• Lelia

Soul Vows, Astrology and Bette Midler

Updated: Dec 13, 2021


A page from my Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.

Soul Vows is my favorite of Janet Conner’s books. I have gone through it twice and have twice crafted my own set of vows. I think that’s in violation of Conner’s rule that these vows be made for life, but the process of deeply exploring the truths that are “unshakeable and unbreakable... Will it kill you to break them, as David Whyte said? That means if you broke them, you would stop being you…” requires deeper self-knowledge than this work-in-progress (me) could possibly accomplish in two passes through Janet Conner’s book.


It was as I began to learn about evolutionary astrology that I noticed the overlap of soul vows and the natal positions of the planets in my birth chart. My second time through Conner’s book, I’d come up with “I see with the eyes of the heart” as one of my vows. I’m still rather partial to that one and it turns out to be a perfect expression of my 3rd house Moon - I see the world with the eyes of a mother or healer, with compassion and heart.


It occurred to me that the energies in a chart could be expressed as soul vows and could then be honored through many of Janet Conner’s techniques.


A chart is like a poem. (Steven Forrest, my astro-mentor/guru, has said this somewhere and it captured my imagination.) There are many ways to express (and to live) the symbols of a natal chart. So my 3rd house Moon vow could also be “I speak from my heart” or “I follow my heart’s curiosity.” To really flesh the meaning out, I could include the conditioning of the sign my moon is in - Leo. “I follow my heart’s curiosity even if I look silly.”


This is the fun of the natal chart. The signs and planets and houses are symbols and we can play with their interpretation, arranging and rearranging them, exploring the way these energies work in our charts and in our lives.


Playing with the wording of my 3rd house Leo Moon I came up with

  • Curiosity (3rd house) heals (Moon) my ability to shine (Leo).

  • I shine (Leo) my heart’s (Moon) light by finding my voice (3rd house).

  • My heart’s happiness (Moon) is in authentic (Leo) communication (3rd house).


The energies in your natal chart become, then, your soul vows, which, Janet Conner writes, “are the richest prayers of your life and worthy of being honored in a special and beautiful way.” Conner offers a myriad of suggestions for how to immortalize your vows, from reciting them daily to getting them engraved on charm discs or stenciled on the risers of your stairs. As a KMCC creativity coach and muse facilitator, I’m a fan of choosing a symbol - either a person, an object, an animal, movie, piece of art, experience, etc. - that brings the energies of your chart alive for you. These symbols may change over time as you grow and evolve. Right now, when I think of my 3rd house Leo Moon, I think of Bette Midler as a model of someone who shines while elevating others at the same time.