The nodes in astrology are the two orbital points the moon occupies as it orbits the Earth. There is a North node, which tracks the moon as it moves to it’s peak in the Northern hemisphere and we call this the North or Ascending node. The Southern node tracks the peak of the moon’s orbit in the southern hemisphere.
As a result, the nodes occupy opposing signs on the chart so if your north node is in Leo, your southern node will fall in Aquarius.
These extreme points are where the full moon eclipses occur and the solar eclipse when the moon is new.
In soul centered astrology the North node reflects the spiritual purpose of the current life – the lessons we’ve come here to learn.
The nodes move between signs every 18 months and people born within the same lunar node group can feel like ‘your people’. If you have a child when aged 18-19 or 36-37, your child will have the same nodes as you while a partner who ten years older or younger than you will have opposing nodes. And this can be a good thing, giving a sense of completeness when your energies combine.
The kabbalah and Vedic astrology also recognize the nodes. The kabbalah calls the north node tikkun which translates to correction to recognize the adjustments your soul wants you to make in the current incarnation. Vedic astrology calls the north node Rahu – the head, and Ketu – the tail, which make up the extreme points of the dragon and these reflect the karmic extremes of the present life.
The south node represents the karma we’ve brought into this life from past lives. It can reflect the edges of our comfort zone and the habits we retreat into when life becomes challenging. There’s also a sense of deja vu to be found in the south node. Things we inexplicably know or people who seem so familiar to us even though we’re only meeting them for the first time.
It’s also been there done that energy and represents previous life experiences that have run their course. They benefit us in that they provide experience and skills, but the lessons associated with this energy have run their course and it’s time to move on.
The sign that the south node is in tells us volumes about who we might have been in a past life – with emphasis on wrongs we may have committed or negative traits we may have indulged. We look at the negatives of the sign to find clues about the karma we may have carried into this life – that Leonine ego, that Taurean hedonism or that unbridled Capricornian ruthlessness and for many of us this energy is in stark contrast to the energy we express now. For others however, it may still be a prison in which the soul dwells. In this life, we’re invited to refine the higher qualities of the sign and to let those negatives go.
The fears or insecurities of the sign the south node is in can also play out. Fears of inadequacy, of losing control or intimacy can manifest if these are the fears of the sign that the south node carries in it’s astrological DNA.
The north node is the call of the unknown. It embraces the subconscious part of ourselves that knows what we need or who we want to be. Careers that imbue us with a sense of purpose or that feeling that the pieces are all coming together – this is north node energy. It’s not always the easy path. If you began study at University in a topic you’ve always found easy, only to change your major a year later to something you find more fulfilling, you may be responding too the draw of your north node. Once we begin to align with the north node, life often begins to feel more meaningful and things often seem to become smoother and easier.
The North node is equal parts challenge and growth and often plays out in that order. We accept and complete the challenges of the sign the north node is in and we grow. But note that we’re talking about the higher energies of the sign. More money in the bank or a well executed hostile takeover for a Capricornian North Node may miss the mark and could infect become the ketu – or karmic lesson to be worked out in the next life.
For Aries, the lesson may be learning to fight for others rather than against them – to channel that dynamic energy to manifest and support rather than to lay siege or obliterate. For Cancer it may be finding balance between the pull of family and the realization of personal goals.
Note that North node energy can also be a powerful antidote for a challenging south node. The balancing and harmonizing energy of a Libra North node can dissolve the self-centric energy of an unrepentant Aries south node. Higher learning and travel experiences cultivated by a Sagittarian north node can expand and challenge the know it all energy of a south node Gemini.
We tend to become more aware of the pull of our north node in our late twenties or early thirties and for many this is the time in our lives when we begin to truly share our lives with others. Committed relationships, children or even commitments like mortgages or careers become focal points in our lives and we begin to invest our energy into plans or commitments that take time and steadiness to manifest.
This post is an excerpt from the course Advanced Astrology.