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The Lunar Nodes in Astrology: Destiny & Karma Explained

The Lunar Nodes in Astrology: Destiny & Karma Explained

lunar nodes

In astrology, the lunar nodes, also known as the north and south nodes of the moon, are key points in our natal chart that reveal our life purpose and past life karma. Read on to find out more about the power of the lunar nodes and why they are so important in astrology…

Lunar Node Transits

When the north node is in a zodiac sign then the south node will always be in the opposite star sign. This means that if the north node is in Aries, for example, then the south node will be in Libra. The lunar nodes shift around every 18 months, meaning that it takes 18-19 years for the north and south nodes to return to a zodiac sign.

When the lunar nodes enter a zodiac sign, they trigger themes and issues from 18-19 years ago that were prevalent to you at the time. The lunar nodes travel backwards through a sign, starting at 29 degrees and moving towards 0 degrees, before they exit. So this backwards motion leads to a focus on past issues and karma.

Pay attention to nodal transits to spot global trends and patterns that may affect the wider world over the next 18 months. For example, when the nodes enter the Taurus/Scorpio axis, then the world is likely to experience significant shifts in the areas ruled by these zodiac signs.

Business, property, finances, investments and the economy may dominate the headlines, with karma from 18-19 years ago playing out. What you owe or are owed from that time could be significant when the nodes return to this position. 

Natal Chart Lunar Nodes: North & South Nodes in the Birth Chart

Everyone has lunar nodes in their birth chart and they will be located in a different zodiac sign and house, depending on when you were born.

The lunar nodes will always be located in opposite signs and this is known as the nodal axis. For example, if your lunar north node is in Gemini then your south node will be in Sagittarius, because they are opposite signs in the zodiac wheel. 

The energy of the sign and house that the north node is in helps us understand our true soul calling in this lifetime, while the south node represents the key lessons we need to learn and release from our past lives.

If you are unsure where your natal lunar nodes are, you don’t need a north/south node calculator. You can simply get a free birth chart reading that includes your natal north and south node placements.

Lunar Node Symbols

The lunar node symbols, also known as astrological glyphs, look like horseshoes with two small circles at the open end. The north node (ascending node) symbol faces upwards while the south node (descending node) symbol looks like an upside down horseshoe. 

In Vedic astrology, the north node is known as the dragon’s head and the south node is called the dragon’s tail. The head of the dragon (north node) is chasing destiny, while the tail of the dragon is being left behind in the past (south node).

North Node Meaning: Destiny Calling

The placement of the north node in our birth chart is thought to reveal our destiny and purpose in this life. Although it can feel challenging to embrace the energy of our natal north node, it can help us to find greater fulfilment.

The unfamiliar or uncomfortable feelings we experience when we lean into our north node energy often leads to an ‘a-ha!’ moment when we realise what we were put on this planet to do. Understanding and mastering your north node can be a lifelong journey, so strap in for the ride!

South Node Meaning: Karmic Challenges

Conversely, the south node placement reveals our historic struggles and karmic challenges. While we may feel that the energy of the south node is more familiar, comfortable and ‘home’, reverting to south node behaviour holds us back from embracing the new challenges in this life. If you feel stuck or get a sense of deja vu about a situation, you’re likely to be trapped in a south node cycle.

The south node can show up as something that we feel naturally good at or a skill that comes easily, yet leaves us feeling unfulfilled. What comes easily isn’t always right! We are challenged to break free of our south node comfort zone in this life in order to fulfil our highest potential, indicated by the north node. 

The Nodal Return

Lunar node transits affect us uniquely based on our zodiac sign and birth chart but everyone experiences their nodal return at around 18-19 years old. The nodes will return to the position they appear in your birth chart approximately every 18.5 years, so you will experience nodal returns around the age of 18, 37, 55 and 74 years old. 

During a nodal return we are encouraged to look at our life path and assess if we’re on course to fulfil our destiny. The north node return is often a significant time when we embrace the challenge of realising our potential. Waking up one day and feeling unfulfilled or like there’s more to life is a sign that your north node return is close. 

Reverse Nodal Return

Around the age of 27, 46, 64 and 83 we experience our reverse nodal return. This happens when the lunar nodes return to the same axis but in reverse signs. For example, if you were born with the north node in Gemini and south node in Sagittarius, you’ll experience your reverse nodal return when the north node is in Sagittarius and the south node is in Gemini. 

The reverse nodal return is the mid-way point in the lunar node cycle, so it’s often a time of change, crisis or struggle. During the reverse nodal return, we might seek the comfort of our south node and believe that it’s better and safer to stick with what we know. But when the nodes shift again, we’ll realise that we must keep growing, releasing our south node to align with our north node destiny.

Aries/Libra Lunar Nodes

The Aries-Libra axis balances individual (first house) and relationship (seventh house) needs:

  • Individuals/Partnerships
  • War/Peace
  • Decisiveness/Indecision 
  • Speed/Procrastination
  • Competition/Harmony
  • Winning/Justice

North Node in Aries/South Node in Libra Dates

  • January 27th 1949 – July 26th 1950
  • August 20th 1967 – April 19th 1969
  • April 7th 1986 – December 2nd 1987
  • December 27th 2004 – June 22nd 2006
  • July 18th 2023 – January 11th 2025

If You Were Born With North Node in Aries/South Node in Libra… 

If you have a Libra south node in your birth chart, then you will feel most comfortable in a partnership. You might feel like you just know how to make relationships work and find that you’re a natural peacekeeper due to your ability to see both sides. Many Libra south node people were lawyers in a past life or spent lifetimes being one half of a notorious double act. Balancing the scales and always thinking about the needs of others leaves you feeling unfulfilled in this life. 

However uncomfortable it may feel, you should try to embrace independence, solo ventures and stepping out of the shadow of your relationships. It’s your destiny to be recognised for your individual achievements in the present life, so learn to create a life on your own terms.  

South Node in Aries/North Node in Libra Dates

  • June 17th 1958 – December 15th 1959
  • January 8th 1977 – July 5th 1978
  • August 1st 1995 – January 25th 1997
  • February 19th 2014 – November 11th 2015
  • October 15th 2032 – May 22nd 2032

If You Were Born With North Node in Libra/South Node in Aries… 

Aries south nodes are natural born freedom fighters and solo adventurers, feeling most at home working independently. In a past life you might have been leading the frontline in wars or pioneering journeys into new territories in your field. You feel most comfortable when there’s a battle to be won or a desire to come first. Yet being in constant competitive mode leaves you feeling unfulfilled in this life. 

The Libra north node encourages you to learn how to work and live with other people, joining forces instead of competing against other people to find ultimate fulfilment. It may feel uncomfortable to share and compromise, but you were born to be part of a successful double act or partnership. 

Many people with the north node in Libra go on to become skilled diplomats, negotiators and lawyers, as they learn to balance the scales and see both sides of the argument. Instead of fighting to win (south node), you will feel most fulfilled when you strive for justice (north node). 

Taurus/Scorpio Lunar Nodes

The Taurus-Scorpio axis balances ownership (second house) and exchange (eighth house) of values and possessions:

  • Individual Wealth/Shared Resources
  • Income/Expenses
  • Saving/Investing
  • Giving/Receiving
  • Feast/Famine
  • Boom/Bust Economy

North Node in Taurus/South Node in Scorpio Dates

  • August 3rd 1947 – January 26th 1949
  • February 20th 1966 – August 19th 1967
  • September 12th 1984 – April 6th 1986
  • April 15th 2003 – December 26th 2004
  • January 19th 2022 – July 17th 2023

If You Were Born With North Node in Taurus/South Node in Scorpio… 

A Taurus north node/Scorpio south node in your birth chart, indicates that money and shared resources will be important themes in your life. You may feel most comfortable if you have the financial safety net of other people’s money and assets to fall back on. You’ve spent lifetimes calling in resources from others, perhaps as a debt collector, taxman or landlord, yet this leaves you feeling unfilled in this life.

The north node in Taurus encourages you to build your own financial security and value system, embracing a self-sufficient lifestyle. Be aware of an over-reliance on external sources to provide funding and validation of your self-worth. Your destiny is to enjoy the process of creating, using your talents to gain rewards and recognition from your own resources. 

North Node in Scorpio/South Node in Taurus

  • October 5th 1956 – June 16th 1958
  • July 10th 1975 – January 7th 1977
  • February 2nd 1994 – July 31st 1995
  • August 30th 2012 – February 18th 2014
  • March 21st 2031 – October 14th 2032

If You Were Born With North Node in Scorpio/South Node in Taurus… 

Taurus south node people are naturally practical, creative and artistic, so you’ll feel right at home putting in the hard work to master your craft. You do it because you experience pleasure during the process but also the material rewards that come with the finished product of your hard labour. You’ve spent many lifetimes farming and then cooking your produce or painting and then admiring your artwork, or the profits you make from selling your creation. Yet it leaves you unfulfilled in this life.  

The north node in Scorpio encourages you to look beyond the material rewards of your work and embrace soul-satisfying experiences instead. You will feel more fulfilled if you find pleasure in pursuits outside of work that reward you with love instead of money or possessions. Your destiny is to work to live, not to stay in the comfort zone of your profession. 

Gemini/Sagittarius Lunar Nodes

The Gemini-Sagittarius axis balances the themes of communication (third house) and knowledge (ninth house):

  • Local/Global Travel
  • Practical Skills/Higher Learning
  • Short/Long Form Communication
  • Information/Freedom
  • Speaking/Thinking

North Node in Gemini/South Node in Sagittarius Dates

  • December 4th 1945 – August 2nd 1947
  • August 26th 1964 – February 19th 1966
  • March 17th 1983 – September 11th 1984
  • October 14th 2001 – April 14th 2003
  • May 6th 2020 – January 18th 2022

If You Were Born With North Node in Gemini/South Node in Sagittarius…

People who have a Sagittarius south node are well-travelled in their past life and feel comfortable when they are allowed to be a free spirit. If you have a south node in Sagittarius then you’ll be a natural traveller, teacher and thinker. Studying probably comes easily to you and you pass tests without trying too hard, yet academic accolades leave you feeling unfulfilled. 

The north node in Gemini is your destiny and encourages you to translate that inherent wisdom into words. Many public speakers, writers and salespeople are born with the north node in Gemini, but these talents don’t always come naturally. The challenge for north node in Gemini people is to vocalise the thoughts in your head and become a voice worth listening to. 

North Node in Sagittarius/South Node in Gemini Dates

  • April 3rd 1955 – October 4th 1956
  • October 28th 1973 – July 9th 1975
  • August 2nd 1992 – February 1st 1994
  • March 4th 2011 – August 29th 2012
  • September 24th 2029 – March 20th 2031

If You Were Born With North Node in Sagittarius/South Node in Gemini…

Having the south node in Gemini makes you a natural communicator, writer and speaker, in your comfort zone when there’s something to chatter about. In a past life you may have done too much talking and not enough thinking, so your north node in Sagittarius encourages you to focus on expanding your mind.

See Also

The south node in Gemini is way more comfortable living, working and studying locally, so travelling and moving away from the place you grew up can feel uncomfortable for you. But the north node in Sagittarius is your destiny and you’ll feel far more fulfilled if you embrace global, rather than local, ambitions. 

Cancer/Capricorn Lunar Nodes

The Cancer-Capricorn axis balances the themes of home/family (fourth house) and work/status (tenth house):

  • Mother/Father
  • Home/Office
  • Family/Colleagues
  • Parents/Bosses
  • Children/Employees
  • Caring/Working

North Node in Cancer/South Node in Capricorn Dates

  • May 12th 1944 – December 3rd 1945
  • December 24th 1962 – August 25th 1964
  • September 25th 1981 – March 16th 1983
  • April 10th 2000 – October 13th 2001
  • November 7th 2018 – May 5th 2020

If You Were Born With North Node in Cancer/South Node in Capricorn…

Cancer north node people have the south node in Capricorn, indicating a workaholic past life spent in patriarchal constructs. The south node in Capricorn has a natural talent for climbing the corporate ladder, smashing goals and gaining recognition from people in your industry. But all those likes on LinkedIn leave you feeling unfulfilled, which is where the north node in Cancer steps in.

The Cancer north node encourages you to embrace home and family life, gaining fulfilment from nourishing others. Although it may feel uncomfortable to release traditional success markers, a fulfilling home and family life is the destiny of Cancer north node people. 

North Node in Capricorn/South Node in Cancer Dates

  • October 10th 1953 – April 2nd 1955
  • April 28th 1972 – October 27th 1973
  • November 19th 1990 – August 1st 1992
  • August 22nd 2009 – March 3rd 2011
  • March 27th 2028 – September 23rd 2029

If You Were Born With North Node in Capricorn/South Node in Cancer…

You can spot the Cancer south node people in your circle, as these are the ones who naturally mother and care for the group. Even male Cancer south nodes feel comfortable in traditional feminine caregiver roles, due to past lives spent as wives, mothers and nurses. 

In this lifetime, if you have a Capricorn north node, your destiny is to embrace the traditional patriarchal role of the achiever and provider. It may feel uncomfortable for you to think about climbing career ladders and enjoying ambition, but this is where you will gain the most fulfilment. 

Leo/Aquarius Lunar Nodes

The Leo-Aquarius axis balances the themes of attention (fifth house) and involvement (eleventh house):

  • Leader/Follower
  • Performer/Audience
  • Establishment/Rebellion
  • Creative/Intellectual
  • Solo/Group
  • Exclusive/Inclusive

North Node in Leo/South Node in Aquarius Dates

  • November 22nd 1942 – May 11th 1944
  • June 11th 1961 – December 23rd 1962
  • January 6th 1980 – September 24th 1981
  • April 10th 2000 – October 13th 2001
  • May 10th 2017 – November 6th 2018

If You Were Born With North Node in Leo/South Node in Aquarius…

The south node in Aquarius generation feels at home in group situations, where they enjoy the comfort of people power in their corner. These are the people who revelled in group activism and championed social causes in a past life.

However, the north node in Leo longs to be the star of the show, so the challenge for you is to learn how to take centre stage. Standing out from the crowd may feel uncomfortable, but it’s your destiny to shine and lead your people from the front. 

North Node in Aquarius/South Node in Leo Dates

  • March 29th 1952 – October 9th1953
  • November 3rd 1970 – April 27th 1972
  • May 23rd 1989 – November 18th 1990
  • December 19th 2007 – August 21st 2009
  • July 27th 2026 – March 26th 2028

If You Were Born With North Node in Aquarius/South Node in Leo…

You’re a natural entertainer and feel most comfortable when the spotlight is on you. South node in Leo people have lived past lives as prominent figures, so you may have been a monarch, Hollywood star or high profile sportsperson. 

Staying in this self-centred comfort zone will leave you feeling strangely unfulfilled, though. What’s the point in surface level attention and adoration when there’s no purpose beyond being the star of the show?

The north node in Aquarius encourages you to switch your focus on to others, namely groups, teams and social movements. Use your natural star power to help collective causes that make a difference and have a positive impact on the world stage. 

Virgo/Pisces Lunar Nodes

The Virgo-Pisces axis balances the themes of the physical (sixth house) and the spiritual (twelfth house):

  • Physical/Mental Health
  • Body/Mind
  • Traditional/Alternative Medicine
  • Fixed/Flexible Working
  • Evidence/Intuition
  • Science/Religion

North Node in Virgo/South Node in Pisces Dates

  • May 25th 1941 – November 21st 1942
  • December 16th 1959 – June 10th 1961
  • July 6th 1978 – January 5th 1980
  • January 26th 1997 – October 20th 1998
  • November 12th 2015 – May 9th 2017

If You Were Born With North Node in Virgo/South Node in Pisces…

Your south node in Pisces finds comfort in spirituality, religion and “other world” pursuits. This generation has an overdeveloped sense of intuition, naturally making decisions based on feelings over facts.

The north node in Virgo encourages you to live in the “real world” and take ownership of your destiny, instead of leaving it to fate. Although it may feel uncomfortable being guided by data and evidence, rather than emotion, this is ultimately the path to fulfilling your true potential. 

North Node in Pisces/South Node in Virgo Dates

  • July 27th 1950 – March 28th 1952
  • April 20th 1969 – November 2nd 1970
  • December 3rd 1987 – May 22nd 1989
  • June 23rd 2006 – December 18th 2007
  • January 12th 2025 – July 26th 2026

If You Were Born With North Node in Pisces/South Node in Virgo…

South node in Virgo people are the natural organisers, most comfortable when taking care of the details and sticking to routines. You’ve spent many lifetimes being a perfectionist, possibly suffering from anxiety as a result, so you feel strangely comfortable in a state of worry.

However, your Pisces north node urges you to let go of the controlling grip you have of your life. When you learn to relax and trust your feelings, your intuition will guide you to a place of fulfilment that you can’t get to by following a regime of rationality. Your destiny is not the data, but a place of peace and higher consciousness. 

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