Major and minor chords: The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 2

In this series of posts, I am confining myself to presenting conclusions based on my original research study as described in  The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part One.

I am thus assuming at least a beginner’s familiarity with the astronomical and symbolic significance of the Moon’s Nodal axis, and its 18.6 year retrograde cycle through the Zodiac with the accompanying twice-yearly eclipse seasons.

For readers who need to be brought up to speed regarding the basics, check out Wikipedia on The Lunar Nodes for the astronomy, and Cafe Astrology for a typical explanation of the Nodes’ symbolic meanings.

Before setting out my conclusions, it might be useful in context-setting to offer a  brief description of the content of the 50,000 word research study upon which these findings are based:

1) Preface, in which I outlined my personal reasons for becoming fascinated by the Nodal axis and bringing it increasingly into my teaching. 2) Introduction, in which I set out my reasons for embarking on the research. 3) Chapter One: Astronomy and Symbolism of the Nodes. 4) Chapter Two: Case Study One: Mary Shelley, ‘Frankenstein’ and a sheep called Dolly. 5) Chapter Three: Case Study Two: ‘Marc’ (age 51) : a life through the Nodal Lens. 6) Chapter Four: Case Study Three: Four “Nodal Moments” – key turning points analysed in the lives of two men and two women, two famous (Princess Diana and astronaut John Glenn) and two unknown, Anna (age 44) and Andrew (age 34). 7) Conclusions. Finally…. Bibliography, References and Notes, Charts used and their provenance.

Nodal Axis

Nodal Axis

My main research questions were these: How significant is the Nodal axis? Are astrologers missing something really important by not delineating it in their readings, both natally and in terms of its transiting cycle? Does it say something specific? Or does it act as a reinforcer for information about a person’s life pattern which can be derived from other chart factors?


The Conclusions


1. ‘ Major’ and ‘ minor ‘ Nodal activity

Transits and progressions weave in and out of life – there may be years for example which are dominated by Pluto, others by Neptune, or very heavily  Saturnian years. There are the few occasions eg where a planet changes sign by progression, or the MC  progresses over Uranus, or the Moon.

But there is Nodal activity of  some kind going on all the time, as the Nodal axis regresses through the horoscope, transits come to the Natal or progressed Nodes, and progressions touch off the natal Nodal pattern. The Nodes appear to me to function both as witnesses (the Sun) and midwives (the Moon), symbolic translators of the archetypal energies of the  planets into the medium of Life as it is lived in the Sun/Moon/Earth system.

Where, then, does this leave the contention that Nodal times have a particularily powerful, fateful “charge” to them? That can’t be true of every year in life, surely? If it were, the intensity of it would pretty quickly reduce people to  cinders! What,  therefore, distinguishes those special moments or turning points in life where either at the time, or later, we realise we have crossed an important threshold?

From the research done on Marc’s life in particular, I have concluded that there are two kinds of Nodal activity : major and minor, as it were. As  already discussed, there is always some “minor” Nodal activity going on.

The really powerful “major” times on the other hand, which are few in any lifetime, are characterised by not just one or two, but a cluster of transits and/or progressions involving the natal, and/or progressed, and/or transitting Nodes. The outer planets, especially Pluto with its strong “fated” feel,  stand out. This was an impression I had  already formed after 15 years of chart reading – but I’d never tested it out in formal research before.

Pre-natal  eclipses are very much  part of the weave, as can be seen from the case study material. The most striking  example is seen in Mary Shelley’s horoscope where the pre-natal solar and lunar eclipse degrees appear as the actual Ascendant and South Node degrees in her horoscope, and the charts of  all the key people and events in her life with reference to her authorship of ‘Frankenstein’. (Mary will be getting a post all to herself, complete with horoscope, as part of this series! Maybe my obsession isn’t quite burnt out, after all these years….)

I’m quite clear now, as the Nodal axis regresses through the chart, identifying via the highlighted houses the overall territory up for change, that the transiting eclipses function as “battery chargers”, gradually building up the energies of the person’s life in preparation to receive major change.

An image  comes to mind here from the female menstrual cycle, of the egg gradually being primed and prepared until it is at its maximum point of readiness to receive the male sperm, conceive and begin new life. I think the eclipses begin their work of charging-up as soon as the relevant eclipse season begins, which may be as long as eighteen months before the turning point in the person’s life appears. (i)

References and Notes

(i) A very clear example comes to mind from my own life, linked to the Virgo/Pisces eclipse season of Spring 1997-Autumn 1998. In the Spring of 1997 I decided to hire an office out of my home to create space, mainly to write this thesis. My Asc/Desc axis is 9 degrees Virgo/Pisces.

The Virgo/Pisces eclipse season started on 9 March 1997 with a total solar eclipse at 18.5 Pisces, opposite the asteroid Urania at 19 Pisces in my First House, clsely linking in Mary Shelley’s and Marc’s North Nodes at 19 and 21 Gemini respectively. It was at this time that I chose Marc as a main case study subject along with Mary Shelley.

On Friday 7 March I saw the office I decided on 10 March to rent, paying for it for a year from an insurance policy I had taken out 18 years previously. At that time, I had a feeling I might need money for a future adventure of some kind – long before I knew anything about  either astrology or the 18- year Nodal cycle. My bank manager, of course, thought I was mad….

The middle period of that eclipse season saw me well settled into the writing as the 9 Virgo eclipse fell exactly on my Ascendant in the Autumn of 1997. The following year, the day before the total solar eclipse (7 deg 55 min Pisces) of February 26 1998 fell on the Sixth House side of my Descendant, I had a call from my landlords saying they needed to know by the next day whether I was going to renew my lease, which ran out on 9 May 1998, since the building was being sold. I decided to renew for 6 months and sent my rent cheque off just before the lunar eclipse on 13 March 1998 at 22 Virgo.

The lease ran out on 7 November 1998: the day I graduated with my Diploma from the Centre for Psychological Astrology!

Follow the series by reading

This ground is holy: The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 3

Nodal Axis
Nodal Axis



1100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page



2 responses to “Major and minor chords: The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 2

  1. I’m an Aquarius, with my Sun resting in the 8th house. Somewhat similar to Shelley, the degree of my pre natal eclipse is the same as my natal Uranus, forming a conjunction to my South Node and Vertex in the 5th house. The eclipse was in Sagittarius, and I noticed that most of the men I meet are Sun sign Sagittarians or have a stellium in this sign.

    During my first nodal return, I got the travel bug and started planning my eventual move out of my parents’ home. I also started college but didn’t make too many friends. I felt depressed learning between four walls and being forced to write, when I used to love it as a form of release. Currently, during the reversed nodal transit, I’ve met 3 men. The first, who lives 4,000 miles away, is a Leo with Saturn conjunct my north node. The second, who lives in another state as well is 15 years older than I and is a Sagittarius. My Moon conjuncts his Saturn and North Node, with oppositions to his stellium in Libra and squaring my stellium in Capricorn. Heh. The third is another Leo whose Moon conjuncts my Neptune and Jupiter and the progressed Vertex in the -P- 5th house, with the North Node conjunct my Ascendant.

    In terms of family, there is more than one placement in their charts that squares my south node. From Saturn in Pisces to Sun sign Gemini and Virgo amongst others, it’s a mutable crisis. 🙂 The only person I felt comfortable with is Grams, but I suppose a lot of people have an easier relationship with their grand parents. Her North Node is exactly conjunct my Ascendant, her Saturn on my North Node, Moon conjunct my Mercury on the cusp of the 7th and her Jupiter on my progressed ascendant, with multiple trines between personal planets.

    I hope to understand the nodes at work in-depth and thanks for putting up the article. 🙂


  2. Hi Jeanne

    thanks so much – it’s great to have this research feedback since it helps us all to get a sense of the power of the Nodal placements in charts. Best wishes Anne


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