Astrology is a tool closely related to physics, for it is a language of energy and cyclical time. This symbolic and mathematical tool–linking both left and right brain functions–explores the mind in a space/time configuration and provides a window into different states and phases of consciousness. Astrology can assist us in exploring various dimensions of the soul by revealing threads of energy/of consciousness linking aspects of an individual’s multiple layers of identity across many incarnations, which intertwine to form the so called present life. Astrology can show the resonance between certain lifetimes–why the particular themes and issues come to the forefront of consciousness at a particular time in a person’s developmental cycle. As such, it is both an invaluable diagnostic tool as well as providing insights into our understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of the psyche and its existence across time and space.
“They [children] had a better grasp on cosmology then the fast talking physicists, because the physicists and their predecessors had been forced to see the universe with the tools at hand and so devise models that were like thimbles tasked to hold the open sky. Whereas the children had skipped over the obstructions of doubt and fear and gone directly to the heart of the matter.”
Helprin Winter’s Tale
This article will explore the hypothesis of the chart’s energy, and therefore the energy of a past-life personality in question, continuing after death in the intra-psychic life of the so-called present life personality. Several pairs of so called past-life/present life combinations will be presented. Both charts are observed and compared to one another, as well as a third chart, called the composite chart, which reveals the blended energy of the two personalities. Generally used to compare two living people in relationship, such as a marriage or parent/child, I am experimenting with the idea that a past-life and present life personality are in another form of relationship, outside of a physical, linear time frame.
Jeffrey Keene, present life and General John Gordon, past life. Before 1991 Jeff Keene has no conscious awareness of General John Gordon. Like a dormancy period in trees, where they appear lifeless, but under the right conditions of temperature and light, the plant breaks dormancy and the life energy becomes apparent in the form of young green shoots, the line up of astrological energies can provide the “right conditions” regarding past-life issues lying dormant in the unconscious to surface/come to life.
There appears to be a ripe time for past-life memories to emerge, which may not only have to do with the present life’s chart but the continuation of energy of the past-life personality as seen by that chart also. Let’s look at the charts of Jeffrey Keene and John Gordon. [Note: I am using cases where the birth dates of both “past” and “present” life are available and reliable. See Appendix B for Birth data. A birth time is not available for Gordon so no conclusions were drawn which are dependent on an exact birth time.]
The first significant episodes linking the two lives occurred when Keene, unexpectedly experienced an eruption of intense emotions at the Sunken Road area of the Civil War Battlefield, Antietam. (Semkiw, 2003, p. 55) This occurred May 1991/specific day not known as records were not kept at this point. Please refer to the diagram in Appendix A at end of this article.
Triggers to Keene’s chart: Circle A
- Transit of Uranus [13 Capricorn] exactly aspecting Keene’s natal Pluto [13 Leo] from Keene’s 12th Uranus deals with sudden, unexpected events. Karmic Pluto is related to the eruption of past-life memories/emotions and the 12th house deals with the deep subconscious mind. All fit Keene’s experience.
Looking at Gordon’s chart: Circle B
- Transit of Pluto [18 Scorpio–again represents past-life theme] is triggering Gordon’s Sun [17 Aquarius—personal identity]
Interplays between the two charts: See arrow between A & B
- Depending on his birth time Gordon’s progressed moon [an important timing trigger, like the minute hand of a clock] was between 11–17 degrees Aquarius, triggering Gordon’s stellium of South Node, Uranus and Sun [ranging from 12-17 Aquarius] and opposite Keene’s Pluto Saturn Conjunction at 13-16 Leo.
- Keene’s Progressed moon was 16 Aquarius, activating Gordon’s Sun/Uranus conjunction, linking Keene’s energy to Gordon’s.
- Depending on Gordon’s birth time the two men’s progressed moons could have been in identical degrees, or at least within a 2 degree orb of significance.
Hence there appears to be some kind of mathematical synchronization of the evolving energy [represented by transits and progressions]of the past and present life charts.
Let us now move on to document the astrological triggers for the next incident a year and a half later. In early November 1992 Keene finally looked through the Civil War magazine he’d bought May 1991 at Antietam, and was stunned to see his likeness in a photo of Colonel John Gordon. There were also several synchronicities that came to light upon his reading this magazine (Semkiw, 2003, pp. 56-57).
Some very significant interplay between the two natal charts was activated at that time 11/1/92: See arrow between A&B
- Gordon’s South Node [12 Aquarius] is exactly conjunct [same degree/sign]
- Keene’s Ascendant [12 Aquarius] Nodes are important karmic points…the ascendant an important identity point.
- Keene’s Pluto [13 Leo] is conjunct Gordon’s North Node at 12 Leo.
Activation–Transiting Saturn was exactly conjunct Keene’s Ascendant and Gordon’s South Node [12 Aquarius.] Saturn can sometimes serve as a trigger for energies to manifest on the physical plane. Saturn would also be opposing Keene’s Pluto and Gordon’s North Node.
This is the first time Keene began to have some concrete pieces/evidence [also a Saturn theme] to understand his emotional outburst 18 months prior. Emotional energy/residue from Gordon’s life seemed to come alive in Keene’s consciousness, triggered by the Sunken Road location where Gordon had been seriously wounded. i.e., energy of a past-life personality continued after death in the intra-psychic life of the so-called present life personality. And the timing was influenced by the posthumous continuation of Gordon’s chart’s effectiveness, as Jung observed.
There were also significant triggers to the Composite Chart–field of energy formed by the two personalities across time and space [See Composite circle in Appendix A].
- Transit Saturn Trine to Composite Pluto [concrete manifestation of past-life theme ]
- Transit Jupiter Square to composite Nodes—Jupiter expands consciousness/understanding of broader philosophical picture…nodes karmic significance.
- Transit of Mercury conjunct composite Sun/Neptune at 1-2 degrees Sagittarius
Now an interesting question comes to light. Can someone have a response to a historical location based merely on psychic sensitivities and maybe some intersections between their chart and a historical figure’s chart related to that location and not a past-life recall? Yes, I think psychically sensitive people can pick up such energies and emotions of other people, living or dead and these experiences do not always mean there is a past-life connection involved. However, in Keene’s case, there are too many other factors to dismiss it as merely one psychically sensitive person picking up energetic residues on a battlefield: synchronicities occurred long before Keene was even consciously aware of the Gordon link, similarities in appearance between the two men, and scars on Keene’s face and body that match Gordon’s battle wounds (Semkiw, 2003, pp. 55-58, Keene, Someone Else’s Yesterday).
The Relationship Between “Past” and “Present”
Before I continue with Case 2, I would like to explore the interplay between a “past life personality” and the “present life.” In Lifecycles, Bache speculates that past lives aren’t necessarily merely static memories imbedded in the present life’s unconscious, but are more like dynamic living realities that “dialogue” with the present life for the purpose of growth and healing (Bache, 1991, p. 122). This implies that the personalities of the past and present life are in a type of relationship. I find it is a sort of “teammates across time” phenomenon!
The composite chart energetically illustrates a blending of two personalities. This chart reveals the “underlying field of energy” formed by any two personalities. Usually used for insight into the relationship of two living people, it became quite useful to explore energy dynamics behind spontaneous past-life phenomenon. Major triggers to the composite chart are present during the “dialogues” between Keene and Gordon, as mentioned previously. Can astrology reveal when lines of communication, emerging out of the frequency domain, are most open across time? Case Two reveals the additional energy dynamic that the two personalities combine to form the composite chart [small black diagonal arrows in diagram, Appendix A,] and this blended energy curves back around to influence the individuals involved [Diagram/Larger curved outside arrows.]
In response to a dare, Captain Robert Snow of the Indianapolis Police Department went to a past-life regression therapist. Skeptical and not believing in reincarnation, he experienced powerful clear past-life memories. The most prominent was that of a nineteenth century portrait painter. In the regression, he “saw” a painting of a hunch-backed woman. In the regression, the identity of this painter was not clear. Nearly a year later at a small gallery in New Orleans Snow “stumbled upon” the same painting in his regression (Semkiw, 2003, pp. 49-52). The artist’s name was Carroll Beckwith. Snow then set out as a detective to disprove reincarnation, but ended up with the opposite conclusion. Indeed he discovered a great deal of evidence in support of the philosophy, which he elaborates on in his book, Looking for Carroll Beckwith.
The astrology: Here is an example of the energy of the composite chart/the relationship field; in this case consisting of a possible past life blended with the soul’s present bodily expression. This triggers an awakening in the present life personality…the teamwork across time concept I mention earlier.
- A cluster of the three elements, called a stellium, in the composite chart–North Node, Venus, and Pluto [18-21 Gemini]–link to the planet Uranus in Snow’s chart at 20 Gemini. [diagram in appendix A….Outer curved arrow from composite to chart A/ Snow]
- The initial regression session where Snow first became aware of the portrait painter took place on August 14, 1992. At the time Transiting Pluto [past life theme], at 20 Scorpio was aspecting the composite chart stellium, 18-21 Gemini, and Snow’s Uranus at 20 Gemini. Energy in the blended field formed a type of teamwork involving the two personalities of the soul [Beckwith and Snow] to awaken [Uranus theme] new ways of perceiving in Snow.
- Nine months later, April 27, 1993, when Snow found the painting and discovered Beckwith’s name, transiting Uranus and Neptune were at 22 and 21 Capricorn. This formed another aspect to both the composite stellium and Snow’s Uranus. Uranus, Neptune, triggers in this incident, and Pluto, which was the trigger during the regression, are considered to be transpersonal planets. These planets are more involved with our soul evolution than with our ego level comfort. And indeed Snow’s ego stance of the logical, left brained detective was shattered, [a Uranian concept] as he was led into the level of soul [Neptune] via past life memories [Pluto]
Here’s the astrological connection of Bache’s image of past lives being like dynamic living realities that “dialogue” with the present life for the purpose of growth and healing. Astrology can reveal when this “dialoguing” is more likely to occur; or to put more humorously, when the “phone rings” in our unconscious…when the calls come in across time intrapsychically. Snow got a “call” in his regression session and, when he stumbled upon the painting that day in New Orleans, a powerful synchronicity. Astrology shows the synchronization of the heavens, the “above,” with the physical plane synchronicities in the “below.” “Astrological timing figures importantly in alchemical writings, because it was assumed that the alchemical opus could only be performed at certain optimal moments. Such literature focuses on the unity of the above and below in terms of Nature’s timing” (Greene and Sasportas, 1988, p. 261).
Another way to look at an astrology chart is as a mathematical way, via geometric patterns, to “read” one’s life script. Do the transits to Snow’s chart simply reveal the timetable for his soul to awaken to these realities through such experiences? As Marciniak writes in Earth: Pleiadian Keys to the Living Library, “You set up blueprints, then you wait for the gap, the perfect electromagnetic window into physical reality. This window is a lineup of energies, directed by the heavenly bodies…” (Marciniak, 1995, p. 201).
Hence astrology can assist us in exploring various dimensions of the soul by revealing threads of energy/ of consciousness linking aspects of an individual’s multiple layers of identity across many incarnations, which intertwine to form the so called present life. Astrology reveals the “choreography notes” of the cosmic dance across the space/time stage. I have always liked the “Life as inner theater” metaphor!
Astrology is a language of energy, consciousness, and cyclical time. This symbolic and mathematical tool explores the mind in a space/time configuration and provides a window into different states and phases of consciousness. Astrology can show the resonance between certain lifetimes—why the particular themes and issues come to the forefront of consciousness at a particular time in a person’s developmental cycle. As such, it is both an invaluable diagnostic tool as well as providing insights into our understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of the psyche and its existence across time and space. Astrology does not provide statistically significant data to prove or fully understand past life phenomenon. Perhaps we need to look at understanding in a new light. As Henry Miller put it, “Understanding is not a piercing of the mystery, but an acceptance of it, a living blissfully with it, in it, through and by it.”
Appendix A: Relationship Flow Chart [Copyright 1995 Dianne Seaman]
Appendix B: Birth data used in article/alphabetical
Jane Austen 12/16/1775 Hampshire, England
Carroll Beckwith 9/23/1852 6-10 PM [personal journal] 91W22/39N42
John Gordon 2/6/1832 Thomaston, Georgia
Carl Jung 7/26/1875 7:32PM Kesswil, Thurgau, Switzerland
Jeffrey Keene 9/9/1947 5.45 PM EDT [Birth Certificate] 73W28/41N24
Margaret Mitchell 11/8/1900 2:12 AM [rectification]
Robert Snow 5/17/1947 morning 86W09/39N4
Virginia Wolfe 1/25/1882 12:15PM 00W00/51N30
Bache, C., Lifecycles, Paragon House, NY, 1991.
Greene and Sasportas, Dynamics of the Unconscious: Seminars in Psychological Astrology, Weiser, York Beach, ME, 1988.
Keene, J., Someone Else’s Yesterday, Blue Dolphin, Nevada City, CA, 2003.
Marciniak, B., Earth: Pleiadian Keys to the Living Library, Bear & Co, NM, 1995.
Seaman, D., “Past Life Therapy, Astrology, and the new Quantum Space-Time Physics,” Journal of Regression Therapy, Vol. XI, 1997.
Semkiw, W., Return of the Revolutionaries, Hampton Roads, VA, 2003.
Snow, R., Looking for Carroll Beckwith, Rodale, Emmaus, PA, 1999.
Young, A., The Geometry of Meaning, Anodos Foundation, 1976.