How the North Node points you in the right direction

Although we tend to use the word “natural” to indicate optimum functioning, the truth is that behaving naturally is sometimes the worst thing we can do.  Think about it—what comes “naturally” to a person with an anger management problem is to act out their rage and frustration.  What comes “naturally” to a drug-addicted individual involves getting high to the extent they harm their health.  Even if we do not have a problem that leads us to a 12-step program, each of us possesses some “natural” tendencies that lead us to betray our highest selves.


Before going into the astrological aspects of this, I want to discuss how this principle works in terms of health because this may be more obvious to most people.  Many of you reading this may have taken a test in a magazine or online to determine your dosha or type within Ayurveda, ancient: kapha, pitta or vata.  Ayurveda offers different prescriptions for healing imbalances of these 3 types: kapha, pitta or vata.

A person with a kapha (earth-water) imbalance, for example, may receive a prescription to eat certain foods and avoid others and to do a specific style of yoga.  Meanwhile, an individual with a pitta (fire) imbalance might receive a nearly opposite prescription.  This is because the “natural” tendencies each person has to correct are opposite to each other.  The pitta person needs to relax, to contain his/her fieriness to some degree, to avoid becoming tense or angry.  The kapha person, on the other hand, needs to add some fire, to compensate for a tendency to lethargy.

In astrology, we use the nodes of the Moon to determine where an individual tends to fall into bad habits which feel natural.  The sign and position of the South Node (whose chart symbol resembles an upside down horseshoe) indicate where we easily fall into negative tendencies.  Opposite the South Node is the North Node (the curved part of the symbol which looks like a horseshoe points up, the two ends point down).  The North Node shows us the direction we need to go in order to achieve personal growth.


On the one hand, knowing about astrology, and about the nodes in particular, seems like a quick and easy tip from the universe for success.  Simply learn the meaning of the house and sign in which the North Node sits in your natal chart and follow that like a beacon.  Unfortunately, in practice it’s not quite that easy.  It always feels easier and more natural for each of us to follow the South Node.  Like an alcoholic whose circle of friends include other alcoholics, we may have to move away from what seems to us to be love and support in order to grow.  Or we may need to move away from a career which provides easy and abundant cash but which requires that we participate in or at least look the other way in regard to dishonesty.

The  examples above seem fairly obvious, but your own nodal crossroads may involve more subtle choices than alcoholism and dishonesty.  You can learn gain some insight into the direction you need to move toward for personal growth by learning to read the astrological symbolism of the houses and signs in which the nodes sit in your natal chart.  A trained astrologer may help you read this information in your chart.  Simple meditation can also help.  Meditation, unlike prayer or manifestation techniques, is about listening.  It enables us to become clear channels, receptive to the messages our higher self/guides/the divine (depending on your belief system) want to share with us.

One of the easiest ways to recognize the North Node is simply through how “unnatural” or difficult it feels.  In the words of a Zen proverb, “The obstacle is the path.”  Take some time to determine what difficulty is leading you in the direction of growth and away from your natural worst tendencies.

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