Working with Eclipses & the Lunar Nodes
I find Eclipses and the Lunar Nodes to be some of the most fascinating parts of astrology.
For one, I often imagine what it must have been like for our ancient ancestors to witness an eclipse… Not yet able to fully predict when these would happen in their local part of the sky, eclipses would seemingly show up “out of nowhere.” Either the life-giving Sun suddenly disappearing, or the revered light of the Full Moon being swallowed into darkness. I can understand why there might have been juuuust a little fear associated with these moments. Fear that now runs through our collective DNA from ages past, so that even though we know when they’re coming, the angst that arrives (with what can be momentous transformation) can feel deeply primal.
Even the Greek word that we get “eclipse” from speaks to this — ekleipsis translates to “disappearance” or “to abandon an accustomed place.” Even a whisper of the word “abandon” will activate many of our nervous systems, sending us to a place of fear and clinging to the old and comfortable.
But that’s what Eclipses are here to do — to shake us out of fear, release our death grip on the old, and usher us into bolder versions of what is possible.
Eclipse portals are like a storybook: there’s an initiation that begins the journey, a middle point, and then the story closes, helping us to reconcile the primary lesson that was offered up through the experience.
Right now, we’re just past the beginning of the story arch that is the Taurus – Scorpio Eclipse series. As I post this, we are on the verge of the second Eclipse in Taurus on April 30 — a solar Eclipse connected to the New Moon in Taurus. When the Full Moon arrives in two weeks, we will navigate a Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio.
This series began back in November of ‘21 with a Lunar Eclipse in Taurus. If you look back to November, are there any similar themes that are arising in your life once again? Perhaps something that is popping up around your home space, work-life, or intimate partnerships that began in November — or it may be broader, where the overarching “feel” of the lesson seems like a continuation of what you were experiencing at the end of 2021.
The Lunar Nodes — the “North & South Nodes”
The Lunar Nodes show us which signs the Eclipses will happen in throughout a series. The Nodes are said to be “theoretical” points in the sky where the path of the Moon’s orbit crosses the ecliptic (the plane of the earth’s orbit around the Sun) — when the Dark or Full Moon occurs near this point in the sky, that’s when we experience an Eclipse.
These Nodes can also be found on our birth charts. The North and South Node will always be directly opposite each other. The two signs they occupy help show us a path of polarity. On a birth chart, the Node glyphs look sort of like horseshoes:
☊ The North Node ☋ The South Node
The South Node is said to be a place of release, of letting go. To me, they also speak to where we’ve come from — whether that be through the lens of past life experiences, or the imprints our childhood left upon us — the sign & house of our South Node can help us understand the well-worn grooves that feel like the comfiest pair of shoes, molded to the foot through repetition and a sense of habit. These habits, or ways of being, may feel “easier” because there is that familiarity, but I’d argue a soul does not incarnate in order to feel at ease and fall into patterns it already knows oh-so-well.
This is where the North Node enters to guide us.
The North Node can be thought of as the soul’s appetite, what it craves. While the South Node is what the soul might find “easy” to fall back to, it’s what needs to be released in order to move forward with abandon to the lessons and growth of the North Node. The North Node feels unknown, but as with all lessons, our history and what’s behind us deeply inform and support our ability to move forward on the journey.
When you look at your birth chart, the placement of your North & South Nodes can help shed some light on a path of purpose for this incarnation. The South Node calls you to recognize what must be left behind and released, as the North Node calls you forward in your growth.
Working with the Eclipse Series
Transiting Eclipses generally happen in pairs (sometimes in groups of three) and mostly occur within the seasons that correspond to where the Lunar Nodes are. So our current example would be the Taurus – Scorpio Eclipses: happening now during Taurus season with a partial Solar Eclipse with the Dark Moon in Taurus, and later a Lunar Eclipse with the Full Moon in Scorpio. Later this year we’ll enter into another portal during Scorpio season.
Each “portal” (the time around the grouping of Eclipses) brings in an opportunity for both release and reclamation. One of the ways I find helpful to gain clarity around how these transits are impacting my personal experience is to look where the Lunar Nodes are moving through my chart.
So for example, with my Rising Sign in Scorpio, I’m being served up a hearty dose of releasing and reality-checking when it comes to my self-identity (1st House) and the ways that my close relationships (7th House, where Taurus rules in my chart) may impact how I understand these identities. I’m seeing the ways that relationships are calling me forward (while triggering the ever-loving-fuuudddge out me TYVM) in order to release the old-worn patterns that are now showing up as “soul baggage” if you will.
Shout out to my fellow Scorpios and Taureans out there! If you have any key placements (particularly Sun, Rising, and Moon in either of these signs), this Eclipse series is poised to be deeply transformational for you as it’s impacting such focal points of who you are and your soul’s journey. Hang in there bbs, you’ve got this ♥️
How to work with the Eclipses — observation and integration:
1️⃣ Take note of the dates over which an Eclipse series will occur. Journaling around these times can be incredibly helpful to provide you with real-time experiential data of what you go through and the feelings that arise
2️⃣ As each portal waxes and then wanes, look back at these dates (perhaps rereading your journal) to take note of any recurring themes that present themselves
3️⃣ For a deeper dive, you can check out your birth chart (I recommend this website and use the “Whole Sign” chart setting) and discover where these Eclipses are occurring for you personally. The Houses they are transiting are the “areas of life” that are most impacted by these portals
Lastly, I just want to say that I truly believe astrology is meant to be a path of learning — it’s a language to help us understand and deconstruct what probably feels like a wildly confusing existence. I don’t believe that it’s meant to hold us inside some box of preordained experiences, or that if you don’t “harness the power” of this time, you’ve effed it up and disappointed whatever God you believe in. Nah, let’s leave the judgey, all-mighty-punishing overlords approach to the patriarchy that’s crumbling around us.
Take what serves you. Leave the rest. Simple as that.
➡️ I’d love to hear from you! Where in your birth chart are the Eclipses happening for you? Drop a note and we can jam on this area of your chart ?
Big Love to you, all ways always
Em!!! My dear friend!!! Thank you for sharing and giving me so much insight and clarity on what’s happening in my personal life, and especially my work life! My north node is in Taurus and my South node is in Scorpio.
Crystal! So happy you commented. (Note to self, figure out how to get notifications to work on blog posts ?) Oooooeeee babyyyy!!! You are IN ? IT ? with the Natal Lunar Node return, sister! I am so glad that this post felt helpful for you. Sending you oodles of blessings and ease through this Eclipse portal! Big Love ♥️
Hi Em, You wrote this helpful insightful piece about working with the eclipses almost a year ago, but it’s so relevant for me now as the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on May 5 promises to be powerful. I’d really like advice on how to harness these energies to heal a fraught relationship with my adult Scopio Sun.. The upcoming lunar eclipse at 15 degrees Scorpio will exactly conjunct my South Node (in 9th house). Also it will exactly conjunct my son’s Sun / Uranus in 9th house. My sons holds some of the past against me that happened during my divorce of his father. His emotional style is avoidance and ou communication is difficult. How can I use this transit to heal, hopefully for both of us? Thanks for your wisdom.
Hello dear Patricia ~ thank you so much for reading and sharing about your experience. Aren’t the Eclipses and Lunar Nodes such a fascinating part of astrology?? First, I’m sorry to hear that things are so tense and fraught with your son… I’m sure the Eclipse energy has amplified that greatly! The biggest thing that comes to me when I feel into what you’ve shared is how important the energy of “release” is, especially with this South Node Eclipse coming up… Release can look so different for everyone. So, the question that comes to me in your case is… how can you release/let go of how your son chooses to connect with (or lack thereof)? I believe a lot of the medicine around the South Node is *acceptance* — it seems to me that with acceptance, release follows close behind, and in such a way that the release is a *relief* in fact…
It sounds like you and your son have some very intense interpersonal astrology with the conjunction of your South Node and his Sun/Uranus. You are brave souls to have signed up for such a potent karmic journey together this lifetime! You’ve nearly reached the end of this particular “story” though I think it’s important to remember that it often takes much longer for the understanding to unfold after the book as been closed! 😉 Sending you and your son many blessings and wishes for a gentle Eclipse journey.
Big Love all ways always
What is the difference between a solar eclipse in a person’s natal chart and their north node (and lunar eclipse and south node)? In my chart, they are not in the same sign. Thanks for a great site.