Saturday, July 6, 2013

What are the North and South Nodes? Vedic Nodes, vs Western Nodes...



As many of you know, the North and South Nodes are mathematical points rather than planets, and are calculated by the intersecting orbits between the Earth, Sun, and Moon. Throughout the history of astrology these points have pointed to our re-incarnation history. The South Node describes the qualities of past incarnations and present spiritual lessons in this life, and the North Node describes the life direction, soul purpose, and compensatory behavior that is 'good medicine' for you now.

     The Nodes can be seen as the trajectory of the Soul. Similar to the ancient astroglobes with an arrow piercing a circle (now often seen as garden sculptures) the arrow tip points in the direction of your North Node, like a North Star, and the South Node is the end tail of the arrow, and speaks symbolically of the past and the direction you want to move away from....old default habits. There needs to be a balance between the ends, because we cannot get rid of the past and the emotional memory (the lunar memory) of the South Node because it still resides below the surface of consciousness.

    Western astrology, as practiced in the US and Europe see these Nodes quite differently from the Indian Vedic perspective which see the North and South Nodes negatively, and are known as Rahu and Ketu, representing the head and tail of the dragon. For Eastern Vedic astrologers, neither of these points are a blessing, nor are they understood within the context of the free will based Western astrology. Vedic astrology is more predictive and perhaps because it comes out of a culture that had few free will choices for the individual, the emphasis on the Nodes is quite different, and chart readings usually hold more fear and negativity. Charms and stones are recommended to undo the effects of the Nodes, and Westerners see this as superstition--rightly so!

     Western astrology accepts reincarnation and a belief that karmic conditions can be seen in the chart, but that we have more power to change our lives now, based on self-understanding.

    If you are looking at your chart to find the Nodes, the North Node looks like a pair of headphones and the South Node looks like a horseshoe. In the book, North Node Astrology, there is also a Table where you can find your North and South Node based simply on your birth day and year.
www.elizabethspring.com

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fool's Gold: the Slippery Downward Slope of the South Node

Fool's Gold; the Slippery Slope of the South Node

   I'm thinking about another book, a sequel to "North Node Astrology; Redisovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose", and this new book, "South Node Astrology; " would focus on what each of us came into this life to change. Our re-incarnational agenda. how the emotional memory contained in the South Node influences how we live  in this life and why we keep repeating the same old mistakes and misjudgments. These patters sabotage us and keep us from living a better life, and loving more fully.

 So what is this 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--the negative side of the sign and house position is all about. The South Node represents what we didn't get right, or what was troublesome either earlier in this life or in a former life.

It’s important to remember the paradoxical nature of the signs and planets, and to keep reaching for the highest expression of them. All these signs can be played out in a higher, or wiser way, and a lower, or less conscious way. 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." That shadow is the South Node!

We would be wise to think of the South Node territory as a potentially slippery slope. We need to be fully grounded before digging for the gold there--or what we may find could be just fool's gold. Illusion and disillusion dwell there, and it takes discernment to know what is real and what isn't real. Much to ponder....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

South Node Libra




In Evolutionary astrology we look at the South Node with eyes that are biased to see what unfinished business, what blockage, what challenge was not met—either earlier in this life or in a former life. So, we read the South Node negatively. To read the “Venus ruled” Libra negatively can be hard, because there is so much charm and personality there. It’s similar to saying “that nice person at the party/the job/the meeting wasn’t really so nice after all.” Too much niceness, too much ‘trying to make the peace at any price’, too much caring what the other person thinks and feels, can make a person appear like a chameleon. Why is there such a desire to please? What woundedness is under that need?

Enmeshment, co-dependence, and a subtle kind of opportunism and neediness are the worse traits of Libra; no matter if it be the Sun, Moon or South Node. In the South Node position, the emotional nature “remembers” on a cellular level an original closeness and unity that is hoped for now, if not expected. Venus wants good relationships, harmony and beauty. Nothing wrong with that. Justice too, and credit for doing a good job. He/she wants to come up smelling like roses, and sometimes Venus bends the truth or takes radical risks to make their dreams come true.

So what is needed here? A healthy dose of its opposite: Mars. Venus needs the independent, assertiveness of its North Node of Aries to create the balance. When you have the South Node  in Libra, there’s too much of a default pattern here of the illusive or manipulative feminine—whether you are male or female, we all have our counter-sexual parts within us, and with Libra, you are going to have to assert, fight, survive, and carry the weight of the paradoxes of life on your shoulders. You need to get assertive. Your soul survival may depend on you not depending too much on other people.

As always there’s a delicate crucial balance needed between the opposites. This is the Libra/Aries, “I-Thou axis”-- the relationship balancing “see-saw” between me and you. There’s great gold or goodness embedded in the South Node Libra, but if you’re going to learn from this, take a look at how you “act-out” your relationships in your life, and how you respond to beauty. Are you nourishing yourself with “random acts of beauty” and loving kindness? Good, that’s high Libra. Are you finding new ways to nourish your need for true relationships, or are you distracting or deceiving yourself and others? Libra likes the illusions and beauty of Neptunian fantasies, which are fine, but remember to honor the need for confrontation and assertion in your life. Venus needs Mars. The female and male parts of you are all there inside of you, just asking permission to express itself. “Androgyny” can be seen as a kind of wholeness.
© Elizabeth Spring http://www.elizabethspring.com/

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

South Node Taurus


The South Node represents what we’ve come into this life with---the gifts, the wounds, the challenges. On the most basic level, the South Node is where we are comfortable because we are familiar with the territory, and with the South Node in Taurus, we know the delights of being comfortable, being sensual and sexual, having a sense of financial and emotional security, and enjoying the things in life that make it worth living. Venus rules Taurus, and this is the part of us that values the ground we stand on, our relationships, beauty, good food and drink, and loyal friends. Nothing wrong with that! And we fear not having enough of those things.


Venus is exalted in Taurus, meaning that the planetary archetype of Venus naturally and comfortably expresses itself through the lens of Taurus, and that “she” expresses a type of “life philosophy” that is rooted in a pragmatic and sensual understanding of life.

That is unless you’ve taken it too far. And this may be the case if your South Node is in Taurus. The South Node always represents the area that we didn’t get quite right in a former life, or earlier in this one, so we are called now to release the down side of these habits and traits. Too much emphasis on Venusian security, sensuality and relationships can hint of a touch of laziness or materiality that doesn’t leave room for the depth, painful truth, or edginess that Soul Work sometimes requires.


Have you been living in a world of denial or attempting a false security that isn’t rooted in deep truth? The South Node in Taurus speaks to the need to move away from the over-dependence on personal resources (“He who dies with the most money wins”) or continual security seeking (“This is my house and I don’t ever want to consider moving for any reason.”)


Too great a concern for the comfortable desires of Venus tends towards materialism, if not laziness, and the antidote is to move towards your Scorpio North Node. This is about a willingness to risk one’s present level of security for a deeper, truer level of security and integrity. This is where the balance is brought in by the Scorpio North Node, which continually wants to know “what’s the emotional bottom line truth here? And what do I need to do about it?”

Elizabeth Spring www.elizabethspring.com

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bitterness; The Silent Disease


"Bitterness: The Silent Disease of the South Node"
"Anger is a short madness." Horace 65 BC


Anger is a short madness, but bitterness is anger that has been boiled, simmered, and then found so unpalatable that it has been thrown into the deep freeze of our unconscious psyches. Recently the “Los Angeles Times” printed an article called: “Bitterness as mental illness?” It stated that:
“Bitter behavior is so common and deeply destructive that some psychiatrists are urging it be identified as a mental illness under the name post-traumatic embitterment disorder.”

How many of us have a touch of this disease? How many people do we know that have it? And towhat degree? Anger is what we feel first in the face of injustice, and repeated anger becomes deep-seated resentment at whoever and whatever is upsetting us. It turns cold and bitter. And the worse part is that it can turn us bitter even when we think we’ve hidden it so well! It can show on our faces, in our expressions, in our tone of voice. It gives us indigestion, insomnia, back pain, and unexplained headaches. We want so much for it not to de-freeze-- we want so much to forgive and forget, but proper disposal of toxic pain isn’t easy. Most of us need help with it.

Bitterness is a crusty disease that grows on unprocessed anger. It is particularly dangerous for us as we age, because many therapists, including myself, believe that it plays a part in heart disease as well. The heart is both a physical and emotional organ that reflects how we treat it. Most of us are trying to exercise away the excesses that have deposited themselves as fat—but what are we doing with all that un-dealt with pain in our hearts? With the years of frozen anger?

First of all, it needs to be acknowledged. Yes, it’s there. Maybe you call it disillusionment with your career, or maybe you say it’s how your sister cheated you out of part of your inheritance, or maybe it’s that romantic love never quite came through for you. You may have the regret of the ‘enabler’ or the one who had to sacrifice a large part of her life for another. Maybe you blame someone or blame yourself. What matters most though, is the story we tell ourselves about it.

We may think that we have done our ‘anger management’ by cooling and repressing our anger, but in most cases, it’s still alive and not well. It needs to be thawed, re-heated, and disposed of properly. Refrigeration doesn’t work well, as cooled anger turns to resentment and bitterness. It has an annoying tendency to leak out at inappropriate times-- upsetting good relationships, disturbing our dreams, and filling us with a vague discontent.


This story needs to be re-told and re-framed. If you will investigate, research, and delve deeper into the place where you hold this bitterness and pain, you can gain a wider perspective and a deeper understanding of the whole picture. You need to have someone who can deeply listen to your story, and whose opinions you trust. Allow them to help you understand it from a variety of different perspectives. Allow them to help you put it into a story that makes some sense (not easy!)

The psychologist, Carl Jung, once wrote that all adult neuroses could only be healed by a spiritual perspective. Perhaps you can find a way to infuse the story with love towards yourself and others. The last step will be to tell the ‘deep freezer of your subconscious’ the new story of how and why it all happened, and how you see it now.

As a psychotherapist and astrological counselor, I often look at what I call the family karmic inheritance. This is the legacy of inherited sins and blessings that get handed down the generations, and I believe it’s responsible for more psychic distress than we realize.

You may notice that you have our mother’s eyes, but have you noticed that you have some of her passive aggressive traits as well? Do you know what she was holding her anger about? Can you discover how far back it goes? Could you be overly sensitive to authoritarian figures like your grandfather, or experiencing a similar conflict between the demands of creativity and family that he once did? How bad did it get? Once you know the nature of the inheritance you can look at it how it’s showing up in your life. Old, long, and difficult inheritances can be particularly insidious. When you become conscious of the “sins of the father’s” you not only begin a healing process for yourself, but you stop the inheritance from infecting your children.

Generations of maternal and paternal legacies influence us in subtle and not so subtle ways. In some families (such as the presidential Kennedy’s) there has been mention of a family ‘curse’. Although that is an exaggeration for most of us, almost everyone inherits a mixture of psycho-spiritual legacies that need to be sorted through. We need to pull out all the stories we can from the family deep freezer.

You can’t be fueled by bitterness, but you can be fueled by anger. Bitterness eats you up, whereas anger can fuel you to do the emotional detective work that heals. It can help you find your voice and your courage. If you are feeling depressed, stuck, or cynical its time to do the psychic de-freezing. This is the time to act, not to “depress.” You may have to admit that your attempts to sublimate and distract yourself from your difficult moods aren’t working any more. This is a good thing, because it means the time is right for you to make a positive and perhaps radical change.

As an astrologer and counselor, I find that there is a grace and energy that shows up when we do things at the right time. If you have no family members who are alive, or who won’t tell you true stories; you can find powerful hints as to this inheritance on your astrological chart. And when you allow yourself to feel strongly about your feelings, rather than freezing them, you allow an opening for grace and serendipity. Call it what you will: God or chance or synchronicity, but whenever you decide to melt the frozen chunks of bitter memories with the healing warmth of tears and heartfelt stories, you invite in powers and graces beyond your rational mind. I believe we ‘summon the Gods’ with our open hearts, and that the Soul is ruthless in finding its way home.

Elizabeth Spring, MA, has a new book out on www.amazon.com called: “North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose.” She can be contacted through her website: www.elizabethspring.com
Mandala by Carl Jung, from "The Red Book"

Monday, September 28, 2009

Virgo South Node


South Node in Virgo, holds the emotional memories from your childhood and from the forgotten “emotional memories” of past lives. From the re-incarnational perspective, the South Node show the particular emotional “hangover” that’s most impacting you in this life now. We don’t usually clearly remember “facts” from very early in life, nor do we usually remember our past lives. What we feel instead is an emotional undertone—a lunar feeling—and perhaps a sense that something in our past is unresolved and still needing healing…and loving.


So the South Node holds the forgotten memory and feels a bit like waking from a dream but not remembering the storyline. By describing some of this South Node and lunar “story” we bring it into consciousness, thereby allowing our present life story to change. We may recognize something of the old patterns and emotions that no longer serve us now. We can learn to love and be loved differently.

In the past you may have felt that you were the person who always had to do the right thing, and because you were being observed, you had high expectations of yourself and others did too. You may have been a doctor, priest, or skilled craftsperson in a previous life—someone who was expected to be precise and perfect. You may have had competitive siblings or demanding parents…or you may have been under the strict eye of someone older and more controlling--- or even a cultural system (Puritanism or Nazi-ism) that disempowered you in setting strict standards of behavior.


In a former life, or in some ways in this life, there may be a tendency to still want to continue to do things “just right.” And this perfectionism is a harsh standard to live up to it—in attempting to be perfect you inevitably fail; and thereby internalize a feeling of inadequacy or shame….this could also have come from the results of living under the ego-shattering impact of discipleship under an exacting master, guru, or person who had “power over you” (even sexual abuse).Having been the one who was duty-bound and played according to the ‘Rules’ in a former life (or earlier in this one) you now have the chance to relax your linear mind and move towards your heart’s true desires. What is it you truly long for now? Is it love, beauty, imaginative creativity? Or is it simply the chance to relax your guard and take in the view from the mountaintop? Now you have the chance to unite the impulses of your head with those of your heart. You can dare to be gentle with yourself now, and dare to make mistakes, to be imperfect and to let some details go; being compassionate and forgiving with yourself as well as with others.


It’s a good idea to practice getting out of unpleasant situations gracefully rather than being duty-bound or judgmental. You don’t “have to be right” now or confrontational, and you can dare to use your intuition and take action even when you don’t have all the answers. You don’t have to over-analyze things any more. You don’t have to struggle so much now to survive or evolve—instead you are called to move beyond “scarcity mentality” and a self-limiting place of “humble exactitude”. Part of your soul-yearning in this life is to learn to simply trust in the process of life and to surrender your anxieties to a higher power. You are more loved than you realize.

So in love relationships, you will find “soul medicine” in the soft edges and accepting ways of your Pisces North Node. Compassionate, imaginative, inclusive, and—even boundary-less at times, this Pisces/Virgo axis calls for rounding the edges of your psyche so that you are neither critical of yourself or others.


Neptune rules Pisces, so all Neptunian activities are good for you…whether it be walking along the beach by the ocean, meditating, having a glass of wine, or playing imaginatively like a child. Love relationships are healing when they move away from the humble, disciplined and earth bound nature of Virgo to the realms where the head and the heart unite in the less discriminating waters of Pisces. (c) Elizabeth Spring www.elizabethspring.com Http://NorthNodeAstrology.blogspot.com