How to Follow Your True North in Seven Simple (and Complicated) Steps

A.K.A. Your Astrological North Node

Karina Lafayette – May 2020

  1. Take note of what makes you feel empowered

Have you always gotten a rush of energy when standing onstage? Are you the person others turn to when they need advice or want to learn something? Any “gifts” or skills that elevate you, are related to the goals you need to pursue. For example, in school teachers often praised my writing. I first started writing poems around age twelve, and as a teenager had an entire MySpace page dedicated to Charlie Chaplin. It just so happens my North Node is in the fifth house of creativity!

If however, the more you pursue something, the more exhausted and bitter you feel, but somehow you’re drawn to it anyway, that’s more likely a skill you developed in childhood or past lives (if you believe). In other words, your South Node. In my case, with the South Node in the eleventh house of social circles, I have a tendency to constantly want to help people, to the point where I’ve overlooked my boundaries just to please them. I’ve put myself in situations where I went along with doing something just because that’s what everyone else wanted, only to feel resentful. I’m also a low-key activist who couldn’t care less about the status quo- that part I will own till real change happens.

The North Node will uplift you, the South Node will belittle, and make you fearful of trying new things. It doesn’t mean you’ll complete abandon the South Node, just that you have to undo any codependency or unhealthy attachments to it.

2. Connect with people who have personal planets in the same sign

A lot of astrologers are on the fence about North Node aspects in synastry, and rightfully so; if one person or the other isn’t ready to grow, it can easily repel or stir up a ton of conflict. Why? Because the South Node is so much easier, duh, and most of us want relationships that tell us what we like to hear.

People who have planets closeby your South Node feel like home, like your childhood and everything that’s sweet and familiar, even if the relationship is abusive. My ex had his moon and South Node conjunct my Mars, and it was mistaken for love at first sight. Looking back, I can’t say it was exactly love, but he did remind me of where I came from. He used to enjoy cooking, and well, my family is Italian. He insisted on taking care of me when I had a hard time finding work, and I just wanted someone who would be there through it all. Little did I know, that his South Node on my Mars eventually would become a power struggle about money and which one of us could make the decisions. If that wasn’t enough, his ascendant was on MY South Node. Anytime we had an argument, my first instinct was to start crying, and his first instinct was to either yell or walk away. So while it felt safe and comfy at first, the connection wasn’t at all for my highest good or his.

That doesn’t mean we can’t ever have a relationship with someone who’s essentially our South Node, but in order for it to work, you have to both be on the same page and avoid feeding into each other’s bad habits. One way is to avoid the need to constantly bring up each other’s past, and to be aware of when you’re mirroring parental behaviors. Despite whatever Freud says, a real man doesn’t actually want to marry his mother.
With the North Node on the other hand, when someone has a planet closeby, you know in your bones this person is going to matter. Every time you talk about your hopes and dreams, they push you to go for it, where everyone else would tell you to find a regular job. They have the kind of personality or life that you would like to build for yourself. They have similar goals and plans as you. It feels magical, whether a friendship, relationship, or colleague. However, these are connections that will push your buttons, because they see what you’re capable of and call you out on your bullshit. As opposed to the person who always bailed me out anytime I was experiencing difficulties of my own doing, they remind me how strong I really am, and not to give up. It’s tough love, but much more gentle.

It’s even a common theme for North Node connections to end abruptly and pick up again later. This is because stepping out of a comfort zone feels scary, and rightfully so, since it’s the skills that we’re here to master and work with.

3. Find out everything that sign likes

The North Node is really integral to who you’re becoming, so if you want to step into it fully, it’s important to familiarize yourself with this sign. Get to know the typical hobbies and traits associated with it.
Fake it till you make it.

The North Node is also a good indicator for career pursuits. So if your North Node is in Aries, then you were often bullied as a kid or made to feel like you weren’t allowed to speak up, which means now we work toward the opposite behavior. Does it mean you should bulldoze past people who are inconsiderate and start having a sense of arrogance? Of course not. In this lifetime, you’ll be utilizing your natural people skills and ability to create harmonious relationships, just in a way that calls for stronger boundaries and to avoid relying on people 24/7. Instead of always expecting a partner to make decisions, lead your own life and let the other person do the same.

4. Make peace with the past

Like I already mentioned, we aren’t supposed to completely abandon our South Node. While it’s true, that the minute we discover our purpose there’s an elation, even obsession, to work toward it, having a strong foundation built through the South Node will lead to more success.
When I first moved to Toronto, I really thought I had it all figured out (it was also my Jupiter Return), and then everything fell apart. I went from freelancing on film sets to being trapped in a codependent relationship with a man who often compared me to his mother, and expected me to stay home. Then again, my South Node is in the sign of Cancer and home is where Cancerians like to be. Even though I knew my ambitions by now, it took far more courage to leave the nest than it did to stay. Then came the unthinkable, where a year after we broke up, I found myself living in a shelter, right around my Nodal Opposition. As much as I was eager to get out of that situation as soon as possible, there was comfort in knowing that for once, I was surrounded by people who wanted to take care of me.
For a year and a half, I didn’t have to feel lonely anymore, because I was surrounded by a community where many also didn’t have a stable family or home life. Of course it wasn’t long before that same community also felt kind of isolating, since it represented my past. During this time period I got deeper into astrology, wrote a memoir, and made a friend who unsurprisingly enough turned out to be a Capricorn. One day, this friend asked me to read the charts of some people we used to hang out with at the shelter. A few days later, he sat me down and told me a few things about my purpose in life, almost as if he held the ability to see a future me even I couldn’t see… yet.

Then in 2020, the year that supposedly made everyone unhappy, I started working again and even got an apartment, all while juggling online work doing birth chart readings for people and blogging. I had to confront my past, and then make a solid home for myself, before finally taking a leap of faith.

5. Keep track of your habits

Do you often procrastinate like I do? Are you a bad spender who then complains about being broke? Do you ever say “yes” when meaning “no”? How we typically spend our day is a direct reflection of the many days ahead. So if you aren’t happy with how your days are right now, the key is to change your habits. As already mentioned, habits are formed with the South Node. It’s time to be mindful and keep together a planner or journal for how the day will look; from the time you wake up, to what you eat for breakfast, and most of all, to have mindfulness. Needless to say, the North Node requires a certain level of conscious effort, which is why many people never reach it. Not that there is anything wrong with that either, since we all have a freewill, but you do see a noticeable difference in someone who’s truly following a purpose.

They have a certain glow to them, similar to the glow of young couples in love, only this kind of person is in love with their life.

6. Revive the dreams you had as a kid

If you always wanted to be a rockstar but don’t have the right vocals for it, this means you should become a music teacher or producer. If you always wanted to join Wrestlemania, then you should do sports. If you often ponder the mysteries of life, then you should be a writer, psychologist, teacher or filmmaker.

Ever since I was little, I would dream of being on stage, blowing people’s minds by belting out a tune or giving a passionate speech like Gloria Steinhem. And while I’m a terrible singer, I can in fact raise my voice when needed. Ironically enough, in school my voice would shake and my knees felt weak anytime I had to speak in front of class or do a presentation. Yet deep down, I really wanted to be up there. Finally the day came years later, when I did an interview on a local tv station to promote a documentary I directed called ‘The Student Diaries’, and it felt like the easiest thing ever. Sure, I was terrified, but as soon as Jamie Orchard started asking questions, I was too in the moment to really think clearly. The risk was worth it.

Your kid self had big dreams because kids know no limits. They’re innocent and out of touch with the reality of how challenging success really is. At some point as an adult, we’re met with obstacles and decide to just fall back on whatever we were already good at (the South Node). However, just because something is hard to reach doesn’t make it impossible, it just means there’s certain experiences you need to have that’ll lead you in that direction. Success isn’t a clear path, it’s a lot of twists, turns, and chaos, but it’s still obtainable. While I’m not quite yet where I’ve wanted to be, I am that much closer thanks to the challenges that shaped me.

7. Don’t Stress About It

It might sound counterintuitive, but if you have some basic knowledge of Law of Attraction, it makes perfect sense. Already whatever house the North Node is in shows the area of life where we become fixated, almost obsessed with. If your North Node is in the fifth house, the need to create can be bigger than one can manage, and if you don’t create a masterpiece or people don’t pay attention, it affects the ego and you risk giving up altogether. I should know. If your North Node is in the seventh house and you experience a breakup, it can and will impact you more than usual, because you spend so much energy into having the right relationship. It’s easy to invest so much in the North Node, only to get little in return, when it’s an area of life that’s so significant.

In that case, any planets aspecting the nodes, as well as the planetary ruler, all come into play. For example, if you have North Node in the seventh house, and yet Venus, the ruler of the seventh, makes a square to Pluto, you’ll experience many power struggles in partnerships before really coming into your own. If your North Node is ruled by Saturn like mine is, expect to wait longer to get to it.

The North Node is a lifelong process, and like I wrote earlier, it takes conscious effort. If it wasn’t for astrology, I would’ve probably quit while I was ahead and stayed working in customer service, because despite the arts being so important to me, my goals also felt unreachable. Your environment, the people you’re closest to, and everyday habits, all play a vital part in developing your North Node.

And regardless of how much you do achieve, remember that it’s all about the journey, not the destination.

To check out my books, social media and more, scroll to the main menu above, where you can also get a reading.

Also be sure to watch my new short documentary series on the Saturn Return!

*This article was first published on Medium.

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