A friend recently asked for my thoughts on the exaltation and fall of the Moon’s Nodes. He had come across references where the North Node is exalted in Sagittarius and the South Node in Gemini, contrary to traditional practice.
Many traditional astrologers ignore the nodes exaltation in the tables of dignities. They argue that as the nodes are not bodies but merely markers along the ecliptic it is absurd to give them a sign where they are exalted and conversely in fall. If one used the same logic there would also have to be a sign where they are in domicile and in detriment, as the planets are.
But how did the exaltation point for the North Node in Gemini and the South Node in Sagittarius come to be in the tables in the first place? What is the logic behind them being exalted just there and no where else?
We know that the Nodes play an important role in the eclipses of Sun and Moon. An eclipse can only take place when a Full or New Moon is near the Nodes. So the last New Moon was close enough to the nodes for a solar eclipse to occur, and the coming Full Moon is close enough for a lunar eclipse. You can generally rely on there being an eclipse of the Sun or Moon respectively to occur within two weeks of one another. Now the nodes can be considered as shadowing an eclipse. Imaginatively as the Dragon who shadows the Sun or Moon in order to devour them. The nodes mark where the path of the Moon crosses the ecliptic. North Node for the ascending Moon, South Node for the descending Moon. There are four other very important points on the ecliptic. These are the equinox points at 0 Aries and 0 Libra and the solstice points at 0 Cancer and 0 Capricorn. They remain constant as opposed to the nodal points which have a cycle of roughly 18 and 3/4 years to return to their original position.
The axis of the solstice at Cancer/Capricorn also forms the axis around which another set of ‘shadowy’ points are generated. These are the antisica. Any position in Cancer/Capricorn has its antisicion in Gemini/Sagittarius (just as any position at Aries/Libra has its antiscion at Virgo/Pisces). This corresponds to the traditional North Node/ South Node exaltation position.
If we consider that the Moon has her domicile in Cancer and the Sun his exaltation in Aries then it is not very difficult to see why the North Node, the node of increase, has its exaltation in Gemini, where the antiscia of a Cancer Moon are located. And conversely the descending node, the one of decrease, must have its exaltation at the corresponding antiscia of the Moon’s detriment.
Virgo, the second domicile of Mercury is where the exaltation points of the Sun have their antiscia, and would point, if one were searching for a domicile for the North Node, to Virgo.
This is not at all surprising if you consider how closely Mercury is bound with Dragon or Serpent imagry. In alchemical practice there are two Mercuries, one has wings the other is wingless. The first is found in Gemini, an air sign. The second is found in Virgo, an earth sign. And their tails are in Sagittarius and Pisces. One marks the dry path the other the wet.
Looked at in this way, it might be worthwhile to pay attention whether the nodes are in the mutable signs, for there they might prove stronger than elsewhere in a chart.