One of the most common questions that I get asked by people when doing readings is something along the lines of “what is my purpose here in this lifetime?”/“What am I supposed to do with my life?” One of the best guidestones for answering this question is to look at the placements of the North and South Nodes of the Moon in the natal chart. The North Node is what the soul wanted to evolve into during this incarnation, the qualities that it hopes/hoped to develop (or needs to develop), while the South Node, directly opposite the North Node, shows different traits and qualities that we have brought with us into this lifetime from past incarnations. These are usually traits that we cling too, even if they don’t really serve us anymore. Since the South Node shows the traits and qualities that our souls are familiar with, we are usually very comfortable hanging around our South Node (and would probably be fine never leaving, hahaha!). However, the purpose of our souls in every incarnation is to actually learn something, to transcend and evolve into something else. To move away from the South Node while keeping the very best from it, and taking those best traits forward towards our North Node. As uncomfortable as it may be, if we never leave the comfort and familiarity of our South Node, we will never accomplish the evolutionary process of growing our soul into our North Node’s Soul Mission.
A bit of pertinent information: The North and South Nodes of the Moon (also known as the Head and Tail of the Dragon, respectively), stay in the same position by sign for about 16-20 months at a time. People who were born under the same North Node sign generally were all reincarnated at the same time because these souls all wanted (or needed) to learn the same lessons in the same generation. It takes the North Node about 18 to 19 years to come full circle in natal chart, which is when you have your Nodal Return. The souls born during your Nodal Return are also part of your soul mission tribe, for their North Node will be in the same sign as yours, but obviously there will be generational differences between your soul mission tribe and theirs (which will color that mission somewhat). There are usually two different Nodes that will pop up when drawing up your natal chart on a website like Astro.com, and they are the “True Node” and the “Mean Node.” There really isn’t much difference between the two usually, maybe only a degree or two difference, and this really only becomes an issue to decipher when the True Node and Mean Node end up being in different signs, houses, or both! In those cases, I would say to use whatever feel the most true and right for you personally. Just for reference, I usually use the True Node when I read charts, but everyone has different methods and different opinions on this subject. No one is right or wrong here 🙂
As far as the North and South Nodes go, I tend to find the house placement a bit more paramount than the sign that rules them. That doesn’t mean that the sign that rules the Nodes isn’t important (not at all!), I just tend to give the house placement a little more attention. This is because by house placement, the North Node will show the major focus(es) of the person’s life, areas of life that may prove uncomfortable for the native, and where the soul really wanted to evolve into in this particular incarnation. The South Node’s House placement shows the major focus(es) that the person had in previous incarnations, areas of life where they are more comfortable because of the familiarity they bring, and where the soul wanted to evolve away from in this incarnation. There may be differences of opinion here, but I feel these areas of life can be easily seen by thinking of the House axis in question, applying a certain keyword (or a few keywords) to describe the purpose of the soul in this lifetime.
*1st House-The Self / 7th House – The Other
*2nd House-Physical Security (in all ways and in oneself)/8th House- Metamorphosis beyond what one has in the physical world
*3rd House-Short Journeys and the Concrete Mind & Communication/9th House-Long Journeys and the Abstract Mind & Communication
*4th House-The Home (what the concept of home means to the native)/10th House-Career and Social & Public Status
*5th House-Joy and Play/11th House-Groups, Friends and Influenece
*6th House-Service in the Physical World, Work and Health/12th House- Service to Something Greater & More Universal, and the Unconscious Mind
The North Node by sign placement shows the qualities that one’s soul wanted/wants to grow into in this lifetime. They may not always be the easiest qualities for the person to possess and harness, stuff dealing with the North Node never really is easy. Planets conjunct the North Node usually are there to help the person along in this lifetime, nudging them towards their North Node goal. The South Node by sign placement shows the qualities that we wanted to move away from in this lifetime (while keeping the highest evolution of these qualities); it can be where we take things to extremes, mainly because of the comfort we feel there. Planets cojunct the South Node can end up causing the person problems, just as the South Node can cause people problems. With the conjunction, you are fusing two (or even more) energies together, making it harder to break down the energies separately and effectively work them out. Issues dealing with the planet in conjunction can creep up time and time again in the life of the native. It isn’t until those energies are understood as separate entities that things may get easier in this regard.