Analysis of the 11th house/5th house Nodal Axis Through the Signs

Iconoclastic dragon
The 11th house dragon is imaginative and iconoclastic, dwelling easily amongst the clever and colorful. Click on the image for more from artist Brecht Evens

In traditional astrology, there are three types of information associated with a house. The first is the nature of the house itself: what area of life does it represent? The second is the Zodiac sign on the cusp of the house. The third is the planet associated with the sign.

So far, so good; none of this is disputed, unless you’re tired of traditional astrology and want to break some rules. In the 11th house, this urge could go either way. If you agree with traditional astrology, Aquarius is the ‘natural’ sign associated with this house, while Saturn is the ‘traditional,’ Uranus the ‘modern,’ ruler of Aquarius.  

It’s my contention that, more so than with most other houses, it is extremely important not to automatically conflate Aquarius with the 11th house, and to bring Uranus in only when necessary to explain certain nuanced dynamics (such as when you find Aquarius actually involved in the nodal axis, or there’s an Aquarian planet influencing the chart). The reason for this is that each signifier represents a very different idea, and not all these ideas fit neatly into the 11th house experience.

For more background analysis into the 5th and 11th houses, look back in time here:  Planetary Influences on the 5/11 house axis, Helios and Ouranos.

Here is where I draw the greatest distinction between Aquarius and how the 11th house functions: although Aquarius’ key words are usually “I know,” (appropriate for this didactic, fixed Air sign) in fact, knowledge is inherently fluid.

The idea that one can know anything is illusory, all the more so because atomistic thinking limits our experience of anything, whereas holistic thinking leads us closer to understanding that as soon as we try to grasp a concrete piece of knowledge, label it and pass judgement on it, that knowledge has already changed, shifted, and morphed into new knowledge.

The best we can usually do is conduct a lot of research in as unbiased a way as possible. We can also be aware of our own biases, and foreground them, realizing that bias is like blindness, disallowing us to know much of anything.

To combat this blindness, research into the known and unknown becomes an 11th house activity; the desire to know more is activated here, as well as the desire to make this knowledge available to those we cannot know personally, but nonetheless want to connect with.

Now, fluidity is appropriate for the constellation of ‘the Waterbearer,’ and illuminates the highest purpose of the 11th house.  The esoteric idea about the Waterbearer is that he pours the waters of enlightenment (my word for ‘wisdom’) into the mouth of the Fish. The Fish represents ‘the all,’ or, more mundanely, the masses. The oldest symbol or glyph associated with Aquarius is Gu, or ‘amphora,’ from the Babylonian Zodiac (cf. Ancient Calendars and Constellations, p. 44, Emmeline M. Plunket, 1903).

This sky map from 1948 shows the Waterbearer pouring the ‘waters of knowledge’ into the open mouth of Pisces.

North Node in this house indicates a person who appeals to the masses and can, in some way, speak to them or for them, or bring them to some kind of enlightenment or epiphany. At its best, the 11th house is inclusive; ideally, the person with the North Node here is guided by the principle that all people are equal, that humanity itself has a nobility that must be upheld.

The spiritual purpose of the Akashic records represents the esoteric aspiration of this house. The notion of an akashic record is attributed to Alfred Percy Sinnett, who, in his book Esoteric Buddhism (1884), wrote of a Buddhist belief in “a permanency of records in the Akasa” and “the potential capacity of man to read the same.”

The Akashic records are therefore a repository in the sky, a fragment of ‘astral light’ (according to H. P. Blavatsky) containing all the karmic ‘data’ of each soul. With the North Node here, the individual has the opportunity to access this information if she develops finely tuned listening skills you need to hear the wisdom of the ages.

On a less esoteric realm, the 11th house North Node is constantly looking up to the skies in one way or another. Though you’ll more often find people with 11th house planets, rather than a Node, become scientists, it is my contention that North Node here leads an otherwise ‘ordinary’ human being to strive to compose a message to the larger group that becomes an expression reflecting the direction the zeitgeist is moving.

A succedent house, the 11th also has to do with human relationships; in the Encyclopedia of Astrology, Nicholas deVore calls it, along with the other air-related houses, a ‘relative or association’ house, and gives it public influence. He assigns friends, close associates, and advisers to this house.

The 11th is one of the Eastern houses (so-called because the planets move clockwise against the order of the signs) and is therefore granted more strength and dignity than succedent houses usually receive.

From the Encyclopedia of Astrology:

One finds here the externalization of the native’s social position; the nature and characteristics of his circle of acquaintances and friends; his ideals with respect to human and therefore social relationships; his hopes, wishes, projects and ambitions; the reformer’s dreams and his efforts to realize them; flatterers and their machinations; to a certain extent the imagination; his sons and his daughters-in-law.

Its Lord and the planets tenanting it are an index to his idea of happiness and the probabilities of his ultimate attainment thereof. When considered in relation to the First, Fifth and Eighth Houses, it becomes an important arc, for with an afflicted Eleventh House little real satisfaction can be extracted from life – riches, a beautiful home, a fond and dutiful wife and children, and all the tangible things for which a heart could wish, yet never the serene contentment wherewith to enjoy them.

The North Node is constantly pushing and pulling you, so it makes sense that this person has to overcome something in her youth or childhood that would otherwise have pointed to an ‘ordinary’ life, in able to transform the inner world into something extraordinary before bringing that inherently exalted idea into the public realm.

Consider, though, that not everyone will be motivated by the same higher purpose with North Node here. Everything, in everyone’s chart, no matter the placements, depends on many factors, all of which makes the person all-too-human, a common ‘failing’ in the 11th house, which strives to keep the ‘ideal’ in mind, while at the same time failing to accept the limitations of the material plane.

There is nothing inherently materialistic about this nodal axis in general; the 5th house ‘belongs’ to the Sun and Leo, and although this South Node might be in an Earth sign, it’s unusual for the Sun or Leo or people with 5th house dominance to care about a material outcome per se; instead, this nodal axis is typically looking to shine and stand out in some way, to be noticed, to have people acknowledge him for being amazing.

Intellectual abilities suit the nature of the 11th house just fine, particularly if the native stands out as uniquely creative. Being told s/he is brilliant will most often be sufficient, even if the money does not flow in. The 5th and 11th should be looked at in terms of attaining social success and public awareness of one’s craft or creative endeavor (both have to do with the 5th house).

The North Node in the 11th in particular might push the person into spending a great deal of time alone, perfecting his or her ‘scientific’ formula, learning everything he can about some larger principle. Others might be instrumental in bringing this person to the awareness of the larger world, because she will, ironically, be cut off from other people due to her passion for her interest or subject.

This is the effect research has on otherwise ‘ordinary’ people: they become reclusive while they figure out how their idea fits into the human story, which effectively cuts them off from other people. This is less true when the chart shows the South Node is stronger, more aspected, or in better shape altogether. In this case, the South Node person is more closely in touch with ‘friends,’ and probably has an easier time making friends and staying in touch with people.

The kind of intellectual isolation that sometimes happens in the 11th house is part of the North Node path, and is therefore indicative of a life spent somehow at a bit of a distance from real people, at the same time the native is terribly interested in real people, and yet might not know how to connect with them except through his or her ‘invention’ or inventive way of pursuing her goals.

ArieswoodcutAries North Node in the 11th House: Aries and dreams go together big time in this nodal combination. Aries North Node in the 11th goes to town with her aspirations, engaging enthusiastically with all the opportunities she can remember to write down in her datebook. Aries North Node almost always functions like a force of nature anyway, but in the 11th, she dreams in rainbow hues, and if wishes were horses, she’d possess a stable.

In the chart of chef and cookbook writer Julia Child, South Node rather dominates and provides the first clue as to why she became a cook in the first place, although nothing in her background pointed to that skill. In fact, her ambition was to become a spy for the secret service. During WWII in Ceylon, she worked as a file clerk in an office providing strategic services, and there met her eventual husband.

The nature of the signs on the Nodes do seem to push one towards one’s destiny; typical for Moon in Libra  (in this case conjunct South Node) she pursued a subject of interest to her husband, and, inspired by his love of fine foods, learned how to cook. It wasn’t until the couple moved to Paris to pursue his career as a diplomat that Julia Child became inspired by French cuisine.

Her North Node is strengthened very indirectly. Ruler of the Gemini-rising chart, Mercury, also rules her Mars in Virgo (ruler of the North Node). Her Moon/South node conjunction has a few positive aspects, one to Jupiter, one to Saturn. She worked very hard for many years, and eventually became a cultural icon, appropriate for North Node in the 11th house.

Although this Nodal axis isn’t always the most practical, their fantasies about living an exciting life and pursuing a path that would probably frighten many people (think of relocating to Ceylon during WWII to learn how to become a spy!) mean that Aries North Node is always up for a challenge and would be bored to tears without one.

TauruswoodcutTaurus North Node in the 11th house: Taurus North Node is often problematic in many charts I’ve shown you so far because it has to contend with Scorpio on the South Node. The nature and purpose of each house shapes the expression of the Node, though, and in this case, we’re in a house that has the potential to encompass ideology.

Taurus North Node is capable of fantastical and obsessive thinking in the 11th house. This North Node carries with it the possibility of fanaticism and rigid adherence to ideology and other fixed ways of thinking. This will not necessarily manifest as mental illness, but Scorpio on the South Node is rarely easy-going at the lighter end of the emotional spectrum; at the darkest end, Scorpio in general is capable of the worst you can imagine. 

In the chart of a ‘normal’ person, one not troubled by any serious issues and not called to a ‘higher’ purpose on the world stage, you might never see any of this manifest. In the chart of a psychologically-troubled person, however, I’m afraid the combination of two fixed houses and signs never learns how to play well with other children, and runs with scissors more often than not.

So it won’t come as any real surprise, I hope, that one of the worst people ever created on the face of the planet had this combination, although there were other factors, certainly, not simply his Nodal axis, to consider. Josef Mengele, called the “Angel of Death” at Auschwitz concentration camp, was unfortunate enough to be born with Saturn conjunct his North Node (with an 8 degree separation) and Jupiter conjunct his South Node (which exacerbates and inflates any problems).

The rulers of the two Nodes, Venus and Pluto, are in sextile, indicating that it wasn’t a strain for Mengele to reconcile his personal values with Pluto’s generational influences. So how does humanity breed monsters? Genetics plays a part, but education and prevalent societal beliefs further shape the mind.

Mengele studied medicine and anthropology at a time when beliefs about humankind were already deeply, and overtly, racist (Schafft, Gretchen E. “Scientific Racism in Service of the Reich,” 2002, pp. 117-34). Social engineering was a dominant trope at the time, and it was believed that anthropology provided a “theoretical basis for improving the biological structure of the population” (p. 119). People were sorted into desirable and less-desirable groups, using “ethnographic as well as physical anthropological techniques” (ibid.).

Mass sterilization was considered a viable and necessary answer to the social problem of mental illness, the handicapped, and criminals, and was legal in the United States in the years before Hitler came to power. Anthropologists were responsible for introducing the idea of race to the mix of social engineering and medical interventions into human biology.

Indeed, in The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, Robert Jay Lifton notes that Mengele’s published works did not deviate much from the scientific mainstream of the time, and would probably have been viewed as valid scientific efforts even outside the borders of Nazi Germany.

In addition to this, of course, were the social and economic pressures pervasive in Europe post-WWI, and you’ve got the conditions for a ‘perfect storm’ of ideological insanity. The ideology of Nazism brought together elements of antisemitism, racial hygiene, and eugenics, and combined them with pan-Germanism and territorial expansionism with the goal of obtaining more Lebensraum (living space) for the Germanic people.

All Mengele did was fit right in to this grand master plan. Once he’d worked his way up through the ranks of the German army, he saw immediately that the concentration camps would allow him access to medical experimentation. This is precisely where the 11th house North node can be so useful to the scientist or inventor, having the interest and will to carry out one’s vital research.

Unfortunately for the world, these interests can be twisted to serve a darker purpose. In Mengele’s chart, retrograde Neptune in the 1st is involved in a grand trine with Sun/Mercury in the 10th and Jupiter/South node in the 5th.  Self-delusion is always a risk with Neptune in the 1st, but so is the almost magical ability to convince others of one’s ways of seeing the world.

Finally, though, the ruler of the South node, Pluto, is in the Cadent 12th, and it squares the Sun/Mercury in the 10th, which weakens any resistance the Sun might have had to evil (it is involved in a powerful grand trine, after all, involving two fire element houses, and one earth element house) by virtue of its rulership of the 5th house (thereby ‘saving’ the South node from some damage).

If we choose Mars, traditional ruler of Scorpio, instead of Pluto, we see that it’s also stressed, in conjunction to Uranus; both are in square to Saturn/North node. A Mars/Saturn square under any circumstance is not pleasant. Frequently, the individual is a powerhouse of energy, but it’s suppressed energy, that has the tendency to leak out in small, violent acts or covert anger.

In Mengele’s case, again we see the pattern of fixed energy, since Mars is in Aquarius and Saturn is in Taurus. In other words, neither node in this axis provides a ‘way out’ of fixed, and highly stressed, expression. It’s as though once the path was chosen, there was never any doubt or hesitation of how Mengele would proceed—there is simply too much fixed energy all over the chart, locking him in place. In his water-dominant chart, this much fixed energy serves to reinforce the emotional reality of the lifetime.

A double water sign (Pisces Sun, Cancer Ascendant) is all ‘feeling,’ and fixed energy would serve to cement that feeling sense in place. Mengele would have believed his actions, goals, and values, to be right, based on the world he inherited and the beliefs he absorbed from childhood.

If the North Node was going to help him, it would have been through an adherence to the law (Node conjunct Saturn), but Mengele and his ilk twisted laws, both human and natural, to suit their purposes. Saturn’s square to the Mars/Uranus conjunction complicates the expression of the North node, while Venus, its ruler, in the 11th, is involved in a T-square to both Mars/Uranus and Neptune.

People with fewer aspects to this nodal axis are under less karmic stress, and have less ‘work’ to do, although Scorpio South Node is never entirely free of emotional debt—if not to someone in this lifetime, then perhaps to someone in a past life. Possibly the biggest danger for Scorpio South Node in the 5th is the desire for world domination.

A less self-absorbed Scorpio South Node, on the other hand, thinks about the downtrodden, or orphaned children, and doesn’t concern himself with Plutonian power plays.

GeminiwoodcutGemini North Node in the 11th house:  The combination of double-Air influence here indicates a focus on communication and communicative ‘style’ at the forefront of the lifetime. The native’s energies are pushed into finding the most effective group or set of friends to collaborate with on a plan of great purpose.

A similar combination occurs with Aquarius North node in the 3rd house, because the individual feels the pull of the zeitgeist intensely with Air sign North Nodes, and she is therefore compelled to add to the overall knowledge base. The primary difference between the 3rd and the 11th, though, is that the 11th tends more toward self-isolation at times, breaking out of that intense study to participate in group endeavors.

Another distinction between the 11th and the 3rd, when it comes to the need to communicate, is that the 11th house person gravitates toward situations and life decisions that compel him to integrate attitudes and opinions from strangers as well as close friends. In the 11th, the ‘group’ mind tends to be less personal, and the audience for the Gemini message is not one’s immediate friends and neighborhood cronies, but a group that is out of one’s immediate control. Also, collaboration with strangers (let’s say as a scientist, working on an idea or a paper) is foregrounded in the 11th in a way that it isn’t, necessarily, in the 3rd.

When one breaks these ‘rules,’ and does not learn how to effectively collaborate (to know when to give in, or compromise), the result is that the group finds some way to isolate the native. Power must be shared in the 11th (that’s one of the primary purposes of the nodal axis in general, to show you some very important lesson you weren’t already good at). You cannot become a dictator or monolith any time you find a double Air influence, particularly in the 11th, where the larger group will determine your fate.

Learning how to integrate others’ opinions, needs, and beliefs, is therefore crucial to survival in the 11th. The reason someone might not succeed can stem from 5th house ego issues; if the individual simply cannot accept the limitations on expressions of will and power (Sun as natural ruler of the 5th makes it very hard for the South Node to give up Self-centeredness) the Gemini North Node pays for it through acts of self-doubt and self-sabotage.

Sagittarius on the South Node inflates ego expression under all circumstances when misused; in the 5th, the potential for “look at me” behavior is exacerbated. Ego is conflated with what the individual decides is best for everyone, even when Sagittarius’ intentions are merely to entertain or to hold on to attention.

Gemini at its best is considered a great communicator, and no one has a better speaking style, and is more concerned with ‘his people’ than the 11th house North node, when he’s working in the service of a larger, world-shaping goal, and is listening to the people. But will Sagittarius South node take his goals for others seriously? Sagittarius finds it difficult to make a commitment; the rest of the chart has to support someone’s will to create change and to stick with his goals until the higher purpose of the North node is established.

Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian president from 1981 to 2011 is an interesting example of someone with this Nodal axis punished by his people for, amongst other crimes, ignoring their will. I do not have a definitive knowledge of this, but if he in any way let double Fire-influenced Sagittarian 5th house personal ego prevent him from listening to the will of his people, Saturn conjunct his South node indicates an over-adherence to his own personal notion of ‘laws’ that cannot be broken, and rules that must be followed no matter what—even to one’s downfall.

It also indicates a deserved punishment, one that might very well be karmic, based on Saturnian oppression of others. If the lesson of allowing others greater freedom was unresolved, and brought into this lifetime, then a Saturn/South Node conjunction is a strong indicator that Mubarak has once again made the mistake of ignoring others’ will (his Saturn/South Node squares Pisces Mars in the 9th, indicating a problem with expression of will, aggression, and power due to lack of sensitivity, since Sagittarius’ forthrightness does not ‘hear’ more complicated Piscean emotional needs).

The fiery Knight of Wands speaks to a Sagittarius node, because of the desire for instantaneous movement combined with a rather appalling lack of awareness of others' needs.
The fiery Knight of Wands speaks to a Sagittarius node, because of the desire for instantaneous movement combined with a rather appalling lack of awareness of others’ needs.

It would be like asking the Knight of Wands to bother with the Page of Cups; he’d just run the poor kid down, rather than take the time to even notice him standing there. Both cards in the Tarot are concerned with imparting messages, but of very different types.

Mubarak also has a powerful Fire grand trine aspecting the Saturn/South node conjunction which augments the message in this chart that the North node’s ultimate purpose cannot be fulfilled if Fire-style bravado prevents the native from understanding (an 11th house keyword) the group-mind.

Fire and Air might be ‘compatible,’ but with the 11th house North Node, if you’re not listening to your people, if you’re not sensitive to their needs, if your Fire and Air overwhelm any true emotive understanding of what they’re communicating to you, you will lose your audience, and, ultimately, your soapbox, pulpit, or throne.

cancerwoodcutCancer North Node in the 11th house: This is a combination that ‘ought’ to make the world your friend, and create a native who understands that strangers are merely friends you haven’t met yet. The highest expression of the 11th house is to take on social causes that you are personally invested in in some way, perhaps by becoming someone’s sponsor, Big Brother, Big Sister, or even an anonymous donor who feels connected to a larger-than-self issue.

On one level, this is easy for Cancer North Node to do, because the Cancerian energy pushes and pulls at this native’s heartstrings until he or she understands the importance one’s personal involvement and emotional commitment makes to otherwise seemingly impersonal 11th house civic-arena activities.

Because of the nature of Cancer/Capricorn Nodes, one cannot escape the influence of the parents, and of course, the rulers, Moon and Saturn become important to consider in the overall analysis of whether the chart supports the nodal axis’ purpose or not. If the Moon is a strong influence in the chart, the mother’s life story or attitudes will have a profound influence on the native’s reasons for pursuing the path he decides upon.

The South Node in Capricorn is almost always problematic, though, because there are usually either strong prejudices learned in childhood and supported or promoted by the family to incorporate and understand, or to fight against. It’s always possible with an emphasis on Cancer and Capricorn in the natal chart that the parents could present themselves as polar opposites in many ways or, conversely, as a coherent whole ‘unit’ that the child feels either supports him or he absolutely opposes.

The pronounced differences, the light and dark sides of the Moon and Saturn, are more powerful in the chart of someone grappling with Cancer and Capricorn issues; where there’s significant dominance in Cancer and Capricorn planets;  or whose Moon and/or Saturn are in some way strong in the chart.

When dealing with prejudices based upon ego learned in childhood, the 11th house North Node cannot sustain reliance on false beliefs. The North Node here is always seeking higher ground.

Some keywords for this Nodal axis in Cancer/Capricorn will be: gaining perspective; being inclusive; moving away from instinctive adherence to tradition and towards what’s right for the group; finding ways to make others feel like you care about their future as a group (group identity is more important to the 11th house than individual identity, a 5th house perspective).

Ultimately, groups and being accepted by the group (being popular) become more emotionally important to this North Node than the South Node agrees on. The 5th would prefer to keep the group smaller, more personal, and more controlled, due to the Capricorn influence. Relinquishing control is a serious issue for Cancer/Capricorn Nodes.

I also would not be surprised to find a dominant South Node here identifying with more masculine, authoritative, or rule-based social groups, whereas the direction Cancer North Node is pointing you towards is matriarchal, inclusive, and instinctive, not based primarily on following strict societal laws or adherence to rigid—and unworkable—rules. Look to a prominent Saturn-influenced chart if the person cannot see the importance of letting go of some rules, but instead insists on enforcing even the most trivial of social rules.

The primary danger with Cancer North Node in the 11th stems from pursuing a path of chauvinistic nationalism and thinking you’re in the right because your feelings guide you.

I’m using the word ‘Chauvinism’ here in its denotative meaning as “exaggerated or aggressive patriotism; excessive or prejudiced loyalty or support for one’s cause, group, or gender.” [Origin: Late 19th century, named after Nicolas Chauvin, a Napoleonic veteran noted for his extreme patriotism, popularized as a character by Cogniard brothers in Cocarde Tricolore, 1831.]

An example of positively-expressing North Node in Cancer in the 11th can be seen in the chart of multitalented actor, writer, entertainer, and musician, Steve Martin. Ruler of the North Node, Moon, is conjunct the IC in Scorpio; Saturn, Ruler of the South Node, is in Cancer (too far from the North Node to be considered conjunct).

This combination imparts an emphasis on the very personal nature of the two signs ruling the nodal axis, for Moon and Saturn are both felt and experienced most strongly through one’s personal life. Venus is in Cancer, conjunct the North Node; Moon in Scorpio trines the North Node/Venus conjunction, hence his emotional appeal. 

Martin has been wildly popular with the public for a very long time, and both Venus and the Moon can help with that. Strangers love him, as one would expect with Cancer in the 11th, but an important key to Martin’s success, other than his unique sense of humor, has been how hard he works (Capricorn on the South Node in the 5th—he’s got 5th house multitalented skills and never stops working).

Scorpio Moon is sextile his South Node, so his emotions probably aren’t allowed to interfere with work (but in general, it’s always nice when the ruler of the North Node makes beneficial aspects to the Nodal axis). His work ethic is enormous and persistent, but interestingly, a critic commenting on the reason for Martin’s success said that Martin has an “unprecedented feel for the tastes of a mass audience,” just as you’d expect of North Node in Cancer in the 11th.

LeowoodcutLeo North Node in the 11th house: Here we are in the realm of multiple-layers of Fixed energy again, with Aquarius South Node in the 5th, and the influence of Fixed sign energy on the 5/11 cusps mingling with the rays of Sun and Uranus. 

Although I prefer to resist the automatic conflation of sign with house, one cannot entirely avoid its influence, although perhaps in this case I really should call it ‘rulership’, given Leo’s propensity for grandeur.

Overall, though, I worry when there’s this much (fixed nature) certainty in someone’s chart; no one knows everything, and you are better off acknowledging your limitations as a mere mortal when you have this nodal axis. Having said that, the 11th house can inspire eccentric life paths, but Leo will pull them off with panache and, usually, a strong desire to fit in and be liked (and Leo with the 11th is usually extremely likable, if a little odd and self-absorbed).

The influence of the Sun on the 5th house South Node means that the position of the Sun in the natal chart, its aspects, etc., will of course have more prominence on the outcome for this lifetime’s goals. Not only is the 11th house ‘about’ goals, but the Sun is also something to look generally for when assessing goals and life purpose (look to the Sun also to assess the overall health and physical vitality of the native).

Therefore, the combination of this North Node and any aspects the Sun makes will reveal quite a lot about the challenges this person faces; and, of course, also the innate talents, habits, and skills the South Node ‘inherits’ from somewhere . . . perhaps DNA, perhaps the family legacy.

The 11th house North Node often comes from a ‘prominent’ family; this is true of Julia Childs, Mubarak, and even Josef Mengele. Issues of elitism are never far from this Nodal axis; Leo and Aquarius both have reasons to ‘poke’ at this societal wound due to an overwhelming need to fit into the dominant group (or stand out from the dominant group, either outside of it entirely, or as its leader).

The 11th house in particular will make you aware of your own or others’ social status, often painfully if you do not fit in and therefore feel isolated from your social group (or you consciously choose to isolate yourself in defiance or for self-preservation). At the root of these choices is a ‘narcissistic wound,’ a core wound to the sense of self.

This is not quite the same kind of wound you expect to see with the nodal axis in the 4/10 houses—that stems from the relationship to the parental dyad.

In the 5/11 houses, the wound is just as painful, but stems from our first attempts to join social groups. Take a look at your 5/11 axis to see how well you feel you fit in to the world, because your earliest experiences never quite leave you, and many people feel quite separate from others with planets or points here.

However, social privilege, elitism, and all the nice (and ugly) things that come with it (nice for you, ugly for someone else) are also 11th house issues, and in the wrong chart, as of Josef Mengele above, you can see what happens when too much Fixed energy combines with prejudice against others.

Believing you are different than, and therefore better than, another, is at the core of unequal social relationships, and it’s not surprising to find the 11th house involved in some way (not necessarily through the Nodal axis) for people whose chart addresses this concern in some way.

Social injustice is a huge subject for 11th house dominant people, and so don’t be surprised if you see some planet or other (or point, like the Nodal axis) posited in the 11th house of someone deeply involved with the masses and social justice.

A current relevant example (but not of the Nodal axis, which falls in the 10/4 houses) is Senator Bernie Sanders, whose political platform is based on outrage over social injustice. His 11th house Venus in Libra trines Jupiter in Gemini in the 7th; but perhaps more tellingly, North Node ruler Mercury in Virgo is conjunct South Node ruler Neptune, making idealism crucial to the expression of his life’s purpose. 

To understand the differences between how life paths are chosen, consider that many people are self-motivated, or are pioneers, isolated in their lives, cut off from popular, but short-term, trends. In fact, many 11/5th house people create trends, are innovators, or are unique in some obvious, creative way.

This is especially obvious with 1st house North Nodes or even 5th house North Nodes (the two Fire-related houses). 2nd house North Nodes tend to need only one other person and make good partners in business, when they’re not working on their own.

You see the point I’m making; the nature of the houses the Nodal axis falls in seems to determine how ‘unique’ the individual path is likely to be (as always, of course, there are mitigating factors, and there are no universal claims possible about your individual and unique chart).

As a distinction from the type of individualistic path some people gravitate towards is the type of life that requires others to point you in a direction you can’t quite find on your own. In the 4/10 axis, those ‘others’ might be family (you do see a fair amount of family businesses started by a previous generation maintained and added on to by 4/10 nodal axis people).

In the 5/11 axis, those ‘others’ are often friends (or rivals, if the native is competitive and takes inspiration primarily from watching his rivals fail or succeed).

The reason I bring this up is that a core motivation for the 11th house North Node in Leo is often to be ‘better than’ others in some way. Most of the time this desire stems from inner purity and goodness, but not always. The most evil people start out not necessarily motivated by ‘the best’ of intentions, but proceed little by little, pushed on incrementally by the desire to look smarter than others, or make more money, or be taken seriously.

An example of someone who moved up the social ladder, step by step (sounds good so far, right?) was Adolf Eichmann, drawn into the Nazi party in the first place through the recommendation of a friend. As my mother used to say, With friends like that, who needs enemies?, but these guys all had basically the same cultural values and thought they were creating a “better” world, brought to you through annihilation and racial ‘purity’. 

Eichmann’s most prominent role in the Nazi party was to ensure the emigration of Jews and resettlement of other undesirable groups, all in service to the ‘master plan’ intended to make room for German expansion throughout (eventually conquered) Europe.

I think it’s telling that the rulers of his Nodes, Sun in late Pisces and Uranus in Capricorn, fall in a wide, applying square. In general, his chart is fairly tense, with a number of squares between Capricorn and Aries (similar in a way to the Capricorn/Aries square we’re dealing with now between Pluto and Uranus).

Also in his chart is that one crucial opposition from Uranus in Capricorn to Neptune in Cancer (at the IC/MC axis, which I think of as the ‘backbone’ or supporting beam of the chart, if one thinks of the chart architecturally).

Capricorn/Aries squares indicate stress between tradition and all that is new (when ‘new’ equals what we often think of as ‘progress’). Especially with the Nodal rulers in square, Eichmann’s chart shows the tensions his generation must have felt about the nature of the world around them at the time.

Chiron in Aquarius in wide conjunction to his South node indicates that on some level, he must have felt connected to the idea of the group mind, but I’m afraid it manifested in adherence to the rules of a group because of a fear of being ostracized if he ever deviated from what he was told to do (an effect Aquarius has in a chart when there’s early childhood wounding).

Sometimes, though, Chiron functions in the chart as a kind of teacher, believing it ‘knows best’ what the future should look like, intending to help others make the transition from old to new by providing them some form of help or life skill.

However, Chiron with Aquarius South node weakens the chance that the person can stand out and speak for himself (Leo North node) for fear of standing out from the group mind and becoming isolated. In other words, in Eichmann, one sees a follower, rather than a leader.

Why two Nazis in the same article? Well, the 11th house has a lot to do with social groups, as I’ve said, and the Nazi party’s primary concern was to recreate society in the highly mythologized Aryan image. This is one of the reasons I take the 11th house very seriously when it comes to a seemingly well-meaning, but potentially oblivious ‘scientific’ view of humankind, because if being scientific equals a lack of compassion or empathy, the outcome is too often eugenics and other societal horrors when you add elitism and egoism to the mix.

It is also why I suggest looking at the 11th house, its cusp, ruler(s) and any aspects it makes, to determine whether or not the person in question is capable of seeing people as organic and therefore fragile, or whether the 11th house person has somehow been damaged and wiped of their humanity and compassion for all forms of life, not just the ‘chosen ones’.

Thankfully, for every negative, there’s a positive. The next example is of someone I consider sane. Here’s a quote about eccentric illustrator Edward Gorey that uses a key 11th house concept, ‘laboratory of the mind’:

Much like an eccentric scientist in a gothic legend, Edward Gorey (1925-2000) brought to life from the laboratory of his mind altogether new, intriguing, perplexing, often playfully sinister personalities.

Edward Gorey is well-known for his delightfully weird, twisted, mostly macabre black humor. I personally think he represents the 11th house North node really well, because he illustrates, no pun intended, how the nature of a house shapes the life experience.

The Leo North Node pushes the native to seek (or simply receive out of the blue, given the nature of Uranus-ruled Aquarian South Node) a lot of attention, which is useful when you want to sell a product, become famous, or express yourself. Venus on the South Node adds to what we think of as ‘innate’ artistic ability, but the aesthetic with Venus in Aquarius is always going to be decidedly odd.

Gorey’s chart has only a few squares (and hence much less tension) than Eichmann’s, and he’s blessed (in my opinion) with the creative genius biquintile aspect, in this case between Uranus-ruled Aquarius Venus and Pluto in Cancer.

The rulers of the Nodes, Sun and Uranus, are both in Pisces, indicating an interesting kind of harmony between the South and North Nodes. North Node is widely conjunct Neptune; with this blend of Neptune, Pisces, and the 11th house, you’re going to see a person who thinks way, way, way outside the box. 

“The Gashlycrumb Tinies” is definitely black humor.


VirgowoodcutVirgo North Node in the 11th house: I have found that no matter what house the Virgo/Pisces Nodal axis falls in, the fact that Mercury rules the North Node is central to the choice of life path.

Before I started analyzing the Nodal axis, I did not necessarily associate Virgo with wordsmiths to the extent that I should have, since so many Virgo North Nodes seem to gravitate to work that involves the world of publishing.

I associate Mercury’s rulership of Virgo with scientific pursuits, but I define ‘scientific’ very broadly, and so Virgo might have an interest in virtually any pursuit requiring careful attention to detail, order, and method. Basically, what I’m really saying about Virgo in general is that there is a strong interest in the ‘life of the mind,’ and although this can lead in a number of directions, the North Node in particular seems to function in response to its ruling planet much more so than I initially knew.

Whenever I see either Uranus or Neptune, though, I tend to think of their influence as ‘wild cards’, and with a Neptune-ruled South Node, the native is always going to be a little more interesting and creative in their approach to life than Mercury-ruled Virgo is automatically comfortable with. The early years of this native’s chosen path might seem very traditional, staid, or even boring compared to the twists and turns Neptune-ruled South Node can bring.

There’s a strong pushme-pullyou between Virgo and Pisces that creates tension between pragmatism and creativity. Some people are more adaptable and can make that combination work, but a lot of people have trouble navigating the rocky shoals when mutable Earth combines with mutable Water. The most obviously (usually materially) successful people have a chart that supports their Nodal axis, but generalizing means you’re going to find weird outliers who don’t quite fit the mold you’ve constructed, since Neptune is an unpredictable influence.

Let’s look at Liz Smith, who started out as a journalist but discovered an affinity for entertainment media and ended up as one of the most famous gossip columnists in America, covering the famous and fabulous. She has proven to be highly endurable, and has made the transition from radio to television, and on to the internet, writing most recently for the Huffington Post. If there’s one thing mutable nodes will do for you, it’s make you flexible, and Cardinal points on each of the four major angles provides an indomitable will.

The strongest indicator of an affinity for entertainment reporting might be that ruler of the South Node, Neptune, is in Leo, falls in the 10th, and is heavily aspected, whereas ruler of the North Node, Mercury, makes virtually no aspect at all, except to Chiron and Lilith. I suspect the desire to be a gossip columnist might have a Lilith-edge to it.

I honestly cannot tell with mutable Nodes whether the person’s early path changes because of the inherently variable nature of mutability, or whether it’s just a really useful thing to be flexible in the first place, since life provides many opportunities, and it does seem like adaptable mutable signs have an advantage over those who insist on following the one path they devised early in life, come hell or high water.

Other examples of Virgo North Node in the 11th include D. H. Lawrence, widely considered one of the most controversial writers of his period, with Sun, Jupiter, and Uranus conjunct the North Node;  M. Paul Choisnard, noted astrologer, whose polemic approach focused on the power of statistics in the study of astrology; and geologist, paleontologist, author and professor Stephen J. Gould, famous for his revolutionary ideas about evolution.

LibrawoodcutLibra North Node in the 11th house: In general, Air signs on the North Node incline the individual toward concern and interest in the lives of others. 

In the 11th, these ‘others’ are often connected with larger, often impersonal groups the individual projects their inner reality upon, often in an attempt to ‘rescue’ them, or, at the very least, protect them from an inhumane world.

Aries on the South Node is a champion of those in trouble. If the individual cares about others at all with Aries South Node in the 5th, that should be encouraged, in my opinion, since the influence of double Fire is usually very self-absorbed (but has unstoppable energy when attention is turned toward something useful).

South Node in the 5th in general creates an early affinity with entertainment or a pull toward appearing on some stage or other, but Libra North node pulls back, drawing the individual toward helping the masses. In Libra, the North Node life lesson is about collaboration, rather than living out Aries’ goal when combined with the Sun-influenced 5th house, which is to be in charge, or to be seen as important.

However, philanthropists in general often have planets in the 11th, since they are drawn to the idea of helping “the little guy.” Groups here are represented by the downtrodden, the nameless, faceless, millions, and are ideal subjects for the 11th house person to become involved with.

11th house North Node natives might come from a family of social workers, or have been sensitized to problems with the human condition early in life. Similar to Cancer North Node, Libra will personalize the other person’s problems, and will be seen to reach out, often making the impersonal personal, as in politics, where this North Node usually makes a strong impression and can, potentially, do a lot of good.

Overall, the 11th house North Node person sensitized to other’s problems and needs, filtered through Venus-ruled Libra, can be a very sweet, giving, and caring person, who is likely to want to give you the shirt off their backs. However, the chart has to support concern with, and generosity towards, the masses (not to mention the wherewithal in terms of finances). With sufficient financial acuity and the will to ‘do good’ that comes with a sensitive 11th house, the individual can create charitable foundations or fund scholarships.

In the chart of someone who doesn’t necessarily express their 5th house through a particular creative talent, the individual might be simply ‘popular,’ or the person on the block everyone goes to in times of trouble. The key here is developing compassion and awareness of others, always the core Libra/Aries Nodal axis issue.

ScorpioScorpio North Node in the 11th house: The rulers of these Nodes, Pluto and Venus, create such a strong influence on the native’s desire nature that this nodal axis tends to be dominated by a fixation with power and/or physical, or material satiation.

The primary question with this Nodal axis in any house is ‘when is enough enough?’ because these people do not seem to ever experience a feeling of ‘fullness’ or contentment. Always striving, always working, they either come from poverty, or need to prove themselves in the outside world, in an externalized struggle against the world’s perceived lack of concern for their material welfare.

In the 5th house, the South node in Taurus creates a person with a strong, mostly unshakeable belief system, even if what he really believes in is the importance of his own dreams and goals; Scorpio North Node will often co-opt the other into helping fulfill those goals.

If this sounds narcissistic, it can be; keep in mind that we’re in the nodal axis belonging to the influence of Sun and Uranus/Ouranos and Helios. Scorpio North Node is not inherently concerned with others’ welfare when in an Air-influenced house, and Taurus South Node in the self-absorbed 5th would have to be taught a developed sense of sharing and fairness early on for that lesson to be fully integrated by the time the North Node and its desire for power tugs the strings.

Scorpio North node pulls the native toward accomplishment, but there’s always an underlying sense that the native needs accomplishment more than her rival; that she’s determined, yes, and even desperate to come out on top, as though there was a race being run in her head that she simply must win.

The 5th house is capable of such astonishing creativity, that the 11th house North node basks in the light of how easy it is for her to manifest her dreams, but god help you if you ever try to take any of it away from her. Double Fixed sign energy is absolutely not one to take lightly. You will wrest her winnings out of her cold, dead hands, if these Nodes are not imbued with the Venus-ruled Taurus sweetness, and the Plutonian ability to rise above his own limitations we see all the time in positively-expressing Scorpio.  

Since innate avariciousness can’t always be true (because there are so many higher-nature Scorpio/Taurus types) there have to be times when the native uses her power for something more important than ego-dominated attainment or material possessions. 

I would hope to see an overall lifetime awareness of others’ needs for this nodal axis when North Node falls in the 11th house, even if this Node has to be dragged toward higher consciousness kicking and screaming.

So how can I possibly make North Node in Scorpio Ted Turner fit this higher-functioning narrative? Well, let’s see if I can. Will Cinderella’s star-encrusted slipper fit his overbearing character and famous ego?

Possibly the most notable trait about Turner is his innate sense of acquisition; he knows when to buy, and has had impeccable wisdom during much of his career, capitalizing on low-investment technologies, transforming them into high-value assets.

Uranus is conjunct his South Node in Taurus in the 5th, which points rather obviously to technology and ownership, buying, and building on investment. Turner was in on the ground floor of cable television and was one of the first to use satellites to broadcast the Cable News Network, CNN, nationally, rather than locally, which was the way satellite cable television had previously been broadcast.

As probably everyone knows by now, he became an extremely wealthy man from all his various investments, and eventually also became, fortunately for the North Node in the 11th, a philanthropist, committed to donating the majority of his estate to charity upon his death.

The thing I find so interesting about Turner is that he managed to amass an incredible amount of wealth in his lifetime; in my opinion, yes, it helps that Jupiter in Aquarius falls in his 2nd (although plutocracy-level wealth seems to stick to Pluto in the 2nd more easily, since Jupiter is perfectly happy spending it rather than hoarding it).

However, it could easily be said that Turner ‘got lucky’ with Jupiter in the 2nd, which not only gives you a fair amount of luck making fortunes, you might also have some left over to spend at the end of the day if you play your cards right.

It is quite interesting to me that his Nodal axis in wealth-building Taurus and power-conglomerating Scorpio is protected by the trine between Nodal axis rulers Venus and Pluto, at the same time that Jupiter in the 2nd aspects Venus (although by square; even so, it’s better to see a square rather than no aspect at all, largely because squares give off so much ‘negative’ energy they provide a major impetus for hard work—I would imagine younger Turner had a lot to prove to himself and his father, with Saturn in the 4th, particularly with Saturn in an ‘angry’ opposition from Aries to Mars in Libra).

I only rarely see trine aspects between Nodal axis rulers. In this case, North Node is somewhat widely conjunct Sun and Venus, ruler of the South Node, which is beneficial. When you see the North Node strongly supported in a chart, fulfilling the higher purposes of the lifetime are so much easier.

It’s not that Turner has never experienced hardship, though; as a book he wrote explains, ‘it hasn’t always been easy’ (Sun/Venus in the 12th sesquisquare Saturn in the 4th). His father committed suicide at the age of 53, and Turner, only 24 at the time, took over running the family’s bankrupt billboard advertising company (which he turned around when he capitalized on the passive revenue possible in billboard marketing sales, a very Taurus-style epiphany, if you ask me).

Turner struggles with depression. Yet, he’s busy donating his fortune to various environmental and global concerns, and I think that even though he has irritated many with his outspoken nature (good luck finding a triple Scorpio who doesn’t speak his mind, particularly one with Uranus in Taurus conjunct the South Node!) his politics are progressive, and he seems to be fulfilling the 11th house North Node purpose of working for the greater good.

With Uranus on the South Node, he came into the world to be a reformer; it’s all that Fixed energy that makes him so determined, but it’s the North Node that pulls him, thankfully, toward the higher nature of Scorpio, which is to be of service to all the people who use his various service-based entertainment and technology businesses—very much an 11th house endeavor, since he’ll never meet most of the people whose lives he has influenced through Uranian innovation.

SagwoodcutSagittarius North Node in the 11th house: If the 11th house is the house of dreams, then Sagittarius North Node magnetizes the native toward extremely interesting ones.

Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius enlarges everything it touches; sometimes the influence is positive, sometimes negative, but keep in mind that South Node in Gemini has its charms, and manages to keep the individual in front of an admiring 5th house audience, even when the acclaim is not as deserved as it might be for someone with a message of greater depth than Gemini/Sagittarius might incline towards.

From what I’ve seen, South Node in the 5th people (of any sign) gravitate towards entertaining others, appearing onstage, and becoming famous far often than mere chance would indicate likely. The ones who concern me are the politicians, because it worries me that the reason they get in front of people in the first place is that they’re motivated by a need to be appreciated, rather than by a sincere desire to help others.

So it comes as no surprise that Sagittarius North Node won’t be able to resist expanding his or her influence into the world, becoming a Sagittarian-style entertainer, complete with entourage and bling. A great deal of charm, wit, cleverness, and Mercury-ruled abilities come with South Node in Gemini. The combination of Gemini and the 5th house makes for a highly creative person, someone who sparkles and bubbles like champagne.  Brilliance is their strong suit.

What could possibly go wrong? Well, Gemini and Sagittarius are, of course, both mutable signs. Mutability means neither sign is drawn to longterm commitments. On the one hand, they are excellent candidates for a peripatetic lifestyle, going on the road in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, their ability to escape is legendary; ‘poof’, they’re gone and you’ll see them—maybe—when next they pass through town.

Now, creativity with the 5th house and Mercury tends toward the obvious; Gemini South Node will manifest as a writer, with Sagittarius North Node pulling the native toward longer works, rather than short stories or poems (although when you’re writing music, longer isn’t necessarily better, which is why Gemini on a Node can be so helpful for those whose calling requires brevity).

Depending on how Jupiter and Mercury are aspected, the native is quite possibly multitalented, since Jupiter expands everything, including talent.

Composer and singer Roberta Flack has this Nodal axis; interestingly, but also sadly, Chiron is conjunct her South Node (and square Saturn, so Flack definitely had some practical hurdles to overcome before her talent was fully expressed or appreciated by the larger audience possible in the 11th house).

Her early years were spent being so naturally talented that others literally told her to ‘back off’, to stop singing, or go sing in another room! It turns out the emotion she put into her singing upset her teachers, and so instead of adapting to her, she was forced to adapt to them. 

Fortunately, her talent shone through, and she was ‘discovered’, but it took awhile. She started as a poorly-paid music teacher (Chiron on the South Node, both wounding and teaching), but was given a venue by someone who believed in her, and famous people came to see her. The luck of Jupiter on the North Node in the 11th cannot be underestimated—the 11th house provides the stage, and Jupiter sprinkles that stage with lucky stardust.

Rulers of the Nodal axis, Jupiter and Mercury, are both in Capricorn in the 12th, within 10 degrees of conjunction. I’ve found from my research that the 12th house shows up quite often in the charts of musicians (but not necessarily the Sun as much as the Nodal axis and the personal planets). Mercury has all positive aspects (except for one opposition to Pluto, but that’s not necessarily a negative).

Overall, though, there is hardship in Flack’s chart (indicated by Chiron squares in general, and especially the Chiron square to 2nd house Saturn. And Saturn, of course, exactly squares the Nodal axis, creating a T-square involving the Nodes). There is a great deal of determination in her chart, with the four quadrants represented by Fixed sign energy on each angle. The four angles are the ‘spine’ of the chart, and having each angle represented by the same modality emphasizes the particular strength or power that modality imparts.

Crime-thriller writer Joseph Wambaugh’s Nodal axis rulers, like Flack’s, fall in conjunction in the 12th house. There’s a hidden, coming-into-being quality with the 12th house. Although planets and points falling in the 12th are said to be weak, since this is a Cadent house, receiving the least amount of light from the Ascendant, they are also rising, and so are gaining in ascendency (the strength of which will be reached at the midheaven).

I think of 12th house planets as the qualities of the character or life that are not necessarily most obviously in evidence, and seem to require extra time or work to discover or fulfill. One of the ways around this policy I’ve established about the 12th house, though, is to see a Nodal axis ruler posited there; that seems to give 12th house planets an emphasis that cannot be overlooked. 

Interestingly, the Nodal axis here tells you the story of how Wambaugh had the impetus to bring his stories to life on screen, since the 5th house is so naturally tied to entertainment venues, and the 11th gives the individual a tug towards making that entertainment interesting to the masses. Also, I think you could make the argument that if the chart determines one’s fate, perhaps it was (mostly) inevitable that Wambaugh’s extremely popular writing would expand beyond books to TV to movies.

Although you can look to many influences in any chart and attribute success to many different facets, my suspicion these days is that the Nodal axis rulers will tell you how the person negotiates pushing him- or herself forward (particularly when planets are posited in Cadent houses).  

CapCapricorn North Node in the 11th house: Here we see the interesting elemental combination of Earth and Air, Fire and Water, shaping the experiences of the nodal axis. When you see all four elements represented like this, you do tend to think in terms of the potential for a well-rounded life.

This occurs here if the 11th house goal or dream represents a life focus, and yet is attempted not so much from a need for ‘simple’ material attainment, but instead on attention to developing all the various skills the individual possesses. This South node isn’t ‘merely’ capable of great talent. In this incarnation, expressing talent on its own might not be the point. 

With Capricorn on the North Node, there must be a pragmatic purpose for the talent, otherwise the South Node’s ability to care about the masses represented by the 11th house will not be allowed the kind of focused attention Capricorn North Node is drawn to.

Cancer South Node always has the potential to ‘devolve’, if you will, into diffuse ‘caring’ for ‘everyone’ in this nodal axis. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with empathy, but in the hands of Capricorn (a sign that I have discussed previously as a builder and nurturer, capable of caring very much, albeit from a distance, about the needs of others) the goal when combined with the Air-influenced 11th house is larger than being trapped on a pedestal, admired solely for one’s sensitivity or awareness of others’ needs.

This Nodal axis, therefore, might spend a large amount of time developing her skills, broadening her abilities, researching issues she’s interested in, until she feels the time has come to bring that overall awareness and focus to the world. It’s rare, even with innate 5th house curiosity and creativity, to see this person shine as brightly in early life as she will when she has matured. 

In particular, with Fire and Water influencing the 5th house South Node, the emotional life must have time to mature, and emotional intelligence must be encouraged, since Cancer South Node runs the risk of taking everything too personally, especially when posited in a Fire-influenced house.

Youthful impulses will possibly derail some of her focus, largely because South Node Cancer is easily swayed by people who ‘need’ her (or by world issues that upset her). However, responses to these issues are frequently a motivator that propels the individual into their North Node in the 11th, so if that’s the case, the South Node is serving its primary purpose, even if it doesn’t immediately appear that way).

It’s also possible that South node Cancer, even in the rather show-off 5th house, won’t call the person to any form of a stage, entertainment business, or other act of self-aggrandizement, giving the South node more innate humility than you expect with other South nodes in the 5th.

This person might therefore spend a lot of his early life working behind the scenes, where he won’t be seen or heard from until the ‘perfect’ moment arrives to bring forth their take on the serious world issues they’re connected with.

The danger with this nodal axis is fairly obvious; Cancer South node, if overwhelmed by the rest of the chart, is traditional in the extreme, leading to narrow-mindedness and prejudice which Capricorn all-too-easily expresses as ‘fact’, especially when posited in the already mentally serious 11th house.

You’ll see many of these influences in Phil Donahue’s chart. His career started when he became a reporter, although over time, he evolved into a ‘major talk-show host and pioneer of audience interaction in a flexible, captivating on-air performance’.

Perhaps the part that most people aren’t necessarily aware of is that Donahue created the intimate, caring television environment so overused nowadays, bringing a personal awareness to the issues of the day, expressing the emotive nature of his South node in Cancer. Perhaps most importantly, he ran up and down the aisles asking for audience opinion—a very inclusive 11th house endeavor. 

Underlying the warmth and caring persona is support from the rulers of the Nodal axis, Saturn and Moon. Each are in Water signs (Pisces and Scorpio) and fall within 5˚ of a separating trine. Saturn, interestingly, sits within 3˚ of the Ascendent, while Moon conjunct Venus is posited in the 8th house. This is a serious man. He takes issues of the day seriously, and has built a reputation on digging deeply—sometimes too deeply—into personal issues that television simply avoided like the plague prior to the development of Donahue’s probing, highly emotional, style. 

AquariuswoodcutAquarius North Node in the 11th house: Ah, what magic we can create in this Nodal axis! All we need is to find support in the chart for the Utopian dreams possible for the Aquarius North Node/Leo South Node axis.

When thinking about who would best sum up the idea of the 11th house Aquarius Nodal axis, I asked myself what the essence of the 11th house is about. I decided it’s about concerns for the ‘little guy’; social inclusiveness; and, of course, respectful friendship.

The first person who popped into my mind to fulfill all those requirements was Frank Capra. Fortunately, Mr. Capra knew I would come calling some day, and obliged me by having North Node in Aquarius in the 11th house, so that inspiration worked out! 

Who better sums up the importance of those seemingly simple values and wildly utopian ideals about how people should treat each other, than did director Frank Capra, famous for the classic, quintessentially American movie It’s A Wonderful Life. 

An 11th house sentiment if ever there was one, from Clarence, the angel who finally gets his wings after he saves George from his lowest (perhaps bestial, animal, and therefore Leonine?) instincts.
An 11th house sentiment if ever there was one, from Clarence, the angel who finally gets his wings after he saves George from his lowest (perhaps bestial, animal, and therefore Leonine?) instincts.

The closing message summing up the point of the movie occurs in the final scenes. Capra leaves us with wisdom imparted from ‘on high’, in the form of a book dedication, written by one of God’s angels, telling protagonist George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) what God (the ultimate authority figure at the time) thinks we humans here on earth should focus on: the importance of friendship. 

With that one simple message, Capra’s intent was to counteract society’s highly corrosive belief in the supremacy and importance of money, since that belief breeds greed and corruption. To be a simple working man was nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, ‘Everyman’ George Bailey, so focused on money and getting ahead, was nonetheless never content with the small miracles already in his possession, and was entirely missing the point of being alive.

The (admittedly heavy-handed) moral of this movie still resonates because America in particular never loses interest in a ‘get rich quick’ story, valuing the worth of the individual who ‘makes it big’ over the nobility of the common person (sorry if I get on my soapbox here, but with natal Moon/Jupiter conjunct in Scorpio in the 11th, I completely agree with Capra’s stated values). Filthy lucre is filthy for a reason.

Through his subject matter, Frank Capra fought for his ideals about social awareness, and for the respect the ordinary, working-class person, who makes the dreams of the wealthy possible, deserves. Plus, it has always seemed to me that this story in particular tries to make the point that each person affects every other person s/he knows; that your mere existence on the planet is reason enough to value yourself. A bit of a twist on the self-importance of the 5th house, so let’s see how Capra might have come to this belief system.

Capra’s chart is, to all intents and purposes, a road map to the impetus behind It’s A Wonderful Life. Of particular interest is 2nd house Sun in Taurus in exact opposition to the 8th house Saturn/Uranus conjunction.

The Nodal axis rulers therefore dominate the chart, pulling in energy around 2nd and 8th house matters, but also strengthening the purpose of the Nodal axis itself, which is clearly to challenge the status quo, particularly the idea that money equals happiness or fulfillment.

Anaretic Mars in Cancer in the 5th conjunct South node brings extra, almost fanatical, energy to creativity and self-expression, and perhaps not a little anger to the issues dealt with in Capra’s movies, which are renowned for their idealism and anti-materialistic messages (strong idealism in his chart is seen in a Pluto/Neptune in Gemini conjunction in the 3rd, in exact opposition to Moon in Sagittarius in the 9th).

Further details emerge; Sun square Jupiter in the 6th speaks to the importance of hard work (and indeed, Capra came from a very poor immigrant Italian family and worked incredibly hard to establish himself. Yet as we can see from all the oppositions in Capra’s chart, his attitudes toward many issues were complex and even contradictory. He worked very hard and became a highly respected (and presumably well paid) multiple award-winning director.

Another great example of North Node in Aquarius is the extremely interesting Elias Ashmole

celebrated English antiquary, politician, officer of arms, astrologer and student of alchemy (qtd. from Wikipedia).

Ashmole’s chart shows how intellectual curiosity inspires so much of the activity of the 11th house, and how that intellectual curiosity leads to a great deal of learning, research, and fascination with information. At his death, he donated his priceless collection of manuscripts, antiquarian books, and other assorted documents and memorabilia (known at the time as a cabinet of curiosities) to Oxford College, forming what became the Ashmolean Museum.

As with so many 11th house natives we’ve looked at so far, Ashmole’s family had been, at one time, ‘prominent’, although their fortunes declined by the time Ashmole was born. Nonetheless, Ashmole’s family connections lent respectability, and he became a solicitor, married well (though his young wife died after only three years of marriage), and eventually became wealthy enough to indulge his intellectual curiosities.   

Something Ashmole makes possible to discuss is the encyclopedic knowledge of Aquarius when related to the 11th house. The North Node here indicates the fascination Ashmole had with all types of knowledge—from mysticism to magic to botany—which it makes complete sense to me an extraordinary Aquarius North Node would be entirely absorbed with, since the 5th is such a creative house to begin with.

Ruler of the North Node, Uranus, is in the 2nd house, in semisextile aspect to ruler of the South Node, Sun in Gemini (conjunct Mercury at the Gemini Ascendent). That is a powerful amount of Air energy to fuel the ‘life of the mind’ so crucial to Aquarius’ intellectual expansion. Uranus in the 2nd indicates the intellectual nature of his collection, which was vast (there are many aspects to Jupiter in Aquarius on the Midheaven, including a biquintile from Mars in Virgo in the 5th).

Mars in Virgo is within 14˚ of South Node in the 5th, and I do think the combination of Virgo, Mars, and the 5th house creates a strong impetus towards intellectual work, even if, technically, Mars is not conjunct the South Node.

If you’re at all interested in alchemy, be sure to read more about Ashmole, as he published an alchemical work still in publication. He was also a lifelong friend of William Lilly, famous for his work as an alchemist and astrologer, of course

PisceswoodcutPisces North Node in the 11th House: It can be very difficult finding anyone well known with a Pisces North Node. Typically, the people I discover with this Nodal axis are known for something to do with art, artistic skill, music, and, perhaps predictably, given Neptune as ruler of Pisces, spending a significant amount of time on the water (either professionally or due to the necessity of travel).

I associate Pisces North Nodes with exoticism, largely because the Neptune influence indicates an association with foreign climes, as they used to say in the days of Rudyard Kipling and other travellers abroad in ‘the colonies.’ So many people with prominent Neptune or Pisces are born far away from their hereditary homeland (or end up living far away) that I am no longer surprised to see travel and foreign locations in their personal history. 

Further, I try very hard to specifically use women’s charts, as often as I can; this becomes fairly impossible far too often, since historically, there have been so few noted for their various contributions. Finding women of note from any but the modern era is limited, usually, to aristocracy (who have more reliable birth-times, since they were “important” right from their first breath).

So it comes as no real surprise to me that once again, the examples for this North Node are each related to art and water, although I can’t help but think that regular people born nowadays with North Node in Pisces in the 11th would probably create a multivalent life, filled with moments of creativity inspired by Virgo ability, leading to rainbow-hued Pisces dreams.

People (especially women) have so many more options these days that I would hope that the combination of the 11th house and Pisces could lead to some very interesting (but mostly impossible to predict) outcomes, the one constant being intellectual and/or artistic talent (or interest, at the very least).

Pisces North Nodes are so often astonishingly talented (and yet most of the Pisces North Node charts I’ve looked at simply do not fall in the 11th house). There are some truly inspiring people with Pisces North Node in the 12th house, but we’re not there yet, so the following will have to keep us for the moment.

Sarah Barrett Moulton, called “Pinkie” within her family, and now famous by that name. The portrait of the 11 year old girl now hangs in the Huntington Library, San Marino, California (and forms a companion of sorts with “Blue Boy,” by Thomas Gainsborough.

The first chart is of great interest to me; she was a little girl who lived quite a life in her brief 12 years. You have heard “of” her, yet probably did not know her name. Sarah Barrett Moulton (related to poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning) sat for Thomas Lawrence, painter to the King of England, George IV.

Lawrence created this portrait, now known to most people as “Pinkie”, after it was commissioned by the child’s grandmother, who was no longer able to see her granddaughter once the child’s family left Jamaica for England, after her father them and her mother was forced to return home to raise and educate her children. Sadly, the little girl died the year after this portrait was painted, and her portrait was exhibited at the 1795 Royal Academy summer exhibition the day after her burial.

Sun is conjunct “Pinkie’s” North Node, and so her very existence helped create her destiny, since she is remembered primarily for her appearance, after all. Neptune, ruler of the North Node, is very widely conjunct South Node in Virgo, and is also, and I think rather crucially, in opposition to Sun/North Node.

Ruler of the South Node, Mercury, is biquintile Neptune, so the rulers of the Nodal axis are in close aspect. This gives me the chance to discuss the biquintile. I know it’s considered a minor aspect, but I see it come up quite a lot in the charts of what I consider to be interesting, if not extraordinary, lives, and so I rarely consider it to be as “minor” as it is traditionally considered to be.

Quintiles and biquintiles show up so predictably, in fact, I have taken to looking for them now and making note of them when it’s pertinent (however, it has to be said that I have not yet seen the chart of a truly ‘boring’ person who also contained Quintiles and/or biquintiles).

The second chart of interest is that of a musician, a member of the rather-typical-by-now 11th house North Node ‘noted family’, Matthijs Maris, who wandered quite a bit, painting in poverty and anonymity, having trouble finding his style, before he settled in London and began to paint mystical, imaginative scenes, enchanted fairytales and castles, brides, and misty scenes of romance and children.

Matthijs Maris, The Bride, or Novice taking the Veil, 1887. Very misty and ghostly, so Piscean!
Matthijs Maris, The Bride, or Novice taking the Veil, 1887. Very misty and ghostly, so Piscean! 

Maris’ chart is actually much more interesting, really, than his life might sound. The Pisces North Node is conjunct Pisces Uranus; each oppose ruler of the South Node, Virgo Mercury, conjunct South Node.

Conjunctions of planets with the Nodal axis always stands out in charts of people who have a strong determination (or ‘life force,’ perhaps), that pushes them to fulfill their purpose, often against great odds.

A detail that does influence Maris’ life goals, I think, is that ruler of the North Node, Neptune, is in the 10th, a combination often seen in the lives of people who wander a bit before finding their metier, subject matter, or life goal.

Neptune in the 10th is often associated with artists and creative types in general, since the 10th often shows us the native’s occupation—but in Maris’ case, it is retrograde, and retrogrades will slow down your progress, I have found, since Neptune Rx in particular seems to lead to a fair amount of self-doubt.

Sun in Leo in the 5th tells us that he was a dedicated artist/creator, but Sun is square Saturn, and that’s a major source of self-doubt and self-punishment, from what I’ve seen (and there are other squares in the chart, and those always make life harder and then it invariably takes longer to attain one’s dreams, since squares represent hurdles, either in one’s self, or in life, one has to overcome before you can make progress).

The most famous person I know of with Pisces North Node, whose chart is, sadly, unreliable, due to a conflicting birth-time, is that of Joseph Conrad. I will provide the link, and say that if his Nodal axis is correct, it would make entire sense to me, given his subject matter as the brilliant writer he was (and be sure to note the Quintiles and Biquintiles in his chart; once again, they show up for unique and brilliant people!).

At any rate, North Node in Pisces (in his case, conjunct Neptune) fulfills one definite function in his chart, which is his connection with the sea and foreign lands. Conrad, originally born in Poland, becoming an expatriate Englishman later in life, wrote complex tales about human nature, particularly the stress experienced by colonialists adapting to the social expectations and cultural norms of those they attempted to colonize, and the often tragic repercussions of this attempt at domination and control over indigenous groups. He is also noted for having set many of his works in a nautical environment.

Unfortunately, you cannot prove an astrological chart’s accuracy this way, trying to make the person’s life experiences fit the data, and so until we discover an accurate time for him, we will leave him to the realm of murky Neptunian speculation.










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































6 thoughts on “Analysis of the 11th house/5th house Nodal Axis Through the Signs”

  1. I have a Pisces north node in the 11th house and I am an astrologer, yoga teacher, mother, wannabe professor (maybe one day), light worker and humanitarian. It’s funny that it’s always hard to find a lot of information about this axis specifically!

  2. What an amazing, insightful read, Alison! This is the most comprehensive explanation I have come across regarding the meaning of Nodes in the birth chart… I very well connected to NN in 11th House Leo, which is my natal position. I’m so happy that you invited me to read your articles… I will continue reading and leave you more feedback 🙂

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