The South Node in your horoscope indicates the area and approach that most represents the experience and wisdom you’ve gained from your history. It tells the world where you’ve been and what you’ve done, which provides insight into your inherent strengths and skills. If you’re like most people, you rely on your South Node’s default behaviour instead of cultivating your North Node attributes.
The North Node can be viewed as a projection of the identity you are creating into the future, much like an arrow pointing in a forward direction. Even though the South and North Nodes on your birth chart both act as magnetic themes in your horoscope, the South Node is the one that exerts the most attraction in your formative years. Maybe it helps more on a psychological level because it is where you feel most at home, like a well-worn, cosy sweater.
Furthermore, the South Node is supposed to symbolise your shadow personality, that part of you that is both instinctual and unconscious. In addition, the South Node has a reactive nature, making you more likely to exaggerate the traits, abilities, and habits associated with the sign and house in which it is located. In pursuing an opposite but complementary action, the North Node (to ACT) is interpreted as a symbol of spiritual strength and unification. You can start to visualise your overdeveloped (SN) and underdeveloped (NN) personality traits along the lunar nodal axis in this way.
Some astrologers believe that South Node behaviours are imprinted from past lives, making it difficult to let go. This could be analogous to having a hard time breaking up with a handsome ex-boyfriend who has worn you down but is still wonderfully appealing and you usually end up in bed together. Some believe that if the North Node is in a different sign or house from the Sun and Moon, it indicates a karmic imbalance in your life and that you need to work toward the quality, style, and mode of expression indicated by the sign and house position of the North Node in order to progress spiritually. In this stage of life, where the inner blending of two principles is most likely to manifest, you may find yourself in what Liz Greene calls a “crystallising relationship” between the Sun and the Moon.
One way to look at the North Node is as a form of discovery for the psyche, a chance to try out new and profound experiences in a particular mode and way of being that could lead to growth and development. As your life progresses, you may gradually become aware of the ways in which many of your life events may be influenced not just by the South Node’s inward pull but also by the North Node’s outward pressure. According to Adam Gainsburg, the South Node is like a personal library of life experiences from which you can draw, while the relationship between the South Node and the North Node evolves over the course of your lifetime. In light of this, it’s important to draw strength from the good experiences of the past (SN) without letting them mould you into a person who can’t break free of habits that hold you back from developing spiritually (NN).
Since the South Node, like many of the water signs, houses, and planets, always speaks of repeating patterns in your chart, the Nodes symbolise the eternal karmic issues that manifest within each individual life, but once you apply the energy of the North Node sign and house, you’ll find that doors to exciting new possibilities open before you. Events that have significance for your growth are also indicated by the Nodes’ transits when they make aspects to significant planets and points in your horoscope. People come into your life in significant, fated, and powerful ways along the nodal axis, which is all about your connections with other people. These folks are like signposts on the road to self-improvement, and they play a crucial role in your spiritual development. At 18, 36, 54, 72, and 90, a person experiences the Nodal Return, which typically indicates the occurrence of events that point towards the necessity of cultivating the North Node.
Astrologer, Laurence Hillman, describes the nodes like this:
Imagine that life is a college and when you registered, you decided to get a PhD in math. That’s the North Node. But you don’t enroll in any math classes. Instead you keep taking classes in dance, poetry, music and art. That’s the South Node. It’s the astrologer’s job to remind you where the math class is.