Public vs Private Life – Moon Nodes in the Houses

I go back and forth between house systems. Sometimes one fits better than another. I won’t go into the way the house systems are determined. Other sites can give you the detailed logic — usually based on your birth location’s distance from the Earth’s poles (this is the science behind astrology). A natal chart won’t change  a lot between these two systems for most of us, but maybe just enough. For my chart, both Neptune and my Moon Nodes change houses.

It’s the Nodes that have my attention right now. Switching from houses 6/12 to 5/11 (Placidus to Koch Houses) makes quite  a difference. And a lot more sense.

What do you think?

What Are the Nodes?

The Nodes of the Moon are where the moon’s orbit intersects the ecliptic, which is the sun’s path around the Earth. Since the Earth tilts back and forth that ecliptic shifts up and down toward the poles, and with it the houses that the two nodes fall into. The Moon’s Path and Sun’s path in the sky are two circles that intersect in two points. these points are the Nodes, and they are in opposite houses and signs in a Natal chart. The North Node (NN) indicates your life lesson. It suggests what you’re not good at and uncomfortable with because you’re learning about it. The South Node (SN) indicates your past. It suggests what’s familiar and easy and ultimately an area to build on but leave behind in this life.

The Hard Part – The North Node

wymore astrology webcomic daoism personal training illustrationWith my natal NN in the 11th House and SN in the 5th House, the karmic influence suggests I’m evolving from more personal, creative life focused on children and/or pleasure into a life focused more on communal, platonic interaction. That is, moving from eros and storge to philia and agape.  (For ease, I’m generalizing these concepts. These four ancient Greek words for love are complex and overlapping, especially eros, which many assume is all about physical sexual urges, when it refers more to a spiritual longing that often — but not merely — finds expression through the body.)

The 11th house deals with philia. It is about friends, social circles, and politics to some extent. With the NN here, my chart shows I’m learning how to be more communal. Some astrologers will say “social” but many houses deal with sociability and relationships. I’m extremely social and have many varied and good relationships. That’s not the thing. The 11th is particularly about communal connections — about immersion in a group, focusing less on being a unique member among many than a wave in the ocean. And more than that, the 11th to 5th axis is about a balance between public life and private life. I’m learning both balance and boundaries between private and public life that are difficult for me.

Since my SN is in my 5th, I’m more comfortable with the private and find it hard to keep it out of the public. Someone with opposite nodes would likely have trouble keeping the public out of the private, or simply not want to.

Throughout my life, I’ve joined groups and left them quickly. I feel awkward, exposed. More than that, I feel constrained, managed. I try to be just one of the group and end up being so different I don’t fit in.  I’m always an outlier. This difficulty applies to many areas of my life — community groups, political groups, and even jobs. They have all been difficult to maintain for a long period of time because I find it hard to keep my private life out of the public sphere.

You know how some people parse their lives between who they are at home versus in the workplace? That is, they don’t feel the need to share their self identity everywhere they go? My husband is very good at that. That feeling “awkward, exposed” and becoming an outlier I mentioned above is my own doing. Because it’s difficult to be one of many when I’m more familiar with being unique and alone.

Some of you will say we should all strive to be ourselves and be accepted for who we are everywhere. You’re probably one who has a good boundary, easily maintained, so you don’t feel the pressure at that boundary’s edge. Or you’re like me but think the boundary is a cultural construct that serves a bad purpose, so you ignore it. I’ve done that for 50 years. I may continue to do it. But there are times when contributing my voice and my share in an anonymous way is better. I can avoid feeling judged, engaging in conflicts, and becoming the poster child of controversies that can lead to separation. Being and staying part of a group requires focusing on what binds you, while avoiding the controversies that conflict — not denying them, but realizing they don’t belong in this particular venue.

The Easy Part – The South Node

astrology natal chart moon nodes

My Chart (the nodes are the horsehoe-like icons)

In a past life (or early in life, if you don’t ascribe to the reincarnation aspect) I was a loner, preferring my own company and creativity as opposed to group activities. Being that the SN (what is familiar to us) is in my 5th, experiencing eros and storge are easy for me because I’ve done them for a long time

I’m a very 5th House person. I’ve had many romantic relationships in my life. Sex and love are not the same thing, both are fun, and either can be enjoyed without the other. And that other area of the 5th House, creativity, is my middle name. My husband knows it. He often tells me to go make something when he sees I’m in a funk. Visual art has been at the core of my being since I was 5 years old, but I also find creative expression in writing, crafts, music, and baking. And my kids. Homeschooling them when they were younger was joyously creative.

I never babysat or liked children and babies when I was younger. I became a mother late in life because I had a romance with a man who was so full of love, I wanted him to last forever.  I knew nothing about children until I had them. Once I did, being a mom easily became the core of my being and outshone any other purpose I had. Motherhood was intuitive and the most important thing, despite having lived 40 years solely for myself.

What About the Sign?

Additionally, SN is in Sagittarius and NN is in Gemini, which can be summed up with doing Sagittarius things in a 5th House way is easy and perhaps not as much fun as doing Gemini things in an 11th House way, which is challenging and compelling. Bringing my Gemini to communal activities is the best way for me to embrace the new. That is, I talk. And I share. And I spread information. I’m good at that. Now, I need to work at maintaining my immersion, trying to be one among many, and avoid turning friends into lovers. Although I’m not inclined to actually avoid anything.

Moon Nodes in Relationships – Synastry

I’ve read a number of places that having compatible Nodes between people is necessary. That is, your partner(s) should have compatible life missions/karma to yours. I laugh. My husband has nodes exactly opposite in sign, though not in house. And my last girlfriend had nodes opposite in house though not in sign.

astrology natal chart moon nodes

Girlfriend’s Chart

While my relationship with my girlfriend ended recently, I don’t see incompatible life missions as the culprit. Unlike me, she’s comfortable in a communal setting, immersive, and a passionate supporter of causes and activism. As a victim advocate, she accompanies rape survivors to hospitals and police stations. This requires her to be a master at keeping the private out of the public, something I admire in her. Interpreting her NN is tougher. The complexity to her chart is she has a loaded 5th House. So while her NN is there suggesting she is unfamiliar with 5th House expression, the NN is in Aquarius (natural 11th House ruler) and she has 3 other planets there, including her Sun. So, separating out the one aspect from the others is a tangled mess. I hope one day to discover how she has grown.

astrology natal chart moon nodes

Husband’s Chart

My husband and I have a relationship that is complementary. We fill each other’s empty spots so well. And I have learned more about love from him than anyone. After 16 years and so many events weathered together, I can’t imagine it ever ending. He is expert at Gemini things — the particular, the present. He is growing toward Sagittarius — the universal and eternal. Those ideas fascinate him. And scare him. He’s pushed along by our discussions. Otherwise, he avoids thinking about the meaning of life, religion, and ethics. But he’s fascinated by these subjects, too.  When I was in college, I was all about sorting out principles and defending them, about finding the “best” life. Over the last decade, I’ve evolved in a different direction. I don’t much care what you believe now or what you think of what I believe. I get bored analyzing systems of thought. But for my husband and me, there is still that axis of intellectual interaction because we are each going where the other has been. Our patience and love for each other keeps us sensitive to each other’s needs.

How to Get Started

I see a broad pattern of activity in my life that has evolved and the Moon Nodes sum it up perfectly. I encourage you to check out your Moon Nodes. Start with Dana Gerhardt at Astrodienst and Dane Rudhyar at Khaldea. Get your chart at



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