Craig Huber, a 33 year practitioner of the art of Astrology, is versed in all facets of Astrological interpretation. His services included in depth personal readings and computer generated reports.
Using Your Birthchart as a Spiritual Guide
A woman has a baby and is blissful about it. Another one does the same, and spends the rest of her life dreaming about how she might have been a ballerina. The same choice: having a kid. But only one smiling woman.
Nobody has a generic formula for happiness, at least not one that does the trick for everyone. That's where astrology comes in.
The birthchart, stripped to bare bones, is simply a description of the happiest, most fulfilling life that's available to you... personally. It spells out a set of strategies you can use to avoid boring routines, bad choices, and dead ends. It lists your resources. And it talks about how your life looks when you're misusing the resources and distorting the strategies -- shooting yourself in the foot, in other words.
All from a map of the sky?
Hard to believe. But think for a minute...
"How can the planets possibly affect us? They're millions of miles away." Astrology's critics are fond of rolling out that argument. But it doesn't hold water. Go out and gaze at the moon. What's really happening? Incomprehensible energies are plunging across a quarter million miles of void, crashing through your eyeballs and creating electrochemical changes in your brain. We call the process "seeing the moon." Certainly the planets affect us. The question is where do we draw the boundaries around those effects?
Let's go a step further.
Open your eyes on a starry night. What do you see? A vast, luminous space, full of shadows and light. Now close your eyes so tight they ache. Where are you now? What do you see? Again, a vast, luminous space, full of shadows and light. Consciousness and cosmos are structured around the same laws, follow the same patterns, and even feel pretty much the same to our senses.
"As above, so below." Just as the starry night awes us with its vastness, there's something infinitely deep inside you, a place you go when you close your eyes, a place that's beyond being an Aries or a Gemini or even a specific gender. At the most profound level, a birthchart is a map back to that magical center. It describes a series of earthly experiences which, if you're brave and open enough, will trigger certain states of consciousness in you -- states that operate like powerful spiritual catalysts, vaulting you into higher levels of being.
In the pages that follow, you'll tour your personal birthchart. But don't expect the usual "Scorpios are sexy" stuff. You are a mysterious being in a mysterious cosmos. You're here for just a little while, a blink of God's eye. You face a monumental task: figuring out what's going on! In that spiritual work, astrology is your ally. How will it help?
Certainly not by pigeon-holing you as a certain "type."
Astrology works by reminding you who you are, by warning you about the comforting lies we all tell ourselves, and by illuminating the experiences that trigger your most explosive leaps in awareness.
After that, the rest is up to you.
YOUR TEN TEACHERS
Freud divided the human mind into three compartments: ego, id, and superego. Astrologers do the same thing, except that our model of the mind differs from Freud's in two fundamental ways. First, it's a lot more elaborate. Instead of three compartments, we have ten: Sun, Moon, and the eight planets we see from Earth. As we'll discover, each planet represents more than a "circuit" in your psyche. It also serves as a kind of "Teacher," guiding you into certain consciousness-triggering kinds of experience.
The second difference between astrology and psychology is that astrology's mind-map, unlike Freud's, is rooted in nature itself, just as we are.
The primary celestial teacher is the Sun. What does it teach? Selfhood. Vitality. How to keep the life-force strong in yourself. If the Sun grew dimmer, so would all the planets -- they shine by reflecting solar light. Similarly, if you fail to stoke the furnaces of your own inner Sun, then you'll simply be "out of gas." All your other planetary functions will suffer too.
How do we learn this teacher's lessons?
Start by realizing that when you were born the Sun was in Leo. When we hear "Lion," we think "fierce." But that's misleading. Go to the zoo and have a look at the "King of the Beasts." He's lying there, one eye open, looking regal. He knows he's the king. He doesn't need to make a fuss about it. The lion, like Leo at its best, radiates quiet confidence. A happy, creative, comfortable participation in the human family -- that's what Leo the Lion is all about.
The evolutionary method is deceptively simple: creative self-expression. As we offer evidence of our internal processes to the world, we feel more at home, more accepted, more spontaneous -- provided the world claps its hands for us! That's the catch. Leo needs an appreciative audience. That audience can be a thousand people cheering or one person saying "I love you." Either way, it's applause, and for the Lion, that's evolutionary rocket fuel.
Toughing it out, not letting oneself be affected by a lack of support or understanding, may well be an important spiritual lesson -- but not for Leo. Here the evolutionary problem comes down to lack of real, ultimate trust in other people. The cure isn't toughness; it's building a pattern of joyful give-and-take. So perform! And if no one claps, go somewhere else and perform again.
With your Sun in Leo, you are naturally creative. Your task is to express that side of your character vigorously and confidently -- and to make sure that what you offer is appreciated. What is the best truth you know? What's holy and pure in your life, worth living for? That's your gift. Dramatize it. Package it somehow. And perform! You may be drawn to the arts. But just as possibly, you might express your creativity in a business, or in some public service.
Beneath the colorful surface of your character, there is an insecurity. Hardly anyone sees it. It's the fundamental spiritual problem you've come into this life to work out. Your "yoga" lies in tricking the world into clapping its hands for you. Be wary, though: even if you win the Nobel prize, it won't mean a thing unless you win it for expressing your SELF. Otherwise, your deep-seated doubts and insecurities about your SELF go untouched and unhealed.
One more thing -- if you're doing your best and nobody's clapping, remember this: your act is fine; it's the audience that needs to be replaced.
We can take our analysis of your natal Sun a step further. When you were born, that solar light illuminated the Twelfth house. What does that signify? Start by realizing that Houses represent twelve basic arenas of life. There's a House of Marriage, for example, and a House of Career. Always, we find an element of "fate" in our House structures; the "Hand of God" continually presents us with existential and moral questions connected with our emphasized Houses. How we react and what we learn -- or fail to learn -- is our own business.
One brief technical note: Sometimes the Sun, the Moon, or a planet lies near the end of the House. We then say it's "conjunct the cusp" of the subsequent House, and interpret it as though it were a little further along... in the next House, in other words.
Slipping the bonds of ego, letting consciousness expand beyond the narrow framework of personality -- that's the terrain of the Twelfth House. A planet here stands between you and higher states of consciousness, not as an obstacle but as a bridge. For that reason, it's helpful to view such a planet as your "Guru" or "Master Teacher."
The very existence of a planet in this part of your chart tells us that in this lifetime you're ready for a quantum leap in awareness. But to accomplish that, you must practice a very specific "yoga." What yoga? That depends on the planets involved.
Before we identify that spiritual discipline, there's one more point -- your planetary "guru" is rather insistent. If you avoid the methods the Teacher suggests, your poor ego will take some hard knocks. To the old astrologers, this was the "House of Troubles." That's a fair description of what's in store for us if we choose to maintain our usual attachments, ignoring the call of the inner worlds.
With the Sun in the Twelfth House, you're learning about nonattachment. That doesn't necessarily mean poverty, celibacy, and a begging bowl -- those can be attachments too! Nonattachment means being willing to let go of anything, anytime. It means recognizing that you're not simply a personality, you're a consciousness, something deeper than all your postures or possessions. It means putting your inner life on the front burner all the time. Nonattachment, then, is an inner attitude, not an outward condition.
When you fail to maintain that lofty state, "bad luck" will intervene: the thing you're stuck on will be taken from you. That's why, centuries ago, astrologers named this sector of the birthchart the House of Troubles. What they forgot to add is that the troubles are optional.
The next step in our journey through your birthchart carries us to the Moon.
As you might expect, Luna resonates with the magical, emotional sides of your psyche. It represents your mood, averaged over a lifetime. As the heart's teacher, it tells you how to feel comfortable, how to meet your deepest needs. While the Sun lets you know what kinds of experiences and relationships help you feel sane, the Moon is concerned with another piece of the puzzle: feeling happy.
When you were born, the Moon was in Pisces.
Transcendence. Mysticism. Spirituality. That's Pisces at its best. In this part of your life, you've been given an instinctive sense of mystery and vastness. Something there seems automatically to think in terms of centuries, of high purposes, of divine interventions. Reflexively, when faced with life's vicissitudes, it asks, "What will this matter in five hundred years?"
That's the soul of spirituality. It's also dangerous. Transcendence can run amuck, leaving Pisces in an uncaring, drifting mode, "transcending" while its life descends into entropy. Along that road there are some sad waystations: forgetfulness, spaciness, then escapism -- perhaps into alcohol or drugs, perhaps into food, maybe into the television set.
Avoid those sorry journeys by feeding your Piscean circuitry exactly what it needs: meditative time, silence, a few minutes each day to sit in the infinite cathedral.
With your Moon in Pisces, you have an instinctive sense of the presence of Spirit, although you may give it other names and explanations: mystery, higher levels of consciousness, spaciousness. Call that experience what you will, if you are going to be comfortable in this world, you need to leave it every now and then, allowing yourself to enter a kind of trance... and that process too goes by many names: meditation, prayer, staring out the window. Sometimes people who enter it call themselves artists seeking creative inspiration. Other times, they're bird watchers waiting hours for a rare sighting. Or amateur astronomers gazing at the wispy arms of a faint galaxy. Or photographers waiting for the dawn light to be exactly right...
If you don't take care of your Moon, you'll find yourself slipping into a lackadaisical state in which nothing motivates you except maybe pain. That kind of uncaring laziness is not your true nature, but it is the major "occupational hazard" that goes along with this lunar position.
Going farther, we see that your Moon lies in the Seventh house of your chart.
One thing about love -- there's no way to learn much about it without some help! The Seventh House, traditionally the House of Marriage, is the part of your birthchart where you encounter the people who'll provide your deepest insights into intimacy. But that's not a code word for sex! For that reason, "Marriage" is a misleading title for this House. You can have intimacy without erotic or romantic feelings.
There are two parts to understanding the Seventh House. The first is that whatever energies you have in this part of your birthchart represent lessons you're learning about empathy, trust, and commitment. The second is that those same planetary energies describe the people who'll provide the lessons. They may be mates or lovers. They may be best friends. They may be colleagues or business associates. They may even be "worthy opponents."
With the Moon in the Seventh House, you've shoved the most vulnerable part of your psychological self right into the hornet's nest: the perilous world of intimacy! You bring tremendous empathy and caring into your love life; you also bring all your wounds and tender places. For you to feel comfortable, there has to be a lot of subjective "flow" between you and the people with whom you share your life. For that reason your "soulmates" tend to be emotional folks, full of imagination, in touch with their needs and fears -- and often, therefore, rather moody. In love, you're riding a roller coaster and that's scarey... but you really wouldn't have it any other way.
There's a third critical piece in your astrological puzzle -- the Ascendant, or rising sign. Along with the Sun and Moon, it completes the "primal triad." What is it? What does it mean? Simple -- the Ascendant is the sign that was coming up over the eastern horizon at the instant of your birth. It's where the sun is at dawn, in other words. In exactly the same way, the Ascendant represents how you "dawn" on people -- that is, how you present yourself. It's your "style," or your "mask."
The ascendant means more than that. It symbolizes a way you can help yourself feel centered, at ease, comfortable with who you are. If you get its message, then something wonderful happens: your style hooks you into the world of experience in a way that feeds your spirit exactly the kinds of events and relationships you need. Your soul is charged with more enthusiasm for the life you're living -- and you feel vibrant, confident, and full of animal grace.
When you took your first breath, Virgo was lifting over the eastern horizon of NapoleonOH USA. Let's begin our analysis by considering the meaning and spiritual message of the sign of "The Perfectionist".
Virginity isn't the point. That's just a kind of inexperience, and in the long run no one learns much from avoiding experience. Virgo means purity. Perfection. Getting everything exactly right. That's a tall order. Perfection is a harsh master. It drives the Virgoan part of you, haunting you with a sense of what could be, a sense of the ideal. It also holds a flawless mirror before you, revealing all the imperfections and shortfalls in your character. The combination is powerful. It fills your spirit with hunger and divine discontent, imbueing you with restlessness, as though you'd taken out an insurance policy against complacency. Be careful, though: Virgo energies can self-destruct, slipping into a crippling hyper-awareness regarding all the flaws and shortfalls inherent in people, oneself, our possessions, our prospects -- everything. And nothing kills our climb toward perfection faster than that.
With Virgo rising, your style is precise and analytical. You radiate intelligence, sometimes rather intimidatingly. Something in your aura seems to be studying everything -- and everyone! -- searching for errors and weaknesses. And of course, you usually find them. That's fine, but you may need to cultivate a little diplomacy in the way you express what you've discovered.
To feel centered, you need to feel as though you're good at something. Technical skill bolsters your confidence and your general feeling of well-being immeasurably. That skill can be in any category, from figure-skating to neurosurgery. Similarly, you'll feel best when you're working and when the work you're doing is clearly helping someone in a practical way.
What have we learned so far? Quite a lot. Astrologers use the primal triad of Sun, Moon, and Ascendant in much the same way people who know just a little astrology use Sun signs. The difference is that while there are only twelve Sun signs, there are 1728 different combinations of all three factors. So when we say that you are a Leo with the Moon in Pisces and Virgo rising, that's a very specific statement.
Here's a way to make those words come even more alive. Traditionally, signs are connected with Bulls and Sea-Goats and Scorpions -- creatures we don't see every day. But we can translate those images into more modern archetypes.
We can say you are "The Performer", or "The Aristocrat", or "The Clown". Those are just different ways of saying you have the Sun in Leo.
We can say you have the soul of "The Mystic", or "The Poet", or "The Dreamer"... your Moon lies in Pisces, in other words.
We can add that you wear the mask of "The Perfectionist", or "The Analyst", or "The Servant". Those images capture the spirit of your Ascendant, which is Virgo.
You can combine those archetypes any way you want. And you can go further: Once you have a feel for the three basic signs in your primal triad, you can make up your own images to go with them. Whatever words you choose, those simple statements are your fundamental astrological signature. It's your skeleton. Our next step is to begin adding flesh and hair to that skeleton by considering the planets.
Unsurprisingly, planets can gain prominence in a birthchart through association with the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. These three are power brokers, and any linkage with them boosts a planet's influence.
We find exactly that situation in your case. Venus lies in your First House, a part of the chart which is really just an extension of the Ascendant. Thus, Venus adds yet another tone to your "mask," modifying and deepening some of what we've already seen.
Venus is the part of your mental circuitry that's concerned with releasing tension and maintaining harmony. Its focus is always peace, inwardly and outwardly. As such, it represents your aesthetic functions -- your taste in colors, sounds, and forms. Why? Because the perception of beauty soothes the human heart. Venus is also tied to your affiliative functions -- your romantic instincts, your sense of courtesy or diplomacy, your taste in friends. Invariably, this planet has one goal: sustaining your serenity in the face of life's onslaughts.
Venus was passing through Virgo. Thus, both your aesthetic sensitivity and your taste in partners is shaped by the keen-eyed discrimination of the Virgin. In the realm of beauty, whether natural or wrought by human hands, you have a taste for quality, for precise execution, for technical virtuosity. The same goes for friends and sexual partners -- you appreciate people with a no-nonsense air of competence and realism, people who assess themselves with searing honesty, then get on with the business of working on themselves.
With Venus in the First House, you are blessed with a kind of animal magnetism. People seem instantly to trust you, to feel as though there's rapport between you. You are instinctively courteous -- that is, you mold your behavior in such a way that others are put at ease. From an evolutionary perspective, you center yourself most effectively when you identify yourself as a peacemaker or an artist.
There's even more going on in this part of your birthchart. Also found here are Saturn and Neptune.
Look at a NASA photo of Saturn. The icy elegance of the planet's rings, the pale understatement of the cloud bands... both hint at the clarity and precision which characterize Saturn's astrological spirit. Part of the human psyche must be cold and calculating, cunning enough to survive in the physical world. Part of us thrives on self-discipline, seeks excellence, pays the price of devotion. Somewhere in our lives there's a region where nothing but the best of what we are is enough to satisfy us. That's the high realm of Saturn. In its low realm, we take one glance at those challenges and our hearts turn to ice. We freeze in fear, and despair claims us.
The graceful terrain of Libra offers a region of profound spiritual challenge for you, as Saturn was passing through that sign at your birth. You must learn to steel yourself in the face of the Scales' shadow side: indecision and people-pleasing. Sometimes bridges must be crossed -- or burned. Will yourself toward commitment! This is especially pertinent in regard to the affairs of Saturn's House in your birthchart. Which House was that?
The First! The arena of life where you are asked to create the character you'll play 'til the end, and upon whose successes your spiritual fate hinges. With Saturn here, you radiate a quality of competence, perhaps even an intimidating seriousness, into the social world. More importantly you strengthen your sense of yourself in one fundamental way: through the accomplishment of great undertakings. For you, everything depends ultimately upon commitment, and the day-to-day self-discipline that brings those commitments to fruition.
You're lying in your bed, going to sleep. Suddenly a jolt runs through your body. You just "caught yourself falling asleep." Where were you two seconds before the jolt? What were you? Astrologically, the answer lies with Neptune. This is the planet of trance, of meditation, of dreams. It represents your doorway into the "Not-Self." Based on the sign the planet occupies, we identify a particularly critical spiritual catalyst for you... although we need to remember that Neptune remains in a Sign for an average of a little over thirteen years, so its Sign position actually describes not only you, but your whole generation. Its House position, however, is more uniquely your own.
Neptune was passing through Libra. Thus, to trigger higher states of consciousness in yourself and to stimulate your psychic development, you may choose to follow the Path of the Lover... that is consciously, intentionally to seek life partners who'll hold the mirror of the soul before you. Without the purifying, soul-bleaching effects of dialog with these soulmates, you tend to drift away from Spirit, losing yourself in the mazes of daily life. But remember: finding them usually isn't the challenge. The challenge lies in hanging in there with them, listening and learning, even when you don't like what's reflected in the "soul mirror."
At your birth, Neptune was about to rise -- in your First House, in other words. This is a position of great prominence for any planet. As a result, we recognize that Neptunian qualities (psychic sensitivity, spiritual leanings) figure vividly in your character, and that those qualities show--people sense them in you. At your best you wear the mask of the mystic, but you can also wear the mask of the chameleon, changing your colors to fit your surroundings and thereby losing track of your own vision and momentum. The cure? Keep Neptune healthy by feeding it meditative silence, ideally once a day.
Your own birthchart is complicated by the fact that, at your birth, Pluto was aligned with the Sun... or "conjunct" the Sun, to use the proper astrological term. Thus, the energy and spirit of that planet is fused with your solar identity. In a sense, you are an "incarnation" of Pluto."
What can that mean? Start by understanding the significance of the planet.
"Life's a bitch. Then you die." Go to any boutique from coast to coast; you'll find those words on a coffee mug. Meaninglessness. Like most truly frightening ideas, we make a joke of it. That's Plutonian territory: the realm of all that terrifies us so badly we need to hide from it. Death. Disease. Our personal shame. Sexuality, to some extent. Initially, Pluto asks us to face our own wounds, squarely and honestly. Then, if we succeed, it offers us a way to create an unshakable sense of meaning in our lives. How? Methods vary according to the Signs and Houses involved, but always they have one point in common: the high Plutonian path invariably involves accepting some trans-personal purpose in your life.
One more point: Pluto moves so slowly that it remains in a given Sign for many years. As result, its Sign position in your birthchart refers not only to you but also to your generation. The House position, however, is much more personal in its relevance.
Pluto was journeying slowly through the sign Leo. Thus the shadow material you are called upon to face has to do with the dark side of the Performer archetype: an obsession with being noticed. In what part of your life or personal history have you chosen style over substance, glitz over moral excellence? (If your answer is "Nowhere!" then congratulations... you're Enlightened... or not looking hard enough.)
At the moment of your birth, Pluto gleamed in the Twelfth House -- the part of the natal chart that refers to self-transcendence. To do your inner "spiritual" work, you must first face some mucky material in your personal or karmic history. Your "inner guru" values honest self-appraisal above any other virtue. Purification, paradoxically, is dirty work -- but once you've done some of it, you're free to manifest your mission and thereby create meaning in your life. Your mission? Easy to say, hard to do: it is to teach others the inner path of Spirit.
While a fairly large number of people have Pluto in that sign and house, the fact that it lies conjunct your Sun gives it special emphasis. By pushing the strengths it suggests toward their limits, you charge your solar vitality, approach your destiny, and set the stage for fullfilling your spiritual purpose.
Sometimes a planet gains prominence in a birthchart simply by sharing a House with the Sun. That's the case with you. Mercury is bathing in solar light, occupying the Twelfth House along with our central star.
Mercury buzzes around the Sun in eighty-eight days, making it the fastest of the planets. It buzzes around your head in exactly the same way: frantically. It's the part of you that never rests -- the endless firing of your synapses as your intelligence struggles to organize a picture of the world. Mercury represents thinking and speaking, learning and wondering. It is the great observer, always curious. It represents your senses themselves and all the raw, undigested data that pours through them.
Mercury is chittering in Virgo. This combination links your mental functions with the hungry, analytical logic of the Virgin -- a formidable marriage. Your intelligence scans your environment with the speed of a NASA computer, searching for flaws, hunting out inconsistencies. Spiritually you are learning a lot about the imperfections woven into everything we do -- and some hard lessons about the costs of mentioning them.
With the traditional "Messenger of Gods" occupying your Twelfth House, your intelligence is much concerned with the investigation of consciousness itself. You trigger greater psychic sensitivity and spiritual awareness in yourself when you flood your senses with incongruous, surprising, stimulating information or questions: What's the sound of one hand clapping? The trick here lies in using the intellect to trip the intellect.
A planet can gain authority by sharing a House with the Moon. We find that situation in your chart. Jupiter is bathing in moonlight, occupying the Seventh House along with Luna.
Take all the planets, all the meteors, moons, asteroids, and comets. Roll them up in a big ball of cosmic mush. They still wouldn't equal the mass of the "King of the Gods" -- Jupiter. Exactly that same bigness pervades the planet's astrological spirit. Jupiter is the symbol of buoyancy and generosity, of opportunity and joy. At the deepest level, it represents faith... faith in life, that is, rather than faith in anybody's theological position papers.
Jupiter stands in Aries. This is an important piece of information -- maybe a pivotal one. Being human is tough sometimes. When you need to boost your elemental faith in life, your answer lies in following the Way of the Warrior. What this means is that in dark times you need to recharge yourself by pushing toward the limits of your courage... even if that action has nothing to do directly with the problems you're facing. Take a rock-climbing class, go trekking in Nepal--feel the "edge." Mysterious, but it will always restore you.
In your chart, the "King of the Gods" reigns in the Seventh House -- traditionally the "House of Marriage." Your natural soulmates are people of jovial spirit -- that is, they are bright and energetic, but sometimes a little overbearing. Spiritually, they are sent to cheer you up and expand your horizons; listen to them. But, in loving relationships, learn always to ask yourself, "Am I settling for less than I need here? How can I make this bond better?"
In the final analysis, all planets are important. Each one plays a unique role in your developmental pattern, and failure to feed any one of them results in a diminution of your life. Just because the following planets aren't "having breakfast with the President" through association with the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant doesn't mean we can ignore them.
Pale red Mars suggested blood to our ancestors, and they named it the War God. That's an effective metaphor -- Mars does represent violence. But today we go further. The red planet symbolizes the power of the Will. Assertiveness. Courage. Without it, there'd be no fire in life. No spark. Where your Mars lies, you are challenged to find the Spiritual Warrior inside yourself, the part of you that's brave and clear enough to claim your own path and follow it.
Mars glitters in Leo, where it glows with power and charisma. Once your enthusiasm is ignited, people tend to line up behind you. They believe you, trust you. The archetype of the Warrior King (or Queen!), full of dignity and righteous authority, plays a basic role in your psychic makeup. Spiritually you are learning about the humility and sensitivity that must temper the weight of the crown.
With the War-God occupying your Eleventh House, as you mature, your nature and circumstances will increasingly reflect the spirit of the red planet. You'll get tougher and more adventuresome... or, if you make a lot of cowardly choices, you'll slip into bitterness, which is the dark Mars. Here's another piece of the puzzle: You have to sparkplug an "army" of people with whom you share a basic value. That "army" is organized against some hostile force, inimical to the survival of that value.
If Uranus were the only planet in the sky, we'd all be so independent we'd still be Neanderthals throwing rocks at each other. There would be no language, no culture, no law. On the other hand, if Uranus did not exist, we'd all still be hauling rocks for Pharaoh. All individuality would be suppressed. This is the planet of individuation... the process whereby we separate out who we are from what everybody else wants us to be. Always it indicates an area of our lives in which, to be true to ourselves, we must "break the rules" -- that is, overcome the forces of socialization and peer pressure. In that part of our experience, what feeds our souls tends to annoy mom and dad... and all the "moms" and "dads" who lay down the law of the tribe.
With Uranus in Cancer, the process of individuation for you is tied up with the Path of the Inner Eye. That is to say, you strengthen and clarify your own Uranian identity through two kinds of exploration. One is the stimulation and investigation of your own fertile creative imagination. The other revolves around a sensitive, probing consideration of the way the "myth" of your family has shaped -- and limited -- the development of your character.
House of Honor -- that's the old name for the Tenth House, where your Uranus lies. The issues are broader; not just your reputation, but also your career, and even more broadly, your "cosmic job description." Uranus is your Teacher here and the lessons can be summarized this way: to find your most satisfying role in the human community, you must first find yourself... that is, separate from the promptings of your spirit all the extraneous, phony dreams you internalized watching TV when you were a kid. You HAVE a cosmic job description, and it is Revolutionary, Breaker of Rules, Troublemaker, Sower of the Seeds of Doubt.
Your Lunar Nodes
The soul's journey Here's a jolly baby. Here's a serious one. An alert one. A dull one. A wise one. Those are common nursery room observations, but they raise a fascinating question: How did that person get in there?
Most of our psychological theory, either technically or in folklore, is developmental theory... abuse a child and he'll grow up to be a child-abuser, for example. But in the eyes of the newborn infant, there is already character. How can that be? One might say it's heredity, and that's certainly at least part of the answer. A large part of the world's population would call it reincarnation -- that baby, for better or worse, represents the culmination of centuries of soul-development in many different bodies. A Fundamentalist might simply announce, "That's how God made the baby." Who's to say? But all three explanations hold one point in common: They all agree that we cannot account for what we observe in a baby's eyes without acknowledging the impact of events occurring before the child's birth.
In astrology, the South Node of the Moon refers to events occurring before your birth, helping us to see what was in your eyes ten seconds after you were born... however we imagine it got in there! The Moon's North Node, always opposite the South Node, refers to your evolutionary future. It's a subtle point, but arguably the most important symbol in astrology. The North Node represents an alien state of consciousness and an unaccustomed set of circumstances. If you open your heart and mind to them, you put maximum tension on the deadening hold of the past.
As we consider the Nodes of the Moon in your birthchart, we'll be using the language of reincarnation. Whether that notion fits your own spiritual beliefs is of course your own business. If it doesn't work for you, please translate the ideas into ancestral hereditary terms. After all, it makes little practical difference whether we speak of a certain farmer weeding his beans a thousand years before the Caesars as your great, great, mega-great grandfather... or as you yourself in a previous incarnation. Either way, he's someone who lived way back there in history who sort of is you, sort of isn't, and lives on inside you--influencing but not ultimately defining you.
At your birth, the South Node of the Moon lay in Virgo, the sign of the Servant. Anyone looking into your eyes as you took your first breath would have observed the results of lifetimes spent learning the virtues of artistry: attention to detail, devotion to perfection, respect for method. In previous incarnations, you've attained excellence at some skill which other people valued. Through logging so many hours exercising that skill, you became radically and narrowly identified with it. Now, like a baker who's seen one too many loaves of bread, you must learn a new lesson: how to relax, stop "earning love," and simply open your easy heart.
That nascent ability to simply accept love is symbolized by your North Node of the Moon, which lies in Pisces -- the sign of the Mystic. As we saw earlier, the North Node can be seen as the most significant point in the entire birthchart. Why? Because it represents your evolutionary future... the ultimate reason you're alive, in other words. How can you accomplish this Piscean spiritual work? The "yoga" is easy to say, harder to do: you must overcome your dutiful, methodical, somewhat self-critical instincts and consciously, through meditation, open yourself to a love so infinite and unconditional that nothing you can do can effect it at all. You might practice by letting others offer you kindness without succumbing to an ancient little voice inside you that says, "Oh damn, now I owe them one!"
There's another piece to the puzzle: The Moon's South Node falls in the Twelfth House of your chart. This implies that previous to this lifetime you learned a great deal about letting go of your attachments. You've probably done some of that work in the context of a spiritual discipline, but other times you've learned the hard way -- by experiencing searing, ego-crushing losses. Those losses sometimes taught you profound spiritual lessons; other times, they merely drove you into numbing addictions.
In this lifetime, with your North Node of the Moon in the Sixth House, you must act to counterbalance some of that focus on releasing and transcending... not because it's "wrong," but because you've already learned everything you can from it. The time has come for you to concentrate on making concrete commitments, humbling yourself before them and carrying them through to successful conclusions. What kinds of commitments? The only kind that will really hold your attention in this lifetime: commitments to helping other people.
And that's your birth chart.
Trust it; the symbols are Spirit's message to you. In the course of a lifetime, you'll make a billion choices. Any one of them could potentially hurt you terribly, sending you down a barren road. How can you steer a true course? The answer is so profound that it circles around and sounds trivial: listen to your heart, be true to your soul. Noble words and accurate ones, but tough to follow.
The Universe, in its primal intelligence, seems to understand that difficulty. It supplies us with many external supports: Inspiring religions and philosophies. Dear friends who hold the mirror of truth before us. Omens of a thousand kinds. and, above all, the sky itself, which weaves its cryptic message above each newborn infant.
Whatever your course, thank you for your time and attention, and I wish you grace for your journey.
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