Transiting South Node of the Moon

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.

~Sabrina Monarch

(Image: Pamela Colman Smith)

You Might Also Like...


  • Reply
    October 20, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    You said so much, and yet you said absolutely nothing of value.

    • Reply
      May 30, 2023 at 11:22 am

      South node sweeps up karmic material. Do not get lost or attached to the debris. Self awareness is the tool. Thats pretty valuable.

    • Reply
      June 10, 2023 at 8:32 pm

      couldn’t have said it better, nothing was actually said yet nearly everything was…

    • Reply
      July 20, 2023 at 4:12 pm

      People writing these articles don’t get paid to write anything educational or of value. They live off of videos people pay for that say nothing for an hour and subscriptions people pay for to read a bunch of nonsense just like this. My advice is buy books. Especially old ones because those people are dead and half of them never wrote to profit, but to share their knowledge. Knowledge they actually possessed.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    I had to leave a comment to balance out the other one. This article was very helpful! Thank you for the new insights

    • Reply
      November 1, 2022 at 8:58 am

      agreed! this is a wonderful piece and i’ve not read anything like it on my astrological learning journey so far so thank you for writing this!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2020 at 6:26 am

    Great article! right now i have the transit south node conjunct my natal mercury and transit mercury transiting my natal north node. Also i have my natal saturn squaring my natal north node. This was helpful to me..still learning! Thank you!! 🙂

  • Reply
    James Ray
    October 26, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    This was great interpretation, thank you for the visualizations.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2020 at 1:24 am

    The coming 2020 Great Conjunction is conjunct my natal South Node. I’m about to start a new job that I feel I’ve been working towards (by getting through all the other unavoidable life experiences first) for my entire life. Thankyou for this article, you have helped me to understand this process and what to expect.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Yes, I must reflect my sisters’ and brothers’ approbation of this article wherein I also found fresh relevancy, utility, and accord with my own experience. Lucid, descriptive, and balanced. Thank you, Sabrina, for sharing your pith and wisdom…

    As a sociologist and editor, I would relish knowing what compels DFDS and others to flippantly poke good posts with wasp stingers. Until I learn this, I’ll assume DFDS stands for “Doesn’t Find Destiny Sexy” and leave my own request that in the future we “Don’t F****** Disrespect Sabrina.” Oh, what’s that bright light emanating from the end of the dragon’s tail? A laser! Bye!

    Forgive me, friends for fighting fire with fire… I could just leave it at Scorpio Sun, but the full monty is:
    Scorp Sun/Aries Rising/Pisces Moon, written during full Moon conjunct natal Sun with Mercury conjunct natal South Node; with South Node conjunct Natal Neptune forming apex of trine aspects supported on one end by Saturn conjunct Vertex on cusp of 10/11th in Aquarius (you know, like where defaming or supporting someone’s career might occur) and on the other natal Pluto conj. Vertex in 6th house in Libra (like where being fair in dealings at work is enforced by a large magnet which lifts crushed cars into a cosmic furnace). Oh, and Mars (10th) conjunct natal Mars in the 3rd. Just sayin’.

    Blessings to all, in all seriousness and respect–especially the author and those of good report and heart above.


Leave a Reply