In prior posts, I’ve investigated several different ways of astrologically identifying your past and future karma using invaluable information gained by attending workshops/retreats lead by Judy Hall many years ago.
According to Judy, the karmic purpose of your present incarnation is often most easily seen in the zodiac sign and house placement of your lunar nodes with the South Node representing what you’ve accomplished in past lives (both good and bad) and the North Node representing what you are meant to accomplish in your present incarnation.
When working with the nodes, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not planets and thus do not represent actives source of energy as do planets. Instead, the nodes (always considered in pairs) map out the cosmic, cyclical waltz of the Sun and the Moon – plotting the predictable point at which the moon will cross and crisscross the ecliptic (or the apparent path of the sun through the sky).
Reading the Map
As with reading any map, the first challenge is to identify where you are now and where you want, or are meant, to go as follows:
|North Node||South Node||Karmic Purpose||Example|
|Aries / 1st House||Libra / 7th House||Develop the SELF unselfishly||In the past, you've compromised too much when trying to meet the needs of others, who doubtless encouraged this to their benefit. It's now time to assert your personal will to meet your own needs. Draw upon past life skills in diplomacy to accomplish this but when the going gets tough and you feel you're being pulled back into old patterns of 'giving in' to keep the peace, assert yourself and your position stronger.|
|Libra / 7th House||Aries / 1st House||To relate with others in harmony||In prior lives, you'l been wilful and self-centred, unable to see beyond your own wants, needs, and desires. Now it's time consider the effect your thoughts and deeds have on others. In the process, you will learn the benefits of give and take.|
|Taurus/ 2nd House||Scorpio / 8th House||To develop inner security and serenity||In past lives, you played more than your fair share of manipulative, power-based emotional games in order to ensure important others stay by your side and did your bidding. Now, it's time to learn that you can find the security you've always sought in others, within yourself. Use the knowledge that in prior lives you've achieved that 'this too will pass' - survival remains the name of the game but the circumstances in which this is achieved have to change.|
|Scorpio / 8th House||Taurus / 2nd house||Regeneration||In prior lives, you've been both practical and possessive, especially in regards to the people in your life that most matter. Now it's time to 'take a walk on the wild side' - sensuality now becomes sexual.|
|Gemini / 3rd House||Sagittarius / 9th House||Intellectual pursuits and communication||In prior lives, you've held on to your 'ideals' with unswerving blind faith, although that's not to say they were wrong but that they remained unchallenged. Now it's time not only to use your intellect to examine your beliefs in line with cold, hard facts but also to spread the excellent results of your efforts by communicating openly with others.|
|Sagittarius / 9th House||Gemini / 3rd House||Find purpose and meaning||In prior lives, you were great at amassing endless interesting facts about everything and anything but you probably didn't go much further. Now your challenge is pull together the information you gather into meaningful knowledge that inspires not only your own life but also the lives of others. In the process, however, avoid the temptation to preach rather than to teach.|
|Cancer / 4th House||Capricorn / 10th House||To nurture||In prior lives you were probably an authority figure with which to be reckoned, with a tendency to think and say - 'thou shalt/shalt not'. Now it's time to encourage and support others to do what they need to be healthy and strong, even when what they need to do is not to your personal liking.|
|Capricorn / 10th House||Cancer / 4th House||Gain authority||In prior lives, you tended to stay at home focusing on helping others to achieve their goal (whilst keeping them tied to your apron strings??) rather than articulating and pursing goals of your own. Now it's time to go out into the world and establish yourself as a successful authority figure who can and does stand strong on his/her own.|
|Leo / 5th House||Aquarius / 11th House||Become self-enabling||In prior lives, you gained power by functioning as part of a cohesive group or collective, quite probably rationalising was the only option available in order to move forward. How it's time to gain what you need by developing your own special talents and/or brand of creativity and bask in the warmth of knowing that you're appreciated not just for what you do but for who you are.|
|Aquarius / 11th House||Leo / 5th House||To channel collective power||In prior lives, you sought the spot-light for your unique contributions to the world. Now, it's time to concentrate on how much more might be accomplished when you join with like-minded others to accomplish collective goals.|
|Virgo / 6th House||Pisces / 12th House||To serve through love||In prior lives you might well have early fallen into the victim-martyr-saviour pattern (also known as the 'drama triangle). Now, it's time to drop the 'I did it all for you' mindset and do what you do for the love of doing it. You may not get much appreciation from others for this, but you'll have grown leaps and bounds in finding and maintaining personal integrity.|
|Pisces / 12th House||Virgo / 6th House||Attain Enlightenment||In prior lives, you relied heavily on your critical, analytic skills in order to make important decisions. In this regard, your focus was more on the individual trees than on the forest as a whole. Now, it's time to reverse this and develop your powers of intuition as well as acceptance of those powers as important indicators of your path forward.|
Energies represented in your chart by planets forming a conjunction with the South Node need to be reworked and released so that they can be used more constructively during your current incarnation. So if, for instance, if your Mars in conjunct your South Node, you might find yourself easily angered when things fail to go your way. Worse, you might unconsciously disown your anger and ‘project’ it out on others and in doing so discover that others are always angry with you rather than the other way around. Once you can accept that anger as you own, you can reclaim in and rework it to make changes more aligned with your more your spiritual Will. This may require outside help.
Energies represented in your chart by planets in square aspect with the nodal axis also have the tendency to pull you back into repeating patterns from prior lives. Such planets are considered to be ‘at the bending’ and as such become a point of release for internal experience to become outwardly expressed. If you fail to adequately deal with the planets at the ‘bending’ by learning to more appropriate integrate them into your current life, you might literally be torn apart from them. Even with taking a new approach, the energies represented by planets at the ‘bending’ will likely always be a source of tension – the trick is to use this tension proactively to your benefit rather than your detriment.
With my North Node in Capricorn, my current life task is to build a separate life, business, and/or career that is mine, and mine alone. I am meant to toughen up – become an elder – a ‘wise’ one – develop a savvy attitude vis a vis the outside world. I must move out of my comfort zone (South Node) and go for the adventure North Node). 
This nodal map of developing a successful career (that will allow me to pay my own way) is overlaid (by square) on my 4th house mystical/pragmatist karmic dilemma represented by my Mercury/Neptune/Saturn conjunction in Libra – i.e. pursue my religious/mystical inclinations or fill up my bank account. This karmic dilemma is ‘at the bending‘ so will become a point of outer release of inner tensions. I can assure you that for at least 25 years, I have been wavering on dumping my career/life as international tax lawyer for a large international accounting firm and doing the spiritual thing – at one point I was going to pack it all in and become a Jungian analysis (Jung was heavily into astrology and spiritual pursuit as well as a successful ‘heavy’ in the field of psychology.
What I’d not really appreciated is that this karmic dilemma is not all mine – but is in fact inherited – if not from my actual psychical parental line (no one except my mother showed the least interest in spirituality) then perhaps from my ‘soul group’.
I’ll be honest. At this point, I still don’t fully understand what that means or what I’m meant to be doing about it – but I am now retired from law and pursuing such avenues for my own pleasure. At one point I tried to do this to start a new business (astrological coaching) but somehow that never seemed to get off the ground. Finally, I accepted it wasn’t meant to do and so I’ve pretty much put it off to one side.
During a higher self-meditation in Glastonbury in 2002, I received the message that it was my job to allow beauty and proportion to pervade my life and to enjoy it without guilt from others. I had the gift of a natural healing energy (Cancer rising). But it would be hard for me to heal others if I were perpetually unbalanced myself (i.e. a Libra thing). Nonetheless teaching and communication (writing) was still good for me and I should purse that because still, I had so much to share with others. It is in this spirit that I write blog posts and novels and I hope – no, I trust – this is now what I’m meant to do to allow my mystical/pragmatist karmic dilemma an outlet that works to my benefit .
What next to consider?
Well, if it’s one thing about the nodal axis and the challenges it represents, there’s always someone waiting in the wings to activate them. When one meets people that seem to do that (and I have met several), comparing their charts with my own (synastry) is instructive as well as looking at my natal Sun in Libra in that very karmic 4th house.
(to be continued)
 Note that for these purposes, I am using the mean node, or the average motion of nodes. The nodes actually move forwards and backwards (retrograde) so fast that the true node might be going either way at any moment in time but the average motions of the nodes over time is always retrograde. As the difference between the true and average nodes is never more than 3 degrees, the difference between them rarely is important. However in some cases, such as mine, the true nodal axis is in a different zodiac sign (in my case, the South Node in Gemini and the North in Sagittarius) than the mean nodes and so for karmic purposes, both should be considered. I am not doing that in this post however I have considered this difference in great detail in my own diaries.