I’ve radically revised my take on some major tenets of astrology. These ideas have been kicking around for a while but Mars in my 3rd house for six months has inspired some obsessive research and thinking.
If you’re short on time or don’t feel like details, here is the ultra-condensed version:
(1) Maybe the Moon’s Nodes don’t mean past lives/future lives or what you should seek/discard, go toward/gravitate away from. They’ve got a much cooler meaning than that.
(2) If you were born in the Southern Hemisphere, the Nodes may need to be flipped anyway: North to South and South to North. Yes.
(3) The Southern Hemisphere people’s charts need to have the Ascendant on the Right – the birth chart has to be a sky map. The reason they don’t reflect the real astronomy has been a ‘just because’ thing forever; it’s certainly how I was taught. But fuq that. And, there are some fascinating – weird – reasons why.
(4) Some elements of ancient astrology are relics of their time and have little practical application. But others are totally worth it. Modern astrophysics makes it possible to precisely measure which of – for example – the Fixed Stars were in effect at the time of your birth, rather than gazing at a list of dozens.
(5) The reason the Druidic lunar mansions are not as widely known or used as the Vedic/Chinese ones is that their cultures came under the iron rule of the inquisition. But they’re just as valid and obviously influenced one another.
(6) Galactic Astrology is legit. That is, seeing the times/people’s personal birth charts not only from a geocentric (from Earth) perspective but as a part of a galaxy revolving around the Galactic Center, Space Weather, and other interesting factors.
I resisted all of these concepts for the same reason that most people do: they’re not the habitual, established way of doing things. Utilizing any one of them demands neuroplasticity and work.
The Moon’s Nodes are the points where the Moon meets the Ecliptic. Also known as the North and South Node, they are always opposite one another and have nothing to do with reincarnation.
I know, I know. I was taught it, I’ve said it. I believed it. But ever since Uranus in Taurus, I’ve been studying some fantastic old texts, and while the Nodes get frequent mentions, there is no mention of reincarnation associated with them. Not only that, it seems to have been a concept that sprouted in the last century, seeded by none other than the incredibly influential Dane Rudhyar.
Born Daniel Chenneviere in Paris, he was a crazy-smart musician-philosopher-astrologer whose fusion of Eastern philosophy with Jung, esoteric astro, and sacred geometry became fashionable and then mainstream. He’s the progenitor of the entire “New Age” and humanistic astrology movement. He was Aries with Mars conjunct Pluto and Neptune in Gemini: When he changed his name, he chose “Rudhyar” after a Sanskrit Storm God, also called ‘the Red one.’
Now I’m going to get onto anti-South bias later but interestingly, Dane Rudhyar wrote that the South Node was akin to an anus, an organ of excretion. In his view the North Node was the “point of intake of spiritual cosmic material” but the South Node was for elimination. Menstruation was also seen as a South Node phenom. I’m not on board with any of this, obviously.
Ahh, you might say but what about in Vedic astrology? No! Not even there. In Indian astro, the North Node is Rahu and the South Node Ketu – traditionally, they saw them both as a bit dodgy, with the North and South taking turns being depicted as the “lesser evil.” They are a semi-conquered demonic force who’d periodically lurch into action and cause eclipses.
Observing the Nodes has always been a reliable way of predicting eclipses, a huge deal in the olden days. In Ancient China astrologers who messed up an eclipse prediction could be executed. Imagine the spectacle of you, as a despotic Emperor or Empress, waving one arm skyward to seemingly command the heavens and darken or lighten the sky. It would be the ultimate PR stunt and seal your reputation as a divinely sponsored ruler.
So what, if not your past life and optimal future life, do they represent? Well, the Nodes have been a Dragon since forever, and remember, every time you see or hear about a serpent or dragon-slaying, it’s referring to the conquest of pagans, druids, witches, and others deemed evil or inferior to the mainstream monotheistic doctrine. In mythology and magic, serpents and dragons are often congruent. Celtic royalty wore a hybrid Dragon-Snake emblem. The creatures are also a metaphor for the suppressed Pagan religions.
This is where it becomes ultra-weird…
A few examples: The Christian bible refers to a “great dragon” or an “old serpent” placed in the sky by the Babylonians as an adversary or more snazzily, “the seducer of the whole world.” FYI: The main star in the constellation of Draco (the Dragon) was the Northern Pole Star at the time.
Druids were known as “snakes” – a reference to the two-snakes emblem of Mercury and mysteries to do with the serpentine life force, aka kundalini. Broadly, the Chinese, Celts, Indians, first nations people, and Ancient Pagan cultures held dragons as sacred. The Australian Aboriginal and the Yoruba people have Rainbow Serpent creator gods. Ley lines were also called Dragon Lines and of course, King Arthur was called the Pendragon.
The Latin names for the Nodes – Caput Draconis for the Dragon’s Head or North Node and Cauda Draconis for the South Node/Dragon’s Tail – were medieval translations from the Arabic astronomers who developed the concept. Their take on the Nodes was broadly the same as that of the Vedic astrologers – Eclipse- causing potential flashpoints associated with a bad serpent/dragon who periodically tries to eat the Sun or Moon.
But the original Mesopotamian Dragon, like that of the Egyptians, was a She-Dragon: Once the primordial Goddess of the Waters, the source of everything, she was allegedly destroyed but – like the constellation myth of Draco – still hung around causing trouble when possible. Her name is Tiamat and she’s similar to the Orisha Dragon Goddess: Oshunmare. The Ancient Egyptian version? It was the Ouroboros, the snake eating its own tail, aka a symbol of eternity.
Like the Celtic astrologers later thought, it was an axis of dragons, not a head-tail scenario. Yet by 1512, it was said that “Male is the head of the dragon and it is similar to a beneficial star; its nature is made up of those of Jupiter and Venus and signifies dominion, luck, and possessions.”
Just like in the game of Snakes and Ladders, the South Node was a slimy slope downwards? “Maleficent is the dragon’s tail; its nature is made up of those of Saturn and Mars and signifies degradation, injury, and poverty.”
The perennial “self-undoing” also makes an appearance more and more frequently, as it did/does with the 12th House.
So while I believe in reincarnation or more correctly, the transmigration of souls, you can’t see your paths from the birth chart. You need to dream them. Every exit is an entrance elsewhere and the world is not a 2D flat map but a globe. The Dragon lines are not up and down. They go around.
How to interpret them? The concept of “South” being “down” and a “descent” constituting a decline is an exploration for the part 2 post, Southern Hemisphere astrology.
But in the meantime, my theory is that the Nodes are about the left and right hemispheres of our mind, the twin snakes of Mercury, the marriage of mysticism and science, and the reclamation of the banished divine feminine.