Karmic Astrology (4)

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. 

According to Judy, the karmic purpose of your present incarnation is often most easily seen in the zodiac sign and house placement of your lunar nodes with the South Node representing what you’ve accomplished in past lives (both good and bad) and the North Node representing what you are meant to accomplish in your present incarnation.

When working with the nodes, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not planets and thus do not represent actives source of energy as do planets. Instead, the nodes (always considered in pairs) map out the cosmic, cyclical waltz of the Sun and the Moon – plotting the predictable point at which the moon will cross and crisscross the ecliptic (or the apparent path of the sun through the sky). 

Reading the Map

As with reading any map, the first challenge is to identify where you are now and where you want, or are meant, to go as follows:

North NodeSouth NodeKarmic PurposeExample
Aries / 1st HouseLibra / 7th HouseDevelop the SELF unselfishlyIn the past, you've compromised too much when trying to meet the needs of others, who doubtless encouraged this to their benefit. It's now time to assert your personal will to meet your own needs. Draw upon past life skills in diplomacy to accomplish this but when the going gets tough and you feel you're being pulled back into old patterns of 'giving in' to keep the peace, assert yourself and your position stronger.
Libra / 7th HouseAries / 1st HouseTo relate with others in harmonyIn prior lives, you'l been wilful and self-centred, unable to see beyond your own wants, needs, and desires. Now it's time consider the effect your thoughts and deeds have on others. In the process, you will learn the benefits of give and take.
Taurus/ 2nd HouseScorpio / 8th HouseTo develop inner security and serenity In past lives, you played more than your fair share of manipulative, power-based emotional games in order to ensure important others stay by your side and did your bidding. Now, it's time to learn that you can find the security you've always sought in others, within yourself. Use the knowledge that in prior lives you've achieved that 'this too will pass' - survival remains the name of the game but the circumstances in which this is achieved have to change.
Scorpio / 8th HouseTaurus / 2nd house RegenerationIn prior lives, you've been both practical and possessive, especially in regards to the people in your life that most matter. Now it's time to 'take a walk on the wild side' - sensuality now becomes sexual.
Gemini / 3rd HouseSagittarius / 9th HouseIntellectual pursuits and communication In prior lives, you've held on to your 'ideals' with unswerving blind faith, although that's not to say they were wrong but that they remained unchallenged. Now it's time not only to use your intellect to examine your beliefs in line with cold, hard facts but also to spread the excellent results of your efforts by communicating openly with others.
Sagittarius / 9th HouseGemini / 3rd HouseFind purpose and meaningIn prior lives, you were great at amassing endless interesting facts about everything and anything but you probably didn't go much further. Now your challenge is pull together the information you gather into meaningful knowledge that inspires not only your own life but also the lives of others. In the process, however, avoid the temptation to preach rather than to teach.
Cancer / 4th HouseCapricorn / 10th HouseTo nurtureIn prior lives you were probably an authority figure with which to be reckoned, with a tendency to think and say - 'thou shalt/shalt not'. Now it's time to encourage and support others to do what they need to be healthy and strong, even when what they need to do is not to your personal liking.
Capricorn / 10th HouseCancer / 4th HouseGain authorityIn prior lives, you tended to stay at home focusing on helping others to achieve their goal (whilst keeping them tied to your apron strings??) rather than articulating and pursing goals of your own. Now it's time to go out into the world and establish yourself as a successful authority figure who can and does stand strong on his/her own.
Leo / 5th HouseAquarius / 11th HouseBecome self-enablingIn prior lives, you gained power by functioning as part of a cohesive group or collective, quite probably rationalising was the only option available in order to move forward. How it's time to gain what you need by developing your own special talents and/or brand of creativity and bask in the warmth of knowing that you're appreciated not just for what you do but for who you are.
Aquarius / 11th HouseLeo / 5th HouseTo channel collective powerIn prior lives, you sought the spot-light for your unique contributions to the world. Now, it's time to concentrate on how much more might be accomplished when you join with like-minded others to accomplish collective goals.
Virgo / 6th HousePisces / 12th HouseTo serve through loveIn prior lives you might well have early fallen into the victim-martyr-saviour pattern (also known as the 'drama triangle). Now, it's time to drop the 'I did it all for you' mindset and do what you do for the love of doing it. You may not get much appreciation from others for this, but you'll have grown leaps and bounds in finding and maintaining personal integrity.
Pisces / 12th HouseVirgo / 6th HouseAttain EnlightenmentIn prior lives, you relied heavily on your critical, analytic skills in order to make important decisions. In this regard, your focus was more on the individual trees than on the forest as a whole. Now, it's time to reverse this and develop your powers of intuition as well as acceptance of those powers as important indicators of your path forward.

Energies represented in your chart by planets forming a conjunction with the South Node need to be reworked and released so that they can be used more constructively during your current incarnation. So if, for instance, if your Mars in conjunct your South Node, you might find yourself easily angered when things fail to go your way. Worse, you might unconsciously disown your anger and ‘project’ it out on others and in doing so discover that others are always angry with you rather than the other way around. Once you can accept that anger as you own, you can reclaim in and rework it to make changes more aligned with your more your spiritual Will. This may require outside help.

Energies represented in your chart by planets in square aspect with the nodal axis also have the tendency to pull you back into repeating patterns from prior lives. Such planets are considered to be ‘at the bending’ and as such become a point of release for internal experience to become outwardly expressed. If you fail to adequately deal with the planets at the ‘bending’ by learning to more appropriate integrate them into your current life, you might literally be torn apart from them. Even with taking a new approach, the energies represented by planets at the ‘bending’ will likely always be a source of tension – the trick is to use this tension proactively to your benefit rather than your detriment. 

Example

With my North Node in Capricorn, my current life task is to build a separate life, business, and/or career that is mine, and mine alone. I am meant to toughen up – become an elder – a ‘wise’ one – develop a savvy attitude vis a vis the outside world. I must move out of my comfort zone (South Node) and go for the adventure North Node). [1]

This nodal map of developing a successful career (that will allow me to pay my own way) is overlaid (by square) on my 4th house mystical/pragmatist karmic dilemma represented by my Mercury/Neptune/Saturn conjunction in Libra – i.e. pursue my religious/mystical inclinations or fill up my bank account. This karmic dilemma is ‘at the bending‘ so will become a point of outer release of inner tensions. I can assure you that for at least 25 years, I have been wavering on dumping my career/life as international tax lawyer for a large international accounting firm and doing the spiritual thing – at one point I was going to pack it all in and become a Jungian analysis (Jung was heavily into astrology and spiritual pursuit as well as a successful ‘heavy’ in the field of psychology.

What I’d not really appreciated is that this karmic dilemma is not all mine – but is in fact inherited – if not from my actual psychical parental line (no one except my mother showed the least interest in spirituality) then perhaps from my ‘soul group’. 

I’ll be honest. At this point, I still don’t fully understand what that means or what I’m meant to be doing about it – but I am now retired from law and pursuing such avenues for my own pleasure. At one point I tried to do this to start a new business (astrological coaching) but somehow that never seemed to get off the ground. Finally, I accepted it wasn’t meant to do and so I’ve pretty much put it off to one side.

During a higher self-meditation in Glastonbury in 2002, I received the message that it was my job to allow beauty and proportion to pervade my life and to enjoy it without guilt from others. I had the gift of a natural healing energy (Cancer rising). But it would be hard for me to heal others if I were perpetually unbalanced myself  (i.e. a Libra thing). Nonetheless teaching and communication (writing) was still good for me and I should purse that because still, I had so much to share with others. It is in this spirit that I write blog posts and novels and I hope – no, I trust – this is now what I’m meant to do to allow my mystical/pragmatist karmic dilemma an outlet that works to my benefit .

What next to consider?  

Well, if it’s one thing about the nodal axis and the challenges it represents, there’s always someone waiting in the wings to activate them. When one meets people that seem to do that (and I have met several), comparing their charts with my own (synastry) is instructive as well as looking at my natal Sun in Libra in that very karmic 4th house. 

(to be continued)

[1] Note that for these purposes, I am using the mean node, or the average motion of nodes. The nodes actually move forwards and backwards (retrograde) so fast that the true node might be going either way at any moment in time but the average motions of the nodes over time is always retrograde. As the difference between the true and average nodes is never more than 3 degrees, the difference between them rarely is important. However in some cases, such as mine, the true nodal axis is in a different zodiac sign (in my case, the South Node in Gemini and the North in Sagittarius) than the mean nodes and so for karmic purposes, both should be considered. I am not doing that in this post however I have considered this difference in great detail in my own diaries. 

Karmic Astrology (3)

In yesterday’s post, I discussed the karmic importance of one’s natal Moon not only by sign but also by house placement. 

Whilst the 4th, 8th, and 12th houses (the water houses) are considered to be the most karmic, planets in any of the 12 zodiacal houses offer important clues as to current karmic challenges. But if there are no planets in the house in question, do not despair. Instead look to the ruler of the sign on the cusp of that house – (using Placidus house system):

HouseArea of Karmic ConcernExample
1st How you experience the world and what you expect from life.With Uranus on the ascendant or in the 1st house, you don't expect to have an easy life and unless you can counteract this in some way, you probably won't
2ndKarmic resources - that which that in prior lives you've already learned how to do and what's required to handle certain situations.With Saturn here, the suggestion is that you have learned how to deal with boundary issues - what's yours is yours you remains yours. This is an issue with which so many other struggle.
3rdKarma around siblings and communication issues. Do you expect to be understood by others?With Saturn here, you likely had problems in prior lives expressing yourself and making others understand what you want to say.
4th Parenting issues and expectations of your parents based on past lives.With Neptune here, you idealise a parent who doesn't deliver leaving you confused as to how to interact with that parent in this life.
5thKarma relating both to having children, conducting love affairs, and/or other creative endeavours pursued for the sheer joy of it.With Saturn here, you may have difficult having children or perhaps you have them taken away from you.
6th Karma from past lives often manifesting in health issues in this live or other health-related karma (job/career) issuesWith Mercury/Saturn here, you might have breathing problems like asthma and Mar/Neptune may suggest problems with alcohol.
7th Relationship (marriage and partnership) issues - especially regarding expectations from such unions - linger on from past lives.The Sun in this house may suggest a male partner was your father in a past life and you are being asked to develop yourself (i.e sense of individuality and personal power) in this life through this relationship.
8th Karma regarding you share yourself and your resources with others.Jupiter here suggests ability to share your vision of of how the world works with others whilst Saturn here suggests inability to share much of anything with others (sexuality maybe harshly impacted).
9th Karma surrounding travel and exploration - many previous nomadic lives leave you culturally enriched.With the Sun in this house, you may currently be on a quest for understanding of yourself and your place in the world.
10th Career and social standingWith Sun in this house, in prior lives you likely held positions of great authority, wielding much political power - if you did so wisely, this is huge asset but if not, you may now be involved in subversive power plays.
11th Karma centres on connections with friends and groups, in the wide sense.With Uranus here, you might have acted as a catalyst for great change and how your challenge to to accept that each is entitled to his/her own view with none being better than another.
12th This is the house of heavy karmic inheritance but how you CHOOSE to use this inheritance now is what counts most.Mercury here suggests you might have been the village gossip whilst Mars suggests past lives involving wars and aggression, misuse of self-assertion and personal will.

Example

My Jupiter in Gemini is in my 12th house. Often this placement suggests a close connection with ancient Egypt and as well as with other temple priests and priestesses in ancient times. Because my Jupiter is in comfortable connection (sextiles and trines) with the other karmic heavy-hitter planets (Pluto, Saturn, and Neptune), it’s likely these past lives I have accumulated significant wisdom and skills through temple work in order to help alleviate the karmic suffering of mankind as a whole. 

During that retreat at Glastonbury Abbey back in the summer of 2002, one of my fellow classmates channelled a past life for me. In that life, I was a wise-woman (witch) dressed in black against the rugged terrain of what looked to be Scotland. Although I was a healer, I lived away from the community, perhaps on an island with a tenuous connexion to the mainland. This isolation was for my own safety although there was no obvious danger presented during the exercise. 

In that life, people sought me out for my knowledge of herbs and plants and also for my ability to look to the sky for divination. I seemed happy, or at least satisfied, with my isolation. I definitely resonated with feeling proud to have been sought out for my learning and experience and to be considered an authority receiving appropriate recognition my accomplishments.

Not surprising this had long been an issue in my 30-year career as an international tax lawyer. Everyone seemed to have wanted me to be other than I was, a competent – lateral thinking – techie. Interestingly, it was at this particular time in my legal career, that I had just started to be recognised and appreciated for my expertise and learning. 

So how might all this contribute to my overall challenges regarding communication karma and in particular myMercury/Neptune/Saturn conjunction in my 4th house – (i.e. mystical/pragmatist dilemma)?

Next up, will be an investigation of arguably the most important karmic indicator in anyone’s chart – the nodal axis (which is square or ‘at the bends‘) with my Mercury/Neptune/Saturn conjunction.

Karmic Astrology (2)

In yesterday’s post, I highlighted some of the different types, or categories, of karma coming to the conclusion that the one most active in my present incarnation has to do with communication – i.e. either being too vocal or not vocal enough in prior lives combined with the likelihood of difficulties with being properly understood. 

Karmic Houses

Although each of the 12 houses in the natal chart offer clues about one’s current karmic challenges, the most likely culprits are the 4th, 8th, and 12th houses (the water houses). It is thus no surprise that, as concluded yesterday, my Saturn/Neptune/Mercury conjunction in Libra in my 4th house, summed up as the mystical/pragmatist dilemma, plays a huge part in my life. More on that later. In the meantime, with communication karma highlighted, it’s useful to first turn to my 3rd house, which rules not only communication/learning but also siblings. 

In my 3rd house, I have a close Venus/Mar conjunction in Virgo (a Mercury ruled zodiac sign). This brings up two tracks or avenues of investigation, the first of which suggests that having Mars in the 3rd house, in past lives I may have had intense rivalry with a sibling. Given that in my present life I’m an only child, and nothing of this nature has come up in past life regressions or similar work, let’s move on to the fact that my Mars is is conjunct Venus: this is ‘love hurts’ – well that make sense. Both Mars/Venus make a difficult square aspect to my Moon in Gemini, which because that is found in my 12th house, suggests this may be the root of my 3rd house karma.

The Moon 

In karmic astrology, the Moon represents deeply engrained unconscious behaviour and emotional patterns from the past, patterns that are buried so keep that often they feel so familiar, so safe and comfortable, they are on constant auto pilot. The Moon also symbolises what we expect to happen on an emotional level whenever presented with mothering/nurturing issues.

Moon in SignPast PatternsKarmic Challenges
AriesSelfishness / need for instant gratification.Find ways to get own emotional needs met whilst at same time ensuring those of all involved are likewise met.
TaurusOverwhelming need to maintain emotional security usually at the expense of feeling trapped and harbouring deep resentment.Deep soul level communication with partner and developing ability to reframe promises and commitments when necessary which sometimes requires complete letting go.
GeminiLearned to discuss and intellectualise feelings rather than allowing oneself to feel emotionsDevelop ability to consciously express and communicate emotions without feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
CancerDeep-seated anxiety of letting go and so clings to the past whether painful or not.Needs to cut ties with emotional expectations of 'ought' and 'should' whilst at same time developing ability to be nurturing to other without smothering them.
LeoBeing autocratic and overbearing, prideful with self-inflated importance.Learn humility whilst at the same time being valued for the unique gifts offered to others.
VirgoCold, critical, and over analytical - uncomfortable with emotions - tends to be celibate at last in regards to allowing others to get close.Develop ways to be of true service to others whilst at the same time keeping one's self whole and intact.
LibraPeople pleaser and co-dependence. Avoids confrontation at all costs and so stifles own emotional needs.Develop inner emotional equilibrium which in turn enable honesty in expressing one's feelings.
ScorpioDeeply mistrustful and harbours old jealousies , anger, pain and passion. Gain power over others before they can gain power over you.Develop ability to access deep hidden strengths to allow self and to assist others to deal with the inevitable darkness in their lives.
Sagittarius'Out to lunch' whenever emotional demands made by others. Like Gemini, prefers to intellectualise feelings rather than experience them.Develop ways to share true feelings with other s without being tackless or brutally honest - develop finesse that encourages feelings of joy rather than shutting down.
CapricornCold, judgemental ,and afraid to express emotions. Instead sends out message of self-sufficiency and 'approach with caution'. Develop ways of being authoritative and responsible whilst offering support to others. Take the mature and self-controlled road.
AquariusAppears emotional independent but often feels hopelessly isolated - avoids close one-to-one-relationships, preferring instead to exercise concern over mankind as a whole.Stay in contact with higher self and attune one's actions to deeply embraced spiritual goals.
PiscesOpen to emotional abuse and martyrdom and takes refuge in the illusion of the virtuous victim.Develop channels for sharing unconditional love without taking on the burdens of others.

With the Moon in Gemini, I’ve learned to discuss and intellectualise my feelings rather than to allow myself to feel them. In such circumstances, it is difficult for me to achieve honest intimacy even with close others. It’s all too easy for me to rationalize away any feelings that do slip through the net. This leaves me both open to emotional manipulation by others as well as being the perpetrator of emotional manipulation on others. My expects are that others – especially mother and similar mother-figures will try to emotionally manipulate me and so I protect extra hard against that. Believe me when I say that when I was undergoing psychological counselling (a requirement for a course I was taking), that me and my therapist spent 3 years talking about my mother and from I gathered, we’d  not even touched the tip of the iceberg. 

My Moon in Gemini is in my 12th house, the most karmic of all the houses. This suggests that lack of emotional intimacy is something coming long down my maternal line: this is borne out by my own mother’s Moon in Aquarius (even more emotionally detached than Gemini) and her mother’s Moon in Virgo (tendency to prudishness and being critical).

This suggests that my karmic communication issues likely from feeling as if I will – and never can be – be heard regarding my own wishes and desires and worse, finding a way to rationalise that away even when I know at some level, it’s neither helpful nor appropriate and quite honestly, of my own (unconscious making).

Example

Whilst on that retreat at Glastonbury Abbey back in 2002 with Judy Hall and my fellow would-be karmic astrologer, we did a number of exercises and visualisations and not surprisingly, my mother (who was still alive at the time) showed in several:

  • Askatic Records Meditation  – when I asked the librarian for the volumes dealing with my life and lives, I was given three rather uninteresting volumes. When I asked if there were more, I was told there was a volume 4 and that was ‘out’ and not available. I argued that no one else had the right to access my volume to accept me but the librarian was adamant and snotty. I argued with her some more and got tossed out the library. To get back, I was  forced to apologise and bow down to the librarian. Finally, in fit of nasty mischievousness, that librarian showed me that she really was my mother and that she still had volume of my life under the front desk and that she wasn’t going to give it to me. I was forced to leave the library yet again, empty-handed and angry. 
  • Vow Releasing and tie-cutting ceremony –  during this ritual, my mother shot arrows at me and was nasty. We were separated by a stream (the Atlantic Ocean, no doubt, as already I was living in the UK and my mother was in the US) over which there was a bridge. The bridge was cracking in the middle. I tried to hold it together with glue. The bridge did not want to cooperate. Was I trying to hold it together out of a sense of guilt or some real desire to do so? Relations between my mother and I had already started to break down in real time. After the ties were cut, in final part  of that ceremony, I became the woman in the tarot card the Nine of Coins. I’d always loved this card. She is standing in a lush with a falcon on her arm, raw instinct ready for use but well-under control. This woman was self-assured and comfortable in her ability to take care of herself. This was image of wholeness that I brought back with me from the ceremony.
  • Karmic astrologer meditation – in this meditation my guide told me that although it seems like my mother had hijacked my life, in reality it was only my moon in Gemini in my 12th house. My Jupiter, also in my 12th house was still mine and she could never get that. The upshot is that when I do my Jupiter in Gemini in my 12th house (to be explored later), I was doing my own thing and was my own person, far away from the clutches of my mother.

So where does all this leave me with my the challenges of my communication karma? For starters, having part of my voice -my own story – hijacked by my mother is part of it. But of course, there’s more to come. Next, I’ll explore my 12th house Jupiter in Gemini, tying neatly as it does ( by trine) to my Mercury/Neptune/Saturn conjunction (i.e. mystical/pragmatist dilemma) in my deeply karmic 4th house. Other karmic factors are also implicated.

(to be continued)

Karmic Astrology (1)

For reasons known to a small group of dedicated healers here in the UK who are helping me to deal with some complicated karmic issues that are now surfacing, I am revisiting some of the brilliant lectures/retreats I’ve attended over the years with Judy Hall starting back in August 2000. 

This series of blog posts is dedicated to all of them and intended to help healers and clients alike more quickly get to the crux of their own karmic issues.[1]

What are we meant to achieve?


Souls incarnate at a particular place and time to deal with any number of issues, most notably leftover emotions from prior lives such as fear, desire, joy, and grief especially in relation to one or two particular persons.

In this regard, reincarnating souls usually fall into one of two distinctly different groups:

  1. Destiny – those who desire to remain bound to their ‘past patterns’ of dealing with their karmic issues, or
  2. Free Will – those who desire to learn a new response to their karmic challenges rather than simply repeating what they’ve done over and over again perhaps across multiple reincarnations.

In order to get some sense of which group into which an incarnating soul falls, it’s important to look astrologically at the zodiacal sign, placement, and contacts (especially by outer planets) made by their Mercury, which gives important clues as to the thought patterns and expectations at work in this incarnation. It also gives clues as to any karmic communication issues you may have brought into this incarnation with you. For example close Mercury/ Pluto suggest expectations of abuse of power – either as the perpetrator or the victim – whilst close Mercury/Saturn aspects suggest expectations of communication problems – often due to lack of education or social status. By contrast, close Mercury/Neptune aspects suggest expectations of being overwhelmed by the thoughts/emotional needs of others.

Finally, it’s helpful to think of karma as falling broadly into certain categories, or types of karma. The following are some examples as well as some of their chief astrological significators.

TypeDescriptionAstrological Signifiers
ClassicVery black and white, this is the classic eye for and eye and tooth for a tooth karma of retribution. Moon in Capricorn (often deals with collective classic karma) and/or challenging aspects in the 6th and 12th houses.
RecompenseThis is the present reward for what you've got right in prior lives especially regarding making sacrifices to for another soul's growth.Easier aspects like trines and sextile especially when involving more difficult planets like Saturn or Pluto.
Redemptive Classic for those who always want to 'help' others either by bringing light into their lives or relieving them of their suffering.Heavy contacts of personal planets with Neptune/ Neptune in 12th house / North Node in 12th House.
MeritThis is the 'karmic piggybank' - the reward for what you've learned in past lives.Planets in the 2nd house, especially the heavy-hitter outers like Saturn/Neptune/Uranus/Pluto.
AttitudeAn excess of entrenched attitudes - usually manifesting into either being too hard-hearted or too easily giving of oneself. Look to aspects with and placement of Mercury.
OrganicPast over-indulgences that manifest in chronic present illnesses and injuries.Look to the ruler of the 6th house (Placidus) and it's sign/placement/aspects/ look especially to placements of Jupiter in the either the 6th or 12th houses.
Karmic Treadmill Often the result of alcoholism and other addictions including repeated relationships.Look to fixed houses (2nd/5th/8th/11th) as well as a high concentration of planets in fixed signs (Taurus/Leo/Scorpio/Aquarius).
WorkBehaviour in past lives leads to problems in the work-place - for example, lack of integrity in prior lives may lead to your business partner cheating on you in this life.Look to the 6th/ 10th houses.
Technological Revolves around past lives where people played with nature (or tried to stop those who did) - often relates to the lost island of Atlantis, the Industrial Revolution, factory injuries, or other technologically caused maiming.Look to Uranus in either the 6th or 12th houses or Uranus with difficult aspects.
Vocational Current day healers who had prior lives as monks or nuns and with to carry on with their work - which may be appropriate or not.Look to 6th/10th house rulers and planetary placements.
CommunicationToo vocal or not vocal enough as well as difficulties being understood.Look to Mercury placements especially by house as well as planets in the 3rd house.

Example

For example, my own chart is very Mercurical in nature – (Moon/Jupiter in Mercury ruled Gemini in the 12thhouse) and Mars/Venus in Mercury ruled Virgo). This suggests the placement and aspects made to my Mercury are important to my present incarnation.

My Mercury (in Libra) is caught up in a tight conjunction with Saturn and Neptune. This suggests that at least part of my karmic journey during this life is communication. That Saturn/Neptune conjunction is symbolic of the karmic dilemma known as the mystical/pragmatist -where I am torn between ‘floating on my cloud and meditating’ and ensuring that my bank account is nicely topped up. I assure you that many have accused me of just this especially when, back in 2006, I left a job in London where I had a six-figure income to attain an MA in the Study of Mystical and Religious Studies at the University of Kent in Canterbury (btw, it was totally worth it!!!).


Whilst on a retreat at Glastonbury Abbey (behind the Abbey ruins is a very comfortable retreat house owned by the Church of England) back in 2002 with Judy Hall and a select group of other would-be karmic astrologers, I experienced the following ‘message’ during a visualization exercise.

“Story-telling is my specialty. My Mercury/Neptune/Saturn easily makes stories that humanity has always wanted (and will always want). My Pluto in the 2nd house has experience all the phases of human evolution and as the result, can offer a broad viewpoint to others to help them put things into perspective. My Moon in Gemini also has a fairy-like connection with fantasy and my inner child. I can bring that to through my stories as well as a found of knowledge to myself. In Egypt, I have undergone the ‘sacred ‘marriage’ and have touched the Falcon God Horus. Because of this, I can bridge the light of day with the fantasies of night and help otherwise (as well as myself) to escape the dark dungeons where they/we may others stay imprisoned. 

So how will I proceed to deal with my communication karma and related issues, especially as relates to the mystical/pragmatist dilemma which is so clearly highlighted in my very karmic 4th house?

(to be continued)


[1] For these purposes, karma is defined as a promise to pay for what you now get. It’s important to remember that karma is not just about dealing with the past but that you are making karma for the future in the here and now. It’s also important to remember that the little things that we do each and every day do add up and often create more of an impact on our karma than the ‘big’ decisions/actions we take.

Character & Calling (Part 3)

My winter reading: James Hillman’s classic The Soul’s Code – In Search of Character and Calling (Random House, New York, 1996).

Daimon often comes to us as we are children with an unexplained fascination or unusual ways of play. I was taken very early with writing short storeys about my friends in my imagined exploits we would solve mysteries like Nancy Drew and her chums. Later I went on to become a lawyer in international tax com of all things. But as retirement loomed, I started writing fiction again with all the enthusiasm I once had as a child. In this, I was lucky. Others are not.

The point Hillman makes is not to squeeze this enthusiasm out of children using the excuse that they need to be socialised in order to perform from an early age as their parents and teachers would want. Just give kids enough room to experiment and grow into that oak tree that their individual acorns had laid out for their lives and not surprisingly, to accomplish this they need to put down some very strong roots in order to support future growth into their potential. 

But as Hillman points out, allowing this is difficult for us in the West, because we cling so strongly to what calls the ascensionist model – in other words – up is good and down is bad. Yet this is not the way of Damon or soul. As the Zohar, the main Kabbalist book, makes clear, zimzum, or the self-emptying aspect of the God, known as Ain Soph, traverses downwards through the darkness in a series of ten concentric circles called Sephiroth, collectively known as The Tree of Life. 

Likewise, Plato and his Myth of Er emphasizes this downward assent. Having arrived from previous lives, all the souls mill about in a mythical world awaiting their new lot, or portion of fate. For example, the soul of a mighty warrior chooses the life of a lion whilst that of a young woman runner, choose a lot of an athlete. When each of the souls have chosen their new lives according to their lots, they are assigned a daimon and without looking back, descend to earth to enact their lot. 

It should come as no surprise that in keeping with the Myth of Er, Hellenistic astrologers devised clever ways to delineate one’s lot using his or her natal chart. Some of these techniques have come down to modern astrologers, notably, the Lot of Fortune (or the Moon) and the Lot of Spirit (or the Sun). The former pertains to the natural flow of events in our lives whilst the latter describes change that occurs because of our intention. So, for example, if the Lot of Fortune describes how much money we are likely to make, the Lot of Spirit describes how we will choose our vocation and answer our calling. 

Hillman reminds us that the decent down into earth for soul is painful and costly and riches and fame never seem to really compensate. He uses Judy Garland as a case to illustrate his point. Judy was born into a showbiz family and at age 2 1/2 years of old, she had her first successful performance singing Jingle Bells. The immediate rapport she garnered from her audience cemented her calling, which she herself said “was inherited”. As Hillman also reminds us, it was the superlatives that betrayed her. According to one and all, during the height of her success, Garland was the best of everything. Even Garland herself said “I’ve done everything to excess.”

Yet as Hillman also points out, Judy Garland may have grown up but she didn’t grow down, as is required for soul. Always, she held on to America’s most treasured drug – the myth of innocence – the psychology of denial. Hillman tells us Garland’s acorn belonged “over the rainbow” and it was little wonder that her real life of drugs and chronic loneliness ended on a toilet the night of 21-22 June, the apogee of the solar year, the brightest light and the shortest night. 

Looking briefly at Garland’s natal chart, we see that her Lot of Fortune is at 21 Capricorn 15, and is thus very strong. Not only is in angular (7th house) but its ruler, Saturn, is very strong (angular, exalted, and in rulership by triplicity and term). Saturn also benefits from the rays (by sign) of three of the four benefics (Sun, Moon, and Jupiter). It is however, out of sect (Saturn is a diurnal planet and is in the nocturnal part of this chart). This suggests that in the natural flow of events, such as making money, Garland would do very, very well – which of course, she did  – but with Saturn being out of sect, this success would also be out-of-balance tending toward harmful excess, which of course was the case. Her Lot of Spirit, at 0 Capricorn is likewise strong also being ruled by Saturn. 

Perhaps it is only when we look at her daimon, which because Cancer is rising is the Moon, that we can understand fully why her life took such a tragic course. At 29 Sagittarius, Garland’s Moon (or daimon) is in an anaretic degree. Planets in the anaretic degree are known as ‘destroying’ planets, often causing difficulties, crisis, overcompensation, and poor choices. Perhaps this is an example of what Hillman has already promised to discuss, a situation where daimon is not good but instead bad?

I wonder why it happens to some and not others – definitely worth investigating further, don’t you think?

(to be continued)

The Year Ahead

It’s the first day of the brand new year and many are turning their thoughts to what it might bring. Basically, two planetary players set the stage – Uranus and Saturn with a couple of guest appearances from Jupiter, which may provide a much-needed ‘get out of jail’ card as well as fanning the flames of authoritarian anarchy.

The star lore relating to the zodiac signs of Aquarius and Taurus put together pretty much tells the story:

Aquarius

According to the Greek astronomer, Aratus (270 BC), Fomalhaut is at the Pourer’s (Aquarius) feet where it forms part of the fixed cross of the four Royal Stars of Persia – the ‘watchers’ or guardians of the sky (angelic powers). Bernadette Brady (Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars) considers Fomalhaut to be rather like the legendary Persian warrior, Zal, who although seriously out of step with society (a white-haired man who’d been raised in a bird’s nest), managed (through his usually considerate behaviour) to win the heart of the beautiful princess, Redabeh. Even though the odds were against the couple, Zal persisted and, eventually, they were allowed to marry. A lovely story complete with high ideals and lofty visions. None-the-less, a serious clash with mainstream thought and authority (tradition) was needed to achieve their ideals (progress). Let’s not forget that Aquarius is ruled by two very opposing energies – (1) Saturn (authority) and (2) Uranus (rebellion) and both are in play together this year.

Taurus

The brightest star in Taurus, is Aldebaran, which ancient astrologers considered to be of the nature of Mars, the warrior. As such it is especially poignant in respect to military men who achieve great things whilst at the same time, making dangerous enemies. Brady gives the example of Niccolò Machiavelli, the 15th century statesman who wrote The Prince, the classic treatise on gaining and holding political power. Brady points out that Machiavelli’s initial rise to power and prestige was followed by a stark reversal of fortune marked by accusations of conspiracy and treason. History tells us that these accusations were false and that Machiavelli was an upright and honest citizen of highest integrity. Brady suggests this implies that sometime in his life, he had succumbed to temptation to behave with less that utmost integrity. Equally, however, I suggest that it could be that a more classic scenario was at the base – when one rises to power, he/she will make enemies if for no other reason than hubris, pride and jealousy.

Summary

It’s time to break down the barriers – do things radically different – and like it or not, that’s what will happen – expect militant clashes with authority, rebellion against the establishment, the absolute refusal to toe the party line and/or maintain the status quo. The ideals driving all this may sound lofty and at some level that may be the case. But don’t forget that not far behind will be a clash of egos – acts of hubris – and good old fashioned lust and greed – of a degree that could well make your head spin. And oh, by the way, if you find yourself presented with the perfect ‘get rich quick scheme’, do yourself a favour and turn away. Maintaining integrity is the key to getting through 2021 in one piece.

Somewhere, I have the biography of Niccolò Machiavelli. Sounds like it may be time to read it!

Flying too High

In January 2021, it’s all about Mars triggering some intense dynamics which will front-end some of the most potent astrological energy for the entire year. Pay attention here – these same themes repeat again and again – learn your lessons early and spare yourself some pain.

  • 4-6 January – Mars is in the final degrees of Aries – wrapping up his last hurrah in the sign that he rules – expect some finality to things that will have commenced in June 2020. Take this as a warning – if you’re spoiling to pick a fight, don’t do it – if you’re tempted to thrown caution to the wind and take a chance, don’t, again – the chances are it won’t go well and you’re more likely than not to be sorry.
  • 6 – 7 January  – Mars is making a difficult transition into Taurus – think about the bull in the china shop – if you can harness this energy in a practical and pleasant way for both yourself and others, then go ahead and give it a try. But be honest here! If you’re still spoiling for a fight – or your ambition is running at an all-time high, sit this one out until the energy is more settled. 
  • 8 January – Venus (planetary host for Mars in Taurus) moves into Capricorn and at least for Mars, this is good news. On its own, Mars is still far from settled (forming a square to Saturn and Jupiter and a conjunction with Uranus) – but Venus is now in a position to help Mars out. If you need to push a bit in order to get things done, then OK – do it now – but do it with diplomacy and style – remember that old proverb that you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar – never has this been more true than now. 
  • 13 January – Mars squares Saturn in Aquarius – this is the moment that the pressure cooker could explode – tension that has been building from about the 6th of January will peak – if you really need to get things done – then do it with patience, hard work, and discipline. But if you’re frustrated and tempted to push too hard, don’t forget it can still all go wrong – turn down the heat rather than turning it up.
  • 17 January – Mars gets into aspect with Jupiter and Uranus – this is bright, expansive energy – but also rebellious. Think inspirational, enthusiastic revolution – the sky is the limit – break through old boundaries – do new and wonderful things – BUT BEWARE – unbridled enthusiasm here could quickly turn into hubris – the warning is don’t fly too high or you’ll be certain to be shot down – think the Icarus Syndrome! This is a potential problem for the entire year – you may not like the idea of a glass ceiling – but there is one – and if you crash through it, there will be fallout – probably coming sooner than later.
  • 20 January – First quarter Moon (a tense moment in every lunar cycle) that highlights the Mars/Uranus aspect – this could be the blood-bath that accompanies every revolution.  Defiance – rebellion – explosive militance are the bywords – Oh, dear, this could all go all terribly wrong and all too easily.
  • 23 January – Mars bridges both Jupiter/Uranus (through ‘translation of the light’) –  so now all three planetary energies are involved – OK, let’s take this one step at a time – usually Mars/Jupiter brings excellence to athletes and military people as well as to judges and lawyers –  but add Uranus to the mix and expect the unexpected – nothing will go to plan – the more defiant you are in the face of this, the greater the potential for serious damage. But if you can remain balanced and diplomatic in handling this energy (remember Venus), you stand to win – and because Venus (diplomacy) is in Capricorn, you could win big.
  • 28 January – the full moon in Leo reminds us that the more egoistic we are in playing the game, the more potential there is for longer-term damage. Again, think the Icarus Syndrome – you may figure you deserve success and recognition and quite possibility you’re right – but with energy like this a little humility goes a long way. You know you’re in trouble when you’re tempted ignore good counsel and go it alone – placing excessive confidence in your own prowess and judgement. 
  • 31 January –  the same themes continue to play out – it’s a dynamic month that will go out with a BIG BANG! Remember progress can be good and progress can be bad and if you fail to note the difference, you could be in trouble. Don’t try to fix it if it’s not broken and if it could use some work, don’t throw out the baby with the bath water! This could even suggest some natural ‘disasters’ – there’s a lot of different energies grinding away here and they are not terribly comfortable together. 

The 2nd American Civil War

For some years, astrologers including me have been predicting a very rough time for America, a rough time that might well result in the 2nd American Civil War.

At least I was met with disbelief at best and derision by many – well, sad to say it seems the writing is on the wall…

Check out a very, very recent article in the Washington Post, The Republican Party Now Has More in Common with the Southern Minority of 1860 – it makes for as much a scary read as one of my original posts on the subject.

There’s still time to change this.

Gateway to the Stars & the Winter Solstice

After dark this Winter Solstice (21 December 2020 at 10:03 GMT) take a walk outside and look up at the stars and think about how our whole solar system is on the move. In the time it takes you to read this post, the Sun, Earth, and all the other planets with which you are familiar (plus their moons) will have travelled 3600 km, or 2200 miles, through the Milky Way ever closer toward the Solar Apex.

The Solar Apex is a position sightly southwest of the bright, beautiful bright star, Vega, which once upon a time, around 12,000-10,000 BCE, was the pole star. Because Vega is found in the constellation of Lyra, the Harp of Orpheus, it cloaks everything associated with enchanting, other-worldly, charisma. Vega is linked with magic and divine spells and that Mozart, considered by many to be the greatest composer in history, was born with Vega rising is a fascinating testament to the spellbinding power of his beautiful music.

But perhaps the most fascinating of all is that like geographers use latitude and longitude to map out locations on earth, astronomers use similar measurements called Right Ascension and Declination to map locations in the skies. Although longitudes and latitudes are determined from the Earth’s equator and the 0 meridian at Greenwich, Right Ascension ‘begins’ at the crossing point of the Sun’s apparent path through the sky (the ecliptic) with the celestial equator, the point otherwise known as the Vernal Equinox (the first day of spring). 

It is beginning with this point that the 360 degrees of the Sun’s annual path are measured in terms of hours and minutes. The Solar Apex holds the position of about 18 hours of Right Ascension, which is the moment of the Winter Solstice, when the Sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn. 

This is this an important moment each and every year. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it marks the time when the sun turns back toward us becoming increasingly stronger as the days grow increasingly longer. This year, this moment is even more monumental because Jupiter and Saturn come together by conjunction to start their historical shift into Aquarius. 

Least you think that this does not affect our everyday lives on earth, think again. When one of the slower moving planets such as Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto crosses this point, even the stock or share markets react as Christeen Skinner reminds us in her excellent book, The Beginners Guide to the Financial Universe: An Introduction to the Role of the Sun, Moon, and Planets in Financial Markets. Both Saturn and Neptune crossed this point in 1987 and 1988 respectively, with Uranus following in 1989. As Skinner notes, you may wish to refresh yourself on the volatility demonstrated by the Dow Jones Index during those last years of the 1980’s. Least you are not yet convinced, when Pluto (slowest moving of all) crossed this point in 2008, we suffered a global financial crash. Skinner also predicts that when both Saturn and Neptune will be at the apparent right angle to the Solar Apex in 2026 (a highly unusual moment) , we might well expect a sharp decline in index values again over a period of a few months.

What might this all mean for our solar system to be sucked, as if by an enormous magnet, toward Vega, the former pole star, located in the constellation of Lyra the Harp of Orpheus? I don’t know about you, but I’m tempted to guess it might have something to do with ‘Judgement Day’ or a massive reevaluation and realignment. Certainly this is what happened with the financial markets. This is also because in 12,000-10,000 BCE, Vega was also known as Maat, the great Egyptian goddess who, after weighing souls on her scales of justice, moved them from one life to another and by the way, Vega will also be the pole star again in about 11,500 CE. Other-worldly charisma and engagement indeed. 

Happy Solstice!

Scandal, Subversion, and Break-down in Law and Order in store for the United States?

Mundane astrologers often construct ingress charts for each of the four annual calendar quarters in order to assess where a nation-state is headed for that quarter.

This chart is drawn for the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn on 21 December (Winter Solstice) in Washington, DC and should give a flavour for what to expect in the United States from then until March 2021, when at the Vernal Equinox, the Sun moves into Aries.

SUMMARY: From the winter solstice on 21st December 2020 until the Vernal Equinox on 20th March 2021, it is highly like that some subversion perpetrated on the American people will turn into a scandal of such magnitude that there will be significant change not only of America’s self-image, but also its image in the eyes of the rest of the world. Deception and confusion will be the order of the day and it is quite possible this will also manifest in break-down of law and order.  

DETAIL:

  1. Quite possibly the most important aspect of this chart is the conjunction of Neptune and the Moon in the 4th house. Not only is this tied closely with the IC (in this chart the cusp of the 4th house) but it also at the ‘bending’ (or square) to the nodal axis of 19 Gemini/Sagittarius 25. Typically, planets in such a position function as a ‘point of release’ in the sense that things ‘manifest in the outer world. 
  2. In mundane astrology, Neptune is associated with subversion, delusion, and disillusion especially regarding the nation’s self-image as well as the image that said nation presents to others. Neptune is also associated with scandals that result in deception and confusion. Because the Moon is associated with the common people, the population as a whole, this suggests that some kind of subversion will be perpetrated on the American people. 
  3. This theme is further suggested by Neptune/Moon being in the 4th house, which represents the concept of home and community.
  4. That the nodal axis sits in the 1st and 7th houses of this chart again suggests some change to the national image, or even the ‘American dream’ (1st house) that will come as the result of foreign relations (7th house). In other words, the suggestion is that the US national image will be effected by some sort of scandal or subversion of the common people and that this in turn will effect foreign relations. 
  5. That the north node (19 Gemini 25) is reasonably close to the US natal Mars (21 Gemini 22), further suggests that aggression of some sort will be involved. To see how this might work, we might look to Mars, which because Scorpio is rising, is the Solstice chart ruler. Not only is the Mars in this chart ‘fighting fit’ (being in Aries, the sign of it rules) but that Mars is exactly in square to Pluto, which equates to all things hidden and secretive in a society as well as violent phases of self-healing.
  6. Earlier in the month on 14 December 2020, there is a total eclipse of the Sun at 23 Sagittarius, which being opposite that natal American Mars (22 Gemini 22), would have been activated by that eclipse.
  7. Eclipses denote beginnings and endings and with this eclipse again tied to the 1st and 7th houses of the natal American chart, the themes of national self-image and foreign relations is highlighted.
  8. Even earlier, on 30 November 2020, there was a lunar eclipse at 8 Gemini 38 that ties exactly with the US natal Uranus at 8 Gemini 55. Uranus is linked to revolutions, innovation, and break down of order. It would seem that what started around the time of that lunar eclipse at the end of November will continue to grow out of proportion.