Evolutionary Astrology: Past Lives in our Charts…

I can’t say I’ve ever been a pure believer in past life theory.  I mean, I do absolutely believe that consciousness exists in forms we can barely guess at just beyond the walls of linear space and linear time that pen us into this 4-D existence of ours.  Having said that, though, I was still never unreservedly on board with the notion that we’re born here, we live a life, we die, and then we get reincarnated into a new body here again, etc.  I remain open to such possibilities, mind you, but I’ve never been fully convinced, that’s all.  In the interests of full disclosure, though, I’ll also put on the table here the fact that I’ve never had much personal experience that would point me toward that sort of past life outlook on existence.  That is, I don’t believe I’ve ever had dreams of any such past lives in which I lived as a different person in a different place at a different time, I’ve never had visions of same, I’ve never glimpsed data drawn from such past lives during meditation, and I haven’t even had much in the way of relevant perceptions while traversing other…um…altered states of consciousness…

So it was with a shaker filled with quite a few grains of salt that I began reading through a book on what’s known as “Evolutionary Astrology” a few weeks ago.  The book in question is Yesterday’s Sky, by an astrologer named Steven Forrest.  I had just signed up to take a seminar from Mr. Forrest here in southern California this coming November, and I’d enjoyed several of his other books, so I figured I’d make it a clean sweep of his most popular titles, even though, as I said above, I was never strictly on board with the kind of past life theory that the book discusses and explores.  General principles of karma — yes; successions of past lives spent in this same world — the jury was still decidedly out on that when I picked up the book.

The book that launched this post (among probably lots of other things across the lives of its various readers)...
The book that launched this post (among probably lots of other things across the lives of its various readers)…

The book offers some techniques for distilling out from a birth-chart a helping of clues that can shed light on the past life experiences and resulting present-day karma that might be associated with the person belonging to that birth-chart.  I won’t get into too much detail on the techniques here, as — quite obviously — that could (and did) fill up an entire book.  Instead, I’m just going to boil down my own experiences with applying those techniques to my own chart, and anyone following along here can decide for themselves what to make of it all…

Okay.  So in brief, this whole set of procedures hinges on the Nodes of the Moon, which are two mathematical points present in any birth-chart.  The South Lunar Node describes past life experience and the unresolved karma being carried forward, while the North Node indicates the pathway toward healing, and toward resolving those karmic issues in this life.  You begin by studying the Sign and House positions of the South Node in a chart, and you look to the darker interpretations of these during this part of the process (the idea being that we don’t really have much need to work through things that we got right in past lives; it’s our wounds and failings that haunt us forward through subsequent incarnations).

With this in mind, my own journey into past life analysis begins with delving into a South Node in Scorpio in my Twelfth House.  Darkest interpretations…  Well, Scorpio at its darkest captures the very worst things that we, as humans, are capable of: things like murder, torture, rape, incest, maiming, brutality, naked cruelty.  And then the blackest end of the Twelfth House spectrum of meanings can indicate catastrophic failure and calamitous loss — the experience of having everything obliterated on a grand scale, and not just one’s own life, health, and possessions, but possibly even the lives, health, and possessions of everyone held dear.  As you can see, the combination of the darkest interpretations of this Sign and this House make for very grim stuff indeed!

And my very first thought when contemplating this, which came to me from out of nowhere, was: “Oh, man — what if I was some genocidal lunatic in a past life, like Cortés or Pizarro??”  Hernán Cortés, as you may know, was the Spanish conquistador responsible for wiping out the Aztec people of Mexico, and his distant relative, Francisco Pizarro, did the same for the Incas in Peru.  I can’t tell you why these two names appeared in my head at this juncture, but I can say that it was mostly Cortés I was flashing on, and Pizarro was more of an afterthought that I may have appended because I associate the two men in my mind.

Hernán Cortés -- or as Neil Young refers to him, Cortez the Killer...
Hernán Cortés — or as Neil Young refers to him, Cortez the Killer…

I felt let off the hook by the next step, though: the dreamy Planet that we call Neptune lies close enough to my South Node that it forms what’s called a conjunction with it.  This is like a permanent link, in which two Points or Planets are bonded in a chart, one’s activation at a given time generally always activating the other.  Neptune is associated with things like psychic experiences, mysticism, spirituality, illusions, addictions, and as mentioned, dreams.  None of this seemed very Hernán Cortés to me…but then I had another sudden flash: it might not fit him, or his Spanish buddies in this context, but what about one of the spiritual types on the Aztec side of the equation?  The Aztecs adhered to a very rich system of religious beliefs, one that was felt constantly throughout their daily lives, and which would also have to be described, by almost anyone’s definitions, as rather bloodthirsty, as well (human sacrifice abounded…).  This would all fit the darker Scorpio interpretations referenced above, and given that the Aztecs were essentially exterminated, it would also be consistent with those Twelfth House readings I listed (catastrophic failure and calamitous loss).  And an Aztec priest would have been a source of mysticism and spirituality for the people…or put another way, a very Neptunian figure.

Next, since my South Node’s Sign is held to be ruled by Pluto and/or Mars, a quick glance at their placements in my chart shed additional light: both of those Planets lie in my chart in Virgo and in my Tenth House.  Among other things, Virgo can indicate being of service (like, say, a priestly figure bringing spirituality to the “flock”), and the Tenth House would indicate things like public acclaim and maybe leadership.  Mars can indicate violence (as was very prevalent in Aztec culture…), and Pluto is intensity and power dynamics (ditto).  I had a few more steps to work through, but for purposes here, I’ll just say that I felt that this conjectural notion about a high-ranking priest-type in the Aztec world at the time of the conquest by the Spanish seemed to fit every aspect of my analysis…and furthermore, it just plain “felt right.”

Whoa -- could I have been the dude on the left in a past life???
Whoa — could I have been the dude on the left in a past life???

And now we arrive at the intriguing parts of the tale…

Once I settled on this Aztec priest thing, I went home and went to bed.  Then, over the course of the following week, a veritable flood of synchronicities rained down upon me.  Witness:

1)  I finished reading that book.  At the very end of it, the author describes his own karmic Nodal set-up.  Turns out, while his planetary placements differ from mine, his Nodal distribution is exactly the same: South Node in Scorpio in the Twelfth House and North Node in Taurus in the Sixth House.  Since there are 12 Signs and 12 Houses, the chances of our having the exact same set-ups in our charts would be 1 in 144.  Not exactly a slam-dunk, right?  Furthermore, he reveals his best guess at his own past life as him having been…a significant contributor to the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs.  Yes, he sees himself as having been on the opposite side of the conflict that I was likewise drawn to in my head, but the fact that it was still the very same conflict at all pretty much astounded me.

2)  That night, I went home and put on a rerun of a 15-year old sitcom called Sports Night…and a couple of characters had a verbal exchange about Cortés and Moctezuma (also commonly known as Montezuma), who was the ruler of the Aztecs when the Spanish descended upon them.

3)  I woke up the next morning, and decided to do a bit of research on Moctezuma.  I learned that he was succeeded by a man named Cuauhtémoc, who — before apparently being betrayed and killed by Cortés much as Moctezuma seems to have been — married a daughter of Moctezuma named Isabel.  It struck me immediately that I had a new Tarot client coming in that very evening — a new client who was a young Latina woman named Isabel (and I’ve just now heard from Isabel, and she told me that she’s actually descended specifically from the Aztec people!!).

4)  I went out to get something to eat, and then on my way home, I was standing still at an intersection, waiting for the traffic light to change…when a hummingbird flew into my wrist.  It felt like a kiss.  Let me share that in several decades of walking the Earth, I have never had a hummingbird fly into me before, and as I said, I was standing perfectly still, so it’s not like the little creature and I rounded a corner in opposite directions, and I startled it or anything.  I should have been utterly avoidable, had the hummingbird wanted to avoid me.  At the time, I didn’t know of any connection linking the Aztecs with the hummingbrd, but I did think this was a fairly extraordinary occurrence anyway, so I still took notice of it.  But let’s now put a mental pin in this item, as we’ll be coming back to it in a minute…

So cute!!  We'll be returning to  this adorable little creature momentarily...
So cute!! We’ll be returning to this adorable little creature momentarily…

5)  The following day, on a sudden whim, I decided to punch “Hummingbird” and “Aztec” into my search engine.  I’ll confess here that my past tours through Aztec Mythology had centered mainly on the fascinating and rather sinister God known as Tezcatlipoca, and his nemesis, the famous “Feathered Serpent,” Queztalcoatl.  My search engine now, however, pointed me toward the Aztecs’ most principal Deity of all, the Sun-God/War-God, Huitzilopochtli.  It may interest you to learn — as it certainly did me — that Huitzilopochtli is so strongly associated with the hummingbird that he is called the “Left-Handed Hummingbird,” and is always depicted with a large hummingbird helmet and decorates himself with hummingbird feathers…

Huitzilopochtli, the Left-Handed Hummingbird!
Huitzilopochtli, the Left-Handed Hummingbird!

6)  A couple of days later, I decided I need to be looking into a possible trip to Mexico to visit Aztec ruins…you know, just to see what might happen!  I discovered that one such archaeological remnant of that civilization called Templo Mayor lies right within the bounds of Mexico City itself.  I typed “Templo Mayor” into my search engine, and I went to the very first website that popped up.  It featured this great photo of the grounds there that had been taken by…a close friend of mine that I’ve known for more than 20 years.  This website had borrowed it from her Flickr account, and credited her by name in the caption.  I verified that this was indeed her by way of a charming and informative phone-call (and she gave me some tips on seeing some of the Aztec sites)…

7)  Two days later, I went to a party with a friend.  Upon arrival at his home, I noticed that in his living room, he had both a small replica of the famous “Aztec Calendar Stone” and a rendering of Quetzalcoatl.  Not long after, his daughter came home, bringing along her boyfriend, whom I’d never met before.  He’s a Latino guy who works as an artist…incorporating elements of both Aztec and Mayan lore into his art.  He showed me a piece he did that depicts the myth of how the Aztecs knew to found their grand city of Tenochtitlan: according to an ancient prophecy, they were to build on the spot where they spied an eagle devouring a serpent while perched atop a cactus.  Modern-day Mexico City is now built on that same spot…  We then went to the party, where I promptly met a gentleman who was born and raised in Mexico City…

So that’s one week’s worth of Aztec-related synchronicities that all manifested right after I theorized that I might have been some kind of Aztec priest during the conquest of their empire by the Spanish (and I even left out a couple more minor happenings…).

Now, of course none of this proves anything, not in any way we might label “scientific.”  Even if I could deliver scientifically verifiable proof to you that the events listed above did happen to me — and since I can’t, you’ll have to decide to take my word for all of it or not — it wouldn’t prove that I lived a previous life in the Aztec culture.  But I’m convinced at the very least that something kind of intense is going on for me with respect to that culture and that region and that time period.  I don’t remember ever experiencing such a deluge of synchronistic happenings in such a short span of time before in my life!  So I’m now looking into a trip to Mexico.  You know…just to see what might go down while I’m there!

And meanwhile, you might be interested in looking into your own Evolutionary Astrology findings.  I can’t promise that a hummingbird will kiss you on the wrist, or that any other odd things might happen for you…but I also will not try to rule it out!  As always, I’ll be curious to hear any tales along these lines that you might care to share…

One thought on “Evolutionary Astrology: Past Lives in our Charts…

  1. Pingback: Astrology, Past Lives, and Reincarnation – Arrow in Flight

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