From Saturn to Pluto
Most astrologers are familiar with the nodal axis of the Moon, but less attention is given to the fact that planets too have a nodal axis! The nodal axis is constituted of two intersecting point where the planet in question comes to cross the ecliptic. Astrologically, these two points are of paramount importance with regards to describing developmental issues pertaining to the planet’s themes.
We must remember: every planet has a Nodal Axis!
For example, the nodal axis of the Moon reflects emotional development and growth requirements. It doesn’t only describe what the person’s emotional needs may be as the regular Moon does, but what he or she needs to learn and develop emotionally. From an evolutionary perspective, the Moon’s nodes show the nature of past life emotional imprinting, and how that imprinting needs to be developed and balanced during the current life. In this regard, it is common for newborns to instinctively express what the south node of the Moon represents by house and sign, because it is something their soul is familiar with since it is already an integral part of their conditioning.
While the nodes of the Moon are exactly opposite each others, the Nodes of other planets are not necessarily so. The north and south nodes of Mercury and Venus can even be in the same sign, while the nodes of Mars usually trine one another.
I would like to focus exclusively on the nodal axis of the outer planets and of Saturn in this article. The nodal axis of these slow moving bodies progresses extremely slowly; their position varies only slightly in the course of the year relative to the position of the Sun and the ecliptic, and this yearly cycle is repeated year after year. Because their cycle is completely associated with the position of the earth and the sun, it only changes one degree every 72 years, relative to the earth angle to the sun.
Consequently, every living being shares almost the same nodal axis position of planets from Saturn to Pluto, with slight degree changes at different times of the year. Below are the positions of these nodes in the last century:
Saturn south node: from17 Cancer to 28 Capricorn
Saturn north node: from 16 Cancer to 29 Capricorn
Uranus south node: from 10 Sagittarius to 16 Sagittarius
Uranus north node: from 10 Gemini to 16 Gemini
Neptune south node: from 9 Aquarius to 13 Aquarius
Neptune north node: from 9 Leo to 13 Leo
Pluto south node: from 17 Capricorn to 21 Capricorn
Pluto north node: from 18 Cancer to 21Cancer
On a personal level, these nodes significantly influence the individual depending upon where they fall in the chart by house and sign, and even more so if a planet in the chart conjuncts one of them. Yet, since everyone on the planet experiences these nodal positions simultaneously, the personal experiences are echoed en masse and create a collective current. Through these planetary node placements, we can identify evolutionary lessons that affect the collective.
The nodal axis of Saturn and Pluto conjunct in Capricorn and Cancer
At a glance it is extremely revealing to notice that the nodes of Saturn and Pluto are conjunct. To be a little more precise, individuals born with a Sun from Aquarius to Cancer will have the north nodes of Pluto and Saturn conjunct in Cancer, while those born with a Sun from Leo to Capricorn will have the south node of Pluto and Saturn conjunct in Capricorn. We can all agree that having Saturn and Pluto in tight aspect in the chart can be extremely challenging – this configuration can shake the fabric of security on a regular basis, and it rigorously tests a person on questions of integrity and strength of character. While the nodes are not planets, they still significantly embody the energy of the planets; we may say that at some level, the whole world is constantly under a Saturn/Pluto conjunction influence; maybe this can explain the fact that distrust in politicians and leaders is “common currency!”
Let’s explore the implications of the axis being in Capricorn and Cancer. I personally interpret the nodal axis as a need to harmonize between the extremes of the south and the north node. The south node represents what is more familiar, the north node what needs to be learned, and the ultimate challenge is to balance both sides. With a south node in Capricorn the approach to life is rooted in a strong reliance on order provided by society and authority figures; at best this means that people understand their share of responsibility in making society work. At worst, this means that guilt, repression, and fear are common motivating forces on a collective level! The north node in Cancer reflects a need to embrace a gentler and more emotional approach to life; some may call it the return of the feminine or the Goddess following millennia of patriarchal domination.
Interestingly, Pluto was discovered in 1930 just as it conjuncted its own north node in Cancer! Maybe this synchronistic event represents an acceleration of the gender quality themes: the generation born with Pluto in Cancer was among the pioneers of the gender equality movements. Moreover, in 1931 and 1932, Pluto in Cancer opposed Saturn in Capricorn on both their nodal axes! Many political events in these early 30’s years shaped the future of the world as we know it, namely Hitler gaining German citizenship and becoming chancellor of the country, and Mohandas Gandhi being in the midst of his revolution to free India and Pakistan from colonial rule. Both the most venerated and the most despicable leaders of the current era gained credibility and prominence during these critical years.
Between 2019 and 2020, Pluto and Saturn will conjunct each other around the twenty first degree of Capricorn, exactly on their own shared south node positions! Similar to 1931, the planetary nodes will surely add a whole new dimension to this upcoming conjunction. The collective implications are of prime order. We have a few bridges to cross until then, but we can anticipate that radical political shifts will occur; additionally, Saturn and Pluto also refer to Karma being created or being purged. This conjunction may relate to events that will either open new doors for a better world order, or induce extreme vice and corruption; usually it is a combination of both positive and negative extremes.
Let’s keep in mind that both the south and north node need to be balanced for the nodal axis evolutionary lessons to be mastered; with Saturn and Pluto, the Capricorn Cancer polarities reflect a need for both rigor and mercy, or accountability and flexibility. But in a general sense, the Capricorn and Cancer polarity of these nodes describe that the collective is in a process of establishing new foundations for existence of life on earth. Cancer and Capricorn reflect maturation processes. It seems we are in the building phase and work on further defining our identity through the systems we develop. The final product is left to see.
Uranus nodal axis in Sagittarius and Gemini
Uranus nodes in Sagittarius and Gemini describe the development of civilization and urbanization, as well as the important cultural and religious current flows. Uranus was officially discovered in 1781 in relative proximity to its own north node. This was also the time of the industrial revolution which induces urbanization and progress; the move from the country (Sagittarius) to the city (Gemini) is obviously in reference to this axis. The shadow of Uranus is reflected in elitism and the sense of entitlement toward those considered “primitive” and “inferior.” We can attest that the dark side of civilization manifested in the colonization of native cultures and the annihilation of their customs for the presumed “greater good” of cultural development. The nodes of Uranus in Sagittarius and Gemini describe graphically the inclination to impose one’s personal opinions (Sagittarius) of what being civilized means (Uranus) on other cultures (Gemini).
Evolutionarily speaking, the nodes of Uranus in Sagittarius and Gemini reflect the necessity to promote cultural emancipation, freedom of thought, and establish a balance between Truth seeking (Sagittarius) and acceptance of the diversity of perspectives (Gemini). Interestingly, the United States which declared its independence with Uranus in Gemini in proximity to its own north node reflects both the dark side of this axis through the subjugation of Native Americans and slavery, and the positive side through establishing its existence on the promise of democracy and cultural freedom.
More recently, World War II ended with the death of Hitler in April 1945 exactly as Uranus was on its own north node in Gemini. Clearly symbolic of these influences, from that moment on, people were free to think again and follow their religious practice.
In 1985 when Uranus conjuncted its south node in Sagittarius, the interracial marriage ban was lifted in South Africa as a step towards the end of Apartheid. Ronald Reagan and Mikael Gorbachev met for the first time; these were meetings that would eventually culminate in the end of the cold war. Additionally, the Live Aid and USA for Africa cultural events were the first of their kind and scale to unite celebrities for humanitarian causes.
Neptune nodal axis in Aquarius and Leo
The nodes of Neptune in Aquarius and Leo refer to the important development of human creativity through research and inspiration. Creativity allows human beings to develop remarkable capacity and play a greater role in the development of life. With Leo and Aquarius, there is a lesson about participation; one is not meant to be a mere spectator in the play of life but an active contributor through creative expression.
The nodes of Neptune in this regard describe the evolutionary lesson of associating one’s creative effort with a greater spiritual meaning. It incites the individual to realize that his or her personal sense of purpose must be in alignment with the greater good of humanity and life as a whole. Neptune transmutes the personal effort to a transpersonal dimension. This evolutionary lesson implies there is a need for humility and greater perspective when expressing one’s creative potential. It also implies one person’s effort can affect the masses and change the course of humanity.
The south node in Aquarius describes the strong focus on the mind as a creative tool; research has induces the development of science and technology which have allowed human beings to become more independent from the divine. The given capacity of intelligence has provided human beings with better tools to cope with existence and enhance life’s quality. On these bases, civilization can develop and thrive. As more knowledge is gained, the existing tendency is for human beings to gain more control over life processes and to end up feeling superior to the divine, or even denying its existence. The whole relationship between humans and their creator is embodied in this axis.
Transiting Neptune is currently in Aquarius and has just recently hovered over its own south node. The global warming crisis is today the subject of many discussions as each one of us revisits the relationship between humans (Aquarius) and nature or God (Neptune). While debates still rage on as to what are the fundamental causes for global warming, human beings are pressured to reconsider their course of action, productivity, and consumerism; creative efforts (Leo, Aquarius) must be aligned with the larger whole (Neptune), and survival depends on it. Indeed Leo reflects the impulse to fight extinction and keep the flame of life burning.
The north node of Neptune in Leo describes that the point of balance is a heart-centered approach to life; finding one’s purpose and destiny must not limit itself to a mere self-gratifying experience, or worse, a gain of privileges at the expense of others. It is about finding one’s own unique way of caring for life.
This is another issue faced by today’s reality where wealth is unevenly distributed and a disappearing middle class sets the stage for a world of rich masters and poor slaves. This theme seems obvious in the Iraq war which started with Neptune on its own south node in Aquarius opposing Jupiter in Leo on the north node. Yet, the “masters” found themselves caught in the chaos of the rebelling “slaves.”
The US presidential election will occur in November 2008 when the Moon’s nodes will conjunct the nodes of Neptune at 13 degrees Leo, Aquarius. Candidate Obama has his Sun right on that degree, Clinton has her Mars on that degree, and so does McCain! The synchronicity is quite compelling! I will not indulge in predictions about the winner, but simply express the hope that the one who possesses the highest capacity to serve humanity (Neptune south node in Aquarius) through his or her personal sense of destiny (Neptune north node in Leo) ascend to the throne. We certainly could benefit from a leader with profound intelligence (Aquarius) and a heart-centered approach (Leo).
Individual charts and the Planetary Nodes
Many historical figures have planets tightly associated with planetary nodes; for example, President Bush has his Pluto conjunct Neptune’s north node at 10 degrees Leo, as well as his Saturn conjunct Saturn’s north node at 26 degrees Cancer. For better or worse, individuals with these associations can more easily tap into the larger collective currents.
A lot more can be studied and said about the planetary nodes. Only a glimpse is possible through a single article, but maybe enough to arouse the readers’ curiosity and stimulate more research.
© 2008 Maurice Fernandez – all rights reserved
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