Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 28, 2010

House Positions of the Nodes—Insights from Our Q&A Series

©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 11thPart 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: 

Readers Ask Series:  (Readers’ questions and my Answers are in the Comment Sections)

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Responses

  1. Hmmm…

    About your SN doodoo question: none that I’m aware of.

    My NN is conj Pluto, both Virgo, in 5th. I had a personally gratifying local show business career (and made some money) from my childhood until my early twenties.

    No idea your thoughts about pre-natal eclipses but mine was in 11th/5th, Aquarius/Leo. So with SN and pre-eclipse in 11, I really have NO TEMPTATION to rely on SN at all.

    I have a couple of nice aspects to SN though: sextile Saturn and trine Neptune. One time I needed “the tribe” to help me, and help me they did. They saved my life in the most surreal Pisces/Virgo event imaginable. NN novile Cancer Mars Rx in 3rd so yeah, it was an “initiation” into the power of self expression, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say.

    I’ve been told that I should write a book about what happened. I don’t know. Really don’t want to go back there, truth be told. That might be a nice steaming pile of doodoo to step in! LOL

    • Oh my word, Donna. A light bulb just turned on over my head – did you see it? lol

      With my Pisces SN in 11th, my doodoo pile is: “Piscean” groups!

      I can’t say I’ve ever “stepped” into them in the sense of getting myself in a mess, but I’ve withdrawn voluntarily from a secular religious order, a quite honorable one, because it just wasn’t “right” for me. They never officially accepted my withdrawal.

      Scorpio Neptune in 6th conj Desc and Scorpio Moon…smell the incense?

      I’m smiling. I figured something out. Thank you, Donna!

      BTW that would be a great title for your memoirs, “Thank you, Donna!”

  2. Donna, I’m searching for some more information on specific aspects of the nodes. I’ve seen some info on nodes transiting natal planets. But I’m looking for info on natal charts with nodal aspects to planets (e.g. my natal Neptune conjunct N Node at 1′ Scorpio). There’s a lot of info on nodes out there, but I couldn’t find anything on natal nodal aspects. Can you point to any useful info I could study?

    • Hmm. I’d be surprised if NOBODY has written about that–surely a book on the nodes should cover natal planets in aspect to the nodes, and there are quite a few books on the nodes out there now. Anybody know of one? Donna

      • Celeste Teal has a book on the nodes that has all the cookbook definitions of placement and aspects in addition to transits and forecasting. Recommended. Then there’s pretty much anything written by Steven Forrest. All are recommended.

    • Patricia L. Walsh has an amazing Nodes book combining the works of Jeffrey W. Green and Roger Woolger. It’s about the Nodes, Pluto, and Deep Memory Process. It called Understand Karmic Complexes.

      Celeste Teal’s book is good. It’s kinda “if this, then that, except when the other and then it’s…” which is hard for me to follow in places.

      I own both books.

    • Jan Spiller came out with a book in the late 1990s which dealt specifically with the nodes and their signs, house positions and aspects. Personally, I found it to be an excellent read and highly accurate with respect to my own chart. If you are interested in picking up a copy of the book, it is called “Astrology for the Soul”.

    • OK thanks for the recommendations, everyone. I will check them out. I don’t have a convenient bookstore nearby that stocks astro books so it’s hard to buy books sight unseen. Your personal assessments of these books is invaluable.

      • Don’t forget the public library!

        My elder daughter is a librarian. She says they love to get recommendations for books to buy. Maybe if they don’t have a book you want, the library will buy it for circulation?

      • don’t forget amazon.com and powells.com as well!

      • Charles,

        If it is any help to you at all, you can read quite a number of excerpt pages from Jan Spiller’s “Astrology For the Soul” online at the following location….

        http://books.google.ca/books?id=koQwIaaPjcgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=astrology+for+the+soul+jan+spiller&source=bl&ots=MWKy4nw1Pn&sig=aeNpO9VLKQvCo1OnUaBagdz6XWk&hl=en&ei=hPHMTJnVA4qcsQOUl_yEDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDEQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false

        Just click on the link and it will take you right there. If you find the book to your liking, it can be ordered online.

      • One other excellent book is Jungian astrologer, Elizabeth Spring’s North Node Astrology: Rediscovering Your Life Purpose and Soul Direction, available on her blog, listed on the blog roll here.

        Oh, and I just looked on Free Paperback Swap in their astrology collection and there are lots of books on the nodes available there. http://www.paperbackswap.com Donna

      • Ooops…. I just realized after reviewinlg the text of that book again that I inadvertently mislead you with regards to it detailing house positions and aspects. As it turns out, I must have been thinking about another book I own that does address those issues. Unfortunately, it’s not a book specifically focused on the nodes per se. Jan Spiller’s book is thorough and no matter what, remains an excellent read and a welcome addition to my own personal library.

  3. Thanks for this enlightenment. You mentioned SN in 3rd w/ NN in 9th; I can’t seem to get my mind around what a reversed meaning may be…would you mind, please? And if NN represents a task to be mastered in this life, how readily is that determined & accomplished when one’s Sun is in direct opposition?

    • As I said in the post, “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. Nope, this isn’t a Q&A.” Donna

      • My apologies once again. Others on this site appear to get away with it; but you seem to see right thru my queries.

        My interpretation of SN conj. Sun is that at times I fall back on those readily accessible responses/energies, many times to my detriment. Yet to function/respond from the NN is quite foreign & takes more cognizant effort (tho maturity has helped). I’ll meditate on the reverse of the 3/9 house node placement you note in the article; yet it just now dawned on my that I am always looking for a teacher…ummmm?

      • LOL! I’d guess that the reason you don’t get away with it is that very same SN conjunct Sun–because the query is too obviously all about you.

        A clencher for me to say I won’t answer is if there are specific details that can only be about an individual chart (e.g. “and the SN is conjunct the Sun in the 9th”). The more specific details, the sooner the buzzer.

        Sometimes I’ll answer if there are specific details but the main gist is a good question that can have a broader applicability, so then I usually just answer the general part.

        Sometimes it’s just an enticingly good question that I have plenty to say about, so I bite. And sometimes this old lady is plain tuckered out and won’t. Donna

        PS. For an example, take a look at what I did with elesei’s questions below. It’s probably about her chart, but there are general applications, so I focused on those in the answer.

  4. This is cool.🙂

    I have North Node in Scorpio in my 5th house and obviously my South Node in Taurus in 11th.

    My North Node is trine my Asc and MC it’s also conjunct Uranus in Scorpio 5th house. Uranus is opposite my South Node and my moon and venus are trine it. It’s also quincunx Mercury.

    I’m a late bloomer in respect to developing my creativity and spirituality,but it’s coming along pretty well now.
    I used to just dedicate myself to my friends and well my life was pretty aimless,and also I would put myself on the backburner, I was afraid to pursue anything because I felt like nobody was backing me up and I had no confidence.
    I used to not know what direction I was heading..I went from one thing to another trying to find myself….but with some encouragement(finally lol!)from some people I care about, I realized that I”m being set up to explore my creative and spiritual nature.

    At least I think I am. Thank you Donna!

  5. Donna, I observed that people get gains from the South Node matters. For example I know a person with SN in 7th Cap that started off her life when she got married. And that was the moment her life started going upwards.

    And this is just one example, because I have seen many people living their lives on their South Node – I can understand that since living off their North Node does not look like much like living.

    I also think that if one has Venus on their SN they can get away with much more than a person that has Saturn on SN, who is probably gonna try to escape the saturnine frustrations.

    • You make some interesting points, elisei. I’d say that the reason a person with Venus/SN gets away with stuff that a Saturn/SN does not is that the Venus person is trading on their charm, looks, or social connections to bail them out of trouble.

      By contrast, the Saturn/SN person’s instinctive response might be to hunker down in a Saturnian mode–fearful, pessimistic, and morose–none of which inspire others to embrace them.

      Gains from South Modes are, again, what I said about a gift–cashing in some good karma. But it’s not a good idea to just milk that good karma cow all the time–you never know what’s coming in the future that you’ll need all the good karma you can muster just to get through it.

      It’s not all bad, for sure–my South Node is in the 8th trine Jupiter in the 12th (a position that often has to do with the cavalry showing up to rescue one at the last moment). I HAVE been rescued, no doubt about it–for instance, I had scholarships (ruled by the 8th) all the way through college and grad school and thus got a great education despite coming from a dirt poor family.

      But the South Node thing would have been to RELY on those rescues rather than work my tusch off besides to get really good grades and work 20 hours a week. Donna

  6. Thank you for the article!
    As far as I understand Sun symbolizes one of our life tasks.
    And what if Sun is conjoining the South Node?
    What direction is more important?
    Deilf

  7. Mine is a cosmic joke:Leo in the 12th,(sextile pluto, square uranus, trine neptune, semisextile venus and jupiter) no leo planets, empty 5th.
    I don’t know about the nodes. They’re like a blind date and blind dates are bad dates most of the times. The other placements in my chart, I feel them, it’s who I am, what I aspire to be, what I’ll turn into if I don’t watch out, but setting out to become sth I’m not and I don’t want to be just because my chart says it’s a good idea, I don’t know.

    They do work in synastry though, I mean they don’t but they do-if you now what I mean.Personally, I found my life path when I finally got the competing influences of my chart to team up. I love risky projects and innovative ideas and fresh starts, and it’s essential to me to always leave a door open for change to occur (but good luck explaining that to a lion).
    Maybe I should stick to my SN, after all Aquarius is my favourite sun sign and Aquarians my favourite people in the world!

    • I love the two points I highlighted–great and typically pungent observations, VR. Donna

  8. My S. Node is in the 9th house conjunct Saturn in Aquarius and it has always made me want to escape through compulsively reading esoteric, astrology books and the unexplained, a loner and in my own world at times. That’s where I go when sad, but also how I shake off depression. I’ll always do that somewhat.

    The doodoo part comes when I become unproductive materially and in too much isolation. My nodes square Neptune, from the 6th, so when I indulge in my south node too much my physical body will react like my eyes will hurt from reading or my butt from sitting too long reading. I have become extra sensitive to excessive drinking or drugs I don’t need, my body will react strongly against it.

    But going to my 3rd N. Node Leo, house of communication with Uranus in that house too, can bring trouble and controversy my way at times.

    • LOL! Shouldn’t laugh but the SN/Saturn in Aquarius in the 9th paired with NN/Uranus in the 3rd sounds like one of those “can’t win for losing” situations!

      Face it, they’re so similar to one another that you’re going to be a student of esoteric subjects regardless, and there are penalties/sacrifices that come with this life path. Donna

  9. Donna, I’m curious about NN transits. What should we look for when a planet transits the natal NN? Also when the transit of NN crosses a natal planet?

    I looked at my chart after I read your post and noticed that right now I have Saturn transit conjunct my natal NN and at the same time the transiting NN is conjunct my natal Saturn. It’s piqued my curiousity regarding transits of the NN.

    • Hi, Terri, to be honest, I don’t follow transits to or from the Nodes, though I know many astrologers do. I’m strongly focused on the transting planets from Saturn on out and just go deeply into what’s going on with those planets, as they are the major signposts of change in our lives.

      A transit by the Nodes to a natal planet may be the signal that an eclipse is coming your way, since the Solar and Lunar eclipses follow the transiting nodes. An eclipse on a natal plant is like a highlighter pen that puts a strong emphasis on that planet for 6 months or so.

      An outer planet transit TO the natal node would be a crucial turning point in your handling of the natal nodes and the lessons still to be learned on that score. Donna

  10. I have the South Node in the 1st house/Cancer and everything was all about family while I grew up. I was also my mother’s buddy, too, as a kid. I had to literally tear myself out of that situation to get away (having Pluto and the Moon square that probably helped, or made her try ever 10 years or so to re-do that tie, hahah).

    My North Node is in the 7th house/Capricorn. Relationships of all sorts (work, personal, business) have definitely been a lot of work, but… my life and my personal development made huge leaps through them!! I definitely wouldn’t had done what I’ve been able to do if I kept my focus on family and mom!

  11. NN Scorpio 3rd/ SN Taurus 9th.

    I went to school for art although I felt I wanted to be a writer from an early age. Last year I finally decided to dive into my NN (loosely conjunct Uranus) by starting my own astrology blog. Lately I’ve been thinking of projects that can combine arstistic and writing talent together.

  12. What about SN/NN being right on house cusps? Would both houses on the cusp affect the nodes?
    …as an example: NN (28 deg 7′ Capricorn) on 4th/5th (28 deg 25′) house cusp and SN on 10th/11th (Cancer) house cusp?

    What’s interesting is that I have a bunch of planets in both houses of the SN cusp (jup, uran, moon, plu). In my early years I worked at ‘good-paying’, society-approving jobs. And most of my friendships were through my jobs (10/11?). The sad part was that every time I quit a job, I would also lose my friends.

    Now I’m pursuing an art career and working out of my home (4/5th?) and the only other action in either of these houses is Chiron (4th). I create mandala art…initially for my own healing, and now they are helping other people. I think I’m finally starting to get the message here🙂

    I do keep joining art groups and co-ops thinking it will be easier to do the art thing with other people. They always seem to fall apart or fall short for me. And besides most of my artist compadres don’t get my art and it’s hard to categorize. Now I have a better understanding of why…thanks for writing this post, Donna.

    It would appear I need to focus on my own thing, blaze my own trail.

    • The only house cusps that are absolutely for sure are the 4 angles of the chart (1, 4, 7, 10) because they remain active points and are the same in most house systems. The other (intermediate) house cusps change when you change house systems. People have been debating which is the “real” house system for the 42 years I’ve been involved with astrology without any resolution. And so the house the nodes are actually in–like all the planets–are always up for debate. (Not to mention that an unrectified birth time is iffy, and that could change which house they are in, too.)

      So when a planet/node/whatever is on the cusp like that, I turn to the only real experts–the clients themselves. And I describe what it would be like if the chart feature were in house A, and then I describe what it would be like if it were in house B. And I ask the person which they think is true. And more likely than not, they will say both are true.

      So as far as I’m concerned, house cusps are a grey area and only the client can determine which is true. Donna (hopefully answering that question for the very last time)

      • Thank you for clarifying this issue.

        Since the house system is so iffy…then how about the notion of the nodes (or any planet for that matter) being natal-ly conjunct with a sign change ie…between 29 deg of one sign and 1 deg of the next sign?

      • Folks, as I said in the post itself, I didn’t intend for this to be a Q&A, mostly because I’m no expert on the nodes and barely pay attention to them. There, I’ve said it.

        I did have a neat idea this week, however. I was wondering what we’ll do when the last of the houses is done, and I got the bright idea of asking guest bloggers to host Q&As about topics I’m not strong on–like retrogrades, for one thing. And progressions. And Chiron. And, yup, I’d say the fine points of the Nodes. Consider it done! Donna

  13. Thanks AGAIN Donna: This article was especially insightful and grounded what my head knowledge told me long ago with my SN in Aquarius and NN in my wild sun/asc. in Leo conj. Neptune. Leo rarely “hides self” but under Neptune easily deludes. Living through family (moon square in Scorpio in 4th) WAS the SN easy and comfortable path. Have NO IDEA what the current transit (there are no many, many power-filled bigees active for me) brought to force the oh-so-powerful focus on my NN work needed.

  14. Thanks again Donna… you’ve solved a mystery for me…i’ve been scratching my head over my 12th SN conjunct Gemini Asc but your explanation about gifts rings true… with past life memories of being persecuted and burned as a healer/witch…

  15. NN Gemini 3rd/ SN Sagittarius 9th.

    I love reading books(and interesting articles like yours too:)), I like the time I studied in the university and I like the idea to go on places really far away for few months (I have done this twice) and I even hope to do it again, especially when things become too complicated here.
    It seems that SN’s description suites well, but I still haven’t figure out what about the NN.
    I only guess I would be less shy if I talked to people more often than read books while young.

  16. SN in Sagittarius in the 1st & NN in Gemini in the 7th – no planets conj.

    Didn’t marry until I was 45 but it sure has turned out to be a very good thing for me (Libra Sun-Moon).

    I have noticed Gemini Sun people are very good at encouraging me to interact with others, and Sagittarius Suns tended to do the opposite.

    The internet has been a wonderful means of exploring new ideas and mountains of lovely information while allowing me to live in a quiet, rural setting.

    Something else worth mentioning is the number of people I draw with the Aries-Libra nodal axis. For example, my mother’s NN in Libra was conj my Moon.

  17. Thanks for the article Donna. I’ve realised over the last few months how important my NN is for me. Mine is conjunct the ascendant and Uranus and it’s certainly the case that I’ve got to ‘come out of my shell’. I’m mostly comfortable with my Uranus oddities (and glad it makes me, me!), but my Scorpio Ascendant and 8th house Sun isn’t so keen to be seen and certainly beat my Leo MC through a battle of wills.

    Neither is it helped by Mars squared the nodes. I somehow have to release a Leo Mars swamped by Leo Saturn. I’m hoping that the key is getting my Uranus-Chiron-Saturn t-square working by coming forward and being a mentor. It feels right and that’s what I’m working towards.

    SN doodoo has to be being in a relationship and following their path because I didn’t know mine. Problem was that I knew I wouldn’t have followed that path if I’d been single. C’est la vie.

  18. I have the South Node in Pisces in the 3rd house. So my default pattern, which was especially strong as child, natch, is that I was very artistic — painted, played piano by ear. I couldn’t get enough of it and showed artistic talent at a very young age. I was also very much into writing and wrote both poetry and prose. My angsty teenaged years were spent locked in my bedroom, writing stuff that pretty much never saw the light of day. Dark side of this placement is that I also slipped all too easily into role of victim and was really talented at escapism.

    As I’ve gotten older and started to earn credits in what it means to develop skills as a North Node in Virgo in the 9th house is being present in the every day world and teaching others. I am less of a escapist and I’ve worked very hard to kick my habit of victimization. Virgo rules practicality, organization, and health. The 9th house speaks of higher learning, but it also speaks of getting out there, out of my default Piscean shell. I’m still creative, but I no longer paint and create music.

    Recently I realized that aspects of my self that were so much a part of me when I was younger no longer feel relevant, like trying on clothes that don’t fit anymore. But I’m still all over the place (3rd house/Gemini) and I’m still learning Virgo discernment to focus my energies on what really matters and what is practical.

    It is a journey! I have Mercury/Neptune/Moon square the nodes. Lots of hard work there.

  19. I also have the South Node (in Aries) in the 8th, and the constant fall-back for me throughout my life has been to examine life rather than live it, and to sometimes overly rely on tools of divination (and other people) instead of looking to the divine connection within me. Plus, my South Node’s ruler – Mars – is retrograde in the 9th. In the past, people always depended on me to be their personal, ever-ready guru and counselor. Because my Mars is retrograde, I’ve probably depended on others to be my personal warriors, i.e., “protectors”, when really I should’ve been quietly asserting myself and/or turning to God (South Node ruler squares 12th house Pluto). It gets complicated.

    As far as earning a living goes, when I became disabled several years ago, a grand trine involving my 4th house Sag Saturn, 12th house Leo Uranus and 8th house South Node, helped me to remain financially self-supporting when I became unable to work. And now my 2nd house Libra North Node (conjunct Sun/Venus) is pushing me to explore hidden talents as a new way to earn a living; my ongoing physical challenges make it unlikely I’ll ever use my old skills in the same way again, so it’s taken a real leap of faith on my part. I’ve also had to learn that I have value apart from my financial worth and (quickly fading – haha) surface appeal.

    My South Node in the 8th (conjunct BM Lilith) has played out in numerous other ways too (lots of doodoo), but we won’t go there . . .

    • One thing I wanted to add is that in any situation involving extreme injustice, I have a hard time reigning in my 8th house Aries South Node’s natural tendency to probe right to the heart of the matter – past all the pretense and hypocrisy – and call it as I see it without mincing words. Trying to remain diplomatic when what I really want to do is call someone out in no uncertain terms, can sometimes present a challenge for me. It takes a lot to get me to that South Node place, but when I’ve blown, I’ve blown big, so I’d say that’s where my South Node has landed me in the steamiest pile of doodoo.

      In my defense though, nothing I’ve ever said was said in a malicious or self-serving way; generally others have cheered me on for going where they dared not go. I once told off the office bully and later, co-workers thanked me. Still, I wasn’t proud I’d allowed myself to go down that dark road. It didn’t really solve (resolve) anything, and it made me feel icky afterwards.

  20. boy talk about enlightenment. So last time we talked about 11th house and how i am having trouble finding and keeping friends, then I read that north node in the 11th house means that’s where I’m supposed to learn my lessons. of course I am creative, duh.. I have south node in the 5th house (sigh) so instead of finally getting a chance to work on being an artist (after working for over 35 years at boring jobs, I should instead be working on the 11th house stuff which is my new thing to learn? (I am NOT the social butterfly.. argggg)

  21. I have N Node in the 5th conjunct moon, and square to a stellium in the 7th/8th: Saturn, Jupiter, Merc, Pluto, Sun. I am a musician for a living, and while there’s been a little confusion about career (Neptune conj MC, Pis asc, etc) I’ve been pretty sure about this for a while. Sure hasn’t been easy though! with no help from friends, family, colleagues, etc. Been banging my head against the wall for a while but things look as though they are about to turn around with a move to the west coast. I noticed that prog moon just passed by my n node so maybe that helps too, who knows.

    I would never have agreed with your statement about the 11th house of friends being my place of “familiarity” had you not added the comments about hanging with pals rather than looking for a date. Again, romantic stuff in a certain sense does come easy to me- while I can sure do all of that (Leo Mars, 5 planets in Libra, Cancer moon in 5th) but I sure have a problem getting it started- never had a boyfriend at 29 years! Everyone sees me as not date material, more as a friend or one of the guys/colleagues. I’m missing some essential subtlety for sure. Definite food for thought, I’m going to be thinking about this one in the next couple of weeks for sure!

  22. I have always found this a dilemma when reading charts where early Libra is on 1st house cusp. The north node in any sign will be in its opposite house. For example… What happens when the North node is in Taurus but in the 8th house? Which takes precedence? The house or the sign? And how would you interpret that? It seems contradictory. Would it mean earning your own way through the help of others? Thanks, Regine

    • Yeah, the flip chart can be confusing.

      The house is the area of life; the sign on the cusp is the flavor or the modifier. So Scorpio on the 2nd house cusp, for example, would be your personal resources are informed by money from other people. Look to the ruler, Pluto, and aspects to it to further inform the story. If Pluto is conjunct Jupiter, then your personal resources potentially come from the vast wealth of others. If Pluto is conjunct Jupiter in the 4th house, it could be family money. Etc.

      • Thank you Katie. It certainly is confusing! But that is very helpful.

  23. Hi Donna,
    I would be interested in what you might have to say about the ruler of north node conjunct the south node.
    Thanks,
    Sibyl

    • Folks, as I mentioned in the post itself, this is not meant to be a Q&A. The nodes are really not my thing, and so I don’t have a whole lot to say on these fine points from your own charts. Donna

      • Hi Donna,
        I often do readings for folks that this comes up as well as vice versa, the ruler of the south node conjunct the north node. I just wanted to know your ideas about this aspect.
        Sibyl

  24. “To someone with Aries Rising and the North Node conjunct the Ascendant but in the 1st: That would be a strongly Martian presence, even if it’s in the 12th.”

    Is there a typo here Donna? I am a little confused whether you mean North Node in the 1st or the 12th.

    • I’m saying that a conjunction to the Ascendant is strong, whether it’s in the 1st or the 12th. Thanks. I’ll go fix that so it’s not so confusing. Donna

  25. I have North Node in the 1st Conjunct Pisces Ascendant Donna.
    It sounds easy enough, putting your own needs ahead of others, going at it alone and basically being more “Me” focused. But why do I feel the urge to run back to my shell like a paranoid turtle.
    With Venus in the 4th house squares both nodes, I think it means that my need for love and security and being hidden in the bowels of my chart interferes with my ability to step forward. Sometimes I fear this is an ‘aging spinster aunt’ configuration.

    I don’t know if I’m over-reading things but with Pisces NN in the 1st house (I’ve always felt it’s a contradiction since Pisces is not exactly an independent sign) sometimes I toy with an idea of being a spiritual recluse, someone dedicated to spirituality– like a nun. The idea feels comforting and scary at the same time (unfortunately, I’m agnostic so no religion there.) Still trying to figure it all out!

    I have a question, do other aspects besides conjunctions to the nodes matter, and for minors aspect such as quintiles too. For eg. I have Sun trine North Node and Jupiter quintile Ascendant. I have quite a sunny personality, and a mind that’s always trying to philosophize about life. And these characteristics help me to open up to life more and go forward. It’s hard to explain, but it’s something like having cornerstones in life on which you built upon.

    • Yes, other major aspects do matter–my squares and trines to the Nodes have been very potent aspects. I was only emphasizing the conjunctions to the Nodes in chart comparisons. As for the minor aspects to the nodes, they probably do work, but to me that’s a bit of a stretch when there are so many other chart features to interpret. Donna

    • I can so identify with what you wrote! I know that turtle move; )

      I have my NN in Aries in the 12th house half a degree from my Aries ASC square a Cancer Venus (and Sun) in the 4th.

  26. No wonder I have to be noticed!
    N. Node conjunct Gemini Ascendent …..opposition Sag. Mercury.
    Stand up, be noticed, open mouth,insert appendages…..

    Was co-dependent and HAD to have someone in my life until I got to be 47 or so. (OK, I am slow….). Would give myself up for others…. On permanent vacation from that. No more relationship dramas….

    Be who you are….if you do not do your first house stuff, you pay.

    I have Uranus in 1st house. Today is Halloween so I am dressing up as a ‘normal’ person………

    Molly the Wierd

    • Hi Molly,

      I have NN conjunct Gemini Ascendant too! I also have Mercury in Sag (although not conj. the SN)…. It’s lovely to hear that you’ve gone a loooong way in working out your NN-SN….

      I have a way to go, I can relate to what some of the other NN conj. ASC commenters are saying…the running back into the shell thing. I do have help from Moon and Mars in Aquarius on the MC which are Trine the Nodes. Fighting for my independence has been a big theme for me, a constant mission.

      Re communication (Gemini NN) I love the internet and am not shy at pushing myself forward in cyberspace and letting my voice be heard. I write lots of online articles and comment on lots of blogs etc. Not sure if I’m quite ready to stand up in front of people and do lectures/workships though. Maybe one day.

  27. Asto.com has a great article on the Nodes written by Dana Gerhardt.

    http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_dg_node_e.htm

    • Dana is a class act! She’s from Oregon and recently came to speak here at the Oregon Astrological Association. Donna

    • Thanks for this link, Katie.

  28. Had to weigh in….. Hi Donna!

    My North node is conjunct my Sun in Cancer by almost 10 degrees (very wide).

    My South node is in Capricorn (duh).

    I was born in India, and raised outside the country all my life.

    According to Vivian Robson, the third house also dictates where we travel *to*. In Capricorn, one would have a special fondness for India, particularly the Southern part of it.

    Story of my life. Guess where I would have spent my childhood summer vacations?

    Astrology cracks me up!

    • aack! Forgot to mention: North node (and Sun) in the 9th house. South node in 3rd

  29. As to the North Node’s mission: I’m having the damndest time learning to have faith, and LEARN FOR LEARNING’S SAKE.

    It doesn’t help that on top of having a Capricorn South Node, I have a Cap dad and a Taurus mum, and the culture I was raised in very much embodies those two signs: rigid structure, with a focus on material, or at least, practical, value of EVERYTHING.

  30. Donna, if the nodes’ positions don’t seem to resonate with our experiences when using the Placidus house system, would it make sense to look at the natal chart in the equal system (or another one)? I’ve always used Placidus as a default setting, but this discussion has me wondering. The nodes’ positions in my chart advance a house using the equal house system, and make a lot more sense with what I’ve encountered thus far in life.

    • What house system to use is an individual decision, as there doesn’t seem to be any agreement despite more than 40 years of debate. Donna

  31. Wow. This post is right on time.

    “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.”

    My default position is the student and asking other people for their opinions and trusting their intuition over mine (or questioning their logic). Developing my own philosophies and *sharing them* is a struggle (especially considering my Mars is in Gemini and Asc is in Sagittarius and both square my nodes *sigh*). It seems that whenever I share my knowledge, I attract accolades…and “haters” who feel that they are being ignored, so they go into challenging-my-every-statement mode. Then I pass the mic, so to speak, and it all goes downhill from there…

    For one of my writing gigs, I keep getting notes to be more opinionated and less dependent on interviewing others. It feels like they’re asking me to put on a shirt that doesn’t fit…until I put it on and it’s my size.

    How do you get over the challenge of having planets squaring your nodes? *feeling the urge to go check out your post about astrologers and the money question*

  32. My 12th house is in leo. My south node is in leo. I recently had my first child who is a leo. Is there any relation between the nodes and your children. Am I going to pay karmic lessons through my daughter?

  33. Oh Donna, oh Donna ( yes like the song) please tell me something good about the south node in the 5th. Conjunct Saturn… Can you hear the tear drops hit the floor? Fun has become a forign concept. 😔

    • Well, it doesn’t sound like fun. Maybe coming into your own creatively in your mature years, after you’ve met your responsibilities. Like the artist Grandma Moses. Or, finding some satisfaction in working with older people to help them find express their creative side.

      If you’d like I’ll trade you for my South Node in Pisces in the 8th, squared by Saturn and Uranus. Donna

  34. Drama of SN conjuncts Jupiter and Uranus in Sagittarius/House 2; NN in Gemini/House 8 (empty):

    Having the ability and tendency to be self reliant; striving to make life better for self first, before taking care of other selves; having a philosophical view of the world (which can be conceived via intuition alone) rather than a practical view (which requires interaction with other selves in a material world)

    The above will be played out for a period of some years until the self feels he has reached the limit of self reliance, that he cannot move forward in life without looking beyond self. Sometimes he even feels he is shouldering the world on himself.

    Then gradually he turns his gaze outward to other selves for help.

    Looking back, magic seemed to happen when he surrendered control of self on the situation to higher powers e.g. drastic improvement in academic results after last minute collaboration with fellow classmates in a disputable way, or an unexpected award of a much desired scholarship that he thought he failed to get, months after bracing himself to travel overseas for his university education with limited financial resources

    • A good interpretation, Seb. Thanks for sharing. Donna

  35. What part of the north nodes do I pay attention to? The sign it’s in or the house? Or both?

    • Both. The house describes the areas of life affected. and the sign describes how you approach that house. Donna Cunningham


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