The Moon's Nodes: Balancing Life Lessons

The Moon’s Nodes: Balancing Life Lessons

The nodal axis in Astrology is not made up of planetary bodies or fixed stars; rather it is two points that take into account the Sun, the Moon and the Earth’s relationship at the time of our birth. The points’ locations are determined by where the lunar orbit passes through the plane of the ecliptic, or the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

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The points always oppose each other by 180°and it is the line or axis upon which these points fall, along with the houses in which they land, that is of importance to the interpretation of the nodes within the natal chart. The use of the Moon’s nodes in the horoscope dates back to ancient times and is still significantly used in Jyotish, or Vedic Astrology, which originated in India and is based in Hindu tradition. It fell out of favor in Western Astrology for a while but a great deal of information is available now, along with a resurgence of its use in charts.

The North Node or the dragon’s head (caput draconis) is shown as a symbol which looks a bit like a horseshoe or stirrup, with the curve at the top and opening at the bottom. The South Node of the dragon’s tail (cauda draconis) looks like an upside down horseshoe or stirrup, with the curve at the bottom and the opening at the top. In Vedic Astrology they are referred to as Rahu (north) and Ketu (south).

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I suggest the nodes within the natal chart are highly significant. They suggest a line or path that one is to follow throughout their lifetime to develop the Soul. The South Node represents information or a way of being that we have brought forward from other lifetimes* that we are exceptionally comfortable with, so much so that we may rely on it’s habitual use rather than develop another way. Enter the North Node. The North Node is another way to do things, think about things or experience things that we are unfamiliar with and therefore with which we are uncomfortable. The idea is that instead of relying upon our knee-jerk responses we are here to develop the opposite response so that we can grow and ultimately find better balance within our Self.

(*It has been my experience that it is irrelevant whether or not one believes in reincarnation and “past lives” in order to establish the nodal axis’ influence in our life. The “past” life can be childhood versus adulthood, or a first marriage versus a current relationship, or before children versus after, it truly does not matter your spiritual belief about former lives, the nodal axis is still relevant to your personal development and Soul growth within one’s present lifetime.)

The nodal axis points to the karmic balance that needs to be righted within one’s lifetime. The South Node is what we habitually do; the North Node is what is a good idea to do!

While there is a good amount of detailed information in books and on the Internet I will indulge in a bare-bones interpretation of the various nodal axes. But do note this is by no means complete. If you know your Nodes and their houses I encourage you to research them and see how they apply in your life!

Where have you been and where are you going?


Aries NN/Libra SN:

This is an individual whose growth rests in developing his or her own individuality and uniqueness. They have had a lifetime of being there for others and now it is time for them to be there for themselves, forging their own path and developing their own courage. The lesson here: Finding the balance between Self and Other, with an emphasis on Self.

Taurus NN/Scorpio SN:

This is an individual whose growth rests in finding emotional stability and building their own resources. They have had a lifetime of utilizing other’s resources and being exposed to chaos. It is time for them to find the stability they seek within and develop their own power. The lesson here: Developing the right use of power and building personal resources.

Gemini NN/Sagittarius SN:

This is an individual whose growth depends on bringing useful information into everyday life. They have had a lifetime of gathering and learning information and possibly travel; now it is time for them to assimilate it all down into manageable bits and communicate it simply. The lesson here: Learning how to plainly communicate all they have learned by scaling back the expanse of their knowledge.

Cancer NN/Capricorn SN:

This is an individual whose growth depends on developing feminine nurturing and care while tending to their emotional selves. They have had a lifetime of restrictive tradition at the expense of their feelings and now it is time to soften emotionally and allow themselves to feel. This axis is referred to as the “parental” axis and therefore points to a balance between being in the home (traditionally maternal) and out in the world (traditionally paternal). The lesson here: Finding the balance between the lessons of the mother/father and creating one’s own home.

Leo NN/Aquarius SN:

This is an individual whose growth depends on developing the heart center and loving Self unconditionally. They have had a lifetime of living in their heads and fighting with the group for just causes, possibly even to the point of rebellion! Now it is time for them to focus on their own Self and allow them to be just as important as any cause they may come across or any group they may deem more worthy. The lesson here: Live from the heart, not the head; enjoy life’s pleasures and learn unconditional Self-love, Self-ish-ness not Self-less-ness.

Virgo NN/Pisces SN:

This is an individual whose growth depends on bringing order out of chaos. They have had a lifetime of going with the flow and now it is time to buckle down and get to work. They need to embrace practical order and make sense out of the world. They need to develop a work ethic that is holistic in its approach, thus healing for the Soul. The lesson here: Finding the balance between the sacred and the mundane, the spiritual and the practical, bringing heavenly ideas practically down to Earth.

Libra NN/Aries SN:

This is an individual whose growth depends on communion with others. They have had a lifetime of independence and going it alone and now it is time to consider relationship. They need to embrace the social grace that comes when relating through partnership. The lesson here: Finding the balance between Self and Other, with an emphasis on Other.

Scorpio NN/Taurus SN:

This is an individual whose growth depends on diving deep into the messy chaos that is life. They have had a lifetime of staying safe and secure to the point of being stuck and now it is time to descend into the transformational pool. The lesson here: Transformation and a willingness to delve deeply into the life/death/rebirth cycle.

Sagittarius NN/Gemini SN:

This is an individual whose growth depends on expanding their knowledge and their horizons. They have had a lifetime of playing it small and staying in their own backyard, now it is time to stretch their wisdom out into the world, travel and broaden their understanding. The lesson here: Grow the Soul through learning journeys and expansion of the spirit.

Capricorn NN/Cancer SN:

This is an individual whose growth depends on success on the material plane, going out into the world and functioning. They have had a lifetime of staying close to home and feeling emotionally secure there, now it is time to leave the nest and venture forth on their own. The lesson here: Finding the balance between the lessons of the mother/father and leaving one’s home to find one’s place in the world and to develop a career life. It’s time to grow up and be a responsible adult.

Aquarius NN/Leo SN:

This is an individual whose growth depends on focusing less on his or her own specialness and thinking more broadly about what they have in common with the rest of humanity. They have had a lifetime of being the center of the universe and attention, now it is time for them to understand they are part of a larger group. The lesson here: Learning the lessons of brotherhood and the conscious love of humanity; Self-less-ness not self-ish-ness.

Pisces NN/Virgo SN:

This is an individual whose growth depends on feeling there is meaning to life that transcends the day-to-day work of this Earth plane. They have had a lifetime of control, work and service and now it is time to let go and let God, surrender to the unknown and go with the flow. The lesson here: Finding the balance between the sacred and the mundane, the spiritual and the practical, celebrating the mystery of life while not getting lost in work or the details of this Earth plane.

Mary Sutton