This article will explore:
- The Astrology chart
- The Houses in a chart
- The Nodes of the Moon
The Astrology Chart
The astrology chart itself is actually a schematic: a graph that shows people’s “inner writing.” This can be obtained from an astrologer or a computerized birth chart. The wiring in each of us is different. It’s not “good” or “bad,” it’s just wired the way it’s wired. Your birth chart provides a picture of the inner wiring you were born with, but what you do with that wiring is up to you. When you can objectively see the patterns of your own behavior, you can make adjustments for more efficient results and better performance. By having a clear picture of your inner wiring, you can become aware of the built-in “glitches,” and you can choose not to continue behaviors that aren’t working for you.
What are the houses of the Zodiac?
The houses divide the horoscope into twelve segments. Each house is related to one sign of the zodiac and represents an arena of life experience. Each house is given a number from one to twelve, the first house cusp located at what would be nine o’clock on a clock-face, then, moving anti-clockwise as shown in the diagram to the left, numbering off around the chart.
The houses represent the sorts of circumstances you will have to deal with in this lifetime—challenges you have set yourself, so you may grow in personal understanding and consciousness.
First House: (House of Aries and ruled by Mars) Includes the all-important Rising Sign (or Ascendant), and is the first impression given to the world. The house of identity, here are clues to our overall outer package, including behavior, physical traits, social mask, health and well-being. Planets here shape how others perceive you, and the “vibe” you put out there
Second House: (House of Taurus and ruled by Venus) This is often referred to as the arena of money and values. It’s the province of stability, resourcefulness and slow, steady progress. Here you’re shown how a grounded life can be created, one that is self-sufficient and in line with your values.
Third House: (House of Gemini and ruled by Mercury) The house of education, short travels, the fami tribe (siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles), neighborly exchanges and more. The style of sharing life observations comes through here. It’s the arena of filtering info in, and sending it back out into your community.
Fourth House: (House of Cancer and ruled by the Moon) The arena of family, ancestral roots, the unconscious, Mother, and your sense of home. Planets here influence how you nest, and the experience to be had in the home base. Linked to our earliest moments in the womb, and even before that, in the undercurrents inherited from sources beyond this lifetime.
Fifth House: (House of Leo and ruled by the Sun) The house of creativity, and the Self radiating confidently outward. It’s the arena of loving life through play, love affairs, self-expression and relating to children. Planets here also shape the way your Father is perceived, as well as risk-taking and the exuberant thrust into new creative fields.
Sixth House: (House of Virgo and ruled by Mercury or Chiron) The realm of routine in the service of a healthy, fulfilled life. Exercise, diet, our daily work, all fall in this arena. Planets here reveal your approach to daily life, discipline, colleagues and your own physical well being.
Seventh House: (House of Libra and ruled by Venus) This house holds clues to the tenor, style and lessons of your major relationships. That includes marriage, business partnerships and the big friendships in your life. Relationships are a mirror of the Self and planets here show what kinds of self-growth happens for us in that arena of life.
Eighth House: (House of Scorpio and ruled by Pluto) The house of regeneration through sex, and personal periods of death & rebirth. This realm deals with all things dark, hidden and potentially destructive, including our own unacknowledged psychic undercurrents. Planets here influence how we deal with the unknown — whether with fear, attempting to control or surrendering to be transformed.
Ninth House: (House of Sagittarius and ruled by Jupiter) The arena of higher education, seeking knowledge, traveling and exploring the world. Planets here show how we expand our field of experience, and integrate all we know into a philosophy of life. This sphere reflects personal vision quests, dreams, aspirations and how we search for higher wisdom.
Tenth House: (House of Capricorn and ruled by Saturn) The house of personal authority and long-range career ambitions. Planets here influence how you create real change, and become an authority in your area of expertise. It determines things like persistence and endurance toward your big goals.
Eleventh House: (House of Aquarius and ruled by Uranus) The house of friendships, networks and the collective currents. Planets here show what kinds of alliances you create based on shared hopes, dreams and visions for the future.
Twelfth House: (House of Pisces and ruled by Neptune) This house deals with hidden realities, and planets here are vulnerable to illusion. Called the “house of undoing,” because planets placed here are immersed in the All, and hard to see clearly. Growth in this house happens at the soul level, and often far below the radar.
In astrology, the Moon rules our feelings, our moods, dependency, insecurity, the feeling of belonging – it rules our emotional bodies, self-image or the way we instinctively see ourselves. Considered by Jan Spiller to be the most important planet in the chart from a karmic/past life perspective, it underlies the rest of the personality structure.
What are the North & South Nodes of the Moon? *excerpted from Molly's Astrology Blog
The Sun and planets do not randomly circle around the Earth. Instead, their apparent path around us inscribes a circle in the skies. This disk-shaped band of the sky is called the ecliptic.
Astrology is geocentric, meaning that even though we realize the Sun does not orbit the Earth, the Earth is at the center of the astrological chart. Thus, Earth is our frame of reference.
The Moon’s orbit around the Earth is not the same as the ecliptic. You can visualize them as two giant hula hoops, one inside the other, held at an angle. The Moon’s orbit crosses the Ecliptic in two places — these are called the Moon’s Nodes.
The North Node is where the Moon crosses the ecliptic going toward the northern hemisphere, and the South Node is where she crosses the ecliptic headed south. The North Node and the South Node are always directly opposite one another in the sky.
The Moon’s Nodes nearly always move in retrograde, meaning they travel backwards through the Zodiac. They make a complete circle through the 12 signs every 18 years.
When the New Moons and Full Moons happen near the Moon’s Nodes, eclipses happen. That is because the Earth, Sun, and Moon are lined up so precisely that a shadow is cast.
What do they mean? In a karmic sense, the Moon’s Nodes represent lessons to be learned in this Earthly incarnation. These lessons almost always have to do with the way we connect with others. That’s why the Nodes are associated with patterns of relating, and the wisdom to be found within them is often the key to recognizing and healing patterns of relating which stand in the way of our happiness.
Think of the North Node as the head, and the South Node as the stomach. The stomach has the hunger, but the head has the mouth. So you fulfill the desires of the South Node through the energy of the North Node.
The Nodes are a pair. The North Node is always directly opposite the South Node. If you want to really understand them, it’s wise to study the 12 signs as pairs of opposites— Aries/Libra, Taurus/Scorpio, and so on. Like the yin/yang symbol, each sign contains the shadow of its opposite. For example, every Aries has a secret wish to be loved and accepted, and every Libra has a “gotta be me” side (or an angry side) that comes out no matter how nice she tries to be.
South Node The South Node represents habit patterns from childhood or from past lives. These are comfortable patterns, but they often get in the way of you having the kinds of connections you want with other people. These are especially powerful if you have a planet conjunct the South Node in your chart.
The sign and house placement of the South Node tells where you have a tendency to totally overdo things. There is a longing there, a craving that is very strong. The nature of this longing is shown by the sign of the South Node. For example, in Taurus, the craving is for material security. In Leo, for recognition. In Gemini, for information.
North Node The sign and house of the North Node represent circumstances and activities that usually feel unfamiliar. It’s the “secret shadow” of the South Node sign, and it’s the key to getting that craving met. That’s why the North node reveals an area of massive growth potential in your life. It’s the key to getting energy flowing.
Sometimes in the astrological literature, you will see interpretations that color the North Node as all positive, and the South Node as all negative. Sometimes they suggest that you should strive to move “toward” the North Node and shun the qualities represented by the sign of the South Node. (As if that were possible.) I do not think this is a constructive way to look at it. Your South Node indicates an area of longing, but also of massive talent and gifts. The trick is channeling those gifts properly.
Position of the North Node in Your Chart In examining the position of your North Node, you are looking at the basic lesson underlying this entire lifetime. Therefore, the changes may not happen all at once. Keep in mind that as you take steps in a new direction, you’re going against habits that have become deeply ingrained over many incarnations. That’s why you need to keep remembering to do things in a new way and keep moving toward resolution of the past life imbalances you’ve inherited.
The sign in which the North Node falls denotes the psychological shift that needs to occur within the personality. The house containing the North Node shows the experiences that allow the person to access this new psychological awareness. The house position also indicates the arena in which the life lessons of the North Node are learned. For example, if you North Node is in Cancer in the 11th House, you are learning to get in touch with and communicate your feelings (Cancer) through cultivating the energy of friendships and learning to “go with the flow” (11th House): if your North Node is in Aries in the 4th House, through getting in touch with your gut instincts (4th House) you can discover and communicate who you are (Aries).
North Node in Aries (1st House), South Node in Libra (7th House)
North Node in Aries represents a karmic drive to embrace your identity, to make your own decisions and live your own life. The South Node in Libra represents a longing for relationship. The longing is so strong and intense, that you often will try to make the connection by doing the Libra thing, trying to be the person you think your partner wants. This never works. You will find fulfilling relationships only when you embrace your own desires and wants (Aries), take the risk of being your own person, following your impulses. Only then can the right relationship appear.
North Node in Taurus (2nd House), South Node in Scorpio (8th House)
North Node in Taurus represents a need to get in touch with your own self-worth, your values & awareness of comfort zones, what feels good, what doesn’t, relying on your own talents and resourcefulness (Taurus). The South Node in Scorpio represents a longing for close bonding and mutual empowerment with another person. The old pattern is to attempt to do this by buying into another person’s system of values and priorities (Scorpio). Your longing for a fulfilling intimate relationship will only be satisfied when you focus on your own strength, your own values, your own priorities. When you do so, the right people will appear to support your goals.
North Node in Gemini (3rd House), South Node in Sagittarius (9th House)
If your North Node is in Gemini, you are like a butterfly, here to sample many flowers and connect with people and things. The South Node in Sagittarius represents a longing to have all the answers, sharing truth and wisdom, “being right.” If you don’t do the Gemini part and listen to what others are saying, your Sagittarian optimism can get out of hand, and you assume they know what you know. It’s true that you have great wisdom, but you mess up when you act without thinking things through, and dismiss other people’s ideas without hearing them out. You are able to share your wisdom and connect deeply with others when you truly listen to them, helping them through the “nitty gritty” aspects of life, and allowing them to help you.
North Node in Cancer (4th House), South Node in Capricorn (10th House)
The South Node in Capricorn represents a strong drive to succeed. You mess up when you measure success by the “outward” symbols of success or achievement of a position in society (i.e. clothing, material status, titles, awards, the “right” friends, etc.). To gain these things, you may try to “cut off” or ignore the feeling side of things, yours and others’. Your North Node in Cancer shows that the true measure of your success is emotional fulfillment— if you aren’t feeling safe and content on the inside, you haven’t “made it.” This does not deny you success in your career, but it does mean that you find satisfaction in life only when you use your strong work ethic and management skill in a way that is emotionally suited to you, and responsive to others.
North Node in Leo (5th House), South Node in Aquarius (11th House)
The South Node in Aquarius represents a strong urge to belong in a group. Your old pattern is to make your way by “fitting in,” letting go of your ego to promote a cause, and letting the energy of a group carry you. You try and find this sense of belonging by remaining a spectator in life rather than a participant. This doesn’t work, because Leo is an extremely creative sign, and to try to “blend in” cuts off a very real part of you that longs for expression. You find your true sense of belonging when you let your light shine, take the risk of standing out. Then you magnetically attract the right group of friends to you.
North Node in Virgo (6th House), South Node in Pisces (12th House)
The South Node in Pisces represents an urge for immersion in spiritual oneness. You may try to do this by escaping from the world through addiction or other means, withdrawal from involvement with others, giving up, or choosing not to deal with the daily grind. You have a strong psychic and spiritual power. However, this power only works for you when you embrace the lesson of Virgo, serving yourself and others through active involvement with others, attending to the nitty-gritty details of life. “Spirit helps those who help themselves” is a good mantra for you. i.e., you have to clean up your own messes in life, nobody’s going to do it for you.
North Node in Libra (7th House), South Node in Aries (1st House)
The South Node in Aries represents a competitive urge— you want to win. You may try to do this by being defensive, combative, and competitive with others. However, you only win big when you cooperate in mutually beneficial partnerships, openly share your feelings and intentions, listen to and accept the help of others. You have good relationship karma— involve others in your decisions, and give of yourself, share your talents and abilities with others. You only really benefit from win/win cooperative situations, not win/lose battles.
North Node in Scorpio (8th House), South Node in Taurus (2nd House)
The South Node in Taurus suggests a tendency to try to do everything yourself, your way. It can be hard to let go of possessions, for fear that you might need it someday. Following the Scorpio North Node path, sharing resources and responsibilities with other people, really opens up your world. It involves letting go and taking the risk of trusting and depending on another. Ironically, you only find the stability you want through letting others help you in their own way. The rewards are well worth the price.
North Node in Sagittarius (9th House), South Node in Gemini (3rd House)
The South Node in Gemini indicates that you can really “overthink” decisions, constantly second-guessing yourself. You got so good at seeing other people’s points of view, that you lost touch with your own. Your Sagittarius North Node indicates that the greatest rewards for you are in trusting your intuition, and being open and honest about yourself and what you want. Overthinking is problematic for you because you can never have enough information to satisfy your mind. You second-guess yourself and become confused, making it very difficult to make decisions you truly trust. Visualizing the outcome, rather than relying on factual, logical information, works much better for you. You have the gift of manifestation— your beliefs create your reality. Indulging in gossip drains your energy— don’t do it.
North Node in Capricorn (10th House), South Node in Cancer (4th House)
The South Node in Cancer indicates an intense desire to care for people. However, overconcern with other people’s emotional well-being may be a sign of your fear of taking charge of your own destiny. This overconcern shows itself as dwelling on the past, being afraid to come out of your shell, making other people’s feelings your problem. You are here to rediscover the thrill of achieving your goals. You need to let other people work out their own problems, and develop and cultivate your own ambition. When you do this, eventually others will come in to support you! You are a natural born leader and manager. Because you have the gift of empathy, people trust you, and you find fulfillment when you set up structures that support everyone’s well-being. Focusing on your vision for the future will help you let go of the past.
North Node in Aquarius (11th House), South Node in Leo (5th House)
With South Node in Leo, ego drives are very powerful, as the soul craves recognition and respect. Thus, at times you can be dominating, demanding, and willful. The North Node in Aquarius indicates that you find the respect and approval you want only when you work from a sense of equality with all creatures, inspiring rather than dominating. Because you, more than anyone, understand the value of appreciation, you are a natural born appreciator of others and can motivate others to achieve their best, especially when you work together for a common cause. Being involved in groups and humanitarian causes is very good for you.
North Node in Pisces (12th House), South Node in Virgo (6th House)
The South Node in Virgo suggests an innate practicality and sense of order, but also a sense of panic an anxiety when things do not go as planned. Therefore, you may burden yourself and others with rigid expectations of proper behavior or “perfect” situations. The North Node in Pisces represents this lifetime’s mission: let go of worry and work on developing a sense of the connectedness of everyone and everything. Your longing for order and perfection is satisfied only through the realization that everything is in divine order, even if our limited human minds perceive only chaos.
My Nodes are retrograde, what does that mean?
Nothing. The Nodes are nearly always retrograde. Neither is it significant if they are direct (not retrograde) in your chart— which only happens if you use the True Node. The change in direction is due to an insignificant “wobble” or vibration in the Node’s path. It’s not the same as the process by which the planets change direction. If you use the Mean Node measurement, which averages out the Node’s position over time, it is always retrograde.
Visit this page for an animated diagram showing how planetary retrogrades work.
For further reading on the Moon’s Nodes, pick up Astrology for the Soul by Jan Spiller. This wonderful, eye-opening book has 40-50 pages on each sign/house placement. It is a simple but powerful book that will be of value whether or not you are interested in the more technical stuff in astrology.
Moon Sign & Transits
Excerpted under open copyright laws with permission from the author, Jenny Yates as originally published in the We’Moon Datebook 2000
The moon circles the earth quickly, passing through all the signs of the zodiac in 28 days. She is generous with her changes, offering a new zodiacal perspective every 2 ½ days. When the moon reaches the sign that the sun is in, she becomes invisible, her light vanishing into the sun’s brilliance. This is the dark moon, the new moon, a time to see new beginnings. After this phase, she grows steadily night-by-night.
When she reaches her fullest form, she is in the opposite sign from the sun. This is a time to express yourself fully, to integrate both the outwardly active sun sign and the inwardly reflective moon sign. The moon urges you to express your inner nature by bringing all truths up to the light. The pressure can be intense leading to bouts of lunacy, the joy of seeing yourself whole is also intense.
The moon is symbolically connected with emotions, water and the mother. Her changes are reflected deep within us in the ways we nurture ourselves and others. Some signs are more fertile than others, better for planting, creating and conceiving. However, each sign has its gifts for your soul as well as for your garden.
Listed below is a brief summary of what to expect as the moon moves through the twelve signs of the zodiac.
Moon in Aries As the moon moves into Aries, she raises some basic identity questions. You stand stripped bare of formalities knowing yourself as you truly are. Many new beginnings are hatched now, but the energy is too fiery for safe planting.
Moon in Taurus In Taurus, the moon brings calm and stability. The buzz subsides and you notice the things that endure: the feel of wood and rock, the smell of your lover’s skin, the cycles of the soil. This fertile sign encourages strong, slow growth.
Moon in Gemini The Gemini moon stimulates your curiosity. Interesting ideas appear constantly, like doors opening up to reveal other doors. Now is the time to make connections, perhaps via email or telephone. Explore your garden, learn from it, but don’t plant.
Moon in Cancer As she moves into Cancer, the moon brings up memories and all the emotions that accompany them. This is a fertile time as tears fall more readily nourishing your roots. All arts are encouraged, especially the alchemy of cooking.
Moon in Leo When the moon enters Leo, your inner child wants attention, as do your inner clown and your inner prima donna. Turn all the commotion into art and then celebrate your creative power. In the garden, cultivate and admire, but don’t plant.
Moon in Virgo In Virgo, the moon moves towards a simple, useful life. If anything needs mending in body or soul, now is the time to focus your healing powers. In the garden or at home, you can arrange, shape and tend.
Moon in Libra With the moon in Libra, you need more beauty in your life. Plant flowers, fill your house with them or give them to a woman you love. You are more tender and romantic, conscious of the subtle dance of human connection.
Moon in Scorpio When the moon passes through Scorpio, feelings are intense and desires powerful. You delve into your deepest self with its shadows and dragons, and you recognize the untapped power there. Anything planted now grows deep and strong.
Moon in Sagittarius With moon in Sagittarius, feelings range wide as you amble down the road, watch the stars, or read old philosophy books. The search is more important than the finding. Take a break from your garden as your energy is restless now.
Moon in Capricorn As the moon moves into Capricorn, your inner Wise Woman is very strong. She can show you how to take old fears and sorrows and turn them into resolve, ambition and discipline. Anything you plant now will have strong roots.
Moon in Aquarius As she moves through Aquarius, the moon brings the liberation of understanding. You can detach yourself from old emotional patterns and see your mother, lover and friends as individuals. Talk to your green friends now, but don’t plant new ones.
Moon in Pisces When the moon’s in Pisces, distinctions blur and barriers dissolve. Your rational mind may go hide under a rock while your intuitive mind moves joyfully and unerringly in the cosmic dance. This is a fertile time. Everything yields.