Jupiter is moving into a square with the nodes of the Moon.
Here are some things to think about:
* The history and use of the nodes of the Moon in traditional astrology is not well known and not well represented in modern forms of astrology. Generally speaking, most astrologers in the modern era of astrology use the nodes as part of a paradigm that suggests that the soul is "evolving" and that the north node teaches us what we're supposed to be moving toward, whereas the south node represents the gifts and karma of the past (things we may be leaving behind as we cultivate the gifts of the north node).
* Traditionally, the nodes were not understood or used in this way. This is not to suggest that they can't or shouldn't be used this way, that's up to each student of astrology to discover for themselves, but it's important to understand how the nodes were traditionally understood and used compared to how they are used today.
* First, it's important to understand that the nodes of the Moon, like the Moon itself, are related to the wheel or cycle of fortune/circumstance/fate and/or the soul's perpetual reincarnation into new forms and bodies through time. The reflective and constantly changing Moon has a long history of being related to these karmic concepts within a variety of esoteric traditions and certainly within the history of astrology. So it's not off base to suggest that the nodes of the moon are related to the karmic path or journey of the soul in the material realm.
* However, it's very important to distinguish exactly how the nodes of the Moon were traditionally understood. In the western tradition, the north node was said to increase both the good and the bad, whereas the south node was said to decrease both the good and the bad. This is an esoteric and a rather cryptic set of ideas about the nodes that can't be taken at face value. One thing is immediately clear, for better and worse, the north node is associated with increase and the south node with decrease.
* For me, this teaching became very clear when comparing these classical teachings about the nodes to the Indian understanding of the nodes. In the Indian tradition, the north node of the Moon, the place in the zodiac the Moon crosses as it moves ambitiously above the ecliptic, was related to the unending hunger, appetite, and desires that perpetuate reincarnation and the complexification or deepening knots of karma. Though it is related to "gain," it is considered a deeply malefic shadow planet (Rahu) because material gains only deepen our enmeshment in the material illusion.The south node, on the other hand, called Ketu, is related to material pain, sorrow, and loss, but is considered more auspicious because it is through material loss, impermanence, and suffering that we draw closer to God. Whereas the south node brings us closer to liberation by teaching us about impermanence, the north node perpetuates the illusions of materiality, and hence future lives, by tempting us constantly with our desires.
* Is this what is meant by ancient western astrologers who said the north node increases both the good and the bad and the south node decreases both the good and the bad? It's a riddle I continue to sit with as I observe the nodal dynamics in my clients' charts. What's certain, for me and in my own practice, is that the north node will never be as simple as "your soul's lessons or where you are supposed to be moving toward." I'm absolutely not convinced that's how the nodes have been used or understood throughout the history of astrology. Worse, I suspect that our love of the "north node lesson," may actually be wrapped up into a kind of spiritual materialism.
* Side note: the mythology surrounding Rahu and Ketu in the Indian tradition is incredibly fascinating. I highly recommend checking it out. I will be doing a workshop on the nodes in the new year and we will be looking at the mythology, so stay tuned!
* But maybe I'm wrong. What I know for sure is that good people, good astrologers, use the symbols of astrology differently, and I trust that the divine can utilize all of us astrologers, for the good.
* Regardless, when Jupiter comes to square the nodes of the Moon it's a really important moment for all of us. Squares to the nodes represent important karmic crossroads. From the standpoint I've outlined above, we will be tempted by delusions of grandeur, growth, desire, and ambition, probably not of the variety that will help us to cultivate healthy detachment from the snare of our ego and its endless hunger.
* At the same time, we might be presented with opportunities to say no to something, to shed excess, to curb or stop our appetites in their tracks, or, with Jupiter, to experience a sense of comfort, ease, and peace within a season of loss, decline, or disintegration.
* It may sound counter intuitive, but Jupiter squaring the south node may present us with opportunities for spiritual growth that come specifically through material loss or material simplification or a healthy level of material detachment.
* On the other hand, it wouldn't be surprising to see Jupiter squaring the north node as an opportunity for rapid development, growth, increased power, success, etc., albeit a variety of success that may eventually complicate our lives far more than we can imagine.
* Still, the basic reality of the lunar nodes would suggest that much of our karmic circumstances are determined by material desires we've had in past lives and desires we continue to have in this life. This could pretty quickly translate into a pretty bleak and condemning view of material reality (in some ways it is just that, and it really can't be any other way). However, in my own practice, it's important to recognize that the sanctification of our material situation happens when we offer our desires and the fruits of our actions in the world back to the divine, constantly, in loving devotion. In this way, I think we avoid the trap of spiritually bi-passing our material existence while still recognizing the trap of our material attachments. This is the middle path of bhakti yoga, as I understand it, outlined by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (it is the main line of yoga philosophy that I personally follow).
* So, the way I'm interpreting this upcoming square of the nodes from Jupiter is in terms of a karmic crossroad. And I'm remembering, what feels good going down often doesn't feel good coming out, whereas what doesn't always feel good going down usually feels a lot better coming out. For example, eating your vegetables as opposed to drinking soda! :)
* Now, I realize that many of my readers may have a totally different take on the nodes. The intention of this post isn't to start "Nodes War 2." I support my colleagues and friends who utilize the nodes differently. The real intention of doing the explaining I've done today is to simply clarify how and why I am interpreting Jupiter square the nodes in the way that I am and what you might expect given this alternate understanding of the nodes.
* I hope you enjoyed today's post. It took me several hours to go back into my research notes and condense and translate this, along with this Jupiter forecast. This is something that I do every single day, as a part of my own devotional practice. And then for the last 40 days of every year, I ask my readers, those that are able, to donate and support my work in the year ahead! You can pick a gift reading when you do so!
Prayer: Teach us to be on guard against the "biggest" and "brightest" of our desires. Teach us to be content with less. Mindful. Humble. Ready to see the big, even in the small.
The Moon is in her rulership in Cancer today, just past last quarter square. Meanwhile Mercury is almost to his station point again, just as the nodes are leaving Libra and Aries after approximately a year and a half being there.
The nodes of the Moon are of course a big subject in astrology right now. Despite the fact that ancient medieval and Hellenistic astrologers, even Vedic astrologers, all looked at the nodes of the Moon slightly differently, they have come to unanimously indicate the direction of spiritual progress (north node) and regress (south node), or the future (north node) and the past (south node), or even the gifts and lessons from past lives (south node) and the evolutionary trajectory of the current incarnation (north node). Since some of these ideas are taken from Vedic astrology we can't say that they have zero basis in the history of astrology, and yet most students of the history of astrology will quickly point out that the modern take on the nodes isn't necessarily rooted in astro history.
The idea of the nodes being related to Karma and past lives, comes primarily from a few key concepts. Let's simplify them for the sake of today's exploration. The nodes of the Moon are thought of in this context as primarily "lunar" in nature, meaning they refer to fate, fortune, the body, circumstances on earth, and the laws of cause and effect or what many modern astrologers loosely call "karma." In this lunar context, even within Vedic astrology, they are part of what bind us to enslavement in material form rather than returning to absorption in the godhead. Even to ancient Vedic astrologers the nodes were considered to be the two severed parts of an eternal serpent demon whose symbolism had to do with the severing of the past and the future from the unified experience of eternity in the present moment. In this respect, though its true that the nodes were related to the evolution of the soul and its liberation, they were both potentially treacherous in their symbolism, as both could be part of the distraction of the soul from its primary goal of god realization. The severed head from the body or the severed body from the head (the nodes of the Moon) were considered possible images of the future or the past tempting us away from the supreme realization.
Aside from the fact that very few modern/western astrologers are devoted students of Hindu mythology or traditional vedic astrology, and therefore might miss the complexities of nodal symbolism and its involvement with an entire karmic cosmology, there are several other reasons we may want to rethink our ideas about the nodes of the Moon.
For starters, do we really like the idea of progressive states of unfolding perfection, disillusionment, or renunciation? Is it possible that this vision of the soul and its life is but one of many possible myths we can participate in? Must it be a universal picture of "how things work?" Is it possible that by participating in this symbolism so unquestioningly that we support a kind of metaphysical fascism? Is it possible that by answering yes to these questions we are participating in only a more exotically disguised hierarchical or patriarchal vision of upward/downward verticality, rank, and progress? Is there really any difference between associating the symbolism of the Moon with a feminine serpent demon that distracts us from God realization and the Christian/biblical story of blaming Eve for the serpent in the garden?
Sometimes I wonder if we haven't simply displaced one form of patriarchal religion for another with our lust of the nodes in modern astrology. Could this lust be an unconscious craving for a freer expression of the feminine in our theory? If so what would that look like?
I don't pretend to have any of the answers to these questions, though my questions are leading. These are the simply the things I've spent a lot of time thinking about in my own studies.
Meanwhile, in other traditional forms of astrology, though the nodes of the Moon were similarly related to fortune, circumstance, the body or environment, they were not overtly discussed in relationship to a karmic schema of soul development. The north node was said to "increase" both the good and the bad, while the south node was said to "decrease" both the good and the bad. Hence the north node in a good house with a good planet would make those areas even better, while the south node in a good house with a good planet would potentially decrease the subjective "goodness" of those areas.
The more I've studied the more I've come to embrace this view of the nodes, primarily because I have no inner commitment or loyalty to the Vedic cosmology, nor to the idea of the evolution of the soul through successive lifetimes of spiritual perfecting. While I love the mythic power of these images and stories, I simply don't seem to care if they are real or not. At some level I keep sensing that all stories the soul loves are real, and may in fact create entire realities for mythic enactment or exploration. For whatever reason, the Hellenistic and Medieval view of the nodes as related to fortune, circumstance, and life on earth, resonates more for me. Indeed I feel the feminine archetype of the Moon has much to do with these general themes. Additionally I enjoy the complexity of the traditional astrological idea that increase and decrease within the world of earthly circumstances can be deceptively beneficial or harmful and must therefore always be read in context.
Anymore I'm almost exclusively interested in astrological ideas or techniques that require a highly contextual reading and interpretation. This has its roots for me in the idea that we're not doing science as astrologers, really, not even "karmic or evolutionary science," but something more like divination. The symbols in a chart (for me) refer to a life that is in some ways bound by the laws and limits of the place and time we appear in..while in other ways the symbols reflect a kind of participatory magic we might enact in order to steer the ship of our life in a direction of our own choosing. Successfully or not, it may depend greatly on the nature of our limitations. Regardless, what this "success" is or may be...really....whose to say? Ancient stoic astrologers, like many sages, seemed to preach a kind of renunciation of our attachment to results...and yet even our ability to embrace a stoic attitude may be bound or determined by circumstances beyond our control.
So last but not least, what does it mean that the nodes are moving into two new signs?
It depends on what your assumptions about the nodes are, and apparently that has a lot to do with a lot of other assumptions we each have to discern for ourselves. Regardless, here are some themes for all of us to think about:
* The north node moving into Virgo will tempt us with the idea that true progress lies in a more detail oriented, pure, and wholesome future...this will be the Eve and Serpent of the next 1.5 years
* The south node moving into Pisces will tempt us to rely on a whimsical, faithful, and romantic attitude for the next 1.5 years...let the details fall into place, things will simply "work out." This is the wisdom of the past, which we can rely on, but which might keep us stuck in something whose expiration date has passed.
* The actual path forward will have to do with learning new skills, becoming highly proficient at something meticulous and well researched, or becoming a devoted worker...singing clean songs as we chop wood and carry water.
* The path backward will involve drugs, addiction, escapism, blind trust or optimism, emotional feel sorry for myselfism, or the insatiable urge for divine bliss...these will distract us from a more earthly, simple, and refined responsibility sitting right in front of us
* It's possible that Virgoan activities will have the tendency to "increase" whatever areas of our lives they touch...increase ego, increase fortune, increase productivity, increase denial...just watch for increase
* It's possible that Piscean activities will have the tendency to "decrease" whatever areas of our lives they touch..decrease ego, decrease fortune, decrease productivity, decrease denial, decrease our ability to do what's right or to benefit from the circumstances arising
Prayer: Nodes of fortune, head and tail of dragon, lunar stories from long ago...may the mysteries of our soul and lunar light increase while our denial of all divine qualities decrease
ENJOY READING THESE DAILY FORECASTS?
Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.