Analysis of the 10th house/4th house nodal axis through the signs

 

Dragon mountain
This dragon’s goals are not easily reached; he climbs one mountain, only to find there’s another, taller one in the far distance.

If fame,  recognition, and worldly attainment were the sole purpose of the 10th house, you’d expect every well-known person to have planets or points there, but that’s far from the truth.

Many well-known people have no planets in the 10th, and many people you’ve never heard of (who are or were, nonetheless, influential) were born with 10th house planets and/or points of interest.

This on its own should tell you that there’s something else going on with the 10th house; it cannot be ‘about’ being famous. Just because you’re born with Sun and Jupiter conjunct in the 10th, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean you will become famous, but it is extremely unlikely you will go unnoticed, and I shall tell you why.

For one thing, the 10th house creates situations which compel you to do more, to attain, to strive for something, and showing up for your life is half the battle. The adage that success is made up of 90% preparation, 10% perspiration partially explains how the 10th house works.

I say ‘partially’ because preparation requires many qualities, not the least of which is foresight, which is a crucial skill for real success; another is patience. This is where what I shall call the ‘metaphor of Enki’ comes in, because he is a useful role model for the circumstances of the 10th house experience.

Although I resist the idea that you can define character through a house, the Nodal axis falling in the 10th (which nowadays coincides with the Midheaven or Medium Coeli—it wasn’t always so, of course) and the 4th (the Imum Coeli) pulls you back and forth between the dichotomies of home and the career world.

These are the ‘spheres’ that the 10th/4th houses deal with, and where I expect to find all the various activities for people with this nodal axis. In other words, the 10th house isn’t only about attainment in the outside world; it also involves larger issues about the family and how one appears to the outside world (largely due to the elevation of the Midheaven, and its role in shaping one’s reputation and how you appear to others, whether they know the “real you” or not).

So, the 10th house is necessarily associated with appearances and your social life, but also involves your status in the community, your role as a leader of that community (or the larger world’s stage, depending on how much influence you are able to command). Whether you like it or not, the nodal axis here might compel you to take on a role of authority, or be seen as an authority figure of some kind. 

Because it’s the 10th house, which is influenced by Saturn and Capricorn, it’s hard to get away from mommy/daddy issues. As I’ve said before, I do not ascribe a specific parent to either house. Parents usually seem to function for us as a dyad; if you’ve got a problem with one parent, it’s largely because the other parent was, in some way, either absent or excessively, annoyingly, present.

For those who weren’t overwhelmed by their early childhood experience with said parents, this nodal axis can be the source of a lot of comfort and ability. For many people, though, the 10th is a house of attainment and striving largely as a way of compensating for 4th house damage (which is not always obvious until you begin to question why the 10th house person needs to work so hard).

In the worst circumstances, the South Node here is haunted by a feeling of lack so deep he can’t express it, because if you didn’t get something you needed in childhood, nothing you do in adulthood can replace it or fill up the sense of emptiness. If there’s something missing, North Node in the 10th will strive very hard to replace it, not necessarily knowing what it is he’s looking for (although it’s probably the kind of approval that comes automatically with some parents, but not always).

For this person, the 10th house world becomes his surrogate ‘family’, but the influence of earth on certain people makes them tone-deaf to emotion, unable to hear when their efforts at approval fail. Relationships with the parents are incredibly important for this nodal axis, and must be looked at as the beginning of the need for accomplishment.

Depending on the sign on the North Node, the skill-set it indicates will show you how the native functions when people are watching. The South Node will tell you a lot about how he actually feels, though. Never underestimate the push to be in the spotlight with this North Node, the inner tug the native feels towards the farthest reaches in the Land of Accomplishment.

However, the South Node has its own story to tell. The South Node in the 4th house is the real ‘driver’ of the lifetime, existing beneath consciousness, in the place we have the least control over. This means that the 4th house South Node runs the native; no matter how impressive s/he seems on the surface, no matter how much in control or authoritative, something in the native always feels a bit like s/he needs to be taken care of.

Quite honestly, I would very much like to be like Enki, and anyone with 10th house planets should also find this image appealing. Enki’s strength lay in his ability to provide (fish—aka ‘dinner’—swirled at his feet). He was a lusty god, and there’s never anything wrong with that, as long as you don’t aggress at the unwilling. But if you are the ‘master shaper of the world,’ you’re going to feel entitled to behave in ways that mere mortals might find objectionable.

He had flaws, of course; the gods always do. He could be mischievous—a trickster, if you will. He sometimes succumbed to temptation, and was therefore a seducer. I do think, however, that his innate wisdom counterbalances most of the negatives.

From my perspective, the point of the 10th house North Node is to learn a certain kind of wisdom; it’s the wisdom the upright King of Cups displays, for example, an innate emotional intelligence brought to you by the emotive understanding swimming through the 4th house.

The condition of the 4th house South Node can tell you a great deal about the person’s childhood. Some people with the nodal axis here had a great childhood, the kind of childhood that feeds their future, and often directly, or indirectly contributes to their 10th house worldly success later in life.

The 4th house South Node, particularly if it aspects or conjuncts another 4th house planet, tells us what the early family life gives the individual. This giving, or ‘gift’, might be of a material nature, but it might also be psychological or spiritual in nature. The emotional environment surrounding the child can be seen by the sign on the 4th house cusp, but also by the aspects to any points or planets falling in the 4th, particularly the nodal axis.

When these two work in tandem, someone who becomes a provider to his immediate family—or to the world—is possible. When there are innate flaws—if something in the 4th house, affecting the South Node, is just not right, or the 10th house North Node aspires to more than he can realistically attain, overcoming personal limitations will be necessary, otherwise the individual will be absorbed by deep issues that might come to seem beyond control.

How Saturn (ruler of Capricorn and ‘natural’ overseer of the 10th house) is posited affects the outcome here. The energy of Saturn, which works slowly and methodically, often preventing attainment if the details haven’t been worked out or the groundwork done, may frustrate the aspirations of North Node 10th house people, but that doesn’t mean her aspirations won’t come true. In response to restrictions, slow-downs, and failure, she will feel the need to work harder, but the greatest likelihood is that she needs to learn the wisdom of working smarter.

There seem to be two different life story arcs in this nodal axis; one leads to success, the other leads somewhere much less happy. The one that almost always leads to success is the one where the parents support the child and his lifetime is relatively clear of boulders, and so he is free to develop his skills. This is what happened for many of the people in this nodal axis.

This North Node has the potential to recreate reality, to manifest something truly magical in this lifetime. I think humans entirely underestimate the simple magic of everyday material reality, inscribing ‘magic’ only to the supernatural, to that which cannot be explained, when in fact, it’s an amazing thing to have the power to create something new, or to create change, for one’s self, and/or others. 

ArieswoodcutAries North Node in the 10th House: I doubt it’s a coincidence that virtually every Aries North Node I’ve looked at is described as some kind of pioneer.

There are people I’ve never heard of who turn out to be some of the most influential people in history, and I think it is influence, rather than ‘star status,’ we should look at first when we analyze the purpose of the 10th house North Node. To influence others is the key here. Star quality is provided by other sources, because the 10th house on its own can’t guarantee you’ll be a star; and fame (or infamy) is a product of being on display, as the 10th house must be, located as it is at the top of the chart.

One of the most influential people I never heard of is Jean-Baptiste Dumas, known as the founder of organic chemistry. He worked his way up from humble beginnings as an apprentice to an apothecary, and, after attaining an education, went on to do original research with his mentor, ultimately creating what is now known as the Dumas method (which assesses the amount of nitrogen in chemical substances).

It’s pretty cool having something you thought of or discovered named after you, in my opinion.

I find it helps if the ruler of the sign on the North Node actually conjuncts the North Node; it seems to push the native to accomplishment (or to action in general). In this case, Mars in Aries conjuncts Dumas’ North Node in Aries, but importantly for his role in the sciences (especially so if you’re an inventor or think outside the box in general) is that Uranus forms an inconjunction to North Node/Mars.

This combination would push the native even more to venture farther with his experiments, particularly Uranus in Virgo, a combination that makes one think, test, and try again. Plus, Capricorn is on the cusp of the 6th house, augmenting his ability to work hard. Attention to detail, ability to work hard, and persistence, all help North Node in the 10th attain its goals.

In many ways, even though the Nodal axis squares the Sun in his chart, indicating many missteps and some turns of fate along the way, the chart personifies the kind of step-by-step work this Nodal axis requires if it’s going to succeed. In fact, Dumas started small, but with Saturn in the 1st house, kept climbing his mountain, one step at a time, ultimately being known as a revolutionary in science.

For example, when he first arrived in Paris, there were no laboratories (!) and so he petitioned the state to install laboratories at the Faculté des Sciences, having experienced the rewards of learning first-hand.  Dumas most famously influenced Louis Pasteur, who attended his professor’s lectures at the Sorbonne.

When you combine Aries North Node with the 10th house, I would be very surprised to see someone wander through life with no goals, but I suppose it’s possible. The South Node would have to dominate, though, and Venus, ruler of Libra, would have to be indolent and desirous of nothing more than having someone peel her grapes and run her bath.

Aries North Node is almost always striving towards some goal or other, with the energy of ten, pure of heart, with a strong back to lift the load up the mountain on his own. This combination makes for someone who is determined to succeed, at all costs. I cannot imagine it any other way, so if you have an example of someone who doesn’t fit this paradigm, let me know.

TauruswoodcutTaurus North Node in the 10th house:  Many (and I mean a lot) of monarchs or royalty are born with planets (and/or node) in the 10th. There are so many, I try not to over-rely on them; they’re almost too easy to point to, and say, See? Here’s someone born in the limelight of the 10th house, it must be fate. What’s important to me is what people make of their lives, not that they are born with a celestial silver star in their mouths.

The condition of the North Node’s ruler is crucial to see how the potential of the lifetime is expressed. For Taurus North Node, with Venus as its ruler, the native has the potential to live out all the sybaritic qualities of Enki—seducer, lover, fertility god/dess.

However, s/he also has the ability to be a life-giver in many different ways, since fertility is as much a physical reality as a mental concept. To create using the hands, body, or mind—to be a maker—this is Enki’s gift to the 10th house North Node.

Since I see this combination as potentially the most powerful creator in the material realm (Earth/Earth, 10th house angular strength) this person has the ability to create actual change. To be born as a ruler, for example, is to have access to real power, material power, the kind that changes people’s real lives.

Not enough people seem to use this power for good. Many just carry on doing what tradition (a 10/4 axis concern) demands of them; these are not creators, they are the ‘middle-men’ of history, those condemned to perpetuate the past, primarily to keep up appearances and maintain the status quo. These are all potential negatives of combining fixed earth with fixed water.

Scorpio on the South Node can give you a strong desire for reform; it’s unusual to find someone with a Scorpio South Node who is willing to just let things be. On the smaller scale, Scorpio South Node in the 4th wants reform in the family, possibly wresting control from one or both of his parents to enact the kind of change he thinks is important.

Power struggles are not uncommon for Scorpio, but if he’s going to accomplish his goals in this lifetime, he’s going to have to make some version of peace with his family-of-origin. The feeling of power is more seductive and real in this situation than the actual power available to the North Node, though; it’s easy to be distracted by a desire for power, and ignore the real power you actually possess (or give away to someone you think has power, only to find they’re merely mortal).

One of the many monarchs with something important posited in the 10th—in this case, North Node conjunct Sun—was Czar Alexander II of Russia, known for the emancipation of the serfs. I attribute the egalitarian nature of this decision to the ruler of the North Node posited in the 11th; but also Jupiter in Capricorn, posited in the 6th, is in trine to Sun/North Node/Venus.

A trine from the 10th to the 6th is an interesting trine to have if you’re an emperor; it means your decisions will have a profound effect on ‘your’ people, for one thing. With Sun conjunct North Node in the 10th, he could have simply sat on his wealth and continued the legacy of what he’d been given; instead, many planets in his chart combined to make him a social reformer. He was assassinated, one of the negative consequences of planets in the 10th.

GeminiwoodcutGemini North Node in the 10th house: Enki shares some characteristics with Hermes/Mercury, ruler of Gemini. Like Hermes, Enki was a messenger, able to traverse both mortal and immortal realms. Similar to Hermes, Enki’s logos, the power of his intellect, knowledge, and wisdom expressed through written or spoken language, is akin to a magic spell.

One of Enki’s primary skills is the power of delegation and organization, an appropriate combination for the 10th house. The 10th house seems to test the worth of the native’s ability to take on the role of authority figure, and Gemini North Node is not necessarily ready for this challenge.

The South Node might get this North Node in trouble, but the call to take on a role of authority the individual is not prepared for, or lacks a childhood role model for, is strong. There’s a desire to prove yourself to the outside world with North Node in the 10th, but South Node in Sagittarius in the 4th means that you might not have been surrounded by the kind of emotional support you needed.

Parents might have been constantly traveling, or required you to be cheerful at all times, or somehow encouraged you to play when you should have been learning. The parents might not have played by society’s rules, or broken social rules in some way. They might have been socially inappropriate or iconoclastic (Sagittarius has that potential). They might not have provided the child with necessities, but with extravagances. This can be a very cool childhood, but it doesn’t necessarily teach adult responsibility, which 10th house North Node craves.

Gemini is charming, witty, capable of twisting words to suit his needs. She formulates puzzles, and is endlessly clever. These verbal skills seem to convince others that s/he is somehow coping with the difficulties inherent in being an authority figure, but the combination of the 10th house with Gemini North Node strains this sign, unless the South Node is well supported, or there’s support in the rest of the chart (more earth would help).

A diverse group of abilities is represented by Gemini North Node in the 10th house, but all seem to have an ability with language, or self-expression, in common. I typically find Gemini North Node involved in writing, publishing, or in some way, communicating a message of importance. In the 10th house, the ability with language usually puts the person on the ‘world’ stage, rather than on ‘the’ stage, as you see in the 5th house (or with Leo/Aquarius nodes).

What is the ‘world stage’, precisely? How does the world’s limelight differ from the world of theatre, especially since they share so many facets—attention from an audience, bright lights, expectation of some kind of entertainment, applause, and, most intoxicating of all, praise?

My answer is that the world’s stage is made up of a truly diverse audience, and that fact alone causes a lot of problems, since not everyone is going to understand your message. Sagittarius South Node might help the North Node with wisdom, but it’s just as likely that this particular South Node would like very much to evade his or her responsibilities, and mostly pretends to support the North Node’s desire to be an authority figure.

There are those who have ‘authority figure’ thrust upon them, too. For example, Dame Agatha Christie, whose chart supports her talents as a writer, eventually grew into her (demanding) role as a public figure, but she was initially extremely uncomfortable with the limelight (Virgo Ascendent, Saturn and Sun in Virgo in the 1st house).

Her North Node is joined by (but not conjunct) Neptune and Pluto, both retrograde, in the 10th. Mercury, ruler of the North Node, in Libra, with dispositor Venus (ruler of Libra) in the 3rd. It does seem completely likely that she enjoyed writing, which Venus in the 3rd implies.

It’s not as evident that she enjoyed being a public figure, although millions of people love her writing. Jupiter trines Neptune/Pluto in the 10th, augmenting the South Node’s ‘gift’ of publicity, largesse, and popularity. Pluto in the 10th (even if it’s retrograde, which doesn’t always matter to some astrologers) implies a powerful, sometimes frightening or scary reputation.

Neptune in the 10th seems to add to the amount people project onto the person in question, but both Pluto and Neptune in the 10th tell you that this was always going to be a person with a powerful public persona, in spite of her innate Virgo and Saturn in the 1st shyness.

Her South Node falls within 6˚ of conjunction with Mars, which I find interesting, given the violent nature of murder mysteries. Since Mars conjunct the South Node appears in women’s charts and evinces in the lifetime mostly through some kind of projection (most women are not necessarily comfortable with, or socialized, to express raw aggression) it’s not entirely surprising many of the victims of her murder mysteries were killed by poison (poison having been associated with women murderers for millennia).

Then we have one of the current presidential candidates, Donald Trump, whose powerful Nodal axis is on display in the press every day right now. How often does the North Node pull us into roles we’re not necessarily qualified for, I wonder? The North Node here is conjunct both Sun and Uranus. South Node in the 4th conjuncts the Moon in Sagittarius (both of which are conjunct the Arabic Part (or Lot) of ‘Fame’).

Trump’s legacy is one of having inherited the family business, a family that made its money in real estate investments. This reality shows up in the 4th house, where the Part of real estate investment (yes, there is such a thing) falls at 8 degrees Sagittarius (interestingly, conjunct Lilith). In addition, his Part of real estate falls in the 5th, in opposition to natal Venus in the 11th.

Moon in opposition to Uranus is not a stable aspect, but more than that, Moon conjunct the South Node speaks to the Moon’s vulnerability when in opposition to Uranus. A Sun/Moon opposition on its own says that the person sways back and forth between one way of being in the world and another.

For some, this opposition is a serious indication of ambivalence, where there is a total separation between unconscious emotions and conscious intentions, actions, and beliefs. The opposition between the 10th house Sun and the 4th house Moon means that the public persona very much covers over who this person really is, since it’s a rare person who has learned how to balance out these opposite energies. Usually one side or the other of an opposition is projected, until the individual learns how to take responsibility for his bifurcated way of being in the world.

The Moon is known for hiding, but possibly never more than in the 4th, where she is very vulnerable. How could Moon in Sagittarius be considered vulnerable, you’re wondering, when it’s not only a masculine, but also a very outgoing, extroverted sign? Fire sign moons are actually extremely vulnerable; the emotional moon doesn’t necessarily do well in a masculine sign, so the Moon is buried when in the 4th, denied, or projected.

Authenticity is sacrificed. The native over-relies on cleverness, extroversion, and bluster to convince you that he has no personal weaknesses. He would never admit that he’s afraid of anything, when it’s likely that something (or more likely, someone) runs him emotionally.

Jupiter in Libra in the 2nd (ruler of the South Node) is square Cancer Mercury, ruler of the North Node, in the 11th. Therefore, the rulers of the Nodes are not helping Trump; in fact, squares between Jupiter and Mercury tend to augment boastfulness and arrogance. Language is misused, over-relied on, as a way ‘out’ of any problems.

As of this blog entry, transiting Jupiter is over Trump’s Sun, but transiting Saturn has entered his natal 4th house, which will probably prove extremely uncomfortable for him, as increasing scrutiny is placed on his private life. I don’t think his day on the political stage is quite over, but it’s still a long time until 2016’s election. It would surprise me if he’s able to modify the Jupiter-Mercury excesses sufficiently to make use of the Sun/Uranus ‘reformer’ energy his chart promises.

Trump has some of Enki’s abilities, you know. He’s a good delegator and presumably a good organizer. He’s created jobs, he’s built worlds; he might as well be a god, he has so much power in the material world. Nonetheless, the rulers of the Nodal axis are not supportive; Mercury is not only square Jupiter, it’s also square Neptune, which means that he isn’t likely to be entirely truthful. I wouldn’t mind this aspect in a writer; it could make him inventive and fanciful. It worries me in a world leader, however.

His inner world, which I think he thinks makes him more interesting, just makes him unreliable. His way of speaking is emotive and colorful, rather than analytical and accurate, his imprecision making him hard to take seriously. Even so, he provides excellent entertainment value, and with Moon in Sagittarius, I’m pretty sure he thinks that’s a good thing.

Michel Gauquelin, controversial researcher into the “Mars affect” of astrology, also had Moon in Sagittarius conjunct South Node. Ruler of the North Node, Mercury, is in Scorpio, on the Imum Coeli. Jupiter, ruler of the South Node in Sagittarius, falls in the 10th house (not conjunct the North Node) and conjunct the Midheaven/MC.

The two planets are in exact opposition, so the rulers of the nodal axis are in serious stress, since angular points (or planets) get extra emphasis in the natal chart. Unfortunately, this fact alone minimizes the potential positive effect of Jupiter at the Midheaven.

Being well-known doesn’t necessarily bring happiness, since the poor man committed suicide later in life (although I’d tend to look more to his Venus/Saturn conjunction in the 5th for the kind of unhappiness that might lead to depression, but not necessarily suicide—that’s much more complicated to assess, and involves many factors, including transits and progressions).

cancerwoodcutCancer North Node in the 10th house: This combination has the potential to express the watery ‘tail’ of the Capricorn-influence. He also has the potential for most, if not all, of the best qualities available to this nodal axis, as long as the South Node grows up in a supportive emotional climate.

This South Node needs welcoming acceptance of her skills, aims, and goals to thrive. In the wrong environment, the kind with a parent/child mismatch, where the parent imposes too much of his or her own goals on the child, you can expect a lot of problems to occur in later life. Under the best circumstances, Capricorn South Node comes into life with the ability to create entire new ways of doing something, as long as he’s allowed to consider himself a creative person in the first place.

This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with traditional ways to think about creativity. Capricorn’s creativity is usually either completely expected (in that everyone in the family does it, so why shouldn’t he do it too?) or completely unexpected (what do you mean you want to be the best physical engineer on Mars?!).

To be honest, Capricorn on the South Node is a little easier than Cancer, primarily because when you deal with Cancer South Node, as with the other two water signs, you could easily be opening up a large box of suppressed emotions formed early in life. There could so easily be a lot of blame to go around for this kid, who often seems to have issues around being overly-willing to take on an authoritative role, to such an extent she grows up (or thinks she’s grown up) far too early, long before she actually has much life experience.

My experience so far is that with Capricorn South Node in the 4th, the mother looks like the obvious boogey-person, haunting the child’s dreams and taunting her when she’s awake, but the father is by no means let off the hook. It’s just that if the father lives his life out in the “real” world, Capricorn South Node tends to devalue the home-life, which means this Nodal axis might very well devalue the feminine, the instinctual, or the need for expression of emotions at all.

What you end up with is a workaholic, running from family responsibilities which seem far too onerous, a Capricorn projection unless the family really is dysfunctional. Not all families are, but Capricorn South Node finds that hard to believe, and doubts the worth of the family, a doubt she seems to base on innate, or possibly learned, social prejudices. The Cancer/Capricorn nodal axis is not the easiest to live with for these reasons.

Musician Cab Calloway’s parents pretty much sum up the dichotomy of the nodal axis, even though, as a unit, they provided their Capricorn child exactly the kind of supportive atmosphere he needed to become a musical success. Both of his parents encouraged his musical education, although they wished he’d follow a more traditional path and become a lawyer like his father (a 10/4 axis theme, to follow in the parents’ footsteps).

Cab Calloway’s chart puts Uranus on the South Node (a rather unusual combination; I haven’t seen many of those). This, combined with Sun and Venus in the 4th, implies that his childhood environment had unusual overtones. It isn’t just that his parents encouraged his musical talents up to a point; when he turned from classical music to jazz, they became much less understanding—note the change of attitude when adherence to the traditional changed, and their son’s embrace of the modern, and unknown, became a ‘problem’. It’s also that he left school to pursue his dreams, abandoning his family’s upper-middle class expectations for his future profession.

With Neptune retrograde conjunct the North Node, in opposition to Uranus conjunct the South Node, the North Node tug towards his Neptunian artistic, musical abilities changed his life. Uranus on the South Node already disengages relatively easily from family expectations, even with a small stellium in the 4th (but his Sun was widely conjunct Uranus/Node, so he already identified with reformist tendencies). Family influence is enormous with this nodal axis, but that doesn’t mean the individual is willing to live in their shadow.

LeowoodcutLeo North Node in the 10th house: Leo with the 10th house seems like it ‘ought’ to be an obvious combination for success. I think much depends on what we mean by ‘success’, but for most people, success equals some kind of reward, adulation, or praise, in response to their accomplishment or efforts.

These rewards take different forms, but Leo North Node will pull the individual toward a desire for obvious forms of recognition. He’s not going to moulder away in some closeted boring job where no one tells him how wonderful he is. Because it’s the 10th, a house of material wealth, it’s likely the goal will include some form of material recompense, but with Aquarius on the South Node, the ethos is less concerned with material outcomes, more concerned with a higher, even spiritual, purpose. 

Aquarius on the South Node in the 4th gives the likelihood of an interesting (to say the least) early homelife. The child is raised in such a way that taking care of others (even complete strangers) is the ‘gift’ the family gives to the child, who ultimately bases his or her worldly attainment on Aquarius/people skills learned early in life. The family is made up of givers, volunteers, and those who are in touch with the idea that one person can make a huge difference to enact global change.

The other alternative with South Node Aquarius is that the family adheres to societal rules (if Saturn dominates in the chart); if Uranus is stronger, then the South Node could represent that one weird family that doesn’t really ‘belong’ in the cul-de-sac, the ones who leave Halloween decorations up all year.

President Jimmy Carter came from a farming family that made its way through the Depression relatively unscathed; but even so, Carter has been the only U. S. President who ever lived in subsidized public housing. I have to imagine his early life experiences make him uniquely aware of the plight of the poor, which has, no doubt, fueled the work he has dedicated himself to over the course of his life, winning the Nobel Peace Prize and attaining some of the highest pinnacles of success you can reach in the material world.  

He has an intriguing combination of conjunctions to his Nodal axis. Neptune and Venus conjunct the North Node, while Mars conjuncts the South. This puts Neptune and Venus in opposition to Mars, of course. Ordinarily, these could be very tricky aspects from a psychological perspective; Neptune doesn’t usually do well in opposition to Mars, although a Venus/Mars opposition isn’t necessarily the worst aspect to have.

Venus conjunct Neptune can be a highly spiritual combination (it can also indicate a dreamer, or an unreliable, but artistic sybarite, especially in opposition to Mars). This combination is capable of quite wonderful, emotionally moving music, composition, painting, dance, or otherwise artistic expression. In the 10th, though, it brings a specific kind of materiality to the expression.

Someone with Saturn on the Ascendent, though, isn’t likely to allow himself full expression of the more ‘romantic’ nature of these planets. An older man raised in Jimmy Carter’s generation would use his imagination and creativity to build something concrete, although I’m sure some romanticism slips through from time to time.

Any negativity associated with Mars is lessened both by the sign it’s in, Aquarius, which transforms the way anger and aggression are expressed into something more ‘rational,’ less overtly raw and immediate. Plus, Jimmy’s Mars is not compromised by negative aspects. Except for the opposition to Venus, Mars makes positive aspects. Mars in Aquarius is motivated by a need to “do-good” for others; this combination thinks of others first, and is, like Libra Sun and Ascendent, compelled by a need to see social justice enacted. 

I think a lot of his deeper spiritual principles, particularly the fact that he’s dedicated so much of his life to helping others, stems from the Water grand trine, involving the Moon, Uranus, and Pluto, falling in the 1st, 5th, and 9th Fire houses.

The often selfless, ‘larger picture’ purpose of his life, though, can be seen in the conjunction of the ruler of the chart, Venus, with the North Node and Neptune (this combination is echoed in the Neptune-influenced 12th house Sun in Libra, ruled by Venus). When you see this kind of theme in a chart, it reinforces the message of the chart, it seems to me. 

The difference in strength between the rulers of the North Node and the South are interesting, since the Sun is technically weakened by virtue of its location in the cadent 12th, and its few aspects. The Sun does not aspect either Saturn or Uranus. Saturn and Uranus (co-rulers of Aquarius) are fairly equally balanced in terms of power or strength in this chart.

Saturn (ruler of the 10th house) is close to the Ascendent in the 1st house and therefore angular, and Uranus is involved in the Water grand trine. In some charts (and this is one) it’s as though some planets and houses pick up the slack of the others, balancing out the bits and pieces, forming a greater whole than the bits and pieces would otherwise indicate.

However, I would be amiss if I didn’t emphasize how much work Jimmy Carter’s life has required to reach the various pinnacles he attained. He personifies many of Enki’s skills; he is a creator, a builder, and a peace-maker. I suspect that Leo planets in the 10th bring with them both nobility and energy. In addition, Pluto elevated in the 9th house involved in the grand trine in Fire houses gives the chart extra energy and social power that it would not necessarily otherwise have.

VirgowoodcutVirgo North Node in the 10th house: The more charts I analyze, the more I find that planets in aspect to the nodal axis, particularly those conjunct the nodes, are crucial in determining how the course of the person’s life works out.

This isn’t to say that a node on its own can’t tell us quite a bit; it’s just that the story is so much more complex (and interesting) when the nodes are heavily aspected.

Of greatest interest is when one of the nodes is aspected by its ruler, because that combination seems to add energy and emphasis to the direction the life will take. With Virgo on the North Node, and Mercury as its ruler, it’s not surprising to find the native is good at certain analytical or intellectual, cognitive, skills.

However, since it’s the 10th house, one must also do something with those skills, translate them into a material object or product of some kind. It isn’t enough to theorize, which Virgo is actually very good at; one must come to the table with more than an idea or concept. 

South Node in Pisces is always at odds with Virgo on the North Node. The two signs represent very different skill-sets, and so in this nodal axis, there might have to be a complete break with the family or childhood expectations before the native allows herself to live out her potential.

If the ruler of the South Node aspects the North node or its ruler, though, there should be an easier flow of energy in the chart, allowing one to make peace with family expectations.

Generally, Virgo on the North Node (but particularly in the 10th) will have a very hard time allowing anyone to interfere with her life goals; she’ll give up the entire idea of having a family if she has to keep her path clear. I’m not one to buy in to the notion that Virgo automatically equals “virginal,” but there is the tendency toward more than a bit of self-isolation.

Tarot Illuminati by Erik Dunne sums up the exoticism of Pisces South Node, constrained by the 10th house rules and aspirations of Virgo North Node.

The self-contained contentment of the woman behind the garden wall of the 9 of Pentacles comes to mind. She doesn’t need anyone else, but of course, she’s not going to say no if the right person comes along.

South Node in Pisces in the 4th does tend to rebel against that need, at least a little; any water influence in the chart does better surrounded by people she feels close to, but Virgo in the 10th is more concerned with work and being useful, if not to someone, then to society in general. 

Consider that Mercury and Neptune have very little in common. One energy is ‘of the air,’ the other is most definitely immersed in the wordless, watery depths. On their own, these two planets don’t necessarily ‘speak to’ one another, not without an interpreter, anyway.

The Virgo North Node person who can form a bridge from one level of wisdom and understanding to another will emerge from Neptunian fish-language immersion with some very interesting ideas, though. Surrounded by Neptune’s Piscean stream-of-consciousness childhood means you might learn countercultural life lessons early on.

This suits Enki’s submerged ‘tail-in-the-water’ motif understanding of how people really feel. Enki was close to his (clay-people) creations in a way that’s similar to Pisces’ intuitive “just knowing” what he knows. Virgo North Node should try not to fight this instinct, but I make no guarantees when you find Virgo in an Earth or Air house. Virgo here might make you fight your inner ‘knowing’ pretty darned hard, never really trusting her instincts. 

A highly influential woman you might not have heard of, unless you’re into American literature (or the movies made from her books), is Edna Ferber

Now, her 10th house is complex, but the key point is that the ruler of the North Node, Mercury, is (widely) conjunct the node, as is Venus. I think it’s of interest that the book that won her the Pulitzer Prize is written about characters who struggle with competing interests of pursuing art instead of material wealth, and how difficult each choice is for them.

Uranus is also conjunct the node (but too wide of Mercury/Venus to be truly conjunct). Jupiter is within 4˚ of the Midheaven (but not technically conjunct the node). [It has to be said that Jupiter near the Midheaven is not uncommon in the lives of the famous.]

South Node has no conjunctions, but its ruler, Neptune, is conjunct Pluto in the 7th. Ferber collaborated with other renowned writers and “wits” at the Algonquin ’round table. They inspired one another, but also squabbled, while they worked around mutual jealousies. She never married or had children, and it’s believed that she might have never had a significant personal relationship.

LibrawoodcutLibra North Node in the 10th house: In general, 10th house North Nodes seem to show up when people have what’s often thought of as a ‘larger purpose’. These people tend to have 9th or 11th house planets as well, so the overall emphasis on the Midheaven means that these paths will often be seen as lives of ‘accomplishment’ by the outside world).    

Libra North Node, when living up to her promise, is ‘about’ the search for justice, balance, and social order. In the 10th house, the person with this nodal axis might end up becoming a ‘fighter’ (thanks to Mars ruling the Aries South Node) for social justice.  

The early family life might be spent dealing with some form of social injustice; at the very least, the child is surrounded by an awareness of social imbalance (through social prejudice, poverty, or other ways humans have of separating and sorting according to survival and hierarchy).

Much about the outcome of the life’s path depends on the condition of the ruler of the South Node. In this case, with Mars as the ruler, it’s very important that the individual learn how to handle all Mars-related issues.

Anger, aggression, but also the energy it takes to accomplish great things, are contained in the idea of Mars. When Mars functions “healthily”, the individual is less likely to be emotionally blocked. This is extremely helpful if you want to be a 10th house force to be reckoned with.

Now, many 10th house people are born with the universe’s silver star in their mouth, as I’ve mentioned above. In the grand hierarchy of life, some people get a lot of material breaks. It takes a dedicated, and probably rare, person to use their material benefits to better the lives of others.

Social status typically accompanies wealth, and with both come a fair amount of responsibility for the world and its problems. Some 10th house North Node people feel this more than others, but Libra North Node seems to tend toward seeking out ways to level the playing field.

You see this approach in two very different people of two very different eras. One was the French king, Louis Philippe I (1773-1850), known as the “Citizen King,” who was raised with strong liberal beliefs. During the French revolution, he helped break down a prison wall in Mont Saint-Michel. Unfortunately, political circumstances forced him into 21 years of exile, after which he was reinstated, but then fled into exile again when he became unpopular.

You see these kinds of ups and downs when the nodal axis conjuncts planets, since it obviously puts planets into opposition, and oppositions are never truly in balance. The lack of balance leads to a lot of changes, and in some cases, complete reverses of fortune. In Louis Philippe’s case, Jupiter conjuncts his South Node, in opposition to Mercury, which conjuncts the North. 

Consider what it must be like to have liberal sympathies, and yet be born into the monarchy (even though his family also shared his beliefs, his father was nonetheless beheaded during the Revolution). Louis Philippe’s destiny, expressed through his nodal axis, was tied to the fortunes of his country. This seems to me to be an enormous price to pay if you upset people who then reverse the 10th house power dynamic.

The 10/4 axis has a power-issue component to it that isn’t spoken of often enough, so here goes. There’s no one in your life who had or has as much control over you as your parents, and when that power is part of your destiny (with the 10/4 or 4/10 nodal axis), the issue of who controls you—whether it’s a 10th house government, or a 10th house parent-figure—is of paramount importance, since you have to express your own power and encompass theirs as well. The 4th house also controls you, though, and that’s why it’s so important to have your Mars, ruler of Aries, under control.

An out of control South Node is projected onto others, and you disown all your anger and aggression. Libra North Node must learn to express that anger toward authority figures in such a way that s/he can live with. But Libra doesn’t like being confrontative, and so you get truly passive-aggressive behavior.

The ‘masses’ are represented by the fourth quadrant of the chart, and the fact that royalty or other people who never get to live a private existence are so often born with planets in this quadrant tells you that their fate is tied up with “their” people. Ideally, 10th house North Node people are here to learn responsibility for the masses, even though at the same time their fate is at the mercy of strangers.

[The feeling or experience that your life is at the mercy of others who have power over you happens when you have transits to the 10th, too, especially Pluto or Saturn.]

A 10th house North Node public figure who took responsibility for the masses but also dealt with power issues in her own life was Eleanor Roosevelt. Libra, even on the North Node, tends toward the ‘political’. I always think that Libra influences (especially on the 7th house) give the individual some kind of real need to reach out to others; if not to help them directly, then at least to prevent the native from feeling entirely alone.

In the 10th house, though, that urge becomes your job, and your reputation is tied to your relationship with the masses. Working with and for others was tied to Eleanor’s sense of self, since Sun was conjunct North Node. She had no strong aspects to the South Node, and no planet was in conjunction with the South Node either. A chart without aspects to the South Node means you look for information from the node’s ruler, in this case Mars.

Even though she was born into what amounts to a family of American ‘royalty’ (her uncle was Teddy Roosevelt, her parents were quite wealthy), she had an unhappy childhood. Both parents died while she was young, and she also lost a brother. At the age of 21, she married fifth cousin and future president Franklin D. Roosevelt. The two worked together, as a political unit, but not in love, until his death.

She was widely considered one of the most esteemed women in the world, yet her marriage was conducted in name only after she learned that Franklin was engaged in an affair with his secretary. She dealt with many power struggles during the course of her life, with Pluto square the ruler of the North Node, Venus.

She vied for power in her marriage, in her relationship to her mother-in-law (and therefore in her home, since the married couple lived with Franklin’s mother for many years). She wasn’t allowed to truly grow up and grow into her own power until she finally took the reins. I have to wonder to what extent this is indicated by the lack of aspects to her nodal axis, but also that her nodal rulers (Mars and Venus) aren’t in aspect.

Eleanor fought a difficult battle to create her own persona, ultimately becoming one of the most powerful women of all time (judging by her social influence). The transition from her relatively weak Mars (in opposition to Neptune) to her powerful Sun/North Node conjunction was an extremely difficult one, with many personal, emotional obstacles to overcome (Sun square Moon).

ScorpioScorpio North Node in the 10th house: Libra and Scorpio have in common the need for close relationships, even though they come at the idea of ‘relationship’ from different core needs.

The North Node compels the individual to live out the sign’s interests, some of the time against the wishes of the rest of the chart, but there are fundamental needs that push the individual into doing what the sign demands.

This is why our lives often seem to feel so much out of our conscious control, in my opinion, especially if we disregard the North Node and don’t know it’s driving the car toward something we barely see up in the distance.  

However, one of the key concepts for both Libra and Scorpio when in relationship to others is ‘power.’ Issues of control, of who owns what and who said what and, especially for Libra, who is right or wrong, dominate the headspace of these signs when they’re with someone. Libra wants the power to be shared, and for everything to be in balance (and to create fairness), in an egalitarian urge toward harmony. Scorpio, on the other hand, wants to make sure she doesn’t lose power (or control) to the other person, unless it suits her purposes.

North Node in Scorpio is drawn to power-based relationships, sometimes because she wants to be in power, and sometimes because she respects the person who has the power. At all times, Scorpio North Node in the 10th is ‘about’ being powerful, and being seen as powerful. That’s why it’s so ironic that some people hand this power away, but that’s too often a common story for those who never live out their North Node energy, staying stuck in the South Node.

This is part of why I never bought the spiel from the Fascinating Womanhood lady, Helen Andelin, since she was, so clearly, an autonomous, powerful person, and yet wanted you to believe that somehow she had given her power away to her husband. I wish I could see his chart; he wrote a similar book intended to empower men.

Theirs would have been a weird, twisted, and yet—ahem—’fascinating’ marriage. I say ‘weird’ and ‘twisted’ largely because their ideas, based as they were on fairly rigid expressions of masculinity and femininity, are of another era, one where men were men and women were grateful . . . and yet Helen (I don’t know about her husband) was trying to convince everyone that somehow her power was meaningless. Perhaps having Venus on the South Node does that to you. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable with your power.

The question becomes, how do you convince yourself you’ve given away your power to your husband when you’ve self-published one of the most influential relationship books of all time, literally out of your garage? The woman is dead and that book is still in print; in fact, you can receive it electronically on your Kindle. There’s a ‘Fascinating Womanhood’ series of classes you can take, if you think you have too much power in your marriage and you want to give some of it away.

Interestingly, Venus, ruler of the South Node, conjuncts the South Node. Pluto, ruler of the North Node is within 3 degrees of conjunction (but on the 6th house side) of the Descendent. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that Andelin thought she could live out her Scorpio North Node purpose through 6th house service.

If you see yourself as some kind of ‘servant’ and that’s your higher calling, that’s cool. I just think that’s the kind of information that’s sort of buried in the natal chart and isn’t illuminated unless you’re looking at the nodal axis.

Mars, co-ruler of Scorpio, is involved in quite a few quintiles and a biquintile or two. These are supposedly ‘minor’, but nonetheless intriguing, aspects, implying that the individual has not a little talent. They’re also usually kind of odd-balls—not a bad thing, but these aspects indicate eccentricity and the kind of energy that finds it hard to fit in to the ‘norm’.

I think the most unconvincing thing about Andelin is reflected in the Moon/Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in Leo in the 7th. You cannot give legitimate relationship advice with Moon conjunct Neptune in the 7th, and Jupiter augments that. Does the person see herself clearly when in relationship to another? With Neptune and Moon in the 7th, I think there’s room for doubt.

But with Mars in Libra in the 9th inconjunct Venus in Taurus in the 4th, I think she probably meant well. That’s a lot of Venusian energy bouncing back and forth between two rulers of the nodes. I think she was probably sincere about her beliefs, but with an inconjunction, you have trouble making the two pieces, the two types of behavior or thoughts, fit. It can be a struggle finding a way to be that doesn’t compromise one piece or the other.

Venus conjunct South Node is the key here. She picked these ideas up from the family environment she was raised with. You could easily argue that the time in which she was born was the most important detail of why she believed what she did, but this was a woman who attended university at a time when that was still unusual. She majored in Home Economics, which isn’t just about figuring out which dish detergent to buy.

I think it’s key that Venus/South Node are square that Moon, Jupiter, Neptune conjunction in the 7th. Squares from the 4th to the 7th indicate that family ‘messages’ contradict the ability to relate to others, particularly the marital partner. It may be that her methods were the best idea she could come up with to force her otherwise self-sufficient persona into the married state.

An exact Uranus/Saturn opposition from the 2nd to the 8th indicates that she was possibly ambivalent about progressive notions, and fought some kind of inner battle to maintain the traditional ‘wife’ role she promoted in her book. Saturn/Uranus oppositions indicate a struggle or dichotomy between tradition and progress; it seems she lived out both ends of the opposition, since she certainly got a decent education, made her own money, and spoke for herself in society; it’s just that her message was so traditional as to be almost backward.

She also came up against the forces of Feminism right at the point when that movement was gaining ground. Andelin’s chart is filled with contradictions, and as with any chart that says one thing when the person does another, we try to make some sense out of it all by looking primarily to the nodal axis to show us what path she was on. In my opinion, it was a path to power, a difficult path for a woman of her time to admit to, perhaps?

Venus in Taurus conjunct South Node wouldn’t necessarily have expected more for itself than having a nice home to live in and a comfortable life, but North Node in Scorpio pushed her into the larger world, and made her a force to be reckoned with, not some insignificant housefrau.

SagwoodcutSagittarius North Node in the 10th house: The predominant quality of mutable nodes is that they are so changeable, one must look very carefully at the quality of the rest of the chart to see how these people will turn out. It’s as though they’re a loose balloon one needs to keep tightly tied to the back of the baby perambulator in childhood, just to be sure he doesn’t float off into the ether.

These kids are easy to lose, with South Node in Gemini in the 4th perpetually wandering off, that tug on the string irresistible. Off a breeze comes, and the kid is gone. This translates into watching his or her friends, the classes she does well at or fails miserably in, and any extracurricular activity.

It would be very helpful if the parents actually listen to this child; Gemini on the South Node needs to tell you an awful lot, and it’s easy to tune out or ignore mutable South Nodes, particularly Gemini, a sign that is still figuring out an awful lot and has a lot of information to convey about how confused she is and how much life direction she’s likely going to need. Sagittarius North Node is just simply pulled toward something glittering and exciting on the horizon, but that thing doesn’t necessarily have substance or inherent worth.   

These are such unreliable nodes in general; in the 10/4 axis, they respond to the everyday things parents do or say far too quickly, without necessarily thinking through what is meant, nor will they wait to see if the parental response was just a passing mood, or whether it was meant to be a ‘life lesson.’ If you bore or lecture at this person on her haphazard path, she will find new friends to replace you, and she won’t be terribly discriminating about who those friends are. 

If this kid is going to learn how to commit himself to anything, that skill will be seen in a grounded chart full of Earth and possibly Water or ‘heavy’ fixed Air Aquarius, a sign with a Higher Calling. A chart with too much Fire will struggle with the concept of sticking things out. When the South Node is constantly distracted, as Gemini South Node is, and the North Node is telling you that authority figures are pompous windbags, most people find their own source of authority to respect, or grow up disrespecting people who purport to be authority figures.

Unfortunately, with North Node in the 10th in Sagittarius, unless the rest of the chart is very responsible and reliable, the message picked up in the family was some version of ‘keep your options open,’ which this nodal axis takes literally.

Since these nodes see nothing inherently marvelous about growing up and taking responsibility, don’t be surprised if they never do, or if responsibility is forced on them. Either that or they’ll make an effort to be seen as authoritative, but only to someone they like or respect. If they disrespect (or dislike you), you have no authority over them; it’s that simple.

It’s entirely likely that when this child gets the right early influences, he becomes one of those really inspiring life teachers everyone raves about, the one teacher who turned children around and made them understand the reason for being in school. Under the best of circumstances, the parents themselves were excellent teachers and showed the kid how to ‘fly’ on his own, giving him wings and space and room to breathe.

North Node in Sagittarius is seeking someone or something to inspire him, to give him a reason to get up in the morning; if this dream never manifests, this nodal axis checks out, in one way or another.

It’s devastating to be on a path, seeking inspiration, never to find it because you’re so disillusioned. The potential for disillusionment begins in childhood, when or if he’s disappointed often enough to make him think there’s no point in looking anymore.

If there’s one North Node that needs a dream to believe in, it’s going to be Sagittarius. In the 10th, he wants that dream to take him places, to help him get to ‘the big time.’ The 10th is a materialistic house, in the best and worst ways. Sagittarius here dreams big dreams, not all of which can come true, obviously.

One of the most infamous criminals of all time was Richard ‘Bruno’ Hauptmann, a man convicted for the 1932 kidnapping and killing of the Lindbergh baby (see here for the baby’s chart; note the Anaretic 29˚ Aries North Node in the 8th house).

If you look at Hauptmann’s chart, there are a few shocking things that hit you immediately. One is the sheer amount of planets in the third decan of Sagittarius conjunct North Node (at 21˚ Sagittarius, conjunct Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Saturn).

The third decan of Sagittarius is renowned as comprised of a cluster of stars with a millennia-old bad reputation. Widely labeled the ‘world’s most hated man’ at the time of the kidnapping, it’s thought that Hauptmann’s prior incarceration for burglary, combined with his German nationality, turned him into an easy target for nationalistic hatred.  

Then, the South Node is conjunct Pluto and Neptune at the IC, both retrograde. Hauptmann was born in Germany, the youngest of five children. He dropped out of school at the age of 14 to become a carpenter. He emigrated illegally to the United States, stowing away on a ship, after fighting on the losing German side in WWI. He lost his father and two brothers to the war, and he was badly injured at least once during conflict.

When you have this many planets involved in close and wider aspects, it can be helpful to focus on the tightest orbs. Hauptmann’s Pluto in Gemini opposes Mars more closely than it does the other planets in the Sagittarius stellium. This is a potentially violent combination, that also lies quite close to his Sun/Uranus conjunction in 1st decan Sagittarius.

This much Fire energy, particularly with Uranus in the mix, is unpredictable. He would seem, and the details of his ups and downs in life support this, pretty erratic at times, constantly moving, not having very much internal or external stability. 

Finally, the chart is comprised of conjunctions and oppositions, considered to be stressful aspects, and almost all planets and points are in mutable signs, including the Ascendent/Descendent and MC/IC axes. This is an almost unbelievable amount of mutability, when you include the nodal axis.

While there has been, through the years, conflicting evidence about whether or not Hauptmann was responsible for the baby’s kidnapping and death, the very mutability of Hauptmann’s chart speaks to the inability to ‘pin down’ mutable signs, who often prove slippery and manage to evade capture even when the odds are stacked against them.

In Hauptmann’s case, although it was long ago proven that some of the evidence the prosecution relied on to convict him was planted or falsified, there was sufficient evidence pointing to his culpability to ensure his death in the electric chair. A recent book has recreated the missing information that was never pursued during the period surrounding Hauptmann’s conviction, since it seems clear that not all evidence came to light at the time, and was, most likely, suppressed, since the police ended their investigation once Hauptmann was caught.

Hauptmann claimed until his death that he was innocent, and although it’s not likely he was entirely innocent, given his dubious stories (Mercury on its own opposite Neptune indicates lying, but he also had Mercury conjunct Saturn involved in opposition to Neptune, indicating paying the price for lying), it is doubtful, looking at his chart and in particular knowing his petty criminal background and limited education, that he on his own could have masterminded the kidnapping and coordinated all the necessary legwork.

If his chart contained more Cardinal energy, or different houses were tenanted more strongly, I’d say sure, it’s possible, but the man had literally one aspect to the Sun, Sun conjunct Uranus, hardly the kind of stability to ground this mutable chart. The lack of Sun aspects tells me that he was not a strong enough person to be solely in charge of any crime (but all that mutability conveys the message that he would have been amenable to being ‘used’ as a sidekick to any endeavor someone else came up with).

You can read about the case here.

Although he claimed that a friend who returned to Germany, only to die there, was the actual murderer, Hauptmann also claimed to have ‘found’ the man’s ransom money, $50,000 in traceable gold standard bank notes, and then spent it, without informing his wife, who later contradicted parts of his story when on the witness stand. 

As for the kidnapping, the baby’s Sun/Jupiter conjunction is widely conjunct Hauptmann’s South Node, indicating that Hauptmann benefited from the baby in some way. If he did benefit from the child’s death, it was through the money, but also the notoriety/fame and attention he received upon being accused of the child’s death.

A conjunction in synastry is not an insignificant piece of information when you’re assessing the ‘relationship’ between a murderer and his victim. South Node conjunct another person’s planets can indicate that the person is, in some way, pulling you ‘backwards’ into old behaviors or experiences you might be better off without.

It can also be a ‘comfortable’ feeling of knowing this person very well, but not in the case of Hauptmann and the Lindbergh baby. You could, of course, also say that any aspect in synastry to the nodal axis indicates karma.

CapCapricorn North Node in the 10th house: From experience, I have formed the assertion that you cannot gender the houses, although there exists a rather simplistic idea that’s become largely accepted as ‘truth’ in astrology in the past 30 years which associates women (and therefore ‘mother’) with the 10th house.

This on its own is a revisionist idea, one that contravenes the traditional house assignment (created by men) that equated mother with the home and the 4th house, father with the outside world and the 10th. Because it is socially constructed, and a response to a previous era’s beliefs, it will not endure; it will become outmoded and discarded, as is every idea that depends purely on its era’s needs to define truth one way or another. What we come to believe is absolutely true is just one way of seeing something. That’s why ‘truth’ is so hard to find; it’s usually temporal and therefore ephemeral. 

Feminist astrologers hated the mother/father equation as it stood for traditional astrologers, because they saw it as socially conditioned (which it is), perpetuating the bias that forced women into menial homemaker roles and disallowed women leaving the home to become something more, do something more with their lives. But they replaced that social paradigm with an equally narrow idea that gave the 10th to the mother, the 4th to the father, for reasons that are no less anachronistic or sexist. 

The idea that the 4th house ‘belongs’ to the father is based on overtly masculinist rhetoric about male sperm as the source of all life. Men are, as for the Ancient Greeks or the Mesopotamians of Enki’s time, seen to be the progenitors of existence and so provide the seed that creates you. The 4th, the house that symbolizes your earliest beginnings, the ‘seed’ you come from, must therefore represent the father as the source of your beginnings.  

The simple system of dualities means the 10th ‘must be’ the mother’s house. To make this approach work, you have to accept that the mother is not the one who creates you; you cannot come from both parents at once if one house has to equal one parent. It’s patently absurd. The efforts to twist your thinking into this kind of pretzel logic is exhausting, hence the limitations of seemingly ‘simple’ dualities.

Having said all this, Capricorn North Node in the 10th has mountains to climb. I suspect the challenges they face are harder than those of other people, the heights they reach more challenging. Perhaps they challenge themselves, putting themselves into situations others resist or run away from. You only really prove to yourself what you’re made of when you test your mettle against otherwise impossible odds, and that kind of test has to appeal to Saturn-ruled Capricorn. 

I find it very interesting, given the above rant about genderizing the houses, that two women with North Node in Capricorn represent ‘firsts’ in the high-profile realm of politics. The first woman ever to become candidate for Vice President in America, Geraldine Ferraro, and our first First Lady, Martha Washington, each have their 10th house North Node in Capricorn.

It’s not much of a stretch of the imagination to say that since a woman has not yet held the office of Vice President or President of this backward country, it has long proven to be one of those goals virtually impossible to attain, and therefore would have to be of great interest to certain women, particularly those who enjoy a challenge. The harder you make things for some people, the greater the likelihood they will go after it and make it their mountain to climb.

Ferraro made history by being the first woman to get this close to one of America’s exalted offices. Saturn, ruler of the North Node, is in the 12th in Pisces, supported by some strong trines (to Jupiter and Mars) and challenged by an important, self-defining opposition from the Sun in Virgo in the 6th.

This combination of planets, houses, and aspects tells me she is (and was) a hard worker, one of those people with their proverbial nose to the grindstone most of her life. She  Her father owned a small business until he died, at which point, her mother, who had been a housewife, made money by sewing beads on wedding dresses.

Ferraro earned a scholarship and went to law school at night. When a congressional seat became available, she fought for it, and won the “Edith Bunker” vote, as it was called in her Queens, New York, district. Each step of the way, Ferraro’s fortune in having mostly positive aspects to the rulers of her nodal axis turned her hard work into another step up the ladder of success.

The South Node is conjunct Pluto, which is predominantly well-aspected, indicating that Ferraro was shown a model of strength and positive use of power in her childhood (but she was also named after a dead brother; with Pluto, you’re going to find death somewhere).

Martha Washington personifies the Capricorn/Cancer nodal axis more clearly than almost anyone I’ve seen so far, for hers is a story of attaining the highest social status in the land, in spite of being born into a relatively ordinary family of no great wealth or political acuity. Her father was a moderately wealthy, social-climbing Virginia plantation owner, her childhood was comfortable and secure, appropriate for Cancer South Node.   

However, destiny, which might also be called one’s North Node, changed her life forever when the heir to one of the wealthiest plantations in Virginia courted her when she came of age. Marriages of Martha’s era were most often conducted between two people of widely differing ages, but even so, she was somewhat younger than the average when she wed at age 19; her husband, Daniel was older than average, at 38.

They had to overcome the resistance of Daniel’s father before they could marry; Pluto in the 7th, square Martha’s nodal axis, indicates someone or something of great power blocking the advancement of the individual from time to time during the course of life. Apparently, Daniel waited to find a woman his father would approve of, primarily to ensure his own financial security, as well as that of his wife and heirs (since few wealthy people enjoy being disinherited on the whim of the paterfamilias).

Eventually, Daniel died, leaving his 25 year-old widow with four children to care for and a huge amount of land, slaves, and property at her disposal. It was at this point that she married George Washington, who helped her run the five plantations she’d inherited and with whom she raised her children from the first marriage. They lived off the income from her ‘dower portion,’ the percentage of her inheritance that was not entailed in the children’s names.

She supported George’s military aspirations, but she did not agree at all when George was asked to become the first President of the new nation formed after the War of Revolution, nor did she attend his inauguration (in protest, it seems). Nonetheless, she was famous for her Mount Vernon parties, her social life being a bit of a whirl of hostessing activities.

That’s the relatively light-hearted side of Martha’s life. The more negative side, the part where ownership and covetousness, probably based on fear, especially fear of change, occurs in relationship to materialism and possessiveness.

There are a few oppositions in her chart that speak to these dichotomies, and most of them involve the nodal axis. The Saturn/Pluto opposition from the 1st to the 7th, which forms a grand square to the nodal axis is the most obvious opposition, since it reflects the power and status of her marriages.

Martha was a material girl, living in a material world, where even though the laws changed regarding slaves, she was ‘allowed’ to keep hers until death, against the wishes of her already-deceased husband George, the Father of Our Country, who stipulated in his will that he wished for her to free his slaves after his death. 

In fact, according to one source, she was forced to free George’s slaves after his death because she was afraid for her life if she did not. This did not mean, however, that she felt compelled to free her own slaves (they each had their own ‘property’ to disburse after their deaths).

In this way, Martha rather perfectly illustrates the negative manifestation of Cancer on the South Node, particularly square Pluto in the 7th. Not only does she have power moves enacted upon her (when her potential father-in-law almost refused to allow the marriage to her first husband because of her lack of status and insufficient dowry), she herself misuses power against her ‘possessions’ later in life.

The nodal axis, including Mercury conjunct South Node was involved in a T-square (or a Grand Square, depending on whether you want to acknowledge Grand Squares to nodes) with Saturn and Moon, rulers of the nodes (Saturn and Moon are in opposition to each other, Saturn at the Ascendent and Moon on the Descendent, but in the 6th house).

If you acknowledge the Grand Square, you can see Martha’s innate stubbornness when it came to anything that threatened her security. In fact, she took the upper hand when her betrothal to Daniel was threatened, making the aggressive power-move of visiting her future father-in-law to secure his approval; apparently she charmed him, otherwise the marriage would never have taken place. 

The core of Capricorn/Cancer nodes in the 10/4 axis has to do with attainment in the material world in relationship to security, ownership, and preserving wealth from generation to generation. Obviously, if the South Node is damaged or challenged, you’re going to see an uglier side, based on fear-based behaviors.

I find it interesting that Martha basically lived out some of the small-mindedness you expect from a challenged South Node in Cancer; she was a provincial girl whose marriages (with Moon on the Descendent and Pluto in the 7th) rocketed her to fame and wealth almost against the will of Saturn on the Ascendent, and certainly against the nature of Cancer on the South Node, which prefers to stay at home, as did Martha.

I do think that even though she added to her family’s wealth, largely with the help of George’s management skills, she herself was not necessarily desirous of the social status she accrued over time. Martha clearly wanted the various bonuses life offered her, but does not seem to have done much with her good fortune. She didn’t leave a written document of her life, in spite of Mercury conjunct South Node, yet it is known that she was not as interested in the world’s stage or public service as was George.

Such is the material nature of North Node in Capricorn in the 10th; it exists for family and security and to attain status, but although Martha seems to have mostly supported George’s endeavors because she loved him, it isn’t clear she supported the Enlightenment ideals of social change he and his political allies fought for.

I suspect she would have been just as happy living in the world of her forebears, but then, Saturn opposition Moon, particularly with Saturn in the 1st on the Ascendent, is pretty conservative, and suppresses change, when it isn’t actively resisting it.

AquariuswoodcutAquarius North Node in the 10th house: By nature, you’ve immediately got two very different energies at war with one another when you combine Uranian-ruled Aquarius with the Saturn-ruled 10th house, unless the north node is supported by Saturn (traditional ruler of Aquarius), in which case you will get someone capable of being a real bulldog about his beliefs.

The Saturnian Aquarian influence makes for someone so knowledgeable, yet so intractable, they redefine ‘stubborn.’ I don’t even think they’re afraid of anything, necessarily; it’s just too much trouble to change their worldview. Are they lazy? With Leo on the South Node, there is every likelihood that the answer is ‘yes,’ but they’re also resistant to admitting they were ever wrong. 

Saturn represents the old, and the past, Uranus all that is new and untried. The North Node path here forces the individual to shake things up for others, but there will no doubt be a lot of compromises made, when the native’s fixed ideas about their purpose and path come up against reality.  

The combination of South Node Leo in the 4th puts the emphasis on the home life, but also possibly on children either as a subject, or on one’s own children, or the importance of one’s own childhood. As with almost all South Node in the 4th people, family takes on huge meaning. It’s as if the native cannot function without family; being separated from them is not easy, and the Sun-ruled Leo South Node might lose his will to go on if he’s separated for too long from his loved ones. 

Unfortunately, the 10/4 axis puts an emphasis on going out into the world. It is never enough to have a ‘job’ with the 10th house; you’re going to have a calling, one that might not make you any money, but will certainly get you noticed.

Now, Leo South Node is torn at this point; they want the attention, but Saturn-influenced paths require discipline, while Uranian-influenced paths require isolation from others (even if the thing you’re called to do is meant for others, which is why the Uranus influence calls so many inventors, writers, and scientists).

The transition from South Node in Leo to North Node in Aquarius in the 10th, then, has to do with accepting the rigors of Saturn and Uranus and allowing yourself to be useful to the masses. I do think that the inner calling is larger than a quiet home life can possibly live up to, though, which is going to cause the person to feel a fair amount of discomfort.

The nature of the North Node is to pull you towards something you don’t necessarily consciously want, but will expand your abilities. This process is frequently painful, and understandably, we resist it until we feel more capable. Fate comes along and forces our hand sometimes, and then we adapt or stay stuck in the South Node. However, if the South Node is aspected by otherwise strong planets, you might have so much power contained in that node, that you essentially come into this world ready to move into the North Node.

In the chart of enormously influential Jean Piaget, who worked with experimental psychologist Alfred Binet, creator of the intelligence quotient (IQ) test, it’s clear his stellium in Leo conjunct the South Node gave him an ability to understand cognitive processes in children.  Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter all lined up within only a few degrees of his South Node, an unusual combination of mostly positive energy. Further, South Node ruler Sun squares North Node ruler Uranus conjunct Saturn.

The downside to Piaget’s early genius (he published scientific papers at the age of 15) and observational wisdom is that he then spent the rest of his life observing children, both his own and other people’s. This on its own requires an innate ability to distance yourself from other people, an arguably easy skill if five of your natal planets are in square to Uranus/Saturn.

Interestingly, Piaget theorized that children’s cognitive skills advanced from egocentrism to sociocentrism, which reflects Leo South Node’s egoistic awareness of self transitioning to Aquarius North Node’s awareness of social responsibility.

Another person whose chart illustrates the need to let go of Leo South Node and move into the North Node is that of Ulysses S. Grant, who was a bit of a business failure, never making any money and having to live off of one relative or another, until the Civil War came and transformed his fortunes. He was one of few men with military experience (and an ability as a horse-whisperer, an odd tidbit) when Abraham Lincoln asked for volunteers to join the cause.

Grant was finally able to distinguish himself in battle, after having been drummed out of the army only a few years before for drinking on duty. He does seem to have been a ‘natural’ military man, with Mars on the South Node, one of the few times I’ve seen Mars on the South Node in a chart where that combination makes literal sense.

Sun, ruler of the South Node, is conjunct Jupiter and Saturn, co-ruler of the North Node. Sun/Jupiter/Saturn is also trine Neptune and Uranus, the other ruler of Aquarius, but the trine is from the 12th house to the 8th. The relationship between these two water-influenced houses in Grant’s chart seems to have encouraged a fair amount of depression (and drinking) from time to time, mostly in response to being separated from his family.

However, the dogged determination fixed signs (and Sun conjunct Saturn) are known for became Grant’s chief characteristic during wartime, which seems to have brought out the best in him. The courage and bravery associated with Mars in Leo strengthened Grant’s backbone, who never shied away from a battle.

He also lived authentically, having the courage to express his feelings in spite of being in politics. He was never a ‘political’ man, but he did learn how to function in politics after the Civil War. It was his authenticity that people responded to.

I do think that is another strength of South Node in Leo, because North Node in Aquarius might pull you into relationship with the masses, but there’s a fair amount of distance between you and them, usually.

Grant was the first president elected after slavery was abolished. I happen to think that the virtue of North Node in Aquarius in his chart was to point the way to social equality, since he was consistently anti-slavery and used his inaugural address to urge ratification of the 15th Amendment.

The co-rulers of the North Node, Saturn and Uranus, being in trine aspect, possibly allowed Grant to find a way to push forward social interests of the new world his presidency saw the beginnings of.

PisceswoodcutPisces North Node in the 10th house: It’s always difficult to sum up Pisces North Node, no matter the house you find it in. The tendency with this node is to morph or mold himself into the nature of either the dominant part of the chart, or the nature of the house the Nodes fall in.

One constant seems to shimmer through, though, which is that the individual lives a unique existence; he or she is not like anyone else. There’s a quality to the persona that is hard to put your finger on and declare “that is why they are so different.” It’s easier to say the individual is ‘unique,’ or ‘a genius,’ than to figure out what color energy they’re vibrating at.

This is probably why the native is drawn to creative endeavors; it’s very difficult being ephemeral in a material world, and finding a calling is even harder when you’re on an amorphous path, seeking some kind of container for your energy.

This North Node encompasses creative talents from writing to singing, or acting, or doing impressions of other famous people; the North Node here might be funny or sad, but in the 10th, if Neptune is stronger than Mercury in the chart, they become famous (or well known amongst their peers) for the chameleon-like ability to blend in or change their persona if necessary.

The path is one of artistic expression, yes, but the underlying skill-set is based on innate sensitivity, the type that doesn’t sit well in the 10th house. Mercury as ruler of the South Node makes the intellect fluid, quick, adaptable. Neptune as ruler of the North Node, though, is often where this person gets lost or becomes someone she never intended to be (but it also means her reputation might be very different than her truest self, so that there’s a real split between the persona in public and the persona at home).

As always, much depends on how these two ruling planets are aspected in the chart. Pisces North Node is always very tricky because of the Neptune influence; the individual is often too easily swayed, with both nodes mutable, into a path she doesn’t even want to be on. I fear that these nodes have difficult midlife crises, since the awakening from deep sleep during Saturn and Uranus oppositions can bring on major emotional trauma.   

This is where the South Node in Virgo can be very helpful, because if this sensitive soul is going to be able to manifest (an important word for the 10th house but not something Pisces is automatically good at) on the material plane, be noticed and perhaps win awards, she’s going to need grounding from the rest of the chart. 

Another fact you’ll see with North Node Pisces people is that they often manage to blend abilities, so that the actor is also a comedian, or the singer is also an actress. The world seems to have a narrow acceptance of worthwhile skills. This North Node path might be okay if the native’s ‘world-building’ Enki spirit is highly pragmatic.

If North Node Pisces’ primary skill is that she’s “good with dogs” or can tune in psychically, though, it can be much harder to fit in to the material realities of this mostly non-spiritual 10th house, with its crass, money-oriented expectations of what success is “supposed to” look like.

Virgo South Node in the 4th desires a quiet, private life, which the tug of independence and the need to express her skills won’t let her have with North Node in the 10th. There might be a complicated family-of-origin, with parents of different nationalities or religious beliefs. If this sounds simple to deal with, it often is not, and the child is set up from birth to have to negotiate and navigate the differences she is born into.

An influential writer you’ve never heard of (if you have, let me know) was “Ouida,” who, not surprisingly, given the desire for anonymity, but also the mutable ability to hide one’s true identity, used this as her pen name. Of course, in the era in which she wrote,  pen names for women were not uncommon, but the use of one is also convenient if you want to slip in and out of the public eye unseen.

Pisces on the North Node inspires one toward romantic dreams, but also a romantic expression in one’s outer world; it becomes something you’re known for if you’re flamboyant about it, as Ouida was. Apparently, she wrote surrounded by candlelight and expensive purple flowers; in fact, her lifestyle was such that she racked up huge debt and died in poverty (why does this not surprise me about North Node in Pisces?).

She ended her days living with her mother in a villa near Florence, Italy, which sounds very nice, actually, and is appropriate for a 4th house South Node person with a fair amount of Capricorn influence in the chart; neither Cancer nor Capricorn willingly gives up on their parents, and she had Cancer rising, putting her Capricorn planets in the angular 7th house, giving them strength (and strengthening the mostly positive outcome of her 10th house North Node).

In her chart, Neptune inhabits the 9th house, providing fodder for her popular action-adventure-romances, but it’s also in opposition to the Moon. Neptune and Moon in aspect, particularly in opposition, show up in idealists and dreamers.

However, she was a triple Capricorn, with a stellium in the 7th including Mercury, ruler of the South Node. In spite of her romantic extravagance and inability to manage money, she nonetheless published more than 40 works and influenced many writers of her day, including Jack London and Oscar Wilde.

Given the dual nature seen in so much of her chart, she also wrote serious prose, mostly social commentary, and in fact, considered herself a serious writer, since much of the rest of her work was classified as historical fiction.

Mars is on the South Node; she seems to have expressed this energy through the nature of the ‘swashbuckling’ adventure tales she was famous for. She was, in effect, a ‘transitional’ writer, who helped popularize adventure stories at a time when most writing took a moralizing, quasi-religious tone. Ouida was, ultimately, quite ‘successful’ in her time, and like too many, has been almost—but not completely—forgotten.

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6 thoughts on “Analysis of the 10th house/4th house nodal axis through the signs”

  1. Sorry this is not related to the 10th/4th directly.
    Can’t wait to read the 12th/6th axis article (aka mine). I read your 12th house piece, which was helpful in thinking about my mars there- and also the synastry application of translucence to people who occupy one’s 12th- fascinating.
    Quite enjoying the tone and style of your writing. Hope you’ll continue.

    1. It’s always great to get comments; never apologize about whether they pertain to the specific post, that’s not as important as the nature of the content itself. I am finishing up the 11th house North Node right now, and plan to move on to the 12th house as soon as possible. The 12th is a very interesting (and therefore very complicated) house to discuss, as you probably already know! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  2. Hello Alison

    I have Aries NN in 10th. Your words on pioneering are encouraging, especially that I am just starting to develop my career.

    But I would also hope you can provide a bit more insight on the Libra SN in 4th. If SN is where we are familiar and comfortable with, in what way would my SN pull me back/push me forward?

    Thanks

    1. I had to go back and re-read what I said, and there are some nodal aspects where I do not say enough about the south node (and this is one of them, which I knew would come back to haunt me some day). Libra on the South Node seems to lean in one specific direction when it’s misbehaving, which is that it tends to make the person overly-concerned with what others’ think. This is, of course, a problem for Aries North Node, because no Aries energy ever spent a lot of extra time worrying about what others think. So the negative potential for South Node in Libra comes down to being held back (or holding yourself back) because you don’t want to rock the boat, so to speak.

      However, if the South Node in Libra is functioning well, then you should be able to rely on others and take their opinions into account without losing your balance. Libra, when it’s functioning well, is able to remain fairly calm, cool, and collected. The thing about oppositional energy (and this is therefore true about Nodal axis energy in every person’s chart) is that the energy is frequently out of balance, or is in the act of being balanced, or functions more effectively or energetically at one end or the other (particularly true with conjunctions at either end of the nodal axis).

      When you take Libra into account, of course, you’re dealing with a Cardinal Air sign, so if your Cardinal Air is functioning on all thrusters, it’s symbolic of intellectual energy forcefully applied, but with awareness of others (you’re not rude when you give your opinion in a 10th house setting, for example). When that energy is not working well, you might over-rely on someone else to make decisions for you, play dumb, disengage from intellectual pursuits for antiquated reasons (it’s not “lady-like” comes to mind)… stuff like that.

      Consider also that Aries/Libra in the 4/10 axis has family/mother/father/authority issues that go beyond the scope of a comment. This is not something I can comment on, just that the 4/10 axis is fraught for many people with parental concerns/issues.

      1. Thank you so much for your detailed explanation, Alison!
        I have moon opposite uranus, I think it is related to how my mother being emotional and erratic when I grew up. It could also relate to your comment on 4/10 axis.
        It is really great to learn so much about ourselves and also pinpointing on ways to improve in all aspects. 🙂

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