Written by Kristin Fontana
You have been here before, and you know it. Something in your body and bones tells you this is not the first time you’ve ventured through this evolutionary territory. This feeling is often experienced as the broken record, a clear interruption in your natural rhythm moving forward. It becomes the famous deja vu, yet when it happens, it can feel at times as if there is nothing in the world that can stop what’s at play. The question becomes why?
The repeating theme that perpetually plays out in a Soul’s life, is commonly referred to as a ‘Skipped Step’ in Evolutionary Astrology, symbolized when a planet is squaring the South and North Nodes of the Moon. The re-occurring experience is a result of the Soul bumping up against lessons where they have repeatedly gotten stuck, most commonly as a result of an inability to freely move into those lessons due to resistance and fear. However, this may also play out as a habitual pattern that the Soul has had in place because of the need to feel secure, as moving into the ‘new’ is inherently coupled with a feeling of insecurity because of the fear of the unknown.
This is a common phenomena for those attracted to EA, as it is a time when Souls may be feeling as if they have reached the proverbial limit, reaching critical mass in many respects, and they are needing to know why and how to directly deal with these dynamics so personal evolution can occur.
When looking into the Soul’s evolutionary past to get a feeling for what led them to this place, we first look to the position of Pluto by house sign and aspects, then move to the South Node of the Moon and the planetary ruler of the South Node, including aspects, to gain further details into the Soul Story. This is referred to as the trinity of the past. As we uncover the Soul’s motion moving forth, we look to the polarity point of Pluto, combined with the North Node of the Moon and the planetary ruler of the North Node, including aspects to understand the Soul’s intentions moving forward, equaling the trinity of the future.
However, when a planet is squaring the nodal axis, known as a ‘Skipped Step’, this becomes a key area of focus, the planet making the square would have played a major role in shaping the kinds of experiences that the individual has had for evolutionary and karmic reasons as a result of their own choice making, as well as the repercussions of those choices. A planet squaring the nodes, reflects a resistance moving forward, an area of denied growth linked to the planet making the square, which must be addressed and actively resolved before the Soul can proceed. The polarity point of Pluto is still in operation as well as the North Node, whether or not the skipped step is recovered, but it is how it is operating that becomes the issue. The Soul in this case, will be flip flopping back and forth between the themes expressed in the South Node and the North Node, until the skipped step is resolved.
It can take lifetimes to fully recover a skipped step, the time involved will be directly connected to the Soul’s ability to challenge and address any fear or resistance linked with the planet engaged in the square. Considering all Souls do not enjoy feeling insecure, and prefer what feels familiar and safe in some cases, they may lean on this feeling simply because it is known, not necessarily because it is good for them, even if it continues to wreak havoc in their life.
The revolving door of repeating themes can bombard the Soul with this signature and the tests that are delivered will continue until this theme is directly dealt with head on. If the Soul does not work directly on these dynamics, the lessons tend to get louder and louder, until the individual is forced to listen, to look and to learn. Holding back what the Soul naturally needs to confront can literally wear the Soul out, similar to a growing gravity that does at some point break the individual down. It takes tremendous energy to continue to resist whatever the Soul must confront, and at some point a surrender to the obvious becomes the Soul’s necessary next step. The first step in recovering the skipped step involves the Soul taking responsibility for the choices made versus becoming a victim to circumstance.
Let’s consider an example of a Soul with Moon in Pisces in the 4th, squaring the Nodes, a Soul in an advanced stage of evolution. In this example, this individual has been avoiding the emotional body in other times while hiding on the spiritual path, yet since evolution can only occur via the emotional door, this area cannot be bypassed. As a result, the Soul has attracted experiences that have constantly kept him in his deepest feeling emotional self, in order to evolve. In this context, it can be experienced as the individual feeling everything full on, without any real means of defense to temper the wide open emotional experience. The ultimate lesson here is to learn how to be all the way inside his emotional body at all times, to not fear the full throttle of emotions that storm in, but to gain strength and power from this open field of evolutionary promise.
In the case here with Moon in Pisces in the 4th house squaring the Nodes, the individual also has Uranus Rx in Gemini in the 8th house conjunct the North Node in the 7th house. This Soul never wanted kids or thought he would ever become a father. The resistance to open himself up in this way came from cellular as well as conscious memories of the unresolved trauma in other lifetimes connected to tragic loss of family. This can be seen with Moon in Pisces squaring Mars in Sagittarius in the 2nd house on the South Node in the 1st house, T -square Uranus Rx in the 8th house conjunct the North Node in Gemini in the 7th house, his instinct was to avoid potential future trauma that had plagued him for lifetimes. Yet his Soul knew better what he needed, this step could not be skipped, he not only ended up becoming a father, he had six kids of his own and helped raise six step kids at different stages in his life. Because Uranus is Rx and on the North Node, some of these traumas and themes of separation would need to be re-lived on some level, re-igniting the past but not equaling the same extreme outcome, offering the Soul a chance to objectify the ‘why’ and reconcile his way through the past. These Souls were all Souls who had been his children before, as well as Souls he was separated from in other times. Their presence in his life would prove to be a necessary healing step in his emotional recovery.
Let’s take another case, this time with a teen Soul who has Venus in Libra in the 4th house squaring South Node in Capricorn in the 7th house and North Node in Cancer in the 1st house. Early on in the growing years, and up until the first Saturn return, the Soul can appear to be in a lower stage of evolution, especially in a re-live scenario, due to working through loose ends of the past. This Soul’s observed stage as a teen is 1st stage individuated but this is common when the Soul is maturing and growing up and out into the world. For example, I remember JWG sharing that when he was in hi school he found out how many days he needed to attend in order to graduate, so he could go surfing instead. Obviously in his teens, he was not showing signs of dedicating his life to helping other Souls evolve. It was on the day of his Saturn return, twenty-nine years old, that he knocked on the door of the astrology bookstore that gave him is first gig.
This teen Soul with Venus in Libra square the Nodes has compensated for who she is in a patriarchal world while making choices to fit in, to keep the peace and ultimately to be accepted. She has created many relationships for lifetimes that sat on the surface, relatively superficial connections that did not force her to take a dive into her emotional body. She made choices to connect with people who had zero capacity to know her on a deep level, and only on a level that responded to her self created mask, a relationship based on mere appearances, or what society viewed as the norm. She also has South Node of Venus in Libra making a balsalmic conjunction to South Node of Mars in Libra together they conjunct her natal Venus in the 4th house, clearly a theme that is trying to culminate and close. With Venus in Libra in the 4th house, squaring the Nodes, along with South Nodes of Mars and Venus, she experiences an existential feeling of loneliness and alienation in the world due to the connections she has returned to from her past that lack any sort of depth, forcing her back upon herself to develop and cultivate those inner lands on her own. She would have looked outside herself, leaning on others for her sense of meaning and connection in other times, where themes of co-dependency may have also played out, but those ties only led to let downs. Her Soul has swung back and forth between extremes within recent lives from repression to liberation and her primary need now is to recover and deepen her inner relationship to herself, Venus, so she can remain on the path that allows her the independence to freely express her unique design.
Taking this one step further astrologically. The rulers of the Nodes are conjunct ie. the ruler of the South Node in Capricorn is Saturn, and is forming a new phase conjunction to the ruler of the North Node in Cancer, which is the Moon. What she is learning in this life is how to self nurture on every level, needing no other to ‘complete’ her, and reaching a stage where she will only enter a relationship because she wants to, not out of need, and a relationship where she can feel safe enough to be as vulnerable as her Soul needs to be, without having to apologize or gloss over it in some way. She is learning lessons in self reliance on every level, and learning what it means to love herself for who she is, not because of what anyone thinks of her, ultimately to become her own best friend.
It can take tremendous courage to get in touch with the origins of the skipped step, so personal evolution can proceed. The resistance in her case, and her need to pretend that everything was ‘fine’ was due to a fear of being harshly judged by others, South Node in Capricorn in the 7th house, that lead to persecutions resulting in severe trauma, the rulers of the Nodes, Saturn and the Moon, are conjunct in the 11th house. The Nodes and the rulers of the Nodes, have been worked on in previous lives reflecting where her Soul would have been experiencing a constant coming to terms with where she was getting stuck. It can be similar to trying to graduate without taking a particular course, you don’t get to choose your curriculum, you just get to choose whether or not to take it on, but it must be taken in and taken on completely in order to evolve, we cannot skip any steps.
What may be the most important piece of information gleaned in this context in a counseling scenario, is to observe how long any Soul has been working through this snag. We may not be able to access the exact number of lives it has taken, as again the relative speed for any Soul evolving is linked with their own choice making, but we are able to uncover if the Soul is moving into the square or out of that angle of stress.
When a Soul is moving into the square, the intensity experienced in this aspect can feel relatively new, Yet if the Soul is pulling away from that aspect, the Soul has been steeping like a tea bag in hot water, seasoned with lessons along these lines. This will change how the Evolutionary Astrologer will talk to anyone searching for answers on the path, especially if the Soul has been on this skipped steps journey for quite some time. It can be an opportunity to give them that final push they need toward that finish line, for words of inspiration can work wonders. It may very well be all the motivation necessary to know they are near the clear, for at times close to the end, those tests can continue almost like rapid fire, so God knows the Soul has cleared that hurdle for good.
Let’s use Pluto square the Nodes to describe the waxing or waning experience for the Soul. When Pluto, or any planet, is squaring the nodes, the Soul becomes torn between issues pertaining to the past and issues pertaining to the future. This signature reflects the fact that there is an outstanding issue that the Soul has not succeeded in totally resolving and it is back up for review. In the case with planets squaring the Nodes, the issues involving both Nodes have been acted upon prior to this life, yet neither has been totally developed and integrated.
In particular with Pluto squaring the Nodes, this Soul is at a critical evolutionary threshold. The choices made at this juncture are paramount to the Soul’s evolutionary journey, as they will dictate whether the Soul gets a move-on, or remains held back. The Soul will be simultaneously attracted and repulsed by the lessons connected to the lessons of both Nodes, which in and of itself can created a fixed freeze. It will be necessary however, for the Soul to re-live and resolve the dynamics in order to properly integrate the issues connected to the Nodes. The polarity point of Pluto does apply in this situation, as it must be activated in order to initiate the integration and resolution of the dynamic in place.
Mitigating Factors (Structure of the Soul)
- If Pluto applies to the South Node, then the polarity point of Pluto and the North Node, with its planetary ruler must be integrated through the South Node. The individual will have a consistent bottom line upon with the evolutionary intentions described but Pluto’s polarity point and North Node can be continually referred. Thus the South Node and its planetary ruler will transmute into new levels of expression.
- When Pluto applies to the North Node, then the polarity point of Pluto, and the South Node, with its planetary ruler, must be integrated through the North Node. With its ruling planet facilitating the process. In the same way, the individual will have a bottom line upon which the evolutionary intentions described by Pluto’s polarity point, and the South Node, and its planetary ruler, can be continually referred. The North Node, and its planetary ruler, can then evolve into new levels of expression.
Determining the Node that any planet squaring the Nodes is applying to, will explain how to integrate those issues. Keep in mind that the Nodes mean motion is retrograde, thus the normal rules for determining what applies to what are reversed. For example. Let’s take Pluto in Leo at 16 degrees Leo. The South Node is in Taurus and the North Nodes is in Scorpio at 16 degrees, as seen in the 1st chart example. Due to the retrograde motion of the Nodes, ie moving clockwise, the North Node is moving toward Pluto. The Node for integration in this case, the individuals ‘go to’ for resolution, is the South Node in Taurus.
Considering a 10 degree orb is used when addressing aspects in a chart involving skipped steps, this means that the aspect can begin forming a square10 degrees leading up to the exact square and up to 10 degrees after the exact square. This fact alone can show a Soul experiencing anything from a pressure building waxing square or a waning square that is pulling away from the intensity of the lessons, reflecting a series of lifetimes in this latter case where the Soul has already been working through these key issues and will be visibly weary from the ride.
What if the planetary ruler of the South Node is squaring the Nodes?
If the South Node ruler is squaring the Nodes, this creates an overemphasized return to the past, the Soul feeling unfinished or unwilling to leave something behind. There is no way for the Soul to fully embrace the North Node, the future, until what needs to be resolved can be cleared.
Lets use the case with Uranus Rx in Scorpio in the 2nd house square the South Node in Aquarius in the 5th house, and a North Node in Leo in the 11th house. These symbols connect to a Soul who experienced absolute heartbreak, where the love of their life was taken from them suddenly and tragically, leaving them feeling abandoned and alone. The shock from the trauma can create such a separation from the emotions, igniting total fear of re-opening the heart in the future, to the point where the Soul says, “I will never love again, for if I love again, they will be taken from me, or worse yet, they will die”. This can create a scenario where the Soul is so frozen from the trauma and so removed from the emotional body for survival reasons, that others may experience them as totally emotionally detached. Yet the Soul may also need to re-experience some form of emotional shock to essentially defrost and get those feeling waterways flowing again. One mild trigger from the past could unlock the whole deal, and yet it would be an evolutionary necessity for this Soul to move through this emotional experience without ‘checking out’, in order to re-connect those feeling circuits.
A Uranian teaching that can help the Soul move forward and avoid getting tripped up on the past can be shared in this way. Imagine you are pulling away from an accident, in this case call it your life, you can still see the mess in your rear view mirror, the site of it may activate old emotions, but you are moving away from its hold. If you stay fixated on the past, not keeping an eye on the road ahead, you could crash again. It’s about objectifying where you have been and why and then understanding the dynamics and experiences that led you there, so new choices can be made in the midst of repeating circumstances.
This is not about trying to remove the memories, for this is not possible, it becomes about the Soul changing its orientation to the memories, that will allow them to move on. The North Node in Leo in the 11th house in our example above will require the individual to dive directly back into the heart, perhaps starting with establishing meaningful friendships first, to safely access that loving feeling again, so trust in this process can be restored.
What if the planetary ruler of the North Node is square the Nodes?
An example here with the North Node in Aquarius in the 5th, ruler Uranus in Scorpio in the 2nd square the Nodes, may have involved a Soul’s creative journey, where the person felt a special sense of destiny coming through the past that was cut short by sudden circumstances, disallowing them to continue. There was a period in history in France where women were not allowed to be artists due to their gender. A society was formed where women dressed up like men in order to be able to do their craft and to be taken seriously, women rebelling against the times, and doing whatever necessary to..At some point they were discovered, and severe consequences occurred, Uranus, ruler of the North Node, is forming a square to the Nodes. The Soul with this signature will come into this life with understandable fear in expressing their own individuality in the world, the degree of the fear depends on the nature of what caused the Soul’s effort for creative self actualization to cease.
A note on Prince.
Price has Uranus in Leo square the South Nodes in Taurus, with Venus the ruler of Taurus also conjunct the South Node in the 6th house and a North Node in Scorpio conjunct Neptune in the 12th house. His addiction to opiates was not known to others, as he presented himself as a clean living Vegan, who did not partake in drugs and alcohol, yet he had chronic crippling arthritic pain due to all of the jumping around on stage in heels over the years, a condition he would not fix due to strong religious resistance to medical intervention. He kept this prescription drug addiction out of the public eye. He did die suddenly, Uranus square the Nodes, a Soul with still so much life left, as Prince did not feel remotely finished with his desire to reach the masses with his message. Uranus square Neptune on the North Node in Scorpio in the 12th house, can also symbolize a phenomena where the Soul was not ready to leave and becomes a ghost in this world, still in shock from his own sudden exit. With a North Node in Scorpio conjunct Neptune, his Soul will undoubtedly come back in a powerful way to do it all over again, to become a world icon, a voice for all Souls who feel different, empowering others to actualize their own unique natures, and he will continue to push those limits in his lyrics and performance, to shock the world into greater states of awareness. But the intention moving forward is not to push the limits of his life force with whatever may be needed to numb the pain.
What if there is a planet squaring the Nodes, with the planetary ruler of the North Node conjunct the South Node?
Let’s use an example here with Saturn in Pisces in the 9th house at 10 degrees, squaring the South Node in Sagittarius in the 5th house and the North Node in Gemini at 4 degrees in the 11th house. The ruler of the North Node in Gemini is Mercury Rx in Sagittarius and it is conjunct the South Node. We can see in this context, that the Soul has moved beyond the square. The Soul has been deep in the throws of the very apex of this skipped steps in recent lives, but has successfully found a way to move beyond the most critical juncture leading into this life. With Saturn moving away from the square, only 6 degrees beyond, this would still mean that there are residual issues that need to be addressed in the current life.
In this scenario where the North Node ruler, Mercury, conjuncts the South Node in Sagittarius, the Soul’s future evolution is dependent on resolving past life issues and dynamics that have been brought forwards into this life. In particular here, a Soul who has been running and hiding for lifetimes, Saturn in Pisces square the Nodes, finding herself in patriarchal families that in truth reflect the very opposite from her nature, and making mainstream choices in order to avoid persecution. The pain of denying her nature did in fact exceed the fear and her efforts unearthed an opportunity to come out of hiding as she parted the curtain of truth. This resolution occurs by way of her Soul making new choices relative to old dynamics and issues that have been brought forward into the current life. The nature of those new choices is symbolized by the house and sign of the North Node, whereas the issues and dynamics of the past that are not resolved are symbolized by the house and sign of the South Node, and the planetary ruler of that South Node, in this case her resolution node.
With the ruler of her North Node, being conjunct the South Node in Sagittarius, this clearly points to her way through, re-stating the 9th house Sagittarius theme where her skipped step resides. It is about being honest, as JWG taught,“The truth is always best, no matter how much it hurts, for it always creates the right reality”. If those new choices reflect a removal of old themes, embracing her individual design regardless of where that leads, there is a resolution of the South Node in such a way that an evolution of the Soul can occur by recreating past life dynamics and making new choices to deal with them, allowing for a breakthrough.
One of the trickiest of turns in these travels connects to the feeling that the Soul has resolved what it needed to, only to come to discover, there are remaining remnants of more, similar to pulling a weed and not getting clear to the bottom of its roots, it will undoubtedly return. The person can be under the illusion that they are done, because in truth, they may really desire to be done, but if there is anything left, it will keep repeating whether the Soul wants it to be done or not. It will always reveal the truth of
where the Soul stands.
Also, almost inevitably, when any Soul experiences a quantum leap in their personal evolution, a true feeling of release from the hard past, there will be something on the heels of the good growth that tries to undermine the positive steps taken. This in itself becomes yet another challenge. While this occurs for all Souls whether one is dealing with skipped steps or not, this experience can be particularly intense for someone with this signature because the groove in the record of resistance can be so deep, and the tendency to fall back on the past can be so tempting and fierce. Self determination will be essential and must become the Soul’s front line of attack, especially when the Soul feels like forward steps taken may feel to be lost. It is in those moments when the Soul turns and faces what it must with the inner gates wide open, that an acceleration of the Soul’s evolution can take place, a true freedom feeling like no other.
Kristin Fontana graduated from UCLA with a degree in Kinesiology. She studied with world-renowned astrologer Jeffrey Wolf Green and is a certified graduate of the School of Evolutionary Astrology. Kristin is a contributor to a new book on Evolutionary Astrology called Insights into Evolutionary Astrology and she provides a weekly Astrological Forecast column for the Beach Reporter in Southern California, which is also posted on her web site www.kristinfontana.com. She has presented regularly at the Jeffrey Wolf Green Evolutionary Astrological Conference as well as NORWAC. Fontana is listened to worldwide on her weekly internet radio show Guiding Stars on the website www.healthylife.net.