When someone comes to me for a reading to ask about something that has been bothering or worrying them for several years, it is almost always connected with the Moons Nodes, or Chiron. We will talk about Chiron later. For now, this tutorial is about the Moon's Nodes.
The Moon's Nodes in the chart are called "generational" factors, because they not only affect the native, but can have their beginnings far into the past involving parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents or gg-grandparents. Whether or not you believe in Karma, these factors that have influenced us from a very young age can be illusive. No one can correct a problem when they can't understand the problem...or even that their is
a problem. The native only knows that something isn't going well for them. Almost without exception, the native will blame him/herself with a deep belief that "something is wrong with me" or else I would find love, keep a steady job, have better relationships, make more money, or whatever. Yet, there isn't a clue in their conscious mind what
it is that's "wrong," or what to do differently, or how to succeed, or what to change about themselves.
The answer is almost always in understanding the Moon's Nodes and Chiron in the natal chart. Difficulties with the Moon's Nodes and Chiron by transit and progression can also cause problems, but these don't last as long as the Moon's Nodes and Chiron in the natal chart; transits and progressions of Chiron and the Moon's Nodes rarely cause the native to believe that something is fundamentally "wrong" with them or their life.
The first thing to realize is that there isn't anything "wrong" with you or your life! All that has happened is that you were given a set of beliefs, circumstances, and behavior that just doesn't work! They don't serve you, so new ways of thinking needs to be realized. Since the beginnings of these faulty beliefs began so long ago, no one is to blame. They had their roots in very logical, reasonable, and necessary circumstances. Yet, what was necessary in 1850 isn't necessary in 2008! So, time,
is the only real problem...behaviors, ways of thinking, and beliefs have just gotten "stuck" in your family or in your subconscious way of doing things. This subconscious "hidden from the self" quality is even more pronounced with Chiron, and we will discuss Chiron later. For now, since Lesson 3 is about the moon, I wanted to post about the moon's nodes.
If you've followed my class in astrology, you will know that I encourage self-interpretation from an understanding of basic principles in astrology before reading other people's interpretation. This time, I'm going to break my own rule. The reason is all that I've already said. You can't interpret something within yourself that you can't understand. The quality of the moon's nodes almost requires outside interpretation for the individual to grow, learn, change their thinking about themselves and their world, and to get out of their karmic "rut." These things are "hidden" from the self until the person can finally see them. Like the moon, it is in shadow to the self. So, some outside-the-self interpretation is necessary.
I have posted an article by Brenda Black, at my webspace. It is in pdf format:
In addition to the above article, I am quoting an article by Maritha Pottenger
. Maritha influenced my astrology more than any other astrologer or writer on the subject. We corresponded when she was at Astro Computing Services. I'd write questions to Astro about a chart or an interpretation, and it was almost always Maritha who hand wrote comments in the margins. There are few astrologers who have done more to change how we view astrology in the last century, because Maritha brought to the science a greater understanding of ourselves, through astrology. I hope you enjoy her article on the moon's nodes:
THE NODES OF THE MOON
By Maritha Pottenger
The Nodes are defined by the intersections of the Moon's orbit with the Earth's orbit. The North Node's position is based on the Moon moving into north declination (above the celestial equator) while the South Node's position is based on the Moon moving into south declination (below the celestial equator).
The two Nodes are always directly opposite one another (180 degrees apart) across the zodiac. As such, they define important polarities in our lives: present lives and past lives. Relating back to the Moon, the Nodes symbolize strong emotions. They are keys particularly to emotional residues which we have carried forward from past lifetimes. They point to ingrained patterns that we tend to repeat over and over again. Old insecurities are depicted here -- ways in which we seek safety and try to protect ourselves and others. Relationship issues are often prominent. People who "push our emotional buttons" often have Nodal connections between our horoscope and theirs. (Once integrated, the Nodes show potential sustenance and support-what "feeds" us.)
There are three major paths people take in coping with the emotional residues of the Nodes. Most of us try the first two paths before discovering the third.
: Some people experience the Nodes as a seesaw: They swing from one extreme to the other. For example, with the Nodes across Aries/Libra (or 1st house/7th house), some people vacillate between being alone and being together. They get lonely, want a relationship and get involved. Once they're involved, they start to feel trapped, hemmed in and eventually leave. Then they start to get lonely again and repeat the cycle. Typically, people with each Nodal polarity have had some past lifetimes living out one extreme and other lifetimes living out the opposite extreme.
: Some people identify with one Node and "project" the other Node. That is, they are unconsciously attracted to people who will live out the qualities symbolized by that opposite Node. The problem is, if we express only one side of a polarity, the people we attract are likely to express the opposite in excess. They will overdo it! With the Aries/Libra example, if an individual identifies with the Libra end ("I want a relationship"), they may repeatedly attract "free souls" who won't commit, married people who aren't available or self-centered individuals unwilling to make the compromises necessary in a healthy relationship. One person is overdoing the Libra need to merge with another; the other person is overdoing the Aries need for self-assertion and personal freedom. Conversely, the individual who identifies only with the Aries Node wants to live life on their own terms and be independent, and keeps on attracting people who want to marry, settle down, be together and share everything (overdoing the Libra).
: People find the happy medium between the Nodal polarities. They realize that life is an "and," not an "or," and fit the drives of both Nodes into their lives. They turn potential enemies into allies by not going to either extreme. They face their inner insecurities (including those from experiences in past lifetimes) and muster the emotional courage to reach a constructive balance point. By bringing together the best of both sides, they are more effective and more emotionally poised. A positive equilibrium is reached.
Some authors interpret the Nodes as "where we've been" and "where we should be going." This can be misleading. The Nodes are primarily an opposition! The goal of any opposition is synthesis -- to turn the enemies into allies, to combine the best of both into a golden mean. Talking about one Node as your "future" and the other as your "past" encourages people to fall into polarization and projection -- exactly the problems to which the Nodes are susceptible! Both Nodes relate to past lives and polarities we are striving to balance. Both Nodes relate to the future which can be bright when we achieve a pleasing synthesis!
The ancient tradition was that the North/South Node was more like Jupiter (in the sense of being easier to handle, more subjectively comfortable) and the South Node was more like Saturn (in the sense of feeling more stressful or demanding). In my experience, that is generally true but with individual exceptions. People with the South Node in the 1st house, for example, are usually prey to self-criticism and inhibiting tendencies similar to Saturn in the 1st, and more so than people with North/South Node in the 1st. One must, however, consider all factors. (North/South Node in Capricorn, in the 10th house or conjunct Saturn will obviously carry a great deal of karmic pressure.)
Because both Nodes relate back to the Moon, either can be a point of insecurity (where we feel needy, whiny, vulnerable, infantile) or a point of emotional sustenance and support (where we've laid a good foundation, can trust, give and receive nurturing to and with other people).
Conjunctions to the Nodes.
Any conjunction to a Node will, first and foremost, emphasize the polarity involved. Secondly, the nature of the planet making the conjunction becomes more tied into that polarity. Continuing with the 1st/7th (or Aries/Libra) polarity, if the Sun is making a conjunction, the polarization between Self and Other will revolve much around issues of ego, self-esteem and who gets center stage. If Saturn is making the conjunction, the push/pull of assertion versus accommodation will center on professional questions; issues of who gets to call the shots, dictator tendencies and criticism may be used to push the other person away. Power issues are significant in relationships.
Following are some brief notes on planetary conjunctions.
Sun conjunct North Node
: Ego and pride are tied to security needs. This person may feel safest when on stage or otherwise at the center of attention. Nurturing becomes connected with praise and admiration (both in terms of what person wants from and gives to others). Close, intimate connections are expected to stroke one's ego. Creative urges are strengthened within family contexts or close ties.
Sun conjunct South Node
: A degree of insecurity is likely. This individual may fear the limelight -- or have problems ever getting off the stage. Negative feedback is likely to be extra tough on this person. They may feel creatively blocked or have fears or phobias connected to children, childbearing, love affairs, romance, men, leadership, etc. They can gain sustenance through expressing themselves and receiving positive regard.
Moon conjunct North Node
: The need for home, family and emotional security is extra strong. Issues revolving around dependency and nurturing are highlighted. The mother figure (and the nurturing role) have a strong impact on this person's sense of safety. Food may be their security blanket. They're vulnerable to the moods of people in their environment. They may strive to protect themselves or others, and are working on the balance between the two.
Moon conjunct South Node
: Emotional vulnerability is accented in this person. They may be too protective, overly needy, very susceptible to the emotions of a mother figure or other family members. They may feel lacking in unconditional love. They may fear family, dependency, parenthood, roots or emotional connections. They find more safety and sustenance by establishing strong ties, getting and giving trust to others.
Mercury conjunct North Node
: Emotional security is tied to this person's mind. If healthy, this individual finds sustenance and support through reading, learning, discussing and exercising their brainpower. If unhealthy they may be afraid to talk, write or learn -- or afraid to stop talking or exercising intellectual skills. Their verbal expression may be an indicator of their sense of safety. They could articulate their emotions well.
Mercury conjunct South Node
: This person may be intellectually insecure (this can manifest itself if the individual feels stupid, has phone phobia, is blocked in terms of reading or other mental arenas) or they might trust only in rationality and logic. They may be fearful or phobic in school, regarding siblings, transportation, media, commerce, etc. Their challenge is to gain security through exercising mental skills and to learn that knowledge can be a bulwark.
Venus conjunct North Node
: Love or money is connected to security needs. This individual may hang on to relationships or cling to possessions. They may turn their partner or bank account into their security blanket. They may find safety through involvement with beauty, counseling or peer relationships. They may nurture or be nurtured in partnerships.
Venus conjunct South Node
: This person may be fearful about relationships or financial matters. They could feel unloved, poor or blocked in regards to pleasure. They might overdo or underdo (or swing between those extremes) material indulgence and sensuality. Learning to protect and be protected within interpersonal exchanges is key for this individual.
Mars conjunct North Node
: This person's safety is tied to action and independence. They reassure themselves by seeking the liberty to do their own thing. They may be a pioneer in emotional matters. Ambivalence between freedom and closeness is likely. Learning to balance personal desires and caretaking duties and create their own personal emotional foundation is key.
Mars conjunct South Node
: This individual may be fearful or phobic about ever taking the initiative. They could be overly self-critical. Issues are possible surrounding health (especially relating to repression), violence or assertiveness. They may go to extremes (too much or too little) in regards to personal action or physicality. Learning how to care for themselves and others is key.
Jupiter conjunct North Node
: Faith becomes tied to this individual's emotional security. Their beliefs and values will either provide a firm foundation or add to their insecurity and anxiety. They may feel safest when doing something bigger and better or when wheeling and dealing. They could feel torn between establishing roots and having adventure in their lives. Spirituality can be a source of emotional strength.
Jupiter Conjunct South Node
: This person has a karmic lesson to learn regarding faith, trust, beliefs and values. They may have too much faith or too little, or put trust in the wrong place (areas of life that are not infinite) or the wrong people. They could feel phobic or fearful about travel, foreigners, religion, education or expansion and growth. Learning to extend unconditional love, to trust in God, nature and the parts of life that are infinite is key for them.
Saturn conjunct North Node
: Safety urges are tied to executive instincts, professional ambitions and pragmatism. This individual probably feels most secure when they're working, achieving tangible results or wielding authority. They may be torn between dominance and dependence or their home or family and their career. They may overdo conservatism and self-preservation. They do well in solid, established, enduring relationships.
Saturn conjunct South Node
: This individual faces a karmic challenge surrounding power, authority and control; this is often connected to a father figure or other intimate authority. They may be dictatorial and overbearing, or fearful of taking charge. They might be insecure regarding their profession or contribution to society. Learning to trust their own strength and to take appropriate responsibility is key to their development.
Uranus conjunct North Node
: This person probably feels most secure when they're involved with transpersonal issues or when they can do their own thing. They could be inventive in regards to emotional matters and their close, caring connections. Unusual associations are quite possible for them. They might nurture humanity or turn their friends into family. They can be quite emotionally tolerant.
Uranus conjunct South Node
: This individual is likely to feel threatened in regards to their own originality or individuality. They may squelch their rebellious urges or overdo them. They experience a push and pull between dependency and independence, between home and the wider world or between family and friends. Learning to have emotional ties without possessiveness and to make open-ended commitments is key to this person's development.
Neptune conjunct North Node
: This person reassures themselves through contact with nature, beauty and other inspirational pursuits. Spiritual connections can be a source of security for them. They may overidealize others in their relationships, or expect too much in nurturing contexts. They feel safest in their own imagination and transcendent talents. They want a magical home life.
Neptune conjunct South Node
: This individual may feel phobic about beauty, imagination or their rescuing instincts. They could yearn for the unattainable dream. They tend to overdo visualization and fantasy. A savior-victim association could develop. Learning to find the common ground between human love and a love of God is key to this individual, who is very sensitive to cosmic nurturing.
Pluto conjunct North Node
: This person finds security in understanding the depths of their own psyche and other people's. They may be intensely committed to establishing safe emotional foundations. They tend to hang on in relationships, sometimes for too long. Issues of safety and protection may take on life-and-death proportions. Feelings of blame and shame may be connected to nurturing. Sex could be used as a security blanket. Their protective instincts seek psychological understanding. Looking deeper into psyches (their own and others') provides security for this individual.
Pluto conjunct South Node
: This position denotes karmic challenges regarding intimacy, self-mastery, addiction or compulsivity. This person might be lacking in self-control or tends toward obsession. Issues surrounding power and shared possessions are highlighted in their close associations. This person tends to learn about themselves through the mirror of other people. They develop intense emotional connections. The development of self-mastery and deep psychological insights is accentuated in their personal relationships.
Aries North Node, Libra South Node or North Node 1st House, South Node 7th House
You are an individual quite comfortable in personal relationships, sometimes to the point of being a little too dependent on your partner. Follow your North Node; try to be more active in your affairs of the heart and more romantically involved. Thinking independently is a wise start because at the moment, someone else is making up your mind for you. Step away from this aspect of your past and move toward your own innovations. Harmony is more important to you than anything else and you will even admit fault erroneously just to keep the peace. Stand up for yourself and learn to stand on your own two feet. Learn to assert yourself and your opinions. Pioneer new ground rather than simply sticking with the tried and true.
Taurus North Node, Scorpio South Node or North Node 2nd House, South Node 8th House
Overcome being mysterious and too secretive. Get your hidden agenda out in the open or others will think you're being sneaky. Talking out of one side of your mouth may result in being misunderstood. Resist the urge to manipulate others and to use seduction to get what you want. You must learn that power is not always the answer; too often it is used as compensation for something more real that you feel you are missing. Power is simply filling a void in your life. Don't be so free with your physical emotions. Focus more on developing self-worth, respecting yourself and creating your own values. Get in touch with the Earth and revert back to the basics. Celebrate the simple pleasures of life. Be more tactile: Work the land, touch something naturally evolved and steer clear of materialistic accumulation. Use your power and influence to improve other people's lives. Take time to appreciate art, spend your money wisely and believe in quality over quantity.
Gemini North Node, Sagittarius South Node or North Node 3rd House, South Node 9th House
Look beyond the dogma that rules so much of your life. Take the time to seriously ponder those aspects of your life that you blindly follow. Following tried-and-true golden rules and doctrines certainly has its benefits, but are you a loyal shepherd or simply being herded along with the rest of the flock? Holding on to a belief system can be a rewarding pursuit as long as you are following for yourself, not simply because it's expected. Question the routines and beliefs of your existence but don't ram your revelations down other people's throats. You often find you can't stay put; when the going gets tough you run the other way instead of facing the issues head on. Accept that some level of superficiality is necessary for living in a society. Take on many different interests. Diversify your talents and the way you spend your time. Lighten your load and take yourself less seriously. Force those channels of communication wide open.
Cancer North Node, Capricorn South Node or North Node 4th House, South Node 10th House
If your nodes are positioned in Cancer and Capricorn, you need to learn that career and affluence aren't the only things that matter. Work and social status are currently the top priorities in your life and it would behoove you to direct more energy into developing personal relationships. Keeping up with the Joneses often turns out to be a fruitless, bottomless pit of material disappointment. Community standards should not be the basis for your ethics if your heart is telling you otherwise. Try not to be so concerned with what others think. Instead, place more importance on family values and making real human connections. Spending quality time at home, perhaps without the television, never goes out of style and creates bonds that will last a lifetime. Making the extra effort to make a cozy home instead of a flashy home will make you more comfortable in your own skin. Cooking rather than take-out or opting for comfort over style are all maneuvers toward a more collected and more happy you.
Leo North Node, Aquarius South Node or North Node 5th House, South Node 11th House
Don't just jump into the latest trendy revolution; stand up for what that you believe in. Avoid following the crowd. Heed the influence of the North Node in Leo and spotlight your own unique qualities. Don't be a teaser or tormentor simply for the fun of it. Warm up to the people in your life, as your aloof dismissal of the people who love you is pushing them away. Don't be afraid to be the nail that sticks up. Rather than getting hammered down, you will inspire and invigorate those around you. Be a benevolent master of all that you survey, but don't impose your will crudely. Learn to be a leader and get in touch with your latent generous nature. Others look up to you and you probably don't even realize it. Care for people on an individual level. Make the effort to be more creative and have faith in whatever it is your instincts tell you to produce. The world may not be ready for your innovations at the moment but you'll need this time to hone your skills and to prepare them for what's in store. Spend some time connecting with children; they have a lot to teach you.
Virgo North Node, Pisces South Node or North Node 6th House, South Node 12th House
Getting organized and firmly grounding yourself in the moment are foreign tasks to you, but they will come more easily as you practice over time. Stop procrastinating by making up your mind that you are worthy of the task -- and follow it through. Overcome being everyone's doormat and focus instead on taking care of business. Look to logic to guide you rather than always relying on your instincts and intuition. Keeping one eye on the big picture is an effective strategy, but don't overlook the crucial details that will make it all come together. Put more effort toward better organizing your work space, thoughts and ideas. Your mission shouldn't always be to serve others; you need to look out more for your own interests. Sponging up other people's problems as if they were your own won't encourage you to grow in the direction of your North Node, so avoid internalizing issues that aren't yours. Discover your strength from within and stop short any spells of self-pity. Strong bouts of idealism and your overly trusting nature won't help you achieve your goals. Have a more realistic attitude about the workings of the world around you. Setting stringent daily routines and making use of schedules and calendars will assist you tremendously. Monitor your health and take care of small issues quickly. Strengthen your analytical skills by making lists and charts. Creating a sequence and sticking to it will help you get more done in a day. Increase your standards for the meaning of perfection in yourself and in the company you keep. Improving the simple things, like personal hygiene, can be the beginning of something greater.
Libra North Node, Aries South Node or North Node 7th House, South Node 1st House
Your impetuous nature would benefit from a great deal of mellowing. Strive for a greater sense of balance and harmony. You often see yourself at the center of everything and you are always in a hurry. Learning to breathe deeply will be a great asset to your evolution as a person. Overcome your impetuous nature; take the time to appreciate the subtleties you rush past every day. Practice being kinder, less brash. There is such a thing as being too active and too aggressive, and you often cross over those boundaries of appropriate conduct. Take more time and care with all your projects and be certain to double check every fact before banking on it. Obstinacy may help you in the business aspects of your life but this behavior may not be the best mode of operation for everything else. To evolve toward your North Node in Libra, take a genuine interest in other people and find out what motivates them. Strive to be more giving in a relationship and become better versed in the arts of compromise and mediation. Cooperation and harmony will take you a lot further than bossiness and demands. Mind your manners. Participate in a community activity or initiate one that better suits your personal goals. Master the subtle arts of persuasion, gentleness and being a good companion.
Scorpio North Node, Taurus South Node or North Node 8th House, South Node 2nd House
Transcend your penchant for material goods, as this pursuit will get you nowhere. Too much of everything surrounds you; your sometimes greedy nature weighs you down and keeps you from the things that really matter in life. Resist the temptation to take on more than you need. Your stubborn nature makes it very unlikely that you will heed anyone else's advice. You don't hesitate to make your opinions well known, but you could improve your listening skills when it comes to taking in what others have to say. Always leaning toward conservatism, you'll learn more about the world around you if you take a moment to step into someone else's shoes. You are aware of your inflexibility but at the moment you maintain that the old ways of doing things are still the best. You don't realize that you're barking up the wrong tree. If the goals you've been after can't be achieved through traditional means you should try a whole new approach. Let go of some of your old ways and move on. If you look at yourself from another angle you'll see that you're still cheering for your horse after the race is finished. Celebrate the endings and new beginnings you experience and learn from them. Embrace the opportunities for change around you. Get more in touch with your sexual and physical natures and express yourself that way.
Sagittarius North Node, Gemini South Node or North Node 9th House, South Node 3rd House
You need to reduce the time and energy you expend in superficial pursuits. Bordering on shallow, you can be frivolous and flirtatious much of the time -- perhaps too often for your own good. Time spent being curious rather than actually educating yourself is time better spent in other ways. A notorious gossip, you derive pleasure from dissecting other people's lives. This time and energy would be more beneficial if you spent it improving your own life. You are involved in many irrelevant and indulgent affairs or are perhaps juggling too many projects at one time. Getting more serious about yourself and your world should be at the top of your priority list; at the moment you are too lighthearted and flippantly carefree. Sample life's many offerings until you find something that truly stirs your passion. You lack depth at the moment because you've yet to find anything that you care deeply about. Develop your drive until you find an area worthy of your focus; keep it in mind that work begets work. Seek out your place in social relevance and find the inspiration to develop your own set of ethics or philosophy. Endeavor to find truth. Hold honesty most dear, above all else. Move on with a supreme level of confidence.
Capricorn North Node, Cancer South Node or North Node 10th House, South Node 4th House
You find that you're always in need of parental guidance and are very dependent on your family unit. The attachment to the people you are closest with is very deep, but so close that it could stifle your growth in other directions. You're used to getting what you want by way of emotional manipulation. You can be moody at times and you don't know enough to separate yourself from the activity that has set your mood reeling. You need to learn to face the problems in your life head on and fight your urge to avoid the source of the trauma. Eating when you're upset will get you nowhere good; you should explore other solutions and consolations to help you remedy your stress. Learn to stand alone in the world by believing in your greatest strengths. The emotional independence you gain over the simplest things will give you a tremendous sense of achievement. Be your own person with your own career and your own sense of financial and emotional independence. If you're not already doing so, move out of your family home and carve a career for yourself out of your interests. Take a firm hold of your emotions and don't give in to your weaknesses.
Aquarius North Node, Leo South Node or North Node 11th House, South Node 5th House
Overcoming your natural sense of bossiness may be difficult for you, but it's a risk you need to take to achieve greater universal fulfillment. You are guilty of spending money beyond your means and you confuse owning things with being powerful. You're always at the heart of the conversation; your domineering nature is your signature. Very accomplished at the art of self-promotion, you find success when the competition is rough, but you too often tip the scales against yourself. Your ego and arrogance often steal the show and your many opinions and sense of false pride are your stumbling blocks. This is your way of seeking power but it's time you revised your tactics. To rise toward your North Node, you need to be more philanthropic and less self-centered. Give precedence to community efforts over more solitary tasks. In general, a more relaxed approach will bring you greater success. You'll go further if you can react with a cooler temperament and be more aloof. Let go of your insecurities; take in the world around you. Plan your life to be more in service to the universe. Become more globally aware and act when you see need to. Stepping outside yourself will help you regain your sense of humility.
Pisces North Node, Virgo South Node or North Node 12 House, South Node 6th House
Dealing with the fussy details is your specialty and dispensing some of that pickiness to the people you work with is par for the course. Don't grill yourself with the details when there are more pressing issues to deal with. Always looking for perfection, you have discriminating tastes that may be pushed to the extreme and ultimately become rigid. Too much precision is your downfall; learning to bend is the most valuable lesson you can learn. Give in more to frivolity and get over your concern for always doing the right thing and following the program. Listen more to your inner voice and let it guide you toward your goals. You've always preferred black and white over the many shades of gray -- and you're just starting to recognize what you've been missing. Trivial matters seem to take up most of your free time and you have difficulty distinguishing the relevant tasks from the distractions. Do some critical thinking to help you sort this jumbled life of yours and to help you trim the excess. Your fastidious nature comes in handy at times, but don't allow it to be a ruling force. Pristine presentation shouldn't always top your list of priorities. Learn to take a look at the larger scope behind every situation and not to let the details bog you down. With your intuition as your guiding force and your compassion the angel on your shoulder, you will travel far. Seek the emotional balance that you envy in others for yourself. Focus on being more trusting and idealistic; accept that some things actually are as good as they appear. Make time to disperse your well of creative energy.