Principles on How to Interpret The Moon's Nodes

by Hank Friedman

1. They are always opposite. Because the nodes travel as a pair, always opposite to each other, their themes intermix and cannot easily be separated. But:

2. One node can be emphasized over the other. If one node is in the same sign as a planet, and the other node is not, then that node and its themes are emphasized in the chart.

3. The nodes, being chameleons, easily take on the qualities of planets that influence them. These influences include:

A. The sign the node is in. If they are in the sign of Mercury or Jupiter, or in Libra, or in their own sign (Aquarius for Rahu and Aries for Ketu), then they perform more positively. If they are in the signs Cancer, Leo, or Capricorn, they may be more challenging. If the nodes occupy the Scorpio/Taurus axis, their influence is very exaggerated, for better or worse, depending on what planets aspect them, etc.

B. Planets conjunct a node. In Vedic astrology, a sharp distinction is made between a planet in the same sign as another point (called association) and a planet that aspects another point. When a planet is in the same sign as a node, both the node strongly takes on the qualities of the planet and the planet's effects are exaggerated and/or obstructed.

C. The planets aspecting them. If a node is aspected by Jupiter, Venus, or Mercury, (especially if the aspecting planet is strong), it can give very positive results. If a node is aspected by the Moon, Sun, Saturn, or Mars, on the other hand, disturbances are more likely.

D. The planet disposing them. If the dispositor (ruler of the sign) of the node is in a positive placement, then the node is likely to be more auspicious. If the dispositor is in a challenged position (e.g. combust), the node is likely to be more deleterious in its effects.

E. The nakshatra dispositor. In Vedic astrology, the Lunar Mansions or Nakshatras are very important, and each is ruled by a planet. If the lord of the mansion the Rahu is in is in a good place, Rahu performs better, and vice versa. In addition, since three of the Nakshatras are ruled by each of the nodes, if a node is placed in its own mansion, it becomes stronger.

4. The nodes bring on unexpected events. Since the nodes are the "eclipsers", they also symbolize sudden and unexpected occurrences. Often, during the Dasa (planetary period) ruled by a node, life becomes more unpredictable and variable, with possible sharp rises and/or falls.

5. The nodes give karmic lessons. Both of the nodes teach us about letting go. Rahu has us chasing fulfillment only to show us that we end up wanting more or feeling unfulfilled. Ketu makes us let go of things, and in doing so helps us to develop spiritual detachment and higher values.

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