The North and South Nodes in astrology are windows into your past lives, your potential in this life, and the nature and purpose of your karmic relationships. Also known as the Dragon’s Head (North Node) and Dragon’s Tail (South), the Nodes are not planets, but points calculated for where the Moon’s orbit intersects the apparent path of the Sun relative to the Earth, called the ecliptic.
These days most astrological charts or wheels show you where your Nodes are located (although usually only the North Node is shown, since the South is always exactly opposite), and an astrologer can calculate them for you quickly and easily.
Whether or not you believe in past lives, the South Node has important information for you about ways you sabotage yourself. Whether it was learned in childhood or in a prior life or series of lives, the South Node represents your default mode, the attitudes and behaviors you revert to when you’re stressed, and which keep you from growing emotionally and spiritually. Many believe that you begin to outgrow South Node habits and beliefs when you reach your 30’s, but sometimes they can be difficult to escape.
The South Node can also tell you about past life or karmic connections with others in your present life. If a person you’re involved with has a planet near your South Node (conjunct), or you have a planet near theirs, the nature of the planet will tell you a lot about your prior incarnations together. If, for example, the planet is Venus, you were probably lovers or family; if it’s Saturn, that person was probably an authority figure for you, and possibly one you resented.
Your highest potential, your growing edge is described by the North Node. Although it can be uncomfortable at first, it is by reaching for the highest qualities of the sign where your North Node appears that you learn to release the comfortable but unhealthy habits of the South node. Say, for example, that you have your North Node in Virgo or your 6th house, and South Node in Pisces or your 12th house. Your habitual response to stress is to escape, to space out, numb out, retreat into your imagination or video games (both harmless and fun unless overdone) or drugs and alcohol. But no matter how you resist, life keeps pitching you into circumstances where the only solution is to do what Virgo does best – pay attention to details, analyze and organize.
Once you begin to tune in to the gifts of your North Node, an interesting thing happens: you ultimately find yourself flowing easily along the axis between the North and South Nodes, developing ways to blend them to achieve the higher goal, and, suddenly you uncover buried treasure! Hidden by your default attitudes and behaviors are the talents and skills of your South Node which you developed in past lives, and which you can now use fully and consciously.
Here are some thumbnail sketches about what your pairs of Nodes (or Nodal axis) can mean according to the astrological signs in which they appeared when you were born. If you’re familiar enough with astrology to know which house each sign naturally rules, and you know your birth time, you can figure out the house placement of your Nodes and its added interpretation as well. For example Aries-Libra also describes 1st house-7th house Nodes. If this grabs your interest, there’s a lot more you can find out about Nodes in signs and houses, and even more you can learn by seeing how your Nodes relate to your other planets.
Your North and South Node:
This axis teaches understanding of self through self actualization (Aries) and balanced, authentic relationships (Libra). Until balance with the opposite is developed, Aries South Node tends to be insensitive or selfish; Libra South can be co-dependent or indecisive.
On this axis you learn about your values and resources through intense experience, with Taurus focused in the physical realm, Scorpio the emotional. Before the Nodes come into balance, Scorpio South Node is driven by crisis and drama, Taurus by materialism.
Together these signs have the goal of integrating the lower and higher minds, the rational (Gemini) and the philosophical (Sagittarius). Until the North and South Nodes work together, Gemini South Node can be scattered and lost in detail, Sagittarius South dogmatic or overly idealistic.
With the goal of mastering responsibility to self and to others, Cancer is concerned with personal emotional and spiritual needs, Capricorn with society’s rules and structures. Out of balance, these South Nodes trigger the family/work conflict with too much focus on one or the other.
Leo /Aquarius – Giving love is the goal, Leo by loving individuals and sharing one’s personal gifts, and Aquarius by loving society as a whole, and putting the group’s needs first. Out of balance, the Leo South Node can be self-centered and egotistical, Aquarius can be a rebel and a rabble rouser.
Virgo /Pisces – These Nodes are about realizing there is perfection in everything, Virgo in the physical, rational world, and Pisces in the creative, spiritual realms, Virgo by analyzing, Pisces by merging. Before balancing, South Node Virgo can be fussy and critical, Pisces deceptive or impractical.
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