From July 18, 2023, through January 11, 2025, the lunar nodes cross the Aries-Libra axis, with the north node in Aries and the south node in Libra. Nodes aren’t objects in space, but figurative nexus points, like directions on the cosmic compass, indicating where we’ve come from and where we’re headed. Nodes also act as the hosts of ongoing eclipses, making Aries and Libra the primary players in the faceoff of the moment.
Under the proviso of astrology, the Earth is at the center of the solar system, and everything else, even the sun, is in our orbit. To track the sun’s annual revolution through our field of view, astrologers devised an imaginary field known as the ecliptic. Meanwhile, the moon cruises through a more literalistic orbital cycle around the earth, which forms angles to said ecliptic. When these two fields cross, the convergence points are called nodes, with one marking the south and another at the north.
The nodes move retrograde, or backwards, through the signs, completing a revolution over about 18.5 years. They spend about a year and a half in directly opposing signs. In July 2023, the north node retrograde into Aries, with the south entering Libra, where they’ll remain until January 2025, when Pisces and Virgo get their turn. (Oy!)
THE SYMBOLISM OF NODES
The north and south nodes — known often as the head and tail of the dragon, respectively — act as karmic gates. The north node directs us forward, towards the challenges, intersections, or doors which further our evolution. The south node, meanwhile, is the crossing that got us here, either from previous incarnations or old modes of being. Avoid ascribing binary morality to the nodes, as both have plenty to teach us.
In The Book of the Moon, Steven Forrest writes that the south node “carries the essence of prior-life karma that has ripened for you in this present lifetime.” It represents that which is prime for processing, integration, and release. The north node, meanwhile, delivers new crises and gifts, meant to lead us where we’re going. Collectively, then, the placement of the transiting nodes reveals what ideologies, systems of belief, and cultural attitudes must be released — and where new points of view are called forward.
NODES & ECLIPSES
Though Luna and the sun face off monthly during new and full moons, they only hit the nodes, in tandem, approximately every six months. Welcome to eclipse season. Solar eclipses go down at a new moon, when the moon steps in front of the sun and obscures its light from our view. Lunar eclipses arrive on a full moon, as the earth blocks out the moon’s reflective light. Eclipses are blast points in the node saga, with the sun and moon acting as the main fighters (or lovers), bringing the themes of the opposing signs to explosive climax.
THE ARIES-LIBRA NODE CYCLE, EXPLAINED
Let’s meet the opponents. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the singular provocateur who breaks the static, upends the cycle, and launches something new. Aries may act as a heroic liberator or a ruthless individualist. Like it or not, the ram has been cast as one of the stars of the decade, with Saturn and Neptune entering the warlord’s tent in 2025. This likely spells out more martial conflict on the global stage; the exacerbation of “I don’t know who needs to hear this” self-indulgent defensiveness; and, more optimistically, the awakening of new artists, heroes, and visionaries, fighting for the great future to come.
Libra, Aries’ opposite, is ostensibly concerned with peace, love, and social dynamics. The drive towards affirmation for all makes Libra a natural advocate of justice and fair play. And yet, in any comedy of manners, our romantic heroine is thwarted by crippling restrictions of social custom — dogma which binds and excommunicates rather than allowing for change. Libra loves a beautiful system, and would often reward complacency to avoid anarchism.
The system has never felt more locked. In the wake of Saturn’s tour through Aquarius and years of one-size-all unification, those voices which would chart a new course are strangled in committees, culture wars, and blandishments of meaningless inclusivity. The brutal Pluto in Capricorn years have distilled a hopelessness that anything can shake loose from the eye of Sauron, the grip of the corporate monolith. Even superheroes, those socialist, utopian gods of modern myth, more often than not, are tools of the machine. Among many corrupt leaders on the world stage, the Libras BB Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin are betting on our addiction to the static, and fear of change, so that they can get away with anything. Meanwhile, in the U.S., media overlords keep the Novocaine drip of algorithmic entertainment on a 24/7 loop, while exploiting and underpaying creators. The Riddler has created the perfect maze, from which no one can escape.
THE NORTH NODE IN ARIES: YOUR CALLING
To embrace the higher vibration of Aries — and not fall further into defensiveness and selfishness — we will have to purify our personal missions. In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the fire prince Zuko is driven by shame, fear, and warped masculinity. He can manipulate fire, but only by activating a rage that will inevitably burn through him. His prey is the airbender Aang, who refuses to wield the flame, staying small and ineffective, so as not to cause harm. Inevitably, both bring fire — the choice element of Aries — to harmony; Zuko dedicates his drive towards restoring the honor of his family, and Aang embraces the power of fire as a creation. “All this time, I thought firebending was destruction,” Aang says. “But now I know what it really is: it’s energy, and life.”
At the dawn of the Age of Aquarius, our instincts to battle, rebel, create, destroy, and awaken have been sublimated. What are the options? Take a brave stand against something you deem offensive, for a fleeting moment of public esteem? Or, is it the grim opposite: to troll, and make a joke of anything that could be real or raw? Is this it, for the rest of your life?
The north node in Aries inspires conflict, cataclysm, and devastation. Your choice is to awaken a new reality through your individual field of influence. If you accept your heroic calling, you’ll likely have to break out of old and stagnated friend groups. Do you really care if you go to your sorority sister’s wedding? Is that really how you want to invest your vital life forces? You’ll choose relationships that challenge you, even if it means going at it alone until they arrive. And you’ll have to examine all the ways you’ve played the role of victim to avoid the messy truth of mutual harm. Like Zuko, you’ll contemplate a higher ethos to your life’s work.
And then, the real saga begins. You have the chance to access your creative potential, detoxified of the venom of past influences. You’ll know what you stand for — and if you don’t, you’ll believe that one day, you may find it. You’ll find a way to feel vital, useful, and happy to get dirty for what you believe in. This era introduces us to our new AI masters, along with legions of new villains, eager to assert nihilism and cruelty. This node cycle, and these eclipses, seek to return you to your pumping bloodstream, your lust for life, and the work which is only yours to do. Avoid petty feuds, and choose noble battles. We’ll need you when sh*t gets real.