The word “dragon” is full of descriptive meaning. It provides a key to further understanding the nodes astrological significance and to clear up a few of the riddles that are found in older astrological literature.
As we are dealing with a profound mythological image the first thing we need to do is form our own picture of what happens during a solar eclipse. Here the phenomenon as it presents itself is of great significance. A solar eclipse is both awesome and uncanny. At first the Sun is slowly eaten away by the dark disk of the Moon. At the moment of occultation it becomes eerily silent and the spectator finds himself engulfed by a shadow that seemingly moves across the landscape. This shadow is the body of the dragon who has eaten the Sun. The pathway of this shadow is serpentine.* Already at this basic level we see that there is an initimate connection between the head and tail of the dragon with the Sun, Moon and the Earth.
Now that we have the basic situation let us go a level deeper. The Sun is the image of cosmic love and intelligence, simply said, God. Bernardus Silvestris (approx. 1085-1178) gives a beautiful description of the Sun in his “Cosmographia”:
“Among the Usiarchs (something like a planetary ruler – my note) and genii of the heavens, whom eternal wisdom has appointed to adorn and govern the universe, the sun is pre-eminent in brilliance, foremost in power, supreme in majesty; it is the mind of the universe, the spark of perception in creatures, source of the power of the heavenly bodies and the eye of the universe, and impenetrates all creation with an immensity of radiance and warmth.” (Cosmographia, Microcosmos/5)
Without the Sun there would be no light and no life. The Earth would be cast in perpetual cold and darkness, and if we were able to live under such circumstances we would be blind, bound within ourselves with little possibility for growth or development. We would in a sense be in Tartarus, or in the language of the Divine Comedy, in deepest hell. The fear of the ancients is truly justified and should not be put aside as superstition.
*For a good picture of this I would like to refer the reader
to the carefully prepared eclipse maps found at
http://www.worldastrology.net/ (see my Blogroll).
You will also find eclipses fully explained, a Flash animation
and much other useful material.