Like anyone who has spent any time at all scrolling through Instagram, or just enough time in LA, I know a thing or two about astrology. Maybe more, as the one, two, three, astrology apps on my phone, the list I keep of my friends’ and acquaintances’ sun, moon, rising signs, and the embossed Leo tag that decorates my keys would suggest.
An expert, for sure.
Imagine then, the humbling feeling that followed when a friend asked what my North Node was while we referred to said list for, um, research. My what?
For a more thorough education than #astrologymemes can offer, we need to look no further West than our own Venice, California, the sprawling beach capital of the heavenly inclined. About seven blocks inland from the shore, intuitive and astrogeographer, Dara Dubinet, picks up the phone and fills me in.
The Lunar Nodes, it turns out, are pretty major. They are, in short, two mathematical points where the moon’s (real) orbit around the earth and the sun’s (seeming) orbit around the earth intersect. These points are the North Node and South Node, remaining always on an axis between opposing signs. “The North Node,” Dubinet tells me, “is an active way to get to somebody’s soul wish.” Essentially, our North Node points toward our true purpose in this lifetime. When we come into our North Node, we behave in ways that advance our highest, happiest self. Dubinet calls the North Nodes our “spiritual shining star,” bright enough to light our path forward.
However, if you’re under 30, chances are you’re still in the dark, as the North Node waits until around our first Saturn Return to manifest. Before then, we’re essentially functioning by way of muscle memory, or South Node behavior. The South Node reflects the karmic makeup of our soul’s genetics, collected in our past lives. It reveals who we have been, what we have mastered. But in the South Node lies the catch; it is where we are tempted by the comforting familiarity of what we already know, of what Dubinet says, “we need to stop doing.”
More so than a ready-made list of what to do instead, birth chart interpreters like Dubinet consider the transition from our South Node to our North Node an individual and hard-earned right of passage. In order to live we must die. Shedding the skin of our past lives can be a draining process, but a rewarding one. Luckily, my North Node falls in Scorpio, who likes change anyway.
North Node in Scorpio requires serious abandon in exchange for clarity. Dubinet prompts me to ask myself, “What can I let go of today?” and suggests I consider “belief systems, friendships, and relationships” in the process. To actually let go will be a task easier said than done, doubly challenged by my sun and moon in stubborn Leo. But Dubinet urges me to try. “It’s super important for you,” she insists, “because you’re doubled up in Scorpio, too.” She explains the placement of our North Nodes within the 12 houses of the Zodiac, each ruled by an associated sign.
Wherever our North Node falls will be “where we receive abundance,” because the North Node “acts as a lucky charm where it lands.”
My Scorpio North Node lands in the Eighth House of Pluto and Scorpio, a house that rules all things unseen. An Eighth House North Node placement unveils many hidden talents in mystic realms and of occult natures. This is the part where I call all my friends to tell them it’s true; I’m psychic. Because the Lunar Nodes will stay in one pair of opposing signs for a whole 18 months, we will inevitably share a common North Node with our friends of a similar age. “But, you’re not the same,” Dubinet notes. Where my Scorpio North Node falls in the Eighth house, my friends’ Scorpio North Nodes will likely fall into different houses, accounting for the ways our inner paths diverge, despite the nodes’ long stay.
About that catch? There’s no easy way to dismantle lifetimes of living your #bestlife in your South Node sign. After all that practice, we move through the most glowing essence of a sign and enter into what Dubinet describes as “the negative expression of your South Node.” This is where we will begin to feel stuck in old habits and systems, those that have otherwise always worked. To activate our North Node selves, we must learn to catch the South Node behavior that holds us back and refocus our efforts onward. According to a laughing Dubinet, a South Node in Scorpio’s opposite Taurus means I’ve definitely “been busy making comfort and drinking wine.” No comment here! Regrettably so, making comfort and drinking wine will likely take me nowhere in my deep dive into the unknown, hence the shedding of old habits that ensues.
If you need a little help noting these shadow-like behaviors, look to what you call your comfort zone. Chances are they are one in the same. In the face of all this letting go, the good news is some facets of our South Node might still serve the greater cause, lending support for our North Node endeavors. Dubinet calls on us to “scoop up these treasures in the dark” and then politely show ourselves to better things.
Andrea Nayeli is a writer based in Los Angeles, California. Follow her on social media at @dreanayeli.