It goes far beyond our partner’s favourite colour, taste in music and the name of his favourite football team. We reveal more layers of who we are by talking about the past and things that have happened to us, fears, weaknesses and our insecurities.
Many people feel embarrassed to be truly intimate and to admit their weaknesses, to share their deepest passions and fears. It’s almost easier to cover it up and argue about whose turn it is to wash the dishes. Relationships are filled with intense meaning, and it’s the place we can share our deepest emotions and selves behind closed doors – the stuff that nobody else knows about. Millions of years of evolution have favoured those who form deep emotional bonds with a sexual partner.
To wrap it up: At the end of Good Will Hunting, there is a brilliant scene about intimacy and imperfection suited for this topic and reveals a man’s fear of letting let a woman in because she appears to be so perfect and he doesn’t want her to see his imperfections. The closer we get to people the more we see their true reality, behind all the facades is the real truth. The therapist in the scene gives him a lesson about the real shit that we remember in relationships and it’s all profoundly 8th house stuff with those little Idiosyncrasies. My favourite movie scene…and so it ends our therapy session for today.