The Moon's North and South Nodes are not planets but are extremely important in astrology. These sensitive points, indicate where the Moon's path around Earth crosses the ecliptic (the belt through which the Sun and planets appear to travel from our perspective on Earth). To really understand how to work with the nodes I like to embrace their mythology. My favorite myth comes from Vedic Astrology, western astrology does apply some differences in the significance of the node. However, the mythology really does justice to the archetypes that both of these points play in our destined path.
The Birth of the unquenchable Dragon
Rahu & Ketu and the Churning of the Ocean
The story of the time before creation as told in the Puranic texts. After the end of a horrible and painful war, the Gods decided to eliminate evil. The believed that evil did not have a place in the universal order. The decided to churn the ocean milk to create a drink of magical powers. They made several attempts resulting in different gifts to humanity but unsuccessful in creating the elixir. We are well aware that the law of the universe requires a balance such as ying and yang, positive and negative, masculine and feminine, light and dark, and good and evil. With this in mind they knew they needed help of someone to churn the ocean. They had no choice than to seek the help of the serpent dragon demon to churn the galactic material with them. Although, the demon was not good, they acknowledged that he brought value and could help in accomplishing the daunting task. One can not exist with out the other, as above so below. The point here was that the Gods (light) needed the Demon (bad) to help in creating the nectar of immortality, Amrita. The Gods did not intend to share this ambrosial drink with the demon and did not make him aware either.
After the successful collaboration between yang and yin and the creation of the immortality nectar, the Gods through a celebration. All of the Gods were to drink of this nectar to become immortal. The Sun (king) and Moon (queen) being the honored guests were sharing the cup of life when a sneaky demon disguised as a God snuck in to the party. Upset that he had not been invited to celebrate and enjoy his hard work. He also desired to be immortal. Once there he noticed the beautiful Venus (Lakshmi) was performing her scared dance which aroused the demon. In the heat of the moment he reveals his dragon 🐉 tail right before sipping the cosmic drink as he stared mesmerized by Venus, when the Sun ☀️ gets alerted by the Moon 🌙, as the Moon spotted the dragons tail . The Sun swiftly throws a golden disk towards the demons neck to sever his head. The demon could not become immortal as this will ruin the Gods plans. However, was too late the demon has tasted a drop of the nectar and was now split in two immortal parts. There lay the demon who swore his revenge on the Sun ☀️ and Moon 🌙 to forever chase them and Eclipse their light and to one day reunite his severed body to become the promised ruler. To prevent this promise or curse from manifesting, the Gods needed to give his body a place in the cosmic universal order, as the demon was now an immortal being like the Gods. They so appointed a place and was honored in the skies but with a great distance so that he may never be able to reunite his body ever again. The Gods appointed the moon to key a watchful eye on him and his whereabouts. The nodes would forever chase the Sun, Moon, and Earth and express their rage and vengeance.
Rahu (North Node) is the head of the serpent demon without the body. Ketu (South Node) is the tail without the head. Each planet is an expression of our own divine consciousness. The nodes bring together Earth (body), Sun (soul) and Moon (mind), making them among the most influentially important points in our natal horoscopes. Rahu can also represent the impulse to create new karma and to experience more, while Ketu represents the impulse to finish old karma and to experience less through liberation.
The Nodal Archetype in Astrology
Rahu is the advancing force that can see the direction but isn’t able to coordinate movements without Ketu, the detached body. He has an unquenchable thirst without the ability to digest and process his actions. He is responsible for obsessions and desires that push us to our limits. Wherever Rahu is placed in our charts, points to uncharted territory in which we are ready to explore no matter the cost. The desire to indulge will be deceived by the house, sign, and planets near Rahu. Hu hides Ra, the creative vibration. Ra is the giver, the one who bestows life. Hu is to eat but also to offer or present to the sacrificial fire, Ra. The life force is offered back to Agni, the fire of consciousness.
Ketu is the mastered force. He governs things we have learned and can be considered talents. The mastered path as it can express with out eyes open, he navigates life with eyes closed due to his missing head. Ketu‘s placement offers contempt, wisdom, non-attachment, and ultimately liberation or moksha.
The natal placement of our nodes, the Rahu/Ketu axis, provides insight on the individuals mission to reunite the demon dragon. His strength was so strong that without him the nectar of immortality would not have been created. Your personal expression of strength, belonging, power, and liberation lies in the reunification of the South Node and North Node.
This axis tells more about what we absolutely must do so we may be freed from worldly desire. The nodal axis travels through the zodiac signs changing once every year and a half. Wherever they are transiting is also an opportunity to focus on that highlighted axis. Rahu and Ketu are not necessarily easy and can create confusion, misdirection, greed, and overindulgence. Rahu’s domain is the confusion of greed, ignorance, and overindulgance; Ketu’s territory is the confusion of intuition, standstill, and addiction. Conclusion
The reunification work of the dragon happens on Gaia. As shown in the illustration above, the division of Rahu and Ketu is intercepted by Gaia Earth while the Sun and Moon guard the paths. The karmic work is handed down to human beings as a duty. Those whom complete the task will reach liberation or moksha and those who don’t continue to reincarnate via Kama, Artha, and Dharma until they master their worldly ties and reach Moksha.
The study and understanding of Astrology, has gifted me purpose. Learning astrology and navigating life through my natal chart has activated my personal desire to reconnect my nodes. Astrology is far from simplistic, it‘s an embodied spiritual practice which ignites our path to life purpose, wisdom and liberation.
To check out what area of life Rahu and Ketu are currently expressing expansion and liberation check out my FREE birth chart calculator and grab a copy of your natal chart.
Watch this video on the Nodes Mythology.