January 27, 2020 at 01:00PM by CWC
The idea of having one destiny seems at once awesome and claustrophobic to me. I’m stoked about the idea that my life (maybe?) has one purpose, but I also want to forge my own path ahead. So when an astrology-minded friend mentioned to me that the north node callout on my birth chart cosmically predicts who I’m destined to become, my interest instantly piqued, and I hopped on board a celestial journey of self-discovery with a fair bit of apprehension.
True to its name, your north node is your true north or your North Star, says intuitive astrologer and healer Rachel Lang. “It’s the point of destiny you continue to follow throughout your life. When you focus your attention on following the path designated by the north node, you feel more fulfilled and more purposeful—but it’s not easy. It’s the point beyond your comfort zone,” she says.
In the sky, this node is the point where the moon’s orbit intersects with the northern ecliptic hemisphere at the time of your birth. “Unlike other astrological points, it’s invisible, but that doesn’t mean it’s not significant,” says Lang. So, for example, my north node sits in my third house—or Gemini—which means my “purpose” in life is teaching, learning, writing, and spreading a certain message.
“When you focus your attention on following the path designated by the north node, you feel more fulfilled and more purposeful.” —Rachel Lang, intuitive astrologer
Of course, though, the jaunt to destiny has to start somewhere—and Lang says that’s where your south node comes in. The south node sits exactly 180 degrees away from the north and represents where your karmic journey begins. “It’s the familiar—where we came from,” says Lang. My south node sits in Saggitarius, so according to the moon, I come from a restless, seeking, and often estranged-feeling place.
“Often, we play a tug-of-war game between the north and south node throughout our lives. During the years when you have a nodal return, which is about every 19 years, you feel a sense of your destiny, and you can have fated events,” Lang says. And that makes sense, right? You have to know where you came from to get where you’re going.
How to identify your own north node (and your south node, too!)
To identify your north and south nodes, you’ll first need to run your birth chart via an app like Co-Star, a free online service (like this one), or with the help of an astrologer. You’ll then be able to identify your north node by a symbol that looks like a pair of headphones. Your south node will be the same shape in reverse, which looks a lot like a horseshoe.
From there, teasing out meaning is simple: Your destiny follows the traits of the house or signs in which it lands, and the same goes for your south node. If your north node is in Aries, for instance, your destiny will align with the attributes of Aries: major ambition, fearlessness, and leadership. In keeping with the traits of Libra, which would be the south node to an Aries north node, the universe will ask you to move away from playing the supporting role and taking the path of least resistance.
“The more you push beyond your comfort zone, the closer you get to fulfilling your north-node purpose,” says Lang. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you heed the call of your north node. Regardless, the notion that the universe made a plan for you the second you were born is pretty out of this world.
You can get on-demand astrology readings on your phone—here’s what it’s like. And if you’re brand new to this whole cosmos thing, here’s the A-to-Z guide you need for understanding all the celestial terms.