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The North and South Nodes of the Moon are points that are directly opposite each other.

In astrology, they represent points of personal karmic imbalance.

They are often associated with patterns of relating to others that hold you back from achieving the life goals you want. Understanding what these points represent in your chart can help you identify and change these habits.

The North Node

In astrology, the North Node is the place in your birth chart where your soul mission is unfolding. It’s a part of your natal chart and is typically located near the position of your moon or sun, says intuitive astrologer Rachel Lang.

The North Node in your natal chart represents the themes your soul has been learning in this lifetime for your own personal advancement. This purpose is what you’re here to accomplish in this life, says Lang.

Your North Node in Gemini symbolizes the ability to communicate, share ideas and knowledge with others. It could be through teaching, public speaking, writing or marketing. This innate skill will bring you success and recognition in this life, but it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with oversharing your information.

You’ll need to learn how to speak up and be assertive, which will allow you to define your own personal truth and pursue your passions without fear or compromise. This is your soul’s mission for this life and you are destined to do great things with the skills, talents and wisdom you’ve gained throughout your past lives, says Lang.

If your North Node is in Taurus, you’ll find that you have an innate need to accumulate stuff and to earn money. This is an important part of your journey, as it helps you develop a sense of self-worth and to learn how to value yourself.

Similarly, your North Node in Cancer symbolizes the desire to care for people and nurture their spirit. This is an important part of your life’s journey because you’re able to bring compassion and tenderness into the world, making it a safe place for you to connect with others.

The South Node in Sagittarius represents the desire to travel and explore the world. This is an important part of your life’s mission, because it teaches you to appreciate different cultures and perspectives.

Lastly, your North Node in Aquarius is all about shaking up the status quo and changing the world for the better. This zodiac sign is about inspiring and motivating others to achieve their dreams, which is a wonderful gift you have to give this lifetime.

The South Node

In astrology, the South Node represents past-life gifts and talents you’ve accumulated in other incarnations. It can also reveal psychological patterns you have learned in previous lives that need to be broken or integrated in this lifetime.

The South Node is always opposite the North Node, which indicates your path of growth and evolution in this life. It shows you how to integrate qualities from previous incarnations in this one, and what areas of your life need to be refined, says astrologer Jan Spiller.

For example, if your South Node is in the sign of Cancer, it suggests a natural tendency to prioritize caring for others and taking on the role of the motherly nurturer. Your challenge is to shift your priorities in favor of personal goals and a healthy work-life balance, says astrologer Kimberly Lang.

Similarly, if your South Node is in Virgo, it suggests you’re naturally practical and orderly, but you may suffer from a sense of insecurity when everything doesn’t go according to plan. Your mission is to learn to let go of rigid expectations and instead focus on a feeling of connectedness with all things.

In terms of relationships, the South Node suggests that you often tend to seek out partners based on what you think they want. You’ll find lasting love only when you’re willing to be yourself, follow your desires and impulses (Aries), and trust that a relationship will happen naturally.

You can also use the South Node to identify the karmic debts you have paid in other lifetimes. Relationships that haven’t been satisfying are usually caused by a commitment you made in a previous lifetime, and you can break free from them if you take steps to heal these patterns through astrological insight.

The Moon’s orbit pierces the ecliptic, which is why it takes 18 years to complete a full nodal cycle. This is the time it takes the Moon to move through all 12 zodiac signs and all 24 houses. Each house is related to a particular area of life, such as finance, love, creativity, or health.

The Dragon’s Head

In astrology, the Dragon’s Head represents karmic objectives that must be achieved in this life. This includes the evolution of souls and the development of higher consciousness. Depending on the house position that the Dragon’s Head occupies, this can also indicate the area of your life that is in need of improvement or transformation.

The North Node is considered to be a malefic planet in Indian astrology, but it can have an immense positive impact on your life if the Node makes a transit or progression into your horoscope. It is believed that the Node has a direct influence on an individual’s karmic destiny and is regarded as one of the most powerful planets in astrology.

However, modern Western astrologers do not see the Nodes in the same light as traditional Vedic or Indian astrologers, and they often invent exotic meanings without much logic or rationale. In particular, they tend to take a politically correct approach and suggest that the idea of a malefic Node is a product of a less enlightened age.

This is not to say that the Nodes are unimportant or undervalued by astrologers, because they are actually on the same level of importance as the Sun and Moon. The Nodes form the personal eclipse points of our charts, and when these are activated by progression or transit, karma can be significantly enhanced for good or ill.

Aspects to the North Node concern relationships to prevailing trends, attitudes and opportunities. They are apt to reveal inherited unconscious tendencies that can become debilitating or destructive.

Interestingly, the Nodes are also a key component of the Metonic cycle and the Saros cycle. The Metonic cycle refers to the recurrence of New Moons that repeat 19 years apart, and the Saros cycle is the occurrence of total lunar eclipses that repeat at the same degree of the zodiac every 86.5 days on average.

The True Node, which can be measured, slithers backward through the zodiac in an unusual way, like the serpentine movement of the Dragon’s Tail, and highlights certain degrees when it plateaus for two to three months. This is a very fascinating and important aspect that has not been fully appreciated by many astrologers, but it is an excellent tool for chart analysis.

The Dragon’s Tail

The Dragon’s Tail is an astrological term that refers to the part of a demon serpent that was severed from its head. It was a symbol of immortality, but legend tells that it would remain a furious enemy if the Sun or Moon ever ventured near.

In astrology, the North and South Nodes are positioned at the zodiac’s midpoints in each horoscope, or bendings. The bendings are 90 degrees ahead or behind the nodal axis in zodiacal longitude, and in the horoscope they indicate important points to be considered in the astrological context.

These nodal bendings also occur at the midpoints of New and Full Moons in each month. Hence, the bendings are not just important in the chart, but are also critical points that are linked to eclipses and other planetary aspects.

When natal or transiting planets fall at these bendings, it is important to take a look at what the planet might have to say about the relationship that has been created at this point in time. These bendings might signify a relationship that has been shaped by past life connections and commitments, or they could be associated with relationships that seem fated and inevitable.

If the natal or transiting planet is in close conjunction with either the South or North Node, it is important to take a closer look at this aspect, for it will be a powerful indicator of a particular relationship that has been developed over a significant period of time. This aspect may be revealing in terms of the depth and complexity of a relationship that has been formed or cultivated over a lifetime, and it will often have to do with the ways in which a person has accumulated karma over time.

This aspect might also reveal some insight into the character of a person who has been through a series of incarnations. It is important to understand the nature of this natal aspect so that you can recognize the challenges and difficulties that it might cause in future.

In Western astrology, the Dragon’s Head is generally considered a benefic planet (good), while the Dragon’s Tail is malefic in influence. This is because in Western astrology, the karmic and instinctive qualities of these shadow planets are not always well-received. This is a result of a shift in the way that astrology has been interpreted over the past fifty years or so, with some astrologers moving away from the use of these shadow planets because they are perceived to be unimportant.