One of the best astrological indicators of past-life experience and karma is the South Node of the Moon. The sign of the South Node in your birth chart reveals the gifts and talents you developed in previous incarnations, as well as psychological patterns and habits you have carried over from past lives.
The South Node is always exactly opposite the North Node, which represents where you are going, your evolutionary path, and qualities you are learning to embrace in this lifetime. The sign of the North Node is new for you on a soul level, so it always feels alien and challenging, requiring a leap of faith to move in that direction and leave behind what feels comfortable (the South Node).
Gifts and challenges
The sign of the South Node represents an energy you have mastered and possibly overdone, so that it no longer works for you. You can think of the South Node as your path of least resistance, the ruts you get caught in, or your "default programming." When the going gets tough, you tend to fall back into South Node patterns -- even though you are often aware these ways of being no longer serve you.
The South Node teaches you that what feels comfortable and easy doesn't always work best. However, while you do want to break through old habits and embrace the new, you don't want to entirely reject or leave behind your South Node. After all, it also represents past-life gifts and talents that you can put to use in this lifetime.
It's not so much about completely letting go of what the South Node represents as much as reversing the priority you give to the Nodes. That is, taking the risk of leading with your North Node rather than falling into habitual patterns and leading with the South Node. To illustrate this dynamic, let's look at how the Nodes have played out in Oprah Winfrey's life.
Oprah’s karmic success
With the South Node in Cancer, Oprah has extensive past-life experience developing strong connections to family, ancestors, home, the past, and the inner realm of feelings. In prior incarnations, her survival depended on being tuned into and nurturing the people around her. As a result, she developed a high degree of emotional intuition and sensitivity.
The default programming for a Cancer South Node is to sacrifice personal goals and worldly power for the sake of taking care of family members or significant others. This nodal position is associated with codependence -- being so sensitive to others' feelings that it's easy to get lost in them and lose sight of one's own mission and desires. Oprah has spoken honestly about this tendency in her earlier life, confessing to addictive behaviors in romantic relationships, which led to decisions that compromised her integrity and held her back.
Oprah has fully embraced her Capricorn North Node of pursuing her individual goals to achieve worldly success, while utilizing the gifts of her Cancer South Node: compassion, sensitivity, and femininity. Willing to share intimate details about her personal life -- her struggles with weight, relationships, and her past -- she has brought the inner realm of emotions (Cancer) into the public (Capricorn). Because Oprah committed to and pursued her worldly goals as her top priority, she has been able to support, nurture, and inspire others to a much greater extent than if she had focused that energy only on people in her immediate environment.
The South Node and You
Astrological insight can help you identify the deep past-life roots of these issues, how to break these patterns, and how to apply your experience from previous incarnations in a positive way. The Nodes of the Moon, when identified and understood, provide a window into your past and open the door to your future.