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Interpreting The Moon's
North and South Nodes

Copyright 2000-Today Moses Siregar III

If i had to give up everything in a chart, and could only look at one thing, I would keep the Moon's North and South Nodes. They are usually, but not always, the most accurate indication of someone's life purpose, of all the placements in the western birth chart.

The Moon's Nodes are always 180 degrees opposite one another. The South Node is the symbol of our past. It represents where we are already gifted, comfortable, and
attached. Moving out of this place can be the work of a lifetime, because everything in us just wants to stay where we are comfortable, and hope that we could do so for a whole lifetime. But, alas, we are here to grow into uncharted territory of self-exploration. The North Node points us in the direction of what would be scary, difficult, and yet utterly exhilarating for us to achieve. Knowing about our North Node, so that we can continually notice our resistance to fulfilling it, is one of the most invaluable pieces of self-knowledge that astrology can give us. When we look back over our lives, if we have not fulfilled our North Node, we will probably look at our lives with some disappointment. It's as if one who has fulfilled his/her North Node could probably die in peace.

One can usually notice the universe pushing one towards their North Node. Usually, when one gets too lazy and comfortable in their South Node territory, that territory starts to become really uncomfortable--like the universe whipping the mule (that's you and me!) from behind. And, when one is actually moving in the direction of their North Node, positive things occur to encourage us to keep moving in that direction--like the universe dangling, and granting a bite of, a carrot in front of the mule.

The qualities of the South Node are actual, inherent personal characteristics, and are quite strong. These are qualities that we are already gifted with from day one. So the sign, for example, of one's South Node can be considered a major personal placement, though the qualities are general rather than specific, because they can be said to be leftover energies from our past.

When planets are conjunct the South Node, two things are indicated. One, that planet (with its sign and house) also explains our past, and we are likely to have a complex relationship with these qualities--these qualities may be more difficult and feel more karmic. Really, there is no standard interpretation for a planet conjunct the South Node; it is a unique situation in each case and a fair amount of intuition may be a big help with understanding the meaning of planetary conjunctions to the South Node, and the possible past-life or karmic meaning thereof. In most cases, the planet will show energies that we already have strong previous experience with, although this could be predominantly negative or positive past experience. A variety of factors, like the planet/sign combo, the house placement, other aspects to the South Node conjunction, and degree analysis can be consulted for further clues. No matter what, we are being asked to complete a certain kind of issue, or we could say karma, by these conjunctions.

When planets are conjunct the North Node, it gives us more information about what we are here to do and fulfill. In general, planets conjunct the South Node pull us more strongly into the past from time to time, and thus make our life progress harder; planets conjunct the North Node help pull us towards our current life purpose.

When interpreting the Nodes, it is good to find the negative aspects of the South Node's sign and house,
as contrasted with the positive qualities of the North Node's sign and House. The positive qualities of one's North Node indicate one's primary direction of evolution as contrasted with the negative qualities of one's South Node. Or, one can view the neutral qualities of both nodes.

Yet while the main point is that the North Node is the more important direction, ultimately I feel that a true balance of the North and South Nodes is ultimately the real goal. In some meaningful ways, they can actually be read in reverse order.

Also, very important: the sign of one's North Node is one of the best ways to understand the whole 'color,' feeling-quality, or tone of one's entire life. For ex. Sag North Nodes tend to have a more 'lucky' life tone, including travel, education, etc.

To study your nodes, find the sign and house of your nodes (if you have printed your chart at astro.com, it will be called 'True Node' or just 'Node,' and will be in the chart with the planets; the North Node looks similar to the sign, Leo). Convert these into basic polarities. For example, a Sagittarius NNode in the 4th house will have a Gemini South Node in the 10th house (the nodes are always perfectly opposite). The positive direction of these nodes are therefore Sagittarius/9 and Cancer/4. Then read about the basic evolutionary purpose of your two nodal polarities in The Twelve Nodal Polarities. These are primarily life purpose directions, and you will never go wrong by growing in these directions.

Note: When the signs and houses seem to contradict

If the direction of the nodes seems to contradict, fit the nature of the sign into the arena of the house. You can use The Houses Zone to learn more about the house involved, or The Positive Qualities of the Signs to learn more about the sign involved. The house will generally be more important than the sign when the two seem to contradict, so I suggest fitting the nature of the sign into the house, rather than the other way around.

Note: Moon's Nodes in Angular Houses

In addition to, or in place of, the normal meanings of the nodes's sign and house placements, the nodes in an angular house can simply be pointing to sign qualities that one needs to bring more into their self-expression, as shown by the sign of the North Node. The angular houses can simply refer to the personality.

For More Advanced Students

To get a bit more information, one can also look at the house placements of one's nodes in one's Sun Sign Chart (Whole Sign Houses) and Solar Chart (the Sun's degree as the Ascendant, with the Equal House System), or the sign/house placements in the 9th harmonic chart.


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