Evolutionary Astrology: an introduction

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Astrology

Evolutionary Astrology: an introduction

According to Steven Forrest Evolutionary Astrology is a term first used by Ray Merriman in 1974. It has come to mean astrology that is based on the belief that we reincarnate and thus our natal charts outline this life’s purpose in relationship to the evolution of the soul.

You may be familiar with astrologers Jeffrey Wolf Green, Pluto, Evolutionary Journey of the Soul and/or Steven Forrest, Yesterday’s Sky both of whom have popularized this concept of looking at the chart karmically.

Often, books largely skip the nodes, or Dragon’s Head and Dragon’s Tail. They mention in one line something about how the South Node indicates where we have come from while the North Node indicates where we are going to. But what does that mean exactly?

Image of the South Node Glyph

Glyph – South Node

Well, let’s use my nodes as an example. My South Node is in Leo, Seventh House which puts my North Node in Aquarius, First House. On the basic level, the karma I bring in from my leonic past lives is that of something public, like expectations or a mask. This could mean in symbolic terms that I was a public figure or famous or cared deeply about how I looked to the outside world.  Leo in this instance is treated like a sun sign from past lives.

Set in the Seventh House, the expectations were likely around partnerships or marriage. Steven suggests a negative interpretation of this since as karma, it is something unresolved. So, in past lifetimes I may have married “the right person” or “who my mother wanted” for me instead of making my own choice, perhaps not even to marry at all. These choices caused me to suffer in these lifetimes and perhaps inflict harm on others.

Something that fascinates me about this way of looking at the chart is how going deeper into the aspects to the nodes –conjunctions, oppositions, house rulers, etc… some pretty accurate past life reading can be done. In my opinion, it is an unexpected gift from the heavens. So for those of us who are interested in going back, the record is right here in the stars. Now, they won’t state particular names and dates but it will offer a picture of the archetypal energies present — the “divine” that we engage with currently in our lives — offering a way to better understand what we tend to do and why we keep on doing it.

The North node then, suggests a tool for breaking the habits, or karma. Forrest writes about it as the only part of the natal chart not included in a person’s personality, psyche or soul. It is seen merely as a “cosmic suggestion” or tool one can pick up and use during the lifetime if and only if one chooses to do so.

Glyph - North Node

Glyph – North Node

Therefore, with my Aquarius North Node in the First House I can “choose to do as I please.” To go my own way and not care a fig about what anyone thinks of it. The North Node in another house and sign could suggest the exact opposite if a person in prior lifetimes was too independent and free thinking for the constraints of society. Again, at the level where such thinking may have isolated such a person socially, causing harm to himself or others.

It seems as though to move toward the North Node, to something not a part of one’s personality, one has to embrace the unknown instead of the habitual or familiar. Fear is very likely to be present during the journey. Courage is required to take such bold steps. And I think there are times in a person’s life when such steps become inevitable. The rewards that come with taking a risk can seem far more affirming than the prospect of business as usual.

My personal experience in offering readings to people from this perspective is that the tool is a powerful and useful one for them. It offers my clients an “aha” moment. And once the awareness of the karmic pattern is there for them in a way that makes sense, they are able to choose how to respond to it moving forward.





  1. Thanks, Rick, for providing a nice summary of the meaning of the Nodes of the Moon in the astrological chart. Good work!

  2. This is a fascinating subject. Thanks Rick!

  3. Hi Rick, thanks for your helpful article. I also have the north node in Aquarius in the first house. One observation I have about my own situation is that I have tended to seek security as a licensed counselor (south node in Leo, seventh house) working with privileged acting out teenagers for ten years in the past. I noticed that this was not always supporting my evolution (and have received some hard knocks that seem to be preventing a return to the licensed counselor mode), so now, I am attracted to going to my first love, astrology, although this seems on the surface of things a difficult way to make a living (Aquarius = non-conformist and also rules astrology). Entrepreneurial activities feel scary. I am in the process of trying to break my addiction the corporate “daddies,” but, hard to leave the nest at times. With Capricorn rising and transiting pluto sitting there now (square tr Uranus with tr Uranus conjunct natal Venus square natal Uranus and opposing natal Saturn/Neptune conjunction) I feel I may be facing (or it feels like) a “change or die”.



    • Hi S,

      Thank you for your comment. I certainly can understand what you mean by transiting Pluto on your Ascendant square both natal and transiting Uranus feeling like “change or die.” We’re probably very close in age as I have these same aspects .
      Holding the tension creates the unseen possibilities.


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