I belong to quite a few Astrology groups on Facebook, and I also like to spend some quality time every week surfing several different Astro-focused bulletin boards here and there around the internet. And if you were to follow my example, it would become very clear, very fast, that a whole lot of people who don’t otherwise have much interest in Astrology will dip into it wholeheartedly when it comes to the topic of romance.
And being the versatile system that it is, Astrology does lend itself really well to analyzing relationships. But doing proper work in this area involves a lot more than just asking a bunch of random strangers on Facebook something like, “Is Aquarius a good match for Libra…?”
Concentrating only on Sun Signs – which is what that question is doing – is a bit like asking if you should consider dating someone based solely on the fact that your blood types match. In each case, these aren’t exactly unhelpful things to know…but there’s way more involved in answering the complex question of overall relationship workability than just squinting at two people’s Sun Signs.
Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars…Ascendant, Descendant…Fifth, Seventh, and Eighth Houses…Juno and Eros and the Vertex, if you’re so inclined… In addition to the Sun, all of these factors and more can come into play when you’re assessing the likelihood of any two given people finding good romantic chemistry.
That makes it sound complicated, and to be honest, it kind of is, but it’s also manageable with a bit of study and practice. And Astrology is a generous field in this regard in that it offers a couple of different routes toward understanding possible compatibility in a relationship. The main such route, though, is called synastry…
Now, before we get to exactly what that is, it’s important to note here that the primary document in all of Astrology is almost surely the birth chart. This is a very unique and personalized artifact that’s keyed to a single individual based on the specific date, place, and time of their birth. Like fingerprints, no two birth charts are exactly alike. A birth chart provides eloquent testimony as to a person’s essential wiring in this lifetime: what they will tend to be interested in, skilled at, afraid of, challenged by…the birth chart can reveal all this and then some.
So synastry, then, is a sort of doubled-up chart in which one person’s birth chart is wrapped around another’s. The idea is that the dynamics on display between the two charts down on paper will reflect the interpersonal goings-on that will probably ensue up on the personal level as these two people spend time together.
An experienced astrologer can look at a synastry chart and then note which Planets in one chart will make connections with which Planets in the other…and they should also be able to describe the natures of those connections, and whether they’ll be user-friendly, difficult, or just a foray into neutrality. They can also explain which Planets in one chart are beaming energy into which adjacent Houses in the other, and what effects that might have on the two parties involved.
Whether you’re curious as to how you might get along with your brand-new romantic possibility, or you’d like to finally understand why you and your mate of several decades keep on having the same issues, synastry analysis may be a fantastic avenue of exploration for you!
And if you’d like some help with breaking down the synastry chart in question, there’s a very relevant new Arrow In Flight Special Offer running now! Check out the details RIGHT HERE…
In my PREVIOUS POST, I discussed some of the indicators that astrologers use to track past life karma into a person’s present day birth chart. Some of these indicators include the Nodes of the Moon, Saturn, Eighth House and Twelfth House placements, retrograde Planets, and any Planets, Signs, or Houses that might be intercepted in a chart.
Unfortunately, in that same post, I left out yet another indicator that some astrologers favor when digging into past life information: this indicator is one of the bodies in the main Asteroid belt, that – like its fellow comrades there – makes its circuit around the Sun within the region lying between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This particular Asteroid bears the number 3811, and the name…Karma.
The idea here is that you can pick up some clues about your past life experiences by analyzing the Sign and House placements of Asteroid Karma in your chart, along with any fairly tight Aspects it might make with any of your other natal Planets.
Full disclosure: I’ve never used the Asteroid called Karma for these purposes, but I thought it might be fun to give it a public workout. For my test subject, I settled upon Napoleon Bonaparte, figuring that most readers would be at least somewhat familiar with him (the Wikpedia bio on him states, “More plays and films have been produced about Napoleon than any other figure in history except Jesus,” which bodes pretty well for the mightiness of his name recognition factor here…).
So as you can see from the accompanying chart, the Asteroid called Karma was moving through the Sign of Libra when Napoleon was born, and it occupies his Eleventh House.
I haven’t found any sort of widely accepted “Ye Olde Gospel” when it comes to interpreting 3811 Karma in a chart, so I’m kind of winging it a bit here. Most of my own work in this area has focused on the Nodes of the Moon, and the Nodes are very user-friendly and symmetrical in that one of them (the South Node) details past life experiences and karma, while the other (the North Node) points the way ahead, toward karmic processing, cleansing, and release. Unfortunately, there’s only one 3811 Karma, so I’m thinking that maybe it has to do double-duty if we use it…? At the very least, I’m allowing for that possibility here…
First, let’s see what happens if we look at this Asteroid as an indicator of Napoleon’s past life experiences and lingering karma in the life we know him for.
As mentioned, 3811 Karma is in Libra in Napoleon’s H11. This could mean he came into his well-known life from a previous one that had been marked by endless stretches of Libran peace. Maybe he built up a lifetime’s accumulation of an itchy, fidgety need for conflict and competition, but found none…and so became a military archetype in his subsequent incarnation to make up for all that.
Maybe he was also boxed into life as just another cog in some great, group-think machine that allowed for no individual expression. This is, after all, one of the less palatable but definite possibilities when the tribe-centric Eleventh House is emphasized. This might prompt someone to reincarnate with a highly intensified need to be noticed for their own individual traits and accomplishments.
Napoleon’s 3811 Karma is also square his natal Venus, which lies in Gemini in his Eighth House. What does that all mean in plain English…? It could be that his tribal membership resulted in him being denied those relationships he had most desired, forcing him to try to subsist on an unfulfilling diet of interpersonal contacts that felt like the barest of nibbles to him in that prior lifetime, yielding almost zero “nutrition” for his former self. Being denied everyone you ever craved might conceivably lead you to feel in a subsequent life that conquering everyone around you would grant you access to all the relationships you could ever want and more. And given the H8 influence, you might be more than willing to add some death and darkness to the mix if it could satisfy your hungers.
So far, we can definitely make a case for some or all of the above analysis fitting what we know of Napoleon as he lived his famous life here on Earth from 1769 to 1821.
But then what about the other half of the karmic equation? What if we look at 3811 Karma as a guidepost pointing toward karmic healing, or as a warning of what might materialize if its lessons aren’t heeded?
If we treat 3811 now as more of a North Node than a South Node kind of thing, the advice might be to seek healthier versions of that tribal belonging. That is, instead of being swallowed up, homogenized, and lost within a collective, it could be that Napoleon’s karmic mission was to find a worthy tribe to belong to, and to do it in a Libran context of balance and tranquility.
And it could be that he failed in that mission…and one of the possible pitfalls of the H11 signature is that of landing in a place of alienation, outlaw or criminal standing, or even…exile. And we all know the circumstances of Napoleon’s last days before he breathed his last.
Obviously, there’s some great utility in choosing a well-known person to serve as an example in chart analysis – everyone knows who we’re talking about, and they can therefore follow along! But there’s also the danger of trying to retrofit the details of the chart and the interpretations of those details so that they’ll line up well with the facts of that person’s life. What I’m driving at is: I may have landed on some possibilities in this rundown for Napoleon that I wouldn’t have arrived at had I not known whose chart I was reading. So take all of the above with a few jumbo-sized grains of salt!
But if 3811 Karma interests you as a possible indicator of past life karma, then it may be worth your time and energy to explore it a bit. You can use my own work above as a template, or you can venture off on your own analytical course and see what happens. I’m not ready to bump the Nodes in favor of this particular symbol when looking into past life signatures in charts, but I may continue to keep it in the mix to see if it consistently yields results that feel on point. After all, it’s probably not named “Karma” for nothing!
Do you believe in concepts such as past lives, reincarnation, and karma?
Historically, for most of my life, I was not a pure believer in the first two in any literal way, although I did always feel that the karma principle had a lot going for it. I’ve also always been on board with the notion that consciousness doesn’t necessarily perish when the physical body dies…but that’s not the same thing as believing that consciousness gets reborn into another physical body in this same physical world at some later date after the current physical body meets its demise.
But almost three years ago, I started to explore a branch of Astrology known as “Evolutionary Astrology.” In this subset of the field, the most commonly used technique for evaluating possible past lives and unprocessed karma centers on the Nodes of the Moon. This is not the only way to assess karma and past life experiences when using Astrology, but it’s the one I started with.
I applied the Lunar Node analysis technique to my own birth chart, and I was then favored with a rush of weird synchronicities like almost nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life, either before or since. It all began the moment I theorized that based on my own South Lunar Node set-up, hey, maybe I could have been a high-ranking priest-figure in the Aztec civilization who advised my ruler, Moctezuma II, to let this guy Cortés and his Spaniard fellows into our otherwise well-fortified city because what the hell, they seemed like good guys…
You can read about those various synchronicities HERE in a post that I put together at that time.
Meanwhile, I’ve continued to explore all of this karma/past life/reincarnation business in the three years since. As I continue working as a professional astrologer, I poll my clients as to whether or not they believe in these concepts. Maybe I’m focusing on a sample of the general population that skews toward a belief in the metaphysical anyway – I mean, we do meet each other solely because these folks are consulting an astrologer – but the response is almost universally and unanimously affirmative that yes, these people do wholeheartedly believe in these concepts.
So recently, I decided to do another poll, this one across a couple of Astrology groups that I belong to on Facebook. I asked the astrologically-minded in those groups what symbols they might use when digging into past lives and karma in a chart. Not too surprisingly, the Lunar Nodes were mentioned by virtually everyone who replied. I also collected up a few additional symbols, though, and wanted to share them here. Some I’ve now long known as karma-related items in Astrology, but a few of these were new references for me in this context.
As always, it’s on you to some extent to do some of your own experimentation to see if any or all of them feel like reliable indicators in this realm…but if you’re interested in delving into the intersection of Astrology and reincarnation for yourself, then here are a few symbols you might consider examining:
The Nodes of the Moon – the South Node represents past life experiences and lingering karma, and the North Node symbolizes the path toward karmic cleansing and evolution
The Twelfth House – the Sign on the H12 cusp and any Planets found in this House serve as past life/karma indicators for some astrologers
The Eighth House – not as commonly cited as H12, but a small yet passionate minority of respondents believe H8 can serve in similar fashion as a summary of past life experiences
Saturn – very popular with astrologers as a symbol for karma, second only to the Lunar Nodes
Retrograde Planets – again, this was a minority view, but the astrologers who get behind this notion really get behind this notion
Intercepted Planets, Signs, and Houses – ditto…and this was both a concept that I had never encountered before, and the one that most intrigued me
So if you’re curious about how the concepts of past lives, reincarnation, and karma may be accessible through chart analysis in Astrology, these are a few of the symbols that you may want to explore.
And as always, I’m happy to help in this process if you feel you might benefit from the added input. Reach out to me via the info on my CONTACT page to book an appointment, and we may be able to get some ideas as to who you may have been in another place and time, and what you can do to release some of the karma that lingers on in this life from that prior Earth-walk…
Take a gander at a few highlights drawn from the overall menu of Astro-events that will be coming our way this week… Mercury remains a busy little messenger-Planet, Chiron contacts offer opportunities for healing, and late in the week, we have both a Full Moon in Capricorn and a slightly intimidating Sun/Pluto opposition on the agenda.
Also, I reference a 50,000-word novel that manages to never make use of the letter “e”…
Our society as a whole seems to have learned just enough about Astrology at this point to fear retrograde periods…which might actually be worse than not being aware of them at all.
It’s not super-helpful to think of retrograde periods as being necessarily “bad.” Yes, depending on the specifics of a given retrograde interval, and also depending on the specifics of your own unique chart, then it could sometimes seem that things do go off the rails for you during retrograde times. Then again, if you were to keep a journal in dedicated fashion, you’d probably also find that plenty of things tend to go off the rails in your life even when no Planets at all are moving in retrograde fashion…
More helpful than adopting a viewpoint of “retrogrades = all bad, all the time,” it’s wise to always consider first which Planet it is that’s going retrograde…and then look at your own chart to see if you have any features in it that might be on the receiving end of that Planet’s shifting energies when the retrograde event happens.
But what does that mean in plain-speak, without all the Astro-jargon…?
Basically, the first part (“Which Planet is going retrograde?”) is saying that Mercury going retrograde, for example, won’t cause the same effects or ping the same themes that, say, Venus going retrograde will cause and ping. And the same holds true for Mars, and Jupiter, and Saturn, and on through the entire cast of planetary characters. Each Planet has its own unique set of functions, so you need to focus on which Planet is doing the retro-work in question.
And then the second part – the bit about looking at your own chart – means that a given retrograde event won’t generally affect any two people in quite the same way. Think of the Planet going retrograde as a transmitter, beaming out a signal. Now think of yourself and everyone else in the world as being receivers in the shapes of humans. Each of us is different, and we’ll each receive that Planet’s transmissions in slightly different ways. Some people will be reading the broadcast so loud and clear that it will hurt, while others will have to strain to hear it at all.
So what happens when the Planet going retrograde is that interesting Planetoid, Chiron? This is a pretty good question to be asking right about now, as Chiron is set to station retrograde this coming Saturday (July 1, 2017)…
We need to start off by focusing on what makes Chiron a unique force… Chiron the Planetoid is named for a figure from out of classical mythology who was known as “the Wounded Healer.” Chiron was an immortal centaur (= half-humanoid/half-horse) who was scratched with an arrow that happened to have been coated with the blood of the Hydra, one of the most fearsome monsters ever to slither across the ancient Greek landscape. Being an immortal, Chiron couldn’t die, but the Hydra’s blood was so toxic, that he couldn’t metabolize it out of his system, either. He couldn’t heal from the wound. Chiron was therefore trapped in this horrible state of perpetual agony.
When his own already impressive medical knowledge failed to offer up a cure, Chiron traveled the world, looking into more and more exotic possible remedies. Nothing helped, but he did at least pick up so much new healing knowledge and skill that he became one of the greatest healers of all time.
Perpetually wounded + medical wizard = “The Wounded Healer”
In our birth charts, then, Chiron points out an area where we bear some sort of deep-rooted “soul-wound,” some trauma or condition that causes us ongoing pain in our lives until we can hopefully learn to heal it. This can be an actual physical condition, or something less tangible (a spiritual, emotional, or mental “wound”). The good news is that our experiences with our own Chironic wounds can allow us to become great healers of the same kind of wounds in others.
All of which is the backstory… Let’s jump now to this Saturday, when Chiron up in the sky will suddenly look to us here on Earth as if it will be stopping in its tracks, and then moving backwards in the sky. This is just an optical illusion caused by the realities of us observing Chiron from a different body in space that’s moving at a very different speed than Chiron is…but in Astrology, this kind of event carries an important meaning.
The gist of it is that whereas Planetary energies are generally beaming themselves all around us in the external world, when a Planet goes retrograde, its energies will then seem to manifest more within our inner worlds. This Chiron retrograde period will therefore be a five-month window of opportunity during which we can possibly make great strides in recognizing and even healing our own deepest soul-wounds.
Your best bet will be – as always! – to start by analyzing the Chiron situation in your own birth chart. What Sign and what House does your natal Chiron reside in? The Sign will give you some clues about the nature of your intrinsic wounds, while the House will flag some area of your life in which those wounds will most often and most intensely be felt.
Next, examine any Aspects that connect your natal Chiron to any other Planets in your chart. Squares and oppositions will be especially useful in understanding more about the characteristics of your wounds, and grasping what might cause you to keep aggravating them all over again. Meanwhile, the more harmonious trines and sextiles will be more likely to suggest ways in which you might soothe and even heal those wounds.
After you’ve put in some time analyzing your own natal Chiron, take a look at where the actual Chiron Planetoid is in the sky right now – the very final stretch of Pisces – and see if you have any important Planets or Points in that same area in your own birth chart. If so, you may be especially inclined to feel the Chironic energy-waves during this five-month period. You might also want to examine the corresponding sections within the other Mutable Signs (Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius) in your chart, and the same thing will hold true: if you have any important placements in the last few degrees of any of those Signs, this retrograde period may be an eventful one for you.
Chiron will remain in this retrograde state until December 5th, when it stations direct (“goes back to normal”), so you have five months during which you can hopefully tune in and really gain insight with respect to your deepest, most longstanding sources of spiritual pain. Chironic healing is a tremendous gift when it comes, so it might be terrific policy to encourage it during this retrograde interval.
Gentle and versatile healing and other holistic practices will be especially helpful at this time: Reiki, meditation, and yoga are a few examples of some modalities you might consider. You can also make use of any techniques that can be keyed more precisely into your own specific Chironic situation.
Try viewing this period not as a time for wallowing in self-pity about your wounds, but as a positive opportunity to bring about some deep and profound healing…
“Ouch.” That might be something that you hear more than usual during the Astro-event known as a Mars/Chiron square. You might even have occasion to say it a few times, yourself.
Let’s break down why that is… Mars symbolizes the Warrior. It’s our drive to assert ourselves, to be aggressive, to feel anger and lust, to be brave, to conquer or defend as the situation might demand. When Mars fires up, we often go to battle.
Meanwhile, Chiron represents the Wounded Healer. This symbol has to do with the ways in which we take on our deepest wounds. These traumas can definitely be physical things, but they can also just as easily be intangible: mental, emotional, spiritual, karmic. Chiron describes our own unique vulnerabilities, and also how we can learn to heal ourselves and others from those wounds.
And the last piece of the puzzle is the connection between them. In this instance, that connection takes the form of a square. That is, Mars and Chiron will appear to be exactly 90 degrees apart today as we view the heavens from our vantage point here on Earth. And squares generally come with a distinct aura of friction. Planets linked by a square are trying to work together, and to merge their energies into some new concoction, but it won’t tend to happen all that easily, and the process will probably not be very user-friendly for anyone standing in the fallout zone.
It could be that the energies don’t communicate all that well. Watch out for any disconnect between your inner warrior and your inner medic. Warriors always run the risk of being wounded – that’s just the nature of their biz – and such occurrences might be a bit more likely to happen during a transit such as this one. Even great warriors can be momentarily clumsy, or distracted, or otherwise somewhat off their game…and even great healers can have off-days, and they of course always require accurate information about a given injury before they can have any positive effect in trying to treat it. The static-riddled connection of a square can disrupt the flow of that kind of accurate information, leaving the healer essentially working in the dark.
For the next week or so, then, it will pay to proceed with a bit of caution when heading into conflict zones. Pick your battles with extra care, and if things go bad, be open to receiving more healing care than you think you might need (because some of what you do get might not land all that well). And for future reference, catalog your experiences this week by journaling if you can, as this might help you to really nail down exactly what types of wounds are your own greatest recurring afflictions. Identifying these harms now can allow you to minimize their impact when they try to show up in new forms later on.