Ari Moshe Wolfe will be a special guest for "Galactic Alignments: Charting the Soul's Journey Through Astrology," a live interactive video course hosted by Adam Elenbaas. It starts on September 16. For more information, click here.

This intention of this article is to explain the core philosophy of Evolutionary Astrology and to exemplify a general application of its principles.

The basic premise of this astrological paradigm is based on the understanding that each and every incarnation, each lifetime, is created as a result of the unresolved desires within the soul from previous lives. The evolutionary journey of the soul from life to life is a matter of gradually exhausting all desires until the only desire that remains is the desire to reunite with the Source; to look entirely inside and seek the eternal Truth.

Pluto, by house sign and its aspects indicates the kinds of past desires of the soul that have propelled continual incarnation, leading to this very life. All desires imply a duality — something that I am not yet, that I do not have yet. This also implies that if there are things that we do want, there are things that we do not want — thus the famous attraction/repulsion dynamics of Pluto. The dynamic of attraction and repulsion sets into motion cause and effect, action and reaction, which is the basis of what we call karma.

For example, if Bob really wants to initiate a sexual relationship with some person, first of all that implies that Bob's desires are being directed towards something outside of himself. That desire sets into motion all kinds of internal and external dynamics as Bob will de facto build a construct of reality based upon the nature of his desire. He may pursue books about attracting sexual partners, or he may choose manipulative measures to get what he wants. In the end, either he will get what he wants or he won't. One way or another, will he ever be satisfied? The answer is no, not in an ultimate sense.

Let's say he does everything in his power to attract some person, and in the end this person is simply not interested. This then has the effect of throwing Bob back upon himself, as his desire cannot be fulfilled. What does he do at that point? Does he seek to manipulate this person further so he can get what he wants? If he does that, he will set into motion a certain kind of karma. Or perhaps he chooses instead to go within and seek a higher understanding and a healthy way of fulfilling his desire. That sets in motion a different kind of karma.

All choices — whether they are rooted in desires for that which is ephemeral or in the desire for that which is eternal — create a certain kind of karma. So long as there are choices being made, karma is being created. The choices we make are a reflection of our desire nature. Thus, the unresolved desires of the soul from prior lives manifest as particular karmic dynamics that are brought forth into each new life. If in prior lives I have consistently demonstrated the desire to find fulfillment through other people on a sexual level, then the karma based on that unresolved desire is brought forth into this life. The karma remains the same and perpetuates itself so long as I remain fixed in that desire. Likewise, if in the past I have demonstrated the desire to look inside myself and find what I am seeking within, that karma is brought forth into the current life as well.

Free will

The principle of free will enables us to observe ourselves, reflect upon our circumstances and make new choices. We all have the capacity to either perpetuate the same desires for external fulfillment, or to look inside and seek that fulfillment from within. This is all a matter of choice. Pluto, by house sign and its aspects represents the psychology of choice. At the core there are two kinds of choices: choices rooted in the desire to separate from Source and choices rooted in the desire to return to Source.

There are no victims

Evolutionary Astrology offers the potential to ask the question "why" behind any of life's circumstances. The essence of the question "why" is to point us back to the soul — to examine the underlying desires, and the karma created from those desires, that has lead to the total creation and circumstances of the current life.

Thus, from the point of view of the soul, there are no victims. Why would anyone attract abusive circumstances into its life when it is just an innocent child? Why would anyone get into a series of relationships in which all of their partners cheat on them with someone else? We have to address such questions from the point of view of the soul. The soul orchestrates the total circumstances of its life, down to its very DNA — all as a way to create the most appropriate template that serves as a reflection of the soul's inner desire nature. The role of the soul-focused astrologer is to understand the "why" behind any of life's circumstances. Jeffrey Wolf Green often said that external reality is a metaphor for one's internal reality. This as well is the very principal behind astrology in the first place — as within so without: as above so below.

The ego and the soul

The way to understand the soul's desires is by examining the nature of the human identity. The human identity, or the ego, in fact is a reflection of the soul's desires. This is because in each life, based upon the nature of the soul's desires, the soul creates for itself the human identity that serves as the focusing agent for whatever those desires are. Separating desires will express themselves through a particular identity. Likewise, the desires to return to Source will also express themselves through a particular identity.

The human identity, or the ego, implies separation. It's what makes me know that I am me and you are you. When we die, this form, body, gender, identity, will all fall away. Thus the specific nature of the ego in each life serves the soul's evolutionary intentions for that current life.

As the soul exhausts old desires and generates new ones, the ego changes as a natural reflection of the shift within the soul. To understand this, think about the self image, the identity, you had of yourself ten years ago. Since then, is it true that you have exhausted some desires and generated new ones? To reflect the inner soul changes that have occurred, you most likely have a different self image of yourself. The kind of ego we inhabit points to the inner desire nature of the soul.

This is the nature of the intimate relationship between the soul and the identity that the soul creates in each life. Astrologically, this is symbolized via the relationship between Pluto (soul) and the south node of the Moon (prior life ego). The south node of the Moon indicates how the soul has sought to actualize its desires in the past. Coming into the current life, it naturally indicates what is most familiar and "safe" for the soul. There may be various gifts associated with the south node, however the potential for non growth based on resistance to change is also inherent in the south node. This is because resistance to change (Pluto on the level of resisting evolution) will manifest as holding onto the identity that serves that resistance; to perpetuate certain desires.


At this point it's best to illustrate these teachings with a clear astrological example. Let's keep it general and place Pluto in the 7th house. What kinds of desires of the past have led this soul to this life? Desires linked to relationships. This can imply a compulsion to be needed, a need to know oneself through the reflection of other people. The desire to know oneself relative to the values and desires of other people is descriptive of the kind of separating desires contained in this signature. This can just as easily manifest as a soul that is playing the submissive role in a relationship as well as a soul that is playing the dominant role in a relationship.

Pluto polarity point

In Evolutionary Astrology, the Pluto polarity point in the chart (the point opposite Pluto), signifies the evolutionary purpose for the current life. In this case, the Pluto polarity point is in the 1st house. This means that the ongoing evolutionary lesson for this soul is to establish a relationship to its own instincts and develop its own individuality, independent of other people.

Pluto and the south node

At this point we have only explored the basic soul psychology of Pluto in the 7th house and its polarity point in the 1st. Now let's create an individual context so we can see what this actually looks like. By adding the south node of the Moon we create an individualized context for understanding the evolutionary past of the soul and thus the potential limitations to the soul's growth based on the perpetuation of old desires (Pluto via the south node of the Moon).

Let's place the south node in the 9th house. The south node in the 9th house correlates to prior life identities that had something to do with understanding the truth. This can imply a seeker, a preacher, a traveler, a philosopher etc. In all cases, the question to ask is why would this soul have the south node in the 9th house? In other words why has the soul manifested a 9th house type ego in prior lives? The answer is Pluto.

The alchemy here is to read the south node of the Moon in the context of Pluto. Pluto is always the why behind the south node because it is the soul's total desire nature that is the basis for the identity that it creates in each life. With the south node in the 9th house and Pluto in the 7th we have a soul that has been looking for answers and seeking a higher understanding of the Truth as a way to evolve through relationships. This means that relationships (all 7th house dynamics) have been the key themes that have come up for this soul through its 9th house seeking and expanding. This can manifest in many ways.

For example, this may signify in past lives a pattern of having formed relationships with teacher type people who "had all the answers" — being attracted to these people based upon the magnetism of their seeming wisdom. These teachers have somehow symbolized for this soul something that the soul perceived it did not have (Pluto in the 7th) and thus the attraction to form a relationship with these teachers. This may have resulted in various unhealthy dependencies upon these teacher type people, leading to the dynamics of manipulation and the abuse of power.

On the flip side the opposite may also have been true. This soul may have been a teacher that, through its capacity to convince and convert other people (9th house quality — the "Billy Graham archetype"), has attracted various students that have formed strong attachments to the soul. This soul may have attracted a following based upon the intensity of its teachings. And yet there may have been manipulation by way of this soul using its influence as a teacher to create various dependencies within its students.

There are many possible dynamics — and of course we can never make any conclusions until we look at the whole chart and fully assess the individual with whom we are working (including their evolutionary stage, which I will briefly describe below). It is also often true, due to the nature of karma, that most souls experience both sides of a dynamic: cycles of empowerment and disempowerment. At this point, what's most important is to recognize how this plays out. When we speak about the south node of the Moon we are talking about a self image, who a soul knows itself to be on a conscious level. Thus this soul, in all cases, has created for itself some sort of 9th house self image (such as someone who is seeking gurus, or someone who considers themself to be the guru). And the reason for that self image has been Pluto — its unresolved desires — in this case linked to being overly dependent on other people.

The north node

Now let's add the north node of the Moon. The north node of the Moon is the key for evolution as it de facto activates the Pluto polarity point.

To exemplify this, in this case the north node is in the 3rd house (the lunar nodes are always an exact polarity). The third house is about different perspectives, learning from various sources, asking questions, considering the facts and being open to new forms of learning and communicating. In the first scenario where this soul is attracted to certain teacher type people, one lesson for this soul may be to question its teacher. However relative to Pluto in the 7th, why might that be scary to the soul? Because if this soul questions the dogmas or unjustified ideas of its teacher (3rd house in action), that opens the door to the possibility of being rejected, disapproved, unwanted, unappreciated, or not desired anymore by its teacher. These are all some of the deepest fears of a 7th house Pluto. However, if the soul's desire to evolve is strong, than it will be willing to experience all those dynamics. Evolution would be affected by way of the north node triggering the 1st house Pluto polarity point — in this case trusting one's instincts and evolving independent of other people.

In the other possible scenario, where this soul is the teacher to whom others have formed a dependency, the key for this soul would be to analyze the words they are speaking, to only speak the truth in tactful ways, and to stay close to the facts (3rd house). It also means being open to other points of views and questioning its own fixed beliefs. This defeats the soul's pattern of being a sales person for its own truth. What kind of insecurity might that bring up in the soul? It brings up the fear of its students not being interested anymore! Some students may not regard this soul as their teacher; they may begin to think for themselves. The teachings of this soul may not be believed anymore, leaving this soul alone, unneeded and unwanted (core 7th house Pluto fears). If there is the desire to evolve, then embracing that north node in the 3rd house will activate the Pluto polarity point which is again symbolic of the soul learning to form a relationship with its own independence first and foremost — learning how to be alone and to act independently of others.

Nodal rulers

The other layer that this article will not address in detail is the rulers of the Lunar nodes. The ruler of the south node provides more detail for how that south node identity has played out, and thus what is being brought forth into the current life. The ruler of the north node provides more detail for the nature of the identity that the soul can develop in the current life relative to its choice to evolve.

Evolutionary stages

There is one more vital piece of information that is necessary to take into account before interpreting a chart. And this is the evolutionary stage of the soul.

The principle of evolutionary stages can best be understood by contemplating the likely fact that there are several other people in the world today who pretty much have the same or a very similar chart as yourself. Do all of these charts reflect the same unresolved desires and karmic dynamics of the past that are being brought forth into this life?

The answer is no. This is because, coming into this life all souls are vibrating at different levels of awareness, or levels of God realization. This is an observed fact. Most souls on this planet, roughly an observed 70 percent of the souls alive, have desires that are predominately linked with "me, mine, time and space." For example most people in America are mostly concerned with fitting in to the "herd." Their core happiness is contingent upon basic physical and social needs being met and fulfilled: like getting married, making enough money, doing the "right thing," being a good citizen. In this stage, evolution is marked by actualizing desires that are specifically linked to fitting in and actualizing the values according to whatever one's mainstream culture considers to be valuable. This stage can be called the consensus stage of evolution.

Then there is the individuated stage of evolution — this comprises roughly 20 percent or so of the human population. This stage of evolution is defined by differentiating and liberating oneself from the values, "should," judgments, rules, roles etc., of the consensus mainstream culture. Entering into this stage of evolution in the first place means that the soul has exhausted the desires linked to the previous stage. This is true with evolution through all stages. Evolution is always a process of exhausting old desires and then cultivating new desires linked to the new level of consciousness. This continues for many lifetimes until the only desire remaining is the desire to reunite with the Source, to look entirely within and find one's true self.

Last, there is the spiritual stage of evolution. This stage is characterized by souls whose desires are strongly linked with returning to Source. In the spiritual stage of evolution the soul is seeking to align its own individuality with the underlying Truth of existence. There is a gradual disillusionment, humility and a growing sincere desire to align with the transcendent universal truth of creation, to be in service on behalf of that universal Truth.

Each of these stages themselves have various subdivisions. This article will not address that. All that is important to recognize is that the natal chart itself has no context without being applied to the accurate evolutionary stage of the soul. Over many lifetimes, all souls evolve from one stage to the next — desire being the determinant that makes that happen in the first place. There are no skipping steps through these stages.

For example, Mitt Romney is not going to wake up tomorrow and cultivate a sincere desire for enlightenment. He first has to work through the karma that has been created as a result of his previous desires. If he chooses to do this evolutionary work, then he would begin to cultivate the natural guilt that all souls experience when they have previously acted out of self interest. After that guilt has been initially realized, the next step would be for him to determine himself to practice making new choices that would serve his own evolution. The evolution of the soul is integrated through the emotional body: Pluto via the lunar nodes. It's a slow process, and it starts right now — with whatever dynamics are present for us at this moment.

Observing the soul's stage of evolution is a matter of observation. It is not in the chart. The dynamics in the chart need to be appropriately applied to the observed level of evolution of the soul.

This article has provided the basic template for understanding the paradigm of Evolutionary Astrology as taught by Jeffrey Wolf Green. It has specifically addressed the meaning of desire and how desire translates to the life that the soul creates in each life. It has addressed the core paradigm for approaching a natal chart from an evolutionary, soul focused point of view. The principles discussed in this article are a starting point for basic EA interpretation.

To learn more about Evolutionary Astrology and to read more about these principles, including an in depth explanation of the evolutionary stages of the soul, visit Jeffrey Wolf Green's classic book Pluto, the Evolutionary Journey of the Soul is the main book to study for learning and applying the EA paradigm.

My ebook, which was written specifically for beginners to EA and astrology, also addresses all of these principles. That, along with other EA learning resources can be found on my website:

Photograph of Pluto courytesy of NASA.