Destiny - Waterhouse

Nodes transiting Nodes

Destiny - WaterhouseThe North and South Nodes indicate our karma or spiritual life lessons depending on your point of view.

The South Node is the Dragon’s tail. It represents what you have brought into this life; the knowledge, skills and experience that you already have. It’s where you act on instinct and shows what comes easily to you. It is the place you fall back on for comfort and the area where you are often inclined to get stuck.

The North Node or the Dragon’s Head is what you are moving towards. It indicates the path that you are pushed (and sometimes shoved!) towards. It is a calling, a spiritual mission, the point that marks your spiritual and soul growth. And for that reason, it is often a challenge as we don’t want to move out of our comfort zone. These new things that stretch experience and understanding feel uncomfortable, scary and yet curiously full of potential. Ultimately, fulfilling the requirements of the North Node brings a sense of fulfilment.

But it’s worth noting that in moving towards the path of the North Node, you are not leaving the South Node behind. The South Node isn’t ‘bad’. The Nodes cannot be separated. Instead, it’s taking the best of what you have learned in the South Node and giving it over to challenge of fulfilling the mission of the North Node.

To put it in plain terms, the tail end of the dragon excretes what it has already digested, fertilising the land for new growth. But if you don’t feed the Dragon at the head/mouth/North Node, then the resulting feeling is often experienced as a curious kind of emptiness – a sense that something is missing. The South Node is where the seeds of potential lie, the North Node needs to be actively activated and fed!

The sign position of the Nodes indicates the kind of energy you are working with. The house position indicates the area of life where the nodal issues are most likely to play out.

Nodes transiting Nodes

Generally, the transiting Nodes take around 19 years to move around the chart (18.6 years by mean node average). The move in (mostly*) retrograde motion indicating that they are a highly personal inner process.

When the transiting nodes meet the natal nodes, sometimes it can manifest in experiences or feelings that feel ‘fated’ in some way. These transits propel you towards the teachings of your North Node and challenge you to recognise the qualities and limitations of the South Node. Often they can be characterised by meeting people that can change your life (or having a life changing experience). Dreams, synchronicity and intuitive knowing can also play a prominent part in receiving the message of the transit.

Below I have listed the most important transiting Nodal aspects to the natal nodes (the conjunction, square and opposition) along with approximate ages and possible manifestations to watch for. I have also included some of my own personal experiences to give you a flavour of these transits. Your own nodal transit years may vary slightly from mine.

Nodal Return

Ages: 18, 37, 55, 74

Transiting North Node conjunct natal North Node.

Your fate becomes clear. Your life path is calling. Your mission is illuminated. A date with destiny. Fated meetings. Attachment. Déjà vu. You begin to move in the direction indicated by your natal North Node placement. You feel like you’re going somewhere. Getting ahead. Learning through experience. Evolution. Strengthening. Awakening. Clarity.

Personal experiences

Age 18 – My North Node is in Aries in the 9th house (study, far away places). I moved as far away as possible from my home (escaping mental chains of the 3rd house South Node) to go to university.

Age 37 – Meeting the love of my life. Recognising instantly a karmic bond on first meeting (South Node in Libra, North Node conjunct Venus). A life changing event.

Nodal Square

Ages: 4, 13, 23, 32, 41, 51, 60, 69

Transiting North Node square natal North Node.

Feeling at cross purposes. Feeling trapped. Being give a choice to stay with the old or move towards the new. Intense frustration. Denial. Being pulled in different directions. At a crossroads. Unfinished business. Driving ‘hunger’ for something but perhaps not knowing what will satiate the feeling. Clues.

Personal experiences

Age 23 – North Node transiting 6th house – A short relationship with someone I worked with. We both felt that we had known each other before and there was a strong sense of ‘unfinished business’.

Age 32 – North Node transiting 12th house in Cancer – My Mother passed away which would eventually lead to a complete break with family ties.

Age 41 – North Node transiting 6th house in Capricorn – I had a new bathroom and kitchen installed (causing chaos in daily life!). I also was very ill with an ear infection and severe dizziness.

Whilst the North Node was still on the square degree, I was watching the TV series Flashforward which was about people suddenly seeing flashes of their future! I also found this synchronicity entry in my diary which really captures the essence of this transit. I was intensely frustrated with the day job (6th house) at the time and desperate to leave and just be self employed as a writer and astrologer (natal Aries North Node 9th house).

Yesterday morning I found a little piece of paper with the number 10 in my hair. I know it’s about work and what I have been thinking about. It relates to the Wheel of Fortune (The Wheel of Fortune is the number 10 in the Major Arcana).

“You enter a new work cycle, which may entail leaving your current job to pursue your dream. Follow your intuition, don’t let fear block your progress. Once you take the needed risk, things break wide open. You are the only person keeping you where you are. Once you realize this you’re liberated” ( quote from Power Tarot by T. J. MacGregor)

Inverse Return

Ages – 9, 27, 46, 65, 83

Transiting North Node conjunct natal South Node.

Sometimes called the ‘Reverse Nodal Return’ or ‘Counter Nodal Return’.

The past meets the present, staring the future in the face, gaining closure on past events that free you to move towards your future goal, detachment, revelations, understanding. Everything is turned upside down in order to gain a different perspective (the Hanged Man in the Tarot). No longer living in denial. Consequences. Checkpoint. Facing vulnerabilities. Learning by example. Discovering the gold rooted in your South Node. Integrating what you have learned so far. Release. A wake-up call.

Personal Experiences

Age 9 – Moved to a new county and new school (South Node in 3rd house). I remember being mocked (just the once!) for my accent. It was here that I quickly learned how to mimic accents which helped me in the future with learning foreign languages (North Node 9th house).

Age 27 – I was very unhappy in my life and wanting to be fully self employed as a tarot reader (astrology was still in learning phase at the time) but my confidence was far too low. I had a very powerful and disturbing dream where I was threatened by a man with a knife  but saved by a ‘fortune teller’ and a Native American chief who told me “Aim true and you will reach your ‘desire’. Note that the 9th house is associated with visionary work.

Age 46 – Feeling stronger whilst everything seems to be falling apart! (North Node in Aries). Recognising my confidence has increased ten fold.

Finally understanding a karmic contract between myself and another (South Node in Libra)

Odd experiences that are like a repeat in reverse of what happened at the last Nodal return.

Recognising that I have released a lot of the mental ‘stuff’ that held me back in the past (South Node in 3rd House). No longer feeling ‘chained’ to the past.


* The Mean Node is always retrograde. I use the True Node however and this has very brief periods of direct motion.

You might like to read this post where I talk about the Lunar Nodes through the signs.


Painting – ‘Destiny’ by John William Waterhouse

27 thoughts on “Nodes transiting Nodes”

  1. Hello & thank-you for this article, I am very interested in the nodes. Natally I have NN in Scorpio in 4th house, so SN is Taurus 10th house. My inverse return age 27 was the best year of my life so far for my career – lots of landmark events that have defined my career ever since. (the start of my acting career – first movie released in cinemas, filmed my second one, won a best actor award, all within a few months of the inverse return) At my nodal return age 37 I’d just had my first baby a few months before, and was at home caring for her. Being home has enabled me to take the odd acting job rather than be tied to a “regular job” (I am now 39) which is exactly what I want for my future – to be at home with my children and travel for acting jobs when they arise. The synchronicity between these events and my nodal movements is uncanny. Thanks again!

  2. Hi Phoenixrising – Thanks for sharing your experience of the nodes in your chart. Congratulations on your acting success! It sounds like your work/life balance is the perfect example of your nodal placement and yes, I find the synchronicity with the nodes is quite incredible too 🙂

  3. Hi

    In my work as an astrologer since 25 years I’m fascinated by the nodes n the timing which is so a accurate. I have seen it time n time again ; clients having life changing things happening at the times of nodal returns , inverse return n squares.
    Now for my own incredible story ; when I was around 28 / 29 yrs old I happened to visit a monastery in Austria n I was so blown away by the energy there n just KNEW I’d been there before . My spirit guide told me that I would be allowed to come back but only after finding the missing piece of the puzzle.
    The years went by n I visited Austria numberous times but never came to the beautiful monastery again.
    Fast forward to 46 yrs of age ; at the precise day of my inverse return I filed for divorce after a 18 year relationship ; my nodes resides in 1st house SN 29 dgr scorpio n 7th house NN 29 dgr taurus.
    As u see my my NN is at the Pleiades or Weeping sisters n certainly my failed marriage brought forward a lot of tears n sorrow but also maturing n letting go of an ultimately confining n controlling relationship . My nodes are as u see at a critical degree n relationshipissues are always life n death to me , drama n ultimately a steppingstone to psychological growth n healing.
    The same day as I filed for divorced I also signed up for psychotherapy ( my mama died 12 mths prior to this ) n I felt I needed to work with letting go , controlissues n vulnerability.
    So I focused on my therapy , my kids n my carerer for around a year n was as far away in my heart n mind to meeting someone as u can imagine.
    Enter fate ……
    By chance ( which we as astologers now as karma !! ) I met a man that I felt sooo connected with the first time we met n he actually said ” I think we have met before ” . After having met at a coffeeshop to discuss work ( we then worked together for 18 mths ) n talked for 2,5 hrs we parted ways n said goodbye n see u later . 20 min later I got a text saying ” I laughed more with u than in my last for 4 yrs in my marriage ( he was divorced ).
    By then I had already managed to extricate the info for his chart n that evening I hurried home to see what the hell happened !!! Sure enough , his 29 dgr taurus sun was perfectly conjunct my NN in my 7th house.
    We then worked as mediums n the work took us to Austria where we visitied the omd monastery.
    We had lived a tragic lovestory n continued to play much the same roles so I decided to break off the relationship dec 14 ( that day TR Saturn hit my SN ).
    He is the love of my life but I will only be with him if we commit ( taurus NN ) to each other on a deep emotional level ( scorpio SN ).
    He is terrified of getting hurt n has actually told me ” I can not trust ( 29 dgr taurus sun ).
    I know that our relationship will continue in the future in this life; in the fullness of time we will work hard together ( NN taurus ) n bring our old spiritual wisdom ( SN scorpio ) to the world once again. I feel truly blessed in having gotten to meet my destiny / karma N being aware of it.
    I’d like to hear your input Leah to our 29 dgr taurus ( his progress venus is currently at 28,5 dgr taurus ) n he has started a relationship with his ex tauruswife again.
    In my book 29 dgr taurus is the dgr of final endings in all predictive work …
    What is your take on this ?

    Brgds from Sweden / Love Marie

  4. Hi Marie, thank you for sharing your experience – what an amazing story and wonderful expression of the Nodes. I absolutely agree with you about the Nodes being active in charts at times of major change. They are quite extraordinary.

    In reference to 29 Taurus, honestly, I need to do more research on this specifically however I certainly have noted that it seems to have a ‘fated’ sense to it and I have seen that it can manifest as unhappiness or endings as you mentioned above. In my own chart for example, my Part of Marriage sits on this degree and I have never been married. It is just one of a host of aspects in my chart that suggest a need for personal development without a partner but I think it is significant. I do feel a certain sense of intensity with this degree too. Maybe for your ex partner, this is something he must work through.

  5. Calhoun Stallings

    Hello Leah,

    Do you have any experience you can share about when the North Node is direct?

    Often when I feel a bit out of sorts, I will check my ephemeris. Regularly I find that the North Node has gone direct. As I type this it is direct in Libra and I became very out of sorts (sad) the day it went direct. My NN is 7th house/Cancer. born July 30, 1963.

    I have yet to start noting all the details when I am compelled to check the ephemeris, but this has been going on for years. Your article on the nodes and tranverses is a help. I will look at the signs with more interest from now on.

    Thank you


  6. Hi Calhoun, I have not noticed anything personally although I would think that perhaps a node stationing on a planet on point in the chart/progressed chart might make more of an impact. It would certainly be interesting to check if there’s a correlation.

  7. I find this interesting. I seem to have missed north node conjunct my natal, which is 17 Virgo, 8th house. And perhaps you could clarify, I am 36 now (in my 37th year, as they say). Is this right?

  8. Hi Anne, the Nodes move retrograde through the chart (although I use the ‘true’ node which occasionally turns direct for a very short period of time). So you haven’t missed it :-). The North Node will be at 17 Virgo early June next year.

  9. Oh!! Well then, that’s awesome. I certainly look forward to that and I can certainly feel the build up starting. Thank you for the clarity.

  10. Hi Leah,

    I have the NN at 3 Taurus and Pluto on my SN. On October 27/28 2015 there will be a full moon bang on my Taurus NN. Is there any significance to this or have any meaning?

    Many thanks,

  11. Quite interesting your article!
    I have my NN in Aries (and I use the Whole house types as I found them, usually, or, at least, for the personal planets, more accurate than Placidus. My NN is placed in 9th house, otherwise, in Placidus, is in the 8th…but some events in my life showed me that I came along in this life with strong attachments or a need to attach or feel myself attached to something or someone…which is hard to handle sometimes or make me suffer alot for being unable to relax and let them go away…so I find the NS position in the 2nd house more justified. Sometimes the thoughts of not being attached give me the feeling of not having a sense and wasting life wandering up and down. The same about my values and priciples which play a very important role in my day to day basis, I wouldnt be able to function without them, they are like some sort of landmarks. I think values and priciples could be also a tribute of the second house even more when they play the role of something fundamental in one’s personality, a basis).
    At my first nodal revolution, at age of almost 19 I was admitted at one of the best univeristies in my country and I started to study something that had to become an open door to another room with many other open doors for great experiences later on. I am still in front of one of them now, at my inverse revolution at almost 28. I am about to start to study something exciting and revolutionary for me (connected to immunology and genetics, well, I admitt, Uranus is transiting in the same time the 9th house making a great conjunction with natal Jupiter…its such a thrilling moment in my life, i cant belive how opportunities come suddenly and give me more and more new electric sensations and contagious enthusiasm. Its unbelievable).
    Also, at the first nodal revolution, I met (how accurate! how precise was the conjunction!!!) a man who became (i realized later, after many years) the source of one of the highest visions and insights of life, people, spirituality, ideals, morality, religion. The experience with that man settled inside of me a new understanding of myself and life as a whole and was an important moment as what i have acquired during that period will probably be something lifelasting. As you can see, everything in this experience (and in the previous one, with high education and studies) is connected to the 9th house and had effects in this field of my life.
    That’s why I am confused and i dont know which exactly is more suitable from the house types if Placidus or Whole. Could be explained my need to attachments throuhg my Sun position in Scorpio (but what about the feeling of having sense connected to an attachment?)? I actually have a strong mark of Scorpio in my chart – 4 planets and the IC).

  12. Hi Irish – thanks for sharing your nodal experiences and wow, so cool about your new studies! Some people relate very much to one house system or another. Others can see layers of meaning in both house systems so I would say don’t feel you have to take one over the other if that doesn’t suit you. There are lessons to learn in both systems.

  13. Hi Sarah, it will depend on what else is going on in your chart but the Full Moon may highlight the meaning of your North Node. I would recommend paying attention to dreams, opportunities and synchronicities around that time to see if they have any significance for you.

  14. I will be 74 in 2016 with my north node @11degrees Virgo(8th house) & south node @11Pisces(2nd. house).
    Can you offer information regarding what may be indicated according to these conjunctions? Thank you, Susan

  15. Hello, any thoughts of nodes transiting planets? Or is there an article already that I might be missing? Transiting NN just about to conjunct my natal Venus – and at the same time SN conjunct Moon – my Venus and Moon are directly opposite one another… joy. Anyhow, Venus in Virgo at the very end of 4th, Moon in Pisces in 10th… Any ideas what might be in store?? Many thanks!

  16. Hi Helena – Thanks for your comment. I haven’t written anything on nodal transits to planets yet and vice versa. It’s on the list of things to do :-). In the meantime, you might enjoy Celeste Teal’s Book ‘The Lunar Nodes: Discover Your Soul’s Karmic Mission’ as she has a whole section on the transits of the nodes in there. For personal chart questions, I offer readings here

  17. Sun pisces 9th, true N node and Parr of fortune 9th aries. MH 10 aries and venus
    Saturn aries 10th,AS cancer 1st.neptune5 in Scorpio, mars in saboteurs 5th, moon 5th Scorpio. 3Rd Pluto in Virgo, 3 uransus Virgo.mercury 8th Aquarius.Can you tell me if this is Death,sickness,or finding my true love soul mate please?

  18. Hi Lea,
    In my D9 navamsha, rahu is transiting over ketu in 11th house.
    I am Libra ascendent, male, born on 12sep1984 at 8:05am in barakpur, west Bengal, India.I am still unmarried. Do you think this transit can trigger marriage event for sure.
    Thanks, Neeraj

  19. Hi Neeraj- The 11th house is more to do with friends rather than marriage. To look for possible marriage indicators, it would be about looking to transits to the 7th house or ruler of the 7th, Venus and also the progressed chart as well. However the 11th house is also long term goals so if being married is a goal for you, this would be a time to look at patterns of the past and how they affect you now. The reversed nodal return asks you to look back before you can look forwards. If you would like to explore this further, then I would recommend bookig a reading here

  20. Hi Leah, I have been scouring the web for some specific information and this article by you is the closest I have come. The new moon tomorrow will be conjunct my natal north node in the 8th house. Do you happen to have any insight on the implications of this? Thanks again for the great article.

  21. Hi Dana – The North Node is like a spiritual gateway, pointing the way ahead for your soul’s evolution. The New Moon occurs as the two lights of the Sun and Moon meet. There could be something about bringing together your unconscious and conscious mind in order to make a new start that is part of your karmic life purpose. If you would like to explore this more, I offer readings here
    New moon blessings to you.

  22. I didn’t notice how recent the comments were in this post. If one has any planets square the nodal access special conditions formulate n ones life when planets Co conjunct those planets or a person has planets that conjunct these planets. These situations are known as “skipped steps” one has to complete what ever duty to get ahead to Co.complete ones soul mission. I fear I have thrown my opportunity out the window and will have to aim for completion in another life time. I’m glad this post is still relevant. I hope it’s not too late for me .

  23. Im appatently a couple years late to this article but grateful i found it.
    Heres an example of the conjunction and fated experiences:
    My north is in leo in fifth house and so south is in aquarius in eleventh. When i was 18 i applied for Americorps due to a desire to help others. I didnt even look at colleges or scholarships because i was so set on going with this organization. Welp – they didnt want me! Lol. I had no plan so i ended up getting a job as a babysitter (children 5th house) and taking courses at a community college which helped me realize i really wanted to do something in art or the creative field (5th house).
    Fast forward to now – 36 – im an art therapist and while im reevaluating my profession itll always be in a creative field. Cant wait for the return to help clear thing up next year.
    But thank you this article helped me connect the dots.

  24. Natal north node 11’50” in Pisces. Inverse return is a strange feeling. You want to save the world but you first have to find something worth saving to you. Still looking.

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