The 8th House Transformation

Transformation is a word astrologers use in association with the 8th house- but what does it mean to transform? What is transformed in relation to the 8th house?

To Transform:

  1. to change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose.
  2. to change in condition, nature, or character; convert.
  3. to change into another substance; transmute.

When people transform they experience the change of one form, condition, or substance into another.


1. external appearance of a clearly defined area, as distinguished from color or material;


1. a particular mode of being of a person or thing; existing state; situation with respect to circumstances.


5. the actual matter of a thing, as opposed to the appearance or shadow; reality.
10b. the essential part of a thing; essence.

Transforming one’s essence implies changing who one is at the most fundamental level almost becoming an entirely different being.

The Ruler of the 8th House

The location (by house) of the planet ruling the sign on the cusp of the eighth indicates the realm of experience where transformation will actually BEGIN and the part of the personality (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn) or unconscious (Uranus, Neptune or Pluto) that will be most involved.

~Marc Robertson, Eighth House

  • Aries on the 8th: Follow Mars (Transforming the personality)
  • Taurus on the 8th: Follow Venus (Transforming the personality)
  • Gemini on the 8th: Follow Mercury (Transforming the personality)
  • Cancer on the 8th: Follow the Moon (Transforming the personality)
  • Leo on the 8th: Follow the Sun (Transforming the personality)
  • Virgo on the 8th: Follow Mercury (Transforming the personality)
  • Libra on the 8th: Follow Venus (Transforming the personality)
  • Scorpio on the 8th: Follow Pluto (Transforming the unconscious)
  • Sagittarius on the 8th: Follow Jupiter (Transforming the personality)
  • Capricorn on the 8th? Follow Saturn (Transforming the personality)
  • Aquarius on the 8th: Follow Uranus (Transforming the unconscious)
  • Pisces on the 8th: Follow Neptune (Transforming the unconscious)

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About AstroFix

I’m Michelle and I have an Aries Sun, Leo Moon & Virgo rising.

  • joy

    I really loved reading Michelle and Gracehopper’s comments back and forth. Especially the, “Sorry I’m babbling, Jupiter is sextiling my mercury.” and then “No problem, Neptune/Chiron is sextiling my natal Mercury/Chiron- I feel like I’m not making any sense.” wouldn’t it be awesome if everyone talked to each other like that? I love it. And I’m glad I went to Astrodispatch this morning and read your post. … also, I’m going to email you my information because I’d like to ask you some questions if you have time to answer them.

  • joy

    I really loved reading Michelle and Gracehopper’s comments back and forth. Especially the, “Sorry I’m babbling, Jupiter is sextiling my mercury.” and then “No problem, Neptune/Chiron is sextiling my natal Mercury/Chiron- I feel like I’m not making any sense.” wouldn’t it be awesome if everyone talked to each other like that? I love it. And I’m glad I went to Astrodispatch this morning and read your post. … also, I’m going to email you my information because I’d like to ask you some questions if you have time to answer them.

    • I’m glad you were amused! I received your information but I may not be able to get to it until next week.

  • Tara

    Thanks Michelle. Any thoughts you have would be much appreciated. My birthday is 12/6/54 at 7:44 AM in Santa Monica, CA.

  • Tara

    Hi Michele, Would you have time to do a reading for me? Mars will be going direct on my 8th house cusp, which is at 0 degrees Leo. Natal Pluto is also in the 8th. I am wondering how this may reshape my personality as you say above. I am in the process of a huge transformation as I am starting my own spiritual consulting business, but I am resenting it at the same time because of all the time it will require. Maybe I just need to get better organized, but I was a little disturbed to see that picture you assigned to Sagittarius in the 12th, where mine falls, as I wonder if sometimes I am sacrificing too much of my time for this spiritual stuff! Thanks.

    • Hi Tara,

      I’d be happy to take a look. Can you provide your birth info? If you don’t want to make it public, you can email it to me at


  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry to say that I’ve never cared for this modern interpretation of the 8th house. The 8th house has such a significant place in the writings of the ancients. In my predictive work and also in my natal work, I do acknowledge the possibility of transformation but you can find that in any house I think… for me I stick to the idea of the 8th house representing that which cannot be owned, i.e. the antithesis of the 2nd which represents everything upon which we can attach a value. Also, in predictive work, the primary anareta of a natus coming into contact with the 8th house cusp is an indicator of mortality (not necessarily death, one needs more than one indicator, plus an apheta forming a positive aspect with rulers of the 8th or 6th or planets within the 8th or 6th can mollify this quite a bit.)

    No disrespect intended, but I believe the 8th house=transformation idea came into popularity in the 20th century when various astrologers began to promote a 12=12=12 model of astrology which had never existed before, i.e. Aries=House 1=Mars, which is a good memorization tool but strips away so much of the insight of the classicists, in my opinion.

    My personal experience of the 8th house, with Aquarius on the cusp and Jupiter inside, disposited by an exact Saturn-Uranus trine in the 12th and 4th houses, is that the Jupiter in the 8th has often meant “sudden unexpected money” – It represents the funds which you cannot control yourself, but with Jupiter in the house, those funds have a way of tending to support me anyway. Especially when I’m *just* about to be screwed. Then suddenly this windfall appears, pulling me off my knees and putting me back into the race. This often happens to me with things that I really need, but totally cannot in any way afford, too. (I’m a poor guy, in case you can’t tell. Having no ambition doesn’t help.) I’ve read, but of course have absolutely no way to test, that Jupiter in the 8th tends to create long-lived people who die peacefully. Which would fit with the Death part of the 8th house. But since I’m kind of an empirical guy I just store that info in my mental filing cabinet and move on. Anyway, just adding my bit– I’m fascinated by this house since I have Jupiter there. It’s not considered a good placement for Jupiter, and Aquarius is not a good place for Jupiter either– the planet is peregrine in the entire sign. But I like both placements. They fit my lifestyle well.

    • No disrespect taken. I’m not saying that I absolutely believe in transformation as an 8th house concept- I want to explore it. I plan on exploring most of the 8th house concepts (death, debt, deep emotional interactions), not just “transformation.” I actually chose this one first because it is so vague. It’s so vague in fact, that I have trouble believing it. I’m also not entirely sold on the idea of “death” as an 8th house concept either. This past week I realized how many people I know who lost a parent at an early age- and you know what? none of them have an 8th house emphasis. Also, 8 out of the 9 members of my tarot group were kind enough to give me their birth info- and they all have a 9th house/12th house emphasis- with almost no 8th house at all. So, this is more of an exploration than anything else. I hope to get more feedback from readers.

      • Anonymous

        I’m excited to hear that this is just the beginning of an exploration– I really adore your blog. One quibble about death of the parents and the 8th house: those wouldn’t have anything to do with each other. Death of the parents should be the 8th from the 4th or the 8th from the 10th depending on which parent and the sect of the chart. It’s only the death of the “owner” of the natus himself which should be divined from the 8th house of his chart. My chart’s a pretty good example of this: 8th from the 4th of the mother is the 12th, where I have Saturn in Gemini, and my mother committed suicide, a very Saturn in the 12th kind of event… 8th from the 10th of my father is the 6th, and I have Neptune on the cusp of my 6th…. Ive never met my father, very Neptunian. Anyway! Looking forward to reading more!

        Oh! I almost forgot. The association the 8th house has with death springs from a much more ancient house system called the Oktotopos (as opposed to the Dodekatopos) which divided the houses into 8. The 8th house was the last one, and therefore the obvious candidate for death. Even after the Graeco-Egyptians synthesized the two differing house systems together into one, the 8th house retained its reputation as a “Bad Place.”

        • That makes sense. I just wonder about the Moon in the 8th showing the death of the mother, or the Sun in the 8th showing the death of the father.

          I’ve read mixed things about using house derivations for anything but horary. I think it’s Robert Hand who mentions that money came to be equated with the 8th because it is the 2nd from the 7th- the results of marriage, and that he’s not entirely sure about that association.

          Many astrologers talk about the 8th house person experiencing a lot of death- obviously not their own, because they can only die once. I want to address this in a different post, but, some astrologers also equate the 2nd with the actual physical body. If the 2nd is my body, then the 8th is your body. The 2nd is what I have, the 8th is what you have. Thinking of it this way, it’s easy to see how the 8th can be associated with sex- beyond the Scorpio connection. Also, in the olden days, the result of marriage was that one had sex. Though, that’s confusing to me, because the real result of marriage was usually children. Also, I think it’s Robert Hand, again, who says that the 2nd can’t be the body because we cannot possess ourselves, but then I think, well, what about the word “self-possessed’?

          I have noticed that many people with the Sun in the 12th (especially the Pisces Sun) don’t know their fathers very well, or at all. I haven’t noticed the same thing with the Moon in the 12th.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t take as a matter of course the Sun to be the father and the Moon to be the mother. For example in my chart, the Moon is definitely, for sure, ME. lol. And Venus is my mother, Venus in Taurus (she was an artist and decorator and gardener with perfect taste, and a dear friend–11th house) She hanged herself when some rather horrible transits transpired and I have Venus on Algol Star, the fixed star associated for thousands of years with death by hanging. And my father, a man I never met, he could easily be represented by my illusive Pisces MC with its Neptune dispositor. But my sun in Taurus in the 11th? No, he’s no friend of mine. Clearly he’s not represented by the Sun.

            I think often Saturn and Venus can be father and mother, or else the rulers of the 10th and 4th houses. It depends on the self-will of the native– are they a “lunar” person who powerfully owns their emotions, do they have a powerfully Venusian influence in their lives, do they have major Solar energies going on etc? If not, then maybe things will default to Moon and Sun, or that is the default position. Like, I’ve been doing some minor readings for a friend of mine with a new baby and the baby has moon and sun square and it’s pretty easy to see the poor dear will probably grow up seeing her parents clashing quite a bit. But In the end, her father isn’t really a solar sort, and the little baby has a pretty solar chart herself, so there’s no reason her daddy needs to be the recipient of that particular energy later on, know what I mean?

            • Anonymous

              Sorry I’m babbling, Jupiter is sextiling my mercury.

              • No problem, Neptune/Chiron is sextiling my natal Mercury/Chiron- I feel like I’m not making any sense.

                • Anonymous

                  You’re making perfect sense, and Neptune/Chiron is activating your ability to teach others about information about the higher realm. 🙂 I just wish others would jump in, I feel like I’m hogging all the comment space but then I remember it’s infinite.

            • I think that Venus can represent the mother in addition to the Moon, but I think that, as you said, the Moon is the default. I definitely see my Moon as my mother. My Moon is in Leo in the 11th square Uranus in Scorpio, and my mother’s Sun-Uranus conjunction in Leo actually conjuncts my Moon, and her Moon is in Scorpio. I count my mother as one of my best friends. She makes me laugh so hard. That being said, my Moon is in close trine to Venus in Aries, and in her natal chart, my mom has a Mars-Pluto-Venus conjunction while I have a loose Mars-Pluto-Venus T-square.

              I usually do look to both Mars and Saturn, and even Pluto, as well as the Sun to get more info about the father.

              I’m really sorry to hear about your mother gracehoper.

              • Anonymous

                It’s a “Family Tradition.”

                • I like breaking traditions…Moon square Uranus 😉

          • Hi. I’m following this conversation with interest because I have most of the placements you two are discussing:

            3 planets in the 8th house, including Sun and Jupiter (I’m very sensitive about being in debt. I try to stay away from that as much as possible. Yes! to the sudden, unexpected money when I REALLY need it. And in large sums, too. My last windfall came from literally falling down in a theater and my father was my attorney. He got me a very large settlement with ease – way more than I expected.)

            A 9th and 12th house emphasis. My 8th, 9th and 12th houses are connected by planets and house rulers. I haven’t really experienced many people literally dying, BUT I am the catalyst for transforming people through my relationships with them (the ruler of my 7th house is also in my 8th). I always get people telling me that they underwent some dramatic lifestyle, personality or attitude change as a result of knowing/meeting me – even when our contact was brief. I don’t (consciously) try to change them; I think they change through trying to change me.

            The ruler of my 4th house is in the 8th house, the Moon rules my 8th house, and my Moon is in the 12th house. My mom is still alive and well. In fact, relatives on both sides of my family usually live a very long time, which is why I haven’t experienced many deaths of loved ones. Both of my grandfathers died when I was a child but I wasn’t very close to them. Their deaths WERE a transformation for the family, though. The trouble they caused in life died with them; it was almost like their deaths unpacked the emotional baggage of the rest of the family. I’ve had quite a few near-death experiences. I’m always saved somehow…due to my quick thinking (Mercury aspects Mars and Jupiter) or others helping me or someTHING stepping in: several major car accidents, 2 near-drownings, big earthquakes, emergency plane landings, etc.

            I have Moon in the 12th but my Sun & Mars aspect my Saturn in the 9th. I know my father pretty well, even though we’ve lived far apart for most of my life. We connect through law (he’s a lawyer), politics, education and religion – typical 9th house stuff. He adopts the teacher role and resists learning anything from me, but later he will come back repeating something I told him…as his own idea. Smh.

            I’m just one example but hopefully that answers some of your questions.

            Great blog! It’s now one of my favorites.

            • I like the concept of 8th house planets being catalysts for change.

              My grandmother died tragically before I was born. Her death had a big impact on my dad’s family. If I use the equal house system, my Moon is in the 12th house.

              That is all very interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

              • Thanks for making it easy to share 🙂

                Are 8th house planets catalysts for change within us or within others? Perhaps both?

                I’m sorry about your grandmother. Did you feel her presence even though she passed before you were born? I’ve read that the 4th house rules grandmothers. Is the 4th house emphasized in your chart?

                About these different house systems…how do we know which one to use? Does the description of a 12th house Moon describe you?

                • I have Neptune in my 4th house. Neptune forms the closest major aspect to my Sun in the 8th.

                  As far as house systems go everyone has their own take. I’m still exploring to see which I like. Sometimes, in the case of charts with a lot of interception, I do like to check out the Equal house system. Also, for someone with so many planets on cusps (like me) it’s interesting to see how the chart changes using different systems.

                  I can relate to a 12th house Moon. I thoroughly enjoy spending time alone.

            • Freeform_26

              This is hilarious astrology humor 
                 ”  He adopts the teacher role and resists learning anything from me, but later he will come back repeating something I told him…as his own idea. Smh.”
              That sounds typical of a Taurus operating from their lower vibrations.. I have dealt first hands with many Taurus friends and learned how to work with that trait of theirs. I end up feeling as if Im in the movie Inception implanting ideas in their heads and them coming away with this complete subjective revaluation. It’s great to how we all have our astrological corks.. mad love! 

      • Nikhil

        Hey Michelle!

        First of all, congrats on running such a wonderful blog! I thoroughly enjoy reading all your artilcles in here and for a novice like me this is just what the doctor ordered.

        Coming to the point, which is death as an 8th house concept, i think i would vouch for it. I have two planets in my SAG 8th house – saturn and uranus – tightly opposing my second house gemini sun. I lost my father when i was 15.


        • I’m sorry about your Dad Nikhil. Where is Jupiter, the ruler of your 8th house?

      • Anonymous

        Definitely all kinds of death as in ‘loss’ associated with 8th House, depending upon placements this varies as to what it actually means. More appropriate is the word ‘House of Loss’ rather than ‘House of Death’. Although, the losses can feel so emotionally tearing that it seems like a death grievance.

        • Do you have planets in the 8th house?