The Lunar Nodes changed signs last week, from Cancer/Capricorn to Gemini/Sagittarius. Many astrology students consider the nodes so difficult to interpret they don’t bother. Many interpretations exist in books, some of them quite oppressive and parochial. While I don’t have the bandwidth available today to do a full treatment, you’ve read about them every time I write about eclipses. The nodes and eclipses are directly linked; where the nodes go, eclipses follow — approximately. The nodes therefore have an eclipse effect all year long, even though eclipses are concentrated into intense periods that occur twice a year.
If you’re paying attention you noticed that the nodes changed signs backwards. The overall direction of the lunar nodes is retrograde. They have brief intervals of direct motion, but calculating their position is a matter of mathematical theory. As I understand it, the nodes represent a hypothetical point of intersection where the Moon would contact the ecliptic if it were there at that moment. When an eclipse happens, it’s usually anywhere from two to 15 degrees away from the nearest node. That is why I say it’s a theoretical thing.
The nodes take about 18 months to go through a sign. The full cycle is about 18 years. But every nine years, they are in their reversed position; that is, about nine years ago, the nodes were in Gemini and Sagittarius, but in the opposite direction, with the North Node in Gemini and the South Node in Sagittarius. They always travel in an exact opposition. The direction of the Mean Node is an average; it is always retrograde. The direction of the True Node switches between retrograde and direct, but the overall direction is retrograde.
The nodes have a life of their own; they are interpreted differently than eclipses and nearly every description of their meaning that I’ve read omits any discussion of eclipses — something that has always struck me as weird. It’s not that eclipses are involved in the whole interpretation; but they do have a connection, and the presence of an eclipse emphasizes the node, draws on its influence. In an article I wrote many years ago, I describe them as ‘a different kind of thing’ — made of nothing, but seeming to be emanating a lot of something — information, energy, tendencies, needs, habits.
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