Prague Astronomical Clock. Image by Nici Keil
Many of us turn to astrology to inform our personal and spiritual development. We seek insight into our internal world, the solutions to our problems, how we can fulfil our potential and our place in the larger scheme of things. And we’re right to do so! Astrology has much to say on all these – and many other – concerns.
When we first begin to explore our own chart we often focus on the Sun sign, Moon sign and perhaps the Ascendant too. Certainly, these three factors can provide significant insight into our inner and outer life and play an important role in how we function in the world. But the most crucial part of our birth chart is none of these. It’s actually the North Node! Because to use our chart as a map for our deeper growth and development we must first establish our developmental orientation. We need to find our own personal ‘north’ to meaningfully apply other information in the chart.
Discovering The Inherent Wisdom of the Moon's Nodes
This is where the moon’s nodes come in and why I love them so much! They cut through all the confusion and double-speak in the human psyche, all the defensive posturing, justifications and excuses. They show us precisely where we need to go – the behaviours we need to adopt, the habits we need to let go, and the priorities we need to nurture – whether we like it or not! And if we don’t like it to begin with, once we follow their guidance for a while we discover its inherent wisdom and the freedom that comes from stepping beyond our comfort zone.
Once you understand your North Node, you’ll never be lost for how to respond to a challenge or crisis. You’ll have at your fingertips knowledge that enables you to make constructive and effective decisions, even when faced with some of life’s biggest obstacles. Intimate knowledge of your North Node (and its partner the South Node) empowers you to develop a more informed perspective on your life and how to keep its energy moving smoothly and productively, even when your back’s up against the wall!
As long as you’re acting in accordance with your nodal path, you’ll always be heading in the right direction no matter how difficult your journey may be. Understanding your North Node is like having a wise friend who knows you intimately, knows exactly what you need and always wants the best for you no matter what. And who doesn’t want a friend like that?!
What Exactly Are The Moon’s Nodes?
The moon has two nodes – north and south. The nodes of the moon occur at the points where the path of the moon crosses the ecliptic, which is the apparent path of the sun as viewed subjectively from planet earth. Please refer to the illustration at the left of this paragraph to see the symbols used to designate the two nodes in a birth chart.
In many birth charts only the position of the North Node is recorded. The South Node lies exactly opposite, so its presence is implied rather than explicitly represented. When we consider the North Node, however, we must always remember the South Node at the opposite point of the zodiac.
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What’s The Astrological Significance Of The Moon’s Nodes?
The Moon’s nodes reveal the path to fulfilment of our potential, whatever that potential may be. They show the things we need to do and the qualities we need to develop to build the foundation for our personal and spiritual blossoming.
As such, they indicate where we’ve come from (South Node) and where we need to go (North Node) in life, the qualities we need to develop (north) and the habits we need to let go (south). The South Node also reveals the qualities, talents and behaviours we were born with and which come easily to us, while the North Node shows the new ways we can put them to use in our life.
The North Node generally receives more attention than the South Node, but they’re actually of equal importance. They work as a team and the significance of one can’t be truly appreciated without consideration of the other. So let’s begin by looking at the South Node, where our nodal journey begins…..
The South Node
This is where we feel at home with certain behaviours, habits and environments. It represents the talents and abilities we can call upon without having to work at them. We can express the South Node easily, often unconsciously. Here we find our default setting: those behaviours and attitudes that we adopt automatically.
We lack objectivity at the South Node and rarely question its orientation. We can make a lot of assumptions about the issues indicated at the South Node and frequently have to adjust our views as we mature and encounter other ways of living life!
This node reveals both our most ingrained habits that need to change for us to progress, and our most natural talents and skills. In past-life astrology, the South Node reflects the influence of past incarnations and foundational karmic energies underpinning this one.
The North Node
Here is our goal! This is the point to aim for as we progress through life. We need to develop the qualities indicated by this node to fulfil our purpose and potential. This is the ‘new me’ that emerges as we grow and mature. In karmic terms, the North Node is where we create the most powerful karma which will shape our experience in both this life and others.
A fulfilled North Node establishes positive karmic outcomes in due course. A neglected or unfulfilled one necessitates that we deal with the deficit in our experience at some point – in this life or elsewhere – whether we like it or not!
The North Node has traditionally been linked with destiny. It sometimes reflects a particular outcome, defining moment or quality in someone’s life, such as a moment of fame, a particular achievement or even a certain level of notoriety! In this sense the nodal path raises questions as to the nature of ‘positive development’.
For example, if our North Node conjunction with Mercury and Neptune expresses itself as notoriety gained for deceptive activities, is that necessarily a ‘bad thing’? Or are we simply fulfilling our potential at that time and in doing so encountering the lessons that will eventually help us know ourselves better and make different choices? In any event, embodying the qualities of our North Node is a key task in life, so the more fully we understand its message the better!
How Can We Best Work With The Nodes In Our Own Birth Chart?
Whilst the South Node indicates habits and tendencies that we need to let go, it also points to abilities and strengths that come naturally to us. They could be specific talents, behaviours or personality traits. The key to fulfilling the potential of our nodal axis is found in utilising our South Node abilities to further our North Node goals. When we can do this we’re living with a sense of purpose, in a balanced way.
In effect, the North Node reveals the journey we must undertake while the South Node provides supplies for that journey. But it takes practice to do this! It’s far easier to lapse into a negative or lazy expression of our South Node – remaining stuck in old patterns of thought and behaviour – than it is to manifest its positive side which enables us to embrace and express the features of our North Node.
Because the South Node feels so familiar we can wrongly assume that it holds the key to our satisfaction and success. In this respect the old adage that we should ‘do what comes naturally’ to live a satisfying life is not necessarily born out astrologically!
We may feel that we don’t need to develop new habits, talents and ways of being (North Node qualities) because we’ve already got this thing that we’re good at and which comes easily to us (South Node qualities). We’re a natural, we may find people like it and we get positive attention for it too.
In actuality, however, investing too much energy in our South Node abilities could well be holding us back if we don’t balance them with development of our North Node qualities. The key is to use our natural South Node strengths to propel us toward the North Node and leave our bad South Node habits behind!
In any event, manifesting the fruits of our North Node can be a lifetime’s journey, and a deeply rewarding one. As we gradually embrace and embody our North Node qualities, priorities and gifts, life becomes increasingly fulfilling and significantly more rewarding!
Pursuing Our Nodal Path
Pursuing our nodal path can often feel counter-intuitive. This can be especially so if we have no planets in the sign of our North Node, making its qualities feel very alien to us. We may wonder how we can possibly develop them and why would we want to?!
The North Node challenges us to do the opposite of what comes naturally, and to have faith that in doing so we’ll discover how to live our life in a new way that actually reveals a world of fresh possibility. In effect, our North Node asks us to become someone other than who we believe ourselves to be. So we must suspend disbelief when working with our nodes and act on faith, trusting that if our North Node tells us to develop these qualities in this area of our life, it does so for a reason. This takes courage and fortitude, plus a willingness to be new-born again: discovering life from scratch, adopting a new perspective and acting on fresh information.
Once we’ve heeded its wisdom and committed to meeting the challenges of our nodal path with a positive ‘can do’ attitude, the fulfilment and satisfaction that comes with the expression of our North Node energies is always well worth the effort!
If you find yourself struggling to connect with your North Node, consider ways you can bring its energy into your everyday life. For example, if it’s in an earth sign, can you spend more time in nature? If it’s in an air sign, can you study something that will stimulate your mind and get you thinking differently about life? If it’s in Pisces, can you join a meditation class? If it’s in Leo, how about some amateur dramatics?
Research the sign of your North Node and identify things you can do to help you more deeply connect with its core energy. Remember, it may not feel natural at first, but once you start to embody the energy of your North Node your life will take on a very different and more fulfilling hue.
Below are some pointers to help you orient yourself according to your own North and South Nodes. If you don’t know what zodiac sign your North Node is in, you can find out here (most people will be able to use this tool even if you don’t know your time of birth). This link will open in a new window. Once you’ve discovered the sign of your North Node, be sure to return here to find out what it means for you below!
Discover the Nature of Your North Node
North Node in Aries
‘My most important relationship is with myself’
When our North Node is in Aries our South Node is in Libra. With this nodal axis we’re comfortable in relationship and tend to feel insecure if we’re not emotionally enmeshed with other people. Our natural default tendency is to mediate and compromise to keep people happy. We don’t want to rock the boat. We want to be accepted and enjoy harmonious relationships. It may be difficult to know who we really are and what we truly want in life, looking to other people to define us. We may be diplomatic, conciliatory and considerate in our demeanour towards other people which can make us a popular person to have around, but these qualities will end up holding us back from protecting and pursuing our own interests! As a result, our life can become a reflection of other people’s needs and priorities as we struggle to carve out an authentic niche for ourself.
The North Node in Aries needs us to embrace independence, self-definition and self-determination, learning to stand apart from others and forge our own path. We must further our growth into authenticity by making clear statements about what we want and how we feel, followed by assertive action to fulfil our desires and meet our goals. And then we must be prepared to accept the consequences of doing so, rather than forever compromising to keep everybody happy!
This path is one of moving from dependence upon others toward independent self-determination, whilst still cultivating and valuing those relationships which afford us the freedom to be who we are. We may indeed experience some rejection in the process, as people who are used to us meeting their needs resist us prioritising our own! But this is all part of the process of individuation which eventually enables us to both foster the healthy relationships enjoyed by our South Node and strike out alone to create the life we desire.
As we develop the qualities of our North Node we discover a more courageous spirit than we thought we had. The excitement of taking up the reins of our life and steering it in the direction we desire can be quite exhilarating at times! Yes, it can be scary too, and we may long for the safety and security of support from other people, but the more we can stand our ground, forge our own path and allow others to do the same, the stronger and wiser we’ll be! The South Node in Libra can encourage a victim-mentality, causing us to manifest conditions in which other people have control over our life. The North Node in Aries reminds us we are sovereign in our own life and it’s up to us to create the present and future that we desire, no excuses!
North Node in Taurus
‘Rooted in the vibrant present I don’t need drama to feel alive”
When our North Node is in Taurus our South Node is in Scorpio. With this nodal axis we’re familiar with the sometimes overwhelming power of emotion and passion. We feel deeply and intensely. We may even (often unconsciously) create situations in which we experience powerful emotions and chaotic feelings, purely for the familiarity and sense of meaning we experience in such circumstances. We have a natural tendency to analyse and deconstruct life to better understand its complexities, thinking and feeling deeply about many things. We dive beneath the surface of experience and take nothing at face value. This can make us intense and even obsessional as we’re driven to plumb the depths of what it means to be human.
However, with the North Node in Taurus we must cultivate inner stability and outer reliability. As such, it can be very useful to develop routines that help stabilise our emotions and behaviours, committing to daily tasks and practices no matter what or how we’re feeling at the time. We can best use our analytical acumen in a balanced and focused way to discern how to live a productive life, rather than favouring intensity and the seduction of emotional drama!
With this nodal axis we need to accept more and analyse less. This will feel shallow at first, as if we’re simply skimming the surface without honouring life’s complexities. In fact what we’re really doing is grounding our ability to look and feel deeply so we can use it with conscious intent when necessary, without becoming distracted by our intense emotionality at every turn.
With the North Node in Taurus we must develop patience for the natural order of life and the process of creation. We can no longer generate chaos to move us onto our next stage of life or to fill a gap where nothing much seems to be happening. We must learn to build firm foundations to create new structures in our life that support lasting, positive change. Rather than identifying with intense emotion we must learn to value stability, common sense, commitment and patience so we can follow through on our intentions with the necessary action. Passion is fine. But passion that disrupts our life and holds us back needs to be tamed! Whilst our South Node in Scorpio gives us emotional resilience when we face the inevitable challenges on life’s path, our North Node in Taurus provides the practical backbone which helps us create a stable, secure and productive life for ourselves.
North Node in Gemini
‘The next adventure is right under my nose!’
When our North Node is in Gemini our South Node is in Sagittarius. With this nodal axis we naturally appreciate the ‘bigger picture’ of life, tending towards expansive thought rather than dealing in everyday mundanities. This may manifest as a tendency to philosophise or an interest in spiritual or religious practices which pursue the fulfilment of human potential. We may be politically active, or simply have a lot of opinions and notions about ourself, life, other people and everything else, which we like to preach about to others! We also enjoy learning with this nodal axis and may find formal and informal education very seductive. Some people with their North Node in Gemini will have a string of degrees to their name!
Foreign travel may also hold a particular interest for us as we love to expand our mind by experiencing different cultures and perspectives. We want to connect everything and find a way to understand it all. We’re a free spirit who likes to wander physically, emotionally and mentally. We don’t want to be tied down and constricted, preferring risky and exciting activities to managing everyday commitments. The ‘daily grind’ may feel soulless and uninspiring. We want space to be spontaneous and to learn from experience as we go.
However, with the North Node in Gemini our task is to actively engage with our immediate environment, rather than dismissing it in favour of a more distant and exciting one. We may see ourselves as very adventurous and openminded – seeking knowledge far and wide – but this can increasingly become a mechanism to avoid facing ourselves in the apparent mundane circumstances of everyday life. We must therefore learn to accommodate and value these different registers of experience, rather than favouring one over another. Whilst we desire the freedom to be spontaneous and travel far and free – physically or metaphorically – with the North Node in Gemini we have a role to play in our immediate environment and must engage with events happening right now, not in some far-flung place in the future.
This may feel uninspiring and inane at first. Why volunteer for a boring local charity when we could trek through the Amazon and save the rainforest? Why waste time getting to know our neighbours when there’s a whole wide world out there full of far more interesting folk?! Why engage in meaningless chit-chat at the bus stop when we could be learning new languages to communicate with people all over the world? But through engaging with our immediate environment and local community we develop the flexibility to appreciate and respond to the many different facets of daily life. In connecting with ‘ordinary’ people, we may just discover a whole new adventure right under our nose! Life becomes stimulating in ways we never anticipated, as our quest for knowledge and experience finds satisfaction in the twists and turns of everyday life and the many relationships we find there.
The Sagittarius South Node thinks, ‘when I’m doing this, then I’ll be free’. The North Node in Gemini counters with the question, ‘but what about now?’. With this nodal axis we must actively engage with what’s happening right here, right now. That’s where the real-life experience is, no matter how mundane it appears. And in embracing the present moment we might just discover all manner of hidden gems within it! For all our desire for the next adventure, we’re only ever truly alive in the present, vibrantly engaged with whatever and whoever we discover there.
North Node in Cancer
‘As I nurture others, I strengthen myself’
When our North Node is in Cancer our South Node is in Capricorn. With this nodal axis we’ll naturally adopt a practical, pragmatic approach to life. We’ll be attuned to and seek value in the material world. Independence will come easily, along with the tendency to assume everyone should just get on with life (‘I can look after myself, why can’t you?!’). As such we need to develop a more conscious and deeper relationship with our own emotional life, because the South Node in Capricorn can be dismissive of emotional sensitivity. We will tend to assess worth and value in material terms and may be ambitious as a result, pushing hard to achieve our goals and recognition for our skills and abilities. In doing so we risk overlooking the importance of gentleness and kindness towards others and the blessing of intimacy with loved ones.
As we journey towards the North Node in Cancer we must allow ourselves to develop sentimental ties to other people and emotional attachments to the beliefs and attitudes which are meaningful to us. In doing so we’ll be drawn to align ourselves with those who share our world view, in a mutually supportive alliance. This will challenge our belief that we must simply stand on our own two feet and get on with things! There’s a need to create a sense of family and community around us, to recognize that we need other people, they need us, and none of this is a weakness! The challenge on this nodal path is to embrace our need for others whilst balancing self-determination with vulnerability, and pragmatism with intuition.
Family is a very important aspect of our life when born with this nodal axis. Parenthood will be a rich and fruitful experience, and for many people it will be in parenting their own children that they fully embrace the challenges of this North Node. We may also find that our own parents typify the conflict between pragmatism and emotional sensitivity, each embodying opposite ends of this continuum, for example. We may struggle to gain parental recognition through achievements, only to eventually learn that we must be gentler with ourself and develop a kinder ‘inner parent’ who oversees our life, regardless of how our actual parents treated us. In this way we begin to discover the emotional riches received through nurturing ourself and others, and the blessings of emotional intimacy received when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable in relationship. Whilst this prospect may seem both scary and unnecessarily sentimental in equal measure, we must take the risk in order to discover a whole new side to ourself waiting to be expressed.
North Node in Leo
‘A healthy ego is my lifelong friend’
When our North Node is in Leo our South Node will be in Aquarius. With this nodal axis we may be quite unusual or quirky in some way. We’re comfortable with our uniqueness and don’t feel the need to conform to a tacit ‘norm’. We’re happy to embrace unusual ideas and ‘go it alone’ in our views. Being true to our own values is more important than being popular with others. We tend to think about life rather than feel it. We want to understand things and resort to rationality and detachment when feeling threatened or vulnerable. We’re not given to displays of emotion, nor are we accustomed to relying on our feelings. Indeed, our connection to our feelings might be quite tenuous. We may be so detached that it’s difficult for us to identify how we feel about some things. We have an egalitarian outlook, valuing equality and mutual respect, but beneath that we may secretly feel superior in our forward-thinking views and independent thought! We identify with those things that make us different from the norm but may feel strangely uncomfortable with any recognition or attention because of them.
However, on this nodal axis our task is to embrace attention and enjoy recognition for who we are and our contribution to the lives of others. This can feel uncomfortable, even arrogant, at first. But as we allow ourselves to stand out from the crowd, we can connect with and learn to act upon creative inspiration, rather than living our life solely by an intellectual rationale born of our core values. At one level we need to become the very thing we fear: a sometimes irrational, often passionate and self-valuing individual, deserving of and comfortable with attention. The subtle arrogance of the South Node in Aquarius’s ‘I’m different to others therefore I’ll stand apart from them’ is exposed as a fear of being unable to fit in and a defence against rejection. With our North Node in Leo we must step into our selfhood and claim our space in the world whether we fit in or not, engaging with other people and even being prepared to adopt a leadership position if necessary. We must get comfortable with attention and all that comes with it: judgement, acclaim, rejection, adoration. All of it!
The core task with this nodal axis is to recognize and accept the ego so we can develop it in a healthy and balanced way. We must understand there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with individual recognition as long as it’s not at the cost of other people, rendering them worthless or invisible. We have to stand up and be counted as an individual and allow others to do the same. Eventually we must accept that we enjoy being the centre of attention and a core part of our cherished uniqueness is personal magnetism that will draw others towards us. People may even want to openly acknowledge and affirm our value to them! This might make us squirm at times because it can feel self-aggrandising, but the North Node in Leo insists we embrace our significance and shine brightly within it, allowing others to benefit from it too.
North Node in Virgo
‘My truth is found in the details’
When our North Node is in Virgo our South Node is in Pisces. With this nodal axis we’re naturally sensitive and emotional. We pick up on atmospheres and are easily influenced by prevalent conditions. Our natural tendency is to accommodate and accept other people, rather than taking a stand when necessary. This inclination may arise from a misguided assumption that it’s the compassionate thing to do, when in truth we’re really trying to avoid the discomfort involved in addressing problematic behaviour because we feel very deeply the stress of conflict and disagreement.
We may favour a spiritual view on life and prefer to overlook the dense materiality of the human realm. Meditation and other contemplative spiritual practices are popular with this South Node, as can be the use of alcohol, drugs or food to take the edge off the sharp corners of life. With this nodal axis we struggle to define ourselves and may lack a sense of boundaries, making it difficult to assert our own perspective or say ‘no’ to other people. We prefer to avoid rather than confront and to space-out rather than deal with practicalities.
In essence, we lack a clear sense of self, which leaves us confused about our personal values, goals and aspirations. We relate only vaguely to life, as if we’re half here, but half not. We seek to transcend the self rather than cultivate ego-strength because we don’t want to risk being somebody and failing at it. As a result, we lack the focus needed to make things happen. We neglect details and fail to give facts their due worth. We don’t apply ourselves to gathering the information necessary to produce outcomes or manifest change. Our attention can be so diffuse that we overlook facts crucial to our progress and fail to learn how we influence the unfolding of our own life experience.
Against this backdrop, the North Node in Virgo requires us to develop an appreciation of the minutiae that make up a whole: be it a person, a set of circumstances or a goal. We must learn to apply careful attention to ourselves and other people, to discern how best to respond to life’s unfolding. The North Node in Virgo teaches that we’re not victims of life but its creators. We must attend to facts and appreciate details, progressing step by step as we take account of all the available information, rather than seeking the quickest way to space-out and avoid the responsibility of shaping our own life. On this nodal axis we need to develop a sense of ownership in terms of how we create and interact with our environment, recognising ourselves as the authors of our own fate. In doing so we begin to appreciate the nuances of the creative process: that it takes time, knowledge and effort. With the North Node in Virgo we must apply focused attention to define ourselves and create desired outcomes.
As we become increasingly comfortable with this more pragmatic and considered way of being, we can apply the intuitive knowing of our South Node in Pisces to help us discern which details are relevant and which can be disregarded. This helps us avoid information overwhelm and keeps our intuitive and cognitive faculties in a state of creative balance.
North Node in Libra
‘What I do for others I do for myself’
When our North Node is in Libra our South Node is in Aries. With this nodal axis we’re comfortable going it alone and protecting our own interests. Compromise doesn’t come easily and we tend to see life very much from our own subjective perspective, with our primary consideration being how something can benefit us. If it doesn’t, we’re not interested! We may jump into things without considering the longer term ramifications, be comfortable with spontaneity and adopt a fiery approach to life, with a quick temper and rapid perceptions. We seek inspiration through excitement and may find it difficult to see things through to their natural conclusion, preferring to look for a new experience to stimulate us rather than committing to the long haul. South Node in Aries can be very impatient!
In moving toward the North Node in Libra we must develop greater patience and understanding of other people, learning to value relationships and honour the effort and compromise required for them to be successful. We must consciously apply ourselves to getting on with others in a mutually beneficial way and to recognise the value of doing so for all concerned, including ourselves. In this way we can honour the South Node need to protect our own interests, while acknowledging that this can be done in part by meeting the needs of others and protecting their interests as well. North Node in Libra teaches us that what we do for others we do also for ourselves, so creating win-win situations is better all around!
The South Node in Aries wants quick results and often loses patience if they’re not forthcoming. Because relationships take time to develop, trust must be earned and other people may have an agenda different to our own, this south node may cause us to give up on relationships before they’ve begun. So we need to develop humility and patience to allow love and mutual caring to develop over time. Even (and especially!) if it means sacrificing something that looks more enticing and exciting, to allow space for that love to grow.
Whilst we can use our robust south node in Aries to assert ourselves when necessary and take a stand when a relationship threatens to unfairly curtail our personal freedom, our North Node in Libra invites us to first take a step back and reflect on the consequences of doing so and the importance of cultivating friends and allies in the maelstrom of life.
North Node in Scorpio
‘When I dig deep, I rise strong’
When our North Node is in Scorpio our South Node is in Taurus. With this nodal axis we identify strongly with the material world, looking to it for our safety and security. The pursuit of material and financial certainty will be important to us and we appreciate being surrounded by possessions that make us feel good. We may fear change and seek to preserve the status quo in our life, avoiding risks and spontaneity. We simply want to know we’re secure and that what we desire is available to us. Once we feel comfortable in our life circumstances we’ll be disinclined to do anything that may risk that sense of safety and security. This may cause us to fall into a rut of familiarity that becomes harder to escape the older we get.
The South Node in Taurus is very resistant to change at all levels. This can be change in terms of circumstance or change in terms of seeing things differently. Once an opinion has been formed, it will take a lot to shift it. We feel certain our perspective is entirely accurate and changing it is simply not on the agenda!
But our North Node in Scorpio needs us to dig far deeper! We must penetrate the surface and consider the more complex dynamics of our situation. What’s our real motivation in wanting to maintain the status quo? What are we afraid of and why? How do we feel when the prospect of losing control of our circumstances rears its ugly head? As we explore our deeper motivations we develop greater analytical skill to better understand ourselves and other people. And as we develop a greater appreciation of the paradoxical complexities of human nature we reap the rewards of self-awareness and understanding, enriching our path of personal and spiritual development. The South Node in Taurus’s instinctive fear of the destabilising power of emotion thereby transforms into a profound understanding of the human psyche and the transformative power of embracing our emotionality.
Ultimately, on this nodal axis we must learn to appreciate our own inner riches and our inherent value as a living being, rather than focusing too intensely on material gain and security. North Node in Scorpio teaches that true and lasting value always lies within and that emotions when embraced hold great gifts of wisdom for us. When applied in our life, this wisdom creates a deeper and more reliable stability to satisfy our South Node in Taurus’s desire for security.
North Node in Sagittarius
‘Commitment leads me to my truth’
When our North Node is in Sagittarius our South Node is in Gemini. With this nodal axis we feel comfortable with change and are happy to do a bit of this and a bit of that without engaging too deeply with anything or anyone. We appreciate diversity and variety in our daily life, rarely focusing too long on any one place, person or activity because there’s always plenty else to distract us! We may be something of a social butterfly with lots of acquaintances but few close friends. Whilst we enjoy connecting with others, many of our interactions are fairly superficial which suits us just fine as it makes it easier to extricate oneself and move on to the next thing when necessary!
With this South Node we tend not to apply ourselves to life in a very focused way and our attention span may be short with a low boredom threshold. We may have many interests without fully committing to the pursuit of any one thing, making us a ‘Jack of all trades’. We avoid being tied down to specific commitments and prefer to keep our options as open as possible in many areas of our life.
To embrace our North Node in Sagittarius we must be prepared to choose something that interests us and commit to pursuing and developing it. It may be a hobby that becomes a course of study and then a career. Or it could be a relationship, a certain lifestyle or a religious or spiritual practice. This nodal axis requires us to invest attention in specific things even though doing so means we must relinquish much of the variety that we naturally seek. In the longer term, our efforts will pay off in the form of a fuller and more satisfying life. We can become an expert in our field, a committed partner, a devoted spiritual practitioner. Rather than having a toolkit full of tools and never being able to find the one we need when we need it – and when we do we’re not really sure how it works!- we must get rid of most of them and learn how to use the few we retain, so we can put them to good use.
The North Node in Sagittarius teaches us that how we behave in one area of our life impacts all of it. If we avoid meaningful engagement in one area, our whole life is impoverished by this withholding of energy. On this nodal axis we need to clarify our goals and aspirations and then commit to them boldly, refusing to be distracted by every passing thing!
Mastery of the mind is very important. The South Node in Gemini can incline us towards anxiety and obsessive thinking: going over and over things in our mind but to no productive end! In this case we must develop the optimism of Sagittarius which always has faith that things will work out in the end. Developing this mental resilience is a key task on our journey to the Sagittarius North Node. We must also define our personal moral code and commit to living according to our core values. Some people with the North Node in Sagittarius consequently find their niche in the field of politics or religion. But it can be a less formal process of identifying and then living up to our own standards, thereby affording life greater meaning.
As we become clearer about what has true meaning for us we can better identify where we’re going, how we want to get there and the qualities we want to embody on the path. In effect we create something of substance out of a diffuse consciousness that never rests long enough on anything to know it properly. This, in turn, increases our self-confidence and willingness to take risks and push ourselves out of our comfort zone when necessary. For this reason, foreign travel and engagement with different cultures can be especially enlightening on this nodal path.
North Node in Capricorn
‘Pragmatic independence enhances my relationships’
When our North Node is in Capricorn, our South Node is in Cancer. With this nodal axis we feel most comfortable within family (biological or otherwise) or at the heart of a close-knit community environment where we can take care of people. We enjoy nurturing others, ensuring their needs for safety, security and comfort are met. Bonding over a common interest gives meaning to our relationships and we appreciate a sense of shared history. Making memories together is important. We enjoy the feeling of belonging to a close-knit group held together by mutual trust. We may feel there’s safety in numbers and will want to protect ourselves and our loved ones from those we perceive to be ‘outsiders’. Although initially wary of unknown people, once they’ve earned our trust we’ll embrace them wholeheartedly and seek to protect and care for them as we do all our loved ones.
With such a strong emphasis on belonging, we may feel uncomfortable at the notion of stepping out from our group and becoming independent. But this nodal path calls on us to develop greater self-confidence, self-sufficiency and independence, so that our endeavours are not circumscribed by our connection to the people around us. This doesn’t mean we have to turn our back on everyone, but we do need to recognise the importance of cultivating inner security, to balance the external security found in a sense of family. We can then provide practical support to others without becoming lost in co-dependency or fear-based attachments.
The South Node in Cancer tells us we need others around us to feel that we’re safe. The North Node in Capricorn tells us true security only ever comes from within. Once we’ve cultivated it for ourselves, we can empower others to develop the same self-confidence and independence. Ultimately this enhances the cohesion of a social group because we can all look after ourselves and each other, as necessary.
The South Node in Cancer is sensitive and emotional, even moody at times. Our feelings can easily be hurt and we may tend to avoid conflict by skirting around an issue or simply withdrawing into silence rather than arguing. As we move toward the North Node in Capricorn we must develop a more pragmatic response to life and resist the temptation to retreat to safety in the face of challenge. In doing so we develop a stronger armour that enables us to keep moving forward, standing up to the blows of life and turning them into learning and wisdom. We learn how to protect our sensitive emotionality and interact with our environment from a practical and results-oriented perspective, forming clear goals and outcomes in our mind which we can work towards steadily, step by step. At this point, nothing can knock us off track!
On this nodal axis we must release identification with emotional sensitivity and our need for mutual protection. In its place we must cultivate inner strength and an abiding capacity for self-determination, which places us fully and effectively in charge of our own life.
North Node in Aquarius
‘We’re all as uniquely worthy as each other’
When our North Node is in Aquarius our South Node is in Leo. With this nodal axis we feel comfortable being the centre of attention. We need acknowledgement from others and are quite happy to engage in activities that secure it! We’ll take a very subjective view on life, which may impair our ability to empathise with different perspectives. We may even overlook the fact that others also need and deserve acknowledgement and appreciation, so busy are we seeking the limelight for ourselves!
The South Node in Leo loves an audience and genuinely wants to share its gifts with others. This is a confident and self-expressive South Node with the capacity to entertain and generously bestow great warmth and love on other people. But there may be a conditionality to relationships and if the desired acknowledgement and adoration isn’t forthcoming there can be a strong inclination to seek it elsewhere!
To embrace the North Node in Aquarius we must relinquish this self-focused perspective to recognise the unique individuality of every person. In essence, we need to perceive everyone as equally worthy of respect and attention, even when their perspective is very different from our own. The North Node in Aquarius requires us to take an interest in people, to open our mind to new perspectives and be prepared give up the limelight in favour of a richer relational experience with others. The passion and inspiration that comes easily with a Leo South Node is then balanced with the cooler and more detached, but also more open and inquisitive, attitude of Aquarius. As we embody our North Node we begin to ask deeper and more incisive questions about humanity and recognise that it’s not all about us and how we can gain attention from other people. Instead our orientation shifts to how we can use our confident and generous heart to contribute to the collective in a positive way.
To do this we must cultivate an authentic sense of self, rooted in our core values, even if this means risking rejection from people who don’t like who we’ve become. On this nodal path, authenticity and integrity are extremely important. As we cultivate our unique and authentic sense of self, we begin to know ourselves and everyone else as a part of the collective, neither more nor less important than it. We recognise our unity with all beings at this level and discover the freedom that comes with equality and shared, mutual respect for everybody’s unique individuality. This enables us to apply the confident leadership skills inherent in a Leo South Node to good use in the wider social sphere and for the benefit of the whole rather than solely for self-aggrandisement.
North Node in Pisces
‘Life’s innate wisdom will carry me through’
When our North Node is in Pisces our South Node is in Virgo. With this nodal axis we want to stay in control of things. We dissect and analyse everything because lack of understanding causes us stress. Often motivated by anxiety that rears its head when we feel we’re losing our grip on the course of our life, precision is important to us and we may strive hard for a perfection that nonetheless eludes us! We appreciate material facts rather than the more paradoxical and contradictory aspects of human nature and decision-making can become a tedious task of fact-finding and research which delays the actual moment of choice and action. It’s easy to get lost in detail with the South Node in Virgo. We may feel we never quite know enough to make the perfect decision and tend towards self-criticism and hypersensitivity to our faults and flaws, as well as those of others!
With this nodal axis we must develop the capacity to trust our intuition more and rely on hard facts and details less. We need to allow life to unfold without our interference, accepting that we can’t control every aspect of our existence and experience. Some things simply happen and we’re subject to all manner of forces beyond our influence. On this nodal path we must develop trust in the bigger picture and the creative flow of life, embracing the fact that there are more things in this universe than we can possibly be aware of with our conscious, rational mind. And they all impact us in some way.
The nodal path from Virgo to Pisces requires an expansion of our focus from the minutiae to a much broader perspective that encompasses many different levels of information, experience and insight. Many of these can’t be satisfactorily rationalised and can only be experienced via intuition, feelings, sensations and emotions. Our Virgo South Node will at first be uncomfortable entertaining such notions, but we must do so in order to thrive. This is a path from rationalisation to faith and from intellectual knowledge to instinctive intuition. As we develop our intuitive faculties and greater faith that life will hold us safely in its hands without our having to be in control 24/7, we can better use the analytical and rational capacities of our South Node balanced with an ability to let go of the mental noise when necessary and offer ourselves up to the greater wisdom of life itself.
Many people born on this nodal axis find regular meditation practice helpful to quiet the mind and cultivate a more direct relationship with their inner wisdom. Others may prefer to spend time in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whilst others find quietness in a creative hobby or a physical activity like running, which allows the thoughts to settle and the heart to speak instead. However we decide to quiet the mind, learning how to do so is key to embracing our Pisces North Node and allowing our South Node wisdom to be expressed intuitively rather than intellectually.
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Reprinted with permission of the author.
About the Author
Sarah Varcas is an intuitive astrologer with a passion for applying planetary messages to the ups and downs of everyday life. In doing so she aims to support people in their personal and spiritual development, making available celestial wisdom which may otherwise be inaccessible for those without astrological expertise. Sarah has studied astrology for over thirty years alongside an eclectic spiritual path spanning Buddhism, contemplative Christianity and many other diverse teachings and practices. She also offers an online (via email) Self-Study Astrology Course. You can find out more about Sarah and her work at www.astro-awakenings.co.uk.