8th House: Overcoming Destructive Habits

8th House8th House and the Habit of Comparison

In psychological astrology, 8th house represents “other’s values and self worth.”  Considering the fact that 8th house is always opposite from 2nd house (representing your values and self worth), perhaps it’s only natural that people tend to compare themselves against each other in terms of their income, looks, status and possessions. A strong natal tension in the 2nd and the 8th house may suggest insecurity with regard to your own worth or value in relation to others.

If the 2nd-8th house axis is under tension, you might get into a habit of self criticism through comparing yourself with others that have more than you in some area.  This habit can turn into a lifelong game of trying to get ahead of others in order to feel better about yourself.  Happiness from achievement is often short-lived, if comparison with others is the only means you have to measure your success (as opposed to having an internal compass that define your own version of success.)

8th House and the Habit of Criticism

Other people with a strong 8th house tension may develop a habit of regularly criticizing others, either silently or out loud.  Some say that criticism is based on a desire to feel superior to others (“I’m right and you’re wrong”), thereby resolving the insecurity of the 2nd-8th house tension momentarily.  Noel Tyl said people with natal 8th house tension may have difficulty giving compliments to others, because they fear being diminished by doing so.

Both of the above dynamics come from the unconsciously held belief that the only way to feel secure is to bring others down (criticism) or not elevating others too high (not able to give compliments.)  Their unfortunate consequence is that relationships become difficult to sustain due to constant criticism or lack of appreciation.

Building Others’ Self Worth and Well-Being: Reversing the Destructive Habits

The opposition between the 2nd and the 8th house suggests important connection between your own self worth and that of others – we could even say that the values we perceive in others reflect our own self-worth.

To reverse the destructive pattern of criticism, it’s better to create a habit of building others up – including giving compliments frequently and freely about other people’s strengths and accomplishments.  In giving the gift of appreciation to others, our own self-respect and appreciation grow.

Many therapists and wellness experts (those that work on restoring the mental/physical well-being of others) have 8th house theme in their horoscope, and through the act of healing and building others up, they often experience increased well-being themselves.  The mirror-like reflection between 2nd and the 8th house suggests that stopping the habit of criticism and starting the habit of praising others might be your best confidence builder.


Photo: Roman Betik

About Hiroki Niizato

Hiroki Niizato is a professional consulting astrologer in Florida, serving clients in US and abroad. He has been practicing astrology professionally since 2001. Hiroki is a highest honor graduate of the demanding Master’s Degree Certification Course in Astrology by Noel Tyl.

You can contact Hiroki via email at: Hiroki@hniizato.com or schedule a consultation.


  1. Really enjoyed reading this. So hard to understand the 8th house. I have my North Node and Sun in Aquarius 8th house (5° conj). Both Square Saturn in 11th Taurus. Nothing in my 2nd. Does having the North Node there with my Sun mean I am being directed to 8th house issues? My destiny?

    • Hi Janice, having both the Sun and the North Node in 8th house suggests that this area of life will be critical to your growth. You might be directed to 8th house issues (e.g. healing deeper psychological wounds), or you might need to seek it out.

  2. Have moon conjunct south node in gemini 8th house and NN in sagittarius in 2nd house and mercury in capricorn in 2nd house.
    Often I tried to lift up others and told them to be not so mean to themselves / gave advice/say treat you well, but at the same time have a hard time to apply that advices for myself. Don’t understand why. Its like two worlds in my head. My wellbeing or value and those of others.

  3. Hello Mr. Niizato,

    I have my north node in the 2nd in leo along with my moon, thus my south node in the 8th house in aquarius. My sun in aquarius at the very beginning of the 9th house at 28°06 very close to my mercury at 29°25 of aquarius. Regarding complementing / critizicing others and self -worth , it really is a stugle for me, a constant tug of war in my head: i praise others with ease and really mean the best for them, but i feel very guiltly of not being able to just praise people without envying them inside. And when i receive compliments i feel very uncomfortable but secrelty LOVE to receive them , and I feel bad for not knowing wether i should learn humility or self-pride.

  4. Iben Maria says

    I have mercury gemini in 2 house 28 degrees out of bound opp jupiter in 8 th house 0 degree capricorn
    I loved the articlr here felt so good
    I can compliment others if i am feeling secure and praise them but not good at praising myself

  5. Hi!
    Very interesting article. I’m seeking advise since I have a stellium in 8th house (saturn,uranus,neptune and moon) opposition to sun, Venus, and Mercury un 2nd house. It’s a real struggle everyday. I have troubles communicating, making partnerships. A Lot. Perhaps u can give me some advice on how to overcome such a strong energy opposition!

    • Hi there, the horoscope reflects the reality that you lived in – it doesn’t cause the problem. So the cause of the issue and the solution can be found within your real life.

  6. Hi
    Just came across your website. Its really very insightful and informative.
    I feel that this article describes a whole lot of insecurities about myself. I have difficulty praising others because exactly like you mentioned, I feel that somehow it diminishes me. I have a small question. I have Saturn in the 2nd house with an empty 8th house. Does that imply having tension in the 2nd-8th axis? Thanks

  7. Finally someone breaks down this subject. I have Sun in 2nd opposing Jupiter in 8th, as well as North Node conjunct Saturn in Capricorn in 2nd, and South Node and Chiron in Cancer sitting in 8th (not conjunct). I lack emotional depth and emotional display in all of my relationships (romantic, family, friends) though I secretly long for it, and I do also compare myself to others (though it’s hard not to in this social media craze era)

    Why is criticism associated with 8th house? Is it b/c it’s naturally ruled by Scorpio?

    Could another possibility with this axis be material security VS emotional security?

    • Hi Kasumi,

      It’s more that criticism is one possible dysfunctional expression of 2nd-8th house axis. A clunky way to state it is: Criticism is a way of putting down another person’s worth (8th house = other’s self-worth) in order to boost one’s own worth (2nd house = self worth).

      Opposing houses actually are two opposites dealing with the same issue, so they’re more like a circle. This means material and emotional security are closely related, one tends to help with the other.

  8. That’s some interesting insight about the quality of the 8th house. I have a particular synastry question regarding it also. In my understanding of comparative chart readings the planets or point of person A in person B’s houses affect person B more than the other way around.
    Yet I’ve heard that when the moon luminary of person A falls into the 8th house of person B it is the house person that affects them more.

    I don’t know it there’s a certain answer to this, certainly alot of sites say it’s the 8th house that affects the moon while one or two say the moon person affects the house, so I was wondering if you had any insight into the particular case?

  9. Interesting article Mr.Niizato. I have triple conjunction between Sun-Mercury-Jupiter (Sun and Mercury being in combustion) under Virgo sign in 8th house and i can certainly relate with excessive criticizing thing. It comes not as a thing where i want to punish people because of their mistakes but more like in a way i believe these people could improve therefore i criticize them. There’s one negative aspect with stellium in 8th house that people complain about being to intense around them. Is it possible to feel more like Scorpio than Virgo with this configuration?

    • Hi Ray, both Scorpio and Virgo have this scrutinizing quality that can be devastating if used critically…They are quite similar in that regard, and 8th house can emphasize the tendency. 8th house emphasis in a horoscope often invites great trust from others, so you need extra sensitivity in communicating your insights to others, lest you do more harm than good to the people that are being vulnerable to you.

  10. I have Sun, Moon and Venus conjunct in Capricorn in the 8th House and I really resonate with what you say here. But what I really enjoyed was your proactive advice on how to work with these placings, especially: “To reverse the destructive pattern of criticism, it’s better to create a habit of building others up – including giving compliments frequently and freely about other people’s strengths and accomplishments. In giving the gift of appreciation to others, our own self-respect and appreciation grow.” Thanks :)

  11. Thank you Hiroki. 8th house is a fascinating subject.

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