the North and South Nodes in astrology
The North and South Nodes represent our life path. The North Node is the path ahead of us, the South Node is the path behind us. Also known as Rahu and Ketu in Vedic astrology, these two points have to do with the building and releasing of Karma, as well as where we can find balance in our spiritual and physical experiences.
What do the North and South Nodes represent?
The North and South Nodes are non-visible points in the sky. They are the points where the orbital paths of the Sun and Moon intersect. They are always opposite each other in the chart. They take 18 years to transit the zodiac. They are the points in the sky where we have eclipses.
When the moon goes from below to above the ecliptic, that's the North Node point. When the moon is going from above to below, that's the South Node. These are the transformational points of the Sun and Moon. This is symbolic of the push and pulls between the solar and lunar energies within ourselves.
North and South Node Characteristics
The North Node is associated with upwards movement and our guidepost. It's where we're headed. It's what's being built in this life. It's what's being increased in this life. The South Node is what's being left behind, what's decreasing, and where we're coming from. They are often interpreted as representing our life path. The North Node is the path in front of us, and the South Node is the path behind us.
They also have to do with the building of karma. Moving forward in this physical plane we build karma, the North Node. With the South Node, we are releasing past karma. The North Node is our future life and the South Node is our past or past lives.
As with the nodes, any time you're dealing with oppositions in the chart, you have to balance. Balancing the nodes is very important. Especially since this is where we often feel a strong push and pull.
The South Node is the area that you feel very comfortable with. It's what we're used to. It's where there's been a lot of attention in the past. There's a lot of familiar energy with it, and thus a lot of comfort going into it.
However, it's important to remember that the South Node is also what's being released. So the key is not to move into it but to be grateful and accept what you already have with it. Otherwise, we can get caught up in it and stagnate in life. To have growth, we have to move into the North Node. The North Node benefits from moving consciously in that direction. But, we don't want to go to any extremes with the Nodes. We want to maintain a balance between the two.
If we go too far into the North Node, then we can get caught up in the material realm. We will in turn lose sight of our soul's roots in the South Node. The South Node needs to be involved in our lives without pursuit. Again, being grateful and accepting of how the South Node is can assist this. The South Node is our spiritual selves and we don't want to uproot ourselves from it.
How to balance the nodes
The key is balance. When you are healthfully connected to your South Node you are soul-fulfilled. When you are healthfully connected to your North Node you are physically fulfilled. With the North Node, you see tangible in-the-world benefits from incorporating it. With the South Node, soul-filling benefits.
The idea is to connect to your South Node in a yin way. In a way that is accepting and grateful for it. You thus find that soul-connectedness. We don't see the South Node consciously, it's very unconscious energy. Therefore, we don't want to get too consciously involved with it. If we try to figure out the South Node mentally or pursue it for our ego-fulfillment, we can get lost and lose our way. The South Node is the spiritual path. It's about feeling it, accepting it, and being grateful for it. Through that comes spiritual peace and liberation.
The North Node is the conscious aspect of the path. It's what's good to put yang energy into. To set the mind, intention, and take a leap of faith. It's the area that was not emphasized in the past, so it will always feel very new. But, life supports us in learning, growing, and developing it. It's the place to focus attention once you have the spiritual connection to the South Node.
Birth Chart Example
Let's say someone has their North Node in the second house. This means that they have their South Node in the eighth. The second house is about material values. It is associated with self-reliance, building resources, and financial security. This person's life path is to grow and expand upon the material world, and to learn more about their material values. What they value tangibly in life. To be more self-reliant in the process. This is a good way for them to consciously approach their life since it's the North Node in this area.
But to do that healthfully, they must be also connected to their South Node. To come to peace with and accept the South Node, in the eighth house. This is about having gratitude for what they have with their deeper values. The eighth house is deeper relationships, emotional bonds, and the deeper world in general. So the natural default for them will be to feel like they need more depth, trust, and deeper relationships. Or that things are unfilled with them. But the truth is that they already have it and it's a matter of acceptance and gratitude. Although they might be unaware of it, it's already in their lives. Maybe just not in the way that their ego wants. They need to accept what they have in the deeper life. To be grateful for it. To find peace with it as best as they can. This way they can move into the North Node of self-reliance and material fulfillment in a healthier way.
The same thing can be done with the sign placement. Let's say it's an Aries North Node, Libra South Node. With the South Node the person is learning to embrace the Libra qualities of mutuality, what's right, and just. This is important for them to accept for them to move into the confidence, self-assertiveness, and self-willed energy of Aries.
The Nodes are all about learning through experiences. At the end of the day, we have to go through life lessons and experiences. The North Node is brand new to us. It's important to approach it with humility and a wanting to learn more about it. The same with the South Node. Since we're not consciously seeing the South Node it's important to approach it with humbleness. Exploring it spiritually, we gain inner clarity about what's most important to us on a soul level. This in turn feeds into the North Node which promotes balance and well-being in our lives.