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

Your Natal Mars: Keys to Passionate Creativity

Astrological Mars - Passionate Creativity

Mars represents the thrill of the hunt, or the aliveness you feel when you are exerting all you have in order to win.  In your birth chart, it is your passion in motion.

Mars Symbol: Keys to Creativity and Passion

Mars symbol represents male sexual penetration.  Thus the energy Mars symbolizes is intimately tied to your creative impulse (its pursuit of Venusian beauty and ideals results in the creation of something new.)

By reflecting on this symbol, we can appreciate a few components of creativity:

1) Penetration: Digging deeply into one’s chosen field of study is a masculine quality (regardless of your gender).  The idea of penetration suggests deep involvement with a subject or a person, not just on an intellectual (Mercurial) level.  In other words, creativity comes from deep involvement.

It’s very difficult to experience passionate creativity when you are just scratching the surface of things.  If you want to experience more creativity, try going deeper into your path (work, hobby, relationship, etc) instead of jumping from one thing to another.  [Note Mars’ classic rulership of Scorpio reflects this idea of masculine depth and fixedness of purpose.]

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Horoscope Signatures of Abandonment Issues

horoscope signature of abandonment Childhood Scenarios of Abandonment

In her book “The Journey from Abandonment to Healing”, author-therapist Susan Anderson lists several scenarios in which a child experiences the feeling of being abandoned:

  • Illness of one of your parents
  • Death of a close family member, one you counted on for attention and emotional support
  • Loss of a beloved grandparent
  • Parents preoccupied with fighting, bickering, or their divorce
  • An earthquake in your family structure – your father or mother moving out
  • Older sibling leaving home – one who had been your champion, role model, or supporter
  • Workaholism in one or both parents
  • Alcoholism in the family system
  • Chaotic family – sometimes when you most needed them, one or both of your parents weren’t available
  • Moving – breaking social ties, being new kid on the block over and over
  • Parents dealing with prolonged conflict or grief; they emotionally withdrew from you
  • Depression, mental illness in the family
  • Birth of other siblings, relegating you to an emotional back burner
  • Death or illness of a sibling, which absorbed your parents’ full attention
  • Parents whose behavior is defined as self centered, narcissistic, or insensitive

Astrologically, each of these scenarios will have a correlating measurement, both natally and through transit or Solar arc.

Legacy of Abandonment Wound

The psychological effects of abandonment during childhood vary – and some children are more resilient than others (usually owing to the help of a remediating, supporting figure coming to the rescue of the child’s self concept.)  In general, repeated experience of abandonment will be internalized as beliefs that sound something like: “I’m not worthy of love/I’m unlovable/There is something wrong with me/I cause other people to reject or leave me.”

As adults we usually get over these beliefs to one extent or other, but these old feelings may resurface when we’re faced with fresh rejection or abandonment.

Some of us repeat the pattern of abandonment in our adult relationships through choosing emotionally unavailable partners.  It’s as if we’re unconsciously hoping to cure the original wound through playing out the same scenario again and again, hoping for an alternate outcome.

Abandonment and Anxiety Toward New Life Experience

Study suggests that survivors of childhood abandonment tend to respond to new situations in life with worry and anxiety rather than excitement– thus they tend to be hesitant to try new activities or seek out new relationships.

Possible Horoscope Signatures of Abandonment

Astrologically, the planet Neptune and the 12th house have been linked with abandonment issues.   When Neptune is in hard aspect with the natal Moon, Venus, Saturn or the Angles (Ascendant or Midheaven) or with key midpoints such as the Sun/Moon midpoint, there could be a seed of insecurity from feeling abandoned and rejected as a child.

Similarly, when the 12th house ruler is strongly placed in a natal chart, or the inner planet is located in the natal 12th house, there could be a legacy of childhood abandonment, subtly undermining the present relationships.

Working with Abandonment Issues

Abandonment wound is characterized by a sense of emotional hunger.  When feeling such hunger, you may find that your craving for instant gratification increases, in the form of food, drink, sex or any other behaviors that serve to temporary shut off the pain.

Perhaps Neptunians’ susceptibility for escapist, addictive behaviors originate from not being able to bear the pain of abandonment they suffered.

Like any other Neptunian disorder, abandonment issues need to be healed through emotional and spiritual work (there may even be a support group for abandonment survivors in your city.)   Most of us benefit from having others that can support us in the healing process.

Many of the healing methods focus on being in the moment (another facet of Neptunian experience), and being present to our own pain in a compassionate way.  Others focus on using our power of visualization in a positive way (another Neptunian activity), through reawakening the old, broken dreams and taking positive actions to pursue them.

It takes true courage to work through the insidious effect of severe abandonment trauma, but we become more empowered by choosing to do the healing work, and learning to celebrate our individuality rather than perpetually mourning over the separation.

Did you experience abandonment as a child, and if so, how do you think it affects your attitude today toward relationships?  Does your horoscope reflect it?  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

Helpful Affirmations Through the 12 Houses

Affirmations are especially helpful when we try to change existing limiting thought patterns – it can be spoken, written down, and/or sung with emotion. If you feel challenged in any area of your life and would like to start a new thinking habit, choosing & practicing the appropriate affirmation may help.

Here are some positive affirmations for each of the 12 houses (many of them have been pulled from Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life”):

1st House (Body, Self Image)

  • I love myself, therefore I take good care of my body by exercising and eating nourishing food.
  • I am beautiful and attractive. I take good care of my appearance.
  • I love and accept myself.
  • I now discover how wonderful I am.

2nd House (Money, Self Worth)

  • I am enough.
  • I love and bless my current salary (or anything else you appreciate.)
  • My strong points are ____________ (list them.)
  • I deserve to prosper. There is plenty for everyone, including me.
  • I deserve to have and enjoy nice things. I am a magnet for divine prosperity.

3rd House (Mindset, Communication)

  • I voice only love.
  • It is safe to speak.
  • I am safe. I trust the process of life.
  • Divine Intelligence gives me all the ideas I can use.

4th House (Home, Past or Present Family, New Start)

  • My home is safe. I am safe.
  • Family comes first.
  • I have the perfect living space.
  • I love myself; therefore, I forgive and totally release the past and all past experiences, and I am free.

5th House (Children, Play, Sexual Identity)

  • This child is divinely protected and surrounded by love.
  • I decide to be me. I approve of myself as I am. I am wonderful.
  • I lovingly and joyously accept my sexuality and its expression. I accept only thoughts that support me and make me feel good.

6th House (Service, Work Relationship)

  • I always work for wonderful bosses.
  • I work with and for people whom I love, and who love and respect me, in a wonderful location and earning good money.
  • My boss is generous and easy to work for.

7th House (Relationships)

  • I love myself; therefore, I behave and think in a loving way to all people for I know that which I give out returns to me multiplied.
  • I only attract loving people in my world, for they are a mirror of who I am.
  • All my relationships are harmonious.

8th House (Other People’s Money and Well Being.)

  • I rejoice in others’ good fortune. There is plenty for everyone, including me.
  • I am generous with tips and compliments.
  • I love and bless my bills.
  • I accept compliments well. I respond with a genuine “thank you” when someone compliments me.

9th House (International Travel, Religion, Higher Education, Publishing, Law.)

  • I experience love wherever I go.
  • God loves me.
  • I attract the right teachers that can help me grow & learn.

10th House (Career)

  • Everything I touch is a success.
  • Golden Opportunities are everywhere for me.
  • There are plenty of customers for my services.
  • I establish a new awareness of success. I move into the Winning Circle.
  • I love what I do. I am able to express my authentic self through work.

11th House (Friends. Love Received From Others.)

  • Love is everywhere. I am open and receptive to love.
  • I am lovable.
  • Others only reflect the good feelings I have about myself. I love and approve of all that I am.

12th House (Self Undoing. Illness. Spirituality.)

  • Every hand that touches me in the hospital is a healing hand and expresses only love.
  • Everyday I feel better and better.
  • I am willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that has created this condition.
  • I am healing rapidly, comfortably, and perfectly.

With practice, affirmation could help us develop a new, empowering thought pattern to replace the old, limiting beliefs. You can pick a few from the above to practice, or make your own. Feel free to share your favorite affirmations, either from the above or from your own collection…

2nd House Meditation: Practices That Build Self Worth

In classic astrology the 2nd house represents material security. A human being would become self-aware (the 1st house), and then proceeds to buy a cow (2nd house & Taurus symbol). In old times the cow offered a continuous source of protein from its milk, which probably made the difference between health and starvation.

Today we’re way beyond starvation in many countries – chances are that everyone reading this blog will never have to worry about food, clothing or shelter as long as we live. Yet so many people suffer from a sense of insecurity or anxiety about themselves and their purpose in life. This raised the awareness that 2nd house also represented the concept of “self worth” in modern society.

Building Self Worth
Dr. Nathaniel Branden, who has written extensively on the subject of self esteem*, says there are six basic practices that build self worth:

1) Living Consciously: Mindful awareness and desire to learn and grow.

2) Self-Acceptance: We acknowledge what we think, say or do without denial or condemnation.

3) Self-Responsibility: Giving up blame, and focusing on doing what needs to be done.

4) Self-Assertiveness: Being authentic in front of others; willing to stand up for ourselves or our ideas.

5) Living Purposefully: Identifying and working toward short and long-term goals. Being organized for that purpose.

6) Personal Integrity: What we think, say and do are congruent. We honor our commitments to ourselves and others.

Each of these can be a major growth area for many of us. It’s interesting that all of the 6 practices involve our personal will, and none of them could be accomplished without a conscious choice. So it seems that we don’t mindlessly stumble onto increased self worth, nor can we hope that a favorable transit will boost our self esteem by itself.

Respecting Reality: Role of Mercury and Saturn
Astrologically, Saturn and Mercury seem to be the key psychic factors in facilitating these practices, since all of these practices have to do with respecting, and working with, reality. We don’t run from uncomfortable facts – reality is not something to be avoided, but is something to be embraced with full awareness.

Respecting Reality II: Examining Neptune in Your Horoscope
We could imagine how Neptune could complicate things through denial, suppression and fantasy. It may be useful to examine whether we tend to avoid reality in the area represented by the house and planet Neptune touches. Such examination might actually help us to respect and work with reality more fully, thereby boosting our self worth.


  • Neptune in 4th house may call for an examination of the early home environment – was there rampant escapism, with little respect for reality being modeled by parents?
  • Neptune in hard aspect to Sun or Moon may cloud one’s perception of the self. Realistic evaluation of oneself may lead to increased self confidence.
  • Neptune in hard aspect to Venus may inject too much wishful thinking into relationships. Realistic look at both partner’s behaviors may lead to empowering realizations.
  • Neptune in hard aspect to Mars may introduce doubts, fears and misunderstanding that interfere with self assertion and purposeful action. Confronting such fears may clear the way for a decisive action.

Conclusion: Self Worth and Working With Reality
If there is a glaring chronic problem in our personal life that we know needs to be dealt with, we need to face it squarely if we want to build self worth. Whether it’s about weight loss, addiction, a messy closet, or a psychological trauma that needs to be healed – avoidance of issues usually spills over into other areas of life.

The good news is, the moment we begin to work in harmony with reality, our sense of self worth begins to build. When working with this month’s resolution “to be more physical”, I had to acknowledge the simple fact that I wasn’t exercising enough (a problem which led to lower physical energy), which motivated me to schedule time for more walking in my week – a simple change with very satisfying results.

What helps boost your sense of self worth? What compromises it? If you have thoughts or experiences you want to share, feel free to send emails or comment below.