Questions about past lives and karma are always popular questions that I get regularly. Specifically, I tend to get asked about past life issues and karma that are needed to be dealt with in this lifetime, and how these issues might manifest in the current incarnation. There are different places to look in your Natal Chart to to find unresolved karmic and past life elements, and one of the first place I look (after looking at the North & South Nodes and Pluto and its Polarity Point) is at any planets that may be making a square aspect with the North & South Nodes. If you have any planetary/celestial bodies squaring the Nodes, this formation is known as a “Skipped Step.” A Skipped Step is a planet (or planets) that deal with unresolved, specific issues that you have carried over from previous lives into this lifetime. This may have been an issue (or issues) that you chose to willfully ignore in a past life, or something that you didn’t recognize as an issue, or even something you just didn’t have the time in other incarnations to completely work out. You can have multiple planets square the Nodes (such as in the case of a Stellium square the Nodes, or even just planets in conjunction), and you can also have planets in opposition to one another that both square the Nodes (in the case of the Grand Cross). Just to illustrate what Skipped Steps look like in a natal chart, here is an example:

Skipped Steps from my own Natal Chart (circled in purple). The North Node in the 4th @ 0 Aries 17 is Square 1st House Venus @ 25 Sagittarius 40, Uranus @ 25 Sagittarius 26 (and by proxy, Saturn @ 21 Sagittarius 05), is square the South Node in the 10th House @ 0 Libra 17, is square Chiron @ 27 Gemini 25, is square the North Node.

Now, you may be looking at a chart that looks like my own, or you may be looking at one that doesn’t have the Grand Cross formation, but instead just one planet square the Nodes. Any way you slice it, any sort of square to the Nodes is a Skipped Step (or Steps). I would keep the orbs tighter here with planets and other major celestial bodies square the Nodes (about 6 degrees maximum). Any planet that doesn’t actually square the Node but conjuncts a planet that squares the Node will color the Skipped Step with that planets energy, thus ending up being square it to by proxy. An example of this is Saturn in my own chart above. It would technically be out of orb for me to consider it a Skipped Step on it’s own, but since it is in conjunction with Uranus and Venus, by proxy it becomes part of the Skipped Step theme. Depending on the planets and celestial bodies involved in the Skipped Step, you will be able to get an idea of what exactly was missed or not understood or integrated in your past life, and what you are really supposed to learn and understand in this life. The more planets involved in the this formation, the more likely that these issues have been going on for many lifetimes, have been avoided in some way, and have been compounding and gaining interest. Because these are in a square formation, there is naturally tension that the native is probably unable to avoid or ignore in this lifetime. Squares are almost always things we are forced to deal with, but in the case of squares to the Nodes, you have to deal with them before you can even begin to evolve into your North Node’s soul mission. One way to help yourself along this journey is to look at the “Resolution Node,” which is essentially the Node (either the North or the South Node) that was last in conjunction with the planet (or planets) in the square formation. To do this, you turn the North Node/South Node Axis counter-clockwise to see what planet(s) in the square formation were last in conjunction with what Node. By doing this, you can get a better idea as to how you can resolve these Skipped Step(s) issues. To take an example from my own chart, I need to work through my Uranus, Venus and Saturn shit and I have to go back to the South Node to work through these issues (since the South Node was the last Node in conjunction with these planets). Since Chiron was last in conjunction with my North Node, I would be working through this Skipped Step with this Node. Actually, in the case of a Grand Cross, usually you are working through both steps somehow simultaneously (and are cosmically forced too), just through the different Nodal energies. There is a lot of tension in the Skipped Steps formation, but there is an extreme amount of tension in the Grand Cross Skipped Steps placement.

You can also apply this same concept to Synastry Charts. If you have a Skipped Step (or Skipped Steps) in your own Natal Chart, look to see if your Synastry Partner has a planet/celestial body that conjuncts (specifically the conjunction aspect here) your skipped step(s). If this happens to be the case, this person is generally tied into your Skipped Step issue from a past life. The energy and way they are tied in depends on the planet of theirs that is in conjunction with your Skipped Step (and the area of life they are tied to from past lives depends on the house that holds the conjunction). There will probably be very strong feelings between the two of you, but those feelings may not always “feel” good. There will be a major attraction between the both of you, but there may also be a constant painful lens (unconsciously) on the areas that the Skipped Step person has yet to master. As unexplainably weird as this relationship may feel, the other person who’s planet conjunct the Skipped Step planet in your chart will help you evolve beyond your Skipped Steps and to begin to evolve into your North Node (if you allow them).

More on all of this later 🙂 If you have any questions or comments, let’s talk!

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31 Responses

  1. Hi, Ellie,
    Thank you for your generosity regarding all the tips you shared in the comments.

    I *just* stumbled upon the skipped steps concept + my square to the nodes + my husband’s planets in conjunction to my nodes 🤪 So I’m just hoping for a point out of a path for me to start unravelling all of this. I’m using Placidus houses for my description, but I don’t know which one you prefer…

    I have NN in Taurus (8th House)/SN in Scorpio (2nd House) in conjunction with Saturn (also in Scorpio, 5 degrees away).

    Squaring the nodes and Saturn, in my Aquarian 5th House, I have a Sun and Par of Fortune conjunction (same degree!).

    If I turn my nodal axis anti-clockwise, my NN will (first encounter, to its left side, Chiron… but it’s not a planet and then it will) encounter the Moon all the way up in the 12th House in Libra, in conjunction to my Ascendant (same degree; so my 12th H is in Virgo but has a bit of Libra in the end, where my Moon is).
    The SN would encounter, to its right side, Saturn.

    The ruler of my chart, Moon and NN is Venus in conjunction to Mars and the Descendant in Aries, opposing my Moon/Ascendant.
    The ruler of my SN is 1) Traditional – as stated above; 2) Modern – retrograde Pluto also in Scorpio, 2nd House.

    My husband has his Venus 2 degrees away from my North Node, and his retrograde Pluto 1 degree away from my South Node.

    Any tips will be very much appreciated! 🥵

    • Hi again 🙂

      Ooooh I would have to SEE this (both of your charts together). While I understand what you’re saying, it’s too much to try to decipher without a visual lolololol (I am such a visual person 🤣). Placidus is what I normally work with, too (unless otherwise requested/mentioned)

  2. Hi Ellie,
    I found your article because my and my husband have recently discovered his skipped step. The astrologist that we did a session with called it a skipped step and that he “owed” me a karmic debt. We have an almost unbelievable story (doesn’t everyone… 😉 ). When we first met I knew I knew him before. He asked me out three months later and on our third date in 4 days we discovered that his dad and my mom were the love of each others lives more than 50 years earlier.

    We have a number of the same wounds that have even occurred at the same times throughout our lives. When we realized our parents had dated for 5 to 7 years many years before we were both even a thought I knew that he and I were quantum entangled from past lives, I just didn’t know the depth. I didn’t even believe in past lives before I met him and now I can’t imagine not believing in that because we have had so many strange experiences.

    He has 4 planets in his 7th house, his sun, pluto and mars all in Libra. His jupiter (12th house Pisces) is square his north node (9th House Sagitarius) and south node ( 3rd House Gemini) as is venus (7th House Virgo) in the opposite direction.

    What is interesting to me and caught my eye before we saw an astrologist is that my Sun is 13 degrees Sag and that is exactly what his North Node is… I asked the astrologist if that meant he is headed to where I am, simply put. She agreed. And then she added that since he is headed to where I am, I am likely a great teacher for him, IF he will be open to learning from me or being guided by me.

    What we seem to bring in attitude and moods when we are together is the following: I feel a subtle attitude that he is “master of the house” and that it is his way or the highway… though he isn’t too strong in conveying that feeling, it is almost as if I am sensing it from another space and time, so in response to that subtle feeling I lay low and don’t speak up as often as I feel I could. I have a feeling of not having to be heard all the time and so I don’t always speak my mind. Then there are times that I feel I jumble my words and cannot actually get what I want to say out.

    We are quite literally in direct opposition with one another on almost everything in our charts. He is Pisces Rising and I am Virgo Rising.

    I had a very spiritual message from my mom about 5 weeks after he and I met. My mom had passed away in 2016 and he and I met in 2018. She told me that she and his dad were not supposed to marry or spend a life together, their soul contract was to create a pathway for he and I to meet because “we have a lot of work to do together”. I didn’t have any clue what that meant since I received it only 5 weeks after he and I met, I am now getting a much clearer idea of what it means.

    I would love to hear any advice from you of what we need to do to clear his skipped step or what you see in this connection he and I have. I have seen many lifetimes that he and I have had a go at this and each one has ended in tragedy and trauma. And we definitely feel that without one another we would be missing a huge part of ourselves.

    • Hi Angela 🙂

      Ahhh now this is all really interesting 🙂 made all the more interesting that his dad and your mom were the loves of one another’s lives. I get what you mean about your mom’s message becoming clearer now.

      I would really have to see both of your charts to be able to give you my take on the situation. If you would like to book a session, we can definitely set something up!
      **I can say that your Sun and his North Node conjunction is interesting. Yes, you probably are a wonderful teacher for him. I’m not sure that it’s always super easy though (sometimes planets conjunct the North Node in synastry aren’t always easy, but there is a hell of a lot for both people to learn). It may be easy in y’all’s case 🙂

  3. Thank you for an extremely detailed and informative article. My NN is in Cancer in the 9th house. Jupiter in Aries in the 6th house squares my nodal axis. Recently I met someone whose Mars in Aries conjuncts my Jupiter. This is a very intense relationship to say the least. Any thoughts on how to work on my skipped step would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hey 🙂 I’m glad you liked the article!

      It would definitely “poke” at your Jupiter to take some kind of action, probably (what that translates to feeling like and being like would depend on both of your charts – I’d really have to see them).

      • I sent you both charts via astro.com. Any thoughts would be helpful and appreciated. I noticed you do a Great Attractor reading. Is my sagittarius moon conjunct the GA ?

  4. Hi SaturnSeason, great article ! I have a tsquare to my gemini (twelfth house Nodes) from Mars Pluto Uranus conjunction close to my IC and Saturn in pisces in tenth house (MC). I sent you my chart by mail. I had a nodal return last year but i feel stuck

  5. Ok. So I have been studying astrology since I was an adolescent and I have never heard of this. I have almost every planet with exception of Jupiter in taurus and neptune in scorpio involved in skipped steps.

    I don’t know how to post my chart here so I will describe it. Venus, saturn, sun, moon chiron and mercury in Pisces opposed mars pluto and Uranus in virgo in 2nd pisces and 8th virgo house. North node in Gemini in square orb to sun,moon, chiron, mercury and mars and pluto. The other planets conjoin these so they are all involved.

    I think I need help to understand this.

    • Hey 🙂

      Ahhh I’m sorry – yeah I’m not sure how to post pictures on here directly, either.

      Damn! That sounds like a lot of skipped step activity, and it’s really super interesting. Even more interesting is the planetary ruler of your North Node (Mercury) is involved, but yet the planetary ruler of your South Node (Jupiter) isn’t involved….which knee jerk makes me think you didn’t play such a hand in all of these becoming skipped steps. It definitely means that whatever is going on here is something that you DO want and need to work through for your North Node mission with Mercury involved (it’s always important, but in your case there is an amplified importance).

      So there is some kind of hang up or “snag” with notions involving all these planets, the skipped steps – but it’s so many to come through this way. I do feel like, with the South Node in Sag (not totally sure what house but I would guess the 5th?), and Jupiter in Taurus, this *might* deal with belief or understanding of your own self-expression (per Sag South Node) and perhaps being too fixed in how you believe in your own self worth & value (per Jupiter in Taurus…I’m not sure what house). Those skipped steps are going to tie into whatever is going on with Jupiter and the Sag South Node (and it *might* have been something totally out of your control with Pluto and Uranus squaring the nodes).

      If ya ever want me to do something for you, let me know 🙂

  6. Hello,

    Thank you for this informative article! I stumbled upon it since have a Grand Cross in my chart with the Nodal Axis involved. However, I do have a question regarding the “Resolution Node”. You wrote, “To do this, you turn the North Node/South Node Axis clockwise to see what planet(s) in the square formation were last in conjunction with what Node. ” I follow your example and turn your Nodal Axis like a clock pointer clockwise and I get South Node conjunct Chiron while North Node conjunct the cluster of Venus, Uranus and Saturn. It’s the opposite of what you wrote after. How am I getting it wrong? I appreciate your input!

    • Hey!

      The way I wrote it wouldn’t work….because apparently I’m a huge dork. I should have written “counter-clockwise” It has been fixed. Thank you for pointing that out 🙂

  7. I am delving deeper into my chart and found out that I have a stellium square my north node (north node in Leo, sun/mercury/venus/mars/chiron in Taurus). It honestly makes sense to learn about skipped steps but I’m also feeling overwhelmed by all of these squares!

    • Hi 🙂

      That’s awesome that you’re taking the initiative to dig deeper into your chart (it’s such an amazing journey). And damn! That’s a lot that you have squaring the nodes! How tight are those orbs between the planets to the North and South Nodes?

    • Hi thanks very much for your discussion on skipped steps. Mine is clearly Jupiter in Taurus 7th (conj Dsc) square SN in Leo 10th (using whole signs) and NN conjunction Aqua sun in 4th. MC conjunction Pluto is nine degrees further on in Leo. I get it that relationships may have been sacrificed to career in the past as also this life. But beyond this I have no clue how to work with this skipped step Jupiter. Any comment would be great. Thanks very much Vivien

      • Hi Vivien 🙂

        I would really have to see your chart to know more (or to be able to accurately say anything about it). I will say that with your NN conjunct your Aqua Sun in the 4th House, from a previous lifetime lens (and even from an earlier in this lifetime lens), I wonder how much you really got to know yourself at the core of your being – being more detached from your sense of self seems possible (or being more detached from your sense of identity at your core…or family identity…seems possible). Jupiter square the nodes in the 7th House definitely may bring relationship stuff into play (and perhaps understanding that occurs in them, or your beliefs within them). Really, Jupiter in Taurus could point towards some kind of fixed belief (or fixed understanding) of relationships of all varieties, legal contracts, etc./other 7th House areas of life. It could also represent a person from a previous lifetime lens that you just couldn’t “beat.”

        If you ever want me to look at your chart in a professional capacity let me know 🙂

  8. Hi there! Thanks for this info. I am having trouble understanding how to locate the planet we look to to resolve the skipped step. In my chart I have N Node in Aries in the 5th and S Node in Libra in the 11th, and Neptune in the 2nd in Cap is making a square to them. (I also have Saturn and Uranus in the 2nd, but they don’t make exact squares I dont think). Which planet would I look to to find the resolution for the Neptune skipped step?Thank you!

    • Hey 🙂

      Your resolution node would be the South Node in Libra in the 11th. You look to the planet that is left of the skipped step planet. I hope this helps ^_^

  9. I have a synastry grid on 2 people with squares to both the Nnode and Snodes(all squares). This is present in both the natal and the progressed charts. Is this a skipped step ? How do I begin to decipher this ? This chart is of a mother and son. The son has been in a toxic relationship and recently moved back home with his mom. I recommended professional counseling. I’ve been working on his chart so I can give the mom some clues to his behaviors and found this yesterday. Any suggestions would be helpful….Thanks

    • Hey 🙂
      Which planets are involved/are skipped steps? Is this going on in both of their natal charts, or just in the synastry?

  10. Hi,
    Yes, his venus square my Nodal Axis and falls in my 5th house. And my moon, jupiter, sun square his Nodal Axis, and pluto and neptune trine his North Node and sextile his South Node. I was wondering about the karmic part. Are all these aspects related to my karma or his? I am very curios about this and could not find much about all of these aspects.
    Thank you a lot for taking the time to answear.

    • Hey 🙂

      It sounds like there is a lot going on there. If you wouldn’t mind emailing me the chart, it would be easier to see it all that way. If you can create the chart from Astro.com, all the better. My email is saturnseason@gmail.com

  11. Hi, I have a question related to the NN square Venus in syhastry. My friend has his venus in in my 5th house and he has a venus square NN in his chart. Can I get some clue about this? Thank you

    • Hey ^_^

      Can you send me the chart or post the chart on here (I’m pretty visual and like to be able to see things to connect the dots, lol). In his own chart, he’s going to need to work through something regarding love and value that wasn’t figured out properly in his most recent previous life. What exactly that is depends on where his North Node/South Node Axis falls (sign/house) and the rest of his chart. Is his Venus square your Nodal Axis as well, or does it just fall in your 5th house?

  12. Hi, I have a question related to the NN square Venus in syhastry. My friend has his venus in in my 5th house and he has a venus square NN in his chart. Can I get some clue about this. Thank you

  13. Hey Lady ^_^ Thanks for the question!
    Let’s see….it’s definitely a skipped step. I see this as manifesting in this lifetime as a tension between what one is driven to do and what one’s North Node mission actually is. One thing this could mean is maybe in previous lives (or just a past life) there was too much emphasis on your drive towards material success (like, possibly overwhelmingly aggressive and driven towards material success). Maybe you let material success define your self worth (or it was very tied together somehow). Issues with money management could also be possible here, Aries being impulsive and wanting what they want and wanting it now (and not really giving a damn how what they want effects their finances). There could also be issues with anger and how you express it. Maybe in previous lives you expressed it too freely, as if you were always gearing up for some kind of battle (and finding some kind of security in that you could actually do battle, somehow being tied into your self worth). If any of those are the case from previous lives, they will probably show up somehow in this incarnation with a glaring sort of spotlight on the issue(s), forcing you to do something about it. To grow and evolve beyond it. ^_^

    • Thanks so much !
      I feel like the interception plays a major role in all this because I cannot identify with Mars in Aries (like, at all).
      I don’t have „anger issues“, I’m not aggressive, I hate fighting (for myself) and I don’t have a spending issues – all things that my Mars placement would suggest.
      The only thing that would kinda make sense is „fighting about „territory““ but not in the way that I am fighting but more that I am forced to fight (Intercepted Mars?) for my space / home / place (2nd House) and also have to fight (Mars) for my self-worth (2H) but have a hard time doing that (interception) and would rather not (also interception).
      I‘ve come to feel like the interception of Aries/Mars is extremely important to my chart. All interceptions, for that matter (as I have another one)..
      Thank you for your reply !!

      • Hey again,
        I’m sorry that my little part about intercepted houses didn’t make it into my original comment. I had some editing issues (meaning I accidentally deleted some of my original comment, ha ha ha). I thought I had restored the whole thing, but I guess that part didn’t make it. 🤦‍♀️

        Intercepted Houses and the planets in them can have a harder time being expressed, having their energy expressed. Now, there is another theory about Skipped Steps that these qualities exist in the native (and did in past lives), but that there is a blind spot of sorts there where the person can’t see these traits exist, or that they aren’t able to harness that planet (and houses) energy, possibly due to past life abuses of that energy. So in this lifetime, the glaring spotlight of the squares tension is about consciously pulling that energy out into the open and using it in a constructive and good way. I don’t typically read Skipped Steps this way, but I could see how this could ring true in cases like yours with interceptions.
        Yeah, I would agree that Mars is particularly important, not only from an intercepted point of view, but also from this Skipped Step point of view. 🙂

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