Tracking the transiting nodes of the Moon through the birth chart can be very elucidating. It takes about 18 months for the nodes to move through a pair of signs. During that time, the North node will be working one house of your chart while the South node will be working the opposite house. From Western to Vedic, and from modern to ancient astrology, there are several different ideas about how the nodes manifest. From my studies, including my own direct observations over time, I have come to some conclusions…
The axis of houses across from one another form a pair of experiences that are related — these areas of life compliment and balance one another. When the nodes move through a particular pair of signs and opposite houses (using whole sign houses), that axis of experience within your life is gradually processed and transformed in a new way over the course of the 18 months (that it takes for the nodes to complete one pair of signs). As the nodes move through a pair of opposing houses, they bring a major focus to both of those related areas of life, and that usually means a bit of chaos for you in those areas. The nature of the North and South node, however, have some interesting distinctions. Mythologically, the North node is referred to as the dragon’s head while the South node is referred to as the dragon’s tail. This has some suggestive implications. Where the North node travels through your chart, the dragon “eats.” In this area of life, energy is taken in, something new is integrated, and there is an experience of increase and nourishment there. In the opposite area of your chart, where the South node is traveling, the dragon “excretes.” In this area of life there is a letting go process, a detoxification of sorts, and there can be an experience of decrease, loss, and usually a bit of stink there…
At first glance it may seem that the experience of the North node is inherently more positive and the South node is inherently a bit negative, but it usually isn’t that simple. While it’s true that everyone usually enjoys the fulfillment and satisfaction of eating — the process of digesting and excreting is just as critical for life. Sometimes there can be a real crisis in the area of life where the South node is transiting, as the detoxification or letting go process unfolds. It is helpful to remember that this is not a meaningless difficulty or crisis, but a healing crisis — either physically, emotionally or spiritually. The crises may be more apparent when the eclipses (which happen near the transiting nodes) hit significant points in your chart. The eclipses mark heightened moments of intensity within the larger process of the nodes moving through a set of signs and houses. By the time the nodes complete their transit through a pair of signs, certain seemingly fated experiences come to a close and there is a resolution in that arena for you. Then it is time to get ready for a different area of your life to get triggered, stirred up, nourished, digested, processed, and ultimately transformed.
We just completed the last of the eclipses through the Virgo/Pisces axis. Starting in May, the nodes of the Moon move into Leo/Aquarius for the next phase of development. If you are interested in looking at how this (or anything else) is playing out for you, schedule a consultation with me. I am transitioning to mostly phone or Skype consultations even for local people. I love working with people in person, but with astrology, connecting over the phone works just fine and the convenience of this will allow me to schedule you sooner.
“What about this year? It has been a struggle so far. Any ideas?”
I recently received this question on Facebook. At first I laughed because it is such a broad and big question, and I am far from having any answers. But if together we take a look at your chart and your life, we may see how the current planets and aspects are reflecting your experience, and that can be so helpful for finding the answers within…
I can offer a brief sketch of some general astrological themes for this year (2017): The revolutionary energies of radical change and wrenching transformation that began a few years ago during the epic Uranus/Pluto square are getting triggered off this year by Jupiter in Libra. Additionally there is an emphasis on FIRE, and air feeding fire this year (with Saturn in Sagittarius, Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Libra, the Nodes of the Moon preparing to enter Leo and Aquarius, with our first Leo eclipse tomorrow on Feb 10, and Venus and Mars both in Aries right now as well). So it makes sense that collectively we are seeing and feeling instantaneous flare-ups of high-spirited passion and energy, manifesting in all kinds of different ways.
I have a lot of fire and air in my natal chart so I am used to intense energies within myself zooming to the surface for expression. For balance I look to and learn from my more earth and water friends. They are not instantaneous in their reactions. When I am able to slow down my responses, and try to really listen, and pause before speaking — it is miraculous. Taking it a step further is listening for the feelings and needs underneath whatever we are hearing or seeing, that might seem irritating, disturbing, frightening, or enraging… When we can bring mindfulness, inquiry, empathy, understanding, compassion, and presence to whatever is arising within or around us — it is a nourishing tonic for this fiery year, with the potential to offer deep and healing solace. I am needing to review my Non-Violent Communication books and I am loving listening to Tara Brach’s podcasts. She continually reminds people to ask, “What is it like to be you?” When we ask this we automatically become an ally, especially to marginalized and vulnerable others (“What is it like to be you?”), or especially to people with whom we vehemently disagree (“What is it like to be you?”), and often most importantly to ourselves (“What is it like to be me, in this moment?”).
We had a Solar Eclipse New Moon on Mar 20th and there is a Lunar Eclipse Full Moon tomorrow morning (Apr 4th). This Lunar Eclipse (at 14º Libra) is tightly connected with the last exact Uranus/Pluto square, which though ebbing is still very active. So this Eclipse may correlate with moving in the direction of closure regarding the transformative process of internal and external restructuring that took place over the last three years.
The time around eclipses, and especially between a set of eclipses, can be highly charged for many (depending on how it is interacting with your birth chart), because eclipses have a way of bringing things up to the surface, which were previously only brewing in the unconscious. Once in plain view often something must be done or at least seen and accepted as a reality. In this way eclipses necessitate actions and attitudes that usher in needed change. But even positive change can be tumultuous or scary.
As always a Full Moon brings awareness or clarity (though often not until a day or two after the exact Full Moon) as it sheds light where there was darkness (the unknown) before. Also, Full Moons and Lunar Eclipses embody a polarization of some sort as the Sun and Moon are in direct opposition to one another. This opposition between two poles may be felt as an internal tension or experienced with an external person or situation. This eclipse is near the North node, so wherever Libra is in your birth chart, is where something new will be learned, assimilated, integrated, or received.
Mercury retrograde in Libra, Lunar eclipse in Aries
We’re past the halfway point of this Mercury retrograde (Sep 17-Oct 9, 2015), and so I have a few observations (The deepest learning of astrology comes through observation). Like all Mercury retrograde cycles this one is providing opportunities to revisit and reconnect with projects and relationships from the past, review misunderstandings or mistakes, and move towards resolving old issues. Since this Mercury retrograde takes place fully in the sign of Libra, the revisits may revolve around Libran values, such as interpersonal relating, empathy, and understanding the feelings and needs of both sides of any difference or conflict. Depending on the house of your birth chart where you have Libra will determine more specifically the types of things you may be reworking during this Mercury retrograde period.
Meanwhile the Lunar eclipse on Sep 27th was an interesting counterbalance occurring in the opposite sign of Aries. A Full Moon is always the peak, climax, or crisis point of the lunar month, but the addition of an eclipse takes it to a more intense level. Even though the deeper significations of an eclipse take place over a period of months (before and after the exact date of the eclipse), the day of the eclipse itself can certainly be telling too. I knew of three people who had this eclipse tightly conjunct one of their Aries planets, and they were all sick during the few days around the eclipse. Since this was an eclipse occurring near the South node of the Moon, it suggests a time of letting go. For those who were sick, I’m interpreting this as a detoxification process. But more generally this eclipse could be seen as a detoxification process for all of us in whatever part of our natal chart where we have Aries. I have Aries in my 7th house of one-to-one relationships, and right around the time of the eclipse, I had fleeting but important differences to attend to with a few people I connect with in a one-to-one way. Each one involved letting go of old thought forms or patterns. The fact that it was a Full Moon, an eclipse, and being in the fiery, impulsive, assertive sign of Aries added a higher degree of emotionality than might otherwise be present.
How did this eclipse play out for you? It’s always fruitful to note these things, in the same way it is fruitful to remember and explore the meanings of one’s dreams. These practices help us along the path towards greater self-knowledge and self-mastery.
During Mercury’s apparent travel backwards, at the midpoint of the retrograde phase, is a special moment when Mercury meets up with the Sun. This occurred on Sep 30th. It can be thought of as Mercury’s New Moon so to speak, the beginning point of a new Mercury cycle. Things are sown, either consciously or unconsciously, at this conjunction, so you can note what occurred on that day — ideas, discussions, events, or flashes or urges for a new and different way. It is an inception point, though it may not be clear just how those things will grow up and expand until after Mercury goes direct.
There is a lot happening today — Mercury is turning retrograde (see post from Sept 27), the Sun is square Pluto, Mars is trine Uranus (see post from Sept 26), and the Moon’s happenings can always be discussed. However, this post is about the upcoming eclipses!
As my wise Bubby (grandmother) used to say, “Life brings changes” — a perfect saying for eclipse season, which comes around about twice a year. There are 2 eclipses in October, a Lunar Eclipse Full Moon on Oct 8th and and a Solar Eclipse New Moon on Oct 23rd. In general, eclipses break up stagnancy and create powerful portals that we must walk through — as something old dissolves away while at the same time something new emerges. Often the changes and transitions marked by eclipses are desired and can feel refreshing and freeing. On the other hand, sometimes the changes are not desired by the ego-consciousness and are experienced as loss. Either way, cosmic intelligence is clearing a path, and we are launched forward into the next phase in our journey of personal growth towards wholeness and Self-realization. Read more...
Eclipses intensify the energies of the New and Full Moons, which can already be emotional, unpredictable, or tempestuous, so traditionally it is advised to exercise more caution around these times. Another traditional piece of wisdom about eclipses is that things started right before an eclipse occurs can literally be “eclipsed” (unexpectedly obscured, changed, or blocked out). So if it is something that you want to grow instead of something that you want to diminish, or if is something serious that you don’t want any surprises with, it is often advised to wait until the eclipses pass before initiating it, when possible
Eclipses happen in sets, slowly working their way backwards through the opposing signs and unfolding a process that affects each of us differently depending on which pair of signs and houses they are falling in within our own charts. If an eclipse is triggering a significant point in your birth chart, the effect of the eclipse is usually felt well before the eclipse occurs and for several months afterwards, especially until the next set of eclipses occurs.
In this current set, the Lunar Eclipse Full Moon (near the South Node of the Moon) on Oct 8th represents reaching a pinnacle of clarity about something that is being released. It may be something you want to be free of, yet the process of letting go can still be difficult or painful. Wherever 15º Aries is in your chart will give clues about what that might be for you. This lunar eclipse seems extra potent, because it is close to where the Cardinal Grand Cross peaked in April, and it is bringing to fruition a process of growing awareness that was strongly activated then. It could be enlightening to contemplate what was happening for you in the Spring, how it has evolved, how you are transformed, and what is now moving towards completion or closure.
In contrast, the Solar Eclipse New Moon (near the North Node of the Moon) on Oct 23rd represents a juncture for venturing into unfamiliar territory and actively taking something new into your life. Wherever 0º Scorpio is in your chart will give clues about what that is for you…
On Friday (3/20) there will be a Solar Eclipse New Moon, and it is the Spring Equinox marking the astrological new year. Along with the Sun transitioning to Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, the Moon will also enter Aries on Friday. Together this may feel like an extra powerful new beginning in the air. However shortly before this transition, the eclipse and the New Moon will be at the very last degree of Pisces, suggesting the experience of significant endings along with the bounding new beginnings. Additionally this eclipse is aligned with the South Node, which suggests we are letting go of something... Eclipses are associated with big shifts and transitions if they are closely aspecting one’s chart, and they are often felt ahead of time. I like the description of eclipses as a doorway or portal opening up, allowing us to step into a new experience. Along with the last exact Uranus/Pluto square on Monday (3/16) at 15º Aries and Capricorn, this is a moment of culmination — and a time of large scale transformation and change (which could potentially feel like both a crisis and a breakthrough) for many people.
April is a uniquely intense month, with the Cardinal Grand Cross peaking Apr 20th thru 23rd, sandwiched in-between two eclipses (Apr 15th and 29th). The revolutionizing Uranus/Pluto square has been in action for a couple of years now, and we’ve been dealing with the preliminary energy of the Grand Cross since Mars entered Libra in Dec of 2013. However this month we experience the exact hits of Mars opposing Uranus, Jupiter opposing Pluto, and all 4 planets squaring each other. This is a moment of climax and possibly crisis as we experience extreme tension between conflicting or opposing forces, that will lead to sweeping changes or big breakthroughs for many people. If you have planets or points in the cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, especially if they are near 13 degrees, you will feel this Grand Cross quite personally. Read more...
The Sun triggered the Grand Cross Apr 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 8th. Mercury will trigger the Grand Cross Apr 14-16th, so those precise days may be stressful or significant for many. The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse (with the North Node) on Apr 15th in Libra may represent a time of clarity and culmination about something needing to be integrated, cultivated, or given more attention — wherever Libra is in your chart will give more information about what that is for you… The New Moon Solar Eclipse (with the South Node) on Apr 29th may represent a fresh beginning regarding something unproductive needing to be released — wherever Taurus (and Aries) is in your chart will give more information about what that is for you… Under the turbulent influences in April some people may behave irrationally or erratically (if they are prone that way), but this can help propel us towards profound spiritual opportunities for growth and to shift old or toxic patterns that no longer serve. While in the pressure cooker of these tense aspects, the deeper challenge is to inwardly surrender (which is different from outward submission) by completely accepting the present moment, and in so doing we become more free and more whole, little by little, moment by moment.