Analysis of the 3rd House/9th House Nodal Axis Through the Signs

Dragon in text, a version of the essence of the 3rd and 9th house axis
Dragon in text, a version of the essence of the 3rd and 9th house axis

The 3rd and 9th houses, along with houses 6 and 12, are Cadent houses. In the hierarchy of traditional astrology, Cardinal houses (1, 7, 4 and 10, the Angular houses) have the strongest influence on the natives, with particular emphasis going to planets and other points posited directly on the angles.

Angular points, planets, etc., are always considered the strongest or most powerful indicators in the chart, including during transits, progressions, solar returns, or solar arcs. Suceedent houses (2, 8, 5, and 11) “succeed” the strength of the Cardinal houses, and therefore slightly diminish in power. Each house, beginning from the Cardinal and moving through the four quarters of the chart, are thought to “lose strength.”

From the traditional perspective, then, Cadent houses are considered to represent the weakest amount of energy in the chart. Now, obviously, if your planets and/or Nodes fall in these houses, you’re living their purpose in some way, and I highly doubt you go through your life feeling “weakened” by their position. You’re just living your life.

However, traditional astrology interprets any planet or angle that doesn’t receive “light” from the Ascendent as weakened or diminished in overall strength in the chart, and that’s one of the reasons the sign involved matters, in my opinion, because the strength or weakness of the sign itself influences how you’ll express the matters held in each house.

The matters of the 3/9 axis, interestingly, are the issues of the idea of the Path itself. Both houses involve journeys—the 3rd house is short journeys, the 9th longer journeys. To quote myself about the 9th house:

On one level, this is the house of your path in life. In Latin, back when Latin was still a living language, the motto for this house was “iter,” or the journey, the road, the direction you’re taking. The idea behind this house and the experiences it represents is to broaden your mind; everything that represents having your mind opened can be found in this house, including philosophy and higher education (even if all you’re doing is parroting back what someone else said; in my opinion, thinking for yourself—critical thinking—more properly belongs to the 11th house).

These houses are about everything to do with small journeys and large. You take a short journey when you visit your relative; you take a long journey when you open the pages of a book; further, you journey every night into your unconscious when you dream, and you take an incredible journey when you write, use your imagination, and communicate with people near and far.

It’s all metaphorical, but it all comes down to this: who and what influences your mind, the expression of which is made up of your perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, and thoughts? In the 3rd house, you’re more affected by the “smaller” world of everyday, local existence; in the 9th, it’s your worldview and everyone and everything that encompasses.

The purpose, therefore, of the North Node in the 3rd house is going to be taking that which was learned and intuited (or remembered, for past life devoteés), and making use of it to express yourself more accurately to your most pertinent audience. The subject matter, and who you’re talking to, is determined by all the various factors we look at in the chart: signs, aspects, rulers, houses, etc.

Essentially, in each dyad (each axis of houses in opposition to each other) you have the potential for any number of behaviors, from one extreme on the continuum to another, so it won’t surprise me to see a person of great nobility emerge from this South Node/North Node combination, or anything up to a person who is so damaged virtually everything they say is untrue.

The 9th house is, I believe, a bit misunderstood or miscalculated as somehow being predictably ‘good’, in that it’s associated with Jupiter and Sagittarius, and therefore cannot ever go wrong, but I think any time you’re dealing with the 9th, you’re also dealing with the potential for Jupiterian and/or Sagittarian excesses, and that includes excessive ego, grandiosity, and grandstanding.

I wouldn’t take the 9th house entirely off the hook for honesty and purity until I had tested the native a bit; this is also the house of tall tales, just as the 3rd is the house of small white lies, when the energy is misused (again, going back to the association with Gemini/Sagittarius, 3/9 axis, and their ability to twist stories around to suit their audience, or to suit the needs of the Gemini/Sagittarius, who has been known to embellish from time to time). Both signs like very much to ‘entertain’, but in the wrong hands, their energy can be about leading you down the primrose path.

The nature of the 3rd, from a purely mundane standpoint, is a life lived in the milieu of one’s immediate environment; the quality of the relationships between the North Node, what aspects it makes, as well as any connections made between the South Node, the signs on the cusp of each house, all contribute to determine how big one’s ‘immediate environment’ will be.

In addition, the nature of the house itself, its sign and the sign’s ruler, will point the way to how your journey will go, who you’ll want or need to communicate with on the way, and what you’ll need to feel like you’ve accomplished your goals. There are those who have North Node in the 3rd who deal with a large audience, for example; no matter their subject, their purpose is to get the word out. The typical way this is accomplished is through a conduit, a source, a mechanism—such as a newspaper (in days of yore that are rapidly being replaced by computing technologies) or another ‘mouthpiece.’

Therefore, the point to these houses has to do with communication, translation (from the vision seen in the 9th house to the 3rd house conveying of that vision), and interpretation of ‘the’ or ‘a’ message or transmitted idea. Conveying this idea to others is the purpose of the North Node in the 3rd, and people whose North Node is, for one reason or another, strong here tend to be very articulate indeed.

It is my contention that the sign involved will tell you who their audience is most likely to be (or, where they are most effective in getting their message across).

ArieswoodcutAries North Node in the 3rd House: First of all, and most importantly, you’ve got an active mind with a well-aspected North Node here. The image of a dynamic classroom, all the bright little students’ faces, arms raised, each wanting the attention of the teacher, permeates this Nodal axis. It could easily be said that learning never ends here; in fact, the entire purpose of the path here is to learn new things, to never be content with the easy answer, and to dig for more and more information.

Keep in mind that aspects to the South Node will always be the determinant of how the North Node progresses on its journey, so if this South Node is too attached to others’ opinions, it will be difficult for the North Node to do its job. This North Node needs and wants to be free to explore, unencumbered by the past.

This means there might be a lot of resistance to learning what s/he is told ‘must’ be learned. Inner conflict for the Libran South Node comes with the tension between being pacifist, on the one hand, and balancing the need for engagement with another, often to the point of verbal jousting, debate, or argumentation, on the other. This is a conflict not only inherent in the Libran nature itself, but in the tension of its opposition to Aries. The underlying tension of the rulers here, Venus and Mars, means that every Aries/Libra Nodal axis will feel this fundamental schism within the personality.

The question is, how will the personality evolve around this schism, and how much potential damage will it do? Also, what is the purpose of the inner conflict; how will it be expressed? In the 3/9 axis, the conflict takes place around issues to do with these houses: intellectual pursuits, communication, and whether or not when the native speaks, s/he does so in a ‘pugilistic’ or aggressive manner, or whether s/he’s able to get her message across without building frustration preventing her from communicating effectively.

Frustration (from the tension of this axis) builds until it becomes impossible not to say what needs to be said. South Node in Libra is just as capable of alienating people who could have helped her as is North Node in Aries, so learning tact (a 9th house dilemma for the self-involved Aries Node who is, technically, only just now in this 3rd house incarnation learning to express himself) will be crucial.

Also, the 3rd house Aries North Node, wishing to stay on the ‘good’ side of the group mind and the beliefs she was raised with, might be too easily persuaded to agree even if s/he secretly disagrees with the norm. With Aries/Libra you’re frequently dealing with the conflict between the needs of the individual and the needs of the group, and when it comes to the 3rd/9th houses, that means that what you say you believe, and what you really believe, might not be in alignment unless the rest of the chart supports your ability to stay strong in your beliefs.

The 9th house is all about what you believe in, and the 3rd is about how you communicate those beliefs. If higher education is pursued (never a given with any South Node in the 9th, since inner knowing tells this person there’s more to learn from the process of living one’s life than there might be in all the books in the library) it’s likely to be a unique or niche subject not many people will have heard of. Aries will be trying to determine who s/he is, and defining that for herself, so if the subject matter fulfills that criteria, then s/he will pursue it.

It’s unlikely a subject will be engaged with—enthusiastically, mind you—if it is merely a traditional requirement or a ‘hoop’ to be jumped through. These people want to blaze a path, not tread, drearily, through life on a path that’s pre-defined for them. This rules out a lot of higher education, unless they can create their own program.

Consider too that the overall subject matter might be divided between the dominant and acceptable ‘high’ culture (represented by Libra in the 9th and its affinity for Art in all its forms) and Aries in the 3rd and its attraction to mass media or popular culture. Therefore another fundamental tension here is expressed between methods of conveying the message, which we see today in self-publishing versus traditional publishing (as just one of many examples of the issues represented by this axis).

TauruswoodcutTaurus North Node in the 3rd House: The Air houses (3,7 and 11) have a tendency to spend a lot of time in their heads, alone with their thoughts (or conveying their thoughts to everyone, if the Nodes are in Air).

Taurus in the 3rd, on the other hand, is in the process of bringing thoughts out of the darkness of the Scorpio South Node, where, with 9th house influence, they might have formed a foundational philosophy, or way to live one’s life that is not necessarily entirely healthy, honest or sensible.

Translating that unspoken philosophy to the brave new world of self-expression—the kind of expression that requires explaining one’s motives and beliefs—presents a challenge. With Taurus in the house of communication as the lifetime goal or purpose, one expects to do battle with a fair amount of silence. How will this silence manifest? It might manifest as an inability to speak, a literal inability, as in, a speech impediment that must be overcome.

It might very well manifest as a fear of public speaking, or an overall avoidance of writing or any form of communication which “ought” to be easy. Depending on how these Nodes are aspected, the individual might have help overcoming any internal blocks, or the lifetime might be ‘about’ overcoming the block. Conversely, it’s entirely possible that there aren’t any physical problems, but the individual has a psychological block, or is just generally Taurean in his or her expression.

Taurus is renowned for being solid and secure, determined and fixed, but this is an Air house; it requires agility and flexibility. So the goal here is going to be learning how to let the 3rd house style infuse the personality (the rest of the chart could support this flexibility or not). However, if you’re looking for a stable, solid personality with the ability to be witty and erudite, the 3rd house North Node in Taurus is fed by the deep waters of the Scorpio South Node.

This combination can be great for taking the seriousness of the South Node in Scorpio and pushing it towards manifesting something simpler, and yet profound, such as the person who starts a business having to do with the earth, ecology, and nature. If you’ve ever known a Scorpio really well, you know they can be close to the earth, as close to the earth as you think Taurus ought to be. Take that South Node skill and interpret it into the 3rd house, and make it your skill set from which you will glean your life purpose, and you see what Taurus is capable of, since they are the ‘builder’ of the Zodiac.

They have the power to take Scorpio soulfulness and turn it into something made of bricks and mortar. However, if there is damage to the soul, and/or the person is vulnerable to someone whose chart aspects the South Node, the 9th house South Node in Scorpio means that the native’s prejudices and biases can too easily be dressed up as ‘wisdom’ handed down through whatever guru this person has attached herself to, since belief in a mad-genius-guru makes some kind of weird sense here.

For example, Susan Atkins, devotée of Charles Manson, had the North Node in Taurus in the 3rd, South Node in Scorpio in the 9th, and Manson’s planets affected her South Node and manipulated her (as well as many others; take a look some time at how often his planets in Scorpio connected with the Scorpio or Taurus planets of his followers).

GeminiwoodcutGemini North Node in the 3rd House: What the native aspires to more than anything when the Nodes are posited in their favorite houses is to go see something new (travel!), learn as much as possible (meet new people!), in all the fun new places we can (exotic locations!).

If this house and Nodal axis were a thing, it would be a 4th of July sparkler in the hand of a Renaissance party-goer wearing one of those really cool Venetian masquerade masks. So, we’re having fun, we’re traveling a lot, and we’re learning all the time—this is the easy part, since this comes from the skills of the 9th house South Node in Sagittarius. What’s the downside to this, you wonder?

Well, sitting quietly in one place, for a start. Being responsible to anyone less intelligent, witty, bright, or facile with the language feels like a terrible limitation to bear; explaining one’s motives or purpose an albatross around one’s neck. Constant movement is this combination’s preferred mode of being. This nodal axis can be accused of emotional superficiality, and if so accused will pull out of their backpack a lifetime’s accumulation of philosophies. This makes them sound pretty cool, and they are cool. The party is usually buzzing around them. They’ve got Nietzsche in their back pocket, and are reading up on postmodernism when you’re first impressed by their intelligence.

I guess the only real problem here is, where are they when you need them? Well, they can’t do it all in one lifetime. Everyone has their path to follow, at their own pace, and these people will sprint past while you lag behind. You’re faithful to the signs and houses your Nodal axis is placed in, more so, in my opinion (and experience) than to any other placement in your chart. So if you spend a fair amount of time believing in someone with a Sagittarius South Node (in any house), don’t be surprised if you wake up one day to find them gone again.

And although Sagittarius on the South Node is very, very good at getting people to believe in them, because of the earnestness with which they promote their major life principles (which they’re not lying about; they are honest people, I hope; at least they ought to be), the rather cruel reality for the 3/9 axis combined with Gemini and Sagittarius is that they’re not the most reliable people in the world.

I think this is particularly true because Sagittarius in the South Node here is unlearning a deep seriousness that never allowed them to have all that much fun. They were too busy learning serious rules about life when they were kids, and never learned how to have the kind of fun Gemini is capable of. So if there is such a thing as karma, theirs becomes an issue revealed over lifetime(s); and if there isn’t karma, it’s a childhood/adulthood issue, as in, what are the childhood issues for this person, and how do they affect the adult now?

These guys are grown up, yes, sure, but ask a Gemini North Node just exactly how he or she feels about being grown up, and I do not think you will hear a resounding “ adulthood is the best time of my life” response, not unless their running shoes are brand new and a plane’s waiting at the end of the tarmac. This is what makes them irresponsible, to the extent they are irresponsible; they’re constantly on the move, looking for the next cool event to attend, where they will, more likely than not, be up at the podium, expounding on one of their philosophies. This event is more interesting to them than you or I, sadly.

Now, keep in mind, if the rest of the chart indicates focus-on-people more than focus-on-the- thrill-of-a-new-idea-popping-up-in-their-email-inbox, they will show up more enthusiastically and won’t be late, missing, or absent quite so often (but their mind will still wander; keeping these guys’ attention is beyond difficult). The goal here is to get good at disseminating information they’ve spent a lot of time poring over, so they’re doing their job whenever they open their mouths and form full sentences of interest to others. Being scattered, unprofessional, and thoughtless is the downside to being busy all the time.

cancerwoodcutCancer North Node in the 3rd House: I am not one who automatically agrees with putting Cancer in the box of ‘home-mother-babies-and-apple-pie’. What Cancer wants is control of its environment and to survive. This is part of the Cancer belief system, and when you’re dealing with this nodal axis, you’re talking about belief systems, philosophies, and ways of thinking.

The difficulty with the Cancer/Capricorn axis is that the nature of the belief system is too often tied up with family stuff from the past, and cutting the umbilical cord is the challenge. Also, you’re not only dealing with Cancer, although the goal of the North Node in the 3rd is to think new thoughts and take the philosophies and wisdom of the 9th house and do something interesting and new with it in the 3rd.

So, to make that transition, you have to negotiate with Capricorn; depending on what aspects the South Node in Capricorn, the tendency is to stick with what works until circumstances change so much that the Cardinal signs are convinced taking a new direction is not only necessary, but based on wisdom. Capricorn, though, is a sign that aligns ‘wisdom’ with ‘stuff handed down through tradition,’ and getting this nodal axis to thoroughly question its learned assumptions (especially when the family still gets together every year for Christmas and birthdays) is not easy.

This is fine as long as nothing new is being asked of this axis, but come on… life is filled with challenges, and thinking a new thought is among them. So Cancer, concerned as it is with survival and control, will often take up the challenge of the 3rd house North Node by rebelling against family beliefs, which is also fine, except for the fact that Cancer hates having to challenge its family traditions, unless the chart shows you’re dealing with a rebel. (In which case, you should be looking at the person’s Uranus/Saturn aspects to see what you’re up against, but that’s a side note.)

I remember reading a long time ago that the best antidote for Cancer’s suspicion (some call it fear) of making changes, is education. The cool thing about the 3/9 axis is now we’re in the land of education, and this combination should be pushed into as much education (of any kind) as possible. There’s nothing better than learning, in any form, including travel, which is said to broaden the mind.

And it’s entirely possible that this North Node is already on it, and she’s taking all the classes she can and is busy learning to be a writer (Cancer is particularly renowned for creative writing). A travel writer! That’s it. This group should be making money as travel writers. Write to me if you’re making money as a travel writer and you have this North Node. That would be a good outcome to a long day of writing (yes, my Nodes are in this axis).


Leo North Node in the 3rd: Leo and Aquarius make for a complicated axis, most of the time, for reasons that are hard to explain, although I will try to explain when I can. In this combination, though, Leo is in a good position to shine as brightly as they are capable of, since their solar energy is compatible with the 3rd house in a way it’s not with, let’s say, the 4th, where Leo North Node would tend to be overwhelmed by Personal Issues. But I shall not get ahead of myself, since we have yet to get to the 4th/10th house axis.

Leo is good at lots of things, and they work hard and clean up nicely. That which is difficult for most people seems to come quite easily for Leo on a good day, but if they are surrounded by negativity, filth, inconsiderate people, or most Water signs, they will have a harder time keeping the faith, building the ship that’s going to come in for them faster than it usually does for mere mortals. They do well when surrounded by an atmosphere of cheerfulness, which is why I like the 3rd house North Node position for this sign.

The 3rd house, when it’s used for the Purposes of Good, has the potential to get you published, make you famous, well-known, and charming, all at once. It’s a nice house to have a North Node in, in other words, as long as you stay focused and keep up with your email.

These days, it can be quite demanding to keep up with 3rd house stuff; there’s Twitter and Facebook and IMing and website creation and blogging. This is where Leo North Node is already 10 steps ahead, though, because he’s Pinteresting and Liking and connecting with everyone and their brother, all because he already connected with these people in real life, walking to work, shaking hands, being friendly.

The nice thing for Leo/Aquarius in this Nodal axis is, as long as they stay friendly, they really are doing the work this axis requires; they don’t have to sweat this one. Their work here is to get known and spread the word, and I figure the only things that might trip them up would be depression, loss of faith, lack of interest, or laziness. Help them do great things; they’re friendly people; or at least, this is my hope.

Aquarius on the South Node can get snotty, though, particularly about elitist stuff like where he went to school and who he Knows. This can get wearisome if you’re not a name-dropper or you believe in egalitarianism. Aquarius on the South Node might think he’s egalitarian, but he’s not-so-secretly capable of being an intellectual snob who reads philosophy and quotes Freud and Jung primarily because he knows it makes him sound smart. Actually, this is a weakness of any South Node in the 9th; knowledge of any kind is what the south node here takes pride in, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a dick about it.

Teaching what you know is a noble art, and if you can’t condense what you know into a coherent sentence, you’ll be the first person tossed off the lifeboat. Make what you know accessible to the masses, since the masses are your ultimate audience if you become the big shot you’re striving to be with this combination.

VirgowoodcutVirgo North Node in the 3rd: Oh dear. I fear a grammarian is the natural outcome here. If you ever researched Medieval-era monks, toiling away in cold stone chambers, perfecting their copies of Aristotle and the Bible, you’ll know that the work was good for Virgo-types.

What could go wrong? Attention to detail paid off, there were opportunities for self-punishment and self-abnegation, they got to work alone, and virtually all their work was anonymous, so they died in obscurity! No one knew the name of any particular monk who copied their way into heaven—it was a golden age for Virgos, let me tell you.

I worry that this is the Virgo dream, to work hard for very little money and no fame or glory, and freeze their tail off while they do it. The South Node in Pisces in the 9th would have made the monk’s way of life the pinnacle of attainment on earth for this axis, too, since corporeal existence asks a lot of Pisces, and the spiritual life is so enticing. So … find yourself a job as a monk-copyist, and you’ll be fine.

No? All right, all right, we’d better find something else for you to do this lifetime.

We’re combining the 3rd house with Virgo here, and I would assume the brain is sharp (or will become so after a lot of thought and education) and the native applies himself assiduously (a word diligent Virgo-types will rejoice in having to look up). It is entirely possible to pay too much attention to detail, however. The skill-set here, perversely, has to do with not seeing the forest for the trees. Virgo will learn the trees’ names, including their Latin taxonomies. If you do not have this Nodal axis, I suggest you move on, because this assessment doesn’t get more interesting from here.

If there was a God, and He felt compelled to give everything its own specific name, blame his Virgo planets. I believe I sat next to someone with a strong Virgo placement on a trip from Iceland last year, and he told me the specifics—and who knew it could get this specific?—about foraging, a new way of saying “I hunt for mushrooms and sell them to restaurants.”

He told me details about mushrooms for more than 7 hours. He didn’t really shut up about mushrooms. I figure he had a Virgo North Node in the 3rd, or was a Gemini, or secretly hated me, but he was young and me with Libra North Node in the 9th, I am always willing to appear eager to hear a story, even if I’d secretly rather be sleeping.

So what about the Pisces South Node in the 9th? Any time Pisces is combined with the 9th, strong convictions based on some faith or other, misguided or not, control the subconscious until enough life experience proves it’s time to develop a new philosophy or way of being in the world. Planets (or other points) posited in the 9th combined with Pisces tend to indicate a person who either clings to the tenets of his faith, or who lost faith in something and now seeks to replace it or criticize it mercilessly.

South Node in Pisces people have faith in things they can’t articulate easily, since the Pisces experience cannot be put into words, yet the Virgo North Node has a job to do, which is to be diligent with words and self-expression. Let’s keep modalities in mind for a moment. In this combination, we’re dealing with mutable signs and mutable houses, so the purpose and self-expression of the lifetime (as with Gemini/Sagittarius) will shift, often when everyone around you thinks you’re set in cement.

What do you want? becomes the refrain you hear people say to the person with Virgo/Pisces Nodes in the 3/9 axis. The problem often gets cracked open for this native during the midlife crisis (which begins with transiting Uranus opposing natal Uranus, and then transiting Saturn opposes itself during our middle-40s).

This is when you really begin to deal with the ‘what do you want’ question. From what I’ve seen, the trouble begins when Pisces does not necessarily know what it believes, or even if it ‘exists’. The existential crisis of not knowing the Self particularly well is going to knock you sideways whenever a point in Pisces is challenged by a rough transit, but South Node in Pisces is usually already on a Vision Quest to find out who he or she is.

Now, the dark side of Pisces is highly narcissistic, in that, when you’re absorbed in ‘finding’ yourself, do you really acknowledge the supremacy of anyone else’s existence? No, you don’t, nor are you likely to willingly sacrifice your needs to someone else’s when you yourself have only a tenuous grip on existence. So South Node in Pisces keeps the native on this quest, and until he finds himself, the path he’s on is going to lead him to some very odd places.

This is the 9th house we’re talking about, so being on the receiving end of a 3 a.m. phone call of doom from Marrakesh makes perfect sense. However, if you’re ‘supposed to be’ a monk or a grammar teacher with that Virgo North Node, what the hell are you doing in Marrakesh, and who’s that girl in the bed next to you? This ‘finding yourself’ stuff is hard on the people around you, just FYI.

I keep saying the same thing about Virgo and Pisces, which is that integration of these disparate energies is the key to resolving a lot of the issues this Nodal axis comes with. I do not see how the mutable nature of the 3/9 axis makes this combination any easier to deal with. I think the likelihood is that a lot of hearts will be broken while these guys get their act together. Maybe they should just take the easy way out and forage for mushrooms. No, not that kind of mushroom!

Actually, the only real answer here is get the best education you can and not let yourself detach like a wayward balloon (as Pisces will do unless someone holds on to them), because Virgo’s best method in the face of the unknown is to stay grounded in what it’s good at and what it knows. You don’t need the kinds of trouble Pisces South Node can get itself into here.

LibrawoodcutLibra North Node in the 3rd: In the uncomplicated days of yore, Libra was ruled by beauteous Venus, and was therefore off the hook for her anger issues. Supposedly, according to the Romans, anyway, Venus was pretty much affliction-free, and couldn’t be beat for sensuality and eroticism.

That’s all well and good, unless you’re alive nowadays, because nowadays people seem to come with a lot of complications, whereas, if you believe the textbooks, everyone was simple, pure and good thousands of years ago. 

Before humanity knew that Venus was one planet, it was thought to be two different planets, with two different sets of characteristics. For some cultures, Venus had two personalities assigned to it, depending on whether you saw it when it was rising or setting. As an evening star, Venus was thought to represent beauty, but Venus rising in the morning foretold acts of war.

I think this dichotomy, between war-like Venus and lovely Venus, who wouldn’t harm a fly, is the best explanation for the seesaw behaviors you can get with any point in Libra, and helps explain why Libra can be such a [fill in the blank]. Aggressive. Passive-aggressive. Contentious. Unwilling to be wrong. In your face. Argumentative. You get the picture. Nowhere near as pleasant as the Romans would have you believe, but then, they were rather heavily invested in promoting the joys of feast-days, and feast-days honoring Venus were the best.

Then combine South Node in Aries with the war-like side of Venus, and I think you begin to see the challenge of this lifetime. Expressed in the 3/9 axis, the personality has a lot of work to do learning not to force his philosophies, theories, attitudes, and beliefs, on others. Words might very well be used as weapons in some kind of ongoing war this person conducts with life.

Now, keep in mind that the rest of the chart has to, in some way, support this theory. The person might be really placid the rest of the time and then burst out with his contentious beliefs at some point, or perhaps there’s just a lot of energy given to the issues of the 3/9 axis.

The ‘mental warrior’ is someone who can positively influence others with the power of their words and convictions, but from what I’ve seen, Aries on the South Node lacks self-confidence when it comes to their mental abilities in this house, so don’t be surprised if the native compensates for this fear or avoids 9th house issues as much as possible. Aries on the South Node can have trouble beginning, and has to be talked into taking charge or getting an education. Therefore, getting these guys to pursue higher education is made easier if their friends are going too, so don’t be surprised if you have to drag this person to school someday.

ScorpioScorpio North Node in the 3rd: I like to think that non-Water (Air, Fire, Earth) houses negate some of the family drama you tend to see with Water signs, particularly Scorpio. I like to think this, but it might not be true. Considering it’s the 3rd house, and neighbors and immediate family are involved, the 3rd house North Node Scorpio could very easily drag the drama with them, gossiping, backstabbing, and being generally spiteful and unpleasant to whoever’s trapped in their immediate vicinity.

Fortunately, however, I know of no Scorpios who ever behave like this; these are terrible lies spread by previous lovers and friends who have betrayed the Scorpio! (Okay, write to me if you know a Bad Scorpio; I personally know of none…. said massively tongue-in-cheek).

Taurus South Node in the 9th has the potential to be a truly inflexible place for a South Node to come from, though; as always, the challenges experienced by the North Node stem directly from the inabilities and weaknesses of the South Node, and in this case, the South Node in Taurus’ weakness is about didactically believing in things long past their sell-by date, or things that are simply untrue, like Creationism. Religious fervor grows out of control when you combine Taurus’s propensity for rigidity of thought with the 9th house, and so if you find that this South Node falls in the chart of someone who cannot be reasoned with, you would not surprise me.

Clinging to outdated ideas and/or ideology comes with the territory here. Whenever Scorpio is involved in an opposition to Taurus in the chart, the native must ‘burn through’ whatever sludge the Taurus side of the personality clings to, and that is particularly true here. Remember that the nature of the Cauda Draconis (the Dragon’s tail) is pretty dire, so unless the Taurus South Node’s strengths overweigh the weaknesses here (and I always hope they do; I know there is unhappiness in the world, I just hope you’re not causing it or are being oppressed by it) the likelihood of having an Archie Bunker with all his many prejudices and biases is a real problem with Taurus South Node in general.

Positive expressions of these Nodal points have to do with healing energies, focused primarily on either the body or the body in relationship to the earth. Scorpio channeling the formidable material power of the Taurus South Node has the potential to transform the lives of those who come to him willingly, not by being manipulated, seduced or coerced.

Now, the 3rd is not, technically, a ‘spiritual’ house, but the 9th is, so if the overall chart supports it, this 3rd house North Node has the ability to ground his spirituality by expressing a powerful will to others, guiding them to truth through his writing, his words, or his voice. Never underestimate how seductive the voice can be, and used with sensitivity, not coercion, some of the best motivational speakers have beautiful voices that don’t just sound good, they impart true meaning and the best of 9th house wisdom.

SagwoodcutSagittarius North Node in the 3rd: I’d like to think this is the best possible combination for this 3/9 axis, because the chatterbox Gemini South Node is capable of being—scattered and uncommitted to any particular principle—has the potential to be transformed by the Sagittarian sense of purpose and higher values. However, there’s a fundamental fear of commitment possible in both Gemini and Sagittarius. Where does this fear of commitment come from?

The finality of making a decision, of closing doors, of losing options, is a negation of the life-force, an urge toward an ending that resembles, for the truly fearful, a kind of death. If you’re afraid of what happens to the rest of your life if you make finite decisions, you’ll keep your options open. The North Node in Sagittarius in the 3rd is going to try to keep its options open as long as possible, largely because making a finite commitment destroys any possibility of something else coming along he’ll be free to capitalize on.

To the extent that maintaining total freedom is a viable option, a way of being in the world that makes it possible to accomplish something based on your principles, there’s nothing wrong with keeping your options open. When it becomes problematic, though, is when it becomes a box of its own, disallowing growth. Committing yourself to one path is difficult, but it does lead to focused learning about something. It also leads, the Gemini/Sagittarius fears, to terminal boredom.

So the North Node in the 3rd has the potential to stave off boredom by constantly seeking new paths to wander down, but there’s something more possible here. The goal of this North Node is to develop a belief system, which might not be based on formal learning with South Node in Gemini, but nonetheless represents the sum of all the wisdom gleaned through experience. Gemini combined with the 9th house implies the kind of marketing skills that will make it possible for Sagittarius in the 3rd to produce lots of material about the native’s beliefs, turning her into a self-made motivational speaker.

The key here is that the native is always learning and is drawn to experience after experience, which although interesting, eventually will require a focus if they’re going to make anything of themselves (unless they work in public relations, marketing, or sales, which are basic careers for this combination, although if it requires a broad knowledge base, wit and charm, and the ability to schmooze, this combination cannot be beat for being able to chat up just about anybody. Yet the North Node in Sagittarius cannot be blamed for wanting more; I just hope this person doesn’t let their fear of commitment prevent them from having their large, Jupiter-ruled dreams come true.

CapCapricorn North Node in the 3rd: Manifestation is Capricorn’s keyword; the opposite in some ways of the previous sign combination, this sign focuses and commits itself, perhaps too quickly at times, due to a strong desire to figure life out and accomplish something.

If the Sagittarius North Node avoids placing all its eggs into one basket, Capricorn makes sure the basket is woven tightly before it carefully dyes each Easter egg, probably in that really complicated but pretty Russian wax method only a few dedicated souls are capable of producing.

Capricorn North Node has some wonderful inner qualities that can develop over time, and it will probably take most of his life to find them, accept them, and then capitalize on them, because Capricorn is not in any hurry to be wrong. Perfectionism has a downside, but the benefits to perfectionism, from the perspective of the North Node once it’s properly motivated and has found a goal worth working towards (which might not happen early in life; it can be quite awhile before this North Node discovers its path, let alone prepares all the gear and head off down the road) is that when he gets to his goal, he will have done it well.

“Well” for Capricorn North Node actually means “carefully,” and this is the Cancer South Node fear speaking. If anything slows down Capricorn, it’s Cancer’s fears. Fears are amorphous creatures, and they take on huge proportions in the mind of this combination. The 3/9 axis for Cancer/Capricorn slows down 9th house decision-making; the path that starts at home for Cancer might have been a little too comfortable, preventing Capricorn North Node in the 3rd from thinking for herself or speaking for herself.

Conversely, the early life experiences were far too uncomfortable, and that can lead to silence too, if the native doubts her mental skills. This is a good time to bring up the obvious about the 3rd and 9th houses, which has to do with how we express our thinking, logic, and various pieces of knowledge we learn through the course of a lifetime. These bits and pieces shape our thinking styles, but they also shape what we think about ourselves, so our values as we express them in the outside world are affected by these houses, but how we value ourselves is affected as well.

In these houses, the most subtle messages come down to, ‘you are intelligent’ or ‘you’re dumb,’ and we might well carry that basic message, picked up somewhere along the way, an entire lifetime. The problem then for Cancer South Node in the 9th is that he can’t always remember why he feels the way he does about his intelligence or beliefs, which are experienced as purely instinctive and therefore ‘pure’, as in, This is what my family believed, so it must be true.

The Cancer South Node in particular is inarticulate about why he feels the way he does about things in general; he learned to believe what he does about himself from how he was treated early in life. North Node in Capricorn’s job is to work with that subliminal knowledge as best he can and turn Cancerian subconscious material into something practical. That’s not an easy process, and it might involve detaching from the past and the family before it can happen at all.

This is made harder if you can’t let go of old family business, particularly relationship issues with your siblings, because if Susy was “the smart one,” where does that leave you? This is one of the most painful Nodal combinations for sibling relationships if the family was competitive and/or the parents compared the kids (and I don’t know of any perfect, perfectly accepting families, although I’m sure there are some out there, but no one writes to me when their life is perfect).

The thing to keep in mind is that a family is more than the sum of its parts; it’s really easy to slip into blaming either the mother or the father, but in fact, the beliefs we’re raised with are cultural and personal at the same time, and are much larger than one’s parents, both of whom support or resist cultural norms at any given time by agreeing with them, or questioning them. Most people exist somewhere on that continuum, more or less uncomfortably, in my experience.

Beliefs might be mutable and changeable over time, but it can take a crisis or revolution to pave the way for real change. Cardinal signs like Cancer and Capricorn are, perhaps surprisingly, capable of this kind of mutiny, usually long before everyone else has accepted that opinions must change. Capricorn North Node can be determined to break down old ways of belief and start over if the pressure of useless, outdated opinions become more than she or he can bear.

When reality, the one that North Node in Capricorn works so hard to create, starts to encroach upon traditional ways of belief, it’s surprising how often Capricorn will jettison old beliefs and challenge authority to maintain the structures he’s carefully built over time. The path for the North Node in Capricorn in the 3rd house will force this native to let go of old ways of thinking and believing before progress can be made toward its goals, but neither Cancer nor Capricorn willingly let go of tradition, duty, or family, and so this path is made more difficult when the family itself holds the native back by saying, doing, or believing things that make the Capricorn North Node question herself. My hope is that she fights back and doesn’t let any family negativity or prejudices ‘win.’

AquariuswoodcutAquarius North Node in the 3rd: Here we see a path which, ideally, is spent communicating some grand master plan that will help solve humanity’s ills. Aquarius North Node in combination with the 3rd broadcasts a message, not just to its ‘brothers’ within its immediate family, but to the ‘brotherhood of man,’ (which one can only hope includes women, children, the elderly, the infirm, etc., etc.).

Any house with Aquarius involved is going to ask the native to be involved (often unwillingly, at first) with the ‘masses’, in that Aquarius takes as its task in life the ‘greater good’ of the nameless, faceless masses as her concern. In the 3rd house, although at the lowest level, one would expect to see an Aquarian North Node busybody chatterbox gossip who thinks everybody’s business is her business, the highest level of involvement has to be trying to get the message out that the oceans are filled with churning piles of plastic crap, or that we’re destroying the environment with coal dust, or that small children are bought and sold each day in countries a lot of people can’t find on a map.

Aquarius takes as its task global concerns, when it’s not caught up in the daily round of 3rd house trivia (and this can be, sadly, a trivial house, concerned with the largely insignificant tasks of returning emails and phone calls). But, you know, we can’t get away with criticizing those connections, especially these days, when keeping in touch is of such heightened interest, particularly in an online world. The dark side of Aquarius, though, is, pure and simply, ego.

The regular, run of the mill Aquarius can be counted on to declare, absolutely unconsciously, somewhere in the time you know him, that he has “no ego,” as though that were possible. Everyone has an ego. Aquarius is literally no different from anyone, which they are otherwise happy to agree to, unless they’re being criticized, in which case everyone has an ego except them.

In this case, the 9th house South Node in Leo gets to carry that shadow. Look to see if the person has any planets either conjuncting or otherwise aspecting the South Node, because the South Node can function like a vortex of negative energy, which in this case is based on the complicated ego-needs of a puffed up Leo whose beliefs are often of a grand master plan involving his control, and your obedience.

Now, that’s the worst-case scenario; most of the time, none of this potential is out in the open, thank the maker, and you won’t ever know the secret 9th house grandiosity of the South Node rearing its ugly head on a bad day. But if you get ahold of a mogul-in-the-making, check out the state of the person’s 9th house, particularly when Leo’s involved, because it’s always possible that the things that ought to be happening in the 9th, like higher learning and having a larger life goal and philosophy, got warped or twisted a bit when the South Node has taken up residence.

The South Node in Leo has the potential to hold the Aquarius North Node back due to certain fantasies that won’t come true, particularly if the Leo South Node seeks acclaim for work he hasn’t accomplished or isn’t capable of. However, most of the time, the person is entirely ‘normal’ and just wants to get along with his fellow-man and call everyone he knows his ‘brother,’ because that’s what Aquarius North Node aspires to, being one with humanity.

To do that, he has to honestly care about humanity, so you’re going to have to check out the rest of the chart and see if caring about humanity is supported. If it is, North Node in Aquarius in the 3rd has the potential to be a humanitarian, a philanthropist, or perhaps even a politician who actually means it when she says she intends to make a change in the world, because Leo South Node in the 9th can be highly idealistic, noble, and sincere.

With Aquarius on the North Node, my hope is that this person is truly aware of that potential for the need to be an ‘entertainer’ inherent in this axis, and is control of it, rather than letting it control him. Otherwise, you’re likely to see a rather empty display of wit here with no particular substance to back it up, as Aquarius North Node tries again and again to gain acceptance from the small circle around him, hoping for the approval the South Node in Leo so desperately wants.

PisceswoodcutPisces North Node in the 3rd House: Where Pisces swims, the sounds of silence often follow. Pisces North Node here might indicate someone who prefers to stay silent, and with Virgo South Node, the lifetime skills stem from awareness of the importance of that which the Ancient Greeks called ‘kairos,’ the value of picking precisely the right moment in which to speak.

I was watching large tropical fish swim in an aquarium the other day. It never fails to amaze me how they synchronize their movements in a flash of communication; humans can observe their tails make the tiniest fragment of a twitch, but the fish themselves experience a huge change in their environment. This level of communication, I suspect, is what transpires at a subliminal level for North Node in Pisces.

Pisces North Node in the 3rd therefore communicates instinctively; the slightest flicker of a fin sends out ripples, but what happens for the recipient of this information? How to translate the Pisces’ most subtle intentions, especially when he himself wasn’t necessarily entirely aware he sent the message? Ah, the people who have been confused by the unconscious flicker of a tail … hearts are broken every day because of these tiny amorphous signals gone awry. 

Unless you’re paying close attention and are, perhaps, someone with Pisces planets (or perhaps the other water signs) you’re going to miss a lot that Pisces is trying to say, since words and language are a surface form of communication, and do not represent the domain where Pisces actually dwells. So you have Pisces’ attempts at communication here with the immediate ‘family’ surrounding him or her, but not all of these attempts will go smoothly, since it’s a rare person who’s going to put in the time to translate from Fish to Human.

The goal here is to learn how to communicate with Earth People, since Pisces North Node is in the process of learning how to speak less often to the Ether and more often to Humanity. And the cool thing about the 3rd house is that you get to practice on your siblings and those in your immediate surrounding, and there’s every likelihood that they will understand your subliminal messages, since they swim in your tank.

Conversely, it’s entirely possible Pisces North Node in the 3rd forms its primary relationships with animals, since animals send out vibrations, and communicate with a part of the brain that science has yet to come to terms with (let alone understand), but it’s one that Pisces has in common with dolphins, let’s say. Don’t be surprised if you come upon this person with his head pressed up against the glass at the downtown aquarium, communing with the aquatic life, since they speak the same language. 

This means that Pisces North Node is always in the process of learning how to communicate with people, and it may never be entirely achieved, and there’s nothing wrong with this. There’s room for everybody on Mother Earth and no one, no matter how grammar-challenged, has to be excluded. When you stop privileging textual communication (no matter how many letters you see here) you’ll realise there are thousands of ways to communicate.

I know this sounds obvious, but it’s not, because communication presupposes a common language, one that the people around you also speak, hence ‘communication’. Communication means sharing the same terminologies, beliefs, and, to a certain extent, values. Communication is therefore a cultural phenomenon. We don’t just make up our own way of communicating and expect to be understood, unless we have a strong Pisces component to our nature, that is, or we are swimming down the 3rd house North Node stream of consciousness.

I am not willing, by the way, to synthesize Neptune into this mental construction I’m creating; I try not to, too often, conflate planets with signs for a reason, and heres’s a good one—they behave differently when it comes to something like communication, for reasons I will, perhaps, go into one day when I take apart the planetary energies in the chart and dissect them. If I ever do.

So now perhaps you see the problem for the North Node in Pisces in the 3rd; how to live in the world and also communicate in such a way as to be understood without feeling slightly crazy all the time and/or making the people around you crazy all the time. The aphorism “s/he doesn’t speak your language” is never more true than for someone trying to interpret North Node in Pisces’ lingo, and so this Nodal position learns a form of Esperanto or sign language, which always feels weird for this position, leading to spiritual or psychic disconnections.

If I were this person, this experience would throw me back on my South Node, because if there’s one thing Virgo has, it’s a facility with the concreteness of language, the building blocks of thought and communication. South Node in Virgo takes the details, the concrete periods and colons and question marks and X marks the spot of written language in particular really seriously, most of the time, which is helpful when you want to communicate to the Mother Ship that you’re lost out here in space. So think of this particular South Node as a reaching back, more than a remembering or misusing of past energies, because honestly, without actively engaging with this South Node, why would this Fish bother to communicate at all? Life is very peaceful when spoken in ‘Blub’, the bubble form of Fish language.

If you are an artist, of course, language often presents problems, because language, as we think of it, with its rules and grammar and punctuation is virtually irrelevant. If you are a musician, the language you use does not rely on ‘words’, not the way most people think of them. If you are a mathematician, you’re better off learning the language of symbols. If you’re a philosopher, language is always a bit of a minefield anyway and if you’re an astrologer, I have found that language just confuses people and requires endless explaining. Consider language and communication from a broader perspective if you have a Pisces North Node; there are tons of ways of communicating. Not everything you say has to be in what we have been taught, conventionally, is a ‘language.’

Pisces North Node might very well spend its lifetime going through this rather complicated negotiation with what society demands, compared to what it prefers, which is wordless, and, to a large extent, formless and shapeless, communing with someone or something that probably can’t be seen. Spiritualists will do well here, as will anyone who basically refuses to give in to Grammar Nazis, but sadly, I suspect most people will break on the rocks of their South Node, which is conventional and has the upper hand, since in this day and age, the 9th house, unless it is encouraged in its spirituality, will be used to gain a higher education, which is where Virgo-type thinking excels. I don’t care if you don’t ever attain Virgo-like perfection, but part of me hopes the South Node won’t prevail, unless you want to be an architect instead of a mystic.

On the other hand, Joe DiMaggio had North Node in Pisces in the 3rd; some would argue, I suspect, that his truest communication was between hand, bat, and ball. This is the kind of instinctive, body wisdom type communication Pisces North Node wordlessly practices. If they can then also integrate the detailed consciousness of their South Node, they’ll be able to hit the ball out of the park every time—metaphorically-speaking, that is.

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10 thoughts on “Analysis of the 3rd House/9th House Nodal Axis Through the Signs”

  1. Alison,
    Thank you for your thorough, smart, and well researched blog. I just stumbled on you today and am thrilled!

    Of all the houses, the third is hardest for me to understand (understandably – as I have Taurus in 3rd). There is a familial pattern with 3rd/9th axis that runs in my family and extended. I have an empty northern hemisphere myself so I cant easily relate possibly.

    I found your your article on the third house nodal axis as Ive been looking for answers to a certain placement- Gemini North Node conjunct Uranus. This generation is still alive and though Ive seen some interesting thoughts, I havent found corroboration for how this particular chart’s placement is presenting itself which seems, to me at least, completely opposite of the majority thoughts on NN Gemini and especially the Uranus conjunct.

    1. I think a lot depends on the house. Donald Trump has Gemini North Node conjunct Uranus in the 10th, which I covered in the 10th house NN post. Basically, the purpose of the life, or the life’s direction (very broadly stated) is “about” the planet that’s in conjunction with the North Node. Now, not everyone lives that out, so it’s not always possible or even desirable for the person to live out their North Node; some people are “stuck” (sometimes quite happily) in their South Node, for a lot of reasons (which usually boil down to the fact that the South Node is, in some way, aspected more heavily than the North).

      So the “purpose” of the North Node/Uranus conjunction is to disrupt, change the paradigm, cause people to think new thoughts, take us in a new direction. The sign that you find involved will tell you at least a little of how that disruption or new direction is enacted. Here is the page where, if you scroll down, you can see what I wrote about Gemini NN/Uranus (look at Trump’s chart).

      Thanks for reading!

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. I agree, so many sites just ignore certain houses or signs, which is one of the reasons I wanted to get into detail in these interpretations. I’m glad you found something of use.

  2. Hey Alison,

    Unending praise be upon you for this blog. I’ve commented before on your 1st house page and it was very kind of you to reply.

    I’m part of that ‘88-90 super-conjunction of Saturn-Neptune-Uranus in Capricorn, who happened to get a few other planets in Capricorn, leading to one of those lovely Capricorn stelliums. When I’d previously comment I apparently had my birth time off by an hour (oops), but have since verified the exact time via birth certificate. Obviously this doesn’t change much, but it changed enough.

    Specifically in this case, my N.Node from near the cusp of the 2/8 axis to firmly in the 3rd/9th axis. The North Node is also Conjunct the Moon in Pisces, meaning S.Node Virgo (nice fit for a Sag. Rising)

    The reason I’m writing / what I’d like to ask about is utilizing the stellium energy in the 3rd/9th Nodal Axis.

    If my understanding of stellium’s is correct, one of the most important things in understanding and working with them is looking for any proper aspects formed with other planets. The importance being stelliums, and conjunctions in general, are not “proper aspects” if we take aspect to mean “to behold, to look at,” since they lack the proper distance to do such. Thus the blending of their energies is unconscious, and they become more of a “weight” showing the impact a person might have due to the strength of presence, but it does not imply purpose or directed act. Just the act of being and its effect on the environment. Interesting when you’ve got one in the first house then, almost a natural fit.

    So you have to look at what the stellium CAN see, especially the planetary ruler if involved, in this case Saturn.

    Well the only planet which my Saturn aspects is my 3rd House Pisces Moon, (which means he’s obviously sexiled to the N.Nod too), with the 3rd House cusped by Aquarius, and Uranus only trines Mars, cusping the 4th/5th, in Aries. Now, as you said, the 3rd house is an “Angular” house, which “traditional astrology interprets any planet or angle that doesn’t receive “light” from the Ascendent as weakened or diminished in overall strength in the chart.” But what happens when the planetary ruler of a stellium finds their only “outlet” in a planet / node in a “diminished” house? And when that Stellium is in the 1st Cardinal house. Would not a lot of that energy be transferred to that specific planet? What effects might that be when that includes the North Node?

    It’s funny though, I’ve just recently started my Saturn Return, and I’ve been having so much trouble finding a PhD program that would fit my research interests (literally years). Well recently I decided I’d like to stay in the city I’ve been in the past few years and started looking at a few of the local universities I hadn’t before…and there it was (short trips). The perfect program. I’m working on setting up a meeting with one of the professors to talk in a week or two, and I’m interested in studying the phenomenon of, what I call, Contemporary Western Shamanism. It feels like the perfect blend of Virgo 9th, Pisces 3rd, and the crazy, delusional, revolutionary, and strict energies all bound up in the stellium. I don’t know how to be mystic in this secular world, and my craving for a respect and adoration extends only so far as the podium at the front of the classroom. But I would love to help dissolve this illusion we’ve built that seems to suggest mystics and saints can’t exist in that secular world.

    I am feeling a lot more confident on my path since last I wrote 🙂

    Finally, since I previously mentioned idea of the stellium (in this case 1st) showing “the act of being and its effect on the environment,” along with the idea of 3rd House Pisces N.Node and “subtle communication”, but let’s also combined those idea with Chiron in the 7th House, suggesting the native to be aware of the effect they have on others, since it can often be powerful, while the native remains unaware.

    Sorry for the rambling!!! And again, you’ve got one of the best Astrology Blogs out there! Thank you so much 🙂

    1. I think the hardest thing to accept about doctoral programs for those of us who are idealistic and have divergent interests is that academia is not the easiest place to pursue multidimensional goals. For example, I gave up my “other” world entirely when I went into academia (I have a 9th house NN in Libra) and put that part of me on hold until I was finished with my program.

      If you can find a program that allows you (and I do mean “allows”) to pursue multiple disciplines (usually an interdisciplinary program) you might be able to cobble together some kind of program that is acceptable to both you and your various committees, who are there to ensure that you learn the fundamentals of your various disciplines. You could possibly do something in Anthropology. I don’t know what your school of choice offers. The problem is always finding a program that actually teaches classes in the subjects that interest you, and/or getting permission to go off the usually very narrow and rigid path academia has created for itself. It is not, in my experience, a place where the truly creative do well, because creativity and academia are almost polar opposites in terms of skills and ways of thinking. Whereas creativity requires you to open your mind to all that is possible, and try new things, academia rewards what I consider old-think, which is how to think within the box they designed, color in the lines, etc. I remember getting an email from the chair of my department once (addressed to me only, not a group email) about how the word “a lot” is two separate words, not “alot,” which was how I had used it in a paper (an unfortunate typo on my part, but in academia, even the simplest typo is not usually overlooked if your professors know better and can prove it). Also, I was probably a pain in the ass and making it harder for me was their favorite way of dealing with me.

      But I digress.

      Basically, you need to be lucky enough to find a program run by people who understand what you’re aiming at, what your goals are. You can explain it to them carefully and get your various advisers on board with your goals. You can try to convince them that what you want to explore has relevance and is something they can actually see themselves assisting you with. But it was my experience back when I got my doctorate that academics only know what they know; they cannot see into the future and understand what your goals are and how someday they will be relevant. It’s your job to find a department that contains at least one person who will take you under their wing, because that person will then be on the line to explain your proposals to your committees (you have more than one over the course of your degree).

      Good luck! I think the Capricorn stellium cohort, which is pretty big, in terms of numbers, is here to find out that most goals require hard work. I have found that your stellium group is fairly resistant to the idea that hard work is much harder than they ever thought. I am not entirely sure why this group in particular has so much trouble with it, except to think that maybe you guys somehow got the idea that there is such a thing as an overnight success? I don’t know. My daughter has this stellium, plus the Moon in Capricorn, and it has taken her until recently to let go of her childhood beliefs about life and move into her adulthood. Maybe that’s part of the shadow of Cancer, I don’t know.

  3. oh boy. I guess I have it tougher with nodal axis 3rd/9th house, Virgo/Pisces as I’m a stellium Pisces with Sun and Jupiter conjunct South Node. Make so much sense with the existential thing, still haven’t figured out what to do with my life, but I haven’t gone thro my Uranus yet so

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