In my second newsletter of the new year, new decade, I would like to share another longer passage from the introduction to the book that I am writing on the nodal axis of the Moon; The Destiny Line. This passage refers to one of the most problematic areas, conceptually at least, within the field of astrology: what is the level of meaning that astrology itself rests upon? I focus on, what to me, seems obvious: that the individual person is more important than their natal chart. However, I observe that many of the ways astrology is actually utilised or related to within the astrological community, betray a series of attitudes wherein this does not seem to be the case:
“Astrology is a portal then to the potential of a human life; a window to the soul. Astrology is a symbolic language that works in service to life; in service to the journey of the individual through life. I would make a crucial philosophical distinction that clarifies my sense of the role of astrology. In Philosophy, ontology is the philosophy of being. I would say that astrology has a tendency to express an ontological categorisation error, in that it can unconsciously ascribe ontological reality to the natal chart – i.e. it can give the chart a life or being of its own. In my view this is not the case. The individual whose chart it is, they have life. The individual soul has being and therefore has an ontological priority above that of the natal chart. The natal chart is a symbolic expression of that life. Like a poem written by the pattern of the sky at the moment you were born the natal chart expresses in symbolic language potentials that you may, or may not, realize within your life. All complex philosophical language aside – the quality of the individual life, the nature of the individual soul is more important than the natal chart. The natal chart exists to serve that life.
That the individual is more important that their chart might seem obvious, yet some of the tacit assumptions we make about the power of astrology consistently undermine this distinction. There is nothing in your chart that can supersede the nature of your life. As astrologers we serve life most acutely when we listen to its complex expressions and allow the nature of life itself to shape our astrological insights.”
Later in the book I go on to share the example of a reading where, after having asked “How can I help today?” (which is how I start every reading), my client, through tears, shared their concern that they were not meant to have a meaningful relationship in the current life because they have south node in Libra in the 7th house. In my ongoing writing on The Destiny Line I follow Rudhyar’s prime directive on the nodes; that they must be analysed together. This is due to the symbolic power they possess together, in that they describe the parabola of motion of the Moon or the planet forming the nodes. So both poles are required to carry the electrical charge of the destiny line. This perspective begins to erode the pervasive astrological idea that the south node is somehow ‘bad’.
In fact, having studied the planetary nodes for so long (what a pleasure it will be to finally publish some of this research!) has allowed me to return to the power of the lunar nodes with a fresh energy and perspective. The idea that either lunar node can be singled out for analysis (without the perspective of the other node) or for simplistic judgments is simply misplaced when one follows the mature thinking of Dane Rudhyar. His late work focuses primarily on the importance of the lunar and planetary nodes. I afford him considerable respect and am following his path to explore why he thought this way. The lady with south node in Libra in the 7th house (a doubling I explained simply caused by having an Aries Ascendant! Not a sign of doom…) is more revealing of the tendency of nodes in Aries-Libra, particularly south node in Libra, to take what other people say, or write or teach, too seriously! Yet, all these powerful astrological contemplations aside, would this individual have been as upset if the fundamental symbolic nature of the birth-chart was understood and appreciated in the first place; by astrologers as much as anyone? For me, this category error, of ascribing a ‘reality of being’ to the chart, accords the horoscope too much significance. It is a hidden anchor for maintaining all sorts of superstitious glamour within the field. Maybe it is time to let it go.