In episode 127, astrologer Adam Sommer from the Exploring Astrology podcast attended the show to answer some questions asked by the listeners of our two podcasts. However, we got stuck on the very first question and ended up discussing the lunar nodes for 90 minutes.
On the lunar knot
We open the episode by introducing Adam, talking a little about his background and podcast. Then we switch to the Q&A session and read our first question, which is from a patron of Chris’ podcast called Sheila Roher. Sheila wrote:
As you note in your book, Hellenistic astrology does not seem to pay much attention to the lunar nodes. Babylonian astrology viewed the knots as dangerous gateways to change (with dragons ready to step into action). Many astrologers from different “schools” (whether medieval or theosophical or New Age) tend to prefer the north knot and view the south knot as more problematic. Some Jungian astrologers consider the knots to be a key indicator of the issues the person is trying to balance out in their life (a view that I usually find accurate and helpful to clients). How, if at all, do you use the nodes in demarcation? How much weight do you give the nodes of transits, return nodes or transit nodes to the planets of birth?
This then led to a full discussion of the knots and their meaning in astrology and, in particular, some of the questions how they have been interpreted in the West over the past few decades compared to the way they have been used in other astrological traditions the past.
Some of the discussion points were:
- The relatively recent development of past life / reincarnation associations with the knots.
- The way the knots are used in the Hellenistic, Medieval, and Indian astrological traditions.
- The tendency to mistakenly treat the South Knot as malicious in some modern traditions.
- Why the north knot is only sometimes shown in diagrams.
- Adam’s views on the meaning and importance of nodes in natal charts work.
- The knots as destabilizing or disruptive factors in some traditions.
- The connection of the knots with eclipses.
- A possible traditional justification for the knot point of view today.
- Empiricism versus symbolic thinking as a means of determining what things mean in astrology.
- And many other topics.
Although the knots have popped up on the Astrology podcast from time to time, I’ve wanted to show them off for a while, and that species unexpectedly became this episode.
Thanks and our apologies to everyone else who asked questions for the Q&A! We’re planning on doing a follow-up episode at some point to answer some of the other questions.
A full transcript of this episode is available: episode 127 transcript
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