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.
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).
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.