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THE MOON'S NODES
Understanding the Dynamic Ties that Bind
By AGNETA BORSTEIN
NICOLAS-HAYS, INC.Copyright © 2012 Agneta Borstein
All rights reserved.
Eclipses and Their Association to the Moon's Nodes
The Moon's orbital plane, an inclination of about 5° to the Earth's plane, prevents eclipses from happening at every New and Full Moon. Eclipses can occur only when the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth are aligned within certain "ecliptic limits," which vary considerably but are always in close proximity to the Nodal Axis. A solar eclipse must occur when the New Moon is within 15° orb of a node, but it may occur when New Moon is within 15–18° orb of a node. A lunar eclipse must occur when the Full Moon occurs within a 9.5° orb of either node, but it may occur when Full Moon is within 9.5–12° orb of a node.
Any given solar or lunar eclipse may or may not transit over a planet. Any Moon's Node passing through a zodiacal house will make a contribution and make its presence known. An eclipse "season" moving through a significant house or planet will magnify the Moon's Node capability for significant changes.
A Solar Eclipse occurs at the time of the New Moon.
Solar Eclipses occur when the Moon comes directly between the Earth and the Sun. Thus, the Moon casts its shadow on the Earth.
Solar Eclipses relate to vitality and essential power on an external level.
The Moon's Nodes path, and a Solar Eclipse cycle, signifies new beginnings and major life changes.
A Lunar Eclipse happens at the time of a Full Moon.
Lunar Eclipses occur when the Moon passes through the Earth's shadow.
Lunar Eclipses affect the internal process of emotions.
The Moon's Nodes path and a Lunar Eclipse cycle, signify internal personal matters brought to the surface.
An Eclipse cycle is part of a Saros Series and will eventually return to almost the exact same position after 223 Synodic Months or 18.03 years, plus 10 or 11 days (depending on the number of leap years involved), plus 8 hours. The Saros cycle describes the cycle of solar eclipses with a periodicity of 18.03 years. Because the Saros itself does not contain a whole numbers of days, the visibility of eclipses changes throughout the geographical span of our Earth. After each gap of 18.03 years, there is a shift in the path of the eclipse series, westward by 115° and northward by 4°. The observed eclipse is part of a series of 74 or more Saroses, thus allowing individuals to become aware of the timing of the pearls threaded in our observation.
When we view the transiting Moon's Nodes (Nodical cycle of 18.6 years) and the 19 year cycles of the New and Full Moon eclipses (the Metonic cycle), we observe the deeper sense of the individual's involvement of their birth chart. We observe the correlation between the Moon's Nodes and an eclipse in question and embrace the houses and aspects to all planets affected by the transits.
Transits, Progressions, and Orbs
The Moon's Nodes in transit are used in the same method we work with the transits of the planets. The True Node, most of the time retrograde, moves around the chart in a clockwise motion from 29 to 0 degrees, and we observe the effect it has as it moves through a house. Because of the inclination of the Moon's orbit toward the ecliptic, the Moon spends half its time in North Celestial Latitude (North Node), and the other half in South Celestial Latitude (South Node).
Thus the North Node and South Node are always 180 degrees in opposition to each other. The invisible line between them is called the Nodal Axis.
The Nodal Axis transits through a zodiac sign in 1 year and 7 months.
The Nodes move through the entire twelve zodiac signs in 18 years and 6 months
A nodal return is a conjunction of the transiting North Node passing over the natal North Node. This occurs every 18.6 years. Half of a nodal return is about 9.3 years in duration. It occurs when either the transiting South Node conjuncts the natal North Node, or the transiting North Node conjuncts the natal South Node. As we have noted, the Nodes' orbit is retrograde, and thereby shifts the eclipse season earlier in successive years. No matter which system is used, there is the perfect union of eclipses manifesting at the same time, their distinctions manifesting themselves in the specific zodiac signs and in the particular language of the astrologer.
Mean Nodes versus True Nodes
The Moon's Mean Node is always retrograde. Its True Node moves retrograde most of the time but spends some days a month in a direct motion. Its speed varies a lot more than that of the Mean Node. The Nodes move clockwise around the Earth with a motion that averages about 3.2 minutes per day. So, why retrograde? A wobble of the Moon's obit causes the Nodes to regress.
The Moon's Nodes' retrograde motion offers the individual the opportunity to look at the past—to be able to live in the now
Natal Moon's Node Orbs
Sun and the Moon up to 10°
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, MC and DC—7°
Neptune, Uranus and Pluto, Chiron and Asteroids—5°
Moon's Nodes in Transits
Moon's Nodes, Sun and the Moon 3°
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron and Asteroids—2°
Neptune, Uranus and Pluto 1°
Moon's Node Solar Arc and Progression
Moon's Node, Sun and the Moon—2°
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Pluto,
Chiron and Asteroids—1°
Solar Arc and Secondary Progressions Methods
Solar Arc: Observe movement of the Moon's Nodes the same way as other planets. One degree for one year—moving counter clockwise. For example, a Natal North Node of 4° has moved to 14° within a person's first ten years. This is a crucial predictive tool in understanding childhood dramas or exploring various states of development in a lifetime. The Solar Arc Progression method allows us to observe the movement of three zodiac signs within a 90 year life.
Secondary Progression: The Nodes move approximately 4.8° in three months, in a clockwise motion. The method of noticing the Moon's Nodes with Secondary Progression is fine tuned with a tight degree if a natal planet is affected. Major challenges can occur when the natal Node is station R—or Direct.
Depending on the individual's nature and desire, recommending a mantra, a meditation, a visualization technique or other spiritual and practical methods to prepare the person for their Nodal transits can be extremely effective. The client's own response to, and understanding of, their choices during these times is a critical (and intimate) tool for personal empowerment.
Exaltation and Rulership
Unlike the planets and the Sun and Moon, the Nodes are not bodies with substance, hence there is much debates over their rulerships. There are a number of opinions that have grown out of endless studies in both Western and Jyotish astrology concerning the "correct" signs of the exaltation (a planet's highest position), debilitation (when a planet can't achieve positive effects), rulership (the lord, ruler of the planet's sign), and own sign (where it belongs). These inconsistencies in rulership of the Moon's North and South Nodes are due to the many different methods of the Indian Jyotish system (which are often handed down through oral tradition) as well as a Western blind-folded influence. Some sources claim that the Nodes have no rulership at all! From years of experience and contemplation, as well from many discussions with other astrologers, the following regarding rulership, exaltation, and debilitation are most commonly accepted:
The North Node (Rahu)
exalted in Taurus debilitated in Scorpio ruled by Virgo or Sagittarius
To the extent that Rahu becomes exalted in Taurus, the North Node is allowed to achieve material gains, participate in the world, and lives fully content with the success that it naturally demands.
Rahu becomes debilitated in Scorpio, as the nature of Rahu is to shine. However, because Scorpio does not like to "shine," we are also humbly aware that all Scorpions are forced, through transformational circumstances, out of their shell, to show the world what has changed.
The most common rulership and own sign for Rahu is Virgo. In our exploration as of why, we might agree that Rahu, the North Node, as the ruler of Virgo, seeks methods to obtain a life of health. At times this might show in a compulsive manner, as Virgo's nature mirrors Rahu's intimate connection of its compulsive behavior.
The South Node (Ketu)
exalted in Scorpio debilitated in Taurus ruled by Pisces or Gemini
The South Node, exalted in Scorpio, allows shedding layers of wounds, revealing that healing can and does happen. The humility of Ketu, when it is not allowed to hide in the monastery to seek spiritual enlightenment, is a simple life lesson that shouldn't be ignored.
The debilitated Ketu in Taurus is just fine in the dungeon and actually prefers to sit and just wait for better times. Then again, we know that eventually the lazy and isolated Ketu will take the Taurus energy and pull itself out toward Rahu. The North and South Nodes are in actuality one and the same—only separated, decapitated, and humiliated if we don't continually, and mindfully, tie (knot) them together.
Ketu's rulership and own sign in such an approach is assigned to Pisces. We understand Ketu as the wounded soul hiding in the Piscean quality of escapism. Ketu and Pisces are fitted well together as they both might show us our possible spiritual enlightenment.
Note: There are differing interpretations over exaltation and debilitation. The North Node, Rahu, is at times assigned to Gemini as exalted and debilitated in Sagittarius. The South Node, or Ketu, is randomly given Sagittarius for exaltation status and Gemini for its debilitation. We also find other variations in the Jyotish Jaimini system where Aquarius becomes the rulership of Saturn and the North Node to Rahu. Common practice is that Scorpio rules Mars and the South Node ruled by Ketu. This observation has spilled over to the Western astrology system, with variations that are of confusion to many.
As a practicing Western astrologer, the exaltation and debilitation of Taurus and Scorpio application comes naturally, and will be used throughout this book. When the Eastern system comes into my practice, the exaltation, the rulership, and whole sign system becomes more important and prominent. The Eastern system relies more on the degree of exaltation and rulership than the Western system and thereby is in need of a more definite application. Thus, as far as exaltations, rulership, and own signs are concerned, there appears to be a process of evolution—not only in my own work, but also for many astrologers coming from a range of systems—toward a more complete understanding and agreement.
Application of the Moon's Nodes
When working with a birth chart, there are seven steps that I take to interpret the impact of the North and South Nodes for an individual.
Seven Steps to Interpret the Natal North and South Nodes
1. House of the North Node
What does the house in question represent? The North Node house placement implies the area where an individual strives to mature, grow, and embrace.
2. House of the South Node
What has the house in question brought forth in the individual's quest to let go of the past and integrate its house meaning? The South Node house placement indicates where an individual has come from (whether past life or this lifetime) and can heal without guilt of past issues, but rather understand its desire for conscious love for Self.
3. Signs of the Nodal Axis
How has the individual understanding of the Zodiac sign and its implication of potential integration of past and future become con- scious? By balancing the polarity of both signs of the Nodes, the awareness of the decapitation becomes the wholeness.
4. Planetary Lord of a House
When necessary, in the case of no aspects to the Nodes, a desire for further investigation, the "Lord of a House," "Ruler of a Sign," or "has dominion over," can be used beneficially. Thus, the method becomes incorporated at times, making sure not to make the analysis more complicated, too over analyzed but rather additional information is accessed.
5. Aspect between the Moon's Nodes, and any type of planetary energies.
6. A thorough observation between the Moon's Nodes, the Sun and Moon.
7. Interactions between any planets and the Moon's Nodes are incorporated with regular methods and orbs. Observe the North and South Nodal axis in interaction with the one or more planets; i.e. there is the past, present, and future to take into consideration. Has the individual understood the intimate, crucial, and karmic evolution of their Spirit and Soul connection to take their growth to a different level of healing?
Let's say a North Node is conjunct the MC and placed in the tenth house, in Capricorn. The South Node falls in the fourth house in Cancer. An individual with this placement is always looking for recognition for his or her success at work and general status in the world. If the South Node is not analyzed, the individual will not integrate his or her wound into a healing process throughout life. If the challenges of this house placement are left unexplored then success will not be achieved, and challenges will continue in the tenth house.
The next step is to find Saturn, ruler of the tenth house, and notice what type of aspect Saturn and the Nodal Axis form to each other. Let's assume that Saturn falls in the sixth house for work, health, and daily duties. If in orb, this creates a trine in relation to work ethics from the tenth house. Success should come easily, but not necessarily or automatically, as trines can have a lethargic quality to them. The same Saturn creates a sextile to the South Node in the fourth house. This sextile can be the promise and hope for rewards if this person analyzes old wounds and family dynamics. By reaching out to the sextile and the trine, the opportunity for that challenge will be enhanced.
Another factor to pay close attention to is when the Nodal Axis forms a square to a natal planet. Both the North and South Nodes will in practice be affected. Suppose the transiting North Node is on the MC, and both North and South Nodes form a Square to the natal Saturn. In this case, the analysis of the natal aspects between Saturn and the Nodal Axis becomes the first important point and step. Is there too much resistance or an awareness of necessary growth toward Saturn's strict persistency and timing?
The next step is to determine how you or another individual have responded to this natal placement, or transit, of the Moon's Node. With the awareness of difficulties from the family, the fourth house must—ideally be clarified. A more evolved Soul will declare clearly and decisively that the past is the past, and that their wounds are healed. When this healing of past wounds occurs, astrologers can focus on the deepest part of the client and give him or her a much-deserved and renewed inspirational goal for the future. The fourth house—the Soul—is, thankfully, endless!
Mars and Saturn correlate to the South Node in the Western system, and come into perspective as we observe the South Node in natal, progression, or transit work. Therefore, a close observation of the aspects between Mars and Saturn, and the South Node is necessary.
In the Eastern system, Mars becomes the planet related to the South Node and Saturn works well with the North Node.
When working with the North Node, Venus and Jupiter in the Western system are the corresponding relevant planets and should be examined closely according to the astrologer's method.
Chart 2 on page 20 shows the stages of the Moon's Nodes in transit. This chart will help deepen your experience and knowledge of planets in transits. By integrating the major planetary transits with the various stages of the Moon's Nodes in transit, you will gain valuable additional insight in astrological analysis.
Aspects to the Nodal Axis
There is a fundamental difference of a contact of the North Node versus the South Node. We know that the North Node represents what we are here to learn, understand, grow, and mature from; but it is also that which we respond to within our surroundings and environment, such as family, tribe, friends, business associates, and so on. Since we might not always be sure if the Moon's South Node presence in our lives actually comes from another lifetime, we should be in the good habit of knowing for sure that we have been together "before"; but how do we prove that? The South Node is asking for the great task of integrating the knowledge of past with the current person or situation as we face a difficult or beneficial solution and outcome.
The South Node is the impression of our conscious awareness of our subconscious. It takes us to the past, of being aware that one person might teach us lessons necessary to evolve. Taken for granted that the Moon's Nodes might be some kind of karmic attribution that we have to suffer from, then the North Node allows the results to be a decision based on facts or our awareness.
Excerpted from THE MOON'S NODES by AGNETA BORSTEIN. Copyright © 2012 Agneta Borstein. Excerpted by permission of NICOLAS-HAYS, INC..
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