Saturday, August 15, 2009

North Node Astrology Book Review



“The question after all is said and done is just how accurate and satisfying is the North Node section of the book…when I finally read my own North Node analysis, I was happily impressed by the accuracy of its description. For me, it was a true mirror of my past and current life and spoke to me of the transition I find myself in now. I actually brought the book in to discuss with my therapist.”

(Wow…thanks Jeff…I’m impressed by your personal self-disclosure there!)

He goes on to say: “The author studied astrology for the past 40 years but only in the past 15 became fascinated with the North and South Nodes. For her they have provided a reminder of the negative core beliefs that had previously kept her out of alignment, disembodied and not authentically herself. Each of us is a wounded healer, a “Chiron” that knows the best medicine that cures. She calls it the North Node.”

(That’s true. There’s a lot of my self-disclosure and a bit of raw edginess that permeates the book. The next book—South Node Astrology-- and the new blog-ing posts will focus on the South Node, because the Nodes are on an axis that truly can’t be separated. The South Node will bring up the huge importance of how our “emotional memory” of love --both from this life and previous lives as shown on the birth chart-- both saves and ‘sabotages’ us.)


He continues to say: “Looking at life symbolically invites magic and synchronicity, disturbs the status quo, and renews a sense of faith and trust because you begin to see how your personal life story synchronizes with patterns that are larger than you and touch your connectedness to the whole of life. Meaning underlies apparent chaos. So to answer my initial question, can this book be of value, I would now answer a resounding yes. It combines the wisdom of a visionary psychologist with the synchronicity that astrology and particularly “North Node” astrology offers.”


Again…thanks Jeff! The full review can be found on Jeff Hutner’s site: http://newparadigmdigest.com/1498/northnode/ And book is available to buy on: www.elizabethspring.com or www.amazon.com

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fool's Gold; the Slippery Slope of the South Node











As I wrote in my first post below, I'm just beginning my second book, a sequel to "North Node Astrology; Redisovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose", and this new book, "South Node Astrology; How Love Sabotages and Saves Us" will focus on relationships and how the emotional memory contained in the South Node influences how we love, and don't love in this life. I know that "Sabotage" is a jolting word to use, and that "Love" itself doesn't sabotage, but the distortions and povery of love do. I will also be delving--in this blog and the new book--into what Venus and Neptune in your birth chart have to say about how you love, and how it's expressed in your life. So what is this South Node?

From the point of view of evolutionary astrology, the sign of your South Node describes your default pattern in life. It describes a way of being in the world which doesn't work well for you anymore. It represents something you are comfortable with, because earlier in this life or in a previous life (if you believe in reincarnation) it was your habitual pattern and where you failed to live up to all you could be. So now, the Soul longs to move away from this and towards the potential and possibilities of your North Node.


The South Node represents an easy way out for us---our addictive tendencies, our unresolved conflicts and negative personality traits, and the limitations and failures from the past which can interfere with our ability to be all we can be. In looking at the sign of the South Node, one needs to look at what the lower octave, or less pleasant side of the sign and house position is all about. Because the South Node represents what we didn't get right, or was troublesome either earlier in this life or in a former life, then we really understand quite a lot about ourselves if we can understand what this is all about.

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It’s important to remember the paradoxical nature of the signs and planets, and to keep reaching for the highest expression of them. All these signs can be played out in a higher, or wiser way, and a lower, or less conscious way. And although we don't want to keep falling back on what we know or what our default pattern is, it's helpful to remember that Carl Jung always said to watch for the "gold in the shadow." That shadow is the South Node!
We would be wise to think of the South Node territory as a potentially slippery slope. We need to be fully grounded before digging for the gold there--or what we may find could be just fool's gold. Illusion and disillusion dwell there, and it takes discernment to know what is real and what isn't real. Or, as the painting above depicts, we may be dealing with the illusory qualities of the mythological Neptune, God of the Sea. Inspiration and spirituality is the high road for Neptune--it's the true gold, but so often we get swept away by the illusion of what we want, rather than what is real. (c)~elizabeth spring Artwork: Kerstin Zettmar: Portrait of Neptune. http://www.elizabethspring.com/ and http://northnodeastrology.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"South Node Astrology: How Love Sabotages and Saves our Lives": A Beginning...


Sabotage? My hope is that the word “sabotage” in the title gave you a little jolt! Yes, “love” itself doesn’t sabotage, but the distortions and poverty of love (such as when we didn’t get “good enough parenting”) and our interpretation of what love is and isn’t— are the areas where “love” sabotages us. Every romantic movie and love song reminds us of how love “saves” us, but it’s in the therapist’s office that one hears the story of how love sabotages us. So the focus here will be in looking at our unique styles of loving—loving both ourselves, others and God. These were the first commandments we were given, and they certainly seem worth considering.


One of my hopes for this blog and new book is to explore how reframing our understanding of love and relationship can help us bring in more of its saving quality and less of its sabotaging—and ultimately to explore how it’s truly an “inside job” which is much less dependent on others than we may realize. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and certainly don’t have perfect relationships, but I’m moved to delve into this territory. Want to come along? I welcome your thoughts on this….


So how does this fit with astrology? In exploring relationship patterns in astrology we look at the South Node, the Moon and to the planets Venus and Neptune. What happens when we have Venus and Pluto (God of the Underworld) in aspect in our charts? What happens when the Moon or Venus is squared by Mars? What happens when we keep repeating the mistakes of our South Node patterns, and keep coming up with the same unfulfilling patterns of “unlove” and bad relationships?


Love itself may be perfect—as the high expression of Neptune itself is perfect mystical love. But humans live primarily “Venus” love or “Moon” love—and it’s messy, confusing and imperfect. I believe it’s imprinted with the past life patterns of the South Node, in a similar way to how DNA is imprinted.


The strongest pattern to understand then may be the South Node in your birth chart. In Evolutionary Astrology, one is advised to “read” the South Node negatively; that is to understand it primarily as what we didn’t get right in the past. This past could be earlier in this life, or in former lives, or even what we didn’t get right yesterday.


It is the “Moon’s memory” not the Mercurial/linear memory, that is carried over from life to life. It is this memory that does not concern itself with facts, or details or stories, but holds simply the emotional impact—the drama and trauma of the Soul. We forget the stories of past lives, but something remains like a forgotten dream—and this “emotional hangover” is called the South Node of the Moon.


As you may know, the Nodes are mathematical points rather than planets, and are calculated by the intersecting orbits between the Earth, Sun, and Moon. Throughout the history of astrology these points have pointed to our re-incarnational history, for they describe where we’ve been (South Node) and where we’re going (North Node.) Like the compass that points North, or the astrolabe with the arrow shooting through the globe, these Nodes hold the “emotional memory” and trajectory of our lives.



As in dreams, and in all unconscious content, there is “gold” in these South Node patterns as well, and we carry over positive attributes, talents and inclinations as well as our default reactive patterns. It’s also been said in Vedic astrology that we give to others from the South Node what we know innately in our bones and psyche, and yet we feed and nurture ourselves from the soul wisdom of the North Node. This was the content of my first book, “North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose.”


This second book, of which this blog is the raw material of—concerns the nature of the emotional memory of the South Node. What do we remember emotionally? I believe it’s mostly about love and the presence or absence of Love. Relationships—and the burden we put on our relationships through our expectations and “styles of loving”.



In this blog and book, I’ll be delving into the changing nature of relationships (with a little more focus on what love is after the hormones/honeymoon/anima projections have worn a little thinner) and to ponder “styles of loving” with a minimum of astrological jargon. I’d like it to contain enough astrology so that you can look at your chart, and say “Ah-hah!” but not so much astrology that you get lost in technicalities. I’ll attempt to interweave the psychological and the astrological, the personal and the interpersonal, the theories with the messy “particulars” of our lives.


It’s a big subject. We live and love among many “layers of feelings”—why do we dislike someone’s style or persona and yet “love” the person they truly are underneath all that? We divorce, dismiss, and lose people in our lives, sometimes like so many scraps of paper thrown away, yet these people continue to remain in our psyche nevertheless.

But….we can choose to live between the layers of feeling, not discarding or despairing or thinking in black/white polarities, and still honoring all the layers of loving, liking, disliking, and the mystery of love which sits in our hearts.


Here’s what the poet, Stanley Kunitz, had to say about this in his poem, “The Layers.” He wrote this in reflection, towards the end of his life. (This blogging program is printing it as prose--how interesting!--so I will leave it that way in a stream of consciousness style. Forgive me, you readers who are poets!)

"I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, over which scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings. Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections, and my tribe is scattered! How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road precious to me.
In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: "Live in the layers, not on the litter." Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes."
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~elizabeth spring www.elizabethspring.com Artwork: John Waterhouse

Sunday, August 9, 2009

South Node Astrology; How Love Sabotages and Saves Our Lives




I’m just beginning my second book, a sequel to "North Node Astrology"—this one with the emphasis on the South Node in astrology and the ways that love, and expectations around love, both saves and sabotages us. "North Node Astrology" focused more on life direction and soul purpose from the point of view of who and what we are doing in the world, and this new book will focus on how our emotional memories of love, and lack of love, shape our lives. It will also look at how we can reframe our past with more compassion and make current choices with more insight.


It’s a huge subject—love and loving is intricately bound up with our early attachment experiences with our parents and, in my opinion, from past life re-incarnational experiences. And as we age we develop attitudes, expectations and assumptions about how love operates in our lives. I believe quite simply that the more conscious awareness and insight we bring to this subject, the better our choices will be, and the happier our lives will be.


These two books, on the North and South Nodes, are intimately connected, because how we feel about ourselves and whether we have a sense of life direction and soul purpose, is related to our capacity to give and receive love from others. These North and South Nodes speak to those issues in our charts and they are the two of main issues clients want to know about in astrological counseling. Who doesn’t want to know: “How can I best fulfill my soul’s work and agenda, and how and when will I experience the sweetness of love—that which makes life worth living?”


There are so many types of “love.” Our culture is permeated with the ideal of romantic love as the saving grace--in music and movies we hear about the romantic “falling in love” and what the psychologists, the Jungians, call “anima/animus soul projections” wherein we lose our sense of Self/Soul by giving it (projecting it) onto the other person…the beloved. Ah…such a painful ecstasy. And there’s the soothing yet more sober love that can come at mid-age, with its loyalty, dependability, and willingness to work on the issues that inevitably arise in close one-one relationships. And then there’s the compassionate love that we feel towards others we don’t even know—those people who we may be sitting with us in the emergency room in the hospital when our hearts are open, and our mutual needs felt deeply.


In the astrological chart we look at how love plays out in our lives by looking at it through the lens of Venus and Neptune and all that they represent both in our personal lives and in myth. These two archetypes give us insight into this intense play of love and illusion in our lives. The planetary archetype of Neptune runs this gamut from illusion to disillusionment, escapism, co-dependency, addiction, and being “swept away” or being deceived and sabotaged up to the highest forms of compassion, inspiration, and divine love. It’s all in how we play it out.


Venus is a more “grounded planetary goddess” in that she represents human love in all its sensuality and messiness, and intertwined with all the dramas of relationship. Interesting too, how Venus in astrology relates to money! As a symbol of money, it reflects something of our power or lack of power to attract to us what we think we want or need…..for what we buy and identify with in the material world is a big part of how we define and judge ourselves and others.


So both Venusian love and Neptunian love help give us a sense of identity and purpose in our lives. In this new book, "South Node Astrology" we’ll look at how they show up for you as principal players in your life story. The current book on North Node Astrology also delves into this realm, especially in the long chapters: “What’s Venus Got to Do With It? The Alchemy of Desire: Healing the Wounded Heart” and in the chapter devoted to Neptune. Both books are truly part of a whole.


This blog and "South Node Astrology" will acknowledge the importance of both our early life attachments to our parents as well as our past life default patterns of behavior. These two contribute heavily to how we think and feel and act on love in our life right now. But always the good news is that we can choose to continue to reframe our stories with understanding and compassion. We can make new choices based on new insights.


I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts about this…..although I’d ask you to distill the details of your stories to what you’ve learned and what insights you could share on this with the rest of us. You can respond personally at elizabethspring@aol.com or leave a short pithy insight or suggestion below in the comments section. www.elizabethspring.com