Joanne Wickenburg, Astrologer
The Moon and her Nodes
Copyright © March 1999 by Joanne Wickenburg. This article may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission in writing from the author
The nodes of the moon represent sensitive areas on the ecliptic where the moon crosses on its pathway around the earth. The north node represents the point where the moon crosses the ecliptic moving north, while the south node (which is always directly opposite from the north) represents the point where the moon crosses moving south.
The nodes point to areas of life (houses) where integration is needed. The north node describes where growth is needed. It encourages new experiences which, while not always comfortable or easy, ultimately bring about growth and illumination. The south node, on the other hand, represents what comes easily or naturally. It shows what you can fall back on when your load gets too heavy, but it can also point to the "easy way out", discouraging growth and encouraging dependency on old habits.
Every new experience met in life must be assimilated by the moon to guarantee mental and emotional stability. If mercury, for example, brings home a new slice of information, but the moon cannot find something in your past to link mercury's data, the new information cannot be processed. It is either lost or misunderstood altogether. It is impossible to comprehend new concepts that cannot be linked to your current level of understanding. If you accepted every thought or belief that comes your way, you would become hopelessly psychotic.
For example, you cannot be a Christian, an orthodox Jew, a dedicated Buddhist, a practicing Muslim and a devout Atheist all at the same time, even though you might meet people who try to convert you in the very same day. Likewise, it is not realistic to expect to understand the complexities of calculus if you have no knowledge of basic mathematics. It's simply too much to expect.
Webster defines psychosis as: any major mental disorder in which the personality is very seriously disorganized and contact with reality is usually impaired. Without the moon functioning positively in your life, you would fit this definition. The moon enables you to prioritize your life based on what you know, and what you need, at any given point in your personal development. It gives you the potential to assimilate new experiences and new information at a rate that is safe for you.
You define you future potential based on your own awareness of what is possible for you. If you have only known abuse, you have obviously developed skills in survival, but may not know how to survive in a joyful world. If you have only known joy, you may not know how to deal with sorrow. If you have been pampered throughout your entire life, you might not know how to deal with stress. In other words, your current level of wisdom is limited by your life experiences and the level of knowledge you have thus far acquired. In order to grow, we are challenged to face and accept certain risks. We must learn to weigh the risks that growth requires against the security that lies in maintaining the status quo.
If, for example, you are illiterate, you could be threatened when your own children start to read. It's possible that you will fear losing your children's devotion and respect if you allow them to achieve in the academic world. It is also possible, however, that you will be strong enough to encourage your children to learn, believing that, in doing so, you will not lose your children, but will find opportunity to learn along with them. While the latter option requires a certain degree of risk, a part of you knows that it is the right thing to do. Sometimes the benefit of taking risks far outweighs the alternatives. It is the moon's job to make this determination. It's nodes point to where such challenges will be met.
It is easy to get stuck in loops that perpetuate repetition. The moon, more than any other member of your inner family, faces that challenge almost every day of your life. The moon "part" of you "senses" when the climate of your life is changing. And, to the moon, change is often scary.
The house containing the moon in your natal chart describes an area of life where you are constantly being challenged to adapt. The experiences you encounter here evoke strong emotions in you. Your inner mother is concerned for your emotional well-being here more than in any other area of your life.
Memories accumulated around the experiences ruled by this house strongly color everything else that you do. If you are insecure here, all other experiences in your life, shown by the other houses, will be affected in some way.
The moon's house shows where you experience somewhat predictable but constant changes. Just as the moon rules the ever-changing tides of our own planet's oceans, you encounter constant fluctuation in this department of your life. Here, you must learn to go with the flow to maintain your emotional equilibrium.
Just as it is impossible to stand at the ocean's shore and demand that the tides stop changing, it is impossible to stop the constant movement that occurs in the moon's house. These are not major, earth shattering changes, but subtle changes that require you to frequently realign your focus. If adjustments are not made, emotional instability results.
You have learned in your past that certain behavioral strategies will keep you safe (moon), but you may not easily recognize when you have reached a point in life when these strategies begin to thwart your potential for growth. You may have developed attitudes that worked to keep you safe in the past (in fact, they might have saved your life), and you could easily assume that they will always protect you. The problem is that the very patterns that worked to keep you safe in your early in life may not work effectively in your future unless you can learn to adapt.
The north node of the moon points toward the direction you must follow in order to grow and evolve. By pursuing north node activities, you learn how to care for yourself. Developing new skills by exploring experiences ruled by the house containing the moon's north node, will help you fine-tune your internal nurturing skills so that you have the strength and wisdom to orchestrate your life. Here you find experiences that provide you with new skills. Setting aside some time in your life to explore new north node experiences is sometimes not an easy task.
If you choose to avoid expanding your consciousness through north node experiences, you could find yourself stuck in old ruts that perpetuate repetition and conflict, even though the old patterns are comfortable and much easier to control. These old patterns are described by the south node of the moon.
Security is not found by holding on to the past. Your inner protector (moon) needs to realize that what was adequate yesterday may be obsolete by tomorrow. Security can only be assured when you know that you can change, when you are willing to evolve.
The moon's south node describes what is familiar. It depicts what you already know how to do. There is always a certain security in the familiar. But there is also always an element of danger if you choose to remain immobile and rely strictly on old habits to sustain you rather than enhancing your life by reaching toward north node experience. The south node shows where (house) you may fear letting go of the security you have come to know. It describes experiences that can easily hold you into patterns of behavior that ultimately stunt your growth and could potentially immobilize your life.
The nodes remind us that there are two types of nurturers. Which type do you want to be? Do you want to be the kind of nurturer who is threatened by the thought that the world around you might evolve beyond your own level of understanding? Are you afraid of the changes that growth requires? The south node in your chart describes the easy way out...the familiar, the well trodden path. The north node, on the other hand, describes new experiences that will help you to cultivate new skills that encourage progress and maturation. When you make a conscious decision to move toward north node experiences, you free all of the planetary energies in your life and give each of them permission to be all that they can be.
The Nodes are extremely important to consider when interpreting a chart. They show, by their natural opposition, where a balance is needed. Once this balance is found, integration results. To balance this axis in your chart, it is important for you to seek out experiences involving the area of life described by the north node's house and to develop the qualities of its sign. Then, to express or project what you have learned through your south node's house experiences.
As the south node represents a quality (sign) and a department of life (house) that comes naturally to you, you are encouraged to give something of your talents here so that others can benefit through them. However, in order to keep your contributions meaningful and applicable to the conditions of the moment, you must "feed" yourself through the north node's activities.
North node in first house/south node in seventh: Develop confidence in your independence and avoid falling into traps of relationship-dependency. While relationships are important, remember that you're the one that comes first. Learn to like yourself. Don't repeat old patterns by relying on others to make choices for you.
North node in second house/south node in seventh: Know that intimacy is important, but in order to have something refreshing to bring to a relationship you must cultivate your own talents, acquire personal assets and develop independent survival skills. Don't fall into the belief that you cannot survive on your own.
North node in third house/south node in ninth: The knowledge you seek is available within your personal surroundings, so it is not necessary to detach from your environment to find yourself. Take advantage of what the community around you offers instead of always looking afar for your answers. Don't look for security in abstractions or philosophy to the degree that you lose touch with essential information that is required to live life on a daily basis
North node in fourth house/south node in tenth:. Always work to keep your personal foundations solid so that you have the emotional grounding you need when functioning in the outer world. Learn to explore your emotions. You have a lot to give the world; make sure that your personal foundations can support the social demands. Don't believe that security and personal happiness can only be found in social success, status and recognition
North Node in Fifth House/South Node in Eleventh: Cultivate your personal talents so that you have something refreshing and purposeful to share with your associates. Don't lose touch with your inner child by mingling only with adults or your peers. Learn how to play. Don't get caught up in group involvement, social activities, or social causes to the degree that you lose yourself in the process
North Node in Sixth House/South Node in Twelfth: Establish a sense of order in your life so that you don't lose yourself in your ideals or flounder in your fears. Design strategies for efficiency in routine. Don't get caught up exploring the unknown to the degree that you cannot fulfill your daily routine responsibilities
North Node in Seventh House/South Node in First: Learn how to trust others; learn how to share. Allow others into your life to provide feedback and alternatives. Learn the art of "creative delegation". Don't fall into the trap of believing that you have to do everything yourself.
North Node in Eighth House/South Node in Second: Learn how to merge your assets and skills with those of others so that something greater than what you can produce alone can come to life through the union. Explore what intimacy really means, and don't be afraid of the changes that it promises. Explore and welcome change. Don't fall into a trap of believing that you must be your sole provider.
North Node in Ninth House/South Node in Third: Dare to explore beliefs, cultures, values and life styles that are foreign to those with which you are familiar. Learn to see things from a greater-than-personal perspective. Know that you don't have all of the answers, so you always need to explore. Don't fall into the belief that all answers to your questions are easy to find or close at hand
North Node in Tenth House/South Node in Fourth: You need to balance your home obligations with your career aspirations. You may need to break from past familial or cultural boundaries and expectations in order to succeed in the world. Stay focused on your social mission. Don't let the desire for personal safety hold you back from achieving the success you need in life. Don't be afraid to succeed.
North Node in Eleventh House/South Node in Fifth: Use your God-given talents to fill some social need. Dare to commit to a social cause when you know that its time for a change. Don't get caught up in cultivating new talents and exploring what gives you pleasure or contentment to the degree you cut yourself off from the rest of the world
North Node in Twelfth House/South Node in Sixth: Get away now and then to find freedom from life's rat race and experience peace and quiet. Learn how to meditate. Find comfort in solitude. Don't get caught up in daily routine responsibilities, health maintenance and other daily requirements of life to the degree that you negate your spiritual needs and lose sight of the importance of faith.
Give and take is the keynote of the Nodes. To give through the South Node without acquiring, absorbing or taking in new experiences through the North Node area of your life results in physical, emotional and spiritual drain. You could find, for example, that people who have planets in the same as your South Node "take" from you, while those whose planets are is the same as your North Node have something important to offer. Even though the latter types of relationships may not be very comfortable, growth seldom is. This does not imply that you should stay away from people having their Sun or other important planets in the same sign as your South Node. It does, however, caution you that the relationship could easily become a draining unless you are consciously working at projects described by your North Node's house in your chart. In essence, those having important planets in the sign of your South Node need something that you have to offer. This of course can be a beautiful experience. BUT, it could turn into a one-way relationship if you allow them to take to the point that you no longer have the energy to work to develop your North Node potential.
In my own astrological practice, I place a great deal of emphasis on the Moon's Nodes and I encourage you to use them in all charts that you consider. I feel that the Nodes often show the "keys" which help people put their lives together to work more creatively for themselves as well as those around them.
Copyright © 1999 Joanne Wickenburg