The North & South Nodes of the Moon
Indicators of karma and life purpose

Interpretation of the Moon's North Node by sign and house
 

1998 Terri McCartney, all rights reserved

The Moon's nodes are a very important feature of a Western astrological birth chart because they answer that question we've all asked ourselves: "Why am I here?"  The Moon's nodes, or the lunar nodes as they are also called, are the two points north and south where the orbit of the moon intersects the path of the sun (the ecliptic).  The nodal axis  appears to be related to events or people that have the quality of fatedness (referred to as an axis because the North and South Node are directly opposite to one another).  The North Node is also called the Dragon's Head or Ascending Node and the South Node is sometimes referred to as the Dragon's Tail or Descending Node.  The terms dragon's head and dragon's tail come from mythology.  The ancient people feared eclipses.  They felt that during an eclipse the sun or moon had been seized by an angry dragon and swallowed. The two ends of the angry dragon are symbolized by the north and south nodes of the Moon.

The North Node is related to the soul's intent in this lifetime and the South Node to the soul's past.  Think of the nodes as designating a path.  The South Node is where you come in this lifetime, bringing forward both your strengths and weaknesses from the past. The North Node lies at your feet and is laid out before you.  That is, it represents the path of the present and the future, where you are headed.  The North Node, by its sign and house position, outlines what your soul came here to accomplish this lifetime so that it might grow and evolve.  The North Node represents your soul's intentions and objectives for this lifetime: your path to self-actualization.  When transits or progressions make contact with your North Node, it represents opportunities and lessons that assist you in becoming conscious of needed changes in your life--changes that will bring about growth and evolution.

The South Node is the path behind you.  By its sign and house location the South Node  represents the past, including the skills, tendencies, strengths and habits your soul brings into this lifetime. The South Node indicates the kind of behavior that is instinctive and automatic to you.   It can also represent a place of safe retreat, but that safety can also be your stagnation and it might even represent regression if you retreat there for too long.  The South Node activities and behavior feel safe and secure but offer no new vitality or meaning to your soul's evolving human self. It's the past, it's finished, your work there is finished. Too much activity associated with the South Node results in frustration, discouragement  senselessness and aimlessness. When there are contacts to your South Node by transits or progression, issues/things from the past seem to resurface.  The South Node also tends to relate to "deja vu" situations.

The path of the South Node is a more comfortable path to walk than that of the North Node. This is because it represents all that is familiar to us. Its familiarity explains why sometimes we are tempted to retreat in that comfort and stay too long.  The path of the North Node can feel strange and uncomfortable to us because it represents the unknown, the unfamiliar and the unprecedented.  Yet, the paradox is that our joy is a result of walking that path. Maybe you have heard it said that what we have come here to do is not what comes easiest to us. But it is definitely what will bring us the greatest joy and fulfillment.

It makes perfect sense that it won't be easy when what we've come here to do, become and experience are not anything we've known or experienced before!    Further, it is not easy because our ego fears the unknown.  However, if we are up to the challenge of growing (the growth represented by the North Node) then we will feel fulfilled and joyful.  When we stay too long in retreat at the South Node, we feel a void in our lives and the sense that something is missing.  Therefore, even though the North Node path might scare us and seem to present incomprehensible challenges at times, when we rise up to those challenges, we feel vital and potent.

Astrologically, the nodes represent the major key toward understanding our lives as part of a continual thread.  The North Node pulls you toward the future and the South Node toward the past.  Ideally, we blend the two.  That is, we draw upon  the skills and strengths represented by the South Node while walking the path of the North Node. A good way to view the South Node is as your Achilles Heel.  It is one of the weakest spots in your horoscope because it represents footsteps you've already taken.  It's okay to draw strength from what it represents in your birth chart, but you are not meant to dwell there.

The North Node represents the path we chose to walk this life.  At the very deepest levels of our being, we all feel a sense of purpose and direction.  This is the North Node.  It is that inner sense of purpose that keeps us walking despite all obstacles.  As we take up the challenge and walk the North Node path, we reap benefits and each obstacle becomes a stepping stone to further self-growth and actualization.  The primary challenge of the North Node is to be willing to walk its unbeaten path.  How do we know if we are on that path? You might be frightened but your heart will know the "yes!" Your energy level will soar, you will feel the inner rightness in where you are going.  When you walk the North Node path, the YES is part of your experience.

Following is a table of general information about each nodal placement.  Blend the meaning of the North Node by sign location with that of the house locations. Generally, the house location theme is most prominent.  If you'd like to read more about the North and South Node, I recommend reading Jan Spiller's, Astrology for the Soul.  It's a brilliant book and provides a comprehensive and practical accounting of each of the nodal placements.

Interpretations of the North Node by Sign and House

North Node in Aries 
North Node in 1st  House
Yours is the path of courageous independence and the establishment of your individuation.  This lifetime, too much attention on others affairs, relational dependencies or compromising of self lead to sorrow.  You are experiencing personal power this lifetime, and must not relinquish your individuality and authority to others.
North Node in Taurus 
North Node in 2nd  House
Yours is the path of the builder and your goal is that of abiding inner peace and security that are derived  from valuing the self.  Seeking self-worth "out there" brings sorrow - the completeness you seek can only come from a meaningful relationship with your self and the natural world. The only person you need to prove yourself to is yourself.
North Node in Gemini 
North Node in 3rd House
Yours is the path of information gathering and sharing.  You want to cultivate curiosity and probe the world for more information,  verbally or intellectually.  Learning to really listen to others can be a challenge.  You do not fare well when you follow blindly.  The more experiences you are open to, the better.  Deal squarely with life in the here and now.
North Node in Cancer 
North Node in 4th House
Yours is the path of thoroughly understanding your own motivations, needs and fears and the establishment of roots in the form of home, tribe and attunement to your inner self.  Your focus is on the fulfillment and nourishment of your emotional self.  Engender a sense of belonging and nurture and validate your own as well as the feelings of others.
North Node in Leo 
North Node in 5th House
Your is the path of ego development and creative self-expression.  Seek out the stage of life where you can really shine your light and roar!  Delve deeply into all matters of the heart.  Nurture the playful child within you and others.  Play with life and take risks - look at life as a game.  Cultivate personal dignity and self respect: recognize the specialness of you. 
North Node in Virgo 
North Node in 6th House
Yours is the path of discrimination and attention to details.  Your focus is on practical matters, self-improvement and full development of your gifts.  Duty, devotion, and discipline are important.  Develop your personal skills and be of service to others.  Seek to understand the details and mechanics of things. You have grand visions all you need to do is ground them--make them here and now.
North Node in Libra 
North Node in 7th House
Yours is the path of commitment and partnership.  Identify with others and form equal partnerships. This is not meant to be a strictly  independent lifetime for you - the focus is on interdependency.  Go it alone and you'll feel empty.  Commitment and equality in partnerships is key.  Discover cooperation, affinity and magic in intimate relationships.
North Node in Scorpio 
North Node in 8th House
Yours is the path of regeneration and transformation.  You are learning the power of letting go of your attachments: releasing and eliminating that which is no longer meaningful to you.  You must be willing to risk what you have to reach higher levels of attainment.  Seek that which is deep, real, spiritual, and abiding.  Cultivate passion and self-control.
North Node in Sagittarius 
North Node in 9th House
Your is the path of cultivating faith,  pursuing spiritual understanding and trusting your intuition.  You have a direct line to Spirit - learn to trust that.  When you put logical analysis to work, you get trapped in indecisiveness. If you ignore your intuition and act on logic, you lose.  Seek adventure, liberation, and Higher Understanding.  Cultivate directness in your communication with others.
North Node in Capricorn 
North Node in 10th House
Yours is the path of cultivating a meaningful career and to direct your energies toward society.  Do you feel a sense of purpose and destiny?  This is because you are meant to cultivate your professional ambitions. You are forging a path toward a broader base of influence.  Become an authority in your chosen field. Stand strong in your personal integrity.
North Node in Aquarius 
North Node in 11th House
Yours is the path of cultivating friendships and group associations that support your dreams and aspirations.  Do not seek the approval of others - risk disapproval and be willing to speak out and share your own unconventional visions. Commit to working for the good of the whole.  Assist others in realizing and celebrating their authentic self. Cultivate a plan, have a specific goal and direction for your life.  Nurture your humanitarian impulses.
North Node in Pisces 
North Node in 12th House
Yours is the path of ego-transcendence.  You  are experiencing consciousness itself - the mind/ego observing the world.  You are letting go of the contents of consciousness - the worries, preoccupations and noise that distract the mind.  Cultivate your dreams and imagination.  Your inner world is as real and solid as the outer world.  Cultivate compassion and the appreciation of the perfection in imperfection.
 
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