The Karma Trap: Past-Life Relationships to Avoid

Credit: beusbeus via iStockphoto

Credit: beusbeus via iStockphoto

Ah, the lure of the karmic relationship. It’s not just the magnetic connection that pulls you in, it’s the knowledge that the two of you were involved in a previous life. You are fated lovers. You’ve reconnected in this life because (as all the karma-savvy folks know) you have unfinished business to complete. It’s more than a mutual attraction; it’s your karmic duty. But what if it’s not? What if every past-life relationship you encounter is not meant to be explored?

The Karma Trap

Almost every significant relationship in your life is based on a past-life connection. The reason you’re reconnecting is because something happened in that past life, and it was most likely unpleasant. Hence, the unfinished business. Past life partners with whom you’ve had an idyllic, tension-free connection will have no reason to cross your path again. What might have happened between the two of you covers a very broad spectrum: One of you died, one of you was abandoned by the other, you were both killed by disease/war, you weren’t allowed to marry. And so on. Sometimes, that unfinished business is particularly painful for one of you. You might have been a victim (of your partner). You did something to make your partner very, very angry.

To read the rest of this article you must purchase a Lifetime All-Access Membership, which allows you to view the entirety of Sasstrology’s archives for a one-time fee of $12.

All horoscopes and forecasts will always be free to the public. New articles are only viewable to the public for 30 days after publication.

Buy Now or read more.

All-Access Members, log in here.

Related Posts: 

RedditIf you like this post, please upvote it on Reddit.

About Nadia Gilchrist

Nadia Gilchrist offers over 19 years of experience in astrology. Her writings and personal consultations focus on applying practical astrological analysis to the real world. Nadia blogs regularly at Ruby Slipper Astrology.


  1. My friend’s SN is 19 Pisces. My mars is 16 Sag. Would 3 deg orb be a square? My venus is exactly square at 19 Sag.
    My uranus opposes at 18 Virgo. My pluto is 17 virgo, so may count?
    My SN is 4 Sag. His venus is 0 Sag. There are none of the others.

    When we look at composites to the SN, do you mean natal planets to the comp SN? Comp (midpoint) SN is 27 Cap. Neither of us have oppositions or squares to it in our natal charts.

    In our story, it’s been a journey of healing and a question of timing. We have both pushed each other away and stepped forward again. We have both rejected, then forgiven. It has been painful but worth it, as we have both learnt valuable lessons, and are still learning, even during this mars Rx down time and separated again. It feels like the rollercoaster needed to happen to break the stone walls we put up in our childhoods and heal the damage caused by others. Until we learn to love ourselves, we won’t let anyone love us. We need to learn to trust again, and feel accepted for who we are. I think in this lifetime, we have learnt that love can’t be trusted, we lose it somehow and they abandon us. But the love between my friend and me is unconditional, and that’s suspect!! 😉

    It doesn’t feel it’s time to make a final decision yet. Neither of us are fully healed enough to be in committed relationships with anyone. Not yet. When that time comes, I think we will know whether it’s with each other, or our karma is complete and we’re ready to move forward.

    Thanks, Nadia 🙂

  2. Interesting. My current roommate’s Moon is in Aquarius and my Saturn is in Aquarius. My Moon is in Libra and his Saturn is in Libra. I haven’t been working in quite some time an he’s been “floating” me until I EVER get another job. I’m grateful that he hasn’t gotten more frustrated about my financial dependance on him. We don’t have a romantic relationship; however, it’s not quite friendship either.

    To be honest, because he’s 10 years older than I am and the one who’s in a better financial position, it’s turned out to be more of a parent-child relationship. I realize that sounds strange but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least it we had a parent-child relationship in the past. To say that I’m not happy about this setup is truly an understatement. But I realize that while I’m dependent on him, I have to “show willing” and keep my resentment/disappointment to myself. I am living by his sufferance.

  3. Hmm….I met a man 1.5 years ago who’s sun conjuncts my 7th house NN and who’s moon conjuncts my AC in my 1st house, in synastry. We are still in the friendship zone though i would like it to be more.

    In the composite we have a Venus-Mars-Uranus conjunction stellium squaring a Jupiter-North Node conjunction.

    In a last post i read Mars square nodes is a ‘relationship deal breaker’. Now i read Mars and Uranus squaring south node is a bad past relationship. No wonder the relationship has trouble getting off the ground.

    I wonder whether composite Saturn who trines the above Venus-Mars-Uranus on one side and trines the DC on the other side (grand trine?) can offer any help…:(

  4. Richelle Smith says:

    Daaaamn. You hit the nail on the head! In our synastry chart his Mars and Saturn both conjunct his MC, fall in my Libra/5th house, which is where my south node appears to be. My MC is conjunct his south node in his second house of Aquarius. So weird that our MC’s do that! Our synastry chart also indicates some potentially violent tendencies such as my Mars square his Pluto and my Moon opposite his Mars. It’s a strange thing that I have been acquainted with him for about 10 years through a mutual friend, whom I also have some karmic baggage with. In the beginning I never really liked him. Then 10 years later we hook up and now I’m like a moth to a flame. I chalk this sudden and undying attraction to his natal venus trine pluto and neptune conjunct ascendant, but I guess there is some karmic stuff too.

  5. @Kisses
    His SN and your Mars are square. Your Pluto is on his North Node.
    I was referring to Natal or composite planets to the composite SN.

  6. @crys
    Saturn-themed relationships can also be quite binding, even if you’re not happy with the conditions.

  7. @Marion
    the trine from Saturn can help, but the strength of a trine is less than a square or conjunction. The stronger aspects usually dominate.

  8. @Richelle Smith
    MC/SN suggests past-life connections involving public status and reputation.

  9. Oh so natal to composite also counts..In that case, i am curious about MERCURY vs South Node.

    Composite SN square my natal mercury (1 degree) and
    His natal SN square composite Mercury. (4 degrees)

    We do have a huge communication problem. He doesn’t talk much. Doesn’t express himself well. It pisses me off. But we do have a strong ‘friendship based on intellect’ (mercury?) backed by a lot of mutual trust. Unless we mess up what we have by attempting to get onto a relationship platform, our friendship might last a lifetime.

  10. I agree Nadia. It’s just that the current situation is *personally* unpleasant to me; others might be quite content with it. Unfortunately, at the age of 53, the situation has pretty much turned me back to being 15 again. (And I HATED being a teenager!)

    Forgot to say that his SN in Virgo is conjunct my Pluto and my SN in Aquarius is conjunct his Moon and Venus IN ADDITION to the Saturn themed provisions..

  11. My South Node square His South Node

    **My Mars conjunct His South Node
    **My South Node conjunct His Mars

    My South Node conjunct His Uranus
    My South Node conjunct His Pluto


    My South Node conjunct Composite Uranus
    My South Node conjunct Composite Pluto

    His South Node square Composite Uranus
    His South Node square Composite Pluto

    Any Comments??

  12. Nadia a thought struck me.

    Ok South Node is past. But north node is future. When there is a square to the South Node there is also a square to the north node. So wont the planet have a future role also in that case?

    JWG says that we are supposed to be checking which of the node is the ‘resolution node’ to decide which node the planet should be linked to.

    What do you think?

  13. With one person’s South Node conjoining the other’s Pluto, would the Pluto person’s South Node conjoining the other’s Ascendant intensify the Pluto difficulties? A sense of familiarity ( “here we are again”) pulling them even more deeply into a compulsive web?

  14. As always, a fine article, Nadia! Your article discusses the net relationship result of difficult composite, nodal-planetary aspects. I believe this same composite between two individuals also creates a karmic situation for each person, separately. There is something painful, irritating, frightening, etc, that creates an opportunity for each person to personally experience and evaluate. The relationship (or lack of) creates a charged effect that tends to penetrate into one’s subconscious, subliminally dredging feelings to the surface for recognition and emotional processing. The actual cause of the discomfort may not be recognized, but the feelings are there as surrogate markers for the two individuals to separately acknowledge and apply contemporary action toward a karmic resolution. It may be possible for one or both to derive a positive karmic outcome through their level of emotional consolidation, without any continued interaction with the other person beyond the initial phase.

  15. @marion
    a planet squaring the Nodes is an issue that blocks you from moving beyond the SN to the NN. The issue represented by the planet must be resolved before progress can be made.

  16. @Mel
    Pluto/SN and SN/AC means a strong, past life connection. So yes, difficult to move forward from because the AC person’s identity is enmeshed in the past life relationship.

  17. @mike
    Exactly. Sometimes it’s more about what one person triggers in the other, rather than pursuing the relationship to the bitter end. Unfortunately, for many people it’s difficult to disengage after that initial trigger.

  18. Thanks Nadia. One last question. What are the general interpretations when nodal axes themselves are squared in synastry.

  19. @marion
    If you search in the archives on this site you’ll find an article entitled “What Happens When You Meet Your Skipped Step” that should answer your question.

  20. Very interesting read, thanks Nadia. Saturn connections interest me, I have situation with a guy I met six mounts a go. He’s a lot younger than me, helps me with my physical therapy. He was instantly drawn to me and although I find him fun and interesting I don’t see myself with him, he’s just a friend. It’s like he chose me for no reason at all, before he knew me, and he’s ready for some serious commitment. His natal Saturn in Capricorn opp. our composite south node in Cancer, and my MC conjuncts his natal south node. Seems like there was some big commitment between us in previous life.

  21. I think that it is great that you remind us to stop obsessing and wasting time over people who we are drawn to in a romantic way but hurt us or don’t come through. My yoga teacher would always remind us that if you put your hand in the fire and it burns you should take it out and not to get stuck in the idea of it being karma.he would also remind us not to activate anyone’s karma, but to try and soften our own. But many of my most painful and trying relationships are with family and life-long friends. I wonder what you think about those. It can be very difficult to keep appropriate boundaries with these people.

  22. @Ema
    His Saturn on the Composite North Node suggests he feels a commitment to the relationship’s future, as well. But (depending on his chart) he may also apply limits to the future of the relationship.

  23. @Jane
    family relationships are a different issue altogether. They are certainly karmic, but you don’t get to “choose” your family members (while you can choose your romantic partners to a certain extent). With family, the choices come down to (as you said) boundaries. Although in extreme cases, you can choose to walk away from a family member.

  24. What a great article! For yeas I’ve looked for information on this very subject. My last relationship had HIS natal Pluto, Libra 26°36 EXACTLY square my natal North Node, Cancer 26°36. A few astrologers commented about the precision of the aspect but never offered advice on it.

    As if this wasn’t enough, my 7°00 Cancer Moon was conjunct his 7°48 Cancer North Node!!! Apparently we each owed the other – just can’t figure out who owed whom more. The relationship was insanely intense (for good and ill), lived together 3 plus years and lingered a slow demise for another 18 months.

    I still think of him, even dream about him some times, though I know the connection is not going to be what either of us hoped for.

  25. Nadia, thanks for further explanation.
    He is Leo Sun, Scorpio AC and Moon. And I’m Pisces Sun, with Scorpio AC and Moon. His AC and moon are in my 12th house, and mine are in his first. There is karma there for sure, but he feels it more than me…

  26. Thank you for this post. Most enlightening and have answered an on-going dilemma which ive been searching for answers to for the past 3-4 years, he has just left to southern shores and once told in a past life he left for war, hence the feeling of abandonment coming up again.. I just knew it had to do with past life/ karmic matters and have researched without luck until somehow browsing and coming across this article, with also knowing a little about the south node astrology.. Makes so much sense now! Thanks for sharing, complete light bulb moment and healing in process! Thank you – Truly amazing, would love to get a full chart reading from you.

  27. I so agree with this …the “KARMA” trap!! get away!! runnnn!!

    sadly you can’t get away UNTIL you finish off what you need to do. If you survive this karma relationship and MOVE ON….it’s over and done and WHEW!! if you survive, it has to be an 8th house thing.

Feel free to leave a comment below, or scroll down a bit to comment using your Facebook identity. If you want to avoid having to enter your name and email every time you post, create an account. If you already have an account, login and you will be redirected back to this page.