HOUSE 1: Personality

Welcome to a complex, paradoxical North Node challenge. Part One: Make the sensitive, compassionate, spiritual qualities of the Pisces energy you're learning about part of the core definition of who you are. Part Two: Assert yourself and those qualities into all areas of your life. Right away you can start to see why this may not be is not an easy assignment for someone learning about sensitivity and intuitive wisdom, someone who, if they get the Pisces part of the assignment right, will be acknowledging a huge "urge to merge" as part of their energetic make-up. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this is starting to sound a little confusing and a lot unsettling. But your spirit is ready for this challenge or you wouldn't have knocked at this door, so swim right on in.

In order to get in touch with those Pisces qualities, you can expect to have experiences that give you a chance to stand strong for what your intuitive wisdom is telling you. Let's say you've been house-hunting for ages and you finally find a place that you and your partner really love. The price is good and the engineer's report gives it the A-OK. But something just doesn't feel right, and you don't want to go forward with the deal. Will you be able to stick to your guns so that you can be relieved six months later when you read that a hurricane swept through that part of town?

Your South Node in the Seventh House of Partnership adds more complexity. To be sure, the analytical, discriminating Virgo energy there is going to help you when it comes to identifying where you end and everyone else begins. But when the rigors of acting from the Piscean, right side of the brain in a world that cries out for left-brained logic wear you down, it could be easy to unconsciously slip-stream into that partnership current and lose your own direction. Look for the signals. The Universe is likely to let you know that you've wandered off-course by sending its messages in the form of a persnickety picky person - most likely a partnership-type person - who tries to hold you back from claiming your own life by telling you you're not ready yet; someone who endlessly finds new real or metaphorical lint to brush off your jacket before they can let you go out on your own. What they're really telling you, though, is that it's time to regroup and head North.

Find your own current and go with your flow.

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HOUSE 2: Values

Welcome to a lifetime where you can explore the spiritual world within you and discover how true, direct connection to the Universe's benevolent energy can provide a source of unwavering security and safety. In this lifetime of identifying what's important to you and aligning your life and resources behind those values, you can come to rely on a limitless source of inner strength.

The biggest challenge takes us to your Eighth House South Node in the sign of Virgo. This placement suggests a karmic history of situations where you gave too much of yourself away in deep, intense, bonded relationships in exchange for the safety that another could provide for you. Energetic memories of those experiences can stir self-directed criticism in this lifetime. If that critical, judgmental voice gets too loud, you might seek to silence it by drifting unconsciously back into patterns of letting someone else, someone with a louder voice, take over your life. It may feel good at first, like you've found a safe place to fall, but what you will have done is to place your future in another's hands. Just like you did last time.

Instead, use that analytical, discerning Virgo energy to keep the distinction clear as to where you end and another person begins. It will keep you focused on your own inner strengths and the awareness that you have everything you need within you to provide your own security.

Drop out and find your own flow. It's for your highest soul growth this time around.

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HOUSE 3: The Mind

Welcome to a lifetime of using the sensitivity and intuitive wisdom of the Pisces energy you're learning about to see how Spirit manifests in the minutiae of the everyday world; to learning about it and then sharing the vision. The more you allow that watery, instinctive Piscean navigation system to operate, the more you'll be able to trust that it will lead you where you need to go: to the information and experience you need to gather, and to the people who need to share it and contribute their part. Learning to trust that inner voice in these matters is fundamental to this assignment.

The Virgo energy calling to you from your South Node in the Ninth House isn't going to make it easy, what with its concentration on the analytical determination of the usefulness of the information you're acquiring and disseminating. Yes, Virgo energy is interested in information and it's very, very smart, and with its inclination to serve, it can be of great help with the job of spreading the word. But Virgo needs to pin things down, and with your South Node in the Ninth House, you've had experiences in the karmic past where you pinned down an air-tight foundation for belief by using each particular fact and insight you acquired to plug a microscopic hole in the philosophical brickwork. In so doing, you lost sight of what the foundation was meant to support. You'll have to bring all manner of consciousness and awareness to the task of not falling back into the patterns of what worked in that karmic past - all those well-scrubbed predigested facts can act as cement boots on those beautiful fins of yours.

Let it all flow into you and through you. Go with that flow.

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HOUSE 4: Home

Welcome to a lifetime of using the sensitive, compassionate Pisces energy you're learning about to connect into the heart of family life and create safe and secure foundations that can sustain you wherever you go and whatever you do. Welcome to the challenge of being sure you keep your own sense of self as you discover that you don't have to swim through this lifetime's waters on your own - that, in fact, you can't do it on your own, because you're heading North and that means you're heading home.

The sensitivity of Pisces energy can make it hard for you to keep the boundaries intact that identify you as a separate individual and protect you when the family cauldron gets agitated and boils over. The more you become acquainted with it, the harder it might become to resist the Piscean urge to merge that can make it all too easy to swim along in the family wake without ever claiming any authentic life for yourself. If you're not careful, you could unconsciously absorb the family "take" on life, unquestioningly flowing into the family party line on issues great and small - everything from ignoring how your brother's standard post-dinner snooze might have something of an alcohol-induced blackout spin to it, to something as trivial as thinking that you have to change from winter to summer living room draperies just because your grandmother always did.

The South Node in Virgo part of you holds a legacy of strong analytical and discriminatory skills, and you can call on these reserves if you start to feel that you're losing track of where you end and the rest of the clan begins. But Virgo's call to service can be compelling, and if you don't pay attention, you might find yourself slipping into the role of family "go-fer." And there's this: You're not going to be spending your whole life behind the gates of the family compound, so you're going to have to be careful when you step outside into that larger world. Your South Node is in the Tenth House, which reminds us that you've had quite a bit of success in the public sector at some time in the karmic past. It can become all too easy to hide out from the challenges of this lifetime's assignment by getting overly-involved in the big world out there, answering call after call to public service or professional success, thinking you're doing a good thing when what you're really doing is putting cement weights on those beautiful fins of yours.

Find your family and go with your flow.

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HOUSE 5: Creativity

Welcome, welcome - swim right on in. The sensitivity and imagination of the Piscean energy you're learning about is such a great fit with the creative self-expression part of this assignment. Once you get going, we can expect you to touch our emotions with what you bring forth, regardless of medium or genre: poetry that touches the heart; paintings that suffuse the viewer with memory and feeling; gestures of kindness and compassion that bring forth the same in others. But Pisces is much more comfortable swimming in the wake of another's current than in setting its own course, so increasing immersion in its energy is going to come with increasing challenge. The Fifth House goal is creative self -expression, and if you're swimming in someone else's stream, how are you going to find out what self-expression is for you? And the challenge extends to the romance part of the assignment as well. Sensitive Piscean energy can take love to fantastic, transcendent places, but risks losing itself in the "urge to merge" as it does.

There's more. Your Virgo South Node legacy of analytical, precise thinking can help you identify your own boundaries and protect them, but it also speaks to a karmic history of service and of using your own practical skills to help others advance their lives. That node is staked in the Eleventh House which resonates with themes of group identification, and suggests that in the karmic past you overachieved in following the group's "party line" for the sake of acceptance and a sense of belonging. The fact that those associations were likely to have had goals and interests that involved advancing the state of humanity and leaving the world a better place feeds into Pisces' caring and compassionate nature. It all adds up to an especially strong, unconscious pull to the South Node. What's more, because Virgo's critical eye is often pointed in its own direction, it can inhibit the self-expression that the Fifth House challenge is all about. If you don't work at these issues, you could easily find yourself swimming in circles, following the fish tail ahead of you, and getting nowhere.

Find your own current and go with your flow.

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HOUSE 6: Service

Uh-oh. Has that Piscean sensitivity picked up an unsettling vibe as you approached this threshold? A feeling of uncertainty or insecurity about your direction, perhaps? Not to worry: all inner guidance systems are in perfect working order. The intuitive, compassionate Pisces energy you're learning about can make a real contribution in the practical, earth-bound House of Service, but it's no surprise that the thought of becoming land-locked might make you want to swim right back out into the ocean's comforting depths. It's okay. Welcome to the paradoxical, exciting and phenomenally rewarding terrain of the karmic "switcheroo," the situation where the themes of this lifetime's assignment bear a striking resemblance to the experiences of the karmic past.

Sensitive Pisces energy is most comfortable intuitively following the currents and tides of a subtle environment where it can feel its way instinctively towards its destination and not worry too much about the timetable. That North Node is staked in the down-to-earth, practical turf of the Sixth House where a detailed and orderly "To Do" list and project management procedures are among the most useful tools of the trade. Meanwhile, your meticulous, perfectionist, discriminating, and workaholic Virgo South Node is in the watery Twelfth House where mañana is definitely soon enough. In this lifetime, it's going to be hard to know if you're moving forward to the North Node or back to the South. In fact, there could even be times when you literally won't know whether to take a course and brush up on your bookkeeping, or try to care whether or not you even have a checkbook. What's more, both nodes resonate with the temptations of unconscious addictive or escapist behaviors: high standards that can become unforgiving perfectionism and obsession with details; a call to serve others that thoroughly depletes your own energy; a seductive temptation to drift away from responsibility.

Yes, this is a particularly challenging assignment, but it need not be daunting. You are ready for it and it represents your next best step on the path. Missteps and detours and dead ends are part of the "switcheroo" deal, so go easy on yourself. Just keep the most positive qualities of your North Node sign and house in the forefront of your consciousness as much as you can. You're learning a complicated lesson. When you have the reversed sign and house situation, it's often an indication that you're working on an issue that takes more than a single lifetime to master.

Flex those fins and swim on in. You've got important work to do!

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HOUSE 7: Partnership

Welcome to a lifetime of discovering how well you can connect into the heart of partnership, and to the challenge of being sure you keep your own boundaries and sense of self in the process. In this visionary and spiritual lifetime, you don't have to go it alone. In fact, you can't go it alone - your North Node is in the Seventh House.

As you move into its energy, Pisces' sensitivity and urge to merge and swim in the stream of another's direction can make it hard to keep up on your end of the Seventh House "separate-but-equal" partnership bargain. It's not a big deal when the issue is whether you'll cruise to the Caribbean or the Mexican Riviera for your annual vacation, but what if you let yourself drift into the decision to have a third child - or, in a less personal partnership, open a third branch - when you've been waiting to resume your graduate studies in Eastern Religion?

Your South Node tells us that in your karmic past you've had opportunities to integrate what the discriminating, analytical sign of Virgo knows about identifying boundaries into your First House sense of identity and selfhood. You can call on that legacy if you find it's getting fuzzy on the line between where you end and your partner begins. But go too far on the boundary work, or give in to Virgo's critical perfectionism, and you lose connection and partnership balance, and maybe even your partner. If you find people - especially partner-type-people - telling you you've gotten awfully persnickety and critical lately, it could be a message from the Universal Life Coach letting you know you've stalled on the journey North.

Find your partner and go with your flow.

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HOUSE 8: Transformation

Welcome to the watery world of the Eighth House, a natural home to the Pisces energy you're learning about in this lifetime. Swim right in - you're definitely in your own element. This assignment asks you to dive to new depths and retrieve the power your find there, power that can firm up and strengthen the sensitive, compassionate nature of Piscean energy; power that you can use to heal and transform yourself and others.

Now I suspect that it's very good news to you that you're slated to have company on this voyage. Pisces loves to be swimming in another's current, and its sensitivity and empathy are important assets when it comes to establishing Eighth House relationships, which are often founded on deep emotional bonding. But as you become increasing attuned to the energy of the twin fish, will you be able to share your emotional and spiritual and material resources with another person without losing yourself in the process, especially when that person is a deep, intense Eighth House kind of person? This is a big, important question, an issue that must be considered.

The analytical, discriminating energy of your Virgo South Node can help you define necessary boundaries and identify who's contributing what to the resources of the relationship. That earthy sign is located in the very concrete, material astrological terrain of the Second House. Looking toward the South Node through our darkened lens, we can see that the combination can make it hard to let go of the "stuff" that defined safety and security in the karmic past, "stuff" that can feel like cement water wings on those lovely Piscean fins of yours. And falling back to the security of the "do it yourself" part of Second House experience can slow down the building of the kind of shared relationship that you're needing to establish in this lifetime.

Yes, you're swimming in the deepest part of the pond and it may not always feel like a week in the Caribbean, but the rewards are worth it, so take the plunge!

Remember the phoenix.

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HOUSE 9: Expanding Horizons

Come on in - it's okay. I know that the enthusiastic, high-energy vibe you're picking up might be a little unsettling, but you may find you like it here once you get acclimated. Pisces likes nothing more than to soften the boundaries that separate one thing from another, and has a keen eye for the vision that emerges from the mist, so the Ninth House goal of connecting random dots of information and experience into expansive patterns of meaning can become a really comfortable fit. And Piscean sensitivity to its environment and the people in it can go a long way to helping you connect to the audience that's meant to share that vision. Yes, you've definitely got something to contribute here.

But this is a North Node assignment and that means that there are going to be definite challenges. The first can be found in the "too much of a good thing" department. The more you get in touch with Piscean energy, the more you'll have to be careful not to get lost in some kind of idealized vision of perfection, drifting in soft currents that flow in endless circles that unfortunately go nowhere. The vision you're sharing has to be accessible and deliverable to an earthbound audience that needs to deal in the realm of the realistic.

The next challenge takes us to your South Node in the Third House and injects an element of paradox. The Virgo energy there is extremely comfortable in the everyday world of that mundane piece of astrological real estate, and this earthy practicality can be of great help when it comes to keeping the developing Piscean vision real. And Virgo's call to service can certainly come in handy when it comes to the "spreading the word" part of the job description. But Virgo is ultra-analytical and likes to pin things down and sort them into precise categories, and that kind of thinking is absolutely antithetical to this lifetime's assignment. You'll have to pay attention to this issue, because, as we know, the South Node operates strongly and unconsciously, and the Pisces energy you're learning about can absorb that magnetism like a sponge.

Swim on in to these Ninth House seas. The waters are wider than land-locked horizons, and full of sunken treasure.

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HOUSE 10: Authority

Welcome to a lifetime of stepping out in the public arena in a position of leadership and authority where others can see you and benefit from what you have to share. Welcome to using Pisces' sensitivity and intuitive understanding of what makes others tick to connect with people who don't really know you personally at all. Are you starting to hope that you've knocked at the wrong door? It's true that this is not an easy assignment for Pisces energy, which much prefers to swim in the stream of another's creation. But in a world hugely motivated by external situations and rewards, where direction is taken predominately from the left side of the brain, we need models who have access to the gifts and wisdom of the world we cannot see, and that means you. In this incarnation, your Piscean self is asked to become a big fish in your particular pond.

The analytical, discriminating qualities of the Virgo energy in your South Node can be of real help when it comes to identifying where you end and everyone else begins, something a leader needs to know. And it's also going to help you figure out the practicalities of what it takes to fulfill your mission. Let's say you want to demonstrate the benefits of meditation, a very right-brained, intuitive Piscean process. Sitting quietly in front of an audience with your eyes closed simply isn't going to get your message across. You need to set up a schedule, find the gathering space, make sure the sound system works, publicize the event, and develop a presentation plan, for starters. The legacy of Virgo qualities can help you with all this. But Virgo has a critical voice, and if you let it get to you, it can undermine your confidence in your ability to succeed at this assignment. You'll have to put on metaphorical earplugs and quiet its persnickety carrying on. And although the Fourth House South Node location is homey, nurturing terrain that can provide the replenishment your sensitive Piscean self will need when the jangle and pressure of public life gets overwhelming, it can be simply too easy to get stuck there. Any hint of neediness can touch your Piscean compassion and stir Virgo's call to service. Before you know it, you could find yourself with a whole set of customized uniforms to wear when you have to pick up Aunt Hattie and Uncle Floyd at the airport...or fix the leak under the bathroom sink...or cancel your vacation and stand in for your brother's nanny when she has urgent personal business to take care of. If that starts to happen, it's a sign that you're stalled on the journey North and it's time to get into your "Sunday going to meeting" outfit and step out into the larger world.

Get ready. You're being promoted to principal - the biggest fish in the school. (I just couldn't resist it.)

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HOUSE 11: Goals & Groups

Welcome! I think you're going to like it here. The compassionate Pisces energy you're learning about is a very complementary fit for the humanitarian spirit of this part of the birth chart. You might feel a little chilly at first in these Aquarian-infused waters, but Pisces' caring, sensitive nature can do a lot to personalize relationships and soften the environment. Of course, once you really begin to resonate with watery Pisces energy, you may have to remind yourself to fight the "urge to merge" so totally with the group that you lose track of where you end and it begins. And Pisces' visionary, idealistic approach to life could make it hard to stay focused on clear, attainable goals, but we can help you with that. No question about it: we need you and you can make a real contribution.

Now you'll have to pay attention to your South Node, calling to you with reminders of the pleasures, romance, and creativity of your Fifth House karmic past, themes that appeal strongly to the Piscean energy you're learning about in this lifetime. Their siren call can make it all too easy to drift back without even realizing what's happening. The earthy Virgo energy of that South Node can be a big help when it comes to developing a realistic view of what you want to accomplish and the practicalities of how you're going to get it done, and its call to service fits neatly with Piscean compassion and Eleventh House humanitarianism. At the same time, that neat fit can add to the South Node magnetic field. And, you'll have to be careful not to let Virgo's critical, perfectionist voice discourage you with messages about how you're not yet ready to move forward toward your goals. All together, these influences could keep you hooked to the "been there, done that" node for a lifetime.

Find your current. Join your school. And keep those fins moving in a Northerly direction!

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HOUSE 12: Spirit

A double "Welcome Home" to you, dear voyager. The twin fish love nothing better than to dreamily swim in soft currents of intuition and feeling, and that is exactly the environment that lies behind the Twelfth House door. There are no worries about stopwatches and time schedules in this world where mañana is always time enough; no taste or need for rapid-fire intellectual or action-based response to electric, dynamic, ever-changing conditions. The merest flutter of the fins will keep you moving forward through the softened, permeable boundaries that allow you to connect with self and Spirit. So swim right on in - you're really going to like it here.

But we know that the North Node journey is always a challenge, and for you with the doubled-up opportunity, the challenge side of the coin is double-thick as well. To begin with, there's the issue of "too much of a good thing." Will be you able to recognize when sensitivity becomes a psychic-sponge situation where you're absorbing so much from the environment that you become engulfed or overwhelmed by it? Will you know if you're so befuddled that you no longer recognize where you end and the rest of the world begins? Or that you're swimming around in circles, going nowhere? Will you be able to identify the point where a calm, relaxed, intuitive pace becomes apathy and inertia, or where any of these situations leads you down the slippery slope to escapism and addiction so you won't have to think of about them? You'll have to be doubly on the alert for these kinds of low-end manifestations of Piscean Twelfth House energy.

Now let's look at your South Node. Its analytical, precise, earthy Virgo energy can certainly help you with boundary-definition and keeping a realistic eye on your progress. But Virgo is doubly-comfortable in the Sixth House of Service: doubly-hard-working on helping others; doubly-convinced that the time of preparation and self-perfection is not yet over; doubly-tied to the habits and routines that frame daily life; and doubly-reluctant to leave the safety of all that to plunge into the elusive mysteries of life's meaning and connection to Spirit. It will be no small task for gentle Twelfth House Piscean energy to pull itself loose from that magnetism, but it must be done.

Swim strong. Head North. You can do this thing.

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