A reader asks…
“I’ve been reading about the ‘problem’ of resolving squares to the Nodal Axis. What would you feel a strategy might be to resolve my natal square from Uranus to my Nodes? I’ve often been confused – or been given confusing information about – the nature and function of my North Node in Aries in the 4th House. Some say its a Mission to become more of ‘I,’ with a strong identity. Within the realm of the 4th, which is supposedly focused on home, hearth, family and tradition, it almost appears I have my nodal axis upside down, and the North Node SHOULD be in the 10th, and vice versa. With North Node in the 4th, is my Mission to become, as Garrison Keillor put it, a bachelor Lutheran farmer in Lake Wobegone? The word and process that I reckon I’m tripping over is ‘resolve.’ Resolve what, and how?”
Yes indeed, a ton of meat here, much of it important. For instance…
- Squares as “problems” that need to be “resolved”
- Squares to the Nodes
- The Fourth House
- The North Node and our Mission
- How do we pick our way through the Maze?
There’s a fair amount of astrologuese in here, which would normally be indented in normal (non-italic non-bold) type. But the astrologuese is pretty basic, and I explain it pretty well as I go, and this is a good example of how astrology is useful, and how it’s done. So we’ll leave it in “general-reader” format (bold italic); skim any parts that bore or Confuse you – or Ask questions.
Squares as “Problems”
A “Square” is formed when two planets are three Signs apart. Traditional Western Astrology regards a Square as, in so many words, a Curse. Dane Rudhyar, one of our astrological mentors, regarded a Square as huperity’s Evolutionary Edge. We consider a Square to be Mastery through Challenge. There is one sense in which a Square is a Curse – Squares involve perpetual Frustration. But we shift that by shifting our Attitude. It’s our need for Perfection that is Frustrated, so if we Identify with Perfection (or even Satisfaction), then yes, Squares are no fun. We could say that’s a Choice, but our own Identity is transparent to most of us most of the Time, so we have to bring it up into Consciousness before it becomes a Choice that the Ego makes – as opposed to a Choice that the Soul has made. Clearly “Someone” Chose to be born into a Lifetime featuring a Square, so if we postulate some sort of Consciousness superior to the Lifetime, “Soul” is as good a term as any.
Squares to the Nodes
The planets and other sensitive points (such as the Nodes) in a Square involve Expectations. In general, we’re likely to Feel a bit out of sorts when we’re Identifying with the South Node, because we’re likely to be engaged in Karmic Self-Sabotage of some sort, but likely to Feel pretty good about ourself when we’re Identifying with the North Node, since we can literally Feel the Future getting easier as we give ourselves permission to move closer to our Deepest Desires. In the normal course of Life, this is a progression. We’re Motivated by our crummy South-Node Experiences to find a lever to improve them, and we’re Motivated by our Deepest Desires simply because they dominate our Consciousness (whether we know it or not). So all of us naturally Expect ourself to be moving, on average, with detours, away from Self-Sabotage and toward indulging our Deepest Desires. A Square to the Nodes Frustrates that Expectation.
This is true of any Square. For instance, a Square from Venus to Mars will Frustrate our Desire for a Satisfying Relationship. A Square from Jupiter to Saturn will Frustrate our Desire for a Satisfying Social Life. So, why would “we” (our “Soul”) Choose to live such Frustration? Because “we” Chose to Study How to Create a Satisfying Life in regard to the nature of our Square, rather than Choosing to Enjoy a Satisfying Life in regard to the indicated arena of Life. Once we realize that our Unconscious Objective is to Study the Process involved with our Square rather than to Enjoy it, Frustration dissolves, because when we’re Studying something, every “failure” provides more information to help us understand the Process. No one ever “resolves” a Square; when we Master one level of our Study, we move on the next level of Subtlety.
Have you ever heard the axion “Those who can Do, Do; those who can’t, Teach”? It’s often meant as an insult to Teachers, but it’s not that at all. If you’re a Natural at something you can hardly Teach it, because it’s Unconscious for you – that’s what it means to be “a Natural.” If you’ve struggled to Learn something and explored all of the blind alleys that lead only to perversions or subversions of your objective, you certainly don’t Feel like a Master – but you are! And you have become the “Natural” to Teach it.
There are two steps to appreciating your Squares: Honor the Mastery that’s hidden under your lifelong Frustration, and switch from Identifying with your Frustration about never “getting it right” to Identifying with your Mastery gained from Studying all the ways there are to “get it not quite right.” So someone with a Square to their Nodes is someone who is, as Goethe put it, immer strebend, someone who können erlöst werden.
When the Zeitgeist is stable, the “Expert” is someone who knows all the right answers. When the Zeitgeist is in flux (which it sort of is these days, just a little), the Expert is someone who’s Studied all the blind alleys – the folks with Squares.
So someone with a Square to their Nodes has become a “Natural” at Teaching others how to Transcend their Karma. I wouldn’t call it a “resolution,” I’d call it something more like an “accommodation,” or an “appreciation,” but there are two steps to such a “resolution” – Honor your Mastery, and switch your Identification from Frustration to Highly Motivated Student of the Subtleties.
Now we get to Uranus as the Squaring planet. The traditional Western astrological interpretation for Uranus is “Disruption,” because traditional Western astrology is oriented toward the Ego, the Material, and the Status Quo. Uranus Disrupts that which is no longer in Alignment with the Soul’s Path in the Lifetime. Uranus represents the Personal Unconscious, another concept that matches pretty well with the concept of “Soul.”
So as we Honor our Mastery and Identify with our Student of the Subtleties, we need to be Mindful that Soul – Uranus – will be constantly bringing us up short whenever we start to Ego-Identify with any sort of Certainty. In an undergrad course you get good grades for demonstrating your Certainty about some approximation to the “right” Answer. In a graduate seminar you get good grades by raising new Questions to challenge the established Answers. The Student of the Subtleties Teaches, but not because they know the Answers. They Teach because they know what sort of Question will move someone to their next stage of Growth.
If it’s already occurred, your Experience of when Uranus in the Sky crossed the place in your natal chart where the North Node sits, will Teach you a great deal. Meditate yourself back into those Experiences. If it hasn’t occurred yet, watch for it and Pay close Attention to the Experience.
The Fourth House
As the Zodiacal Sky is divided into twelve Signs, the Zodiacal Earth is divided into twelve Houses. They correspond to one another, but while the Signs are about Energies, the Houses are about how Energies Manifest into hard copy. The Fourth House, corresponding to Cancer or The Nurturing Mother, represents Security. The Tenth House, corresponding to Capricorn or the Industrious Father (in the gender bias of Medieval Europe, where traditional Western astrology arose), represents Community. The traditional meaning of the Tenth House is Career/Profession, but that’s a bias of the Industrial Revolution (which, recall, we’re leaving) and the introduction of Wage Slavery. In Feudal Europe (most of us, except for our alternative efforts, are returning to a form of Feudalism, as the 1% hoard the planet’s Resources and enslave the rest of us; of course many have been there all along) before Industrialism, this was Community: the Cobbler made shoes for the Cooper, and Cooper made staves for the Brewer, and the Brewer made Kraut for the Cobbler’s kids.
The South Node in the Tenth House implies that you’ve brought into this Lifetime a good deal of Self-Sabotage around Community. The Tenth and Fourth Houses are opposite sides of the same Coin; in traditional society Security depended very much on Community. So the current Life is about Learning Security. Chances are you grew up with little Security, so you may not be a “Natural” at it, based on your early Life Experiences. However, the South Node is more than just Self-Sabotage. It’s also Unconscious Skills. You brought with you into this Lifetime a carpetbag full of Skills around Community. Even as they remain Unconscious, if you look objectively at your Life, you can see how your Unconscious Skills with Community have kept you Alive and relatively Well.
The South Node is also called the Dragon’s Tail. Our Hidden South-Node Skills are symbolized by Smaug’s Treasure; Smaug is the Self-Sabotage that we need to “slay” (actually, befriend) in order to recover the Skills we developed in “Past Lives.” We can also think of Smaug as the Veil that prevents us from reaching into the Zero Point Field (aka Akashic Records) to recover any Skill we need. In modern biology, the direct connection between our Mitochondria and the ZPF is blocked by Held Emotions and/or stored Toxic Substances. In the standard Hero’s Journey, we need to stand, in our fully Grounded Presence, face to face with our Greatest Fears, our “Past Deaths” so to speak, in order to overcome our Upper Limits or Self-Sabotage.
If my South Node were in the Tenth House, I’d sit in Meditation while evoking every Fear, or other Negative Energy, that I hold around Community. Will my Community be there for me when I’m on the Edge of Survival? Where do I Feel that in my Body? Can I Embrace it Lovingly? “You poor Sweetheart, you really feel Abandoned, don’t you.” – or whatever parallel Empathy is appropriate. I’d stretch myself a little bit around Community; maybe go to a Meetup of some sort, and then afterwards Sit with all of the Feelings that arose before, during, and after. We also may need to focus on Cleansing toxins out of the Body. In our South Node we chronically underestimate ourself, as we Focus more on the Sabotage and seldom appreciate our Natural Skills.
You can also PIAVA Security; Imagine how it will Feel in your Body when you are completely Secure, and rehearse that Feeling frequently. Work on your Discernment of Insecurity in any form. Do you instantly recognize Anxiety as an Emotion when it arises, and Empathize/Embrace it on the Emotional level, or do you focus on the intellectual noise that Anxiety creates? Security for you is a Choice. Every day when you wake up, the first thing you want to do is PIAVA that you bring Insecurity fully into Consciousness. You can’t Choose Security while Insecurity is Unconscious.
Then there’s Aries. South Node in Libra implies Self-Sabotage and Unconscious Skills around your relationship to Other. If we are All One, who the Devil is Other? If we’re each the Center of our own Universe, then Other is on the Periphery. Go into Trance and have a look at how that is, objectively. What’s the nature of the Attachment between you at the Center and Other at the Periphery? Are you facing one another, or facing away from one another? How far away? Mutually Supportive, or adversarial? Or ambivalent? Are there Pitbulls between you, or Kittens? Are you holding hands? Arms crossed? Akimbo? What’s the Feeling? Play with it, move the players around on the stage, add or remove props, till it Feels more comfortable and comforting. Do that whenever you feel the need.
Aries is the “dumbbell” of the Zodiac, as it brings with it zero Experience on the Planet. It’s driven by Spirit. Ask Aries what it’s up to, and if you get an honest answer it’ll be “I don’t know. It’s all an experiment.” If it’s an Experienced Aries, “Ask me in five years” will follow. Aries starts things, It’s not in charge of finishing anything. In retrospect, if Aries Trusted themselves and started what their Intuition told them to start, and didn’t let any Unbelievers (including their own Shoulds) talk them out of it, the Inventions of Aries will be remarkable. But they’re of the Future, they make no sense in the context of the Present. With North Node in Aries you’re flying blind. Did you Trust your Instinct yesterday? Then you’re on the right track. There will be no confirmatory email. It’s just Trust your Guidance. That’s it. Doesn’t matter whether it Feels right – that’s just Emotional noise. There will be a very subtle nod of approval from the Soul when you follow your Guidance, but easily drowned out by the much louder Emotions.
North Node in Aries in the Fourth House: your Guidance is your Security. If you try to steer using your Emotions, or second-guess your Guidance intellectually, or devolve into Certainty, go directly to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Of course your Deepest Desires are your own, but once you work your way through the pretenders to that throne, you may find that your Deepest Desire of All is to Trust Your Guidance. Not Faith in your “Self,” Faith in your Guidance. If you Identify with your Guidance, you’ll resist Change. You want to Witness your Guidance. You get there by Discerning any Resistance to that and Loving it to death. “You poor Sweetheart, Trust is Hard, isn’t it.”
Of course our SHOULDs are mere intellectual noise. Any semblance of Should must be recognized immediately as Captain Farrell, a diversion from the true path. Ask who’s SHOULDing on you, see if you can develop a dialog with them. If it’s you, how old are you? What were you Feeling at that age – ie, what are they Feeling now as they’re SHOULDing you? Empathize with them, see what their positive intentions for you are, and see if you can get them to Support what you Want by Supporting what they Want. Make friends with them; once you negotiate Win-Win, they’ll be a strong part of your Guidance.
If it’s someone else, who? What is it they want for you? Even if their intentions are good, you need to Mirror them. You don’t need them running your Life any more.
In this case, where you think the North Node SHOULD be up in Libra, in the outgoing section of the chart, you can probably blame your grade-school teachers. Schoolteachers wouldn’t be teachers if they weren’t Extroverts. Extroverts have no understanding whatsoever for Introverts. They believe Introversion is a sickness, or a regressive gene that needs to be overcome, and they made that unequivocally clear to us when they had Power Over us. When an Extrovert gets worn down, they recover their élan by being with Other People. When an Introvert gets worn down, they recover with Solitude. We’re all some of each, but usually one or the other dominates. Which for you? The Fourth House is deep inside us, some say deepest inside us. You may need to Honor your Introvert here.
The North Node and our Mission
So no, no bachelor Lutheran farmer in Lake Wobegone for you. Your children may be below average. That would be constraining the Future, and Aries will rebel at the next crossroad, of which there will be many. When Aries rebels, it will take you on a Heuristic detour. Instead of moving forward in leaps and bounds, you’ll be tangled up in a remedial class in the briar patch. If you Pay Attention to the lesson plan, you can get back to the High Road quickly.
When you’re tempted to follow your Emotions, or Believe your mental symphonies, and especially if you feel Certain about something, stop and Ask for Guidance. Not Guidance for next week, Guidance for the next hour. One step at a time. That’s how Aries works. So yes, a stronger “I,” but certainly not as in Certainty. A stronger “I” as in constant and consistent Surrender of Control to your Guidance, constantly and Lovingly watchful for signs of Ego wanting to take credit for your many successes. “You poor Sweetheart, you really wanted to take credit for that, didn’t you.”
How do we pick our way through the Maze?
Of course, your Nodal T-Square is only one element in your chart. There are many others, and they all connect to one another. For instance, what if dwarf planet Eris was near your North Node and dwarf planet Quaoar near your South Node? Then Quaoar would Channel all manner of critical Survival Wisdom about Other and Community, while Eris would be constantly throwing Golden Apples (Revelation of what’s being Denied) into the ring. So you’d have to Learn how to phrase your Golden Apples so as not to alienate their recipient. Listen to a recording of one of Byron Katie’s sessions if you ever get the chance. When she reads someone else, it sounds terribly Abusive. But the person she’s reading is all smiles and nods, appreciating the Mirroring of their own Self-Abuse and the confirmation of their already Knowing how to escape into Self-Support. It sounds Abusive to a third party, but if it’s an accurate Mirror for their own pain, it’s Comfort, not Abuse.
If your South Node is in early Libra, it was profoundly affected by the recent and ongoing dance there between Makemake, Juno, Lilith, and the North Node. Your Nodes will Return to their original position every 19 or so years, and reverse their position halfway between. With the North Node currently backing into Virgo (implying breakdown of the old Ego in preparation for Rebirth into Courage), it will have recently backed over your own South Node. What was that like? Your Soul’s Path in the Present Moment (North Node in the Sky) will appear to be the opposite of your Soul’s Path in the Lifetime (the South Node in your natal chart). If you weren’t Conscious of this reversal, it could have been terribly Confusing. If you were Conscious of the reversal, it would have been terribly instructive. It could still be very instructive, in review. If it was Confusing, fabulous; Sit Lovingly with your memories of that Confusion, it was the first stage of Growth.
Finally, it’s a T-Square, so there’s a potent Vacancy lurking Opposite your Uranus. You have to Consciously supply the Energy of the Vacancy to complete the Grand Cross and bring the T-Square into Balance. Add the Degree position of one of your Nodes to the Degree position of your Uranus, then divide by two. Round up to the nearest full Degree (unless it’s x:00, in which case use Degree “x”) and look up the Sabian Symbol of that Degree. That’s how you Consciously contribute to your own Progress in the Lifetime. I think you’ll Enjoy that part. Most of the rest of our natal chart has a Life of its own, whether we’re Witnessing it or not. Our Vacancies are our opportunities to get involved with a lot of leverage.