The 8th House

by Feng

The title of my new book is The 8th House and it came to me only after a long editorial process which involved some emotional processing as well. Though I could probably name every one of my projects “The 8th House,” since my natal chart is basically a giant stellium in the 8th, (and hence most of my energy, creative or otherwise, is channeled through it), I believe that this maggoty project most acutely represents entering the 8th, the house of transformative, grotesque, perverse and mutative intimacy, death and rebirth. The work is a tracing of a very plutonian period of my life, when I frequently and regularly found cards 13 and 16, death and the tower, when I asked the universe to show me a reflection. I was terribly ill in mind, spirit, and body, but I was also experiencing, for the first time in my life, a loving relationship that slowly tore through the dead things inside me, and that eventually allowed me to awaken. Pluto, ruler of the 8th house, is (personally) best represented by the character of Justine (played by Kirsten Dunst) in Lars Von Trier’s recent film, Melancholia. It is an intense and penetrating gravity, the gaze that strips you down to your naked and ugly pith. It may destroy you, yet it may simultaneously give you deep strength and power before loss, before the morbid edges of a corrupt humanity. The poems written in The 8th House are the pieces of rot falling away from a human monstrosity as she trudges through a swamp in a wedding dress, pulled by the blue glow of a planet that represents The End of Time, her legs trapped and tugged on by a thick undergrowth of earthly sins. Mental/spiritual illness is so often portrayed as an individual struggle, but I know and see it as a cosmic reality we are all morbidly faced with. Passing through this twisted lifetime of earth, Melancholia is presented to us as a possible reaction to the evil in reality. Justine is an anti-hero. She is in love with the blue planet which is about to annihilate everyone. It’s crazy. It’s somehow paradoxically totally life-affirming. She inspires me more than many other imaginaries, perhaps because of her deep strength, the pure love that invites an uncompromised Justice.