If we were to really understand how consciousness work, we have to understand that it truly is a question of both philosophy and psychology. Evolutionary Astrology recognises both of those questions and so brings forwards its own answers.
So the disclaimer is, this is how I, as an astrologer, as a human being and as a Soul understand how consciousness works within this human experience. Firstly, for the most part we do not come into being with a completely blank slate, although that can be debated upon. When we talk of shift, we are talking about coming into a new awareness. For a lot of us, we have come with conscious knowing, and are looking to expand from the limitations of what we know, onto what we do not
There are threads of predispositions available to a lot of us, and not all of them can be attributed to the environment or to parenting. Having said that, our culture, environment and how we form our emotional bonds with our loved ones are an important in the way we form our consciousness, but they are only part of the self knowing.
Knowing your tendencies, for example, feeling more comfortable in a nature setting than an urban one or finding yourself understanding a foreign language very easily, is a very subjective experience, and not one soul experiences or accesses these inclinations in the same way. The first step is to recognise how you do this.
One of the ways we do this, via the teachings of Astrology, is through the archetype of the Moon in the natal chart. Deeply meditating on this, I have come to realise that you can assign a methodology to each sign, house and for real detail, aspects, and it does seem to work. Personally, I have Aquarius rising, with my Pisces Moon right there in the middle of the1st house. For me to really understand my tendencies, my way of being I have to observe myself and then device the how and the why, mostly through my own intuition and psychic faculty. I let Spirit tell me the meaning of how I am perceiving my behaviour (action, 1st house). You can call it what you like, strong intuition, accessing the collective consciousness, the phenomena of epiphany, just feeling stuff out, and letting it arrive to the forefront. That is how I arrive to “knowing”.
So know we know about the how, but what about the what? What tendencies? How can we see that in the chart? The South Node in the chart adds another element to this, that isn’t quite so linear. The South Node can carry strong and highly developed tendencies but it can also carry a lot of karma which can be expressed as a shadowed, entangled mess and/or bring forward some serious talents. Let’s say you have a Cancer South Node conjunct the Sun in the third house, and your rising is in Gemini. In evolutionary astrology you must ask, how far along the Soul’s evolutionary trajectory is this conjunction taking place? In our example, it is in a new phase, meaning that the Soul didn’t quite get to experience the archetype of Leo/Sun/Heart in a previous life, but it definitely wanted to. It is a new impulse, like when you see a glittering light in the distance and want to know where it comes from. When this signature is in the third house perhaps this will translate as not being able to manage all of the ways the Soul is discovering itself, because as a Gemini rising Soul, there are intellectual processes that need the courage of expression. It's not enough to know who you are, but to give voice to the truth of who you are, that is the end game. However there is a shifting through the variety of persona that this Soul will undoubtedly find themselves adopting. Because there are so many new impulses, the individual has come into this life very impulsive and divided, with a tendency to compartmentalise. Who am I? In this situation? With this person? In this moment?
Gemini is about diversity, movement, and so the tendency is to keep trying things on, to see what feels “comfortable” (Gemini as it relates to Cancer) and so the more it discovers on a mental/communication aspect, the more it emotionally identifies. Therefore this person, has a natural nurturing aspect that allows this emotional bonding to take place. This person would be highly relatable, because they would understand how to communicate concerns, ideas, that come from a very enthusiastic place. Their passion would be infectious, if they can form a straight line with it. This is because the Moon (in our example in Virgo), the how this energy will be understood, can form paralysis when it gets overwhelmed, and because there is so much diverse interest and avenues to explore, it must need periods of needing to sit with the information and discern whether it’s useful for it or not.
As time goes on the Cancer archetype begins to co-relate diversity with emotional security. The more options one has, the more secure they feel. So this is the first part of understanding how one can define (Gemini) one’s tendencies to emotionally “nest” and “bond” (Cancer) with elements in life that lift the heart, that make the heart shine and sing (Sun in new conjunction to South Node), and so learning how to be an effective communicator of their heart is the avenue of self awareness of this Soul. The voice must need to be claimed and spoken (Gemini Rising). It’s not easy with a Virgo Moon to do this, because it always feels that it has to be “right” and it “good” and so this is the ongoing lesson.
“If it feels good for me, right now, then it is alright to speak up about it.”
This is great if you want to be a student of life, have many friends and always read about interests via books and films, all which resonate with the emotional vibe of Cancer, in it’s own comfort zone. But what the great world out there? The uncomfortable zone? In order to really integrate the way the South Node/Sun conjunction comes into being, there has to be an element that pulls it outwards for it to expand, to compare to. We know that being in a comfort zone of our own limitations is very normal, if we have spent years collating the information that makes up our lives, and we have emotionally identified with that data, then how does the Soul keep going?
In Evolutionary Astrology, the way that consciousness will shift from the integrated known, (remember we have to really live out and resolve the South Node and most of us do it in our youths) is the calling from the polarity, the North Node. In our example, we have the Capricorn North Node (9th House) in a full opposition to the Cancer Sun (3rd House). Remember when we said that there was an element of “newness” from the Sun to the South Node? Then this energy is very much like “Wait, I don’t know if I’m ready to give up my youth yet! There is so much that I have to understand about me! I’m not ready! I’m not perfect” (Remember that all energy as it is emotionally integrated will go through the spectrum of the Moon) The Sun conjunct South Node will always feel this new potential, this destiny. And Capricorn is a very serious sign, denoting maturity, commitment, responsibility, integrity and accountability. So you can see how this would create a need to find balance the two before the Soul can evolve into a new awareness. It must integrate the Capricorn archetype fully into its being, and it’s not easy. Especially when the definition of responsibility feels that it needs to be good, it needs to be dutifully perfect all the time (Virgo Moon). Sounds exhausting doesn't it?
However, consciousness will not remain stagnant. Even if the soul, decides they are very content in the shadows on their past incarnations, it will not be ever still. We must strive to be better, not because there is something wrong with us, but because we want to experience ourselves improving with more knowing. For this is the philosophy that is interwoven into the human experience. Even Virgo, as it adjusts will need to heal and evolve, there will come a time in this Soul example, that the emotional body will want to be better than yesterday, not because of some past sin it is trying to escape from, but because it opened it's heart to self love, which wants us to achieve our dreams and find inner peace.
So in our example, North Node Capricorn meeting with the conditioning 9th house of Sagittarius, will eventually begin to expand, usually in middle age (Capricorn is a late bloomer), and therefore firstly it will look for belief systems it has accumulated, form authentic modes of expression and will start to develop its own intuitive form of action. Although Capricorn is serious, when it meets the buoyancy of Jupiter/Sag it will act, after some deep contemplation. For the consciousness will need to manifest a reality that is aligned to its core beliefs, but it has to define and assert these beliefs first (Gemini Rising). Once it knows that if it’s going to be a barefoot gypsy, then it will have to have the look, the books, it will plan the course, have the faith and it will do it all looking for its integrity and wisdom. Never mind that this journey may start when they are 30 or 70. The Soul eventually will find fragments of their wisdom, integrity, and sense of own responsibility. It will know that its worth it to work for something that you care about, regardless of how long you do it. A Virgo Moon eventually must evolve into loving itself enough to deem this quest for perfection useless.
“What if they don’t like my truth? What if my truth is wrong? Will the judge me? Will I be cast out?"
It is highly uncomfortable for a Cancer to realise that for a Capricorn North Node to be integrated fully, there is a degree of responsibility and integrity one has to show up when committing to an ideal. Werther it is a belief that all people should have basic living rights, or that animals need a place of refugee and healing, this particular Soul will be drawn, by an almost invisible pull, to try and manifest a reality for these beliefs, either by making or joining an institution (Capricorn) that supports them. The more it engages with North Node integration, they will experience not only an immense sense of freedom, but also a strong development of its own intuition (Sagittarius). Like a ram who can sense whether a footing is stable or not before jumping further up the mountain, experience and time will teach the Soul they will learn how society works, they will keep their footing via this new found integrity. But as with all things in life, there will be times when the Soul who is just learning this, will falter and fall. To integrate Capricorn/Saturn lessons its to know that giving up is not part of the deal, it may have given up too quickly before, but this time it must stay on, to fulfil the Leo/Sun/Heart destiny. Even if the ever critical Virgo Moon makes the experience painful, with enough time, the Soul will face that decision again and ask: “Why am I my worst enemy? I need to believe in myself enough to keep going” and so it shall and so it shall evolve. And the belief in one’s own alignment, work and dedication to its belief systems will be very healing, and very revealing for the Soul’s inner knowing. It will be of service to its integrity and dedication in life, something it may not have fully experienced before and that ultimately will being in a lot of change.
This conscious shift from the South to the North Node, and how this is integrated plays out with all sorts of signatures within a natal chart, but it also plays out in the transit chart. If the long road between the South and the North Node is an illuminated archetype right there in the distance (the North Node and the relationship it has with the Pluto polarity point). However the transiting node is the street lights that dot it along the way to give focus and insight into parts of our consciousness that may need awakening. Our lives are as long as they are, so we can get the awareness we need, not a day shorter.