PAST LIFE INFLUENCES IN THE HOROSCOPE
by: Tracy Porter
New Age philosophies are beginning to become more popular as we approach the 21st century. With this change in consciousness, the concept of reincarnation has begun to replace more conventional notions of heaven, hell, and purgatory, which have dominated Western thinking patterns for the last 2,000 years. While the idea of transmigration of the soul has gained greater popularity in recent years, it is important to remember that it was a fundamental belief of the Jewish Cabalists and early Christian Gnostics and Manicheans until 325 A.D. when the Emperor Constantine declared it heresy in the Council of Nicea. There are several instances in both the Old and New Testaments which implicitly state reincarnational themes. In the book of John, the disciples asked Jesus of Nazareth whether a particular man who had been blind from birth was being punished because of his own sins (before his birth) or those of his parents, thus referring to pre-birth existence and activities. The book of Matthew alludes to the concept of soul regeneration as evidenced by the fact that Jesus of Nazareth informed his disciples that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elias, an Old Testament Prophet whose re-emergence was foretold in the book of Malachi.
Planets, Signs and Houses
The influences of the past lives, karma (the debts that have accumulated in our past), and dharma (the rewards that have accumulated in our past) that are most relevant in the current incarnation can be clearly seen in the natal horoscope. Certain planets, signs, and Houses provide references to our past life experiences and point to those areas that will be prominent in our current affairs.
Pluto, which rules Scorpio and the Eighth House, details the rebirth of the native or what he or she must endeavour to become through transformation in this and subsequent incarnations. It reflects what type of life we will achieve when we have overcome obstacles and met all of our karmic obligations. If for any reason we are not able to learn through experience or pay our karmic debts, this placement will reflect what we will seek to become in subsequent lifetimes. The sign and House that Pluto is placed in details what we at many times will feel compelled to achieve, and any planets placed in Scorpio or the Eighth House will give further illumination regarding the circumstances which will arise to make this rebirth possible.
Neptune, which rules Pisces and the Twelfth House, reflects karmic debts that we have resolved to pay. Jupiter, the ancient ruler of Pisces, is an indicator of our dharmic influences or gifts that we have been given to help up accomplish our goals in our earth walk. The sign and House that Neptune and Jupiter are posited in, as well as any planets placed in Pisces or the Twelfth house, give further clarification of the primary areas this work will center around.
The Moon, which rules Cancer and the Fourth house of the horoscope, relates to the ancestral memories which are a part of our maternal lineage. The sign and House the Moon is posited in as well as any planets in Cancer or the Fourth House give further illumination as to which ancestral influences have been brought into the current incarnation.
Saturn has traditionally been considered to be the “Lord of Karma” because it shows the areas where we will be bound by restrictions and limitations. Therefore, this planet, which rules Capricorn and the Tenth House shows which paternal influences we will be forced to deal with to enable us make our mark on the society in which we live. In contrast to the more nurturing ancestral implications of maternal societies, the patrilineal culture that Saturn rules places greater emphasis on our deeds, accomplishments, and how much wealth we have been able to accumulate in an attempt to formulate a position of status outside of our immediate family. Therefore, our career aspirations and what we are expected to achieve are of primary influence because we will often feel under great pressure until we have lived up to the aspirations that others have set for us. The sign and House that Saturn is posited in, as well as any planets placed in Capricorn and the Tenth house, will clarify the areas in which we will feel a heavy responsibility.
The Lunar Nodes are another major factor when considering the impact our past lives play on our current one. The South Node reflects an important past life in which we acquired a great deal of aptitude - as well as some bad habits. Because we have so much experience which is reflected in the sign and House the South Node is posited in, we will generally be inclined to unconsciously lapse into related activities. It is interesting to watch young children who have not been faced with the nodal implications of their birth chart as they interact with the world around them. Because they have yet to acquire the skills depicted by their North Node, they will quite naturally fall into the patterns reflected in their South Node. Fortunately, circumstances will usually arise to make it difficult to operate within the realms of the South Node for any great length of time. The North Node reflects the skills we must acquire, which do not come to us naturally. Fortunately, we will often be given many stimuli to assist us in our endeavours as we aspire to the tasks associated with the sign and House the North Node is posited in.
Interpreting Karmic Influences in the Chart
Carl Jung, physician and founder of analytical psychology, has an interesting natal horoscope. It easily shows many of the karmic influences relating to his life’s work.
Jung’s Pluto is posited in the sign of Taurus in his Third House, indicating that he needed to work on issues relating to self-esteem. He started life somewhat disadvantaged in relation to his contemporaries because his family was considered to be poor and were only able to send him to Basal, a nearby town, to be educated from the age of 11. While his original desire was to be an archaeologist, because there was no one at the University of Basal teaching this subject, he chose to study medicine instead. Because Scorpio is on the cusp of his Tenth House, his reputation and career were important aspects to his psyche, which he would pursue with a great deal of intensity. Virgo on the cusp of his Eighth House indicates that he desired to develop working partnerships with those whom he came into contact with, probably one of the reasons why he collaborated with the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. Jung and Freud maintained a rather intense relationship for about six years until basic philosophical differences of opinion forced them to part company. Jupiter posited in Jung’s Eighth House indicates that he would derive much benefit from such working relationships, but the South Node also positioned in this house reveals that any such liaisons would be short-lived because he could accomplish so much more if he worked independently to become a leader in his field. Because personal relationships were so important to Jung, after the split with Freud he went through a troubled period, which can be best described as “the dark night of the soul” as he struggled to maintain a semblance of normality when he himself was displaying many of the psychotic symptoms that he had observed in his patients.
Jung’s Neptune was posited in Taurus in his Second House and shows that he was able to earn a living from the study of such elusive topics as the mind and spirituality. Pisces on the cusp of the Second House indicates that part of the karmic influences brought into his life revolved around his own sense of self worth. His primary sources of income centered on various activities to include his psychiatric work in the Burgholzli hospital, a lectureship at the University of Zurich, and his own private practice. However, when he was in his late 30’s he entered into what would now be considered a mid life crisis and came close to a schizophrenic breakdown. What saved him was the stabilizing influence of his wife and five children. Capricorn, which is on the cusp of his Twelfth House indicates that he was destined for a life full of responsibility which at times he would have preferred to be relieved of. Except for periodic excursions abroad, he maintained his home firmly in Zurich until his death in 1961. His lunar nodes are placed on the Aries/Libra and Second/Eighth House axes. His North Node in Aries indicates that although he would feel more comfortable working within the confines of a partnership, he would accomplish more by working independently. His North Node in the Second House reflects that there would be little assistance in his travels because he needed to make his own way in life.
Jung’s Moon and Fourth House cusp were in the sign of Taurus, thus verifying that his ancestral heritage was centered primarily among the more earthy professions of theologians and physicians, which have traditionally given much needed stability to the world. Cancer is on the cusp of his Sixth House which indicates that many of his health problems were brought down through maternal influences. Jung’s mother, whom he described as problematical, played an important part in the development of many of his theories. In addition to her actions, which appeared to be inconsistent with her statements, when Jung was about three she entered the hospital for a period of several months, which detrimentally affected the mother/son bond. It left him feeling ambivalent about her and distrusting all women in general.
Jung’s Saturn is posited in Aquarius in the First House, indicating that his many obligations influenced his personality and friendships that would have a stabilizing effect on his self-image. This tendency to allow friendships to take over a large part of his outlook was exemplified in his six-year collaboration with Freud, who he came to view as a father figure. While Jung was not uncritical of Freud, their friendship meant so much to him that he suppressed many of his opinions and set aside much of his own better judgement in matters regarding their professional interests. Whilst writing Symbols of Transformation, Jung was aware that some of his conceptions differed so radically from those of Freud that it was likely that publishing them likely would lose him Freud’s friendship. This idea disturbed him to an such extent that he was unable to proceed with the writing for two months, signifying the emotional importance of the bond. Although Jung and Freud disagreed on many fundamental principals in the psychiatric field, their collaboration no doubt provided insights that each might never have had without the friendship of the other.