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The North Node's Purpose

Updated on August 7, 2014

The North Node is a tough taskmaster. It points us to where we need to develop ourselves. When we ignore its promptings, the world kicks us in the ass.

The South Node is a lesson already learned. Like kindergarten, we take away the skills we’ve learned from the South Node, but it’s not a place we should stay and get comfortable.

For instance, I have a Cancer South Node and a Capricorn North Node. As the baby of my family, I wasn’t emotionally tough (Capricorn) when I was younger. I had emotional outbursts (Cancer) that weren’t always met by my family with the greatest enthusiasm. As I got older, I found that when I took the initiative in situations (Capricorn) instead of acting like a baby (Cancer), people responded to me and doors opened. Leaning toward the North Node feels strange at first, but when we do life begins to shower us with rewards.

The North and South Nodes are like elements in a story. For example, in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Shire is like the South Node for the Frodo. The hobbit is comfortable there and, although he daydreams about adventure, the hobbit could probably spend the rest of his days at Bag End quite contentedly.

Then Gandalf rides in like the North Node and says, “Frodo, you can’t stay here. Go out into the world, there’s work to do.” Frodo wishes to stay in Hobbiton, where all is familiar to him, but in order to grow and fulfill his destiny he has to journey toward the unfamiliar.

Although the North Node won’t let us remain satisfied with merely having mastered the South Node’s lessons, the qualities the South Node imparts can often help us on the North Node journey. Because Frodo is a hobbit from the Shire, he and he alone is able to resist the temptations of Sauron’s evil ring and complete his quest. South Node qualities aren’t abandoned, but are used as tools on the way to what the North Node wants us to learn.

What if Frodo had remained in the Shire? What would have happened then? The Black Riders would have found him and removed him by force, meaning the North Node would have slapped Frodo around until he made a move out of his comfort zone and in the right direction.

A study of your own North and South Nodes can teach you where you’ve already been and in what direction you now need to go in order to grow.

© April P Clemens, 2014

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    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      6 years ago from New Jersey

      It's full title is "The A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator", but it's by George Llewellyn himself. My copy is ancient, it was given to me by someone who studied Astrology, then decided it was Spiritism. There are many people like that on HP too! I recommend it on some of my Astrology hubs. Mine is really old, but the one on Amazon looks like it's been updated. It really has everything in it, but in old fashioned language, so someone like you will understand it. It explains all the Arabian Points, which I never studied much. I know my Part of Fortune is in Taurus, and my husband is Taurus :)I was reading about Buddhism earlier in the year, and my son has the Tao, and also quotes from it often. I'll have to check it out. Or add it to the reading pile, so it's a step closer! How soon are you moving?

    • April P Clemens profile imageAUTHOR

      April P Clemens 

      6 years ago from VT

      Sorry to hear about your trouble with people paying up. I have Neptune in the second, so I know how ephemeral money can be, anyway. But, it is nice to get paid :)

      Yeah, some people probably want you to solve all of their problems. Astrology is really just an art that we can use to see and understand ourselves better. Like the Buddha says about Buddhism, it's only a finger pointing the way, not a magic wand.

      I'll have to check out the Llewallyn Delineator.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      6 years ago from New Jersey

      Interesting. I'm too close to it, and too new to be sure. I notice that whenever I cast horoscopes for money, or do tarot readings, it complicates matters a lot. I recently had a bad experience at a Metaphysical fair where I got cheated of money. I was offering horoscopes on my blog, because I was trying out a software to make the chart casting faster. I decided yesterday I really dislike the program, it's BS, and took my offer down. I don't want to get into casting charts for people right now. It's hard, because they think you have a lifelong commitment to answering their questions, and you know how time consuming it is. Plus I've had trouble collecting fees. I have to decide if it's worth it, and for now it's not. The only book I have about the Arabian parts is a really old one, the Llewellyn Delineator, which explains everything, but in old terms. I'll check.

    • April P Clemens profile imageAUTHOR

      April P Clemens 

      6 years ago from VT

      Wait, I do have my Part of Fortune in Gemini :)

      Do you know of any good books on the Arabian Parts? I have an extensive astrology library, but have yet to find a book that does more than list and calculate the Parts.

    • April P Clemens profile imageAUTHOR

      April P Clemens 

      6 years ago from VT

      It is easier to give away money that comes with no effort, and more rewarding to save and spend money that took more to earn.

      I'm actually happier when I have less. There's a Taoist passage I think of a lot by Chuang Tzu (here's a Thomas Merton translation):

      "The little marsh pheasant

      Must hop ten times

      To get a bite of grain.

      She must run a hundred steps

      Before she takes a sip of water.

      Yet she does not ask

      To be kept in a hen run

      Though she might have all she desired

      Set before her.

      She would rather run

      And seek her own little living

      Uncaged."

      Sometimes that last line pops into my head, "Her own little living uncaged."

      Wow, North Node in Sag in the second. Making money with your philosophies, perhaps?

      The Gemini/Sag polarity has always confounded me a little. All of the others I can wrap my head around, but not that one. Must be because I don't have any Gemini...

      Which is also probably why I get on so well with Geminis :) They supply me what I lack. I just had tea with my triple Gemini friend and we always have the best conversations!

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      6 years ago from New Jersey

      Although I've loved Astrology for ages, I never got into past lives too much until recently, so I'm looking at nodes. My south one is in Gemini in the 8th house, and I have inherited money several times. But I have had to use it to support my Mom and Bipolar brother, and other things not for myself. My North node is in Sag in the 2nd house, and now I have to fix all the money issues that stemmed from being too free to give away money. It's great to be generous, but since the money came to me easily, it maybe was easier to give it away too. I did also work, and feel that if I had to do it all again, I would still choose to help my family members. I don't know what this means about my past lives though. Both my husband and I always felt an affinity to Egypt, and we're both natural blondes, like the Atlanteans that had to leave their continent. Many escaped to Egypt.

    • profile image

      PWalker281 

      6 years ago

      Chiron is interesting, too. Hope you write about it.

    • April P Clemens profile imageAUTHOR

      April P Clemens 

      6 years ago from VT

      Yep, Aries appreciates a challenge :) You just made me think of my Chiron in Aries in the 7th house. It's not on the computer chart I reference most, so I hadn't thought of it in a while. Hmmm, perhaps a Chiron article is in order...

      Yes, with Venus in Aries to give your North Node support, the call to be independent was probably especially urgent and hard to ignore.

    • profile image

      PWalker281 

      6 years ago

      Fortunately my Venus is also in Aries/6th house, so I "valued" independence which probably helped to push me out on my own. And the satisfaction was definitely "hard won" as the journey toward independence had its share of bumps and knocks. But nobody said it was going to be easy, and the fulfillment has been sweeter than if it had been easy.

    • April P Clemens profile imageAUTHOR

      April P Clemens 

      6 years ago from VT

      Thank you for the thoughtful comments, and the welcome!Yours is a perfect illustration of the North Node/South Node principle. Even though you had a comfortable career, unless you went out on your own, you'd never feel satisfied. That's really the crux of the matter---familiar comfort vs hard-won satisfaction.

    • profile image

      PWalker281 

      6 years ago

      Very insightful hub on the nodes in astrology.

      I have a south node in Libra in the 12th house. I am almost certain I had a past life as a monk in a monastery. I've worked very hard over the years to fulfill my Aries north node of becoming an individual who can stand on her own two feet. For example, my early work career was spent as an employee for the Federal government (another large institution that did a good job of taking care of me). But I yearned to be self-employed (Aries/6th house of work). I finally made the break, and after 12 years working for the government, I spent the next 21 years as an "independent" contractor :-). Hopefully, that means I've fulfilled the promise of my north node.

      Your Lord of the Rings analogy is an apt one. Voted up, useful, and interesting. And welcome to HubPages!

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