All posts here are from sections of the books: "North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose" and "Saturn Returns~The Private Papers of A Reluctant Astrologer" Available only on Amazon.com
To inquire about readings or for more articles on the North/South Nodes, go to: http://www.elizabethspring.com
To inquire about readings or for more articles on the North/South Nodes, go to: http://www.elizabethspring.com
Friday, January 2, 2015
This short video tells the story of Annie Besant's life from her working with the "match girls" factory strike in London to her meeting Madame Blavatsky and her raising her adopted son, Krishnamurti--a boy the newspapers of the time called: "The Young Messiah."
Little did they know that the prediction about Krishnamurti would come true, and he would indeed become a great spiritual teacher~and little did I know, that the astrological synchronicities between Annie Besant's chart and my own chart, would lead me on an unexpected and life-changing journey.
So the book is both memoir and biography and is based on the true stories of three people bound together in unusual ways....
Friday, December 19, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
Using Your Intuitive, Psychic, and Counseling Abilities in a Reading
(Excerpted from "Lifting the Veil; Becoming Your Own Best Astrologer" on amazon.com in paperback and Kindle)
A lot of astrology is based on an intuitive understanding of the chart that happens after the astrologer has taken the chart apart—like a puzzle—and puts it back together again. The first part of the preparation is the left brain rational note taking on what is seen, and the second part is the pondering, the synthesizing, and the allowing of images to arise….
So what happens to me is that after pondering a chart for a couple of hours before a reading, I usually get an “aha” about the client’s questions, and the planetary symbolism comes together into a little epiphany. Not huge. I do mean little.
But I wait till there’s a nugget of something there that feels very right, and it’s my hope that in our session together we can swim down together into the symbolic underworld and pull out what you, the client needs to hear. And I’ve found that the more my clients know of astrology, the better, because we’re speaking the same language.
And again…you can do the same: spend a few hours with your own chart, take notes, come back to it later, and see if you can swim in those realms and find treasure…or at least the answer to your question(s).
Most of us don’t know how intuitive or psychic we may be, but I believe we all have some of this ability. (… a little “private information” about me—I’ve been testing this idea lately by going to classes at a Spiritualist Church in Santa Barbara…and I’m coming away believing that most of us are more psychic than we allow ourselves to be.) It seems to be a matter of quieting the mind, asking Spirit for guidance, and allowing images and feelings to arise. We can prepare ourselves for this, but we can’t command the information to flow. It’s a gift of grace. The chart anchors us like a map, as we explore the terrain of these realms.
There is room for the intuitive and psychic realm to enter into a reading although you may not wish to say it, as the client has asked for an astrology reading, not a psychic reading. I use the impressions that arise intuitively to ask my client questions. I won’t jump to conclusions, but I will ask questions related to that intuitive feeling I have. Sometimes it’s correct, sometimes only partially correct. I think it’s a natural tool that most astrologers use whether they realize it or not.
If you have done the work on the chart—analyzing it—take a few moments to sit with it and allow impressions to arise. Listen to what the client is asking from you—even what he or she has not written. Listen to your psyche and make a few notes about what you sense so that this can become part of the reading too.
As for the counseling, well, we can all use good listening skills and counseling techniques, such as repeating back to the client what they’ve just said so that they understand that you’ve really heard them. Clients need to know that you are following their train of thought and that you “get it.” And sometimes that just takes a pause, and perhaps a request for more information, or to ask them how they feel about what was just said. Many counselors like to go back into the client’s history to remember the first moments some complex or wound occurred, but we don’t often have time for that in one counseling session, except for a brief mention of past transits that may have triggered something that is now repeated…and that can be significant. For example, I have a friend who almost always gets a skin rash or skin irritation around the time when she has Uranus transits. So she’s come to almost expect it. Perhaps this isn’t a good thing, but she accepts it more easily because she’s noticed that when the transit has passed, so has the rash.
However when we use our intuitive, psychic or counseling skills there’s still one very important point to remember: free will choices. Do you remember me mentioning the equation: “Fate + Free Will=Destiny”? Assuming too much is a mistake many astrologers make; we see signs in certain houses and signs and aspects and we don’t ask or don’t listen well enough to know how the client is living out those tendencies that are seen in their birth chart. Their choices—their free will choices—if used wisely will over-ride any negativity in the chart. (excerpted from "Lifting the Veil; Becoming Your Own Best Astrologer" on amazon.com)
Saturday, May 24, 2014
The Chiron Return
The Chiron Return is an astrological turning point that happens to each of us between the ages of 48-52. Most people experience it at age 51. Women think of this transitional time as the time of menopause, but men also experience a significant and life-altering change at this time.
The symbol of Chiron in your birth chart looks like a key: a circle with a k on top of it. Chiron was a mythological character: a centaur who was both physically wounded and a profound teacher and mentor to others. Classically he is thought of as the archetype of the “Wounded Healer.”
The Chiron Return life passage around the age of fifty is a time when our world can expand or shut down. It’s not an easy passage. We all create “fictions” about our life story and those of others close to us, and it’s at this point that we are challenged to enlarge the story of our lives—the story we tell ourselves about “how we each are and how it all is.” Those of us who aren’t flexible enough to adjust our “story lines” at this point, might find that our lives can change radically—Michael Jackson for instance, died at his Chiron Return. He was preparing for a world tour, a great expansion, but his old habits didn’t change.
Most of us have an urge at this time to expand our lives in some way, and we may feel tested in our faith and in our belief systems. It’s a good time to ask oneself: what do I turn my back to? And—what am I bringing into my relationships—and can I create more harmony and more relatedness in my life? Chiron was wounded and in pain, yet he chose to relate to others by teaching everything he knew.
It is said that the “Chi energy” in the body begins to diminish at this age, but it’s also a time of summoning up a new perspective. Essentially we are called to enlarge the story of our lives at this point. Carl Jung, at his Chiron Return, enlarged the story of how he felt about other cultures by going to Africa and New Mexico in these years. He stepped out of the cultural limitations of a European White Man and looked at the world through different eyes. He expanded his world, and enlarged his understanding.
No transits happen before their time. When we are in our Chiron Return transit, new opportunities tend to open for us—and it’s a good time to say “yes” to whatever we are being summoned towards. Like the mythological Chiron we have the choice to carry our own wounds and gifts with dignity and generosity or to project our problems and confusion outward. And the Chironic opportunity at this age is to open up to new visions of who we are and how it can all be, without becoming cynical or complaining. It’s a time that calls for courage. ~ (c) Elizabeth Spring excerpted from "Lifting the Veil; Becoming Your Own Best Astrologer"
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Excerpt from Chapter 6 of "Lifting the Veil; Becoming Your Own Best Astrologer" This is my story; part two.
Isabel Hickey was my first wise woman mentor, and it would be many years before I met and studied with my “second wise woman” Alice Howell. (It was also at this time in 1968 that I read Carl Jung’s auto-biography: “Memories, Dreams, and Reflections”. Here was another mentor; it didn’t matter that he wasn’t alive or my personal mentor, he changed me by the story of his journey into the subconscious. It felt reassuring to know that there was more to life than the academics I had been learning, and that one can navigate into the unconscious Neptunian worlds and still survive. Today, a portrait of him hangs on the wall in my study—such was his effect on me.
After college I moved to San Francisco and studied psychology at the Institute for Integral Studies, and had the chance to meet one of my favorite writers, Alan Watts. He was one of the first to bring Eastern wisdom, such as Taoism, to America. He also wrote books such as “The Wisdom of Insecurity” which was a source of comfort for many of us at that time.
It was a rich learning experience in California, and yet as my life changed I felt drawn to return back East to New England again. While living in Cambridge, Massachusetts I discovered pottery and began making pottery in the basement of my house…this was to be a continuing thread; and a way of grounding and centering. (In the chapter on the Nodes you’ll see that I have no earth signs in my chart, except for the North Node, so the physicality of the clay seemed to compensate for that lack of earth. Later I married an Earth sign man, and found that he helped “ground” me, as well as the experience of mothering and living in a stone house.)
Back to the story: the clay had a strong hold on me. I tried doing other things but always came back to the clay—and then one day before Christmas while selling pots on the street in Harvard Square, I met someone that would lead me to Provincetown and my first pottery shop with two other women.
The life-thread of astrology was weak at this point in my life. But Spirit spoke to me through a Near-Death Experience at this time, and out of that experience came the message to be more patient with my life, to be grounded and fully present in all I did, and a reassurance that I would come back to deeper spiritual studies later in my life. And indeed, it was true. But marriage, family, and clay would need to come first.
One pottery shop led to another, and finally to meeting my husband, who was also a potter. We had a daughter and I loved being a mother. The family experience was wonderful and although hard at times, it was grounded in lots of idealism. We were quite successful with the pottery shop (being in the right place at the right time) and our daughter grew into a wise woman in her own way. (She now has two little wise women in-training!)
So fast forward some years, and I’m finding more time for reading and studying astrology—in fact, I remember I was reading a book called “Jungian Synchronicity in Astrological Signs and Ages” when I felt so inspired that I wrote the author to tell her how much I liked it. Then a couple of days later the phone rang, and it was the author, Alice Howell, inviting me to come to her study group at her home in the Berkshires. Here was my second wise woman.
Alice combined astrology with Jung and a grounded earthy presence; she and her husband Walter, and their little Cairn Terrier, lived on the top of a mountain in western Massachusetts. I would go to visit her often and also bring her pictures of my daughter and our little dog, a Cairn Terrier as well. We were alike in many ways, stubborn and head-strong, and both passionate about astrology. But she was my teacher; and a good one.
It was around this time that I had to make a decision. Should I take training to become a “certified astrologer” or instead go back to school for a Masters in Counseling Psychology? Alice didn’t have advanced degrees, or certification from astrological organizations, yet she was a great astrologer. With her inspiration I decided to go to graduate school and focus my studies on Jungian psychology while reading astrology constantly. I never jumped through any hoops of traditional certification and I still don’t think it’s necessary to do that.
But perhaps that’s not quite accurate. Many years later I was certified through Steven Forrest’s apprenticeship program which was excellent. But it wasn’t traditional; it didn’t involve learning the art of making a chart from scratch, or the 101 million details of this craft, but instead he focused on the soul centered aspect of astrology and how to translate astro-jargon into a language that would allow us to be competent astrological counselors. When I studied with Steven Forrest he was focused primarily on the South Node, whereas I was intrigued with the North Node. With his inspiration I wrote my first book: “North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose.”
There were other astrological “lights” that helped along the way; I met and studied with Greg Bogart, Steven Levine, and Liz Greene and others at the British Astrological Conferences that I would attend each year for about four years. I also studied at the Jung Institute in Switzerland for a short time, but it was at the Theosophical Society in California later on that I was introduced to the work of the astrologer Dane Rudhyar, and to my “third wise woman” Annie Besant. Rudhyar’s work is brilliant, but it was Annie that grabbed my heart. She wasn’t an astrologer; but our charts are remarkably similar….
Annie Besant lived before my time, having died in 1933, but her life story grabbed me and changed my life. She was the English woman who was the head of the Theosophical Society, after Madame Blavatsky, and she was the one who adopted the young boy, Krishnamurti, out of India and raised him to be a spiritual teacher. He was known in the 1960’s as the “anti-guru Guru” because of his dislike of dogma.
Now Annie Besant wrote volumes on spiritual studies, but was never focused on astrology, although she wrote about it a little and highly respected it. However my “meeting” with Annie was profoundly astrological. The story goes like this: one day while visiting a quaint bookstore in Litchfield, Connecticut, I found a small book on the life of Annie Besant. I read it straight through that day and was completely awed by this courageous passionate pilgrim. Not only was she the leader of the movement that brought “New Age” ideas into the West; ideas such as reincarnation, karma, and spiritual evolution, but she also lead the first successful women’s strike in history—the strike of the match girls in 1875. She also published one of the first books on birth control and had her children taken away from her because this was consider immoral—the judge at her trial declared it was obvious she didn’t believe in the Christian Church doctrine, and was therefore unfit to be a mother. This woman, who’s been lost in history, was also President of India before Gandhi—but all that is her story, not mine. Except for an interesting twist—
Soon after reading my first book about Annie Besant, I went to the Redwood Library in Newport Rhode Island, and found an old and rare copy of a biography on her. I opened the hardcover of the book, and there was her astrology chart—! She was born exactly 100 years and 3 minutes before me, and our charts were very similar, though she was born in 1847 and I was born in 1947. We both have Libra Suns conjunct Venus on the Descendant, with Aries Rising, and squares between Mercury, Moon, and Mars. I can’t say what our karmic connection is, except that it is still an on-going one, as I return to the Theosophical Society in Ojai California each year and find myself discussing Theosophy and astrology there. The rest of our connection is yet to unfold…
Again back to the story: so after reading the book with the chart in it, I felt a strong calling to find out more about her; so I went to a psychic. The first thing she said was that “I was to be in a collaborative writing project with a woman named Annie”. I don’t remember anything else she said, but that was enough! That was all I needed to begin writing on her life, and not long after that my husband and I decided to move to Ojai California, where I studied, wrote, and taught about Annie Besant at Krotona Theosophical Society. This was the time of my Uranus Opposition at 41. This was also when my passion for astrology began again in earnest. If our charts hadn’t been so similar, would I have come? Probably.
So Annie brought me to Ojai California, but she also made it possible for me to meet up with two astrologers there: Sharon Russell and Helga Stern, who fanned the fire of my passion for astrology. We would take long walks discussing astrology and spend hours with our heads bent over charts. It was around that time that I started doing astrology professionally, and taking workshops at Pacifica Institute. The language of Jungian psychology and Archetypal Astrology was spoken there—I felt I had come home to something deep in myself.
But the home front situation was to change again, with aging parents, and we moved back to New England were I opened—not a pottery shop this time—but an astrology office in a storefront on Bellevue Ave in Newport. I wrote a horoscope column for the local newspaper and found another spiritual mentor in an Episcopal priest, Aaron Usher. His profound connection with God put the “heart” back into my readings, and I began to read great Christian writers as well as writing articles. Thanks to my husband and the astrologers, Greg Bogart and Jeff Jawer, I was inspired to write and get some articles published.
Learning and teaching never seem to stop. My Sun sign in Libra is in the 6th house which governs mentors and mentoring. I studied astrology at Oxford University one summer recently, and have now taught four workshops at the Boston Jung Institute, one each year. I was never certified as an astrologer.
So this is the part of my story that is my astrological journey. There are many different stories of each of our lives, depending on which part of the story we choose to tell. For me, the astrological journey has been significant for many reasons, but mostly because more than any religion, it reflects patterns: that a great Order exists, and that I and everyone else is a part of the Whole. There is a mystery here rather than a science, and I believe we don’t live from our intellect alone—we only know what we know, because of grace, the depth of the symbolism, and the presence of synchronicity. And all that is magical. (c) Elizabeth Spring www.elizabethspring.com
Monday, May 12, 2014
On Becoming An Astrologer: My Story Excerpt from: Lifting the Veil; Becoming Your Own Best Astrologer
On Becoming an Astrologer~My Story
I can still feel my hand trembling as I opened the latch to the basement chapel door. There was a faint light in the room, a musty smell, and a few people sitting in the pews. I slipped into a middle pew where a few other long-haired women sat, and looked up. There she was…golden and glowing; a radiant Leo. Mary had insisted I go hear this woman, Isabel Hickey, because she was “a real wise woman.” I can’t remember where Mary was that night, but it seemed right that this should be a solitary experience.
It was 1968 and I had just turned 2I. This was my last year at Boston University and at the very least I could chalk this one up as an “experience”. Little did I know that this was the beginning of the adventure of my life: astrology. After Isabel, I would follow a trail of wise teachers throughout my life because these were the ones who spoke to my Soul. I don’t remember exactly what she said that night, but Isabel was not one to mince words; we were responsible for our lives and we mattered. We were One Soul with many lives, and what we did in this life had repercussions both now and later. I can’t say that I became more comfortable the more I listened; I didn’t. But I came back week after week because it seemed as if Truth was being spoken.
Isabel Hickey and those that followed her were a true gift from the universe, because I saw myself as always having to work hard for everything I received. I must have had difficult karma by the look of my work life and love life: half a dozen waitressing jobs by that time, and I’d still have another half dozen to go…and my heart had just been broken yet again.
But it was Mary who had heard about an astrologer who was speaking every Friday night in a basement chapel on campus and told me to go. Isabel Hickey, would be speaking in an underground chapel, known as Marsh Chapel, where recently there had been a double-blind study done on 20 theological students who were given LSD or placebos to see if the drug could produce a mystical experience. The results were largely positive in that 9 out of the 10 who were given the drug confirmed they had a “mystical experience”. This was an exciting as it was unnerving, but of course, no psychedelics were given out this evening. Just words, wise words, and lots of them.
The history and atmosphere of the chapel might have had something to do with it, as I was soon to find that I loved sitting in that dimly lit space staring at the stained glass window behind one extraordinary woman.
I was intrigued with it all. I was hungry for a spirituality of some sort, as both my Catholicism and Existential viewpoints weren’t holding me up anymore. It was 1968: I was soon to graduate college and my consciousness had been expanded in the typical way of those times, through the smokey marijuana rooms of music. It was all very Neptunian I was to learn, as my Sun conjuncted Neptune as well. What could contain what I needed? I had no idea…but being in an experimental mode I was ripe for the experience. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I was ready for a change with my transiting North Node on my Ascendant and Neptune conjuncting my South Node. In retrospect, it seems as if an inner part of me (the North Node) drew me to this place and person, while the old self was both confused and needing inspiration (Neptune on my South Node).
So that was it: week after week I would go to hear the formidable Leo herself, Isabel Hickey, standing on the altar speaking “words of wisdom.” I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I was too intimidated by this formidable woman to ever approach her for a personal reading.
In later years I heard that the now famous astrologer and Jungian analyst, Liz Greene, had also met “Izzy” about that same time and did ask for a reading with her that didn’t go so well. The story goes that for some reason, they reacted like oil and water to each other, and Izzy refused to give Liz a proper astrology reading. This apparently intrigued or angered Liz Greene so much that she began her lifelong successful journey with astrology right then and there. She was going to do it herself, and so she did! And so did I, but in a more round-about way.
Isabel Hickey, author of “A Cosmic Science” was one of the pioneers in astrology, who was known for her no nonsense approach and rather harsh views of karmic reality. Or so it appeared. I was mesmerized by her words because for the first time I felt I was hearing a cosmology that made sense and one in which I mattered. It was based in Hindu theology, and the words of the Theosophist, Dane Rudhyar who had taken astrology out of the world of fortune telling and into the respectable worlds of the upper-class American and British philosophers.
Looking at her book now I see the kinds of things she would say: “It is as if we have a built-in bookkeeping system. We have debits, and we have credits. Some of us come into this life with a great deal of capital in our spiritual bank books. This is earned income from a past life…”
Really? I had never considered reincarnation before or the effects of my current actions on my future lives. As she would say: “Your subconscious self has hidden in it the sum total of all your experiences to date. You will find as you study that you will be developing your intuitional facilities for you are dealing with powerful energies that will aid in your spiritual on-going. Remember: any knowledge gained through outer study takes you as far as your conscious mind. (But) there is a Super-conscious Mind beyond that area, where you can gain direct knowledge from the source of your Being. Astrology is one of the means of knowing that SELF.”I was hooked. She was my first wise woman mentor, and it would be many years before I met and studied with my “second wise woman” Alice Howell.
(To be continued in Part Two) Excerpted from the new book in paperback and Kindle: "Lifting the Veil; Becoming Your Own Best Astrologer" on amazon.com)