The Lunar Nodes
In astrology, the lunar nodes are very important and have the potential to be extremely insightful for us in our life, as they give us a clear understanding of our deepest emotional habits and potentials. Essentially they are connected to our soul’s memory, as well as our hereditary patterns inherited from our family. They show us where we have come from and more importantly where our soul is attempting to go in this life.
They have been used astrologically in many different cultures for centuries. One of the old stories used to describe them comes from ancient European texts which describe a celestial dragon that devours the Sun and Moon, its head representative of the north node and its tail the south node. When we are born, this dragon runs through our natal chart, carrying all of our soul’s memories from past incarnations and bringing them into this life. The south node shows us where our soul has come from while the north node shows where our soul is moving towards and where the food for our soul’s growth is located. In Hindu astronomy, they are named Rahu (north node) and Ketu (south node).
The South Node
Our south node allows us to peer into our deepest soul memories, emotions, instincts and habits. There is a familiarity with the energetics of the south node. Its sign and house location tend to be where we feel most comfortable in life, often retreating to them out of our soul’s habits. Often times we are gifted in these qualities or they come naturally to us. We can look at it as if we have spent lifetimes working, creating, learning, and living out those energetic qualities. Therefore our soul has already done those things, and with spending so much energy and time there we create not only good habits but bad habits as well. This is the key to understanding the south node: our soul is ready to take the best of those qualities and apply them to a new area of life, in order to continue its growth and evolution. To do this and balance out the heaviness of the south node it must apply the south node’s best qualities to its opposite of the north node.
The North Node
Our north node gives us insights into the direction that our soul is wanting to grow towards and what lessons it must learn to continue its evolution. There is an awkwardness and unfamiliarity with the energetic qualities of the north node. Its location by sign and house often times are challenging for us, and we naturally tend to stray away from it while also having a deep underlying curiosity and attraction to it. That area of life is completely new to our soul, hence the unnatural and awkward feelings towards it. However, deep down our soul is urging us to learn and develop those qualities in this life. Remember, the south node is what we have been doing for lifetimes, and our soul has grown bored and tired creating an uneven balance of energy within our natal charts. This is the key to understanding the north node: our soul must develop these new qualities in order to bring balance into this life and continue our soul’s evolutionary journey.
~ The Nodal Ships ~
I would like to share here an analogy that helps to explain and understand the dynamics of the natal nodes within the birth chart.
Imagine that when we are born, we come into this life with a ship that we are able to use and sail through this life with. This ship represents our south node, and it is already complete when we are born, as we had built it in our previous life. We know this ship well. We are familiar with it and know how it works and sailing it is like second nature to us.
Now when we were born and arrived in this life we also noticed that there is a pile of infinite materials, and we are given the freedom to use them in order to build a new ship. This pile of infinite materials represents our north node. There is no ship there, just an unlimited amount of materials and tools of which we may build and design a new ship with.
Now, take note that the question the nodes are asking us is, “How do we want to feel when we leave this life?” So our first option and the natural tendency is to say “Sure maybe someday I will build a new ship, but for now I will just use this south node ship which is already finished”. Yet as we all know, tomorrow never comes... So, laziness builds and we continue on sailing that south node ship, every now and then looking at that pile of materials and thinking “Someday…”
So if we choose this path, how are we going to feel when we leave this life? Well, we now have a beat up, raggedy old ship and a large pile of unused and wasted materials. We feel like we don’t have much and perhaps we even grew bored of our south node ship long ago, while now regretting not putting in any time or effort into creating something new.
The other option is to decide to work with the pile of materials to create and design a new ship to sail. Perhaps we take inspiration from our old south node ship or even utilize it to know how we want to make something different. The choice is ours, and we have the freedom to create anything we want with an infinite source of materials. We could build a yacht, speedboat, or a bad ass canoe! It’s up to us, and that is the freedom of the north node: we just have to decide to put in the work. Also, maybe every now and then we can take a break from our work to go sail around in our south node ship while really enjoying it and all the memories it brings.
If we have chosen this path, when we leave in the end, we will now have a well preserved antique in our south node ship and our brand new north node ship... yacht, speedboat, or a super sweet, kick-ass canoe! Either way, just imagine the difference in the feelings between the two paths mentioned.
So this is what the nodes are like in our lives. The south node is complete, and the north node must be developed. Sure, our south node may be complete but it is delicate and can easily get worn down. The north node takes work. However, if we begin working on it we will see that we are provided all that we need. When we begin to work on our north node, it is difficult and we feel awkward, yet we learn and grow on a soul level and we notice it is as if the entire cosmos is saying “Finally... here you go... I have been waiting for you”.
As we can see, the lunar nodes are very important and powerful parts of astrology even though they are not actual objects in the sky. They are the key to the power of eclipses and represent points where the Sun, Moon and Earth all align on the same plane. I like to think of both the natal nodes and the transiting nodes as the main points of calibration in our charts. Just as the tides of the ocean are in a constant flux of moving in and out, the lunar nodes are always in a state of calibration needing to be balanced or tuned like the strings of a guitar.
~ These teachings are excerpts from The School of Living Astrology's 'SOLA Online Program'
Article By – Tyler Penor
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