by Pamela Welch
(Originally published in The Mountain Astrologer magazine. Republished in remembrance of Pamela, who passed away in March 2012.)
You may or may not believe astrology has validity. However, if the planets do influence our lives, how do they actually create their natal chart imprint and affect us here on Earth? In this article, I will explore this issue and propose some answers to how the planets influence the human psychological and physical experience as they assist us in our process of soul growth. In order to discuss this subject, we must first look at the whole dynamic of energy and specifically the human energy system.
Science has now confirmed what mystics have known for ages in regards to the existence of the human energy system. Quantum physics has shown us that we live in a universal field of energy, a continuous medium present everywhere in space with the potential to manifest as either particle or wave, as material substance or its surrounding field. Particles of matter exist where there is a local condensation, or denser concentration, of this universal field. We are essentially enveloped in an ocean of energy that surrounds, connects, and forms all matter. Our bodies, as well as the planetary bodies and everything else, are composed of this substance and our consciousness interacts with it continually.
This universal field of energy surrounds the physical body in the form of energy planes. These energy planes or bodies each have a specific function relating to the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspects of being. Each successive layer is also of a finer, less dense nature and of an increasingly higher harmonic frequency or vibration. The various energy bodies are connected by the chakras that act as passageways between them. These dynamic centers located along the spine distribute energy throughout your whole body. If energy is our etheric fuel, then the charkas can be considered a type of cosmic gas station.
The chakras take in cosmic energy from the universal field all around us and break it down so that the physical body can utilize it. This is possible because each chakra is associated with and affects a major nerve plexus and endocrine gland. As the primary universal energy enters through the crown of the head, it becomes denser as it filters down through the chakras along the spine. A second energy, the life giving earth substance of the Kundalini, enters the human body through the base of the spine where it is stored. The Kundalini ascends up through the spinal cord meeting the flowing cosmic energies as it does. As the two forces meet, they generate a whirling activity. This is where the name chakra, the Sanskrit word for wheel, comes from. This chakra activity is indicative of two main forces at work within us: Spirit seeking to manifest as physical matter and be embodied and physical matter seeking to rise in vibration to merge with Spirit. Both these functions are important in our evolution and process of expanding consciousness. The human energy system thus maintains life while it facilitates the evolution of our soul.
Whether we are aware of it or not, we are constantly sending and receiving energy through our energy bodies. In order to maintain homeostasis, the human energy system is continually responding to other energy frequencies. For example, humans are affected by other energy frequencies such as those produced by electrical fields. The axon or message transmitter of the nervous system is stimulated not only by electrical activity generated from within the neuron itself but also from external stimulus. Energy from electrical sources is constantly bombarding our physical nervous system and energy bodies. This creates a stress on the system because the vibrational frequency emitted by the electrical source is not in resonance with the human energy field. This dissonance creates a condition where the etheric body is constantly expending energy trying to adjust and maintain balance, thus lowering the overall vitality of the individual.
Planetary bodies also have emanating fields of energy that radiate into space. These planetary magnetic fields affect the Earth’s magnetic field as well as our own energy bodies. I highly recommend Dr. Percy Seymour’s book, The Scientific Basis of Astrology, to anyone interested in investigating the ways the Sun, Moon and other planetary bodies affect the Earth’s magnetic field and how species behavior responds to those fluctuations. Dr. Seymour, who is the principal lecturer in astronomy at the University of Plymouth in England states, “the whole Solar System is playing a symphony on the magnetic field of the Earth…we are all genetically ‘tuned’ to receive a different set of melodies from the symphony.”
As Dr. Seymour describes, the position and motion of the planets disrupt the Sun’s magnetic field. These planetary magnetic patterns are in turn transmitted to the Earth by means of the solar winds, creating fluctuations in the Earth’s geomagnetic field. In addition, the planets themselves create a gravitational tidal tug on the hot gases held within the magnetosphere surrounding the Earth causing the vibrations of the Earth’s field to come into resonance with planetary movements. According to Dr. Seymour, these changes in the Earth’s magnetic field create an electrical stimulation to the human nervous system. In the womb, the fetus’s developing nervous system is constantly picking up these messages from the planets via the ever-fluctuating magnetic field of the Earth. The planetary configurations then become synchronized with the internal biological clock of the fetus, which controls the moment of birth. We thus come into the world with our own unique planetary imprint encoded in our nervous system.
Although the nervous system is affected by the planetary emanations during the whole gestation period, the major imprint happens at the actual time of birth. Up to this point, the soul has been protected from outer influences by an etheric womb that was formed at conception. At the time the soul incarnates, this protective etheric womb is removed and the being is very open and impressionable to all outer influences, including the planetary energies and the earth’s magnetic field. At the moment of birth, planetary emanations stream forth and imprint a specific pattern on the nervous system and auric field. This planetary imprint is encoded in the nervous system and chakra centers of the body.
Ultimately, each spirit being decides the conditions, situations and experiences needed to fulfill the specific task and evolutionary process of each lifetime. Those conditions include the particular planetary configurations that will support the soul’s journey on Earth. It may be useful to think of each person’s soul essence as composed of certain archetypal patterns. An individual will seek to give expression to those archetypal energies in order to reinforce, balance or develop specific qualities as part of his or her soul growth in each lifetime. For example, a being may incarnate with the soul task of being a teacher, healer or artist and have life experiences revolving around those archetypal themes. The planets also embody these archetypal patterns of consciousness and represent the soul qualities associated with them. Jupiter, for instance, represents the teacher archetype, Chiron the healer and Venus the artist. Each being chooses to incarnate at a time when the planetary dynamics are most conducive to the completion of its soul task. The natal chart, showing the planetary positions at birth, thus provides a blueprint or road map of one’s soul journey.
Throughout each individual’s lifetime, the position and movement of the celestial bodies continues to activate the natal planetary imprint. The emanating rays of the planets resonate with our natal soul patterns urging us to express our true essence and complete our soul task. This is especially true at periods of one’s life when natal planetary configurations are repeated such as the solar and Saturn return or with major aspects to the natal placements like the Uranus opposition and the Chiron, Neptune or Pluto square.
It is not always easy to express one’s essential soul energy. As we incarnate into physical form and continue through life, our pure spirit essence is often repressed, denied or fragmented because of wounding experiences. Patterns and behaviors learned from culture, society and dysfunctional family systems may restrict or inhibit the essential soul energy moving from our core. A young man whose father wants him to be an athlete will probably not feel encouraged to express his Venusian artistic nature. He may even be ridiculed or shamed for doing so. Although ultimately this experience may be part of the individual’s soul growth, this type of trauma can create imbalances in the chakra centers. As mentioned earlier, when the emanating planetary energies resonate with the archetypal soul pattern imprinted in the nervous system and chakra centers, it stimulates the individual to express certain soul qualities. However, blocks or imbalances in the chakra system may interfere with the individual’s ability to fully express this soul essence. For example, the young man mentioned above may have energetic imbalances and dysfunction in one or more chakra centers due to his childhood experiences with his father creating a block to any artistic desires or talent.
Because of such energetic blockages, further mental, emotional, or physiological problems can emerge when the planetary energies stimulate the chakras, amplifying the resonant soul pattern and pushing upon anything not in alignment with the individual’s true soul intention. This would be especially true during times of important transit contacts. As the planetary field of energy with its own particular harmonic frequency interacts with an individual’s energetic field, there can be changes in the equilibrium leading to synchronistic phenomena in the body and psyche. It may seem hard to imagine that a planet from so far away has such an effect until we consider the principal of resonant amplification. Just as the dynamic of resonance increases the amplification of one musical note to the point it can break a glass of equal frequency (Ella Fitzgerald style), so too can planetary resonance affect the human energy system.
If one is totally aligned without blockages to a particular soul quality and planetary energy, then that person’s being resonates with the planetary emanation and probably no psychophysical phenomena will occur. In such a case, an individual is able to give full expression to the song of his or her own soul. When, on the other hand, the expression of the soul energy is distorted and chakra centers with imbalances are stimulated by a planetary field of energy, certain phenomena will occur. The archetypal planetary energy may then manifest in the form of dreams, past life or mystical experiences, mental patterns, emotional dynamics or physical symptoms depending on the chakra center that is affected. Any or all of these components can be activated as the planetary field of energy resonates with the individual’s soul energy to which it is in tuned. Remember, the chakras act as centers through which energy is transformed into matter. Likewise, in this process, the planetary energy is also transformed and made manifest in some way through the spiritual, mental, emotional or physical phenomena. In this way, that which is unseen and unknown can be brought to conscious awareness enabling us to remember who we really are and manifest our true soul intention.
The case of my client, Kathy, provides an excellent illustration of how planetary energies can manifest as one or many of these issues. Kathy has Mercury in Virgo sitting right on her Midheaven conjunct Saturn in Virgo in the tenth house. With these energies, I knew she was probably articulate (Mercury in Virgo) with the archetype of the communicator being part of her essence, but I also guessed she might have blocks and limitations concerning the issue of self-expression (Saturn conjunct Mercury.) Kathy confirmed this when she told me she would like to be a writer but feared expressing her own power and truth.
As I continued to see Kathy, many issues emerged which were blocking her ability to communicate and express herself. When starting to talk, she sometimes felt a physically constricting sensation in her throat. Kathy was also self-conscious about her long neck, the area of the throat chakra, the center of communication and self-expression. As a child, she had been sexually abused by her father (Saturn) and forced to keep it a secret. This pattern was repeated later in life when she was raped and threatened with harm if she cried out in any way. It is no wonder that she also suffered through a codependent marriage to an alcoholic for many years while saying nothing to friends and church members. Through our psychotherapeutic work together, Kathy was able to heal these emotional wounds. In the process, she also experienced a past life session in which she had her head severed from her body at the neck as punishment for expressing her feminine power.
The archetypal essence of Mercury, repressed through the dynamics of Kathy’s childhood, continued to seek expression, thus activating her current emotional issues, the bodily sensations in the throat area and the past life experience. Through these symbolic indicators, Kathy could heal the wounds of the past in order to align with Mercury’s essential soul message of communication and self-expression. When I last talked to Kathy, she had moved beyond her Saturnian blocks and was composing a collection of spiritual writings.
As Kathy’s case illustrates, the needs of a client’s psychological and physical healing often goes beyond the scope of astrological consultation.However, I have found that by identifying the planetary soul pattern through the natal chart, an individual can gain perspective, be given a greater understanding of their current issues, and more consciously give expression to their true soul intent.
1. Seymour, Percy (1992). The Scientific Basis of Astrology: Tuning to the Music of the Planets. New York: St. Martin’s Press p. 225-226.
2. In addition, there are imprints from the mother’s consciousness and physical state of being.
3. Barbara Ann Brennan, (1988). Hands of Light. New York: Bantam Books.
4. Barbara Hand Clow’s book, Liquid Light of Sex, (Bear & C0., Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1991), explores the key life passages relating to Saturn, Uranus and Chiron.
5. My book, The Energy Body Connection gives a description of each planetary archetype and provides tools for utilizing these astrological patterns of consciousness in your process of healing and growth.