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:

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)