Decoding the Nodes in Human Design

If you’ve learnt some Human Design, you’ve probably been taught that the Nodes represent a shift at your Uranus Opposition – around age 40 to 42. Your energy shifts from the South Node to the North Node. You might also know that the Nodes form part of the Variables, Perspective and Environment. 

While the imprint of your Sun and Earth activations is hugely important, your Nodes have a very particular part to play in your emerging differentiation as a unique individual. These two sets of activations – the Sun/Earth axis and the Nodal axis – form a team that help you find yourself and your purpose. 

What are the Nodes?

Unlike the rest of the planets in your Human Design chart, the Nodes don’t actually exist. They are what is called in astrology a ‘calculated point’, and the point they are calculated from is your Moon. (Every planet has Nodes by the way!).

Like the Sun and Earth, the Nodes are always exactly opposite each other, in the same way as the Sun and Earth in your design.

The position of the Nodes is formed by the Moon’s orbit around the Earth intersecting with the Earth’s path around the Sun. They reveal the relationship between your personal lunar and solar cycles (your inner and outer, receptive and active, feminine and masculine, linear and cyclical polarities).

Image: Adobe Stock

Iconic astrologer Dane Rudhyar describes the North Node as the point of intake of spiritual and cosmic energies.

As the moon reaches it’s north node and enters the area of the north latitude it is as if it were opening itself to cosmic or spiritual influences symbolically represented by the North Pole, and more specifically, the pole star.

Dane Rudhyar, Lunar Nodes –

They are also the only ‘planets’ that have a backwards trajectory, as if they are always in retrograde. Although they are sometimes in forward motion, their movement is in the opposite direction to the planets in your Design. When they shift gates, they start at the 6th line and gradually work their way towards the 1st line.

Our South Node is our past

The position of your South Node is a place where you feel comfortable, a way of being that you cling to.  It is a position in your design where you tend to act without awareness in a way that can take over your life and throw you off balance. In the past (past lives) we have mastered this particular area and unconsciously approach our lives in this way because it is so easy, avoiding the more challenging growth-oriented pathway presented by the North Node.

Our North Node is our future

The position of your Personality North Node is one of the most important in your design. When you finally crack that one, everything else in your design will fall into place for you. Because your North Node shows your evolutionary trajectory in this lifetime.  And everything in your design is there to support that process.

Your North Node is not your sole destination though! It cannot operate without the support of your natural mastery of your South Node. The South Node is your natural genius, the North Node is the skill you use to develop that genius.

Ra Uru Hu describes your North Node as your unique way of ‘seeing’. To truly live your purpose you must be able to ‘see’ as yourself. The Cross of Life he describes – the Sun/Earth and Nodal axes – forms your sense of who you are and where you are going.

The Nodal Cycle

The Nodes have a cycle of between 18 and 19 years. Which means every 18 or so years your Nodes return to the position where they were when you were born.

This is a time to re-evaluate your life, to see where you may have settled for a safer and more comfortable existence than is necessarily correct for you.

The mid-point in the Nodal cycle, around 9 to 10 years, is also important. This is the time when the transiting South Node moves into the same gate as the North Node in your Design. And the transiting North Node will be sitting on top of your South Node. In other words, they are half-way around the mandala and making a connection that ‘crosses the streams.

The Nodal cycle mid-point is a time when you may feel very uncomfortable, feel pressured to take risks, to step outside of your comfort zone. It is a powerful time to watch for what new opportunities may show up for you.

Where are your Nodes?

Have a look at where your Personality North Node falls in your design, and take some time to consider how you might find this energy challenging, how you may avoid ‘going there’.

In what ways does your Personality South Node feel comfortable for you? What might your ‘genius’ be, as revealed by the South Node? How might your North Node provide you the skills to develop that genius?

If you are not so familiar with the meaning of the Gates, simply use the Centres. For example, my South Node is in the Solar Plexus Centre and my North Node is in the Sacral. I could explore how I am more comfortable focusing on my emotional clarity than on what I commit my energy to.

If your Nodes are in an undefined Centre, you are always being influenced by others in your life geometry, in finding and expressing what you see, your direction and purpose. That’s not a bad thing, it’s what you chose to experience, and there is reason to it. Pay particular attention to the other planets in that undefined Centre and also the adjoining open gate.

Julian Assange – the keeper of secrets

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has been a virtual prisoner in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, where he shelters to avoid extradition to Sweden and potential further extradition to the US where he could be tried for treason.

His South Node is in Gate 7 – The Army. It’s easy for Assange to out the governments of the world for their control of the populous through surreptious surveillance. His leadership in this role is not something he has sought, but which has been thrust upon him.

The theme of this gate is to put all your resources towards one central goal in life. It’s an interesting position for a South Node, since it suggests we should align with our purpose and then all our inner resources will naturally line up to support us. But of course, when we attempt to live within the comfort zone that is our South Node, we create difficulties for ourselves. We are serving ourselves and our own fears, rather than surrendering to the greater good.

Assange’s North Node is in Gate 13, the gate of listening to secrets. Pretty perfect for someone who has revealed all manner of sensitive political secrets to the world media. But Gate 13 calls him out of his hiding place.  Gate 13 says when we join together with like-minded people we can find the courage to venture beyond the limitations of the past.

Despite the clear risks of extradition to the US, Assange’s North Node calls him out into the world beyond his current self-imposed confinement and isolation.

His Personality Mercury, planet of communication, speaks to him responding differently, rather than doggedly staying on the one track. He needs to invite spontaneous connection with others, and communicate freely and powerfully. Despite that pain of that undefined G Centre and it’s potential to feel unseen for his true and authentic self, Assange has an opportunity to begin to communicate ‘goodness’ rather than the continued story of tyranny.

The Collective Energy of the Nodes

At the collective level the current position of the Nodes represents where we are holding tight to our comfort zone, and what’s pulling us forward into our more evolved future. So watching the movement of the Nodes by transit (ie, where they are on any given day) is highly informative of our collective shift.

The South Node is what we have mastered on a collective level. The North Node is calling us to new adventure.

Where are your Nodes in your design? How might you be living too much in your South Node and avoiding the expansion and integration possible in your North Node?

I'm Kim Gould, founder of Love Your Design. I have been innovating and taking Human Design to the next level since 2003.

Beyond Type and Strategy, beyond the keywords and rigid rules, there are Asteroids, Dwarf Planets, Multidimensional Human Design and Holographic Human Design to explore. Come join me!

Want more? Join our Love Your Design Communitywhere we break the bounds of standard Human Design and explore it's full multidimensional potential.

26 thoughts on “Decoding the Nodes in Human Design

  1. Jan Spiller’s work on the nodes is very informing.
    Her book, i think, is titled, “astrology for the soul”

    It has helped me a lot.

    This article makes me want to revisit the book.

      1. Hi Genesis! Thank you. I am glad to know that you liked my email.
        It’s my pleasure to share thoughts and aspirations.
        If you have any questions or you need help, please let me know and I’d be delighted to help. Stay safe. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much! I learned this morning that our South Node is what we came into this life with and can keep us stuck, whereas our North Node is what are soul came to do or to learn and, I think that, our gates support that journey.
    I have been reading link after link to get a handle on my nodes according to human design and yours is the first that presents this material in a way I can understand easily! Thank you.

    1. Hi Laura,

      I was called out by an astrologer a few years back who challenged me on my North Node energy, told me I was avoiding it. And when I really sat with it I realised she was totally right! Sometimes we don’t even realise how comfortably we are hanging out in that South Node energy! These 4 gates in our standard HD chart as so instructive! I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  3. When you talk about Assanages South and North Node you didn t mentioned is it black or red Nodes. My North is on 7 and Douth on 13 😉

  4. Thank you so much for this illuminating article – I learnt a lot. Laughed a lot, looking at my own nodes and my place in the world right now. Deeply grateful for reading this today!

  5. Dear Kim, I was revising this fascinatingly unearthing blog. Since the Uranian opposition brings pressure to move to NN, would it mean, that for later Millennials they should stick to SN ? They are much more evolved than previous generations and are asking questions about Purpose.

    1. I don’t see that shift as a hard and fast rule Sanjay, I often get people pre-Uranus opposition who are so in touch with that North Node energy. Maybe we don’t have time to wait the full 42 years these days?

  6. Hi Kim,
    thank you so much for this. ♡

    That’s my contemplation: my Personality South Node is in the Gate 18 (Spleen), while my Personality North Node in Gate 17 (Ajna). So, I feel that it is a challenge for me to be guided, not by my own fears of the present, but by my visions of the future. I must allow myself to follow what my visions are showing me.

    What about the Design Nodes? Is it the same?

  7. Hi Kim
    First of all thanks so much for illuminating the nodes and also their meanings in transit. 🙂
    Additionally can you expand on the subject when the transit nodes align with your natal sun/earth gates. What does it mean or how can this influence feel? I’m a 34.2 sun, 20.2 earth and right now the south node is in 34.2 and north in 20.2.
    Thanks for any insights that you can share on this! 🙏

    1. Hi Corinne,

      If the nodes are sitting on your Incarnation Cross – either of your Sun/Earth activations – you know it’s going to be a time of growth. You will feel uncomfortable because you can’t rest on that old South Node energy. For you, with the North Node on your Earth right now, you will be getting the nudge to pay more attention to your connections, to being fully present to what each moment brings, responding from your Sacral, rather than drawing on your Sacral energy, possibly pushing or trying to make things happen.

      It might possibly bring up fears of being too selfish, often the pushing at the 34 is to try to avoid just doing your thing because it seems to self-indulgent! With the line 2, you can trust that when you get that call, something interesting to connect with, engage in, your Sacral is going to let you know!

  8. My north and south nodes are both parts of full channels. How should this be interpreted? (North node 5.3 channeled with unconscious gate 15.2; South node 35.3 channel with conscious 36.5). Thank you!

  9. Hi Laura,
    Thanks to your post I’ve gained quite some insight regarding my nodes. Hence i have the exact same ones as Assange’s hehe.
    Quite interesting!

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