Among 2022’s best astrological events are the spring and autumn eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio. The positioning of the eclipses corresponds to the lunar nodes, two shifting axes which signify a whole lot of cosmic data. As points on your star chart and in transiting astrology, nodes yield all sorts of interpretations, dealing with karma and consciousness. What are nodes and how do they affect not only your personal astrology, but the big-picture events of the year? We break down the history and calculation of the moon’s nodes, their positioning on the Taurus-Scorpio axis, and how they’ll hit you hard come eclipse season.
Though we know that our solar system is heliocentric, with all planets orbiting the sun, much of traditional astrology works on a geocentric assumption, which situates the earth, and therefore us, at the center of the cosmic drama. And so the supposed orbital path of the sun as seen from earth is called the ecliptic, which is given its own calculated field, like a sonar in old submarine movies. Meanwhile, the moon, which actually orbits the earth, has its own path, at an incline from the ecliptic. The points of meeting between the two fields on an axis are called nodes, with the one intersection at the northern and one at the southern latitudes. If this feels heady, that’s because it is. Nodes aren’t like planets — they can’t be seen. They represent points of crossing and clashing, of gates opening and closing.
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 January 2022, the north node retrograded into Taurus, with the south entering Scorpio, where they’ll remain until July 2023, when Aries and Libra get their turn. All 2022 eclipses, therefore, will go down on the Taurus-Scorpio spectrum (more on that later).
The nodes represent different polarities of consciousness: the north speaks to destiny, futurity, and imminence; the south, meanwhile, processes what we know. In Astrology and the Authentic Self, Demetra George traces the mythological ascriptions of meaning to the nodes, which are commonly referred to as the Dragon’s Head (north) and Dragon’s Tail (south). In the ancient Babylonian creation myth, the hero Marduk defeats the dragon Tiamat, whose “head and tail subsequently formed the upper and lower hemispheres of the world.” A similar world dragon arrives in Hindu mythology, whose head is called Rahu and tail becomes Ketu.
Thus the north node directs us in the direction of Rahu, or the Dragon’s Head. What does it seek to consume in this lifetime? More broadly, the north node indicates where you are going, what you are seeking, and where your higher destiny lies. This is Jane Eyre showing up for work at Thornfield Hall, and Kiki and Jiji hitching it to a brand new town in Kiki’s Delivery Service. Wherever the north node lands in your chart, it speaks to a focus of direction, where a higher vibration of consciousness or sense of arrival awaits.
Ketu, or the dragon’s tail, meanwhile, digests, processes, and releases what we already know. 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.” Your south node, therefore, doesn’t necessarily indicate lower consciousness, but that which you already know and are ready to complete. This could speak to the gifts, talents, or relational dynamics which come easily to you, or which don’t necessarily offer anything new. For Cher in Moonstruck, Johnny Cammareri likely vibrates by the south node, while his brother Ronny, like it or not, hits the north node, and the gates to Loretta’s destiny.
NODES AND ECLIPSES
Though the moon and sun face off monthly during new and full moons, they only hit the nodes, in tandem, approximately every six months. Enter eclipses, which George writes, can only occur “at a new or full moon when the moon is also conjoined to one of the lunar nodes.” As the nodes represent the intersections of multiple orbits, eclipses lock the sun, moon, and earth into alignment. 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 come on a full moon, the earth blocks out the moon’s reflective light.
So eclipses then symbolize an immediate and uncanny showdown between the sun and moon, with the earth directly in the balance. The nodes represent where the collective and personal consciousness is directed and from where it is moving on. As the two most direct heavenly bodies hit the nodes, they activate the themes of their respective polarizing signs, unleashing shadows and revelations long-buried.
THE NODES IN 2022
From January 2022 through much of July 2023, the north node moves through Taurus, with the south in Scorpio. Taurus is the sign of ownership, self-worth, and individual value, the sign of form and embodiment. The bull rules the Appollonian discourse in which we can design our own aesthetic and symbolic meaning. Scorpio burns away the self and plunges it into the abyss; into the Dionysian, animalistic, and transformational truths, a sign tuned into the primordial powers and relationships which define us.
As the United States hits its Pluto Return, a culmination of years of exhumed abuses, many of us are reckoning with our own histories of power hierarchies, gaslighting, and waking up from the matrix. Since the bombshell exposure of Harvey Weinstein (when Jupiter entered Scorpio, in 2017), we have watched as buried, or silenced, atrocities have been brought to light, from sexual violation at the hands of Supreme Court judges to widespread police brutality. This awakening, as it were, is the work of Scorpio, the snake in the garden of Eden, sent to deliver us to truth, no matter how ugly.
As the north node progresses into Taurus, however, we are invited to regroup from the devastation. Scorpio and its ruling planets, Mars and Pluto, fulfill the necessary karmic work of destruction. Venus, the ruler of Taurus, is the effigy of fertility. It’s time to put the pieces together, and create something new. How do you wish to shape your identity your sense of value? The Taurus north node acts as a referendum to the dominating belief that the world is doomed. Instead, it asks us to focus on building it back up again, starting with our personal domain: How do you want to earn money? What are you worth? What are your standards of emotional and physical integrity?
The first eclipse wave goes down with a partial new moon solar eclipse in Taurus, on April 30, and a full moon total lunar eclipse in Scorpio, on May 16. These two will crack open any final seals in your personal hellmouth, and reveal the ways you’ve bought into familial, workplace, social, or romantic hierarchies of power. Any score long kept, by the body or otherwise, is meant to come to the surface and correct the imbalances in your self-worth. The second round arrives on October 25, with a new moon partial solar eclipse in Scorpio, and on November 8, with a full moon total lunar eclipse in Taurus. Cleanse, confront, and chart a course ahead. There’s no one standing between you and power anymore.