Depth Charge: 8th House Synastry Overlays

The 8th House is a deep, dark place. It’s one of the most sensitive areas in your chart, representing sexual and emotional intimacy. But it’s also where you hide your compulsions and obsessions. It’s the house of instinct, endings, and the rebirth that follows those endings. The 8th House is where you do not have complete control, so when someone’s planets fall in this area, it can be an intense experience.

Loss of control is an important theme with this house; the person that activates it will confront you with this issue. That’s a frightening concept, but it’s an essential component of 8th House synastry overlays. The purpose of an 8th House connection is to teach you to deal with buried issues that you may not want to confront. You may be intensely attracted to, or repelled by, this person. Maybe you’ll feel a combination of both. Much will depend on how you handle your 8th House; the sign on the cusp and the condition of its planetary ruler will tell you more.

Before we look at examples, I should clarify that the 8th House person will experience the greatest intensity with this connection. The planet person will probably be aware that they have a deep impact on the house person. But how they feel about this will depend on which of their houses are impacted by the 8th House person’s planets. I’ll be writing an article on this (the potential differences between two synastry house overlays) at a later date.

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About Nadia Gilchrist

Nadia Gilchrist offers over 19 years of experience in astrology. Her writings and personal consultations focus on applying practical astrological analysis to the real world. Nadia blogs regularly at Ruby Slipper Astrology.


  1. I have always attracted people with whom I have 8 house synastry. Its either their sun, moon or venus in gemini that hits my mars. I don’t necessarily find those relationships blissfull but they do teach me something important about myself.
    I think moon/mars is the hardest to deal with considering my 8 is in air. Kind of all over the place, bouncing from high energy to pure annoyment and perplexity….

  2. Thanks, Nadia.:) This is such an interesting (and complex) subject – you did a great job of breaking it down in a way I don’t think I’d ever thought about before. Your post explains so much about why my relationship choices have always felt so complicated and also why my choices have shifted so significantly over the years.

    My 8th house is ruled by Mars and contains my Aries South Node, BM Lilith and Eris, among others. When I was much younger, I was consistently drawn to people whose Sun, Mercury, Venus and/or Mars fell in this house, and to a great extent these relationships allowed me to express aspects of my nature that had previously laid dormant and unexplored. These relationships were life changing in the sense of helping to open doors I never knew existed, yet they lacked the security and commitment my opposing 2nd house placements in Libra (Ceres, North Node, Venus and Sun) really wanted.

    Adding to this, my 9th house retrograde Gemini Mars squares my 12th house Virgo Pluto, trines my 5th house Aquarius Moon is quincunx my 2nd house Neptune in Scorpio and forms a biquintile aspect with my 2nd house Libra Sun – so although these relationships had fire and chemistry, they often lacked the emotional and spiritual depth (and a sense of purpose connected to something greater than myself) I eventually came to crave. I love how assertive, direct and courageous Aries can be, probably because I also value those qualities in myself – only as time has passed, I’ve realized we usually disagree on how to focus our energies. I’m not sure if that makes sense or not, but I think it comes down to *what* we value. By my late 20’s, I was no longer romantically drawn to Aries men.

    On the other hand, I still have several close friends whose Suns are conjunct my 8th house SN and we get along very well. From my perspective, there are limits to the depth of our connection, places I know they don’t want to go and I *try* to accept them. Ironically, two of these friends have told me they trust me more than anyone else they know. We may not see each other often or share larger common goals but we trust one another. This post was very enlightening – thanks again, Nadia!

  3. Sooooo insightful..

    I’m dealing with a guy who’s Venus is in Gemini (my 8th house) and I’m still not sure how to approach the situation. My venus is in Scorpio, and let me tell you, she does NOT appreciate this push/pull scenario where GEMINI is in charge (my Lilith/Chiron are also in Gemini).

  4. @BB
    My scorpio moon hears you 🙂
    I think its hard energy to combine- depth of water with speed of air. But for scorpio it is time of letting go of control…

  5. what about moon? i’m into a guy who’s moon is in scoprio and both our plutos are in scorpio but mine’s in my 8th house, his is in his 4th.
    his venus is in gemini, my mars is in sagittarius. my venus is in pisces, his mars is in cancer.

    there was this other guy who was a scorpio sun, mercury, venus and pluto, and HOLY SHIT was the energy intense between us, scorpionic beyond all doubt.

  6. @PR
    Moon/Mars will definitely be the moodiest…

  7. @LB
    Thank you! 🙂

  8. @passionate_aquarius,
    Sorry, I’m not understanding. Is his Moon in your 8th House?

  9. I have an 8th House Stellium in my natal chart with Sun, Venus, Chiron, Mercury and NN….all in Gemini except Mercury (who’s a bit behind).

    The love of my life has no planets on her 8th House but my Uranus falls right in there. What are your thoughts on that? She also has a 5th House Stellium with Mars, Venus, Mercury and SN there, and in Leo!

  10. @R,
    She’ll either find you disruptive or electric…perhaps both. Depends on how she handles Uranus energy. Some people are not comfortable with it at all, while others love it.

  11. NovLady says:

    I’m curious about moon overlays to the 8th house. Various forums say that sometimes the house feels it more, sometimes its the planet person. How does this work when the person is bring lunar qualities to the eighth? And, what happens if the house person has Pluto sextile THEIR moon and Neptune conjunct it? Wouldn’t that even the playing field?

  12. Thanks Nadia for the quick reply… she’s got Venus trine Uranus. So I think she’s ok with the Uranus energy 🙂 I myself have Venus opposite Uranus. That aspect is a bit complicated sometimes :S

  13. neptunecloud says:

    Great article, Nadia !! It’s easier to understand my relationship with a 8th house synastry person after reading this 🙂 My 3rd house Uranus,Pluto and NN fall in his 8th.My Uranus, NN conjuncts his NN, Mars and Jup in 8th with Uranus being our SN ruler.Even though my Pluto falls in his 8th,the conjunction with his NN is bit wide.All his 8th house planets fall in my 3rd.I’m curious to know the 3rd/8th house synastry.Will you be writing an article on the effect of 8th on other houses in synastry?

  14. @NovLady,
    In my experience, the house person always feels it more intensely. Doesn’t matter which planet is involved. I’m not sure how the aspects you’ve described would even the playing field, or what you mean by that…can you elaborate?

  15. @neptunecloud
    I will be writing an article on unbalanced synastry overlays…when one person feels it more than the other. “Heavy” houses (like the 8th) versus “lighter” houses (like the 3rd).

  16. Novlady says:

    @Nadia Gilchrist

    So if someone’s moon was in my 8th house, I would feel it more intensely? That is what you are saying. But, if in the synastry, my Pluto sextiles that person’s moon AND my Neptune conjuncts it- that would mean that in the synastry (as the outer planet person), I effect the moon person very much, too, right? That’s what I was wondering about “evening the playing field”.

    It sounds like you are saying that doesn’t really effect things as much. The house person gets the major impact

  17. Novlady says:

    I look forward to your next article. I know the 3rd house is “lighter”, but what if the natal person has their Sun and a stellium there. Wouldn’t an overlay there be more meaningful there than with a person who has an empty 3rd house?

    Just a question in advance! 🙂

  18. @NovLady

    Yes, you would feel the connection more intensely, as the house person. I get what you’re saying now… if your Pluto hit their Moon with a hard aspect(conjunction, square, opposition)….yes, you would also have an intense impact on them. Although it wouldn’t be the same as their Moon in your 8th House, because as the Pluto person you would want to control them. You would feel Pluto’s energy just as much as they (planetary contacts go both ways). So I would say it still wouldn’t even the playing field, because you’d feel their Moon in your 8th PLUS your Pluto’s compulsion to penetrate to their lunar core. They (as the Moon person) would feel the pull as well, but you’d feel it on two different levels (through the 8th House contact and through the Moon/Pluto contact). However, this would only apply if your Pluto was in hard aspect to their Moon. A sextile is a weak aspect (like a weak trine) so the Moon person wouldn’t feel much (perhaps a gentle pull). Your Neptune conjunct their Moon would make you seem elusive/hard to pin down, but it’s not an intense contact.

  19. @NovLady,
    You mean if X already has natal planets in their 3rd House, and Y hits X with Y’s planets in X’s 3rd House? Yes, it would be more meaningful to X, but it would still not be an intense contact like the 8th House. X might perceive Y as an important person to communicate with, or someone who has a big impact on how X thinks, but it’s an intellectual overlay. Y impacts X’s thoughts/ideas (even if X’s 3rd house planets include Venus or Pluto). Not to say that this won’t have a big impact on X, and if Venus/Mars/Pluto are involved it could even be a romantic connection, but that core intensity….that gut feeling that the 8th contributes…will not be there. Sexual attraction can hit people on different levels, with different degrees of intensity.

  20. Novlady says:

    Thanks, Nadia.

    Both clarify. And, you hit on something insightful in the topic related question. It appears the house person is more affected. And, in synastry- the outer planet is using that planetary impulse upon the other person’s planet.

    As far as important houses, you helped clarify things. I figured that if the Sun of X’s chart (along with other planets) is in a house that is not intense (like the 3rd) that it still may have weight because natally, person X has a concentration of energies in that particular house- so it is meaningful to them Person Y’s planets (depending on which and how they aspect) might mean something greater when triggering that other person’s stellium- so I surmised.

    The 8th house on its own is potent and mysterious. I understand that.

  21. thanks for very useful articles, Nadia

    I have pluto in libra opposite with venus in aries of my mind, what does it mean?
    and it also opposite saturn as well.

    Thanks really 🙂

  22. my venus in his 8th house and my venus trine his pluto
    gaaaaaah – I love it

  23. Hi Nadia, Great article. I love the mysteries of the eighth house. Would you mind taking a look at my scenario and let me know your thoughts…I’m so confused by this one…Thanks 🙂

    My Sun, Mercury, Mars, Uranus, and Pluto are in the eighth house of a man I’ve been trying to catch for months. We’ve had three dates and they always last 8+ hours…we enjoy each others company so much that we lose track of time. But, after each encounter he disappears for months. We are so great together, I can’t figure out why he is so apprehensive.
    Could it have something to do with the synastry of the five planets I have in his eighth house?

  24. Nadia, thanks for this article. Your insight helps me feel a little less crazy!
    My situation: I have Sun, Ascendant, Mercury in Libra (natal), Venus in Scorpio in my 2nd.
    For at least 17 years I’ve been getting involved, on some level, with women who have Sun in Taurus. The relationship, 17 years ago, never got off the ground, but it was “mind blowing” never the less! Many years, prior to meeting this person, I had a re-occurring dream of a house that had something frightening in the basement. When I finally met “Gina”, she lived in a house that looked just like the one in my dreams although there was no basement. During our brief relationship, I had the most mindblowing sexual experience–it felt as if we physically merged…it was frightening.
    I ended the relationship, quite suddenly & with not even a “goodbye” because I felt Gina was not as interested in me as I was in her–I needed more demonstration than I got from her. I haven’t had a relationship since 1998
    So; Gina, salt & pepper hair, Taurus Sun.
    Fast Forward: I recently moved to a new town, joined a gym and guess what, I met a woman named “Gina”, salt & pepper hair, Taurus Sun, Early on, she approached me & asked my name, said a few things about her personal life. The energy between us during that conversation was mesmerizing–it was as though we were in a bubble and the people around us didn’t exist! After that, we began having some very intense eye contact across the room. It feels as though she seeks me out when she enters the room & gives me intense eye contact—it’s almost spooky! I am just CRAZY attracted to her—I’d had full-blown fantasies—my energy feels zapped!!! We’ve had a couple of brief conversations –mostly, its intense, non-verbal communication–feels as if we have “known” each other.
    She’s married—has been for almost 40 years, with 3 grown children. My Venus in Scorpio keeps me from even considering involvement with someone who is already hooked….yet there is something really Unnerving about this Gina situation. It is clear to me, I didn’t get what I was supposed to learn with the first “Gina”, so here we go again!

  25. …quick question…can someone’s North Node activate the partners 8th house as well in some way?

  26. Greetings Nadia
    Does the North Node affect the 8th House partner or not so much?
    Thanks for your Wisdom 🙂

  27. Sorry for duplicate postings…my phone glitches and l did not think the first one posted…my apologies…

  28. My pluto in scorpio falls on this man’s 8th house. His pluto in scorpio falls on my 8th house. Holy Shit.

  29. maria han says:

    Hi Nadia

    The person i am involved with has his sun, mercury, saturn, uranus, pallas, fortune in sagittarius and in 8th house (natally and with the exception of mercury) with my mars in sagittarius falling in his 8th house. What does this mean?

    Also, he has taurus rising and i have libra rising, my 8th house is in taurus. My mars is in 2nd house. Is there anything significant about this?

    Besides, my moon, chiron and fortune in 8th house gemini.

    I wonder what kept him kind of fixated on me (as he tells me) for 10 years after we lost contact as friends although he had always been romantically interested. I wonder if we have a smooth future together as now we want to marry each other. I would really appreciate if you could give time to reply.

  30. I’ve read somewhere that when it comes to the 8th house, the planet person feels it more just because of how much energy is involved.
    Someone’s mars, venus (right on the cusp of 8th and 9th) as well as mercury all fall in my eighth house (gemini) – ; while he does rattle me in a way I’ve never thought was possible, I think the same is true for him. The effect we have on each other is profound! It’s so strong we cannot even touch in public, a handshake is enough to start something that shouldn’t. I only have my jupiter in his 8th house. The only other reason I could think of for my effect on him is that my sun & asc are exactly conj his sun/moon midpoint, vertex and parallel to his NN.
    The entire thing is too much to handle right now, we’re too young for that kind of depth but it is impossible to walk away from – too much of ourselves have become combined, it feels like our souls are tied in knots and as scary as it is there is only so much distance life will allow us to have.

  31. johanna77 says:

    Interesting article.

    I’m scorp rising and still confused how this works.

    I can’t say I attract gemini types — but I do attract libras and virgos. My sun and mercury conjunct which would give off an air vibe – so I guess that would attract libra, but I more think it’s my tight venus/mars conjunction in aries that ends up opposing the occasional libra Sun, or libra mars/venus and this is often the source of immediate attraction. Virgos I attract because this ve/mar conjunction is in my sixth house. Since libra is ruled by venus and not mercury, I’m not seeing the significance of the ruler mercury in my case since geminis are more my friends rather than romantic partner.

    I’d love your insight into this, maybe I’m overlooking something.

  32. pls answer.
    my mars in 8th gemini conjuct my partner sun.
    my venus conjuct pluto in 12th scorpio conjuct my partner pluto.

    who feels more? how to get along well eachother
    this is karmic relationship?

  33. This explains why me and my Cancerpionish boy here are very intensely attracted with each other he and I share the same Mars in Gemini in the 8th house! Whooohhhh!!!! We rock! Alright baby! This blog deserves golds, A LOT OF GOLDS 😉

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