Friday, April 28, 2017

North Node in Leo Transit: Your Best Performance

The North Node is ending its trip through Virgo and is set to move into Leo on May 9th. The North Node will then be in Leo until November of 2018. So, let’s get excited! First off, the North Node is only in a sign once every 18 years. The last time this transit happened was 1999. This isn’t a transit we should take for granted, especially since Leo does not like to be taken for granted. Secondly, the lessons and the growth we have the opportunity to experience during the North Node in Leo is exciting in and of itself. During the past year and a half of the North Node in Virgo, we have had to be more efficient, more productive, more useful, more focused on self-improvement. But, we will have the chance to evolve during the Leo North Node in ways that make us more confident, spirited, passionate, and just able to have fun.

Obviously, this will affect the people who actually have a Leo North Node in their birth chart the most. If this is your placement, then, of course, you are about to experience your North Node Return! Whether it’s your first, second, third, or even fourth North Node Return, this is a time where the Universe will align in ways that open doors toward your true fulfillment. When we embrace and live out our North Node, our life has a greater purpose and we achieve much deeper satisfaction. During the North Node Return in Leo, there is a major opportunity to experience greater fulfillment by opening your heart, honing your talent, and engaging in your passions.

To have this North Node sign is to be constantly challenged throughout life to give your best performance. If you’re a Leo North Node and you’re ever in doubt, you just need to think of yourself as an actor (and the chances are great that you could be an actor or performer of some sort). Like an actor does on screen or stage, you need to live your life in a way that is about presence, charisma, creativity, and a heartfelt, personal connection to others. You need to embrace the drama, to a certain degree. It doesn’t mean that you have to go around making your life or others’ lives a living Hell. Drama can have a negative connotation and there certainly is a potentially negative manifestation of it. But, there is also a positive sort of drama that makes everything more exciting, passionate, expressive, and entertaining. 

You might find that, during this North Node Return, some of that positive drama comes into your life in a way that is enlightening or makes you feel more alive. Instead of things being so chill, like you’re more used to them being, things may actually become more theatrical. You can start feeling like your life is turning into a movie or a play. But, it’s becoming an inspiring movie, a hilarious movie, or a touching movie; the kind that is a box-office hit or gets Oscar nominations. And guess what? You are the star. You are the lead actor, not the supporting one, and you are on your way toward becoming a household name or an award-winning talent.

To put the extended metaphor simply, you should focus on receiving more personal glory and recognition this year. That is your mission all throughout life, whether you accept it or not. North Node in Leo people will inevitably realize that they cannot escape the spotlight. You can’t get away from people’s attention. It just follows you everywhere. The question is, “How do you deal with it?” You must gracefully accept your audience’s praise, knowing deep down that you deserve it. You also must remain open to your admirers’ or your lovers’ affections. Romance is a big part of your journey here in this lifetime. So, a major romance could come into your life or things could get much more passionate in your current one. Leo North Node individuals are here to embrace their inner romantic. Think of yourself as playing the lead in a romantic-comedy or a heartfelt tearjerker like The Notebook. All you’ve got to do is know your lines and play your part.

This is the potential drawback of your North Node Return because it is also your South Node Return. You have the South Node in Aquarius, which can make it your kneejerk reaction to just not care about any of this stuff. Your thought process may be that you don’t have time for any of these silly, self-centered interests because, you know, the world is burning! There are more important things to care about. Also, even if you’re not quite as serious of a social activist, you still put a lot of energy into your social life and your various connections and friendships. You can scatter yourself around, in this sense, too engaged with everyone in your social scene to be centered within yourself. A big part of this is because you innately feel so weird and so detached that you like not having to be too involved with other people and also not too involved with yourself, for that matter.

It's this nonconforming, nonchalant attitude that can make you resist the celebrated, glorious status that you were meant to attain in this lifetime. Your Aquarius South Node may just make you think that you’re too misunderstood and too left-field to be popular or a big deal. This is a detached mindset that could potentially increase during this time, if you’re not careful. The Nodes, after all, are about balance. So, it’s kind of disingenuous for people to describe your North Node Return as being all good. While there are opportunities to evolve and grow and understand your true potential, there can also definitely be moments where you backslide into your negative habits. In fact, this can happen in a startlingly regressive way, like a character on a television show whose character development is abruptly thrown out the window and they go back to who they were in season one.

Also, there are characters who just don’t grow at all and if someone is very resistant of their North Node, then the Nodal Return can be a time where it’s exceptionally easy to remain in their comfort zone. So, this year will require you to consistently challenge yourself and also find a happy medium between these two sides of your nature. You could find yourself really falling for someone and letting your heart get involved. Then, you run away and dive into your social interests. You can’t meet so-and-so for a date because you have that thing with your friends and you just have to go. Or you could just turn flat-out cold and stop answering their texts or talking to them. You could make significant strides in terms of your talent that gets you a lot of attention. You start feeling like you’re “somebody” and maybe it leads to some significant success. But, then, you just stop writing your novel, going to auditions, or making music. You can’t make it to the Open Mic night. You have to go to that fundraiser!

This is how your lower Aquarius side and your higher Leo side can wrestle with each other during this Return. It’s important for you to not be paralyzed in the face of change and personal development. You have to move forward into those situations, even if the newness and the unknown element of them are a bit unnerving or uncomfortable. It’s better than staying stuck making the same mistakes, over and over, because it’s just easier than growing and changing. The North Node Return in Leo will tell you that it’s time for you to embrace your passionate side, to have a heart-to-heart connection with others, and to know that you’re a star and the world deserves to know, as well. You have to be willing to be self-serving, to a certain degree, and be more concerned with the fun you’re having than the fun that everyone else is having. Instead of being part of something bigger than yourself and gravitating toward everyone else, you have to make yourself bigger and allow everyone else to gravitate toward you.

Because of this, the Leo North Node Return can be your “breakthrough” moment, the time where you really make it and become a star. I keep using this metaphor and it actually may be fitting for some of you. If you do have artistic talents and want to do something with your life involving them, this could be a time where you get a significant break. But, in general, it just means breaking out of that cycle that makes you feel like this weirdo or rebel that doesn’t need anybody’s approval and willingly seeking the spotlight and accepting the applause and great reviews that come your way. This lets you tap into the grand self-confidence you should be expressing with this placement. 

In terms of when your North Node Return will begin, I think that as long as the transiting North Node is in your natal North Node’s house and/or conjunct the North Node by 8 degrees or less, you are going through your North Node Return. However, this doesn’t really count unless it’s in the same sign as your North Node, as it could still be in that house but hasn’t transited into the sign yet or has already left that sign. For most people, this means that this transit is going to last for several months to an entire year, providing many potentially life-changing or path-altering situations.

Now, we all have Leo in one of our houses and many of us have placements in the sign of Leo. So, this transit is going to affect everybody, to one degree or another. Whatever house you have Leo is in where you are going to be expected to give your best performance. Things could become livelier, more entertaining, and more ardent in this house. You might also experience an increase in self-confidence and willpower when it comes to the activities of this house. Wherever the North Node is moving through our chart, we have the opportunity to evolve in this life area and become more mature and also more fulfilled in this area of life. So, your Leo house is going to be refining its expression, whether that’s through seeking security (Leo in the 2nd), having a good support system and personal life (Leo in the 4th), or standing up for what you believe in (Leo in the 9th).

If you have planets in Leo, a Leo Ascendant or a Leo Midheaven, then your expression of what this placement represents is going to evolve. The North Node in Leo is a manifestation of the best kind of confidence, balanced out by the cool casualness and detachment of the Aquarius South Node. So, throughout this transit, you might notice that the Leos around you are, well, less obnoxious, less overbearing, or less arrogant. There may be a decrease in that superiority complex and also in the desperate search for attention that can define Leo’s shadow side. And guys, I’m a Leo, so I say this with love. Those who have Leo placements may find themselves really growing up now in a way that brings out the best in them. This can be witnessed once the North Node is conjunct their Leo placement. It may improve their demeanor, behavior, and attitude (Leo Rising), their overall self-awareness, self-assurance, and identity (Leo Sun) or it could allow them to express their feelings and get their needs met more successfully (Leo Moon).

In any case, Leo people have the opportunity throughout the next year and a half to embody the truly impressive presence, dignity, and power that this sign has to offer. Leo is a regal sign and the transiting Leo North Node can show us Leo folks what kings and queens we actually are, in a way that requires us to not be boastful, self-absorbed, vain, or demanding. All of those traits are beneath royalty! And if you are genuinely confident, powerful, and awesome, you have no need to carry on like that. So, thanks to the transiting opposition from the Aquarius South Node, there could be a newfound self-containment to the Leo individual in your life, as well as less of a concern with applause. Life will tell the Leo Sun, Moon, Rising, Venus, etc. during this transit that they’re already amazing and special, so they don’t need to worry about people telling them.

This also translates for those who have the South Node in Leo and, consequently, the North Node in Aquarius. You probably already know that this is my placement and I’m embarking on my Reverse Nodal Return because the transiting North Node will be conjunct my natal South Node (and Sun) and vice versa. It will actually begin for me as soon as the transit starts because the North Node is already in my 7th and my Nodes are at 25 degrees. Aquarius North Node individuals, because of our Leo South Node, have kneejerk patterns and responses of seeking special attention, being romantic, exerting their will, and showing off their creative talents. This Reverse Nodal Return can go a long way in changing our priorities. After all of that searching for applause and personal glory, we can realize how hollow it is if we’re not doing that to serve the bigger picture and if we constantly need positive reinforcement.

That is, of course, how the North Node in Aquarius comes into play and allows us to evolve. Although the Leo North Node individuals are evolving by giving their best performance, those with the Aquarius North Node already know how to give a great performance. Therefore, we will be given permission now to stop “performing” so compulsively and to be okay with really turning off that switch. Our innate self-confidence can come into play now because we already know that we’re talented. We don’t need to be “famous” to know that. We can be okay with being undiscovered and unrecognized, to some extent, still being the performers we are without needing the glory and fawning that can come with it. After all, it allows us to be the free, offbeat, independent-minded souls we were born to be, unconcerned with being popular or maintaining our image.

The thing is that the house that we have our Leo South Node could actually bring a lot of attention and praise our way at this time. We might find that we get what we want in this area of life more easily now; a little bit too easily. That could be to be an individual (1st House), to be with someone (7th House), or to achieve your life goals (10th House). Much like the Leo North Node, we might gain our own newfound fame during this time. But, the thing is, since we’re moving in the opposite direction, that we will learn to not take it seriously or personally because we will understand how we are much more fulfilled when we distance ourselves from the applause and march to our own different beat. This is something that could either lead to a significant breakthrough that moves you closer to your North Node territory or brings an amazing intrinsic satisfaction into your life because you’ve already been on this path.

We should also notice that the North Node will be trine both Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries at the beginning of this transit. So, whatever our path is regarding our newfound confidence, attention, creativity, or strength of will, we will gain a strong sense of purpose from it (Saturn) and we will be able to keep things exciting and unexpected in our lives (Uranus) because of it.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jupiter in the 7th House

Here we are! This is the last article in the Jupiter series. I’ve saved Jupiter in the 7th House for last because I’ve actually already written an article about Jupiter in the 7th when I was doing my series on planets in the 7th House two years ago. Because of that, I was hesitant about even doing this article because I didn’t want to just repeat myself. But, I am thinking that my understanding of Jupiter and also of the 7th House has grown since 2015. So, let’s get into it! What does it mean to have Jupiter in the 7th House of the birth chart? If Jupiter is the place where we experience the most positive energy, the logic follows that having Jupiter in the 7th, the house of relationships, means that relationships are where you experience the most positive energy. While this can definitely be true, this placement also means that partnerships are where you can go overboard and be prone to excess, in terms of either being a partner or the partner that you choose to be with.

The 7th House is a tit-for-tat house, an endless reflection in which we see ourselves in those close to us and they can see themselves in us. This applies to one’s wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, as well as to your best friend or close friend and also, potentially, your business partner. Anyone who has to have close, long-time, one-on-one dealings with you is represented by your 7th House. With Jupiter in the 7th, it seems as if you are always attracting a Lucky Charm in the form of these partners. You are very drawn toward those who seem to embody a lot of positive energy. They could be very optimistic, philosophical, or forward-moving, always taking life’s knocks with resilience and good faith. These partners, therefore, bring a great deal of spiritedness and positivity into your life. The 7th House indicates what our romantic and platonic companions will have to offer and with Jupiter in the 7th, they will seem to offer you a lot of wonderful opportunities.

This could create the kind of dynamic where you have an amazing trust and faith in these people, more than you usually do with people. If Jupiter is conjunct the Descendant in the 7th, this is even truer. Since Jupiter is what we believe, Jupiter in the 7th naturally means that you want to believe in other people greatly. But, you won’t believe in just anybody. I feel like 7th House Jupiter individuals are generally not that trusting. You possess a natural attitude of skepticism, needing to be shown something to truly believe it. As a result, you could actually have an individual perspective that is either rather cynical or that requires a great deal of reasoning and evidence. In terms of your singular point of view, just believing something for the sake of believing it may not be appealing and may actually seem quite stupid to you. After all, that’s how people get conned!

However, when you get close to someone, something happens to you. Another side of you emerges that really yearns to have faith and to have something to believe in. The 7th House shows how we adjust our regular behavior in our close, one-on-one relationships. With your significant other or close friend, your skepticism can subside in order for a more pure-hearted, uplifting, and even surprisingly na├»ve side of you to emerge. The 7th House is not just about the sort of partners we attract. As I say all the time, it’s also about the kind of partner we are to our romantic companion or our best friend(s). So, Jupiter in the 7th means that in order to connect to these people, you express more faith and more positivity. This is usually because of their own faith and positivity, compelling you to meet them halfway and be more upbeat like them. 

The sign that Jupiter is in shows exactly how this dynamic will occur. Jupiter in the 7th in Capricorn means that you will display positive energy in your personal relationships in a way that focuses on never giving up, being self-sufficient, and persevering with the right attitude. Jupiter in the 7th in Libra, on the other hand, means that a connection will take place that brings out a positivity within you that makes you focused on keeping things balanced, harmonious, and fair. In any case, it can seem as if the partner gives you something to believe in. But, this is the potential drawback of the 7th House. It can breed co-dependency and with Jupiter here, you may be too dependent on the other in order to feel positive and to have faith. You might feel like, without them, your spirits would be flattened and you wouldn’t really know how to appreciate life.

The fact that Jupiter represents one’s beliefs means that there is also the potential that you could be far too dependent on your partner to tell you what to believe. In your purely individual expression, you can be so rational that you prefer logic over conviction. So, your partner can really convince you of their point of view because they believe what they believe so strongly that they treat it as fact, not opinion. Since you may have trouble having strong beliefs on your own, the sheer power of their enthusiasm and opinionated energy can easily sway you. In spite of your skepticism, you also can be very open to new ideas. This is because, as an individual, you don’t believe that strongly in much. Your significant other or your best friend, however, can be so insistent on their beliefs that they eventually wear you down because you generally don’t care that much, anyway.

On the flip side, the 7th House Jupiter also means that you can be the one wearing down the other person with your overly opinionated ways. Since this outspoken side is the “other half” of your nature that is less acknowledged by you, it can take some time for you to really understand this about yourself. You might, instead, spend a lot of time complaining about how the other person is always shoving his or her beliefs down your throat. Sometimes, you can believe so strongly that you’re in the right that you don’t budge or you spend a lot of time trying to convince the other person. This is quite antithetical to your overall behavior, so it can catch you by surprise. It’s not until you start hearing the complaint that you’re overbearing, you’re too much, or that you always think you’re right that you have to stop and do some reflecting.

In spite of the 7th House’s reputation for harmony, I think one of two outcomes are possible with Jupiter in the 7th. Either you get into close relationships that are so peaceful, agreeable, and harmonious that it’s all way too good to be true or your partnerships are so full of conflict that you are constantly striving for harmony and compromise. The latter is going to be true if you have a square or an opposition to Jupiter. The 7th House is, after all, a constant balancing act and we should not forget that Jupiter is about excess. Because of this, Jupiter in the 7th could actually be one of the more troublesome placements for Jupiter. Excess and harmony do not really go together. So, things may be thrown out of balance all too quickly in your relationships. Even if it’s excessive harmony, all of that compromise, niceness, and sweet talk will get old quickly. Plus, Jupiter is about standing up for what you believe in. So, it’s actually very likely that a lot of conflict could occur because both parties’ beliefs are so strong. This is when you get the constant arguing and the constant insistence, from either side, that they’re right.

The thing is that you both may have the best of intentions. But, with the dark side of Jupiter, we often see that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. You both may be trying your absolute best to make it work and make each other happy. The thing is that you are both trying too hard to make the relationship work, to the degree where you either go over-the-top to find happiness with one another or you go overboard trying to resolve the conflicts between you. Jupiter in the 7th House can manifest as a marriage where you are always talking about what’s gone wrong in the marriage. It can be the two best friends who are always texting, always attached at the hip, always interfering with each other’s lives. It can also be the couple who keep smiling their way through their relationship, convinced that with enough positivity, all of these problems will go away.

I love the whole “marriage myth” that Dana Gerhardt, my favorite astrologer, came up with in regards to the 7th House. I definitely have to credit her because this is not my idea and I love how spot-on it is. She basically says that the 7th House is indicative of the way we viewed our parents’ relationship and how, as a result, we go about our own relationships as adults. There is so much complex psychology involved in the 7th House and this is definitely one element. So, you would think that, with Jupiter in the 7th, the person is the product of the best marriage ever. It could certainly seem that way to many people with this placement growing up. Your parents may have seemed like the best couple in the world and in your relationships, you are always striving hard to meet their exceptional standard, which taught you to believe in love, compromise, and finding your equal (even if you don’t realize it).

Yet, it could also definitely happen the other way. Jupiter can actually be a disastrous area of the chart, in certain ways, if not undertaken with enough balance. And there are some 7th House Jupiter folks who witnessed a marriage or a union that was highly unbalanced: too much fighting, too much resentment, too much ego, too much insincerity, etc. It all can depend on the sign that Jupiter is in. If the 7th House Jupiter is in Leo, it may seem as if the parents constantly tried to dominate one another and if Jupiter is in the 7th in Cancer, there could have been too much moodiness, neediness, or insecurity. And the thing is the child is usually caught in the middle. Kids with 7th House planets usually act as the “go-between” figures for their parents in times of conflict, helping them serve as the mediator figures that they grow up to be. 

It's no wonder why, as an adult, you could feel so restless and so insatiable in your relationships. Jupiter in the 7th isn’t always the best indicator for stable, long-lasting relationships. If you are a product of the ideal marriage, you might always seek out partners, particularly romantic partners, who live up to that ideal. If they don’t, you could easily look for the exit. If you are a child of a messy marriage, then you might be so used to that messy way of connecting with people that you don’t realize anything is wrong. The 7th House Jupiter can exhibit great foolishness or naivete in thinking that fighting all the time, being totally passive-aggressive, or partaking in other forms of psychological warfare is completely natural and fine in a relationship. You may be so accustomed to these overblown relationships, thanks to your parents’ marriage myth, that when you’re in a ridiculous relationship, you don’t believe that anything is wrong.

But, this is what could also lead to rampant divorces, a string of break-ups, or friendships that end in just as much heartbreak. If not careful, Jupiter in the 7th House can become a total heartbreaker, just because they are so ready to move on to another relationship. The good thing is that, well, you can move on very easily. But, usually, it’s for the right reasons. If the other person is not allowing you to grow, then you don’t see the point. Also, if you feel like you’re holding the other person back, you can find it within yourself to let them go and with no hard feelings. This is a big part of your expectation in relationships: you feel like both people should be growing. So, feeling stagnant with your romantic partner or best friend is something you can usually take as a sign to move on with your life, believing that this is all happening for a reason. Relationships are nothing but growing experiences for you.

Life opens up for the 7th House Jupiter individual when they adopt this perspective. It means that you can attract a limitless amount of people your way. As long as someone can bring something good into your life, you don’t have much of a problem getting close to them. In fact, it can get to a point where everyone is seemingly your best friend. Jupiter in the 7th usually makes for a very easy person to connect with and get close to because you are so eager for companionship and so open toward whoever comes your way. For this reason, finding yourself a mate is probably downright effortless, as well. You are similar to Jupiter in the 5th, in this way. But, with the 5th House Jupiter, the person finds it very easy to get dates, to gain general romantic attention, and to embark on flings. The 7th House represents the commitment phase of romance. And it can be astonishingly easy for you to commit; sometimes too easy. You can go out on a date with someone and a month or two later, it’s like you’re already married (and I wouldn’t put it past you to actually get married after a couple of months, either, if it seemed like the right person).

This is the potential recklessness of Jupiter at play because Jupiter in the 7th can be notorious for moving too quickly. You can be so ready to benefit from the relationship that you completely jump in. If anyone is prone to overeager engagements or too-soon milestones, like moving in together very suddenly, that worry their friends or relatives, it’s this person. You might even take to considering someone your best friend too quickly and want to be fully involved in their life. Yet, it is not necessarily out of a desperation or neediness, although it could be the case, depending on the Jupiter sign. It is more so that you see relationships as such an adventure and you don’t spend nearly as much time hesitating as the rest of us do. Love is like skydiving or bungee-jumping to you. If it’s not crazy or wild or risky, you don’t really want to do it.

In a way, it’s quite a beautiful philosophy because you are so willing to risk so much on someone if you feel like they are important enough. In the end, Jupiter in the 7th House individuals can come out on the other end with wonderful memories of a marriage or relationship, no matter when or even how it ended. You can be the ideal co-parent, still engaging with your ex-husband or wife as if all of that history never even happened. You might also just find it very easy to remain on amicable terms even if there are no children involved and even if it’s a former friend we’re talking about. Then, of course, you also get the Jupiter in the 7th House person who is a part of a really lovely marriage that reminds them, every day, of how much they are loved. You can also see people with this placement in wonderfully supportive long-term friendships that really go the distance. Your best friend may be the most amazing person in the world to you, even more than your romantic partner, and everyone else may agree that you two might as well be married because they are basically the platonic love of your life.  

All of this can remind you to keep loving yourself and valuing yourself. At the end of the day, we do have to remind ourselves to be self-loving via the 7th House, instead of constantly seeking that love from others. It has to start within and Jupiter in the 7th House people seem to really believe that. For this self-love to happen, you have to acknowledge and appreciate the side of yourself that is philosophical, expansive, irrepressible, and upbeat. You might be close to philosophical, expansive, irrepressible, and upbeat people. But, your relationship will not be mutually fulfilling until you can see and love those traits within yourself. When the 7th House Jupiter really cherishes their inner believer and cultivates a positive relationship with this other half of themselves, they will not only find true fulfillment in their relationships but within themselves. You can create a positive relationship with yourself by knowing that, even when you have no one else, you still have an inner faith and positivity that you can rely, being your own best friend or partner when needed.