When Life is perplexing... Ask Astro-Coach The Q&A column combining astrological insights & life coaching wisdon
When life is perplexing--Ask Astro-Coach, the Q&A column combining astrological insights & life coaching wisdom written by San Francisco Life Coach and Astrologer Nicki Michaels. Home | Ask Your Question | FAQ | Your Comments          Visit Nicki Michaels' Beyond Sun Signs

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The sole purpose of the Ask Astro-Coach column is to demonstrate how an astrological perspective supports better informed decisions by providing deeper understanding of real-life situations. It is not meant to replace your own good judgment, nor the services of licensed professionals, such as psychologists, attorneys, physicians, or financial advisors.






References and Notes
To easily view footnotes while reading the answer, hover your cursor over the footnote number in the text, and a pop-up box will appear.

1. A stellium is a cluster of 3 or more planets closely related by sign or house. Astrologers differ in their use of this term; some consider a stellium to be 5 or more planets (Nicholas deVore, Encyclopedia of Astrology, Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams & Co., 1976), although others define it more loosely, as I do (Fred Gettings, The Arkana Dictionary of Astrology, London: Arkana, 1990).

2. The mid 1960s were politically turbulent times; baby boomers came of age in the midst of the civil rights movement and the Viet Nam war. Astrologers attribute the volatility of this period to the 145-year cycle of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction cycle (deep unrest leading to transformation of consciousness), with Saturn in opposition (existing structures resisting change). Including a 10 degree orb (used for natal conjunctions and transit-to-transit conjunctions of outer planets), the Uranus-Pluto conjunction began the first week of October 1961 and ended in the middle of October 1969. The exact conjunctions occurred 10/9/65, 4/4/66 and 6/30/66 at the 17th & 18th degrees of Virgo. Read more about the significance of this cycle in Chapter 3 of Dane Rudhyarfs online book, Astrological Timing: The Transition to the New Age written in 1969. You can also use the Search Ask Astro-Coach box at the top of this page to find other examples of those born with a natal Uranus-Pluto conjunction.

3. The Lunar Nodes are points where the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun intersects with the plane of the Moon's orbit around the Earth. They precess through the signs approximately 3' of arc per day. Astronomically, there are two methods to determine the node's placement, called the mean and the true nodes. I use the mean nodes. Read more about the mean and true nodes (4th paragraph down). Read Dane Rudhyar's excellent article How to Interpret the Lunar Nodes wherein he describes the nodal axis as the "axis of fate."

4. Partile is defined as "within the same degree number. Notice that this is not an orb size. The Moon at 6° Leo 01' is partile Mars at 6° Leo 59', while the Moon in the same place and Mars at 5° Leo 59'c [is] not partile" (from J. Lee Lehman, Ph.D., The Martial Art of Horary Astrology, Whitford Press, 2002, p. 328). This exact relationship makes the aspect more powerful.

5. See footnote 3

6. The nodal cycle is generic meaning that we all experience the nodal returns and oppositions at the same age—they are markers of human developmental stages. Because your nodal axis involves natal planets and personal points (within 5° of your Midheaven-IC axis), the impact of this developmental phase is experienced more profoundly and takes on added significance.

7. Learn more about the Progressed Lunation Cycle from The Lunation Cycle: A Key to Understanding of Personality by Dane Rudhyar, Aurora Press, 1967 and in the article, An Overview of Dane Rudhyar's Approach to Cycles (TMA, 2/98), by Nicki Michaels.

8. including 2° orbs, progressed Mercury conjoins natal Jupiter 5/10/02-10/3/05, sextiled Sun 10/2/02-3/12/06, sextiles Mars 3/9/04-10/18/07, sextiles Moon 4/7/04- 11/19/07, sextiles Ascendant 10/11/04-6/19/08, sextiles Mercury 1/18/05-10/9/08. Progressed Venus sextiles natal Uranus 9/24/03-2/11/07, sextiles Jupiter 3/2/04-7/20/07, conjoins Sun 7/30/04-12/17/07, trines Mars 1/12/06-5/28/09, trines Moon 2/9/06-6/25/09, trines Ascendant 8/12/06-12/26/09, conjoins Mercury 11/16/06-3/30/10. Transiting Neptune trines natal Venus 5/17/05-11/23/08, transiting Uranus conjoins natal IC 4/10/07-2/5/09.

Consider how...
Nicki's astrological insights combined with life coaching wisdom might inform your important decisions. Explore the possibility of working with Nicki. Sorry, questions are no longer being accepted for the Ask Astro-Coach column.

Xtreme Makeover
Ask Astro-Coach Online December 2006 (2)

Q. I am at an extreme crossroads in my life. I’ve broken up with my boyfriend of seven years, (May, 06) stepped back from some of my co-dependent family members, don’t plan to keep my current job for long and my best friend is leaving town soon. While all of these things spell opportunity for remaking my reality—I am, for the first time in my life, unsure of what I am doing. Any suggestions on what I should be thinking about right now?
— Xtreme Makeover

A. I’d say you’re on a roll—and I mean that in the most positive way. Your question shows you recognize this as a "destiny’s calling" kind of a moment, which is certainly mirrored by current planetary activity. Your natal 10th house (one’s worldly status) holds a powerful stellium1 This planetary grouping includes the potent Uranus/Pluto conjunction (the potential for becoming an agent of change in the world).2 Natal Pluto is also conjunct South Node (powerful destiny oriented mission), and natal Uranus (humanitarian orientation) is also conjunct Jupiter (the magnifier) amplifying the entire grouping.

During periods when this stellium is stimulated by a transit or progression, your life circumstances shift—seemingly of their own accord—and this is clearly one of those times. You’re currently experiencing your nodal return—a 18.6 year cycle, when the transiting Nodes of the Moon ("axis of fate")3 return to their birth positions.

At age 37, this is your second go round. And with your South Node partile4 Pluto (intense transformation) it only makes sense that most everything is now up for grabs. The celestial message of the moment is for you to bring consciousness to these changes. The current challenge is to transform mere job hunting to discovery of your life’s mission.

Birth Chart: Xtreme Makeover
Natal Chart - Xtreme Makeover
Source: Birth Certificate

As Dane Rudhyar describes it, the Moon’s basic function is "the capacity for intelligent adjustment to (one’s) environment for the purpose of gaining…optimum well-being."5 Your natal 12th house Moon is partile Mars and within 1 degree of the Ascendant, and also conjunct Neptune. These placements show you to be powerfully intuitive and compassionate, with a deep anger about injustice in the world, though you may feel unsure about how to have a positive impact.

Combined with your potent 10th house placements, the Moon and Mars trine 8th house Sun and Mercury (all in passionate fire signs) reveal an affinity for the dramatic arts, music, writing or public speaking as a means to become a constructive force.

The Moon’s Nodes are sensitive points in terms of responding to life’s changing circumstances. To better understand your current situation, it might be interesting to reflect back on your experiences at the first nodal return when you were 18 years old. What were the lessons learned? How does your current situation mirror that time, and how is it different?6

Your current challenge is to harness the turbulence of this period to create meaning in your life. Understand that the situations you’re now experiencing make sense within the context of both the current planetary cycles, and your life as a whole. This can make it easier to trust that something significant can emerge from this time of unrest.

With transiting Neptune (creative imagination) trining natal Venus (heartfelt values) it’s the perfect opportunity to reimagine yourself—your relationships, your career goals, your friendships, your entire life. Consider the impact you want to have on the world (your powerful 10th house placements). How do you envision your life 5 years from now? What intention can you create now that will carry you from here to there?

As well as the current transits, there are also a number of significant progressed planetary events at play, revealing that the transformation is inner as well as outer. You recently entered the disseminating phase of the Progressed Lunation Cycle (6/17/06), the optimum time to move into the world and create connections which will lead to a new perspective and thus to experiences, opportunities and relationships unlike anything you’ve yet experienced.7

It’s possible that you may feel compelled to move and/or change careers as transiting Uranus (change) conjoins natal IC (home) while opposing natal Midheaven (career) next year. This coupled with a series of important progressed aspects again speaks to coming changes, which may take several more years to fully play themselves out.8 Planetarily speaking, you are well prepared and probably eager to discover what’s next on your Path. Pay attention to what calls you; allow synchronicity, intuition and passion to guide you. Then explore your options, open yourself to all possibility and make your moves.

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