The Crucible and The Wheel: The Transiting Nodes–An Introduction


We talk about transits a lot in the astrological world.  We blame the planets for a lot of things, mostly tongue-in-cheek but sometimes not so much, especially where the outer planets are concerned.  Those of us who are more psychologically oriented are always saying that the planets are within us, but then you come to those times, like our recent Pluto/Uranus square, where a transit seems to affect every person in a real way in real life, according to its placement in the chart.  I don’t know anyone who has come out of the past year and a half unscathed by painful and profound change in some area. The planets/archetypes are both within us and without us, the outside reflected within, affecting all sentient beings.

I have to admit to not buying into transits, let alone progressions, in the very beginning of my studies.  This is back when I was a kid of 14 or so.  My third house Scorpio Saturn was always testing received knowledge.  I could understand how we carry the stamp of the universe at birth, but had real doubts that the moving universe could keep tweaking us along the way, like a fussy valet always brushing our shoulders, straightening our tie and polishing our shoes (sorry, too much Downton Abbey lately).

But of course, the concept of the wheel within the wheel makes sense—we move forward in space and time, and astrology acts as a wheel within a wheel, the moving universe reflecting the unfolding potential of the natal chart as it evolves.  It’s a very short step from transits to progressions, where the natal chart is moved forward on its own personal journey from the day of birth, each day after birth reflecting one year, one spin of the earth around the Sun; it reflects our own, personal relationship with the universe as we sculpt out the trials and triumphs of our evolutionary journey.

I also admit to finding progressions more revealing than transits.  A transit will tell you what is going on but the progressed chart, if you know how to read it properly, will tell you why and why now.  The progressed chart shows how the movement of the universe relates to your personal growth, whereas transits hit your natal chart in a cyclical but arbitrary way, not taking into consideration what you have been through in your life and/or how you have grown.   (And make no mistake, transits to a progressed chart are hotter than transits to the natal, except for the natal angles or the Sun or Moon.)  But it is my work with progressions, and timing within the progressed chart, that brought me face to face with the most powerful heavenly movement that occurs—one that doesn’t get talked about much.  I’m talking about transits and progressions to and by the lunar Nodes.

It was shocking to me, at the beginning of my studies, how powerful the transiting  Nodes are, both in the natal and progressed charts.  A good astrologer can time the major events in a person’s life just by looking at exact aspects to the natal and progressed Nodes.   Students in my Progressions One class have been amazed and humbled, over and over again, by the beauty of the universal timing in just this one factor.

I have explored elsewhere in this blog what the Nodes are, what they represent, and how they work within a natal chart.  (The entire series begins here with an introduction and follows on in five parts.) But the true magic and poetry of the Nodes is revealed in movement.  Stephen Arroyo has famously said that the Progressed Sun is the hour hand the the Progressed Moon the minute hand on the clock face of our lives.  I would add, without doubt or hesitation, that the transiting Nodes are the second hand.

We will be exploring the transiting Nodes as they move around our charts and unveil our potential.  In particular, we will be focusing on the Nodal Axis in relation to itself by transit—the conjunction (the famous Nodal returns), the opposition to itself (which I like to call a flop) and the Nodes square themselves, which usually brings a major turning point in life.

In Part One, next time, we will discuss the Nodal cycle.  NEXT

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