Sample Sky Within Report

Bruce SpringsteenThe Sky Within Sample Report
birth chart analysis for Bruce Springsteen
Sep. 23, 1949, 10:50:00 PM EDT +04:00, Freehold, NJ, 074W16'00" 40N15'00"
(Source: AstroDataBank, Rodden data classification A)

Planets within 1.5 degree orbs 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 1985-2000 Matrix Software. Report text copyright 1985 Steven Forrest. Click here to order your own Sky Within Report)


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 Libra.
Perfect equilibrium. That's the spirit of the Scales. When Libra realizes its evolutionary aim, the nervous system is as still as a dark pool on a windless summer evening. Outwardly, Libran energy often looks as though it's already there: it seems graceful and balanced, even unflappable. Inwardly, it's another story: the Libran part of you is tuned as tight as the high string on a violin. Spirit gave you some advice back before you were born: don't pluck it. And don't let anyone else pluck it either.
Inevitably, with your terrific sensitivity, you'll get rattled from time to time. What can you do about it? Watch a ballet, or any other beautiful thing. The outer harmony will internalize; you'll sigh, releasing tension. That's the Libran evolutionary strategy in a nutshell: flood your senses with perceptions of beauty. It will soothe you, lifting you closer to the unbreakable serenity which is the true goal of this sign of the zodiac.

With your Sun in Libra, on the deepest level of your character you are an artist. If you look like one outwardly, painting or playing an instrument, so much the better. Even if you don't, your essence is still charged with aesthetic sensitivity. Cultivate it, and you'll feel as though you've come into yourself.

You were born with an instinctive tolerance for paradox. Everything has two sides, and you'll almost always consider both. This gives great clarity of mind, but also presents a problem. Be careful you don't get caught between two equally attractive or (unattractive!) possibilities and just freeze there. Life will crystallize around you again and again in that form: you'll be faced with a parade of morally or practically ambiguous situations. You'll understand them far better than your more dogmatic friends. The question is whether you'll be able to make a choice and get on with your life, burning bridges behind you.

We can take our analysis of your natal Sun a step further. When you were born, that solar light illuminated the Fifth 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.

Pleasure -- that's Fifth House territory. It's as though God marched you off the end of the cosmic diving board with the words, "Go down there and try to have a good time!" That sounds pretty lightweight, but think about it: feeling good in this world isn't so easy! We've got global pollution, schizophrenics with AK-47s, ego-maniacs with nuclear warheads... not to mention disease, taxes, mosquitos, cars that won't start....

How do we feel real pleasure here on planet Earth? Alone, the "pleasures of the flesh" can't cut the mustard; money, alcohol, orgasms -- they help, but they're not enough... just look at the usual life-expectancy of a "purely physical relationship." Where to turn? To the pleasures of the mind, the heart, the soul! The joy of learning. The spiritual high of athletic excellence. The bliss of meditation. And, perhaps above all, the sheer pleasure of creative self-expression. Astrological force is focused here in your birthchart. It offers joy -- and warns of the addictions that can overcome you if you miss that joy, or seek it all in one place.

With the Sun in the Fifth House, you're full of charisma and creative drive. Express those qualities, cultivate them, and you'll feel right on target. You're also learning some complicated lessons about the human need for peak experiences. Old-fashioned astrologers would say that you tend toward excesses. That can be true, but those kinds of problems -- with food, drugs, sex, whatever -- arise only when you've forgotten to fully enjoy the bliss of your enormous creative energies.

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 Libra.
As we saw earlier, Libra is the Artist. Superficially, it represents grace, diplomacy, and aesthetic sensitivity. More deeply, it symbolizes a set of evolutionary steps leading to the development of unflappable inner harmony.

With your Moon in Libra, you have the heart of an artist. You can get a tear in your eye watching a beautiful sunset. You feed your spirit whenever you experience harmony -- among colors, sounds, shapes, words. But also between people. Instinctively you reach out to others, attempt to create linkages and understandings. You have the soul of a diplomat or a counselor. Empathy -- the ability to stand in the other person's shoes -- is one of your greatest strengths. But be careful of your talent for creating the illusion of harmony when none is really there. A pitfall for you, in a word, is hypocrisy... the kind that comes, not from malice, but from the urge not to give offense. Some of your hardest emotional lessons revolve around realizing that gentleness and understanding, when overdone, can lead to the most brutal kind of conflict: the kind that's been put off too long.

Still, to be comfortable you need to surround yourself with people who are sensitive to the loveliness and grace of life, and with whom you can celebrate it.
Going farther, we see that your Moon lies in the Fifth house of your chart.
As we saw earlier, the Fifth House represents the field of experience in which you are challenged to keep in touch with the essential joys of life. That process involves pleasures -- but also keeps your balance in the face of temptation!

With the Moon in the Fifth House, there's clearly a playful streak in your character, a desire to express yourself whimsically and creatively. Trouble is, it's fairly easily abashed. Your evolutionary challenge is to keep that "child within" alive and confident, despite the wounds of life's early years. You have a terrific imagination. You can build inner worlds before breakfast. Make sure you enjoy the bliss of expressing that fantasy-life. If you don't, you'll try to make up the pleasure deficit in less healthy ways: stupid self-indulgences, typically with food or sex.

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, Gemini was lifting over the eastern horizon of Freehold, NJ. Let's begin our analysis by considering the meaning and spiritual message of the sign of "The Storyteller".

Wonder, amazement, astonishment, a sense of the miraculous -- those states of consciousness are the best of what Gemini symbolizes. Although this is an Air sign and therefore rather mental in its orientation, the Twins represent something more primal than thinking. They represent perception itself: all the raw, undigested stuff that pours in through our senses. Thinking too much about that material removes us from its immediate, moment-to-moment reality. We start to inhabit theories instead of the actual world of perception. "Authority" creeps in. So does "rightness." And "mental clarity." And the Twins wither. Nourish your Geminian energies with an endless diet of newness and change. They're hungry for anything they've not seen or felt before. Feed them! Give them conversation, books, travel, education... anything but boredom.

With Gemini rising, your outward style is quick and alert, hungry for input. You have a sharp wit and a mind that's faster than Ma Bell's switchboard. For most of your life, people will tend to underestimate your age... the reason being that we tend to associate curiosity and energy with youth! You have plenty of both, and that'll be just as true on your ninety-seventh birthday. To feel centered, you need to flood your senses with torrents of new information. You can do that by traveling, or by reading, or by pursuing education. One of your favorite methods is to talk with interesting people... just make sure you listen too.

Cultivate patience; the world is full of folks who are full of fascinating insights and experiences, but most of them pace their lives -- and minds -- more slowly than yours. You'll need to slow down a bit to synchronize enough with them for the data exchange to take place.

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 Libra with the Moon in Libra and Gemini 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 Artist", or "The Diplomat", or "The Lover". Those are just different ways of saying you have the Sun in Libra.
We can say you have the soul of "The Artist", or "The Diplomat", or "The Lover"... your Moon lies in Libra, in other words.
We can add that you wear the mask of "The Storyteller", or "The Journalist", or "The Witness". Those images capture the spirit of your Ascendant, which is Gemini.
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. Uranus lies in your First House, a part of the chart which is really just an extension of the Ascendant. Thus, Uranus adds yet another tone to your "mask," modifying and deepening some of what we've already seen.

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 Cancer, the process of individuation for you is tied up with the Path of the Inner Eye. That is to say, you strengthen and clarify your own Uranian identity through two kinds of exploration. One is the stimulation and investigation of your own fertile creative imagination. The other revolves around a sensitive, probing consideration of the way the "myth" of your family has shaped -- and limited -- the development of your character.

At your birth, Uranus was about to rise -- that is, it lies in the First House of your birthchart. This is a pivotal position for any planet, and with Uranus here your whole character and destiny ultimately revolve around one question: Can you break free of your social and cultural conditioning enough to realize that deep inside you there burns the spark of something which has never before existed? To put it a bit more prosaically, do you have enough chutzpah to tolerate people thinking you're a little weird? There is an element of "genius" -- that is, radical individuality -- in you. Manifest it, or you'll simply dissipate that energy in quirkish eccentricity or irresponsibility.
The lunar dimensions of your astrological signature are deepened by planetary overtones. At the instant your independent physical life began, the planet Mercury was conjunct the Moon -- aligned with it, in other words. As a result, we cannot discuss your emotions and instincts without including the notion that your Soul is charged with the spirit of Mercury, as though that ancient "god" lived inside you.

Our first step, of course, is to get aquainted with this new element in the puzzle.
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 balanced in Libra. That combination links your mental functions to the evenhanded, aesthetic logic of the Scales. Reflexively, your intelligence seeks out both sides of every question, drawn always to the idea that paradox is woven into the fabric of reality. Your mind works like a poet's, sensing that without beauty, words lose some of their truth. Spiritually you are learning about diplomacy in speech -- and perhaps about the pitfall of letting kindness blur the truth.

With the traditional "Messenger of the Gods" occupying your Fifth House, your intelligence is naturally, colorfully, self-expressive. You enjoy repartee with quick-witted raconteurs, whether they're sitting across the table from you or floating off the printed page. Make sure you don't miss the bliss of pushing your intelligence towards its limits, or else all that energy will dissipate in a blither of vacuous words.

Sometimes a planet gains prominence in a birthchart simply by sharing a House with the Sun. That's the case with you. Neptune is bathing in solar light, occupying the Fifth House along with our central star.

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 Libra. Thus, to trigger higher states of consciousness in yourself and to stimulate your psychic development, you may choose to follow the Path of the Lover... that is consciously, intentionally to seek life partners who'll hold the mirror of the soul before you. Without the purifying, soul-bleaching effects of dialog with these soulmates, you tend to drift away from Spirit, losing yourself in the mazes of daily life. But remember: finding them usually isn't the challenge. The challenge lies in hanging in there with them, listening and learning, even when you don't like what's reflected in the "soul mirror."

Neptune, planet of transcendence, occupies the Fifth House of your birthchart, where its mystical feelings are linked to your creativity and playfulness. A basic "yoga" you need to practice in this lifetime lies in experiencing the "creative trance" -- that curious state all artists know in which the conscious mind simply gets out of the way and allows the unconscious to speak. By allowing yourself to receive creative inspiration, you establish rapport with the secret realms of your own soul... and more than artistic imagery will flow up that road. Spiritual illumination will too.

Your birthchart displays another area of heightened activity: the Third House. The reason for that is simple -- there's a lot of planetary activity. With Mars and Pluto in that area of your life, it is charged with activity, soul lessons, and opportunities for personal development. Before we even consider the planets separately, our first step is to explore this piece of existential real estate in broad terms.

Learning to see what's before your eyes -- that's Third House territory. Traditionally, this is the House of Communication. Perception might be a better word. The words on this page are "communicating" with you. But so does the blueness of the sky and the warmth of a friend's touch. Through your perceptions, the universe floods you with a continuous storm of raw information. Trouble is, we tend to miss most of it. How? By filtering it through the thick mesh of our preconceived notions and pet theories, often symbolized astrologically by whatever planets lie in this part of the birthchart.

The evolutionary question you're facing in this House is simple... to say. Can you keep a radically open mind? Can you really see what is before your eyes? Can you bleach your senses as clean as buffalo bones in the desert?

Spirit has given you intelligence and a capacity to communicate. It's given you curiosity. The discipline here is talking -- and listening. Experiencing -- and digesting. Understanding -- and endlessly questioning your understanding.

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 glitters in Leo, where it glows with power and charisma. Once your enthusiasm is ignited, people tend to line up behind you. They believe you, trust you. The archetype of the Warrior King (or Queen!), full of dignity and righteous authority, plays a basic role in your psychic makeup. Spiritually you are learning about the humility and sensitivity that must temper the weight of the crown.

With Mars occupying your Third House, the War-God sits on the tip of your tongue. Your speech tends to be direct, effective, and brusque. Reflexively, you satirize, even tease. It's rare that you'll be in a logical argument that you lose -- even when you're wrong! Be careful that in your sincere search for truth, you don't put people off with overly dramatic one-liners. After all, this is your life, not an Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton outing.

"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 Leo. Thus the shadow material you are called upon to face has to do with the dark side of the Performer archetype: an obsession with being noticed. In what part of your life or personal history have you chosen style over substance, glitz over moral excellence? (If your answer is "Nowhere!" then congratulations... you're Enlightened... or not looking hard enough.)

At the moment of your birth, Pluto stood in the Third House... the part of the birthchart that addresses questions of perception. Spirit has blessed you with the sharp, penetrating eye of the truth-seer. To create a sense of meaning in your life, you need to accept your role as Teacher... and that doesn't mean Preacher! Your task is not so much to answer questions as to raise them. Where there are lies agreed upon, such as racial or gender prejudices, you have the skills -- and bear the burden -- of the truth-sayer.

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.
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 indefatigable, insatiable terrain of Virgo 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 Virgin's shadow side: worry and self-doubt. Will yourself toward accomplishment, but temper that journey with self-forgiveness and periods of respite. That's particularly pertinent in regard to the affairs of Saturn's House in your birthchart. Which House was that?

The Fourth! The arena of life where we encounter the primal roots of our personhood -- our family, our homeland, and most significantly, our "personal myth." With Saturn here, digging for those roots is a labor that calls for sustained effort, not to mention considerable moral courage. The journey may involve psychotherapy or even something akin to detective work regarding your early life. When you arrive at your own center, what you will find there is a Survivor--a wise one.
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 Scorpio. Thus, both your aesthetic sensitivity and your taste in partners is shaped by the probing, digging spirit of the Scorpion. In the realm of beauty, whether natural or wrought by human hands, you have a taste for passion, for intensity, for a willingness to unsettle people. The same goes for friends and sexual partners -- you appreciate individuals who look you right in the eye and tell the truth, ones who are not overly concerned with politeness. Your sexuality is intense, but you're most peaceful when facing the journey with one special partner who renews the vow between you every time your eyes meet.

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.

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 Capricorn. 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 Builder. Joy, for you, lies in the hard-won victory, the goal reached, the pinnacle attained. When you're sad, create a triumph for yourself -- that's the only cure. The triumph may be huge -- like getting your Ph.D. -- or it may be a little, daily thing, like actuallly getting around to cleaning out the closet.

In your chart, the "King of the Gods" reigns in the Eighth House -- traditionally the "House of Death," although mating and sexuality are actually more central to the symbolism. To maintain your faith in life, you must seek a living sexual bond, full of eye-contact and soul-contact, with an open, enthusiastic partner. If you lack such a connection in your life, then it's especially critical that you contact the primal forces of nature in other ways. Walk in the wind. Meditate on a mountaintop at midnight. Stand on a dune with your heart open to the gale-driven waves.

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 Libra, the sign of the Diplomat. Anyone looking into your eyes as you took your first breath would have observed the result of lifetimes spent learning the virtues of true courtesy: sensitivity towards the feelings and values of others, an ability to adjust your behavior to fit another's needs and fears. In previous incarnations you've had experiences which bring to mind that old joke about how one properly addresses a five-hundred-pound gorilla -- Call him "sir!" Now, like an obsequious houseslave who's just been freed, you must learn a new lesson: how to claim your own rights, experiences, and nature.

That nascent ability to claim what's yours is symbolized by your North Node of the Moon, which lies in Aries -- the sign of the Warrior. 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 Arian spiritual work? The "yoga" is easy to say, harder to do: you must overcome your peaceful instincts and consciously seek stress... that is, you need to intentionally place yourself in situations where forcefulness, energy, and inner fire are methods of survival -- perhaps the only methods.

There's another piece to the puzzle: The Moon's South Node falls in the Fifth House of your chart. This implies that previous to this lifetime you lived out the notion that "the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." There has developed in your spirit a spontaneous immediacy... creative and joyful, but vulnerable to the life-derailing effects of whimsy and self-indulgence.

In this lifetime, with your North Node of the Moon in the Eleventh House, you must act to counterbalance those whimsical, self-indulgent 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 take authority over the shape of your own life, establishing your own goals and priorities, determining in advance what kind of elderly person you'll become. Finish what you start!

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.

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