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

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What does a Square Mean in my Astrological Chart?

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. A square in your astrological chart reflects this tendency to oppose yourself, and to sometimes oppose your best interests. Yet within a square there is more free will than in an opposition aspect. But still we ask ourselves: why would I sabotage myself or why am I often of two minds on a subject? Why do I tear myself up over decisions because a part of me thinks or feels one way, and a part of me thinks or feels another way?

A square is an internal opposition. Although it’s slightly easier than an opposition aspect because it originates from within, rather than outside, it’s still a hard one. Psychologists would refer to this as a complex—an internal wound that isn’t rational, but reflects an internal division.

The good news is that as we bring awareness to the meaning of the planets on each end of the “square” aspect, we realize that although the planets are “squaring off” to each other, we can mediate between them. The ego’s organizing power, as represented by the Sun, can give each of these internal squared off planets, like people, a chance to voice its opinion, and to express itself. Then there can be the possibility of mediation instead of self-sabotage. Sometimes there can be a middle road taken, and sometimes, one has to honor one side for the moment, promising that the other side will soon have its needs met.

In evolutionary astrology, we also see this happening when the planet that rules the South Node also is square to itself in the chart. For example, if the South Node is in Scorpio, and it squares Pluto, then you may have the tendency to be your own worst enemy at times. You do the thing you know you should not do…or you do it maybe “just a little.”

Squares to the planets are especially important if it is a square to your Sun or Moon. This changes the quality of your basic “identity ego basis” which is held by the Sun, or it effects and alters the nature of your emotional lunar Moon. Squares to the Sun and Moon however fuel and motivate us---and it is out of this tension of the square that we become motivated to achieve, to heal, and to grow to be all we can be.

Most famous people would not be famous if they didn’t have the tension of at least one square in their chart. Most of us have several squares; and the more squares we have, the deeper the motivation. The famous doctor, Albert Schweitzer was one of these people with squares, with motivation and energy to achieve. So it is comforting to know that when we see the nature of the wound, the square, then we are in a position to listen to the conflicting needs expressed, and to act to mediate and heal. Not so bad after all! And all that energy that is generated by the tension—if you use it well, it will serve you and become an integral part of who you are.
Elizabeth Spring ©

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Using Neptune Homeopathically"

Dear "Mountain Astrologer"
I found Elizabeth Spring's article, "Using Neptune Homeopathically," to be one of the most helpful articles I've ever read. Neptune's transits can be so hard to work through, and since I've had transiting Neptune conjunct my natal Moon/Ceres conjunction squaring my Sun/Mercury for some time now, you can imagine how quickly I latched onto this article!
What I found so helpful was Spring's practical advice. She suggests firm, tangible actions to address feelings and the negative tendencies that emerge during difficult Neptune transits. The only other person I've found who is able to give such practical and useful advice is Donna Cunningham, particularly in her book, "Astrology and Spiritual Development." With these two in my corner, I feel much more able to use this Neptune transit for my betterment rather than my detriment.
Please keep including articles such as these that give advice that is easier to apply, advice with a new twist. They keep me addicted to "The Mountain Astrologer"....a good addiction, I must say!
Anne Pauline Stanwood,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Transforming Fate into Destiny

Writing a book such as "North Node Astrology" may sound a little arrogant or na├»ve, depending on whether or not you believe astrology has anything truly worthwhile to say about one's life direction and soul purpose. Metaphysical texts have said that one’s life direction seems to evolve through some mysterious equation of fate, character and destiny. I think the equation is best understood like this: fate + character=destiny.
Yet how do we create this middle factor--"character" with our free will? Will astrological knowledge help? If fate represents the "givens" of life, such as our sex, nationality, birth order, parents, etc. how do we respond to this fate? Where and how do we exercise the muscle of our free will to adjust the effects of fate and the qualities of character to create a positive destiny? These are some of the questions examined in my new book: "North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose."
I believe it is in the making of character through the depth of our insight that intrigues me. This new book hopes to give you, dear reader, a rather curious tool to dig deeper into the whys and wherefores of character and insight. And as for soul purpose, I share a common yet sacred bias here, in saying that it is ultimately bound up with our growing ability to love and be loved.

Similarly, as a counselor I’m inclined to say that one’s life direction and soul purpose is about the movement towards healing and wholeness—for who among us is not wounded and less than whole? Life direction evolves as a response to our work and life choices, and yet it has an inner trajectory as well. This inner direction is bound up with soul purpose, and is where we each are different.

Can you remember when you first heard the words of the poet, William Wordsworth, when he said “our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting, the Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, hath had elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar: not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory…”?
Maybe it’s true that life existed before this birth, perhaps not. However, embracing the theory of reincarnation is not necessary to get something out of this book—what I might see as the re-incarnational story, you the reader, might understand as the effect of early childhood experiences and parental DNA. Either theory works.

As you might rightly assume, my point of view is that I like the theory of reincarnation, because although not provable, it’s a way to look at the world that holds the promise of fairness and justice. It’s a hopeful bias—because we all know that life is often not “fair” to a person in one life, but it may prove to be somehow mysterious “fair” over many lifetimes. There may be an order and invisible pattern that exists when you look closely at the backside of a tapestry or when you see the “lay of the land” from the top of the mountain. The closer I look, and the farther I look, the more interesting the terrain becomes.

What are the invisible patterns we might not see? A friend once said, “Be kinder than necessary because everyone we meet is fighting some kind of battle.” What is that invisible battle we don’t see in our friend? What are the invisible patterns in our life? What happens when we detect patterns using theories such as astrology and reincarnation? Perhaps they must simply be felt and experienced rather than proven, and then decided whether they are useful or not. It is in these realms I like to probe.

So I accept reincarnation and astrology as a “kind theory” that challenges chaos and randomness. It gives me faith that there is “meaningfulness” to existence even if it can’t be proven or discerned in one life. Looking at things this way, I don’t much like the original game plan of this pattern— for it feels too cruel—yet we all go to the movies to watch a good story. We accept the drama and tragedy in a story.

In the Eastern philosophy of Vedantic Hinduism we were once all part of the One that created this great pattern or Story. It says that we live through lifetime after lifetime of lila and maya, of play and illusion, till we arrive back at the place where we started at the beginning. They believe that there is an evolutionary story evolving, and astrological wisdom also holds this to be true—that there are synchronistic correlations and resonances between things, and that an evolutionary drama is being enacted. The legendary magus, Hermes Trigmegestus once said: “As it is above, so it is below, as it is in the inner, so it is in the outer.” Man is the microcosm, the universe the macrocosm, and in some metaphysical sense they are One. I like to entertain these possibilities as being true.

So if you can suspend your skepticism about reincarnation and entertain the idea that astrological symbolism is a language best used to explore psychological and spiritual terrains—well then, I invite you to consider that there may be something in your birth chart that speaks of your specific life direction and soul purpose. ~elizabeth spring
I also invite you to read this new book review of "North Node Astrology" by Jeff Hutner in "The New Paradigm Newswire." Click here for his book review: