The Evolution of Consciousness Through Reincarnation.

A preview on reincarnation themes in the birth chart


Analyzing an astrology chart from the perspective of the evolution of consciousness, I perceive a chart as a link in a greater chain of events. Considering that upon birth a baby is not a blank slate, but rather already charged with a particular character, desires, and fears, it becomes evident that these traits are not the fruit of parental imprinting from the current time and space; a newborn baby has a history. Each individual comes into this world with a completely different set of resources and potential; some say it is in the genes, others call it coincidence, but from my perspective the reason each person is unique and born into distinctively different circumstances is based on the current requirements of his or her soul’s evolution.

In this light, the astrology chart describes where the soul left off in past lives and what it is focusing on in the course of this life. Each symbol in the chart has multiple layers, describing simultaneously the past, the present and the potential future of the person. As we learn about life, our consciousness expands. The more conscious we become, the better we can manage life and resources and our chances of happiness increase. Becoming fully conscious of the nature of existence and the truth is what some may call enlightenment; yet, this state of consciousness is not something one attains in the space of a single lifetime. The soul must reincarnate time after time in order to pursue its learning process and refine its skills at living.

Delving into past lives has the main purpose of acquiring a greater perspective on the present circumstances. If one yearns to understand why one person was born crippled while another with a strong support system, it can be helpful to revisit the past. This type of research requires the outmost caution because we are delving into a rather abstract dimension with mutable points of reference; yet, over time, confirmations about the past life themes can be acquired. Astrology is a magnificent tool in this regard because it serves as a map and helps us trace the path of the person’s soul; it is not about being a psychic and seeing flashes of other dimensions, but rather about interpreting the chart symbols correctly. The main question that drives an astrologer adopting such an orientation is: “What lessons must one learn when going through a particular experience?” Some people will correctly claim that the root issues for many people can be traced to their current early lives without having to search distant past lives. This is partially true, but does not answer why a person was born into particular childhood circumstances.

Analyzing past lives through the birth chart is a work in progress. Learning is constant through trial and errors just as it is with analyzing current life dynamics. The methods of past life identification will certainly not pass scientific tests of credibility, but then, if that were our point of reference, there would be no reason to practice astrology in the first place, given that no one knows even why or how astrology works from a scientific point of view. My personal way of validating past life themes is in assessing their impact on current life circumstances. Is what I read pertinent in any way to the client’s current situation and does it help resolve predicaments? This is what matters to me; although, I understand such a validation may not be proof enough for some. The purpose of this article is not about proving anything though, but rather about exploring possibilities. The study case of my client Christopher presented in the subsequent paragraphs is a good illustration of this precept.

What I extract from a birth chart are the themes that the person dealt with in those past lives; was the person involved in particular struggles? Did he or she resist uniting flesh and spirit? Is there some kind of karmic debt to be purged? These potential themes, when identified, must have some relevance to the current life of the person. We should not indulge in dramatic stories for the sake of entertainment value. Past life themes must be applied to the current life context, and following that, direction and advice is proposed to the subject with regard to the best ways to enhance one’s personal evolution.

While the entire chart describes a person’s past, present, and future, focusing on the Nodal Axis of the Moon has particular importance regarding past life themes being brought into the present. Planets in angular aspects to the nodes (0, 90, 180 degrees) are of paramount importance in that their influence on character and the course of personal development is significantly amplified.

Here are simplified definitions of the themes of each planet in aspect to the nodes:

Sun – Past of potential leadership and recognition for one’s creativity. Themes regarding children

Moon – Past with themes of feminine prominence and matriarchal influence. Themes regarding emotional power and healing

Mercury – Past with cross-cultural experience themes, possibly involving extensive travel. Themes revolving around knowledge, writing, and teaching.

Venus – Past with finances and/or relationships themes. Possibility for strong charisma and popularity. Unresolved relationship themes.

Mars – Activism, defense, and attack themes. Possibility of ruptures and premature death. Themes of sexuality and battle between the sexes.

Jupiter – Knowledge and spirituality themes. Possibility of vision and manic behavior. Racism and religion themes

Saturn – Leadership, ethics, and morality themes. Possibilityof karmic debt and need for realignment. Guilt and remorse themes.

Uranus – Community and civilization progress themes. Higher knowledge, elitism, science-over-nature themes.

Neptune – Public influence, mass effect, and sacrifice themes. Innocence and purity themes with potential for victimization. Spirituality and potential for savior’s complex themes.

Pluto – Radical change and emancipation themes – destruction, death and transformation themes.

Christopher and his evolutionary lessons

Christopher came to me for a reading expressing a special interest in understanding his personal evolutionary lessons. With a heavily charged Nodal Axis populated with the Sun and Mars in Pisces on the South Node, and the Moon and Saturn in Virgo on the North Node, squared by Neptune in Sagittarius, while locking on the angles of the chart (Ascendant, Descendant and IC) (see Figure 1: Christopher’s chart), I knew this soul was engaged in trying to resolve complex evolutionary dynamics!


The Nodal Axis themes were the main focus of my attention. Issues of purity, public service, and personal sacrifice seemed relevant. Beyond that, individuals with such a charged Pisces/Virgo axis often do not recognize their personal boundaries and tend to go through episodes of feeling invincible. They aspire for perfection, tend to be extremely idealistic, and take on way more than their mortal selves can usually handle. Deep down, they often do not really acknowledge death.

In Christopher’s case, having Mars and Sun in Pisces on his South Node suggested the sense of invincibility was taken to very active and creative ends, possibly coming from a very strong need to accomplish something of large proportion. The activism aspect of Mars blended with the leadership quality of the Sun made me think this soul was a dedicated warrior, courageous, but prone to getting carried away dangerously. I find that Mars on the nodes can be one of the most difficult energies to handle and direct well with the tendency for raw emotions to overwhelm one’s reason is significant. In this regard, Mars on the nodes can at times signify facing death, and sometimes even one’s own. Being in Pisces and squared by Neptune gave me the impression that this dynamic had massive proportions and possibly transcended personal issues to affect the collective! This was the signature of a prominent activist-type figure, a controversial artist or scientist, or a religious zealot, who was prone to be consumed by his vision and beliefs.

On the other hand, Saturn was retrograde in Virgo, opposing that Mars! Saturn on the nodes often reflects the person feeling guilty about something and working in the course of this lifetime to realign him or herself with what is right. It can symbolize that atonement is needed for misconduct of some sort. Here in Virgo and the 12th house, the need for egocentric purification is even more intensified; Saturn in this position may reflect that the person is re-examining the divine order in this world and the role of his ego in the greater scheme of things. People with this signature can even become born-again religious inspired by “a desire to realign with divine order.” My conclusion was that something about the zealot and/or hard-core activist themes went seriously wrong and generated significant karmic debts in one or more past lives. I came to the conclusion that Christopher came into this life with a need to purge guilt caused by his actions and humble his spirit through recognizing his boundaries and accept his mortality.

The Moon in Virgo on his North Node indicated to me that Christopher was coming with healing intentions for himself and his environment. Since it is in his 1st house, a new cycle that represents the theme of healing can begin.

I discussed these issues with Christopher, emphasizing his amazing creative qualities and the issues I perceive his soul is working on, particularly, his need to understand that he is not invincible and must be more aware of his boundaries in order to proceed more effectively in life. He confirmed that he had bouts of invincibility feelings contrasted by lethargy. His health was also compromised with severe allergy issues, forcing him to “take it easy” and pay attention to details as his Virgo Moon would suggest. I also discussed his potential to actually become a healer, and if he choose so, the necessity to recognize his boundaries in that orientation as well.

Christopher meets William Mulholland

Christopher seemed to deeply resonate with the themes described in the reading, and so much so that he actually thought he knew who he might have been in a past life. I’m usually suspicious of people who think they were Jesus or Abraham in a past life, especially when the chart suggests tendencies to get carried away. However, given that he had such an intense nodal configuration including the Sun representing prominence, the possibility that he had been someone famous was feasible.

He asserted that he believed his current evolutionary lessons related to a character named William Mulholland. According to Mulholland’s biography in Wikipedia and other internet sources, it appeared that he was a water-services engineer in southern California during the beginning of the 20th century. He emigrated from Ireland to California with no interest in going back to that “damn Island!” Below are the significant events in Mulholland’s life:

“The 233-mile Los Angeles Aqueduct, completed in November, 1913, took water from the Owens Valley in Central California in a project requiring over 2000 workers and 164 tunnels. Water reached a reservoir in the San Fernando Valley on November 5. At a ceremony that day Mulholland spoke his famous words about this engineering feat: “There it is. Take it.”
Without the additional water supply delivered by the aqueduct, Los Angeles could never have grown beyond 500,000 people.

The aqueduct drained the 100-square-mile Owens Lake absolutely dry by 1928, which started the California Water Wars. The acquisition of water rights had been underhanded and Owens Valley farmers resisted violently, even dynamiting the aqueduct at Jawbone Canyon in 1924.
He (Mulholland) died on July 1935 but his work lives on. Every time a faucet is turned the water it releases is a reminder of the man whose life was devoted to public service

Mulholland’s career ended fifteen years later, on March 12, 1928, when his St. Francis Dam failed just hours after being inspected by Mulholland himself, and sent 12.5 billion US gallons (47,000,000 m³) of water flooding into the Santa Clarita Valley, north of Los Angeles. A 10-story wall of water rolled down the Santa Clara riverbed at 18 mph (29 km/h) towards the sea at Ventura, and the next morning revealed unbelievable catastrophe. The town of Santa Paula lay buried under 20 feet (6 m) of mud and debris; other parts of Ventura County were covered up to 70 feet (21 m). Disaster recovery crews worked for days, and the final death count has been estimated at 450, including 42 school children. Mulholland resigned, took full responsibility for the worst US civil engineering disaster of the 20th century, and during the subsequent investigation said, “the only people I envy in this thing are the dead.

Prelude to the disaster:

Throughout 1926 and 1927, several cracks appeared in the dam and its abutments, some of which leaked muddy water as the reservoir was filled. The cracks and leaks were inspected by Mulholland, who dismissed them as normal for a concrete dam the size of the St. Francis. On March 7, 1928, the reservoir was filled to capacity for the first time, whereupon damkeeper Tony Harnischfeger spotted new cracks and leaks and contacted Mulholland, who again dismissed them as normal.
The same week, motorists traveling on the road along the east shore of the reservoir reported cracks and a deepening sag in the roadbed near the dam’s east abutment. By the morning of March 12th, the roadbed had sagged almost five feet (1.5 m).
The same morning of March 12, Harnischfeger discovered a new leak and immediately alerted Mulholland. Mulholland and his assistant Harvey van Norman inspected the new cracks and leaks, and once again Mulholland, convinced the leaks were relatively minor and normal for a concrete dam, pronounced the dam safe.

Christopher’s chart seems to embody all the themes lived by Mulholland: the water-services engineer can surely be traced in Christopher’s South Node in Pisces (water) in his 6th house (infrastructure engineer work), especially as it trines Uranus in Scorpio in his 3rd house (reinforcing the engineering aspect). Christopher’s chart reflects the grandeur and even the “savior” nature of Mulholland who contributed through his work to Los Angeles’s growth and prosperity, but also the tragedy resulting from zeal and over-confidence (invincibility complex). His chart reflects the pioneering nature, the fierce battles of resistance to his projects, the catastrophe causing death en-masse, and the tremendous guilt that ensued (Mars and Saturn on both ends of his Nodal Axis).

The synastry between Christopher and Mulholland is even more striking! (See chart 2 below. Note: No birth time is available for Mulholland, this is a solar chart)

Chart 2
Mulholland’s Sun/Moon conjunction lands right on Christopher’s North Node. (Mulholland’s Moon degree is not exact but approximate, given the lack of birth time). Astrologer Jeffrey Green has mentioned that there is often a Sun/nodes connection between one’s present and past life charts. I have personally validated that numerous times, even though I would not take that as an absolute. The Sun is the carrier of life, thus it plays an important role in inter-incarnation charts.

Mulholland’s Sun/Moon in Virgo opposes his Neptune in Pisces, all landing on Christopher’s heavy cluster in those signs, involving the same planets and signs (Sun/Moon/Neptune, Pisces/Virgo).

With Mars square Pluto on Mulholland’s Nodes, we can identify the power struggles he stimulated and his highly defensive attitude. It also shows he had to face death and destruction in order to be reborn, evolutionarily speaking. Christopher was born with Mars on the South Node and Pluto quincunx the South Node as an echo to that theme.

Note that the day the dam collapsed (Chart 3), transiting Saturn was on the South Node, exactly squaring Mulholland’s Sun/Moon! This signature reflects karma being created.

Chart 3

Transiting Mercury in Aquarius, dispositor of Mulholland’s Sun, was in opposition to transiting Neptune in Leo, showing failed engineering and resulting chaos. (Note that Mercury was also in opposition to Neptune when the levee failed in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina.)

Transiting Chiron in Taurus is right on Mulholland’s North Node and Pluto,/em> triggered the destructive nature of his natal Pluto/Mars square.< The dam failed 3 minutes before midnight on March 12, 1928. Christopher was born on March 13, 1979, the anniversary of the disaster! (See the Synastry: chart 4)

Chart 4

The dam collapsed with Saturn on the South Node (signature for karmic debt being created) and Christopher was born with Saturn conjunct the North Node, squaring the dam’s signature. On both Saturn/nodes connections, the Moon is also involved.

The dam’s MC at 20 degrees Virgo is exactly squaring Christopher’s Neptune and MC, showing the chaos and collapse of authority and structure (Neptune/MC)

Christopher and the dam’s collapse’s Chirons are conjunct in his 8th house in Taurus, showing the wound resulting from death (8th house) due to faulty construction (Taurus). Much more can be drawn from this chart comparison, especially if including midpoints, but enough is already there to make a serious case about the connection between Christopher and the dam collapse.

The last chart worth investigating is Mulholland’s death chart with Christopher in the outer wheel (Figure 5). The death chart of a person is highly significant because it describes where the individual is at, evolutionarily speaking, at the time of his or her death. Death here is a new birth in another dimension. Many evolutionary themes are described through the death chart and it is therefore a crucial moment in the sequence of event of a soul’s evolutionary journey.

Chart 5

Mulholland died with Saturn at 9 degrees Pisces opposing Neptune, exactly opposing Christopher’s Saturn at 9 degrees Virgo in his natal 12th house. This repetition of degrees, sign and houses (Pisces associated with the 12tH house), describe how the guilt and karma may have been carried from the event to Christopher’s current incarnation.

Moreover, Mulholland died with Pluto and the Sun on his South Node, squaring Mars – a reminiscence of his own birth chart with Mars square Pluto on his North Node! Once again, describing the theme of power, destruction, and transformation. Synchronistically, Christopher’s Pluto squares the Nodes of Mulholland’s death quite closely.

Mulholland’s death Sun at 29 degrees of Cancer, is exactly conjunct Christopher’s Jupiter at 29 degrees Cancer in his natal 11th house. Jupiter in the 11th house can clearly describe expansion and development resulting from engineering or scientific knowledge.

Christopher in his own words:

“As a child, I was always fascinated by nature. I remember a vacation cottage my family stayed at one summer where we were right next to a cove that experienced drastic tidal variations. I was awed by the rise and drop in water level. I used to play in the bathtub at home with the water filling the tub and emptying the tub all the time. There was also one time in kindergarten when I remember drawing a picture of a massive flood that overtook homes and people. I remember the concerned look on my teacher’s face and how I concluded that I probably shouldn’t sketch those kinds of pictures.

My fascination with nature led me to study meteorology as an undergraduate student. It was a tough curriculum, similar to engineering but I stuck it out even though I had realized I had lost interest in a career as a meteorologist. But even with that lost interest I still to this day love weather phenomenon and the science of meteorology… just not interested in the career. Within months of finishing my degree, I packed it up and moved to CA with my brother where I started a graduate program in Atmospheric Science in the fall of 2001. Mostly I was using the graduate program as an excuse to move… in reality I was searching for my passion.

Around spring of 2002 I came across the opportunity to work part time as a park ranger about an hour to the west at Lake Berryessa. The opportunity came suddenly and I felt compelled to follow it even though it didn’t make any sense to my career path at the time. Part of my duties included patrolling the dam and ensuring public safety. Throughout that summer there was something very familiar to me about associating with dams and I interpreted that as something I should look into as a possible direction for my career. I started becoming very interested in water resources management.

During that summer of 2002, I had run across a graduate program at UC Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, CA that offered a masters program in Environmental Science with an emphasis on water resources management and I knew I had to apply! As part of my preparation, I decided to use my current graduate program to my advantage so I took a Water Resources Management class as an elective during the fall of 2002. Sometime around mid-late October 2002, our class covered a chapter in California water history regarding the history of Los Angeles water. From the first time the instructor mentioned the name William Mulholland I felt slightly off kilter yet keenly interested. Over the course of that week I read the basic history and story of Mulholland and LA water and it floored me. I could sense the ending of the story before I finished it and one picture of him stunned me in particular. There was something eerily familiar about it but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I kept getting this sensation that he was some relative of mine or somehow closely linked to me. For about a week or so, I had a hard time sleeping and I thought about the story and felt anxiety associated with it.

During the summer of 2003 I continued to work at the lake and to completely bury myself in finishing my thesis. I had zero days off between May and September of 2003….I was like an invincible machine!! And I completed my thesis on time and just before I headed to Santa Barbara.

I also was in a relationship the whole time. Throughout this relationship, I experienced heavy emotions and a difficult to describe feeling of guilt like I owed her something and like I was responsible for all of her emotional baggage. I felt I couldn’t break up with her until I made things right. She caught on early that all she had to do was be upset with me and blame her feelings on something I either did or did not do and she could play on my guilt for sympathy. Not the healthiest relationship but one I felt I deserved.

Several times during that relationship we had driven together back and forth from Santa Barbara to her parents house in Bakersfield, CA. This drive consisted of mostly travelling between Ventura, CA and Santa Clara, CA via Highway 126. I thought nothing of this at the time… but in retrospect I see the significance… I consider this my ‘guilt trip’… Around the spring of 2005, toward the end of my time in SB, I actually asked my girlfriend to come with me to the dam destruction site from the Mulholland disaster. I hadn’t really thought about my possible connection to Mulholland for a while but I think the endless guilty feelings brought about by the relationship stirred something in me after a while. She agreed to go and check out the ruins with me. And wouldn’t you know it, the drive to the site consisted of a drive along Highway 126 toward Santa Clara. This path from Santa Clara to Ventura I came to find out was the same path of the wall of water that rushed to the sea after the dam break just outside of Santa Clara in 1928!

His (Mulholland) life also has some parallels to mine, such as, really wanting to leave home as soon as possible. He moved to California with his brother around the age of 22 (February 1877) – I moved to California around the same age with my brother (September 1, 2001).

I am currently working in the Green Building field where I work with architects and engineers to create buildings that are more sustainable (i.e. use less resources and reduce environmental impact).


Coincidentally, this article is being written and published as Christopher is going through his first Saturn return (in the 12th house). Could this be more symbolic in light of the story regarding to his personal need to realign himself and assess the course of his action for a new cycle start? Purging old patterns and making new resolutions are surely on the agenda with Saturn cycles.

There is no scientific proof that confirms whether Christopher may indeed be the reincarnation of William Mulholland. We can only explore the potential and the fascinating astrological associations. From my personal point of view, it doesn’t even matter; the important thing is that Christopher resonates with and addresses the evolutionary lessons described in his chart that shape the flow of his current existence. The story of Mulholland is for him an illustration of the themes that were described to him, and it can help him have a more specific context. Most people do not experience such a dramatic illustration of their past lives, but will still benefit greatly from identifying the themes brought from past lives described in their chart.

© 2010 Maurice Fernandez – all rights reserved
No part of this article may be used without written consent of the author, unless credit and reference to this website are provided.

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