The Lunar Nodes: Destiny or Despair


The lunar nodes represent the point where the orbit of the Moon intersects the orbit of the Sun. Although technically they are just mathematical symbols, they have a major impact on the chart.

Discussion of the nodes requires a flexible attitude towards time. Specifically, our sense of personal time. If your belief system can accommodate reincarnation, the personal time is far longer than if you are more comfortable with pre-natal experiences being the very beginning of life. Remember that the Moon represents our past, emotional nature and roots. The Lunar Nodes seem to represent decisions made very early in our personal history. These decisions have to do with very long term goals, including our goals for this whole lifetime.

The South Node tells us what you've already learned, what life lessons you have down pat. There is an expertise in this area which you are very familiar with. The down side of this is that the South Node can be like a comfy old sweater, too small, full of holes, not really presentable. It's so comfortable however, that sufficient motivation to procure a new sweater is lacking. You know for a fact that what you have learned is correct, it's tried and true. When you're under stress, this is the behavior that you can fall back on, and probably do. Any harsh aspect from another planet however, can upset the applecart and if you're not prepared, can leave you with nowhere to go emotionally.

The North Node represents the area of life we've chosen to develop in this lifetime. It can cause insecurity since we don't know all the answers and the potential to make mistakes is high. From a spiritual perspective though, it's what we were put on this earth to do. Destiny-wise, it's a mistake to ignore it. It is a choice we made at some point to provide greater fulfillment and self-expression to our lives. Unless there's a beneficial aspect or transit to the North Node, it may be neglected.

Let's look at some examples of this:

John has his South Node in Aquarius in the 2nd House. This indicates that he comes from a history of prosperity, where he got the message that all good things are for everyone.

Prosperity=2nd House, good for all=Aquarius.

That doesn't sound bad does it? However, this is an old behavior pattern, established in childhood (or before) and it's gotten old and ratty. How does it manifest in present time? Quite possibly in selfishness. Aquarian energy isn't known for it's compassion and the 2nd house is personal resources. He's learned that he can have whatever he can get, and it ends there, with his getting it. The corresponding behavior of payback or sharing isn't included. Confusing the issue is the fact that Aquarius is a very mental sign. He's learned how to make his mind jump through the hoops and is adept at rationalization and justification.

His North Node is in Leo in the 8th House. This tells us that sharing is what he's supposed to be learning and that he needs to expend his own energy to do so.

Sharing=8th House, his own energy=Leo

All of his conditioning protests against this. Why should he share what he has created with his own energy when he's so good at getting what he wants from others? There is tremendous inertia involved in changing the behavior pattern. He has some help from Uranus which is conjunct his North Node, making "change" a desirable activity.

Jane has her nodal positions reversed by house from John's and we have a different type of energy to work with, even though there are some interesting similarities. Jane has her South Node in Aquarius in the 8th House conjunct Mars. She understands sharing very well, will actually go out of her way to do so. However, she lives in her mind, believing that since she's expending so much energy in sharing, there isn't time or space to produce and without tangible gain, why bother? She can get quite resentful about not getting "her share" from the work involved or receiving her due recognition.

Her North Node in Leo is in the 2nd House conjunct Neptune and Venus. Her lifelong aspiration is to be an artist and she's very good at it. However she hasn't started and completed a professional painting in over 10 years. The solid accomplishment and hard work of the 2nd House is lacking. Instead, she spends most of her time reading and looking out the window, imagining paintings in her head.

Since the Lunar nodes are so intimately concerned with our evolutionary progress, Pluto often comes into play. Frequently, Pluto's sign and position will tell us why we are living in our South Node and what is inhibiting the development of our North Node goals. Using Jane and John's examples from above, let's pursue this.

Jane has Pluto in Cancer conjunct her ascendant. This indicates an obsessive need to nurture. Her conditioning included putting herself aside for everyone else in her family and her ability to do so, ensured her position in the family hierarchy. Asserting her ability to care for others at one time kept her from permanent abandonment.

John has Pluto in Virgo in the 8th House. He was a "7 month baby", conceived before marriage, and his parents married to legitimize him. He harbors great anxiety about being "perfect" and is reluctant to attempt to go through the trial and error process of learning something new. He was "given" the opportunity for life itself and given whatever he needed, even when he spoiled or wrecked the gifts.

The traditional solution to the Nodal dilemma is to balance them. Neither node is inherently wrong, however to have one function to the exclusion of the other is very distressing. Neither John nor Jane is happy. They are unfulfilled and are "making do" with the old energy that's always served them before. It's not enough now, though.

Nodal positions are unconscious. This appears to be a fact of life. The Moon is our unconscious emotional patterns and the South Node particularly is difficult to examine. Unless there are conscious planetary aspects, we can be quite blind to their effects (but you can certainly see them in other people).

I have found that any transit to either node opens a window of opportunity for growth. Unless it's a conjunction or serious opposition however, it must be consciously explored. Research anything you can find about the sign and house position of your nodes. See what you can find that makes sense to you about how you manifest the behavior. Then, get reality checks from your environment. Ask people who know you well if they can see these patterns in you and ask them to explain what they've seen. Even a beginning in working with the Nodes can bring about significant growth.

By Jeri Noble