If the North Node is the direction we’re headed on the road of life, understanding its meaning is like having a map that can help guide the turns we take and what types of things along the way we should look for; as well, it will help us avoid wandering back toward re-tracing our steps in familiar, South Node territory. ‘Hochalm mit Serles bei Innsbruck’ By Leopold Scheiring 1917 {{PD}}

I want to say thank you to all for such a robust response to the One Aspect invitation! I’ve already gotten far more submissions than I can use, far more than I expected, and the submission period isn’t over yet! So my apologies to the many who won’t have their situation addressed–I send you special thanks, just for being willing to offer your info, and I’m sorry I won’t be able to get to you. That said, I’ll probably be drawing from these for at least a month, so don’t give up hope–you may see yours yet!

Here’s our first aspect/ placement topic, the North Node. A large number of you mentioned the North Node as a point of interest. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what it really means, in the sense that knowing it points you toward the future doesn’t make things any clearer! I hear you. The North Node is an excellent way to illustrate my contention that aspects shouldn’t be delineated in a vacuum, as it isn’t just the sign and House placement that speak to us, it’s an axis of the chart as well as the aspects made to it and the disposition of its ruler that give depth to interpretation–so in order to effectively interpret a North Node placement at a truly individual level, we need that full chart info that allows us to add context, and so much more particular meaning than we’d get just from placement alone.

First a little background: the Nodes aren’t bodies, but points where the Moon’s orbit intersects the ecliptic, which is, in brief, the Sun’s apparent path through the sky as observed from Earth. So these are Lunar-related points that tell us about past (South Node) and future (North Node) personal development, and are generally considered to ‘point the way’, with the SN offering well-developed skills and qualities, and experiences we’ve already had and so don’t necessarily need to undergo again, and the NN describing what we must strive to experience, learn, and incorporate into our lives in order to grow and develop on all levels: physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, with the equation varying widely for each individual. The trick is to find ways to import and exploit that South Node knowledge to support North Node forms. Now our first seeker:

“I’d love to play along! My info: (birth data redacted for privacy). The aspect of my chart I’m interested in is my North Node. I left my South Node high paying job 7 years ago. My entrepreneurial attempt at a small business has been failing since it began. I’m at a loss on how best to navigate to the North. Thanks for your consideration.”

We are given a brief sketch of the current life situation, and we see it illustrated in the Nodal situation within the birth chart: South Node in Capricorn in the 2nd of assets, talents, Self-worth, earnings=this suggests someone who sees hard work, nose-to-the-grindstone, Self-disciplined effort as the way to success. Follow-the-rules careful, serious effort is probably natural to this woman–and with Capricorn the attitude, it may be hard to understand why joining the high-powered status quo isn’t completely fulfilling, as well as why hard work isn’t a complete success formula on its own–it always has been in the past!

Of course, this places the Cancer North Node in the 8th=it’s hinted here that cooperation (rather than the individual, jaw-gritting determination of Cap) or collaboration is needed, maybe even supporters who contribute or invest, or work where you do that for others, as an emotional investment on the part of the NN individual is required; she also must develop a sensitivity to changing circumstances and feelings–an ability to ‘read the room’, so to speak, rather than go blindly with authority and following the rules. The individual must care about what they’re doing, at a level that actually moves them. All these are required to move in the proscribed life direction–and so presumably to create success.

We turn toward NN ruler the Moon for illumination of the necessary conditions for progress, and what we see is a Moon in Libra in the 11th, just more than one degree past conjunction to the Sun–so, a New Moon baby!–and this again hints that partnership and/ or an ‘audience’ or other supportive public may be required, that aesthetics, Art, or relationships are central, and that the Soul’s purpose and the emotional/ intuitive nature are deeply connected. Too, we might infer that the kind of venture may be entirely new to the individual–something she doesn’t have a lot of experience with (New Moon status), and the House placement implies involvement with or leading of a group could be part of the ‘new’ role, and that the natural tendency is to create goals and then pursue them. We note that the Sun-Moon sit at the midpoint of the Uranus-ASC square, and that they semi-sextile Mars. Both suggest that the Will is strong and likely ‘leads the way’ in creating situations, some of which are surprising or ‘accidents’, that attempt to turn the individual in the direction most beneficial to her development. There is also a sesquiquadrate to Chiron, implying that there may be a lot of situations the individual either tries to accommodate (out of pain) or works to avoid (out of fear of pain), making circumstances more difficult or convoluted than they need to be.

Peripherally we look at the state of Moon/ Sun ruler Venus, which sits in the 12th in Scorpio, conjoined Ceres and sextile Zeus. This tells us that most of what motivates the individual is hidden, or at least working below the conscious level, possibly delivered/ revealed to the conscious mind through dreams or through Collective or spiritual experiences, and that ambitions, desires, and situations of autonomy, personal power, and responsibility are paramount learning experiences throughout life–even though they may not seem to be central to learning. That is, the condition of relationships, values, and finances may carry more info about the individual and the individual evolution than they do about their apparent subjects–and that implies the current financial situation is speaking about personal development needs, more than purely business ones.

Now back to the Nodes. We have three striking aspects/ configurations in which the NN is involved: a Cardinal Grand Cross with the Nodal axis and the Mercury/Pallas-Jupiter opposition; a Water Grand Trine with NN, Neptune, and Chiron; and a quincunx to Saturn. Let’s take these one at a time.

The quincunx to Saturn suggests a continual ‘adjustment’ of the real-world situation to the destined direction. The individual is constantly looking to modify ‘what is’ to take it in the direction they want to go. This shows high adaptability and practicality–they don’t fight the need to respond to circumstances or conform to the expectations (especially of authority) in order to move forward, and that’s good, but they also might be a little too quick to discard what they think isn’t working, or to modify efforts according to feedback–which is reinforced by the heavy Libra emphasis, suggesting a danger of losing one’s own desires by giving too much credence to what others say or do, to what authority or tradition tell us, or to ‘fashions’, as they apply to the individual’s own efforts. There may also be a sense that reality is perpetually unstable, perhaps making for a bit of fear around ‘what ifs’ or unexpected losses, or that there is always something semi-holding one back, anything from actual physical difficulties to a sense of barriers or a ‘glass ceiling’. The very rules and structure that gave a ladder to climb may have come to feel unreasonably inhibiting, along with an idea that things are ‘unfair’ and that the same restrictions don’t apply to others.

The Water Grand Trine speaks of the way feelings are the conduit for healing and creativity, for the spiritual and the most personalized of skills, and again we see the suggestion that these energies are held down deep, in the individual’s ‘deep down’ beliefs about the Self, or manifesting through familial relationships (Chiron in the 4th) or hidden and revealed in glimpses within dreams, spiritual experiences, interacting with large institutions that ‘confine’ the individual (like hospitals or prisons), or Collective events. So, the feelings hold the key to healing, to finding emotional balance, to accessing creativity and spiritual harmony, and so to creating with as much conscious intention as possible the life direction (NN).

But it’s the Cardinal Grand Cross that really lights this up! The thing with a Cross is that, when one arm is stimulated by transit or other contact, the whole thing lights up–and that means it can be very difficult for an individual to sort the energies out, or to handle them. It may feel like a landslide, with so much triggered at once, bringing forward a disconcerting confusion about why so much is happening at the same time, with the initial response often being a, Why me? as so little that goes down makes sense on the surface.

The Nodal axis is ‘crossed’ by the opposition of Mercury/ Pallas in Libra (wisdom and practicality, learned and offered through relationships) and Jupiter in Aries (belief in the Self! Too, always believing one can figure ‘it’ out on one’s own, or can learn ‘it’ by personal effort and availing oneself of the accumulated knowledge of society–that is, through education). That can also read as what the individual feels/ knows, the inner wisdom, is perpetually to some degree at odds with the ‘knowledge’ of the social order, making it hard for the individual to feel they belong.

The involved Houses are 2, 5, 8, and 11, and when combined with the Cardinal signs say that one’s own actions then form circumstances where things must be developed, calibrated, assessed. This can give a start-stop feeling that may frustrate that Cappy South Node and leave the Cancer North wondering what there really is to care about here, especially as the individual may be asked repeatedly to care about what others do or have, or to offer some sort of nurture or support, when to the individual it seems like it should be the other way around! And indeed it will be, as soon as the individual has put her energy into the needed, caring form.

Looking back 7 years, to the point when one career ended and the next began, we see something revealing: that between the Chiron Return, the proximity of transiting Pluto to conjunction with the South Node, Zeus’ conjunction to Pallas, and Saturn’s conjunction to Venus, the inclination was to ambition fulfillment through real-world means, but what was aimed for was pure South Node! Pluto’s contact made it feel like complete and utter change, but Pluto rules the 12th, cluing us in that what motivated the changes was at the mercy of the unconscious–which of course will work to stay safe, to profit, to gain power, to establish work that fits the dream (Saturn to Venus, ruler of the 6th and 11th)–and safety may have required a contained and conservative effort, rather than one as adventurous as intended. Her 3rd House Aquarian Saturn (thoughts consumed with creating a bright and progressive future, appreciation of the ‘new age’ of communication) was at this time receiving a longer-term transit of Juno (back and forth across the body), suggesting that the individual felt empowered in a real-world sense, believing her ideas had come of age, that it was her time to shine, that the empowerment picture and her place in it had matured–and that’s not wrong.

But, it seems to me that it was the timing of it all that may have thwarted the new start. My message might be this: Without meaning to, you may have followed the South Node, mistaking it for the change you were seeking. The ambitions felt smart and practical (Zeus to Pallas) and it looked like manifesting a prosperous earning situation was can’t miss, when it really may have been simply an echo of older, familiar ways couched in ‘new’ terms. Saturn natally in the 3rd and ruling the South Node may make it especially hard to break away from the past; the individual may do so on the surface, but the unconscious continues to orchestrate things in such a way that retreat may seem to be the only answer. It’s not, of course; a truly new venture may require amounts of feeling, vulnerability, and cooperation that are genuinely challenging to this individual. Now, transiting Uranus opposes Venus, driving home the unsustainability of it all, the unreliability even of the Self, life, and Purpose itself, and makes emotions feel like wild things (Uranus opp ruler of the Moon and Sun), even as Saturn transits the 3rd and prepares in a short while for the second Saturn Return, making the thoughts stubborn things, and making changing the way of thinking difficult, indeed. Surrender may be a concept to contemplate, with Uranus’ eventual sextile to the North Node in about two years potentially bringing illumination to the ‘which way should I go?’ picture.

And a second seeker interested in her North Node:

‘Virgo constellation from Uranographia’ By Johannes Hevelius 1690 {{PD}}

“My North Node in any aspects it makes, because I feel I didn’t figure out how to be of service/my mission/why I’m here anyways? (birth data redacted for privacy)”

Though normally we make some allowances for larger orbs in a natal chart, I’m going to keep it tight in this instance, as the picture is rather crisp and single-themed. This woman’s North Node is in Virgo in the 6th, conjoined Black Moon Lilith, semi-sextile Mars, ruler of the 1st, and trine Sedna. Interesting that she asks about service and her mission, as that’s definitely how Virgo sees things! The sign of service in one of the Houses of service, connected to the House that rules the Self. Add to this the contact to BML=a life direction one may actually try to avoid or ignore, or it may feel like it will stir up rage, if one addresses the injustices one sees–an attempt, perhaps, to just not open that can of worms that holds the key to one’s purpose–and contact to Sedna=again, easy to put the life’s mission in the ‘blind spot’ and ignore the inner knowing, the instincts and promptings. But why would someone want to avoid what they ostensibly seek?

I would assume that inability to pinpoint Purpose centers in a mistaken idea of what serving might ask of the individual, or as we see here, Purpose requiring some time and living to develop–so what kind of service does this chart suggest? Here’s where we see an amazing consistency in the nature of what the NN points toward: service through Virgo and the 6th, with NN ruler Mercury in Scorpio in the 8th of shared resources (opposed Sedna), Merc ruler Pluto conjoined the Sun in Libra–and what is Libra about? Justice! And cooperation/ aiding others, emphasized even further by placement of Sun-Pluto in the 7th of all others. With a NN in Virgo, we see that the Purpose in the largest sense is to serve–and we do that by some form of cooperation (Libra) with others. There’s also a lovely Taurus Moon in the 2nd–nurture as a talent–closely quincunx its own ruler Venus in the 7th in Libra=lifelong adjustment to the feeling nature through relationships–and this may signal that it was necessary for a good part of the life to have already been lived in order to develop a mature, resilient, and empathetic emotional nature, that’s now ready to take on the life’s purpose.

It seems to me this life is about serving either through forms of nurture, or in finding justice for others. This can take many many shapes, from health care or hospice care to forensic accounting to counseling or advocacy for others in court or within government systems to feeding others or finding housing for those without. Research, detective work, medical research or medical practice, tax preparation or administration, court advocacy or law, psychology, couples counseling, probationary officer, helping at-risk youth, nursing, chef, gardener or co-op manager, house mother, writer (concentrating on illuminating human nature, fiction or non-fiction)–I could go on, but the important point is all are in the broadest sense forms of looking for the Truth at the core of life, and in so doing benefiting those with whom one works/ interacts. This can be in formal roles that require training, or in the informal venues of friendship, intimate relationship, or motherhood, but in any case, an ability to think concisely, to follow the facts, to look unflinchingly at darkness but know how to show others the way to the light–that’s what you’ve got going for you–it’s up to you what shape your mission takes, but this service does need to have a public component, to be visible to others, especially others who can affect the fates of those you aid (like judges, doctors, or police, unless that’s the role you take on!) Please don’t feel like you’re getting a late start–you may already have gone in this direction to some degree, and just know that you needed time for what you have to offer to reach it’s full potential.

More to come! Thanks, everyone–