Sacred Legacies: The Weight of the Eighth

February 20, 2010

The Eighth house is ruled by the sign Scorpio. All issues related to Scorpio rule this house. Most importantly death, sexuality, secrets, other people’s resources, sacrifice and the unseen world of spirits, astral entities, ghosts or our direct experience with such things. Anything that is taboo, intense, uncomfortable and deep lingers in this house. Having planets in this house will cause individuals to obsess over death. Death is symbolic of change. In the tarot deck, the Death card represents transformation, regeneration and change. All these facts are found within the eighth house. After studying astrology for several years, it became evident to me that the most powerful house in our astrological chart was the eighth house. ~ Carmen Turner-Schott

This house also rules legacies, inheritances and land and most seem to think about this in terms of trust funds and money; filthy lucre.  My experience of the Eighth house tells another story, that of clearing the karmic family inheritance and connecting with ancestral memories to effect quite some profound healing of the family line.

With the Moon and Venus in my Eighth house and Sun in the Seventh, close enough to the cusp to get a piece of the action, it no longer surprises me that the genealogy spadework I started in November 2008 had such far-reaching implications.

It only takes a single breakthrough to restructure your personal history in order to heal your family tree – both for the generations behind you and those that will follow – which in turn empowers your life. ~ Denise Linn, Four Acts of Personal Power.

In Ancient Inca religion, November is the month of Ayamarka Raymi, the Festival of the Dead. During this festival people made offerings to their dead ancestors.  The Inca may have believed that unless they treated the shades of the dead with respect, the shades might molest the living.

I can’t remember how or where I stumbled upon this tidbit. From memory I was reading up on Machu Picchu, a place one of my maternal uncles travelled to.  This uncle died in May 2008 and I didn’t find out until October and when I did, my cousin offered me the opportunity to take whatever I wanted from my uncle Lou’s shed: he never threw anything out.

Serendipitiously, I found a suitcase concealed under a stack of rubbish that contained over 100 family letters that came within a bees-dick of being lost.  No wonder my uncle’s shade was bugging me!  My cousin also gave me some 30 or so photos of ancestors I had never heard of from my great-grandparents generation. 

Suddenly I went from being the family outcast to being in a position of being the family’s Keeper of Memories and Revealer of Secrets; and there were a truckload of secrets.  I also saved a dozen or so marvellous old books, classic literature and poetry and a copy of ‘The Tale of Two Cities’ that was owned by an uncle I never met in life, yet whose spirit inhabited the house I grew up in.   This just happens to be my most favourite book of Charles Dickens……

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way (A Tale of Two Cities) – Charles Dickens.

Now that is an Eighth house quote from a master mystic author.

Long story shorter.  My cousin had a difficult relationship with his father, my Uncle Lou, and was happy to leave Lou’s cremains to gather dust at the undertakers.  I stepped in and offered to take Uncle Lou’s ashes back to the family’s hometown and scatter them.  I hadn’t been back there myself in 14 years and I was totally unprepared for the treasure that had been patiently waiting for me to claim. 

Suffice to say several items belonging to my father were returned to me; items that for 25 years I thought were lost to me for all time.  I also found out pertinent details about my life when I was a baby and talk about some very difficult issues with another uncle, who at one time was my foster-father who I just happen to share my birthday with.

As I was already working on the Family tree by the time I took this trip in the December, I visited the local historical society and donated some family items that were of enormous interest to them.  I spent several hours talking to elders who knew my mother’s family, scampered through the local cemetary and was astonished to realise I was related to half the inhabitants and felt a deep connection to the land.

The Aboriginals have a term – place of belonging – that place where their ancestors lived and are buried.  I felt that and when I spoke of this to the local historian, she simply said as though it was the most natural feeling in the world, “Why, of course you belong here”.

With some chagrin I recalled a moment when I considered living in this small Wimmera wheat-town after my mother died and left me her house. My marriage was circling the drain, my mother had left me money and a house and I could have taken the jump then and had a soft landing. Yet I couldn’t see myself living there – very small country town with small country town sensibilities.  I was already living in another small country town and was not enjoying the experience one jot. 

When I returned to Melbourne, I worked constantly and steadily on the Family Tree, adding new branches, connecting with cousins nth-times removed and sharing home song stories and impressions that one nth-times removed cousin remarked were extraordinarily creative and which helped her find forgotten ancestors. 

I didn’t tell her I’m a Medium and was getting the information straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

And I was getting a lot of information.  I lost count of the hunches I followed that struck pay-dirt and as a result of my own experience, became aware of the enormous potential for healing that tracking one’s ancestry can activate.  However, if people aren’t prepared to look at the problem, they ain’t going to be interested in the solution.

The biggest secret, one that I had been told by my mother, was that of a child born out of wedlock to an aunt who had been left in an orphanage. My aunt went on to marry and have 5 other children and kept her dark secret. This aunt lived in fear that somebody would spill the beans and so she never encouraged her children to get to know their aunts and uncles.  In fact, I am the only one of my generation who has met everybody and, fortunately, survived the experience.  They weren’t very nice people.

It turned out that this lost cousin had been adopted and for half a century grew up believing her adoptive parents were her birth parents. She got told the truth when they died and started searching for her mother, my aunt back in 2002, and poignantly got to spend 20 minutes with her mother as she lay dying in hospital.  The visit was kept secret from the rest of my aunt’s family. There was no death-bed confession.

December 2008, as I was knee-deep in working the Family Tree, I misheard something my uncle told me and inadvertently let the cat out of the bag.  I thought my cousins knew about their half-sister.  They didn’t.  Realising that I had been ‘set up’ by my ancestors, I surrendered to a choice the Divine had made for me and followed through, talking my cousins through their astonishment and encouraging them to embrace their elder sister and welcome her into the fold. 

I was instrumental in reuniting my half-cousin with her birth family and this home song story had a very happy ending. 

When I started transferring the Family Tree information to a website, my intention was to leave a record for the children of my cousins.  They are not interested yet I have provided a history, a story of ancestors for my half-cousin so she can know more about the tribe she belongs to.

The Eighth house is about other people’s resources; the legacy you are left is contained in your DNA – ancestral strengths and capabilities that are lying dormant just waiting to be activated.  We inherit energetic patterns from our forebears that we are fated to play out in our lives, miasms, predispositions to alcoholism, gambling, addictions – whatever.  Work back seven generations and do the math….that’s a lot of energetic inheritance.

From my experiences with chatting to distant relatives, I was amazed at how they were still burning over issues that had happened 100-200 years ago.  Resentment and bitterness over ancient hurts seems to cascade down the line until somebody decides the buck is going to stop with them.

The buck stopped with me.  Some wit observed that the people most interested in their antecedants are those who will leave no descendants, and so it is with me.  

I call the Eighth the “House of Mirth”:

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the

heart of fools in the house of mirth.

~ Ecclesiastes 7:4

Astrologists say that individuals with planets in the Eighth house, especially the Sun or Moon, will experience great benefits given to them by others.  One of the great benefits I was given, was the karmic family inheritance of agoraphobia.  My mother, grandmother and great-grandfather each experienced degrees of agoraphobia.  When I first learned this, I felt doomed.  Then I confronted my fear, recognised it as a spiritual emergence and transformed it and went on to teach others practical techniques to confront their own fears.

When my mother died in 1994, I was facilitating a recovery and support group for Agoraphobia and had managed to obtain funding from the government (no mean feat), and had distributed information packs to over 100 people, including medical professionals.  In the mid 90s, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia became the latest hobby-horse for the psychiatry profession and I attended a seminar held by these ‘experts’ and told my story from the psychospiritual angle.

I was ‘burned’ at the stake and two other people who had recovered from Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, who had been in therapy with psychiatrists and taken pharmaceuticals, got the book deals and became sought-after speakers and, I suppose, wealthy.

However, I was popular among the support groups and was often invited to be a guest speaker.  One time I was double-booked with a Psychologist and after she heard I was using Flower Essences to treat clients, she took upon herself to label me ‘dangerous’ because I was, in her estimation, ‘unqualified’.  She knew nothing of the modality I am qualified in and my otherness threatened her and the tribe she belonged to.  What I was doing and teaching was taboo.

More from Carmen Turner-Schott:

The first thing that comes to mind when we think of the eighth house is the word, Energy. The subtle energies that surround our physical bodies known as chi, prana, and life force, and how this energy can be used to heal others. When we have planets in the eighth house, we are very sensitive to these energies. Individuals with planets placed here will be extremely sensitive to energy and will be able to “feel” other people’s pain, emotions, and energy field. Unfortunately, many times this is very painful for the individual.

You can imagine how painful it would be to feel other’s suffering. Individuals can see through other people’s motives, thoughts, and actions. What others show them on the outside is insignificant, because we will zone into their true energy, thoughts and emotions. When these don’t match up, we know it and feel it in a deep way. A deep feeling of loneliness can be experienced for individuals, especially with the Sun or Moon placed in this house at birth.

When individuals first experience this energy, they may doubt themselves or second guess their perceptions. Eventually they must  learn to trust their intuition.

Eventually, I did learn to trust my intuition.  Working the family tree helped me to reclaim my past intuitive hits that had been squashed, smothered and scoffed at and to realise that from a very young age, I had been firing on all intuitive cylinders.  I could always be trusted to say what other people were thinking and to zero in on the heart of matter, cutting through the bullshit and calling a spade a bloody shovel.

My mother was always scolding me: “Don’t say that!” or “You’re too young, you don’t understand. You’ll find out when you grow up.” 


Individuals with planets here can feel very different than other people. They can feel like no one understands them and that no one else in their life thinks or feels as they do. I see and hear this all the time from people with planets in the eighth house. The truth is that they are right. Most people do not feel other’s feelings, thoughts, or intentions so accurately. Most people just take things at face value and do not question or look deeper into their fellow man. The ability to see truth is a unique gift, although it can make individuals feel separate from others, eventually leading to depression if not addressed. Many individuals with planets in this house experience depression and are often treated with medication. One way to alleviate this depression is by protecting oneself. The use of protection rituals are extremely important for these individuals.

After researching this issue for myself and others, it dawned on me what the true lesson of the eighth house is. Instead of feeling  separate or different from others, we need to think of it as feeling our “Oneness” with others. These individuals are feeling other’s energies, auras, thought forms and emotions. This is being one with others, not separate. If these individuals can begin to look at their experiences in this way, they will start to feel an unexplained happiness come over them. They will realize that they are truly blessed and would never want to loose the natural healing gifts that they possess.

True healers, body workers, counselors and psychics usually have planets in the eighth house. The most powerful healers often have Pluto there. Several body workers, Reiki masters, and pranic healers also have this placement. The most important thing to remember is that the eighth house does not lie. It calls out of the woodwork all truths, emotions, feelings and thoughts. Those with eyes to see will see. Just remember to experience this as oneness with others, not separateness. In the end, this will only increase your abilities and understanding of your purpose here on earth. The eighth house is nothing to be afraid of, because it is a blessing in disguise. Individuals with planets here are truly our world’s future healers. – Carmen Turner-Schott

According to Caroline Myss’, to claim the archetype of Mystic, one needs to have earned it in blood, sweat and tears – and I have with the help of the grateful dead.

My paternal grandmother was a Turner, I would not be at all surprised if Carmen Turner-Schott is an nth-times removed cousin of mine.  You see, working the family tree, left me with a deep sense of “oneness” and connectedness.  I also gained an appreciation of the importance of my insignificance; that I am just another link in the chain, but I am a strong link and that makes all the difference.

It has always been a hallmark of the Mysteries that before I enter a crisis, I receive the tools I need to understand what is going on, and afterwards I get debriefed, if you like.  I did consult an astrologist back in 1992, when I was in the midst of my agoraphobia: he didn’t tell me anything like this. Maybe he wasn’t experienced enough?  It happens.

That’s just one of many songlines from my Eighth house and the archetype which dwells there is the Detective, a proper Sherlock Holmes.  Just an aside, my uncle Lou was an elementary school teacher.

If greatness is your soul’s destiny, then to achieve it, it’s only logical that you have a plan. Just as you would not head off to college without knowing about the school you’ll be attending, souls do not randomly incarnate into this world. Rather, souls arrive with a very specific curriculum containing both goals and challenges. Your parents are a big part of that program.

It is in this respect that the Hasidic master Rabbi Yisrael of Rhizin teaches that our souls choose our parents. While the reasons for a soul’s choice of parents will vary, it is always significant. Reasons can include past life relationships, or simply the conducive environment that the parents can provide for the soul in achieving its overall goal.

In a broad sense, your parents are the guarantors of your mission. How this works is different in every case. One possibility is that your parents will provide positive mentoring, as guides and as a support system. Another is the opposite – that they will model for you what you do not want to become and thus clarify the positive direction in which you need to go. For many it is a combination of the two. The key is to know that directly or indirectly, your parents create the fire behind your passion to grow toward your spiritual advancement.

Jupiter is now in Pisces, and the Sabian Symbol for Jupiter in my birth chart is Aquarius 1: An old adobe mission.

Earlier this evening I was puzzling over what that meant.  See how quickly I got my answer.  Parents as guarantors of your mission, eh? Financially a guarantor is somebody who will pay your debt if you default on a loan and, funnily enough, I read that the Twelfth house deals with debt – financial debt and karmic debt.

The 12th house is ruled by Neptune, and explains how we interact with reality, debt, karmic debt, fantasy, and belief in what we cannot see, faith. Normally past debt has to be cleared or dealt with before we can move on to the future. We usually are not allowed to proceed forward or we are somehow blocked and given ample chances for clearance, before we can begin moving towards the future.  We have to deal with the debts of the 12th house and the past. ~ Terry Nazon

And the icing on this cupcake is a tasty morsel I found in November 2008 while bloghopping across the cyberverse.  Ya’ll might want to check your diaries and see how your seedlings are going.  Back in 1999, I purchased the book “Healing Fear” which anchors a workshop I developed in 2004 called “Healing Fear-Awakening Grace”.  It’s the little synchronicities that pack the most magic – but ya’ll know that, right?

I’ve been studying the Mayan calendar lately. It’s really complex, way more than just the 5000-year cycle that most people talk about. There are cycles within cycles within cycles. One that I’m paying attention to these days is a cycle that started in 1999.

Each of these nested cycles has a series of “days” and “nights” that last varying times. The cycle that started in 1999 has a day or night of 360 days. The first “day” lasted from January 5, 1999 to December 31, 1999. The energy of the first day is “sowing the seeds”. We are just about to finish the fifth night now, which has the energy of “destruction”. On
November 13, 2008, we will enter the sixth day, which has the energy of “flowering”. Whatever we sowed in 1999 will begin to flower soon.




  1. Your genealogical adventures are amazing! It’s wonderful to be a detective about your own family roots. I agree with you about festering family secrets and dysfunctions that travel down the generations, wreaking havoc as they go. I see it at work in my own family history.

  2. I agree – reading your adventures in exploring your Tree and your astrology is fascinating reading; I am learning a lot about you, me and _oneness_.

    Somewhat envious of your well-branched Tree, as mine is pretty much a stump. At the same time, I feel like this frees me to make my own karma. I know both sides come from pain and isolation, but any further connections and sources of information are long gone. The line will mostly end with me and my brother.

    Mars in Leo in my 8th. It manifests most strongly in my Heart Chakra. And yes, I am one of the medicated – surprise 😉 I am making steps forward in working with the energy there, one of these being studying Reiki!

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