Karmic Astrology (12)

In posts to date, I’ve investigated many different way to astrologically identifying your past and future karma using invaluable information gained by attending workshops/retreats led by July Hall many years ago as well as a very special technique, the Draconic chart, which I learned about from Christeen Skinner, a clever and articulate financial astrologer here in the UK.


To demonstrate how this all fits together, Ms KS, has volunteered to have her chart, as well as that of her husband, used as a case study. 

SUMMARY

In prior lifetimes, Ms KS gave up her personal power in service to groups whose agendas were of a political and social nature. The position that she played in those groups (of which her now husband might well have been a member) was not 100% above board and involved conning or otherwise using clever communication skills to ensure that what people saw was not what they got.

This might have operated in the healing arts or other positions ‘of service’ – perhaps as a courtier.

During this incarnation, Ms KS is asked to take back her sense of self and personal power but that won’t be easy. In those prior lifetimes, she developed (or adopted) an inflated – or haughty – sense of self that will all too easily slip back into play during this lifetime if she’s not careful. Likewise, she will struggle with ‘learned helpless’ during this lifetime – take the easy way out – and shuffle-off sideways without confrontation. Holding her personal ground in a practical yet pleasant way is key to success.


DETAILS

Ms KS

Natal Chart (Ms KS) – (inside ring)

  • Ms KS has Gemini rising and Mercury, the ruler of her chart, in Leo in the karmic 4th house.  
    • Clustered at her Gemini ascendant, we find Venus (12th house) and Mars (1st house) in Gemini, although they are too far apart to be considered in conjunction.
    • Ms KS was not so pleased when I reminded her that Gemini can be quite indiscriminate when it comes to telling the truth – this does not mean that Gemini is immoral but rather more amoral – if in doubt, revisit the Greek/Roman mythological surrounding Mercury/Hermes – who is known as the ‘trickster’ god for good reason. 
    • Also consider that Boris Johnson, current prime minister of the UK, has an unusually high dose of Gemini (Sun, Venus, Mercury and Mars) ­­­in his natal chart: Boris spends a good deal of time defending himself of claims that he’s a liar. 
    • This is not to suggest that Gemini tells untruths (I myself have two personal planets in Gemini and believe that energy to be truly charming). But it is to suggest that the relationship that Gemini has with the truth can often be perceived by others as, how shall we put this, ‘challenged.’
    • Mercury in this chart is in Leo in the 4th house – this suggests communication during past lives (4thhouse) was ‘self-aggrandizing’ and ‘boastful’ and ‘self-serving’ (with a casual nod to truthfulness) and being in the 4th house, is quite possible something that ran in Ms KS’s birth family. 
  • Next, we have a Sun/Jupiter conjunction in Cancer in the 2nd house. 
    • On the plus side, this is the signature of an upbeat person who has a knack for finding the silver lining in the darkest of clouds. Ms KS is a very caring and considerate person, perhaps , however, sometimes to a fault. Although her chart is reasonably well-balanced elementally (i.e. there is a nice distribution of planets in the fire, water, air, and earth zodiac signs), Ms KS does have an imbalance of mutable planets, leaving her more than capable of ‘slip-sliding’ away from trouble, which of course is also the nature of Cancer the crab. 
    • The karmic question asked by the Sun in any chart is ‘who am I’ – both in this incarnation but also in respect to prior incarnations – this is not as easy a question to answer as you might think – remember that inscribed over the entrance to the temple of Apollo at Delphi is the ancient Greek aphorism ‘know thyself ‘. Good advice for certain but before you can follow it you need to dig deeper into the very nature of the self that you wish to know. To learn more about this, you may wish to consult an informative book: Selfie: How we became so self-obsessed and what it doing to us by Will Storr. 
    • The karmic lesson of Sun in Cancer is to develop a healthy vulnerability in her relationships, especially with those whom she considers to be part of her ‘family’ or ‘tribe’. 
    • Add Jupiter to the mix, and this suggests past lives where MS KS had in ‘inflated’ sense of self-worth – haughty – and above her station. With the Sun/Jupiter conjunction in the 2nd house, there’s a suggestion that this is something with which Ms KS has grappled over many lifetimes and has for the most part come to grips with this and hence that knack for finding the silver lining in the darkest clouds is considered a karmic resource – none the less, there are suggestions (see below, for example, Moon in Capricorn) that this comes at quite a price. 
  • The Moon in Capricorn is in the karmic 8th house, although again a bit too wide of the mark to be considered in opposition to the Sun/Jupiter. 
    • Nonetheless, in this chart, the Sun and Moon are linked. The price for keeping a tendency for an inflated sense of self-worth in check comes with some deeply engrained – and highly unconscious – emotional patterns of thought and haviour of being cold and judgemental, a fortress of stone and an impenetrable heart. 
    • In the 8th house, this plays out in the way that Ms KS shares both herself and her personal resources with others – think Ebenezer Scrooge before his reformation. 
    • The 8th house is a highly karmic house suggesting many lifetimes of perfecting this way of relating to others. I figure that there is no such thing as good or bad in karma, but instead it’s about finding balance and so I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest that Ms KS developed this fortress of stone/impenetrable heart in order to compensate for being too open to the judgement of others.
  • Mars in Gemini is square to Saturn/Chiron in Pisces across the 1st and 11th houses.
    • Mars in contact (in this case, by square, suggests a constant tension one tends to ignore until it blows up in his/her face) with Saturn suggests present life feelings of powerlessness/helplessness in the face of knowing that one needs to take action.
    • The suggestion is that in prior lives, Ms KS abused her personal will (through communication) and because the 1st /11th houses are involved, this was carried out as part of a group, in which she shared radical ideas/ideals.
    • There is also a suggestion that Ms KS may have given away her personal power for the ‘greater good’ of the group and as the result, fears (or is blocked) taking it back to use for herself.
    • In karmic astrology, Chiron symbolises the wound of the soul, and because he is found is the 11th house of Ms KS, the suggestion is that this occurred as being considered an ‘outsider’ or ‘outcast’. With Pisces involved, there is also a suggestion that the wound as to do with loss of one’s own contact with the divinity. When we chatted about this, Ms KS did say that as a young child, she resisted her parents attempts to make her attend Sunday School because it made her feel that she as if she were being ‘controlled’ by religious dogma. Healing with Chiron in the 11th house comes from the realisation that one size doesn’t fit all and what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander. It seems that Ms KS is well on her way to healing her Chiron wound, which only makes sense as she ‘enjoyed’ her Chiron return back in 2018. 
  • In the 6th house, we have a Neptune conjunction with the South Node in Scorpio (the North Node being in the karmic 12th house in Taurus). 
    • Although that Neptune/South Node conjunction does not make an aspect with any of Ms KS’s personal planets, and hence is purely a generational marker, I consider it important because the nodal axis is involved and as we will see, it provides good clues as to what the types of karmic patterns that Ms KS has developed during past lives. 
    • Neptune is the planet of seduction and glamour as well as illusion and disillusion. The suggestion here is that in regard to healing (6th house), Ms KS may have been a charlatan, perhaps a courtier, who masted the art of indiscretion through flattery pretending to yield to his or her superiors in order to assert power over others in a most oblique and graceful way. 
    • As the South Node is involved, the suggestion here is that MS KS has honed this art – these skills – this craft of subtle, yet fascinating power games to achieve her own ends over many lives. This comes easily to her. she also has to work extra hard to be more truthful more direct and more grounded (North node and tourists). 
  • The generational signature of a close Pluto/Uranus conjunction in Virgo shows up in the 5th house of Ms KS. 
    • This symbolises a political vision which combines an urgent need to destroy old forms and attitudes in regard to ideologies quite possibly having to do with unjust wars (as was the case during this time at least in the United states with the Vietnam War). 
    • Although this generational signature does not tie to any of the personal planets of Ms KS (thus suggesting that this is not her personal karmic responsibility during this incarnation), it does raise the important question of why do we reincarnate in a particular time and place? I’m guessing that the answer to this has to do with that Neptune in Scorpio (in the six house , the House of Virgo closed parentheses the only other generational marker that strongly resonates in the chart of mis KS. Yet looking at her Draconic chart (which comes up next) this  urgent need to destroy old forms and attitudes was not really ever part of Ms KS’s karmic game.

Draconic Chart (Ms KS) – (outside ring)

  • Along with that natal Neptune/South Node conjunction, we now have the draconic Moon in Scorpio in the 6thhouse. 
    • Again, the Moon represents deeply engrained and largely unconscious behaviour and emotional patterns and karmically, functions very much like the South Node. This puts extra emphasis on Scorpio in prior lives and again in the 6th house.
    • Again the image of a con-man, a charlatan, perhaps even a courtier, who used subtle manipulation(Neptune) to take advantage over others. However tempting it is to suggest something along the lines of a psychic vampire or even a black magician, if that were the case, I’d expect to find Pluto (‘power over’ others) lurking around in a prominent position – and he’s just not there – in neither the natal nor in the draconic charts. With Neptune is involved, the power plays are accomplished not with guns but with smoke and mirrors – sleight of hand, fascination, and glamour. 
  • Interestingly, the Natal North Node in Taurus (where Ms KS is heading in this lifetime) is still right on top of that Sun/Jupiter conjunction – in the draconic chart, now in Taurus in in the natal 12th house, the most karmic house of them all. 
    • This suggests that in prior lives, Ms KS had plenty of Taurus energy but somehow lost touch with it and so in this lifetime, her goal is to gain it back. 
    • This might be going out a bit on a limb, but I have a feeling that because Saturn/Chiron in the draconic chart is now in Aquarius at the MC, or the top of the natal chart, this is all connected with that natal Saturn/Chiron in the 11th house – see above – re: in prior lives Ms KS abused her personal will (through communication) as a member of a group, in which she shared radical ideas/ideals.
    • If that were the case, then Ms KS did not do that alone. Her social status/career were tied up in a partnership, likely with a spouse (draconic MC sits on the cusp of the natal 7th house).
  • Finally, both the natal and draconic charts continue to point to communication in past lives as being the source of present life challenges. 
    • Again, the emphasis on amoral, gossipy, loose affiliation with the ‘truth’ Gemini is highlighted. In the draconic chart, Mercury now in Gemini is sitting right on the natal ASC – Ms KS’s window on the world in this incarnation. 
    • Again, the notion of a courtier who had to bow to the will of others and sing the party line – and bow to the will of others – in order to survive comes to mind. Yet with the draconic Venus in Aries, when it comes to love relationships, in prior lives Ms KS most certain got around – yet again, this fits in with the idea of a courtier, one whose challenge is both to be noticed as well as to be seen as a source of pleasure to others without getting too attached to anyone or anything except her next ‘challenge’.

Relationships

  • More often than not, we get an ever more detailed picture of someone’s karma through looking at the connections he/she makes with important others in the present incarnation. 
  • Often people come and go into our lives without making a huge impact. But we all know that some persons – regardless of the amount of time we’ve actually spent with them – make a huge and lasting impact on us and our lives. Especially when we choose to strengthen the bond either by marriage, partnership, or other close family relationship. 
  • Ms KS was especially interested to discover what she might have to learn from her relationship with her husband. The results actually were not so surprising:
    • The husband of Ms KS has a grand earth trine (Mars/Saturn/Venus)– and karmically these are gifts to be reclaimed during the current lifetime. Yet more often than not, trines can be the ‘slippery slope to hell’. The incarnating soul often responds to further development of these gifts with an attitude of ‘why bother’. The attitude suggested here (and confirmed by Ms KS) was one of a strong-willed person who demanded everything to be ‘his’ way whilst at the same time playing an unconscious script in his head of ‘I don’t deserve to be loved’.
    • The ‘why bother’ response is suggested by his Moon in Pisces in close conjunction with the North Node, which suggests that for him, the goal of this incarnation was to do with developing behaviours that would allow the sharing unconditional love with takin on the burdens of others/or paying the martyr. 
    • At the same time, he has a stellium of planets in Libra (Sun/Uranus/Mercury/Jupiter) which put the emphasis on finding balance in the essential dance of give/take in relationships. 
    • His draconic chart suggested he’d lived similar lives dealing with similar issues multiple times. 
  • Enter Ms KS – who because in synastry (comparison of his and her charts on a grid to see where they interact) her natal Saturn in Pisces is closely conjunct his Moon/North Node in Pisces has some karmic debt to repay to her husband from prior lifetimes. The composite chart (putting the two charts together to make one that symbolises the relationship a whole). Here we find the classic signature of the teacher/student karmic aspect and the sense that they both had something difficult to teach each other in his lifetime. 

This is the final post in this series on Karmic Astrology, so thank you for reading!

If you’re interested in learning more about how your prior lives (psychological and otherwise) impact your life now, book for an astrological coaching session now.


Karmic Astrology (11)

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 look at a completely different significator of astrological karma, the Draconic chart.

A Different Kettle of Fish 

Like the Tropical zodiac (developed in ancient Greece) used by western astrologers and the Sidereal zodiac (older than the hills) used by eastern astrologers, the Draconic zodiac is a method of assigning the planets (and other important points) to one of the twelve zodiac signs.

  • The Sidereal zodiac lines the planets up against the fixed stars or constellations. 
  • The Tropical zodiac (now 28 degrees out of sync with the Sidereal) is a moving target. It lines 0 degrees Aries up with the vernal equinox which, because of the earth’s wobble on its axis, shifts ever so slightly each year.
  • The Draconic (Dragon) zodiac is a completely different kettle of fish. Although based on the tropical zodiac, it realigns all planetary placements in keeping with the north lunar node (the dragon’s head). It is the cosmic dance of the two lunar nodes which plots the predictable point at which the moon will cross and crisscross the ecliptic (or the apparent path of the sun through the sky). 

Traditionally, the lunar nodes are more spiritually inclined than the rest of the planets/points; the north lunar node heralds your future, your destiny, whilst the south lunar node symbolises your past, as well as what’s holding you back.

The upside of this is that whilst both the Tropical and Sidereal zodiacs rely completely on the Sun’s movements, the Draconic captures the cyclical waltz between the Moon and the Sun. It is for this reason that the Draconic zodiac is believed to capture the essence of a soul (or higher self) incarnating into the earth plan as well as documenting the karmic strengths and weaknesses carrying on through multiple incarnations (rather like the Akashic Records).

Destiny Calling

Where the tropical natal chart and the draconic charts intersect, there’s much information to gain; in essence, this is destiny calling.

As you can see, the structure of the chart (natal chart on the inside and draconic, the outer wheel) remains the same but the planets and angles will have changed sign. In my Draconic chart, my Tropical Sun has shifted from Libra to Sagittarius. Indeed, although using the traditional western Tropical zodiac, my chart is primarily air (6 planets), using the Draconic zodiac, it is primarily fire (6 planets)- Leo and Sagittarius.

This suggests that once upon a time, I was spirited and full of trust in myself and my intuition but at some point in my karmic journey, I lost faith in myself and my direction, my connection with divinity (Draconic Chiron, the wound of the soul in the 9th house). As the result, I developed an obsequious tendency to give over to the needs and wants of others. In essence, this became ‘who I am’ (Draconic South Node in Libra conjunct my natal Sun in Libra). You might say that I sacrificed myself – my solar essence – to keep the peace. That probably isn’t far from wrong, from what I’ve experienced in this, my present, incarnation.

Nevertheless, a firm Leonine appreciation of ‘self’ and my personal creative spark is a unique karmic gift during this lifetime. This is shown by my natal Pluto in Leo close contact to my Draconic Jupiter in Leo – both in my natal 2nd house.

I might well have gotten carried away with a desire for power as the result of my learning and wisdom (all those draconic planets in Sagittarius in my natal 6th house of service and healing) and preserving my reputation as grounded and practical wise woman/healer (draconic MC in Taurus), but I have the opportunity in this lifetime to reclaim that gift.

Often these opportunities comes as the result of transits to the natal chart and I can only hope that when transmitting Pluto conjuncts my natal North Node at 29 Capricorn (mean node) in 2023, I’ll make serious progress on achieving the authority and respect that I’m meant to achieve during this lifetime.

As my draconic Pluto at 23 Libra is intimately connected with what I consider to be my communication karma (Mercury/Neptune/Saturn in Libra), I am hopeful that the Pluto transit to my natal North Node in 2023-2024 will finally see one of the novels that I’ve written published (i.e., I will be heard!).

Further, the reason that I started this series of blog posts on karmic astrology was because I was having some serious troubles with my karma (psychic attack – yes, WOW – look, I’d never have believed it either before this – but it actually did happen – even my husband and cat got the message something weird has been going ‘bump in the night’ for me for the last couple months – although the two dogs seem oblivious). I am trusting that karmic blockages holding back ‘being heard’ are now being cleared both by my own efforts and especially those of two very gift healers.

I’d hoped to be able to see this clearing of the blockage (as well as the reason/source of the attack) either my natal or draconic chart or both, but I haven’t.

Or, rather, let’s rephrase that – although years ago I had transiting Neptune square my natal Neptune (i.e. the life is one big soppy mess), I’m currently getting transiting Neptune square my draconic Neptune (in Sagittarius). OK, well, I did say that Neptune is the lynchpin in my communication karma – so who knows right? Life is again on big soppy – – psychic – mess – but on a completely different level – fingers crossed, handled correctly, Neptune can be immensely healing.

Time will tell.

(to be continued)

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:

TheoristTheory
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.

Example

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)

Karmic Astrology (9)

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 look at the placement of Saturn in your charts, as being ruler of the boundaries  (the ‘ring-pass-not’) between the personal planets and the collective planets, he is truly the Lord of Karma.

Saturn / Lord of Karma

Astrologically, Saturn is equated with ‘virtues’ such as responsibility, duty, and obligation. Heavy going! Given this is karmic astrology, it was never going to be easy. Saturn may not be the brightest light on the block (we leave that to Jupiter), but he lies at the base of all our accomplishments. Hence, Saturn is often considered somewhat tedious (bywords include self-control, tact, thrift, and caution). But he is very necessary. In effect, Saturn equates to your backbone.

On the other hand, never forget that Saturn is two-faced – both a friend and a foe. With one hand, he gives you that structure & strength necessary to succeed in life but with the other, he makes you feel as like a foolish failure. This is why Saturn is oft associated with fault, failure, fear, guilt, and blame and, for this, he gets deserved bad press. When things go wrong, as inevitably they will do with Saturn, it’s easy to blame others. But in reality, when Saturn is in play, you cannot afford to blame anyone but yourself. 

I suppose that at the end of the day, Saturn is doing us a favour by highlighting where it is exactly that we’re most vulnerable. How else we could we shore up those weaknesses to be strong? Given that as Judy Hall reminds us, karmic astrology is based on the premise that we are eternal, spiritual beings reincarnating into a physical body in order to perfect ourselves through multiple incarnations, it only makes sense to pay close attention to the lessons that Saturn would have us learn.

Sign /HouseKarmic IssueLesson to Learn
Aries / 1st HouseBlockage in self-assertionKarmic duty - when you're young, this feels like a burden or curse but as you grow older and more willingly take up obligations presented, it will get easier.
Taurus / 2nd HouseDeep seated fears of poverty and/overcompensation for previous materialistic lives or consciously taken poverty vows.Develop more traditional and healthier notions of what security and personal safety might mean.
Gemini / 3rd HouseBlockages with communication - hearing or speech impediments and/or learning disabilities. Need to find workable balance between when to speak and when to hold your tongue as well as taking full advantage of any/all learning opportunities, even it not of a traditional kind.
Cancer / 4th HouseFeeling always cut-off from others and/or growing up in a strict household.Drop expectations that you will be treated coldly and without affection and replace them with a warm and welcoming heart.
Leo / 5th HouseFeeling inadequate/insignificant and/or ability to procreate or otherwise create.Stop looking from validation from outside and learn to value yourself for who you are and what you create.
Virgo /6th HouseMay manifest in chronic health problems and/or living in servitude to others.Instead of being evil, your body is a temple and when you are called upon to serve others, choose to do so with an open heart.
LIbra / 7th HouseBlockage relating to partnership, old promises kept that are no longer valid or necessary.Need to develop a healthy and happy relationship with yourself.
Scorpio / 8th HouseDifficulties in sexual expression and/or intimacy - likely manifesting from prior celibacy vows - your own or inherited. Take personal responsibility for your role in sexual relationships which in turn allows you to risk true intimacy.
Sagittarius / 9th HouseDark night of the soul - crisis in religious or spiritual or philosophical beliefs - likely to have arise from many prior lives bowing to the dogma of others.Strike out and find your own path.
Capricorn / 10th HouseOften manifests as debilitating fear of failure in worldly pursuits, especially in younger years.Once you access your innate inner authority, this placement can help you achieve success especially in older years.
Aquarius / 11th HouseOften manifests as feeling out of step with society, as well as deeply critical of your fellow men.Realign yourself to 'higher' vibrations and in doing so, become a wise guide to lead your fellow men.
Pisces / 12th HouseOften manifests with generalised feelings of guilty and powerless and/or fear of being out of control Know thyself - and release the past and embrace not your inadequacies, but instead your personal strength. With age this becomes easier as you gain discipline and confidence.

Example

My Saturn is in Libra in my 4th house and I can definitely relate to feeling cut-off from others. Although not authoritarian in any sense of the word, the home in which I grew up was most certainly not warm and cuddly. My mother took centre stage and as I’ve noted in prior posts, tried to ‘steal’ my personal identity so that she could live her own unfilled life through mine. I was given every opportunity to do whatever it was that she’d not been able to do, which included piano lessons, which I did not want and never had wanted – but nevertheless got along with a whole load of guilt. 

When assessing the karmic effects of my Saturn during this lifetime, it’s important to note that it doesn’t stand  alone in my 4th house but is closely tied with Mercury and Neptune. This put me smack, dab into the mystical/pragmatist dilemma which combined with my communication karma, leaves me pretty much in fantasy land. I have what I have named the ‘Henry James’ syndrome’. Most of his novels (including my absolute favourite, The Portrait of a Lady, explore themes where naïve Americans go back to their European ‘roots’ to obtain the education and polish they didn’t get in their native land.[1] 

But eventually (like Henry James himself) they must come to terms with their roots, or otherwise wander aimlessly like Peter Pan. Those of you familiar with that brilliant 19th and early 20th  century American author will know that he died here in England, never having returned home to America for other than a brief visit. Some might say that he was the archetypal Peter Pan, the lost boy, the eternal youth.

It’s not lost on me that in some strange way, I might even be a reincarnation of Mr Henry James – although clearly lacking his immense writerly talent. I myself have lived abroad in Europe for nearly thirty years and have not returned to my native land – even for a visit – for 18 of those years. I’m not actually certain where that leaves me. But as I started this series of karmic astrology post to help deal with some very complicated karmic issues that and most unpleasantly surfaced over the past month, I hope to make some progress on this.

(to be continued)



[1] In this regard, the history of Bildungsroman might be interesting – coined as it was in 1819 and ‘born’ around 1795-96 with Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship by Goethe. It’s a ‘coming of age’ story – but isn’t just passive – it really features a ‘sensitive’ person who goes in search of answers to life’s questions – and not so much about making money or getting a job. 

And (perhaps not so surprisingly) the Bildungsroman ‘model’ is essentially German. Indeed, perhaps all ‘portrait’ motifs have some basis here. Certainly, there’s suggestion that this basically is what The Portrait of a Lady is all about – the title suggests it as does the plot – both indicating that this is a story about ‘process of development’. It’s more than a biography but shares some elements especially covering a lengthy period of time and includes accounts of (painful) experiences that ‘teach’ the heroine about herself and the world.

The end result is an ‘ethically charged change in consciousness’ – or what fiction writers know as the character arc, through which a series of what might otherwise be perceived as isolated events, characters develop toward what might be considered to be Aristotelian ideas of ‘virtue’.

But back to Isabel Archer herself, our heroine in The Portrait of a Lady. Apparently, James broke with the conventional resolution of the Bildungsroman  because Isabel’s story doesn’t come to an end with the end of the book. It’s left open-ended and I wonder how this better suits her than if we closed her down however carefully and comfortably. I have a feeling that she and her story hold an important key not just for me but for everybody who wants to learn from his/her mistakes.

Karmic Astrology (8)

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 look at overall chart with regards to its composition re: elements and modalities.

Squaring the circle was a problem that greatly exercised medieval minds. It breaks down the original chaotic unity into the four elements and then combines them again in a higher unity.

– CARL JUNG

The circle is the sign of infinity; as with the universe itself, it has no beginning and no end. At birth, you step into this circle, aligning with the four directions of the material plane, which in turn correspond with the four angles of the chart  (AC, MC, DC, and IC). With this, the circle is squared and the map for your current incarnation has been drawn. All that remains is how it is read.

Elements

Each of the twelve zodiac signs belongs to one of four essential elements – fire, earth, air, and water – the elements that have been considered to be at the base of our Western word since the ancient Greeks. One of the first considerations in karmic astrology is whether there is an elemental imbalance in the chart. If you have no planets in one of the elements or more than four, you’re on to something as follows:

ElementChallengeToo MuchToo Little
FireNew HorizonsCan't sit still long enough to process new lessons. Difficulty 'burning' off old karmic patterns in order to transform.
EarthTo be comfortable in one's body without being weighed down by it.Eating disorders and lack of spontaneity and lack of imagination. Difficulties earning adequate living or dealing effectively with practical issues.
AirDistinguish knowledge (taught) from knowing (intuition)Overly rational, stuck in the dogma (perhaps religious) of how things are and should be. Difficulty detaching oneself from a situation so as to see it through the eyes of another - inability thing rationally about a situation.
WaterDevelop emotional detachment whilst still remaining sensitive to needs of others.Finding oneself adrift in emotions, either one's own or those of close others - easily pulled into the victim/saviour/persecutor triangle.Difficulty connecting with one's own feelings, often projecting them on to others and then labelling them as overemotional.

Modality

Likewise, we need to consider whether or not there is an modality imbalance in you chart.

Each of the four astrological elements (earth, air, water, and fire) presents itself in the zodiac in one of three modalities or ways of being – cardinal, fixed, and mutable.

The modalities work as follows: in cardinal mode, the energy first forms and presents itself – usually with a forthright bang.  In fixed, the energy holds steady.  It’s just what the package says – fixed – stable – unmoving as a brick wall.  In mutable the energy disintegrates and disperses – getting ready for cycle to repeat again and again.

For example, the element of fire in Aries is cardinal – bright and strong with intent, energy, and little or no control (have you ever known an Aries to stand still for long?).  In Leo (fixed fire) the energy is controlled and steady like the hearth fire, which warms us and cooks our food.  In Sagittarius (mutual fire) the energy is scattered as sparks from the fire, spiralling outwards and upwards until it melts away in the great beyond.

Karmically, we consider the modalities as follows:

ModalitySigns HighlightedKarmic ChallengeExample
FixedTaurus, Leo, Scorpio, and AquariusDevotion and WillThis manifests in a resistance to change, a reluctance to let go of people and experiences that are no longer good for you. Now, you need to cleanup your karmic attic, so to speak, especially in regards to ancestral heritage.
CardinalAries, Cancer, Libra, and CapricornTesting your duty to and relationship with othersThis usually manifests in relieving stress and tension not through knee-jerk rather than carefully considered actions. The trick here is to look more deeply to yourself as to the cause of your problems rather than assuming others are always to blame.
MutableGemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, PiscesWisdom and BalanceThis often manifests with hazy boundaries - what is mine and what is yours? This leaves you with what is often known as a 'leaky aura' and hence been over-responsive to others. The trick here is to remain flexible whilst at the same time developing discipline, and focus.

Example

For example, I have no fire (planets in fire signs) in my chart. Yet at the same time, this missing element holds both my greatest potential as well as the seeds for my downfall. ]

Until I can become conscious of this and find a constructive outlet for the f things fire governs, it will function unconsciously through the collective most likely to my detriment.

Fire represents both trust in one’s intuition as well as faith in oneself. Those with too much fire often demonstrated an easy passion in life, until someone or something causes them to loose their connection with their destiny.

With no fire, I have had to work hard to develop my intuition yet its erratic expression has led to such unpredictability in the past, that I’d learned not to trust it. What’s worse, with all the air in my chart, it was too easy for me to rationalise away my intuition, even when it was right on point.

One instance springs dramatically to mind: years ago I was walking home from the metro late one night after work and heard someone running up behind me. Turning, I saw a young man in jogging clothes and so ‘decided’ (rationally) that he posed no threat to me – after all wasn’t he as entitled to use the sidewalk as I was? Of course he was, end of story. It may come as no surprise to you, but it did to me, that as he jogged away ahead of me, he was holding my purse. Although I’d had my purse carefully strung over my shoulder (a no-no – but then, hey), he’d so carefully used a knife to cut the purse strings that I’d not even felt it. I was so angry with both him and myself that I actually chased after him. Later the police told me I was lucky he’d disappeared into the bushes because quite honestly, if I’d been successful in confronting him, he probably would have used that knife on me.

This is also a lesson in modalities: I have four planets in Libra – and that qualifies as an overload of cardinal energy. Knee-jerk reaction instead of carefully consider action that very well might have gotten me killed.

(to be continued)

Karmic Astrology (7)

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 look at the placement of Chiron in our charts, for this more than anything points directly at what Judy Hall calls ‘the wound of the soul’.

Chiron / the wound of the soul

Chiron is oft considered a minor astrological player, hiding away in the constellation of Sagittarius located between Saturn, his mythical father, and Uranus, his mythical grandfather. 

Product of one an illicit union between Saturn and Philyra, daughter of Oceanus, the primeval deep, Chiron was half-mortal and half-immortal. He was raised by the god, Apollo, and as the result possessed amazing healing skills. But when accidently wounded in his leg, his mortal half, with the poison of the Hydra, he was unable to heal himself. Although the wound refused to heal, being half-immortal, Chiron could not die. 

In karmic work, Chiron shows not only where the incarnating soul has been wounded but also suggests what must be done to find release from that pain. Like Chiron, who eventually found release in voluntarily taking up the burden of Prometheus, who having stolen fire from the god had been condemned to endlessly have his liver pecked out. The key here is voluntarily. To find release from his ‘wound of the soul’, the incarnated souls must freely release its hold on the world it has always and through ‘death’ (of sorts), hope that something greater may emerge. 

In this sense, Chiron is a shaman that helps us move between levels of consciousness in order to embrace our pain before letting it go. Both house and sign placement give important clues to how this process is meant to play out:

Sign/House Karmic ChallengeExample
Aries / 1st House / Aspects with MarsWound to the ego, one's self of self.In prior lives, you may have been too egotistical or else, through some experience, completely lost your self of self. Either way, that sense of self must now be rebuilt on firmer ground in line with one's eternal, indestructible essence.
Taurus/ 2nd HouseWound is in regards to resources (both external and internal) and personal security.In prior lives you learned how to heal this wound but have forgotten. Now is the time to delve back into that past and find the resources you already have to integrate your body and soul and 'ground' your spiritual gifts.
Gemini / 3rd HouseWound in making yourself heard.In prior lives, you may have been punished for misusing your gifts of communication - perhaps spreading gossip, mistruths, or informing on others. Now you must work past these earlier experiences and learn important lessons that will allow you in this life to speak your truth with perfect integrity.
Cancer / 4th HouseWound is emotional in relation to home environment and parentingIn prior lives, you learned that your home environment was not safe, often because parents were untruthful and/or unreliable. Now the challenge is rise above such experiences in order to parent yourself. You do not have rely on others. You came into the world alone and will also leave it alone.
Leo/ 5th HouseWound is in relation to one's now creativity, which may or may not involved having children.In prior lives, you may have experience destruction of your personal creations and have come away with sense they were unworthy or unappreciated. Healing comes from resolving this split between head and heart. When you create for the pure joy of creating, it matters not what others think.
Virgo / 6th HouseWound in constant self-criticism.Pin prior lives, you may have been made to feel you were not good enough and as the result, constantly worried about being criticised. The healing now comes from learning that is not true and indeed, through being of service to others using your amazing healing powers, you develop faith in your ability to heal yourself.
Libra / 7th HouseWound is in regard to your relationships.In previous lives, you may have learned to believe that you will always attract unsuitable relationships that are destined to fail. Healing comes when you realise that your relationships are nothing more of a mirror into your own should. Work on your relationship with yourself and watch your relationships with others prosper and grow.
Scorpio / 8th HouseWould is in regard to the experience of death.In prior lives you may have experienced severe pain as the result of untimely deaths of others and/or yourself which resulted in loosing of parts of your own soul. Healing comes from soul retrieval and integration, especially of those part of SELF that you' previously chosen to disown.
Sagittarius / 9th HouseWound in old beliefs and attitudes, especially those of a religious/philosophical nature.In prior lives, you might have held on to beliefs for which you were persecuted or punished. Healing comes from letting go of the need to cling to beliefs and learn how to be in the 'here and now' instead of the process of 'becoming'.
Capricorn / 10th HouseWounds in regards to external worldly affairs, especially of a business or political nature.In prior lives, you might have caved into the demands of others and done things against your conscious and/or stood by your conscious only to be used as the scapegoat to protect unscrupulous others. Healing comes from connecting with and staying true to your own inner authority regardless of what others do or say.
Aquarius / 11th HouseWounds relating to being an outcast, or outsider.In prior lives you may have been punished for having clearly seen (and tried to fix) the wrongs of society. Healing comes with the realisation that one size does not fit all and what's good for the goose, is not always good for the gander.
Pisces / 12th HouseWounds relating to loss of connection with own divinity.In prior lives, you may have given yourself in order to heal the wounds of others. Healing comes from taking back your personal power and using it for the good of all involved, which includes both self as well as others.

Times of healing

Chiron transits (i.e. current position of Chiron making a key aspect to your natal Chiron), are often immensely healing turning points. But because of the eccentric orbit of Chiron, these periods often prove hard to predict.

Your first Chiron square, which separates you from that which gives comfort from your pain, can occur anytime between 5 ½ years – 23 ½ years of age. Clearly there is a huge disparity here as to how emotionally capable you will be with dealing with this.

Next, comes your Chiron opposition, which intensifies your wound.

Finally, sometime usually sometime between age 49-51 years of age, you will have your Chiron return, which if you get it right and have been successful into integrating all the phases you’ve experienced to this point, can be an enormously healing time. So much depends on how you’ve dealt with your earlier Uranus opposition Uranus transit. However if, like too many, you fail to get this right, serious health issues are the usual result: men often have heart attacks and women, throat problems.

Example

My own Chiron is in Capricorn straddles my 6th and 7th houses.

This suggests that the wound in my soul not only has something to do with worldly affairs and becoming my own authority, but also regarding relationships gone wrong as well as the damage done by constant self-criticism. Healing should come through using my healing powers in service to others in such a way as to establish my person sense of authority, which in turn should also benefit my personal relationships with close others.

As my own Chiron return was due in the early spring of 2003, a visualization done during my summer 2002 retreat in Glastonbury should have proven useful: during that visualization, I saw the planes of war over the skies of England. My home and family were gone – now what? Churchill and important other world leaders of the time were the ‘new authority’ of the ‘new world order’ and I knew that I must join them; together we’d win the respect of the people lead them forwards to release themselves from the damage of war into a new and better future. 

Although all the pieces of the puzzle as suggested by my natal chart were in that visualisation, I do not know if it accurately reflects a prior life. Neither or since have I had any suggestion that was a reality. But I do know that because my North node is in Capricorn (in the 7th house), that becoming an authority such as this is a goal for me in this lifetime. Although at the time of that visualization I didn’t know that a few months later I’d be made redundant after many years of working for Ernst & Young as an international tax lawyer, I’d have a new job in the same field with a smaller firm, where I’d have the opportunity to establish myself as that authority.

In hindsight, I cannot say that was all a huge success because it wasn’t. It’s true that I gained some ground in becoming an authority in my field of expertise, in this regard whilst at the same time developing some significant thyroid (i.e. throat) problems. 

The lesson, I suppose, is never to underestimate the karmic challenges with which we find ourselves presented. As the result, we ought not to become too critical of ourselves when we fail to meet them full on in complete triumph. Another lesson is that there are so many threads of our karmic past to follow up during any lifetime, that sometimes they get hopelessly tangled. For example, it was pointed out to me by a fellow student during that retreat that with Uranus in Cancer in my 1st natal house close to my ascendant, that I’ve come into this life with an expectation of my home/family (Cancer) would come to an end by something like a war (Uranus) and who knows, but that this expectation coloured my visualisation as much as did past life karma. 

(to be continued)

Karmic Astrology (6)

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 led by Judy Hall many years ago.

Sometimes these indicators fit together nicely and, for the most part, point in the same direction. Sometimes, however, they do not.

Karma with personal relationships

It’s been my personal experience that souls incarnate at a particular place and time to deal with multiple of issues usually to deal with unfinished business with particular persons.

It’s also been my personal experience that although sometimes you have no idea that someone is pushing one of your ‘karmic buttons’, in other cases you know that someone is ‘special’ for you in some way from the moment that you meet.

Finally, it’s been my experience that the nature of that unfinished business always shows up in the synastry (comparison grid) between two individual’s natal charts. This identifies the essential energies in play between the pair as well as showcasing what has brought them together in the first place.[1]

When looking a synastry aspects, the closer the contact (within 0-5 degrees of orb) the more you’ll feel it. The conjunction is the most powerful of all the karmic contacts and if it’s close (within 1-2 degrees) it’s guaranteed whether or not admitted, you will BOTH feel it.

Also when looking for signs of karmic connections, the contacts of most interest are between (1) the personal planets of one person (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter, and Saturn) and (2) the karmic planets of the other (Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, and Chiron).

Karmic PlanetNature of issueExample
PlutoPower-over issues (subtle and obvious) Moon/Pluto - this is typical for mother-child relationships that manifest in dependency issues where one person lives his/her life through the life of the other.
NeptuneSubtle debts, illusions, challenge for unconditional loveNeptune/Venus - this is the classic soulmate syndrome - the soulmate fails to love the other in the way that they have in the past - sometimes the only answer is to walk away and set them free.
UranusFreedom/ commitment issues and acting as a catalyst to find a new way to express the relationshipUranus/Mercury - the Uranus person forces the situation where the Mercury person must finally say what he really believes/feels.
SaturnKarmic debts often revolving around duty (to stay)Saturn/Venus - Venus sparkles in the social limelight, Saturn sulks. Her very existence remind him of his saturnine ineptitude. He puts her down. She flirts to compensate. He gets jealous and controlling. Both parties are miserable but feel duty bound to stay together for financial, family, and/or religious reasons.
ChironHealing wounds and finding integrationChiron/Venus- triggers some wound we carry from the past regarding our sense of personal self-worth. The dynamics between the two persons brings this to a head hopefully allowing a suitable solution to be found.

Soul Mates

Perhaps the most problematic of all the karmic connections is that commonly known as the soul mate. These are carefully programmed old patterns of emotions and behaviours that run very, very deep. The aim of the soul mate game is to step off the karmic treadmill (habits) and find a new way to handle the relationship.

Unfortunately, more often than not, this proves impossible and it all ends in tears. This is not only because it really does take ‘two to tango’, but also because when it comes to ‘soul mates’, Neptune, planet of illusion, delusion, and downright deception is always involved. Often this points to prior patterns of collusion – i.e., you each played into the other’s distorted understanding of reality.

Example

When I moved to the Netherlands back in 1994, I met a glamorous red-haired Dutch woman who stole my heart and more. I started having spontaneous past life regressions (walking through Dam Square and finding myself dressed in clothing from the 1920’s) and other mystical experiences (I knew what she was thinking without it being spoken aloud and vice versa).  Back then, I didn’t know anything about astrology, but I was prompted to explore it – I needed answers to what was happening to me – after all I was a logical international tax lawyer (and she was too) – what could this ‘fairyland’ dream adventure be about?

Her Neptune fell smack on my Sun in synastry.[2 I painfully experienced the pursuit of glamour that comes with connecting up with a soul mate. She didn’t look very happy either. In our present incarnation, we were face-to-face with each other every day (she was my boss) yet we never dealt with our ‘reality’ in a realistic way.

From the start, I knew in my heart, she was ‘mine’ but that I’d ‘lose her. It had happened before to ‘us’. In a meditation during my retreat in Glastonbury, I was walking up steps to a big house in the icy, dark, cold of mid-winter and my glamorous red-haired Dutch woman (in that prior life, my husband), was following me, his/her head bowed. We were in mourning. Twice, I went back down the steps and tried to take his/her hand but he/she refused. Knowing what I did about about that which we’d be faced in the ‘future’, I thought that if only we could be closer in the past, that things would be different. They were not.

In our separate natal charts, our nodes were reversed (which will always be the case with those born 9 years apart). Karmically, the reversed nodes suggests that we are meant to learn from each other in this incarnation but are heading in opposite directions: she is meant to accomplish that which I’ve already accomplished and vice versa. In a North Node meditation directed by Judy Hall, the glamorous red-haired Dutch woman and I (both dressed in fabulously beautiful furs) were stuck alone in a face-off on a ‘ice island’.

The last time I saw that glamorous red-haired Dutch woman in real life was back in the summer of 2002 in Amsterdam at her retirement party. I’ve never seen or heard from her again except that, every once and awhile, she erupts unbidden, illusive as ever, in my dreams.


[1] Whilst synastry examines the impact one person has the other, a second technique – a composite chart – uses the individual natal charts to create a whole new third chart. This represents the relationship as a whole and provides insight into the dynamics upon which it, as a relationship, functions. By comparing the two techniques, we often find repeating themes, which of are of special interest because they will have a significant, longer-term impact on the relationship. For purposes of this blog post, I’ll only consider the synastry but the combinations of the two planets in a composite chart will, symbolically, tell the same story.

[2 In our composite chart, Uranus/Venus (freedom in the relationship/breaking the ‘old’ contract/bond), Mars/Pluto (this could be the power struggle with the sibling – that showed up with Mars in own 3rd house), and Moon/Saturn (mother/child ‘duty’ and ‘debts’ that now need to be repaid) were closely highlighted.

Karmic Astrology (5)

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. 

As you might expect, the placement of both your Sun and Moon are key to your karmic journey, as are the nodes (covered in a prior post ) which map the interaction between the Sun and the Moon as they cross each other’s orbital path (or apparent path) around the Earth. As also noted in an earlier post, the Moon acts almost like the South Node in that it symbolises deeply engrained and almost always unconscious patterns of thoughts and behaviours. 

The Sun – Who are you?

By contrast, the placement of your natal Sun (by sign and house) suggests not only what you are meant to develop during this incarnation but also answers the all-important question of ‘who am I’.[1]

Personally, I believe that the messages of both the Sun and Moon are easier to grasp than those of our nodal placement because more often than not, the Sun and Moon plays out in our incarnational families – i.e. our mother and father or other important mother/father figures in our lives.[2]

Sun SignKarmic TaskExample
AriesDeveloping personal willIn prior lives may have suffered either from inertia or from an excess of personal will. Now the focus is on finding moderation in interactions with others - you don't always need to be the leader but equally, you cannot cave in. Learn the gentle art of persuasion and designing a workable win/win situation.
Taurus Learning to live comfortably in your body with sense of organic relatedness to the world around you.In prior lives, you may have sought security in material things - like King Midas, you wanted more and more gold until mired in your greed, literally it may have killed, you. Now, you not only need to learn the benefits of slow and steady wins the race but also that security comes not from what you 'own' but instead from an unassailable sense of self-worth.
GeminiExpressing self with careful attendance to what is and is not truth.In prior lives you might have been a gossip, or worse recklessly spreading lies to bolster own self worth. Now, you need to time for careful reflection before choosing to open your mouth. Loose lips do indeed, sink ships.
CancerLearn healthy vulnerability In prior lives, you might have found security in the emotional bonds formed with others and as a result, even when it was high time, you struggled to let them go. Now, you must develop the ability to be empathetic (putting yourself into another's shoes to understand how they feel) rather than to be sympathetic (feeling the way another does). The first promotes understanding but the later, codependence. Easy to make the distinction on paper but not in practice.
LeoLearning that power flows through you not from you.In prior lives, you were likely arrogant in that when you used your special powers to make others feel better, they ought to be indebted in some way. Now, you need to appreciate that in his/her own way, everyone is just as special as are you. If you do them a favour, let it come from your heart and not your ego.
VirgoLearn moderation In prior lives, you may have wanted everyone and everything to be perfect, in its proper place all the time. This was unrealistic and often the cause of disease - i.e. dis-ease - or failing to be at ease with anything that met up to your exacting standards. Now, you need to learn to strive for the perfection you love but when it fails to be achieved, live and let live: each has his/her own path and that path is not yours.
LibraLearn not to lose yourself in your relationships.In prior lives, you likely sat on the fence - unable to take a decision least it piss off someone. What's worse, is that it was all too easy to see how that could happen - there are always multiple sides to every story. Now, you need to get off the fence and take a stand, even though it won't make everyone happy. Take time out to get in touch with your own story before you jump into intertwining it with the stories of others.
ScorpioReclaim your shadows, the various parts of yourself that you've left behind elsewhere.In prior lives, you likely took long walks on the 'dark side' and in the process, learned some terrible lessons about the true nature of mankind. Now, it's time not only to transform you own life so that it serves your highest good, but to use what you've learned to help others do the same.
Sagittarius Ask important questions like 'why am I here' and 'why does it matter' and take the time and effort to answer them completely and honestly. In prior lives, you were a free spirit who roamed far and wide in each for meaning. However, like Gemini, you may not have made enough effort to understand all that you discovered. Now, you are asked to delve deeper - spirituality is not what organised religion tells you that you need not is searching for your spirituality merely an intellectual exercise.
CapricornFind stability in your outer life through your own inner life (spirituality)In prior lives, you likely found stability in life through conforming to societal norms and expectations. Maybe you were a great authority or a political leader. Now, you must turn within and integrate your material and spiritual lives - work to live not live to work. Success is a state of mind not a promotion or a raise.
AquariusLive authentically and help others to do the same.In prior lives, you might have been the odd man out, the renegade, rebel without a cause. Fighting for change is an admirable life task as long as you are truly committed to what that change will bring about rather than simply tearing down an existing wall (or law or custom) just because it is there.
PiscesAchieve enlightenment that may help shift collective guilt.In prior lives, it was all to easy for you to get lost in the needs, wishes, and demands of others and in the process lose yourself. now, you need to learn the art of emotional detachment whilst still remaining loving and concerned.

Example

On that week-long retreat in Glastonbury in the summer of 2002, we did karmic readings for each other and one morning I was paired with a woman named Rosie, who was much more experienced with this than me. So you can imagine how proud I was when she told me afterwards that I’d given her a healing in a way that she’d not anticipated.

Equally, she gave me an unanticipated healing in helping me to understand how much my father (represented by my Libra Sun in my 4th house) had really helped me in this life, giving me everything that he’d have given to a son, and, perhaps, much more.

It was also helpful to learn that I’d had previous lives where I was the ‘bringer of order and wisdom’ – past lives during the ‘dark ages’ when concepts, such as ‘justice’, were just starting to emerge. All good Libra stuff – apparently coming to me from a much longer tradition (4th house – family karma) than I’d imagined.

All those years ago, I was quite pleased with this revelation because I wasn’t yet familiar with the concept of the Gateways of the Soul, or the Seven Seals of Planets. What I’d failed to appreciate then was that multiple lifetimes as a lawyer probably actually wasn’t a good thing. It’s common for those (like me) who are so pleased with their mastery of the law, to get stuck in the Jupiter chakra rather than levelling up to our Mars chakra. ARGGH!

There’s always something new to learn!

(to be continued)



[1] The idea is that before birth, we are each given a daemon that selects the pattern we are meant to live on earth. Our daemon, or soul, accompanies us into life as the carrier of our true destiny. As the mediating consciousness between body and spirit, soul picks up an emotional charge from our parents at birth such that their hopes, fears, and fantasies become our own. 

This is not us, however. It is through desire, attachment, crisis, and struggle that soul transmutes the ‘false self’ and reconnects with our ‘true self – i.e., who am I – so that soul can return ‘home’. 

You know that you have lost connection with your soul and ‘true self’ when you feel alienated and lose purpose in life. Reconnection with soul requires more than intellectual understand and gaining control of your emotions. It is through imagination and fantasy (symbolized by Neptune in your chart) that you open your awareness to the sacredness and significance of soul. We nourish soul when our psychological lives reflect the heavens – i.e., our birth charts. For more information see the Soul’s Code by James Hillman (Random House, NY, 1996).

[2] If your Sun and Moon are in harmonious elements and aspects, then your journey during this incarnation will be easier than if they are not. For example, my Moon is in Gemini and my Sun is in Libra – both air – and so harmonious and so able to find common ground. Not surprisingly, my father was a Sun Gemini and my mother, Sun Libra. I could see first hand how these energies played out with my parents.

However someone with Sun in Taurus and Moon in Scorpio will struggle because these signs are in opposition to each other – difficult to find the balance of common ground – think of a see-saw that infrequently is balanced. The rest of the time one is either up or down.

Someone with Sun in Taurus and Moon in Leo will have an even more difficult time – as these signs are in square aspect – think of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Nonetheless, with the Sun and Moon  in both square and the opposition with each other, at least there is a connection between the energies with which you can work. But if your Sun is in Taurus and you Moon in Sagittarius or Aries, there is a total disconnect – not only do they form no aspect together, but they share no common ground.

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.