Every person is a traveler with a purpose and destination, and distance traveled so far. The Nodes in astrology are often called the axis of fate or destiny. We may view them as a kind of past-future partnership where the individual is headed somewhere different, but at the same time knows where he has come from. The two houses of the nodal path are considered to be the most important points to consider in the study of the Nodes and in relationship to the whole chart. In fact, some astrologers believe the Nodes are so important that they read them first before attempting to analyze the rest of the birth chart.
The North Node is associated with keywords such as growth, destiny, and development. The North Node usually represents a new direction for the individual to follow and a trip into the unknown. To ancient astrologers, the North Node was beneficial and closely resembled Jupiter. If the individual was brave enough to take this path it would be fortunate for them to do so. Essentially, the North Node in astrology is said to represent the path we must travel in this lifetime. The Nodal axis is a signpost in the astrological chart indicating what point an individual has entered into this life and the direction he should go. To the ancients, the South Node was Saturnian in nature and prevented growth, and some went as far as to say it is the point of ‘self-undoing’. It is considered that there is too much emphasis on the South Node’s expression and area of life, so much so, that it may actually hold us back from developing our full potential.
The South Node is a road that the person constantly walks down; habitually falls back on and is often the easiest path to take. We feel totally comfortable walking it. Many astrologers refer to the South Node as our past inheritance and it represents, ultimately, where we are coming from. Many of our habitual responses come from memory patterns, but some say our past can either be our best friend or worst enemy. Our past is a knowledge base and reference tool. The South Node links to the Moon and represents the area we feel most secure and even dependent upon. This Node may even be a part of the personality that has now been over-used.
The North Node points towards the direction we need to be headed in and brings new challenges. Since the North and South Nodes are always opposite each other there is a sense that something needs to be balanced. The ages of 18 to 19 years old that the Lunar Nodes make the first return. Returns in astrology are often considered symbolic points in any individual life reflecting the crossing of some threshold, fuller emotional development, or new avenues opening up.
“The 19 year cycle can be extremely significant. These years are crucial in terms of solar-lunar factors that is, of the basic direction of the flow of life energies. By Dane Rudhyar
Dane Rudhyar points out significant life events at this age such as the publication of a first book and meetings at this time which eventually unfolded in him emigrating to America. I found this particularly interesting as I have a Sun-Saturn opposition ( father and authority) sitting on my nodal axis. At the age of 18 close to 19 years old, my father died. The author considers this event to be a new phase of development/new cycle in the soul’s destiny as so often the death of a parent does. Other significant years given for the Nodes are 38, 57, and 76 years old. It is at these times that we might want to be more aware of what events, meetings; conversations are happening that are leading us towards a future path. Perhaps the events within the scope of the present are moving into the future in a sequence.
The South Node works like the Moon since many of its responses are automatic and it may often feel like we are stuck on repeat. But always going back to what we know may take us further and further away from our future development (North Node). Yet often the South Node represents a set of skills and talents and is a sort of personal manual on something which we know how to do with familiarity.
“In a somewhat similar manner, the moon’s nodes represent a type of development in man’s total personality (psychological as well as physical)…I also said that the nodal axis is often called the “axis of Fate,” that it “deals with the relationship of the individual to his environment.” But such a relationship in depth has its roots in the past. By Dane Rudhyar
Basically, the nodes represent where we are coming from and where we are going and our basic relationship to the world.
The best advice for heading in the direction of your North Node:
The tendency to avoid challenge is omnipresent in human-beings that it can properly be considered a characteristic of human nature…Yet we teach ourselves to do the unnatural until the unnatural becomes itself second nature. By M Scott Peck