Soul Mission Checkpoints – Outer Planet Transits to the Natal Chart
I believe that, as souls, before we incarnate we set up certain checkpoints in the timeline or story arc of the life we are going to have on Earth. We know that once we get born and fall back into the gravity and density of the Earth Experience*, we’re going to forget why we came and lose sight of what we intended to experience.
So we choose our time and place of birth in order to have a certain natal chart. The chart gives us the reassurance of knowing that if we miss a key turning point at age 30, for example, we’ll have another chance to get on the path we want at age 37, and then again at age 45.
These built-in checkpoints are often devastatingly direct. They can always be seen (at least in retrospect) in the form of outer planet transits to the natal chart.
Especially if we’ve managed to sleep through a couple of previous alarms on the same life theme, these outer planet transits can show up in the form of a seriously hard-core knock you on your ass, drop you to your knees wake-up call!
Maybe because when we’re planning them in the soul realm, we can’t really remember how painful life on Earth can be. Maybe we make these wake-up calls so intense because we know ourselves too well and we’re going to make damn sure we complete the mission this time around.
Well, 2018 started off like a sucking chest wound. For the first three weeks of January, I was down in a hole. With a black dog on my chest. I was blind. I knew I had to escape, but my arms and legs wouldn’t work and my mind kept wandering off…
I’ve felt a whole lot better since (a) the Sun and Venus moved into Aquarius and (b) I started to understand why I’ve been feeling what I’ve been feeling.
Yep, this is one of those checkpoint moments for me.
This is my chart with transits the day after Thanksgiving (Nov 24, 2017). That was the day – less than a week after my stepdad’s funeral – when my Mom triggered the alarm.
The subjects: money, core beliefs, self-worth.
The theme: You should give up on living your mission and get a corporate job.
The family system/childhood shame pattern: “Being who you are is obviously still not enough.”
I’ve written about this at length elsewhere, so here’s the nutshell version:
I’d gone to visit my mother and support her during my stepdad’s funeral in Michigan. We were staying with family in Detroit; a few days after the funeral (and the day after Thanksgiving), I drove back up to Flint to spend the day with her. We cried, we laughed, we cried some more. And then, around 2 pm, at the Saginaw Road Big Boy, something snapped. She let me have it, big-time. I was shaken, stunned, shocked by the things she said and the evident malice behind the words. It seemed to come from out of the blue.
Which is a good description of how Uranus transits hit us. As you can see in the chart for the time of this conversation, Uranus (sudden, shocking change, insight, revelation, awakening) is sitting exactly on my Aries Moon (mom, soul, inner self).
The Sun is in 2 degrees of Sagittarius, squaring my natal Sun. Sun square Sun happens twice a year for everyone and often brings a challenge to our sense of self.
Mercury – about to station retrograde – is at 24 Sag 32, square my natal Pluto at 24 Virgo 21. We could read this as:
“Challenging communication (Mercury square) presented as truth (Mercury in Sagittarius) activating subconscious family pattern archetypes (Pluto) around money and self-esteem (natal 2nd House).”
My Time Passages iPhone app tells me this about transiting Uranus conjunct natal Moon:
“This could be the beginning of a major breakthrough, the first step in actually coming to terms with emotions long buried in your unconscious…you may have insights that force you into a new way of seeing your relationship with your mother.”
I thought I had worked through the majority of my mother issues several years ago. But you know what they say about peeling the onion.
And I’m obviously determined to get it this time; since Thanksgiving, I’ve been repeatedly forced to look at:
(a) just how fundamentally my sense of self and identity were warped by my early childhood experiences; and
(b) how several of my most important relationships have been pushing me for years to grow beyond the passivity and self-abandoning behaviors I adopted in early childhood.
Here’s what was happening in my chart at the moment of the super Full Moon in Cancer on New Year’s Day:
A couple of notable points:
- Uranus is stationary, preparing to return to direct motion and make one more exact hit to my Moon.
- Jupiter and Mars are square my Ascendant (personality/identity) and about to make conjunction in Scorpio for the first time since 1946.**
- Saturn is squaring my natal Nodes, Chiron, Jupiter and Uranus (I’m working on a video about that one!).
People-Pleasers and Controlling Martyrs
I drove my daughter back to New Orleans on January 1, returning her to her mother and to school after the winter holidays.
I was looking forward to getting to hang out with her in the evenings after school, getting to do readings with some of my favorite clients, seeing a few friends, and just generally getting a break from the routine at home.
But my week in New Orleans felt grim. It was brutally cold, many of the people I ran into seemed depressed, and then…something was going on inside me .
I remember looking in the mirror on a couple of different days. And thinking that it looked as if the guy staring back at me had spend the last 24 hours not sleeping, smoking a lot of weed, and crying.
“Why do I feel so sad?” I asked myself, more than once that week.
I knew that transiting Mars-Jupiter in Scorpio in my 4th House and square my Ascendant must mean something. But every time I tried to parse it out, my mind just disappeared. And showed up somewhere else. I could not make myself pay attention to it.
The meaning of this transit finally hit me on Friday night, as Mars and Jupiter made their exact conjunction. Here’s how I was finally able to articulate it:
“Oh! I’ve been on a highly energized and focused journey (Mars/Jupiter) into the deep psychology (Scorpio) of my family-of-origin emotional patterns (4th House). And this is happening because I can’t break out of the financial, career and relationship ruts that I’ve been stuck in unless I make some radical changes to my identity (the square to my Ascendant).”
One of the things my mom said to me at Thanksgiving suddenly revealed itself to be true, although not perhaps in the way intended: “When are you going to admit to yourself that what you’re doing isn’t working?”
Her point was, ditch the astrology/artist/visionary/healer schtick and get a job!
And, trust me, if the right gig came along right now I wouldn’t think twice. But the truth in her statement for me is that until I stop show up as the passive people-pleaser who only deserves the scraps and doesn’t want to bother anyone with my needs or desires…I’m never going to get anywhere other than here.
And that’s when I finally realized the reason I looked so sad every time I saw myself in the mirror is that I was sad.
The reason I look so sad every time I return from my ex’s house is that I feel sad!
Relationship Psychology 101
Without going into too many personal details, I had several experiences with people from the past during my time in New Orleans that highlighted one of the fundamental soul challenges for me in this lifetime.
Please understand that anything I say about other people in describing this wake-up bomb going off in my chart is my experience of their energy. I’m describing my perception of how they’ve shown up for me, based on my own unresolved psychological-emotional issues. They most likely present in completely different ways to people with whom they don’t share the same soul contract they share with me.
We always attract the partners we need to show us our shadow – the parts of ourselves we’ve rejected and repressed from consciousness.
These shadow parts must be played out by our intimate partners until we take responsibility for them and integrate them into our conscious idea of Self.
This is a universal law of the soul in the same way gravity is a physical law here on Earth.
Most of our conscious personality (which tends to be shown by the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant in our natal chart) is formed as a reaction to our parents/family-of-origin by the time we are five years old.
My default personality/identity is to be the Good Boy, the people-pleaser, the conflict avoider. This is what I learned I needed to do in order to get some love and avoid being punished or abandoned.
One of my core shadow personalities – which my mom was mirroring to me big-time at Thanksgiving – is what I call the Controlling Martyr or Angry Victim archetype.
It’s easy to see this archetype at play throughout my experience with my mother over the years, as well as with several important adult relationships. This archetype feels unloved and powerless. She is the eternal victim and she demands that a savior appear to rescue her.
But, because she is unwilling to give up her anger over the injustice of life –
unwilling to let go of the story of how she has been victimized – she doesn’t really want to be saved. So each successive savior figure is destined to fail at the Herculean task of rescuing her. The savior, now a contemptible failure, then becomes the target for her punishing anger.
Just to be clear: this archetype can dominate in both men and women. I’ve played the Angry Victim far more than I would care to admit.
The central behavior pattern of this archetype is the “attack/attract” cycle. The Martyr seduces the partner with ‘love’ when she fears she is about to be abandoned. But she fears being engulfed as much as she fears abandonment. So as soon as the partner gets too close for comfort, she uses her punishing anger to push the partner away.
Once I understood the astrological impetus, I looked back at several interactions I’d had in New Orleans and saw my anger being triggered by things that were said or done. And then I saw myself obeying the old storyline and stuffing my emotions out of sight.
Because that’s my identity. That’s what I learned I had to do as a child to avoid being punished and abandoned. That’s how you get love.
I needed to develop that personality to survive as a child. But it sure as hell ain’t working for me as an adult!
The Aries Moon Synchronicity
I tell my clients all the time, “No matter how shocking or hard it might feel, Uranus is always trying to set you free.”
I knew Uranus conjunct my natal Aries Moon was trying to liberate me from the grip of these subconscious mother issues.
As if to make sure I wouldn’t miss this lesson, the Universe presented me with an exceptional synchronicity.
I think most healers would agree that life has a way of sending you clients who are suffering from soul maladies that resonate to the very issues you are working to heal within yourself.
When I sat down with the chart for my last client before I left New Orleans, I remembered that she has an Aries Moon, too. That’s when I realized that every single client I saw that week was born with the Moon in Aries. What are the odds on that?!
I’m working with some cool ideas to change my identity, including the Book of Spells framework. I’ll write more about those when the time is right. Meanwhile, I’d love to know what has worked (or not) for you in similar situations.
* Yes, in the soul realm, Earth is a theme park. No, this is not our ‘real home’. But we have to act like it is in order to win prizes and look cool to our friends and family when we do return home. And trust me, souls freaking line up a million deep to get tickets to come back here.
**I highlighted transiting Saturn and my natal soul mission axis in the January 1 chart just to point out that another big wake-up bomb is also active in the background. I’ll tackle that one in a separate post.