The process of synastry requires an analysis of each individual’s horoscope and is followed by measuring important aspect contacts between the horoscopes of the principals involved. The more contacts there are (within 3-4 degrees and especially the conjunction and square), the more chemistry and energy exchange potential there is between two people. The aspect emphasis is usually focused more on the interactions with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, and Venus in each horoscope. However, of equal importance, perhaps in a more far-reaching way, is the symbolism of the Moon’s Nodal Axis in synastry.
A Mythology of the Lunar Nodal Axis
In my private practice, I am quite comfortable with the symbolism of the Nodal Axis as a barometer of the reflection of a heightened maternal influence in one’s life. But there are many who use the Nodes differently.
In astrological tradition, the Moon’s Nodes are associated with soul growth. The North Node (for beginners, the symbol looks like a set of stereo headphones - “) has been thought to represent, by Sign and House, the nature and area of life experience in which the greatest level of soul growth can and should take place in one’s life. The South Node (Á), by Sign and House, is said to represent the nature of and the area of life experience that is comfortable, a place that one retreats to under duress because of the soul’s familiarity with those dimensions in experience (ostensibly from past lives).
The Moon’s nodes are called the Dragon’s head and tail (north and south respectively) in western astrology and Rahu and Ketu in Vedic astrology. The word dragon is etymologically derived from the Greek word drakon, which means “large serpent.” Rahu and Ketu are recognized as serpent powers in Hindu astrology so there is a direct association between the dragons of the west and the serpents of the east.
Where the Moon’s orbit crosses the apparent path of the Sun (the ecliptic), two crossing points are formed: The Moon moves northward across the ecliptic and the Moon moves southward across the ecliptic. The northern crossing is named the North Node. The southern crossing is named the South Node. Ancient astrologers saw these points of contact on the ecliptic as being representative of the points where the divine could enter into our lives. This quickly became associated with an act of Grace, an act of Karma and many mythologies surround the Nodes because of this.
The most popular myth connected with the Nodes is the Greek poem, “The Quest of the Golden Fleece.” In this poem, Greek hero, Jason, searches for a prized fleece that is guarded by a dangerous serpent-dragon that never sleeps. Accompanied by the enchantress Medea, she lulls the dragon to sleep in order to give Jason a chance to capture the fleece. Jason ends up getting swallowed anyway and is later regurgitated by the beast. He is revived by Medea who charms the beast enough for Jason to finally capture the fleece and continue along his journey. The operative theme words in this myth are “swallowed” and “regurgitated,” which is really another way of saying death and rebirth. Any number of myths regarding the Nodal Axis that are recounted along these lines all have to do with the idea of birth and rebirth, of past and present lives, thus karma, reincarnation, and soul growth. Stated simply, the Nodal Axis is linked with personal karma.
The Nodal Axis in Synastry
Keeping with the idea that the Nodes have a karmic symbolism, it becomes easy to understand how the use of the Nodal Axis in synastry is very important in gauging relationship potential.
There are relationships that come and go without much of a lasting effect in one’s life and then there are relationships that make a lasting impact forever. In some cases, these kinds of relationships are bigger than the two people. It is as if some power beyond the two people is calling the shots of the relationship to a significance that goes beyond the norm. Two people are seemingly swept away with what happens between them and important life lessons are learned. We can be glib and suggest that these kinds of relationships exist because the souls of two people have a kind of recognition that goes beyond what can be understood with the eyes on the physical level. Whatever the reason might be, there is simply no question that there is major relationship potential suggested when the planets or an Angle of one horoscope makes contact with the Nodal Axis in another horoscope.
Because the Lunar Nodal Axis is the symbol of the Moon’s (female) intersection with the Sun’s (male) apparent path around the Earth (ecliptic) and because of the association with birth and rebirth, thus past lives, we see it as being a very primary symbol to be used in synastry. Using a three degree orb maximum, contacts (conjunction, square, and quindecile) made from one person’s planets or Angle to the other person’s Nodal Axis is an indication of a link between two people that is of such potential profundity that it cannot be fully understood (I also count trines but with no more than a two degree orb). We assume that the relationship has strong karmic implications about it that heavily impacts the lives of the two people in the relationship.
The Draconic (or Nodal) Horoscope
The term, “soul mate” is commonly used as a description of the “perfect partner,” one who fits the ideal that is desired. The longing for a soul mate is what frequently leads people to seek a consultation with an astrologer, usually as a result of too great a frequency of failed relationships. The failed relationships create a sense of self-protection that then manifests idealistically as the desire for the perfect partner. The perfect partner (human), of course, doesn’t exist and neither does a soul-mate. But the soul does exist and we know that there is a link between the Nodal Axis and soul dimensions. Therefore, a system of astrology, a zodiac that is nodal-based is going to theoretically reflect soul dimensions.
When we begin discussions of the soul dimension, we must refer back to the Lunar Nodal Axis. We have seen how there is an association between the ideas of karma and past-lives that is connected to the Lunar Nodal Axis. The Nodal Horoscope is based on the Lunar Nodal Axis so the entire horoscope reflects the state of the soul just as a Tropical horoscope reflects the state of your physical interaction with the environment.
Origins of the Draconic Zodiac
The Draconic system of astrology has been in existence for centuries. However, the awareness of it came into being strongly through the astrological work of the late, great psychic, Edgar Cayce.
Anyone who is reading this site will be familiar with Edgar Cayce as one of the most gifted psychics ever. Working in a trance state, he was able to help thousands of people with health concerns, spiritual direction, practical advice, etc. Cayce could memorize the contents of a book by sleeping on it! In response to what actually happened within him during his trance states, Cayce explained that he was able to contact the great hall of records called, “Akasha.” He said that the information came through him, that it was given to him by the Godforce, by the universe.
In the wonderful biography of Cayce, titled, “There Is A River,” we learn that a man named Arthur Lammers contacted Cayce to see if he could use Cayce’s gifts to get questions answered about various metaphysical subjects, one of which was astrology. Cayce was presented with birth information while in his trance state. However, the things that Cayce said in describing a horoscope did not make sense. He would say, for example, that a certain planet is prominent when the planet was not Angular or prominent in any way. As time passed, we learned that what Cayce was given in his trance state when doing astrology was the Nodal system, not the Tropical system. And we have to assume that this is the system that came through him because it describes the state of the soul’s evolvement at this point in time (or in this incarnation).
Constructing the Draconic Horoscope
Almost all professional software programs in astrology have an option to calculate a horoscope in the Nodal zodiac. Your software will refer to it as “Draconic.” What the computer realizes and does in its calculation of a Nodal horoscope is as follows:
The Lunar Nodal Axis is at 0 Aries-Libra in every horoscope constructed in the Nodal zodiac because that is the point on the Moon’s orbit where it passes from south to north of the ecliptic.
All positions in the Tropical horoscope are measured in terms of their distances from the Mean North Node in the horoscope. This distance, in degrees, is then added or subtracted (depending upon the position in the zodiac) to the North Node in the Draconic horoscope.
Special Considerations of the Draconic Horoscope
- The planets never change Houses. They only change Signs.
2. The farther away your Tropical North Node is from 0 ARIES, the more changes there will be in the Nodal representation of it.
What the Draconic Horoscope Symbolizes
Our Tropical system in astrology is Sun-based. It can be said that the horoscopes that emanate from the Tropical system of astrology describe experiences of interactions with the physical environment and not necessarily the soul-dimension. The Nodal Zodiac symbolizes the state of evolvement of one’s soul development. The reason why Cayce was not given the Tropical or Sidereal systems in his trance states is because those systems do not address the evolutionary state of the soul. The Nodal zodiac is an extension of what we have learned about the Lunar Nodal Axis, both spiritually and synastrically. The “larger than life” bonding that is present in Nodal Axis contacts becomes amplified in Draconic system ties. Nodal horoscope positions symbolize the expression of planetary energies at the soul level. These expressions are then shown to the environment through the Tropical positions. It can be said of the Nodal system positions that it is a horoscope that shows you more of the role that you play in the world from a spiritual point of view.
Finally, utilization of the Nodal zodiac adds other options to synastric analysis! This will show, as it were, the highest symbolism of “soul mate” potential that we have in astrology, again, extending the symbolism of what we have learned about the Nodal Axis.
There are instances in synastry where two people have been in a long, fulfilling relationship for tens of years, yet, the expected inter-aspect contacts are not there. I have found that when you construct either horoscope using the Nodal system (Tropical to Nodal), the strong contact is there. And when the synastry includes strong ties from each Nodal horoscope, it is an indication of a “soul-mate” level relationship.
I had a very meaningful, impactful relationship for 3 years that broke up primarily because her self worth issues were so unmanaged that it wasn’t possible to go through a week without being the victim of one of her temperamental explosions. This was an extremely emotional, extremely impactful relationship that changed our lives. Neither of us is the same now as we were before having known each other.
Both Tropical and Draconic comparisons are shown below. Her Ascendant exactly squares my Nodal Axis. My Uranus and Neptune square and conjoin her Nodal Axis.
It gets more dramatic when you compare our Draconic charts: Her Jupiter and Neptune conjoin my Ascendant. Her Mars and my Pluto conjoin, surely the symbol of two souls at war. Her Saturn opposes my Moon, the emotional weight that I felt. Her Uranus squares my Sun.
You can even take it a step further, comparing my Tropical to her Draconic: We now see her Pluto opposing my Sun (doesn’t get more impactful than that; her Uranus is on my Ascendant; my Venus is on her Ascendant; her Mars squares my Sun, which means that her natal Mars-Pluto square, in the Draconic system, squares my Tropical Sun. All of these symbolisms are so, so, so, too true!
Despite the spiritual dimensions that are associated with the Nodal horoscope, I would suggest that you look for the aspect contacts between these horoscopes without attaching spiritual significance to them. Simply use the system as another option in synastry with the understanding that it represents a deep inner level. The options in synastry are Tropical to Tropical, Tropical to Nodal, Nodal to Tropical, and Nodal to Nodal using a Person A and Person B scenario.
Lastly, use common sense in synastry. Horoscopes will not make a relationship last. There are many, many pieces of a puzzle that must fit for a relationship to work fulfillingly. Astrology should be used only as a guide in the process. After all, I am sure that there is some woman somewhere who has the perfect synastry with Mike Tyson but you can be certain that any relationship with an individual who is as troubled as he is will not work.
The analysis of each individual horoscope in a relationship cannot be overemphasized. Unmanaged issues tear relationships apart as much or more than any other factor. You must always check for the issues first, see if they have been managed, and then compare horoscopes for potential. In the end, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and nothing surpasses experiencing time with the other person. The horoscopes are not in the relationship. People are and it is the two people that have to make things happen. Their horoscopes are only a reflection of potential.
The Nodal Horoscope Parts I and II
© 2003 Basil Fearrington
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