I'm writing this specifically to you, since this is going to wander, and frankly I've mostly raised questions, not answered them. But it's for everyone, and I hope it generates some positive thoughts.
This whole topic has failed to answer one practical question that I have regarding the whole subject of sex and astrology as regards natal charts.
Can we tell from charts who is addicted to sex? Who is celebate? Who is gay? Straight? Bisexual? Who is addicted to pornography? Who is a pedophile? Who is sadistic or masochistic?
I don't think we know much, yet. Not about charts.
Doesn't it make sense that the sexual drive, as one of the strongest drives we have, touches everything? Or that what we do sexually in the end touches everything else? Figuratively?
I can't help thinking outside the box. It's who I am. I think any house logically should give clues as to how an individual thinks about sex and all the things related to it. But we don't as yet have enough knowledge to identify the sexual orientation of a person from a chart. Do we? I certainly don't think so.
I'm not even going to cast a vote as to what house rules sex. I have decided that I don't care. And I will continue not to care until I see charts and data that support what has so far been nothing more than theory, as far as I can see.
However, since the big debate seems to be about the 8th and what it rules, I want to use Houlding, who obviously defends traditional astrology, as an example of some things that I think are important.
"Traditional astrology relates the eighth house to crisis, hidden matters, anguish of mind, poison and deadly fears; yet psychological astrology often refers to it as a house of inner transformation and growth. It should be remembered that true transformation follows the burst of creativity that occurs after the lessons of this house have been properly digested."
Now, does this mean that the 8th house is entirely bad? After all, we all have one. It must serve some positive purpose. I think instead that whole idea of "death" is that the 8th shows not only death but what figuratively must die.
This belief of Houlder's is further illustrated with this next statement:
"It should be remembered that true transformation follows the burst of creativity that occurs after the lessons of this house have been properly digested. Only by facing our innermost fears are we able to overcome them and move on with the strength of experience and wisdom. But this house is not relevant to the period of growth, its concern is the inhibiting factors that stand in our way."
And finally this:
"Transits through this house often show a need to consolidate and accept the loss of elements of life that are no longer fruitful or have served their purpose; the nature of the planet will indicate how the loss is accepted."
Now, if I'm right, this next statement will either make people say, "Okay, I can see how it might be like that", or it will get me stoned.
Instead of going back and forth, back and forth about what house rules sex, why not logically think about how the 8th house would relate to sex? Wouldn't it be about change? Things we have to discard, get rid of, "put to death"? What about facing our fears regarding sex? That doesn't make the 8th about sex, just about facing fears.
As for transformation, I do think that comes from the modern habit of linking Pluto to the 8th house. I don't deny the things that are faced in the 8th lead to transformation. It's impossible to face fears without transforming. But how we transform ourselves, I think, is indicated by other houses, and I have one idea that is not at all against psychological considerations but just approaches it in a different way.
The 9th is at least one house that shows how we change ourselves.
Again, from Houlding, about the 9th
"Places and situations where we seek guidance and wisdom from others. Where we reach out into the unknown in search of widening our knowledge and understanding."
Now, what better way is there to put ignorant beliefs, prejudices and many other useless things to death than "widening our knowledge and understanding"?
Finally, about transformation itself, but linking it to Pluto:
"On the outer reaches of the solar system, Pluto represents the principle of regeneration and transformation through elimination and renewal. Discovered in the period that saw the development of atomic power, the Great Depression and the birth of dreadful dictatorships, Jeff Mayo called it the symbol of the great heights or fearful depths to which man can rise or fall."
Now, obviously if this is on the Skyscript site, it at least has the "blessing" of Houlding.
So I think regeneration and transformation is fine for Pluto.
Now for Pluto in connection with Scorpio…
Co-ruler of Scorpio, whose traditional ruler is Mars […]
SIGN OF DIGNITY SCORPIO
And here, you will see the whole concept of "cycles of death and rebirth"…
So what's all the fuss about?
The problem is that people are automatically linking all these concepts, which are related to Pluto, to the 8th house. That's the whole debate in a nutshell.
But these Plutonian themes can be related to any house in some way or another. It's my belief, for instance, that the house in which we find Pluto shows where we have the greatest potential for self-destruction, including in the way we approach sex.
Where are the answers? Elsewhere. In my opinion. Other houses, the planets in them and aspects will show the potential for transformation. But I just don't see the 8th house as a logical place to link things that are pleasurable and postitive, that are not in some way destructive, seriously in need of change.
Just my view.