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:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Being Your Own Life Coach: Using Your North Node and Mercury as a Map-Guide

Readers of this blog understand that the North Node, by sign and house, holds clues as to what your Soul has to say about life direction and soul purpose in this life. But how do we get there? How do we get from the past habits and default patterns into a future that is right for us? Mercury is the planet that spans the space between here and there—the planet of communication. It bridges the gap between the Nodes, between the old and the new, and it is expressed through your talking, writing, your work, and your pleasure—these are your styles of communicating with the world. Of course we all have multiple ways of communicating and following “the yellow brick road home”. Detours and adventures come along with the territory, and aren’t bad. But sometimes it helps to look at a map, and so I offer you the idea of pondering the astrological sign and house position of Mercury as well as the North Node in your chart.

The simplest way to do this is through a little writing, in the form of journaling, or even simple note taking. We know that when you don’t know what you are feeling, or why, or when you’re overcome by an emotion, journal writing can comfort, simplify, and help you gather yourself into a new clarity. This isn’t a new idea, but by combining the meanings of Mercury and the North Node in your chart, it creates a personal synchronicity that amplifies what either of them can do alone. It creates an alchemical shift in your psyche that takes you beyond what you think you know consciously. And it’s a delicious surprise to find yourself in new territory.

What does this look like? It’s like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. We look for the “what” or the “where” of the destination point in the North Node, and the “how” in the Mercury placement. It’s about finding a means to an end, a goal. So we take notes, connect the dots, and journal about it. Here’s an example:

Let’s say you have Mercury in Scorpio in the 7th house. And you have your “destination point in the North Node” in Taurus in the 2nd house. The goal then is to explore what that Taurus North Node wants to be and do, and how you might get there through Mercury in Scorpio. You would start by noting all the multiple meanings of Taurus/2nd house. Well, if we make a list of Taurus qualities, we find a strong Venus ruling here, and a call to question, examine and strengthen our personal resources and values. Venus, Taurus, and the 2nd house all relate to issues around relationships, money, and beauty. Venus wants to know what she likes and what she doesn’t, what she believes in, and she wants to express it in a pleasing way with others. She wants to create something beautiful; whether it be an object, a child, a marriage, or a painting.

“How” will this particularly placement of the Venus-ruled North Node find its way with Mercury in Scorpio in the 7th? How can this be communicated or explored? You might choose to look at the qualities of Pluto ruled Scorpio, and then the meaning of the 7th house. Scorpio wants to find the emotional bottom line, it likes to delve into mysteries, wants to know what the other side thinks, and wants to recreate itself like the phoenix. You could list all the attributes of Scorpio—everything you know about the sign. And then look at its house placement: the 7th house in this chart. So this Scorpio will be expressed in one-on-one relationships with others, and by moving out into the world, as the 7th house does. Committed relationships, and an “outward more extroverted than introverted” expression, are a part of it—make a list of everything you know about the house placement. You will end up with four columns here if you’re making a list: the signs and houses of both your North Node and Mercury.

For example, in this person’s journal writing or self-coaching, they might want to brainstorm how to communicate their ideals of beauty and fairness and relationship in a grounded real way: (Venus/Taurus). And they might get there by allowing themselves to communicate (Mercury) beyond the level of persona and social interaction--they might use the Scorpio qualities of intenseness and intimacy. And they would be looking for a means to express transformation and rebirth. In their journaling, they might write about how transformation occurs without destroying the Taurus-Venus goal.

They might write about how to negotiate (7th house) the peace, beauty, and values that make life worth living. In their journaling they might find that they are pulled to create something of beauty (ie “I really want to bring beauty into this room by painting it-today!”) and they might find that a long session of writing leads them much deeper into the reason(s) they want to do one particular thing: to have a baby now, or how a partnership could be healed. Scorpio is tenacious, it doesn’t give up.

Give it a try with your signs and houses. See where it takes you, and in the next post, I’m going to take this example further, as well as writing more about the process of writing itself and how it can get you from here to there—

Does this work for you? Any insights? Leave a comment and let the rest of us know…

© elizabeth spring

Monday, February 14, 2011

Are Your Planets Lobbying for their Own Agendas--Or Are You Listening to your North Node?

 "Planets Lobbying for their Own Agendas"
     In the February issue of Mountain Astrologer, Laurence Hillman did a great job of explaining the Nodes, especially in saying that they operate on a soul level rather than a personality level. And as such, they operate not simply as planetary actors/archetypes, but have an unusual position in the analysis of the chart.

I'd like to add that the South Node is not only where we've come from--like in his train analogy--but it's also like the arrow that shoots through the ancient astrolabe--it points to our personal North Star or North Node--in a direction that is crucial for our Soul's growth. Although the South Node holds the past evolutionary/reincarnational story of our lives and its dangerous, default, and overused patterns, the North Node is "our calling" or vocation. Carl Jung said that there is "gold in the shadow of our psyche" yet when comparing the importance of the North vs. the South Node, I chose to focus on the North Node in my book: "North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose." In these times, I think it is a profound act to give the Soul a voice in the re-discovering of our lives. The planets are lobbyists pulling for their agendas, but we can't let them overpower this voice! As Jungians might say, this arrow--this North Node--is where the true gold resides....

~elizabeth spring

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There are No Atheists in Foxholes

“Hell is hot, isn’t it?” I shouted to Peter while hurrying through the Paris airport. I thought how hell happens in the “in-between times”: the times when you don’t know if you will make it or not—those times between the biopsy and the result, between the labor and the birth, between the knowing whether you are loved or not. We were in-between planes, and yet I had been looking forward to the flight back to the States with Peter. We were in the in-between time of knowing if we could love again or not, and I felt in my bones that by the end of this flight we would know. We would have a chance to talk, and after 5 years of divorce, of silence, who knows? We might have changed just enough to bridge the in-between.

I glanced again at our tickets as we walked down the aisle: “Isabelle Bailey: seat 15 E Peter Cocroft 15 F.” He had the window seat, I had the aisle. We were the last to board the plane with only 5 minutes before take-off. Thank God the air-conditioning would be on soon.

I pulled out my laptop and opened it to my chart for today, July 21st. Transiting Mars opposing my Venus; Mercury squaring Uranus at this very hour. Hm…it didn’t look the way I wanted it to look. As astrologers say, it’s not “auspicious” for flying when Mercury, Uranus and Mars aren’t in harmony. And I knew that Pluto, god of the underworld, was squaring off to my Libra Sun—my basic identity. Sigh. I closed the screen with a snap, shut my eyes and listened as the engines struggled to turn over. The overhead light bleeped on and off.

Peter pulled out a book to read. I snuck a look at the title: “Truth is a Pathless Land; Krishnamurti.” So he was still into that stuff; the “be awake and aware philosophy” that I wasn’t so sure of—it paradoxically smacked of both atheism and spiritual pride. I don’t know, I guess there was goodness there too, but it felt cold. I wasn’t going to dwell on that now or even mention our differences. I closed my eyes and waited. It was 15 minutes past take off time and I listened to hear the reassuring sound of the engines starting up . Could they have overheated on the tarmac?

I caught the steward passing by. “Is there any chance of getting the air turned on?” I asked, in my most pleasant, but transparent voice.

“I’m sure as soon as soon as the captain can do it, he will.” If the steward was a dog, he would have bitten me, or at least snapped.

Peter waved his hand as if to quiet me, to get me to calm down. He closed his book and his eyes. I tried not to see that as being dismissive, knowing that Peter was not always aware of how he affected others. He meant no harm. I stared at the curling gray wisps of hair on his forehead and saw again that face with the same serene kind look I had always loved. And then I looked away—what would he have thought if he saw me staring at him now—a woman with sweat running down her face in rivulets, smearing her eye make-up into dark raccoon eyes. I wondered if he could still see the wide eyed yearning in my eyes, the woman he had once married. But he didn’t look. The eyes of this menopausal woman were the same, though the blonde hair was now short and cropped rather than long and loose.

I looked instead at my hands and stared at the finger where my wedding band had been. I had left the finger bare, but had bought myself an onyx ring for the other hand; a ring that recognized my new commitment to myself. I was trying to take good care of myself these days.

I looked down at my computer, and put it under the seat. Even it was making me hot.

Peter’s eyes remained closed. It was a bit annoying, really—he could at least ask me how I was feeling. “So Peter,” I finally whispered, “What do you think? I mean, is this plane going to take off?” I wanted to say more, but this was at least a start. He opened his eyes as if he was coming out of a deep trance. I couldn’t help but think how people with a lot of Neptune-Pisces energy in their birth chart seem to be able to block out this world and retreat to another planet. He was one of those, but I was not going to sit here alone in silence.

“What?” he asked. He knew I was disturbing his attempt to escape and that I did it anyway. The attendant interrupted us: “We’re being delayed, the pilot has suggested we offer you complimentary snacks or beverages, as we may be stalled for a while longer.”

“For how long?” I asked.

“Oh not long, I’m sure.” The attendant smiled, shrugged and lifted his eyebrows wickedly. I was sure he was gay, and wondered if he felt powerful seeing certain people like me squirm. I shouldn’t make sweeping judgments like that, as I hated people making judgments of me as an astrologer.

“I’ll have a white wine with ice, and what about you Peter?” He shook his head no, and pulled out an eye pillow and put it across his eyes.

I touched his arm. “Peter….” Let’s be present for each other now. Let’s make the best of it.”

He nodded his head yes, but said nothing. He didn’t take off his eye patch. “You know,” I continued, “you could take a lay-over in Boston for a few days before going back to San Francisco…we could spend some time together.”

He sighed. His hand reached over for mine and tapped mine as if to calm me down. Then he refolded his hands on his lap. He had no rings on his hands but they were more wrinkled than I remembered.

I sipped my wine. We were now seriously delayed. I could feel the mood in the cabin and it wasn’t good. People began talking more, but not us. Another ten minutes passed. I finished my wine. Peter’s forehead was dripping with sweat.


“What? What do you need?”

“I don’t know…. to talk?” I paused. It was hard to make small talk in hell. “Do you believe in love still?”

“I don’t know Isabelle. What does it say there in the chart?

I gritted my jaw. “About love? About us? The plane?” “I thought you didn’t believe in astrology, so why are you asking me about it now? Is that sarcasm or do you really want to know?” I tried to take a deep breath. “I’ll tell you-- things don’t look so good right now.”

He didn’t say anything. Perhaps he was pondering the questions. I ventured a solution: “If you wouldn’t label me and my work, and put me in a box of sorts …..if you chose to see me as not knowing all the answers, or trying to control…well, we could have a chance. I’m simply trying to survive…and trying to reach you, Peter. I’m sorry, maybe I’ve done it poorly.”

“I know, Isabelle, I know….” The engines started up again and then stalled with an irritating whine. Their noise made it almost impossible to talk.

I raised my voice. “Do you still believe in God? I asked. “I mean, despite all the rational reasons to the contrary, do you believe that God—that love--can still survive in this world—I mean, do you believe that we could be together? That you and I could have a second chance?”

The engines let out a terrible noise. Peter grabbed my hand. He looked suddenly terrified and I could see he was barely breathing. The sweat poured down his face. I brought his hand up to my cheek and moved his fingers across my lips.

“Oh my god, Isabelle….there aren’t any atheists in foxholes.”

Then he leaned over towards me and looked at me as if for the first time. His other hand reached for mine. Sometimes Peter wasn’t good with words, but I knew in that moment, he was willing to give us a try again. The dangers around us were deep.

But it wasn’t his voice I heard just then, instead it was the intercom: “Please leave the airplane immediately; do not bother to take your overhead luggage..we will get it to you. Exit immediately to the front of the plane. Attendants will be here; do not delay; when you are de-planed we will reroute each of you to other planes that will take you to your final destination point. The attendants will make sure that all families traveling together will stay together on route to your destination.”

Nobody panicked, but to say we walked out quickly was too mild. We moved in a hot steaming roll, and Peter was shuffled off to one small plane and me to another. We weren’t a family, and so Peter Cocroft and Isabelle Bailey were each going home separately. The old craft was overheated and dangerous, but who knew the future? I certainly didn’t know, but I felt hope as I pondered all the possible ways that Pluto, Venus and Mars might play out in my life now. Maybe even Uranus could be kind. ~

~elizabeth spring (Excerpt from book in progress: The Private Papers of A Reluctant Astrologer)