Grokking the Lunar Nodes
Reading Time: 6 minutes
By: Janette Dalgliesh – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
There are plenty of astrologers out there who never work with the Lunar Nodes.
But these points in the sky provide wildly useful insights into our relationship with the past and the future, making them invaluable when it comes to planning the future, releasing the past, decision making and increasing our own self-awareness.
And who doesn’t want that, right?
That’s why other astrologers consider the Lunar Nodes the most important points in your chart, more important even than the Sun sign.
I like to take in as many different aspects of a chart as possible, because our charts reveal the complex, nuanced and dynamic tapestry that is our own unique true self.
So what’s a Lunar Node and how can you work with it?
The Lunar Nodes are hypothetical points in the sky which help us to understand the three-way relationship between Earth, Sun and Moon.
We start with the concept of the ecliptic – the imaginary path of the Sun around* the Earth.
*Of course, we know the Earth moves around the Sun, but in this kind of astrology we’re observing everything from the perspective of Earth, so we look to that path taken by the Sun from where we stand on our own planet.
The Lunar Nodes represent the points where the Moon crosses over the ecliptic, and are most easily calculated using a computer since – unlike the planets – this is not a ‘real’ observation you can make with a telescope.
Everyone has a pair of Lunar Nodes in their natal chart – one North Node, one South – and they always sit exactly opposite each other in the chart.
That’s our first clue on how to think about these Nodes.
They come together as a set, a pair. You can’t have one without the other. And they are both important to us.
Sometimes, people talk about North Node as though it’s more important or valuable than South, but I disagree.
Astrologer Howard Sasportas created a beautiful metaphor for the Lunar Nodes, drawn from the idea of life as a journey.
He says that as we embark on the journey, we have a suitcase half-filled with all our favourite things: the familiar and the comfortable. It might be our favourite comfy slippers, our teddy bear, the novel we like to re-read, our best playlist.
On the journey, we find new things and add them to the suitcase so we carry a blend of the familiar and the new.
We don’t fill the suitcase at the start of the trip, because we know we’ll be putting new things into it along the way.
We don’t tip out all the old things to make way for the new, though we may choose to release some as they become superseded or outmoded.
Our suitcase becomes a blend of the new and the familiar. And we get to choose the balance of those things so that they please us the best, and serve us well.
North Node represents the new, South Node the familiar.
In practical terms, North Node represents where we push the envelope, our leading edge, the places in life where we learn new things, where we are brave and take bold new steps.
South Node represents the powers we came in with, the things we already have mastery over, the things we bring in with us and can teach others.
And we need a balance of the two.
We cannot perpetually ‘do’ North Node because it requires significant energy to get out there into the new. We need to be able to engage South Node as a way to regain our energy, recharge our batteries, reconnect to our feelings of mastery and confidence, recuperate.
We cannot perpetually ‘do’ South Node because we become stale and stagnant without the inspiration and adrenaline of the new. We engage North Node as a way to explore what we came here to achieve and to master, aspects of our own personal cutting edge. Sometimes we release aspects of South Node as the time is right.
The journey is not about being in full-on North Node 24/7, neither is it about rejecting all aspects of South Node. It’s not about avoiding the scary parts of North Node, neither is it about staying in the familiar territory of South Node all the time.
And since the Lunar Nodes operate in pairs, it can be incredibly helpful to look at how the pairs of signs relate to each other.
You can gain some insights for yourself – go to astro.com and create a free account, then use their free chart service to generate your own chart. Or you can ask your friendly astrologer for some guidance if you need help.
Here’s a rundown on the pairs of signs to give you some clues to look for. Obviously this is by necessity VERY brief, but it may give you a starting point to explore and contemplate further.
Aries knows how to do independence, standing on our own two feet, living our truth unapologetically. Libra knows how to see all sides of the story, to work well with others, to share and accommodate, and to value beauty and grace.
Taurus knows how to value the physical – sensory comfort and delight – and how to take care of tangible resources. Scorpio knows how to relish the adrenaline rush of danger, and how to form deep and meaningful soul connections.
Gemini knows how to explore via intellectual curiosity, to read and listen, to learn ideas and concepts and pass them on to others. Sagittarius knows how to explore beyond the known, to go into uncharted waters and bring back unheard-of treasures.
Cancer knows how to nurture and to connect emotionally, how to engage the places where we are most vulnerable, our emotional home ground and our homes, for ourself and others. Capricorn knows how to wield authority and power, how to take things from a dream state to the mountaintop of ambition and achievement.
Leo knows how to express and share creativity, to radiate effulgence and beauty for all to share with joy. Aquarius knows how to explore and share valuable ideas and concepts, from a position of clear leadership, to be both the teacher and the voice of the collective.
Virgo knows how to bring order to chaos, to take things from the intangible to the real and tangible, to manifest. Pisces knows how to dissolve the boundaries and to reveal that we are all one, how to connect with and be of service to the unconscious collective.
Remember North Node represents what we need to learn in this lifetime (and often shows up as other people who are our teachers and mentors).
South Node represents what we already know how to do (and often shows up as other people seeking our support and guidance).
Our work is to find the sweet spot where these two are in balance. And by the way – that’s not automatically a 50:50 thing! For each of us, at different times, the balance will shift and move.
This is one reason it’s useful to know your own Lunar Nodes.
For example, my North Node at 18 degrees of Sagittarius (South Node at 18 Gemini) means my ‘new’ is exploring uncharted waters, while my ‘old’ is researching what’s already known, to share with others. Writing articles like this for Confluence blends the two, as I quote the knowledge and wisdom of other astrologers while bringing my own insights to the mix.
And as planets move through the sky and form aspects to your North or South Node, you may be supported to activate one or the other more or less than usual, or in different ways from usual.
Right now, my North/South Nodes are being ‘challenged’ by slow-moving Neptune in the sky – the lord of the swirling ocean, associated with the realms of magic, dreams, the intangible and ineffable.
Right now, I’m learning to develop a chaos magic practice from someone who’s been carving his own path with it for thirty years, and who encourages his students to find our own paths too. To me, that’s an expression of my North Node in Sagittarius, going beyond the known to come back with newly shaped treasure from the realms of Neptune.
And I have a natural capacity for simultaneously being open to new concepts while also testing out and researching the validity of a claim. That’s an expression of my South Node in Gemini, leaning into intellectual curiosity to give my engineering brain a doorway to the mystical magical realms, and a level of trust to try stuff out.
My South Node supports me as I move forward into brand-new-to-me Neptune-oriented North Node territory.
And my North Node explorations help me refine any parts of my South Node understanding which might be ready for release, such as old assumptions about my personal power and what it means to ask for, and receive, help.
If you’d like any help exploring and understanding your own Lunar Nodes, contact your friendly local (ie Earth-based) astrologer for more info.
Janette Dalgliesh has a simple mission in life – to help every person unlock their capacity for resonant joy, and live it. A keen student of astrology, brain science, chaos magic, law of attraction and positive psychology, she serves her people through astrology consults, coaching, teaching and writing. Her international clientele raves about her wildly accurate, individualized readings, but she doesn’t do general weekly predictions – for those, Janette recommends Kim Falconer (www.goodvibeastrology.com) and Mystic Medusa (www.mysticmedusa.com). Find Janette on Facebookor via her website – or you might like to pick up her free brain-rewiring resource, Identity Shift 101 here.
Confluence Daily is the one place where everything comes together. The one-stop for daily news for women.