The film – and then show – both named Limitless, attempted to show what happens to us when our mental capacity is enhanced and our entire memory database is at our disposal. Kind of like getting brand new laptop with super fast processor, huge memory and amazing HD graphics. One particular implication was that regardless of the task at hand, there was something in the character's past – a news blurb, a documentary, a brief conversation, a book in high school, that prepared him for the challenge. Whether it was a martial arts film or a CPR class, proper set of instructions was quickly recalled and applied with all the brilliance of the drug enhanced mind.
As I was examining the role of the South Node, which is effectively your past, the vivid image of Limitless came to me. Now some will tell you South Node is your past lives and karma. This is an old view that is still very much in circulation, so it is not to be completely dismissed. There are very effective successful astrologers, including several I hold in the highest esteem, who use this view with amazing results. But I am more interested in "this life" past. If we talk about Influence, yes other incarnations (which to me are non linear in that they could be seen as happening "all at once") could bleed thru, but so can (and does) any experience we had, any feeling we did not release. Past is both our foundation and our golden cage, it shapes most our reactions. As soon as something new enters our field of vision we associate it with things we know, and all past associations, with all labels we placed on them, come rushing in.
To take a break from South Node and put it in perspective, North Node is Present and Future. And magic it is, in that if we are "asleep", we may never "activate" or use it. Not that we'll have no Present or Future, but the meeting may never happen. It's like sitting on the moving bus facing opposite direction. We are moving alright, but we are only seeing what we already passed.
If we are awake, if we are Present with ourselves and our circumstances in the moment, i.e. we are there to see choices and to make choices (rather than choose from the Past on auto-pilot), we activate the North Node to our immense benefit.
Even if we end up making the same choices we made yesterday, the very quality of Presence makes all the difference. We feel free, we are free, we are in the driver seat.
South Node – Past. Prior experience. Knowledge. Repository of associations and attachments. Influences. Tradition. Set of options. Auto-pilot.
Power: Appreciation of roots and tradition. Using all available knowledge. Deriving inspiration from the history and accumulated knowledge. Awareness of vastness of ourselves, other incarnations, probable self, etc. Resting in the abundance of experiences already had or to be had in due time. Openness to any helpful aspects of self.
Shadow: Auto-pilot. Always looking back. Lamenting Past. Staying in the Past. Repeating oneself. Resisting change. Fear of change. Traditionalism. Not seeing choices. Sleepwalking.
North Node – Present and Future. Being Present. Being Aware of one's existence. New ideas, new waves, novelty. Cutting edge. Change. Children. Seeing options. Making conscious choices.
Power: Point of Power. Making Choices. Appreciating power of Choice. Freedom. Feeling new directions, staying with the times. Appreciation for children, new generation. Riding the wave of times. Keeping oneself informed of new directions. Welcoming change.
Shadow: Indiscriminately adopting all changes with no regards to personal preferences. Idealizing "new generation", all that is "cool". Pushing oneself to constantly change. Impatience. Rushing thru choices. Denial of tradition. Trying to have all experiences, endless "bucket list". Discounting oneself for "missed opportunities" or "falling behind".
Meaning of the Nodes of the Moon is by definition connected to the meaning of the Moon itself. Moon is Silence in which all potentials reside, and can be nurtured to be actualized. Lunar Nodes astronomically are intersections of Moon and ecliptic , as described here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_node
This means then that they are related to the way Sun and Moon interact, "cross path". Sun originates, it initiates, it brings some of the Lunar probabilities to life, and to light. In this North Node would be a magnet for change, a door thru which Future enters the Present. The South Node would be the way Past serves and shapes the Present, and the door thru which Present becomes Past, is recycled and stored as experiences, as stepping stones for future choices. It's an interface to the Database of the Past.
Nodes are opposite each other. This offers stability, direction and balance. We "stand" on the Past knowledge and experience, rooted there. We reach out for Present and Future, our head in the limitless sky.
In ancient terms of the Dragon, North Node is the head, always looking for forward, ready to swallow new stuff. South Node is the tail. Perhaps head bites the tail in the infinite loop that is Present. Or it wakes up and flies forward. Perhaps South Node may actually be the dragon's ass (as Steven Forrest pointed out). In this case what head swallows, ass shall release (I do not recall Steven's line of reasoning, but this is what comes to mind).
In charts, as always sign, house and aspects matter. Sign and house of the South Node will show where we are on autopilot, where we store wealth of experiences, how we treat Present from the Past point of view. North Node will show our Point of Power, the area we tend to neglect or underutilize, the focal point for our Freedom of Choice.
It is important to note there is nothing inherently "bad" about the South Node (or anything else in any chart for that matter). It's how we maintain our identity, how we see the road already traveled, how we make use of what we got. If you are an artist and you feel someone else painted this painting, or wrote this poem, it may be that your South Node was at its best efficient functioning. If you take NZT (whatever it is for you), your South Node explodes with myriad of experiences and knowledge at your disposal.
That said, it may also helpful to intentionally take a look at the shadow and see where may the less than optimal qualities of the sign and house lead you. My South Node is in Virgo, so am I a pain in the but for myself and others when it comes to details, perfection, criticism, self-doubt, self-discounting, not seeing forrest for the trees, etc? Could I benefit from seeing a big picture, to allow more feelings to enter my awareness, to allow, accept and appreciate the whole (regardless of what seems imperfect by the standards de jure). If so, then perhaps I could make it a point to be doing so more often, until it becomes a second nature.
In my chart North Node is in 1st house in Pisces , South Node in 7th in Virgo, so getting stuck with adopting to partners and circumstances is a common theme, so is hiding behind mindless repetitive work, while the point of power is in "Just Do It", allowing myself to be more self-centered, to just flow. The knack for getting to those opportunities while they are still "hot" is, for me, in adjusting my perception (to open proverbial door and mind) and always listening to these impulses. For that I need to quiet down that chatter of (self)criticism, over-analyzing and habitual business of Virgo, and lessen that pressing need to adopt to – or complain about – people and situations of the 7th house where the South Node is for me.
In my case there is a heavy influence of Virgo and 7/8th house , including Moon itself, so this aligns with the idea that I view – and judge – my "background" on the basis of "useful" "practical" rearing styles, skills, experiences, etc. (or perceived lack thereof ) that prepared me (or didn't prepare me) for "real life", job or any task at hand. I instinctively grasp for details and focus on gaps. With Moon and Venus conjunct South Node in my chart, I may be intuitively nurturing and connecting with the immense potentials we all have. I may be intensely emotionally aware that on some level I know how to play a piano, for example, or make a movie, or teach math, or write books, and I may lament not doing any of it. My childhood convinced me somehow that I could do it all. But I may be just as intensely hesitant to actually make a choice to move forward with any even most minute choices. Ironically, when I do make a choice it is often at odds with options laid out by incessant analysis – fishes finally released into the ocean take their own path.
One example would be to make a carefully thought out implementation playbook and then start improvising when the playtime comes. This is again not at all "bad" and can be of great benefit in terms of balance and learning, as long as awareness is there. Knowing nodal position can be of great benefit to increase that awareness and presence.
My example is too easy, so let's flip the Nodes, and consider a hypothetical chart where South Node is in Pisces in the 1st, and North Node is in Virgo in 7th. It would be tempting here to think this proverbial person is born to serve and tend to others (Virgo/7th house combination). We are all here to direct our experiences, and our primary responsibility lies with ourselves and our own exploration and wellbeing. That said, adaptability and collaboration will be highlighted as a challenge and a golden opportunity for that person. Some shadow possibilities there could be a habitual focus on action without detailed consideration, difficulties understanding other people's priorities and responses, getting overwhelmed with tremendous sensitivity without necessarily examination of which assumptions are actually valid, avoiding responsibility, misplaced sacrifice, etc. It would of course depend on the rest of the chart and (as always) the person.
North Node in 1st quadrant (houses 1-3) your golden key (and challenge) is in being self-centered, putting yourself first, focusing on inner aspect of you.
North Node in opposite 3rd quadrant (houses 7-9) point to your magic mirror being tied to the community. Not that you would not put yourself first (that's universal, always advisable), but your power and true expansion is linked to your responses to others, your dealing with circumstances, learning with/from partners, etc.
North Node in 2nd quadrant (houses 4-6) will put your magic carpet in your ability to Flow, to imagine, dream, create, experiment, break rules, see outside the box, re-invent yourself in new roles, play with positions, play with attention, etc.
North Node in 4th quadrant (houses 10-12) your angels ask you to Connect. Your power then is in finding birds of a feather, true friends, in asserting yourself in your group, in finding out how things work, figuring out the design, and setting the goals,
There is much to explore here but the effects of my last NZT pill have worn off…
As an afterthought, The LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" This is one short episode in Torah that does not get enough attention. Adam replies: "I am here Lord", all the way wondering if an old man is loosing his omni-presence. "Where art thou!" insists the Lord. "OMG, I am here! Here I am! Don't loose your hearing too for god's sake!".
"There you are, boy!" Lord is smiling
This is squarely North Node theme. Stop wondering. Come to present Now.
One of my teachers, a dear friend Elias, suggested I ask myself as often as I wish – "Where am I?"
The answer can be literal or philosophical, both are ok. The question itself, "where am I", is important, as in the process of answering we get a glimpse of our existence. We realize we are alive! We are in the driver's seat somewhere, somehow. We have choices.
In there, we find a meeting place of Past and Future, like a beach where ocean waves meet the shore, coexisting in one spacious simultaneous Now. The Moon shares its gentle nurturing light of infinite possibilities. The Sun rises to set the stage for some of these probabilities to play out. On this beach, in this Now we find freedom.