©10-29-10 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
We’re nearly at the end of our series of Question and Answer sessions about the 12 houses of the astrology chart. Looking back on it, I realized that there was one question that was asked in nearly every session—what the North and South Nodes meant in that particular house. What happens in the comment section usually stays in the comment section, but since the topic seemed to interest many of the readers, you’ll find a collection of insights about the Nodes below.
An Overview of the North and South Node
I see the house and sign of the North Node as something we need to work at and develop in this lifetime, ONE of our major tasks to master.
Not THE task, mind you, just ONE of them. We have to clear up a lot of karma and accelerate our development this time around, as who knows how long we will be able to keep coming back to this planet we are abusing so badly.
The North Node isn’t necessarily harder in a negative sense. It just may mean that you’ve paid more attention to the concerns of the opposite sign and house (the South Node position). Now it’s time for you to create balance by giving more time and energy to the North Node.
I do believe that the pairs of opposite houses are strongly related. They balance one another out in the quest for a healthy lifestyle–for example, the 2nd-8th house axis, or the 4th-10th house axis. The fact that the North and South Node are always in opposite houses suggests that keeping them in balance is a key to that healthy lifestyle.
If one end of a house axis is full and the other empty, does the North Node in the full one signify that our purposes or life tasks point toward the full one and away from the empty one? Yes, though there are always exceptions depending on the planets in that house, their signs and aspects.
The South Node, in my view, relates to a collection of lifetimes in which we’ve done and ultimately overdone the matters of that sign and house. It becomes too easy for us to fall into doing it–what they call the path of least resistance.
It’s a bit of a trap. When we fall back on that pattern too much, we either sabotage ourselves or, at the very least, shirk the work of the North Node. It’s too easy to slide into it at the expense of neglecting or not developing a solid base in the opposite house, where the North Node is.
The South Node is a type of behavior or even a gift developed so thoroughly that it’s what we do when we go on automatic pilot, as it’s just the easy way out. The gifts of a South Node are STILL gifts; we just need to remember to stay in balance.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing in itself if done in moderation, but when that’s all we know to do to meet a challenge, it doesn’t help us grow.
We get stuck in patterns that may not meet life’s new challenges. It’s like a dinosaur effect, and given the challenges we all face in a critical era like this one, we need to be open to handling a crisis in new ways. The North is ultimately the more rewarding of the two because it’s a hard-won accomplishment.
The South node isn’t entirely negative, but it’s a bit like still living at home and letting your parents support you at age 40 without ever having developed a career of your own…there’s a slight sleaze factor to the South Node.
The Nodes are also supposed to show important people in our lives–karmic ties, for instance. They’d show up in chart comparison, where there are conjunctions between one person’s nodes and a planet or angle in the other person’s chart. For instance, a North Node conjunction in the 11th would point to friends who play significant roles in helping us live up to our potentials.
Examples of the Nodes in Various Houses
The North Node with the Ascendant might be a “coming out of your shell” project, prompting you to put yourself forward rather than shyly hiding your assets and personality.
I know the next question is going to be, “what about the South node on the Ascendant or in the 1st?” Well, obviously the opposite. These would be people who are always pushing themselves into the limelight, constantly showing off, or putting their views out without considering others.
(That, of course, would put the North on the Descendant or in the 7th, challenging you to put your partner’s needs ahead of yours and considering them rather than making it all about you.)
Could South Node in the 1st indicate a person who’s most comfortable going it alone and finds it difficult to collaborate with others, even though that may be the more rewarding path? Yes, the South Node is one of our comfort zones, also possibly a guilty pleasure, instead of working to master the territory indicated by the North Node.
To someone with Aries Rising and the North Node conjunct the Ascendant but in the 1st: The conjunction would be a strongly Martian presence, whether if it’s in the 1st or the 12th. The nodal message would be to stand up for yourself when needed, but in the 12th, maybe it’s a bit overdone sometimes. . Perhaps in the 12th, the whole picture is that you can also, once assertiveness is balanced and comfortable, be a strong advocate for those who are downtrodden.
North Node in the 2nd/South Node in the 8th means that it’s an important lesson in this lifetime is to be self-supporting rather than rely on the resources of others. You’re asked to earn a living and manage money.
A planet square the North and South Node does complicate matters, depending on what it is. I have Uranus square the Nodes, with North Node in the 2nd, and making a living as an astrologer has proven to be quite a challenge.
South Node in the 3rd/North Node in the 9th: You are asked not to be too cerebral and the perpetual student (3rd house) and instead to teach others what you know and pass the knowledge on. Or not to be the constant Doubting Thomas, but to develop the capacity for faith as well.
North Node in 4th/South Node in 10th shows that you’ve been very focused and maybe successful with career, and now it’s time to cultivate home, family and roots.
Someone asked if the North Node in 9th indicated living or setting up a home abroad. The Node by itself would only indicate that one or more of the variety of activities related to the 9th is an important life task.
Living abroad might be part of it if it were in the sign Cancer or in a good aspect to the Moon (conjunct or trine). I’d be more inclined to give living abroad–or far removed from the birthplace–as a prediction if the Moon, Cancer planets, or the 4th house ruler were placed in the 9th.
To have the North Node in the 10th means that you’re meant to work on building a career over time, not just having a job to make a living, but one that grows into something meaningful (like a “calling.”) .
With South Node in the 10th, the North Node would be in the 4th, meaning the home and family life has been neglected in order to pursue ambitions or a position of worldly recognition, and that this is a lifetime to tend the home fires.
North Node in the 11th: Part of the life task would be learning how to work within a group toward positive results–not at all a simple matter, or groups wouldn’t perennially be breaking down with conflict or dysfunction.
Another part of the task might be learning how to be a friend and what the proper boundaries are in friendship.
If the South Node has a bit of sleaze factor, what could be sleazy about the South Node in the 11th house? And why would you need to focus on developing the 5th instead.
Well, maybe it’s easier for you to hang out with your pals than go out looking for a date? Or maybe you treat your sweetie like a pal, rather than be romantic. Or, maybe you’re one of those Moms or Dads who treats their kid as a confidant and pal, rather than being appropriately parental and setting limits. Or maybe you follow the crowd slavishly rather than explore your own creativity and style.
North Node in the 12th would mean that the positive uses of the 12th–like service and spiritual studies–are part of your curriculum for this lifetime. Finding a balance between the North Node in the 12th and South Node in the 6th would be to avoid being too much of a workaholic and to nourish the soul by times of quiet introspection and spiritual practice.
To have the South Node in the 12th could be a potential double dose of self-undoing, since the 12th already has that potential and so does the South Node.
NOTE: This is NOT a Q&A session. Please don’t ask me to fill in the missing pieces of the 12 houses. Not only am I retired from doing charts, I am also retired from doing 12 of anything! Use the examples given here and interpret the houses your own nodes fall into.
Although this isn’t a Q&A, I do have a question for you, if you’re game. What were the South Node piles of doodoo you stepped into before you learned better?
We’re not necessarily in full disclosure mode here, but I will tell you that my South Node is in Pisces in the 8th squared by Venus, Uranus, and Saturn in the 11th. You can imagine the varieties of trouble I and my friends got into when I was young! I’d tell you about it, but then my friends would have to kill you.
Related Articles on Skywriter:
- Fool’s Gold—the Slippery Slope of the South Node
- A Who’s Who of your Horoscope–the Players in all 12 Houses
- Pluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit #1—Houses & Areas of Life Affected
- The Houses–12 Different Ways to Heal from Stress and Trauma
- Download a chapter on the houses here: AGSA ch13-houses
- See more articles on the 12 houses in the category Houses of the Horoscope.
Readers Ask Series: (Readers’ questions and my Answers are in the Comment Sections)
- Readers Ask: Basic Questions about the 12 Houses
- Readers Ask: Q&A about the 1st House and Ascendant
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 2nd House
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 3rd House, Mercury, and Gemini
- The Best of Readers’ Q & A about the 3rd House and Mercury
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 4th House
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 6th House
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 7th House
- Readers Ask—Q & A about the 9th House
- Readers Ask—Q & A about the 10th House
- Readers Ask: Q&A about the 11th House
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 12th House
- New Insights into the 12th House from our Q&A Session
INDEX OF SKYWRITER’S 415 POSTS by category. Excellent resource for students. Save it to your hard drive rather than print it, and then all the links are live. Download it here: Articles Index Skywriter 11-2010.
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