THE SKY WITHIN
Report for Diana, Princess of Wales
An Interpretation of Your Birth Chart
This sample report compliments of:
Evolving Door Astrology
Wendy Guy, Astrological Counsellor
The Sky Within
Diana, Princess of Wales
Jul 01, 1961
07:45:00 PM GMD -01:00
Sun in Cancer, at 09° 40', in the seventh house.
Moon in Aquarius, at 25° 15', in the second house.
Mercury in Cancer, at 03° 12', in the seventh house.
Venus in Taurus, at 24° 24', in the fifth house.
Mars in Virgo, at 01° 39', in the eighth house.
Jupiter in Aquarius, at 05° 06', in the second house.
Saturn in Capricorn, at 27° 49', in the first house.
Uranus in Leo, at 23° 20', in the eighth house.
Neptune in Scorpio, at 08° 38', in the tenth house.
Pluto in Virgo, at 06° 03', in the eighth house.
Midheaven in Libra, at 23° 03'.
Ascendant in Sagittarius, at 18° 37'.
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 1985-2003 Matrix Software, Inc.
THE SKY WITHIN
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 Cancer.
Opening the inner eye, mapping the topography of consciousness, learning to express compassion -- these are Cancer's evolutionary aims. To assist in that work, Cosmic Intelligence has cranked up the volume on the Crab's ability to feel. No other sign is so sensitive -- nor so vulnerable. A certain amount of self-defense is appropriate here; after all, this world isn't exactly the Garden of Eden. Trouble is, legitimate self-defense can degenerate into shyness or a fear of making changes. You really do care about the hurts that other beings suffer. That's good news. You also have an instinctive ability to soothe those hurts, homing in on the source of the pain. More good news. The bad news is that you could choose to remain forever protected within the safe (and invisible!) role of the Healer, the Counselor, or the Wise One.
With the Sun in Cancer, you feed your solar vitality by finding a role in the world in which you address the hurt in the lives of other beings. You become a nurturer or a healer of some sort.
You also need to make sure that you have enough real intimacy and quiet, private time to "nurture the nurturer" -- yourself, in other words.
Those methods strengthen your sense of identity. They trigger higher states of awareness in you. If you don't express your soothing wound-binding instincts, all the glories of the world would leave you feeling like an imposter in your own life. And without quiet time and naked intimate honesty, you'll quickly burn out on playing the role of everyone's psychotherapist.
Like the crab, you're a vulnerable creature who's evolved a shell. That's fine and necessary. But again like the crab, you must eventually shed your shell and grow a larger, more inclusive one, or you'll be awfully cramped.
We can take our analysis of your natal Sun a step further. When you were born, that solar light illuminated the Seventh 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.
One thing about love -- there's no way to learn much about it without some help! The Seventh House, traditionally the House of Marriage, is the part of your birthchart where you encounter the people who'll provide your deepest insights into intimacy. But that's not a code word for sex! For that reason, "Marriage" is a misleading title for this House. You can have intimacy without erotic or romantic feelings.
There are two parts to understanding the Seventh House. The first is that whatever energies you have in this part of your birthchart represent lessons you're learning about empathy, trust, and commitment. The second is that those same planetary energies describe the people who'll provide the lessons. They may be mates or lovers. They may be best friends. They may be colleagues or business associates. They may even be "worthy opponents."
With the Sun in the Seventh House, you're "majoring in relationships." Regardless how independent your nature may be, there's still an element of interdependency in the shape of your experience: you're always meeting remarkable people who alter your course through life. Often, they're very different from you... in fact, the more you evolve, the wider the interpersonal abyss you'll be challenged to bridge. You've been given a high level of empathy; you can put yourself in other people's shoes. Many fine counselors have this Sun position. Still, everything depends on you learning to compromise your idiosyncrasies without ever making the mistake of compromising your essence.
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 Aquarius.
Aquarius is the sign of geniuses -- and criminals. It represents Individuation, which is a five-dollar word meaning the process of being yourself. Set against your individuation are all the social forces of conformity. Buy a necktie! Shave your legs! Get hungry at noon! Outwardly, they show up as peer pressures. Inwardly, those forces are more subtle but even more formidable: all the internalized scripts that go with having once been a very little kid learning how to be human from mom, dad, and the television set.
The Aquarian part of you is odd somehow. It doesn't fit into the social environment, at least not without betraying itself. In this part of your life, the more centered you get, the weirder you'll seem -- to Ann Landers and her crowd. Go for it, and pay the price of alienation or ostracism. It's high... but not as high as the price of living a life that's not your own.
With the Moon in Aquarius, your feelings "don't work right" -- that, at least, will often be the consensus among your self-appointed psychotherapists, employment counselors, and sundry gurus. There are times when you'll be under a lot of social pressure to feel happy -- and you'll be sad. Other times, you'll be pressured to mourn -- and you'll feel release. Or jealous -- and you'll be secure. Or enraged -- and you'll be accepting. It's enough to make a person feel crazy. Avoid that too; it's just another one of the social scripts you're learning to break. From an evolutionary viewpoint, you are developing the ability to be true to your own instincts about what's going on inside you... and to avoid what for you would be the deadening emptiness of conventional "normalcy."
The people who make you feel most comfortable are outsiders, the ones who don't fit any social mold very tightly. Spend time with them; they feed your spirit.
Going farther, we see that your Moon lies in the Second house of your chart.
Traditionally, the Second House is the House of Money. That's true, but the issues here are much broader. This is the House of Resources, and resources aren't always financial. If you're lost in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, at two in the morning, you'll probably feel pretty insecure. If you have a thousand dollars in your pocket, that'll help; you'll feel more legitimate. The money is a resource, and it produces the classic Second House effect: helping you feel more confident. But speaking fluent Serbo-Croatian would do the same; knowing the language is a terrific resource, even though no one will give you a nickel for it.
Your Second House energies feel awkward, as if everyone is staring at them. Dignity and self-esteem are the issues here. The solution isn't some "We all God's chillin'" formula for uncritical self-love. Instead, it's a process of recognizing your deficiencies objectively and seeking to correct them: proving yourself to yourself, in other words.
With the Moon in the Second House, feeling confidence in yourself does not come automatically; you've had to work at it. How? A lot depends on what we just learned a few seconds ago -- the activities connected with the sign your Moon occupies play a terrific role in helping you feel worthy of the good things in life. Add to that formula the classic lunar strategy: nurturing. If you find something -- a person, an animal, an institution -- that's wounded in some way and you manage to bring it back from the brink of disaster, you're feeding your Moon and thereby deepening your elemental dignity. The pitfall, of course, lies in not letting go of the thing you're healing even after it's well. Avoid that, and you'll be fine.
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 Sandringham, England. 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 Cancer with the Moon in Aquarius 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 Healer", or "The Wise One", or "The Invisible One". Those are just different ways of saying you have the Sun in Cancer.
We can say you have the soul of "The Genius", or "The Truth-Sayer", or "The Exile"... your Moon lies in Aquarius, 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. Saturn lies in your First House, a part of the chart which is really just an extension of the Ascendant. Thus, Saturn adds yet another tone to your "mask," modifying and deepening some of what we've already seen.
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 savvy, ambitious terrain of Capricorn 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 Sea-Goat's shadow side: self-mechanization, and self-imposed emotional exile. Will yourself toward joy! Learn the discipline of spontaneity! 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 First! The arena of life where you are asked to create the character you'll play 'til the end, and upon whose successes your spiritual fate hinges. With Saturn here, you radiate a quality of competence, perhaps even an intimidating seriousness, into the social world. More importantly you strengthen your sense of yourself in one fundamental way: through the accomplishment of great undertakings. For you, everything depends ultimately upon commitment, and the day-to-day self-discipline that brings those commitments to fruition.
Your own birthchart is complicated by the fact that, at your birth, Mercury 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 Mercury."
What can that mean? Start by understanding the significance of the planet.
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 marinating in the depths of Cancer. That combination links your mental functions with the dreamy creativity and compassion of the Healer archetype. Your voice is soothing, your mind full of sensitivity and subjectivity. Spiritually you are learning a lot about the risks -- and the absolute necessity -- of emotional self-expression.
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!
While a fairly large number of people have Mercury 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.
A planet can gain authority by sharing a House with the Moon. We find that situation in your chart. Jupiter is bathing in moonlight, occupying the Second House along with Luna.
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 Aquarius. 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 Genius. That is, be independent! Break some rules! Annoy a figure of authority! The underlying story here is that, nine times in ten, if you're sad it's because you've allowed yourself to buy into somebody else's picture of what ought to make you happy... and for you, that'll never work.
In your chart, the "King of the Gods" reigns in the Second House -- traditionally the "House of Money." In the old days, that meant you'd be rich. Even now, it generally correlates with at least a subjective experience of abundance. Spiritually, though, the meaning is far deeper. You have many lessons to learn about appropriate self-love: how to care for yourself, to celebrate yourself, to invest generously in yourself, and then how to reward yourself for your victories.
Your birthchart displays another area of heightened activity: the Eighth House. The reason for that is simple -- there's a lot of planetary activity. With Mars, Uranus 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.
In the Eighth House you experience three basic human instincts in a radically heightened way. The first instinct is sexual -- not simply having intercourse, but also allowing yourself to bond fully with a partner, letting the primal sexual "program" in your deep psyche manifest, riding the roller coaster, trusting it, even though no˙one can completely understand it.
Death is the second Eighth House instinct. Again, we let ourselves flow with something deep within us, learning consciously something that our cells know automatically -- that death, like sex, is just another biological roller coaster, spooky maybe, but worthy of trust... which leads directly to the third instinct: our sense of immortality. Something deep and trans-rational in us knows there is a realm beyond death. Life has an "occult" dimension -- that is, a hidden one. Without an acceptance of that intuitive feeling, we live forever under a shadow of futility and foreboding.
You have lessons here. Let's consider them.
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 steaming in the searching, questioning, restless field of energy we call Virgo. The Warrior inside you is bent on one target: seeking out flaws, weaknesses, errors. Like a magnetic compass, you unerringly home in on the fracture zones in any monolith -- be it an argument, an idea, a strategy... or a person. Spiritually you're learning two lessons here. One is how to be scrupulously honest in naming problems. The other, which makes the first endurable, is forgiveness.
With the War-God occupying your Eighth House, the archetype of the dark-eyed Mexican Dancer -- moody, passionate, explosive -- figures vividly in your psychological make-up. From an evolutionary perspective, you are developing the courage to deal honestly and effectively with the most basic hungers in your spirit. Sexually, the only kind of partner who'll hold your attention for long is one with whom there is a real exchange of life-force... that is, lots of eye contact, plenty of emotional nakedness, and a spirit of endless risk.
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 Leo, the process of individuation for you is tied up with the Path of the Performer. That is to say, you strengthen and clarify your own Uranian identity through cultivating and polishing your innate capacity for creative self-expression -- and without that outlet, you're likely to clog up your life with unnecessary bombast and drama. Consciously chosen forays into the realm of performance, such as theater, music, or even the pursuit of athletic excellence, 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 Death -- that's the old name for the Eighth House, where your Uranus lies. The issues are broader; not just death, but the whole realm of instinct, and most especially, your sexuality. Uranus is your Teacher here and the lessons can be summarized this way: sexuality plays a pivotal role, positively or negatively, in your spiritual journey. To be true to yourself in that department, you must break some cultural taboos. One piece of that puzzle is that your natural sexual soulmates are probably not quite the folks mom and dad had in mind for you...
"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 Virgo. Thus the shadow material you are called upon to face has to do with the dark side of the Perfectionist archetype: surrendering to cynicism and defeat. In what part of your life or personal history have you chosen to take refuge in bitterness over the pain of continuing your journey? (If your 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.
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.
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 Fifth House, there's an aura of convivial refinement that radiates from you in any social situation. You have the delightful capacity of helping people feel good about themselves, and therefore more spontaneous, natural, and forthcoming. It's deeply important that you find some kind of avenue for the expression of your considerable aesthetic sensibilities -- dancing, playing the flute, painting.
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 Scorpio. Thus, to trigger higher states of consciousness in yourself and to stimulate your psychic development, you may choose to follow the Path of the Sorcerer... that is consciously, intentionally to seek access to the power aspects of the Great Mystery, perhaps through the mastery of healing techniques, or a study of shamanistic traditions, or the use of divinatory methods such as astrology or the tarot cards. Without exposure to the purifying, soul-bleaching effects of what we could broadly call "magic," you tend to drift away from Spirit, losing yourself in the mazes of daily life.
Neptune, planet of transcendence, occupies the Tenth House of your birthchart, where its mystical feelings are linked to questions of your status in the world and to larger issues of destiny and purpose in your life. To become the kind of person who can fulfill the outer purpose for which you were created, you must first turn your back on the attractions of status. Why? Because your destiny, if you choose to accept it, is to function as a kind of spiritual inspiration for your community... and there's no way to fill those shoes if you're still attached to looking important!
Your Lunar Nodes
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 Aquarius, the sign of the Exile. Anyone looking into your eyes as you took your first breath would have observed the results of lifetimes spent out of kilter with the dominant myths of whatever culture you were living in: independence, detachment, eccentricity -- and a near defensive quickness in justifying those qualities. In previous incarnations, you've had experiences in which you were sustained by little more than a stubborn indifference to public opinion -- that, or a capacity to keep strategic silence. Now, like the prodigal son, you must learn new lessons: trust, an easy bonhomie with the human family, an expectation of love.
That nascent ability to feel at ease with others is symbolized by your North Node of the Moon, which lies in Leo -- the sign of the Performer. 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. How can you accomplish this Leonine spiritual work? The "yoga" is easy to say, harder to do: you must overcome the myth of the Exiled Genius inside yourself, release your attachment to the idea that no one understands you, and begin offering your gift to the world. Help yourself by cultivating polished crowd-conscious creative talents. This is the "wrapping" which will give others enthusiasm for the unexpected, sometimes shocking, wisdom you bring.
There's another piece to the puzzle: The Moon's South Node falls in the Second House of your chart. This implies that previous to this lifetime you sometimes held yourself back too much, questioning your readiness to act. In some ways, your cautious self-assessments were accurate, but their price was that life slipped by you. Missed opportunities have left a scar on your spirit, and you must learn to adopt a more spirited engagement with life this time around.
In this lifetime, with your North Node of the Moon in the Eighth House, you must act to counterbalance some of that old hesitancy... not so much because caution is "wrong," but because you've already learned everything you can from it. The time has come for you to concentrate on feeling your own power... and feeling the mysterious powers which seem to come to the assistance of those who are willing to "seize the moment." You're getting more in touch with a steamy, sexual, impassioned aspect of your character, one that's in deep harmony with the Life Force itself.
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.