All posts here are from sections of the books: "North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose" and "Saturn Returns~The Private Papers of A Reluctant Astrologer" Available only on

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Near Death Experience; Retrieving the Gold in the Shadow of the South Node

The Near Death Experience, and Retrieving the “gold in the shadow” of the South Node

We retrieve the “gold in the shadow” of the South Node, of our past, when we’ve done the work of the North Node. Here’s the theory: we grow up repeating the patterns of the South Node, and we use the “vehicle” of the astrological Sun to create an ego with which to live in the world—until the time of our first Saturn return at approximately the age of twenty nine. Somewhere in that “awakening Saturnian time” we truly begin reaching for those qualities embedded in the North Node, and in so doing, compensate for the excesses and woundedness of our past. We begin to come home to our Self.

When we’ve done this long enough to sustain a workable life—that is, when we’ve worked to use both the positive qualities of each Node so that we create a balance in our lives—it is then that we are ready to begin the process of retrieving the “gold in the shadow” of the South Node. It is then that we can safely approach what the Jungians call the shadow and extract something that is not simply a default pattern.

If we think of the Nodes as being like the yin/yang symbol, we could visualize the gold to be the circular dot that is embedded within the space of each opposite. This astrological gold is a gift of grace that is available for all of us—and in my experience it tends to come around the time of the Uranus Opposition: somewhere between the ages of 38 and 41. It is at this point that the psyche intensely feels the anxiety and necessity for change—it must retrieve what it has not lived out to this time. And in so doing, people change. It is now that one sees people at this age doing all those things they’ve put off—moving cross country, divorcing, marrying, having a baby, leaving their job, finding their true vocation. They are now on a new journey.

The exciting thing about this is that we can now “take” and handle the goodness in our family karmic inheritance, and reap the rewards of latent talents. We can also take something from a past life experience that we’ve “earned” but perhaps not used skillfully in the past.

When I think of this, I remember the Near Death Experience I had around the age of twenty-one. After experiencing some of the classic luminosity of it, I also received a message—a message received through “automatic writing” saying that I would be wise to ground myself in the world in a very tangible way, and not come back to explore these “other worlds” until I had my feet firmly planted in this reality.

I took the message to heart, and became a potter for the first part of my life, married a Virgo, and had a child. It wasn’t until my forties that I returned to school to get my graduate degree in counseling and became a full time astrological counselor and writer. My North Node is in Taurus in the second house; my South Node in Scorpio in the eighth. I see this movement from South Node to North Node and back to the gold in the South Node with clients. The Nodes feel, not only like a directional pointer, but also like a tool of the psyche/Soul to create balance, and I believe we move between the two in ways that are both mysterious and yet somewhat calculable.
Elizabeth Spring © art: kerstin zettmar