A Treatise on Astrology, Liber 536 by Aleister Crowley, 1917

Neptune in the Eighth House

The eighth house refers to the subject of death. The presence of Neptune in this house is very peculiar in its indication. In the first place, the consciousness of the native may be on the borderland between life and death. He may be liable to fall into trances, lethargies, catalepsies, and the like. It would be wise for him for to have standing instructions as to what to do in case of his apparent death as otherwise he may run some risk of being buried alive. Not only should he acquaint his friends and relatives with the circumstances, but he should carry a paper on his person which could easily be read by any stranger who discovered him with all appearance of death.

In any case, the manner of his death is likely to be very singular. If the cusp of the sixth house be occupied by a watery sign and its ruler be afflicted, he will drown. If a fiery sign, he may be burned to death or die in consequence of a fire. In an airy sign, he might die from mental shock, and in an earthy sign, it is possible that he might be killed in a mining disaster or through the fall of a building.

It is not, however, necessary to draw such conclusions except in extreme cases. There is also to be considered a more normal means of exit from life. Possibly some long wasting disease, some obscure malady of the nerves or of the cerebral-spinal fluid, may be the cause of death. The actual circumstances surrounding the death may also be very strange. In some cases, it may come very suddenly, a chronic illness of many years’ standing might develop some fulminating form. Most probably of all, the native may not know that he is ill, or if he does so, he may find that the doctors entirely fail to diagnose his disorder. The death itself may prove inexplicable, even on a post mortem examination and be ascribed to ‘the failure of the heart’s action’. There is also a possibility that death may be caused by poison.

The views of the native with regard to death are likely to be very original. He may hold some fantastic theory on this subject. His mind will tend to dwell habitually upon it. He may regard it with extraordinary aversion, or, on the other hand, it may possess a morbid fascination for him. He may be addicted to some form of necromancy as spiritualism, and the subject will rarely be absent from the ‘back of his mind’.

People born with this position of Neptune should be exceedingly careful not to dose themselves with any drug which has a direct action upon the consciousness. They hold to life by too delicate a thread.

A friend of the author’s was walking in the forest of Fontainebleau with a pupil, and was explaining to him how perfect freedom was compatible with perfect obedience. ‘I do not threaten to shoot you if you disobey,’ he said. ‘I do not take you by the throat and strangle you.’ To emphasise his remark he put his hand to a thick woollen scarf which the other was wearing, not however exercising any marked pressure. However the man lost consciousness and was only restored to life by prompt measures. He has Neptune in the eighth house.

The condition called status lymphaticus is sometimes associated with this position.

The eighth house refers also to the goods of the dead. The native may probably benefit through legacies, but he will do well to beware of trickery on the part of the executors, and he must be prepared for all sorts of small disappointments and delays in connection with this matter. These remarks do not apply to questions of direct inheritance, such as may be expected in the normal course of events, as from the father.

The goods of the partner in business or lire are also indicated by the eighth ho use. Here again, the native must expect a certain vagueness, and possibly deception and disappointment. He will be very foolish to marry for money, for if he did so, he would almost certainly fail to obtain it, either through some chicanery or through the property being lost wholly or in part shortly after marriage. Similarly, on entering into a business partnership, the capital of the partner should be regarded as a very doubtful element.

The native must also be very careful in regard to making his own will. He should see to it that no loophole is left for any disputes subsequent to his death, and he should also take the greatest care that his will is safely in the hands of reliable persons who will know where to find it at his death. Nor should he be lax in the choice of proper executors.