To inquire about readings or for more articles on the North/South Nodes, go to: http://www.elizabethspring.com
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The type of astrology I practice has elements of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and even an agnostic "weltenshaung" world view.
So, how does it all work? When an astrologer draws up a birth chart based on that very important birth time and place, it will show tendencies, or probabilities, but it doesn't show destiny. We still have free will. Each choice and every attitude in life builds character, and character and fate are delightfully intertwined. Why is it delightful? Because most astrologers believe in that formula of fate plus character equals destiny, then we can consciously work on our character. Fate can throw us hard times, but we create our destiny by building our character in response to what life presents us with. We use our free will to continually make choices, and those choices are either conscious or unconscious, and are based on what we know at the time. I’ve always liked what Jung once said about this: “Free will is the ability to do gladly that which I must do.”
For me, I sense a plan of divine justice here, and a cosmic pattern that affirms a meaningfulness, and a divine dance between the macrocosm and the microcosm; between God and man; between the heavens and the earth. Astrology accepts the ancient occult saying "as above, so below, as within, so without" and so it presumes a relationship between the planets above and the earth below; between the numinous “mind of god” and the individual psyche within.
When you look at your own chart, you’ll see a psycho-spiritual description of yourself that transcends one life alone. Every planet in the chart is karmic. Karmic suggests habitual patterns, and reflects the usual way or style you have of doing things—and it may continue over many lives. Some of your old habits serve you well; others seem to be trouble makers. So karmic patterns are reactive knee-jerk responses—they are your “default” patterns when you’re not applying a lot of conscious willpower over a situation. Karma is not all bad, in fact, just like all the planets and the signs can be read in a positive and negative manner, your “karma” contains your gifts as well as your stubborn resistances. In a nutshell, karma is the law of cause and effect. But not all “karma” is obvious or linked in a fair and just manner in this one life, so the subject does get mysterious. But who doesn’t love to attempt to understand a good mystery?
Character, choice, and fate intertwine in mysterious ways, and my focus here is not to predict, but to help you explore all the possibilities in your charts. For example, let’s say you are born a female with blue eyes and red hair and perhaps an Irish background. It's also significant if your North Node or Sun in your birth chart is tightly aspecting Pluto. The closeness of your North Node to Pluto or the Sun to Pluto tells you that your father, and your paternal inheritance is very strong, and that you have a kind of intensity and charisma that other people may find intimidating at times. It also suggests that you may have lost a “gift” from the father—he may have been absent in some way.
This aspect suggests you are not going to shy away from the deep and sometimes taboo areas of life, but rather will be drawn to explore them in order to regain the gift. You will want to understand the challenges that your father and grand-father had, so that you can understand your family karmic inheritance and not act out urges unconsciously. There’s a legacy with this aspect, and the goal is for compassionate understanding—and often forgiveness, so that you do not act out the karmic-genetic tendencies blindly.
Because the planets don't cause anything to happen, but merely reflect the climate of a particular time, we have free will in determining how we will play out the symbolism of our birth chart and the astrological weather of the transits. You can choose to play out your “karma” on what might be called a higher octave rather than a lower octave. The more you know, the more choices you have, the better your decisions—this is when knowledge becomes power. Wisdom and “character” is what happens along the way.
Astrology works— and occasionally doesn't work—for many reasons. Like the Judeo-Christian concept of prayer, we ask and hope to receive. When astrologers, like other spiritual teachers or guides, move into the literal mode too much and attempt to predict the mind of God, we lose. When we honor the fact that spirituality echoes the mysteries of our lives, we find that astrological insight can be profound. It can inspire courage and faith in the process of life and death. It can give hope.
Magic and mystery arise when synchronicity is felt—when what you see in your chart and what you know of your life are congruent; synchronized, and reveal a pattern. Astrology is not meant to merely define, predict, or forecast—it’s meant to stimulate our insight and make us whisper: “Ah-hah!” Its here to help us do what the oracle at Delphi commanded—"Know Thyself." It helps us make better choices, as it gives us a glimpse of who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.
Monday, March 23, 2009
When someone asks what work I do, I always have to summon up a little extra courage before answering "I'm an astrologer." And the reaction is usually the same. "Really?" they say, and then after a pregnant pause and intense eye contact, they either quickly change the subject, or ask with raised eyebrows—"So how long have you been doing it?" When I say I started studying thirty-eight years ago, I often see a shy smile and hear their confession: "Well, I always wanted to try that, although I don't know if I believe."
That's my cue to say that I don't know if I actually “believe” either! I don’t put much stock in newspaper or internet horoscopes, but I find them fascinating. I take them as a theory, and then look to see if my experience matches what they say. I'm actually quite a skeptical person, and I do know that I don't believe in any woo-woo vibrations from planets, and I don't care if Pluto has been demoted by the scientists, and I’m simply not interested in trying to prove astrology to anyone—but I am interested in explaining it.
And then I hear myself saying: Have you heard of the concept of synchronicity? Do you know about the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung? Do you know about the Nodes? About then I know I'll need to have another cup of coffee because the conversation isn't going to end quickly. People are curious and they want to know more.
In 2003, according to the Harris Poll, 31% of Americans believed in astrology. That is roughly 100 million people; 1/3 of the almost 300 million people we are in this country. I don’t know what the figures are now, but in this year alone, Americans will buy approximately 20 million books on astrology—which is 4 times the numbers of such books they bought two years ago. But still—it’s the black sheep of the family in most circles. And that is because astrology, like religion, or alchemy or even the nature of love, is something that rational reasoning and scientific inquiry will never be able to prove.
I can easily accept the hypothesis that astrology, may not be verifiably 'true' at all, and that the planets in the heavens are simply the names we give to deep psycho-spiritual processes. But when astrology is dismissed glibly by people who have never experienced it, it’s more than annoying.
So why does it work? It appears to be a richly symbolic language of the Soul that defies reason. And it works, as said before, not because of any woo-woo vibrations of the planets, but for two reasons. One, because when we ask questions in a spirit of sincerity I believe the Universe conspires to show us answers if we listen well. It follows Jesus’ law: “Ask and ye shall receive.”
The second reason is because of the grace-filled principal of synchronicity. The philosopher Plato, and the late Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, developed this theory of synchronicity, which literally means "united time"—'syn' means 'to unite', and 'chronos' means 'of time'.
Synchronicity is the theory of meaningful co-incidences in which there is no rational causal connection between event A and event B. But instead there is a meaningful relationship—and as Carl Jung noted, one's birth time and place is a truly meaningful synchronistic event, and that astrology works because of it. He once said that "We are born at a given moment in a given place and like vintage years of wine we have the qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born." Jung didn't understand the mystery of this process, but found that by experience—that astrology simply works. So he used it in his analysis with clients, even though he was often reluctant to talk about it because he feared professional criticism.
But here’s a good question—what about those twins or quadruplets all born at almost the same time, to the same parents, and in the same place? Since their charts will look so similar, what’s the difference? They are each different and unique Souls. So the incoming story of each baby Soul here will look similar on paper, but we don’t know how these Souls have lived out their past life karmic stories. They probably had similar challenges, and perhaps want to re-incarnate with Souls they’ve known before, but the essence of it is that they are each bringing in variations on a theme, and in this life they’re going to play out variations on a theme. Their Nodes will look similar—their responses will be different. (To be continued...next post! )
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
"Understanding Your North Node and South Node: Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose."
It's got to sound a bit outrageous that anyone can help another person discover their soul purpose and life direction. And especially from information gained through an astrology chart—! But that is exactly what I do as an astrologer/therapist. I specialize in helping you understand the complex soul directive that is contained in your particular North and South Nodes.
This new book, “North Node Astrology” is a fairly large book, and about half of it helps you find and understand the Nodes based on your birthday and year. (You don’t need to know astrology or even have your chart for that—the book has a table in it where you can find all you need.) The other half of the book is about the life passages we all experience and ideas for navigating through these challenging “transits.” The book is personal— a writer speaking to a reader—and that conversational, accessible tone attempts to bridge the gap between Jungian and astrological ways of thinking.
So what are the Nodes? Readers of this blog know that the sign of your North Node describes the experiences and lessons your Soul wants to move towards in this life, whereas the South Node sign describes what your Soul has already brought into this life and what it wants to move away from. It’s your default pattern when all the chips are down, and although there may be “gold in the shadow of your South Node” you mostly want to move away from the negative tendencies of this sign.
Besides the signs of your Nodes, the areas or “houses” of your chart in which they are placed are crucial because they tell much more of the story---they describe in more detail the area of your life that needs emphasis.
And then it’s necessary to bring in the other “players”: the Sun, Moon, Saturn, Rising Sign, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto to see how all they fit into the puzzle. The art of astrology is to know how to take the exquisite mandala of the chart apart and then put it back together—to synthesize and prioritize what is truly meaningful and what is not.
The South Node reflects not only past life karma and traits but also the patterns you are still getting stuck in! These are what the Jungian writer Jim Hollis calls “the swamplands of the Soul.” The same issues keep coming around in more and more sophisticated ways, but we’re still dealing with the same South Node problems. It’s good to know what to call it; to name our Shadow qualities.
For those who want to go deeper into the Nodal story, you also need to consider the rulers and aspects to the Nodes. Many people have what is called a “skipped step” or a piece of unfinished business that is reflected by a square aspect to the Nodes. A trine aspect represents people and situations that enabled you to live out your “default pattern.”
And finally we look to planets that aspect the Nodes. These tell us how this energy is “echoed” in the chart and in your life, and gives us hints as to how to elaborate upon what the Soul is up against, and what the Soul is yearning for this time around.
Yes, it’s simply a theory. But I like to know how this plays out in my life—of course, we all are wise to take our own intuitive wisdom as first priority, but looking at the transits and Nodes have certainly helped me know things about myself that I wouldn’t have considered. I’m sure a couple of years of good therapy would have brought up the same things, but then again, I like the easiness of knowing what good astrological insight can offer. The hard part is what to do with it all, and how to live it out. (c) Elizabeth Spring
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The book will be available to
buy on www.elizabethspring.com/
on March 21~and NOW on
It's all very exciting! As you can
imagine, this book is the result
of years of effort. You won't need
to have your astrology chart in hand
to read and understand this book,
because there is a chart included,
so you can look up the Nodes and
descriptions for yourself, your family,
friends, or clients.
Here's Amazon's review:
Professional astrologer and Jungian psychotherapist, Elizabeth Spring, weaves personal stories with the astrological wisdom of the North and South Nodes. There are detailed explanations of how to find and understand your own karmic Nodes as well as the life-changing transits that impact your life direction, soul purpose, career and relationships.
Elizabeth’s heart-felt chapter on the "Astrology of Menopause" has been re-published around the world, and the humorous chapter "Cocktails and Karma" explores the bridging between astrologers, ministers, and therapists. The “Family Karmic Inheritance” inspires a compassionate view on family relationships.
Endorsed by Jungian author Jim Hollis, and evolutionary astrologer, Steven Forrest, this book is a reference book as well as a collection of articles that shed light on unconscious motivation. An inspiring guide for transmuting the grace and grit of life into the gold of healing and personal success.
Till later then~ elizabeth www.elizabethspring.com/
Sunday, March 8, 2009
The South Node glyph in your astrology chart looks like a container, or a crucible, or even a womb. Whereas the North Node glyph looks like a curved doorway, the reversed womb, or an upside down crucible. And, every planet conjunct the North Node can be seen as something you’ve been “up against” or opposing-- either earlier in this life or in a former life. Yet if you use the higher expression of the North Node and any planet that conjuncts it, it can work for you, and be like “homeopathic North Node medicine.” Jungians would say it has a compensatory function in the psyche.
Planets conjunct the South Node reflect a necessary karmic lesson in order for you to
“go North.” The same can be said for planets squaring the Nodes—a necessary karmic lesson, or skipped step, that you need to go back and look at again. More about these in the “label chapters” on this blog, and lots about it in my new book being released around March 21st: North Node Astrology: Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose.
Astrology is such a unique way for exploring what Spirit intends for us! We don’t need it, but it’s another helpful tool that has been given us. I believe that prayer, and all forms of divination—if done in a sacred heart-felt context, will bring to light answers, deepen our questions, and soothe our Souls. It’s another gift, as when Jesus said: “Ask and ye shall receive…”
During this period of retrograde Venus, we are all being called to look at our unfinished business within the Venusian realms of relationships, love and beauty, and money. Something to consider…!
I also need to say that I’m not being able to answer some of your comments now (you can still make them, and I read them all!) but the publishing of this new book seems to have swallowed up all my energy and time….so be patient with me. Wishing all you readers a happy spring, and enjoy our new daylight savings time!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Oscar Wilde once said: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Isn’t that a delicious and outrageous thought? Who doesn’t want to rediscover themselves and fall in self-love again; to “re-invent” our lives and feel that sense of Self? Or maybe we are more humble and simply want to have “a more determining say” in our destiny and fate; and perhaps like a good makeover, we confess it’s an intriguing idea.
I like to ponder the ancient esoteric equation: fate + character = destiny. Perhaps it’s the same thing as being wise enough to know what we can control, what we can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference. One can also add to this the the idea: “if I know what I can control, and what is wisest for me to do, then why aren’t I doing it?” That step from knowledge to action engages the unconscious agenda, and that, to my mind, is what makes things fascinating and difficult. That’s what this blog and the book, North Node Astrology is all about.
Most of us believe, as Mother Teresa said: “We can’t all do great things, but we can do small things in great ways.” It’s not always about what we do in life that truly matters, but how we do what we do. And how we speak about what we do—for example, I could say my writing is about my re-enchantment with life and “my inner Jung; my inner wise man/woman” or I can say it’s about astrology and Jungian thought.
So “life purpose” isn’t about quitting your day job and moving to India to work in an orphanage, although that might be perfect for some. Life purpose evolves as we find meaning in whatever we do, and we do this by bringing to consciousness what we have kept in the unconscious; in our “shadow”. This term shadow is about all those very human things we disown about ourselves—things we tend to not see or that we dislike, and all those things we tend to “project” upon others who either irritate us. Yet this shadow also holds the “gold”—those noble tendencies and talented parts of ourselves that we have been too blind to see.
In astrology, we find the gold and shadow by inquiring into the birth chart and the North and South Nodes. We gain insights. In analysis or therapy, we get help in living out our insights and refining/reframing the story of our lives. Together, they’re a great combination, and something that truly helps us to find ways in which we can love Self and Other again.
Elizabeth Spring (c) www.elizabethspring.com