The nodes of the Moon spend about a year and a half in each sign before retrograding into the previous sign. (They are always retrograde.) The impact of the change on the daily headlines is unmistakable, and it is about to happen again. On December 22, the north lunar node enters Taurus, while the south node backs into Scorpio. They’ve been in Gemini and Sagittarius respectively since June 4, 2020 and they’ll cross into Aries and Libra on July 12, 2023.
These dates are, by the way, for the Mean nodes, rather than the so-called True nodes. I’ve always found the Mean nodes to be more accurate in the rare instances where there is any significant difference between the two forms at all. The dates I give are also based on the U.S. west coast – as ever, China and Australia are already enjoying tomorrow while we’re back here languishing in today. These are picky differences. In this newsletter, I want to focus on the bigger picture.
Astrologer Michael Lutin once used the language of Alcoholics Anonymous to define the meaning of the lunar nodes. He said “the north node is the meeting and the south node is the bottle.” That pretty much nails it. For an active alcoholic, nothing could feel more natural and familiar than pouring a drink. That’s the south node in a nutshell. Just like drinking too much booze, it is a deep-seated habit that’s not doing us any good but tends to operate by reflex. Stop paying attention and south node behavior happens pretty much automatically. Meanwhile, the north node is uneasy and unfamiliar territory – it is good for us, but it’s strange and demanding too. Think of that alcoholic sitting uncomfortably in his or her first AA meeting.
With the south node in Sagittarius since June 2020, we’ve been haunted by the demons of blind belief. Everyone’s opinions have gone thermonuclear. People connect two or three dots, and in the spirit of the dark side of Saggitarius, they come up with a cosmology – or a conspiracy theory.
Any questions? The distorting impact on the collective mind has been painfully clear.
What psychological demonology will surface now, as the south node shifts into the sign of the Scorpion? And here’s another question: where do those bad south node habits and emotional assumptions come from in the first place? We’re born with them, and that’s the critical clue – they originate in a time before we were born. I make sense of that mystery by assuming reincarnation, with the south node emerging as a symbol of your unresolved karma. The north node then becomes the remedy – and reaching toward it is very close to the ultimate purpose of your life.
Babies born over the next year and half will have a lot of Scorpionic karma to release – and their healing elixir will be the high side of Taurean energy. These babies will surf those evolutionary waves – or, if they are lazy, drown in their unresolved Scorpionic karma – until they leave this physical world. My point in this little essay is that between now and July 2023, we will all be surfing those waves, or trying to.
- Bottom line, collectively, humanity is about to face an eruption of messy Scorpionic energy – and our best hope for navigating the storm will be keeping our eye on the calm harbors of Taurus.
You’ll feel this in your personal life for sure, but here I want to speak of it more generally. If I were back in the South, I’d say “this is not just about you, it’s about y’all.”
What is the nature of this unresolved Scorpoionic karma? Scorpio is of course the Scorpion – a creature that makes almost everyone nervous. Death, pain, unexpected catastrophe – there’s the symbolism. In a nutshell, Scorpio refers to just about everything that no one wants to talk about.
Imagine a sensitive, shaken soldier just back from war. Imagine some idiot blurting out, “Hey, what was the war like? Tell us some stories.” If you feel jarred by that little scene, you’ve come a long way toward grasping the sign of the Scorpion. It’s a place where we are fragile.
There are emotional lines most of us know we shouldn’t cross. Some of that is simple politeness and custom. Much of it is actually kindness and respect. You ask a friend a pointed question. She suddenly looks pale. She responds, “I don’t want to go there today, OK?” Naturally, you back off. Deep down though, you know that she will have “to go there” someday. That’s not your business. It’s hers.
Between now and July 2023, all of humanity “needs to go there.” We need to face our collective woundedness. The time has come. As a general principle, we can assume that in prior lifetimes, every single one of us has been shamed, betrayed, enslaved, raped, pressed into war, or subjected to violence and other violations. Those are some of the Scorpionic chickens that are coming home to roost.
Why? Because it’s time. Because we are ready to heal. We must never forget that these processes of healing, regeneration, and recovery are the heart of the matter when it comes to the nodes of the Moon.
That’s one part of the Scorpionic package. Here’s another part: we need to face our sins. I am aware as I write that sentence that “sin” is a strange word, one with a lot of bad karma. Toxic religions, for one example, have tried to convince people that their sexuality is inherently a sin. It’s not, of course. Sin, as I am using the word here, is the act of hurting another part of life – or hurting ourselves. And as Jesus said, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” We’ve all done things we are not proud of having done – probably in this lifetime, and almost certainly in prior ones. Where do those uncomfortable memories go? Where do we store them? The astrological answer is “in Scorpio.”
Sins and wounds – it boils down to those we have hurt and those who have hurt us. Regarding all of that, it is time to own the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Because of the immutable laws of synchronicity, all of those ghosts are surfacing now. There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. We’ll be facing those whom we’ve hurt and those who have hurt us. We may both be in new bodies, but the essence of the unresolved drama is right there staring us in the face. As ever with the lunar nodes, we are saying to the cosmos, “set it up again. I want another look at it. I want to get it right this time. I want to make it right.” All of those unresolved, uncomfortable emotions are surfacing.
Maybe someone who loves you tells you a hard truth about yourself. Your defenses probably flair – that’s a natural reflex. But you subdue that reaction and you actually think about what was said. Bravely, you realize that it’s probably the truth. You look your friend in the eye and you say “thank you.”
You’ve just made an A in Scorpio.
On the other hand, maybe your defences take over. You go into denial. You rage at your friend for what she said. Maybe you try to hurt her. For a while, you avoid seeing her. That kind of lashing out is the dark side of Scorpio. We’ll see all of that too, both in our personal lives and in the headlines. There’s an old Randy Newman song with the refrain, “I just want you to hurt like I do, honest I do, honest I do, honest I do.” Sometimes it seems like the theme song of the world. My psychotherapist friends tell me “you work on your stuff or your stuff works on you.” They sometimes say it in another way – “that which you do not think out, you act out.” All of that is Scorpionic wisdom – and a timely Scorpionic warning. Among the less-enlightened people of the earth, we will see a lot of that kind of “acting out” over the next eighteen months. It’s really just people expressing their pain. But they’ll fight it – and fight you too. They’d rather die than admit it’s there, and own their part in it – or kill you for mentioning it.
The good news is that the south node entering Scorpio means that the more enlightened among us are ready for some serious healing – the kind that only comes with stark naked honesty and realness. It’s difficult, but it’s worth it. Ask anyone who has ever recovered from sexual abuse. Ask any soldier who has ever truly come home from war.
- Reduced to its bones, this upcoming nodal passage will bring us some truly heroic healing breakthroughs, along with some monumentally bad “acting out” behavior.
What about the north node? Remember Michael Lutin’s words – the south node is the bottle, but the north node is the meeting. Taurus defines a particularly effective healing path that is available to us all. It’s the remedy – the magic bullet – that helps us break out of the Scorpionic gravitational field. The problem Taurus presents us is not that it is too complicated – it’s that it is too simple. I often think animals understand the Taurus evolutionary path better than we humans do. They eat when they’re hungry and they sleep when they’re tired. They tend to live in the present moment. They show little evidence of being worried about tomorrow. They listen to their bodies. They feel at home in nature. They like to breathe fresh air. When their muscles feel tight, they stretch. If they like you, they touch you. If they don’t, they walk away. When it’s time for them to die, they lie down somewhere quiet and close their eyes. No drama. Life can be so simple. That’s the high wisdom of Taurus.
The good news is that we’re all actually animals ourselves. This wisdom is there inside us, buried under a pile of fancy words. Between now and July 2023, it is particularly helpful to tune into that primeval part of yourself. Spend time in nature. Revel in silence. Trusting those instincts calms you – and that grounded serenity of spirit is really the essence of high Taurus. For all of us, it is time to lay a heavy burden down. The war is over – we just need to realize it. With a little work, the drama loses its power to possess us. There is another Taurean joy: forgiveness arises naturally. There’s no need to force it – instead just notice the feeling of release as you might notice the first hint of spring in the air.
As ever, opposite signs balance and correct each other. Scorpionic wisdom is hard to attain. After attaining it, we need to recover from attaining it. Peace cures war. A deep breath conquers anxiety. A hug remedies anger. That’s Taurus.
Here’s a little Taurean exercise in the form of a question you actually never really have to answer – which is the greater spiritual virtue: wisdom or serenity?
Again, the magic is to realize that there is no need to answer. There’s no need to vex yourself that way. Just let the wind blow through your hair. Just let the silence sink into you like a stone. Just be.
Listen to the podcast version