House 8 and House 12. Distress, worry, bad thoughts, and fears.

House 8 and House 12. The houses of distress, worry, bad thoughts, and fears.

House 8 and House 12 have significant differences in psychological astrology.

If we want to do proper psychological astrology we have to be specific about the different types of worries, bad thoughts, and fears. They are not all the same.

The reason the querent is feeling bad when their significator is in house 8 is because there is nothing the querent can do about the situation. You are metaphorically dead. If you are dead you cannot move or do anything. That is what House 8 is about. It is a place of powerlessness, and powerlessness is upsetting because if you want something and you cannot do anything that will help you get the thing you want, or avoid what you don’t want, you suffer.

Suppose you are a passenger in a car and the driver is driving fast and recklessly. You fear you will crash and you have thoughts that you will be harmed or die. The danger is real and imminent, and you are powerless; your life is in somebody else’s hands and is at risk.

Or you are walking alone in a dark street in a shady neighborhood at night and you see somebody walking towards you. You fear you will be mugged and you have thoughts that you will be harmed.

The type of fear and bad thoughts in these two examples belong to house 8 and are accompanied either by total powerlessness or by a real threat of being overpowered and powerless.

Think of house 8 fear as instinctive fear, or fight-or-flight fear. The essence, however, is powerlessness.

Now, suppose you are in school and you are scheduled to stand in front of a crowd and give a dissertation and be graded. You did your homework and preparation, you studied hard and you know the subject matter.

But on the morning of the lecture, you wake up in a bad mood and already tired because you did not sleep well due to waking up multiple times during the night worried that you would falter at your presentation, and maybe be ridiculed, and on top of that you worried you would flunk the test.

So, in this example, we have bad thoughts, worry, and fear. But they belong to a different house than house 8. There is no imminent threat of any kind. Based on your knowledge it is much more probable that you will pass the test and even receive kudos from your peers and your teacher.

But the worry and imagination that you will fail spoils the whole experience and makes you so nervous that you indeed mess up your presentation. You fear being judged and that makes you suffer in advance.

So, you go and make your presentation, make a few mistakes, but most people approve of it and you pass the test. Now look back at all of the imaginary unnecessary suffering that you experienced before the presentation since days before it, and how it got worse as the date approached. All that is house 12, not house 8.

In house 12 the worry, the bad thoughts, the fear are in our minds only. This type of fear arises as a matter of habit because it has been repeated unconsciously many times in our lives.

And its origin is usually one or more traumatic experiences early in life. More often than not, the trauma was due to having been harshly and excessively criticized by an adult, usually parents or some other authority figure.

In summary, for the sake of general inquiries, knowing that the querent is having a hard time is enough. But for psychological astrology, we cannot put all distress in the same bag. There are two bags to discriminate and choose from.

And as far as practical work is concerned nothing can be done about House 8, but something can be done about House 12.

Having said that, can both types of distress be present in the same situation?

Yes, of course. That is one major reason it can be so difficult to extricate oneself from House 12. It requires a well-developed degree of self-awareness and discrimination to tell the differences. That faculty alone is crucial for anyone who wishes to do something practical to find peace of Spirit.

Here is a practical horary example: What can I do to overcome the fear of speaking in public?

The horary chart will show all of the relevant factors in the experience and by becoming aware of them and recognizing that they are imaginary the work to overcome these fears may begin. That is work on House 12, not House 8. I interpret this horary in detail in my House 12 Psychology Webinar.

However, astrology does not give us the complete toolset to work and overcome house 12. It has the framework but the knowledge is missing from literature.

As an astrologer might guess, there are seven patterns of self-undoing that describe each person’s main type of imaginary fear. In the example above it is likely the fear of being judged, chastised, or humiliated. For another person it may be the fear of losing control, for another still, it may be the fear of change or instability, or impatience, and so on.

Given the need to become conscious of our particular house 12 manifestations in any practical psychological work towards freedom from psychological suffering, I have borrowed the concept of chief features from the Michael Teaching intending to supplement the insights astrology gives us. (Those familiar with The Fourth Way may recognize this concept.) Read the article on these patterns for more information >>.

This knowledge, when applied with sincere self-observation, can contribute to the process of awareness of House 12.

Becoming conscious of House 12 engenders a “psychological space” where a certain psychological distance from House 12 becomes possible. Along with the understanding that the mental process surrounding the fear and the fear itself are produced entirely in the mind. Such recognition, in turn, can open the door to further insights and/or, when the time is ripe, to the total release of suffering itself.

Related Webinars

Psychological Astrology – House 12 Psychology