Karmic Astrology (10)

In prior posts, I’ve investigated several different ways of astrologically identifying your past and future karma using invaluable information gained by attending workshops/retreats lead by Judy Hall many years ago. We’ve looked at the Sun, Moon, nodal axis, and karmic relationships (through synastry). Now it’s time to take a look at some of the most common karmic dilemmas and how they are most likely to play out for you if they show up in your natal chart.

Do you have a Complex?

Most karmic dilemmas are comprised of two planets coming together to form some close aspect.

They tend to play out rather like what psychologists refer to as a complex, which itself is a complicated concept as follows:

CharcotIdentifies a complex as ‘an idea’ or ‘group of ideas’ that ‘settles in the mind in the fashion of parasites’.
JanetSuggests that a complex is an ‘idée fixe subconsciente’ that, having split off from the personality as a whole, wields enormous (unconscious) power.
FreudAttributes to complexes a combination of mythological and emotional significance – for example, Oedipal complexes, the incestuous childhood triangle leading predictably to desire, fear, guilt, aggression, and shame
AdlerFocuses on inferiority complexes, which he believed led to compulsive (and dangerous) power drives
JungConnects complexes with archetypes, or universal psychic patterns, that absorb personal experiences like a sponge

Aspects Matter

The way in which these complexes or karmic dilemmas are most likely play out in your life depend on the aspect the two (or more) planets make with each other, as follows:

Aspect PatternExplanationResolution
OppositionThe tendency to farm out one side of the dilemma or complex on to someone else even thought it remains 100% your energy playing out.Like riding a see-saw, you need to find a point of balance – first step is to take back that projection and own it – for example, if you find people always getting angry with you, more likely than not it’s your own anger that they are reflecting back to you. Get in touch with your own anger and find a healthy way to express it and see what happens the result.
SquareTendency to ignore things until they blow up in your face.When you find yourself fighting fire after fire, at some level you know you did – or could have – seen it coming. You’re always in a better position to tackle these tensions in advance and head them off rather than dealing with them on the defensive. The problem is that at the time, it seems easier to let the ‘sleeping dog’ lie. But your own experience will tell you that that dog won’t sleep forever.
TrinesRepresents difficulties from the past that you’ve tentatively sorted.Now comes the test – did you really learn your lesson – or will you keep repeating negative patterns over and over again? Some will tell you trines represent that which is easy in your chart and that much is true. Trines also represent the slippery slope to hell.
ConjunctionsSuggests that you’ve learned your lesson well enough in past lives but now you really need to put it into practice.The first step is recognising this energy and that it is looking for an appropriate form in which to be expressed. This is much easier said than done.

The Usual Suspects

Some examples of planetary combinations representing karmic dilemmas – how you choose to sort them, remains up to you. But guaranteed if you fail to address them, they’ll come back to haunt you over and over and over until you do.

Planets in PlayIssue to be Addressed
Saturn / NeptuneMystical Pragmatist – do I float on a cloud and meditate or fill my bank account? The challenge is to ‘float’ whilst grounded! You cannot flip into either end of the spectrum.
Saturn/ JupiterContraction/Expansion – this is a natural cycle so you can’t always remain in one or the other. The challenge is to get into tune with the natural rhythm of your chart.
Saturn/Sunifferent self-image – you’ve worked hard to develop a firm (not necessarily bad) self-image in the past. The challenge again is how best to use it now.
Saturn / UranusMaintenance/Change – don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! The challenge is to keep using the wisdom that you’ve gained.
Saturn / VenusDon’t deserve love – you’ve experience more than your share of hard knocks in your prior relationships and so have learned to expect more of the same. Like a child whose mother rejects him or her, you internalise this and have concluded that you – and not the other – are to blame.
Saturn / MarsBlocked energy – in prior lives you may have incorrectly used your authority over others and as the result, you now feel as they did – powerless and helpless.
Saturn / MercuryIn the past you may have used your ability to communicate in ways that caused pain and suffering to others – maybe you were a gossip or a tattletale or even spread lies that got others into trouble. As the result, you’ve learned that effective communication is nigh impossible but it isn’t and so time to relearn how to express yourself and be heard.
Pluto /VenusBlack hole – you’ll never receive enough enough love to fill you up and bolster your sagging self-worth. Now it’s time to learn how to love yourself.
Uranus / VenusDon’t need love – in prior lives, you learned that you couldn’t depend on the love of others to keep you afloat and so now you’ve concluded that you can life – very well, thank you very much – without others but the hitch is, that you can’t.
Neptune / VenusLove must be Perfect – the perfect dilemma between the Madonna and the whore – you put your love on a pedestal and expect them to act like a god or goddess but instead, they disappoint you by acting like a mortal.

The above is just a selection of some of the most typical karmic dilemmas found in peoples charts but any planetary combination can take on a feeling of being ‘fated’ and hence, probably is. When that happens, break down each of the elements involved.


I have a close Saturn/Neptune conjunction in Libra – this is in part generational – as the conjunct was in play for several months before and after my birth. Also in play at that time was Uranus in Cancer which formed a square aspect to the Saturn/Neptune aspect in Libra. At the same time, Jupiter in Gemini was making a trine to this conjunction. This narrows the timing somewhat – but still this placement shows up in the birth charts of many born at the same time as me.

You might consider this generational karma and indeed in large part it is. Souls incarnate at a certain place and time for a reason and often, especially after a global event like WWII, they do so together.

To figure out what these four planets mean in combination, let’s consider each as follows:

  • Saturn is is almost always teaching us a difficult lesson about where we are vulnerable and can’t afford to let down our guard and/or where we need to pay special attention to making some in particular happen in the material world.
  • Karmically, Neptune brings an element of withdrawing from people, places, and situation in for self-protection – dealing with the pain and suffering of others is overwhelming and so we retreat into a fantasy wold of our own making.
  • Uranus adds a certain rebellious, revolutionary, and fractious element to this mix. There’s a hint of deja vu – i.e. that which has already happened will (or already is) happen again. Societal upheavals are a fact of history and with Uranus in Cancer, the suggestion is that my entire generation were part of one that quite literally destroyed our homes and families. Yet even in the darkest times, there is a silver lining and with Uranus, comes a certain freedom of experiment with new ways of being and in Cancer, that experiment most likely would manifest in relation to a new definitions of ‘tribe’ or ‘family’ in contrast with the traditional patriarchal (Capricorn) model in play for so many centuries.
  • Jupiter adds a sense that in prior lives we’ve honed our spiritual skills and wisdom, perhaps through temple work especially in ancient Egypt (quite possibly because the Egyptian temple age went on much longer than that of the Christian era, and of course the focus was much different as well). This suggests a real need to find a way to use these highly developed skills and wisdom in the here and now to help alleviate the karmic suffering of all mankind.

As I mentioned, there many were born under this particular planetary grouping but what makes it special for me is that Mercury, one of my personal planets, is tied in with this energy as well.

The job of Mercury is to communicate in a way that makes connections/build bridges. I’ve noted earlier that I believe that my karma in the forefront during this lifetime is communicational – and this fits also with signifiant 3rd house placements (Venus and Mars in Virgo). the suggestion us I need to find a way to bring the spiritual wisdom/skills honed in past lives to today’s world in a way that is revolutionary and rebellious.

Well, certainly astrology fits this bill and as you might tell by looking carefully at this blog as a whole, astrology is my overwhelming. Yet at the same time I need to bring Saturn into this and I believe this has to do with becoming an authority figure in a traditional and well-respected profession (in my case, international tax law) in order to gain credibility. When I tell people I’m an astrologer, many roll their eyes. But when I also tell them I had a successful 30-year career in law (in large global firms), many of those eye-rolling folks sit up and listen.

(to be continued)

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