Jeffrey: This morning the topic is evolutionary transitions. We’re going to focus on a number of archetypes, primarily the Pluto transit and/or progressions to Pluto. We’ll be talking about the transiting lunar axis, and most of you will be hearing an idea or two that you probably haven’t heard before. To illustrate these particular points, we’ll be using the famous Clinton-Lewinsky routine. From there we’ll talk about other kinds of transitional symbols, such as the Saturn and Jupiter cycles.
The first thing we want to talk about is the nature of evolution itself. Clearly evolution is a natural law; it is beyond debate, despite certain philosophical systems on our planet. There are really two kinds of evolution. There is the Darwinian system, called the theory of uniformity. This theory was developed by Darwin in the 1800s, when there was a series of super conjunctions in Pisces.
Now think of the nature of these words: “a theory of uniformity.” This theory followed the Napoleonic wars, when people were looking for simplicity as opposed to chaos. Here comes Darwin, and he creates this particular theory. What uniform evolution means is slow, progressive change.
The other type of evolution is what we can call cataclysmic evolution. Obviously it implies major upheavals, as in volcanic eruptions. The sudden unexpected death of a loved one, or the lover coming home and making an announcement, “I have a new lover”: these are cataclysmic events for most of us. Most people’s lives are characterized by uniform evolution with a few cataclysmic events mixed in. That will be the norm.
On the other hand, there are always exceptions to norms. Some folks’ entire lives can be a series of cataclysmic events. Other people might have no cataclysmic events. It’s clearly the symbolism and the extremity that are reflected in the I-Ching. The I-Ching is a reflection of natural law.
So then we ask the question: what creates the evolutionary necessity for cataclysmic events? We will, in fact, find two causes for them.
One cause is resisting, Pluto, necessary growth. When the needle reaches the red line on the tachometer, if you don’t shift gears, you’re going to blow the engine. When a fault line reaches a critical point of stress, it snaps; we have an earthquake. Similarly, some people will resist the need to grow. And it’s the resistance itself that becomes the cause, the critical mass, that will suddenly generate what appears to be a cataclysmic event.
Why would we resist growth? The answer is rooted in an emotional issue: our need for security. And security is a function of consistency with our past. For most people to feel secure, they need consistency. Consistency comes from an extension of our past. The only way we can surmise there is a future is because we’ve already had a past, and because the present moment was the future of that past. The past is real. The present is real. But the future is an abstract and unknown, because we haven’t lived it yet. What most of us tend to do is to project our past not only into the present moment, but also into the future, in order to avoid feeling insecure about the unknown. Therefore we tend to recreate our past.
How many of you in this room today could safely and freely embrace the feeling of absolute insecurity, and feel fine?
(Jeffrey looks around the room.)
No takers! (laughter) Because of our need to feel secure, we tend to resist the need to grow beyond where we are in the present. When the need to grow reaches something like a critical mass state, we create a cataclysmic event to enforce the evolutionary necessity of growth.
Audience: Do you find that people with strong Scorpio or 8th house influences are able to roll with that better than, say, somebody with a strong Taurus or 2nd house influence?
Jeffrey: No, because in either case you’re dealing with Fixed archetypes. If you’ve got a heavy-duty 8th house or Scorpio or Taurus type of nature, imagine your partner’s coming home and saying, “Hey, let’s go to a party.” The typical automatic fixed response is “no.” The reason is that they have to get used to the idea. And when they get used to it, they might say yes. But in terms of the instinctual reaction, it’s “no,” because that’s the nature of fixity.
So we reach these critical mass moments, relative to the evolutionary need for the Soul’s growth, when the growth will occur with or without the apparent cooperation of that Soul.
How many of you have experienced this? All of a sudden this cataclysmic event appears. You weren’t anticipating it. All of a sudden out of nowhere, like an earthquake.
Audience: You’re saying that the Soul can resist the evolutionary intent, but I thought that the Soul took part in forming the evolutionary intent?
Jeffrey: The Soul does indeed create its evolutionary intent, from life to life. Even though within the Soul itself there can be an intent to do this or that for its ongoing evolutionary needs, it can, at the same time, resist that intent from within itself. This resistance, and the intent to evolve beyond that which is the cause of the resistance, can occur within the Soul. And this is then reflected through the ego that the Soul creates in whatever life. Most people do not have the consciousness’s center of gravity located in the Soul. For most people, the center of gravity is in the ego. The ego then reflects this inner conflict and tension with the Soul. It is this very dynamic within the Soul that then is the causative factor in creating cataclysmic events so that the Soul’s evolution can proceed.
How many of you have enjoyed your cataclysmic events? (laughter) No masochists, huh?
In any case, we have these two types of evolution. When you look at a birth chart, you can actually deduct the Soul’s intention for any given life, relative to what types of evolution it will experience in that given life.
For example, let’s say that you have one chart with Pluto aspecting all the other planets. Then in another chart, you see Pluto making only one or two aspects. Could we make a deduction that the person with Pluto aspecting all the other planets is probably going to have a life much more defined by the cataclysmic type of evolution than the person whose Pluto only makes one or two aspects? Would that be an unrealistic deduction?
We can also consider the nature of the aspects. When you find stressful aspects to Pluto or to the ruler of your 8th house, or planets in Scorpio making stressful aspects, this will tend to correlate with cataclysmic types of evolution. Most of us, when we go through a difficult life experience from a Plutonian point of view, want to know why in order to have some degree of perspective on the experience, and therefore some ability to resolve it.
One problem with cataclysmic events is that rarely does the understanding of them come while the events are occurring. Sometimes, even long afterwards, we may not be able to understand why they occurred.
How many of you have experienced this? And have you found it pleasant? Have you found it easy to move on from there?
Some things in life are not resolvable. The sense of perspective won’t come. Total understanding does not occur. What are you going to say to a client going through such events, or to yourself if you’re going through them, when there’s such an intense, driving need to resolve things, to bring them to closure, to gain perspective? The only thing you can say is, “Some things in our lives are not resolvable. That’s just the way it is, and you have to carry on anyway. In some other life, understanding may occur.” That’s what you want to tell yourself or to tell such a client, so they stop looking for resolution, so they can carry on instead of being stuck in that place.
These are typically Plutonian phenomena related to stressful transits or progressions involving Pluto. Believe it or not, sometimes “non-stressful aspects” can also produce cataclysmic events. But the difference is that with the less stressful aspect, the Soul tends to have much more ability to understand the event even while it’s happening. The person may not like the event, but will understand it. Sometimes these non-stressful aspects bring to fruition what we could call a positive karma: certain opportunities for which that soul had been preparing.
Audience: Do you refer to conjunctions as stressful or non-stressful?
Jeffrey: Sometimes they can be extremely cataclysmic, and other times not. You have to understand the entire signature of that chart. When you have a balsamic type of conjunction, it will tend to generate cataclysmic events relative to an evolutionary need to culminate something, to bring it to closure.
Another example is a new phase conjunction. This can also create cataclysm in certain cases, because the impulse is to generate brand new life experiences. There are four ways that Pluto, which is the Soul, manifests its evolutionary intent. Two of them are non-cataclysmic and two are cataclysmic. The most common way is to form a relationship to something or someone, or to a symbol that represents something the Soul feels it needs, and does not yet have. By forming that relationship, a Plutonian sort of osmosis takes place, in which the Soul becomes that to which it is relating. That osmosis triggers evolution.
A simple example: at some point, all of you became interested in astrology and you formed a relationship to it. You studied it; you thought about it. And by a kind of “osmosing” it into yourself, you evolved. You became something more than you had been because of your relationship to astrology.
The most common way we do this is through human relationships. Most people form relationships because each person represents something that the other person feels he or she needs or wants but does not yet have. In the course of the relationship, Plutonian osmosis occurs. You see?
This is why so many relationships in patriarchal reality are based on use and need, and therefore we have manipulation, which then creates abandonment, betrayal and loss.
Another way that Pluto brings about its evolutionary intent is through another typically Plutonian experience: stagnation. Stagnation can be cataclysmic too. All of a sudden someone senses she’s stopped growing. She might feel that her life is meaningless. This does not imply an awareness of why she feels that way. The Soul will typically withdraw from external life in order to figure out why, and the worst form of this withdrawal can lead to catatonia.
Audience: Is there actually evolution if there’s not understanding?
Jeffrey: Sure. Because the understanding will occur at some later point.
Audience: So that’s just a hang up, sort of, the need to understand?
Jeffrey: It’s not a hang up; it’s a perfectly natural human emotion. It’s also linked with the sense of security and stability.
Another way that Pluto will manifest its evolutionary intent is when we become aware of a latent capacity or ability, take action upon it, and evolve. For most of us, this method will tend to be non-cataclysmic.
For example, when Jimmy Carter decided to run for President, Pluto was transiting his Sun. “Oh, I could become President.” It certainly generated evolution for him, did it not?
The last way that Pluto will carry out its evolutionary intent is when someone becomes so overly identified with, or attached to, a certain situation or person or thing that the degree of attachment is preventing growth. We’re trying to hang on to something. When evolution comes along and change is required, if we continue to hang on to that thing, it will be removed with or without our cooperation. For most of us, that will tend to create a cataclysmic event.
So we have these four natural ways. These are just natural laws, and they’re universal life experiences. They have nothing to do with belief systems; they have everything to do with our life experiences.
We can also deal with the notion of fate here. A simple definition of fate is that when something is fated, no matter what you do, it will happen anyway. It’s meant to happen. Fate clearly implies evolution. Now, a causative factor for “fated” cataclysmic events can also be karmic issues.
Let’s say I go out in the street and kill somebody for my own amusement. Either I myself could be killed in the very next moment, or the karmic consequence may show up in another life. We don’t always have instant karma. If it shows up in another life, maybe I’m walking down the street and somebody blows my brains out. From that next life’s point of view, I don’t have any perspective on it at all, do I? Because I probably don’t have any memory of that other life. Do you see what I’m getting at? So an event with karmic causes can clearly be cataclysmic, especially when we don’t understand the causes in the context of this lifetime.
Sometimes you can also see this process in operation through a Pluto transit. Sometimes what’s being brought to a head during those transits is an element of our own karma, based on our previous actions. In a moment, we’ll see how it all connects to Judge Starr, Monica Lewinsky, and Bill Clinton.
This whole drama for Clinton has been connected to a Pluto transit on his natal South Node in the 3rd house – which is why we’ve had much more of a crisis in the media, versus a crisis in the actual Presidency. Clinton became a lightning rod that exposed the agendas and motives of the U.S. media. Of course the media won t give you that perspective!
Our next step to look at is the transiting lunar nodal axis. I will illustrate for you how it works.
We have a transiting North Node in whatever Sign, and we have a collective application of it. But we also have a personal application. For example, right now the transiting Nodes are in Aquarius and Leo. So on the one hand we all have the transiting South Node in Aquarius. Look how that is reflected in the U.S. elections, by the way. Didn’t Gingrich just resign? Hallelujah!
Personally, we all have particular houses that the lunar Nodal axis is transiting. Let’s say it’s the 4th and the 10th houses.
Now, this is going to correlate with what I call the apparent issue. If we locate the planetary rulers of these transiting Nodes, in this case, natal Uranus because the transiting South Node is in Aquarius, then wherever the natal Uranus is, that’s going to be the actual issue. So, the transiting Nodes show the apparent issue, while the positions of the planetary rulers of those transiting Nodes in the natal chart show the actual issue. Do you understand the difference between apparent and actual here?
Let’s say I had the transiting South Node in my 6th house, and the planetary ruler of that transiting South Node is in my natal 2nd house. On the one hand, we have an apparent issue, the South Node transiting the 6th, but the actual issue is shown by the natal House location of the transiting Node’s planetary ruler, which in this illustration lies in the 2nd house. So if we make a simple deduction, what would be an apparent issue that we could identity with the transiting South Node in the Sixth?
Audience: Work or health.
Jeffrey: Work or health. And what would be the actual issue, if the ruler of the transiting Node was in the natal 2nd house?
Audience: A lack of self-worth, because of the limits of the Sixth?
Jeffrey: Maybe we should back up for a moment, because we always have to understand everything in context. Let’s apply the archetypes involved here to an actual individual context.
Let’s say this person has the transiting South Node in Aries in the 6th house, and the Node’s ruler, Mars, is the natal 2nd house. And let’s say that this person has been working for twenty years, and has been supporting the entire family for all that time. That’s the actual context. What would the South Node, relative to its ruler, natal Mars in the 2nd, mean now?
Audience: She’s tired.
Jeffrey: It would mean that this person is now becoming tired and angry about sacrificing himself or herself for twenty years: South Node transiting the 6th house, yes? And she’s getting angry about it, relative to what? To Mars in the 2nd house. See what I’m getting at? And now the actual issue is what? Getting something for herself! Because we have to remember that Taurus or the 2nd house is a Venus-ruled archetype.
So what does the actual issue become? This person wants to start receiving something, not just to be sacrificing and giving all the time. In this scenario, the transiting North Node would be in Libra in the 12th house, confirming everything we’re seeing here. Do you see what I’m getting at?
Suddenly she’s reached a point where she’s become so angry at this twenty years of sacrifice that now it’s coming to a head, relative to that transiting South Node. She could make up all these apparent issues: make a lot of statements about being tired of working. If you actually saw that client, that’s what you would probably hear. But if you can identity the actual issue, you can help that client own it. Then she could speak much more directly about it to her family members. You can’t predict the choices of the other family members, but you can at least validate that client to herself.
Audience: How would that change if the Nodes were reversed, the North Node becoming 6th house Aries?
Jeffrey: First of all, we have to understand the difference between the transiting North and South Nodes. The South Node is bringing something in our past to a head.
Audience: So this dynamic of the actual and apparent issues only applies to the transiting South Node?
Jeffrey: In terms of bringing something from our past to a head, yes. The North Node demonstrates what the future can be, if the person allows the past to come to a head. In my example, with the transiting North Node in Libra, what is the underlying issue again? To receive. Understanding this issue can help this client make a brand new orientation to her life. That’s the whole point.
Audience: If she’s more conscious about it, then she could choose to leave and do something for herself, but if she was unconscious, might she get fired or something?
Jeffrey: If it was unconscious, there’d be a period of time in that scenario in which she would be having sudden outbursts of anger, complaining about everything and finding fault in everything. That’d be nice to live with, huh? (laughter)
Audience: If the transiting Nodes or their rulers are making major aspects to the birth chart, then all those aspects are ignited?
Audience: Relative to the House and Sign of the Aquarius/Leo axis in someone’s chart, for the current transiting Nodes?
Jeffrey: That’s right. I’ll just use my own chart to illustrate it for a moment. The transiting South Node is in Aquarius in my 4th house. The transiting North Node is in Leo in my 10th. I’ve just made a decision, yesterday in the airplane, to stop traveling so much. To totally change my orientation to my career, take total charge of it and focus primarily on writing. Do you see this sudden shift and/or liberation: South Node in Aquarius, liberation from something that’s already been in place for a long time? It refers back to my natal Uranus in Gemini in the Eighth. The actual issue is that I want to write about the Soul. The transiting North Node is in Leo opposing my Fourth. The Sun rules Leo. I want more control over my career, and I’m tired of traveling, (laughter)
Audience: Well, just stay here, man. (laughter)
Jeffrey: And it’s great. I feel liberated making that decision. I’ve been traveling and lecturing once a month for twenty years. I’m just simply tired of it. Look where I made the decision: in the airplane. In the atmosphere, right? Aquarius.
What we’re looking at in the North Node are circumstances that reflect where we’re trying to go in evolutionary terms. If we make choices that reflect the statement or archetype symbolized in that transiting North Node by House and Sign, referring back to its planetary ruler, then we’re growing. Do you see? (agreement)
The transiting Nodal axis’s House, Sign and aspects tend to correlate with creating dynamics that reflect our past. We are then given a choice: do we continue to make choices that reflect our old choices, because old dynamics have been triggered, or can we make new choices in the face of those dynamics?
Audience: Are you saying that the transiting South Node brings up the past?
Audience: What if the transiting South Node is conjunct your North Node?
Jeffrey: That’s virtually the same thing. You are creating circumstances reflecting past conditions, and you are given the choice either to make new choices in the face of those past issues, or the same old choices. And if you make the old choices, guess what? There’s no growth.
When you have the transiting Nodes squaring the natal Nodal axis, these are what I call crossroads. The crossroads can correlate with a crisis in action, or with a crisis in belief.
This whole thing with Clinton came to a head with the transiting Nodal axis in Virgo/Pisces. His Nodal axis is Sagittarius/Gemini. There’s the square aspect. He certainly was looking at a crossroads, was he not? Kenneth Starr has a natal Mars/Venus conjunction in Virgo in his 8th house. This situation came to a head with the transiting North Node in Virgo, right there. Now is that “coincidence” or something to do with synchronicity? You understand what I’m saying? (agreement)
Why do the Nodes return to their natal position at age eighteen? If you study history, you will find that this was when, at least in patriarchal societies, a man was meant to have his own kind of life direction. You see what I’m getting at? All these configurations I am talking about today are called evolutionary transitions, and they are very important events. The choices we make shape our life direction. They are the ones we really want to look at.
Of course all kinds of other astrological phenomena can also correlate with evolutionary transitions. A classic one is the Saturn cycle. Around seven years of age, transiting Saturn first squares its natal position. For most of us when we’re seven or eight years old, we suddenly become aware of our mortality, Saturn: that we have a certain time frame or life span, Saturn, to live. This realization begins the emotional maturation process. It also sets in motion the primary conditioning of consciousness relative to the culture. This is when you start becoming aware that you’re an American or a Tibetan or a Canadian. This is when the imprinting of culture begins shaping our sense of identity through the current cultural conditioning. Is this not a transitional state for all of us?
Saturn opposes itself at age fourteen. At the same time, we’re having a Mars return at age twelve; we’re having a Jupiter return at age twelve. Most of us remember those years between twelve and fourteen, don’t we?
Suddenly we have to oppose outside authority, whether it’s high school, whether it’s parents, whether it’s society. There’s a necessary rebellion. Why? The Soul is trying to discover its own authority. It’s an acceleration of the emotional maturing process. Is this not a transitional moment? How many of you have children? (Many hands are raised)
You’ve probably all heard the phrase “the terrible twos”? This connects to the first Mars return. Mars has a two year cycle. What’s the baby trying to do? Assert its own individuality. Because of this need to assert, the baby is not taking kindly to the limits that the parents want to impose. That’s why we call it “the terrible twos.” But this is a necessary transition for the baby. If you just watch babies in this way, they have these two year cycles. And when you’re a parent, you’re always trying to catch up with where the baby’s going. You get used to where they are and then . . . oops, they’ve moved on. It’s really interesting. Since I’ve raised nine kids, this has been a fascinating thing for me.
Let’s illustrate with Clinton a little bit. He’s got his natal South Node in Sagittarius, and a Mars/Neptune conjunction in Libra. When this whole thing came apart, the transiting Nodes were in Virgo/Pisces, as we’ve seen. Let’s bring in this distinction between the apparent issue and the actual issue.
Right away, what did we see? We saw Judge Starr and the Republicans doing a lot of persecution of this man. Lots of criticism. So, with the transiting South Node in Clinton’s 6th house, we would look for an apparent issue there. Can we not agree this was a 6th house phenomenon that Clinton was experiencing in his workplace?
Jeffrey: Now, what planet rules that transiting Pisces South Node? Neptune! And so the actual underlying issue we can see here is that Mars/Neptune conjunction in the 1st house, a house whose natural ruler is Aries. What was the root issue, according to the critics? Was it not a sexual issue? What is the underlying issue for Clinton himself? What does this planetary configuration tell you if you see it in anybody’s chart, not just Clinton’s, in terms of where the individual might be coming from sexually? We’re talking about a natal Mars/Neptune conjunction in Libra in the 1st house.
Audience: Intense sexual needs.
Jeffrey: Well, there is an intense sexual need that would also clearly be demonstrated by this man’s Taurus Moon in the 8th squaring Pluto.
Jeffrey: What we may have here is a Soul who has given itself the personal right, over many lifetimes, to have the sexual experiences that it’s wanted. Without any sense of limitation. We have Mars with Neptune in an Aries-associated house, the 1st. Aries wants no restrictions. It has desires and gives itself the right to fulfill those desires.
Also, the whole sexual dimension for him has been linked to Neptune. Is this not a potential signature, in a man’s case, for the attraction to “pretty skirts”? Libra. What’s that cliché, “to be a fool for a pretty face”? Because of Neptune, he can have a lot of sexual fantasy here, in which the pretty skirt or the pretty face triggers the fantasy. But it’s also going to be an attraction to people like Monica Lewinsky.
Look at the statement here with Mars. This is a Venus-ruled Mars, and she herself made the statement that even before she went to Washington, she wanted to go there, in her own words, “with Presidential kneepads.” Yes or no?
Audience: Yes. (laughter)
Jeffrey: I think I’ll leave now. (laughter)
I mean, she was, to use a little bit of vernacular here, a “ballsy” woman. Mars, yes? He’s going to have an attraction to that kind of woman, is he not? Not just the passive ones. And when you put this in the context of the Moon in the 8th house, when you have a sexuality conditioned by a lunar archetype, there’s often a linkage to oral sex. And Pluto squares that Moon. For him, if you followed the story, it was “safe” to be involved with a woman just for oral sex. The Moon squaring Pluto means there’s some element of attraction to what’s taboo, as well. So I hope you can see what my point is about the actual issue and the apparent issue. The whole morality play, remember? The whole trip around “family values.” And yet at the same, all this other stuff coming to a head: the Pluto aspect.
The transiting North Node was in Virgo. So what does this symbolism suggest? It suggests to me that this man had to be used in his own way as a martyr: remember, that North Node was transiting through his 12th house.
But what would be the intent of being used as a martyr? One intent could be to show the actual crisis, which is a crisis in the media, as if they’re somehow disconnected from the rest of us, and are essentially trying to sell us: Sagittarius, what to believe. Remember, Mercury rules that transiting North Node: Mercury, the media. With Neptune and Uranus transiting through Aquarius, the majority of the population was rebelling against the media. Because the people in general understood the actual truth, Sagittarius, of what was actually happening here. The man had an affair. It was two consenting adults.
Look what happened to the media. Has it not gone through its own Soul searching? They had to really look at themselves to figure out, Virgo, that they themselves were in a position of bias. What’s been exposed is that the majority of the media were biased against Clinton.
For example, there is a non-partisan organization in Washington D.C. that has been monitoring the evening news since the 1950s to determine how the Presidency is reported upon. Since that time, all the reports on whatever president have basically been fifty-fifty, until Clinton was President. When he became President, the ratio became seventy percent of all the evening news reports about him were negative, and thirty percent were positive. This fact, Virgo, is not reported by the U.S. media at all. Why? Because that would mean exposure: Pluto.
Audience: Jeff, what were the issues though before he even did this?
Jeffrey: What were Clinton’s own issues?
Jeffrey: In my opinion it was emotional dishonesty. In this particular context, it had to do with his 8th house Moon squaring Pluto.
Audience: The whole thing was to be emotionally honest with himself before this event even occurred, then? About what was going on in his life?
Jeffrey: That’s right, and to do that he had to attract the apparent issue of public humiliation, 6th house. In order to crack the fixity and intensity of his 8th house Moon squaring Pluto. So before we march along here, do you have questions about what has been presented up to this point?
Audience: Was it the square to Pluto that indicated emotional dishonesty to you?
Jeffrey: Yes. In this case, in this context we’re examining today. Remember that astrology operates according to observed context, and that this case doesn’t mean that everyone with the Moon in the 8th house squaring Pluto is emotionally dishonest. Look how this particular case reflects what we said in the beginning, about a potential cataclysm via stressful aspects to Pluto. That connects, in this context, to sexual issues and emotional dishonesty.
Audience: But if the square to Pluto wasn’t there, then it wouldn’t necessarily have that intention?
Jeffrey: That’s right. What’s phenomenal is that both Lewinsky and Starr also have Taurus Moons, conjuncting Clinton’s Moon in his 8th house. Starr’s Mars and Venus in Virgo square Clinton’s Nodal axis. And Starr’s Mars and Venus in Virgo fall in Clinton’s 12th house. You see how the synastry is starting to unfold here?
When you deal with natural law, natural law shows up everywhere.
As an example, let’s go back to our last possible Presidential impeachment case, which was Richard Nixon. Nixon had a 10th house Pluto opposed to a 4th house Mars.
His South Node was in Libra in the 1st house, and that South Node was ruled by Venus in Pisces in the Sixth. When Watergate came to a head, Pluto was transiting over his South Node in Libra in the 1st house, and that referred back to his South Node ruler, Venus in Pisces in the 6th. Did he not go through public humiliation? And how does this connect with the transiting South Node in the 6th house for Clinton? See the correlations?
In Nixon’s case, the whole thing was reflected in his 10th house Pluto. Remember his statement, “I am the President”: meaning, “my sense of personal identity is totally bound up with my social position.” His entire sense of unconscious security, Pluto, was defined by the need for 10th house social position. His evolutionary intent is reflected in the 4th house polarity point of that Pluto. What we have here is an individual who, in an evolutionary sense, needed to find a new sense of personal identity, independent of his social position. When he was informed about Watergate through his chief lieutenants: all of his “yes men,” who were like his alter egos reflected in his South Node in Libra: what was the choice he made?
Pluto is choice making. What if he had made the choice to go forward, instead of trying to defend himself? That was a Pluto in the 10th house natural defensive response, like pioneers getting their wagon train in a circle. And because he wanted to circle up his wagons, so to speak, it caused his downfall. But what if he had made a different choice?
Do you see what I’m getting at? Nixon’s impeachment crisis enforced a 4th house lesson, which is finding a sense of personal identity devoid of social position. When he went to rent an apartment after Watergate, the people in the apartment complex had the right to vote on who would live there. They would not let Nixon live there! That was more public humiliation.
Do you see how that could encourage someone to find a private and personal identity apart from his public position? Evolutionary necessity: relative to his 4th house polarity point of Pluto.
What is the parallel to Clinton in terms of humiliation? Sometimes there has to be a severe event in these cases to unlock or change a rigid, fixed pattern, with the degree of the person’s resistance determining the degree of severity of the event.
Audience: There’s not necessarily going to be a cataclysmic event just because the South Node’s in the Sixth, but in this case, because Pluto was going to transit Clinton’s natal South Node, it blew things way out of proportion because of his limelight in the media?
Jeffrey: In his particular case, it also created a cataclysmic event that might get him to change his ways.
Audience: On a personal level.
Jeffrey: On a personal level. He finally said the words, “I cannot”: this is that 8th house Moon speaking. “I cannot defend the indefensible.” Can not defend the indefensible. When he finally drew this psychological conclusion, he had changed. Yet it only came to pass through massive public exposure and humiliation. If you looked at his face through these events, did you not see a real change in it? A real change in his energy and where he was coming from? Didn’t you see him suddenly age what seemed like ten years in three months? That’s heavy duty change.
Here’s something else you can see in the symbolism. Most of us have become aware of Clinton’s mastery of the use of words: South Node in the Third and Uranus in Gemini. Not only is there mastery in and of itself, but he’s so adept with the language that people think they’re hearing one thing when he means something else. All of a sudden he’s being evasive in terms of his language and his answers, diffuse and confusing.
Here’s what might be a useful exercise for all of us at the moment. The transiting South Node has just come out of Pisces. First, reflect on where you’ve been in the last eighteen months in the house or houses where Pisces falls in your chart. That was the apparent issue. More particularly, connect it to your natal Neptune in terms of the actual issue. Just take a moment to reflect on the last eighteen months of your life, with those two symbols in mind. See if you can make the connections to your own lives, (pause)
Is everybody making connections? Do you see it in your life experience? (agreement) Did that require any belief? Or was it simply a matter of validating actual experience?
For those of you who are going to do astrological counseling, the transiting Nodes provide some of the deeper insights you can bring to a client, because most people get defined by the apparent issue and think that’s the totality of the situation. If you can show your clients the actual issue, it’s like turning on a light bulb for them. In terms of evolutionary transitions, there are lots of other symbols to consider.
One of the more esoteric topics in astrology or at least a topic that not too many astrologers have developed, is the issue of all the planetary nodes. Not just the North and South Nodes of the Moon. All planets have their own nodes.
Why should we limit ourselves to the Moon? If the Moon has its own past history, wouldn’t it make sense that every other planet has its own archetypal correlations, and its own past? A past that brings you into each moment that you live, that leads you into your next step.
My view is that we need to use all the planetary nodes. The planetary nodes also transit through the chart. Look how dramatic this can be. If you know the history of a person’s Mars, or the history of their Venus, or their Mercury, etc., can you see what dimensions you could add to your understanding of that client? And if you know where the planetary nodes are transiting, can you see what the implications to the natal planets might be? You can bring in a dimension of interpretation that most astrologers simply do not employ.
The Greeks did a lot of astrology. They were also deeply into the symbolism of mathematics and numbers. The highest mathematical power they assigned to any astrological symbol was to the Nodes. They assigned them the number seven, which in their cosmology was the highest number of all.
Audience: Is that for all the planetary nodes or just the Moon’s Nodes?
Jeffrey: The Moon’s Nodes. But I think we should extend that to the planetary nodes as well. It relates to what I said last night. If I’m reading a book, to make sense of the current chapter, I probably should have read the chapters that preceded it. By understanding all the prior context, I will better understand the chapters to come. In a very similar way each planetary archetype has its own chapters in its own story, and those chapters are shown by the planetary nodes.
Audience: So you’re saying you’re supposed to look at the transits of the planetary nodes? To get more information about timing, is that right? In terms of what might be happening?
Jeffrey: To see the whole picture. Because, again, astrology operates relative to the person’s actual context. Here’s a simple example: during most of the 1920s, Uranus transited through Pisces In the context of this country (USA), it correlated to what we call the Roaring Twenties. In the context of Germany, it correlated to the most massive economic depression they’ve ever had. They needed huge amounts of money just to buy a loaf of bread. That’s context! This is why one size does not fit all. We have to understand the pre-existing context. That is the essence of astrology: correlation and observation.
Audience: I have a specific question about the planetary nodes. I’m discovering the power of these things through Jeff. I never paid much attention to them until I began to work with him. I noticed that the planetary nodes are not always opposite each other, correct?
Audience: So you’re using the true nodes?
Jeffrey: Right. I always use the true nodes.
Audience: With the Nodes of the Moon, I thought your practice was to use the mean Nodes, where they’re precisely opposite. Do you use the true Nodes there as well? I know with the Moon it’s generally just a tiny difference.
Jeffrey: Right. That’s because, as you know, the motion of the other planets is not regular, the way it is with the Moon. As you know, the Node is when a planet is crossing north or south relative to the ecliptic. And therefore relative to planetary motion, which isn’t regular, the planetary nodes are not always opposite one another. I do use the true Nodes for the Moon’s Nodes, too.
Check this out. We have just had the shift of the transiting South Node of the Moon into Aquarius and the transiting North Node into Leo. And we have a collective application of that transit, but we also have a personal application. Let’s try to focus on one of the dimensions of Aquarius, which is the need for liberation from pre-existing conditions in order to grow. Let’s work with just this one dimension of Aquarius, although it has many others, and let’s think about where this transiting South Node is occurring in our own charts. What pre-existing conditions in your life are symbolized by the house that it’s transiting? Are you trying to liberate yourself from them or rebel against them? Are you suddenly feeling psychologically detached from them? In order to take charge of your own destiny in some way, in order to create meaningful creative changes: North Node in Leo?
The transiting North Node in Leo demands that you take control of your life, sort of like when an artist first puts a paintbrush on the canvas. Wherever the transiting North Node in Leo falls in your chart, that’s where you need to begin to recreate your own picture, and liberate yourself from some pre-existing condition. Take a moment to reflect on where these transiting Nodes are in your chart at present.
For those of you who feel brave, locate the planetary rulers of the transiting Nodes. Your natal Uranus is also connected to something in the past coming to a head, from which you’re trying to liberate yourself. Think of your natal Sun, ruling that transiting North Node. What house is it in, and what Sign? What aspects is it making? This will give you a core snapshot, a bottom line, to understand the emotional context of your life right now.
Audience: If you have the Sun conjunct Uranus, there’s a connection where the past and the future are …
Jeffrey: They become the same thing. The real issue there is about choice. You make choices that reflect the past, or you make choices that reflect the future.
There are other dimensions to Aquarius. All of a sudden, insights come into your consciousness that connect to your past. But insights are also coming in, all of a sudden and out of nowhere, that reflect where you’re trying to go. These will operate in a typically Uranian way: they simply appear in your brain. For the next eighteen months, all of us will be going through this process. All of us will begin to experience, because of the Moon’s South Node transiting through Aquarius, a sense of increasing emotional and psychological detachment from the circumstances of our lives. In that sense, we will all begin to experience our lives somewhat like a movie. You have a sense of distance between what’s happening on the screen and where you’re sitting in the audience. What might be the evolutionary intent of our experiencing our lives in this detached sort of way for the next eighteen months?
Audience: It gives you perspective, doesn’t it?
Jeffrey: Yes. Perspective comes from objectification, Aquarius. And we can only arrive at objectification through detachment. That is the intent, exactly. If we understand this process it’s easier to deal with it, because feeling detached can be very confusing for some people. “I was totally engaged in my life, but, suddenly I’m feeling really detached from it all. Why?” Confused people may start drawing conclusions or taking actions that don’t reflect the intent of this transit.
If you’re a counseling astrologer and you know these underlying transiting Nodal archetypes, when clients come to you with these feelings, you can help them. You can give them a clear perspective on why this particular transit is happening. As we all become more objective about our lives, because of the detachment that’s stimulated by the transit of the Moon’s South Node through Aquarius, we’ll be able to survey our circumstances with a better and clearer perspective. That clearer perspective will help us understand what we need to change in order to take charge of ourselves, in order to grow, in order to create the life that we need.
Do you see what I’m getting at? That’s not necessarily a pleasant process for anyone, because the transiting lunar Nodes mean that we’re dealing with the nature of the Moon, i.e., what has meant security for us. How many of us really want to embrace insecurity? When we’re dealing with the nature of the Moon, we’re dealing with our own self-image, and how to integrate it into our lives on a daily basis. We’re dealing with our emotional reality. And all of these things are now coming under the influence of the Aquarian archetype via the Moon’s South Node transiting through that Sign.
How many of you like feeling totally detached from your lives? (laughter)
Audience: I’ve been feeling like this and wondering if I was losing my mind, recently. But it’s just the detachment.
Jeffrey: Yes! If you just understand the intent behind the transit, then you can sustain that perspective, and you won’t overreact.
Audience: It’s like a light bulb went on. It makes sense.
Jeffrey: There you are. It becomes particularly problematic now that Pluto’s in Sagittarius, because one of the dimensions of Sagittarius, Jupiter, and the 9th house is how we interpret and understand life. And most people understand life in the context of their existing beliefs, which of course are rooted in the past.
Here’s an example. Keep in mind that Sagittarius primarily has a correlation to the right brain, the non-linear, intuitive brain. The left brain is the linear brain and is connected to short term memory. Since Pluto went into Sagittarius, more and more people have become, in quotes, “absent-minded.” Let’s say you’re on the phone and you have trouble remembering what you said three sentences back. That’s because the center of gravity in our collective consciousness is shifting to the right brain, to the non-linear.
This is particularly interesting because, given our culture’s fear of Alzheimer’s disease, many people start jumping to conclusions: “I must be getting Alzheimer’s.” But all that this apparent absent-mindedness reflects is our progressive evolutionary need to shift our center of consciousness from our left brain to our right brain. Aquarius and Uranus connect to the entire brain and the dendrites. When we make new dendrites, the brain is evolving. Every time we have an “ah ha” experience, this is a new dendrite being made. Shifting the gravity of collective consciousness to the right brain, the non-linear brain, reflects our need to accelerate the evolution of our brains.
Audience: Relative to the transiting Nodes in Aquarius/Leo, you said that through the transiting Aquarian South Node, you detach and gain perspective. Is the transiting Leo North Node the principle of new creative actualization in the house where the Leo North Node falls?
Jeffrey: Yes. Remember my illustration of my own case, where I made decisions on an airplane about a radical shift in the orientation and direction of my own work? There’s the North Node connection.
. . . .
We still have some other evolutionary transition symbols to consider. When you put your natal planetary nodes in your birth chart, you will find dimensions that you did not see before. Then when you start looking at the transits of the planetary nodes they will bring in still more dimensions that you would not otherwise see.
For example, what happens if the transiting nodal axis of Mars is beginning to square the natal Mars? Most astrologers wouldn’t look at this sort of symbol. But you can look at it, and you can understand what that symbolism might mean.
Audience: With the nodal axis of Mars squaring natal Mars, are you concentrating on the South Node, the North Node, or either one? Since the transiting Nodes aren’t opposite, which one is more critical?
Jeffrey: To me it would always be the South Node. Because most of us are always being defined by our past.
Audience: I don’t understand why you say they’re not opposite. Aren’t they opposite?
Jeffrey: No, not the true nodes.
Audience: The true nodes are not opposite each other?
Jeffrey: No, because the motions of the planets are not regular.
Audience: But it’s on an axis. So shouldn’t you have one hundred and eighty degrees?
Jeffrey: The axis is determined by when the planet actually crosses north or south of the ecliptic, not by the plane of the planet’s orbit. That’s why we have to take the planetary motion into account. Planetary motion is not regular the way the Moon’s motion is regular, so we get planetary nodes that are far from being opposite one another. Still looking at evolutionary transitions, now we can get into some much more basic astrology.
We have the classic Saturn cycle, which is dramatic. This is where we live. Saturn connects to our life experience on Earth. We have our feet literally grounded on the surface of this planet. Saturn has everything to do with how your natural consciousness becomes conditioned, conditioned initially by the nature of your early parental environment. Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn, is in opposition to Cancer, and your original imprinting or conditioning comes through your parents.
It also comes through the nature of your unconscious memories, via your prior lifetimes. As we start to get older, i.e. at the first Saturn square to its natal placement at around age seven, that conditioning process is accelerated by our awareness of culture and mortality. All of you in this room can say, “I am an American.” What does that imply? It’s very different than saying, “I’m an Aborigine,” or “I’m a Navajo,” or “I’m a Tibetan.” These are Saturn statements, and they condition your sense of reality: Saturn. Do you think the “reality,” in quotes, of a typical American is the same reality as that of a typical Tibetan? It’s simply in the nature of this sort of conditioning that it defines, Saturn, our sense of personal and social reality. That sense of reality then goes through its own evolutionary transitions via Saturn’s transits, especially Saturn’s squares to its natal position, its opposition to its natal position, and its return to its natal position.
These transiting aspects occur at approximately ages seven, fourteen, twenty-one, twenty-eight: you have to check them out specifically for each person’s actual timing. These transiting aspects represent archetypal transitional events or moments in the development of human consciousness, independent of the particular conditioning of that consciousness: in other words, independent of whether that person is American or Tibetan. This is how natural consciousness works.
So we have the Saturn cycle. For roughly their first twenty-one to twenty-eight years of age, most people will more or less define their lives not only in relation to their current social and parental conditioning, but also in relation to their unconscious memories from other lifetimes. Therefore, most people have not truly prepared for the purposes of their current lives. This is why the first Saturn return is truly difficult for so many people, because they’ve already made life choices that have created a certain kind of Saturnian reality that is in place around them. They have a sense of duty and obligation to that reality and those choices; they are defined by them. Then they have this first Saturn return, and if they haven’t prepared for their current life’s purpose, they feel stuck: Saturn. They might start getting into a cycle of depression and futility.
Most people don’t have the courage, at twenty-eight or twenty-nine years of age, to make a decision that reflects the real purpose of their lives. A little before the first Saturn return, the progressed Moon is returning to its natal position for the first time. So it can be tough on an emotional level too. Conversely, for those who have made preparations and are going in the direction they need to go, typically the first Saturn return brings into fruition or reality what they’ve prepared for, and it can be experienced in an incredibly positive way.
For an example, I’ll use my own case again.
I was informed I had to be an astrologer at age twenty-four, at my second Jupiter return. Believe me, it would not have been my conscious choice to be an astrologer in this lifetime! But I have a 12th house Jupiter, so when I was informed I said, “Fine,” because my trip is around God. But I also said, “Lord, if you want me to be an astrologer, then you teach me astrology”: Jupiter again. For the following six years, I had nothing but dreams in astrology. This is how I learned it. Wherever I was living in the world, I’d put up a sign saying “Free Charts,” and I would empirically validate what I was seeing in my dreams.
I started this preparation at age twenty-four. And on the day of my first Saturn return, which happened on a Sunday in Seattle, where I’d just moved, I was walking down the street and there was this little tiny brand new astrology bookstore. They’d just started up. No one was supposed to be there, since it was Sunday. But I looked through the window and there was the owner of the store. She waved me in, and there you have it. I got my first gig as a professional astrologer on that day. The very day of my first Saturn return! That’s an example of what can happen if somebody makes preparations.
We have a Jupiter cycle to deal with, too, a natural twelve year cycle. We are starting to see cycles within cycles, yes? Again, these are natural laws that operate independent of any social conditioning. Let’s try to remove one of the illusions of Jupiter, by the way, because most of you who have been dependent on books have learned that Jupiter connects to pure opportunity, and that some magical growth thing is going to happen for you. But this is not the case. Jupiter really connects to the Vedantic god called Ganesh. Before you have an opportunity, Jupiter will typically tend to remove something from your life. And through its removal, you are given an opportunity to grow. Jupiter generally does connect to the idea of growth, and therefore we have the issue of evolution implied. But to grow, again, typically something has to be removed first.
How many of you remember some Jupiter transits in which something had to be removed first, before you actually had an opportunity?
Another amazing evolutionary cycle that people really underestimate in Western astrology is the Mars cycle. Remember that Mars is a lower octave of Pluto. All a “lower octave” means is a denser vibration of something. Mars is linked, via Pluto, to Pluto’s connection to your Soul and the entire intent of your life. Mars, then, is a like a denser vibration of the evolutionary impulse of the human Soul: a lower octave, subjective awareness of the Soul. Mars is in a continuous state of acting out, on a minute to minute, day to day, life to life basis, the desires manifesting from Pluto.
Most of us are unconscious of our Souls. We’re only really aware of them through the effects that they produce. Desires manifest in consciousness through your egocentric personality, through your Mars. These desires typically manifest as an instinct or an impulse to do something new.
This is why you read in the traditional books that Aries, the 1st house and Mars all require freedom, because Aries and Mars need freedom to act upon the desires manifesting from the Soul. A continuous process of becoming: that’s your Mars experience. You become aware of your impulse to act: that’s your Mars too. It has a two-year cycle. It begins, culminates two years later and then starts all over again. The Mars cycle should be seen in the context of the Jupiter cycle, the Saturn cycle, and all the other planetary cycles.
A lot of our clients really want to know the future. “Tell me about my future.” Are you beginning to see that if you really embrace that dimension of cycles in astrology, then the ways you have to look at “the future” are infinitely more complex than what you’ve read in books?
You can’t just focus on “transiting Saturn is in your 6th house.” That’s like looking at the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Audience: Going back to the Mars cycle, I’m going through a Mars return at the moment, among several others. Are you saying that because Mars is this impulse to act, that every two years you have this new impulse to act? But it’s always coming back to the same Sign. I don’t understand how it works.
Jeffrey: Because there’s evolution within the symbol. It’s not a static symbol. Nothing’s static. You have an original impulse wherever your natal Mars is. That’s a life impulse, and it refers to the natal Pluto. That’s a life statement. But you also have a whole potential in that symbol, Mars, or in any other symbol. The development of that entire potential occurs over time. The Mars cycle gradually unlocks the deeper dimensions of the whole potential of your natal Mars. Every two years we’re given this opportunity to develop it further.
Audience: Would you repeat that, please? I’m sorry; I’m not quite getting it.
Jeffrey: Imagine I have a whole book in front of me. There’s a whole story in this book. That’s your natal Mars.
Now imagine the first Mars return at age two. I’ve just read a few pages in that book. Throughout our lives, every two years we uncover a few more pages until we get through the whole book. Do you get that now? You do? Good.
Okay, before we wrap it up, are there any questions or comments on the first part?
Audience: You mentioned that Mars is the desires of the Soul. Could you contrast that with what Venus is?
Jeffrey: Mars acts out or acts upon the desires of the Soul. Venus correlates with the essential needs within the person’s life that facilitate that Soul’s evolutionary intent. How many of you have learned, for example, that Venus connects to your inner relationship with yourself?
Most of you have learned in traditional books that Venus is your external relationships. But it also connects to your inner relationship to yourself. From an evolutionary point of view, why would we have Venus in this Sign, and not that Sign?
For example, say you come into this life with Venus in Virgo, which would define your inner relationship to yourself. From an evolutionary point of view, why would you have this kind of inner relationship to yourself in this life? How does it link to your overall evolutionary intent?
That’s how we want to approach these things. And if we approach them from an evolutionary point of view, we suspend judgments that are linked with our own belief systems. Because now we just see things for what they are. Wouldn’t you rather see a counselor who’s approaching you in this way, just seeing you for who you are, validating what you are, versus somebody projecting his or her own belief system onto you?
I’ll give you kind of a dramatic example. Some of you have heard this example before. It involves a client of mine who was going through, if I remember right. Mars transiting in opposition to her Pluto. She happened to have a Mars/Pluto opposition natally, therefore she was also having a Mars return. The astrologer she saw told her, “You need to stay in your house for the next six months. If you leave your house, you’ll be raped.”
Imagine you’d been told something like that!
Try to see how the astrological energies in a chart fit into that client’s evolutionary intent, versus projecting your own belief system about Mars/Pluto or whatever onto that client.
The Venus function connects, ultimately, to why we have this sort of inner relationship to ourselves in this lifetime, and to how that inner relationship is changing in response to the transits. That’s the evolutionary intent.
Any other questions or comments?
Audience: It seems as if the Sun will be really important for the next eighteen months because it rules Leo, the Sign that the North Node will be passing through. Can you talk about that a little bit? The Sun being the integration of the chart, right? And how with this Nodal transit through Leo, we’re all going to have a lot of emphasis on our Suns?
Jeffrey: And on our natal Uranus, through the South Node rulership
Jeffrey: Again, to understand why something is emphasized is to understand its context: meaning, in this case about the Sun, we’ve really got to begin with the transiting lunar South Node in Aquarius. This goes back to our need to stand back a bit from our existing life circumstances in order to become more objective about them. Through this process of objectification, we can then see what we need to change in order to grow. Once we have that knowledge, we access the Sun.
Now we have to take charge of those insights and actually apply them in order to integrate the change: those are Sun actions. That’ll be all of our jobs for the next eighteen months.
Audience: When you have clients coming in, that’s going to be the big piece.
Jeffrey: Yes. Look at exactly where these signatures occur in your clients’ charts. Understand the general archetype, then make it specific to each person.
Audience: Where can we look up the nodes of the other planets?
Jeffrey: There are only a couple of sources. One is the Solar Fire astrology program that lists the planetary geocentric nodes. I hear that Alphee Lavoie’s going to put them in his AIR Software programs.
I want to say something more about the Mars transit. I said earlier that most people really underestimate the function and effect of Mars in their lives. If you observe its transits, you will see just how dramatic they are, because in many ways Mars connects to our experience of the continuous state of becoming. In effect, transiting Mars is the leading edge of your evolutionary change in each moment, both as it refers to the natal Mars, and as the natal Mars itself refers to the natal Pluto.
The Mars transit always refers back to natal Mars, to the actual house and sign it was in at birth, and how they reflect the evolutionary desires of the Soul as symbolized even more clearly in the natal Pluto. Here again I’ll use my own life as an illustration. One day, transiting Mars was in direct opposition to my natal Pluto. And my natal Pluto is in the 9th house and Mars was transiting the 3rd.
I lived in Maui for two years. If you’ve lived in Hawaii, you know you can’t drive in that place. You just get island-bound. Right after we moved to Boulder, I had to do a lecture down in Phoenix, and being a Sagittarian man I said, “Yeah! I finally get to drive someplace!”
So I got in my Bronco and drove to Phoenix. On the way back, at the minute of the exact opposition of transiting Mars to my natal Pluto, this woman tried to pass me on the shoulder of the road at seventy miles an hour.
Think of transiting Mars in Aquarius in the 3rd, opposing my 9th house Pluto!
She hit the right rear quarter panel of the Bronco, and they’re like tanks, those Broncos. My Bronco went spinning; it rolled five times across the Interstate. They thought my neck was broken. They pumped me full of some sort of drug, and I was airlifted out of there in a helicopter. Imagine what that was like for me, because I had been in Vietnam and Vietnam was full of helicopters, and I’d also been captured there.
They pumped this drug into me and I flashed out on being back in Vietnam. I wasn’t in a helicopter in 1996 or whenever the car crash happened. And because of being flashed out on Vietnam, I was going crazy. Because when they think your neck’s broken, you’re all contained and strapped in. Look at this kind of intense, cataclysmic type of evolutionary event being triggered by a Mars transit!
So don’t underestimate them. Try to observe them in your own life.
Any other questions or comments?
Have you found something you could use, take out and apply with your own clients?
Good! Thank you.