Cosmic Karma: Understanding Your Contract with the Universe

Cosmic Karma: Understanding Your Contract with the Universe

by Marguerite Manning


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The Beginner's Guide to Karmic Astrology

Did you know that before you were born, your soul made a promise with the entire universe to aim higher and do better in this life? Sounds like a tall order! Not to worry, taking care of your contract with the universe is really about taking care of yourself and bringing some balance into your corner of the earth.

Your astrological birth chart reveals your soul's contract with the universe. By connecting the cosmic dots, you can figure out where you came from and the destiny you chose for this life. Fulfilling your contract is just a matter of knowing where to look.


"Warm, funny, and upbeat, Cosmic Karma makes the astrology chart understandable to anyone interested in questions of spiritual purpose. This is a valuable and accessible book, with much helpful counsel in its cheerful pages."—The Mountain Astrologer

"Incredibly accurate with tremendous wit and insight. What I like about this book is that it shows how individually we are all connected to a larger whole, some kind of universal intelligence."—Dell Horoscope

"Marguerite Manning's Cosmic Karma is one of this year's best...Pull out your birth chart and get ready to learn your karmic lesson."—newWitch

"Cosmic Karma is INCREDIBLE."—Lisa Mc Sherry,

"Cosmic Karma is fantastic book about the connection we all have with the Universe. Marguerite Manning helps you understand the forces that move it and changes your perception about yourself and the number one law of life: The Law of Karma."—Dr. Carmen Harra, bestselling author of Everyday Karma

"Marguerite has made understanding the birth chart very simple and she writes with a great sense of humor, enthusiasm, and passion. She brings those traits as a fabulous radio guest, too!"—John Hodge, creator and host of Think Again Radio

"Marguerite's book is absolutely the most user friendly book I've ever read on karmic astrology! In fact, I plan on using it as an accompanying text for my future classes. She has been able to take a truly intimidating branch of astrology and managed to write about it in a way that even a complete beginner to astrology can grasp!"—Maria DeSimone, Vice President for the Long Island NY chapter of NCGR

"A simple, yet thought provoking book on fulfilling your cosmic contract—a wonderfully useful guide to understanding your contract with the universe."—F. Reed Brown, president of United Metaphysical Churches, Roanoke, Va. and pastor of Arlington Metaphysical Chapel, Arlington, Va.

"The 12th house chapter is the best I've ever seen, which is to say I read both the signs that appear in my 12th and was shocked. I've been in the astro book biz, one way or another, more than 20 years. I've seen lots of books. Shock doesn't happen often anymore...darn impressive."—David Roell,

"Marguerite Manning has that exceptional gift of being able to speak directly to the person she is communicating with in her writing. Her astrological insights are nothing short of breathtaking."—Alixandra Vanderzon, author and CEO and radio hostess of

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738710549
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 08/01/2007
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 747,566
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Marguerite Manningisa freelance author, professional astrologer, and founder of Cosmic Connections,apersonal enlightenment and astrological counseling service in the Washington, DC Metro area.Over the past 15 years, her articles have appeared in Mountain Astrologer, the Llewellyn Journal, Reverse Spins, and New Worlds. In addition to conducting group workshops throughout the US called "Therapy For The Soul," she has appeared on many radio programs to discuss her breakthrough astrological concept -- the soul's "contract with the universe."

Catch Marguerite's radio program -- "Therapy For The Soul" -- every other Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET. With Marguerite addressing and explaining a different karmic aspect of the birth chart in each episode,"Therapy for the Soul" is the one astrological program you won't want to miss. So tune in and become a part of the spiritual discussion by participating in the chatroom or calling in with a question on the day's karmic topic and let Marguerite help you address the part of your soul's past that keeps you from stepping into your future.

Read an Excerpt

The Birth Chart: Your Contract with the Universe

Young blood doth not obey an old decree:
We cannot cross the cause why we were born.
—William Shakespeare

So you want to know who you are and why you're here? Well, aside from rubbing a lamp, I suggest you take a look at your birth chart. Not the customary "Oh, with my 9th house Jupiter, I should have been a talk-show host" look, but perhaps a more spiritual look, one that requires a higher level of consciousness. As I'm sure most people would agree, within each one of us there's a distinct and vital life force that embodies the very essence of who we are and radiates our uniqueness to the outside world. We think of it as our "will" and call it our "soul" because it's been the core of our individuality for as long as we can remember, or as most people would argue, even longer. So would I, because, like most people, I believe that the soul is the eternal part of us—the spirit within that is constantly struggling to succeed as a human being in this world because it's really striving to evolve to a higher place in the spiritual one. According to my research, you probably do as well. Then why not study the birth chart from a perspective that allows us to observe the circumstances that shaped this inner spirit and created us? If we truly are in search of self-enlightenment, what view could reveal more of our human potential in this lifetime than one that is elevated enough to encompass the evolution of our soul before it got around to being us? With hindsight being what it is, an ounce of yesterday must surely be worth a pound of tomorrows, especially when a good look at yesterday not only reveals where our spiritual journey began once upon another lifetime, but also provides us with an invaluable glimpse of how much further we still have to go to live happily ever after in this one. Insightful stuff.

Fortunately for us, it's all right there, celestially reflected in the natal sky. We only have to find it, which is why we'd be smart to look at the birth chart as something more than just a computerized illustration of what was happening in the heavens on the day that we were born. While that's exactly what it is, when we view it from a spiritual perspective it becomes something even more: a celestial documentation of our soul's commitment to the universe, the one that explains why we came into the world and what we promised to do once we got here—what we like to call our purpose.

Is it any wonder that astrologers put so much importance on the birth chart? It shouldn't be. This pie-shaped diagram is more than just a picture of what the heavens looked like at the exact moment and from the precise location of a person's birth—it's actually two. From a physical perspective, it's a mathematical graph of the cosmic influences that were in effect at the precise moment a person took his or her first human breath. From a spiritual perspective, it's a personal record of that point in time when the soul showed up to report for duty in this lifetime. Confused? Ancient astronomers who practiced astrology and astronomy as one absolute science weren't. They embraced both perspectives and called it a horoscope (a universal view of the birth hour). Apparently they knew, even then, that environmental influences would always determine much of who we are, which is the reason this cryptic diagram was the primary tool of their trade.

To their way of thinking, we came into being by design, not by accident. They believed that the birth chart conclusively identified the specific energies that were previously chosen by the soul for this lifetime. They didn't refer to the horoscope as an astrological blueprint of an individual's cosmic chromosomes, but that's exactly how they used it. In fact, these early scientists determined the birth chart to be a celestial chart of real human potential because, as far as they were concerned, it was more than just a map of the influences that were in effect at birth. They believed it was a picture of the climate that actually created birth, a universal snapshot of our very earliest environment. No, not the environment that spawned those pivotal experiences of separation anxiety, sibling rivalry, or even mommy dearest, but the one that existed long before that—the first one. Think of it. A universal clock is ticking forward in time until, ultimately, it strikes the astronomical instant that's critical to the fundamental development of you. Critical because when that instant occurs it's the one that actually triggers the process of birth itself. Yours. Why? Because the moment the cosmos moved into the celestial energies that were previously chosen by your soul for this lifetime, the cosmic formula for you was activated. Is it any wonder then that you were born at that particular twinkling in time and space? How could it be? Obviously, it was your time. Literally, universally, and, of course, karmically.

So what does that mean? First of all, it means that your arrival on this planet was actually a spiritual appointment disguised as a physical event. Second of all, and even more amazing, the exact moment of your birth was never really an accident because it was always, technically, an agenda—your soul's agenda. Furthermore, because that agenda was reflected in the sky when you came into the world, astrologers call it a horoscope (a universal view of the birth hour). When that horoscope is put on paper in diagram form, it becomes what everyone calls your birth chart (a mathematical map of your birth energies for this lifetime). When that birth chart is being used to determine your soul's earthly progress and your spiritual evolution, it becomes something even more significant, something I call your contractual agreement with the universe—complete with timetables, incentives, and, if studied closely enough, even a little karmic fine print (which most astrologers just refer to as Neptune).

Now, let's be clear. This is not meant to suggest that in karmic astrology your horoscope is all about predestiny. It's not. While the soul's challenges in this lifetime are often karmic in nature, they are not about fate. That would imply that the cards have been dealt, the universe is in control, and the outcome is certain. With personal choice as part of this contract and, unfortunately, at your disposal, the universe, like the outcome, is subject to change without notice. Your horoscope is, however, about specific planetary positions that were provided at birth to outline the chosen boundaries of your own personal plan of development. These powerful energies simply function as your astrological compass, guiding you to certain experiences, situations, and relationships by generating the best circumstances to acknowledge and develop them.

This contract was purposely designed to provide the necessary opportunities for your personal growth and spiritual advancement. This means that although happiness and success are on the guest list, if disappointment and setback don't crash the party occasionally, there's no conflict. No insight. No growth. Comforting, isn't it, to know that the universe is on the job, and, apparently, at the door? Well, it should be, because while the soul is big on spiritual evolution, the ego is not and often rejects these unpleasant growth challenges for more immediate or rewarding opportunities, like fame, fortune, and, sadly, happy hour.

Ironically, whenever we give up a little growth for a lot of gratification, it just seems to propel us into the even less desirable throes of super heartache, mega failure, or jumbo loss. Divine punishment? Well, as much as that would give us great comfort and take us off the human hook, no. It's just a universal reminder that we really can't change old habits if we're just not doing anything to address them. Unfortunately, sometimes they are very old, and we ignore them even more. The cosmos, however, is undaunted and continuously gives each and every one of us chance after chance to address them until it is forced to resort to that angst-ridden whack across the egotistical head that always brings us to our emotional knees—the one that we never saw coming because we were so busy fighting those extraordinary obstacles and insurmountable difficulties that always seem to be almost purposely thrown into our willful paths just when we were too busy focusing on ourselves to notice. Where were the signs? After all, aren't we only human? Regrettably, yes, which is why our spiritual advancement tends to take us a while—often lifetimes. Evidently, the cosmos has the ability to knock us off the wrong track, but thanks to the ever-popular free will option in our contracts, not off our egos. Because of that, we continue to deny responsibility for anything that even resembles failure in our lives, preferring instead to exercise our universal birthright of assigning blame or just indulging in self-pity. After all, it's what allows us to continue that highly productive human pastime of jamming round pegs into square holes.

So much for universal guidance—but still, we'd be wise to remember that the universe, with all its infinite power, is not only unlimited in its ability to supply us with the opportunities for growth we have chosen, but is also surprisingly effective at surprising us whenever it does. This is what separates the wiser soul from the not-sowiser soul; the ill-fated spirit that haplessly roams this planet from the more fortunate one that happily thrives on it. These scheduled growth opportunities are nothing less than our karmic forks in the road, and how we handle them determines our earthly fate as well as our spiritual destiny, because they are what force us to make those conscious human decisions that impact our unconscious immortal souls. These are the moments in our lives when we choose to either accept responsibility for the adversity in our lives or just sit back and curse the powers that be; to comply with the terms of our cosmic contract and evolve to the next level or, for those of us with hard hats and even harder heads, to just dig in our stubborn human heels and stay firmly put in self-serving nowhere—you know, our opportunities to improve our eternal lives or to just improve today's cash flow. Ultimately, we have choices, and, unfortunately, we tend to make them.

So then, wouldn't it make sense to find out where we tend to encounter these karmic crossroads in life? Or, more accurately, where you should start looking for them in your own life? You're about to find out, beginning at the top and starting with your own personal copy of your soul's contract with the universe: your birth chart.

Because you're always the star of your own horoscope (no matter what type of astrology you're practicing), the Sun is your personal marker and always represents you in one way or another in every type of birth chart. Thus, in karmic astrology (which is really just astrology for the soul), the Sun is your spiritual marker and represents you before you actually became you in this life. All forms of astrology, including spiritual astrology, recognize the inner natal planets like Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter as the personal planets that reflect your own chosen game plan for today. In karmic astrology the outer natal planets—in particular Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto—are actually your soul's planets. They represent the things that you did, or didn't do, yesterday—the things your soul promised to rectify and accomplish this time around.

Therefore, these outer planets are the ones that we focus on in this book. These are the energies that become your karmic crossroads in this life today because, long before you got here, they were your soul's lofty promises to the cosmos yesterday, the ones you should be keeping now. That is why studying the birth chart from this higher perspective makes keeping these promises a lot easier to do. After all, it provides the only earthly seat in the universal house where you can actually see them, and that's important because, when you can see them, your soul gets a conscious opportunity to remember them. That is not just a therapeutic experience for your soul, but an enlightening one for you as well, because it's how you finally get around to discovering that your natal Sun is more than just the somebody you could become today, it's the brilliant powerhouse you proved to be yesterday; or that your natal Saturn is not just an old karmic lesson waiting to be learned, it's a real grown-up ladder to success that's waiting to be climbed; that your natal Neptune doesn't just reflect your soul's unpaid emotional debt to the cosmos, it also reveals your best earthly method for paying it; that your natal Pluto is not just the overwhelming force that controlled you in the past, but it's also the promise you made to become more powerful in this lifetime because of it (hopefully without nuclear weapons). Finally, it's from this very exclusive astrological vantage point that you also get an opportunity to explore your soul's secret playground and favorite universal "junk drawer," the 12th house. This is where your soul likes to bury the unbearable past and everything it wants you to forget just so that you can wallow happily in denial by never remembering to deal with the pain. Even if you don't have any planets in this house, it's a powerful influence in your birth chart, so note the sign on the cusp, open your eyes, and buckle up—it's bound to be a bumpy ride.

The ride is worth it, because therapy usually is. As a universal map of your soul's personal plan of development you only have to study your horoscope from this slightly higher viewpoint and somewhat broader mindset to reveal a brand-new understanding of the most important person in your life: you. that's because there's really no better definition of enlightenment than coming to the realization that your so-called destiny is just a matter of showing up for the very experiences that you signed up for. Hard to believe? Of course it is. Who in their right mind would ever agree to the manipulative partnerships and destructive power struggles spawned by a Pluto in the 7th house? Or worse, volunteer to have the physical challenges and childhood inadequacies of Saturn in the first? No one. That's why the soul was left in charge of spiritual growth. It's also why the soul is, indeed, accountable for making sure that you get it in this life—but it's not just the soul. In fact, it's from this very elevated perspective that the cosmos has no choice but to hold you accountable as well. There are no universal passes on this one because, spiritually speaking, you actually signed on the dotted line yourself and physically acknowledged your very own horoscope as being your soul's one and only contractual agreement with the universe for this lifetime. How? You officially agreed to its terms and conditions with the one individual action that is as powerful as it is binding: your birth.

Table of Contents


Dedication ix

Heart and Soulfelt Thanks xi

Introduction 1

1. The Birth Chart: Your Contract with the Universe 7

2. The Glyphs: Your Karmic Keys 17

3. The Sun Sign: Your Karmic Degree 27
Sun in Aries 34
Sun in Taurus 38
Sun in Gemini 42
Sun in Cancer 46
Sun in Leo 50
Sun in Virgo 54
Sun in Libra 58
Sun in Scorpio 62
Sun in Sagittarius 66
Sun in Capricorn 70
Sun in Aquarius 74
Sun in Pisces 78

4. The Sun House: Your Karmic Calling 83
Sun in the 1st House 88
Sun in the 2nd House 89
Sun in the 3rd House 91
Sun in the 4th House 92
Sun in the 5th House 93
Sun in the 6th House 95
Sun in the 7th House 96
Sun in the 8th House 98
Sun in the 9th House 99
Sun in the 10th House 101
Sun in the 11th House 102
Sun in the 12th House 104

5. Saturn: Your Karmic Lesson 107
Saturn in the 1st House 115
Saturn in the 2nd House 116
Saturn in the 3rd House 117
Saturn in the 4th House 119
Saturn in the 5th House 120
Saturn in the 6th House 121
Saturn in the 7th House 122
Saturn in the 8th House 124
Saturn in the 9th House 125
Saturn in the 10th House 126
Saturn in the 11th House 127
Saturn in the 12th House 128

6. Neptune: Your Karmic Debt 131
Neptune in the 1st House 139
Neptune in the 2nd House 140
Neptune in the 3rd House 141
Neptune in the 4th House 142
Neptune in the 5th House 142
Neptune in the 6th House 143
Neptune in the 7th House 144
Neptune in the 8th House 145
Neptune in the 9th House 145
Neptune in the 10th House 146
Neptune in the 11th House 147
Neptune in the 12th House 148

7. Pluto: Your Karmic Arsenal 149
Pluto in the 1st House 155
Pluto in the 2nd House 156
Pluto in the 3rd House 156
Pluto in the 4th House 157
Pluto in the 5th House 158
Pluto in the 6th House 158
Pluto in the 7th House 159
Pluto in the 8th House 160
Pluto in the 9th House 160
Pluto in the 10th House 161
Pluto in the 11th House 162
Pluto in the 12th House 162

8. The 12th House: Your Karmic Closet 163
Aries in the 12th House: Mars Rules 168
Taurus in the 12th House: Venus Rules 169
Gemini in the 12th House: Mercury Rules 170
Cancer in the 12th House: : Moon Rules 171
Leo in the 12th House: Sun Rules 172
Virgo in the 12th House: Mercury Rules 173
Libra in the 12th House: Venus Rules 174
Scorpio in the 12th House: Pluto Rules 175
Sagittarus in the 12th House: Jupiter Rules 176
Capricorn in the 12th House: Saturn Rules 177
Aquarius in the 12th House: Uranus Rules 178
Pisces in the 12th House: Neptune Rules 179

Prologue 181

Cosmic Glossary 187

The 12 Houses of the Birth Chart (and What You Keep in Them) 189

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