The Places of Planetary Descent: Re-Imagining the 6th, 7th, and 8th Houses

The Places of Planetary Descent: Re-Imagining the 6th, 7th, and 8th Houses

With Jason Holley

Known to the ancients as the places of bad fortune, setting, and idleness, the 6th, 7th, and 8th house respectively are the areas in the sky where planets descend below the horizon. Unseen by the Ascendant to whom they make no aspect, in the 8th house planets cross the Gate of Hades and accelerate their journey to the Underworld. Then in the 7th house they dramatically appear opposite to the Ascendant, discovered through the Other bringing contrast set off in bold relief. Finally, again invisible to the Ascendant, in the 6th house planets are fully subjected to the realm of Night in the place where Mars, the Night protector and guardian, was said to rejoice.

Planets found in these places of the chart are completing what we might archetypally call the Day journey that culminated in the 9th house, and now they are coming to terms with Night. In this webinar we will examine this situation psychologically, and explore the predicaments and possibilities of planets in these locations. In particular we will consider the 8th and 7th house reality that it is through others that we discover our own inner diversity and multiplicity, our own Night; and the 6th house reality that the body and especially its symptoms likewise invite us into the deep realm of the implicit.

To get a felt sense of each house, we will explore case examples from long-term psychotherapy as well as imagery, story, embodied imagination, and psychodrama. We will also consider figures from Greco-Roman myth – including the witch Medea, the beautiful mortal Psyche, and the wise centaur Chiron – each of whom found themselves in similar situations to those experienced by planets in these houses. We will develop a variety of creative ways to conceptualize and empathize with planets who inhabit, rule, and visit each house: what do they do there, what are the possibilities, what kinds of things can happen in each of these areas of the psyche?

In the process we will also develop and practice a multi-layered approach to understanding houses in general. At the level of technique this means putting ancient cosmologies of the houses based on clockwise diurnal motion into conversation with more modern cosmologies based on counter-clockwise progression through the signs. At the level of imagination, it means drawing from the deep well of ancient mythology to contextualize and enrich the modern life stories of people today.

This video is taken from a live online webinar given for the Mercury Internet School of Psychological Astrology (MISPA) by Jason Holley in 2021. Duration: 2 hours 23 minutes