Where have you come from, where are now and where are you going?
Sometimes clients or non-astrologers will point to the glyph of the Moon’s North Node in the natal chart and ask “What does that thing like a headset with earphones mean?” This question offers an ideal opportunity for the astrologer to explain the significance of the nodal axis in the context of needing to “tune in and listen” to its message and bring greater awareness of what it indicates into everyday life.
The Moon’s nodes are not planets and have no energy of their own. They are significant points in the chart and can be used as signposts pointing in two opposite directions. One points to an area of life experience and expression which is well-known and familiar. The other indicates where we could be heading on our own path of personal and spiritual growth – the “next step” point in the chart.
The message of the south node is “stay put, you’re safe here.” The message of the north node is “move forward and grow, even though it may feel scary.”
The nodes are best thought of as a nodal line, or axis – a path along which we can travel. Both ends of the line have to be included because the nodes can show us where we have come from.
The nodes offer the potential for gaining balance within ourselves and our lives, and they can act as a correcting mechanism when we work cooperatively with them. Through a greater understanding of the nodes we can identify what we already know and have experienced and acquired in the past.
The south node’s position by sign and house indicates what we come into life already knowing well, what we are comfortable and familiar with, such our habitual responses, well-known and well-used habit patterns, ways of behaving, relating, responding and being.
The south node has a Saturnian quality because it is about safety and familiarity. We may harbour doubts and fears about getting involved in new and challenging activities, and of stepping beyond the boundaries of our well-organised security system. The south node is like a cosy fur-lined rut or an old and comfortable pair of slippers that we’re loath to let go of – understandably so.
The north node leads the way into new and often uncharted territory. Its position by sign and house gives a clear message of what we can aim for as it shows the direction we can grow towards, if we so choose.
It has a Jupiterian quality because it offers the opportunity to expand, open up and experience new things. It encourages us to move forward into areas which are less familiar and face the excitement and adventure of rising to new challenges in life.
The north node in the chart is like a beacon indicating where and how we can develop ourselves through personal and spiritual growth. Following the direction of the north node may mean turning away from all that is safe, cosy and familiar as we move forward and break new ground.
In astrological psychology, only the north node is included in the chart and the aspect structure. That’s because the north node is considered to be an important feature for personal and spiritual growth, pointing the way forward to our next step along the path.
The house/area of life experience will indicate where our next step might lie; the zodiac sign the north node is in will indicate how we behave an interact in that area of life. It will also give a nudge (if we take all of this on board) of what we might need to work on too!
As an example, actor Tom Hanks has the north node is in the 3rd house (comunication, learning, connected to community) and in the ruled-by-Jupiter sign of Sagittarius (being open to new things, expansion, taking risks etc).
There’s much more about the Moon’s Nodes,
and how to interpret and work with them,
in my book The Living Birth Chart.