An Astrological Field?

In our further study of the principle of inversion applied to astrological practice I would like to look at the Nodes of the Moon, one of my favourite topics. They are particularly suited to this theme. I am applying ‘inversion’ by looking at the Nodes not as a source of Signification but as taking their Signification from elsewhere, which I will later in this article define as their ‘field’. They have a Signification by induction!

Let us review our understanding of the nodes and outline three basic facts:

  • The Nodes are imaginary points, they are not physically tangible
  • They are dependant on both the path of the Sun and the Moon
  • They are inseparable from one another, they are always in opposition

The Nodes form a potential. It is not only where they are that is important but also what lies in between. The ‘between’ is what forms the potential. I am going to borrow some ideas from electromagnetic field theory, and use them as a paradigm to hopefully help make things clearer by what I mean by potential.

Like electricity or magnetism, which are also intangible, the Nodes have some similarity to a positive and a negative electrical charge or the poles of a magnet. They exist where a potential is formed. The traditional view of the North Node as being expansive with a beneficial tendency (mind you it is not a benefic) and the South Node as having a contractive generally more malefic quality fits quite well. They form a ‘field’ and that exists in the in-between. There can be no expansion without contraction.

An electromagnetic field cannot exist without two oppositely charged particles or two poles of attraction. A Node alone does not exist, it is always paired with its opposite and is meaningless alone. Each Node defines the other. If one Node is on the Ascendant then the other must be on the Descendant, they cannot be interpreted separately. The field that is formed, the arena of potential if you will, is the whole axis. The horizon of the chart is activated and it is this that must be considered. This means in a natal chart that one of the themes of the life is the whole complex issue of how “I” and “you” interact with one another. If the North Node is on the Ascendant then the flow of interactivity will have more stress on the “I”, with the South Node it is the opposite, the flow is towards the “you”. If we continue with the electromagnetic field paradigm then the MC/IC axis would also be activated as there is always a magnetic field perpendicular to an electric field and vice versa. This means that along with “I” and “you” the natives ancestral roots as well as his or her standing in the world will also be intimately interwoven in this life theme. You might want to read the two articles about Käthe Kollwitz, “Dragon on the Doorstep” (1) and (2), where I have gone into more detail.

This induction of another axis can also be found with the antiscion. The antiscion and its opposite belong to the field of potential that each planet has.

When speaking of potential we must also consider the influence of the ‘invisible’ progenitors of the Nodes, the Sun and Moon. They generate the ‘charge’ so to speak. Surprisingly in their case the Sun plays a passive role while the Moon is active, and should Sun and Moon conjunct each other on the nodal axis the Sun is eclipsed. It shouldn’t be forgotten that a solar eclipse is always paired with a lunar eclipse two weeks before or afterwards.

You might want to consider eclipse charts from this context. Ask yourself which axis and perpendicular axis are activated? Look not only at the focus but also at the ‘field’. And consider this ‘field’ from a solar and a lunar standpoint.

I haven’t explored it here but I also hope to examine the Nodes in motion. This would be applying Faraday’s Law which roughly states that ‘a changing magnetic field creates an electric field’ and also the Ampère-Maxwell Law which roughly states the converse, that ‘a changing electric field creates a magnetic field’.

7 thoughts on “An Astrological Field?

  1. Great article Thomas. I prefer to think of the nodes as “imaginal” rather than “imaginary” since the latter term carries such a negative connotation in the modern world. Hindu astrologers believe that Rahu and Ketu are invisible planets that become visible during an eclipse. I find this a more helpful conceptual notion. More “imaginal,” so to speak.

    Ben Franklin is reputed to have said, “In electricity is the secret force that animates the universe,” so there may be a helpful analogy here.

    On another note: Since the Sun and Moon are never retrograde, why would the nodes be? The symbolic value of the mean nodes (rather than the “true” nodes” seems valid in this context.

  2. Hello Andrew,

    Imaginal is a beautiful word. It seems to be a characteristic of our time that such words as imaginary and imagination have lost the grandeur of their meaning.

  3. >On another note: Since the Sun and Moon are never retrograde, >why would the nodes be? The symbolic value of the mean nodes (rather than the “true” nodes” seems valid in this context

    Hi Andrew

    But the mean node is always retrograde! Only the ‘true’ node vacillates between direct and retrograde motion. Do you mean the symbolic value of a constant motion (albeit backwards) rather than a vacillating motion would be more valid?


  4. Hi Caroline

    Thank you. That is just what I meant: the symbolic value of a constant motion rather than a vacillating (oscillating?) motion. Too many brain cells, not enough coffee.

    Would it be more valid? I don’t really know. It seems like it should be, but then again, it might be just a matter of perspective …

  5. Hi Caroline

    As a meanie myself, I prefer the mean. 😉

    Are the mean nodes more effective? I don’t know. But more effective in what sense? It might depend on which parameters one uses to measure the outcome one desires. Results often depend on how measurements are taken. There is a corollary in psychometric test measurements of human personality: “You get what you measure for.”

    To me, it makes symbolic sense to use the mean nodes. For others, it might make nonsense. But since I see the nodes as retrograde reflections of the Sun and Moon, the mean nodes make more sense to me.

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