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.

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.

Happy Easter

Easter is the perfect time to remember how the doctrine of resurrection (i.e. life after death) leads straight to that of judgement, which like Karma, leads to the moment when the rewards for your past efforts manifest.

Sounds scary?

Not really, at least not if we also remember that the wisdom of the Tarot suggests that for those who’ve met certain preconditions, judgement is a time of healing. So what are those preconditions? The symbolism on the card itself makes this clear.

The three individuals being resurrected from this square-shaped grave embody the trinity of the divinity which is now freed from the quaternity of the earthly world. This suggests that which is authentic, essential, and divine in you will be finally liberated but only to the extent you have been true to your heart, your humanity, and to your ‘higher self’.

Astrologically, this brings us to the Sun.

According to Ficino (1433-1499), the consummate Renaissance man, the Sun is the image of the ‘heart’ of all life and especially that of our psyche. As such, the Sun symbolizes insight and imagination, those qualities considered to be uniquely human. Thus solar energy is associated with consciousness, rational thought, and the pursuit of honour – the ‘higher Self’ – the wind vane that directs our key decisions. Most importantly, the sun is associated with the divinity of spirit in all things, bringing them to life, fertilizing them, and providing all that is necessary for them to thrive and grow.

In the Kabbalah, the 6th sephirah known as Tiphareth and associated with the ‘Christ’, lies at the exact center of the Kabbalistic Tree. Thus it is in Tiphareth that soul and body, self and ego, higher consciousness and personality merge. 

Astrologically, Tiphareth is associated with the Sun as well as the heart-chakra. Not surprisingly then, as both the Kabbalah and Ficino remind us, the Sun, or Tiphareth, is the seat of our humanity, our ‘higher selves’.

What can you do with this?

The energy of this long Easter weekend is predominately that of the Sun in Aries, or the ‘higher self’, making a challenging square aspect to Pluto, the Lord of transfiguration, death and rebirth. If ever there was time a time to get in touch with how your ego (shadow side of the Sun) stifles your humanity, you higher Self, it’s right now.

Key to this is realizing that personalization is not the same as passion, which itself figures heavily into Easter imagery. The word Passion comes for the Latin word for suffering and so it is little surprise that with Easter, we celebrate the Passion of Christ, the betrayal, arrest, trial, and suffering of Jesus which ends with his death on the cross.

Sure, you need to have conviction in what you do and love for those for whom you do it. That’s passion!  By contrast, personalization – i.e. it’s all about me – only fans the flames of ego and hubris and that’s dangerous especially at this time. Use this time on this Easter to ensure your own resurrection by getting in touch with your humanity so as to be your best version of yourself.

When the ‘sun is spent’…

One of the perennial philosophies asserts that only in eternity (i.e. God, Plato’s forms, Aristotelian essences) can constancy be found. All else is subject to mutability, change as the result of time.

In Book Eleven of his Confessions, St Augustine questioned time in relation to God (the stable Truth) and His creation of the temporal world. He concluded that time – past, present and future – could be nothing more than a conscious act of human representation.

Whether or not this is true, I suggest that at least in his secular poetry, John Donne, the metaphysical English Renaissance poet, shrewdly manipulates his representations of time in order to explore ideas about constancy and mutability in new and thought-provoking ways.

One of the most interesting, at least for this time of the year, comes with his poem A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day, in which Donne uses the winter solstice to help his speaker come to grips with a difficult situation.

Someone important to the speaker, likely a lover or former lover (suggested by the speaker’s address to ‘other lovers’), has died.

It is indeed a dark time.

Yet the cycle of death is now complete – ‘this time to the Goat is run’ – (i.e. at the winter solstice, the sun enters Capricorn, ‘The Goat’, in order to die and be reborn). Because ‘spring’ is connected through rhyme with ‘thing’ (‘I am every dead thing’), there is hope of regeneration not only for the sun but for the speaker as well. In turn, this will ‘fetch new lust’ (the goat being associated with the genitals and the union of male and female powers).

The desolate speaker takes solace from the next (‘summer’) solstice – ‘let me prepare towards her’ (emphasis added) for after ‘midnight’ comes the new day.


With this, Donne has effectively reset the clock and put the difficult situation into new perspective and with similar reflection, you can do the same.


With Saturn and Pluto coming ever closer form their historic conjunction in Capricorn in mid January 2020, we can expect this solstice to be both a time of crisis and contraction. On so many levels, it spells the end of innocence, the end of an era that as with the speaker in Donne’s poem, we have little choice but to face with honesty and humility. Just as St Augustine reminds us, all in our temporal, material wold is subject to change as the result of time.

Yet as with Donne’s poem, this solstice offers the opportunity of true transcendence and healing if, and only if, we choose it to be.

Intention matters.


‘Tis the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s,
Lucy’s, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;
         The sun is spent, and now his flasks
         Send forth light squibs, no constant rays;
                The world’s whole sap is sunk;
The general balm th’ hydroptic earth hath drunk,
Whither, as to the bed’s feet, life is shrunk,
Dead and interr’d; yet all these seem to laugh,
Compar’d with me, who am their epitaph.

Study me then, you who shall lovers be
At the next world, that is, at the next spring;
         For I am every dead thing,
         In whom Love wrought new alchemy.
                For his art did express
A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness;
He ruin’d me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death: things which are not.

All others, from all things, draw all that’s good,
Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have;
         I, by Love’s limbec, am the grave
         Of all that’s nothing. Oft a flood
                Have we two wept, and so
Drown’d the whole world, us two; oft did we grow
To be two chaoses, when we did show
Care to aught else; and often absences
Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.

But I am by her death (which word wrongs her)
Of the first nothing the elixir grown;
         Were I a man, that I were one
         I needs must know; I should prefer,
                If I were any beast,
Some ends, some means; yea plants, yea stones detest,
And love; all, all some properties invest;
If I an ordinary nothing were,
As shadow, a light and body must be here.

But I am none; nor will my sun renew.
You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun
         At this time to the Goat is run
         To fetch new lust, and give it you,
                Enjoy your summer all;
Since she enjoys her long night’s festival,
Let me prepare towards her, and let me call
This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this
Both the year’s, and the day’s deep midnight is.

A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day, being the shortest day – John Donne

Karmic Dilemmas


Today, I attended a fab networking event for the ladies and the question was raised about karma.


Whether you believe that karma is about actual past lives or something more along the lines of what your higher self (or soul) wants to work on during this lifetime, this is my take on a few astrological considerations.


General shape of the natal chart – here, we are looking for empty spaces (i.e. quadrants or hemispheres rather than single houses). Energy ‘flow’ in the chart is important to pinpoint blockages as well as overcompensations.

I have absolutely nothing in the 3rd quadrant, which governs my personal development through relationships, socialisation and intellect. I’ve been married twice and have far too many university degrees. Overcompensation? You can bet on it.


Chiron – is also a big karmic factor and guess what, he’s conjunct my 7th house cusp! Is he telling me that I’ve suffered prior ‘wounds’ in relationship that had to do with balancing my own needs and that of the ‘other’? If so, then not surprisingly does this often manifest as the typical Libra refrain (I have 4 planets in Libra) – ‘I’ll do anything for you to stay in the relationship’. The karmic lesson here involves learning to love myself so that I’m not so dependent on the love from my ‘significant other’.


Element balance and imbalance – here, we are looking for (1) no and/or (2) four or more planets in either fire, earth, air, or water. Again, we’re looking for overcompensation and fixations. I have lots of air but no water in my chart and I often dream of water, not of drowning but of being constantly flooded. Water represents emotions. I don’t deal well with emotions. Put air and water together and you have rain storms. Too many of those at once and there’s flooding.


Moon and the South node –  here, we are looking for deeply instinctual patterns, something that I’ve done over and over before and so keep doing because it is so easy. My Moon is in the 12th house, the most karmic of the houses. This definitely has to do with ‘mother-stuff’ (I spent years on ‘mother’ in my therapy – and I do mean years) and of course emotions. Or rather, it has to doing with being ‘detached’ from my emotions because otherwise it causes too much personal pain with which I cannot deal. Don’t be surprised to learn that my South Node is in Cancer. This is something that I’ve done gazillions of times before.

Doesn’t this tie in a bit too nicely with my lack of ‘water’ and recurrent ‘mother issues’?


What does your chart say about your karma?

The Dragon’s Head


Imagine, having a clear picture delivered from your higher self of what you’re meant to accomplish during this lifetime, a picture that ordinary astrological techniques and ordinary astrologers cannot provide?


Background

Just 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 Dragon Speaks

The cosmic dance of Rahu, the Dragon’s head and Ketu, the Dragon’s tail

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).

If the natal chart erected using the Tropical zodiac fleshes out the personality or temperament of the incarnated individual, the chart erected using the draconic zodiac provides the skeletal framework. It’s the equivalent of having a snapshot of your higher self and its intended evolutionary goals before coming into this incarnation, highlighting important lessons intended to be learned this time around. 


Destiny Calls

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 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). 

Tropical zodiac on the inside compared to Draconic zodiac on the outside ring.

To me this suggests that over many lifetimes, I’ve nurtured a fiery optimistic, spiritual, philosophical, and holistic approach. This has likely been accomplished through extensive travel as well as a good deal of higher education (Sagittarius). 

My natal Tropical Moon in Gemini loves learning, reading everything upon which I can lay my hands. Certainly, this would fuel a continuing need to develop my wisdom but Sagittarius implies more understanding than does Gemini, which is generally more interested in gathering information than doing much with it.

My Draconic Moon in Leo may help here because it comes more from the heart (Leo) than the head (Gemini). Leo brings natural authority and fierce sense of pride to the table, a personal pride that quite honestly, I’ve never actually felt before. Having my Draconic Mercury in Sagittarius will also help in applying what I learn across a broader board. It might also be the source of my active interest in creative writing, which I’ve long believed is not really explained by my natal chart.  

In my Tropical birth chart I have no fire and so I have never believed that my intuition (fire) was reliable. But then again, looking back over nearly six decades, my intuition never has let me down. I also have struggled keeping up faith in myself and in life in general, but all that fire in my Draconic chart suggests that perhaps I overdid this (i.e. held too high an opinion of myself) in prior lifetimes and so in this life, I needed to learn some humility.

This theme of humility is mirrored in the closest connection I’ve noted between the two charts – that of the Tropical Pluto sitting close to Draconic Jupiter. Together, these suggest a desire for power that might have got out of hand in past lives. There’s also plenty to suggest that Jupiter (king of the gods) is my spiritual guiding light (all that Sagittarius, which Jupiter rules) but in this life my Jupiter in Gemini is in detriment. Perhaps I need to find a new and less traditional way to express my urge for power?


Destiny is Answered

I’m still working with this new zodiac and am very excited about what it might add to my astrological coaching mix. Next, I’ll explore midpoints and synastry. There’s also a whole new way of thinking about transits and progressions. Watch this space.


The name of the game is shame?

I don’t know about you, but I often worry about whether by taking poor decisions, I might be making myself bad karma. Mind you, I’m not even certain what karma is, much less how it might work but I’ve always been told that ‘what goes around does come around’ and for the most part, that seems to be true.

Yet, is comeuppance guaranteed? I mean, considering all that’s happening in the world of politics at the moment, I really do have to wonder. Might it be that some folks are so blessed that they can do whatever they want without consequence? 

Regardless, I opt for sensible guidelines and given that Saturn and Pluto are together dancing their jig in Capricorn, I’ll take my lead from them and so ‘shame’ will be the name of my ethical game.


Rather than thinking of shame as a punishment, as we are often wont to do, I figure shame keeps us from doing things that the person that we want to be ought not to do. In this context, shame is not a painful conclusion but a joyous opportunity.


For Buddhists, shame is the frontline defence against inappropriate actions. Such action not only produces negative karma (locking you into the painful cycle of rebirth) but also leads to difficult rebirths.

Even non-Buddhists find inappropriate actions to be trouble.  Folks tend to get annoyed when one steals, murders, and cheats.  Likewise, they shy away from those who frequently lose their temper and fail to honour their commitments.  Indeed, during the course of a single day, you are confronted with a whole host of activities that someone considers inappropriate. If you wished to comply with all of them, you might as well just stay home.


In reality, we cannot always abide by an external set of rules when deciding what we should or should not do.


Yet assuming that you do want to be ethical, then what standard might you use? I suggest using your own ‘sense of shame’.