We all know the feelings that we experience when we see a beautiful butterfly fluttering around. It’s almost like magic to observe butterflies in nature, because they look so delicate, yet so powerful and strong at the same time. Their beautiful colors and amazing wings are breathtaking. Butterflies are a strong symbol of change, transformation, renewal and rebirth. The journey of a butterfly is very similar to the journey of eighth house people.
The truth is that butterflies did not start out beautiful and many did not feel strong. Just like many eighth house people, they started out withdrawing from the world into their cold, crusty cocoon to help protect themselves. They call this period of transformation the Chrysalis period. Similar to butterflies eighth house people hibernate and hide so that they can heal and grow. When eighth house people feel injured, wounded and betrayed they often are changed at a deep level. Experiencing trauma or sexual betrayal is a common experience for people that have planets placed in the eighth house. These wounds that they hold within are both physical and emotional wounds.
After talking to many clients who have experienced trauma, they often share with me their strong desire to be alone and withdrawal into themselves to find strength. This hiatus and time in the cocoon represented a precious time of learning and development for eighth house people. It is during these times of rest, that their wounds begin to heal and their scars start to fade away. With time and the passage of time, eighth house people find that they can begin to forgive others. It does not miraculously occur over night and sometimes they take two steps forward and ten steps back. Although, I can promise you that eighth house people will emerge from the cocoon of their own making, after they have sat with that emotional pain, negative thoughts and beliefs, wounded bodies, and broken hearts. They will emerge. They will be transformed. They will be renewed. During this time, eighth house people are hiding in the dark within a self-imposed cocoon of protection. It takes time and a safe place to be alone for eighth house people to benefit from this transformative energy. If they take the time to enjoy this time away and focus on healing themselves, they will experience intense regeneration similar to a butterfly. They will be reborn into a stronger, better version of themselves and a whole new person.
Several years ago, someone who I had helped and counseled gave me a small gift. I opened up the package and it was a framed photo of a butterfly. They shared with me that they felt like a brand-new person after going through alcohol abuse counseling and they wanted to give me a photo of a butterfly that they had photographed. I kept this in my office for many years, as a reminder of how counseling transforms us into a whole new person. It also symbolized all the progress, growth and healing that this client accomplished.
Last spring, I was outside sitting on my deck to get some fresh air. I walked around looking at my garden and saw a cocoon of a caterpillar attached to one of my plants. It was not beautiful and looked almost alien. I could see the butterfly sleeping inside the cocoon. I thought to myself, how it’s amazing that this living thing inside this cocoon will transform soon into a beautiful butterfly. A few months later, I went outside and saw this amazing butterfly fly right up to me and it landed on my arm. I smiled, knowing that the dark time in my life was going to come to an end. I had struggled long enough in my cocoon of healing. I had lost people that I loved, death showed up on my front doorstep and I never truly knew how to talk about it, so I didn’t. I just pushed forward in life, working, doing my routine but never truly healed my wounds. Around this same time, my neighbor told me that she had a birthday gift for me. She came over and gave me a box to open. She said hold it out away from your face. I looked at her and was scared it was a joke and something would pop out at me, but she told me it’s not bad, don’t worry. I opened the box and there was a beautiful newborn butterfly. She said, she was just born and told me to hold out my finger. The gorgeous butterfly walked onto my finger and stayed with me.
I had her take a photo because I was amazed and then right before my eyes this newly changed butterfly flew for the first time and used its new wings. I decided that day, that I was going to let go of things from the past that were holding me back from moving forward and to release painful thoughts, emotions and memories once and for all. The freedom that comes once we burst out of the cocoon is truly comforting and provides us with hope. Often the most difficult task for eighth housers is to embrace true forgiveness. It is critical that we forgive others for the hurt we perceive they have caused us. Holding onto anger, rage, sadness and negative emotions will only hurt us. We forgive others for ourselves. Forgiving others does not mean that they did not do something wrong to us, forgiving them because it is what helps us heal is the main goal.
There is a story I found online about the butterfly during the chrysalis period. A Guru asked a boy not to help a butterfly when it was trying to break free from the chrysalis. The boy did not listen and helped the butterfly when he saw it struggling to poke out of this cocoon and he watched how painful it was for the butterfly and he could not bear to watch it struggle. The butterfly died and the Guru told the boy that the butterfly needed to struggle so that its wings would grow strong enough to fly once it was hatched. The moral of the story is that the butterfly is destined to emerge on its own because if it doesn’t, it won’t be strong enough to fly with its new wings. We can see how this relates to the feelings that many eighth house people experience. Eighth house people often feel that no one is around for them when they need them the most. They often feel that they have to do things the hard way, alone and privately. They often feel that they can only depend on themselves and no one else when they are experiencing difficulties and struggling. Once they emerge from their cocoon, they know that the darkest times are now behind them and they are ready to break free because they are changed, and they are healed.
We all go through journeys and cycles in our lives. We transform, grow and we shift and change. Eighth house people are always transforming and changing. The energy of the eighth house forces them to adapt to their environment and to shed their own skin, to withdraw and re-emerge a totally different person. Who they were in the past is now forever changed, sometimes they can’t even remember how it felt to be the old version of themselves. Sometimes they feel sad and mourn their old life, their old personality but they have to see how the new version is so much more beautiful. Growth can be painful, uncomfortable and they often resist it. Once eighth house people allow themselves to burst free from the cocoon and allow themselves to be transformed, regenerated and healed they are truly able to help others do the same. Eighth house people are like transformed butterflies. They lead the way in helping others to heal their own wounds, because they have mastered how to do this for themselves.
Eighth house people can’t hide forever. They have a tendency to repress their sadness, anger, hurt and negative feelings. They are known to dwell on these negative feelings because they feel things deeply. It is often hard for eighth house people to put into words how they feel. It is sometime easier for them to write down their thoughts versus communicating them. They have to come out of the shadows and allow their beauty to be seen and felt by other people. They have to adapt to the new world, people and experiences with this new version of themselves. Embracing change, whether that change is external or a part of their inner world will be a key for their positive transformation into a beautiful butterfly. They have to heal their own wounds to be able to help others heal in a deep way. They are true healers in this world, but only after they learn to accept these periods of metamorphosis and change that they have chosen to ensure in this lifetime.