Lunar eclipses, dragons, and the Nodes of the Moon

Lunar eclipses occur when the Full Moon (Moon opposing the Sun) occurs close to the nodes of the moon (the point at which the sun’s path and moon’s path meet). Molly at North Node.com has a lovely animated graphic that shows how an eclipse works.

The nodes of the moon describe our evolutionary journey, with the North Node (also called the Dragon’s head by the Chinese and other ancients) demonstrating the direction in which we are heading and the South Node (the Dragon’s tail) identifying the karmic past and issues best left behind. The involvement in the eclipse phenomenon perhaps gives a clue to the effect of an eclipse, where the Sun and Moon are aligned in tandem with the evolutionary lunar nodes but the earth blocks their light. The symbolism to me is clear: The eclipse marks a turning point, but the significance may not be obvious as both the solar conscious principle and the lunar instincts are obscured and we journey in darkness.

Some individuals experience lunations (moon events) more than others – the more “lunar” types (watery signs, conjunctions of the Sun or Moon to Neptune, or Moon near the ascendant or midheaven) will experience the New and Full Moons more intensely than others and be more affected by the eclipses as well. In addition, if the eclipse (the one on September 7 occurs at 14 degrees Pisces/Virgo) aspects a sensitive point in your chart you will be more affected than otherwise.

The symbolism of the legends from China and other ancient cultures of the Dragon (North Node) eating the Moon in a lunar eclipse would seem to tell us that eclipses are times when our instincts (lunar light) and conscious mind (solar light) are temporarily sacrificed (obscured by earth) in order that the transformational journey (lunar nodes) can become realigned and any course deviations corrected. With the world in flux, Pluto’s turn direct and Saturn opposing Neptune, perhaps this is a good time to look for new signposts for our own journeys.

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