Psychological inheritance and the lunar nodes

I did a reading for a client the other day who had Saturn, the planet of discipline and challenging life experiences, in a square to the Nodes of the Moon.  The Nodes of the Moon represent the pathway of our soul’s evolutionary journey from the past (the South Node) to the future (the North Node).  When a planet is in a square (90 degree) aspect to the Nodes of the Moon it is sometimes called a “skipped step” (coined by astrologer Jeffrey Green), meaning that planet plays an important role in our evolution and reflects an energy that requires constant examination and perfection. I have found in client work that the skipped step often shows something that gets in the way of our evolution – a pattern or way of looking at the world that holds us back and keeps us from being able to move forward in our lives.  Like so many other ways in which astrological forces that are difficult also serve as the keys to personal growth, that same planet that holds us back is the portal to our own self-discovery. In the reading I mentioned this square of Saturn to the nodes, and the fact that often individuals with this placement come into this life with a sense that life is too hard – the force of Saturn which forces us to work hard and apply great discipline both stands in the way of our finding ease in life, but also represents a key to our progress.  After the reading she shared with me that her grandmother had always told her that she was a descendant of a notorious mass murderer, and informed her that she and her family were being punished for the sins of the ancestors. It’s often said that the family inheritance lives at the Imum Coeli or IC, the cusp of the fourth house but we limit ourselves if we look in only one location for any astrological revelations.  In this case the square from Saturn to the Nodes, which tends to bestow a sense of deep guilt and a belief that life must be hard, easily adopted the projection of the family belief system that the sins of a medieval ancestor were still visited on the family. Not all of us are so connected to our family lineage, from what I have been able to glean from my years of doing chart readings.  But when there is a psychological and soul-based connection to a family history it will often show up in the South Node. A psychological inheritance of a belief system is still just a belief – it does not become true just because it has been passed down through a family for hundreds of years.  At some point that belief system can be changed, and Saturn is just the planet to make that happen.

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By | 2012-08-09T13:07:41+00:00 August 9th, 2012|Astrology|21 Comments


  1. Susanne August 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Lynn, thank you for the great insight. I have Uranus in Leo (10th house) and Venus in Aquarius (4th House) in opposition and both are square my NN in Scorpio (2nd house). I found that the opposition – like all oppositions – at first led to my 100% identification with Venus (work from home, dedicated mother and wife) while I projected the 10th house Uranus (go out there among the people dont care to be different) onto other people – or circumstances, it took me a long time to get a balanced view. I am not at the threshhold of going out there and really not caring – and making a difference. But there is one thing I can’t get straight: Having Libra rising means having the Scorpio NN in the 2nd house and when I read NN in Scorpio and NN in the 2nd they BOTH ring with me, NN in the second even a tad more than NN in Scorpio. Hence I struggle to really understand what my NN calls me to do and be. Combined with the squares to V and U it doesnt get easier. Thakn you for reading…if you can shed light on this please let me know. I’ll come back to you. Greetings from Africa. .

    • Lynn Hayes August 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Susanne, it’s difficult to really assess your chart without seeing it in the whole, but certainly a grand cross with the nodes and an outer planet system suggests that this is an important lifetime. Venus in Aquarius opposing Uranus is an astrological double whammy since Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, so there’s a sense of working with people on a level that is beyond your individual personal relationships. With Venus ruling your Taurus South Node and Libra rising it’s possible that your need to balance your relationships can hold you back, and Venus also rules the house of your North Node (the second) but in the chart it is in Aquarius, the sign of the collective. This is just a limited comment from what you mention here.

  2. Liz Verran August 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you for your ideas – very interesting.

    I have Saturn conjunct the S Node and have always expected life to hand me difficulties but I have also become very strong and self-sufficient. I also have Moon square the Nodes and find that my lack of connection to my feelings has held me back from personal growth.

    • Lynn Hayes August 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks Liz – you might want to shift the way you think about this and look at the fact that learning to connect with your feelings is an important key to facilitating your personal growth.

      • Liz August 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm

        Thank you, lynn, that has been a major lesson for me recently and I feel I’m making progress. It’s good to know I’m in my karmic path.

  3. Raven August 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Lynn, Thank you for this article! My natal Saturn also squares my nodes, Saturn in the 3rd at 4.16 capricorn…NNode Libra 3.0 12th. As the 3rd is communications, I have had many lessons with passive-aggressive-ness (family)…and pesimistic thinking. I have found my voice, and am using it supportively/positively, and not holding things in any more…and the thinking we are still actively engaged in positive affirmations to move to optimisim! There is an eclipse on my sun 22 degrees scorpio, in November…and Saturn moving onto scorpio…hopefully there are new doors on the horizon!

    • Lynn Hayes August 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Good for you Raven – Saturn in the 3rd does require that we learn to speak the truth and with that square to the nodes it becomes even more crucial.

  4. J August 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    interesting.. I as well have saturn squaring my nodes AND ascendant in cancer (saturn in libra, part of a stellium with mars and pluto in the 4th)
    it definitely isn’t a ‘happy go lucky’ placement! the interesting part is that it is rumoured in my family that my great grandfather also commited murder. i also believe I carry alot of family karma (beyond the greatgrandfather) as I come from a lineage of women who have suffered at the hands of men. That being said, these men must have had their own set of wounds that were not acknowledged which is why these events occured. I believe that alot of this has karma fallen upon me. still not sure why, and i’m still trying to figure it all out. if your client is reading this you are not alone!

    • Lynn Hayes August 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks for sharing this J – and of course Mars and Pluto in the fourth can add to the sense of a violent lineage. The idea though that we are stuck with that karma can be transformed, I believe, and we can be freed from any liability incurred by our ancestors.

  5. KaD August 9, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    It looks like my SUN squares the nodes and is in the 4th house; what in the world is that saying? Gads.

    • Lynn Hayes August 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      KaD – of course the whole chart must be looked at. If the Sun squares the nodes you are likely torn between the past and the future, but the rest of the chart will describe the rest of the story.

  6. Mkw August 10, 2012 at 7:18 am

    My North Node is in 6th house Pisces exactly opposite Pluto in Virgo, (and obviously my South node), in the 12th house. Saturn is clumping back and forth over my ascendant at this moment. (Also Jupiter and Uranus Conjunct in 12th on 0 Libra in my natal.)

    I have a pattern of not being very good with the real world; hearkening back to the past, knowing that somehow stuff from past lives is holding me back. I am also trying to escape an inherited and lifelong addiction – can anybody please tell me if this is a good time to try and break it?

  7. debbie August 10, 2012 at 9:07 am

    My nth node is inconjunct saturn and saturn in inconjunct my sun, yep a real doozy of a yod i can tell ya, I have had to work hard to break through the limitations placed in my mind by my father and that societal attitude of his generation in order to be me, and now trying to be successful at being me, its been a slow slow hard slogm i feel i mustve been a nasty controlling male in past life and so determined to put it right. Heres hopin anyway!

  8. Elouise August 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Is it also correct to describe such a planet as ‘in the bends’? (I have Mercury cj Pallas in the bends.)

  9. Beth August 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Very fascinating learning more about the nodes and the psychological inheritance. Also, this was first time I have heard about Imum coepli or IC, as position of family inheritance. Thank you, lynn! I continue to soak up information each time I read your blogs.

    • Lynn Hayes August 12, 2012 at 8:13 am

      Thanks Beth – I just want to make the point though that when I say family inheritance I’m referring to the psychological inheritance, this has nothing to do with money. 🙂

  10. Brex August 12, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Funny thing is, I can really relate to the things you say about Saturn square the nodes. The thing is, I have Jupiter (1st house, but in intercepted Pisces) square my NN in the 10th house in Sagittarius, so ruled by Jupiter. Also a tight conjunction of Mars-Neptune within 2 degr of my NN.
    I have learned and experienced a lot, but can’t seem to go forward in life (no partner or kids, no job right now, not one big talent that stands out) and what bothers me the most: can’t find my vocation. Does the square from Jupiter mean a lack of personal (1st house!) confidence or education?

    • Liz August 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      I have Jupiter in Aries in 1st but it is opposite Saturn and I have never got anywhere with my career. Each time I stick my neck out a voice (inside me or outside) says I’m showing off, so I withdraw. I’m in my 60s now so it doesn’t effect me so much. It sounds to me as though that is your issue – not the nodes.

    • Lynn Hayes August 13, 2012 at 7:35 am

      Brex, I don’t think you can blame Jupiter square the nodes for these problems although I would have to see the whole chart to really be able to comment with any intelligence. Jupiter is your NN ruler, so the fact that it squares the nodes is of particular importance. And that Mars/Neptune conjunction on the NN suggests that there is some letting go that needs to happen.

      Jupiter square the nodes often suggests that one takes one’s talents for granted and assumes that everything will take care of itself. The aspects you describe are heavily weighted towards the Jupiter/Sag but if there are other elements in your chart that are more weighty, like earth planets or signs, this would be offset.

  11. jenni August 14, 2012 at 4:06 am

    as usual late to the party ! i have to say, respectfully, i think that’s a dreadful thing for a grandmother to say to a granddaughter however it does show the impact grandparents can have on their grandchildren. i dont know enough about nodes etc to make any comment on the rest of the post !

  12. Pats September 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I have Saturn, Mars and Pluto all square my nodes. I also have my venus tightly conjunct my south node hence again square all the three. So what steps have i skipped!?

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