HOUSE 1: Personality

Welcome to making the accommodating, peace-loving, relationship-oriented Libra qualities you're learning about part of the core definition of who you are. In this lifetime, you are mastering the complexity of becoming your own person when that person is somehow best defined in relationship to another. Welcome to learning how to function in partnership while staying true to yourself; to glorying in your own individuality and building a strong ego in its highest sense when an intrinsic part of that selfhood is to cultivate awareness of others and adjust to their energy. Welcome, in other words, to the paradoxical, exciting and phenomenally rewarding terrain of the karmic "switcheroo," the situation where the themes of this lifetime's assignment bear a striking resemblance to the experiences of the karmic past.

Now this is a tricky assignment, no doubt about it. Your North Node sign of Libra is associated with Seventh House themes of compromise and give-and-take and all kinds of other partnership skills. But that node is placed in the First House, which naturally resonates with Arian themes of strong ego development and self-assertiveness. And vice-versa. The self-referential Aries South Node is in the "other"-oriented Seventh House of Partnership. This can make it hard to identify the point of balance between you and another person, especially a partner-type-person; hard to know if you're moving forward to the North Node or back to the South. For example, when you say that you're happy to have Thanksgiving at your home, are you doing it because it's really your favorite holiday and you love nothing better than to dice the celery for the stuffing and set the table for twenty? Or you doing it even though you hate to dice celery and clean up from a dinner for twenty, but the love of your life loves to carve the bird and doesn't want to head "over the river and through the woods" to where Grandpa will do the honors? In this lifetime, it's important to sort it all out.

Now all this certainly isn't going to be easy, but it doesn't have to be daunting. Your spirit is ready to tackle the subtleties of this situation and you've got everything it takes to reach the goal. Start by becoming solidly grounded in who you are: in what you like and don't like; what you need and don't need. The Arian energy of your karmic past knows all about this kind of thing. Knowing where you stand before you enter a situation where negotiation is going to be involved will help you look out for yourself. Try to be the first person to put their cards on the table. The Seventh House part of you is always looking for something to adjust to , so winning the coin toss helps you stay in touch with your own position. Slow down your response time. This gives you a chance to remind yourself of who you are and what you need.

When you have the reversed sign and house situation, it's often an indication that you're working an issue that takes more than a single lifetime to master, so go easy on yourself: You're learning a complicated lesson. Missteps and detours and dead ends are part of the "switcheroo" deal. Just keep the most positive qualities of your North Node sign and house in the forefront of your consciousness as much as you can.

Look for the signals. The Universe will let you know if you wander off-course. The message is likely to come through your relationships, especially a partner-type relationship with someone who may be oblivious to anyone but themselves, or who disregards your sensibilities and tries to invade your boundaries, or, alternatively, is waiting for you to decide what they need to do or think. Are they trying to tell you something about yourself ?

Be yourself. Be a partner. You can do this thing.

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HOUSE 2: Values

In the tarot deck, the Two of Cups card shows a young man and woman in the early stages of relationship. They face each other, each extending a cup to the person opposite them, an act representing the offer to share of themselves with another. It is a card of balance and harmony, awash in soft, peaceful colors, except for the russet of the winged lion that blesses the interaction. Regardless of gender, it is precisely this kind of exchange that can help you achieve the sense of security and safety and self-esteem that is the goal of the Second House North Node. In this lifetime, participating in successful relationship by sharing Libran qualities of balance and harmony is what allows you to hold yourself in the highest regard. So is spending time in surroundings that touch your aesthetic sensibilities - it helps open your eyes to the beauty in your own life, and encourages you to place a higher value on it.

There are definite challenges, though. The first comes from the complexity of cultivating relationship while being sure to look out for yourself, which is fundamental to successful completion of this assignment. Giving too much away of what you need in the well-intentioned effort to create relationship balance or, conversely, relying too much on your partner to provide your own safety and security, are sure-fire ways to upset the relationship applecart. Without conscious attention, you're pretty much a sitting duck for either of these scenarios.

Your Aries South Node in the Eighth House suggests that in the karmic past you shared another kind of partnership story - a deep, intense, perhaps even tumultuous journey through a dark night experience where you called on Arian courage and assertiveness to pull you through. In this hugely complicated scenario, it was hard to figure out the balance between your own ego needs and your responsibilities to the relationship. Perhaps there was a marriage started in love and trust but ended in betrayal and pain, with one partner (you) swallowing the bitter bile of forfeited self-esteem. Alternatively, maybe uncontrolled Arian ego caused you to violate the trust and balance of partnership. Either way, to get this lifetime's North Node assignment right - to feel safe and secure about your own ability to take care of yourself - you'll have to enter those murky partnership waters again and renegotiate for a different outcome.

Reach out and touch someone. It's for your highest soul growth, this time around.

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HOUSE 3: The Mind

Well, dear Libran voyager, you're going to find that you've signed on for a pretty compatible match when you made the Third House your North Node destination. Libra is an air sign, and there's a certain hard-wired curiosity and interest in learning that is general issue with all the signs in that element. This makes for a natural fit when it comes to the information-gathering part of the assignment. Add to that Libra's skills at sociability and relationship, and you can see how the qualities of this sign can come in handy with the sharing part of the assignment as well.

So far, so good. In fact, maybe all this is starting to sound more like a South Node legacy than a North Node challenge, and there might even be a little bit of truth to that. But there is more. Lots more. For starters, the Libran energy you're learning about has a definite "I'll get around to it eventually" spin to it - or, to be more precise, a "maybe if I wait long enough someone else will get around to it" spin to it. Add to that an inclination to trade on one's considerable charm rather than on one's considerable potential for intellect and productivity, and you have the first set of very real issues to address.

And let's not forget the assertive and adventurous Arian voice that is calling to you from the Ninth House where your South Node is located. It speaks of a karmic history of independence in defining and expressing your beliefs, a "My Way" approach to figuring out what life was all about, an approach that ignored any input or guidance that didn't line up with your own self-defined conclusions. If you're not careful, you can find yourself unconsciously putting on the same set of blinders you wore then as you go about this lifetime's North Node business of gathering information without editing it according to your own personal criteria.

Now, get going - you've got lots to do!

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HOUSE 4: Home

Welcome to a lifetime of using the Libra energy you're learning about to connect consciously and deeply with your family and clan, and to discovering how these connections can ground you and support you as you venture forth in your own life. This assignment asks you to bring the art of relationship to the interplay of family life, creating an environment where everyone gets an equal share in influencing the direction and growth of the clan. Welcome to a lifetime of learning that you don't have to go it alone.

With the North Node in the Fourth House, the state of your home environment can be a symbolic measure of your internal progress. Libra has a real eye for beauty and balance, so once you start getting in touch with its energy, anything in your domestic surroundings that doesn't appeal to that aesthetic sensibility probably isn't going to stay status quo for long. And don't bother to call in a decorator. Although you may need a plumber to install the elegant new faucet you just bought for the bathroom sink, you certainly don't need anyone to help you pick it out.

We know that challenge is part of the North Node journey, and this assignment is no exception. To begin with, once you get going, you could easily over-achieve in give-and-take, compromise, and peace-making, and before you know it, you might miss out on your own piece of pie at the family dessert table. The Aries energy in your Tenth House South Node can certainly help you out with this issue. In the course of your karmic history you've had opportunities to learn how to identify what you want and where you want to go, and then to get there on your own, all of which will help you stand up for yourself in this lifetime. But it can be very tempting to fall back to that "my way or the highway" history of public success when the Northbound journey gets rocky and the frustrations come along - as they undoubtedly will - in family life.

The Universe will be happy to send you plenty of signals if you go overboard in either direction. If too much of Libra's niceness and accommodation are verging on doormat behavior, you might find yourself dealing with no end of wishy-washy, apathetic, sell-themselves-for-peace characters in the arena of your own family relationships. Too much Arian push of your own agenda, and you're likely to be butting heads and locking horns with a whole bunch of in-your-face-I-want-it-my-way types, especially at the office.

Go ahead, repaint the living room. You're heading home.

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HOUSE 5: Creativity

Venus, the planet representing our response to beauty and our artistic nature, is the planet associated with the sign of Libra. How nice, then, that the creative Fifth House is your North Node destination! Of course, it's not necessarily true that the mode of that creative self-expression will involve an artist's brush, or a sculptor's hammer and chisel, or a fashion designer's threads and scissors, but because you're learning about Libra energy in this lifetime, it certainly could turn out that way.

Yes, Libra in the Fifth House is definitely a comfortable and well-matched North Node combination, but that doesn't mean that there aren't some very real challenges with this placement. For starters, the more you become sensitized to Libra's energy, the more you're going to be aware of that sign's association with relationship, which is to say that it may get hard to stay focused on your own creative energy and its expression. More and more you're going to be thinking of collaborative approaches and sharing the spotlight. Staying true to the importance of your own individuality is going to be a definite challenge that paradoxically only grows in strength as you make North Node progress.

Then there's your Eleventh House South Node to consider. That piece of astrological real estate represents how we function in groups and in associations where we negotiate away some of our individuality for the sake of belonging and approval. With that South Node in the sign of Aries, we can imagine a history of being a leader and initiator in that kind of environment, perhaps a little too much of a mover and shaker, in fact. The combination leaves you with a complex legacy of being in situations where conformity to group ideals and values had high value and you were something of a raucous upstart. Some of that "put yourself out there" energy that you learned about back then can come in handy now, but the pull of blending into the group can feed in to Libra's relationship focus. Complex. Paradoxical. It's the North Node journey - what do you expect?

Grab a brush - a pen -a chisel. Whatever it is, just make sure that what you create is your very own.

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HOUSE 6: Service

How nice that you've chosen to knock at this door. Libra's sociability and talent for connecting and adjusting to others' energies are surely going to come in handy on this assignment, where learning to identify what someone needs in order to live a better life is part of the curriculum. It isn't a big stretch to imagine that someday soon you could be pouring tea into someone's cup before they even realize that they're thirsty!

But this is a North Node assignment, after all, and that means that challenge is simply part of the job description. Let's start by looking back to your South Node in the Twelfth House. That self-assertive, autonomous Arian energy is not particularly comfortable swimming in those soft waters. The unconscious call of its ego-driven needs can start to blare at you louder than 76 trombones, demanding attention and trying to distract you from awareness of anyone or anything else with its "Me First! Me First!" mantra. You're going to have to learn to stand firm and stay the course, and that's simply not something Libra energy is cut out to do easily. The more you move toward the North Node, the more you can expect to be sensitized to the racket coming at you from a Southerly direction.

Then there's the question of balance. As you know, Libra is at high risk of giving itself away for the sake of peace, which means that although service to others is the work of the Sixth House, you can't go overboard in that direction, either. Upsetting the balance between your needs and others' could trigger an assault on the body/mind connection and land you flat on your back.

Get out the scales. It's a delicate balance you're trying to reach, but when in doubt, the weight goes to the North.

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HOUSE 7: Partnership

A double "Welcome Home" to you, dear voyager. Libra is the sign naturally associated with relationship and with this piece of astrological real estate, so the message and call of your North Node is particularly loud and clear: Experience the give-and-take of partnership; learn how to create balance and harmony in relationship; learn how to give of yourself to another and get the same thing right back. Welcome to a lifetime of learning that you don't have to go it alone.

With the doubled-up opportunity, the challenge side of the coin is double-thick as well. To begin with, once you start to make progress, "too much of a good thing" becomes a definite possibility. Let's say your husband's brother wants you to share a vacation rental. Will you do it because you really love to clean the catch from the annual deep-sea fishing excursion, or because of the waves that would crash through your marriage if you stood strong for wanting that romantic cruise-for-only-two with your spouse? Sticking up for yourself and keeping the line clear between when and where you give and when and where you receive can be hard, with legitimate compromise melting into wish-washy, apathetic, sell-yourself-for-peace behavior if you're not very, very careful.

Your Aries First House South Node can be a great resource. It tells us that you've had doubled-up opportunities in the karmic past to learn about who you are, what you want, and how to go about getting what that is, qualities that can help you when it comes to the "not losing yourself" part of this lifetime's assignment. But it can be awfully hard to let go of the autonomy of that "My way or the highway" South Node. Always having it your way can be intoxicating, but without control, it's guaranteed to wreck havoc in the relationship department by undermining its fundamental requirement of equality between partners.

Go for it! You've got a Seventh House North Node: the right partner is out there for you, and you're going to love having the company.

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HOUSE 8: Transformation

Welcome to the challenge of learning about the skills and arts of relationship, about sharing and compromise and consideration of another's point of view, as you dive into the turbulent, mysterious waters of the Eighth House. I know this is not exactly the travel destination that charming, peace-loving, sociable Libra energy might choose for its next vacation, but it's where your deepest power lies, and it's this lifetime's assignment to retrieve it, so it's a good thing that you're slated to make at least part of the journey with a partner to accompany and support you. This time around, you're asked to share all that you are and have materially, emotionally, and physically and spiritually with another person in exchange for having all that shared right back. And, if the partnership is a personal one, welcome to the exciting opportunity to experience passionate, transcendent bonding, the kind of connection that can create something far greater than the sum of its parts.

The courage and self-assertiveness of the Aries energy you learned about in the karmic past can be of great help. However, looking back to the South Node through a darkened lens, we can surmise that you over-achieved with these qualities; that self-confidence morphed into egotism and disregard of anyone else's point of view. Combine that with the Second House self-sufficiency that was developed to a fault, and there can be real challenges with this lifetime's assignment, which is definitely not about doing it all yourself, your way, and totally on your own terms. For example, you might have to trade off your idea of a South Pacific honeymoon destination in exchange for Niagara Falls because you've chosen your partner for his or her sensitivity and emotional support, not for his or her earning potential. The Second House South Node part of you won't like it, but the North Node part of you knows it's the only way to go. You don't want to miss the opportunity to be reborn into your own power with a dive master at your side, assisting the delivery.

Remember the phoenix.

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HOUSE 9: Expanding Horizons

How nice that you've chosen to knock at this door. Libra's left-brained, intellectual approach to life is going to be helpful for the "connect the dots" part of this assignment, and its ability to see and appreciate another's point of view only adds to the richness and breadth of the conclusions you can arrive at. What's more, the sign's sociable nature and skills in the give-and-take of relationship can make for having some good company on this journey, and that can help with the part of the assignment that asks you to share your vision. So come on in - you're going to like it here.

So far, so good. But this is a North Node assignment, so you know that challenge is part of the job description. To start, let's take a look at your South Node. The fiery, action-oriented Aries energy there can be really helpful to get you going and keep you going, which can be one of Libra's biggest hurdles. But Aries needs lots of space and freedom to do its own thing, and can be so assertive with its own agenda and point of view that others become reluctant, or even averse, to providing any genuine feedback. Falling back to the South Node could mean that the information and experience that you know how to collect (commodities that could be very useful input for your Ninth House dot-connecting work) could be too one-sided, even irrelevant, because they were acquired in too much of a rush, and were filtered through Aries' self-referential point of view. In this lifetime, you'll have to be very careful not to unconsciously put on the blinders that you wore in the karmic past.

Then, there's the paradoxical opposite challenge: that as you get more and more attuned to Libra energy, you might compromise too much of your views and your beliefs, especially if they encounter resistance, simply for the sake of maintaining peace and harmony. Like I told you, North Node work is never easy.

Now spruce yourself up and get going!

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HOUSE 10: Authority

Welcome to a lifetime of using the relationship skills of the Libra energy you're learning about to connect with people who don't know you personally; to a lifetime of assuming a role of leadership and authority in the big world out there, and making a contribution to the "tribe." It wouldn't be surprising to find you in a situation where you can model skills in diplomacy and compromise to create balance and harmony between parties in conflict - perhaps in the role of a diplomat or negotiator, for example. So step right on in - you've got important work to do.

Your South Node in the Fourth House of Home represents a source of support and security as you venture forth in this lifetime, and the Aries energy there reminds us that in the karmic past you learned a lot about identifying what you want, where you want to go, and how to get there. This can all be very helpful as you assume this lifetime's responsibilities, because the Libra energy you're learning about isn't comfortable taking the lead and prefers, instead, to adjust to others' energy. But challenge is hard-wired into the North Node job description and this assignment is no exception. For starters, with this South Node combination, we can surmise that you were probably a "mover and a shaker" on the home front: the person who got things started and took care of problems; the person who was a key player at the center of the family/clan universe. So, when you try to step over the threshold to a larger universe in this lifetime, you can pretty much expect to have to contend with difficult decisions that test your resolve. Let's suppose you've achieved a high-level position and growing reputation as a labor negotiator, and that you're spearheading a hugely important contract negotiation where paralysis of a major metropolitan public transportation system is threatened. You've been at the bargaining table virtually around the clock for days, but the lines on each side are still pretty clearly drawn, even though there have been some small shifts that speak of hope and compromise. Back home, your aging and ill mother has been suddenly hospitalized for treatment. Although her life is not in danger, she's scared and calling out for you as the only person who can calm her anxiety. Her distress is acute. What to do? You'll figure it out, but it won't be easy.

Get a good hair cut. You're heading out into the spotlight and you want to look good.

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HOUSE 11: Goals & Groups

How nice that you've chosen to knock at this door. The charming, sociable Libra energy you're learning about knows a lot about the give and take of relationship, and that's going to come in handy around here, where getting accepted and then getting along with the group is pretty much the first order of business. What's more, Libra's smart, intellectual approach to life means that you'll be no slouch when it comes to contributing good ideas and insights about our shared endeavors. So come on in - you're among friends.

However, challenge is hard-wired into the North Node assignment and there's a very big one beaming at you from your Fifth House South Node. It tells us that you come into this lifetime with a karmic history of specialness and perhaps even privilege; of being comfortable both with getting attention and not having to pay much attention to anyone else. Add to that the fiery, self-referential "all about me" Aries energy in that node, and you could find yourself playing with some pretty hot fire. Sure, dynamic Aries can be a big help lots when it comes to getting the ball rolling for Eleventh House initiatives, but it can be so assertive with its own agenda and point of view that others become reluctant or even averse to getting on board, never mind staying with the team if you're on it. What's more, the Libra energy you're learning about would rather try to keep the peace by adjusting to the ram-charging "Me First" Fifth House clamor than draw the line and stand strong. And if you don't stand strong, what you'll do will be to slip-slide right back to the South Node. Confusing? Paradoxical? What do you expect? It's the North Node journey, after all!

It's time to meet and greet the gang. Check the mirror and get going!

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HOUSE 12: Spirit

Welcome! How nice of you to swim in over this threshold. The creative, peace-loving Libra energy you're learning about is going to feel quite at home in these calm, deep waters where sensitivity and compassion infuse the environment. Libra's ability to sense and adjust to others' energies to create balance and harmony makes for a good fit, and the imagination and fantasy that permeate the Twelfth House environment can only add to Libra's strong aesthetic sensibilities.

But you know that challenge is simply part of the North Node journey and this assignment is no exception. The first part comes straight out of just how comfortable a fit this could become. Libra's peace-loving nature and (let's tell it like it is) comfort with having others do the heavy-lifting in life blends almost too smoothly with the Twelfth House approach of letting others take the lead, and not doing today what you might put off until tomorrow. This apathy plus passivity equation can become a formula for numbing stasis, and lead to a life adrift in pleasurable but dead-end escapes if you're not careful.

Now let's take a look at your South Node in the Sixth House. Its Aries energy can be of real help when it comes to motivation. If anything, Aries has an over -developed sense of self and this can help you put the brakes on when the Twelfth House "urge to merge" and Libra's energetic balancing act put you at risk of succumbing to the "too much of a good thing" situation. But action-loving Aries is calling to you from a busy environment, and its voice can get pretty loud and demanding with its "Me First" message. Operating in the House of Service puts Aries at risk of feeling like it's not getting enough of its own wants and needs addressed, and that can mean quite a tantrum. If this gets out of hand, it could really boil up the quiet waters you're here to swim in, and cause you to lose the connection you came here to make.

If Libra can't create the right balance, who could?

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