It’s a work in progress but New York astrologer Cassandra Butler says a pilot research study involving more than 50 recovered alcoholics has produced some important astrological insights that could help some imbibers end their debilitating dependence on alcohol.
“It’s all about timing,” she says.
“Getting someone to get sober and stop drinking is hard because alcoholics become emotionally attached to the substance. Invariably, the road to recovery begins with the build-up to a quit date or sobriety date,” she said.
“The sobriety date is extremely important because it commemorates a miraculous day when the individual is given another chance to live,” she added.
Butler says some Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) members regard sobriety dates as their new birthday and refer to actual birth dates as belly-button birthdays. Remembering their sobriety day “helps them remember when life began to change for the better.”
In her study, she analyzed 50 birth charts of recovered alcoholics and compared these with charts cast for their respective sobriety dates. She says she was looking for any pattern or similarity between the two charts and was especially focused on conjunctions, the powerful astrological aspect that occurs when one or more transiting solar system heavyweights find themselves occupying roughly the same degree in space in one of the 12 astrological signs.
From the moment of birth, positions of the sun, moon and planets are on the move. Effectively, the sobriety birth chart is frozen in time on the alcoholic’s quit date.
There’s always a story to tell. Because ending dependence on alcohol requires determination, hard work and discipline, Butler suspected that planet Saturn would be involved in the storyline in a meaningful way. What she did not anticipate was the overwhelming number of lunar node contacts (conjunctions) that turned up between the compared birth charts.
“In astrological theory the moon represents many things: our emotions, feelings, sense of security and family legacy among them. What the large number of aspects involving the lunar nodes suggests to astrologers is that a strong emotional investment apparently is needed to successfully come to grips with habitual drinking,” she said.
The mathematically calculated lunar nodes are sensitive points in space where the moon’s orbit around the earth intersects the earth’s orbit around the sun – the ecliptic. Butler explains that the north or ascending node is where the moon’s orbit crosses north of the ecliptic. The south node is the point where it crosses the ecliptic to the south.
Always on the Move
Like everything else is space, the nodes are continually on the move, progressing together in tandem but 180 degrees apart in opposite astrological signs. Moving in a clockwise direction, it takes the transiting nodes 18.6 years to trek through the 12 astrological signs.
Butler says astrologers generally view the north node as representing fresh new learning while the south node represents repetitive patterns of the past.
“The nodal axis presents us with a challenge. We learn new lessons of the north node while releasing the resisting energy of the south node,” she said.
“It’s noteworthy that in our exploratory study every subject’s recovery date chart had some sort of transiting lunar connection with at least one planet in their natal map. And in many charts there was more than one connection.”
In one example, Butler says the transiting lunar north node in one of the test subject’s sobriety chart was conjoined the moon in his natal map. And the transiting south node conjoined natal Saturn.
Butler reports that the transiting lunar nodes in the sobriety charts formed a total of 87 conjunctions with planets in the 50 individual birth charts included in the study. In contrast, transiting Saturn formed less than half this number but was easily the most “connected” planet in the study.
Butler says these findings suggest there are optimal times to successfully quit drinking. Using available computer technologies astrologers can scroll ahead in electronic ephemerides to find possible quit dates that could give problem drinkers a better chance to kick the habit.
“Our research suggests that optimal quit dates are celestially supported by strong lunar and Saturn influences. More research, including a larger sample size, is forthcoming,” she said.
Butler introduced her research at the Kepler Conference in Cape Canaveral, Fla., earlier this year. She plans to present new research data when the annual astrological research conference is held again next January at the same venue.
A professional astrologer, healer and teacher for more than 30 years, Butler has a degree in social work from Cornell University and a masters degree from Syracuse University. A more detailed biography can be found here.