All posts here are from sections of the books: "North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose" and "Saturn Returns~The Private Papers of A Reluctant Astrologer" Available only on Amazon.com

To inquire about readings or for more articles on the North/South Nodes, go to: http://www.elizabethspring.com


Friday, July 17, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert, Soul Purpose, and the Creative Daimon







Is living a life "of purpose" reserved only for a few great people? Is creative genius limited to a few gifted people? What would it mean for me, for you, to truly "show up" at our work and in our lives with a deep trust in the rightness of the process of our life and of our creative unfoldment? Big questions, with perhaps simple answers.


In this linked video, by writer Elizabeth Gilbert ("Eat, Pray, Love"), she brilliantly reminds us that when we show up and make space for our genius to flow through us, we open ourselves up to something larger than ourselves--to what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious. Art, inventiveness, soul purpose, intuition, and all kinds of creative "gold" floats in this collective pool. When we choose to open to it--ie simply when we "show up" for our work, we take the responsibility off our shoulders and onto the Muse, onto God, onto the process of life; the Tao. We become a channel for divine inspiration, and the creative daimon.


When we make an intention to "show up" on the yoga mat, the writing table, the painting canvas, or the childcare center, we are showing up for our life. We are allowing "God" and the creative daimon a space in which to be and to act. How responsible are we for what happens then? Perhaps not as much as we think. That's a fascinating thought--we do our part, and then let the rest go....


Elizabeth Gilbert reveals some of her genius in this video--this realm of purpose, joyful creativity, and responsibility...and the lack of responsibility! This is all what we've been exploring in this blog on life direction and soul purpose. Enjoy...!

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

Friday, July 10, 2009

North Node, South Node, and the Quest for the Authentic Self



“Let go of your distractions
before they rob you of your life.”

The South Node holds your
distractions, your old habits, and your reactive tendencies—all those things
that rob you of your authentic life. It’s familiar and easy to “frame” the story of your life in terms of your old life, because you know it—life has showed you certain things up until now, so that this is your reality. It doesn’t have to be that way. The negative qualities of the South Node have shown you where you’ve been and what you’re bringing over from a past life or from earlier in this one. It reflects your family karmic inheritance, and your particular karmic story. It’s old, it’s tired, it’s familiar—and it’s not the whole story!


The North Node is what the Soul aspires to, and by following the positive qualities of its sign and house it leads you to what is unfamiliar and new. It’s both the road and the Quest itself. It takes the old personal story and says: “why not this, instead of this?” The North Node holds the homeopathic medicine that leads you away from the distractions and habits that keep you from creating the new story of your life and from being your authentic Self.


Authentic Self? So how do you know when you are truly being you? What story about yourself are you buying into now? You may be getting married, divorced, or going off on a new adventure to Barcelona or Peru, but what “distractions” will you carry with you that will keep you from being open to the new experience? Yes, it’s the baggage of the South Node distractions that we all bring with us, and we need to “repack our bags” if we are going to truly open up to something new in life.


The “Quest for the Authentic Self” is a great idea in theory and rings true for spiritual seekers whether we are existentialists, astrologers, or Buddhists. In this quest we’re looking at maps in the form of books and charts, and we are looking to unleash the silenced voices in the psyche. We’re also listening to others, and the truths they speak. We’re questing for new questions, new answers, and risking the journey; we’re willing to be brave.


The Buddhists remind us that we suffer because we’re attached to specific outcomes and permanence. The Existentialists remind us of the necessity to use our freedom and free will in creating an authentic Self, and the astrologers remind us that we’re not alone—that we fit into a larger meaningful pattern in the Cosmos, and that there is much that is unconscious within us.


I believe that as we discover the many planetary “voices” that live within each of us, we find that these archetypal symbols—these planets and Nodes—point the way to a larger and more authentic life than we’ve ever known. And as for me, I’m in a new process of “re-packing my bags” with a North Node Directional Map—which means I’m looking at how I distract myself from a more authentic relationship with myself, with others, and with my work. I’m going to delve deeper into my Taurus North Node to find what resources and values are truly waiting to be lived. Once I release myself from all the distracting stories I tell myself about myself—all those old South Node Scorpionic stories of “how it all was and how it still is”….well then I’ll have time and space in my life to open up to a deeper more authentic life. It all takes time and compassion, but I’m ready to bring on the new! What about you? © Elizabeth Spring http://www.elizabethspring.com/

Friday, July 3, 2009

Using Neputune Homeopathically




Using Neptune Homeopathically


“Similia, similibus, curantur.”
Latin: “Like cures like” by S. Hahnemann


Last night I awoke in bed at 3:00 AM to find myself struggling to name that familiar ache in me that has no name—that core pain that sometimes sits heavy on my heart. I thought about all the times I’ve felt it: my childhood homesickness that hurt so bad it felt like a toothache, my adolescent struggles to separate from my mother, the unrequited loves of my twenties, the sense of loss before my divorce, and the various pains of betrayal from friends through the years. They all have a theme: separation from a place of togetherness. Of all the aches in the heart, that particular pain of separation, yearning and disillusionment—of an unlived or ill-used Neptune, may be the hardest and the most illusive of all pains.


I say “illusive” because the depth and scope of Neptunian pain is so often permeated by illusions and its healing can defy rational analysis. It’s not that its causes aren’t clearly evident, it’s more that the cure for Neptunian problems may lie precisely within its own realm, and respond best by homeopathic thinking.
As we know, Neptune is about the urge to merge and refers to permeable boundaries and those things that don’t separate us. It can be the longing for a lover, a philosophy, a true friendship, or even a better way of living. It’s that part in us that longs to transcend the daily routines, to let go of differences and “flow with the waters of life.” Neptune yearns for divine love, and despairs at how human love so often falls so short of the ideal.


In Neptunian times we often react to the pain of disillusionment and separation by wrapping ourselves in a fog of self-deception and addictions. We’re confused. Romantic illusions, painful melodramas, glowing sunsets with morning hangovers, and the larger-than-life spin we put on the stories we tell, are all in Neptune’s oceanic realm. We play out the merging and imaginative qualities of Neptune either positively or negatively (and often both at once) depending on how it’s aspected in our birth and transiting charts.
When we fall under the spell of this mythical sea-god we need new medicine. The same astrological culprit that created our feelings of separation, loneliness, or disillusion can be the one to cure it. “Like cures like” say the homoeopathists. Neptune cures Neptune. This homeopathic remedy uses the inspiring qualities of Neptune to cure its disease.



But first you might ask: Is Neptune strong in my chart now? Everyone has Neptune somewhere in their birth chart “doing” something, but it only gets activated at certain times as it transits across the sky and aspects your chart in a particular way. If you don’t have your chart or astrologer to help here, you could ask yourself: Am I generally “high on life,” inspired, idealistic and at times naive? Yet do I struggle to maintain the feeling that life is as it should be and that I am all I can be? Do I see both sides of the question when it comes to decision making? Do I feel the pain of lost loves and friendships more than most people you know? Does even reading this article make me ready for my evening glass of wine, even though it’s only noon? If you’ve smiled knowingly to those questions, then Neptune is playing a prominent role in your chart and life now.


So how do we use Neptune homeopathically? Or simply said, how do we cultivate the higher octave, the wisdom of Neptune? The great psychologist, Carl Jung, delved into this when he said: “Spiritus contra Spiritum.” This Latin quote is what Jung said to the founder of Alcoholic Anonymous: only “spirit can counteract spirits.” Jung felt that all adult neurosis are primarily a problem of our separation from Spirit. We literalize spirit, and drink it instead as “spirits.” Alcohol eases the existential pain of our separation from our spiritual nature briefly, but it isn’t the cure.


Surely we can nourish our self with all that inspires us, and renew our connection to spirit in whatever form that takes for us. We can take ourselves to the ocean for inspiration and baptizing by her waters, or enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day, or do it’s literal opposite and not have the wine, but join AA instead, and find a community of like-minded spirits. Or we can read books that speak to our Spirit and attend “spiritual rituals”. But ironically, some of these things can be especially hard to do in Neptunian times if we’re feeling very disillusioned. In India, the Hindu’s have a spiritual saying for that: “neti, neti”—meaning “it’s not this, not this,” implying that we find our way to what is true and healing for us by finding what is not—by finding what is illusion, false fear, and needless drama, and then letting it go.


Jungian psychologists deal with this problem by saying we need to hold the tension of the opposites within us, without trying to deny or escape the situation. In the “holding” of the situation we create a container, or crucible, for alchemical energies to create change and transformation. One is encouraged to hold the despair or the unsolvable situation till the third “numinous” option appears. Jungians suggest we wait till there’s an opening in the veil of maya, the opening between illusion and disillusion. Astrologers too, also usually counsel waiting during a Neptune transit, and caution clients to not “sign on the dotted line” during these times.


Waiting is an option, as synchronistic events will often appear and lead us where we need to go. However, for those of us who like to be proactive, or use the homeopathic idea, then we can use Neptune itself to solve Neptunian problems. Here are some very practical proactive ideas for doing that:


*Consider the benefits of “breaking your own narrative.” Neptunian reality is a story we tell ourselves about how it was and how it will be. Is it really true? Would it be seen differently by someone else? How would it be for you if you didn’t hold onto your beliefs about your story? The subconscious is very suggest-able and the stories we tell ourselves about “how it all is” go deep. Much has been written about how we can monitor our thoughts to avoid repeating the same old tapes in our head that feed on the low ebb of self-esteem. At these times we can replace the tired stories of our life with ones based on new insights as to why things happened. You can find new seeds of inspiration and retell the story of your life with a new slant! You can choose to see how the universe has co-operated with you to give you what you needed, not always what you wanted.


*Use your Neptunian gifts of visualization to dream into your future! Practice intuitive strategies on yourself based on what only you—or your astrologer knows about you. Only you can read between the lines of what you say and think. Neptune represents our ability to use our intuition and to know things about ourselves that others can’t know rationally. One can’t say “yes, but” to ourselves indefinitely, before we realize that we need to dig even deeper into our psyche to take more responsibility for our lives. Neptunian dreaming ignites the urge for change. This is good medicine.



* Use this “spaciousness” or the open-minded fogginess of a Neptunian time to let go of tight expectations of ourselves or others. Get a little looser. At these times we stand on shifting sands of illusion and can unwittingly deceive ourselves and others without meaning to—for example, we may give affection and attention when we don’t really mean it, or simply make poor decisions. Instead we could give time to exploring new ideas, people, and plans that are tangible and will hold up in time. But, as any addiction therapist knows, one of the hardest things to do in treating an addict (read: a rough Neptunian transit) is the recurring sense of despair that comes with a realistic outlook. We need to dream “high enough” to excite us, yet be grounded enough to find sources of true support in hard times.



*Neptunian energies need thoughtful release not repression. Don’t let anyone tell you to keep your dreams or your despair under wraps, yet there’s a need to differentiate between sheer outbursts of grief and acting out indiscriminately. We don’t want to be “dry drunks” in any sense of the word—people who live their wounds, drinking or not. When we enter into the experience of our Neptunian-separation pain, we would be wise to bring some reflection on the emotions we want to express. Can we search for the name of what ails us? And if we can, could we express it through a poem, a song, or a nurturing talk with a good friend? Here we are using the feeling of disconnection to fuel us to connect with Self or others. Neptune curing Neptune.


Here’s an example of how this process can work. A woman I’ll call Catherine called me for a reading when she was on the verge of a divorce. She had already separated from her husband, and as she talked I began to feel that what she wanted to hear from me was encouragement to finalize the divorce. She wanted to “sign on the dotted line” but there it was—transiting Neptune squaring the Sun, and it still had over a year to go in that position. I had to counsel her to wait, to endure a state of not-knowing and to look for new sources of inspiration. I could tell she was quite depressed and not happy with my response.


The next time she called, she sounded a lot better, and was happy to tell me that in her “waiting” she had gone for a massage when she was at her lowest ebb of feeling. While under the nurturing hands of this therapist she felt revived—both by the subsequent massages and her new friend, who encouraged her to start attending massage school. She picked up on this new inspiration and loved the school, although she said that the waiting was still hard and her teenage son had started acting out in school. She didn’t know what to do with him. I again listened and had to counsel continued more Neptunian homeopathy.


The third and last time I talked to her was just after the Neptune aspect had passed, and she had good news---she was just graduating from massage school, felt less financially fearful, and her husband and son were respecting her in a new way for all the hard work she had done at school. Even her voice sounded lighter as she told me that as part of the divorce mediation process, she and her husband began seeing each other with new eyes! They felt their mutual love for their son was acting as a bridge for them to truly hear each other for the first time. Because they hadn’t signed on the dotted line, their marriage was getting a second chance. Her son now was having his own Neptunian problems with alcohol and we brain-stormed ideas as to how he could find the connection to spirit that suited him best. The Neptune homeopathic remedy we felt might work for him was to encourage and support his love of acting; a Neptunian art in which one enters into the spirit of another person and works with others to create an entertaining illusion.


There are many ways to use astrological homeopathy, and it’s particularly effective with Neptune. When planets make strong aspects by transit we need to honor them by “feeding them what they need” which is simply to act out the higher octave of their very own nature. This works for all the planets. Neptunian homeopathy calls for dreaming into the future and a re-visioning of our lives as well as finding new ways to deeply reconnect with our Self, with others, and Spirit. Neptunian transits appear to be subtle times, but in truth they are very potent times —reach for the highest octave of the sign, and be careful what you wish for as it may come true. Neptune knows how to wish upon a star…


Elizabeth Spring(c) (This is a chapter excerpted from my book "North Node Astrology: Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose available on www.elizabethspring.com or www.amazon.com )