What happens when the South Node of the Moon transits one of your planets via conjunction? Or, just what does it do in a house in your chart?
To start: the South Node of the Moon is also known as the tail of the dragon, to which the North Node is the head.
I can’t really view the nodes of the Moon in isolation – to me they are always connected to Pluto, the Soul. The Soul, among other qualities, is this intense being that reincarnates life to life and embodies different incarnations (egos) to do so. The lunar node axis tells us about the nature of this trajectory, as in what kind of egos the Soul is driven to jump into relative to its particular theme. (Different ego incarnations support different Soul paths.) Evolutionary Astrology, the modality I practice (though I draw from multiple astrologies), has a way of looking at the natal chart that can discern what this Soul-level story arch is, thematically.
Unless there are mitigating factors (specifically planets squaring the nodal axis at any given time), the South Node is a place of memory, yet where energy is draining (leaving), as the North Node is destiny & where energy is funneling toward. In the case of squaring planets, the squared planet represents a karmic crossroad in which the theme of the planet is not fully integrated in the karmic axis, and both nodes, though specifically the node the planet last made a conjunction with, are points of resolution for this crossroad.
The South Node, as the tail of the dragon, has a sweeping energy, like the dragon’s tail lifting karmic debris up into the air so that they become part of the zeitgeist. For a person’s natal South Node, this can correlate to early life (pre 1st Saturn return) experiences which serve as a refresher to the Soul of where they have recently come from and what karmic themes they are working on in this life. All of our particular adversities and gifts fit into this narrative — reminders of our most recent progress along our evolutionary journey. Themes that happen in our lives hearken back to past life themes. Most simply put: what comes naturally to us is something we’ve achieved mastery on in past lives and what is difficult or crisis-inducing in this life relates to more tenuous, stressful dynamics carried over from past lives.
As the transiting South Node has been approaching my natal Saturn at the time of getting the inspiration to write this, this phenomenon of intense self-judgement has appeared for me that is almost crippling – it is way out of alignment with my normal character of late. I have started to talk to friends or talk myself down from my episodes of self-judgement and realize that each time I do, there is some medicine inside of it – but it is often abstract or future-minded, a refinement of self-accuracy, and not related to the actual situation I have blown up in my mind. Moreover, my environment has not reflected my own judgement – people have given me compliments or positive affirmations in the very places I have been freaking out about. When karma comes up for review, such as when the South Node sweeps it up, we can renew our lease on the karma by believing in it and snowballing new choices and circumstances its way. Or, we can access equanimity to the best we can, and watch karma burn itself off.
The transiting South Node, by house or by conjunction, reveals the area(s) in which the dragon’s tail is sweeping up karmic debris. The challenge of this transit is to be able to see through the debris, and the cloud cover they may create to tint our reality at any given time. This transit can reveal embedded or historic patterns within the Soul which are ready to be karmically burnt off at this time. We just have to access the discernment to watch these things burn off, and to not tangle ourselves up in the clouds as to perpetuate them. Without the lens of karma, these situations are more likely to be taken literally or personally, and reinforced, which is part of the samsara that karma relates to.
Conversely, the South Node can also bring up karmic fruits, such as positive circumstances which are the harvest of past efforts. Not all that is being swept up has to go: you can renew your lease if you wish.
For those who are familiar with their natal chart, you can observe things being “swept up” around the area of your chart that the South Node is transiting (or the planet it is transiting by conjunction). The nature of what is being swept up may be more loaded than the circumstance at hand seems to call for because the South Node relates to karmic memory and can, via transit, also pull up karmic memories which were before packed into the ground. The tail the dragon loosens the ground-layer up, and sweeps it up into the air – that being our thoughts, experiences, and emotional tint upon reality.
If you are not familiar with your natal chart, sign up for my mailing list to stay in touch, receive my weekly forecasts, and to be notified about courses I teach, or book a personal reading with me here. Astrology is a language worth studying, and a personal practice worth getting perspectives on.
(Image: Pamela Colman Smith)