Ellen Asks:

“I have a question regarding the Moon’s Nodes. Nobody has been able to clear up my confusion about my Nodes because my houses are all opposite their signs. I have North Node in Aquarius in the 5th house, and South Node in Leo in the 11th House.”

Kevin Answers:

Ellen,

This is why I wrote The Complete Node Book: to try and clear up the overwhelming amount of misinformation out there on how to interpret the Nodes. Every single book that I’ve come across on the Moon’s Nodes makes the entirely incorrect, misleading, and just plain wrong assumption that the houses are the same as the signs. In other words, they assume that having the North Node in Aquarius is the same thing as having the North Node in the 11th House.

Ok, everyone say it with me: “The Houses are not the same as the Signs.” You cannot ever substitute one for the other. They have no fundamental connections with each other. Period. None.

I’ve covered this before, and I promise that I won’t stand on my soapbox too long, but I think it bears repeating. Zip Dobbins, who is by all accounts an exceptional and very well‑respected astrologer, came up with a system called the “Astrological Alphabet,” that as far as I’m concerned has done more damage to the art and practice of astrology than the Church and the Age of Reason combined. It’s a shorthand system of keywords that links the Signs, Planets and Houses by what Zip feels to be common themes. For example, letter “1” in the alphabet refers to Mars, Aries, and the 1st House.

Mars, however, is not the same thing as Aries; more than that, neither Mars nor Aries has any fundamental connection with the I” house of the chart. (Mercury, actually, is the planet that has “joy” in the 1st house, not Mars.) What has happened is that this system, like a virus, started to permeate the Astrological literature, most particularly in beginning astrology books. And new and novice astrologers began to assume that Mars = Aries = 1st House and lost the ability to generate clear and precise interpretations.

The planets are Actors. They are what make things happen. The Signs are the roles that they play; the motivation for the actors, and their costumes. The Houses are where things happen; the backdrop and the scenery. Remember these distinctions because they are absolutely essential to understanding anything at all about astrology.

Ok, I’m stepping down off of my soapbox now.

The Aquarius/Leo nodal axis has to do with learning how to balance the head and the heart and learn about unconditional love. Leo gives from the heart, but wants personal recognition and attention in exchange for love. Aquarius is filled with compassion for humanity, and a sense of perspective, but has difficulty in one-to‑one relationships. The South Node in Leo shows that you bring the gifts of warmth, generosity, and love into this lifetime; the North Node in Aquarius shows that you must learn how to bring your individual essence into balance with the group, and to recognize that everyone is unique and special and deserving of attention. The balance point between Leo and Aquarius is the point when we learn to have compassion for society as a whole, and love for each individual member of the group at the same time.

Now the houses represent where you encounter these gifts and lessons. With the South Node in Leo in the 11th your encounter your Leo gifts through group activities; you may rely on the attention and appreciation of your friends. In order to work with your North Node in Aquarius, however, you have to look to your 5th house, which relates to personal creativity, not shared activities. So your lesson might involve giving up your need for the approval of your friends, and learning to give of yourself, to express and share your creativity on your own. To take personal risks and give up the security net of knowing that your friends and peers will always be there to pat you on the back.

Does Aquarius have common themes with the 11th house? Sure. Both the 11th house and Aquarius relate to group energy. But Aquarius energy represents the motivation to identify with and support a group consciousness, while 11th house is where we go to socialize and have fun with our friends and peers. A person with Cancer or Virgo on their 11th house is certainly not going to express Aquarian energy when they’re out with friends!

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