Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
According to evolutionary astrologer Steven Forrest, “Astronomers seek to know the form of the heavens, astrologers pursue its meaning.” Our natal chart, which is the snapshot of the cosmos at our first breath, contains within it insights that help us understand our essential nature, including our deepest fears, driving forces, inner psyche, innate preferences, and core values. It also speaks to our spiritual nature, encompassing our purpose, destiny, and soul growth. The most insightful foreteller of destiny in our charts are the lunar nodes, commonly known as the north node and the south node.
What Are the Lunar Nodes?
Like destiny itself, the lunar nodes are not tangible objects. The north node and south node are mathematical points in space. As the Earth orbits the Sun, the Moon orbits the Earth. Where the Moon’s path intercepts the ecliptic, or the apparent path of the Sun, are the lunar nodes.
Together, the lunar nodes create one axis with the two nodes as endpoints—the north node on one end and the south node on the other. The north node and south node always sit in opposing zodiac signs yet work together. The north node represents the direction we are heading, beckoning us into a particular focus of consciousness, growth, and evolution. On the opposite side of the zodiacal circle, and therefore in the opposite sign, is the south node, representing where we are coming from, acting as the foundation, the roots, and the beginning point of our journey.
What Can the Lunar Nodes Tell Us?
Astrology has always possessed a sacred and mystical essence, speaking through intuition and frequency as much as symbolism and mathematics. To know the language of astrology means to connect with what lies within ourselves as much as what exists beyond ourselves.
The lunar nodes takes us deep into the esoteric, exploring life path, intention behind evolution, highest potential, soul gifts, spiritual growth, purpose, and destiny. We each have an individual purpose, shown by the location of the lunar nodes at our birth, and simultaneously, a shared destiny, shown by the location of the lunar nodes at the present time.
Whether seen from an esoteric perspective as a guiding force inviting us into destiny and purpose, or the inevitable movement, change, and growth of life over time, the lunar nodes are always calling us in a certain direction, inviting us to explore a new relationship with ourselves and with life, and prompting us to venture beyond what is known.
Although exploring, embodying, and expressing the entirety of our birth chart—and, in truth, the entirety of who we are—could be seen as our ultimate purpose in life, the nodes offer specific indicators that speak to our unique purpose and meaning in life. In many schools of astrology, the consensus is that as we embody more of our natal chart, the greater happiness, connection, and fulfillment we will find.
To find your lunar nodes in your natal chart, look for two horseshoe-like symbols. The upright horseshoe is your north node and, opposite to that on your circular chart, will be the upside-down horseshoe, or your south node.
What Is My North Node?
The north node in our natal chart represents the unique direction that each of us are being called to explore and, ultimately, become. It may currently be unknown to us, but waiting in that eventual space is fulfillment like nothing else we’ve experienced.
Whenever we encounter anything unknown, we tend to stumble as we learn it. We make mistakes, we come up against edges, and we meet many challenges along the way. Yet these very mistakes, edges, and challenges are where we find profound growth. The mundane moments of our human reality remind us that the spiritual realm can be accessed only by sinking into our humanness. It is not only our arrival at a place that defines our destiny and our purpose, but our journey there and who we become in the process.
What Is My South Node?
The south node represents comfort, what is known, safe, and secure within us. It is our instincts, habits, and what seems easy, natural, and often automatic to embody and be. It is our retreat.
From a more esoteric standpoint, the south node can be seen as our soul gifts or our past. We somehow know this place, we know the medicine here and the value it offers. The south node is where we come from in pursuit of the north node and where we are going. We aren’t abandoning the south node in us to pursue the north node. Rather, we are allowing it to buoy us in the direction of our destiny. If the branches of the tree were the north node, the roots are the south node. And for one to thrive, the other must, too.
How the Lunar Nodes Are Influenced the Zodiac
In astrology, each sign of the zodiac circle also exists on an axis in partnership with the sign opposing it. Seemingly opposite to one other, yet each the antidote to the other, they are different sides of the same coin. The same complementary relationship is true of the lunar nodes.
Our lunar nodes in opposing signs, our unique axis, speaks to our individual purpose as well as our collective lessoning. The zodiac sign where our north node is placed represents the sign where it resided at the moment of our birth and the archetype that we are being called to embody and embrace in this lifetime. The zodiac sign of our south node speaks to what we already know and where we are coming from.
The lunar nodes spend approximately 18 months in each sign, and take 18 years to cycle through the complete zodiac circle. In July 2023, the lunar nodes moved into the Aries-Libra axis, beginning an 18-month chapter and cultivating a new relationship to independence, action, courage, desire, and selfhood. The current axis also dictates the signs in which the eclipses occur for that period of time, bringing fated opportunities and destiny-fueled invitations.
Unless you have other planets in the same zodiac sign that your north node sits in, you may find that particular sign to be relatively foreign or unknown to you. Begin learning more about its invitations, intentions, values and overall essence? What are some of the traits of this sign that you admire and desire to possess? These traits live within you, too, and are calling out to be embodied and expressed through you.
Look to the sign of the south node and give thanks to its traits and the strong foundation upon which your growth resides.
Learn more about the influence of astrology in your life, including astrological events the Moon cycles, your Sun and Moon and rising signs, how journaling can help you connect with the current influences, and more with Jordane Maree at Girl and her Moon.
About Our Contributor
Jordane Maree is the founder of Girl and Her Moon, a platform and community exploring Soul through the lens of astrology, tarot, and energy healing. She is a writer, intuitive astrologer, energy and soul guide, and host of Girl and Her Moon, The Podcast. She is inspired, every single day, to be the mirror for you to see all that you truly are, you in all your infinite abilities, in total expansion, in infinite opportunity and love.