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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Monday, November 29, 2010

"Don't Let Reality Get in Your Way" ~ Caroline Casey

“Don’t Let Reality Get in Your Way” ~Caroline Casey

Dear Isabelle~

It’s been so long since we wrote! I’m so glad we finally caught up with each other, and our lives, and that you finally sent me your new friend’s chart to analyze. I thought it might be good practice for me, as an “aspiring astrologer” to try to interpret Tomas’ chart--or maybe just to question you about it.

You seem quite “taken with him” if I might say—in the old fashioned way. But when I look at his chart I worry a little for you. OK, so he’s a charismatic assertive Aries, with a secretive (and sensitive!) Cancer Moon with Scorpio Rising. Sounds like he’s a charming alpha male the stuff of romance novels—but—really? Look at his Moon conjuncting Pluto and Pluto ruled Scorpio rising, and all that 8th house energy—again ruled by Pluto.

I think I would find it hard to trust him. All those square aspects between his Aries Sun, North Node and all those 5th house planets—(“give me love!” I can hear them screaming—or at least, “listen to me!” and they are all squaring his Cancer 8th house planets. Feels paradoxical to me: can’t seem to reconcile that “me first” Aries nature and the “you first” Cancer nature, which are squared and not as ease with each other in his chart. Isn’t there a sensitive/puer/’Peter Pan’ quality of those Cancer planets that doesn’t want to grow up?

Oh, I don’t know. I’m glad you like him. But again, I have reservations. When you say he’s a spiritual man, and I see Neptune in his 9th house at the top of his chart, I can agree—but Neptune also has a saying “Don’t let reality get in your way.” And with so much of the “underworldly” Pluto in his chart—well, Isabelle, you must know what you’re doing!

Let me know what you think of all this Pluto, will you? How’s your new place? Have you heard from your daughter Sophie? Last I heard she was still in Switzerland with your ex, dear Alistair. He sounds so different from this Tomas—interesting how you are drawn to both! Alistair sounds so much more---oh, I don’t want to say---you tell me…..



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Prediction Was Coming True

"The prediction was coming true"—of course, astrologers don’t like to call anything a prediction, but it was a prediction nevertheless. And it was worse in this case because Isabelle herself was the astrologer; the predictor. She certainly wasn’t a fortune teller, and she certainly believed that free will could overcome any karmic challenge that might arise, but it was shocking to see how her life seemed to be dissolving in front of her.

She had to admit that it was a liability of her profession to sometimes see too much. Signs and synchronicities had a way of seeping into her psyche like water slowly rising in the basement. She didn’t use the words like good or bad, but instead she believed in “fierce grace.” Anything could be turned around, and often what felt like a terrible fate could turn into grace. Sometimes the change occurred because of what we did, sometimes it was because of what we didn’t do; our patience. At this point, all she knew was that she desperately needed some of that “fierce grace.”

Isabelle had been an astrological counselor for over twenty years, and it felt good to be on the helping side of things, to be on the “knowing” side, of this profession. How easy it had been to encourage her clients in “foul weather or fair” or suggest ideas as to how to handle the moment of crisis or opportunity. But no matter how many ways she looked at her chart now, she saw only the slipping away of certainty and the call of an unknown summons –a prediction that she could not evade or barely understand.

Isabelle liked to muse on possibility and probability. But her rambling thoughts now were a liability rather than an asset. Her hands clenched and gripped the steering wheel in an effort to keep the car from careening out of control. The windshield wipers fought fast against the icy rain, as her eyes tried to adjust to the kaleidoscopic white swirls of snow coming at her. She kept her frozen foot on the accelerator at a steady 50 MPH. She was going to make it to the city before dark; she was going to make it to Newport before she lost her courage.

Courage. People would call Isabelle when they needed to summon their courage. She loved that word, because in French it meant to “take heart” and she was good at helping others do this. She believed in the power of a generous heart and a beginners mind. But before this, she had always been on the giving end of the encouragement and the receiving end of the numbers—the birth dates, times, and credit card numbers. It had been an honor to be invited into the private lives of others, and to get paid for it.

Isabelle needed to concentrate on the road now instead of a chart. Her hands gripped the steering wheel as if the car was going to go out of control at any minute. The wipers were mesmerizing as they thrashed across the windshield and the sleet had turned to snow making it all dangerously slippery. Isabelle turned off the old “Enya” CD and turned on the car radio station. Country music, static, hard rock and roll, or the oldies station playing “Desperado”. She switched it off.

Maybe she should be thinking about a plan to defuse the energies of Saturn, Pluto and Uranus instead of just reacting. These planetary energies were striking her chart and her life with such force already. Maybe she should be coming up with a real plan, but astrologers all had different ideas about the 2012 predictions that had already started. It was hitting everyone in such a unique way, and Isabelle had no solutions this time, especially for herself. The combination of these planets aspecting her chart was like an earthquake---the rumbles had begun and she was holding on—at least to the steering wheel, at least in the moment.

It was a classic story for sure, of death, reinvention and rebirth. Pluto, Saturn, and Uranus. But if astrology was about anything, it was about trusting what she had always called “Divine Right Timing” and she hoped she had it. ~ © Elizabeth Spring

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meeting Alistair. Reading A Chart for the First Time.

“The birth chart is like a conference table, and the planets circling around it are like the different parts of your Self sitting around the table. The Sun is the chairperson and represents your basic identity, the Moon reflects your emotional nature, the Ascendant is your style of “moving” in the world, and the Nodes are about your life direction and soul purpose. The aspect lines cris-crossing in the center of the chart connect all this—all these voices in our psyche—showing where the conversation is divided and aligned, where it’s tense and where it’s flowing…. ” (excerpt from book: "North Node Astrology: Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose")

My voice trailed off as I looked up at Alistair. I wanted to see if he understood this and if he was receiving or resisting this information. It’s not hard to see most things, as our emotions are more obviously written on our face than we’d like to think. Most people have no idea how transparent we are, nor do we want to admit that everything about us speaks to who we are—not just our clothes, or our tone of voice, but even the way we look at each other, or don’t look, and the little twitches and hand movements that reveal almost as much as the astrological chart.

I was touched by the gracious formality of Alistair’s handshake when he walked in the door. I knew he was thirty years old yet something made him look older than his years. Thick dark hair, pale white skin and near-black eyes, framed an impeccable face hinting of some purity of heart. He was a Virgo with a Pisces Moon; strong and kind, with Aries rising.

The flesh and blood reality of a client always shocks me at first, because after spending several hours analyzing their charts, I think I know them, and I don’t. Clients never seem to look as I would imagine them, and it’s humbling to be so often wrong and then to hear how courageously they’ve survived even with the most “challenging” of charts. Alistair was a survivor, and had somehow learned to thrive despite living under what the ancient astrologers used to call ‘”malefic” aspects. Of course, I never use those words, malefic or auspicious, but I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of wounding this man had survived. His chart was challenging, yet his eyes were kind.

Most of us don’t like to feel too vulnerable, and though we don’t want to admit it, I think there’s a mutual resonance that happens when we like or dislike another person or situation, it’s almost instantaneous. We want to feel more in control as we pretend to ourselves that our words, explanations, and sometimes false optimism can present things differently. Yet I could see that Alistair was not only allowing himself to have a reading, but he was willing to “let me in” as well.

“Is this your first reading?” I asked.

“It is…and what a lovely place you have here! Is that a Goddess’s face carved into that fireplace mantel?”

“It is” I answered, while motioning him to the green rocking chair, hoping he was approving of the setting for his reading. This Victorian office had high ceilings and dark wood walls where the lights could cast shadows and allow nuances of mood. The black wrought iron fireplace was carved into with the face of the Goddess, and I hoped that the numinous face would bring the spirit of the feminine into the little consulting room. Her downward looking eyes seemed to know how to keep a secret.

“So have you been doing this long? It’s my first time—you know---I don’t even come to this part of town much. But I read your book! Though I’m not much of a believer in anything….hope that’s OK, just to try—“

“Of course it’s fine! Let’s just see what we can find here that could be helpful to you.” I splayed the charts in my hand like a card deck. “I don’t predict death by execution or anything like that—but who knows what we’ll see….we’ll just read what’s here.” I pointed to the two chairs on either side of the amber stained glass lamp. It was so quiet for a moment I could hear the motions of the antique clock on the mantel, and I wondered if I had remembered to clear the dirty coffee cups off the desk. He looked instead at the bookshelf which covered one wall.

“Lovely,” he whispered, as we sat down, and I admired the pristine clarity of his English accent.

It seemed from his voice that he was a warm but skeptical sort of man, and a tired one at that. He said on the phone that he was coming to me because he liked the tiny advertisement for my services in “Newport This Week” which noted my background in psychology—specifically, the psychology of the famous Swiss psychologist Carl Jung who was noted for his work with the unconscious and synchronicity.

“You know, I can see that you take this seriously, you’re not just a—what do you call them—a ‘sun-sign’ astrologer or a sketchy fortune teller. I like that…”

I nodded, and thought: here was a gentle man who had come to yet another turning point in his life, and who simply needed a little psychic cheerleading. I knew he was a potter and shopkeeper down on the wharf. Here was someone who wanted me reaffirm for him what he already knew to be true---that his first marriage was over, and that the chance for love was still on the horizon. Of course he didn’t say that. What he did say, at the end of our session, was that he’d be back.

What he didn’t know about me was that I’m a bit of a reluctant astrologer. It’s not about believing or not believing in astrology, because astrology is a language of the soul that exists, and to say that you don’t believe in it, sometimes sounds to me like saying you don’t believe in “Spanish” or “French”—it’s a language that conveys meaning in a very particular way. I believe deeply in this language, and yet it’s like a finger that points at the moon. It doesn’t get you there. It describes the journey.

Maybe Alistair did know, but he never let on that I had hinted at that “reluctance” in my book. He didn’t let on right away everything he was feeling, nor did I…but maybe we knew.

And how surprised I was that those opportunities for love I saw in his chart that day would be directed at me—and I wouldn’t have believed it if someone had told me we would be married within six months. How shocked I would have been if someone told me the story of how sweet our love was, how lovely our daughter would be, and how difficult the marriage would be as it “raveled and unraveled” and then….but instead of me analyzing it, let me just tell you the story instead. ~ ©elizabeth spring

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Saturn Conjunct Neptune: Tomas Re-Appears


Private Journal~

I look at the photo of this gate and wonder how I can possibly walk through it into the next stage of my life. I wonder how transiting Saturn conjuncting my Libra Sun, Neptune and Venus now will play itself out. Melancholy and disillusionment? Or becoming a “wise old crone”? I don’t feel that old, yet they say Saturn “ages” one….Saturn conjuncting Neptune can be illusive and deceptive, either in the birth chart or by transit. It worries me….

Mother’s funeral is over and I’m glad we had the chance to heal our relationship at the last minute—the simple grace of an “I love you” said at just the right time. But in coming back here, I lost the chance to reunite with Alistair in Switzerland. Alistair and I have now been separated five years! I feel so alone. Here was our chance to see if the stirrings we felt in our hearts could lead us back together. Here was our chance to see if our hearts could triumph over our heads…if we could forgive each other, and truly find out if our story isn’t over yet. But we didn’t get the chance; I had to come back to mother.

It’s torture to feel the chance of love igniting, and then to be cut off from that chance. Instead, I’m back here at my Newport office, at my “little study” doing readings and life is seemingly going on as usual. But it isn’t. I feel like I have lost my chance, and Alistair has chosen to stay with Sophie in Zurich rather than come here to be with me. It’s understandable—he wants to spend time with his daughter who he never sees! But I’m jealous of their time together, and so lonely. It’s hard to be betwixt and between things, because my “head and heart” is so unsettled. I’m a confused Libra for sure.

But yesterday—yesterday!!! I don’t know now if it’s better or worse, but Tomas, my old mentor-rescuer-healer-friend re-appeared---unexpected. Who is he to me?? The man who saved me during the separation from Alistair? A spiritual guide? Simply my old therapist who has become a friend?

He just showed up, after five years, without even calling. He said he was just walking by my office. But I wonder if I had been on the second floor—?—instead of having an astrology office that looks like a retail shop that anyone can just walk into—I wonder if he still would have just ‘dropped by’? Maybe. He’s an Aries, and they can be impulsive and daring. Aries is learning courage and they get lots of chances to find it….life stresses them into going beyond what they think they can do. It’s admirable really; like beginner’s mind. Some people find Aries to be somewhat arrogant, but it’s an ego-arrogance that appeals to many women. The romance novel hero. Hah! Alistair’s “arrogance” was of a completely different nature.

But….I could have fallen into Tomas’ arms when I saw him outside the door here. It’s been so many years, and it was so…..what? ---soul-satisfying, I guess. We sat together for over two hours, rocking and cogitating in the green ‘rockers’ by the window and staring at the afternoon sunlight striking the leaves on the red maple tree. He was smoking his pipe as usual (I must admit to loving the smell of black cherry) and he was wearing the same black cowboy boots he used to wear, and carrying his bag of books. I brewed us a pot of Earl Gray Tea. He told me he’s into playing Irish music now, the Irish drum and tin whistle. Seeing him felt like something was coming home again. ~ ©Elizabeth Spring

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jung's Alchemy of Cooking

Ah....these spices remind me of the "alchemy of cooking" and the choices I have to make as to what to include, what not to include, and the whimsy and spontaneity that goes into good cooking. But if I add too much spice it can overpower and be undigestable, and if I add too little it can be bland. Who am I cooking for? Do I dare? Do I not dare?

Today I'm thinking about the alchemy of cooking "opposite" emotions...what happens when I heat up sad with mad? Knowing and not knowing? Surrendering and striving? What happens when I've become confused in the middle of the recipe and lost the way? What happens when it feels like one is in the middle of a labyrinth and the path becomes obscured--the heart map gone, and the instructions unclear? What happens when I add mad to sad, or sad to mad, and it comes out....well, you know--not glad--!? Not good. Astrological transits pull us in opposite directions too--how do we reconcile Jupiter square or opposite Mars? Uranus square or opposite Saturn? Saturn transiting the 7th house, and you want to feel "in love?"

When I'm lost I ask for help. Today I felt really lost. Then I found this on a scrap of paper:

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. He who looks outside, dreams....he who looks inside, awakens." Author: Carl Jung.

Jung liked dreams. He liked them alot! He looked to them for hints, metaphors and even divination....but then he brought it all inside and allowed it to simmer and heat up, till just the right alchemy of the cooking "awakened" the vision. He honored the process of waiting and holding the tension of the opposites, till the third inspiration appears....that particular "spice" that changes the chemistry of the whole stew into something new. Something special. Who knows how long it takes? Who knows just the right blend of spices?

Today I'm going to put my cooking pot on a slow simmer and take a whiff every hour. Then give it a taste. Add a little more of this, and then a little more of that. I'm going to add a dash of Jupiter spontaneity and humor to help me get through this Saturnian time. I'm going to make it fun. And you? Want to share recipes?

That's a great idea-- I know I'll put it in my cook book, but chances are, I may forget it. Maybe you could share your idea, your vision, by cooking it for me first. me a taste. Cook for me with love. "Love is the only ingredient that really matters."    (c)elizabeth spring