by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Control: Everybody’s Testing Ground


Almost everybody hates taxes. Have you ever wondered what astrology has to say about that?

I’m not sure why…maybe it’s because of the current (expected) onslaught of political jabbing going on here in the US with regards to Election 2012. Maybe it’s because the US Supreme Court just upheld the viability of the individual mandate connected to the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (not-so-affectionately known as Obamacare) and how when asked, people immediately go to the question of how said Act will affect their taxes.

Basically, it all comes down to control. People are afraid of losing control. People are afraid of having taxes imposed upon them – which is the very embodiment of ‘loss of control’ in the area of one’s money.

Having said all this, it probably won’t be a big surprise to hear that taxes are a Scorpio item on the astrological level. Scorpio is all about control – and feeling threatened by the loss of control, whether that will harm us or not.

Inheritances are also Scorpio – as are investments. Known as the sign of ‘other people’s money,’ Scorpio is so named because of its association with the 8th house – a house which sits across the zodiac from the 2nd house (the native house of Taurus).

And yes, in ‘pop astrology,’ Taurus is often referred to as ‘my money.’



First of all, in this particular astrological arena it’s probably safer to say that it’s the houses (more than the signs) which refer to the ‘my money’ versus ‘other people’s money.’ You could have any sign in the zodiac on your 8th house and it’s STILL going to be the house of ‘other people’s money.’ The house carries the ‘vibe’ of the sign, to be sure.

(And yes, the sign carries the vibe of the house!)

The first three houses of the horoscope – whatever sign is on their cusp – denote the ‘basics’ of life. They describe how you will learn those basics and your basic orientation to many things in life. I have a cousin who has Libra rising. That’s Libra on the house of “I Am” and one of her greatest life lessons has been learning that she has to take care of herself in order to have anything to give…that she doesn’t have to be the person or act or dress as others say she should – that her vote not only counts, but defines who (in the end) others are going to see her as.

The 8th house is also the house of conception and death, meaning it’s the house of birth control and abortions.

People fight over (and about) inheritances. They debate and resent taxes. The 8th is also the house of debt - and everybody gets on edge about debt. People treat the entire subject of conception, birth control, death, debt and abortion as if its being done to them even when a given situation is happening to someone else they will never, ever meet.

Why is that?

That's because the 8th house is where our psyche, where the emotionality of our Being meets that of other people. It’s the house of sex…and therefore the house of every kind of situation and choice which asks that we get ‘naked’ with somebody else.

Even with our Self. Psychology is an 8th house subject, war is an 8th house subject, surgery is an 8th house subject.

The divider between our negativity and willingness in all 8th house issues is control. We hate having something imposed on us. When we’re made to comply, we often feel diminished or helpless – hence the 8th house’s association with the fight-or-flight instinct.

War is probably one of the ultimate 8th house functionality – it inflicts death in a singularly uncaring way. Those who start wars and who run them feel entitled and valid in their choices. To others they may look like madmen (or women). But to those who choose to do the act, to inflict the cost, to decide that putting your life on the line in surgery (we have to risk your life to save your life) …the choice seems obvious.

Obviously the dividing line here is the ability to choose…the other end of which is the loss of control. “Consensuality,” let’s call it. When sex is consensual, it’s fine. When its not consensual, it’s rape.

The 8th house confronts us with situations and changes (and changing situations) which evoke and provoke our emotionality, making it the house about our experience of change - or where our emotions are tested.

Being a natively water sign house, no matter what sign you have on the 8th house cusp in your natal chart, you experience your emotions in conjunction with others through indications pertaining to this house.

Conversely, when something or someone provokes your sense of risk, your sense of threat – that situation (and/or person) is representing your 8th house dynamics.

The water sign houses – houses 4, 8 and 12 – are all about emotional experiences. The 4th house (natively Cancerian) is where we learn about emotions. The ‘patterning’ of childhood builds the native and rather kneejerk emotional ‘habits’ we associate with the 4th house. Located in the lower half of the horoscope, the 4th house is always going to be about us – our insides. It’s the house of our subconscious.

But the two other water sign houses (the 8th and 12th) are above the prime horizontal in the horoscope.

Anything above the horizontal is public. It’s what people see of us, and what we see of others. It’s what we learn through being part of our world and what the world gains by having us be part of it.

The 12th (natively Piscean) is part of a global, universal…almost ‘backdrop’ sort of quadrant. Everything we do in the 4th quadrant is about something which will build the framework within which we will live our life. So it’s about society, our social circles, income, pensions, commerce – all that stuff which shapes our world but isn’t our (personal) world at a personal level.


But the 8th house…the 8th house is part of an interactive quadrant. It’s all about our direct give and take in life. It’s about how well we put ourselves and our ideas out there and how we’re received by others. It’s about whether we know how to negotiate (7th house) achieve emotional understandings without feeling quashed (8th house) and whether we can deal with what it takes to get where we’d like to go, dealing with the learning curve (and learning better) which happens along the way (9th house).

Most people can handle the 7th house part. The 7th house is theory and idea driven. Passionate or passive, ideas are ideas – they aren’t threatening until and unless we move from the idea being tossed back and forth to making an agreement which commits us to putting our values, our integrity – and yes, our money – on the line.

That’s the 8th house. Anything which can delight or punish, heal or harm, unsettle or salve, embarrass or enchant, excite or entice – that’s 8th house.

And yes, control is on that list. Taxes are part of this because in being born, we become subject to the world in which we live. We are not in control of all things.
And man oh man, do we dislike that or WHAT?

The theory with all things 8th house is that they are where our self worth and basic sense of security (2nd house) are tested through choices we make to interact or not interact.

Again, it’s that sense of consensuality which empowers us. If we choose the wrong stock, we may feel amazingly stupid when we suffer a loss, but we know it was our choice. If we invest and a guy like Bernie Madoff comes along and steals our money we go to war.

Get the difference?

The idea with any investment – as with any intimate relationship – is to know what you’re getting into. The ‘why’ here is because you will feel sad (upset, etc.) to the degree that you have risked what you aren’t comfortable and secure with in your own heart.

The fact that political debate gets so heated is probably less about the abstracts of the issues than whether we feel ‘safe’ with the other person’s ideas and that they – in essence – want to foist them on us. Here in the United States there have been a number of recent political snarks which have had one party make a suggestion and, as soon as its adopted by the other party, reject their own idea.

If I was going to be glib here I would cite the old Groucho Marx line: ‘I wouldn’t want to be the member of any club which would have me.’ Groucho aside (it’s hard to tell whether he was kidding or not) to reject your own ideas would astrologically seem to be more about the idea of being controlled than the validity of the idea.

There are those in this life who cannot consent to being intimate with others. Why that is varies – but it’s always 8th house. That someone else can incite a sense of personal vulnerability or inferiority is a problem no one can fix for us.

And when we don’t fix it, we find everything to be very – (yes…) – taxing. Those who are overtaxed emotionally will fight anything merely to maintain control. The problem isn’t the tax or the need of the moment, personal or otherwise.

The problem is with the Self. Its about not thinking that you can survive. It’s about valuing the act of war or the money or the sex more than your Self.

There are no substitutions for security. Life drives us to experience where we are weak specifically so that we will deal with those issues. The instinct is to blame ‘them,’ the reality is otherwise. The 8th house is where we earn respect from others. It’s also the area of the chart which, no matter what sign its on its cusp, represents how and where we need to work through our own vulnerabilities in order to move forward in life and achieve all those aims which leave us satisfied.

From satisfaction of the 2nd house type comes the understanding of others. That understanding is fostered by our lack of concern, our feelings of safety in knowing we don’t have to prove anything to ourselves – and therefore others....that which forms the foundation for our feeling 'at home' in this world - the ultimate Cancer aim.

The ability…and the willingness to accept ourselves is thus what underlies our security. And a lack of acceptance of self motivates the avarice of competition, the inability to tolerate or truly value others…which in the 8th house, as through the Scorpio testing quality of Scorpio interactions, earns us the respect of others. And maybe more importantly, respect for Self.

Self worth fosters the ability to try. Through trying, we learn where we need to grow or hone our approach, abilities, skills and confidence…that magical thing which is where self-worth finds expression. Where confidence shrivels in the face of others it is no longer confidence – it’s arrogance. It’s braggadocio and all those many forms of posing, posturing and browbeating which though they may win the situational short game, don’t give us internal peace.

Those water sign houses…they are not just where we find emotionality – they’re also the houses of wealth. The 4th is real estate, the 8th is investments (of money or effort) and inheritances, and the 12th is pensions, annuities, royalties and such. The ‘my money’ of Taurus is the end product of Scorpio ‘choosing to get involved’ situations, which can be direct (for instance when we invest) or because a good intimate relationship empowers us to do more with our life.

By itself, money doesn’t (as they say) buy happiness. That only happens when we go through AND master the water sign house process as emotionality. The peace which is the reward for those who will not just feel their feelings (trial enough for some!) but also feel themselves feeling …and therefore feel how they feel about their feelings (emotional responsibility) in the end are those who find their way to some level of acceptance of Self – the catalyst for turning the self worth which allows us to try into the self worth which is about (Taurean) satisfaction.

In every ‘elemental process’…be it earth (Taurus-Virgo-Capricorn), air (Gemini-Libra-Aquarius), fire (Aries-Leo-Sagittarius) or water (Cancer-Scorpio-Pisces) there is one sign which is cardinal (action oriented), one which is mutable (flexible, able to change course or hone the process) and one is fixed. The fixed sign is where we meet up with the challenge of the overall ‘elemental lesson’ with the question being where is that sign located in the process…as all such processes are a continuum.

With earth, that fixed sign comes first, with air that fixed sign comes last. But with fire and water, the fixed sign is the second step in the process, which may be why fire and water people have an instinctual interest in each other even though the combination can be somewhat volatile.

Fire likes theory, water seeks an emotional certainty. It’s a challenge!

The point here is this: to have the fixed sign in the middle of the triad is to be tested during the heart of the process. With a cardinal sign first up in the water triplicity, human emotions are quickly evoked and when evoked, create the motivation for action (Cancer is a cardinal – action oriented – sign).

And then we hit Scorpio. NOW we’re going to get tested?

The philosophical lesson is all about having the feeling doesn’t mean you have to go with the feeling. (How many of us have learned that the hard way?)

More practically, the lesson really becomes: you can’t grow your emotional stability without putting yourself into…and working through emotional situations. The ‘thing’ is not the object here – the investment, the love relationship, the political point. ‘They’ are not the threat. The Scorpio Thing is really all about the Taurus Thing: can we survive and be not cowed by our shame for having chosen as we did?

That’s where control comes from. It’s not about what they think…it’s our not wanting to feel ‘less than’ not in their eyes, but in our own.

It’s a thought worth thinking about. Thoroughly. Or, since this is the 8th house we're talking about - carefully.

After all, we have everything to gain - including peace of mind, heart and soul.


  1. This is a tremendously interesting blog post! thanks Boots!

  2. Very informative and instructive. Very.The comment about our emotions getting us to finally DO something and THEN we get tested. That is where I can see the humor and smile myself into compassion for myself. Thanks.

    1. You're entirely welcome, Lea - and yes, this sticking point of 'doing and knowing that if we do something we're in for more challenges' is behind much of the fear and rejection we encounter - and experience in our world. To be willing...or even able to walk through life as an exercise of opportunity instead of one where we hold onto what we have (being fearful of loosing it) is a huge challenge to us all and just possibly one of the great measuring sticks of our willingness to experience our own fuller potential.