Skara Brae: teachings from Venus, Neptune, Pluto, Saturn and the South Node



In looking at today’s chart I am reminded of a handful of tiny dwellings set into a coastal region of the Orkney Isles, in Scotland, none other than the site known as Skara Brae. I visited this site when I was 18 and working on an archaeological site some miles to the south, above the town of Stromness. Let’s look at the chart.

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As ever, I wish to focus upon a single aspect, in this brief note, and this is the conjunction of Venus and Neptune, at 17° of Pisces, trining the North Node and sextiling Saturn on the South Node. What planetary conversations am I over-hearing today?

We have oft talked about Pluto and Saturn on the South Node, and this conversation could usefully be never-ending. Why? Since the South Node indicates our past life karma, this placement invokes both structure (Saturn) and transmutation (Pluto). In past lives, we have all either created structures or been subject to them. By this, I mean families with their hierarchies, businesses with their systems of management, perhaps the military with its chains of command. South Node in Capricorn invokes responsibility and it is indeed these structures that have been the location for our responsibilities for many generations. The responsibility of running a business or farm, or of looking after a family member who is sick. Perhaps the responsibilities of war have been incumbent upon us.

These responsibilities have, over generations, fashioned a carapace or body armor which is at times not only hard to bare but ours to unknit in this soul incarnation. As Steven Forrest says, the Capricorn South Node has come here to seek healing, to find a home, after long hard past lives of endurance.

Our shining light is, of course, the North Node in Cancer, and our journey of becoming is how we make the transition. We never fully abandon the South Node but we should form a co-creative relation to it. As such, we have to look at the structures in our own lives, about the how of how we live, in order to see what we are doing in blind karmic repetition, and what we can change to step daily closer to our sweet spot.

It is here that the dialogue between Venus and Neptune can offer us a momentary vision. Here, perhaps not the Aphrodite rising from the waves as depicted by Botticelli, but a moment of homecoming by the sea. Imagine you are standing on the hilly mounds of coastal Orkney. A vigorous westerly is blowing in your hair, and you slip down into one of these tiny round homes carved into the earth. You have now found shelter. Here, you are in your North Node in Cancer, and you can hear Neptune whispering to you. And whilst you are now safe from the winds, the sea is never far and can provide you with abundant seafood and kelp to nourish you, your family and your animals. These stone walls will protect you from the elements. The structure you have found around yourself is indeed homely. Shelves, beds made of stone which would have been filled with straw and grasses and wool from sheep, snugs to keep you warm in the cool of the Northern climate.

Looking at the chart you will notice that Venus has already risen a few hours before the Sun so she graces the morning skies at this time. You wake, look out over the ocean to the East, and see her shining upon you. The values of love, of home, of caring, of being looked after fill your heart. There is nothing illusory about this because you have chosen it. Your soul has sought this, and on this beach, in this tiny dwelling, you are finally able to fulfill a part of your North Node destiny.

In the act of transposing your life to that of a Neolithic settler in the North of Scotland, some 3000 years before our era, you have magically allowed Pluto to deconstruct your present situation, take you on a journey where the difficulties and constraints of modern life no longer apply. You breathe in that fresh sea air and let go of all that has oppressed you. Venus and Neptune speak here softly and with one breath, in trine and sextile to the Nodes. They ask you to let go of your daily obsessions and focus on something grander. It is a Neptune worthy of Turner’s sea paintings that I am now in tune with, amidst the blaze of the rising sun which warms us and gently blinds us in the brilliance of pure light.

Each of us can become bogged down in our obsessions — whether in our need to repeat what our parents or grandparents did or equally in our need to rebel and do something different. In the end, it makes little difference for in either, we are in a place of “reaction” rather than “action”.

Those unconscious repetitions are the stuff of Saturn on the South Node, and Pluto is gently nudging us to let go, let go, let go, into a greater unknown, The North Node is always unknown. We have to be adventurous. We have to take risks. We have to step up. There is no other way of doing it, but to be true to ourselves. In doing so, we offer ourselves a little tender loving kindness for the soul, which is healing to a South Node in Capricorn. An act of self-love which Venus will smile upon, and, in the bright light of an Orcadian sea-dawn, Neptune can spiritualize.

May you all be well.




Skara Brae The neolithic village, first discovered in 1850, consists of a series of interconnected houses dating from around 3000BC. In the background is Skaill House.
Thanks to Stephen McKay / Skara Brae / CC BY-SA 2.0







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