Ever since I began to decipher my own birth chart in the 1980s, discovering that a strange glyph looking like a pair of headphones was exactly conjunct my 28 Taurus Midheaven, the Moon’s Nodal Axis and its unfolding path through the heavens has continued to fascinate me….here, in my new mini research study featuring the recent traverse of the Moon’s Nodes and Eclipses traversing Gemini/Sagittarius during the period of 2020-2022, I tell the story of four people’s changing lives. Including my own…to read all about it, clickHERE
Well, as they say, it has been a week! Mine peaked – or troughed – late on Friday afternoon just after I had posted Part 1and shared it on my Astrology: Questions and Answers Facebook Page, when Facebook locked me completely out of my whole Facebook account, allegedly ‘to protect the security of our community’. You are my readers: do you think you need protection from me? (answers, on a plain postcard…)
Anyway, cutting a very long and tortuous story short, a saga ensued which involved utterly futile attempts to find an appropriate route through algorithmic obfuscations. In the end, my third email to the source of the previous (algorithmic) ones must have been so pungent (not rude, just pungent) that my account was suddenly restored late last night. I was most relieved, since I had been expecting a long haul – in keeping with two similar episodes in the last year – before what passes for normal service was restored.
Judging from the comments left on Part 1, both on my own blog/astrology Facebook Page and on the Pages of colleagues who kindly shared the post, there has indeed been a lightening of mood with some of us consequent upon this shift; an increase in matters communicative and educational/philosophically reflective in others; and, like me, downright disruption, despite which I too feel a lightening of mood this week. This has modified my feelings of exasperation and of being overwhelmed by matters Gemini/Sagittarius!
Back to Basics
This variation in responses and experiences neatly leads into a reminder of some basic principles, also reiterated by Dr Liz Greene in her second webinar on Chiron which I attended yesterday (9th May 2020): when considering the likely impact of any transit, including the Nodes, you need to remember that the transit invokes the basic nature and strength of the original pattern in the natal horoscope, bringing it into relationship with whatever opportunities/challenges the current transit is offering.
My own horoscope will serve as a case in point, but readers can easily apply the same principles to their own horoscopes and current transits. I’ve used a Whole Sign format for the houses.
(I’m assuming readers have a basic familiarity with what the Nodal Axis represents. For those who do not, here is a quick summary.)
As can be seen, the Nodal Axis is bolted exactly onto the MC/IC axis in the ninth/third houses, very appropriate for a career which has always involved teaching and education in one form or another: all the way from teaching Liberal Studies to bricklayers and gas fitters, through to university entrance qualifications in English to mature students, and thereafter to supervision of social work trainees, and latterly via astrology classes to any and every occupation – from bus driving to psychiatric consultancy.
When you add in that powerful pattern’s being part of a fixed T-Square with the twelfth House Sun/Moon conjunction, also taking in third house Jupiter in Scorpio widely conjunct the IC/South Node, you can see the powerful symbolic role played in the unfolding path of my life’s journey by the Moon’s Nodes. I’ve even written a research study about them!
So – it’s hardly surprising that their shift this week has been very challenging for me. In addition to circumstances already described in Part 1, I’ve been having one of my periodic“What am I supposed to be doing with the rest of my life/ I need some new input!! ”Mercury/Jupiter crises. You’d think at my age I’d have settled that one. No such luck…
The Nodes’ journey through the natal chart
The stronger the links are, then, between natal planets and Angles with the Nodal axis, the more powerfully we will experience the symbolic impact of that axis as it regresses through our horoscopes, taking 18 months to go through each sign and house – pulling the potent twice yearly eclipse seasons with it – taking 18-19 years to return to its natal position. It will bring the core challenges of that natal pattern along to whatever sign, house and planetary aspects it happens to be making in that 18-19 year journey.
As I mentioned in the previous post, the Nodal shift into Gemini/Sagittarius and my tenth/fourth houses has already brought up powerful issues centring round having to balance the demands of domestic and vocational life. With the North Node conjunct the MC strongly pushing me to favour my vocational path, I’ve always been dragged back, usually unwillingly, to the South Node/IC position to deal with domestic matters from which I was unable to escape. It’s taken me decades to arrive at a reasonable balance between those two poles.
‘…Identifying with the South Node position too strongly means leading a life which depends on using the abilities we already have to keep us safe from risk, challenge and therefore growth; whose main priority is comfort; whose mode is a habitual and largely automatic response to life.
Taking up the challenge of the North Node, on the other hand, brings with it a life which feels meaningful and open to new experience; which takes opportunities to develop innate talents and new insights and skills through responding positively to the impetus for change; whose mode is of acceptance of conflict and discomfort as a necessary part of developing as a person.
At the heart of the fullest, most creative expression of the struggle both collectively and individually lies a deep paradox – to move on as human beings we must individuate, follow the path of the North Node, and leave the South Node behind. But we must also make the return journey, to honour that which we ideally do not leave behind at all, but incorporate in our movement towards our own destiny…’(i)
This personal example serves to illustrate a vital point about the Nodal Axis which applies to us all. We have to honour the challenges of the whole axis as our life path unfolds…
The current Nodal picture
Along with many of us, I’ve found the Nodal Axis’ transit through Cancer/Capricorn, crossing Saturn/Pluto in mid 2019 along the way, to be especially painful in terms of family, loss, and having to restructure life in ways that I would definitely not have chosen. No wonder the Moon’s Nodes, especially when they link with Pluto, have such a fated ‘feel’ to them. This was certainly one of the stand-out conclusions at which I arrived as a result of my own research into the Nodes.
I do not need to remind any of us of what a battering our world community has taken from the winter of 2018/9 as the Nodes have regressed through Cancer/Capricorn, culminating in the rise and spread of the grim pandemic now engulfing the world as the Nodal Axis shifts. Through the corona virus, our planet seems to be telling us in no uncertain terms that we need to radically change the way we live on planet Earth.
It’s fascinating to me as an astrologer (and I’m sure many other astrologers also think the same thing) that the shift of the Nodes into Gemini/Sagittarius has co-incided with several distinctive collective shifts. Here are just a few examples: One, the restlessness and desire to ease lockdown which is becoming more manifest in different countries despite the risk that certainly poses. Humans can only endure severe restriction for so long. We are too restless as a species, and this particular Nodal shift is amplifying that restlessness.
Also noticeable has been that the international search for a vaccine which would gradually bring us greater freedom has been ramping up, producing some promising results eg in the UK where human trials have already begun.
Furthermore at a more negative level for humans, though beneficial for the planet, has been the dawning of a realisation coming into clear focus now: the aviation industry, that supreme ally of human restlessness, is in severe trouble. We may never again be able to take to the air and see the world in the same relatively cheap and carefree way that we’ve come to take for granted in recent decades…
In conclusion– something else which strikes me as apt, and significant, is the North Node’s current presence in airy Gemini, midwifing the Air era beginning at this year’s winter solstice with the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction’s dramatic arrival at 0 degrees of Aquarius. We are going to need the adaptability of Gemini and the optimism and vision of Sagittarius as we step into the great collective adventure of the next two hundred years!
Honestly, I wasn’t going to bother writing about the Nodes’ ingress into Gemini/Sagittarius…until it happened on the morning of Tuesday 5th May 2020 (if you go by the True Node – more on this later) during the first formal zoom tutorial with my student group.
Immediately following this my week exploded into a flurry of admin, dealing with annoying domestic detail, numerous phone calls at inconvenient moments eg when I was struggling to make sense of my tax return, zoom chats, teaching – and group participation via two seminars, one on Saturday planned for some time, the other on Sunday, arising from a zoom meeting with a friend and colleague today. This upcoming weekend is suddenly full of zoom, zoom, and more zoom!
I haven’t been feeling hugely inspired of late, but the extraordinary ramping up of all things Gemini/Sagittarius in my life this week with the Nodes’ shift from Cancer/Capricorn has truly got me going. This shift places the North Node in my tenth house, South Node in the fourth house; my week has been characterised thus far by considerable frustration as I struggled to free myself from the grip of admin etc etc centred on matters concerning my domestic life, in order to follow the promptings of the North Node in the tenth and get on with writing my A A Journal column and another piece of writing still gestating.
The manifestations of this shift for me were so striking that I really feel inspired once again to return to reflecting on the Moon’s Nodes, and in this post, on the significance ofingresses. Planetary ingresses (entries) into signs have fascinated me ever since I began to study astrology and to realise the striking correlation between newspaper headlines on the day after a planet had shifted from one sign to another, and events in the wider world. At one time I had a whole file full of dramatic press cuttings illustrating this eg a photograph of the Japanese city of Kobe on fire following a massive earthquake on 17th January 1995 – just as Pluto shifted into Sagittarius.
But what of ingresses which are not planetary, ie the ingresses of the Moon’s Nodes which we are discussing here? Is it worth paying attention to these points of ingress in personal life? Or collective life? Have you had any striking experiences this week illustrating the energetic shift of the Nodes from one pair of signs to another? Has your mood lightened ( despite lockdown) in response to the Nodal shift from water and earth (Cancer/Capricorn) to air and fire (Gemini/Sagittarius)?
I’d be interested in my readers’ thoughts on this topic, whilst I write in some more detail about the Moon’s Nodes in general, and in Gemini/Sagittarius, for next week.
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.
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.
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.
For many years I had a Moon’s Nodes obsession: perhaps not unconnected with the North Node exactly conjunct my Midheaven at 29 degrees Taurus, square a Twelfth House Sun/Moon conjunction……I read somewhere in my very early years of studying astrology that the South Node conjunct a Scorpio IC indicated having been burned as a witch in a previous life. This piece of conjecture gave my MC/IC axis a kind of dark, scary glamour.
However, I burned out that obsession during 1997-8 whilst completing the third and final year of my Diploma in Psychological Astrology at the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London, where I had the good fortune to study with Dr Liz Greene and the late, great mundane astrologer, Charles Harvey. How did I do this? By writing a 50,000 word research study called “The Moon’s Nodes in Action”. After that, I’d had enough of the Moon’s Nodes.
A big part of my obsession that year concerned the links I found between the horoscopes of Mary Shelley, author of ‘Frankenstein’, and that of Dolly the Sheep, the first cloned mammal, created in their research laboratory by Dr Ian Wilmut and his team in the Roslyn Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland and announced to the world in February 1997.
I take strange pride in being probably the first person to have written a detailed synastry between a dead human and a live sheep! Never a class went by for that whole year without Dolly and Mary Shelley being mentioned. By the end of the year, and the completion of the research study, my students had taken either to giving me presents of pens, etc, with pictures of sheep on them, or to crossing the street when they saw me approaching! ( I exaggerate, but only slightly….)
That was twelve years ago and I moved on to other things. However, in the last week, like everyone else with any interest in world affairs, I have been watching with fascination, horror and a certain excited anticipation of possible positive change as a wave of protest – mainly from the young – has swept the Middle East. The iron grip of dictatorial rulers has been snapping in a domino chain of nations rising in revolt.
As the Nodal axis crosses Pluto, approaching the final stage of the August 2009 – July 2011 season of eclipses in Capricorn(North Node point) and Cancer (South Node point) and Colonel Gaddafi loses his grip on Libya amidst scenes of bloodshed and mayhem, I have been prompted to dig that almost-forgotten research study out of its dusty drawer.
Because I remembered my overall research finding:
times of most profound and radical change come in collective and individual life when the combination of the Nodal Axis and Pluto is triggered.
Having re-read that 1997/8 study, I have decided to publish the final chapter here as a series of posts over the next week or so. I know that many astrologers share my fascination with the Moon’s Nodes: I hope what I have to say will be both interesting and illuminating in its own right. It may also be supportive of what many other astrologers have concluded from their own practice.
(note: I have illustrated this post with a chart for the time of the Aries Ingress of 2011, set on the Natural Zodiac which refers to our whole world community. The high focus of Pluto, and the Moon’s Nodes, by then having just slipped into Sagittarius/Gemini but with one more solar eclipse in Cancer due to occur in July 2011, shows clearly in this chart.)