The Chart Workshop: Career Needs

A reader wrote in asking what kind of things she needed to take into consideration when looking to make a career change. We’re not so much going to suggest different careers as explore the types of things we need to examine when looking for a career that will allow us to feel connected and productive.

A career should be a match-up of the unique inner being meeting the outer world. This is reflected in the dynamic between the 10th house and the 4th, or the MC and the IC (see the article on the MC/IC in synastry). The IC is our seat of power, our base line. The MC is the expression of that power, or should be. In order to do proper vocational consulting, we need to have a give and take with the client (a crucial element missing here), which for me, centers around several areas–the relation of the IC to the MC, the condition of the 12th and 6th houses, and the state of the 2nd house . I find it’s better to suggest what’s needed and then leave it for them to come up with some ideas. I’ve seen it happen too many times where astrologers have come up with ideas for the client that the client found absolutely inappropriate. For example, if a person has a lot of Pluto, Scorpio and eighth house indicators in career areas, they do not necessarily want to become an undertaker. We won’t be able to have the necessary give and take, so it’s possible that I may go off in the wrong direction here or there.

We have limited space here, but I’m going to outline some of the salient points in the chart of “Julie.” “Julie” asked to be anonymous save for her birth date. She was born on September 18, 1968.

I always begin by looking at the progressed chart. It’s an unconventional approach and no one should do this until they get a good handle on progressions. But I feel it’s necessary to see if the need for change is a legitimate one, or if it’s simply a passing discontent, or if it stems not from a problem with career, but with other issues. (For reference, I’m using the Naibod Arc in Right Ascension to calculate the progressed angles.)

Progressed birth chart for "Julie"

Looking at the progressed chart above, we can see that “Julie” has a number of indicators of major change. The Progressed Moon crossed over the Ascendant in January, with the infamous transiting Neptune, Jupiter and Chiron line up also there. (As I write this, Neptune is still in orb of the Asc and Jupiter and Chiron are smack on it.) This has numerous implications, but we’ll focus on the fact that Jupiter rules the Progressed MC/10th, so Neptune and Chiron will contribute to the career area. While the progressed Moon over the Asc indicates a new beginning and a new 14 year phase of self-development, the transits over the progressed Ascendant bring confusion, indecision, a lack of clarity, a sense of inadequacy (Chiron) and a real need tap into innate skills– Chiron in his role of teacher and skilled mentor of heroes. The journey will begin with confusion, but a great deal of inspiration is also at hand, and a need to redefine the Self and take on and learn new roles.

The Progressed Moon is now making a square to progressed/natal neptune, which resides in the natal 10th. “Julie” is about to experience the transiting Neptune to natal Neptune square, which has many implications but is now highlighting the career confusion due to the natal placement. Not only was the “I” confused (via the Neptune transit over the Prog Asc) but there is a need to address the innate natal career fog of having Neptune in the 10th. Neptune/Neptune always asks us if we are living up to our ideals, and questions whether those ideals were worthy in the first place. The Progressed Moon is shining a light on these questions.

However, the most important aspect in the progressed chart is the Progressed Sun conjunct the natal MC at 6 Scorpio. The Progressed Sun lights up and brings into focus anything that it touches–the time is ripe for “Julie” to address her career issues and, on a deeper level, tackle the larger question of where she wants to take her place in the world, what she wants her identity to be in society’s eyes. This is given added strength by the fact that the Sun is an angle ruler in the progressed chart. The progressed positions show a good instinct on her part–she is on the right track and ripe for change.

Note the quincunxes in the progressed chart: the progressed Moon has been making an inconjunct to the prog Mars/Pluto aspect this year. Both Pluto and Mars (as a secondary ruler) rule the natal MC. Inconjuncts via progression tend to make things manifest. This is a positive indication of change in career areas.

There is a long term progressed Yod formation between Neptune, Pluto and Vesta. We will go into more detail regarding the Neptune/Pluto sextile another day, but in the meantime, the focus it places on Vesta tells me that following her own inner guidance is Julie’s priority now.

Progressed Mars is applying to a conjunction to Progressed Pluto. While this is not exact yet, we see that it’s in the hotspot of being in between natal Pluto and progressed Pluto–a hotpoint of Plutonian development. It takes us again back to the career theme, with Pluto and Mars ruling the natal MC, with Mars emphasized as the ruler of the Aries NN in the natal third house.

Having established that a career re-think is an absolute current evolutionary necessity, we are brought back to the natal chart.

Natal Chart for "Julie"

This longer term progressed Mars/Pluto aspect will focus on radical development of the needs of the North Node. Pluto, the ruler of the MC, is putting high pressure on the North Node ruler. North Node in Aries signifies a need to go your own way, to be independent, to discover the true “I” as opposed to always thinking in terms of how I fit in with others. Aries North Node needs to develop self-assertion and redefine compromise. With the North Node in the third, and Mars ruling the third, independent thinking is emphasized. We learn to go in our own direction, no matter how difficult, as opposed to putting on a complacent happy face (Libra) and conforming to other’s beliefs (9th) and values.

The South Node ruler, Venus, is conjunct Mercury and both are in Libra in the 9th house, emphasizing the South Node tendencies to capitulate and concilliate (Venus/Mercury always wants to say and think pleasing things). Adding to the nodal picture is Venus’s opposition to Saturn, in Aries in third house, which emphasizes the difficulty with self-assertion and communicating one’s own truth. Venus/Saturn tends to self-censor and only do what is acceptible in the public’s eye, or via family influence. As Venus is also the fourth house ruler, it tells me that this self-restriction and censorship is deep seated and probably comes from familial influence. Venus rules both the fourth and the fifth houses, and it may be that there is a great deal of untapped creativity on offer–artistic and otherwise, but a reluctance or fear of expressing it. The task now is to face the Leo Mars in the eighth and dare to share.

In summary, the evolutionary need now is to break out and discover one’s own voice, own path. And the means to do it is via career.

Now we’ll look at some basic vocational needs “Julie” has to consider in order to find a satisfying career.

I always look at the Moon first, because the Moon shows its influence in all areas of the chart, and if the needs of the Moon aren’t met by the career, you won’t feel happy or comfortable in your work (let alone find it easier to fulfill the nodal path).

The Leo Moon needs to be seen, to create, to be acknowledged, to shine; in the seventh house, it needs to connect with others, to work with them on a one to one basis. This is a very basic need of this Moon. Yet it can be problematic, because the Moon here rules an intercepted sign in the 7th, so it’s as if the Moon needs Mercury’s ‘permission’ to expresss itself, and there is poor Mercury up there with the Libra Venus, trying to be good all the time. So it makes me wonder if the true needs of the Leo Moon, to just express and connect and be seen, are being met, or whether they’re thought to be unseemly. The conjunction of the Moon to the Vertex only adds to the self-containment, but may allow lunar experiences (family, children, nurturing, artistic (Leo), or significant, creative women to come in and have influence. But to feel really alive and really herself (Vertex), “Julie” has to express this Leo Moon and connect with others via its path.

Before we look at the 10th house and the MC, I always start with the 12th/6th axis. The MC indicates our status in the world (which, in our culture, is established via our work) but a true vocation, a calling, is indicated by the 12th house. The 12th house is how we connect not only to our own divinity, but to the greater universe as a whole. The 12th is where we can become iconic, where we can make our greatest contribution.

The twelfth house here is unoccupied, which throws the emphasis on its ruler, Jupiter. It’s given heavier influence by also ruling the 1st house (in old terms, it’s the chart ruler, the greatest influence). Jupiter here is in an interesting position, in a kind of ‘knock on’ stellium with Pluto, (ruling the MC), the Sun (in its own house and dispositor of the Leo Moon), and Uranus (ruling the second house). With so much eighth house activity, tied in to both the MC and the Moon, it indicates a great satisfaction in Plutonian/Scorpio activities. In fact, it is a developmental necessity–the Leo Mars, ruler of the NN, is also in the eighth, and given the new progressed conjunction of Mars/Pluto, also highly influential.

With Jupiter ruling the 12th, we need a vocation that allows us to explore, to journey, to learn. We can’t be intellectually or spiritually fenced in. This exploration should be guided down an eighth house path. In the eighth, there is a desire to meld/interact deeply with others, but there is also a passion to share what we own. Psychology, mythology, research, medicine, caregiving/health (physical or psychological regeneration). It favours teaching anything in depth, or original research, or anything involving the resources of others. Mercury is the dispositor of the Virgo Sun, and its conjunction with Venus emphasizes the fifth house, which Venus rules. Virgo needs to be good at something, anything, and the condition of the dispositor often tells us where this skill can be found. Great dedication is available with this stellium, a need and a passion to use talents to join with others, to share resources.

And yet, when we look at this stellium and its influence, we again find an intercepted sign. All of these planets, the volatile, unpredictable, penetrating, cleansing, expansive stellium, which provides so much deep insight and other worldly wisdom, lying unexpressed and needing the polite Libra Mercury, opposite a restricting Saturn, to show itself. Hmmm….

Mercury rules the sixth, the opposite house to the 12th. In the sixth house, we find a job as opposed to vocation, something we do for money, unless we apply the Buddhist concept of ‘right work’. Right work is the work we find when we make career decisions based on what we have to offer others. It’s what we get when we lead the decision making process regarding our careers, and not follow whatever comes to hand, or accept whatever job comes on offer (sometimes this is necessary, but that’s okay, too, because the knowledge we receive from not being in the right place is a gift…we learn who we are and what we need). The sixth house also explains the type of work environment we need on a daily basis. With Gemini on the cusp of the sixth and Mercury ruling, we need a lively, stimulating environment where communication is encouraged and there is enough flexibility to allow change.

The intellectual, explorational needs of 12/6 must blend with the eighth house emphasis in order to find something satisfying. There is a need to work closely with others to share knowledge and resources. For example, teaching would also allow for the third house North Node development (third house rules teaching) and the expression of the Leo Mars and Moon (teaching is a naturally expressive profession–you have a daily audience).

If we look at the nature of the second house here, which describes some of our usable and accessible talents, we see it unoccupied except for Chiron. The Uranian ruleship of the second brings us back to the eighth house and the Sun again. Chiron in the second often accompanies an inability to see our own worth and our own usefulness. In Aries, the wound regards going our own way and grasping our own destiny, asserting ourselves with confidence on our life path. Usually, the second house ruler conjunct the Sun gives us an ability to really tap into our resources and talents. However, with Uranus, there is often a sense of something being ripped away in an untimely fashion; Uranus/Sun often plays the outsider and rebel because it feels unsupported, unable to sustain itself in conventional ways. Sun/Uranus in the eighth needs to shed its outsider status and find ways to share its unique abilities for shining the light on what is hidden.

In truth, Chiron is in a very powerful position in the second, because it forces us to see that our talents are not in fact, our own, but are divine gifts to be shared with others. We are most constructive about our talents when we are most aware of this, that it isnt about “I” and the ego, it’s about what the “I” can channel. This is doubly emphasized because Chiron is opposite Uranus, which rules the second house. It’s as though the eighth house energies won’t be channeled properly until the legitimacy of Sun/Uranus is unleashed. “Julie” has to allow herself to be a rebel, following her own unique path, and let that guide her forward, knowing that the proper energies will be filtered through her once she tears away old restrictions and expectations. Wherever Chiron is, we need to learn to trust the universe to do what it will with us. In the second, we need to accept ourselves as gifted.

With Juno, Ceres and Neptune all in Scorpio in the 10th, there is a need to be seen as altruistic and giving. These all indicate work that helps or aids society in some way, the not-for-profit field as opposed to the commercial sector. Being involved in a helping profession or organization would be a positive outlet for these energies.

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