5 Astrology Placements That Highlight Karmic Lessons

Ever feel like you've lived a few lifetimes or that you've been in a certain situation before? It could be a classic case of deja vu or maybe something more. Everyone has karmic lessons to learn in this lifetime, and many people spend their entire life trying to divine meaning or purpose in it. Astrology can reveal the pattern and plan that the universe has in store, and once you open yourself up to the idea that there's a way to use the cosmos to tap into your gifts, the next step is looking for the path forward. "There are many levels of astrological interpretation but the simplistic interpretations cannot be enough for those who are seeking to understand the mystery of their own life and self," astrologer Jane Evans writes in her book "Twelve Doors to the Soul: Astrology of the Inner Self."

And if you're the type who is always searching for answers, you're in luck. A quick look at your birth chart and the placements within it can unlock a world of potential and possibility for your spiritual development and growth. "Throughout life, we are constantly figuring out ourselves, and birth chart readings just make that a bit easier," astrologer Nia McDow tells Bustle

So, if you're curious about your own cosmic potential and which placements in astrology hold the key to uncovering them, we've got you covered. Keep scrolling to read about the most influential karmic placements in astrology.

The Moon

How do your inner and outer lives align? Look no further than your moon sign. While your sun sign lights the way for your future growth, your moon sign is who you are, where you come from, and what you need out of life (via Nylon). "[Your moon sign] can tell you how you respond to situations on an emotional level," astrologer Donna Page tells Women's Health, "It also tells you what you need in personal relationships for people to understand why you respond the way you do." Your moon sign also holds the key to the darker side of your personality. Many astrologers believe that your moon sign can be a key placement for performing shadow work and learning to work with the external forces beyond your control.

However, the energy of the moon can be intense and can lead to new and overwhelming feelings bubbling to the surface. It's enough to scare some people out of trying to work with their moon sign altogether. However, as Donna Cunningham writes in her book "Moon Signs: The Key To Your Inner Life," ignoring the energy of your moon sign comes at your own risk. Feelings that are left buried or perpetually pushed aside can ultimately build up to "lunar burnout" when things reach a tipping point. The energy of your moon sign needs to express itself one way or another, so it's best to embrace the chaos and learn what lunar rituals work best for you.


If you have any familiarity with Saturn and its meaning in astrology, it's likely due to its reputation for being the Lord of Karma –– and for a good reason. In your birth chart, the placement of your Saturn highlights the experiences you are meant to have (both good and bad), as well as the challenges you must master from past lifetimes. However, as astrologer Liz Greene explains in her book "Saturn: A New Look At An Old Devil," Saturn doesn't merely symbolize the areas of life where we experience discipline and restriction, but where we may utilize those painful experiences as a means for greater personal fulfillment and joy. "Although few astrologers would consider Saturn a very cheerful bedfellow, the necessity of Saturnian experience is grudgingly recognized," says Greene.

Saturn is not there to punish you; its purpose is to give you the tools to evolve and grow properly so that you do not have to face them in your next life. And as astrologer Aliza Kelly writes for The Cut, your Saturn Return marks the turning point in your young adult life where the lessons you've learned up to that point suddenly start to click into place. Remember, you can experience positive growth in your life when you learn to work with Saturn's energy. Saturn never gets easier to deal with; you just get smarter and savvier the older you get.


Pluto is a very powerful planet in your birth chart and one that everyone must reckon with. On a deep psychological level, Pluto is the epicenter of change, transformation, and rebirth in the birth chart. Pluto urges you to embrace the chaos and normalize the side of yourself that you might try to hide from others. And as Liz Greene explains in her book "The Astrology of Fate," each person born in a generation will have their Pluto in the same sign, so the house that Pluto falls in along with the aspects to Pluto will show where the power struggle of this planet will play out in your birth chart.

However, Pluto energy can be very tricky to predict, and it's important not to become power-hungry in your pursuit of karmic healing. On a bad day, Pluto brings out power struggles with other people and encourages self–destructive behavior in the name of indulgence. "One dynamic which can be the cause of an obsession is a tendency to get into power struggles in matters related to Pluto's house or aspects. Such a fanatical insistence on winning can paradoxically lead to bitter failures," astrologer Donna Cunningham explains in her book, "Healing Pluto Problems." By striking the right balance between power and control, you can move forward with a better understanding of your passions and personality.


Understanding your Chiron placement can be one of the most exhausting and rewarding parts of learning astrology. Chiron is a small body orbiting the Sun that crosses the path of Saturn and Uranus. And in your birth chart, it can help you locate and understand your deepest wounds and weaknesses, which hold the key to self-actualization and healing. In "Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner & Outer Planets," astrologer Barbara Hand Clow explains that by bringing together the energy of Saturn (life) and Uranus (death) death, Chiron lights the way for an individual to find their way back to life again. After all, once you've owned up to your own flaws and shortcomings, you'll be able to show up more compassionately for others and embrace your own imperfectly perfect self.

Many people find that their Chiron wound starts in their early life, which isn't uncommon in karmic astrology. In fact, Chiron is often known as a key placement that can be used for healing your inner child. "Someone's Chiron placement will always stick out to me, because in addition to representing our childhood wound, [Chiron is] our greatest superpower," astrologer Valerie Mesa tells POPSUGAR, "It [also] showcases humility and strength in character, similar to the way we, as humans, go through life carrying our own pain and burdens." Although Chiron may sound like too much to handle, it truly speaks to your potential to heal and teach yourself and others — once you've done the internal work.

The Nodes of Fate

Many modern astrologers interpret ideas around karma and soul journeys into the nodes of fate. In evolutionary astrology, your north and south nodes tell the story of your soul's journey through the past lives you've lived so far and where you're going next (via Astrology). Think of it like this: Your south node shows who you were in your past life, while your north node is representative of who you're meant to become in this life. Together, the nodes of fate are the points in your chart that determine your fate and the spiritual purpose that you're meant to fulfill in this lifetime. "When you focus your attention on following the path designated by the [lunar nodes], you feel more fulfilled and more purposeful," intuitive astrologer Rachel Lang tells Well+Good.

And if you're not feeling connected to your north and south node placements, there's no need to stress. As astrologer Saturn and Honey writes, most people tend to ricochet between feeling more connected to either their north or south node. These placements represent a "high-strung polarity" that gets easier to balance with time. It's likely that you won't feel the energy of these placements like you would transiting dealing with your personal planets. Instead, these lessons are slow-burning and learned over the course of a lifetime, so think of learning about your node placements as a way to nudge you in a direction you never dreamed of and reach heights greater than you could even imagine for yourself.