2. The Nodes and the numinous
In allowing some images to rise which might help me pull the the threads of the thesis together, the one which most persistently presented itself was that ghostly picture of a man’s head and shoulders which must be the world’s most famous photographic negative – the one which appeared when the photograph taken of the marks on the shroud of Turin was developed.
For many people throughout the world, this is a sacred image of the crucified body of Christ, and a central symbol representing the Christian era. Regardless of one’s religious stance, it is not hard to see how this single awe-inspiring one-dimensional image conveys the symbolic essence of what Christianity means.
It functions as a kind of spiritual hologram; in itself it is a one-dimensional holographic plate.(ii) But when the light of faith is shone on it, a three dimensional picture – physical, emotional, and spiritual, of what Christianity means, arises for the observer.
In contemplating the outcome of the research into the lives of both Mary Shelley and Marc, the idea of the natal Nodal pattern representing a symbolic holographic plate has taken shape.
The true turning points in life seem to leap into three dimensions – emotional, physical, spiritual – from the holographic plate on which the basic pattern of the person’s destiny is etched. That pattern is most appropriately carried in the Nodal structure. It holds images of the light of the quest for meaning through the Sun; reflection and containment of that light through the Moon; and grounding in Life’s unfolding process through their orbits’ particular relationship with the Earth’s plane.
In every synastry in Mary Shelley’s case; in every key event in both Mary’s and Marc’s lives, running backwards and forwards in time and in the symbolism of all the birth charts, one can see, shimmering through the really critical turning points, the ghostly, but quite distinct holographic plate of both Mary’s and Marc’s natal Nodal patterns.
The four Nodal Moments, though sketchier because of their being only one section cut through each subjects’ unfolding life pattern, nevertheless also carry within them the basic shape of the natal Nodal blueprint. Robin Heath’s comment is apposite:(iii)
“……….astrology appears more and more to behave like a hologram. You can perform almost any technique with the data, turn the chart inside out or slice it up, and still the symbolic pictures remain.”
Perhaps that powerful spiritual image of the sacred Shroud arose for me because in reflecting on the meaning of what I had seen at the core of all the different ‘takes’ on the Nodes at work in a range of people’s lives, I felt myself to be in the presence of the numinous, the sacred.
I find it impossible to describe adequately my feelings when I realised that in Mary Shelley and Marc’s lives, with each synastry and every major event and turning point, the natal Nodes and their attendant patterns had been painted, not faintly or casually, but in bold primary colours that could not be missed. I had a powerful sense of being in the presence of something ‘Other’ , something which was not circumscribed by the mortality of one individual in one lifetime.
The resonances over long periods of time which were so evident in linking Mary Shelley’s Nodal pattern with the contemporary controversy over how far we humans should overstep our limits in altering the very building blocks of life, focused by the appearance of Dolly the Sheep – and the links I found with my own horoscope, hers, and the time I had chosen to write about her – really struck me.(iv)
I did not expect my research into ‘The Moon’s Nodes in Action’ to present me with such a strong suggestion that we all have our destiny, that certain potent times in life present events and turning points which are initiations into the furtherance of that destiny – or that outwith our lives there may be some intelligent ‘Other’ observing and/or guiding that movement. But that is the feeling which persists in me as a result of this work.
I have always reacted with a degree of impatience to the theorising, usually with little empirical evidence to support it, which takes place about the Nodes – now I’m rather more respectful! But it feels good to have done a fairly substantial piece of practical exploratory work demonstrating the theory in action.
As the Indian astrologers have been telling us for centuries, the Moon’s Nodes really do seem to be connected to the workings of Fate in the shaping of personal destiny.
References and Notes
(i) The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol 12, p 55
(ii) a hologram is “an image produced on photographic film in such a way that under suitable illumination a three-dimensional representation of an object is seen”. Oxford Paperback Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 4th Edition, 1994
(iii) The Mountain Astrologer, Issue 78, April/May 1998, Letters p 11
TO BE CONTINUED
Previous Posts in this series:
The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part One
Major and minor chords: The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 2
“In my end is my beginning….” The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 4
800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
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4 thoughts on “This ground is holy: The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 3”
I never paid any attention to the Nodes until Judith Hill’s interview in the Mountain Astrologer. I read her books and studied my charts and now I hate the Nodes. I feel I have acquired two new fast moving Plutos to deal with and to be aware of in people’s charts and my own. More frying pans waiting to hit me on the head just when I was mellowing and getting more transcendental and humanistic in my practice. One can study them in charts with no birth time as the planets except for the Moon and the Axes are known. I anxiously wait what else you have to say from your studies before Ketu conjoins my Uranus in the 12th. Never mind that the Vedic astrologers don’t bother with Uranus, it has had quite some results in my life before….More gemstones, prayer, incense? Please advise.
I had been averse to the Nodes as I couldn’t see why only the Moon’s Nodes mattered. I used to do charts Zip Dobyn’s style with all of them and noticed (of course) that Pluto’s North Node was conjunct my Pluto. That was terribly complicated. I understood that Vedic Astrology was Moon based so that part of Vedic astrology made sense but I couldn’t see it in Western Astrology…..
these are very challenging comments and I will have to go away and reflect on what I want to say in response! I will get back to you, probably by email.
first of all, I am indeed sorry that my research results have caused you such disquiet.
Your comments have been valuable because they have reminded me of something important which I think all of us who are both students and practitioners of astrology have to face. When Prometheus stole the divine fire from the Gods in order to offer enlightenment to humans, he paid a heavy price for his hubris, his aspiration for us to be like the Gods.. I think that for us astrologers, there is a price also to be paid for this amazing knowledge and perspective which the study and practice of the art of astrology gifts to us. “He who increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow” is one way of putting it.
You have seen my chart with its multiple Pluto conjunctions in the 12th House. I have had to deal with the fear which knowledge of my chart has engendered, as well as being full of celebratory gratitude at the help which an astrological perspective has often provided. When I went through my Underworld years of 2001- 8, for the first few years of that time I had to stop looking at my horoscope, transits and progressions because my energy was so low that I could not cope with seeing the grinding years of ‘forging the diamond soul’ ( the constructive view of crisis-ridden periods which I have tried hard to keep throughout many hard times) which lay ahead. I was too weak. I have also, in common with most astrologers, at times projected both my hopes and fears onto my own chart ( that is why I never worked as a practitioner with people with whom I had an emotional connection) – and been WRONG at times in my estimates of the level at which a particular energy pattern would manifest.
As an astrology teacher for two decades, I also had to deal with students’ emerging fears, as well as their elation and excitement, which came from studying our great art. I used to remind them that 99.9 per cent of the human race had managed to stagger ( or better! ) through life without knowing anything about astrology – somewhat of a counterpoise to the hubris which goes with daring to take on such powerful knowledge.
I think that people who come to us for astrology readings – if we are responsible, self-aware, and season our efforts with humility and humour – are in the brightest position of all. Hopefully, they go away from us with some more self-knowledge and feeling of empowerment. And hopefully we have been honest – but also judicious in what we both reveal and do not reveal.
I have now been an astrology student, writer, teacher and practitioner (now retired from the latter two!) for over 30 years. On balance, I am much more grateful for the insights and privileges which all those roles have brought than regretful of the uncomfortable challenges, tensions and fears which they have also engendered. But we have to square up to the fact that it is not possible to have the one without the other……
With all good wishes as ever