the tail of the dragon
Nodes
Much has been written about the solar eclipse but there has been little information available on the effects of the lunar eclipse. Whilst the impact of the solar eclipse has a far greater effect on one's life, the lunar eclipse is no less real merely because it is the "minor" partner of an ever interacting duo. It is just as important to consider the effects of the lunar eclipse and it is a shame that this aspect of astrology has been so neglected. As with any astrological phenomena, if one approaches the subject rationally it is possible to deduce from already established astrological principles the import of the lunar eclipse.

Physical Effects Well Documented

Whist the Moon merely reflects the light emanating from the Sun (as do the other planets), it is also the closest heavenly body to home and it therefore has a tremendously significant effect on our lives. At the time of the full Moon, it is also "apparently" the largest bright object in the heavens and this further lends weight to its significance in human affairs.

The nature of the extensive physical effects that the Moon has on this earthly sphere has already been well documented; the co-relation between the Moon and the female cycle is also an obvious connection, and hence the relationship to fertility and children. It is no coincidence, therefore, that the Moon represents women, children and fertility in an astrological sense; and folklore abounds with stories about the effects of the full Moon on mentally unstable individuals. Of course, astrologers have long been aware of the lunar effect. But perhaps greater credit should go to the ancient Hindu astrologers who placed so much more importance on the Moon than do their modern day counterparts, because they obviously possessed a far greater comprehension of the functioning of the lunar nodes and the Moon itself.

The Roots of Our Being

All factors must be taken into consideration and weighed against each other before a full assessment can be made. Firstly, all eclipses represent an interruption to the flow of energy of the eclipsed planet. One must therefore take into consideration the principles of the interactive planets as well as the nature of the intervening planet. The lunar factor represents the feminine principle. It is representative and changeable. It represents the emotions, the home, women, children, the roots of our being and conditions at the end of life. The solar principle is one of life, light and energy. The Sun "energises" the lunar principle, while the earth principle is fixed and endurable.

More Practical Considerations

At the time of a lunar eclipse, it is the Moon's ability to receive its energising light from the Sun which is interrupted by the earth sphere. The feminine principle is unable to function completely because it has been cut off from its partner, its life source. It is also the nature of the opposition which affects the ability of one to relate in partnership matters, and hence produces separate conditions. Instead of the interaction of an unit, disturbances occur because the two integral parts are not functioning in unison. During this time more practical considerations will, by necessity, prevail, with both persons and events within the environment not being very pliable with regards to the personal needs of the individual. This in turn, generates an emotional crisis.

Relevancy

It is also worth taking into consideration the fact that the Solar eclipse has a similar function to Pluto, matters pertinent to the eighth house and the nature of Scorpio. This is evidenced by the fact that the solar eclipse brings an end to situations through the elimination of certain factors of life which no longer have any relevancy. This, in turn, allows for the development of new growth in one's life. By reasoning of polarity, it is obvious then that the Lunar eclipse is related to the function of Venus through its rulership of Taurus and second house matters. The lunar eclipse therefore relates to questions of values and or valuables, and thus brings about a turning point in these issues. It is often characterized by a struggle between the values of two different parties.

Matters of Truth

One must also consider the nature of the occultation because this is precisely what an eclipse is. The word "occult" itself has esoteric implications. It en be analyzed as meaning an obvious hidden wisdom, a fundamental truth which is so simple that it is not easily recognized. It is at the time of the occultation that fundamental truths must surface into the consciousness of the individual in relevance to that individual's life. This further emphasizes the relationship of Pluto and matters of truth. Therefore, events in one's life affected by the lunar eclipse also cause a great deal of soul searching where one has to reach into the depth of one's being.

The Great Dragon

In final consideration, one must look at the influence of the Moon's nodes as these are the points at which any eclipse will occur. Depending upon whether the eclipse occurs on the north node or the south node will further determine the extent of impact that the eclipse will have on the individual. The ancient Hindus treated the Moon's north and south nodes with the respect that they deserved, knowing them as Rahu and Ketu, respectively. This was the great serpent or (dragon) which swallowed up the lights, and much information can be derived from their wisdom.

The Dragon's Tail

Traditionally, south nodal eclipses are more malefic in nature. However, generally, both of the nodal points tend to destroy or weaken the influence of the planet which has been afflicted by them. It should also be noted that both nodal points tend to generate instinctive behavioral patterns rather than those which are based upon the functions of logic and reason. Nodes

The south nodal point indicates circumstances which prohibit the functioning of the afflicted planet in the normal way, in that the energies of the planet are expressed in a compulsive and uncontrollable manner. This is due to the fact that the energies of the afflicted planet are isolated from functioning as part of a cohesive unit, namely, the individual. Therefore the individual has greater difficulty handling this type of eclipse. The influence that the north node has on the eclipsed planet is one of a dampening affect in that it suppresses the energies of that planet to the extent that it is desensitised. This produces a certain lethargy in which the individual is unable and / or unwilling to deal with those planetary energies afflicted by the eclipse.

Dealing With Values

In drawing together all of these threads of information, it is possible to summarize that the lunar eclipse indicates an occurrence in one's life where one is forced to deal with values and ethics which go to the very root of one's being. It finds its outlet through a challenging situation to bring about a realization of fundamental truths; but this also represents a conclusion or a peak to these matters as this is also the time of the Full Moon.

Opposing Forces

An interruption of Moon energy indicates an interruption and dysfunction of the emotions. One finds oneself pulled in two different directions over the issues at hand, resulting in a struggle between the emotions and will of the individual. One is unable to function rationally and logically and will tend to react (a) compulsively, or (b) without a total comprehension of the circumstances within the environment which are generating the crisis (due to a lack of sensitivity towards that same environment). It is little wonder then that the resultant disorientation of the individual produces inappropriate behavioural patterns which, in turn, increases the probability of errors in judgment.

Copyright, Alison Moroney, 1989

First published in "Astrological Monthly Review" in 1989.