The Arizona Astrologer Reprint

Reprinted from the March 1993 Arizona Astrologer

The Nodal Axis

Jeffrey Wolf Green

Scribe: Patrick Hesselmann

This material comes from Saturday workshop on the lunar nodal axis. It was revealed in a dream Jeffrey had in the wee hours of Saturday morning just before the workshop. The article has been slightly edited.


The nodal axis and the Moon in a natal chart deal with the ego. Jeffrey likens the ego to the lens in a movie projector. We can have the movie, the projector, the lamp, the screen, and everything in great shape. If the projector has no lens, we have no image. If we have no ego, we make no impression on our surroundings. No ego, no life. So the objective of spiritual growth is not to get rid of our egos but to refine them and add to them so we can live more closely to our souls requirements.

The ego might be considered to be the sum of the material plane, time-space experiences we have accumulated to date, which Jeffrey calls the egocentric structures, the energy patterns we have developed and stored. Those we came in with, the already accumulated patterns or ego structures, are represented by the South Node, the self-image from past lives and experiences.

By way of contrast, Jeffrey commented that the ascendant, which many people define as the self-image, is really the instinctual projection on the world. People get feedback about their ascendant. How many Scorpio ascendants have not been told they are too intense? It is what they instinctually project on others and the world.

The Moon is the current ego as well as the process by which the moment-to-moment experiences of life and integrated into and stored in the energy patterns that will emerge as next lifes South Node.

The North Node is the future version of the ego towards which we are moving. The sum of the South Node and this lifes experiences should, theoretically, give us this North Node as next lifetimes South Node. But this may be an unrealistic expectation. The ego is not a free-standing creation of the moment. Rather, it is part of the overall whole. Its nature is energy, just as the nature of thought is energy.

The South Node is the past ego understanding we have accumulated. It identifies the prior life structures (experiences, energy patterns) created by the soul to facilitate its own self-actualization. Its placement by house and sign define how that experience expresses in this life. For example, the South Node in Libra indicates that the soul has come in with a structure around relationship: a need to be needed. In the past it has used relationship as a way of creating a self-identity. The person will see themselves as a relating person. This will be their self-identity no matter how others see them.

Lets place that Libran South Node in the 8th house. Now we add a dimension of self-understanding. The person sees himself or herself as developing self-understanding (8th house) through relating and intimacy (Libra).

Now add Venus Rx in the 6th house in Leo. Here is a dimension of work and service. The 6th house deals with the feeling of being a servant in life, of being inferior to those of the 5th house and Leo temperament. Having 6th house planets is like being at the bottom of an inverted pyramid. This is a self-analytical placement, very likely with components of self-criticism. Delusions of unimportance replace Leos delusions of grandeur. Finally, those 5th and 6th house extremes find balance in the 7th house. Given that this Venus is also in Leo, we are also dealing with a narcissistic approach to the delusions of unimportance. Lets be sure that we admire how unimportant we are and that the world knows that.

With the ruler of the South Node being Venus, we are also dealing with our desire structure. What are my values around the process of gaining self-knowledge? I value an analytical approach that digs down deep (retrograde signature) to my real nature. By analyzing others (Libra), I can better understand myself (South Node in the 8th house) on a deep level. The fact that those others may feel they are standing in front of an X-ray machine (South Node in 8) is not my problem. Im here to learn about myself through analyzing you. Venus is in Leo, so its ok for me to expect you to serve me at the same time that I may be serving you.

Add a square to Venus from Jupiter in the 9th house in Scorpio. Now we need to pull in elements of truth (9th house) about what Venus is dealing with. This, we just decided, is the analysis of our own nature, ego, and desire structure. Jupiter in Scorpio will intensify the search for the truth about my own nature, still by analyzing you.

Finally, toss in a conjunction of Uranus with Venus. This creates a need to break apart existing conditions, as well as being a group of one, which repeats themes from the 8th house of self-analysis. There will also be an element of unpredictability as Uranus triggers responses in its own way.

So we have a self-view of ourselves as learning about ourselves through others in an unpredictable way, combining our need to serve others with our need to be served. Charm and intensity play in through the Libra, 8th house, and Scorpio themes. Truth is an essential ingredient in the analytical process: Jupiter in the 9th. And all of it has been developed prior to this life. It constitutes the self-view, coming from the old, familiar self with which we are comfortable. This is the thought-free, instinctual person we are when our patterns just emerge.

Planets conjunct the South Node can deal with processes we have not finished learning. We are repeating the past life conditions of the planet, house, sign combination. This can be very frustrating. Or they may be gifts that have been thoroughly developed, special resources we can draw on to help our progress. But even this can be frustrating, because we are still blocked in this area from reaching the North Node.

The North Node is the future self-view, an egocentric structure the soul is creating for future use.

The Moon is the current life ego, the self-image in its totality. It is a portrait of the imprinting that took place in infancy, a record of origin issues, a definition of your current life philosophy, an inner security and environment statement.

For example, the Moon in Virgo speaks of one or both parents being critical. So now, you have that characteristic. You got what you needed, and now you need to use that as the present which you move through to get to the future the North Node.

Moon in Pisces deals with open inner boundaries. It is almost as though the movie projector lens has been removed, leaving an extremely diffuse image. I can make myself anything I want, take on any identity in my vicinity. The Pisces Moon develops its proper identity when it embraces a spiritual reality. Until this is clearly defined, the Pisces Moon can feel very weak. I need to find my purpose and nature through the strongest part of my nature and chart. Jupiter, as ruler of the Moons sign, can provide that compensation.

The Moon represents our emotions. This is not the same as the feelings represented by Venus. Feelings are an instinctual reaction to a stimulus. Emotions are a reaction to the feeling. The emotion can often be more intense than the feeling. For example, say you have Venus in Libra. Your partner comes home and says that he or she is attracted to X and wants to explore the possibilities. Venus in Libra can relate to that and wants the partner to feel comfortable, wants the partner to like them. So your initial response is, Go ahead.

Now give that Venus in Libra a Scorpio Moon. The next thing that happens is that you want to kill the partner.

Consider the South Node in Sagittarius, North Node in Gemini, and Moon in Pisces. The South Node in Sagittarius gives a self-image of independence, emotional honesty, truth, and openness. Though the individual may not immediately recognize it, there is a tendency to recognize only a part of the whole truth, a specialized view of what I believe in.

Now add the North Node in Gemini. This is the self-image we are moving toward: more communication, a broader perspective of what truth is, an opening up of the self-view. This will come about through dealing with a greater diversity of people than the Sagittarian South Node did. Some of the new information will come from people who have a clear tendency to speak with a forked tongue.

The Moons process is that of being in the moment and integrating the current lifes experiences into egocentric structures that feed the future self-image (North Node). The Pisces Moon does that by being open. So when the forked-tongue devils come around, we may not recognize what is happening and remain just as open to them as to other influences. And so this individual absorbs all the influences in migrating from the past self-image of emotional openness and honesty to the broader, more encompassing self-view of Gemini, even if the truth gets distorted (compromised) as it gets broadened.

If we were to substitute a Scorpio Moon for the Pisces Moon, the transition process would be quite different. There would be a strong element of suspicion, a fear of too much self-revelation what Jeffrey calls an emotional flak-jacket. This is in strong contrast to the Pisces Moon, with its openness to all emotional probes and energy coming toward it. And so the process of moving to the Gemini North Node through the Scorpio Moons in-the-moment integration would be to shut out the emotional penetration of the energy coming toward them, but also to learn about it through examining it with Scorpios ruthlessness and intensity.

And so the South Node, Moon, and North Node imitate the process of life: The past (South Node) being integrated through the present moment and reality (Moon) into the unfolding future (North Node). One might even regard this as the time process of life, the filter that allows us to move moment-by-moment down an axis or dimension that, in another reality, is a dimension perceivable like distance is in ours. And this moment-by-moment unfolding of life is what makes this physical realm so unique as a reality-system to cause and allow specific elements of spiritual growth to occur.

The variations brought to this process in each individuals life is what allows each soul to develop its own pattern of evolution for the physical plane learning it needs and desires.

Planets conjunct the North Node are opposed to the South Node, indicating that they are things we have accessed in the past and toward which we are still evolving. Jeffrey uses an orb of 10 for conjunctions to the nodes.

For example, Uranus conjunct the North Node tells of a continuing need to liberate oneself completely from all prior ego patterns. This might be aimed at uncovering ones true nature after it had been disguised by overlays of past habits and distortions from things not particularly well executed. The result could be the Clear Lake of Taoism or the Diamond Nature of Buddhism, which are not particularly well received in societys normal operations but which the soul may value considerably.

Recognize that individuation, which is the process of life, may become more dramatic with a signature like Uranus conjunct the North Node. Individuation in any form, let alone with a Uranus-North Node conjunction, is a tweak of societys tail. Society, to be at all stable, needs strong norms and expectations of the individual. The individual, to follow his or her own process of individuation, needs to do what is right for himself or herself. This is unlikely to be totally aligned with societys expectations. So the system has built-in conflict, which produces growth. If I live within societys expectations, I frustrate my own growth pattern and needs, which will eventually force me to move ahead with my growth. If I do break out from societys norms, I will find myself in conflict with its pressures. This, in turn, will force me to be sure that I truly believe in what I am espousing. Its basically a no guts, no growth process.

Nodal Transits

Transits of the nodes mark an 18-year cycle. The first 18 years are lived in the mode of the natal imprinting. The first nodal return is a kick in the pants, telling you to start making your own choices. The second nodal return marks a period when one can see and plan how to live out the life ahead, if one is sufficiently conscious. The nodal returns occur at ages 18, 36, 54, 72, and 90.

The inverse return (transiting North Node conjunct natal South Node) occurs at ages 9, 27, 45, 63, 81 and 99. It allows the personal future to interface with the past. This may bring closure to issues of the past through the immediacy of current events. Each of these ages is, numerologically, a 9: completing a phase of the life.

Nodal transits to planets bring expression of the past and developing ego through the nature of the planet. It is impossible to have a transit from one node without simultaneously having one from the other node. For example, transiting North Node conjunct natal Venus in the 11th could bring a parting of the ways with old friends, possibly through uncovering issues of the past (South Node issue). It could also bring one into contact with those in groups or as new friends that one will next do some developmental work with (North Node issue).

Another example: A man has natal Mars conjunct the North Node in the 1st and Uranus conjunct the South Node in the 7th, both squaring the Moon in the 4th. This speaks of anger (Mars) from abandonment issues around family situations in the past. The need for freedom in the past may have created dynamics of impatience and frustration that brought about abandonment and unfulfilled relationships (1-7 axis). So in this life, he has raised eight stepchildren in three blended families, and two natural children. When a recent inverse nodal return took place, his current wife became violent towards his children, slapping them around. His response was to throw her out. Within a very short period, another relationship from the past, with children included, had developed and he was in the process of working out more unfinished business.

Relationship Charts and the Nodes

The nodes play into synastry and composite charts as well. Synastry charts are maps of how individuals interact with each other as individuals. A composite chart is a map of how the relationship, as an entity of its own, works out.

The nodal axis in synastry deals with how the individuals have interacted in the past and what is being dealt with now as one interacts with the other. Look for contacts between the axis of one and the planets, angles, or nodal axis of the other, as well as the nodal placement by house in each others charts.

For example, lets say Mr. As South Node conjuncts Ms. Bs Moon in Sagittarius in Bs 8th house. This indicates that they have probably been family before (Moon conjunct South Node). The relationship may well have been very close and intense, particularly in Bs experience (her 8th house). The sign Sagittarius may indicate a common heritage of nomadic culture. This could be the basis of finding the U.S. and Western culture in general abhorrent and a significant point of relating to each other.

The contrast between the 8th house and the Sagittarius placement could indicate that in the past, relationships were too intense and close, quite likely as a protective mechanism, causing breakdown and flight to the freedom of Sagittarius. So when they re-contact each other in this life, there may be an intense and psychological basis of communication as the relationship starts, with themes of codependency emerging from the past mutual protection.

In this case, we note that Mr. As North Node is in Gemini in Ms. Bs 2nd house. This gives an indication that the relationship, from Bs perspective, is toward greater independence and self-worth, and that A will help her to manifest that through the direction of his ego evolution of a broadening perspective. This will require considerable communication to deal with the insecurity caused by new experiences as they try to move away from past tendencies to be overly dependent on each other.

If we saw the same pattern in a composite chart, the themes would have much the same interpretation but would relate to how the relationship is developing and what kind of relationship has existed in the past. Consider the South Node conjunct the Moon in Sagittarius in the composite charts 8th house, North Node in Gemini in the 2nd house.

This would be an indication that the type of relationship they were accustomed to in the past was intense and symbiotic, quite likely family oriented. The desire of the current relationship would be toward a less codependent tendency with greater communication and more capability to generate the security of the relationship by generating in the individuals a dynamic of self-sufficiency. There might still be a value placed on the previous nomadic, natural law orientation of the Sagittarius. But this would tend to bring a greater independence rather than the codependency of the past. Slips into codependency would tend to cause discomfort. This, in turn, would activate the Gemini North Node in the 2nd. So communication would be a natural way to work out the difficulties.

But recognize that one couple would not exhibit both the synastry and composite characteristics, so there would not be much confusion as to whether we were dealing with individual or relationship factors.