by Steven Forrest
New this month! Listen to the audio version of this month's newsletter.
Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes
We are a little late on this one, but don’t worry – we haven’t missed the show! On April 28, 2017, the axis of the mean lunar nodes changed signs. The south node left Pisces, where it had been since October 9, 2015, and simultaneously entered Aquarius. (Remember that the mean nodes are always retrograde). That of course tells us that the other end of the axis – the north node – also changed signs. It left Virgo and crossed into Leo.
As usual, the nodes will remain in their new signs for about a year and a half. On November 15, 2018, they will cross over into Capricorn/Cancer.
The nodes are the royal road into understanding anyone’s karmic predicament, so this says a lot about the karma of the children currently being born. We’ve just birthed a crop of very Piscean kids, regardless of their actual sun signs. (We explored that in the November 2016 newsletter). Now we will have a crop of Aquarian ones. Just like the rest of us, each one of them will be dealing with these underlying karmic issues in their own way for the rest of their lives, hopefully working their way out of south node sink-holes into north node epiphanies and liberations.
The nodal shift also tells us something beyond the natures of the kids: it says a lot about the underlying karma of the present times. That “weather” affects everyone regardless of where the nodes were when they were born.
That’s what I want to explore in this newsletter.
Just a quick review for those of you who are new to this kind of astrology. The south node always has a troublesome dimension to it. It is not utterly “negative” across the board, but the central point with the south node is that it reflects unresolved issues, damage, and tragedy from prior life times – karma that has “ripened” in this lifetime and is thus surely going to manifest.
Meanwhile, the north node is always “the remedy.” That is, it represents the most efficient pathway toward the resolution of the karmic tangle.
That’s a lot of astrological theory in a few words. If you want to delve into it more deeply, have a look at my book, Yesterday’s Sky: The Astrology of Reincarnation. Or take a listen to one of my lectures on the nodes.
Before we reflect on the times we are entering, let’s take a peek in the rearview mirror. The south node entered Pisces in Fall 2015. We would expect the world’s karma to reflect the dark side of Pisces during this recent period. For starters, one of the classic “bad words” for Pisces is “drunkenness.” We can corroborate this straightforward piece of the puzzle very objectively. Fortune magazine for February 7, 2017 has a story headlined, “3 Signs the U.S. Liquor Business Had a Great 2016.” Liquor sales were up a hefty 4.5%.
And of course, it is a short step from “drunkenness” to thinking about drugs and the terrible opioid crisis sweeping America and much of the world.
Going deeper, why do people turn to alcohol and drugs? The answer is often that they are hurting or feeling stressed. But how much does something hurt? First you have to know about the person’s level of sensitivity. And, with all this Piscean karma ripening for the past year and a half, everyone’s sensitivities were exaggerated. No wonder booze, and heavier medicines, have been in high demand. Many of you have undoubtedly already thought about the current political situation, which I am sure has driven many people to have a second drink – or a third.
I don’t want to sound prim about alcohol or drugs. That would be hypocritical, at least about the alcohol. I’d not begrudge anyone the comfort of an evening cocktail, for example. But, as we all know, some people seem to think that if one cocktail helps a little . . . you know the rest. There is simple creature-comfort and there is flat-out escapism.
With the south node in Pisces, there has been a demonstrable epidemic of that escapism.
Escapism is not just about drink and drugs. People can escape from their pain by diving into work, into exercise, into pornography, into their cell phones and digital devices. The list of ways we can numb ourselves is long. People can also escape into fantasies – and they can mistake fantasies for reality. Hence the age-old correlation of dark Piscean energy with madness and delusion in all its myriad forms.
Pisces is “mystical” – a word that leads quickly to “religion.” And, being attentive here to the dark side, let’s think of bad religion. “I used to be screwed up on drugs. Now I am screwed up on (insert religion here).” Let’s stay safe and say, “Zoroastrianism.”
Judge for yourself, and take the word “religion” broadly: over the past couple of years, have you seen a pattern of people escaping from their pain by fleeing into delusional belief systems? Remember that those delusional belief systems are not just “religions” in the narrow sense. They include all “interpretations of reality,” including social, mythic, and political ones.
And what about this? Has the issue of actual madness and delusion at the level of leadership in society recently crossed your desk? And I am not only talking about America.
All this confusion, delusion, and drunken escapism reflects the south node in Pisces. We have all been impacted by it.
What has there been for us to learn? That question brings us to the Virgo north node, whose reign only ended a few weeks ago, on April 28.
In interpreting the north node, we always accentuate the positive. That’s where the “good medicine” lies. It is the inverse of why we need to pay attention to Shadow issues with the south node.
Perhaps the highest positive quality in Virgo is simply humility. None of us has all the answers. We are all works-in-progress and it behooves us to accept that reality. Paradoxically, even though there is a positive spiritual side to Pisces, it is important to remember that the dark side of the sign can unrealistically inflate the ego. We get various expressions of people “thinking they are Jesus.”
A little Virgoan humility can be a big help there!
Still thinking of the good medicine . . . Virgo, as an Earth sign, is also oriented to detail, to analyzing reality as it actually is – in a nutshell, to fact-checking. I almost laugh at the clear light astrology casts on the headlines sometimes! Could the world have benefitted from some more scrupulous Virgoan fact-checking over the past couple of years? “Fake news” has become a hot issue, and it is a totally Piscean concept: an example of a delusional reality. Our escapist attachment to deluded belief systems can only be cured by a daily dose of 2+2=4. There’s Virgo.
What’s the right medicine? Look it up before you post it to Facebook! Have we done that? No! I’ve failed a lot too – I don’t want to sound preachy here. But can you feel that gravitational tug of that fantasy world? Of being “drunk” on “alternate facts?” It has swept society over the past year and a half.
Virgo is the only medicine that can cure “Pisces-osis.”
The underlying point is that between October 2015 and April 2017, all of humanity has been experiencing the dangerous, “soul-cage” dimension of Piscean energy – and been afforded the evolutionary opportunity to correct it and heal with a healthy dose of Virgoan groundedness, humility, and an open-minded willingness to learn. As ever, some of us have learned the lesson. Some of us have not.
So what about now? The cosmic weather changed a few weeks ago. On April 28, our collective south node “dilemma” crossed into Aquarius, while the north node “cure” moved into Leo. We will be swimming in that fresh nodal energy until November 2018.
Let’s unpack it, starting with the south node. Aquarius, like the other eleven signs, is a Divine Principle – a glorious, luminous evolutionary path, leading eventually to full Enlightenment. But anything so bright casts a dark shadow, and that is what we need to consider here. High Aquarius is pure individuality – genuinely knowing one’s self and being true to one’s self, no matter what anyone says. But its dark side is cold. Take the phrase, “I don’t give a damn what you think,” and savor it for both its nobility and its horror. Is it about true freedom or just a hardened heart? Reflect on that question for a moment and you’ve got the full spectrum of Aquarius in your bones.
Here are some good archetypal words and phrases for Aquarius. As you read through them, try to let them have both “fronts” and “backs” – that is, high, positive meanings, and dark ones. The Outsider. The Rebel. The Alien. The Genius. The Revolutionary. The Troublemaker. The Voice Crying in the Wilderness. The Doubter.
Let me say the same thing in a totally different way.
I would be a terrible Emergency Medical Technician. I am too empathetic. I’d see somebody’s guts hanging out on the highway and I would be totally identified with their pain and horror. If they need to talk about it, I’m their man! But they don’t need to talk about it. What they need is a cool, calm, efficient, dissociated EMT who can pack their guts back where they belong as if they were as neutral as spilled spaghetti and then rush the person to the hospital. I don’t have enough Aquarius in me to do that. I’m not clear enough. My heart gets in the way.
There is the high and low of Aquarius.
Of course, by definition, with the south node transiting through Aquarius until near the end of 2018, we will be dealing with its darker manifestations. In a word, there is a chill in the air.
Cutting to the chase, watch out for this phenomenon in your own consciousness:
Not giving a damn as the rest of the world goes to hell.
Coldness. Detachment. Dissociation. And a feeling of being “apart from it all.” Of not caring. Of taking refuge in abstractions and rationalizations – and remember Aquarius is an Air sign, living in a mental world. That’s not a bad thing, but, like everything else, it has a dark side. Life is not an idea. Humans have hearts as well as minds. And nerve endings.
Going deeper, Aquarius is related to trauma and shock. If someone receives a bad existential blow or some unthinkably nightmarish news, you know how he or she might typically react. “No! I can’t believe it. It can’t be true. You are wrong.”
Detachment. Distance. Denial. The mind defends itself against the unthinkable reality. In World War One, they called it “shell shock.” In World War Two, they called it “the thousand-yard stare.” More recently, it has become known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
There has been no shortage of nightmares in human history. In prior lives, we have all experienced dreadful things. With the south node transiting through Aquarius, that collective shock-karma is ripening too. Depending on our individual soul histories, some of us will be more reactive than others to this energy. If your natal south node looks very traumatized, then the time between now and late 2018 is going to bring a lot of that deep ancient woundedness to the surface. Again, if you want to learn how to recognize that signature in a chart, have a look at Yesterday’s Sky.
But we will all feel it to some degree.
This insight adds compassion to the mix. Here’s how: Imagine that you tell someone you are upset because you just lost your job. He just sits there, unreactive and not seeming to care at all. Naturally you feel hurt and angry at his “insensitivity.”
Then someone tells you that this man just learned ten minutes ago that his son had been killed in a motorcycle accident.
See how that completely transforms your attitude? That’s what I mean by adding compassion to the mix. Compassion arises naturally when we understand that unresolved trauma is the true source of the perceived “coldness.” It is comforting, and also spiritually helpful, to remember this. I am trying to remind myself of it, to be honest. I see so many terrible things happening in the world. I see monsters and scoundrels running amuck, triumphing. And I see people sitting back, letting it happen. I want to shout at them. Wake up! Resist! Protest! Turn off your television! Get out on the streets and scream your head off!
And that’s like me standing in judgment of the man who just lost his son. He is shell-shocked, that’s all. Karmically, the present world-horror is triggering collective memories of the unresolved previous horrors. Some people are so wounded that they can only stand back and stare as the fires burn and the wounds bleed out.
What is the cure? The north node is in Leo and that is where the evolutionary magic lies. In response to what I’ve just written here,
I want to look at the Leo cure on two levels.
First, as we have just seen, there are souls who will experience a flux of dissociative energy as the south node passes through Aquarius. How can they heal and thus create the conditions in themselves which might eventually allow them to participate lovingly and openly again in the human race? Here’s a core Leo answer: tell them to have some fun. I know how shallow that sounds. But joy is one cure for pain. Finding joy after Aquarian trauma is fundamental to the deeper meaning of the Leo path. It is an honorable, necessary step.
So is creativity in the broadest sense. Any kind of self-expression is an efficient Leonine healing vector for Aquarian PTSD. Call it “art therapy” if you want, although I would want to define “art” as broadly as possible. Gardening is art. Painting the walls of your house is art. Even getting dressed up and going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant can have, at least, a certain “art” to it. It is all about taking the risk of self-expression and about trusting life enough to risk being vulnerable.
Secondly, remember that Leo is the Lion. With the north node in Leo, it is time to roar. It is time to feel your power and to express it. In the famous words of Marianne Williamson, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” In this case, I will quibble with Marianne a bit. As we have seen, with the south node passing through Aquarius, old traumas that led to cold distance and dissociation are surfacing in the collective. Those traumas did in fact infect us with a sense of defeat and powerlessness. We probably came to those wounds via genuine tragedy. And just as with the man who lost his son, we must honor the pain. We must honor the wound.
But we must also resolve collectively not to be defined by that wound forever. From this day forward, we will not be cowed into distance and silence.
Again, it is time to roar like lions. To celebrate life. And to never, never, never give up.
- Steven Forrest
Get Our Newsletter delivered to your inbox every month!
Recordings that Feature the Nodes
In this live web simulcast of his weekend workshop, Steven presents the core of any astrological timing reading: transits. Working with transits involves understanding how to blend the archetypal dynamics of the changing sky with the dynamic evolving story emerging from the birth chart. As the planets change positions every day, they form new peaks and valleys, high points and low points, in an ever-changing dynamic interplay that compels us to grow and change in response. We can choose to work with this energy consciously, intentionally. Or we can stick our heads in the sand, simply reacting to whatever gets thrown our way.
New Audio Download: When Planets Hit the Ascendant
When the Ascendant is stimulated you’ll be making big, binding decisions without much information. In this lecture, Steven explains a solid approach to navigating this energy. Includes discussion about how activity to the Ascedant relates to it's position following the 12th house, Saturn and Jupiter crossing the Ascendant (does not include descriptions of every planet placement).
$15| 90 min. | mp3 audio download | Includes handout
Venus Out of Bounds Webinar
I'm just back from the ISAR conference in Costa Mesa, CA where I shared my out of bounds research publicly for the first time. The interest was high and I was really pleased with the turnout. And here's some fun synchronicity: Mars was out of bounds at the time which correlates with firsts.
Mars went back "in bounds" on Oct. 30. But just a few days before, Venus went out of bounds. And by "chance" - I scheduled my first webinar on Venus out of bounds for November 19 - during the transit of Venus out of bounds!
During this webinar we look at the charts of several well known people with natal Venus out of bounds to reveal some of the patterns that emerge. There are a multitude of expressions for this placement, and we'll have time to see several in detail. You'll get a feel for some of the high expressions as well as the challenges with this placement.
Hope enjoy the webinar,
East Coast Events for Apprentice Certification Credit
Did you know that you can now get apprentice program credit for Steven in-person workshops on the East Coast? Yep! You get AP credit for attending both the Omega Institute and Lilydale weekend workshops.