From July 18, 2023 through January 11, 2025, the lunar nodes cross the Aries-Libra axis, with the North Node in Aries and the South Node in Libra. Nodes are not objects in space, but figurative nodes, like directions on the cosmic compass, that indicate where we come from and where we are going. Nodes also act as the hosts of ongoing solar eclipses, making Aries and Libra key players in the showdown of the moment.
Under the premise of astrology, the Earth is at the center of the solar system and everything else, even the sun, is in our orbit. To track the annual rotation of the sun through our field of view, astrologers devised an imaginary field known as the ecliptic. Meanwhile, the Moon crosses through a more literal orbital cycle around the Earth, forming angles with the said ecliptic. When these two fields intersect, the points of convergence are called nodes, with one marking south and another marking north.
The nodes move retrograde, or backward, through the signs, completing a revolution in about 18.5 years. They spend about a year and a half in directly opposite signs. In July 2023, the north node will retrograde into Aries, while the south will enter Libra, where they will remain until January 2025, when it’s Pisces and Virgo’s turn. (Oh dear!)
THE SYMBOLISM OF KNOTS
The north and south nodes – often known as the dragon’s head and tail, respectively – act as karmic gateways. The northern node leads us forward, to the challenges, crossroads or doors that further our evolution. The southern node, meanwhile, is the crossroads that brought us here, either from previous incarnations or old ways of being. Avoid attributing binary morality to the nodes, as both have plenty to teach us.
In The Book of the Moon, Steven Forrest writes that the South Node “carries the essence of past life karma that has matured for you in this present life.” It represents that which is primary for processing, integration and release. The northern node, meanwhile, delivers new crises and gifts, meant to guide us where we go. Collectively, the placement of the transitional nodes thus reveals which ideologies, belief systems, and cultural attitudes need to be abandoned—and where new viewpoints are called forth.
KNOTS & ECLIPES
Although Luna and the Sun face each other monthly during new and full moons, they only touch the nodes together about every six months. Welcome to eclipse season. Solar eclipses set at new moon, when the moon is in front of the sun and obscures its light from our view. Lunar eclipses arrive at a full moon, because the Earth blocks the reflected light from the moon. Eclipses are blast points in the node saga, with the sun and moon acting as the main fighters (or lovers), bringing the opposing signs’ themes to an explosive climax.
THE ARIES-LIBRA KNOTTING CYCLE, EXPLAINED
Let’s meet the opponents. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the singular provocateur who cuts through the noise, turns the cycle upside down and launches something new. Aries can act as a heroic liberator or a ruthless individualist. Like it or not, Aries has been cast as one of the stars of the decade, with Saturn and Neptune entering the warlord’s tent in 2025. This likely indicates more martial conflict on the world stage; the aggravation of “I don’t know who needs to hear this” self-indulgent defensiveness; and, more optimistically, the awakening of new artists, heroes and visionaries, fighting for the great future to come.
Libra, the opposite of Aries, is ostensibly concerned with peace, love, and social dynamics. The drive for validation for everyone makes Libra a natural advocate of justice and fair play. And yet, in every form of comedy, our romantic heroine is thwarted by crippling constraints of social customs—dogmas that bind and excommunicate rather than enable change. Libra likes a nice system and would often reward complacency to avoid anarchism.
The system has never felt so locked down. In the wake of Saturn’s tour of Aquarius and years of one-size-all unification, the voices that would chart a new course are strangled in committees, culture wars and flattery of meaningless inclusiveness. The ruthless years of Pluto in Capricorn have distilled a hopelessness that can shake everything loose from the eye of Sauron, the grip of the corporate monolith. Even superheroes, those socialist utopian gods of modern myth, are more often than not tools of the machine. Among the many corrupt leaders on the world stage, the Libras BB Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin bet on our addiction to the static and our fear of change so they can get away with anything. Meanwhile, media overlords in the US keep the novacaine drip of algorithmic entertainment going 24/7 while exploiting and underpaying creators. The Riddler has created the perfect maze from which no one can escape.
THE NORTH KNOT IN ARIES: YOUR CALLING
To embrace the higher vibration of Aries – and not fall further into defensiveness and selfishness – we will need to clear our personal missions. In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the fire prince Zuko is driven by shame, fear and twisted masculinity. He can manipulate fire, but only by generating a rage that will inevitably burn through him. Its prey is the airbender Aang, who refuses to handle the flame, remaining small and ineffective so as not to cause damage. Both inevitably bring fire – the chosen element of Aries – to harmony; Zuko works to restore his family’s honor, and Aang embraces the power of fire as a creation. “All this time I thought firebending was destruction,” says Aang. “But now I know what it really is: it is energy and life.”
At the beginning of the Aquarian Age, our instincts to fight, rebel, create, destroy and awaken are sublimated. What are the options? Taking a bold stand against something you find offensive, for a fleeting moment of public appreciation? Or is it the stark opposite: trolling and joking about anything that could be real or raw? Is this it for the rest of your life?
The northern node in Aries inspires conflict, disaster and devastation. Your choice is to awaken a new reality through your individual field of influence. If you accept your heroic calling, you will probably have to break out of old and stuck friend groups. Do you really care if you go to your sorority sister’s wedding? Is that really how you want to invest your vital life forces? You choose relationships that challenge you, even if that means going it alone until they arrive. And you’ll need to examine all the ways you’ve played the victim role to avoid the messy truth of mutual harm. Like Zuko, you will think about a higher ethos for your life’s work.
And then the real saga begins. You have the chance to access your creative potential, detoxified from the poison of past influences. You will know what you stand for – and if you don’t, you will believe that one day you will find it. You’ll find a way to feel vital, useful, and happy to get down and dirty for what you believe in. This era introduces us to our new AI masters, along with legions of new villains, eager to assert nihilism and savagery. This knot cycle and these eclipses try to bring you back to your pumping bloodstream, your zest for life and the work that is only yours. Avoid petty feuds and opt for noble battles. We need you when it gets real.