Karmic Profile: James Joyce

Today’s his Joyce’s birthday, so I thought I’d throw him a little karmic profile to celebrate.

The summer after my first year in college I read a bunch of books I felt I’d missed. I thought I should have been more well-read than I was, so I dove in. Ulysses was one, and I remember sitting outside a dorm on campus in the grass, having my language machine toyed with. I got it, then I didn’t. Then I felt I missed something, then I had to take a nap. Then I wondered about what words meant and could mean, and then I read the other 700 pages and took more naps. (In the end I was glad I did – both read it and fit in all the naps.)

Joyce inspired countless writers in his willingness to do with language what his languaging self felt it could do. He flowed with it, and the result changed literature.

Ulysses is said to be the greatest novel of the 20th century. It was rejected by many publishers because it was unconventional and perceived to be offensive, obscene, and not worthy of publication, and yet in the end it changed ideas about what fiction is and can be. It made tremendous waves, and Joyce has become a symbol of the kind of cultural waves that bring radical change.

February 2, 1882
6:24 AM
Dublin, Ireland
(Rated A)

Birthchart of James JoyceWe can see his Mercury in Pisces saying that his mind liked to flow, to lost control over parameters assumed to be useful and just flow with what is really there. Stereotypically, Mercury in Pisces could be said to represent stream of consciousness, which Joyce filled volumes with.

Yet looking at that Mercury as the South Node ruler, and therefore indicative of his soul’s many lives’ karma, can deepen our understanding about Joyce. The South Node ruler by sign tells of a person’s role in his or her soul’s various lives – how the person expects to be treated, what interests, skills and talents he or she is naturally disposed to, and how that person “shows up”. It therefore tells us much about what we could call a “karmic identity” that is carried from life to life.

Two major aspects tell of his experience in many lives standing out from the crowd and learning to make peace with doing something that is different, and that challenges others. First, Pluto in Taurus in the 4th house squares Mercury. This says that in his soul’s many lives, he receives friction from powerful (Pluto) people or groups who are likely conservative (Taurus), and they tend to be in his family and/or community (4th house). His soul is learning about Plutonian empowerment by receiving this friction and deciding how to respond.

The other aspect to mention is the inconjunct between Mercury and Moon, in Leo in the 7th house. This says that he receives incredible and unrelenting pressure from family and community sources (Moon) who are concerned about appearances over reality (a negative side of each Leo and the 7th house). This SN ruler in Pisces in the 2nd house says that in his human lives he strives to get in touch with and then flow from a deep connection to his own value system and that he has to do things his way (think of the bull of Taurus related to the 2nd house). This Moon in the 7th in this particular aspect says that those to whom he is most closely connected do not want him to do and say what he is doing and saying.

The combination of this friction of the two aspects tells us that when in his life as Joyce, bringing forth material that he believed in and that challenged and incensed conservative others would on some level have not surprised him. In his soul’s many lives, he is sensitive to the reactions of others and well aware that what he is doing is really different.

The South Node ruler Mercury is also square the nodal axis, and this says that Mercury in Pisces/2nd is confusing for him in his many lives. He is we could say his own worst enemy, getting himself into trouble by arriving at and communicating his own unique value system. This is a way of saying that how he uses Mercury in his many lives gets him into trouble. The karma that goes with this is if he attaches meaning to what happens as a result. If he stops writing because someone calls it obscene, then there can be karma that he shouldn’t write. If he rebels and gets himself into real trouble, then there can be karma about the ramifications of speaking one’s mind.

Shifting gears, when we look at the Pluto as telling of his soul’s journey to empowerment while incarnated as a human, his journey is about developing a firm inner foundation and building a life on it. As others doubted the worth of his work and rejected it, and labeled it as obscene and outlawed it, he stood by it. Which was standing by himself and thereby strengthening this 4th house Pluto.

See The Soul’s Journey I: Astrology, Reincarnation, and Karma with a Medium and Channel for a full treatment of this perspective on soul, its many lives, and its karma.

Tom Jacobs is an evolutionary astrologer, medium, channel, author, and coach offering insight into why your soul is here and guidance about how to make it happen. Contact him via his site for private readings and to learn about intuitive coaching. Tom is the author of five books on metaphysics and astrology and two volumes of channeling the Ascended Master Djehuty, available via his site, Amazon, and Kindle. Chiron, 2012, and the Aquarian Age: The Key and How to Use It is his groundbreaking new 11-hour MP3 course, also available through his site.