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What are Lunar Nodes?
The Dragon`s Head and Tail
19 minutes of reading
Want to know how this information can affect your life?
You may have noticed that there is this symbol in your birth chart. It represents the North Lunar Node, also called "Dragon's Head".
The Kabbalah (a view of a mystical Judaism), for example, has a great focus on the Lunar Nodes, as well as karmic and Vedic astrology, being information, according to its interlocutors, to understand our "astrological karma". Therefore, it is important to understand what the lunar nodes are, how they are generated, and all their astrological dynamics, if you want to understand the arguments raised by the people who support such ideas.
The "Dragon's Head" and the "Dragon's Tail"
In this Astrology, mixing beliefs with religious precepts it's stated that many times a lot of emphasis is placed only on the luminaries (Sun and Moon), on personal planets (Mercury, Mars and Venus) and outer ones (Saturn and Jupiter) to draw our Birth chart. However, the astrology combined with Varahamihira's original studies treated the Lunar Nodes with the same importance, as did the countless Indian astrology systems, as large as the Indian religions (Vedic Astrology or Jyotisha).
And this importance is justified by its interlocutors, as ancestral studies reveal that the movements of the Nodes significantly affect our lives and paths. The Lunar Nodes are actually points of convergence between the ecliptic of the Sun and the Moon. The name is derived from lunar and solar eclipses, which only occur when the Moon's orbit around the Earth crosses the "path" of the Sun.
They are, in fact, two imaginary points in the sky, or the projection of two Euclidean planes in one direction of space.
The exact location of the Nodes of the Moon arises from the meeting of these two planes: the lunar arc and the solar arc in Astrology.
They originate through the intersection of the projection of the lunar orbit with the projection of the Earth's orbital plane, called the "ecliptic" (since the Earth actually revolves around the Sun).
The projections of these planes of motion from the path are traced by the Sun and Moon from the Earth's point of view. The projection plane of the Moon on the celestial sphere, once traced, assists the movement of the Moon by its projection always in the direct connection and takes a month to complete.
The same plane now created to describe the path of the Sun on the celestial sphere receives the Sun, which apparently moves along it for a year, due to the movement of the Earth called translation.
Now, the arc of the Sun takes a year. That's why the lunar node remains in the same position for about a year, causing many people of the same age to have the lunar node in the same zodiac signs in their birth chart.
Thus, the positioning of each Node is pointed out through this Sun and Moon relationship observed from Earth. A solar eclipse occurs when a new moon appears near one of the nodes and a lunar eclipse when a full moon appears near any of the nodes.
The North and South Nodes, also called Dragon's Head and Dragon's Tail (Rahu and Ketu in Vedic astrology), are opposites in each person's Birth Chart, exerting, according to Vedic Astrologists, contrary natures that must be worked on throughout our existence. It's our challenges, the path we should seek to follow, and characteristics and behaviors with which we are natural, that we need to balance. Balance is often a perception of ideas related to spiritual evolution, moral superiority, and what is indicated in many models of religious ethics. Thus, balance in many cases is the scope of religious vision existence.
The South Node is exactly opposite the North Node in the Birth Chart (that's why many maps don't bring both symbols, since one derives from the other and is in exact opposition). The North Node in Aries, for example, will have the South Node in Libra and vice versa. The North Node in Pisces will necessarily have the South Node in Virgo and so on. This is, of course, purely geometry and refers to mean and non-effective lunar nodes.
The relationship between the North and South Nodes is very intimate, according to these authors.
When we think in terms of karma (often negative effects of what is believed in religious terms in India coming from past lives) according to Vedic astrologers, we are atoning and having to deal with the effects of what we did in previous lives and in many cases we are receiving the effects of what we did in past lives.
Thus, the signs found on the map would give clues of what we did in these past lives in a way judged by precepts, guidance from masters or negative religious books and contrary to teachings.
For example, it can be said, as some astrologers of Vedic Astrology defend, that the South Node is what we were yesterday (past lives, or in the past of this life), while the North Node is what we should be today or tomorrow.
It is the connection between our past, with characteristics that are intimately more natural, and the future, which still needs to be discovered, according to what they hold.
According to this vision, when analyzing our lunar Nodes, we can find tips and answers that will help us in our journey of evolution and growth. For many religions, the human being is here to learn things and life would be a school, where we will be approved or disapproved (or even expelled).
The very concept of "growing up" will always be related to precepts, leaders' guidelines, prophets' habits, or what is written in immutable and perennial texts, and therefore sacred. Every religion will have a look at this. In some religions, the consumption of pork meat is a serious error and shows a lack of commitment. In others, alcohol is not drunk, as in Islam, unlike Catholic masses celebrated with wine.
Thus, it is important to know about the beliefs, precepts or rules of each church, ashram, synagogue, temple, lodge, etc. if we practice or wish to study while mixing spiritual beliefs with astrology.
The North Node is also called the Ascending Node (the Moon is going from South to North in the ecliptic system when it crosses the projection of the Sun's orbit) and the South Node is the Descending Node (the reverse). These nodes also gained other names, metaphorically associated with the presence of a dragon in the sky.
In India, legend says that a solar eclipse occurs because "a dragon from the sky swallows the Sun and ends up split into two parts: head and tail".
The same story is well known in Europe and gave rise to the myth of Saint George, who, after death, went to live on the Moon and fought with the dark celestial dragon that wanted, from time to time, to devour the Moon. The proof of such a battle is in the fact that the Moon is reddened "by the blood of the wounded Dragon".
Hence, the association that is still made of the lunar nodes with the "head and tail of the dragon".
By remaining in the same place for more than a year, the Lunar Nodes are linked to great changes brought about above the individual plane. Since antiquity, eclipses of the Sun and Moon have always represented important markers of cycles for the climate, as well as for collective predictions for, and from there derives the karmic meaning of the lunar nodes in astral charts which in this case can, according to the Vedic astrology, represent the collectivity, such as cities, countries or institutions.
North Node and South Node Meanings in Vedic Astrology
The Lunar Nodes in our birth chart, they claim, help us remember the soul's journeys, both those that have been temporarily forgotten and those that are the paths and challenges of current existence (remembering that, in Vedic Astrology, you are on one of these incarnations in the case of the current one, in the human format. Some currents of Vedic astrology presuppose incarnations as animals or plants or trees. Other authors claim that we can incarnate even as stars, as stated by "David Frawley" in the book "Astrology of Seers" ).
They complete their zodiacal cycle approximately every 18 years. In this way, people born under the same Lunar Node have pursuits that they can relate to, as if they were a large tribe that has similar lessons to learn (the religious precepts of learning, tribes, flocks, worshipers, and something that God or the "gods" " prepared, according to each religion).
Thus, an 18-year-old, for example, has the same Nodes as a 36-year-old, and so on. As for people with an age difference between 9 and 10 years, the chances are high that they have opposite Nodes, with one person with Pisces in the North Node and the other with Pisces in the South Node.
This means or can be interpreted according to Vedic or karmic Astrology, that the two individuals when combined, have an enormous potential for energy, as each one has inherent characteristics that the other owes (the orientation of this duty is guided by a set of rules of each religion or Indian master) learn and evolve.
In this way, they understand that, if they manage to combine their experiences and characteristics, they can help each other in the search for the maximum potential of each. In other words, it is a synergy that, if well-fitted, can yield excellent results.
However, it is important to point out that even if two people have the same Lunar Node, their characteristics and growth objectives will also depend on the rest of the Astral Map according to the guidelines of these thinkers.
During our lives, the ideal is that we manage to get further and further away from habits and unresolved issues so that we can grow and fulfill our desires. Totally surrendering to our comfort zone means opening doors to insecurities, fears, harmful relationships, and other obstacles that make the path toward development even more difficult.
As we know, this path is not easy. Many people only begin to awaken after the first time Saturn returns to their lives (between the ages of 29 and 30).
If the person is still attached to vicious cycles in life and the area of their south node (according to the karmic or Vedic interpretation), full of uncertainties and issues that they do not have the impetus to solve, they say that the Saturn cycle could be evidenced by the great discomfort the problems that worry us.
But the cycles of Saturn in conjunction with the Lunar Nodes always aim at personal growth (religious astrology always seeks to emphasize idealizations and faith in growth, balances that are presuppositions of orientation to a way of life).
It's not always easy to know which characteristics and issues we should improve or leave behind and which ones we should pursue, so this is an ideal time to embrace these changes, reflecting on our lives so far and leaving behind what doesn't serve. It's almost a rebirth, a chance to start over, a 2.0 version of us. Just want to learn and evolve, they say.
North Node - or Dragon's Head
The North Node, according to karmic or Vedic astrology, is linked to the future, to the "effect" and indicates our direction: where we are going and what experiences should be taken from the current journey (current incarnation). It is linked to more positive aspects and issues that can be evolved and resolved throughout this life, even if they are not so easy. It marks the point where the Moon crosses the ecliptic of celestial latitudes from south to north.
It represents the path we must follow, which needs to be discovered and explored. In this way, we must always seek development, evolution, and personal growth to overcome challenges and achieve our goals and purposes in life. There is great positive and fulfilling energy within everyone, waiting to be tapped. Expressing such energy, according to these thinkers, can demand a great effort and a lot of focus, but we must embrace this mission in favor of a more satisfying life.
The Sign and the House where the North Node is positioned indicate a few of the characteristics that we must develop, what is our mission and destiny in our current existence. Thus, for some authors, we were given a mission, a destination, and a path traced for an evolutionary process, according to the assumptions of each religious or metaphysical place.
As it is a relatively unknown and opposite area to which many things we are used to (since possibly, according to them, we have not experienced it in other incarnations), its themes can cause fear, apprehension, strangeness or excitement.
At first, they may be uncomfortable, but if developed, such themes can give more meaning and purpose to our lives.
For this doctrine, this node is literally our personal "North", that is, the path to which we should head (let us remember that there is a natural tendency in religious processes to understand that a superior force has given us a destination, an arrow, a route, and fulfilling this will please the creative forces, open paths for us and we will be able to have advantages after death, rewards in future incarnations or even be transferred to other more evolved planets, as well as staying on Earth, which will be cleansed of impurities for example).
In life, we must always improve as individuals, ethical, religious, or common sense precepts are always affirmed, favoring our personal growth. Thus, the North Node would indicate what we need to adjust and develop, being part of the meaning we need to give to our life.
Due to its religious and ethical perspective, it understands that this stimulates a constant transformation in search of growth. We need to improve who we are and discover what we really want for our lives. Thus, we have to constantly reflect on our behaviors, attitudes, relationships, and everything else that makes up the mosaic of our existence. Detect what we can improve and what we should do for it. We must not be afraid of the path that lies ahead. We need to have courage and determination to overcome obstacles and explore the new, opportunities that appear, to obtain the achievements we desire.
North node analysis would show how we can do this, revealing habits and behaviors we need to overcome and learn from. It's like a mission we receive and must fulfill, and when we finally succeed, we feel more complete, and fulfilled and our life gains more purpose. But, keep in mind that this should never be done with the total abandonment of the characteristics of the sun signs and personal stars, of the south node, but rather with their help towards the synthesis and balance of the nodal axis, as you understand it.
South Node - or Dragon's Tail
The South Node indicates things that have already been received from our astral past (in this case, it can be interpreted as past lives). He tells us about the characteristics that we already have consolidated in our personality by ancestral memories and is linked to a "cause" (in the case of those who do not believe in reincarnation).
The South Node tells us about repetitive or very customary aspects that must be balanced. It marks the point where the Moon crosses the ecliptic of celestial latitudes from north to south.
It is also considered part of our "comfort zone", as it tends to be an area that is very familiar, internalized, and known to us. You know that "I was born good at it" talk, or I was "born into it"? That's it. They are inherent characteristics, which bring comfort and a certain satisfaction. It is the place where we always feel safe and where we unconsciously flee, they say.
It shows the characteristics that we must attenuate because they are already very developed until the balance is achieved. Its themes are very familiar and known to us, it is the place where we feel safe and where we unconsciously and automatically flee. However, its themes do not inspire us with challenges, generating monotony, and frustration due to the repetition of subjects and situations, as well as delays in our evolutionary development.
It reveals the habits that we theoretically already have and are comfortable with, which is why we repeat these behaviors and tendencies, even if unconsciously, always seeking to return to that security. However, this is a false sense of comfort, as it ends up imprisoning us in a monotonous zone, without challenges.
As long as there is no balance on the nodal axis, we will not be able to promote our growth in search of our true path and purpose, this is what astrologers who use Vedic or religious astrology say.
The idea is to use the natural "talents" as an aid, and personal resources to reach the objectives proposed by the North Node.
It's the baggage (karma) we carry and it's hard to get rid of. If we don't work on the influences of the South Node, we will always live in a comfort zone, repeating the same mistakes all our lives, blocking our growth. It is important to understand that in this interpretation, many of life's problems are thought to have their origin in past lives.
It's much easier to succumb to temptations than to fight obstacles to evolve. However, later on down the road, we will pay a high price, which is to say, we will probably be unhappy because we will be incomplete. We don't pursue our purpose or grow. Thus, astrological interpretation needs to be permeated according to these authors with the idealisms and predeterminations of universal and incorruptible precepts, coming from God through a word, a prophet, or an avatar.
In terms of commitments or tasks, from this point of view, we often leave North Node missions aside to return to the South Node safety zone, especially when obstacles seem insurmountable.
It's not because something comes easily that we should settle down and always repeat the same thing, like a boring job or anything else that doesn't help our evolution.
In this idealized view, we always need to overcome our limits and seek the true path, the one that will make us grow as individuals.
In general, the guideline is that we should always head north, taking lessons learned from the south, without making them the objective, but rather a good source of resources.
The Grade of Nodes
The degree to which each node is found in our Astral Chart also carries great significance according to esoteric astrology, sometimes karmic or theological.
There are many texts coming from sources that lean toward religious, magical, or mystical thought that give an interpretation for each degree of the Zodiac and for each degree, a mission in life. Some texts like "Sabian Symbols in Astrology" by Marc Edmund Jones or authors like Joelle De Gravelaine, and even Dany Rudhyar in her Personality Astrology (book dedicated to Alice Bailey, a mystery shop Astrologer who relates Astrology with astral bodies, planetary evolutionary radii for each person according to their chart), describes interpretations of degrees according to "Sabian degrees".
For example, it is stated that:
With the North Node positioned at 21° of Virgo, the twenty-first degree of each Sign will also be called the "Nodal Degree". Although the position of the South Node, which is in the opposite degree, is very significant, the Nodal Degrees are also sensitive points in each Sign. When activated, such as by some aspect or planet in conjunction, for example, they can indicate important events in our lives. When a natal planet falls into the Nodal Grade, its influence on us will also be greater, whether positive or negative.
The Return of the Lunar Nodes
During our lives, the Lunar Nodes sometimes return to their natal positions, influencing who we are and what we should strive for. This return of the Nodes occurs more or less every 19 years and during the duration of this aspect in proximity to your exact orb, significant events often occur, marking our journey.
The full Cycle of the Nodal Axis (the complete turn of the North and South Nodes through the zodiac) actually takes about 18.6 years before the transiting Nodes make an exact conjunction with the Natal Nodes. So, when we turn 18, or 19 years old or so, we experience our first nodal return. In the next one, we will be 38 years old, then 57 years old, and so on.
Just like the Return of Saturn, each return of the Nodes represents a milestone, a period where we must analyze our growth, the success we have achieved in pursuit of our goals, and, most importantly, if we are really on the right track. It is an opportunity to do a deep reflection, leaving aside what didn't work, taking advantage of what did, and starting over, in a renewed way.
In addition to the possibility of reflection and renewal, the return of the Nodes can also reveal significant events in our lives, so we must always be aware of these periods and their influences. Another important fact that deserves our attention is the conjunction between the North and South Nodes, which occurs when the transit of the North Node enters a collision course with the Natal South Node - and vice versa.
The personal growth indicated by the North Node clashes with the established behaviors and habits of the South Node, often generating insecurities that lead to major changes in the path we are following. This conflict between the Nodes' proposals usually happens on our tenth birthday, then at twenty-eight, then forty-seven, and so on.
This influence is particularly significant from the 28th year onwards, during which the powerful energies of the first Saturn Return mark the stressful transition into our maturity.
It is also worth remembering that every 9 years (half of the cycle of the Lunar Nodes), we have the Opposition of the Nodes, where a clash occurs between the North Node, which wants our growth, and the South Node, which wants to keep us in our zone of comfort. This inversion can also have an impact and significant changes, such as puberty, so say those who appreciate lunar noses and can perceive their influence.
In this case, it is always important to remember that the angles, luminaries (Sun and Moon), and personal stars are still very relevant in terms of interpretation and it would be very risky to ignore them. In the same way, interpreting the lunar nodes without an integrated study of the various dispositions of a natal chart is something that one should reflect on, as signs / isolated signs when interpreted in medicine, physics, engineering, economics, or even a "word" interpreted outside of context, can generate distortions and corruption of signs/meanings