Nodal Axis and the Mother Complex

In Western astrology, Lunar Nodes are generally associated with the karmic past and future*.
Other schools of astrology have associated the Nodal axis with meetings and relationships. Noel Tyl has further developed this symbolism to mean the “mother” involvement (“it is the point at which the apparent paths of Sun and Moon cross – signifying fecundation – which suggests relationship, connection to groups and public, and the mother, or the maternal.”)

This is observable rather easily in consultations – whenever the Nodal axis conjoins the planet or an Angle closely (within 2 degrees orb), there is a strong maternal influence (this could be mother, or other female figure such as grandmother, etc.) in terms of the planet.

There are several ways to think of this:

1) The Nodal axis-planet combination suggests what kind of mother one had: I’ve had several clients who had alcoholic mothers when the Nodal axis conjoined Neptune natally. While those are quite extreme examples and not meant to be taken as law, similar quality of escapism in the mother (hence the abandonment to the child) would affect the psyche deeply.

2) The Nodal complex suggests the kind of experience we had with the mother – a male client with Nodal axis conjunct Uranus told me he was unable to connect with his mother emotionally at all during childhood, and this was coloring his views of women in his adult relationships. This may suggest that the emotional connection was disrupted within the original relationship, leading to independence or isolation.

3) When a planet squares a Nodal axis closely, could there be a conflict between the mother and the child in terms of the planet? I had a client with Moon square the Nodal axis, and Nodal axis conjoined Mercury: she said her mother was very different from her, and especially in terms of emotional experience, the mother wasn’t able to empathize with the daughter at all.

And here is the main consideration: the Mother Complex is the internal mother-image we carry inside. This image defines how we nurture and care for ourselves and others. The client in the last example had a really hard time paying attention and nurturing herself emotionally, saying the emotions felt unimportant, or bothersome. Thus the pattern of dysfunctional mothering is passed down from the mother to the daughter.

Luckily, we can stop the chain of dysfunction right here: our becoming aware of the incomplete mother complex can lead to a transformation of the internal mother image. This way, we take back the planet that was usurped (or eclipsed) by the Nodal Mother Complex. Then true healing and individuation can begin.

*idea popularized by karmic and evolutionary astrologers, perhaps especially through charismatic writing of Jeffrey Wolf Green and Stephen Forrest – in general the North Node is associated as the point of future growth, and South Node as a carryover from the past. In the mother complex discussion above, the distinction between North and South Node are irrelevant, as we consider the entire circle as Nodal Axis, and conjunction to either Node suggests strong maternal influence.

About Hiroki Niizato

Hiroki Niizato is a professional consulting astrologer in Florida, serving clients in US and abroad. He has been practicing astrology professionally since 2001. Hiroki is a highest honor graduate of the demanding Master’s Degree Certification Course in Astrology by Noel Tyl.

You can contact Hiroki via email at: or schedule a consultation.


  1. Gina menard says

    12th house Aries NN 18’, Moon 16’, Saturn 14’, Sun 9’… schizophrenic , narcissistic Pisces Sun and Moon mother had 4 girls. She was a young mother with Capricorn SN. She held it together pretty well. Divorced my father at 30, went to work at night working a 12 hour shift, leaving us girls to raise ourself but she paid the bills and kept a roof over our heads. Lots more with this story obviously but too long to tell here. Many have told me I should write a book!
    I’m the 3rd child and my youngest sister also has a 12th house stellium in Pisces with NN in Pisces conjunct her Sun and Moon. We received the least (really none at all) attention from our parents and no nurturing what so ever.
    My oldest sister was also schizophrenic with a 12th house NN and Gemini Moon square Pisces Saturn and a loaded Virgo 4th house with Sun, Mercury, Pluto/Uranus all conjunct.
    The second oldest with NN in the 4th house Square Aquarius Sun. Her chart of course has its many challenges too.
    Our mother had a brain aneurysm at 57. Her narcissism and schizophrenia are far more apparent and as we are much older we are understanding much more of what happened in our childhoods. I have since learned from my mothers sister, a psychiatric nurse (Virgo Sun!) that their mother (my grandmother) also had mental issues as well. She lived a long life and died of a brain aneurysm in her bed at 95.
    My mother is now living with my other older sister after living with me for many years. She spends her days in bed and has so for most of the years since her aneurysm, watching tv and chain smoking, refusing to do anything and insisting arrogantly, that she will out live all of us!
    And for anybody reading this…, I did not have children of my own.

  2. Taz Harris says

    Mercury 27° in♌10th square nodes 27° nn♏1st & sn♉7th.

    Mars 27°♉7th conjucnt sn

    Uranus 28° ♎12th quincunx sn

    Im a scorpio rising with Pluto conjunct moon ♎11th(trine Mars &sn)

    Uranus rules my empty 4th
    Saturn in 9th♋ is Apex of tsquare( Uranus ♎12th &Jupiter conjunct chiron♈6th)

    Ceres in 8th♊
    Mom was always controlling,even when she had good intentions .I repeated her cheating spouse gets a loved one pregnant and it’s all my fault but other than that everything I’ve achieved was in spite of her or what I considered as her failures. When her and my dad split she was crushed and ir resulted in me having to be the mother to my siblings very young.

    • Hello Taz, thank you for sharing your experience with Mercury square North Node (South Node).

    • jill bowden says

      just discovering this..explains sooo much tension during simple conversations between my dear mother and I.. I feel terrible each time ..
      My Sag.Moon SQUARES my North Node in Virgo @ 5°31…any incite?? What should i be aware of ?
      thank you!

      • Hi Jill, Moon represents your emotional makeup and well-being. Moon square Node suggests your mother’s deep influence into your emotional patterns, that you might need to “unlearn” in order for you to nurture yourself fully.

  3. This is very interesting, but I’m unsure it pans out in every case. In my case it does because there are no hard aspects to my North Node, my NN sextiles IC & trines Venus, I had a loving mother.

    But in my Soul Sister’s case, her North Node is in an exact trine to her Venus & exact sextile to her Moon. She has a narcissistic mother & has spent the last 17 yrs trying to heal from a lifetime (35 yrs) of the pain of being the scapegoat child.

    She also has Mars conjunct her North Node (2.5 deg), and Uranus square Nodes (3-4 deg), and these could possibly explain her mother’s extremely willful personality with a raging temper. But the orbs are wider than those indicated in your article. Would wider orbs to the North Node provide a better explanation? (Soul Sister’s Moon & Venus are in exact opposition, but in exact positive aspects to her North Node)

  4. My moon in Gemini (29°55) in my 10th house squares my north node Virgo (28°3) in the 1st. My north node is also conjunct my Virgo Mars (27°38) and Virgo Venus (21°47).

    My mother is one of the most controlling and manipulative humans I have ever known. I suffered so much at her hands. In 2015 I was married, last year I had a son and I will not reach out to her. I feel she would destroy everything I’ve worked so hard for.

    Not everyone’s mother in s on their side.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience – when Nodal axis is involved with multiple planets, it’s a significant tie and an influence from your mother (sometimes not in a good way).

  5. Hi,
    I have Pluto conjunct north nodal at the FC, and I had an extrem fusion relationship with my mother, I only lived for her, so I did not develop my own personality.. One day she told me that she made me for her only, so we can ask the question, how far is the child used, a comforting object? This can be very serious for the development of the child.. The hardest thing was when she decided to leave my father and the family home, it was a very difficult part of my life .. since she broke the link between us, like a death, and eventually I found myself alone in front of myself, ie nothing the nothing.. afterwards I had to manage on my own, to get back to my bearings and also to admit to my whole family my homosexuality..
    today my relationship with my mother has totally changed, I gradually take the reins of my life (personal power that emerges?), I am using my aries sun that I had never experienced before, c is something very exciting ..
    Thank you!

  6. i have the north node conjunct mercury (3° orbs), conjunct sun (1° orbs), conjunct jupiter (1° orbs) in pisces in house 2, what could have the problems with my mother ?
    I didn’t know that the nodal axis has to do with the mother, but it’s seems logical
    thanks for your answer.

  7. What a fascinating approach to the nodal axis- i had never heard of the mother complex connection to the nodes. Let me know if im on the right track here with reference to my nodal axis: i have mars conjunct my north node and square uranus. – would this ‘confirm’ the fact that my mother was so overprotective, neurotic and cossetting that she smothered my free will(mars) and sabotaged my independence(uranus)? I have jupiter 3° away from my north node and am wondering if this points to stunted ‘growth’?
    I love your writings by the way :)

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. From your description I’d imagine there is a little bit more happening in addition to Nodal contact with Mars and Uranus (those contacts are associated with strong, willful mothers.) I wouldn’t consider the Jupiter contact with the Node in your case, as the orb is too wide.

    • I feel that you are accurate my mom showed me not love and affection and as an adult I was extremely independent but co-dependent in my relationships

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