Book Review- Pandora’s Box: The Mysterious 8th House

PANDORA’S BOX: 8th House

PANDORA’S BOX: The Mysterious 8th House By Martin Sebastian Moritz. The Wessex Astrologer, PO Box 9307, Swanage, BH19 9BF, England. www.wessexastrologer.com. 206 Pages. Index. Trade Paper. £17.50. $38.50.

When describing old age, Bette Davis famously remarked “it is not for the faint of heart.” The same could be said for the eighth house. It is neither for the faint of heart, nor the squeamish. The main theme of the eighth house is transformation, resurrection and rebirth. The snake dies and becomes an eagle. The caterpillar dies and emerges as a beautiful butterfly. A new creature. These are the main themes of the eighth house. Now the birthing process is basically one of blood and gore. It is painful, no question. Yet, the end result is good. And, when one looks at the process after the fact one sees it as something wonderful.

Who better to take us on this journey through the eighth house than an astrologer who is also a psychotherapist (an 8th house profession). (and who also has dark moon Lilith on his midheaven no less.) His introduction was very brilliant and should be read by beginners intermediate and advanced astrologers. Very concisely and logically he explains why certain houses are considered benefic and others malefic. It has to do with the angle every house makes with the ascendant. Here we have clear mathematical reasoning behind these assignments. These attributions were not random.

He goes through the different dimensions of the eighth house, he illustrates his points with actual charts, of actual people. I enjoyed this as well. It was fun to cast the horoscopes and follow along with his reasoning. Some of the people like Elizabeth Kubler Ross,John Dee and Jane Goodall used the eighth house to further knowledge. One of the meanings of the eighth house is depth research uncovering secrets. But many of the characters are unsavory, to say the least. He has the horoscope for Adolph Eichmann, the birth chart of the Nazi party, and even discusses Adolf Hitler‘s chart. All of this is to illuminate the eighth house themes in their horoscopes. He could’ve included the horoscopes of Al Capone, John Gotti, lucky Luciano or Meyer Lansky as well. All of them are eighth house characters. The CIA, KGB, Mossad and MI6 would also come under the eighth house.

He explains that the eighth house is basically a descent into the underworld. It is a descent into our personal underworld. Our shadow selves. This is not a pleasant place to be. Thus, it is probably not a good idea to enter it prematurely. A person should have some spiritual understanding and a strong spiritual center before embarking on such a journey. Yet, it must be done. This is probably why Zeus forbids Pandora from opening the box. (One of the reasons anyway.) after he has finished proving his points through actual charts he then gets into interpreting the meaning of different planets that are in the eighth house by birth. Then he discusses eighth house rulerships and in the next chapter transiting planets through the eighth house. All in all this is a very thorough piece of work. I think overall it is appropriate for beginners as well as more advanced students.

Regardless of whether one is strong in the eighth house or not, everyone without exception experiences eighth house phenomena. All you need to do is look at where Pluto is transiting in your horoscope. If you want to understand this transit on a deeper level read this book.

As he often says it is good to embrace the shadow within ourselves. But what does he mean by embrace? It is one thing to acknowledge that we have this side to ourselves and quite another to become it. The eighth house is, as he says an entrance to the underworld. But we are not supposed to stay in the underworld it is something we go through and then emerge. My feeling from reading this is that he is quite content to stay there. (I hope I’m wrong about this.)

On Dark Moon Lilith. There is that part of ourselves that refuses the light of the Sun. By definition this is barrenness. By definition this is darkness. Ignorance. Perhaps even death. For the Sun gives life to the solar system and to all the creatures in the solar system. To refuse this light is to refuse life itself. Thus the ancient, Kabbalists considered her demonic. A creature of darkness. Is Lilith an archetype in her own right? Or is she a name – a label- for an aspect of the Moon archetype? The last quarter of the waning moon is when the moon shows us mostly her Dark side. This is considered the most malefic part of any month, for this reason. Lilith is exerting her strongest influence relative to the earth.

Having said all this, the book is an honest, thoughtful, insightful meditation on the 8th house. Overall its the best , most comprehensive, book on the subject that I’ve come across so far. JP