The following article appears in the 2015 Astrological Almanac. Click here to order your copy now.
The North and South Node of the Moon moved into Libra and Aries on February 18th, the pair of signs in which they will remain in until November of 2015.
What are the Nodes?
The Lunar Nodes are points of intersection between the Sun-Moon-Earth system. They were originally calculated because they could be used to predict eclipses, and thereby brought a certain order to one of nature’s most awe and terror-inspiring phenomenons. They have been a part of horoscopic astrology since the earliest records of the art’s practice in the first century B.C.E.
The two nodes are referred to by a variety of different titles. They are sometimes called the ascending and descending nodes, the north and the south nodes, Caput and Cauda Draconis (“Head and Tail of the Dragon” in Latin), and in Vedic astrology, Rahu and Ketu.
Like the Sun, Moon and planets, the nodes have a regular cycle. Their motion takes them around the zodiac approximately every 19 years. Unlike the planetary bodies, which all travel the zodiac in a counter-clockwise manner, while the Nodes move clockwise, and thus they travel the signs backwards, from Aries to Pisces to Aquarius, and so on.
The Nodes are always almost 180 degrees away from each other, so when the North Node is Aries, the South Node is in Libra, and when the North Node is Scorpio, the South Node will be in Taurus, and so on. Because of this, the Nodes end up stressing the nature of those signs opposed in the zodiacal mandala.
The action of the nodes is, on one level, very simple. The South Node removes energy from what it touches and the North Node adds it. As you might intuit, these processes are by no means disconnected. The South Node liberates energy and then the North Node indicates the area of life where that energy should be properly reinvested. Although the resultant transfers of energy are easy to track, the process is often very complicated and, from the point of view of the person experiencing it, very confusing.
These powers of increase and decrease, wax and wane, make a perfect cycle when conjoined. However, when each operates without regard for the other, chaos reigns. The North Node’s power of increase, without decrease to limit it, degenerates into avarice, greed and overindulgence, all of which are associated with Rahu in the Hindu astrological tradition. Meanwhile, the South Node’s power of decrease, when not properly balanced, leads to indiscriminate rejection, feelings of disgust and unhealthy extremes of asceticism. It is therefore of great importance to understand that although the Head and the Tail appear distinct, they are in fact parts of one primeval Dragon.
Aries and Libra
On February 18th, 2014, the Nodes entered tropical Libra and Aries, where they will persist until November, 2015.
The nodes presence in this pair of signs activates and connects both of their significations. Therefore some discussion of their essential natures may be useful.
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac in the conventional ordering. It is fiery, active sign. It centralizes consciousness in a subjective and individual mode. Ruled by Mars, planets placed within Aries have as their story the discovery of personal power and its limits. It is regularly represented as a ram, which speaks to the kinetic nature of the sign and the individuals born to it.
Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac, and considered airy in nature. While Aries highlights subjective individual awareness, Libra brings attention to the nature of the relationship between entities rather than their individual characteristics. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac represented by a mechanical device- a pair of scales.
Together, Libra and Aries highlight the internal awareness of an individual and the external awareness of that individual’s relationship with other entities. The Node’s position suggests a transfer of priority from the subjective-individual mode of Aries to Libra’s objective-social one. ales, for scales reveal the relationship between things.
The South Node’s time in Aries and the North Node’s in Libra involves a rejection of “go at it alone” attitudes and corresponding embrace of team work and alliances. It opens people’s eyes to the fact that individual efforts have meaning only when taken in their proper social context. The adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is a simplification of the truths scheduled to emerge, yet not an unhelpful one. A more accurate version might be “It’s not just what you do, it’s how people interpret it.”
The Nodes’ time in Aries and Libra does not, however, occur in a vacuum. Mars will share Libra with the North Node for the first 5 months. In addition, for the entirety of the South Node’s time in Aries, it will share the Ram’s sign with radical Uranus.
Less than two weeks after the North Node’s entrance into Libra, Mars stations retrograde in the sign of the Scales, a scant few degrees away from the North Node. The red planet will be co-present in Libra with the North Node until the end of July 2014.
The North Node has long been held to be an intensifier of planets it conjoins. Thus, the North Node will be boosting Mars’ signal for the first 5 months of its time in Libra. This presents a number of complications, for the nature of the North Node in Libra is to promote compromise, balance and harmony. Mars’ extended stay complicates these aims considerably, for it is the red planet’s nature to sow strife and spark conflicts.
Thus the shift suggested by the nodes in Aries and Libra, the movement away from aggressive individualism toward a more socially-minded, cooperative mindset, will be beset with obstacles during the first 5 months of the North Node’s time in Libra. Successful navigation of the various social tensions will require a great deal of finesse for both individuals and nations, especially during April’s tense eclipses and crosses.
While Mars and the North Node will share space for 5 months, the South Node will spend the entirety of his stay in Aries with Uranus. Uranus has been in Aries since 2011, and engaged in an ongoing set of squares with Pluto in Capricorn for the same amount of time.
The South Node thus enters into and tilts the balance of the Uranus-Pluto squares, whose “Angry People vs. The Evil Empire” narrative has dominated the news since 2011.
The South Node’s time with Uranus is not a good omen for revolutionaries. On a political level, it will likely see a number of protest movements reach a point of maximum ineffectiveness, the point where it becomes clear that public expressions of outrage alone are insufficient to accomplish the reforms desired. The South Node conjoins Uranus exactly on January 20th, 2015, although they will be very close for several months.
On a personal level, the period of overlap between the South Node and Uranus will bring attention to crude attempts to create freedom and independence. Breaking away from your family, your job or other limiting factors may indeed generate freedom, but it is the freedom of the disconnected. It is not a matter of abandoning that which limits your freedom, but changing your relationship to it. Thus the South Node and Uranus will push for a complicated, incremental change rather than radical breaks and revolutions.
The last time that the South Node and Uranus were in the same sign was October 1998 until April 2000, which saw fevered inflation of and subsequent puncture of the internet tech bubble. In addition, if we look at the month when Uranus and the South Node were exactly conjoined, we see that Sega launched its ill-fated Dreamcast, a console video game system. The Dreamcast, because of its financial failure, would be the last console that Sega released after a decade and a half of impressive market share.
The previous overlap of the South Node and Uranus was from March 1983 until September of 1984. This period over say the total annual revenue of the video game industry shrink from revenues of around $3.2 billion in 1983, then fell to around $100 million by the time 1985 rolled around. Although the pivotal shifts occurred during Uranus’ and the South Node’s conjunction, the full scale of the damage would not be understood until just after the South Node left Uranus’ sign. This quite analogous to the tech bubble in the late 90’s, for although the balloon popped in 1999 and 2000, many people would not notice until it was nearly airless. Apparently the tech sector is like a leaky air mattress, which has to deflate considerably to actually wake people up.
Interestingly enough, as we come up on another period of Uranus and the South Node in the same sign, the console side of the video game industry is not looking particularly strong. Another wave of consoles- Sony’s PS4, Microsoft’s XBOXONE and Nintendo’s WIIU are all competing for time and money, but collectively they face an increasing threat from mobile and computer gaming, which is the midst of a renaissance thanks to Steam. Although an apocalypse on the scale of 1983-84 is quite unlikely for a vastly more mature industry, it would be very surprising if the Feb 2014- November 2015 period was in any way kind to console manufacturers.
As for the rest of the tech industry, a crash of the same order as that generated by 1998-2000’s mistakes is also unlikely, as the industry has stabilized and matured since then. Still, the ever-growing amount of hype surrounding startups and the odd belief that tech will save the economy is widespread.
Finally, the South Node’s connection with decrease and simplification may also indicate a wave of consolidations and acquisitions in a mature industry. There is some precedent for this, as Uranus-South Node conjunctions have in the past overseen major mergers in telecommunications.
The Nodes are not physical bodies, but the roving intersections of the Earth-Sun-Moon system. The shifts and rearrangements that they promise do not arrive overnight, but are ferried slowly into being by the sequence of eclipses they preside over. The dark Suns and Moons of the April 2014, October 2014, and April 2014 will all be necessary for the latencies discussed above to become manifest.