All posts here are from sections of the books: "North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose" and "Lifting the Veil; Becoming Your Own Best Astrologer" and "Astrology for the Third Act of Life" and finally "Saturn Returns~The Private Papers of A Reluctant Astrologer" All available in paperback, Kindle and Audible on

To inquire about readings or for more articles on the North/South Nodes, go to:

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

North Node Medicine-- Jungian "Compensation"

North Node Medicine is about making conscious what is unconscious, and using that to heal yourself. Carl Jung wrote that the psyche has a natural balancing mechanism that "compensates" for itself unconsciously. However this compensation can often feel quite uncomfortable--showing up as an aching back, insomnia and difficulties in relationships. What is out of balance wants to get back in balance--but first let's look at what North Node Medicine is all about.

At the first reading of your North Node Sign you may be nodding your head in agreement, and then thinking: Well, isn’t that true for everyone? Yes, if something is deeply true, then it is true for everyone. However, each sign has a particular truth that rings truer for it than for the others. All the North Node “Medicines” have a “particularity” to that sign and house position, and a potency that is activated by that particular polar dynamic. The prescription, like a vitamin, might be good for anyone to take, but it’s really only necessary and highly effective if you have the symptoms and the chemistry particular to your own Nodal nature.

Here’s an example: Let’s compare 2 sign/house placements: the sign of Leo which naturally rules the 5th house, and Pisces which rules the 12th house.

I think of Leo and the 5th house as “the house that Joseph Campbell built.” Why? Because he popularized the phrase: Follow your own bliss. This is good medicine for those who have their North Nodes in Leo or the 5th house because it’s all about joyous self-expression, and all the life, goodness and creativity that comes when we become as little children again and just play. North Node Leos, with their South Node past in Aquarius, have had childhoods or past lifetimes when they were separated from this particular kind of creative, loose, joyful play—they could have been exiled, persecuted, a genius, a role-model (one who had to be a good example!) or one who didn’t quite fit in for some reason—they could have been ill or restrained in some way, or they may have placed duty above personal expression and joy. They come into this life having forgotten what playing and self-expression can do! Whether it be through love relationships, children, artwork, or just having a good time, there’s a need for this Soul to come into the group, take the lead, and simply follow their own bliss.

Let’s compare that with the “House that Carl Jung built”—the 12th house and Pisces. If you have a North Node in Pisces or in the 12th house, you are being summoned to explore the world of the “collective” and the unconscious. But how can consciousness enter into unconsciousness? It certainly cannot do it directly, but we can enter that world through dreams, divination, active imagination, and by noticing moments of synchronicity between what we’re feeling on the inside and what’s happening on the outside. This is Jungian territory. We are called here to go beyond traditional boundaries into the Neptunian worlds where the mind and the heart join, and where mysticism and psychology meet.

This is not for everyone. But if your North Node is in Pisces or located in the 12th house, then there is something for you to gain in exploring these worlds. There is healing medicine for you deep in your psyche, and you have been given “cosmic permission” to seek Oneness with this world. This is an area where we are not duty-bound, not having to be “right”, and not having to march to anyone else’s drummer. You are simply and quite mysteriously being called to become aware and conscious! Some might say you are called to be enlightened. Some might say you are called to peak into the” in-between lands” where fate, destiny and character all conspire to make a life.

In ancient times, the 12th house was sometimes called the house of suffering, or the “call to the monastery.” Today we could say that having an astrological 12th house emphasis calls you to serve the collective spiritually or psychologically; and that not being conscious of that world might cause you suffering.

So, North Node medicine is about many things, including the psychological law of compensation. It’s a way of describing the particular “vitamin” or anti-biotic that is just right for you in this life now. It’s the particular area to which you need to bring some compensatory behavior, for example, too much righteousness? The medicine would be a little naughtiness. Too much seriousness? A little humor is called for.

Because the Nodes are a polarity, it’s important to remember that polarization calls for balance and integration. The compensating medicine always calls you to become more whole, not good. We need the highest expression of both Nodes, but we need the North a little bit more because of its compensating effects.
The Vedic Indian tradition describes it by saying that we feed ourselves through our North Node and we can feed others through our South Node. Westerners, such as Carl Jung, talked about it in terms of compensation, and said that compensation was the truest natural law in the psyche! Meaning that all nature seeks balance, and that if we don’t do it consciously, the unconscious will do it for us. Neurosis, and distorted or repressed behaviors, will tend to leak out of us if when we are not maintaining a natural balance within. So…the right medicine at the right time is what we are seeking!
elizabeth spring (c)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Question of Priorities: How Do I "Read" the North and South Nodes?

A Question of Priorities: How do I “read” the North and South Nodes? Pulling It All Together Astrologically…

When you care enough to go deeper into understanding the North and South Nodes in your birth chart, it can get very confusing indeed! With so many things to consider, it’s hard to know what is important and what isn’t. There’s not much written about how to tweak and modify a good reading of the Nodes. As we all know, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, but we all have to start at the basic understanding of the signs and houses, and work up from there. So synthesizing the various elements and “pulling it all together” by prioritizing is a crucial part of the process.

The first step is to read about the SIGN of your North and South Node, and then to read about the section of the chart, the HOUSE, that they each fall in. This tells you a lot, and is enough for many people. It’s also worth remembering that the Nodes are always directly opposite each other on a polar axis that is 180 degrees apart.

If however, you want to delve deeper and begin to unravel the details in order to more fully understand your past life karmic inheritance, or “parable,” you need to go farther. The next step to consider is what PLANET rules your South Node? What PLANET rules your North Node? And where is that planet located in your birth chart and what is it doing in terms of aspects and houses? Following this trail begins an intuitive journey….

Besides looking at the Ruling PLANETS of the Nodes, it is significant if you have a planet conjuncting the Nodes, that is, within about 8 degrees of either Node in your birth chart. If you have a planet conjuncting the South Node, then this planet describes something about who you were either in a former life or earlier in this life. For example: Do you have Mars next to your South Node? This Mars conjuncting the South Node brings an Aries survivor, pioneering, warrior, and entrepreneurial nature to who you once were. Any planet conjuncting a Node modifies the description of it.

Now if a planet is conjuncting the North Node instead of the South, then it describes two things---one is that it’s good North Node Medicine for you to integrate and embody these qualities into your life now, and, it also suggests that in the past you were UP AGAINST someone or something that opposed you in a way described by that planet. You came up against a brick wall of reality that you had trouble getting around—and it had the quality of that planet. It may indeed have been a person, and in the case of Mars, it would have a lot to do with “showing up and having courage.”

The last part of the Nodal story that is fascinating to look at revolves around the aspects to the Nodes. The aspects describe something more about the story or plot of your “past life parable.” A square to the Nodes is a possible skipped step, as Steven Forrest describes it, and describes the unfinished business or skipped/ resisted/denied thing that we need to do (or be!) in order to reach our North Node potential.

This is what Evolutionary Astrology does—it’s not a simple process, and in a post like this, there isn’t room for more examples. Perhaps in my next post I will flesh this out more—and please forgive me if I’ve missed answering some of your questions. If I can’t do it personally, I’ll try to at least address them on this blog. Elizabeth Spring ©

Sunday, December 21, 2008

"Attending to the Soul"

Who doesn’t ask themselves occasionally: “Who am I beneath this story of my life?” Or, like in the myth of the Holy Grail, we may ask ourselves: “Who is it that I truly Serve?” The gods of family, finance, freedom and romance are still there, but may not need our attending to as much in the second half of life. Who is this Self that still holds a glimmer of numinosity, like a vague memory of a half-forgotten dream?

Rediscovering life direction and soul purpose may become stronger at mid-life, as many of us begin spending more time questioning what it means to “attend to the Soul.” In Greek, the word “psychotherapy” actually means attending to the Soul. In mid-journey in our life, we are perhaps more hungry for Spirit and thirsty for meaning than ever before. Our egos may be stronger now, our children grown, our career secure, non-existent, or retired from, but still the Self remains and asks questions of us.

Who are we now? The Self, rather than the ego, wants to be attended to, and yes, psychotherapy might be a way to nurture this--as might many other possibilities. In essence, it seems as if our Soul has an increased yearning to be met by another “consciousness” in a space of freedom and possibility…and in this space to see itself more clearly.

We may have many names for this “Self” I’m speaking of. Some may think of it as Atman/Brahman; the connection between the God within and the God Out There. Others may see this Self as simply the unique individual they have grown into becoming. But some of us may still be pulled by diversions and distractions and ailments that pull us away from this part of who we are. And as Christians, Jews and Muslims know, it may take some new effort “to not put any other gods before Me.”

My sense is that the call to reconnect with a guiding vision, or deep wellspring, grows more subtly intense as we age. We want to rediscover our life direction and soul purpose. Many of us look to find ways to live a deeper life more connected to Source, and reject easy answers and old solutions to this quest. Astrology and depth psychology, yoga and meditation may intrigue us. We may want to travel down and in now, rather than wide and far. Our imagination is re-ignited to new possibilities where we don’t have to go farther than our living rooms…or the library or the internet. We take up a playing the harp or reading Rumi or decide to learn Reiki. This desire to re-discover, re-connect, and replenish this wellspring always seems to rise again….how do you do it?

Want to share your ideas or comments??? Elizabeth Spring

Saturday, December 20, 2008

And how do I understand what houses my Nodes are in?

The Houses

To understand the houses, or "sections" of the birthchart, you’ll need to have your birth chart in hand, and look at which one of the 12 sections of the chart your Nodes fall in—remembering that the North Node looks like a set of head-phones, and the South Node looks like its reversed image: a horseshoe. If you don’t have your chart, there are numerous sites on the internet which will show you your chart, for free, in minutes.

If however, you don’t have your birth time—which many people don’t have—the house information won’t be accurate, because it’s based on the time of your birth.

The house description of the Nodes always tells us in what area of our life things are happening, and where attention is needed to be paid. We are advised to move towards the area of life ruled by the house of the North Node, and away from the limitations of the house that holds the South Node.

However, remember that it is a polar axis we’re describing, and the opposing houses always have elements in common with each other. If you use the high expression of the South Node house, almost as a natural talent, you are doing well. And when you reach for the high expression of the North Node house, you are stretching beyond your comfort zone to maximize all you can be.

It is good to remember with both the sign and house description of the South Node, that there is an emotional memory here—unconscious, but similar to a dream that we can’t quite remember—the South reminds us of what we didn’t get right earlier in this life or in a former life. So be gentle with yourself in this area of life ruled by the South Node, as this is where you’ve experienced wounding before. Whether we did it, or it was done to us, the “emotional hangover” may feel somewhat similar. Elizabeth Spring

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Squares to the Nodes: the "Skipped Step"

Squares to the Nodes—Your Karmic “Skipped Step”

How do you get to your North Node? How do you know how best to prioritize things? What has been left unresolved karmically from past lives? At this point, you understand the idea of the Nodes: the North Node is the direction your Soul longs to go towards in this life, and the South Node is the direction you need to move away from—your default patterns that you may have “brought over” from another life. But how do you get to what the North Node is all about? You’ve read the description of the North Node sign and house placement, and you’ve read the description of the South Node sign and house, but still you have questions. Good questions.

One of the hints the chart gives us to look at is the aspects to the Nodes—especially if you have squares to the Nodes. Many people have this aspect, which is called: the skipped step. To understand it you need to let your imagination roam around the meaning of the planet that is squared. Again, what sign is it in? What house? There is something in the nature of this placement that is telling you what you need to do as part of your process of getting to the North Node. You need to pick up the unfinished business here—there is something about what that skipped step is about that remains as a complex or as a forgotten way of thinking that needs to be addressed and brought into your life now. You can understand that skipped step as being a karmic “bad habit” from a former life, or simply a blind spot in your psyche.

Blind spot? The skipped step is often what we don’t want to look at or deal with—it’s the missing piece of the puzzle, the dropped stitch, the piece that needs the most priority in your life now, and often receives the least.

For example: today I did a reading for a woman who had so many skills and abilities, yet she was feeling quite stuck for a number of reasons. We touched on what those issues were about, but I was left with the feeling that if she would take care of her body/health, then the rest would fall into place rather easily. She needed to address the square to her Nodes, which pointed to the 6th house of health. And, at this point in her life I felt there was a certain urgency to it.

Jeffrey Green and Steven Forrest were the first I know of to call this aspect the skipped step. The blockages and distortions that are symbolized by the planet and house that is square to the Nodes is a critical piece to consider when looking at a chart. Yet nothing is ever truly skipped or lost—it’s just put away till another time, or done unconsciously. But for those who want more direct answers to life direction and soul purpose questions, these aspects are a wealth of information. Ironically, as easy as they are to see, they’re never easy to understand. Elizabeth Spring

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Understanding the Polarity of the North and South Nodes

Our emotional bodies are heavy with the many unresolved past lives we carry within us unconsciously. The personal unconscious, as well as the family unconscious, seems to carry an “imprint” from these lives, as well as from our early childhood. It invites us to try again and again to find new endings to old stories, and to release and heal whatever is still undigested by the heart. Not an easy thing to do! The good news is that deep in our psyche is also a remembrance of some very deep inner truths and inclinations/talents/wisdom that we intuit within ourselves.

The North and South Nodes reflect this duality in many ways. Each Node contains a polarity within it, describing a potential for its highest and lowest expression which we express in each choice we make. So each Node speaks to both what is unresolved and undigested within us, as well as being the “medicine” that will bring us greatest relief, and help us evolve into all that we can be.

The North Node can be seen as the area in our life where we are open to an “inflow” and where we nourish our Souls. However, there’s something unfamiliar about the North Node, and like tasting a new food, we often don’t know what to think about it. Do we really like it? Are we open to it? If we can take it in, it’s our best cure; it’s the vitamin that we’re deficient in. We nourish ourselves here. In contrast, the South Node, in its highest expression, is where we can feed the world; it’s our gift—it’s something we innately understand and can give to others.

The polarities and paradoxes of the Nodes are not truly opposite—in fact, every astrological opposition carries within it the seed of its opposite, or like the yin-yang symbol, each side holds a piece of the other contained in it. So it’s not all about just reaching for the highest expression of the North Node and struggling against the lower expression of the South Node—what is truly called for is a balance and a movement between the wholeness of the two—a give and take: a dance.

When we are able to do this, what “shows up” within us is an energetic re-engagement with life, inspiration, and a growing re-enchantment with the process of our life. Ah… when we extend ourselves past our comfort zones—that’s the North Node! We reach into that place where we can love more and truly give of ourselves. The surprise is, of course, that in the giving we receive more than we expected, and nourish ourselves.

© Elizabeth Spring More information on:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Venus,Neptune Astrological Aspects: "Dropped Stitiches" of Illusion and Disillusion

Dropped Stitches;
The Illusions of
Venus and

Following threads
Of chosen words
One crafts a quilt
As one “pieces” a life—
Following threads
Of small acts of courage and choice—
Raveling and unraveling
The particulars of a life…
Following the story-line home.

Catching hold of a purple thread of sorrow
A yellow line of joy
I needle through the cloth
Buttoning together the places of the heart
Knurly and knotted,
Piecing and stringing such fragile threads—
I hide the back from view.
“Such a beautiful piece” they’ll say
Yet I know how I suffer the broken threads
The illusions, false engagements, subtle betrayals--
Such paradox and possibility—
At times, the fabric barely holds.

For far too long, I’ve sewed through button-eyes
Unknotted—they released themselves
As I sought to make connections
That were not mine to make.

But now the needle moves rhythmically
Through the holy quartet of a single button.
I see how singular threads
Need to be knotted and stitched—
Buttoned with the belief
That there are patterns
In this life of sixty-one years.
The stitches are beginning to hold
The torn places are mending.

But still the heart cries out—
The dropped stitches persist—
But what needs to attach, attaches—
And what needs to detach, detaches—
As I’ve become a keeper of buttons. ~
(This photo is one I took of an ancient astrolabe, and will be used on the cover of my new book: Astrological Gold; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

North Node 12th House, Pisces North Node, Virgo South Node

Is your North Node in the 12th house? Then it has an undertone of Pisces, and your South Node automatically falls into the 6th house, which has a Virgo undertone. Add the description of the sign of your North Node to this house position to deepen your understanding of your Nodal axis...and, you can deepen your understanding of North Node in Pisces, no matter what house it falls in your chart.

With a North Node in the 12th house we are deep in the “house that Carl Jung built.” This is the area of the deep psyche, the unconscious, and with a North Node here we are wise to explore beneath the surface of life to the unconscious subtle realms of the heart as expressed in music, art, poetry and painting. We are called to “the monastery” here in the sense that it is a non-verbal, solitary, spiritual call towards Self awareness. The 12th house has sometimes been called the house of troubles, because it can’t be dealt with logically and pragmatically, and to do so doesn’t benefit the person with a North Node in this house. However, the key to this house placement is that there is no longer any need for troubles, duties, obligations, humility and service! All those are embodied in the opposite 6th house. As a 12th house North Node person you have earned the right to take the deep pleasures of the unconscious: gifts of magic, insight and deep peace.

The karmic pull of your past with the South Node in the 6th house will be one that tries to pull you back to be of help to others, with an emphasis on the skillful use of the mind and duty, rather than the promptings of the heart. The default tendency here will be about thinking rather than feeling, working rather than playing, honoring logic more than intuition. The North Node goal is a move away from the particular and detailed attention that the 6th house requires, to the spiritual meaning-making, and only partially “conscious” quality of the 12th house. This evolutionary pull towards the 12th house, which is ruled by Pisces, will be to balance and correct that tendency with a more imaginative and universal type of thinking in which the goal is to create more compassion in our lives by simply loving ourselves and others more. We’ve earned a degree of rest and release from duty.

This placement is sometimes, paradoxically, not an easy one because it’s not easily accessible by rational thought and direct approaches. It almost sneeks up on us, like pleasure does sometimes. So we approach 12th house activities with our hearts, with the arts, with feelings, and obliquely through dreams and divination. There are often issues around trust and faith, when Neptunian confusion fogs the clarity that can be attained with this placement. True enlightenment and clarity are real possibilities for people with the North Node in the 12th, however “getting it” for you may often be as simple as just softening and accepting into the process of living and loving.

The high road for North Node 12th house folks is a fascinating journey into the worlds where not everything is obvious or as it appears to be. It’s a world where even limitations can be a profound gift. Who has not enjoyed the occasional “mental health day” when we’ve stayed in bed or in our pajamas without leaving the house? In the 12th house, what is buried in the unconscious is begging for conscious understanding and acceptance. Jungian psychology and counseling, with its emphasis on creative expression of non-verbal dreams and images, and its encouragement towards unique individuality rather than collective moralities, can be very nurturing and deepening for 12th house people. ~elizabeth Spring More at:

Friday, November 28, 2008

What Can You Expect from an Astrology Reading?

What Can You Expect from An Astrology Reading?

“You can make astrology prove anything,” she said to me with a malicious little grin. “It’s like the Bible—just pick the right verse and chapter, and you can make a case for God’s approval or disapproval on almost anything—astrology included.” My friend had been studying astrology just long enough to get both confused and excited, and I could feel the tense undertones of emotion mixed in with the pleasantries of our after dinner conversation. “Look at the choices,” she went on, “mid-points, solar arcs, transits, fixed Stars, secondary progressions—just pick a time and you can back up anything you want to say with some aspect.” She had a point there, but she was missing the larger picture of how astrologers work with the increasingly growing tool-box of choices we have at our disposal. And beyond that, she was missing something even harder to explain. But I wanted to try.

I understood her complaint about all the astrological systems: Vedic, Sidereal, Placidus, Koch….evolutionary, medieval, psychological …..can it really all be true and ‘under one sky’? And if so, how are we to know what works best? And what should we expect from an astrologer when we have a “reading?”

As astrologers, we quickly learn that there is an almost overwhelming smorgasbord of choices to make, both in how “to do” the reading, and which techniques to use. I take a strong hint from the ancient alchemists. The alchemists understood the process of things—you take things apart, separate them, let them “cook,” and then put them back together into a whole—a new synthesis. The Nodes are like the flask or cauldron that contains the heady mixture of astrological elements. In a reading you don’t have time to truly let all the elements fully cook, but you, or the client can do that after the session….or in a particularly good session, you may get a strong “whiff” of the heady stew, and see the gold that is beginning to emerge.

As a counseling astrologer, I have a Master’s degree in counseling psychology with an emphasis in the work of Carl Jung. I’ve had teachers who used the tropical Placidus house system, and who viewed the planets as mythological archetypes within the spiritual mandala of the birth chart. I believe in the priorities that most of my teachers believed—that the nuts and bolts of a good astrology reading depend on: a) a good understanding of the natal birth chart, b) the outer planet transits, and c) the inner planet progressions. I now feel that the North and South Nodes synthesize the message of the entire chart reading, so they are the gold.

Of course there has to be a solid understanding of the Sun sign, Moon sign, Rising sign and all the planets in the natal chart. The North Node and South Node, and the transits and progressions make a reading complete, and without them all I feel it’s inaccurate. I think that not to include all of these in one session is wrong-- separating the birth chart from the crucial transit “forecasting” feels like cheating—if the client is having a major life changing transit and the astrologer is only talking about the birth chart, how inaccurate is that! Or even the other way is wrong—to only look at the transits/progressions while not checking back to the birth chart can be hugely inaccurate.

For example, if the transits show a potential for being very accident prone at a certain time—say, some Mercury/Uranus/ Mars aspect is peaking, and the astrologer doesn’t look to the birth chart to see if the person shows a vulnerability in their birth chart to being “accident prone,” then it would be wrong to counsel them to avoid travel at that time. The astrologer could mention it, but not over-emphasize it, because the birth chart doesn’t substantiate the claim. And the other techniques, such as solar returns, relocation charts, etc. are good too, but I only add them to the stew when necessary. Prioritizing is key.

My bias is that my best “readings” are not the ones in which I rely heavily on technique and prediction but simply when the metaphors I use allow the client to see deeply into their life. I know this is happening when they start looking at the question behind the question that they presented initially. And when the particulars of the client’s experience match strongly with the symbolic description of the transits and progressions and the Nodal story, then there’s a feeling of rightness and resonance. And then the technique becomes secondary to the quality of the moment of insight.

In every astrology reading, I suspect that no matter what techniques are used, the hope is that there will be a synchronistic moment of “ah-hah” when there’s been an accurate mirroring of that which is above, to that which is below. Isn’t that what we long for---when some piece of the client’s truth and the astrologer’s technique rise up to a little epiphany together! Ahh…. then there is that felt moment of meaningfulness that makes all considerations of proof of technique secondary.

And so I offer you the idea that the technique that brings this about is already embedded in most systems: the idea of silence and reflection. Perhaps that is our only safeguard in truth-seeking; not forcing a prediction, symbolism or bias on our client, but honoring instead the idea that we are acting as instruments of the Divine. We can present whatever combinations of symbolism we think will be most evocative, but then, let’s allow them a moment to swallow, to digest, and to truly look at their chart. I believe they will take what they need when we make it simple, clear, and in a language they understand. And in that moment of silence we give a chance for the Spirit to enter; for what the Jungians call the numinous moment, when you or your client looks at the chart and see the “answers” projected there---upon the clear sky of the heavens above and the gods within. ~
Elizabeth Spring © Comments?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Reversed Nodes in Signs and Houses

Reversed Nodes in Signs and Houses

How do you understand your Nodes when the direction they are pointing to by SIGN, is the opposite of the direction they’re pointing to by HOUSE? Good question! The short answer is that the SIGN describes the kind of behavior and attitude that is optimal to use, and the HOUSE describes the particular area of life—of “where”—this behavior and attitude is going to find its greatest impact. And, it’s important to realize that the Nodes are always on a polar axis with the signs and houses always opposite each other—so when there's a sign/house reversal, it calls for a more subtle understanding of the dynamic. People and charts are complex, and sometimes paradoxical!

I wrote a post on North Node Capricorn and here’s someone who replied to having a reversal in their chart—he has the North Node in Capricorn but in the 4th house, Capricorn’s opposite sign naturally, with the South Node in the 10th house, which normally rules its opposite sign---as he says:

“This is all fine and good, but what happens when you have this placement with a North Node Capricorn!!!! It turns everything inside out. What do I do?” (He has the South Node in the 10th house, North Node in 4th house.)

So with a North Node Capricorn he is called to act on all the high Saturnian qualities of good integrity, and patient, step by step, goal oriented behavior. He’s called to move away from the “lower octave” description of his South Node in Cancer---i.e. moving away from fluctuating, moody and fearful Cancerian qualities:(“nobody cares to understand me and I think I’m running out of money.”) It’s a call to accessing the highest qualities of the SIGN—in this case, Capricorn—but in the realm of the 4th HOUSE of life: which is the family of origin, the way we see and frame the story of our life (our personal mythology), and all that has to do with the 3 H’s: home, heart, and hearth. So somewhere in that area of his life, he’s called upon to be a guiding person of integrity; the one who sets the goals and integrity of the home, who moves patiently to set realistic goals within the family for himself and others…..and the one who can frame his life story in terms of what was actually done, in spite of difficulties and outcome.

We know that following the description of the North Node sign is good medicine, and a great idea for all of us. When we succeed at “doing our North Node” it’s the kind of thing we remember on our deathbed. In this case we have this confusion: the sign is descriptive of what we’re talking about, and the house describes where in life the dynamic is likely to happen. Always we look to the SIGN first as being the most important thing to consider, and the HOUSE placement next, because the house system is the weak link in astrology. We may have our birth time inaccurate (which sets the houses) or we may use different house systems according to our astrological beliefs. So trust the SIGN first!

(c) Elizabeth Spring Check out website for readings and more articles:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Karma and free will

Understanding Karma and Free Will through the Astrological South Node

Karma is about the law of cause and effect and reaping the consequences of what we have sown. It’s also simply “habit” and all the default, comfortable, knee-jerk patterns in our lives. We can read about that karma in our South Node, for it is here that we see the blockages, the unresolved wounds and all the self-limiting ideas we hold. We see the description of that karma in the South Node as well as in the karmic placements of all the planets in our chart.

However, it can look confusing if we forget that all the signs and planets can be read both positively and negatively. They can all play out in our lives on a high octave or a low octave, and it’s especially important to be aware of this polarity when trying to understand the karmic message of the North and South Node. We have free will to bring insight and consciousness to our reactive South Node patterns or not—

So in every karmic Node, and in fact, in every planet, there is a “story” there that reflects an ambivalence or polarity that exists within us. The Nodes in particular need to be understood as both problem and solution to problem…as the disease and the medicine to cure the disease! The Nodes are a statement about your Soul’s evolutionary situation either in a former life, or earlier in this one—and a formula or good suggestion for how to advance beyond it. Viva La Difference!

Here’s a letter that expands on that, and brings in a curious situation:

Dear Elizabeth:

Your writings on the north nodes are the best I've found, thank you! My question is this:My North Node is in Gemini, 4th house; South Node in Sag. in 10th house.My Midheaven (MC) is in Sag. 10th house.... so if my South Node representsthings to move away from, but my MC is in the same sign as my South Node,which is my "careerpath," how do you recommend managing both?I feel torn-- how can I consciously move away from South Node tendenciesthat are outworn, yet still play up my midheaven potential?Thanks so much, Ashley

This question is important and similar to the questions: “If my Sun sign and South Node sign is in the same sign, or if my Sun is conjunct the South Node, how can I understand this?” The key here is to see the difference between a high expression of a planet’s energies and a lower reactive expression of the negative aspects of the sign. In fact, all these situations underline the importance of making conscious efforts to reach for the highest expression of the sign. So, with Sagittarius for example, you want to keep the free spirited, optimistic, communicative ability of that sign, but you’ll want to move away from its tendency to speak before it thinks (foot in mouth disease!), dogmatic thinking (disguised in a jovial manner), and a tendency to not seeing the multiplicity of Truth and different points of view. Sag loves to talk, teach, and travel; it needs to keep it’s humility in the process as well. And as always, be aware of not overdoing with all Sag placements. Hope this helps clarify. ~Elizabeth Spring

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama's Astrological Chart; Jung's Astrological Chart

Last week-end I taught a class at the Boston Jung Institute and while preparing for it I noticed something quite amazing! I was looking at Carl Jung’s chart when I had a moment of deja-vu—hadn’t I just recently seen this chart? I had been looking at charts all week, but this chart looked strangely familiar, because it had a striking similarity to Barack Obama’s astrological chart!

Obama and Jung both have the Sun in Leo in the 6th house of work, near the descendant, and in a wide conjunction to Uranus. Many psychotherapists have significant planets near the descendant or ascendant axis, indicative of their intense working with others in the “I-Thou relationship.” And Leos are often top leaders in their careers partly because of an inner need for self-expression.

Both Obama’s and Jung’s Uranus reflect a willingness to be independent, to think differently and freely, and are highly “individuated” as the Jungians would say. They both have Aquarius rising, reflecting their cool and level-headed personas---a way of being in the world which tends to think “outside the box” and is indicative of a tendency to retreat into their minds as a defensive strategy. They also both have Venus in Cancer, suggesting a desire to nurture and be nurtured, and both have Mercury, the planet of communication, strongly placed in the 6th house of daily work and discipline.

Yet perhaps the most fascinating aspects were the ones that spoke about their families of origin. Both have Sun square Neptune, reflecting a missing/ineffectual or “weak” father presence in their lives—Obama’s father simply wasn’t there most of the time, and Jung’s father was an uninspiring minister who didn’t quite believe in the God he preached about. Both men have a Moon/Pluto aspect suggesting the deeply powerful, complex, and mysterious or unconscious relationship with their mother. Obama’s moon is in Gemini reflecting the mental curiosity and communicative ability that is part of his maternal family inheritance, and Jung’s Moon in Taurus conjunct Pluto, reflects something of the earthy, dark feminine nature of his maternal legacy. Jung admitted to never truly understanding her, and in part, the feminine as well.

With Moon connected to Pluto, a true understanding of the mother and/or the feminine instinctual life is sometimes wounded or missing, and the mother herself may “not be there” in some fashion. Many people with this aspect often compensate for this by being emotionally powerful people. The role and importance of the mother is pronounced in their lives. Obama was tutored and trained by his mother in so many ways to be all he could be, yet died too early, and Jung delved deep into the psyche to understand the nature of the unconscious, and perhaps to understand the true nature of his own dark feminine.
~Elizabeth Spring

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Question: Where is my North Node? Where's my South Node?

North Node Chart: Find your birthday below to find the sign of your North Node based on your birth day and year. Your South Node, automatically and always, is
the sign directly opposite it in the zodiac
--180 degrees away.

June 7, 1913-Dec. 3, 1914: Pisces
Dec. 4, 1914-May 31, 1916: Aquarius
June 1, 1916-Feb. 13, 1918: Capricorn
Feb. 14, 1918-Aug. 15, 1919: Sagittarius
Aug. 16, 1919-Feb. 7, 1921: Scorpio
Feb. 8, 1921-Aug. 23, 1922: Libra
Aug. 24, 1922-Apr.23, 1924: Virgo
April 24, 1924-Oct. 26,1925: Leo
Oct. 27, 1925-Apr.16,1927: Cancer
Apr.17,1927-Dec.28,1928: Gemini
Dec.29,1928-July 7,1930: Taurus
July 8,1930-Dec.28,1931: Aries
Dec.29,1931-June 24, 1933: Pisces
June 25, 1933-Mar.8,1935: Aquarius
Mar 9, 1935-Sept. 14, 1936: Capricorn
Sept. 15, 1936-Mar. 3, 1938: Sagittarius
Mar. 4, 1938-Sept. 12, 1939: Scorpio
Sept. 13, 1939-May 24, 1941: Libra
May 25, 1941-Nov. 21,1942: Virgo
Nov. 22, 1942-May 11, 1944: Leo
May 12, 1944-Dec. 13, 1945: Cancer
Dec. 14,1945-Aug. 2, 1947: Gemini
Aug. 3, 1947-Jan. 26,1949: Taurus
Jan. 27,1949-Jul 26,1950: Aries
Jul 27, 1950-Mar.28,1952: Pisces
Mar.29, 1952-Oct. 9, 1953:Aquarius
Oct.10,1953-Apr.2, 1955: Capricorn
Apr 3,1955-Oct.4,1956: Sagittarius
Oct.5,1956-June 16,1958: Scorpio
Jun. 17,1958-Dec.15,1959: Libra
Dec.16,1959-Jun 10,1961: Virgo
June 11,1961-Dec.23,1962: Leo
Dec.24,1962-Aug.25,1964: Cancer
Aug.26,1964-Feb.19,1966: Gemini
Feb.20,1966-AQug.19,1967: Taurus
Aug.20,1967-Apr.19,1969: Aries
Apr.20,1969-Nov.2,1970: Pisces
Nov.3,1970-Apr.27,1972: Aquarius
Apr.28,1972-Oct.27,1973: Capricorn
Oct.28,1973-Jul 10,1975: Sagittarius
Jul 11, 1975-Jan. 7, 1977: Scorpio
Jan. 8, 1977-Jul 5,1978: Libra
Jul 6 1978-Jan.12,1980: Virgo
Jan.13,1980-Sept.24,1981: Leo
Sept.25,1981-Mar.16,1983: Cancer
Mar.17.1983-Sept.11,1984: Gemini
Sept.12,1984-Apr.6,1986: Taurus
Apr.7,1986-Dec.2,1987: Aries
Dec.3,1987-May 22, 1989: Pisces
May 23, 1989-Nov.18,1990: Aquarius
Nov.19,1990-Aug. 1,1992: Capricorn
Aug.2,1992-Feb.1,1994: Sagittarius
Feb.2,1994-Jul 31, 1995: Scorpio
Aug.1,1995-Jan.25,1997: Libra
Jan.26,1997-Oct.20,1998: Virgo
Oct. 21, 1998-Apr.9,2000: Leo
Apr.10,2000-Oct.12,2001: Cancer
Oct.13,2001-Apr.13,2003: Gemini
Apr.14,2003-Dec.25,2004: Taurus
Dec.26,2004-Jun 21, 2006: Aries
Jun 22,2006-Dec.18, 2007: Pisces
Dec. 19, 2007-Aug 22 2009: Aquarius
Artwork by Elizabeth Spring from

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Meatloaf Meltdown; Crisis in Confidence

"The Meatloaf Meltdown;”
Crisis of Confidence

My daughter, Sarah, who has always identified with not being a domestic goddess of any sort—especially in the kitchen--decided to make meatloaf for her husband and baby girl last night. She had found some loose directions from an old recipe, and the Moon that night in Scorpio must have stirred something in her. I thought it was a good omen that my husband had dropped by her house late in the afternoon and had proudly returned home telling me of the good smells coming from Sarah’s kitchen.

Two hours later, she called me back, with both a cry and a laugh in her voice. She was seriously considering that perhaps she could have poisoned her family by undercooking the meatloaf. In fact, she went on to say, she was so upset by this possibility that when she placed the dish before her family she became nauseous just looking at the slightly runny meatloaf. She could barely eat it, and worst of all, she completely ruined the dinner for her husband who thought it was quite a tasty meal, except for the running commentary on it. Or maybe—worst of all she feared, they might now all have to go to the emergency room with food poisoning.

In good grandmotherly style, I proceeded to reassure her (for all the various logical reasons) that she hadn’t done anything deadly to her family, and I went on to ask if she could possibly see the humor in all this—about how hard she tried and yet how poignantly sad and deliciously funny it all was—especially since her husband insisted it was quite yummy and there was no pinkness except for the delicious bits of tomatoes.

Oh, by the way, they’re all fine, but Sarah’s courageous attempts at “domestic goddessing” and her second guessing of these efforts, struck a chord with me. How often do I set myself up for a challenge, do it, and then criticize myself for the flaws? Where is this nasty genetic or astrological gene that wracks us with our lack of perfection? I don’t think it’s worthy of a full astrological analysis, but it could have deep roots in our maternal legacy. But that’s another story.

Today, Sarah and I are affectionately calling this crisis of confidence, a “meatloaf meltdown.” There are no specific astrological correlates for this, although perhaps she was reaching for her North Node in Virgo, (with its down side of perfectionism) and the Moon that night in Scorpio might have whipped up her worse fears. However, since all you good readers of the Nodes are scrutinizing your lives in terms of the life direction and soul purpose, I would plead with you to be compassionate with yourself and all your attempts at living towards your North Node. We all have “meatloaf meltdowns” but they can quickly pass into sweet words and moments of humor and empathy for ourselves and others. ~elizabeth spring from:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Uranus; The Wild Card

Understanding the Wild Card: Uranus

It takes the maverick planet, Uranus, 84 years to make a full revolution around your chart, spending 7 years in each sign. Everyone has Uranus transiting somewhere in their lives at all times, but not everyone embodies or carries the Uranus energy as a primary archetype. Some people could be said to be more Saturnian, or Neptunian, or Venusian, but there are four times in our lives that everyone experiences the havoc and synchronistic magic of Uranus .

Uranus, the archetypal planet of the inner rebel, unexpected change, and individuation, accelerates our desire to act on the North and South Nodes in our chart. Because the Nodes give hints as to our life direction and soul purpose, then when those important transitional times come---especially at around the ages of 21, 41, 64 and 84, then the Nodes come to life again.

At approximately these ages, people tend to have transformative, rebellious, liberating, freedom-desiring, enlightening, unexpected, erratic, unconscious eruptions, and changing circumstances. These four transits, the waxing square, the opposition, the waning square and the return, are transformative passages that arise from unconscious movements deep within us. There’s an eruption of energies that have been repressed and are now seeking to come out and be made manifest. These are the days when epiphanies and life style changes are most obvious. Take a moment to consider these times, and particularly the profound effect of the Uranus opposition that happens between ages 38 to 43.

How to understand Uranus in your chart:

1--What “house” or area of your life is the action of Uranus happening in?

2—What “sign” describes the nature of how Uranus works for you?

3—What aspects to other planetary archetypes is Uranus making? If it is conjoining (sitting next to within 8 degrees) to another planet they link their energies together, either harmoniously or not, in a conjunction. If they are linked by a 90 degree square, then they internally create friction, resistance, and a challenge for you. When Uranus is opposed (180 degrees) to another planet it operates like a square, but the challenge appears to come from others outside yourself, rather than internally. If Uranus is linked by a trine (120 degrees) this triangle shows that the two planets support and enhance each other. Conjunctions, squares, and oppositions are not only motivating, but they “irritate” us to positive action and accomplishment. The Uranus opposition, around age forty, is the time when this planet effects are truly felt.

Astrology is a symbolic system, and is best understood as being about “the positive contemplation of change.” This kind of archetypal astrology is based on our free will choices, and asks us to think symbolically, and to ponder the internal or mythic quality of events. Archetypal astrology sees life through a lens in which change is ultimately always for our highest good, and is related to our past choices both in this life and in previous lives. And in this way, we can see that the Nodes, hinting at those past life choices and future probabilities, tend to get re-activated in Uranian times and flavor our experience. Uranus’ motto could be: “Let’s do something different!” That's usually a good thing, but occasionally may feel like you are sitting in "the theatre of the absurd." Elizabeth Spring

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mandala of the Birth Chart (Part Two)

The astrological chart sometimes reminds me of a round conference table, with all the planets, or internal voices, or “gods” sitting around the table, at a committee meeting. The lines in the center of the “table” represent the lines of conversation between the different voices in our psyche, or parts of our self. Your Sun can be seen as the chairperson of the board meeting—of the often riotous committee it tries to bring to order! Each planet represents a different aspect of oneself: the Moon is our emotions, memory, and nurturing instincts, Mercury, the communication ability, Venus the feminine and the anima, Mars the masculine and animus, Saturn, the reality principle of the Father and Cronos, and the outer planets of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto representing various aspects of the unconscious.

However when our lives—that is, when the map of our reality, as represented by the chart, no longer echoes the terrain of the chart, then all kinds of neurotic pain can erupt. Jim Hollis, a Jungian analyst and writer once told a story about a woman with a history of great suffering, and at midlife her world tumbled even more. She described her ordeal as feeling “fragmented.” When he asked this woman what she did when she felt fragmented, she answered in terms which told him that she would make it through to a more authentic life. She simply said “When this happens, I talk to this part of me, and then I listen. And I talk to that part and I listen. And I try to learn what Psyche wants of me.” This woman was assisting the dialogue between all the various parts of her psyche---she was honoring the gods within, rather than trying to silence or distract them. She wasn’t becoming a prisoner to unheard and cut-off parts of herself. She was attempting to give voice all the various personalities within her, or as an astrologer might say--she was discovering the committee within her, and she was finding meaning in the conversation. What a wonderful mandala the chart is—what a unique way to observe our Self! And like the ancient “astrolobes” with the arrow piercing through the center, we find the North and South Nodes piercing our charts, and giving direction and meaning to the committee within us….. ~elizabeth spring

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mandala of the Birth Chart

There’s a mystery in a mandala, and a mystery in an astrological chart. They look similar with their circles, lines, and squares but I wouldn’t want to try to encapsulate it by reason, but rather to draw attention to the spiritual mystery within it. A mandala, to the Eastern religious mind, is like a Christian icon, a window to God. An astrological chart, to an astrologer, is a similar map of the psyche, of the Soul, and a profound means of acquiring Self insight. We enter the mandala of the chart primarily through understanding and honoring the internal planetary archetypes, the “gods.”

Carl Jung once said: “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate.” ( Aion, CW 9ii) Yet no matter how much we understand the meaning of the signs, symbols, and complexities of the chart, it remains receptive to deeper and deeper levels of reflection. All good mandalas do this. Mandalas hold the mystery of sacred geometry. And so we ask ourself: Is this a way to know the Self, the Soul? Do we understand our charts? Can we ever get to the center of the Self?

Most contemporary Western astrologers believe that the Soul is on an evolutionary journey of reincarnation, and that in some mysterious fashion, our Souls have chosen a particular time and place to be born into so that it will experience what it needs to in this life. Is this theory, myth or truth? Does it matter? Is it at the very least an opening into dialogue with our higher Self? What a gift it is to see it that way—the chart as a tool for meditation, a map of the psyche, a personal mandala that hints at our unfolding destiny.

It’s often been said that character equals fate, and that character is created by the conscious choices we make and bring to each situation---whereas the word fate has the implication of no choice. One could optimistically say that when an inner situation is made conscious, it happens as our unfolding destiny. Or we can inspire a touch of fear by saying, as Jung did in the quote above, by saying that without consciousness, we don’t see the full range of our choices, and therefore encounter our fate.

So the mystery of the chart is a mystery to be pondered and to be brought into the light of consciousness. “Know thyself” the Greeks said. The chart is one way to know ourselves, and each planet can be seen as a symbolic archetype, or as a god that needs attention. Jung once said “every neurosis is an “offended God.” (Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, CW 7) If instead we try to render conscious all the conversations which go on within our psyche--between the “committee of symbolic gods or voices in our psyche” then we stand a better chance of honoring the differing parts of our nature. It sounds like a call to keep talking…..
In my next post, we’ll continue this conversation…. ~ elizabeth spring

Monday, October 6, 2008

Readings and Artwork

Dear Readers~
I'm afraid I failed to give Kerstin Zettmar credit for her "Rosen Heart" on the previous post, and if anyone is interested in her work please contact me and I will pass along the information to her. Also, it may have been confusing--I am indeed doing astrology readings! However, I'm not replying personally right now on the blog for requests for mini-readings/advice, till I finish the writing that I have set myself out to do. I'm sure you understand. ~ elizabeth

Dear Readers~

Dear Readers~

Help! I’m crazy writing these days, and I’m finding that I can’t get the time to reply to each of you personally, as I’ve committed myself to 1—finishing writing the book, 2—doing the readings I must do so as to make a living, and 3—preparing for my class at the Boston Jung Center in November.

I’m receiving personal emails and blog requests for a deeper understanding of your Nodes and chart, and right now I simply can’t do that. However I do—and must—continue to do readings for folks who want to spend the 60-90 minutes over the phone in an astrological counseling session—so please call or email if you want to do that..

So….what I’m saying is that I hope you’ll keep reading this blog and the articles on (check for new articles under “Soul Work”) to keep finding the concepts and hints here that will help you decipher your own Nodal Journey. However, unless I spend an hour or so preparing your charts—the natal, transit, progressed and possibly solar return or relocation, then I can’t truly answer your questions ethically or with a true understanding of you and your whole chart. I would be giving you information based on only a few lines of information from you—and how much better it will be to have you have the finished book, and/or a personal reading.

Quick sun sign astrology, or quick Node sign astrology, is superficial and can be misleading, if not dangerous—so I hope you’ll bear with me, and instead let me know if you want to be on a list for the book when it’s done, or call for an in-depth reading. Till then—I’m back to work!

As Garrison Keillor says: Be well, do good work, and keep in touch~ elizabeth Artwork; Kerstin Zettmar ~email to inquire about her work.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Archetypal "Jungian" Astrology

"Astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity." C.G. Jung
"We often believe our true Self is housed in our personal myth--in the story of our lives. I think that's a mistake; especially when we take our personal dramas literally. I believe that we're larger than the "story of our life" and Carl Jung believed that too. He delved into the personal and collective unconscious and found that we are richer and deeper than we know. He understood that we are not as small as our life stories might suggest, and yet I believe it is an amusing truth that we are also never quite as real or large as advertised." ~elizabeth spring
Jung believed that we get to know ourselves and heal our Souls through rediscovery and connection with the archetypal world, and that we interact with this world through symbols. According to Jung, our Soul speaks to us in this language of images through dreams and through archetypal symbols. Astrological planets are archetypal symbols, and our birth charts are a unique “map of our Soul” that can illuminate the relationship between our conscious and unconscious mind.

By understanding the symbals in our unconscious through dreams or through the planetary archetypes in our birthchart, we can take steps to break free of our more compulsive, repetitive, or “default” patterns of behavior. Astrologers believe that individual unconscious patterns are left as an “imprint” that can be read on the birth chart—as Jung said: “The individual disposition is already a factor in childhood; it is innate, and not acquired in the course of a life.” Astrologers believe this disposition is reflected in the planetary symbols that synchronize the moment of your birth with the heavens above. My teacher, Alice Howell, used to remind us that: "To think symbolically is a key to wisdom."

Carl Jung’s image in our psyche today often resonates with the archetype of the “wise elder man.” He points us in certain directions---as if to say: “Look to the mandala, look to alchemy, look to your dreams, look to the images in your unconscious and in the collective unconscious, look to astrology.” Jung was not a perfect man or teacher, he was a product of his time and culture, yet he was wise enough to say: “Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.” (From: On the Psychology of the Unconscious)

Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud were psychiatrists and theorists who were ambitious men. Freud counseled Jung not to delve into the astrological world view as it could destroy his reputation as a reputable and scientific scholar, yet he did it anyway. (Ira Progoff in America also warned Jung in a letter that Americans would not take him seriously if he delved into the taboo astrological world. And although Jung was not one to be told what to do, we could speculate that he chose to focus more on astrology’s younger sister, “alchemy” in order not to be tarnished by astrology’s bad reputation at the time as a fortune telling craft.) Jung and Freud eventually parted ways because of their many differences in opinions.

So did Jung believe in astrology and use it? The answer is yes, as we see here in Jung’s own words from a letter that he wrote to the Hindu astrologer, B.V. Raman on the 6th of September of 1947. Jung wrote:
"Since you want to know my opinion about astrology I can tell you that I've been interested in this particular activity of the human mind since more than 30 years. As I am a psychologist, I am chiefly interested in the particular light the horoscope sheds on certain complications in the character. In cases of difficult psychological diagnosis I usually get a horoscope in order to have a further point of view from an entirely different angle. I must say that I very often found that the astrological data elucidated certain points which I otherwise would have been unable to understand. From such experiences I formed the opinion that astrology is of particular interest to the psychologist, since it contains a sort of psychological experience which we call 'projected' - this means that we find the psychological facts as it were in the constellations."

The kind of astrology I practice is archetypal and evolutionary. I believe Jungian psychology is a rich foundation upon which to draw inspiration and knowledge, and Jung himself was a powerful yet invisible mentor in my life. I also draw from the “evolutionary” school of astrology with my background in Theosophy and as an apprentice to Steven Forrest’s School of Evolutionary Astrology. This evolutionary overlay on the Jungian base allows me to look at the possibilities of reincarnation and karma, and to construct a parable or myth about the past life lessons and experiences as shown on the birth chart now.

Because the re-incarnational parable is not fact-based but instead is a largely unconscious emotional memory, I look to the nature and arrangement of the planetary archetypes to read it and detect what the Soul in this life is trying to learn and experience. Usually, we repeat the same karmic patterns until we become conscious of these invisible energy patterns and choose to not to repeat them.

I believe that our life direction and soul purpose is to “heal oneself” and that we do this by “knowing” and “remembering” our Self on a very deep level. This is the work of a lifetime, and I do not believe we are fated to endlessly repeat old patterns, nor are we bound by any predestined hand of God. But we do come into this life with the mixture of past life karma, free will, and the spiritual curiosity to experience both joy and love, struggle and pain. It’s a mixed blessing for sure. ~ Elizabeth Spring © 2008
Artwork: Kerstin Zettmar (inquire for more info on her artwork)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

North Node and Sun Opposing Each Other

"Elizabeth, I've recently discovered your website and have been completely immersed. When I look at my own chart, my north node is in Gemini in the 7th house and opposes my Sagittarian Sun in the 1st house. I had been assuming that one of the tasks of fulfilling a chart was to "become" our sun, that the solar quest was the heroic quest. When the south node is conjunct the Sun, are we suppose to move away from our Sun? I've seen a number of charts that have the same set-up - Sun opposing the north node. Do you have any thoughts? Patty"

Thanks for your response, and because others have asked similar questions, I’d like to reply in this post. Yes, the heroic quest is a solar quest, but that's different from the Soul's quest; although so intertwined it's hard to pull apart. The Soul’s quest is more about the Nodal Journey, with the North Node being the guiding star. The Sun sign leads the Soul in the world, as the body holds the Soul, but I believe it’s in the coming together of the body and soul, the Sun and the North Node, that we truly find our way home.

Let’s look at it this way---if you think of your chart as a conference table with all the planetary personalities sitting around this table, then you could imagine your chart as a committee meeting, with your Sun as the Chairperson and organizing ego. It needs to center and focus this group of sometimes unruly archetypes that want to be heard all at once and with their own agenda. So the Sun, like a Solar Hero or Heroine, is an assertive organizing energy that is the “vehicle” that your Soul has chosen to use in this life. So yes, we do need to fulfill and honor our unique Sun sign mode of being in the world. With that in mind, you’ll want to look at the qualities of your Sun to use as one uses one’s ego strength to live in the world. In your case, with a Sagittarian Sun, you’re being called to see life as a grand quest, to actively expand your world through reading, travel, contact with “foreign ideas” and to speak your truth in a forthright manner.

However, if the Soul’s journey is reflected more by the Nodal axis than the Solar ego’s journey, then when your South Node is conjunct your Sun in the same sign, it’s implying that your default pattern of ego behavior is indeed Sagittarian, but it tends to move into the lower expression of it when you’re not being conscious. In the astrological lineage I come from, we read the South Node somewhat negatively, as holding those behaviors that we’re very comfortable with, but which don’t suit us anymore for this life.

The Sun conjuncting a South Node reminds me of an exclamation point here! It’s as if is saying: be careful! You’re being called to access the highest expression or octave of your Sag Sun and not its knee-jerk expression. I’m sure you already know how Sag in its lower expression can be played out. But one thing might be most important---and what is it? It’s the need to integrate the highest expression of its opposite sign, your North Node, Gemini. So, the negative default pattern of Sag is, in part, to already think it knows all the answers because it sees the “mountain-top” view, but it has missed the view from the valley or marketplace. So it needs to come down from a point of philosophic/spiritual surety and over self-confidence, and rub shoulders with the commoners in the valley to see the many ways that “street smarts” and differing points of view can open the heart and mind even farther. And for you, with N.Node in the 7th house, it is calling for you to do this in close one on one relationships, partnerships and with close friends.

We always need to access the highest octave of any sign involved in the Sun or Nodal axis, and to move away from its lower octave or expression. It's a lot about complementarity in the Jungian sense--of bringing in new qualities we need, and shaking out the subtlest meanings to find the balance. I'd need to see your whole chart in a reading to do this justice, but I hope this helps.
Elizabeth Spring

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

South Node Twelfth House

South Node Twelfth House, North Node Sixth House

If you look at the Nodes from a re-incarnational viewpoint, then you view the South Node as descriptive of your last life, or lives, in terms of what you didn’t get right---what you still need to work on in this life, and the default pattern that you fall back onto when life becomes stressful. Your Soul wants to move away from the habits of the South Node, and yearns to move towards the qualities of your North Node.

The South Node in the Twelfth House of the subconscious, hints that you may have spent many lifetimes in dissolution of the ego—either through meditation and spiritual quests or drug/alcohol abuse, co-dependence, of confinement in convents, prisons, or asylums. You might also have felt exiled or ostracized from your community in some way, and in this life there’s a desire to regain your identity, your sense of Self, and to manifest your vision in a concrete way here on Earth.

For you to re-engage your ego, you need to develop the perspective of the marketplace and the valley, rather than the mystic view from the mountaintop. There’s a need to get good at handling the mundane details of life. You bring with you now a compassionate and perhaps mystical understanding of life which needs to be grounded in the affairs of this world. With a newly restored ego and persona you are better able to navigate the first half of your life, and the unconscious gold in the shadow of your twelfth house waits for you as you enter the second half of life with a stable ego intact.

So you’ll want to leave behind: feeling yourself to be a victim, escapism and addictive tendencies, withdrawal and feelings of inadequacy, oversensitivity and the avoidance of planning. The qualities for you to develop are: bringing order to chaos, creating routines, focusing on the here and now, being of service to others, taking risks in spite of fears, and choosing to value and analyze details.

With this Nodal axis there can be a desire for a person or mentor who you can totally trust. You want to let go into something larger than yourself that will support you, but you are more likely to get this when you go out into the world and are of service to others first. There you are more likely to find the people and mentors you desire, but you might even find that you don’t need them as much as you thought! In this emerging into the “marketplace” and sharing your gifts and talents, you may find that you yourself are the trusted mentor that you have been looking for….you’ve become your own best authority, and are now truly the author of your own life!

Elizabeth Spring For more articles or to enquire about an astrology reading:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rekindling Lost Love

Rekindling Lost Love; the Astrology of Remarriage
Twenty years married. Four years divorced, and now we're six months into seriously dating—again. Its not an uncommon scenario, but it certainly is one that makes people smile when we tell them our story! Like a good ending to a movie, love survives. Some people can heal. We're hoping we can.

A few years ago I wrote about the ending of our marriage. "Reflections on Healing a Broken Heart" on . That article was my way of making sense of what didn't make sense—a good marriage that unraveled for no apparent reason. I thought it was a brave attempt to delve into the discrepancy between the overt and the covert facts. The shock of our mutual choice to separate had sent me into a state of withdrawal and grieving, which I called "cocooning," and simultaneously challenged me to be in the world in a new way—wounded but not whining. It took a consistent, and at times faltering effort to do that, to not shame or blame him or myself. I can simply say that we didn't know how to do it any better at the time. The question has come around again, and the answer remains too be seen: do we know how to do it better at this point? Have we really grown in such a way that we can now re-marry? We're hoping the answer is yes, but we don't really know.

Our story is an unfamiliar one, yet the reasons people reunite can be quite varied. Loneliness and dismay at the dating experience are obvious reasons, but that wasn't our primary experience. My ex had loved and lived with a woman for three of those four years, and although he was never engaged, they appeared to be blissfully happy. They bought a lovely country house together and moved out of state. I, too, made a valiant attempt at happiness, becoming engaged to a man after a two year courtship. But I found myself missing my old love at the strangest times. I would be the last to think that I would be beset by heartache while vacationing in Italy on the shores of lake Magiore with my new fiancée. But these moments did occur, and eventually I broke off the wedding engagement six weeks before the marriage. Both of our new relationships were serious attempts to disengage from each other and they each failed. Why?

About a year ago I went away on vacation by myself, and in the process of slowing down and allowing myself to really feel and assess my life, I noted over breakfast one day that I seriously missed my ex-husband. Writing him a letter I admitted there, was a split in my life that no other man could heal. I wrote that we felt like an unfinished story, and that the bittersweet weight of our mutual history felt as integral a part of my life as my own arms or legs. I felt that I had been tragically severed by our mutual decisions to separate. Six months later I got a reply. My ex had found himself unexpectedly in tears one day while browsing through the Hallmark cards; the anniversary cards were too much for him to bear. He too felt that our story was unfinished.

So was it nostalgia? Partly. And perhaps, forgive me if I sound too romantic, but we've come to believe that we never really stopped loving each other. Perhaps we simply weren't conscious enough to see that a mid-life crisis, a passing depression, or a growing apart are events that can be part of a marriage and not a reason to end it. We needed a healing and a time apart, but we almost lost the chance for a wholeness in our lives that we are now attempting.

Why couldn't we commit ourselves to our other loves? It is still a mystery—the way love is a mystery—yet it seems to be less the fault of the significant other and more about us. Perhaps we were deeply rooted in each other and felt at home in the same soil, and so the transplant simply didn't work. And perhaps we were still haunted by our original love and our vows to hang in there with each other through thick and thin. We had let go too easily when things got thin.

Since I don't believe in accidents but do believe in choice, I suspect we needed to do exactly what we did. We needed to experience in our new relationships what was missing in our partner to see if that made a difference. And so we found partners who supplied qualities each of us lacked. He found an emotionally supportive, consistently cheerful woman who, yes, even looked like me, and who helped him feel safe enough to do some inner work and therapy. She was not as demanding as I had been. And I had found a man who liked to read, travel and talk intimately about everything. He said "yes" to many of my dreams and, although he looked nothing like my husband, I must admit he had some of the same traits. (Being an astrologer I once jokingly prayed to God to never send me another Virgo. Well, "he" was a double Virgo! Who knows best what we need?)As an astrological counselor I am always being asked about the aspects and omens of love. If I see that my client has Uranus in the 7th house squaring his Mars in Aries and opposing his Moon in Capricorn, and his lover's Saturn sits directly on his Mars... well, I try to find convincing ways to say how every relationship has its challenges. Nothing is fated, and the chart, reflecting the chemistry of a relationship hints at the climate one will be exposed to, but not the outcome. What is most important is the intention of the couple and their willingness to use their free will to make conscious decisions. That's the clincher: conscious. Sometimes when we're in a Neptunian cycle of our life, its not that easy to accurately assess what we feel. Ego and soul needs are confused. And when we are in a Plutonian cycle, experiencing a life-changing event, we may lose memory and consciousness altogether, as we know it.

Last weekend I was at a craft festival helping my ex sell his pottery. As I was wrapping up a pot in a newspaper I spotted a recently published article on Ram Dass, the spiritual spokesperson for many baby boomers. Three years ago, just before the massive stroke that severely challenged his ability to speak, he was told by his editor that his new book (being published this month) was too glib and not visceral or deep enough. Today he sees his stroke as a "fierce grace" which allowed him to know and respect the extreme suffering and vulnerability that can come with age. People close to him noted that the stroke changed him, making him more humble and compassionate. The truth is that it nearly destroyed his faith.

As I read the article, the similarities between a near-death experience, such as a stroke, and the psychic earthquake of a divorce resonated in me. The shock to the system, the tearing away of illusions and vanity, and the vulnerability must be experienced to be truly known.

At these times the soul's ruthless orchestration of destiny confronts us with uncomfortable questions. If God is compassionate and I've been "good," then how can this be happening to me? Who's wrong? Can I redefine what is a loving God or a loving mate? Are "they" giving us what we want or what we need? When we are in the midst of illness or tragedy, we are motivated to redefine our relationship with a loving or not so loving God, whereas redefining human love in relationship is a conscious choice not everyone chooses to do. It feels easier to start over or drop out.

When love is not the endorphin-filled romance of wine-tinged illusions but rather the wrenching off of our socially pleasing mask, we may need some new definitions of love and peace. This is not a time for failure of imagination. What would love feel like? What would peace feel like? The challenge is to re-imagine the possible while not indulging in tight expectations.

In his interview. Ram Dass noted that in preparing for death one prepares for the deepest mystery of the universe, and you prepare so that you'll be open, curious, and not clinging to the past. You'll just be present, moment by moment. This may be the key. In loving and in dying the act of not resisting the present moment allows the soul to have its voice. It allows for the unexpected, for newness, for a chance to see things differently. In not resisting what is, an attitude of acceptance frees the energy that was previously bound by old expectations.

Some people say if a relationship didn't work before, it won't work now because people don't change that much. What needs changing? Who needs changing? Who's in charge? When the shattering of romantic illusions and all the small betrayals stand face to face with every real hope for peace, healing, and forgiveness, the chance for change is seductive. When I consider that my lover has heard the hard edges of arrogance and fear in my tone of voice and feels the uneasy questions within me and is still willing to love me again... well! Perhaps the only hard question then is whether or not he's willing to live with someone who prowls (noisily) around the house on the nights she can't sleep.

Last week I came upon a poem by Wendell Berry that moved me so much I inscribed it with a few minor changes on a day tablet and gave it to my new "old love". Today, after rereading the article written four years ago, I saw in it I had quoted a short poem also by Wendell Berry. A sweet synchronicity seems to be echoing here:

How joyful to be together,
alone as when we first were joined
in our little house by the streamlong ago,
except that now we know
each other, as we did not then
and now instead of two stories fumblingto meet, we belong to one storythat the two, joining, made. And now
we touch each other with the tendernessof mortals, who know themselves;how joyful to feel the heart quake
at the sight of you old friend in the morning light,beautiful in your night robe!
Elizabeth Spring, MA has been an astrologer and counselor since 1992. She has studied astrology and the work of Carl Jung in England, Switzerland, and California, and has written numerous articles for newspapers and magazines, which can be read on-line. She does readings by phone (401-294-5863) and in person (R.I.), and can be contacted through her web site: or at: elizabethspring@aol.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

South Node Eleventh House, North Node Fifth House

South Node Eleventh House, North Node Fifth House

Are your “friends” the kind of people who support your goals, your values, and see you for who you really are? Or are they people who have “just happened to you” along the way? With the South Node in the 11th house, there’s a chance that you need to move up an octave in choosing friends who support you and your dreams, and also a need to leave behind peer pressure in any of its forms. It’s important for you to become clear on who you are and who you want to spend your time with—move away from the crowds or groups that simply fill your time, and find a few “heart-mates” instead of acquaintances, and look for the community or place where you really belong. Look around a bit, so that you can sit at the right “camp-fire.”

With this South Node you’ll want to move away from the lower expression of Aquarian qualities: being emotionally aloof and detached, avoiding confrontation and intimacy, and having a tendency to think you always need more knowledge before taking action. Instead, it’s time to take more risks, to reach for center stage, and to develop one’s confidence---even if it means allowing your childlike qualities to come out more, and for you to be more of a “character.”

Your fifth house North Node here wants to have more fun, and to see life as a game worth playing. It can bring out your entrepreneurial and artistic side as well. This Nodal axis wants to get personal—to risk the love affair, to have a child, to express itself creatively. It doesn’t need to get philosophical and talk about saving humanity---how about just one child at a time? And maybe that child could just be your inner child that’s been neglected for awhile.

In past lives you might have been living on the sidelines watching others interact. You could have done great things as a scientist, an eccentric genius, a humanitarian….one who gave selflessly. Now it’s time to “give to the giver” and to feel the flow of love in and out of your heart. You’ve earned it.
(c) elizabeth spring For more information:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

South Node Tenth House, North Node Fourth House

"Reject the seductive impulse to encapsulate the mystery by reason." Jim Hollis, Jungian analyst
The movement from the outer-world orientation of the tenth house, to the fourth house of one's inner world of family and personal mythology, suggests the wisdom of not sacrificing your personal life in the pursuit of worldly ambition. It hints of a need to focus more on the process of doing things rather than the goal or end result. We also hear a suggestion implying that the personal subjective response to life is the right one for you--and that as Jim Hollis mentions in the above quote, it's best not to reduce the mystery and process of life to logic, reason, and anything that diminishes the depth of the inner response. Here the mystery can be felt, not analysed.
In former lives, or earlier in this life, you may have trained yourself to repress feelings, instincts, sensual enjoyment for the sake of what needed to be done. You may have achieved positions of authority or respect, but you may have been separated from a sweeter flow of family interactions and personal reflection. This life is now meant to create a better balance between accomplishing things and nourishing and supporting yourself and others.
Although you'll want to show empathy and validate your own feelings and those of others, and to work for emotional security, you would be wise to focus more on yourself than others, and not try to take charge without fully understanding the situation. Use your intuition! You don't need to feel overly responsible anymore. You also don't need to hide feelings and fears in intimate relationships or do just what is socially acceptable rather than totally honest. By understanding and accepting other's fluctuating moods without judgment, you can find that things get done anyway, and people's feelings are, at times, most important.
You are bringing gifts with you into this life that make you a natural leader and person of authority; use these 'default patterns' of behaving to stretch into the realms of emotion, mystery, and deep connection to Self. Inner work is as valid, or more valid, than outer work in the world in this life, so keep that soul-ful connection to your spiritual, meaning-making Self. And in loving yourself for that, you will love and honor others for their efforts to do the same. Be the mystery you see.....
elizabeth spring (c) For more information or to inquire about readings: