The beauty of Tracy Marks’ interpretation of the lunar nodes in her book The Astrology of Self-Discovery is that she teaches us to combine the energies of the North Node and the South Node. While she describes the South Node as behaviors and attitudes which are easy and routine for us, she tells us that we need to learn to rework these energies to assist us in the task of developing the ways of being demanded of us by the North Node. For example, the Gemini South Node tendency to easily pick up bits of information and gossip can be honed into intentional information gathering which will aid us in the search for the truth – which is the path of the Sagittarian North Node. Consciously bringing the conflicting energies of our nodal axis into harmonious alignment serves to enhance the quality of our lives, and our contribution to others.
Tracy Marks lays out certain lessons we learn as we become more practiced in reconciling our nodal polarity. When balancing the Aries and Libra nodes, for example, we learn that only by expressing our own needs fearlessly do we develop the individual strength to partner effectively with another. Because, Marks writes, “Attunement to ourselves is also attunement to others, because within the deepest realms of our subjectivity resides objectivity and collective awareness. As we contact that dimension of ourselves, which is also our connective tissue to others, we begin to develop an ‘I’ that includes ‘we.’” Rosa Parks, born with the North Node in Aries, demanded her individual rights by refusing to go to the back of the bus. Her individual act became a rallying cry of the Civil Rights movement, and became a collective force for change.
Among the lessons we learn while balancing the Taurus and Scorpio lunar nodes, are that acquiring what we want and need must be honed and sorted through by what is really essential. “Our ability to transform, sublimate and channel our desire nature can feed our self-esteem and self-support as well as lead to intensive and solid productivity in the world,” Marks tells us. Born with the North Node in Taurus, Mother Teresa felt her greatest mission was to serve the poor, and to do so, she would need to relinquish all worldly comfort for herself and live among the people she served. Her sacrifice and dedication helped create a mission which was of great support to the poor of Calcutta.
On the Gemini – Sagittarius axis, we must balance knowledge and understanding, using them together to improve our life and the lives of others. We must experience life, but then process what we have learned. “There is no end to our search if we are committed to the search and do not allow ourselves to stop, to fully experience the present moment, to FIND,” Marks writes. Maya Angelou, with the North Node in Gemini, lived vastly through racism, poverty, abuse, the social movements of the 60’s, revolution in Africa, and her own very challenging personal relationships. She transmuted this life path into poetry, creating works that brought richness, clarity, and understanding to the world she inhabited.
Born with the lunar nodes in Cancer and Capricorn, we must learn how to balance our personal vulnerability with the demands the world places on us. “As we develop the arts of self-nourishment and self-nurturance and learn to care for the feelings and need of the child within us, we become capable of giving out of true responsiveness to other people’s needs.” Marks advises. And we can learn to combine our need for warmth and family with our professional goals, creating a “family” around us in our work life. President John F. Kennedy, born with the North Node in Capricorn, experienced long bouts of illness as a young man, learning to move himself forward by reading and delving into his love of history. His political ambition originated in his family, and he ran for office with his parents and numerous siblings surrounding him, and his own brother, Robert Kennedy, became his Attorney General and most trusted advisor in the White House. His administration became known for its commitment to Civil Rights, answering a crying need for racial equality in the country.
Mahatma Gandhi embodied the warmth and charisma of his Leo North Node, but, combined with his Aquarian South Node, he was able to use his personal power to liberate the people of India from colonial rule. Marks writes that “effectively expressing our humanitarianism involves opening our hearts to humanity, not only engaging in progressive activities.” The love for other human beings shone out of Gandhi’s eyes, and it was this light that people followed until, together, they formed an unstoppable movement.
“We need to create a work life in which we provide service which is meaningful to ourselves and others in which we are living our ideals and manifesting our personal vision,” Marks instructs those integrating the Virgo and Pisces lunar nodes. Florence Nightingale, born with the North Node in Pisces, was the first to envision nursing as a valued and exacting profession. Choosing nursing when she was young, her family was horrified that she would adopt such a demeaning job. But by using the Virgo South Node skills of exacting and clinically proven practices and the Piscean North Node’s empathy for all human beings, Florence Nightingale elevated nursing in the eyes of the world and created the great source of healing and comfort we all experience when we need medical care.
Understanding both ends of the spectrum in our lunar nodes, then, we can work with them consciously throughout our lives. Marks reminds us, “once we are open to discovering and learning the lessons of our North Node, we can becomes aware of numerous daily choices through which we are free either to attend to our South Node, activate our North Node, or discover a means to express them in alignment with each other.”