“And finally….” : The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 5

This is the last part of a five-part series presenting the conclusions I drew from my 50,000 word original research study of  The Moon’s Nodes in Action. To read the first four posts, scroll down to the end of this one.

4. The Nodes in relation to other chart factors

I started out with certain questions. Do the Nodes say something specific, or do they act as a reinforcer for information which can be derived from other chart factors ? I think I have demonstrated quite clearly that the Nodes and their attendant planetary/Angular links can be used on their own to sketch out a clear picture of  the basic structure of a person’s life path and the archetypal energies which need to be responded to and brought into the journey, for that person to be all they can be.

It seems that strong outer planet links, especially Pluto’s conjunctions or squares to the natal Nodal axis, and strong prevailing major patterns eg Uranus conjunct Pluto opposite Saturn conjunct Chiron linked to the Nodes, bring some people a more challenging life than others. Mary Shelley’s chart is a very good example of this, with Uranus, dispositor of Pluto conjunct MC, conjunct her Sun and square her Nodal axis.

Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley

I have distinguished between minor and major Nodal activity in transits and progressions, and demonstrated that the major effect  is what appears to be present when turning points  occur. This would suggest that  in contemplating the unfolding picture of a person’s life, the combination of Nodal activity with the foreground presence of outer planets, especially Pluto, points out that something really special is going on and should be carefully noted.

I also asked whether astrologers are missing something important by not  paying attention to the Nodes, natally and as life unfolds. I think the answer to this is yes, with particular reference to the transitting Nodal cycle and the eclipse seasons which accompany them. The pair of houses highlighted by the transitting Nodal axis and eclipses should be carefully observed, especially if the pre-natal eclipse degrees crop up in the form of a returning eclipse, or a current eclipse is triggering natal patterns linked in to either of the pre-natal eclipses.

I appreciate that we all need to earn our living and there are a multiplicity of interpretive factors available  which would take all day to prepare if they were to be included in every reading. We have to be selective.

But having done the research for this thesis, I think that, in preparing a reading, if the clustering effect I have been discussing is in evidence, it is important to pay particular attention to that person’s natal Nodal pattern and the current Nodal/eclipse picture. The client is then likely to be bringing matters of a life-changing nature to us for discussion, which offers us roles both as observers and midwives; human agents in the here-and-now  of those mysterious ‘watchers by the threshold’ whose  numinous presence in our lives is symbolically represented by the Moon’s Nodes in  Action.

Nodal Axis
Nodal Axis

Thanks to the many readers of this series for your interesting emails in response to those conclusions regarding the significance of the Nodes. Any other responses continue to be welcome. I have archived the series (see Categories on Home Page) for easy future reference. I will also at some point be publishing, over several installments – may even give it its own blog – my long case study on Mary Shelley’s authorship of “Frankenstein”, bringing in charts of all the significant figures influencing her writing of what has become a modern myth at the very young age of 19 – and her first Nodal Return.

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

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

“In my end is my beginning….” The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 4


Mary Shelley: modern myth-maker


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


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