The Lunar Nodes in Astro-therapy

The Lunar Nodes, known as the North Node and the South Node, are points in the sky where the orbit of the Moon crosses the ecliptic (the Sun’s apparent yearly path around the earth). I find them to be important in Astro-therapy and I pay particular attention to where they are in a client’s natal chart. 

My Work Here Is Done

The SOUTH NODE tells us about unresolved wounds and instinctive behaviours stemming from our past lives. These instinctive behaviours and default choices are often defensive and designed to avoid risk. We have perfected them over many lifetimes. They’ve successfully kept us safe and alive in other incarnations (or phases of life, like childhood). The problem is they have taken on a life of their own as sub-personas. Hidden from our conscious awareness, they have high-jacked our will.

While life constantly demands of us flexibility, creativity, adaptability, and faith in ourselves, we are relying solely on these old patterns. It’s like trying to drive a car staying only in first gear! The wounding and trauma of past lives remain alive in us because we can feel our repetitive behaviour is frustrating the Soul’s wish to grow and evolve. Staying in the South Node feels safe but is killing us with boredom.

Carpe Diem!

The NORTH NODE points to actions and behaviours that will take us where we need to go to help our Soul continue to unfold its learning. The North Node is unexplored, unknown territory for us, and consequently, scary.

It offers not so much instruction as inspiration: “Why not travel this way and see what amazing things will happen?”

From a therapeutic viewpoint, seeing where the South Node was at the time of your birth can really help bring to conscious awareness something you have perhaps suspected but not fully grasped before. And the North Node offers an excellent suggestion of where you need to go.

Jane: South Node in the Sixth House of Libra

This is a chart from a former client, “Jane” which gives a good example of how we can use the Lunar Nodes to help unlock healing. The Nodes are visible (the cyan colour horseshoe-like shapes) in the the Sixth House and the Twelfth House.

Zodiac signs are motivations, values and archetypal behaviours; the sign in which our South Node appears describes who in essence we were – our identity – in a prior life. The House containing the South Node describes the area of that life which was particularly difficult or challenging.

So the chart says that Jane has had multiple lifetimes of mastering the art of compromise, “getting along” with others and relying on partnerships to feel safe (all Libra skills!). The Sixth House was in Medieval times the House of Slaves and Service. The South Node in Sixth indicates that Jane has probably learned to feel good about herself by carving out some form of care-taker role. 

So those are the potentials the chart expects. But the client knows best. What did we uncover in our sessions? Well, at an early age in this life Jane had been expected to become a de facto carer for one of her parents who was an alcoholic and always getting themselves into trouble. She married early (to escape the family home), and took on the role of support to her very self-absorbed husband. Later when he became sick, she became his carer. She also carried the burden of being the fixer in the family – constantly attempting to mend the fractured relations between her husband and their unemployed son. So her life very much matched the potentials in the chart. 

We explored these themes extensively in therapy. During one of the sessions I explained the significance of the South Node and showed Jane where it was located in her chart. This was a real “aha moment” where she could see for herself how the universe was mirroring back her behaviour. “That’s really me isn’t it?” she said. “I can see what I am doing now”.  

Meanwhile, the North Node gave guidance about what might benefit Jane: putting herself first and learning to fight to protect her boundaries (Aries); finding time and space to stop automatically “being responsible” for everyone else’s problems; allowing in thoughts about what her other unique contributions to this world might be (12th House). Saturn Conjunct the North Node indicated that finding quiet time would require the development of some self-discipline. But if she did that, she would develop more self-respect for herself.

Of course, you cannot change behaviour at the flick of a switch. But that powerful South Node – North Node symbolism ended up being a lodestar for Jane while she did the work with herself. Within weeks she was reporting she was finding ways to detach from the daily dramas of home. A few months later she had joined an Italian cooking course which she had been putting off for years. Finally she was making space for what she wanted. She continues to be living a more authentic life, ever aware that she wants to keep exploring the unknown possibilities of the North Node road.