I grew up reading, watching, and listening to the works of Joseph Campbell . This was the result of my father being a believer in in Joseph’s philosophy of “follow your bliss” and the “Heroes Journey”. Follow your bliss is the notion that if you do what makes you happy, the world will support you for doing that. The Heroes Journey is the notion that we are all on an archetypal journey of facing our shadows and emerging as fulfilled human beings over the course of our life.
In reading charts over the course of the last two years I have come to view the North and South Nodes and s markers of the Heroes Journey. The North and South Nodes are points in the zodiac where the Earth’s orbit around the sun will cross the Moon’s orbit around the Earth. For this reason they are where eclipses occur.
In traditional astrology, which I define on this web page as an overarching umbrella of Greek, Arabic, and Medieval astrology, the Nodes were markers that effected other planets. The North node expanded the effects of the planets it aspected, making benefics better and malefics more harmful. The South node decreased the effects of planets it aspected, making benefics less good and malefics less harmful. Thus the nodes were modifiers. The nodes did not have implications in and of themselves other than to show effects. Transits, directions or aspects to nodes would activate the planet and its purpose in the chart.
In modern astrology the Nodes have become known as karmic markers. They can indicate past lives. The North Node indicates our future or growth and the South Node indicates our past or where we come from. The subject is more complex and not done justice by the few words being presented here. It is worth studying the Nodes no matter how you approach astrology for the insight they provide, whether you are a modern astrologer or traditional astrologer.
The Nodes and the Heroes Journey
When I read charts I notice where the South Node is. This is an area of life that comes easy to the native. I notice where the North Node is. This is an area of life that the native will struggle with through there life. The Heroes Journey is disembarking from that which is easy and moving into and accomplishing that which is hard for you. When we dwell within the place of the South Node, although it is mentally easy, we will suffer and cause suffering. When we dwell within the place of the North Node, although it is mentally challenging we will find our own lives improve and we become more helpful to society.
We find then that Nodes indicate how we move from a wounded experience of being in the ashes of life into a becoming a warrior within the world. This is obviously not a straightforward journey. The astrology chart as a marker of transformations through time will bring us face to face with both sides of the nodal access throughout our life.
When the South Node is active we must arise to consciously make use of our inherent gifts to support our growth towards the area of life indicated by the North Node. When the North Node is active, we must rely on the resources of the South Node to support us in our facing the challenges the North Node presents.
Arnold Schwarzenegger as an example
Arnold Schwarzenegger has had three distinct careers. The first was as a body builder. This would be represented by his South Node in the 5th. The 5th is the place of sports and leisure. The second career is being a movie actor, this would be represented by the 5th and the 11th. The 5th being leisure and the 11th being community or the public. The third career is that of a politician and public figure trying to do good. This would be represented by the 11th. We can see how the arc of his life led him from South Node activities to North Node activities. This generally is true within the chart. At the beginning of life we will be focused on the South Node and at the end of life we will be focused on the North Node.
Arnie has become most known politically for his work on bringing awareness to climate change. We will notice that his North Node is in the 11th house of community and is ruled by Venus. Venus is in the first house in Cancer. Thus his community work comes from a desire to care for others, enjoy the beauty of the world, and be a nurturing influence for future generations. It is interesting that his rise to politics was through marriage to Maria Kennedy, and that his political and marital downfall was a moment of passion with a maid (5th house south node in secretive scorpio.)
We can then see that through the South Node he journied back into the ashes. His climate change work though has brought him back to being a respected figure and voice for society (North Node in 11th again.) Just recently in the news he has gained fame and traction once again for supporting the work of Greta Thurnburg (North Node in Taurus again.)
If you would like to explore your North and South Node, feel free to contact me for a reading.