One of the key metaphors we use to explain astrology is encompassed by the broad concept of energy.
The “energies” inherent in a planet, sign, or house do not merely inform our interpretations—without the concept of energy, we would have to find some other way of explaining the workings of astrology.
The idea that energy exists in all matter can be attributed to the Greeks, who called this hylozoism, a principle that relies on the belief and/or perception that an otherwise inert or inactive object nonetheless is possessed of energetic flow.
This includes things like rocks and trees, and even the very air we breathe, but don’t otherwise pay a lot of attention to, unless a strong wind blows our skirt up or something.
It’s difficult to use the word ‘energy’ in relationship to the planets, however, because, logically, the planets are so very far away that drawing a direct correlation between what happened to me today on Earth with Pluto during its transit through Capricorn, let’s say, seems, on the surface, pretty far-fetched.
My response to this is to remember that we are all, essentially, made up of stardust, and therefore I think it’s entirely plausible that we are influenced by the movements of the celestial spheres.
Distance from the object is not an automatic precursor to the notion that the object cannot influence or be influenced by other objects (see here and here for further discussion about quantum entanglement theory, which is an excellent place to start in the quest to understand how astrology might work).
When we turn to the concept of energy as applied in astrology, it becomes important to understand that there was a time when astrologers gave more weight to the mathematics of the chart, to the energetic relationships between aspects, for example, than they did to the current idea that the Sun should or could stand in, so to speak, for the ‘soul’, character, or native’s life purpose.
Before Madame Blavatsky’s theosophical leanings influenced Alan Leo, the pursuit of astrology more closely resembled a deterministic ‘science’ instead of the spiritual analysis of the soul’s journey through life it was transformed into by the Theosophists.
However, it’s the quality of the energy that determines outcomes in astrology. Much like the Medieval astrologers of yore, modern astrology relies, in the abstract, on metaphors about energy we’ve inherited from ancient civilizations.
We’ve extrapolated from certain early organizing principles to create theories about astrological energy: first, we believe, thanks mostly to the Ancient Greeks, that the elements of fire, earth, air and water determine the nature or type of energy we bring to each experience, depending on which element is associated with a sign, planet, or house.
Then, we’ve picked up, from the Medieval period (broadly speaking; they borrowed from the Greeks) the idea of humors as they apply to one’s temperament. This is where astrology began to get psychological, if you will, because it is with the humors that we start to see behaviors broken down into predictable types.
How does all of this relate to the discussion on the 5th and 11th houses, you ask? Well, I will explain as quickly as I can, because I know you are itching to get to my version/opinion of the interpretations (even though you really should slow down and learn this stuff; it will help you later on, when you’re alone, trying to figure out what your whoosey planet in that whatsey house really means).
The thing about energies as we apply them astrologically is that, in my experience, we are often forced to conflate two very disparate energy types together when we talk about houses, particularly since most current astrology relies on the idea of a ruling planet/sign on the cusp of each house. This often leads to confusion, particularly for those unaccustomed to blending feminine with masculine, air with water, etc. It’s not easy at the best of times.
This is a bigger problem with some of the houses, but less so, as I hope to explain, with the 5/11 axis, largely for reasons I implied in the previous post, which is that the Ouranos-Helios combination has a great deal in common.
First of all, both Ouranos and Helios are represented by masculine, air energies. Right there, though, I’m saying that the 5th house, ‘ruled’ as it is by the Sun, is also somehow more airy than it’s traditionally considered to be. It’s “supposed” to be a fire house, after all; Leo, we’ve been told, is ruled by the Sun, and if the Sun isn’t represented by fire, I don’t know what is. So surely my idea must be wrong.
But think about it. If you blend the two ideas, like the Greeks did, so that Helios could be both ‘of the sky’ and therefore related to air (which they perceived to be a volatile element, not easy to predict or control) and fiery in nature, I think you get closer to the heart of this concept. Plus, you get away from thinking in terms of dichotomies, and begin to use your noodle to synthesize data—a higher order cognitive skill! Bonus.
Further, if I could undo some of the overall damage done to astrology when the Sun sign ‘revolution’ took over, I would. It isn’t that there’s anything inherently wrong with focusing on the Sun; as I said in the previous post, it makes sense to put the Sun in a prominent position, but not to the exclusion of everything else in the chart. When astrology was more mathematical, for example, and less about one’s psychological makeup, aspects mattered tremendously, and told an astrologer much more than one can derive from merely assessing the Sun’s position in the natal chart.
Further, the 5th house, as I have discussed, represents more than the house of children and creativity. I find it to be one of the places I look when I’m assessing how intuitive the person is, for example. Further, although creativity has long been narrowly defined by society to include only artistic endeavors, I think you’ll find that the North Node in the 5th will tell you that the person must find an outlet for their innate creativity in virtually any field that might be supported by the rest of the chart.
The Nodes seem to impel one to move towards (or away from) something relevant to that particular axis. In the 5th/11th, the individual is pulled toward the creation of something meaningful, although with South Node in the 11th in any sign, you must be careful not to let the world have all the power to define what is meaningful to you; sometimes only you can be the final arbiter of that decision (a ‘secret’ message to the 11th house South Node, by the way, who allows the collective to determine its path far too often).
Keep in mind that neither the 5th nor 11th are considered ‘fecund’ houses. The most popular analogy used to explain the aridity found in the 5th stems from two observations; one, the Sun is capable of desiccating, scorching heat, and two, the lion is not an animal that produces a large litter of cubs.
I, however, think a simpler explanation stems from the combination of fire and air in this axis. The native is always at risk of sterility that might prevent or disallow children or creativity. I will be harping on about ‘fruitful’ versus ‘barren’ signs because this antiquated notion nonetheless has a lot to do with creativity. When the well suddenly runs dry, it doesn’t feel like a metaphor to a creative person—it feels like you’ll never work again. This is a huge issue for the person with a 5th house Node (North or South) and is not always easily solved.
And then too, with masculine energies on either end of this axis, there should be a lot of movement in the person’s life around the issue of creativity, and creativity’s handmaiden, productivity. Where the native’s inspiration comes from is an interesting subject all on its own, because of all the mental energy expended in this axis.
You can expect this native to get a lot of work done when they’re properly stimulated and intellectually challenged, but the 5th can be a lazy house, as well as a house of debauchery and a lifetime wasted on frivolous pursuits of pleasure.
When they’re bored, or are suddenly feeling lazy or unmotivated, there is a tendency to give up on a project and look for mental stimulation somewhere else. Although this might sound relatively benign, ‘somewhere else’ is one of those things you should keep an eye on. If they lack follow through, stop calling or showing up, you can be pretty much assured they lost interest.
The 11th house South Node is just as much a wild card as any Pisces or Neptune placement, and since their motivation is to constantly learn from the source, for the more adventurous 11th house South Noders, keep in mind there are places on the planet you might not want to visit alone in the dark just to chase down some theory or other. How much do you really need to know?
Then, the 11th can represent difficult energies, particularly in childhood. The native might have had an unpredictable family life, and could very well end up with his fate cast to the winds, angry, rebellious, determined to hang on to his independence, particularly when he perceives he’s being challenged by some authority figure or other. The Uranian influence on the 11th can make for a difficult start in life, leading to a lifetime of instability. Much depends on how the rulers of the nodes are aspected.
Unless the native has a chart that supports materiality (with planets or Nodes in earth signs, for example) much of the potential for creative expression, particularly with one’s hands, might never manifest. Also, if you’re saying to yourself some version of “but I’m not creative” and you have this North Node, please reconsider the nature of creativity. Creativity needs to be defined more broadly.
Ultimately, the 5th is a joyful house; or, it should be. It’s a house of life and should support not only new life, in the form of new relationships (romances) and children, but also those exciting beginnings of new ventures that excite us and make us pop open a bottle of really good champagne, so that we can celebrate. If you’re not experiencing that and you’ve got major stuff in this house, you’re doing something wrong and your South Node might be implicated. Let’s find out.
Aries North Node in the 5th: This is a highly idealistic position to find the aspirational North Node in. Combine Aries’ desire to conquer the world with the innate innovative skills of the 5th/11th axis, and you can easily imagine someone whose path turns them into a firebrand who never stops to ask questions, or anyone’s opinion, for that matter.
Businesses will be built, fortunes won and lost, and a lot of ego flung about as this native lives out the dramatic potential of this Nodal axis, unless there are debilities in the chart and the ensuing ennui or potential laziness of this position deflects from his or her desire or ability to achieve.
Aries North Nodes, no matter the house, are, typically, on a path of their own devising, and god help you if you get in their way. With the influence from the 11th house Libra South Node, this person has the potential to find a politely determined way to include others in his plans, but I wouldn’t count on it. Libran South Nodes are often good at ignoring enemies in a way you might think is Scorpionic, but is actually of the ‘kill them with kindness’ school of thought.
There’s most likely a tremendous amount of energy put into one’s plans to live large. The 5th house, when it doesn’t create something of its own, tends to compensate by being someone you notice coming and going. They can dress quite gaudily, although the Libra South Node might easily impart a kind of elegance and overall aura of cool ice cube frostiness that stems from the 11th house’s ability to distance itself from emotional connection.
Let’s say this Nodal axis is squared or otherwise challenged by a planet—the ruler of their South Node, Venus, perhaps. Then you’re likely to see a strong need to be ‘somebody’, make people notice them, stand out in some way that attracts a lot of attention. This may happen even if there is no big tension in the chart, though, since 5th house planets and Nodes tend to live as large as they can get away with.
However, if the North Node ‘wins’ the internal debate between socking you in public and freezing you out of her life, that Aries personality forces the native to tell it like it is, but with a ‘ladylike’ demeanor (or gentlemanly, if you’re dealing with a man).
It’s the quality of the energy of the Node itself that determines how likely it is the person will pursue the path shown by the location of the North Node. With Aries North Node, it’s unlikely the person will live a dull, quiet existence, though. There’s so much fire in this combination, that many of these people are going to become famous, if not infamous.
Their South Node will most likely make itself known through any of the professions or interests associated either with the 11th house or Libra, or Venus. This is a position that pulls the native backwards towards negative behaviors having to do with lack of self-awareness and/or self-care. Any time you take Venus or Libra and regress its skills, you’re likely to see a fair amount of antisocial immorality, and what used to be called ‘common’ or childish behavior, particularly if the 5th house Aries North Node isn’t allowed by life circumstances to mature, evolve, or learn patience.
Taurus North Node in the 5th: One of the first charts I looked at with a 5th house Taurus North Node was that of an anonymous sculptor. The idea of combining Taurus’ ability to manifest in the material world with 5th house artistic creativity makes complete sense here, as does the fact that the person’s identity was kept from us (Scorpio on the South Node).
In these Nodes, you combine two ‘fruitful’ signs (although Scorpio is considered somewhat less ‘fruitful’ than Taurus, usually, due to its traditional association with Mars). It would be nice to think that all 5th house North Node in Taurus people were living out their innate talents through sculpture, but if the South Node in Scorpio is stronger than the North Node can cope with, Scorpio in the 11th is a clever antagonist to wrestle with.
Scorpio South Node in the 11th tells me that a developed skill here is too often that of obfuscation. Getting this person to reveal herself, to ‘come clean’, to come out of denial, to stop lying (harsh as that sounds) could be the big challenge, if the native is not living up to her potential to follow the relatively simple path Taurus prefers.
Ideally, you’ll see a Taurus North Node creating a stunning garden (or something else she can make with her hands). Since it’s the 5th house, you’re likely to see that garden showcased on the cover of some fancy landscaping magazine; 5th house North Node likes to show off, after all, and the world colludes with him, cause we need shiny magazine covers to sell stuff.
Scorpio on the South Node will probably not actively interfere with this North Node’s ability to accomplish beautiful things, but there could very well be skeletons kept in this closet that have to do with previous generations and legacies of beliefs and/or actual goods from the family that will need to be dusted off and sold.
This native might sit on a great deal of money at a bank, or be an antiques dealer, or might be bringing a host of emotionally-based talents and skills with her into this life. The learned or inherited ability to nurture the masses is something you can find with a highly-effective South Node in the 11th. Scorpio is not only capable of great self-sacrifice, but is also organized and efficient, possibly the best self-starter who only needs a slight amount of encouragement to get going and help someone.
Because you never know which way the wind is going to blow in this axis, you have to encourage the Scorpio South Node from an early age either to participate in group decisions, or to stop running the group (and the family is their first group) as though they were still a Mafia don (for those who believe in reincarnation).
Any Taurus/Scorpio Nodal combination will be compelled to deal with the material world, quite often against the Scorpio Node’s wishes. If the collective or group surrounding this native is emotionally and intellectually supportive, s/he has the potential to flow into the purpose of the North Node more efficiently, without a lot of crippling self-doubt.
If she is surrounded by people who can’t give her the support she needs, though, her progress in the world will be massively slowed down. Taurus North Node is a hard worker, no matter the house, but in the 5th she is learning how to do something that doesn’t come naturally, which is to make manifest what are, after all, only ideas, usually based on raw, even subconscious wisps of thought.
If that sounds easy, it isn’t, largely because Scorpio isn’t the most articulate sign, and the 11th is a house of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses (aka cognition), rather than ‘pure’ (and relatively simple) intellectualism (aka non-emotional reason, rationalism). Taurus has a leg up on the competition when s/he has a life of peace that lets her listen to the intuition that bubbles up from the depths of Scorpio’s unconscious.
This Nodal axis is undone through any stubbornness or willfulness that puts up roadblocks making these otherwise rational people impervious to suggestion. This is a sensitive position for the intellect, which is prodigiously rational and logical except when it is intractable and rigid. Two fixed signs on the Nodes do not make for an easy-going personality, after all; but you’re here for a purpose and you might be standing in the way of your own progress.
Edit/Addendum: I watched a documentary about Scientology (on HBO) and as I watched, I thought to myself, hmmm, L. Ron Hubbard sounds precisely like a 5th house North Node person. Lo and behold, it turns out he was, with the South Node in Scorpio/North Node Taurus. The biggest clue I heard that tuned me in to the idea that he might have North Node in the 5th was that he had such high aspirations to be someone, to be noticed, to become famous. When I saw that his natal Jupiter was conjunct South Node (within one degree) the source of his huge excesses became clear. For one thing, he is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most published and translated writer; remember how I said Taurus North Node is a hard worker? Jupiter on the South Node is also capable of overdoing almost anything it touches, and I think Hubbard is an excellent example of how relatively benign urges to assist others (from the South Node in the 11th) can easily be misused and blown out of proportion in the wrong hands. The theme of his illusions are so typically 11th house, but it’s really Pluto and Neptune in the 7th can contributed to his need to manipulate others and control their thinking. Please check my (upcoming) 7th house Nodal axis post for more.
Gemini North Node in the 5th: One wonders if words are play for these people. Considering the nature of the 5th house in general, which can certainly encompass play, one would expect to see a fair amount of activity in the native’s goals around the concept of communication as an art form of its own.
Although I thought I might see this North Node in the charts of writers, it came up most frequently for editors, specifically newsletter editors. Often, editors ‘play’ with words, in the sense of moving around puzzle pieces, and function as communicators of a group message, an 11th house function. The group can be defined in any of a number of ways: as a corporation, a church, organization, or any other 11th house gathering of people who come together to fulfill a purpose.
Interestingly, one of the North Node Gemini people I found was an astrologer and edited the newsletter for an astrology organization, which makes use of both the 11th and 5th skills at once.
If you believe in reincarnation, the 11th house South Node in Sagittarius in the 11th brings with it a built-in awareness of the importance and power of the group’s voice, particularly when you harness this power to accomplish some larger world goal.
Sagittarius has the reputation for being the Zodiac’s bombastic salesperson, and although I think it’s important not to stereotype Sun signs, when you combine Gemini with the 5th house, a less serious native than your typical newsletter editor is going to dedicate themselves to seeking out those other things the 5th house promises: fun and light-hearted romance.
The 5th house, if it isn’t held in check by some controlling influence from the rest of the chart (a strong Saturn, for example) has the potential to live a typical 5th house-style life of fun-in-the-sun to the fullest. For Gemini North Node, this could equate to a rather superficial quest for mercurial moments of midsummer madness.
I’d like to think that this North Node, if they’re not engaged in bringing out an important message-for-the-masses, is learning how to play piano, or Mah Jong, or is busy writing one-act plays for child actors. If there is a larger purpose for this combination, it has to be in bringing Gemini’s finely-honed sense of play to the world stage.
The most important thing, though, is that Gemini’s ruler, Mercury, must be posited in harmonious aspects that support the life’s goal. The key to broader success here will be to find a message and sufficient belief in the worth of the native’s individual voice to convey that message to a large enough audience to satisfy Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius in the 11th.
The combination of Jupiter’s influence on the 11th house Node brings an overflow of energy and electric dynamism, so it’s entirely likely this South Node will dominate unless the North Node and its ruler, Mercury, is very well aspected. Beware here of the possibility of 11th house Uranian influences (which lean toward erratic energy) combined with the Sagittarian tendency to stick its hoof in its mouth.
Cancer North Node in the 5th: Since this is a ‘fruitful’ feminine Node in an otherwise dry, masculine house, a few different possibilities are likely. One is that the native finds a way to craft a life-path that rather deliberately fights against the emotional desert possible in the 5th/11th axis. If this path includes creating new works formed from great inspiration, you might see the native battling depression, with Capricorn on the South Node, just to get any work done.
Another possible outcome is that even though these houses do not actually promise a life filled with children (or fun and romance, for that matter) this person will have at least one child, if not more, or will surround herself with children or the young-at-heart to keep her heart beating and stave off Capricorn gloom.
Transits to this Nodal axis might bring out a response that shocks everyone, including the native. The emotional force of his response to the transit comes from Cancer’s need to feel something real before s/he dies, while the South Node in Capricorn in the 11th would have learned early on to express that cool rationality Capricorn is capable of under certain repressive circumstances.
If Capricorn in the 11th has kept the native’s deepest emotions under lock and key, Cancer is probably dying in the emotional desert of her life, and will perceive anything that promises to fill her cup as manna from heaven. Unfortunately, this makes the Cancer North Node in the 5th vulnerable in a way that Cancer in a more fruitful house would be impervious to.
However, some transits have the power to unlock Capricorn South Node Rapunzel from her self-imprisoned tower. When this happens, that 11th house, with its tendency toward erratic lightning displays, forces the Cancer North Node into belated action.
I say ‘belated’ because unless Cardinal signs are actively seeking change, they tend to keep their heads down and get on with the grim realities of life on the course they’ve set for themselves, which usually includes as little joy and mirth as possible. You can’t get much done, says the Capricorn South Node, if you’re laughing all the time, so Cancer North just grins and bears it.
Any point in Capricorn or Cancer in general tend to either treat their family really well or really badly, so when the Capricorn South Node is acting out, you can expect that it will do so amongst its family, where this combination behaves childishly and is grasping and insensitive.
North Node Cancer in the 5th will find it difficult to separate itself from any children it does have, and is entirely likely either to work with children or be a child far too long, unless the South Node in Capricorn is forced, as they often are, to grow up at an early age.
This Nodal axis will fight against being restricted, largely due to the 11th house unwillingness to take on other people’s problems, and the 5th house desire to turn everything into play; if their vocation becomes work, they tend to bail.
Ordinarily, in any other axis, Capricorn/Cancer are very responsible, but this axis might turn these people into drama queens and meanies who want what they want and never really grow up. Or they are surrounded by these types of people and are here to learn how to model maturity and wisdom.
I’ve noticed through the years that Cancer, in particular, is a stereotyped sign; some people enjoy it for its wisdom and sense of humor, but a lot of people report having trouble with its crabbiness and apparent sense of entitlement, not to mention the (s)mothering and insecurities, which will wear down a saint.
I’m also noticing, now that Pluto is transiting through Capricorn, that Capricorn’s wisdom and overall patience with difficult situations and people seems to be wearing thin. Pluto experiences will take their toll on this combination of signs, that’s for sure.
If you have this South Node and you’re noticing that Pluto’s transit is tiring you out or forcing changes on you that you do not feel ready for, that’s an understandable response. Pluto transiting through any point in your chart is, to a large extent, an evolutionary experience, which seems to force growth on us, so I think this nodal axis (in any house) is going to go through the ringer during the years Pluto is in Capricorn (2008-2023).
Expect dramatic shifts in consciousness, and tremendous growth potential for these nodes, but the North Node experience doesn’t come easily, and you might notice yourself fighting growth/change every step of the way, with Pluto opposing your North Node.
Leo North Node in the 5th: At last, a Nodal axis that is at home in these houses! This is a very strong placement under the best of circumstances, with supportive aspects to the rulers of each node.
The only person likely to hold this Leo North Node back is himself, once he or she takes the reins, largely because this combination will fight anyone who opposes him tooth and nail to gain or regain power over his own life.
He might bite his own tail in some kind of self-imposed power struggle with the world, an 11th house South Node rebel without a cause, although this native might very well have a cause to rebel, given the volatile nature of the South Node in the 11th. They aren’t wrong to want to control their own destiny, but they also don’t have to fight quite so hard to maintain that control.
With South Node in Aquarius here, I’d expect that downfalls come because you just do not get that not everyone needs to know how much you know, or how badly you want to maintain the independence you insist on. Is it possible for you to live interdependently with others? This could be the hardest challenge of all for this particular house/sign combination in this nodal axis, that too much independence is isolating and you run the risk of behaving like a child too much of the time.
Nonetheless, this world was created for you to shine on its stage. Shakespeare wrote that famous line about ‘all the world being a stage and the men and women on it merely players’ with you in mind. It’s your life purpose to find the place where you can express the prodigious abilities you have. If you don’t have these abilities, then life will try to shut you up, mostly against your will.
There’s a tremendous amount of energy available in these houses for this Nodal axis. Since the power of these houses lies in cogitation and creativity, that’s the focus of the path. When we get to the North Node in the 11th, you’ll see that many big thinkers, scientists, and revolutionary types have North Node in the 11th, so that’s the inherited ability this South Node comes in with; in previous lives, these people were Uranian types who were able to affect the masses with their innovative ideas.
However, in this life, on the 5th house North Node path, you’ve got to find a way to transform knowledge and ideas into artistic expression or technical skill, and do it all with grace and mastery. For those of you who think Leo has it easy, and that all these people have to do is lie around while their minions peel grapes for them, there’s way more to being a fully-functional Leo (particularly in the North Node position, where your path is strewn with rocks you put there so you could overcome them and gain in self-esteem) than lying around in the sun.
Remember Helios? Helios had the reputation of being a fairly fierce god, one that mere mortals did not want to look on for fear of encountering his wrath. Leo North Node combined with the 5th house has the potential to illuminate the darkness with the tremendous powers of his mind, bringing his light to those who need it; or he can rage at his own sterility and lack of creativity, looking into himself for something that simply isn’t there.
These are arid houses for those who, out of hubris, refuse to collaborate or ask for emotional rescue. Leo in the 5th misleads the native into thinking that she should be able to create everything completely on her own, otherwise it won’t be ‘hers.’ She’d have to learn how to share applause, and that doesn’t fit in well with negatively-expressing Leo’s need to hog the spotlight.
These natives frequently need water, whether it’s to be found in their own chart, or from someone outside themselves, who can bring them the compassion and patience they lack. When these natives ‘go dry,’ they frequently give up on themselves altogether, rather than face what lies at the bottom of their empty (emotional) well.
The South Node in Aquarius might well be born with a genius for something, but that doesn’t guarantee he was raised right, by caring parents who knew how to talk to him. He might not know how to self-soothe; he might believe his own 5th house P.R., never taking responsibility for the undeveloped pieces of himself abandoned in the quest to accomplish great things on the world stage.
I personally think this combination, of 5th house with Leo/Aquarius Nodes, needs a lot of help, but just don’t let these guys push you around (the force of their personality is huge, with all this fire and air) or convince you that your role in their life is as a player on their own personal stage.
Virgo North Node in the 5th: This combination gets complicated in ways that might actually work really well for some people. The Virgo North Node is, like Taurus, a hard worker, but has some issues attendant upon its behavior that tend to irk its co-workers. It’s not easy believing you’re right all the time no matter how hard others try to tell you the opposite, but the difficult Virgo person here will have to bear that burden.
Now, the 5th house North Node pushes the native to accomplishing something Grand on his or her own. Yet, the lesson learned from South Node in the 11th house is that we’re in this mess together, and everyone needs to bail if the boat is going to stay afloat. Even so, there’s a lot of force coming from the strong ego needs of the 5th house to perform downstage center, preferably with a really strong spotlight directly overhead.
This force could be good or bad for North Node Virgo, and here’s why. If the Virgo North Node needs to learn how to push herself forward, if that would be beneficial behavior that will translate, let’s say, into making more money or having greater self-esteem, then I’m all for convincing this North Node into standing on that stage as early in life as possible.
However, not all Virgos are ‘shy.’ In fact, Virgo seems to have its fair share of strident complainers, particularly if a planet conjuncts or otherwise aspects this Node. I know many Virgo-types (not Sun signs, necessarily, but people with plenty of Virgo in the natal or progressed chart) who can stand up for themselves just fine, who really don’t need any more coaching from the sidelines about how to speak up for themselves or prove how much they know.
It is to the shrinking-Violet Virgos, the people who never look for credit, who typically let all opportunities for self-aggrandizement pass them by, that I direct the following. You need this North Node. You really do. You need to do what this North Node is trying to get you to do, which is put yourself out there—and yes, act like an arrogant asshole and get somewhere in life.
All right, so then what? Now you’ve activated the beast, the South Node in Pisces, who also has his ego issues. This is not your typical Pisces position, by the way. This is air combined with chameleon water, and now we’ve got rainbow-colored steam.
Pisces tends to take on the colors of whatever house he finds himself in, being a mutable sign. In a ‘dry’ but nonetheless fixed air house, Pisces looks around, and seeing that the requirements of this house are to be a know-it-all intellectual type, he starts reading a lot of books and appears to be very knowledgeable, all the while ignoring his real feelings and what really matters to him.
He ignores his personal values so that he can better fit into the collective. He might use this self-sacrifice as a way to inspire pity, rather than actually sacrifice something he believes in. As long as he’s stuck in this kind of inauthentic self-denial, though, he’s going to feel like an actor, and he’s going to accrue (or deny accruing) a fair amount of corrosive guilt.
The 5th house North Node will whisper to him, calling him to some life-stage or other, convincing him he’s got the part. This might work, if life never challenges him to ask for more, but life is rarely that dull, and it’s Pisces South Node’s job here to demand more from himself if he’s ever going to live up to Virgo’s strict standards.
The authentic Virgo North Node in the 5th has the strength of will to insist on living up to her own ideas of a ‘perfect’ expression of self. This is a hard-working nodal placement, but Virgo’s job here is to express herself with the deep knowing that Pisces on the South Node always has the potential for, but doesn’t always have the personal will to access.
What is it that Pisces here knows? Pisces has access to some of the deeper truths, the inconvenient truths, that society finds too difficult to act on, or to live up to. Pisces combined with the 11th has the capacity to see through the lies society lives with, instead of questioning the passive and often weak-willed communal forces that run the world.
When the emperor has no clothes, the authentic Pisces South Node, fueled by 11th house righteous indignation and the firebrand Uranian will to change outmoded social structures, attacks with a vengeance. If you’re familiar with the Tarot, this type of Pisces comes on strong, like the Knight of Swords, mincing no words in his determination to uncover (and speak) the truth.
An authentic North Node Virgo in the 5th takes this desire and turns it into accuracy, relying on the skill of Virgo gracefulness and elegance to gently find the exact right place to stand on the stage until the spotlight finds her. This North Node isn’t pushy, isn’t strident, and does not upstage her fellow actors. Instead, she shows everyone else how it’s done, and finds that she is listened to and taken seriously because she’s used the gift Pisces on the South Node bestows upon her. What is that gift? The ability to listen to the mystical, and mostly wordless, voice of the depths.
Libra North Node in the 5th: Wherever you find the Libra/Aries axis, you find some kind of strain between what the individual wants and what the ‘other’ wants. The message here is that the native can only accomplish his life’s goals if he works in partnership. When he tries to shine on his own, particularly if the South Node is badly aspected, he will be brought down.
The North Node here means that the life purpose is pushing the individual ego towards working with a partner, and away from the 11th house Aries South Node desire to think, act, and live only for himself. The 5th house North Node gives one the desire to be seen and have his qualities appreciated, but this particular North Node won’t be able to shine as brightly if he disregards the needs of others.
Aries South Node would have a difficult time thinking of itself as automatically egotistical, even though others define it as such when you largely aren’t aware of anything other than yourself and your own needs.
There is every chance that South Node in the 11th mitigates against some of this self-absorption, if only because the nature of the 11th is that the native spends a great deal of time focusing on the will of the collective, making her more aware of the world’s suffering and bringing that awareness to the 5th house.
Each 5th house North Node offers the native the opportunity to bring something to life, whether it’s a child or a creative project. Libra’s role is to focus that energy on co-owning a business, or collaborating as a member of a group. When you think about one of the roles the 5th can take, which is to encourage play of all kinds, you have to include playing at some sport or other, so I’d look for athletes who play on teams to show up with a node in either the 5th or the 11th.
It’s been my experience that the South Node has a lot of power in most people’s lives, and you’ll find the person does something with his or her life that more closely resembles the nature of the house the South Node is in, rather than the specific sign.
In the case of the 11th house South Node, you’d expect to find people who dedicate their lives to some larger organization or group. There’s certainly nothing wrong with this, but the urge to move away from the South Node will probably force some kind of confrontation during years containing Nodal returns (when the transiting North Node conjuncts the natal North Node).
It has to be said that Martin Schulman in his books about the Nodes thought that the Aries/Libra nodal axis represents one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult, path to choose, since the process of moving away from one’s own self interests toward the interests of the group does not come naturally for most people, and represents the most intense soul growth, since the native keeps wanting to shut others out and do everything on her own, but finds that she cannot.
The South Node in the 11th then seems to me to give this particular house/node placement the possibility for greater cultural and social awareness than you’d otherwise expect for Aries South Node, but only if all the various ego issues (Uranus’ influence, the dominance of the Sun’s influence on the 5th house, plus the fixed air and fire elements in this particular axis) are also overcome or compensated for in some humane way.
Libra North Node’s life experiences rarely creates someone unkind or insensitive, but an effort will have to be made to pull an Aries South Node out of its head—and away from his belief in the supremacy of his own version of reality—when this node is posited in the 11th house.
Scorpio North Node in the 5th: The audience for this performer on the stage of life exists on a spectrum from highly-charged, intense and personal, to highly-charged, intense and political. The South Node in the 11th would augment this picture, because the native is already primed to speak directly to the collective, in the powerful voice learned from working amongst the collective.
Under the best circumstances, this native knows what the group mind thinks and how to manifest what that group values. The South Node here, as with the earth signs in general, tends toward the pragmatic; Taurus, however, has the gift of keeping the message simple, which is a boon for the ambitious and usually overly-insightful Scorpio North Node.
This nodal position will probably spend way too much energy figuring out her opposition until she learns to trust that not everyone is her enemy. In other words, expect some paranoia on your journey to social power.
This particular North Node might be rare amongst the nodes for staying on its path with singleminded fervor, as long as he or she isn’t alienating the public with a message that is too intense. There is such a thing as being too determined to succeed, and not everyone will appreciate how good this nodal axis is at playing politics, manipulating to its own ends, and making sure everyone does what they promised they would.
So the strengths of this nodal axis are also its weaknesses, if excessive Uranian/Solar energy is allowed to determine the decisions made. Anywhere you find the Taurus/Scorpio axis, you have the potential for severe power struggles with someone or something. The fact that this axis is posited in the 5/11 axis, with its air/fire and fixed energy combination means these people are even more determined to be heard.
If there is a person born with this combination who doesn’t hold his opinions as Words From the Mouth of God, please let me know, but it’s much more likely that this person takes himself way too seriously and cannot be reasoned with when the South Node has not learned the skills the North Node in Scorpio needs to succeed in the 5th.
Sagittarius North Node in the 5th: I’d like to focus on one chart for the moment, which is that of Bill Gates, whose Sagittarius North Node falls in the 5th, helping to illuminate what I mean when I say the condition of the Nodes has a tremendous influence on whether or not one uses the potential of the chart. Key to this interpretation is assessing how the rulers of each node are aspected, particularly if they aspect the nodes themselves, as we see in Gates’ chart.
In Gates’ chart, the South Node in Gemini forms a trine to ruler Mercury in Libra in the 4th house; North Node therefore receives a sextile to Mercury. With Uranus, which influences the South Node’s position in the 11th, conjunct his ASC in the 1st house, Gates’ chart speaks to the power of supported nodes that help the native live out his potential.
In this case, of course, his South Node in Gemini in the 11th speaks of his innate intellectual curiosity, which was part of what inspired him to learn as much as he could about computers (11th house/Uranus) when he was still quite young. His 11th house, with Venus-ruled Taurus on the cusp, is otherwise untenanted.
His parents played a major role in his success, first by ensuring that his school procured computers and created an after-school program which would allow their son access to this new technology, and also by encouraging his “competitive nature by turning leisure time into games that reward skill and cunning”. In other words, his parents provided the kind of impetus Gates’ needed to push himself towards developing the specific skills a 5th house North Node person must have to succeed.
The 5th house represents games, ‘leisure time’, competition, and of course, the potential for big success on the world’s stage. Assisting his enormous material success is the conjunction of the North Node’s ruler, Jupiter, to Pluto in Gates’ 2nd house. There are many other details in the chart one can point to for verification, but Gates has clearly lived out at least some of the potential of his Nodal axis, including the potential for largesse and the kind of Solar/Uranian ego one needs to squash your competition.
Gates is, no matter how accomplished (and rapacious) a business person, a lightning rod for controversy due to the way he’s chosen to use his power. It can be argued that Jupiter conjunct Pluto in the 2nd makes for an excellent snapshot of a plutocrat.
Along with the North Node, a Venus/Saturn conjunction in Scorpio is also posited in the 5th. The 5th house is therefore complicated by a potential need to control and limit others’ self-expression and creativity (Venus/Saturn aspects often form the core of a particularly fearful and controlling person).
Transiting North Node will be conjuncting his natal Mars in Libra and opposing his angular natal Moon in Aries at the Midheaven later this year (approximately June 2015) and I have to wonder if the Nodal transit will have any real affect on him. It should, since Nodal transits act on the individual in an inescapable manner, but he might have inoculated himself against these effects ever since he barricaded himself behind his wealth. Is this massively protected Cancer ASC person impervious to the vicissitudes of fate? We’ll see what happens.
Capricorn North Node in the 5th: Other signs might get away with never getting much done in this axis, but not Capricorn. No matter how much energy air and fire could give someone with this nodal axis, the simple fact is that not everyone is going be blown through life on the sheer force of windy sparks, particularly if one’s nodes are not supported or are actively squelched by squares or some other dismal challenge.
This all sounds like an excuse to the motivated Cardinal sign, however, who has a hard time relaxing; there’s just too much she hasn’t yet crossed off her all-important List. If the rest of the chart is particularly angular, this North Node will work on holidays if it means they get one inch closer to their goal of accomplishing Big Things.
North Node in the 5th represents the potential to accomplish a Very Big Thing, and so I imagine there are a lot of very busy North Node Capricornians out there, working on holidays, crossing things off their List while they wait for Mr. DeMille to summon them for their closeup.
However, if Capricorn North Node doesn’t learn how to push past any creative blocks, they’ll whip themselves, usually with guilt and other forms of self-punishment, until the work is completed. There’s usually a great deal of guilt in the Cancer/Capricorn nodal structure to begin with, but there is seemingly a lot at stake with North Node in the 5th, and therefore a lot to lose if she doesn’t put forth a great deal of effort.
Some of the guilt she feels if she gives in to laziness is inherited; the family always looms large with this nodal axis, and even those natives who honestly believe they’ve left the crazies behind seem to nonetheless reenact family battles and wounds on a daily basis, with neighbors and friends. Turning a blind eye to one’s past doesn’t mean the past doesn’t still live inside you; it just means you’re in denial of the way in which you sound exactly like the family member you keep saying you’re “nothing like.”
Okay, so if Capricorn North Node can get past his past, he looks at the 5th house with one eye askance, wondering precisely how he’s supposed to walk this particular path? The 5th house asks any Capricorn planet/node, etc., posited there to do something that doesn’t come naturally: lighten up, have some fun, open the doors to creativity, and let go a little. Act and think a bit like a child, in other words.
The typical scenario is the native who “works hard and plays hard,” which translates to someone who has no idea how to relax. He relies for inspiration on an incessant anxious drumbeat caused by his profound fear of failure, combined with the structure of external deadlines. He’ll work constantly, pushing himself to come up with ideas. He’ll think of himself as creative, but he feels no inner peace, and is rarely, if ever, pleased with the product.
The really crusty Cancer/Capricorn nodal axis lacks the ability to recognize her own creativity, and will focus instead on pushing her children to succeed in a realm she finds fascinating, but could never quite believe herself capable of mastering. This particular nodal axis does not sit well in these houses, because the desire to be some kind of shining star is strong, but self-doubt may well be stronger.
However, having said all these unpleasant things, a fearless or fiercely independent Cancer South Node in the 11th has the potential to be a wonderful, inspirational caretaker of the planet. The North Node in Capricorn in the 5th then ‘inherits’ an innately compassionate skill set, which gives her a basis from which she can accomplish miracles. She could start a business that will heal the world, or found an organization that feeds and houses stray animals, or something even more miniscule but nonetheless quietly profound and important.
There’s nothing Cancer/Capricorn axis cannot do if she believes herself capable of it, but generally speaking, the 5th house North Node is being asked to be a Star, and it can take Cancer/Capricorn a very long time to believe herself capable of the role, particularly if she’s got some idiot relative’s voice in her head, telling her she’s being nonsensical, that her dreams are nothing more than fantasies. Never listen to someone trying to squelch your dreams, especially if you’ve got anything posited in your 11th house!
Another possible outcome is that this person knows her own worth, and believes in herself, but nonetheless takes forever and is constantly blocked by outside influences. Take a look at how the nodes are aspected to see if, for example, there are squares to the nodes. Squares can slow you down more effectively than your own fears.
And beware of the childishness of South Node in Cancer; even though you’ve got the 11th house influence, which helps out water planets/points by supporting rationality, the combination of Uranus with Cancer makes for some troubling emotional volatility. There could be a lot of work here undoing any negative Cancer influences, the kind that won’t do Capricorn any favors when she finally hits the limelight.
A final important note to this placement is that the current transit of Pluto through Capricorn will conjunct this North Node, probably transforming the native’s life goals entirely. There’s a great deal to be said about Pluto over the North Node, so if you have any questions, be sure to let me know.
Aquarius North Node in the 5th: If this North Node is going to stand on the world’s stage, he figures he’d better have something worthwhile to say. The native believes in something beyond the self with this North Node, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have a bit of the Leo entertainer in him.
Aquarius here means the native probably has some kind of cause she supports, and could very well be tugged towards a life that focuses on the needs of others. The native could dedicate himself, selflessly, to a non-profit organization for the welfare of children, for example.
However, the 5th house promise of a starring role in some Broadway production is a terrible temptation for South Node in Leo to resist. This is a node that already ‘knows’ how to act, so why not act in this lifetime as well? The desire to fulfill the call of the 5th house to shine on the world stage, is never stronger than in this combination, since Leo South Node has a hard time resisting the spotlight.
Since the 11th house is potentially a volatile, unstable position for the South Node, this native could very well be running from a bad home life when she escapes to Hollywood. There is a determination that eclipses common sense when fixed houses contain fixed nodes. At least with the mutable nodes, one can reason with the native; when you warn him or her that danger looms, they might actually change the course their river is running.
However, Leo South Node has something to prove, not least of all to himself. If he doesn’t make a big splash in the world, if his youthful 11th house dreams never come true, or are muddied by the realities of living in the real world (and not the show on MTV) the show must go on for this native. He’ll find some magnificent way to make it known he exists, even if that means he ends up as a merely large-ish lion lording it over a very small pride.
The problem is that not everyone can literally become a famous person, even if the 5th house North Node person feels drawn to showing everyone what he’s capable of in the most dramatic way possible. Interestingly, most actors do not show up North Node in the 5th. If you want to find an actor, apparently, look for a 6th house North Node (or close to the Descendent), which speaks to how hard a job acting actually is and how much work is involved.
This is rarely a shy person. Leo South Node figures, What do I have to feel shy about? North Node in Aquarius is so busy volunteering her time, and making sure everyone does their share to promote universal suffrage, she won’t have time to think about herself as an entity separate from the group. There are selfless 5th house North Node people you’re never going to hear about because they’re not easily Googled; they’re too busy doing good deeds. I hope they get the credit they deserve, because not all 5th house paths provide opportunities for self-aggrandizement.
Pisces North Node in the 5th: Before I talk about this position more generally, I have to let you know that the first chart I found with North Node in Pisces in the 5th house is that of a porn star.
I wish I could just write that and have done with it, but now I have to explain why that’s such a classic path for this node to choose (although the rest of her chart supports her choice, with Scorpio rising and Neptune in the 1st).
The mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) tend to be relatively easy—okay, really easy—to sway. If a mutable North Node isn’t well supported, it will adapt to suit the rest of the chart. If the South Node has stronger aspects, this native will let this node carry most of the weight, only marginally pushing herself to do the work the North Node requires.
In the porn star’s chart, the ruler of the North Node is Neptune, which falls in the native’s 1st house and sits in opposition to both the Sun and Moon (Sun Taurus but Moon out-of-sign in mutable 0˚ Gemini).
The 5th house North Node tugs at people who want to be stars, but in Hollywood, there has long been a much easier path to take to make that happen. The interesting thing about ‘taking the easy path’ provided by one’s South Node (rather than doing the harder work of one’s North Node) in this woman’s chart is the condition of the South Node in Virgo, particularly since the Sun/Moon conjunction trines her South Node, while Pluto, Jupiter, and Uranus (all retrograde, tightly conjunct each other in the 11th house) closely conjunct her South Node.
Remember that I said the 11th house tends to be rebellious, usually fraught with upheaval, often making a child’s life difficult at best, and hell on Earth under the worst circumstances. In this woman’s chart, the grouping of planets, particularly Uranus, in conjunction with the South Node, speaks to a need to live out an intense, unique path, but one she would learn to align with expressing her personal power her way.
It’s usually “my way or the highway” with this nodal axis, but this is a mutable 11th house South Node, so she learned to adapt to any upheavals in her youth by expressing her personal power through her sexuality (not unusual for women, particularly the Neptune in Scorpio/Pluto in Virgo era).
There’s a side to Virgo/Pisces that really truly thinks it’s a form of noble self-sacrifice to share themselves with the world as openly as possible; Virgo isn’t ashamed of their body, and Pisces just wants to help. They might become sex therapists, for example, and not the kind who merely talk about your problem. They’ll show you—graphically—how to fix it.
The Nodes really aren’t the place one looks to find out “who you are”. They’re not used to define your personality, although they share parts of the Zodiacal puzzle pieces. Basically, all we’re doing with the nodes is determining why one chooses a particular life path, and how the rest of the chart explains our choices. If the life path is synonymous with one’s work or vocation, then so be it, but it’s more likely that something in us needs the vocation we’ve chosen to help fulfill the qualities of the nodes.
In the case of the porn star, she’s an excellent example of exactly the kind of 5th house North Node desire for (spurious) fame and glory I’ve been trying to explain is a risk here. The reason this desire might become a problem for the individual is largely because a deep need to be in the public eye stands in the way of your higher purpose. I don’t honestly think being a porn star is her higher purpose, and not because I disdain pornography; I rather envy them their bodies, as a matter of fact.
The preoccupation of this particular nodal axis is not necessarily the healthiest choice for most people these days, largely because the cult of the individual has taken over and society worships celebrity, even when the celebrity hasn’t done anything worthy of note.
Being in the public eye because you’ve earned it through your hard work is one thing; being a celebrity because you want it desperately… just might mean you’ve got a need for attention that isn’t in your best interest to encourage without some serious attention to anything that might have been missing for you in your youth or childhood.