KARMA AND ASTROLOGY By Farley Malorrus
Karma and Astrology
Here is an explanation of the way Saturn influences Karma and how we can interpret its meaning to us as individuals. Portions of this Karma topic are extracted from a number of Farley Malorrus' shows on K-FOX (93.5 FM, 12 noon in Los Angeles) during 1987 and 1988.
The reason that each of us inherits a unique natal chart is that the higher self selects a particular Astrological imprint, to experience certain events, and learn specific lessons. From this, an evolution occurs by processing karmic situations for optimum benefit. Situations, people and events in our life catalyze karmic growth, but the Karma lies within oneself, inside the Soul. The Soul is destined to be pulled to a particular birth, time and place.
The body is like billions of tiny solar systems. When you are born, every cell in your body adheres to the frozen picture of the planets at birth. It's like a circuit imprint that's formed at birth to be a reflection of one's Dharma (purpose and destiny) and Karma (debt).
We are all one with the Universe. The Universe beats from our point of view. The moving solar system allows for the Source to design its uniqueness in each one of us, and we absorb this imprint at birth. This solar imprint at birth is actually akin to tiny little solar systems in every one of our bodies.
Physiologically, at the moment of birth, the neurons of the brain form a specific pattern, which has been scientifically documented, and this sets up the personality of the individual.
So when you are born into any particular lifetime, you are born with a particular cosmic charge. This occurs upon inhaling that first breath, and reflects the planetary locations (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto), and the zodiacal sign that is rising in the East from your birthplace. These elements are the things that Astrologers can examine in a your chart and identify what your Karma is. For example, any square aspect you have, when planets are at right angles to each other, indicates your karmic debt.
Planetary placements that involve squares (right angles), oppositions (180 degrees) or inconjunct (150 degrees) and by house position will reveal a lesson area, an area where pain maybe experienced showing a pay back of karmic situations. The Karma that you have with yourself may concern money, love, relationships, career, business, goals, health, home, security of self, independence, enemies and all kinds of things. If you have squares in your life, this implies a debt, so the challenge is to overcome certain lessons we failed to learn in previous lives. Oppositions mean that you are born into a situation where you can create unrealistic goals, or, show catalyzing situations where you would create people in your life that may also manifest pain and karmic growth for you.
Understanding Astrology, by getting your chart produced, and tuning into things such as Karma and learning what the words square and opposition means, will help you understand which area of pain may focus the hardest with you. Your biggest Karma may be childhood, just fighting your way out of it, or trying to get along with brutal parents. This could be a way to understand where the peace needs to be made, and subsequently processed. It could be with your emotions, with your mother, friends, or with all of your relationships. It could also be with goals, career, communication, and finances. Astrology will help to identify your own personal map of Karma and it is a great way to rebirth into the Spirit.
Afflicted planets in a chart are those that form specific aspects, or angles, such as squares. A square depicts two planets, at right angles, with the Earth in the center (as center focus). Oppositions are when two planets are exactly opposite each other, with the Earth in the middle. You could be torn with the Moon in one point of the sky, and if you drew a straight line from the Moon to the Earth, and all the way threw the Earth to the other side, you might find the Sun. This would be a Moon opposition Sun. These might be planetary aspects that you're born with. With squares, or oppositions, these diagrams are Karma, or the debts we owe for a particular lifetime. Everybody has Karma whether your born Karma free or not. Without any squares or oppositions in your chart, the moving planets form squares and other aspects to the fixed position of natal planets during ones' life (which is the basis of forecasting). This daily movement with respect to the natal chart is known as transits.
The signs of the Zodiac are magnificent stellar constellations. When we say that you have Mercury in Cancer or Gemini, that means that Mercury is located in space in the stellar constellation or grouping known as Cancer or Gemini. That's how we identify energies at birth, freezing the planets that are moving in space, through the signs, during your birth. There are all kinds of stellar constellations out there in space; The Sun, Moon and the planets, follow an orbit called the Ecliptic—which is a flat orbit. The Earth also orbits the Sun along the Ecliptic, so the planets including the Sun and Moon, do not wander beyond the twelve Signs of the Zodiac.
One of the main factors in distinguishing a karmic lesson is Saturn, as this planet is the lord of Karma. If Saturn signifies obstacles and limitations in life, it is because either your desired goal was incorrect, or a karmic reaction has been imposed. As such, Saturn's placement in your chart can indicate the areas in life that one needs to work on. Saturn's movement with time, through your natal chart, induces various scenarios to force growth in certain directions. When we ignore our real goals, certain crises' can occur in adulthood as Saturn orbits the Zodiac forming particular stressful aspects to the natal chart. Therefore, if you fail to conform to certain ways in this life, Saturn is always there to induce a karmic lesson, either immediately or in the future.
Saturn remains in one Zodiac sign for an average of two and a half years, so a whole karmic generation of Saturn people enter life during that two and a half year period. For example, people with major karmic lessons concerning Sagittarius energy and forces (meaning freedom happiness, philosophy, travel, sometimes sports, and animals) form a Karma here. It takes Saturn about twenty-nine years to circle the Sun, from our point of view, covering all twelve signs of the Zodiac. The type of Karma that each baby will have during the two and a half years of Saturn in any sign, although similar, will further depend on its aspects to other planets, the location of the house, and whether it's retrograde or not (Saturn retrograde tends to open up the energies of Uranus).
As an example; consider Saturn in the sign of Leo, positioned in the first house. Saturn/Leo is Karma with family, but Saturn in the first house is the most karmic position for this planet, particularly if this planet is intensified by being close to the Ascendant line. The first house depicts how you interface with the world, your appearance, self-esteem, and childhood. So an individual born with this placement would have childhood and self-esteem Karma. If Saturn has stressful aspects applied from other planets, there could be a very painful childhood and an inner security problem. This would be a result of some unfortunate action in a past life, where the person probably ignored forming a loving family bond, and directed his/her attention to selfish matters such as career.
There are all kinds of Karma that a person can have in a lifetime which may be revealed when examining the birth chart in general. Astrology allows for an analysis to understand ones' passion, pain or pleasure-pain syndrome. By zeroing in on what sign and house Saturn is in, and what types of aspects are formed from other planets, a significant karmic picture can be generated. Aspects between Saturn, and the Moon, Rising Sign, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the Sun, under square and opposition, are going to have more of a severe significant effect Karmically. Of course aspects between other planets can signify Karma, but Saturn tends to be generally more prolific. The key for the symbology behind Saturn is that if necessary, it contracts situations, events and opportunity.
To understand some specific meanings, let's first examine the twelve houses, and what it means to have planets in these houses for a chart under stress. To find the houses in a natal chart look at it as if it was a clock. Locate the nine `o' clock positions (the far left part of the wheel). This is the horizon line, or Rising Sign. Now go counter-clockwise, starting at that nine `o' clock point, and label the pie sections one through twelve, as near to the center circle as possible. Note the planets you have within each house so you can understand the following information.
The First House is the rising sign house and the childhood house. Planets in this first house under stress (square opposition or inconjunct to other planets), Saturn, or planets in Aries, will often reflect a Karma with yourself or with childhood. Anything to do with the self, meaning self-esteem, appearance, even vanity. There could be a personality Karma, a character Karma, or an identity Karma, especially during childhood, leading to unprocessed experiences. As soon as we become conscious, we realize that we are in negative territory. That is why we are forced to grow up quickly with planets in the first house, in Aries, and especially Saturn, which magnifies this effect.
The Second House would be a Karma concerning money (nine times out of ten), value, self-worth, love, or what is important in this life-cycle. These individuals sometimes appear agnostic to the world and do not appreciate the real meaning of love. There can also be obsessions with the material so the spiritual side is of often lacking.
The Third House would show a Karma with the mind. Planets in the third house under stress, in Gemini, sometimes indicates mental instability, psychological Karma, or mental illness if one is not strong enough to handle this kind of Karma. Some of the communication problems could be with brothers, sisters, neighbors, or even teaching. It is either that they're not heard right or they don't hear things the way they should. This extends to relating things to other's that is wrong.
The Fourth House planets or afflicted planets in Cancer can show Karma with the mother, feelings, residence, and security. Saturn is detriment in Cancer, so any tendency to have an emotional wall will be further strengthened. The fourth house also signifies past lives, so when you get your button pushed and have no idea why you react the way you do, it could be from a past life.
The Fifth House planets or afflicted planets in Leo would be a Karma with the family or creative endeavor, with power, and authority. In Leo, any Karma will be with the father, or no children, but in the fifth house it is with creativity, pets, enterprises and children.
The Sixth House planets or afflicted planets in Virgo, epitomize major Karma concerning work situations, health if you don't maintain it, and service due to a lack of it. It may also affect your judgment, and analytical ability.
The Seventh House planets or afflicted planets in Libra would epitomize lessons in love or relationships. A lack of balance between yourself and partners indicates another type of Karma too. Some of the problems that can manifest here concerns the obsession to get married, but often find themselves getting divorced. A heavy Karma could indicate a persecution complex.
The Eighth House planets or afflicted planets in Scorpio would show a major lesson in life concerning sensitivity, deep emotions, love, sex, intimacy and transformability or lack of the ability to transform, change, or metamorphosize. As with other water signs, the emotions can be contracted, and restricted. It's easy for these people to be celibate. There may be jealousy and obsessions with death or problems dealing with others dying.
The Ninth House planets or afflicted planets in Sagittarius would show Karma concerning philosophy, freedom, religion, justice, travel or lack of it, and sometimes being anchored to ones' life, work, job, family, home and responsibilities. Sometimes lessons concerning happiness—a contraction of happiness—are shown, Karmically speaking. That's why these people tend to get very moody and depressed.
The Tenth House would show a Karma with external aspects of life. Planets in the tenth house under stress, in Capricorn, would epitomize Karma with ones' career, authority, practicality and ambition.
The Eleventh House planets (under affliction) or planets in Aquarius or at least two in either signs or house would epitomize the Karma concerning groups, friends, goals, organization and direction in life. Also humanity or lack of it.
The Twelfth House planets or afflicted planets in Planets in Pisces would epitomize a Karma with oneself, in being you're own worst enemy. It is a very emotional Karma, indicating self-destruction and hidden events. Hidden events are not readily visible and can effect your life in the long term, because a decision or commitment was not made when it should have. Also there can be Karma with enemies, mankind, institutions, and hospitals. Saturn in Pisces or the twelfth could be a Karma with people that definitely identify themselves as your enemy, and who would also want to hurt you. It's also a lesson in emotions.
With regard to the effect of planetary angles, beneficial aspects such as the trine or sextile onto these houses does not necessarily manifest as intensely karmic. More often they are observed as a Dharmic aspect where deeds were performed in past lives, and qualities earned to make ones' life easier. It's not all one big hard roll here, so don't become too concerned, when you find out where your planets are located in your chart. The essence of this subject is of course to identify ones' Karma.
Understanding the planets is important, as there is a karmic derivation for all of the planets, individually and in combination of course. The combination of the planets in your natal chart equal your individual uniqueness.
The Rising Sign reflects a Karma of what you have become as to how others see you. An important aspect here is the Rising point degree which is the Karma of self. The value of the degree may often influence your choice of friends and lovers, particularly those with similar value.
The Sun sign or the Sun itself, is always the Karma of the Soul, Karma of the identity, and where the Sun has come through its path in the Universe.
The Moon reflects emotional Karma, and the exact reward or punishment for what you have lain out emotionally previously to this lifetime, or what your emotional lessons may be. Moon in Scorpio is in one of its worse signs as it's in fall, they are the most sensitive, vulnerable, passionate, frightened, and most extreme of all the Moons. So there is a major Karma involved with everyone whose Moon is in Scorpio.
Mercury is the planet that rules psychological Karma, mental illness, and communication. How it is aspected tells of stability or lack of stability and some of the mental Karma that we lay upon ourselves.
Venus reflects Karma that we have with ourselves concerning money, women and the feminine factor in our lives.
Mars represents the Karma we have concerning our overall life energy force and health of the body—the temple of the Soul. Mars also represents the male factor or Karma we have with ourselves concerning men.
Jupiter the philosophical Karma, the freedom factor. This lets us know what we've done in past lives as far as good is concerned, and sharing of knowledge, power, and consciousness. Also travel or mobility Karma.
Saturn is the Lord of Karma and the planet that represents the major Karma force in life. It's a very important planet to understand, as to why you were born and your generation (where Saturn was for two and a half years). The Planets further out and beyond Saturn allow for spiritual development through experiences that are beyond Saturn's limitations; the effective path towards spiritual growth.
Uranus is a planet that is metaphysically karmic, it's like a slap in the face, it's an awakener, shocker. So when ever you have anything knocking in you life, it's probably a Uranian factor in your chart. It rules accidents sometimes, and what John Lennon would call instant Karma.
Neptune is a planet that concerns a higher part of ourselves and a connection to the spiritual levels, the higher-mind. This means if we don't have a clear concept of communication from the higher mind, then it can often show us being negative, extra hard on ourselves or self destructive. Neptune is the Spiritual factor that can allow us to evolve beyond our highest good, and escape some of the pain of karmic retribution.
Pluto is a very transformative planet. It asks us to serve or suffer. If a strong Pluto is present and you are being too stubborn, not letting go, and holding on, this planet will infer change, re-birth, or become very persuasive in bringing about change. It can represent anxiety that lasts for a long time, or instant freedom, through transformation, peace and re-birth that can be wonderful when you eventually learn to let go.
Note that whenever it says square in your chart, that shows Karma with your self, you are your own worst enemy, with this trait in your personality. Squares are just us holding ourselves down, it's no one's fault but our own, we made the mess ourselves.
The opposition aspect as a Karma in your chart is usually that you create people in your life that can make you miserable, or at least take away some of that joy. (Oppositions have the effect of creating other people in our lives that create Karma)
With Saturn, conjunct, square, or opposite the Moon or Sun, there can be a fear of criticism, of being wrong or inadequate which often leads to a fear of trying anything new. There is an inheritance from a past life which can be related ones' current situation or from over-exerting ones' will or emotions. The opposition aspect can result in individuals projecting and even manifesting their fears onto others.
With Saturn conjunct, square, or opposite Mars, there can be a fear of sex, asserting oneself, or taking risks in general. These individuals may appear cruel, egotistical, stone-hearted and cynical in which they cover up inner fears. In extreme cases there can be sexual problems to either impotence or harassment.
With Saturn square, or opposite Mercury, there is a significant importance with intellect and knowledge. These aspects generally indicate slow-thinking individuals who have a fear of being thought of as slow witted, or stupid. These individuals will often work harder at learning certain skills to overcome any speaking, reading or writing impediment. Unfortunately, they can be carried away with themselves and become mentally arrogant, so they need to find a balance here. This aspect can also be a karmic legacy, where the individual took advantage of another's skill.
With Saturn conjunct, square, or opposite Venus, there can be a fear of allowing ones' emotions to be hurt. This vulnerability can result from exposure to a cold parent, a karmic legacy or tendency. The person often becomes the person they inwardly hate, which is the cold parent or figure. Sometimes a painful love experience can prompt the individual to re-examine ones' emotions more closely. Another form of love Karma here will be a pain and pleasure syndrome thing we put ourselves through.
The slower moving planetary aspects to Saturn tend to indicate more of a generation effect. These are Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Therefore the identification Saturn's energies in a chart greatly assists in establishing those areas in which we are vulnerable and prone to. It is then that we can try not to be so obsessed. A person with Saturn in Scorpio might keep trying to make sex and romance work, but they have so much trouble and stress because they are obsessed with it. An obsession with money can create a negative force, because the moral ethics behind how the money was acquired, either by gambling, cheating, stealing, or manipulating people to sell them something, are things that can create a negative force of Karma, and it is always your Karma. Being more spiritual and less obsessed in any area, avoids Karma.
People can really go through the wringer when Saturn and Uranus transit natal chart planets forming not only squares and oppositions, but "T" squares, grand squares, but maybe grand crosses. So Karma overload can become very intense with the latter three, and cause a lot of pain. Sometimes, a transit can hit, and hit us hard, we can end up with tremendous anxiety that I would call undiagnosed anxiety. Often, the cause of this is a Karma that has not been resolved, absolved or dealt with, that we're suddenly confronted with. This is when we find it harder to sleep, harder to balance and harder to center. That's what the Karma overload problem is all about.
Many of us who have not been Metaphysically and spiritually endowed, have pretended to be religious, or spiritual, and have made a number of mistakes, and created certain problems. You are not born with your particular Astrological chart by mistake. In other words, the chart you are born with is a chart of energy vibration that you qualify for, or you kind of deserve. The frozen picture or chart of birth is an area of space where the planets were positioned. The planets travel through what is known as the Zodiac signs Aries through Pisces. Each planet radiates different energies. For instance, the Moon represents emotions and Mother, the Sun your Soul and Father, Mercury your mind, Venus your values and your love factor. Mars your life force and sex factor and Jupiter your philosophies. Saturn your major debt in this lifetime. Uranus your awakening factor. Neptune the illuminating factor and Pluto the transformation factor.
All these planets are like vital karmic organs. Not all planets can be in what we call a beneficial position in relationship to each other. Virtually, all of the time there are at least a few stressful aspects. Take for example, my stressful Moon square Pluto. This means there would be a Karma, with emotions and self esteem. The Moon represents one's feelings and Mother influence, while Pluto relates to secretiveness, transformation and the mystic. Moon/Pluto energies don't combine too well at the best of times, so if you have this combination, many people may find it hard to relate to this energy combination. My Moon falls in the first house, which is childhood-personality and identity, in which Farley has been learning to overcome his feelings of self-image, identity, character and self-love. With Pluto in the tenth house, (the tenth house being career, ambition and success) I have to be able to transform certain limitations and establish my ambition and success within society.
My Scorpio-Moon energies are reflected into every cell in my body, from my feet to the top of my head. So whenever anything in the sky goes into a stress sign like Leo, Taurus or Aquarius to transit my Moon, I sometimes feel it. The goal is to grow spiritually, so that you can manage these stressful transits. If the moving planets create an intense situation for you, the Universe is telling you something. It's time to wake up and listen. If your chart is lit up with karmic indicators, the stress could be more intense. When karmic indicators strike, many people just refuse to rest. They may be involved in a heavy career activity, a major relationship problem or with whatever. Sometimes all that's required is rest, and meditation. This is one of the reasons meditation absolves Karma, it's because you are resting. You are telling your body to hold the horses here, and stop it.
With love and relationships there are three things to examine in the Natal chart. These are the Moon, Venus and Mars. A Moon with squares and oppositions may depict people with emotional Karma and emotional problems. Having an unafflicted Moon makes for a better catch in marriage, which is why these individuals seem to be grabbed up quickly. The Moon also represents balance from the mother. Sometimes we act like our mothers without our knowing. Emotionally this means that people have to love the mother that is inside of them, and where the lunar Karma comes from.
Venus is the planet of love/relationships and Mars is the planet of the individual or life-force. Venus also represents the female entry into our lives and Mars represents the male entry. So if your looking for women and you want to find the Karma you have with women you should analyze Venus in your natal chart. If you are looking for men and you want to understand your Karma with men, then examine Mars in your chart. This is why a man or woman can turn out Bisexual or homosexual. A homosexual man might have an very badly inflicted Venus and a blessed Mars (Venus with squares or placed in a mutable or fixed sign. Mars in a sign with trines and sextiles). This is why some people become homosexual or bisexual because the relationship would be a lot less painful. Not everybody with afflicted Venus or Mars is homosexual though. Many people choose to confront their Karma and try to absolve it. There may also be an indication of homosexuality with a Venus/Uranus aspect. If you have the Mars square Venus, that's the person with too much initiative and not enough patience. Most of their choices are too impatient and they get into trouble, and they can go through many marriages in no time. They have a lot of Karma with relationships and themselves.
A Venus square Jupiter is just someone who just totally goes after the wrong woman, and has a lot to learn about love. This is because Jupiter is an over-and-under action in stress to that planet of love. Venus will often create situations where there doesn't seem to be any balance, as this is another representation of Venus. Venus-Mars and Venus-Jupiter squares or oppositions can all influence any imbalance. Oppositions onto Venus may show that we are attracting women who are ridiculous challenges. People can set their goals too high for a woman they know they can't have, with for example married or involved women. Its a very dangerous and adulterous Karma. A Mars square Jupiter may create the over- or under-doing it with men.
If Uranus is in opposition or square to the Moon, Venus or Mars, then often a partner doesn't know what the heck is going on. It can be like a lightning bolt effect, here today gone tomorrow. Moon-Uranus stress is unpredictable and noncommittal. Venus-Uranus stress is eccentric and fancy-free. Mars-Uranus stress can be intolerant, offensive and sometimes accidents or sudden shocks.
Neptune or Pluto square or opposition Venus will put you in another dimension with relationships. The question is that your not in strawberry fields but you'd like to be and sometimes a ridiculous dreamer or fancier concerning love, sex, relationships and intimacy. A Mars square Neptune is the fancier who has men made out to be something they never are. The Mars square Pluto or opposed Pluto is the person who will run to too many extremes in relationships, show too many sides, sometimes needing to transform and let go of old ideas and values that will hold them down. They could show some hang ups with romance and intimacy. Pluto also represents sex so a square/opposition to Mars or Venus will definitely show sex as a major evolution area, so an open mind is needed.
The Saturn Return cycle can be a significant event for some people and is where Saturn returns to the same location, in the Zodiac, as it was when you were born. This applies to individuals turning twenty-eight to thirty years old, and also fifty-seven to fifty-nine. This cycle is not a lot of fun for many of us, because a Saturn Return is so karmic! It is so incredibly karmic that usually what ever you've done wrong in your life will somehow either turn around and become corrected, or whatever you've done right in your life will be rewarded.
Now Saturn takes about twenty-nine years to complete a journey around the Sun, through all twelve signs of the Zodiac. So as we approach the age of twenty-nine and again as we near sixty this planet returns to its precise position at the time of your birth. So just like a solar return around ones' birthday, where the identity is renewed, Saturn returns are a Karma check, which is tested and reaffirmed. It's akin to slipping into the Akashic records for a two year period, finding out whether you did any of your homework for the last twenty-nine years and then coming out of the Akashic records to reaffirm what the next twenty-nine year Saturn cycle could be.
The Saturn Return can be the biggest test and lesson of your life. When you are twenty-seven, getting ready for the approach to your Saturn Return, then certain things start happening to remind you that something almost catastrophic is about to happen, to totally transform and rebirth your life, your values, judgment and everything. Many people make some serious commitments as they approach their thirtieth birthday. Some can end marriages, some can end drunkenness or alcoholism. Other's can make a commitment to marriage after a relationship which has lasted for many years. In other words many people will get married after twenty-nine or thirty, as a test for themselves. Certain people, especially men, would start a family at this time. Others might buy their first home. In the work environment many might assess their careers' and question their progress. If important changes are required, it's a good time at which to do so. In most cases they will not be too old to re-train, or feel that some additional qualification might help them. This is an excellent time at which to take a lower salary for awhile and study, which is what a lot of people do.
Now the influence is by no means easy, even though we are aware that in Astrology everything is good, as even the Saturn Cycle is a test. We often experience a difficult time during our first Saturn return, but decisions taken and changes made usually work out well in the long run and have a powerful bearing on the future. In fact, how you deal with your Saturn return—how you handle it—will dictate your next twenty-eight years. So if something good happens to you in the Saturn return and if you don't end up in a mental institution, prison, poor house or whatever and if you don't end up with hate, anger, avarice, greed and selfishness then there's hope for you. Individuals who are unable to let go, say goodbye, build self esteem, check the emotional balance and Spirit are those who experience tragedy or catastrophe in life. It is very important then that we become aware of how to handle a Saturn return.
As sixty approaches, we experience our second Saturn return. It's a time to begin to assess the next thirty years of our lives. Life doesn't end at sixty, as some people think, just because of retirement from full time work. Some consider developing those interests that were neglected because of work and children. The second Saturn return is less formidable than the first because we're more mature then.
Many Astrologers used to think Saturn was the planet of doom. Now it's seen as more of encouraging us to move forward, achieve our ambitious, aspire and leave the garbage behind.