HOUSE 1: Personality

Welcome to a lifetime of glorying in the self-sufficiency, competence, and smarts of the Virgo energy you're learning about, and asserting those qualities in all areas of your life. Welcome to getting comfortable with the idea that although it's fine and admirable to use those qualities to serve and help others, it's perhaps even finer and more admirable to use them to serve your own needs. Master this lesson and when, for example, your spontaneous gadabout brother wants you to invest with him in a weekend getaway cabin and you do the math, you don't have to feel bad about declining the offer with the explanation that it doesn't fit in with your financial game plan. Master this lesson and you'll be able to insist that everybody keeps their hands off your ultra-organized and meticulously arranged desk because it makes it easy for you to lay your hands on whatever you need in an instant.

Now challenge is general issue with the North Node assignment and your South Node in the Seventh House takes us to a big one. The compassionate Pisces energy there makes for a strong tug on the heartstrings whenever anyone approaches you with the least hint of neediness, especially if that hint comes from your partner: a mess that only you can clean up; a favor that only you can do; an emergency that only you can handle. This kind of stuff feeds right into the Virgo call to service, so the more you get in touch with that energy, the harder it could become to hold the line. Stepping back from the role of eternal service-provider to see that your own needs are met will take conscious resolve. Look for the signals. The Universe will let you know if you wander too far off-course, usually sending a message through your relationships, especially a partnership relationship with someone whose "urge to merge" and co-dependency leaves you feeling swamped and that they have no life of their own. What are they trying to tell you about yourself?

Be yourself: Go for the A+ on this assignment!

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HOUSE 2: Values

In this "God is in the details" lifetime, the analytical, discriminating Virgo energy you're learning about is really going to come in handy in the Second House of Values. A large part of what you need in order to build the safety, security, and self-esteem that are the goals of this assignment is to know what's what: what's yours and what belongs to and comes from another. Then you have to acquire what's yours through your own efforts, using the finely-honed practical skills and world-class brain that are the signatures of Virgo energy.

Although you have everything it takes to get this job done, it's not necessarily going to be easy, and there are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, Virgo has a service-to-others orientation that might make it hard for you stick to your own agenda. You're someone who absolutely needs to keep the checkbook in balance and to have the bills paid on time (if not early), and if helping your next-door neighbor assemble the 10,000 part swing set with the foreign-language-masking-as-English directions takes you away from your own task, it's you who's going to be frustrated and stalled at the end of the day. In this lifetime, your needs have to come first; then you can focus on others.

The pull of your Eighth House South Node in the sign of Pisces is another tough challenge. In the karmic past there were deep, intense experiences of getting lost in relationships where you probably literally didn't know where you ended and the other person began. Reliance on those kinds of relationships to provide support and security exacted a high price, a price that might have been paid out by enduring disrespect for and invasion of your own boundaries. Experiences like these left you physically and emotionally adrift in your own life. Still, the temptation to relax and ease off on your own efforts can be magnetically strong because Pisces in the Eighth House operates at a deep, doubly-unconscious level. Although they may sound irresistible, in this lifetime you need to decline any Sugar-Daddy-of-either-gender opportunities. They're red herrings sent by the Universe to test your commitment to Northbound progress.

Go ahead: fine-tune that financial plan and be proud of yourself for doing it. It's for your highest soul-growth this time around.

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HOUSE 3: The Mind

Welcome home, dear Virgo voyager - you're going to like it here, so don't be shy. There's nothing Virgo energy likes more than to test its brainpower and ability to accumulate and analyze information, and that's an intrinsic part of this assignment. Well, maybe not so much the analyze part - you don't want to go overboard in that direction. But it's important that the information and expertise you acquire be useful, and if that isn't one kind of hand-in-glove fit for the Third House world of the everyday here and now, I don't know what is.

Let's say you see a course offering for developing criminal cold case investigation skills. Nothing could be more appealing intellectually, but you're a CPA and on your way to the Chief Financial Officer position in a huge investment firm, and you aren't likely to switch gears in the direction of a career in law enforcement any time soon. Still, there's such an appeal...but how can you take the course unless you are sure you can put the information and skills you acquire to good, practical use? And so it gets a little tricky. The Virgo nature you're learning about is at greater risk of setting the bar too restrictively for itself than it is of going overboard in the pursuit of learning; of bringing extraordinarily high standards of practical relevance and productivity and, yes, academic and other performance criteria, to the decision of what's a worthy pursuit. You'll have to remind yourself again and again of the Third House assignment of allowing yourself to follow your curiosity and trust that the information will come in handy - to someone, if not to you.

The part about sharing what you know is going to come easy once you get going because Virgo loves to use its skills in the service of helping others. The more you get in touch with that energy, the better you'll become at this part of the job description.

However, your Ninth House South Node takes us to another challenge. The emotional, intuitive, spiritual Piscean energy there is a good mix with the philosophical, visionary spirit of that part of the astrological chart. It can be so easy, so sweet, to stay adrift in the escapist, idealized feeling that you're swimming in Universal Truth, and struggling ashore to the mundane world of the here and now can feel like quite a come-down. But if you fall into that trap, it will tie you to the South Node hook, line, and sinker.

Grab the deerstalker hat and magnifying glass and get going!

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HOUSE 4: Home

Welcome to using the intelligence, competence, and practical skills of the Virgo energy you're learning about to connect consciously and deeply into family life and identity, and to using those qualities in the service of building strong, secure foundations that can support and sustain you wherever you may go in life. Perhaps you will become the archivist of family history and genealogy, or lend your skills to the maintenance of the ancestral home or family assets. One way or another, welcome to learning that in this lifetime, you don't have to go it alone.

Virgo's analytical eye can help you with clarity about boundaries, and in family life this can be a very good thing. Without boundaries, Virgo's innate inclination to be of service could lead you to acquiring a set of customized uniforms to wear every time you have to pick up Aunt Harriet and Uncle Floyd at the airport...or fix a leak under the bathroom sink...or be the one to use your vacation time to sit in for the nanny when she has urgent personal business. However, the more you become more comfortable with that Virgo energy, the more over-achievement at boundary-setting and over-use of its critical, perfectionist perspective could combine to create the dilemma of isolation and separation from the very source of security and connection that you're here to learn about.

Another big challenge is beaming at you from your Tenth House South Node, which speaks to a history of success and achievement in the public world, a success in which you may have lost yourself, or even become addicted to. When the going gets rough at home in this lifetime, it can be all too easy to distract yourself from those challenges by recreating the intoxicating success and recognition of the karmic past. And the unconscious nature of the Pisces energy in that magnetic South Node can make it even harder to recognize when you've started that downward slide. Like I told you, North Node work can get very complicated.

There's a light in the window, guiding you home. Just turn towards it. There you go....

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HOUSE 5: Creativity

Come on in - don't be shy. It's going to just fine, even if the thought of bringing forth something from within you out here where the rest of us can see it and admire it is enough to make you want to head out to the astral plane and wait it out until you can choose another North Node destination. Think about it for a minute: The Virgo energy you're learning about is going to do a lot to help you figure out precisely what it is you can be creative about. Perhaps it's the elegance of creating an elaborate color-blended, microscopically-stitched tapestry; or computer code that has not one extra symbol or extra process on its way to its unfailingly accurate output; or the development and execution of a meticulous protocol that heals a hitherto intractable disease. With the world-class intellect and eye for detail of Virgo energy, the possibilities are virtually limitless. But here's the thing: You'll have to learn to muffle that inner critical voice telling you you're not ready yet to bring forth your creative self, the voice that tells you there's some skill you still have to acquire so you can get it "right," the voice that, after you've given something your absolute best shot, implies that the product simply isn't good enough. As you acquire Virgo's strengths and skills, that voice could get louder and louder. (And since this part of the birth chart represents our flesh-and-blood children, you'll have to be careful about being overly-critical toward them as well, if you have them.)

Then there's the challenge of your South Node history, calling to you from the Eleventh House. It suggests experiences where your Piscean selfhood was lost by seamlessly merging into the anonymity of being one among many; of seeking approval and a sense of belonging by becoming a faceless member of some homogeneous group. The fact that the group probably had impeccable ideals and engaged in initiatives that were skewed toward making this world a better place would have had irresistible appeal to Piscean compassion. All this can feed into the self-effacing, servile, low-end expression of Virgo energy and keep you lashed to the anonymity of your South Node. If that happens and you never discover and bring forth your own unique creative self, well then you do have a legitimate cause for self-criticism.

Go easy on yourself. You're a lot more ready than you think and we're all waiting to see what you come up with.

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HOUSE 6: Service

A double "Welcome Home" to you, dear voyager. The Virgo energy you're learning about likes nothing better than to fine-tune its considerable skills and practical competence and put them to useful service, and that's exactly what this Sixth House job description is all about. No pie-in-the-sky "perfect world" idealizations for you: you're all about rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done. And that razor-sharp intellect will welcome any and every opportunity to better your own command of skills and talents. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you had your own permanently designated private armchair in the Self Improvement section of the local bookstore.

But here's the thing. 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. For starters, once you get attuned to North Node energies and begin to move toward them, you might find yourself slip-sliding into the "too much of a good thing" mud pit: too much self-improvement becoming anguished perfectionism and self-criticism; too much energy directed to the service of others becoming workaholism and exhaustion; workaholism and exhaustion putting unremitting pressure on the body/mind connection, weakening the boundaries that define and protect you. Once you're on that merry-go-round, the doubly unconscious, escapist pull of the Piscean Twelfth House South Node could become irresistible. Think of two fish dreamily adrift in unconscious waters, ready to merge with anything that can soften or mask the pain of an overwrought existence: chemical or behavioral addiction; apathy; lethargy; even escapism masked as spirituality.

Now grab your notebook and get going. There's a lecture on efficiency that starts in a half an hour.

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HOUSE 7: Partnership

Welcome to a lifetime of using the skills and competencies of the Virgo energy you're learning about to forge an enduring partnership; to discovering how in helping others, especially partner-type-others, with their lives, you advance your own. In this lifetime, it's in the give-and-take of committed relationship that you learn not only to give your gift of service, but to receive back in kind.

Now, there can be challenges with this assignment, especially once you start making real progress. The Virgo analytical eye can help you with clarity about boundaries, and in partnership this can be a very good thing. 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. The Virgo urge to be of service can also upset the relationship applecart. For example, if you're always the one to detour on the way home after a long day at work to pick up a few things from the market - or the one to give up the vacation day when one of the kids has the flu - or, in a professional partnership, the one who always gives the performance review that leads to the pink slip - it's time to sit up and take notice. Abdicating any part of your 50% equal share of the receiving end of the balance can be as just undermining to relationship as grabbing off part of your partner's 50%.

The First House South Node in Pisces part of you knows about feeling and compassion and about how to connect with someone at more than an intellectual, practical, common sense level. But the Pisces urge to merge and drift in someone else's current became so much a part of your identity in the karmic past that it can undermine your fine-tuned partnership balancing efforts in this lifetime. You'll have to be especially on the alert for this, because both Pisces and the South Node operate unconsciously. Look for the signals. The Universe will be happy to help you get back on track, perhaps by sending a message through someone, especially a partner-type-someone, who tells you that you've gotten awfully "spacey" or "wishy-washy" lately. If something like that happens, it just may be that you've taken a detour on your way North.

Reach out. Someone's waiting to hold your hand on this journey.

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HOUSE 8: Transformation

Welcome to a lifetime of using the analytical intellect and competence of the Virgo energy you're learning about to explore the deepest, most private and mysterious part of yourself and claim the power you find there. Welcome to combining that with the Virgo call to be of service so that you can make a positive, healing, and transformative difference in your own life and that of others. And welcome to a lifetime of having company for at least some part of the journey.

Learning to share and balance your own resources and values with someone else is part of this assignment, and your Second House South Node karmic history of self-sufficiency can make this a real challenge. The Pisces energy of that South Node adds paradox and complexity. It tells us that you learned a lot about sensitivity and empathy and being able to connect with someone else at deep, soulful levels, and all this can be of great help in this lifetime, no question about it. But looking through the darkened lens that we apply to the South Node, we can presume that in the karmic past Pisces' "urge to merge" and need to dissolve boundaries made it difficult, if not impossible, to keep your essential, distinct 50% of the relationship bargain intact from all angles. The North Node Virgo energy you're learning about compounds the issue by being of inclination to serve someone else. Unless you can be your own person 100% of the time, and then share the resources of that person with someone who shares equally back, your companions on the journey may turn out to be more like cement flippers than supportive fellow deep sea divers. The result: confusion and uncertainty. The low-end Piscean strategy: drift away; escape; not get involved. The high-end Piscean strategy: pay conscious attention. The choice: it's yours.

Remember the phoenix.

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HOUSE 9: Expanding Horizons

Welcome, dear Virgo voyager. I promise that there's a lot about this assignment that you're going to like. Virgo energy just loves to test its brainpower and analytical abilities, and this challenge does just that: it asks you to see the patterns and connections between ideas, information, and experience, and to construct a framework of meaning from it all. What's more, Virgo's strong call to service assures that the part about sharing your insights so that others can live better, fuller lives will feel very rewarding. So don't be shy - come right on in.

Now, this is a North Node assignment, and that means that challenge and paradox are part of the job description. The Virgo mind drills down into the most minute levels of detail: from the forest, right down to the seeds - and perhaps even to the botanical cellular structure of those seeds. Although you'll be in no danger of inadequate documentation for any conclusions you arrive at, the more you come into that Virgo energy, the more you become at risk of losing the whole forest, and the forest is where the Ninth House is at. The goal is to integrate the two perspectives and come up with a worldview that is greater than the connected sum of its parts.

The next issue takes us to your South Node, in the Third House of the Mind. The Piscean energy there is very comfortable swimming around in the comings and goings of the everyday world, letting intuition and sensitivity absorb whatever information and experience it encounters. But it's easy for that energy to get lost, to simply drift where the current is flowing, which makes it hard to stay focused on this lifetime's big picture assignment. Pisces also has a tendency to idealize whatever it encounters, an approach that is totally antithetical to the earthy Virgo analytical, realistic perspective. What's more, the detail-oriented nature of Third House information is compelling to the Virgo mind, and increases the powerful, unconscious magnetism of the South Node. Bottom Line: constant vigilance will be required to keep your head above the cellular structure of the seed and your eyes focused in a Northerly direction.

Thinking Little + Thinking Big = A+ on this assignment.

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HOUSE 10: Authority

Welcome to a lifetime of using the intellect, skills, and practicality of the hard-working Virgo energy you're learning about to step out in the public arena and give your gift to your "tribe." Welcome to the possibility of finding yourself in a position of authority and responsibility, out where the rest of us can watch you, learn from what we see, and acknowledge you for it. Although Virgo by nature would rather be the assistant than the star, this is your next best step and you wouldn't have knocked on this door if you weren't ready to take it, so come on in and let's get going.

Your Fourth House Piscean South Node tells us that in the karmic past you built connections to the comforts of hearth and home that can be important sources of security in this lifetime as you venture forth to claim a more public life. But that South Node provides real challenge as well. Pisces energy is just so comfortable there, totally merged and fused with the familiarity and safety of the family circle. That's going to make it doubly-easy to slide back to the "been there, done that" node in an unconscious Piscean escapist drift when Tenth House challenges stir. And Pisces' compassion adds its own strong magnetism to Virgo's call to service, causing a super-strong tug on the heartstrings whenever there's the least hint of neediness from the home front. You'll have to be on constant alert or you could find yourself swimming in endless circles around the family hearth, going nowhere.

Pack up your tool box: we need you out here! You do awfully good work.

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HOUSE 11: Goals & Groups

Welcome, dear voyager. We promise you an opportunity to get a whole lot of satisfaction out of "acing" this assignment, so don't be shy. If there's anything the Virgo energy you're learning about really resonates to, it's the opportunity to help others live better lives, and that's what the Eleventh House team effort is often about. Of course, Virgo energy is more oriented to the one-on-one approach, while we've got our collective eye on a broader, less personal audience, but that's where the give-and-take of fitting in comes into play, a process that is intrinsic to this job description. And we can sure use Virgo's competence and realistic, detail-oriented eye to help make sure that everything important is identified and taken care of, so that we can get some tangible, meaningful results.

One big challenge is that, as you assimilate more and more Virgo energy, it's going to become increasingly important not to fall into self-critical, perfectionist, self-scrutiny, which is a real Virgo pitfall. That kind of thinking can only slow down progress, and, besides, what group would want to embrace someone as an equal who doesn't think they're good enough to belong?

Then there's your Fifth House South Node. The Piscean energy swimming there is at high risk of getting lost in the pleasures of romance and fantasy, or in surrender to the creative muse. Merging with a lover - or a child - or a painting - and losing the sense of where you end and the "other" begins can make for an irresistible siren call to swim in unending, pleasurable circles around the "been there, done that" node, unaware that the hook and line that ties you there is entirely of your own creation.

Keep your head above water and head North.

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HOUSE 12: Spirit

Come on in. don't be shy. You've signed on for the challenge of bringing all the earthy skills and competencies of the Virgo energy you're learning about to the task of surrendering to direct connection with consciousness and Spirit; for the experience of using Virgo's analytical, discriminating, left-brained intellectual approach to life in an environment where using intuition and instinct is the guidance system of choice, and the dissolution of boundaries is the goal and not the problem. Welcome to acclimating Virgo energy that is comfortable in the buzz of the workaday world to a place where peace and solitude are defining characteristics of the environment. Welcome, in other words, 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.

Your North Node sign of Virgo is most comfortable in a nice, down-to-earth place where a detailed and orderly "To Do" list and project management procedures are among the most useful tools of the trade; where the boundaries between one thing and another are defined and clear. But in this lifetime, that Virgo North Node is staked in the watery Twelfth House where maƱana is definitely soon enough, and the goal is to feel oneself instinctively and intuitively towards the goal of merging with Spirit and consciousness. Meanwhile, your sensitive, intuitive Pisces South Node is drifting and dreaming in a busy, earthy, service-oriented environment, where making a difference in tangible ways is the order of the day. In other words, 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.

Your South Node brings a helpful legacy as you try to sort this all out. Its Pisces energy knows about maneuvering in the Twelfth House waters, and speaks of lifetimes where you learned about spirituality and consciousness, and its Sixth House location gave you more than an inkling of what Virgo energy is all about. However, looking at that past through a darkened lens, it's safe to say that you got stalled in some "never ready, endless preparation" loop that could feed right into the Virgo North Node energy of this lifetime, and immobilize forward motion if you're not careful. What you're learning now is that the period of endless apprenticeship is over: it's time to take this next step and surrender to what you are called to do, without giving in to the temptation to get away from it all by slip-sliding into one kind of unconscious escapist behavior or another. What's more, some of that behavior can be hard to identify because it can masquerade as admirable qualities: high standards that become unforgiving perfectionism and obsession with details; a call to serve others that thoroughly depletes your own energy.

Yes, this is a particularly challenging assignment, but 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.

The community hospital is launching a meditation program and they need a teacher. Call up and apply. No matter where it's located, you'll be taking a step in the Northerly direction.

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