I love discussing the North and the South Node because I really think that these are placements of destiny, as well as origin. There is something that just runs deep about your Nodes and it’s why they need investigating and need your attention. I always say that the key to overcoming a lot of the negatives in your chart, as well as accessing a lot of the positives, comes from understanding the sign and house that your South Node and North Node are in.
However, I should just dispel one common myth: you’re not supposed to leave behind your South Node. I hear people talking like that frequently and I feel like they’re missing the point. Your South Node sign and house do represent poor habits and negative tendencies that can seriously hold you back. And, yes, you’re supposed to overcome the flaws and the counterproductive nature of your South Node. But, there are many good things about your South Node, as well. It’s not all bad.
What your South Node is that it gives you fundamental traits that work as a base, as you pursue your North Node sign/house. This is why the Nodes are in opposite signs. They’re in an axis, meant to balance each other out. They feed each other. Without your South Node, you wouldn’t be able to be as strong in your North Node. For example, with my Leo South Node in the 7th conjunct the Sun, I have to get over seeing myself as the center of my personal relationships, the most interesting factor, and trying to manipulate everything into the dramatic script I want to play.
But, my South Node also gives me warmth, kindness, generosity, an ability to cheer other people on, that supports me on my Aquarius North Node in the 1st journey. Without these traits, the healthy detachment and the courage to experiment that I’m cultivating would go out of balance and just turn me into some cold, aloof person who does nothing but cause chaos and maintain a scientific viewpoint. So, your North Node needs your South Node. Yet, you also need to be able to keep your South Node’s negativity in check. It’s a constant balancing act, then.
There is something really spiritual about the Nodes. They have to do with your soul, as they are connected to the Moon. As far as the South Node goes, it represents your past but your past life. Now, I always remember that not everyone subscribes to the theory of past lives. Even so, the South Node still has a way of strongly influencing your past in this life. But, I’m definitely down with the theory of past lives. I think it makes sense because there’s just some part of ourselves that is responding from a place that has not much to do with what we’ve done in this life. If you respond from your Moon based on memories of what happened when you were six, you respond from your South Node based on memories of what happened when you were someone else entirely.
Some people like to say that the South Node is a symbol of your past lives, as in plural; the kind of life you lived, over and over and over again. I personally don’t know if we’re that destined to repeat ourselves. Maybe in this life and even the next but not over the course of several. I just think the South Node represents your most recent past life. The sign and house the South Node is in (as well as any planets conjunct it) symbolize how you lived last time around and the things that you didn’t get right. So, I think the South Node were the things you repeatedly messed up at in your last life. And you never resolved those issues. Maybe you never found forgiveness or humility or maturity or success; whatever the case might be. Therefore, it’s like a spiritual debt. It’s been carried over into this lifetime in order for you to pay it off.
That’s why there’s some element of “cruel fate” attached to your South Node, when you’re expressing it in unevolved ways. The Universe is set up, in this lifetime, to deny you the things of your South Node until you let go of its bad habits and work more on your North Node. But, unconscious of our karmic debt, we keep seeking “happiness” in this life area. We did these things so much the last time around and got them so easily that we just innately assume that life should be like our South Node. It’s just not going to work that way, folks. It’s like trying to go on a shopping spree with a maxed-out credit card and then being bewildered when the card is declined. If you over-focus on your South Node, you set yourself up for disappointment.
When I’m giving birth chart readings, interpreting people’s past lives based on their South Node is possibly my favorite thing to do. And I’m sure, deep down, it always resonates. This is the person who we just feel like we’re supposed to be! My South Node gave me a previous life of high popularity and personal recognition, alongside some equally amazing person. Having a personal planet conjunct the South Node makes you identify with it even more. So, with my Sun in Leo conjunct my South Node and in the 7th, I’ve always felt cut from special cloth and it’s something that I’ve (unfortunately) measured just about anyone who gets close to me against.
Yet, life has never rewarded me by living off these past-life memories of fame and idealized relationships. Leo South Node people are forced into humility by their circumstances, some way or another. It’s a process that I’m now so grateful for. But, pride goes before a fall and before I developed that awareness, I just had always a sense of how unfair it was that I wasn’t being given the special due that my regal past-life self received (even though I didn’t know that was the reason I felt that way for most of my life). And for those who don’t believe in past lives, you still have this nagging feeling that something’s missing, thanks to you coming up short when it comes to your South Node, that has followed you throughout life, maybe even creating some painful memories.
Enter your North Node! This is your soul’s greatest potential. I like to look at it as your origin story. Your South Node is like Bruce Wayne before he becomes Batman and your North Node is Batman. You can reach amazing heights through this placement but you have to be able to believe that you can. Yet, it’s something that’s always brewing, thanks to the denial of fulfillment that you crave via your South Node. With me, feeling like some sort of undiscovered, unappreciated superstar all my life created the misfit outlook of my Aquarius North Node in the 1st. I’ve never been used to fitting in or getting a lot of praise (I know; imagine how crazy-making that is for a Leo!), so I’ve always just resolved to do my own thing. And this independent-mindedness kept growing and growing within me until I realized it was a superpower.
That’s how you have to see your North Node: as a superpower. I think some people believe that you have to evolve into your North Node. And it’s true: you do have to challenge yourself to be that person. But, what you actually have to realize is that you already are your North Node. You just have to dig deep and embrace it. Since the North Node and the South Node are in opposition, the more life has disappointed you by denying you the wants of your South Node, the more you’ve been able to develop the strengths of your North Node. It’s just that the North Node is, again, a part of your soul. So, these are unconscious strengths; things we’re unaware of. We just have to challenge ourselves to bring them into the light and use them.
Let’s say you have the South Node in Pisces in the 4th. So, all you’ve ever wanted was a very forgiving, relaxing, compassionate private life and family environment. But, you spent a big part of your life not being able to have that: maybe things were too stressful at home growing up and, even as an adult, you just cannot seem to find much peace in your home life. So, you withdraw into a little shell, in private and when you’re all alone, creating your own world to crying over your hurts. And this becomes a very habitual way for you to deal with things.
Yet, another part of you develops that is just no-nonsense and authoritative. If everything is going to be so crazy and chaotic, then you’re going to develop an internal mechanism that organizes things and keeps them in control. And you’ve got big plans for what you’d like to do because of this organizational way of thinking. This side to you – your Virgo North Node in the 10th – keeps growing and growing until, when it’s finally unleashed, you can be a real structuring force in the world, tinkering things exactly to your liking.
But, what would get in the way of the expression of your 10th House Virgo North Node? Your 4th House Pisces South Node is still too scared, too self-protective, too lost in its own fantasies to actually act on those surprisingly effective plans. Like I said, when unevolved, your South Node just becomes your own Kryptonite, preventing you from saving the day. My Aquarius North Node in the 1st just wants me to soar as a free-spirit, doing whatever interests me and, at the same time, will benefit other people and be a worthwhile contribution. But, once my South Node steps in with thoughts of, “Well, everyone’s just going to love this! Or will they? I don’t know”, I lose my ability to fly. So, you have to allow yourself to be free enough to embrace the fullest potential of your North Node. It’s a great challenge but one worth tackling because it will really transform you.
Something else I should also say is that you should not interpret your North Node’s house as being exactly the same as the North Node in that sign. A 10th House North Node is not the same as a Capricorn North Node. Usually, the “alphabet system”, as it’s called (sign=house=planet), works out but when it comes to the North Node, it’s really not applicable because this is a placement that’s very specifically about direction in life. The North Node sign always dominates the house position. And that’s why being able to synthesize is important. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself flying off in two very different directions.