The North and South Nodes were something that I didn’t really learn about and take seriously until later in my astrology studies. They aren’t given the same status as the rest of the planets as signifying important aspects of your psyche and journey.
As a lifelong believer in reincarnation, when I fully understood the significance of the Nodes in terms of past lives, I had greater understanding of the lifelong journeys of myself, my family members, and the celebrities whose charts I creep on.
To explain the astronomical definition of the Nodes, they aren’t plants; they’re points in space. We know the Moon rotates around the Earth as the Earth rotates around the Sun (flat-Earthers exempt). However, from our perspective on Earth, it looks like the Moon and the Sun are rotating around us, because we’re just that important. The points at which the Moon’s path around the Earth cross over the Sun’s path around Earth are the Nodes. The North Node, or Ascending Node, is in the Northern Hemisphere, and the South Node, or Descending Node, is in the Southern Hemisphere.
In a practical sense, eclipses take place when the Sun and Moon are at least 11° away from the Nodes; i.e. they are at least 11° away from lining up perfectly. Lunar eclipses, or eclipses in which the Earth is blocking the Sun’s light on the Moon, occur when there’s a Full Moon on the Nodes. Solar eclipses, or eclipses in which the Moon is blocking the light of the sun from being perceived by us on Earth, occur when there’s a New Moon on the nodes. In an ordinary Full Moon and New Moon, the Earth and Moon are not in perfect alignment as they are during an eclipse. See this handy chart below:
Considering what the Nodes are astronomically, what are they astrologically? By quick definition, the North Node in your chart indicates what you are striving for and the South Node indicates what you are moving away from and what happened in your past lives.
To go back to basics for just a second, in astrology, we as a physical being are the Earth, our soul is the Sun, and our feelings are the Moon. So the symbolism of the Nodes is the place where our bodies, souls, and feelings come together.
At the South Node, we see where our bodies, souls, and feelings came together in the past, where we came from. This is what we have mastered in past lifetimes and what we might be inclined to do again in this lifetime, but what we need to move up from, moving to our North Node.
At the North Node, we see where our bodies, souls, and feelings can come together to take us higher. This is what we are aiming for in this lifetime, where we work to bring all three of these parts—body, soul, feelings—into sync to achieve the growth we’re meant to achieve.
In a birth chart, we examine the North Node’s sign and the highest most positive vibration of that sign for the energy that individual is working to achieve. The South Node’s sign indicates the energy the individual has a tendency for, but instead we consider the lower and more negative vibration of that sign. The house placement indicates where both energies will manifest, and aspects of other planets, especially conjunctions, will show in more detail how the Nodes are integrated into the person’s life.
For example, John Lennon had his South Node in Aries in the 12th house. In his past life he may have been a warrior, athlete, or any other Mars-type individual. The low vibration of Aries is being self-centered and egotistical, and in the 12th house, as a tendency to forsake other people and escape. He admitted to being physically abusive to his first wife, Cynthia, and their son, Julian, has talked about his father being essentially out of the picture for most of his life. He also reportedly had a number of affairs, one of which with Yoko Ono, ultimately ending his first marriage.
His North Node is in Libra in his 6th house and conjuncts his Sun, which makes it that much more significant and karmic. Libra is the sign of balance and fairness—and beauty—and in his life John outwardly promoted fairness, equality, and peace for all people, especially though making beautiful music. In the last year of his life in an interview with Playboy, John said, “I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. That is why I am always on about peace, you see. It is the most violent people who go for love and peace. Everything's the opposite. But I sincerely believe in love and peace. I am not violent man who has learned not to be violent and regrets his violence. I will have to be a lot older before I can face in public how I treated women as a youngster.” An interesting dichotomy, don’t you think?