How does astrology work with reincarnation? What does one’s natal chart tell about their past lives?

A Quora question

How does astrology work with reincarnation? New Q & A iconMy answer:

Astrology provides a template for viewing a moment in time and place and how it then develops – like a stone that is dropped into the middle of a calm pond and the ripples that follow from it…

To answer your first question

The natal chart of a person provides insight into a meaningful situation that the given soul has entered into.

This birth event starts the situation they are obliged to work with during their current existence. The current situation will be linked to what the given soul has achieved in the past, and what is now needed for them to move on with their becoming a more loving, more awake, more conscious being.

To eventually break free of the wheel, the cycle of samsara – and not return to the lower physical vibration of the Earth unless the soul wants to.

Most of us have need to return either to the Earth or elsewhere to continue with our experiencing and learning. We need resistance to progress.

In answer to your second question

While all of the natal chart can be said to represent either a reflection on what has gone before or what is required to be experienced/learnt during this life, what many astrologers (including myself) consider as a valuable insight, into the direction of travel, is the Moon’s North and South Nodes.

The position of South Node, or dragon’s tail, in the natal chart is considered to be in the soul’s past, and very attractive (it’s what’s familiar) because of it. The soul is inclined to be drawn back towards what it represents in the current life.

The North Node, or dragon’s head, is considered to represent the direction/experience the soul really needs to work with in order to make spiritual progress. This is the great divide, the ravine that needs to be crossed.

So for example a person having their Moon South Node in Sagittarius will have their North Node in Gemini.

What this indicates (symbolically) is that they have had much experience in their past with the possibility of exploring and travelling through beliefs, philosophies, cultures and countries, a real sense of freedom and adventure probably with few ties. They may even have been a priest (in the conventional sense) during the soul’s past.

And now, in this life, the challenge is that they need to focus down to sharing their knowledge and past experience gained, with others in their chosen community. This might be done through teaching, for example, in a relatively small settled community.

A much less exciting prospect in theory. The community of course might be in a (third world) country foreign to the one the person began life in. That South Node would still be playing a part. This settled role would be a challenge but it will be the new learning and experience.

It is worth remembering of course that there is a difference between the potential of a natal chart and the expression one gives to that potential. No matter what the natal chart describes, the work still has to be carried through by the awakening soul. Most of us probably make small amounts of progess in our physical lives.


In context, a note on karma. The whole natal chart can be said to represent a soul’s karma. But karma is misrepresented in popular understanding. It isn’t good or bad; karma is life, or life in action. Everything that moves creates karma. Karma is like electricity – it depends on how you use it as to whether outcomes are for making a pot of tea or is life threatening.

Likewise there are no good or bad charts and/or no good or bad planets. Our karma simply represents what is past.

Read more about karma in my book, Life and Death: Making Sense of It

Associated links:

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How does astrology work with reincarnation?

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