This post may be somewhat advanced for some readers, for which I apologize in advance.

North Node South Node

Image of Rahu and Ketu from Exotic India Art

I had an email from a client the other day lamenting the difficulty in working her north node.

The nodes of the Moon mark the passage of the Moon across the ecliptic, the Sun’s apparent path through the zodiac.  The North Node, also called the Dragon’s Head (Rahu in Vedic astrology), represents the direction in which we are heading, and the South Node, the tail of the dragon or Ketu in the Vedic tradition, represents the influences from the past – that which is familiar and comfortable, and to which we retreat when under stress.

In Western astrology we typically look at the South Node as being negative and something to move away from, and the North Node as being something to move towards.  Many astrologers advise us to “work the North Node” – to minimize the effects of the sign and house of the South Node, and maximize the influence of the North Node.

I talked about this in my radio show that I titled “The Why we are Here Show” and if you’re interested you can listen to it here.  As I perceive the human incarnation, we come as a soul with a divine purpose, but we are working through a human personality.  The birthchart describes the trappings of the personality, and the kinds of experiences we will have that will provide tests and challenges as well as gifts and good fortune.  I believe that before we can fully absorb our spiritual and evolutionary purpose, we must heal and become fully actualized at the personality level.

Let’s say you have the South Node in Libra in the seventh house, and the North Node in Aries in the first house.  Libra and the seventh house both long for partnership and we-ness, but your evolutionary destiny is to develop your first house/Aries independence.  But let’s say Venus, describing your relationships, in your chart is in Pisces, the sign that has the urge to merge, and it forms a challenging square to Uranus, the planet of rebellion and autonomy.  Your challenge would be to find a true soulmate relationship (Venus Pisces) yet still retain your autonomy (Uranus).

In this example, the Libra South Node would always pull us towards the world of relationships (Venus Pisces)  it would be a huge mistake to throw out the inner conflict of the Venus/Uranus for the sake of working the Aries North Node that “has to be me,” disregarding the need to find a true soulmate that the Piscean Venus seeks.  Before we can truly move towards the Aries North Node we must integrate our relationship needs successful.  THEN we will naturally move towards the independence of the North Node.

It’s very tempting to want to skip the lessons of the personality to accomplish the soul’s work, but until the personality is fully integrated (or as Jung termed it, “individuated,” we really cannot transcend personality into an experience of pure Soul.

For me, the North Node is like a signpost that’s there to remind us of the ultimate destination.  The rest of the chart is there to help us to prepare and integrate the personality so that we can become free from personal issues and ready to move into the real evolutionary journey.

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