From my friend “Jane”:
“I am a Leo with Scorpio North Node. I am so not interested in where the North Node in my chart has me going, and I understand it’s my destiny. I could care less. Is that normal? To be completely uninspired by the North Node?”
I am a giant fan of the North Node. I see it as the needle of the compass, and the rest of the natal chart’s astrological toolbox is full of planets and points positioned precisely to provide growth opportunities that guide us along the North Node course. Unlike planets, whose forces or drives we experience within and around us whether we are conscious about it or not, the North Node is not a physical body. It, and its partner the South Node, are mathematically-derived points. The North Node offers a journey, and we have to consciously allow ourselves to go there.
Generally speaking, it is first experienced as a distant calling, and more often than not it feels like a too-good-to-be-true place for us to travel to. We may sometimes think we don’t deserve it. When we consciously choose to journey to the North Node, it feels good and right. We have the sense that we’re answering the call. But to experience this, we have to allow it into our lives. This is rarely an easy thing to do.
To answer Jane’s question: I have encountered no one, other than she, who was interested in astrology but not interested in or inspired by their North Node. I can’t say whether Jane’s relationship with the North Node is normal or abnormal, but I do feel certain that by dismissing the North Node she denies herself the opportunity to fully experience her potential and to fully understand the intended evolutionary journey of her soul in this lifetime.
Here’s a one-paragraph summary of my larger response to Jane’s question:
I believe Jane remains stuck in the security of her South Node energy. Her North and South Node are in quadrature with her Sun-Chiron opposition. This is a fixed-sign Grand Square/Grand Cross, causing severe experience, throughout her life, of restraint and suppression of her ability and right to be who she truly is. In order to fully (and joyfully) embrace the intended journey of her North Node, Jane first will need to heal the wound within in her, represented by Chiron. She also will need to fully integrate the South and North Node energies: for her, with Taurus South Node in the 8th House and Scorpio North Node in the 2nd House, this means she must fully recognize the depths of her own gifts and talents—to find primary emotional security in these personal resources of her own—and to learn to let go of the sense of primary emotional security that she finds in the material resources and sense of power that have come to her from other people she is/was close to. Her North Node quest is to allow herself to fully experience the healing power and emotional security that comes from deep within her own soul. Her truest security is found on the spiritual plane, not the material plane.
Read on for my detailed response:
My first inclination is to hear the “stuckness” in Jane’s question. Stuckness, to me, says a few things right off: look at the Rising Sign, the South Node, and Chiron, and in particular, look at where there are strong or challenging major aspects (conjunctions, squares, oppositions, and especially a Grand Square/Cross) to these from other planets or points. If these particular planets or points are difficultly aspected, the feeling of stuckness is amplified.
Jane is a good friend of mine, 60-something, and she offered up this question as the first for my newsletter. I did a reading of her chart a couple of years ago, and even though she’s a good friend, I didn’t remember specifics from the reading (which is normal for me). Looking again now in response to her question, and my sense of the stuckness—whammo and wow—I was amazed to see that Jane’s chart includes difficult challenge in every single one of these primary places in the astrological chart where a person can experience being stuck.
The Rising Sign is experienced as the external or outermost layer of ourselves; it’s our persona. This is the energy with which we greet a roomful of strangers; it’s the part of our personality we first show to the world. It is where our personal essence and other people’s energy meet, and once we get to know our Rising Sign persona, we can consciously decide how far outside our personal gateway and into that persona we want to extend ourselves. The Rising Sign, or Ascendant, is the astrological sign (or area of the sky) that was coming up over the horizon at the time we were born, and it marks the cusp of the first house in our natal chart. In this way, it is also the gateway or entryway to the rest of our natal chart, and it therefore represents our overall, initial approach to life’s experiences. When I interpret a chart, I view it through the lens of the Rising Sign.
But – we all can get stuck in, or too far extended into, our Rising Sign. Once we are consciously aware of our tendency to do this, we really do open up our ability to be much truer to our deeper selves.
Jane’s Rising Sign is in Virgo. The stuckness I see here, right off, is Virgo’s tendency to get caught up in analyzing the energies outside her and missing out on the bigger picture. Also, Virgo’s sense of humility is strong. There may be a tendency for Jane to resist the North Node’s calling due to its feel-good pull. Until a person fully understands their North Node, it can feel like a self-serving pathway, especially to one as discriminating as Virgo. Purification, making things better, and being of good use, are of utmost importance to Virgo. I hear in Jane’s voice the question: “How is my North Node truly useful to me or to others?” It’s a noble concern, isn’t it? It’s lovely. But her skepticism about the North Node’s usefulness may keep her from being open to her North Node journey all together.
Next up: the South Node. It is all about stuckness, in a sense. It represents gifts and memories from past lives, and it is therefore a familiar platform from which we operate in this life. We tend to fall back on it at times of uncertainty. The North Node and South Node are 180-degrees opposite. They are in exact, or perfect, opposition. They “want” the same thing, and they come at it from opposite approaches. Ultimately, celestial oppositions are about integrating and balancing the tension of the opposites. C.G. Jung describes these opposing forces within us this way: “Out of [the] collision of opposites the unconscious psyche always creates a third thing of an irrational nature, which the conscious mind neither expects nor understands. It presents itself in a form that is neither a straight “yes” nor a straight “no.””(1) Once we really tune into the collision, or the process of integrating our South and North Nodes as we head in the North Node direction, this third thing that manifests is our intended life path. It becomes clearer and clearer the more we consciously attend to it.
Jane’s Scorpio North Node is in the 2nd House. Here her stuckness, or resistance, can be seen in the comfort she experiences by remaining in and falling back on her South Node in Taurus in the 8th House. She brings with her from past lives gifts of strength, perseverance, creativity, and loyalty (Taurus) especially when she is experiencing close emotional connection with other people (8th House). The 8th House is all about finding a sense of emotional security through other people, and often it’s found through the money and resources other people offer us.
The North Node, however, calls for some letting go of the South Node—not completely, but to integrate our South Node gifts along our journey to the North Node. The 2nd House is where we find a sense of emotional security around our own resources. Scorpio is about finding deep emotional healing. Jane also has Neptune in Scorpio in the 2nd House, which lends a sense of confusion or vagary around material security; with this placement she is sure to experience financial ebbs and flows throughout life that greatly threaten her sense of emotional security. South Node in Taurus in the 8th house is SO not naturally comfortable with this sort of material uncertainty. I see Jane’s North Node in Scorpio in the 2nd House as a call for her to fully recognize the depths of her own gifts and talents—to find primary emotional security in these personal resources of her own—and to learn to let go of the sense of primary emotional security that she finds in the material resources and sense of power that have come to her from other people she is/was close to. Her North Node quest is to allow herself to fully experience the healing power and emotional security that comes from deep within her soul. Her truest security is found on the spiritual plane, not the physical.
Now. Way easier said than done. The hard aspect challenges I was anticipating in Jane’s chart are indeed there: Her South Node is exactly square (exactly 90-degrees) her Chiron in Aquarius in the 5th House (and because the South and North Nodes are opposite each other, her Chiron is square her North Node as well). Chiron represents a deep emotional wounding from past lives that we’ve chosen to heal in this life. It is triggered through difficult experiences in this life, particularly in our younger years. Squares represent obstacles, or hurdles, we must struggle through, and they result in tremendous personal growth when we do. This Chiron topic alone deserves a full, in-person conversation with Jane, but right off the cuff I want to say that her expression of self (5th House), especially in her naturally unconventional and rebellious way (Aquarius), was met with painful experiences in her youth. Her deep need to freely be herself was likely suppressed in a number of ways as she was growing up and as she experienced the adult world.
Until we fully explore and validate the Chiron wound in our lives, we cannot fully be our most authentic selves. How sad is that, to not fully be able to be who we truly are??? Most of us exist in this place. Chiron promises us authenticity, if we are willing and able to acknowledge the deep wounding these experiences caused within us. Too often, because the memory of these wounds is too painful and inconvenient, we unconsciously or consciously choose to move on from the wounding without resolving it. It stays within us and holds us back—until we decide to identify and release the painful experiences, one by one.
This is a significant hurdle Jane needs to overcome before she can fully embrace her journey to the North Node. In what way is the Chiron experience of rejection or suppression from others in response to her expression of her liberal, unconventional self…in what way is this pain still an obstacle inside her, blocking her from allowing herself to fully believe that her truest sense of security is that which comes from deep within her soul?
I will also note Jane’s strong Moon-Pluto opposition, strengthening this chart’s recurring theme of transformation through introspective examination of her vulnerabilities (and the great personal power found deep within). There’s a compulsive need here for emotional security. This aspect can indicate oppressive and/or controlling behavior on the part of one or both of Jane’s parents, however well-intended it may have been, and it would have contributed considerably to the deep Chiron wounding Jane experienced as a young person, as her self-expression and rebellious nature were suppressed.
I’m exhausted on Jane’s behalf! Yet… there’s still more to look at.
No wonder Jane struggles to find inspiration in it! Where’s the freaking beef, she wants to know? Or, in Virgo Rising’s kindlier terms: in what possible way is this North Node journey truly useful? Surely there’s a more efficient way to the North Node than to deeply explore one’s pain? Or, in Taurus South Node in the 8th House’s terms: what could possibly make me want to let go of those things that have always provided me with a strong sense of emotional security?
Jane’s Sun in Leo forms a T-square with her Nodes and opposes her Chiron. Together they form a Grand Square/Grand Cross – all in fixed signs. Yes, more to add to the feeling of stuckness—and also the gift of opportunity for profound personal growth! Sun (identity) in Leo is like a radiant bonfire that never goes out. Leo Sun is Proud, with a capital P. Leo has a need for validation, approval, self-expression, and play. With Chiron opposed the Sun, Jane’s sense of validation and approval comes after facing many obstacles and hurdles. Again, validating and facing that Chiron wound.
The most important benefit of being willing to work with our Chiron wounding is the healing that results…. not just for us, but for those to whom we are then able to give healing, especially those with similar wounding as us. Chiron is known as The Wounded Healer for this reason.
To fully understand what’s going on for Jane right now in terms of her North Node journey, I would need to look at her Solar Return chart and current transits. But I’m certain of one thing… even though she says she couldn’t care less about her North Node, her question to me says otherwise! She’s on the journey, whether she wants to acknowledge it or not.
Would you like your own astrological analysis, of your stuckness or otherwise? Schedule a reading!
[“The Psychology of the Child Archetype,” CW 9i, par. 285.]