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Astrology Inner Quest
The 4 elements and the key to your personal spiritual lessons in life
It seems that those with a strong Fire chart will be more ‘driven’ to embark upon the path of enlightenment. Why? because of their innate desire to seek adventure inside and outside of their present experiences. The Fire dominant person seeks a means to control their depression in living a meaningless life by experiencing life as one long adventure. Fires long for change and excitement, when things get boring they get depressed, that’s why they do ‘drugs, sex and rock and roll’. A dominance of Air will see the native seek intellectual stimulation thus they have an ‘intellectual’ approach to enlightenment. The Air dominance seeks control of depression and ‘lack of understanding’ through ‘knowing’. A dominant Earth chart will seek enlightenment through ‘doing’ and ‘being’, if they can feel it and experience it then they are interested. They seek control over their depression by ‘controlling’ the speed of change in their lives (sudden change frightens the Earth signs). The Water dominance person will seek the Hero’s path to control their depression and loneliness, they seek to ‘connect’ to the higher source to maintain emotional stability.
Thus we see that each person has their own reasons to seek a spiritual path. It is their way of surviving in a boring, unknowable, lonely, changing and unstable world. Although every chart usually has two or even three slightly more dominant elements, it simply means that they seek enlightenment and stability for several reasons. One way to ‘see’ inside their soul is to note the signs / elements of their personal planets, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars, as well as their Ascendant and MC. If there is dominance in a house then that too counts. Dominance of an outer planet, for example Pluto (in any sign) conjunct Sun in Aquarius, makes it more Water, rather than Air. An outer planet will dominate the inner planet element, thus Uranus conjunct Cancer Moon makes it more Air, Neptune conjunct Aries Sun makes it more Water, etc.
Telling someone about their purpose in life follows this simple key, count up their elements, look at outer planet conjunctions to inner planets and in the angular houses, stelliums, patterns, dominance of sign, house or element, etc. the dominance of any of these become the native’s personal spiritual lesson. For example, Sun conjunct Pluto is all about resolving Fear of the father, of losing self control, violence, betrayal by the father & Water’s abandonment. Moon conjunct Uranus is all about coming to terms with their mother, the tension that their mother brings into their lives & Air’s need to understand, Neptune conjunct Moon or Sun is abandonment by mother or father. Dominance of one sign, house or planet signifies where and how the native needs to complete lessons associated with that sign, house or planet.
Spiritual lessons are the keys to your client’s ’soul urge’ and thus what they spend most of their time trying to control, avoid or resolve, it is their focus for this life-time. It is a good idea for astrologers to add a section in your professional reading that outlines your client’s “Spiritual Lessons For This Lifetime.” This adds depth and integrity to your reading and can be found in much the same way that you would look for conflicts and complexes described in the Jungian Psychology in Astrology article.
The Bottom Line—why we do what we do
The bottom line, psychologically speaking, is that we do what we do to survive, no other reason. We simply seek balance, if we are too frightened we will do things, sometimes silly things, to make ourselves safe. The narcissist seeks to be safe just like we all do, however he displays such unacceptable behaviours as self-gratification, rudeness and selfishness to save himself from annihilation, disintegration and fragmentation of ‘self’ (read R.D.Laing’s books). We could say that Narcissists are really very fragile, they are so insecure that they cannot put off gratification of their needs because those needs are so strong within them. If they don’t get their needs met immediately they fear losing their minds, which happens in Bipolar Disorder during the narcissist phase (‘manic’ phase in Manic Depression - which means Bi Polar anyway). Life is all about survival and each Element seeks to survive in their own special ways.
Pluto and Neptune use Water methods to survive abandonment (they attach), Uranus uses Air methods to survive (they catalogue information) and Saturn uses Earth methods to survive (they organise and order) and Jupiter uses Fire (they throw tantrums). Chiron isn’t in our system of elements so we don’t use him, though I suspect a Water element may be suitable at a pinch.
The Inner Quest—Sun, Jupiter and Mars, Leo, Aries and Sagittarius—the drive to know, to understand and become enlightened
Fire seeks adventure, meaning and action in their lives, they want to be heroes and admired for their skills. But above all they seek to understand themselves—to ‘know thyself’. For the adventurous ‘inner quest’ path to be taken we would see these planets or signs strongly placed in the chart. It shows that the native is experiencing an inner restlessness and urge to make a ‘special’ life of themselves, a ‘calling’.
The 'pitfall' - where many fall from their spiritual path
Jupiter is the most powerful, but has the tendency to stop its search when its narcissistic selfishness is satisfied. In other words a dominant Jupiter (or Sagittarius) will often stop the spiritual journey when they find people worshiping them. They find that they can simply use their charisma to lecture and preach their ‘way’ and people will flock to them. This satisfies their innate needs for attractiveness, attention and general sexual gratification.
We look for the Fire planets in the Air Fire Pentagram houses, 1, 3, 5, 9 and 11th houses for them to be ‘strongly placed’. They become even more powerful when in Fire houses, 1st, 5th and 9th. Tenth house planets are geared more towards achievement, not necessarily ‘spiritual’. We also see that an emphasis on the Fire signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius is directed towards exploration, towards doing and being. Leo and Sagittarius will be more driven for spiritual fulfilment than Aries. While we would think that the Water elements are more spiritual, they do not follow the path as fast or as surely as the driven Fires. Fires, by the way ‘fall’ hard too and become sceptics quickly when they don’t ‘make it’.
Just quickly, to remind you of the three levels of consciousness from Sigmund Freud:
Id = the deep unconscious, where resides our urges and emotional needs, this comes from our genetic predisposition to anxiety, depression etc. and from our early experiences of love, trauma, abandonment, betrayal, fear, etc. This level is the deepest and drives our behaviour, it is what motivates us to act and react to certain stimuli.
Super Ego = this is the moral centre of our being, it is formed from our parents morals and rules, ‘should’, ‘must’, ‘have to’, ‘need to’, ‘got to’, ‘what about me?!’ etc. whatever moral baggage our parents lay on us we keep and try to live up to.
Ego = that part of us that is conscious, it is our ‘awake’ mode, here we try to control our Id insecurity and our Super Ego morality. It is like the fulcrum in the middle of a see-saw, trying to keep balanced. If the Id is too strong we dwell on our deep emotional problems and become depressed, panic stricken, etc. if the Super Ego is too strong then we are forever trying to live up to our parents demands, rules, morals, etc. ‘I just have to be good, I should try to save money, I got to act brave, I must not step on the cracks.’ etc. A strong Ego is necessary to stave off insanity and to remain stable and secure.
The Fire’s Id is to ‘Know Thyself’, their Super Ego is ‘Me First’, their morals often exist for self interest and self gain.
What makes people successful in their journey? We would look for outer planets that stimulate those inner needs, urges from the subconscious, the Id. When the Id demands to be healed it drives the native towards healing, therapy, meditation, etc. A strong Fire element will continually seek healing for their inner Id needs. A strong Jupiter or Sagittarius in the chart will tend to dominate the moral needs, the Super Ego. Thus they often end up in law, religion and business, the strong Jupiter / Sagittarius chart seeks resolution of their Id needs and Super Ego demands by entering a profession that is suitable for this. The big problem is that they can be seduced into believing their own sermons, and fall victim to their innate (hidden) narcissistic qualities and abuse their positions for self gain. It appears that most New Age gurus and presenters at many ‘new age’ workshops have strong Sagittarius or Jupiter in their charts. Wisdom? Maybe, but I am a cynic when it comes to new age ‘miracles’ in one single workshop.
Triggers to the quest - when are we driven to seek the answers?
Transits and Progressions
We seek answers when we are feeling distressed. I like to think of it as the rich man or lady at their favourite holiday place, Fiji or Hawaii, sipping their cocktails while lying comfortably in their hammock. Then one day there is a cyclone which knocks down their hut, they lose their credit cards and possessions and have to start working all over again. When things go right we don’t bother doing anything, we get fat and lazy, but when we are in crisis we get moving and make our lives more fulfilling and ourselves a better person.
Our triggers are of course outer planet transits to luminaries and angles, plus I would add transits to the 12th house cusp. Conjunctions are strongest followed by oppositions and then squares. Squares are hardest to deal with because we can’t seem to find out what it is that make us unhappy, it thus has the 'potential' to trigger the search for meaning. Conjunctions are most painful and hit hardest but we generally do something about it early, not like squares which take ages and many wrong turns before we find resolution. The opposition is more obvious as we can see where the pain is coming from but we are generally not very keen on resolving it because it looks so hard, thus we often miss the opportunity to move forward. I see most people for counselling when they have the 'conjunction'.
Transiting outer planet:
Conjunctions to luminaries and angles = most painful but the fastest path to 'self'
Oppositions = most obvious, often we know the answers to our problems but we refuse to go there because it is so painful
Squares = the most powerful but the hardest and longest because we don't know where to go to find resolution
Progressions are much the same, but remember - always keep the orbs tight. The Secondary Progressed Moon is our very best indicator here, so watch her like a hawk for movement towards a greater understanding of self, the inner quest. We would see this at crisis time, Sec.Prog. Moon conjunct Sun, Moon, North Node or Ascendant; oppositions and squares to these provide minor effects. Her movement is fast, one degree per month, so tight orbs are absolutely necessary. We also see her affect us when she moves into a new house, crossing the delicate 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th house cusps, but she is especially delicate for the duration of her time in the 8th, 9th and 12th houses (I include the 9th house—life experiences). The Solar Arc chart doesn’t show much more, in fact I haven’t seen much action with the Solar Arc chart to move the native along their path to enlightenment.
I often see the quest triggered by Transiting North Node conjunctions to the luminaries and Ascendant. It takes time for the native to realise what has happened though, perhaps 12 months passes before the native realises, “hey, that was a very powerful year and I did so much, wow.”
Each of us is searching for balance and stability of some kind in our lives. The answer to our ‘life quest’ is in the planets, right there in front of us. Once someone knows their ‘lesson’, they can begin to resolve it. The way to find this is to look for ‘conflict’, that which they spend their life trying to resolve. We see this in the article on Jungian Psychology mentioned at the beginning, se look for conflict, complexes, etc. they are all spiritual lessons, fix them and you are free to enjoy life. Look for luminaries conjunct outer planets, the most aspected planets, planets in the 1st and 12th houses, most elevated planet, etc. Not all will be ‘spiritual lessons’ as such, but their resolution will pave the way for greater satisfaction. The examples in the Air Fire Pentagram article will help you to find these valuable lessons for your own client.
© Noel Eastwood 2003
Copyright © 2003 Astral Connections