by Mark Jones
Originally published in The Mountain Astrologer
The fact that the Moon has nodes is commonly taken into account by astrologers. What is not always known or understood is that all the planets have nodes. The essence of astrology is found within the ecliptic, since the circle of the zodiac itself is formed around it. Because the apparent motion of the Sun forms the ecliptic, it is the only body in the solar system that does not have a nodal axis.
It is important to emphasize that there is no thing found at the north or south node of a planetary body; it is instead an abstract point in space that marks the intersection of the motion of the planet as it crosses the ecliptic. When the planet rises above the ecliptic, this forms the ascending or north node, and when the planet falls below the ecliptic, this forms the descending or south node. (See Figure, at left.)
During the Uranus–Pluto conjunction of the mid-to-late 1960s and very early ‘70s, Theodor Landscheidt initially presented a paper (1965) and then a workshop (1971) on the nature of the planetary nodes. In 1971, Dane Rudhyar published a pamphlet in the Humanistic Astrology Series: The Planetary and Lunar Nodes (CSA Press). During 1973, Dr. Zipporah Dobbins, who had attended Landscheidt’s workshop, published The Node Book (TIA Publications), which included her reflections on the planetary nodes.
Now, during the waxing First Quarter square of Uranus and Pluto, it seems an opportune moment to assess the importance of the revolutionary idea of the planetary nodes as originally presented at the onset of the current Uranus–Pluto synodic cycle. In the intervening decades, the recognition of the nodes’ importance — with some exceptions, such as the teachings of Jeffrey Wolf Green — seems to have slipped from collective awareness. I believe that the significance of the planetary nodes is worth our while to acknowledge at this time.