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Explanation Of The Nodes

 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.

burwi333 burwi333 36-40, M Oct 14, 2010

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