You incarnated in this physical world seeking EXPANSION, AWARENESS, and EVOLUTION. This trajectory of meaning and purpose is what is known as “destiny”.
Your unique path of destiny, including the weaknesses of your personality which lead to periods of struggle, heartbreak, and disintegration, was designed by your Higher Self.
Your Higher Self is the Universal aspect of your being, the essential “you” which exists before and after this current physical incarnation, and which serves as a guide throughout this lifetime.
Your Higher Self is on a particular trajectory of growth, seeking to experience certain kinds of emotions and predicaments in its quest for understanding. The Higher Self designs each lifetime like an obstacle course of challenges meant to catalyze expansion in awareness and evolution of the spirit.
Mapping the Higher Self in the Astrological Birth Chart
You have complete and total freedom of choice in your life to pursue whatever course of action you desire. However, you don’t come into the world as a completely blank slate.
Your Higher Self chose certain strengths, weaknesses, talents, vulnerabilities, physical attributes, parents, ancestors, early childhood experiences, and other details to guide you towards certain experiences and learning certain kinds of lessons. Your temperament was pitted against a particular environment to increase the probability of certain developmental outcomes.
Details about these specifications can be found in the Astrological Birth Chart. This chart is a map of the forces which characterize your destiny, and it reveals much about your conscious and unconscious proclivities, as well as information about what kind of environmental influences your Higher Self chose for your journey of evolution.
All the celestial bodies in the Birth Chart are positioned in accordance with our path of destiny. However, there are a few key significators in the natal chart which tend to be activated during the times of deepest and most profound transformation— a telling sign that they are of particular relevance to the Higher Self.
Let’s discover the significators of the Higher Self in the Birth Chart
Chiron and Saturn
In the birth chart, we witness what particular limitations, illnesses, disabilities, family dynamics and heightened potentialities for destruction the Higher Self chose in its desire to learn.
Chiron indicates an area of our lives in which we have been profoundly wounded and are thus susceptible to being “triggered”, and Saturn indicates an area of our lives in which we instinctively feel awkward, limited, inhibited or where we experience repeated thwarting.
Both bodies act as developmental hurdles in our personality, forcing us to grow beyond our comfort zones if we wish to accomplish our dreams.
The inhibiting imprints of Chiron and Saturn are usually established in early home life. The Higher Self often chooses parents who embody the exact opposite qualities that it wishes to cultivate within itself, so that the human self will be forced, through pain and suffering, into a deep and urgent quest for alternative modes of being.
If the Higher Self wishes to deeply explore the concept of unconditional love, for instance, it may choose a childhood full of hatred and abuse or instill the individual with a natural fascination for abusive partners. Prolonged exposure to the absence of love radically deepens our understanding of what love is and catalyzes transformation in order to realize the new ideal.
Transits to natal Saturn or Chiron can be extraordinarily painful, but the suffering lights a fire under us to find new approaches, advance our skills, create different opportunities and improve our mental habits, ultimately bringing us to a place of far deeper fulfillment than we ever would have found if we had stayed in our comfort zones. Very often the growth that we were seeking when we decided to physically incarnate– that is, the whole purpose for which we are alive– is born not from our triumphs, but from our failures. Much information about the meaning and intention behind these deeply important struggles can be found in the house and sign of Chiron and Saturn, as well as in their aspects to other planets.
When a natal chart is totally absent of a certain element, or when it has an excessive preponderance of an element, this is a sign that the Higher Self was seeking a deep immersion in lessons on a certain theme.
A lack of Earth, for instance, may make a highly Watery individual feel like a fish out of water when it comes to dealing with the material world and its rigid obligations. This fundamental challenge to the consciousness of the individual will (often after a great deal of struggle and failure) necessitate creative solutions and growth of a radical and lasting kind.
A stellium— a large collection of planets conjuncting in one house or sign— is also a sign of emphasis placed in that aspect of life. Transits which may have gone unnoticed become cataclysmically transformative— often through a crisis— as the transiting planet activates not one but several natal planets all at the same time. This is the “when it rains, it pours” configuration!
Singletons are planets which are un-aspected by other planets, or which stand alone in one hemisphere of the chart. Usually, the individual must work arduously to integrate this aspect into his consciousness, even if it is a planet as fundamental as the Sun, as the functions represented by the planet remain always somewhat “out of reach”. The effort required by this placement is indicative that there was a particular lesson the Higher Self wanted to learn.
The Higher Self does not operate by the same set of values that a human being would, having a far more expansive and cosmic perspective. In the eyes of this eternal Self, the most catastrophic devastation is well worth the rewards of understanding, depth, and expansion of universal consciousness. Pluto represents our capacity for transformation— the sort of transformation required when we are forced to let go of a dear loved one, a cherished dream, a phase of life, or our conception of who we are.
Transiting Pluto frequently brings revolutionary change when it touches a natal planet, and life as we know it is altered forever. Psychological rebirths are perhaps the entire reason for the Higher Self’s incarnation, as it is perhaps never clearer who we really are as when everything we thought we understood ourselves to be has been burned away. The placement of natal Pluto indicates what areas of life in which we may be called to “die” and be reborn, marking one of the Higher Self’s main purposes for incarnation.
The Sun in the birth chart may be understood to be a symbol of the Higher Self itself. The placement of our natal Sun indicates what energy feeds our vitality, nourishes our spirit, and the basic style and fundamental orientation of our consciousness.
The Higher Self continuously emits a high and stable vibration of unconditional love and well-being, calling you at every moment to entrain with its frequency of joy. When you are in the flow state, so thoroughly enjoying what you are doing that the hours fly by without you even noticing, you are in alignment with this Higher Self, and you are most likely doing something that resonates with the energy of your natal Sun.
This state of being feels like walking a path that is yours, the path that was meant for you— a feeling of total certainty that you are in the right place at the right time. These fundamentally solar experiences of joy and meaningfulness are instances of the Higher Self-giving you prompts and hints at unconscious levels about what is best for you. The experience of an activity feeling meaningful, important, or deeply right is like a telegram from your Higher Self saying: “THIS. THIS IS RIGHT. THIS IS WHO YOU ARE.”
The Sun indicates a mode of action that is deeply natural to the individual and which makes him feel alive and powerful, but often it takes trial and error to discover exactly where that power lies. Feelings like doubt, anxiety, self-hatred, depression, and stagnation are signs that you are straying away from alignment with the Higher Self. These experiences are important and valuable, too, in that they clarify for us who we are by clarifying who we are not.
North and South Node
The South Node indicates the lessons learned in the previous lifetime, and thus shows a mode of being that is natural and easy for the individual. Indeed, this mode of being is so easy for the individual that it is outdated; it represents the comfort zone we are aiming to transcend this time around.
The North Node indicates the mode of being we are seeking to integrate and incorporate in this lifetime. The house and sign of the North Node show the path of greatest development for the individual— functions, and styles of operating that are most likely awkward, foreign, and intimidating, yet simultaneously magnetically attractive. Living out the North Node feels like living on the cutting edge of life, as represents the adventure we were made to pursue.