Money borrowed and shared

Often we hear astrologers say: The eighth house represents money borrowed or shared money.
While I understand this is generally assumed to be true I don’t think it’s supported by good astrological logic.
The person you are borrowing money from is represented by the seventh house and their money is the eighth house.
If they give money you their money it’s now in your possession and your possessions are represented by the second house. Maybe it’s loaned to you with all sorts of conditions attached but it’s still in your possession until you pay it back. It’s in ‘your pocket’.

We can’t call money you have borrowed shared money because unless you pay it back the lender can’t access it, and therefore it’s not really shared. Even if there are legal agreements that you should pay it back, while the money is in your possession it is represented by the 2nd house, because the second house represents assets in your possession.

House meanings not constrained by law or ethics

The houses do not by themselves carry meaning relating to legal or ethical constraints. They relate only to simple realities, and the second house is specifically related  to one’s movable possessions and assets. It doesn’t matter whether the money in your spouse’s bank account or pocket is earned, stolen, borrowed or whatever. If it’s currently in their possession then it’s ruled by the eighth house. If someone borrows money from you, then this money is in their possession (the eighth house) until they pay it back to you, and is no longer represented by your second house.

astrology moneyShared money

The eighth house is often referred to as shared resources due to the loose definition of the seventh house as “other people” and therefore the eighth house as “other people’s money”. However when we are looking at a chart, whether it be natal or horary, the question usually concerns a specific person, not an amorphous group of unidentified people.

The second house shows your money and your bank account. Even if this account is shared with your partner it’s still one of your movable assets and  is represented by your second house. However if your partner empties this account then your money is gone and it’s now in their possession and is represented by the eighth house in your horoscope and by the second house in their horoscope.

Me and you

However if we do accept the idea that the eighth house represents money shared between you and me, then we have to accept that the seventh house represents us together; you and me. However I can find no astrological authorities, ancient or modern, who support this idea. In one’s natal chart the first house represents me and the seventh represents the other; usually the spouse or partner, the open enemy or person we are in contention or doing a deal with. But the seventh is never “us”. The foundation principle that can be traced all the way back to the beginning of horoscopic astrology is that the first house represents me and the seventh house represents you.

If we defy this basic logic then and say the eighth house represents us together, then what does the first house represent? It cannot represent me because I am now part of the eighth house. And what about you? Are you now only part of a joint entity and not an individual person? It really doesn’t make sense. If something doesn’t make sense then it’s nonsense.

In horary astrology if the question concerned us together, for example Will we travel to Spain next year? then the first house would represent us together. Horary astrology is very contextual. Following the same logic, if the horary question is: Will our money grow this year? then we would look at the ruler of the second house. But the seventh house is not used to represent us nor is the eighth house used to represent our money.

The same logic is employed when a question is asked about a group that the querent identifies with, such as a football team. For example, Does my team have enough funds to build the new stadium? My team is represented by the first house, and its funds are represented by the second house.


I am proposing that the popular logic for describing the eighth house as borrowed money or shared money, or ‘our money’, is flawed, and needs a rethink. It simply does not make sense that the eighth house can be shared money unless the seventh house also represents us together as this would undermine the fundamental meaning of the houses, namely that the first house represents the chart-owner (the native) and the seventh house represents their partner or opponent.  The seventh house can never include the chart-owner as that would invalidate the meaning of the first house.

Astrology is beautiful in its simplicity. The second house always represents the money in our bank account and our movable resources and possessions, whether or nor someone else has access to these things. Its meaning is related to movable resources that support us and is not invalidated by the fact that someone else can access these resources or whether there are legal or other claims on these resources.


Confusions about the eighth house

In recent discussions about relationships and sex on social media the eighth house has often been mentioned, and some people are surprised to hear that it is the fifth house, the house of pleasure and procreation, which rules sex.  Because there are a considerable number of astrologers whose education has not given them the benefit of exposure to texts containing basic principles of astrology, discussion of the eighth house can be tricky. We are now seeing the second or third generation of astrologers who have learnt from teachers immersed in the Theosophist and new age blends of astrology, without access to primary sources. The confusion concerning the eighth house is connected with

  1. The adoption of Pluto as Scorpio’s ruler and

2. The adoption of the ’12 letter Alphabet’ system, by some astrologers.


The adoption of Pluto as Scorpio’s ruler means that Mars is displaced as Scorpio’s ruler. No reason is offered for this displacement other than it’s not fair that Pluto doesn’t have a place in the rulership scheme. It follows the practice of awarding the newly discovered planets Uranus and Neptune rulership over Aquarius and Pisces.

In discussions about the subject the displacement of Mars gets glossed over and the ‘it works for me’ justification  is offered. In my experience supporters of this new system show no understanding of the ancient system of planetary rulerships. It’s a case of people not knowing what they don’t know; making friendly and informed discussion difficult. People often take offense if it’s suggested that they need to study more.

In the 12 letter Alphabet, invented by Zipporah Dobyns, the meaning of the houses planets and signs are merged. For example the eighth house, Scorpio, and Pluto are seen to have a similar theme, referred to as an archetype. Pluto’s association with transformation and regeneration and Scorpio’s association with sex are both transferred to the eighth house.

What is an Archetype? defines an archetype as:
The original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype.” The problem is that houses signs and planets are not things of the same kind and in fact are very different to each other. In astrological cosmology the zodiac signs belong to the first sphere, the signs belong to the celestial sphere and the planets belong to the mundane (earthly) sphere. Their properties are not interchangeable and are not of the same kind.

The little death

The eighth house is the house of death. While it’s true that some astrologers have associated the eighth house with sex because sexual orgasm is sometimes called ‘the little death’, the purpose of sex is to procreate, to bring life into the world, not death.

The fifth house

Previous to the modern era the eighth house was not associated with sex. This modern confusion is perpetrated by a misunderstanding of the primary functions of the houses. Sex is a fifth house matter. Procreation, pleasure and its consequence: children, belong here. Death and bringing life into the world are opposite things and should not be confused. It is not natural to have sex with dead people and shameful to have sex with children.

The people we do it with

Love relationships don’t belong to the fifth house unless you are into having sex with children. There needs to be a clear distinction between what you do and who you are doing it with. The people we have relationships with are represented bt the seventh house.

Rape and abuse

It is ironic that Pluto’s mythical association with the abduction and rape of Persephone is rarely mentioned in conversations about the eighth house and and its supposed connection with sex. Some say the eighth house is about intense sex and the fifth house is about light-hearted sex.

But the idea that the eighth house has anything to do with sex has no foundation in the long tradition of astrology. It has only become associated with sex due to the confused idea that Pluto has an association with the eighth house because Scorpio has erroneously been associated with the eighth house (which is not supported in any of the traditional literature), and because Pluto has mistakenly become associated with Saturn. It’s a circle of confusions.

Transformation and intimacy

I have often heard it said that death is only one form of transformation and regeneration and somehow this justifies assigning transformation as a core meaning for the eighth house, which in turn validates Scorpio’s and Pluto’s association with the eighth house. It’s a circular argument that obscures the real meaning of the eighth house. Followers of the 12 Letter Alphabet system associate intimacy with the eighth house because of its supposed association with Pluto.

Core meaning

The tangled web of confusions associated with the interchange of Scorpio Pluto and the eighth house is mind boggling and really does take us a long way from the real meaning of the eighth house.
The core meanings of the eighth house have to do with death in the physical and real sense; fear and loss; the resources of those we engage with, partner’s money and inheritance.
The eighth house is not a particular pleasant place no matter how much we might like to romanticize it or give it a positive spin. The sign on the cusp of the eighth house and the planet which rules that sign are what is relevant in any type of astrological interpretation of the 8th house.