By Aleister Crowley
Uranus in the Eighth House
The presence of Uranus in the house of death does not always imply any strangeness in the manner of the death, as might at first sight be expected. Queen Victoria, for example, lived to a great old age and died in the most conventional manner possible, and this at first sight is more remarkable because Neptune is in conjunction with Uranus, with Saturn square to him. The trine of Venus is here sufficiently powerful to overcome those unfortunate indications and, besides this, Jupiter is the lord of the eighth house and is culminating in the mid-heaven in very close sextile with Mars. There was nothing particularly strange, either, about the death of Anna Kingsford, but there the moon is trine and Jupiter semi-sextile, while the lord of the eighth house Mars, is rising in conjunction with the Sun. Her death was unexpected and premature, but there was no essentially Uranian quality about it. These aspects explain why. Michael Angelo again, who passed peacefully away at an advanced age, though he too, like Queen Victoria, had Neptune also in the eighth house (it will be remembered that ~Neptune in this position often tends to prolong the life where it does not cut it off in infancy) has Mercury and Venus in trine to Uranus, and Venus is the lady of the eighth. Jupiter, moreover, is sextile and Saturn trine. It is a very remarkable complex and an entirely favourable one; Uranus consequently acts in his best way. Queen Victoria had very little to do with death but she had much to do with the goods of the dead. It w~ she who consolidated and enlarged and made prosperous her ancestral heritage. Here then we see Uranus acting in his governmental capacity. In the case of Michael Angelo, a very Similar remark applies. It may be said that he, too, consolidated and enlarged the empire of his ancestors by the Immense part that he played in the Renaissance. The glories of Greece lived again in him.
With regard to Sir Humphrey Davy, one must recall the fact that death is only a secondary meaning of the eighth house; the essential significance is 'obscure and secret places'. It only comes to mean death because death is the chief of such. Davy has Uranus trine to Mars and Mars is the lord of the Ascendant, Scorpio, this sign being the natural cusp for the eighth house. He being a man of science, Uranus takes this colouring, and we therefore find that the discovery which made him famous is that lamp which insures safety in obscure and secret places. It is true that the lord of the eighth is squared by Mars, but Mars being himself so well-dignified by Uranus, the complex is not sufficiently bad to imply violent death. As we know, however, he constantly ran the greatest risks of such, and presumably it so happened that his directions on these occasions were good enough to enable him to escape catastrophe. This is to be taken as additional to what has been said above with regard to the peculiar quality in Uranus emphasised by the general scientific trend of the horoscope.
With regard to Dr L.L Zamenhof, the inventor of Esperanto, the case is somewhat similar. Here we have a man investigating scientifically all sorts of dead languages, which are, as it were, a kind of ancestral possession, with the idea of forming from them, a new universal tongue. Here, again, there are no bad aspects which would suggest any strangeness, suddenness or violence about the death.
A last example of this class is Emanuel Swedenborg. Here Jupiter IS trine and Luna in conjunction. The latter aspect suggests a certain obscurity and illusion ~with regard to the subject of death, and a great pre-occupation with the same is implied by the fact that Jupiter is lord of the Ascendant. This is undoubtedly the explanation of the tone of his being, as we see it expressed in his doctrine. It was investigations into what really happened at death that filled in his whole life.
We have now to change over to more conventional and obvious cases. The death of Vaillant2 47 was certainly strange and violent, if ever death were. It is to be noted that Herschel in this case has no near aspects of any kind and his operation is consequently isolated and unchecked.
The death of Marie Bashkirtseff, though premature, was not particularly strange, the cause being tuberculosis, but Saturn being square to Uranus seems to have given ~ sort of melancholy insight to her thought. Throughout her diary , full as it is of ambitious projects for a distant future, one can feel some subconscious certainty that these projects must be aborted. She senses her early death without knowing it in the ordinary way.
No comment is needed to explain the operation of Uranus in the case of Tolstoy, who feeling the hand of death upon his shoulder, fled instinctively from home and family to die in the waiting' room of a country railroad depot.
More remarkable cases still are at our disposal. First of an stands Shelley. Here the conjunction of Uranus with Venus and Sol operated no doubt to enlighten his mind in respect of antiquity. It conferred upon him that love for the ancient masters of literature and art, which formed the groundwork of his matchless style. But beyond this, there are no aspects to Uranus, who was therefore free to· operate With characteristic violence, for while, when considering Uranus, we must regard him as helped by the conjunction of Sol, ~e must read this same aspect in an entirely opposite sense, With equal justice by saying that Sol being the lord of the eighth, the conjunction of Uranus threatened a Violent termination to the life. With regard to the exact period of death, one may note that Venus being in conjunction with both of these, it was open for him to die at one of the Venus ages.
Another case of suicide is Guy de Maupassant. There are here no close or strong aspects to Uranus, only doubtful sextiles of Neptune and the Moon, which if they had any influence at all, would certainly not have had a good one. The lord of the eighth, Mars, is in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, but there are no steady aspects. Conjunctions, even of the most favourable planets, are not to be trusted unless they have support from other parts of heaven.
From private sources we have also a case of death by drowning; curiously enough at just the same age as Shelley. Here Uranus is very close to the cusp of the ninth house, if not actually over it, but Luna, lord of the eighth, is upon the edge of the watery sign in exact opposition to Mars, while Uranus himself is in aspect to Neptune.
We have a case of drowning at the age of three, where, though Uranus is not in the eighth, Mercury the lord of the eighth is in a watery sign exactly squared by Uranus. Note that the presence of Mercury in the eighth house accounts for the early age at which the death took place.
There are one or two other examples of this second reaction of Uranus; Zola, for instance, who was suffocated by gas fumes, has the lord of his eighth, squared by Uranus and that lord is in a fiery sign.
Here is a case of a child strangled at birth, where the lord of the eighth is squared by Uranus, and another of exactly the same sort where the lord of the eighth, Jupiter, is in conjunction with Mars and squared by Uranus. Neptune is in opposition to Uranus. We have another case of a child strangled through falling off a chair, where the lord of the eighth, Mars, is in opposition to Uranus. The early age of the death is indicated by the presence of Luna in the eighth house. One may remark parenthetically that Neptune also can act in this secondary way, by afflicting the lord of the eighth. Thus, a child thrown at the age of 31 days by its mother into a mill stream, has the lady of the eighth squared by Neptune and by Saturn.
From these samples it will be clear that the action of Uranus when in a house and when afflicting its lord, may be very similar and this consideration should always be present in the mind of the astrologer. when attempting to estimate any condition.
With regard to the more general conditions indicated by this position of Uranus, one may observe that where he is in aspect to the lord of the first, third or ninth houses, the effect may be to cause the native to become preoccupied either .. with death itself or with the affairs of antiquity. He might become a collector of old coins, stamps, furniture, bric-a-brac, perhaps, or objects of art, or devote himself closely to such subjects as Egyptology, archeology. paleontology, and enjoy rummaging among old and musty folios. The exact pursuit might be chosen according to the indications afforded by aspects from other planets. For example a good aspect of Mercury might make him a classical scholar or cause him to employ his life in the deciphering of hieroglyphics or cuneiforms. A similar aspect from Jupiter might make him a historian or constitutional lawyer. But, of course, these determinations only come into force where Uranus is in some way connected with the personality or the mind. As in the case of the other houses, where we have to gauge the effect of Uranus on material affairs, the general result is bad. He may imply all sorts of trouble in connection with legacies or in the winding up of estates.
Where he is in aspect to the lord of the sixth, it is probable that any diseases to which the native may be liable will take one of those forms which we have learned to associate with Uranus. Death may come in consequence of nervous breakdown, or of some such disease as paralysis or epilepsy.