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:

Monday, August 31, 2009

South Node in Aries, Moon in Aries

The Moon and South Node both hold the emotional memories from our childhood and from the forgotten “emotional memory” of a past life. From the reincarnational perspective, these points show the particular emotional “hangover” from a previous life that is most impacting you in this life now. We do not usually remember facts from very early in life, nor do most of us remember our past lives, but what we do feel is an emotional tone—a lunar feeling—that something in our past is unresolved, like waking from an uncomfortable dream but not remembering the facts—and this is the unresolved issue that the South Node and the Moon in our birth chart describes. By bringing this to consciousness we can move into deepening and enriching our present story by releasing these old patterns that no longer serve us now.

With your Moon or South Node in Aries, you’ve sharpened your reflexes for survival, and you know the rush of adrenaline as you begin a new project, speak your truth, or rise in the middle of the night to soothe a crying baby. In this life, as in a previous one, you’ve made yourself rise to the occasion when the need to act arises, as you’ve come to know the path of the warrior, the survivor, and the passionate pilgrim. You’ve had to go it alone many times, and courage has been instilled into you as you’ve “felt the fear, and did it anyway.”

Aries gives us the fuel to act and it arises out of many things: out of fear, anger, necessity, or simply for the experience of knowing “I did it myself.” We have seen the dragon, and we have lifted our sword….we won and lost many a battle, and it is the way we have survived.

In this life now, from the point of view of reincarnational/evolutionary astrology, it is time to look to the larger story—how does the attitude of survival and spiritual warriorship impact others? Sometimes it saves lives! Yes, but as a default pattern in this lifetime it also has been an overused pattern for you. Now it’s time to bring in the significant Others…to say, how can we do this together—without fighting or over-working? Can we bring in more Venus from the opposite sign of Libra? Can we relax a little of the Mars energy that fueled us before? Now you can ask yourself: Do I need to act first, and think later, or might I reflect more, and look elsewhere for a softer, more “Venus” response? Because Mars is the ruler of Aries, we look to the Venus response as the balancing factor. When we honor and balance the assertive with the receptive, we win.

How does this relate to Love? Aries Moon and Aries South Node know the world of passion, but love itself is bigger than passion, and sometimes less exciting. Love sabotages us when we act out of a passion that is overly dramatic and that has you as the only hero/heroine on stage. Love saves and heals when we call on the wisdom of our Aries courageousness and do what must be done without the competitive or adrenaline-laced attitude of an unhealed Aries attitude. Aries may be fueled by necessity, but the Aries Moon/South Node vision can be larger than the “every man for himself” attitude that is the low road for Arians.

The “emotional memory of love” for Aries Moon and Aries South Node has a tinge of solitariness to it. Can it trust? Who will help it survive? At times, the Soul may have died alone—the family wasn’t gathered around the bedside, but you may have died on the battlefield or in the hospital bed waiting for the nurse that didn’t arrive in time. You know instinctively that you had to be quick and self-watchful to survive in the past—but now, with this in your past, you are called to develop the trust in others as well as trust in yourself. If you can pause in your reactivity long enough in this life (slow down that response to “fight of flight”!) you may find that loneliness turns into soul-nourishing solitude, and instead of dying, you find that the numinous “Other” was there all along.
Elizabeth Spring

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Let's Talk!" Interview...

“Let’s Talk!” Interview~

Question: Elizabeth, what’s been the most challenging part of writing your new book: “North Node Astrology”?

E: Well, first I had to create a website and blog to see if people were interested enough in the subject! So for several years I wrote this blog on North Node Astrology, and from the blog, and the articles on my website, ( I formed the book. The learning curve in creating the website myself and learning blogging was a tough beginning! Whew! It continues to be an exciting challenge because I work by myself, and it’s intense trying to balance the time it takes to do personal readings with the time it takes to blog--and write a book. “North Node Astrology” was compiled from 3 years of blog posts, and from articles I published in various magazines--- and some of those articles go back ten years or so…

Question: --so would you say there’s a good reception to your book: "North Node Astrology"?

E: Yes, there’s been an excellent response. The book is doing great on (it’s been in their top ten in astrology books lately) and I have about 400 readers a day that stop by the blog. So that feels like a real interest.

Question: So it sounds like it’s a full time day job for you?

E: Absolutely. And more…..! Last winter on a few gray Sundays I decided to do a couple of book trailors, you-tube videos, to spread content about the new book and I’m hoping to figure out podcasts soon for the new blogsite, South Node Astrology. And eventually, there will be a book made from that site….

Question: ….and what’s the name of the new book?

Elizabeth: Right now I’m calling it: “South Node Astrology; How Love Sabotages and Saves Our Lives” It’s the working title at the moment. It basically going to be the sequel to "North Node Astrology."

Question: Strong title! Sabotage is a powerful word, what do you mean by that?

Elizabeth: Of course, love itself never sabotages, but our ideas about what love is supposed “to look and feel like” do sabotage--they get distorted or contaminated by our ideas, expectations, and assumptions about how love is supposed to look and feel-- and of course all this is influenced by our past life/early life default patterns. We hold the emotional memory of love from life to life, and this is seen astrologically in the story the South Node holds for each person.

Question: So its based on the theory of reincarnation, or as you said in the book--whatever gets transmitted along with the DNA--the family karmic inheritance, and the Soul's past karmic inheritance. So, will the new blog and book be about these sabotaging and saving ways of thinking and feeling that the South Node describes?

Elizabeth: Yes, but that will only be a part of it, as I also want to write about the importance of how two kinds of love: human love, as described by Venus in the birth chart, and divine/compassionate love, as shown by Neptune in the birth chart. They are two very different ways of loving….and of course Venus love is messy and imperfect, whereas Neptune love is the Ideal and perfect. Our culture, especially in music and movies, combines these two into one in which we think that “romantic love” is going to save us….but I don’t think this is the most helpful way to think about what love is. I tend to think of loving as a verb for one thing. Our culture tends to put too much weight on our lover or partner to “love us.” Whereas we are all personally summoned to do the loving and spiritual work ourselves. So, I guess you could say I’m advocating more self-love that overflows into love of others.

Question: Interesting! Carl Jung wrote about the illusory and confusing part of love when he talked about the anima and the animus projections. Other people like John Welwood and Harville Hendricks also remind us that our psyches may have a very different agenda in relationships…..

Elizabeth: Yes! And there’s always a mixture of “grace and grit” in relationships especially when the honeymoon period wears off and the more unconscious dynamics start moving in….that’s what we don’t hear about in the songs, or in the romantic movies. I believe we need other ideas and expectations about mature love, and especially love in the second half of life. I don’t mean that relationships can’t be romantic, but it’s going to take more than romance to keep two people together.

Question: You were married for 20 years, divorced for 5 years, and then remarried the same man. Did you think you learned much from that?

Elizabeth: I hope so! In those five years of my divorce I had a lot of despair as well as having lots of “adventures in dating.” And I became engaged to another man as well, but I broke it off even though consciously there was a lot of goodness in that relationship. However the expectations were not matched well, and our projections on each other were getting seriously “tarnished.”

Question: So why did you remarry your first husband?

Elizabeth: We remarried after five years, because we still loved each other and felt our story wasn’t finished yet. It’s not always an easy relationship because we’re quite different, but it’s got a good “growing edge” to it, and we communicate better than before. We’re happy we’re continuing our story…

Question: Does this tie in with the South Nodes, Venus and Neptune in your birth charts?

Elizabeth: Absolutely. And that’s a long story…you’ll have to read the new book! It will all be there, although the long chapter on relationships in “North Node Astrology” is autobiographical for the most part.

Question: Sounds like “South Node Astrology” will be a great complement to “North Node Astrology.” So, the career/life direction aspects and soul purpose is the focus in the North Node book and the relationship aspects more in the South Node book…sounds like you’ve got something here.

Elizabeth: I think so…thanks so much. And as I mentioned, the North Node book has a long chapter on the alchemy of relationships as well, so it’s not totally divided. They work as a pair, the Nodes and the books. This work ties in with what Steven Forrest and Jan Spiller and others have done in the field, but it has a different slant—I draw a lot on the psychology and inspiration of Carl Jung and James Hollis, and try to create a blend of the psychological and astrological with personal stories….so we’ll see how people relate to this. I’m hoping readers will comment on the new blog: South Node Astrology, so that I’ll get some feedback on all this.

Question: I’m sure you will. Thanks, Elizabeth.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Addicted to Anguish" by guest blogger Donna Cunningham

Addicted to Anguish—
a Sketch of one Neptunian Type
©2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Every planet in the birth chart and every trait associated with that planet exists along a scale of one to ten, with one being miniscule to ten being way over the top. People with Neptune, Pisces, or the 12th house strong in their charts are often compassionate, with great empathy and a willingness to help those who are suffering. When you shoot past seven on the scale for compassion, it begins to morph into something else—occasionally sainthood, but more often into being a sucker or rescuer.

If you’re familiar with addiction/codependency literature, rescuers (a.k.a. enablers) get enmeshed with people they’re trying to save in ways that are toxic for both. Over time, codependency becomes a full-blown addiction of its own. It eats up more and more of the rescuer’s life force and attention, leaving no room for growth or fulfillment. Worse, the addicted or otherwise dysfunctional person doesn’t get any better, because the rescuer protects them from consequences of the addiction. Enough—read the literature or go to the groups if you think this might apply to you.

What I want to talk about here are the high sixes and sevens on the compassion scale. It’s a sliding scale with adjustable costs depending on your available resources. It’s a case of pay as you go, and then keep on paying, because enough is never enough, not for the rescuer and not for the rescued.

I have a friend who’s at least a seven on the compassion scale, though she can slide to an eight at a moment’s notice. She’s got a great heart and is forever befriending those who are ill or down and out. The scruffiest, most bedraggled animals and humans we encounter on the street engage her sympathy immediately. Though a city-dweller in her mid-60s, she remains na├»ve, seldom recognizing signals that the individual is playing her.

She’s a loving person, and I admire her for her great empathy with the suffering souls of the world. A recovering New Yorker, I feel hard-hearted next to her. I recognize that she’s a far, far better person than I am. But, really, it’s sometimes a bit much. We went out for breakfast this weekend, and I caught a glimpse of a nine on the scale. I grasped for the first time the not so saintly underpinnings of her need to be needed. I saw why certain Neptunians live to suffer, to be martyred. I got that she is addicted to anguish.

So that you understand the foundation of these observations, I should mention that I earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1967 and have been observing human behavior intently through more than 40 years of astrology and psychotherapy consultations. I’m not just some cynic.

Still, I don’t know how to describe her demeanor in a way that doesn’t make me look like a hard case. She….okay, wallowed sounds bad, I know. But she appeared to thrive on the welling up of empathy…to get enmeshed in the angst. That morning I could see that it’s a bit of living vicariously through other people’s sorrows. Most of us, when we live vicariously, love to partake of others’ joys or successes. As a people, we’re fascinated with the lives of the rich and famous, drinking in every detail.

As I tried to console her, I could sense a strange sort of excitement about being in that state, an almost sensual immersion in anguish. There was a glow about her that doesn’t usually exist, a tinge of ecstasy.

Experts in psychotherapy write that people who engage in self-inflicted pain—like compulsively cutting themselves with razor blades—tend to do so when they feel deadened, numb, and need intense stimulation to feel alive. On the emotional level, martyrdom—another Neptunian quality—can serve much the same purpose.

I spent time later that day trying to sort out what was going on—reflecting on my friend’s history and what’s been going on in her life the past several years. I came to the conclusion that feeling for others with the intensity she does may start out as compassion, and Lord knows she does a lot of good in our world. But part of the payoff is that when she merges with their pain, she no longer feels dead inside.

I’d guess we all feel deadened at times, and we all have our ways of coping. Neptune rules addictions, and addictions are one way, whether they be to substances, exercise, retail therapy, the various ISMs, dysfunctional relationships, or some combination of the above. My friend’s way of coping with numbness is probably better than most, and in the long run, makes the world a kinder place. It is not to be confused with saintliness, though Neptunians are often confused on that score. ~
Donna Cunningham is an internationally-respected author of books, articles, and columns about astrology, flower essences and other metaphysical topics. Her insights reflect her dual background in astrology and psychotherapy. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University and over 40 years of experience in working with people. Her ebooks can be found at Moon Maven Publications ( Visit her blog at

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Book Review (with comments!) from "New Paradigm Newswire" for new book: "North Node Astrology"

“The question after all is said and done is just how accurate and satisfying is the North Node section of the book…when I finally read my own North Node analysis, I was happily impressed by the accuracy of its description. For me, it was a true mirror of my past and current life and spoke to me of the transition I find myself in now. I actually brought the book in to discuss with my therapist.”

(Wow…thanks Jeff…I’m impressed by your personal self-disclosure there!)

He goes on to say: “The author studied astrology for the past 40 years but only in the past 15 became fascinated with the North and South Nodes. For her they have provided a reminder of the negative core beliefs that had previously kept her out of alignment, disembodied and not authentically herself. Each of us is a wounded healer, a “Chiron” that knows the best medicine that cures. She calls it the North Node.”

(That’s true. There’s a lot of my self-disclosure and a bit of raw edginess that permeates the book. Now the next book—South Node Astrology-- and the new blog-ing posts will focus on the South Node, because the Nodes are on an axis that truly can’t be separated. The South Node will bring up the huge importance of how our “emotional memory” of love --both from this life and previous lives as shown on the birth chart-- both saves and ‘sabotages’ us.)

He continues to say: “Looking at life symbolically invites magic and synchronicity, disturbs the status quo, and renews a sense of faith and trust because you begin to see how your personal life story synchronizes with patterns that are larger than you and touch your connectedness to the whole of life. Meaning underlies apparent chaos. So to answer my initial question, can this book be of value, I would now answer a resounding yes. It combines the wisdom of a visionary psychologist with the synchronicity that astrology and particularly “North Node” astrology offers.”

Again…thanks Jeff! The full review can be found on Jeff Hutner’s site:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

South Node Astrology; How Love Sabotages and Saves Our Lives

Sabotage? My hope is that the word “sabotage” in the title gave you a little jolt! Yes, “love” itself doesn’t sabotage, but the distortions and poverty of love (such as when we didn’t get “good enough parenting”) and our interpretation of what love is and isn’t— are the areas where “love” sabotages us. Every romantic movie and love song reminds us of how love “saves” us, but it’s in the therapist’s office that one hears the story of how love sabotages us. So the focus here will be in looking at our unique styles of loving—loving both ourselves, others and God. These were the first commandments we were given, and they certainly seem worth considering.

One of my hopes for this blog and new book is to explore how reframing our understanding of love and relationship can help us bring in more of its saving quality and less of its sabotaging—and ultimately to explore how it’s truly an “inside job” which is much less dependent on others than we may realize. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and certainly don’t have perfect relationships, but I’m moved to delve into this territory. Want to come along? I welcome your thoughts on this….

So how does this fit with astrology? In exploring relationship patterns in astrology we look at the South Node, the Moon and to the planets Venus and Neptune. What happens when we have Venus and Pluto (God of the Underworld) in aspect in our charts? What happens when the Moon or Venus is squared by Mars? What happens when we keep repeating the mistakes of our South Node patterns, and keep coming up with the same unfulfilling patterns of “unlove” and bad relationships?

Love itself may be perfect—as the high expression of Neptune itself is perfect mystical love. But humans live primarily “Venus” love or “Moon” love—and it’s messy, confusing and imperfect. I believe it’s imprinted with the past life patterns of the South Node, in a similar way to how DNA is imprinted.

The strongest pattern to understand then may be the South Node in your birth chart. In Evolutionary Astrology, one is advised to “read” the South Node negatively; that is to understand it primarily as what we didn’t get right in the past. This past could be earlier in this life, or in former lives, or even what we didn’t get right yesterday.

It is the “Moon’s memory” not the Mercurial/linear memory, that is carried over from life to life. It is this memory that does not concern itself with facts, or details or stories, but holds simply the emotional impact—the drama and trauma of the Soul. We forget the stories of past lives, but something remains like a forgotten dream—and this “emotional hangover” is called the South Node of the Moon.

As you may know, the Nodes are mathematical points rather than planets, and are calculated by the intersecting orbits between the Earth, Sun, and Moon. Throughout the history of astrology these points have pointed to our re-incarnational history, for they describe where we’ve been (South Node) and where we’re going (North Node.) Like the compass that points North, or the astrolabe with the arrow shooting through the globe, these Nodes hold the “emotional memory” and trajectory of our lives.

As in dreams, and in all unconscious content, there is “gold” in these South Node patterns as well, and we carry over positive attributes, talents and inclinations as well as our default reactive patterns. It’s also been said in Vedic astrology that we give to others from the South Node what we know innately in our bones and psyche, and yet we feed and nurture ourselves from the soul wisdom of the North Node. This was the content of my first book, “North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose.”

This second book, of which this blog is the raw material of—concerns the nature of the emotional memory of the South Node. What do we remember emotionally? I believe it’s mostly about love and the presence or absence of Love. Relationships—and the burden we put on our relationships through our expectations and “styles of loving”.

In this blog and book, I’ll be delving into the changing nature of relationships (with a little more focus on what love is after the hormones/honeymoon/anima projections have worn a little thinner) and to ponder “styles of loving” with a minimum of astrological jargon. I’d like it to contain enough astrology so that you can look at your chart, and say “Ah-hah!” but not so much astrology that you get lost in technicalities. I’ll attempt to interweave the psychological and the astrological, the personal and the interpersonal, the theories with the messy “particulars” of our lives.

It’s a big subject. We live and love among many “layers of feelings”—why do we dislike someone’s style or persona and yet “love” the person they truly are underneath all that? We divorce, dismiss, and lose people in our lives, sometimes like so many scraps of paper thrown away, yet these people continue to remain in our psyche nevertheless.

But….we can choose to live between the layers of feeling, not discarding or despairing or thinking in black/white polarities, and still honoring all the layers of loving, liking, disliking, and the mystery of love which sits in our hearts.

Here’s what the poet, Stanley Kunitz, had to say about this in his poem, “The Layers.” He wrote this in reflection, towards the end of his life. (The blogging program has printed this as prose--forgive me, you readers who are poets!)

"I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, over which scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections, and my tribe is scattered! How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road precious to me.
In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: "Live in the layers, not on the litter." Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes."
~elizabeth spring Art by John Waterhouse

Sunday, August 9, 2009

South Node Astrology; How Love Sabotages and Saves our Lives

South Node Astrology; How Love Sabotages and Saves our Lives

I’m just beginning my second book, a sequel to North Node Astrology—this one with the title above (and soon a new blog) to focus on that South Node aspect of astrology and the ways that love, and expectations around love, both saves and sabotages us. North Node Astrology focused more on life direction and soul purpose from the point of view of who and what we are doing in the world, and this new book would focus on how love, and lack of love, shapes our lives.

It’s a huge subject—love and loving is intricately bound up with our early attachment experiences with our parents and, in my opinion, from past life re-incarnational experiences. And as we age we develop attitudes, expectations and assumptions about how love operates in our lives. I believe quite simply that the more conscious awareness and insight we bring to this subject, the better our choices will be, and the happier our lives will be.

These two books, on the North and South Nodes, are intimately connected, because how we feel about ourselves and whether we have a sense of life direction and soul purpose, is related to our capacity to give and receive love from others. These North and South Nodes speak to those issues in our charts and they are the two of main issues clients want to know about in astrological counseling. Who doesn’t want to know: “How can I best fulfill my soul’s work and agenda, and how and when will I experience the sweetness of love—that which makes life worth living?”

There are so many types of “love.” Our culture is permeated with the ideal of romantic love as the saving grace--in music and movies we hear about the romantic “falling in love” and what the psychologists, the Jungians, call “anima/animus soul projections” wherein we lose our sense of Self/Soul by giving it (projecting it) onto the other person…the beloved. Ah…such a painful ecstasy. And there’s the soothing yet more sober love that can come at mid-age, with its loyalty, dependability, and willingness to work on the issues that inevitably arise in close one-one relationships. And then there’s the compassionate love that we feel towards others we don’t even know—those people who we may be sitting with us in the emergency room in the hospital when our hearts are open, and our mutual needs felt deeply.

In the astrological chart we look at how love plays out in our lives by looking at it through the lens of Venus and Neptune and all that they represent both in our personal lives and in myth. These two archetypes give us insight into this intense play of love and illusion in our lives. The planetary archetype of Neptune runs this gamut from illusion to disillusionment, escapism, co-dependency, addiction, and being “swept away” or being deceived and sabotaged up to the highest forms of compassion, inspiration, and divine love. It’s all in how we play it out.

Venus is a more “grounded planetary goddess” in that she represents human love in all its sensuality and messiness, and intertwined with all the dramas of relationship. Interesting too, how Venus in astrology relates to money! As a symbol of money, it reflects something of our power or lack of power to attract to us what we think we want or need…..for what we buy and identify with in the material world is a big part of how we define and judge ourselves and others.

So both Venusian love and Neptunian love help give us a sense of identity and purpose in our lives. In this new book, South Node Astrology, we’ll look at how they show up for you as principal players in your life story. The current book, North Node Astrology also delves into this realm, especially in the long chapters: “What’s Venus Got to Do With It? The Alchemy of Desire: Healing the Wounded Heart” and in the chapter devoted to Neptune. Both books are truly part of a whole.

South Node Astrology will acknowledge the importance of both our early life attachments to our parents as well as our past life default patterns of behavior. These two contribute heavily to how we think and feel and act on love in our life right now. But always the good news is that we can choose to continue to reframe our stories with understanding and compassion. We can make new choices based on new insights.

I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts about this…..although I’d ask you to distill the details of your stories to what you’ve learned and what insights you could share on this with the rest of us. You can respond personally at or leave a short pithy insight or suggestion below in the comments section.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Surrendering to the Gods: Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Astrology

I’ve recently finished writing "North Node Astrology" and I’m so aware of how it was much more work than I originally thought it would be. And so I’ve been wondering, why did I write this book? And then I remember—I love making connections—to people and ideas. And I crave the sense “of belonging to the world” and of making heartfelt and thoughtful connections with others--people who playfully and seriously like to entertain these ideas. Jungians and Astrologers. Writers and readers. You and Me. I like to bridge gaps.

I sometimes sense that there’s a gap between these two worlds that I hold so dear to my heart: the Jungians and Astrologers. The Jungians often view popular predictive astrology with distain, yet quietly study archetypal astrology and talk about it with their friends (or their astrologer.) They tend not to write about it in their professional journals.

And the Astrologers hear the reserve in their attitude, and often wonder if these Jungians have delved into the differences between predictive/pop astrology and archetypal astrology. Archetypal Astrologers who focus both on mythological and pragmatic approaches to the spiritual mandala of the chart, sometimes question the "oohing and aahing" of the Jungians and their general quacking over what seems to be the “obvious.” The languages, or jargon of each, is different yet similar. Each can sound simplistic to the other if not read deeply.
These same Astrologers might be wise to listen deeply, as Jungians do, remembering that the word “vocation” has its roots in the ability “to listen” to our deep selves. Astrologers can sit with someone once, for a couple of hours talking with them about “their map of the psyche” and the astrologer will help their client with insights by translating the archetypal patterns in a way that might have taken months with more traditional therapists. A Jungian will sit with someone, for hours over many years helping their client listen to the various inner voices in order to discover who they essentially are. They give time for the inner work and the “alchemical process” to truly evolve and they support the client in the process. A sense of safety and love develops. Each approach works, for as Jung once said: There are three aspects to help create change in therapy: insight, courage, and endurance. The astrologer and the analyst can help with each.

Both astrologers and Jungians honor the complexity of the Self, and the variety of our inner personalities—call it what you will: voices, archetypes, planets. Both know that we need to understand the “gold” and the “shadow” parts of ourselves. We need to understand the unique gold of Jupiter and the North Node, and the shadowy wounding of Pluto and the South Node. We need to bring responsibility into our lives—Saturn, and yet dare to take our freedom—Uranus.

Different words, same ideas. Dreams or divination? Both Astrologers and Jungians would agree that we project ourselves out into life and yet swim in the deep wine-dark sea of the unconscious. There are reasons beneath reasons why we do what we do, and our outer choices and inner revelations echo each other. The outer pragmatic solutions of the coach or astrologer will reverberate with the inner “Jungian” nourishing and unfolding process of the Self, and it will reverberate with life in the outer world. Neither better—both needed.

Carl Jung was a trickster, a shaman, and a scholar as well as a spiritual man. His psychology came out of his life; he broke some rules, he kept to some. As John Perry, a Jungian scholar and friend of Jung once said: “There was always a little something magical about the way Jung’s mind worked. He said that he felt himself to be more shaman than psychiatrist.” And Jung studied and practiced astrology and alchemy. He was a bridge maker.

I do not aspire to be a "Jungian". But I have “an inner Jung” within me that desires to make connections and bridge gaps. I want to keep encouraging all the ways we can “attend to our inner life”. We come into this life bringing woundedness and a sense of wonder and possibility. It’s a great thing if we can stay aware of both, and how they continue to play out in our lives. And so then we ask….can I accept my fate and live it out well? Can I work within the limits that I have, and yet stretch to be all I can be? Yes, I think yes….we can all do that. And make bridges…


Jim Hollis, in “Enterviews with Jungian Analysts” says: “The greatest gifts of Jungian psychology are found in recovering for us a sense of participation in an ancient drama…and in a mindfulness regarding the profound sea of soul in which we swim at all times. When most modern psychologies serve the ego fantasy of control, Jungian psychology affirms a more sober appreciation of the summons to surrender to the gods, to what wishes to live through us into this world.”

I love that last phrase! It hints of a knowing that something is calling to come through us, and that we are able to discipline ourselves—we can be a disciple to that which is calling us, but that we are also summoned to surrender ourselves to that which we must do. Jung spoke about this as “doing gladly that which I must do.”

Sometimes it’s just putting one foot in front of the other. If you’ve had a stroke, that is a huge effort! If you are caring for a baby, that is a huge effort! So the summons and the calling may sound soulfully glamorous at times, but as Jim Hollis is also suggesting here “Jungian psychology affirms a more sober appreciation of the summons.” For everyone and anyone who has worked long hours at a task, we can appreciate that soberness also has its high moments.
(c) Elizabeth Spring