The South Node
From the point of view of evolutionary astrology, the sign of your South Node describes your default pattern in life. It describes a way of being in the world which doesn't work well for you anymore. It represents something you are comfortable with, because earlier in this life or in a previous life (if you believe in reincarnation) it was your habitual pattern and where you failed to live up to all you could be. So now, the Soul longs to move away from this and towards the potential and possibilities of your North Node.
The South Node represents an easy way out for us---our addictive tendencies, our unresolved conflicts and negative personality traits, and the limitations and failures from the past which can interfere with our ability to be all we can be.
In looking at the sign of the South Node, one needs to look at what the lower octave, or less pleasant side of the sign is all about. Because the South Node represents what we didn't get right, or was troublesome either earlier in this life or in a former life, then we really understand quite a lot about ourselves if we can understand what this is all about.
Of course the South Node is balanced and compensated by the good qualities of the North Node ,which point to where the Soul longs to go towards in this life. So understanding the positive aspects of the sign of your North Node gives you great insight into what qualitities are helpful for you to develop.
For those of you who want to delve a little deeper, and who understand the nature of aspects, we can find out more information by looking at any oppositions or squares to the Nodes. An opposition to the SN is the planet that conjuncts your NN, and it represents in its lower manifestation what hurt you or oppossed you in the past. Read it negatively. This is a good exercise in seeing both the high and low sides all the planetary archetypes....because the higher aspects or the good qualities of that same planet are what is going to help you in this life. All signs and planets are dualistic and contain a full range of possibilities.
Now a planet that is square to your Nodes represents what Steven Forrest and Jeff Greene call a "skipped step." So in order to fully actualize the potential in your North Node, you do need to understand what this blind spot, or skipped step is about. It ties in with what you didn't get right in the South Node, but offers suggestions as to what you need to bring into your life to reach the potential of your North Node.
The other piece to this puzzle is to look at what houses the North and South Nodes are in. The house that the South Node falls in further describes something of where you didn't get it right before, and the North Node house offers a different direction for you to focus on.
We can also look at the ruler of the planets of the Nodes and how they are aspected in the chart, but we are getting a lot of variables here, and it's easy to get lost. I find that looking at the sign of the Nodes, the houses, and the possible opposition or skipped step, (opposition or square) usually is enough for me. There's quite a story here--a parable really, of who we were and who we are becoming.
All this reminds us to look at the paradoxical nature of the signs and planets, and to keep reaching for the highest expression of them. And although we don't want to keep falling back on what we know or what our default pattern is, it's helpful to remember that Carl Jung always said to watch for the "gold in the shadow." We've learned something in our past, and we picked up skills and attitudes along the way....so it's true that we can look for the highest expression of these South Node qualities to act on, and we can use what we know. But think of the SN territory as potentially a slippery slope, and we need to be fully grounded before digging for the gold there--or what we might find is simply fool's gold.
The South Node represents qualities and habits we repeat endlessly, and it doesn't serve our evolutionary soul contract for this life. We are wise to very cautiously "mine the gold" in the shadow of the SN and to discipline ourselves to see the skipped step or obstruction; but don't linger in the shadows. Go for the North Node--reach for your personal North Star.
(c) elizabeth spring For more info: http://www.elizabethspring.com/