To understand the North Node or Rahu, in either our natal chart, in synastry or in transit, we need to first understand its nature. And to understand its nature, we must first understand its opposite, the South Node or Ketu, as they are both part of the same thread; and every time you have a planet aspecting the North Node, that means that it is also aspecting your South Node.

The South Node is often a bit negatively spoken of, particularly in some schools of astrology, but it is actually a very spiritual position – one that serves to open up possiblities within us – and it does this through humbleness, openness i.e. the “I don’t know”, and non-judgment. It is that which reaches its hands in openness and towards the sky and allows to be moved in the flow of life.

The path from Ketu to Rahu is knows as the path of consciousness. We always begin with Ketu, because it is the foundation that needs to be stable in order for us not to fall into the seas of illusion and confusion of Rahu. So when people speak of Rahu as the head of illusion, it is only because they are seeing it from the perspective that their Ketu hasn’t built the foundations to be able to discern.  

The most important thing to know and understand about Ketu in your natal chart, is that if you seek to balance it, you need to approach it from the space of humbleness, openness and non-judgment – it is the “I don’t know”. Wherever in your chart Ketu is, whatever planets and houses, you need to approach these areas and theme of life from the “I don’t know”, allowing yourself the humbleness, openness and non-judgment. Only then, the path of Rahu will shape in a better way for you – because – at its essence Rahu is about discernment; and once you have the discernment and clarity, you don’t fall into the seas of illusion of Rahu, you begin creating from truth in the way you desires as part of your evolution. And during periods or transits of Ketu – also, try letting go that you know or how things should be, let the waves of life move you and show you the natural path of flow and the magic that life is, and that it is okay to trust – and you also see much more possibilities than before, whole new doorways open up for you.

The South Node inspires within us that from which we’ll form and create something tangible in this life. In ancient Bulgaria its symbol meant a person with open hands reaching towards the sky – thereby connecting to and receiving something from the higher realms. And the North Node was the person sitting with open legs, open thighs, sitting on the earth – thereby showing the strong connection to ground, soil, the material, and our ability to take spirit and then form it into matter.

So in this way, once we dissolve the borders of boundaries of our Ketu, we take the essence of it as the possibilities open – an inspiration, a scent, a fire within our hearts opens, and then we form it into the material through our own efforts, hands, and willpower. This is why we’d often see the house of our North Node produce tangible results, though it can only happen through the consistency of our efforts and perseverance.

Let’s dive further.

The South Node is where we’ve already been in past lives – it is the something whose body or form we left behind us and yet it is all around us continuously. It’s the beyond shape and form. It is a scent in the air, a familiar fragrance – it is timeless, and formless. It is the monk who prays or meditates – not the monk’s body, but the spirit of the monk, his prayers, which is why the South Node is related to spirituality, mysticism, surrender, trust and faith, the intangible things, and all things which though we can’t touch can still be around us. The South Node “things” remain even when there is no more form nor shape nor skin. So in synastry, contacts with the South Node help create a portal to and of release, and focus on the essence.

It is the that which has peeled its outer layers, and there is a certain clear seeing of ourselves in that area of life, because in the past lives, over many lifetimes, we’ve been peeling all the false layers and masks through the many experiences that we’ve had. So in a way, it’s that which we’ve come to know on a deeper and more intimate level.

It is something that will always feel somewhat familiar and comfortable, and in our times of uncertainty, instability or doubts and fears, we go back to it – because it’s known, and feels like a home, or our most comfortable pillow.

And yet it isn’t the pillow materially, it is the experience of the good night’s sleep, it is the essence of a serene sleep and beautiful dreaming. This essence cannot ever be taken away nor stripped down. So if the South Node will be transiting a relationship planet/house, the essence will not be stripped down though if the person is not right for you aligned to your essence and higher truth, they’d need to be released so that the real one, who will give you the experience your soul longs for, comes your way.

If the South Node is the part that is formless, and all about the essence of things, our North Node is the place we go to form things – it is like our life’s work or calling in this life, as we continue on our way to fulfilling our soul’s purpose and soul’s desires. So our North Node isn’t our “destiny” or even “soul’s desire or purpose”, it is our soul calling towards its fulfillment through the life work we’ll do in this life, and it demands of us discernment, truth and building of our values and self efforts. A soul desires to unveil itself in its true essence and wholeness, and it takes lifetimes; and in each life time we do work on that path. After each part that is unveiled in essence, through the South Node past lives, we then move towards another part of life that desiring to be unveiled in its true essence, or take a new approach on something we’ve done before but didn’t finish in one life, etc.

So the North Node is where forms arise – it’s where things form to come into being and materiality. It is how our soul comes through to create forms – it’s like atoms coming together and become material. It is like a sculptor who wants to take the intangible desires and shape it, and form it, with his hands. Our North Node isn’t just some thing we come into life to do or even a simple soul’s purpose description or a place of getting things and possessions – it is a path of forming the-yet-unformed things into the material, with the soul’s intention or purpose of then understanding their true essence.

For example, North Node in Taurus desires to experience itself through the senses and material things, but its ultimate intention is achieve moksha or liberation through that; and along the way it also learns about self-value and the higher purposes of the senses. Perhaps in a past life with that Scorpio South Node you were too deep into the immaterial and mystical, and you already reached high levels of occult knowledge and even mastery – however – perhaps you neglected the material part of life. Perhaps you were a monk, if it is in Anuradha nakshatra, devoted to the spiritual path, but became too detached from the material world and the physical senses. And the material is just as important as the spiritual, for we are flesh married soul on this earth; and to love the spiritual means to appreciate the material we are given also.

Or perhaps you have a Gemini North Node and you come from a past of many lives where you were really great at knowing the high truths, but your wisdom was not too easily understood by the average person, and now, with this Gemini North Node, you come to simplify higher wisdom so that you can reach more people, and shape spiritual concepts into something more easily absorbed and digested. The overall path is the same, you are still moving along that same soul’s purpose and theme throughout the lives, but each time it is refined even more.

The house of our North Node in our natal chart shows us what we’ll be forming in this life, and the sign of it, and aspects to it, will show how we’ll be forming this as we walk our soul’s purpose. For example, suppose your North Node is in Gemini in the 2nd house, and its ruler Mercury is in the 3rd house. What your soul has come here to do is develop its confidence more through self sufficiency (i.e. 2nd house placement), and it will form tangible things, creatively, through its natural gifts, talents and skills (Gemini sign and ruler in the 3rd house). You are not here to work for others – you are here to work for yourself; to develop trust in your skills and talents, persevere, start your own business based on your creative talents (which are probably many), and through that path of the creative entrepreneur, where you apply your intelligence and resourcefulness and creativity, you learn also trust, confidence, self value (as you value your products and services, time and energy). We gain most confidence in life when we do things ourselves; and with this placement, you also have a special talent especially for words, and you have a message to share with people which will truly help them in life. You might be amazing at aligning them to their own talents, and empowering them, so that they trust themselves and have more confidence also.

And if you have Gemini Ketu – well then you need to let go of the chatter and judgment towards connections. You need to see the different perspectives of people and not assume you know it all, and you need to let go of the need to be accepted by people or to constantly attach thoughts and logic to the emotional realms or anything else that cannot even be put into lines anyway.

Or suppose you have your Sun with Ketu, or Moon with Ketu – well you need to detach from your expectations of what and whom your parents should be, and try seeing them as human beings who too have their own paths in life, and let forgiveness come. You can’t judge them through the lens of who they should have been, or “you are my parent” – you need to see them through humility and non-judgment, and see them through some emotiona maturity as human beings, outside of their role as “parents”. Spirituality here with this placement is crucial and will help you; because these relationships are more spiritual in nature, i.e. they go beyond the lines or material or emotional expectations.

The North Node is also sometimes known as maya or illusion, and we can get obsessed with the thought of it; but, again I emphasize, the only way to fall into the sea of illusion is if the native hasn’t developed the foundation and maturity through discernment. Once discernment comes, and humbleness comes, possiblities open and truth can be seen, and then desire isn’t obsession, it is the calling of our heart and hands towards building something.

What is then “obsessing” us is the desire towards it because desire is what guides us to do things we haven’t done as much before – and yet these desires are first formed because there was a need for them already created in the world, and if we weren’t meant to experience them or able to have them, they would not have arisen anyway. The North Node provides us a path of soul growth because we form things out of the unmanifest, unknown and uncomfortable; and new sculptures may sometimes not look amazing at first try, but we learn as we continue hands-on moving and shaping and forming.

As every new formation, or sculpture, we learn along the way because it is new, which is why we may often face challenges, uncertainty, doubts, and many obstacles. One of the main lessons is patience and perseverance, as well as being aligned to values, higher principles, the seven virtues, having integrity, and gaining self confidence and self trust as we continue forward despite the uncertainty that this newness brings. When we are not aligned to higher values and the virtues, this is when things become obsessive and we fall into lower compulsions, greed and even lust – because we don’t trust ourselves and we are not willing to put in the effort and persevere. The North Node asks us to follow our northern guiding star of our values and beliefs, and to pave our own destiny forward – which means – the destiny we shape through our actions every day, through our hands, feet and words. The North Node is the place where the past meets the future in the present – because what we choose to do now is also shaping our future and what weaves us into that.

The North Node is never separate from the South Node, they are together, sharing a thread. So our North Node isn’t something “new” we will create in a life or have a new path of life, or a new soul’s purpose – it is the same soul’s purpose, but we are approaching it differently perhaps, or learning a new skill for our sculping so that we create something more wholesome. Our South Node’s gifts and lessons have been over many lifetimes, and we use this wisdom for our current life.

As part of one, they are forever in a dance like the dance of lovers. Sometimes we lean more towards one than the other, and then back again, but they always interweave and even help one another. Sometimes their rhythms, speeds and movements are quite different and even contradictory, sometimes their natures are hard to reconcile, sometimes we don’t feel connected to them, or one of them, at all. Yet both are always dancing to one song only, and that’s the song of our soul, calling us towards itself.

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Cover photography: The Barcelona Pavilion designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

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