Synastry Studies: The Nodes–An Introduction

You’ll see as we move on that I use the Nodes a great deal, particularly in synastry. Experience has taught me that the Nodes are active, vital, almost magnetic points in the chart, and behave much the way the angles do, drawing in experience and processing it. However, where the angles are primarily about identity, the Nodes have a different task. The Nodes are the gateway between our past and our present. The Nodes represent nothing less than the evolution of our consciousness. Anything that touches them directly, whether within a chart or between charts, helps us to evolve.

We often forget, in discussing the Nodes, that the Nodes we commonly refer to are the Nodes of the Moon. (Other planets have Nodes, too, which you can discover on all the major astrology programmes.) So we must begin at the beginning, with the Moon. The Moon sums up all we have arrived with in this life, all we have been, done, thought, experienced. It represents our essential Self, in this lifetime and many others (If you’re inclined to believe that way; it isn’t necessary). The Moon represents our body, and the way our body reflects our consciousness, our prior experiences. It contains our psychic sheath, our aura, our chakras and energy points, our physical and metaphysical selves. It is the summing up of all that we are and all that we have been. It is our primary consciousness, and all that we carry within our inner world, both conscious and unconscious. It isn’t too difficult to see why, to the Greeks, the Moon represented Soul.

In our lives, this lunar energy works hand in hand with the Sun. The Sun is the engine of our being and becoming. It creates and consolidates experience for our growth. It moves us forward. Throughout our lives, our Sun and our Moon are in a dialogue, even if there are no aspects between them. (With no aspects, the phasal relationship between the Sun and the Moon becomes more important, as does the progressed Soli/lunar cycle– progressed Sun and progressed Moon creating progressed new moons, full moons, squares, etc.) The Nodes represent this dialogue between past and present, what we’ve been and what we will be. As we mature, the Moon incorporates the experiences the Sun has created, and we move on.

Technically the Nodes indicate the points where the orbit of the Moon crosses the ecliptic, the path of the Sun. The symbolism is clear. The South Node is reflective of the Moon’s past, in both positive and negative manifestations. The North Node symbolizes where we need to grow, what type of understanding and energy we need to bring in and develop. The South Node, like the Moon, is familiar and comfortable on the whole, even with difficult things affecting it–we are comfortable with that discomfort. The North Node is where we have to do our work, what we have to take in, what we need to learn in order to grow. The rulers of both the South and North Nodes tell us more about the story of where we came from and where we’re going. As we will see, it isn’t always an easy ride. Deeply entrenched patterns may be difficult to change, preventing our growth. Our identity may be so tied up with the South Node that we can’t move beyond it. Challenges to the South Node ruler will make the transition even more difficult, and often describe the very thing that is blocking our progress. Planets affecting the North Node ruler will either help or hold us back on our path, and may slow us down considerably. (Some of this dynamic was described in the piece about Anthony Perkins, “The Man Who Was Norman Bates.”

There are a lot of good books on the Nodes out there, so I won’t bother getting into much detail about Nodes in signs and houses. But we will examine some of these Nodal ‘stories’ via rulership, and in particular, their relevance in synastry. Because the Nodes belong to the Moon and involve its relation to the Sun, they directly reflect the soli/lunar dynamic of male/female, yin/yang, earth/sky. They are, in fact, about the way we relate, the way we give and take, the way we unite, and are related symbolically to the conjunction of the Sun and Moon. Often the most telling thing about the Nodes is that they describe the way we interact with others. They are about the way we find balance through ‘other.’

In synastry, contacts to the Nodes and the nodal rulers are acute and intense. They can act like a magnet to draw the most unlikely people together in the most unlikely circumstances. One of the most powerful contacts is Nodes conjunct angles. I have read research that claims that the most common contact in long term marriage is Node/angles. I’ve certainly seen enough evidence in synastries to know that, whether they are marriage indicators or not, Node/angle contacts are often present in the most profound relationships. It makes sense. When the Moon’s Nodes conjunct angles, psycho-spiritual development and integration is unavoidable. My developing identity is forever tied intertwined with your spiritual integration. We have a different objective, but the same path.

So, how do the Nodes play out in relationships? Over the next few weeks we will do some exploring, and discover the relationship dynamics of the Nodes both within charts and between them.