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Direction and Destiny in the Birth Chart

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Yes! This much-loved and long out of print classic from the CPA Press is now back in print with Wessex. Reprinted from the original text, the three seminars included in this volume all deal with the themes of direction and destiny in the birth chart. In personal consultation work Howard had the gift of inspiring his clients and highlighting potentials which gave them renewed hope and new directions to pursue in life. These seminars convey the same optimism and positive vision of human possibilities.
The first seminar, on the theme of vocation, deals practically, psychologically and philosophically with that most difficult of questions: How can we discover the “right” path in life? The second seminar, on those mysterious points in the horoscope known as the Moon’s Nodes, explores the distinction between fate and destiny, and the ways in which, as Jung once put it, we can learn to “do what we must do gladly”. The third seminar, on the psychology of the “helper”, examines the astrological signatures of the aptitudes and psychological patterns of those who are called to work in the helping professions.
This volume is accessible, profound and revealing, and is essential reading for any astrological student seeking to understand the mystery and creative challenge of what impels us to move forward in life.

Howard Sasportas

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Direction and Destiny in the Birth Chart sounds profound and portentous. Yet Howard Sasportas’s wide-ranging spiritual and psychological insights presented in a down-to-earth and sympathetic way make light of the patterns laid down at birth which provide a template for the life ahead.
His death in 1992 aged 45 was a tragedy for his friends and for the astrological community who lost an original thinker and a bright light. His books The Twelve Houses and The Gods of Change remain along with his seminars from the Centre for Psychological Astrology which he co-founded with Liz Greene.
This book draws together three seminar strands of lectures and discussions on Vocation, the Moon’s Nodes and Helpers.
On Vocation – a summons from the deeper self, he impresses that we are not born expressing our sun sign, which is the heart of the chart, but need to reach out for it. “Your sun sign is given to you but also demanded of you.  We are here to become what we are meant to be.”  The First Saturn Return and the Mid-life crisis are points of adjustment along the way of becoming ourselves.  On vocation there are perceptive comments on the 10th, 6th, 5th houses as well as Sun conjunctions with outer planets. With a recurring theme of the usefulness of Saturn – ‘you can’t get growth with it.’
The Moon’s Node – the path of destiny.  He remarks they are often the key to the chart, which would be my experience also.  “Usually the whole chart confirms or reiterates their theme.” He has a helpful link between the South Node and lunar energy – the pull from the past, acting instinctively, what comes naturally. As opposed to the North Node’s challenge to act rather than react, to be aware and make an effort.  And he reiterates Tracy Mark’s point that both have to be taken together and it is helpful to rework the South Node energy rather than try to delete it.
Helpers:  Moon aspects are highlighted stemming from mother/nurturing issues.
On Chiron – an archetype that comes in pairs.  The victim is also the healer, including the one who comes looking for guidance. ‘If someone comes for help, the answers are there in the person. Something in them knows what they have to do.’ The astrologer can ‘enliven that part which already knows what to do, rather than telling what you think they should do.’
Which would also be my take – if an individual has an existential crisis the answer usually lies in the Node.
Howard was born 12 April 1948 1.46 am Hartford, Connecticut, took a Humanistic Psychology degree, moved to the UK, won a Gold Medal on the Faculty of Astrology diploma, graduated in Psychosynthesis, studied Transpersonal Psychology, set up the CPA with Liz Greene, edited a Penguin series of Astrology Books, had a consultation practice and travelled extensively for international lectures.
In his later years he suffered from ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory arthritis that caused some of the bones in his spine to fuse which crippled him and he contracted AIDs from which he ultimately died.
He had a chart with an extraordinary mix of inspired, adventurous, risk-taking, fun-loving energy sitting alongside punishingly difficult aspects. He had an uplifting Fire Grand Trine of a quick-witted 3rd house Aries Sun trine a friendly 11th house Jupiter trine Mars in Leo with his Jupiter opposition Uranus – making his astrological Uranus the driving planet in the performing, entertaining 5th house. His Uranus was sextile his Sun and both were inconjunct a Yod focal point Chiron and Midheaven, giving him not just the ability to be a healer and helper but also the necessity. He said: ‘I was led by an instinct, a feeling of being pushed along by the Yod formation of the Sun and Uranus to the MC – and it affected my choice of work. It drove me. I didn’t have to make a lot of conscious choices.’
His 4th house Taurus Moon conjunct a nurturing Ceres opposed his Midheaven and Chiron and squared onto a truly difficult combination of Mars, Saturn, Pluto in Leo in his 7th. His personal relationships would always present more problems than his professional life. His Fixed sign Moon square Mars, Saturn, Pluto also ruled his 6th house of health, giving a hint of the rigidity of his spinal condition which afflicted his later years.
My memory of meeting him was of a good-natured, charming, kindly temperament with little indication of the challenges he faced.
When he died on 12 May 1992 5.11pm London, the astrological influences were unusually very precise.  Pluto was exactly conjunct his Midheaven, Jupiter was just into his 8th, the Sun was only a degree into his 4th and the North Node exactly on the cusp of his 12th.  It would feel like a relief.
A lovely man, much missed.
Marjorie Orr
This collection of three seminars given by Howard Sasportas was first published in 1998, six years after his premature death in 1992. And its reissue by Wessex – complete with Liz Greene’s original Preface – is very welcome indeed. Greene observes that it is his “rare blend of spirituality and down-to-earth trenchant observations of human psychological dynamics which makes his work so unusual and memorable”. He is the sort of teacher I would like to have met and studied with – highly informed but capable of witty digressions; sharp but blessed with warmth. He was plainly a welcome guru-free zone.
The seminars here were given in 1990-91 for the Centre for Psychological Astrology – and it’s a relief to see that the transcripts are sensitively and lightly edited (to add grammatical polish) so that Sasportas’ lively personality is not occluded. Each seminar is rich in original observation. In the first, Vocation, he observes, “I don’t believe you are born expressing your Sun-sign immediately. Your Sun-sign is given to you, but also demanded of you.” The zodiac signs pose challenges to be risen to which in turn help to shed light on life direction.
The second seminar, The Moon’s Nodes, is usefully expositional in the main, and he does show caution in embracing ideas of karma and past-lives associated with the South Node – his preference is for psychological delving, putting emphasis on the lunar essence which takes us to instinct and childhood (in this life) and away from possibly fanciful reincarnation narratives. I wonder what Sasportas would have made of draconic astrology which re-positions the North Node at the vernal equinox point to open a whole new chart dedicated to finding life (or soul) purpose.
The third seminar is titled The Astrology of the Helper – here he examines the astrological aspects, motives and mixed agendas of mothering and fathering and of those driven to serve others in general. “As an astrologer you are a professional helper,” he tells his audience. “You put yourself in a position to give guidance”. Inevitably Neptune gets major billing in the lessons.
At a time when certain influencers would have us think that astrology stopped evolving once the toga fell out of fashion, this book is a reminder that as humanity grows in knowledge, so does everything else in the zeitgeists. All ages and cultures add new perspectives to astrological insight. And all systems of astrology can benefit from the scientia of the psychological schools, where there’s the will – so let us not fear the word ‘fusion’ as past techniques are recovered.
A highly immersive book which enlightens, provokes – and entertains.
Victor Olliver – The Astrological Journal

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