THE SKY WITHIN
Report for Dennis Hopper
An Interpretation of Your Birth Chart
P.O. Box 10155
Prescott, AZ 86304-0155
The Sky Within
May 17, 1936
08:45:00 PM CST +06:00
Natal Chart for Dennis Hopper
Koch House System
Planet in Sign Zodiac in House House Cusp
Sun Taurus 26°Ta59' 06th 01st 10°Sg15'
Moon Aries 18°Ar47' 04th 02nd 07°Cp08'
Mercury Gemini 13°Ge57' 07th 03rd 10°Aq59'
Venus Taurus 15°Ta32' 06th 04th 26°Pi34'
Mars Gemini 03°Ge20' 06th 05th 21°Ar16'
Jupiter Sagittarius 22°Sg22' 01st 06th 15°Ta40'
Saturn Pisces 20°Pi47' 03rd 07th 10°Ge15'
Uranus Taurus 06°Ta45' 05th 08th 07°Ca08'
Neptune Virgo 14°Vi00' 09th 09th 10°Le59'
Pluto Cancer 25°Ca29' 08th 10th 26°Vi34'
Node Capricorn 04°Cp05' 01st 11th 21°Li16'
Midheaven Virgo 26°Vi34' 10th 12th 15°Sc40'
Ascendant Sagittarius 10°Sg15' 01st
Planets within orb of 1.5 degrees of the following
house cusp are displayed and interpreted as being in
that house, except the Ascendant which uses 3 degrees.
Orb Conjunctions with Sun or Moon are 8 degrees.
All orbs are set according to Steven Forrest's methods.
© Copyright 1985-1996 Matrix Software, Inc.
315 Marion Ave., Big Rapids, MI 49307 616-796-2483
THE SKY WITHIN
by Steven Forrest
Using Your Birthchart as a Spiritual Guide
A woman has a baby and is blissful about it. Another one does the same, and spends the rest of her life dreaming about how she might have been a ballerina. The same choice: having a kid. But only one smiling woman.
Nobody has a generic formula for happiness, at least not one that does the trick for everyone. That's where astrology comes in.
The birthchart, stripped to bare bones, is simply a description of the happiest, most fulfilling life that's available to you... personally. It spells out a set of strategies you can use to avoid boring routines, bad choices, and dead ends. It lists your resources. And it talks about how your life looks when you're misusing the resources and distorting the strategies -- shooting yourself in the foot, in other words.
All from a map of the sky?
Hard to believe. But think for a minute...
"How can the planets possibly affect us? They're millions of miles away." Astrology's critics are fond of rolling out that argument. But it doesn't hold water. Go out and gaze at the moon. What's really happening? Incomprehensible energies are plunging across a quarter million miles of void, crashing through your eyeballs and creating electrochemical changes in your brain. We call the process "seeing the moon." Certainly the planets affect us. The question is where do we draw the boundaries around those effects?
Let's go a step further.
Open your eyes on a starry night. What do you see? A vast, luminous space, full of shadows and light. Now close your eyes so tight they ache. Where are you now? What do you see? Again, a vast, luminous space, full of shadows and light. Consciousness and cosmos are structured around the same laws, follow the same patterns, and even feel pretty much the same to our senses.
"As above, so below." Just as the starry night awes us with its vastness, there's something infinitely deep inside you, a place you go when you close your eyes, a place that's beyond being an Aries or a Gemini or even a specific gender. At the most profound level, a birthchart is a map back to that magical center. It describes a series of earthly experiences which, if you're brave and open enough, will trigger certain states of consciousness in you -- states that operate like powerful spiritual catalysts, vaulting you into higher levels of being.
In the pages that follow, you'll tour your personal birthchart. But don't expect the usual "Scorpios are sexy" stuff. You are a mysterious being in a mysterious cosmos. You're here for just a little while, a blink of God's eye. You face a monumental task: figuring out what's going on! In that spiritual work, astrology is your ally. How will it help?
Certainly not by pigeon-holing you as a certain "type."
Astrology works by reminding you who you are, by warning you about the comforting lies we all tell ourselves, and by illuminating the experiences that trigger your most explosive leaps in awareness.
After that, the rest is up to you.
YOUR TEN TEACHERS
Freud divided the human mind into three compartments: ego, id, and superego. Astrologers do the same thing, except that our model of the mind differs from Freud's in two fundamental ways. First, it's a lot more elaborate. Instead of three compartments, we have ten: Sun, Moon, and the eight planets we see from Earth. As we'll discover, each planet represents more than a "circuit" in your psyche. It also serves as a kind of "Teacher," guiding you into certain consciousness-triggering kinds of experience.
The second difference between astrology and psychology is that astrology's mind-map, unlike Freud's, is rooted in nature itself, just as we are.
The primary celestial teacher is the Sun. What does it teach? Selfhood. Vitality. How to keep the life-force strong in yourself. If the Sun grew dimmer, so would all the planets -- they shine by reflecting solar light. Similarly, if you fail to stoke the furnaces of your own inner Sun, then you'll simply be "out of gas." All your other planetary functions will suffer too.
How do we learn this teacher's lessons?
Start by realizing that when you were born the Sun was in Taurus.
Ease, calm, naturalness -- those are the spiritual goals of the Bull. Silence too. But not just the kind that comes from keeping your mouth closed. The Bull's silence is deeper: it's a quiet heart. Feel the wind in your hair. Feel the efficiency of your body, the rightness of its rhythms, the easy intelligence of your cells and muscles. That's Taurus. The part of you that's learning the lessons of the Bull is getting more grounded, more present, more receptive to immediate reality. As a result, it has a physical orientation and a practical feeling. It's not so interested in abstract flights of speculation. It avoids the metaphysical Disneylands that seem to fascinate so many people. It specializes in the wordless mysticism of ordinary life.
Feed your Taurean side with hands-on work: gardening, crafting wood or cloth, communing with animals. Soothe it with music. Restore and renew it with time spent close to nature -- in the forest, in the mountain valley, by the ocean. Dress it in blue jeans and flannel. And never, ever, ask it to go to a cocktail party!
With your Sun in Taurus, you renew your basic vitality in simple ways. Take a walk in the woods. Paddle a canoe. Build something of oak or maple. Your deepest nature is quiet, stable, solid. You benefit from having a strong tone of continuity in your life -- especially in relationships. Keep in touch with old friends. Stay close to people who aren't too quick to get off on "trips," be they guru-scenes, make-a-million schemes, or a new kind of bean sprout that will change your life. At the deepest level, you are learning about calm and naturalness. So keep things simple.
Your practical skills are enormous: you understand the world of raw materials, of money, of daily life. Be careful those skills don't run away with you! A pitfall for you lies in getting so busy keeping all your responsibilities magnificently fulfilled that you starve yourself for quiet time. Then the Sun grows dimmer in you, and every other aspect of your character has less light to reflect.
We can take our analysis of your natal Sun a step further. When you were born, that solar light illuminated the Sixth house. What does that signify?
Start by realizing that Houses represent twelve basic arenas of life. There's a House of Marriage, for example, and a House of Career. Always, we find an element of "fate" in our House structures; the "Hand of God" continually presents us with existential and moral questions connected with our emphasized Houses. How we react and what we learn -- or fail to learn -- is our own business.
One brief technical note: Sometimes the Sun, the Moon, or a planet lies near the end of the House. We then say it's "conjunct the cusp" of the subsequent House, and interpret it as though it were a little further along... in the next House, in other words.
Craft, responsibility, the joy of competence -- that's Sixth House territory. Traditionally, it's the House of Servants. The label still works -- provided you recognize that it's not your butlers and chambermaids we're discussing here! You're the servant, and that's not nearly as bad as it sounds.
There's a myth in our culture that encourages us to believe everyone is automatically depressed on Monday morning, happy on Friday afternoon, ecstatic 'til Sunday around dinner time, then crashes down into the pits again come Monday. Don't believe it! With a Teacher in the Sixth House, you've got a good shot at shattering the myth, at least for yourself. A big part of you likes to work, enjoys being good at something, prefers to be useful.
The trick lies in finding the right crafts, skills, and responsibilities. Let's let the Teacher speak.
With the Sun in the Sixth House, you're a hard worker, a responsible person who'll keep promises and fulfill contracts. The trick lies in making sure they're the right promises and the right contracts! Finding the crafts and skills that express your spirit is perhaps the central challenge of your life. Dignity and self-respect for you lie squarely in the world of work. To feel good about yourself, you must achieve excellence. And that revolves around self-discipline, humility, and locating worthy teachers... and has nothing at all to do with whether you get your face in People magazine!
The next step in our journey through your birthchart carries us to the Moon.
As you might expect, Luna resonates with the magical, emotional sides of your psyche. It represents your mood, averaged over a lifetime. As the heart's teacher, it tells you how to feel comfortable, how to meet your deepest needs. While the Sun lets you know what kinds of experiences and relationships help you feel sane, the Moon is concerned with another piece of the puzzle: feeling happy.
When you were born, the Moon was in Aries.
Courage! That's what Aries is all about. Traditionally this sign is represented as the Ram -- a fierce, frightening creature. That's a pretty good description of how this energy looks from the outside. Inside, it's different. Not the Ram, but the newborn robin, two days old, just hatched from its shell, living in a world full of creatures who think of it as breakfast. Does it cower? No -- the little bird flaps its stubby wings and squawks its head off, demanding its right to exist. That's Aries: the raw primal urge to survive. Existential courage.
Courage is a funny virtue -- it has to be scared into a person. In the evolutionary scheme of life, Aries energy has a disconcerting property: it draws stress to itself. You can choose a life of risk and adventure. Or you can choose a life of one damn thing after another. Refuse the first, you'll get the second.
With your Moon in Aries, your heart is learning some hard lessons in courage. Like everyone else, you have feelings, needs, desires. Satisfying them isn't so easy. Circumstances crystallize around you in which, unless you find the "Spiritual Warrior" inside yourself, you'll go hungry. Sometimes that means recognizing that hurting someone with the straight truth is far kinder than being "gentle" or "self-sacrificing."
To feel comfortable, you require drama in your life. You need to feel the "edge" sometimes. You may get it from sailing in a hard wind. You may get it from riding a bicycle a little too fast. You may discover it in a steamy, intense, confrontive interaction with someone you love.
If you don't feed your Arian Moon the fiery experiences it needs, you tend to get temperamental, bossy, and needlessly competitive. But that's not your true nature -- just an "occupational hazard" that goes along with this volatile lunar position.
Going farther, we see that your Moon lies in the Fourth house of your chart.
Peel away the layers of the psychological onion, get down to the core of your being, the realm of your heros and nightmares -- you've entered the Fourth House. This is psychic bedrock. Traditionally, it's the House of the Home. That's a valid notion in lots of ways. First, with any astrological factor in this part of the birthchart, you're at least "minoring in psychology" and that process requires a safe haven; hence, you feel an elevated need for the privacy and security of the "nest." Second, much of your psychic bedrock was profoundly influenced -- or scarred -- by your childhood experiences. Many of your most fundamental challenges spin off the effects of a powerful parent upon your present character. Third, "Home" is "where you're coming from" -- and this House answers that question in the deepest way: it's the core of your being.
With the Moon in the Fourth House, you have a natural combination: emotional, subjective Luna in the House of the Heart. The effect is to turn the volume way up on feelings. But there's a catch: The Fourth House is a hidden place, far below the horizon of the birthchart. Things there are basic to us, but they often have a hard time surfacing. "Still waters run deep" -- it's a cliche, but it captures the spirit of your lunar position.
You need a safe, quiet home, and you need a lot of time there. At some point, if you play your cards right, you'll really put down roots in a piece of land. There's even a good chance you'll figure out a way to make your living without leaving the place.
There's a third critical piece in your astrological puzzle -- the Ascendant, or rising sign. Along with the Sun and Moon, it completes the "primal triad." What is it? What does it mean? Simple -- the Ascendant is the sign that was coming up over the eastern horizon at the instant of your birth. It's where the sun is at dawn, in other words. In exactly the same way, the Ascendant represents how you "dawn" on people -- that is, how you present yourself. It's your "style," or your "mask."
The ascendant means more than that. It symbolizes a way you can help yourself feel centered, at ease, comfortable with who you are. If you get its message, then something wonderful happens: your style hooks you into the world of experience in a way that feeds your spirit exactly the kinds of events and relationships you need. Your soul is charged with more enthusiasm for the life you're living -- and you feel vibrant, confident, and full of animal grace.
When you took your first breath, Sagittarius was lifting over the eastern horizon of Dodge City,KS. Let's begin our analysis by considering the meaning and spiritual message of the sign of "The Gypsy".
To the medieval astrologer, there were three kinds of Sagittarian: the gypsy, the scholar, and the philosopher. They're all legitimate, healthy parts of the picture. Sagittarius represents the urge to expand our horizons, to break up the routines that imprison us. One way to do that is to escape the bonds of the culture into which we were born -- that's the gypsy. Another is to educate ourselves, to push our intelligence beyond its customary "position papers" -- the way of the scholar. Finally, our intuition can stretch outward, trying to come to terms with cosmic law, attempting to grasp the meaning and purpose of life. That's the philosopher's path.
To keep your Sagittarian energies healthy, you need to feed them an endless supply of fresh experience. Travel. Take classes. Learn to scuba dive. Amazement feeds the Archer the same way protein feeds your physical body. Conversely, if there's a cardinal sin for Sagittarius, it is to consciously, willingly allow yourself to be bored.
With Sagittarius rising, you present a bright, breezy, self-confident face to the world. You seem to be alert and engaged with your environment, full of questions -- and the energy to pursue the answers. You radiate a straightforward, robust spirit of independence. What you need in order to feel centered and at ease is a sense of infinite possibility around you. When responsibilities tie you down to routines, you get edgy. Circumstances like that bring out the worst in you: an aloof, uncaring energy that makes people near you feel as though you don't think they're very important. You are in the right relationship to the physical world when you're convinced that mind-expanding surprises lie just over the horizon. So nourish yourself with travel, with adventure, with an openness to life. Do it, and you'll feel stronger and more at ease with yourself.
What have we learned so far? Quite a lot. Astrologers use the primal triad of Sun, Moon, and Ascendant in much the same way people who know just a little astrology use Sun signs. The difference is that while there are only twelve Sun signs, there are 1728 different combinations of all three factors. So when we say that you are a Taurus with the Moon in Aries and Sagittarius rising, that's a very specific statement.
Here's a way to make those words come even more alive. Traditionally, signs are connected with Bulls and Sea-Goats and Scorpions -- creatures we don't see every day. But we can translate those images into more modern archetypes.
We can say you are "The Naturalist", or "The Elf", or "The Silent One". Those are just different ways of saying you have the Sun in Taurus.
We can say you have the soul of "The Warrior", or "The Survivor", or "The Daredevil"... your Moon lies in Aries, in other words.
We can add that you wear the mask of "The Gypsy", or "The Scholar", or "The Philosopher". Those images capture the spirit of your Ascendant, which is Sagittarius.
You can combine those archetypes any way you want. And you can go further: Once you have a feel for the three basic signs in your primal triad, you can make up your own images to go with them. Whatever words you choose, those simple statements are your fundamental astrological signature. It's your skeleton. Our next step is to begin adding flesh and hair to that skeleton by considering the planets.
Unsurprisingly, planets can gain prominence in a birthchart through association with the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. These three are power brokers, and any linkage with them boosts a planet's influence.
We find exactly that situation in your case. Jupiter lies in your First House, a part of the chart which is really just an extension of the Ascendant. Thus, Jupiter adds yet another tone to your "mask," modifying and deepening some of what we've already seen.
Take all the planets, all the meteors, moons, asteroids, and comets. Roll them up in a big ball of cosmic mush. They still wouldn't equal the mass of the "King of the Gods" -- Jupiter. Exactly that same bigness pervades the planet's astrological spirit. Jupiter is the symbol of buoyancy and generosity, of opportunity and joy. At the deepest level, it represents faith... faith in life, that is, rather than faith in anybody's theological position papers.
Jupiter stands in Sagittarius. This is an important piece of information -- maybe a pivotal one. Being human is tough sometimes. When you need to boost your elemental faith in life, your answer lies in following the Way of the Gypsy. That is, break out from under the tyranny of the familiar and the "practical." Stretch out into amazement and adventure. Start a Quest... or just hit the road.
In your chart, the "King of the Gods" reigns in the First House -- traditionally the "House of the Self." A bright, positive, expansive quality radiates from you... even when you're feeling rotten. In the old days, astrologers viewed a first House Jupiter as lucky. There's some truth to that, in that you usually end up getting what you want. But spiritually you're learning that fulfilling desires, especially flashy "Hollywood" desires, doesn't always deliver the advertised bliss.
Your own birthchart is complicated by the fact that, at your birth, Mars was aligned with the Sun... or "conjunct" the Sun, to use the proper astrological term. Thus, the energy and spirit of that planet is fused with your solar identity. In a sense, you are an "incarnation" of Mars."
What can that mean? Start by understanding the significance of the planet.
Pale red Mars suggested blood to our ancestors, and they named it the War God. That's an effective metaphor -- Mars does represent violence. But today we go further. The red planet symbolizes the power of the Will. Assertiveness. Courage. Without it, there'd be no fire in life. No spark. Where your Mars lies, you are challenged to find the Spiritual Warrior inside yourself, the part of you that's brave and clear enough to claim your own path and follow it.
Mars is vibrating in Gemini. When circumstances contrive to rob you of variety and mental stimulation, the Warrior inside you rises up and starts throwing Molotov cocktails. When you're bored, you're mean, in other words. Spiritually you're learning how to engineer -- forcefully, if necessary -- a fascinating, varied life, full of encounters with amazing strangers and astounding experiences.
With the War-God occupying your Sixth House, a piece of your destiny-pattern is that you draw to yourself kinds of work that are inherently competitive, even if you yourself aren't really that way. (In all your responsibilities, the basic paradigm is that there are three dogs and only two bones.) Spiritually, you are learning a lot about assertiveness and personal power in the work environment -- and that may mean in your job, or in whatever nonprofessional responsibilities life thrusts upon you.
While a fairly large number of people have Mars in that sign and house, the fact that it lies conjunct your Sun gives it special emphasis. By pushing the strengths it suggests toward their limits, you charge your solar vitality, approach your destiny, and set the stage for fullfilling your spiritual purpose.
Sometimes a planet gains prominence in a birthchart simply by sharing a House with the Sun. That's the case with you. Venus is bathing in solar light, occupying the Sixth House along with our central star.
Venus is the part of your mental circuitry that's concerned with releasing tension and maintaining harmony. Its focus is always peace, inwardly and outwardly. As such, it represents your aesthetic functions -- your taste in colors, sounds, and forms. Why? Because the perception of beauty soothes the human heart. Venus is also tied to your affiliative functions -- your romantic instincts, your sense of courtesy or diplomacy, your taste in friends. Invariably, this planet has one goal: sustaining your serenity in the face of life's onslaughts.
Venus was passing through Taurus. Thus, both your aesthetic sensitivity and your taste in partners is shaped by the earthy, physical spirit of the Bull. In the realm of beauty, whether natural or wrought by human hands, you have a taste for the colors and textures of the countryside, sensual but never jolting. The same goes for friends and sexual partners -- you appreciate unpretentious people, the kind who are comfortable perched on a boulder with the wind ruffling their hair... the kind who aren't upset at the thought of sitting silently for half an hour.
With Venus in the Sixth House, partnership is the catalyst that triggers your most effective, enjoyable work. It's as though you're Lennon looking for McCartney or Gilbert searching for Sullivan. You are most competent -- and confident -- when you've found yourself some kind of "Venusian" profession. That can mean something in the creative realm, or alternatively, any kind of work that involves making emotional connections with strangers.
In the final analysis, all planets are important. Each one plays a unique role in your developmental pattern, and failure to feed any one of them results in a diminution of your life. Just because the following planets aren't "having breakfast with the President" through association with the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant doesn't mean we can ignore them.
Mercury buzzes around the Sun in eighty-eight days, making it the fastest of the planets. It buzzes around your head in exactly the same way: frantically. It's the part of you that never rests -- the endless firing of your synapses as your intelligence struggles to organize a picture of the world. Mercury represents thinking and speaking, learning and wondering. It is the great observer, always curious. It represents your senses themselves and all the raw, undigested data that pours through them.
Mercury is in heaven -- which is to say it is in Gemini, its favorite sign. This is a powerful, natural, combination which massively stimulates your curiosity and your enthusiasm for the pleasures of the mind: knowledge, witticism, intelligent conversation. Spiritually you are learning about the difficulties of keeping your mind radically open when you're so good at constructing convincing -- and maybe addictive -- theories.
With the traditional "Messenger of the Gods" occupying your Seventh House, intimacy for you has to be founded upon a healthy, joyful, spontaneous flow of ideas between you and your partners and friends. For that reason, your natural "soulmates" are invariably bright, open-minded people who not only are capable of communication -- they enjoy it!
"Life's a bitch. Then you die." Go to any boutique from coast to coast; you'll find those words on a coffee mug. Meaninglessness. Like most truly frightening ideas, we make a joke of it. That's Plutonian territory: the realm of all that terrifies us so badly we need to hide from it. Death. Disease. Our personal shame. Sexuality, to some extent. Initially, Pluto asks us to face our own wounds, squarely and honestly. Then, if we succeed, it offers us a way to create an unshakable sense of meaning in our lives. How? Methods vary according to the Signs and Houses involved, but always they have one point in common: the high Plutonian path invariably involves accepting some trans-personal purpose in your life.
One more point: Pluto moves so slowly that it remains in a given Sign for many years. As result, its Sign position in your birthchart refers not only to you but also to your generation. The House position, however, is much more personal in its relevance.
Pluto was journeying slowly through the sign Cancer. Thus the shadow material you are called upon to face has to do with the dark side of the Crab archetype: hiding from life. In what part of your life or personal history have you chosen safety over experience, the appearance of love over the steamy reality of shared growth, security over magic? (If you answer is "Nowhere!" then congratulations... you're Enlightened... or not looking hard enough.)
At the moment of your birth, Pluto gleamed in the Eighth House... a part of the natal chart concerned especially with sexuality and with death. It is essential that you make contact, however brief or long term, with soulmates with whom you share insights about two processes: mating and dying. Through these intense encounters, your being is transformed -- and the capacity to fulfill your transpersonal mission arises. What is that mission? To counsel people in the face of death and separations.
Look at a NASA photo of Saturn. The icy elegance of the planet's rings, the pale understatement of the cloud bands... both hint at the clarity and precision which characterize Saturn's astrological spirit. Part of the human psyche must be cold and calculating, cunning enough to survive in the physical world. Part of us thrives on self-discipline, seeks excellence, pays the price of devotion. Somewhere in our lives there's a region where nothing but the best of what we are is enough to satisfy us. That's the high realm of Saturn. In its low realm, we take one glance at those challenges and our hearts turn to ice. We freeze in fear, and despair claims us.
The fantastical terrain of Pisces offers a region of profound spiritual challenge for you, as Saturn was passing through that sign at your birth. You must learn to steel yourself in the face of the Fishes' shadow side: escapism, perhaps even addiction in any of its ten thousand forms. Make your dreams real! That's your high road. And support that journey in practical, Saturnian terms by fortifying yourself with concrete skills and strategies -- especially ones pertinent to Saturn's House in your birthchart. Which House was that?
The Third! The arena of life where we speak and listen, read and write. With Saturn here, you need to take an orderly, long-term attitude toward building your communication skills. Your mind doesn't work quickly, but it works with depth and precision. Trust it! And push it towards the limits of logic and concentration. As you approach your goal here, increasingly people will recognize an innate authority in your tone... unless you've bamboozled yourself out of your birthright by mistaking your natural deliberation for mental inadequacy.
If Uranus were the only planet in the sky, we'd all be so independent we'd still be Neanderthals throwing rocks at each other. There would be no language, no culture, no law. On the other hand, if Uranus did not exist, we'd all still be hauling rocks for Pharaoh. All individuality would be suppressed. This is the planet of individuation... the process whereby we separate out who we are from what everybody else wants us to be. Always it indicates an area of our lives in which, to be true to ourselves, we must "break the rules" -- that is, overcome the forces of socialization and peer pressure. In that part of our experience, what feeds our souls tends to annoy mom and dad... and all the "moms" and "dads" who lay down the law of the tribe.
With Uranus in Taurus, the process of individuation for you is tied up with the Path of the Earth Spirit. That is to say, you strengthen and clarify your own Uranian identity through deepening your bond with nature -- and without that you're likely to clog up your life with unnecessary conservatism. Consciously chosen forays into the natural world, such as hiking, gardening, or close association with animals, purify your sense of self, purging out the spurious "inner voices" you've swallowed sitting in front of the great wraparound television set of late twentieth century Industrial Culture.
House of Children -- that's the old name for the Fifth House, where your Uranus lies. The issues are broader; not just kids, but also your own "inner child," where all your playful and creative skills reside. Uranus is your Teacher here, and the lessons can be summarized this way: you best polish and hone your individuality by pursuing the purest and most radical expressions of your creative vision... even if that vision draws a lot of criticism. Conversely, without an avenue for the expression of your formidable if unorthodox creative energies, your basic individuality remains unformed.
You're lying in your bed, going to sleep. Suddenly a jolt runs through your body. You just "caught yourself falling asleep." Where were you two seconds before the jolt? What were you? Astrologically, the answer lies with Neptune. This is the planet of trance, of meditation, of dreams. It represents your doorway into the "Not-Self." Based on the sign the planet occupies, we identify a particularly critical spiritual catalyst for you... although we need to remember that Neptune remains in a Sign for an average of a little over thirteen years, so its Sign position actually describes not only you, but your whole generation. Its House position, however, is more uniquely your own.
Neptune was passing through Virgo. Thus, to trigger higher states of consciousness in yourself and to stimulate your psychic development, you may choose to follow the Path of the Servant... that is consciously, intentionally to seek the perfection of those skills and virtues in yourself which benefit others. Without exposure to the purifying, soul-bleaching effects of selfless service, you tend to drift away from Spirit, losing yourself in the mazes of daily life -- or in the subtle ego-traps of meditation.
Neptune, planet of transcendence, occupies the Ninth House of your birthchart, where its mystical feelings are linked to breaking up routines of thought and action. To grow spiritually, it is helpful for you to undertake periodic pilgrimages -- that is, to travel away from the scene of your daily life and to allow the energy of some "sacred site" to wash over you. Which sacred site? Trust your instincts, and pay close attention to any dream activity that may contain clues. One hint: The whole Earth is sacred, so the magic places for you may not be "officially" holy.
Your Lunar Nodes
The soul's journey
Here's a jolly baby. Here's a serious one. An alert one. A dull one. A wise one. Those are common nursery room observations, but they raise a fascinating question: How did that person get in there?
Most of our psychological theory, either technically or in folklore, is developmental theory... abuse a child and he'll grow up to be a child-abuser, for example. But in the eyes of the newborn infant, there is already character. How can that be? One might say it's heredity, and that's certainly at least part of the answer. A large part of the world's population would call it reincarnation -- that baby, for better or worse, represents the culmination of centuries of soul-development in many different bodies. A Fundamentalist might simply announce, "That's how God made the baby." Who's to say? But all three explanations hold one point in common: They all agree that we cannot account for what we observe in a baby's eyes without acknowledging the impact of events occurring before the child's birth.
In astrology, the South Node of the Moon refers to events occurring before your birth, helping us to see what was in your eyes ten seconds after you were born... however we imagine it got in there! The Moon's North Node, always opposite the South Node, refers to your evolutionary future. It's a subtle point, but arguably the most important symbol in astrology. The North Node represents an alien state of consciousness and an unaccustomed set of circumstances. If you open your heart and mind to them, you put maximum tension on the deadening hold of the past.
As we consider the Nodes of the Moon in your birthchart, we'll be using the language of reincarnation. Whether that notion fits your own spiritual beliefs is of course your own business. If it doesn't work for you, please translate the ideas into ancestral hereditary terms. After all, it makes little practical difference whether we speak of a certain farmer weeding his beans a thousand years before the Caesars as your great, great, mega-great grandfather... or as you yourself in a previous incarnation. Either way, he's someone who lived way back there in history who sort of is you, sort of isn't, and lives on inside you--influencing but not ultimately defining you.
At your birth, the South Node of the Moon lay in Cancer, the sign of the Great Mother. Anyone looking into your eyes as you took your first breath would have observed the results of lifetimes spent learning the ways of the Healer: nurturing, caring, an ability to attune yourself instantly to a person's deepest wounds. You've grown compassionate, but now--like a lonely psychotherapist--you must learn a new lesson: how to see to it that your own needs are met.
That nascent ability to meet your own needs is symbolized by your North Node of the Moon, which lies in Capricorn -- the sign of the Hermit. As we saw earlier, the North Node can be seen as the most significant point in the entire birthchart. Why? Because it represents your evolutionary future... the ultimate reason you're alive, in other words. How can you accomplish this Capricornian spiritual work? The "yoga" is easy to say, harder to do: you must temper some of your nurturing instincts and consciously release your attachment to the idea that others depend upon you. That is, you need to intentionally place yourself in situations where you're watching out for yourself, pursuing your own projects, and letting others take care of themselves.
There's another piece to the puzzle: The Moon's South Node falls in the Seventh House of your chart. This implies that previous to this lifetime you learned a lot about compromise and adjustment through devotion to your soulmates. Trouble is, you sometimes gave up too much of yourself to accomplish that, sacrificing truth on the altar of harmony.
In this lifetime, with your North Node of the Moon in the First House, you must act to counterbalance those old devotional tendencies... not so much because they're "bad" as because you've already learned everything you can from them. The time has come for you to wield more authority over the shape of your own experiences, learning a kind of "enlightened selfishness" in which nothing is allowed to stand between you and the kind of life your soul hungers to live.
And that's your birth chart.
Trust it; the symbols are Spirit's message to you. In the course of a lifetime, you'll make a billion choices. Any one of them could potentially hurt you terribly, sending you down a barren road. How can you steer a true course? The answer is so profound that it circles around and sounds trivial: listen to your heart, be true to your soul. Noble words and accurate ones, but tough to follow.
The Universe, in its primal intelligence, seems to understand that difficulty. It supplies us with many external supports: Inspiring religions and philosophies. Dear friends who hold the mirror of truth before us. Omens of a thousand kinds. And, above all, the sky itself, which weaves its cryptic message above each newborn infant.
In these pages, you've experienced one reading of that celestial message as it pertains to you. There are others. You may want to consider sitting with a real astrologer ... micro-chips are fine, but a human heart can still express nuances of meaning that no computer can grasp. You may want to order other reports, ones that illuminate your current astrological "weather," or that analyze important relationships. Best of all, you may choose to learn this ancient language yourself, and begin unraveling your own message in your own words.
Whatever your course, we thank you for your time and attention, and wish you grace for your journey.