Understanding The Nodes
From time to time I tend to see “How do I work with my North Node?” questions, and I thought I would give my opinion based on my experience.
The nodes are points on the ecliptic that have the power to extinguish the light of the luminaries. The luminaries are the Sun and the Moon. They are not planets, but in Vedic astrology they are called “shadow-planets,” as they generally rule over the realm of that which cannot be seen by the eye.
But in the western tradition, the understanding of the nodes has always been “shadowy” and nebulous. As far back as 400 years ago astrologers were arguing about whether a planet with the north node was good and a planet with the south node was bad, or whether a planet with both was bad, etc.
I have been studying vedic astrology for a long time, and while I don’t want to bring vedic techniques to the western table, I do think there is one important thing to think about when dealing with the North Node in particular, since it seems to be connected with “your destiny” and the area of life that we are supposed to be trying to cultivate in order to evolve and ultimately ascend.
One author of jyotish calls the nodes “the karmic control planets.” He (and I) see them as dispensers of karmic conditions, but on behalf of the planet who owns the sign the node occupies.This is my opinion, but only planets have full agency in the chart. The various rocks and asteroids and dust-bunnies, on which multiple meanings have been attached, have no agency because they rule no signs or areas of life represented by the houses. The same can be said for the cusp of the angles.
This means that the nodes work for the planets, and you should be looking for the planets that rule the nodes, in combination with the house occupied by the nodes, to get a full picture of “where your destiny is pointing you.”
An example: Someone wrote in asking how to work with their north node, which was in Aries in the 9th house. I wrote to him looking at the condition of Mars, which was in a powerful stellium in Leo in the 1st house. The Sun, the ruler of Leo, was also present and combusting all of the stellium.
I went into a delineation of 1st house and visibility, Mars and its connection to athletics and fitness, etc and talked about how ideas of that nature could create a curriculum, or philosophy of health and vitality (Sun) of which he could be guru (9th). He wrote back that, yes, he was quite interested in the health of his body and fitness, but that he also liked to write songs, and did I see anything about that.
The nodes oppose each other, and thus appear in opposing signs. The native’s north node was in Aries. The sign opposing Aries is Libra, where the south node was occupied.
Libra is ruled by Venus, who was also involved in the stellium with the Sun, and music, singing (Taurus another sign she rules, rules the throat), dancing and the arts in general.
The south node in Libra is representing Venus, thus her significations and meanings are to be considered past strengths and accomplishments away from which we must tear our selves in this life.
The North Node in Aries is representing Mars, and through the combination of taking into account of the placement of the node in the 9th house, and the condition and placement of Mars, a judgement could be made about what the future direction looked like.
The Nodes work on behalf of the planets that rule the sign they occupy. To work with the north node, combine the house placement of the node, and any planets in may be in conjunction with, with the condition and house placement of the planet who rules the sign the node occupies.