How will the karmic nodes influence trends in 2019? We take a look
One of the interesting features of Indian (Vedic) Astrology is the mythology developed after the astrology. All the stories you hear about the planetary deities are also teaching stories that help with chart interpretations. This is especially true with the nodes.
How the nodes became planets
In ancient Indian mythology, there were two classes of divine beings, the Devas (gods) and the Asuras (demigods). Many Asuras were jealous of the extra powers the Devas had. One day, the Devas and Asuras lost their immortality. The Devas went to their guru, Brihaspati (Jupiter), and asked, “How can we get our immortality back?”
Brihaspati revealed that the only way to regain immortality would require the help of the Asuras. The Devas and Asuras agreed to work together and share the elixir of immortality. However, the Devas tricked the Asuras, distracting them from receiving their sip of the elixir. That is, all but one: Rahu, a particularly intelligent Asura, realised what was going on.
Disguising himself as a Deva, Rahu snuck in the receiving line between the Sun and the Moon and just as he was about to receive a share of the elixir, both the Sun and Moon recognised him for who he was and shouted, “That’s not one of us, it’s Rahu!”
Vishnu, the mahadeva (great Deva) who was handing out the potion, threw his razor-sharp discus and chopped off his head! But it was too late; Rahu had already sipped the elixir. Now there was an immortal head, Rahu, and an immortal tail, Ketu, and both “parts” were mad.
When Saturn and Jupiter converge on one house, it is an opportunity for success.
They immediately attacked the Devas with such ferocity that they panicked and called up their most formidable warrior, Kali, the preeminent goddess and destroyer of evil forces. She was quick to act and grabbed Rahu’s head with one of her many hands. Holding him with her outstretched arm, he was unable to bite anything. Half the problem solved. But Ketu, being a headless, egoless form, began to attack.
The Devas panicked. They ran to Jupiter, wondering what to do? He suggested, “Have you tried being nice? After all, you did renege on the deal to share the elixir.” As a peace offering, the Devas promised to make both Rahu and Ketu planets, which is how they got planetary status.
Rahu, (North Node), a head without a body, has a kind of insatiable quality. Not having a stomach means Rahu never gets full. His placement in your chart can show an area of life where you just can’t get enough. Ketu, (South Node), not having a head, becomes an egoless and creative energy, who brings a spiritualising influence to whatever house he’s placed in. The nodes are always in opposite signs and houses.
The astronomical nodes
If you pretend that the Sun, like the Moon, revolves around Earth, after a few days of observation, you will see that the Sun and Moon travel on slightly different planes. When these two planes or orbital paths intersect, they create two points exactly 180 degrees, or opposite, each other. Imagine you are holding two hula hoops, one within the other. When you tilt the inner one at a slight angle you will see these two crossing points: the points where the hoops intersect, or cross each other.
On June 16, the Sun enters Gemini for a month, which should be a period of increased vitality.
In the West, these points are called the Nodes of the Moon. In Indian astrology, they are called Rahu (North Node) and Ketu (South Node). They are “shadow planets”, because they don’t have a physical body like other planets, but they have full planetary status in the birth chart.
While there is some overlap in the meanings of signs, planets and houses in Indian and Western astrology, the nodes are one point of stark departure. In the West, it is common to read the North Node as a point indicating qualities you should develop, and the South Node as a place where you are too comfortable or stuck, but their meaning in Indian astrology is quite different and more nuanced. To make use of this article, you will need to reimagine your natal chart in the sidereal zodiac. Your software or favourite online resource can run the calculation, or you can subtract about 23 degrees from the tropical (Western) positions of your nodes for a rough and ready approximation.
The nodes by house
Rahu amps up the natal house it falls in. It will draw your energy and make you passionately interested in the affairs of its house. Ketu can create a feeling of impermanence, dissatisfaction and sometimes separation.
Both nodes will take on the qualities of the planets that rule the signs they are in and the qualities of any planets that are close to them (in the same sidereal sign). For example, if your nodes fall on the Taurus/Scorpio axis, you may have a Venus-like Rahu and a Mars-like Ketu. Remember, you want to look at your chart with a sidereal zodiac (Lahiri being the most common) and whole sign houses. The following sections provide an introductory look at the nodes in your chart.
Rahu in the Ascendant/Ketu in the 7th
Rahu inclines you to push the boundaries and have an interest in cutting-edge material or spiritual technology. You may be fond of international travel, have a strong presence and nurture ambition. You may feel like the black sheep (or white sheep, depending on self-esteem) of the family. Ketu in the 7th suggests a spiritual, creative type, such as an artist or a healer, perhaps someone raised in a religion not of their birth. With this placement, it’s always best to take intimate relationships one day at a time.
Rahu in the 2nd/Ketu in the 8th
Rahu rules poison and the 2nd House is what you put in your mouth, so be careful with food choices and alcohol consumption. You might have a strong voice, or skills with making and spending money. Ketu in the 8th allows you to land on your feet and be adaptable to changing circumstances. It can show you little attachment to wealth, resulting, ironically, in clear intuitive abilities related to business and investment.
Rahu in the 3rd, Ketu in the 9th
Rahu brings a courageous, innovative and constantly busy life. This placement can indicate a troubled relationship with siblings, but it’s also associated with musical ability. Ketu in the 9th shows that while you will learn from spiritual teachers, you will always follow your own way. It can also show a father who was absent or distant, or disappointing teachers.
Rahu in the 4th, Ketu in the 10th
The 4th is the House of the Home and here Rahu brings feeling of restlessness. You may be an independent thinker, sometimes winning arguments for the sake of winning. Your mother might be unusual or push boundaries. Ketu in the 10th denotes a creative or intuitive career or one where you follow your own heart in business. Driven by a gnawing dissatisfaction with the status quo, you constantly seek a more refined work experience. It’s a great placement for cultivating self-awareness.
Rahu in the 5th, Ketu in the 11th
With Rahu in the 5th, you might have a fascination with metaphysics or astrology, or a skill for technical writing. You may have a child who pushes the boundaries. This is also an indication of possible adoption and stepchildren. Ketu in the 11th brings creative friends and aspirations achieved through intuition. You might be process-oriented rather than goal-oriented. Avoid financial dealings with friends.
Rahu in the 6th, Ketu in the 12th
You can benefit from alternative or traditional healing modalities, such as Ayurveda or acupuncture. You might change employment constantly or climb the ladder of success. You may experience trouble with employees not seeing eye to eye with you. Ketu in the 12th shows spiritual inclinations, a possible attraction to Buddhist-type meditation practices, as well as travel to exotic destinations (plus the incurred expenses of such travels).
Rahu in 7th, Ketu in Ascendant
More than once, I’ve seen this manifest as marriage. But it can also mean a foreign-born spouse or a partner who is from another culture, involved with advanced technologies or who is even an electrical engineer type. Your spouse may travel for a living or there may be benign separations due to work. Ketu in the Ascendant brings detachment, mindfulness and a spiritually inclined person. I’ve seen a lot of mediums with this placement. Ketu will also bring a magnetic quality to your personality, along with natural intuition and healing abilities.
Rahu in the 8th, Ketu in the 2nd
You’ll probably be interested in science, technology and/or occult topics. You may be excited by personal growth and might have a spouse interested in finance. Ketu in the 2nd gives you a healing voice. You may say things that are prophetic, heal others with the sound of your voice, eat a simple diet or find success through intuitive and creative endeavours.
Rahu in the 9th, Ketu in the 3rd
With Rahu in the 9th, you might have an advanced degree or training, be wealthy and successful, or interested in alternative philosophies. You may reject the religion of your parents and might be fond of travelling to foreign countries. Ketu gives musical or artistic talents. With this placement, you can overcome your enemies. You may find your siblings a source of disappointment.
Rahu in the 10th, Ketu in the 4th
You may be driven, compulsive at work, ambitious, an innovator, on the cutting-edge side, sometimes unconventional and have to deal with mental restlessness. Ketu in the 4th can bring a creative or compassionate mother, although sometimes this manifests as a distant or absent mother. You crave a harmonious home environment.
Rahu in the 11th, Ketu in the 5th
Traditionally, the 11th House is considered the best placement of Rahu. It brings career success, the achieving of goals, sometimes unconventional, and diversity of friends, in ethnic and economic backgrounds. It can also show compulsive desires that become problematic. Ketu in 5th can bring a creative child, although sometimes there’s no particular interest in having children. It can also indicate art as meditation and a sign of creativity.
Rahu in the 12th, Ketu in the 6th
If you have Rahu in the 12th, you may have spontaneous romantic encounters or a strong libido. You might be tempted to try a variety of spiritual disciplines but might not stick to any one long enough to achieve results. This is sometimes called spiritual materialism. Whenever I see Ketu in the 6th, the House of Health, there is always the possibility that in the event of a serious health challenge, the initial physician may misdiagnose the condition, so always get a second opinion. Ketu here also denotes a body that is particularly responsive to alternative healthcare methods, for example herbology.
Node trends in 2019
January starts with Ketu in Capricorn and Rahu in Cancer. (Remember, all signs mentioned are sidereal signs.) This brings a Saturn-like Ketu and a Moon-like Rahu. With this combination, it’s a good time to find structure and discipline in your spiritual practice and to push yourself beyond the normal confines of everyday perceptions.
Strength and spiritual practice
On January 15, the Sun enters sidereal Capricorn. The Sun represents the soul in Indian astrology so this continues to be a good time for spiritual practice, but sometimes this combination can create self-doubt. On January 21, Mercury enters Capricorn, placing Ketu, the Sun and Mercury together in the same sign. As Mercury is the planet of writing and communication, this is a good time to start a creative writing project. Mercury will leave this configuration on February 7, so don’t delay.
From February 6 to March 22, Mars, the planet of action, moves to Aries. With Mars in its own house, you may be granted strength and auspiciousness, especially as Mars will aspect Rahu, the planet of ambition. This is a time to embrace and cultivate your ambitions for the year.
From February 25 to March 22, Venus joins Ketu in Capricorn and, as Venus is the planet of love and art, now is a great time to execute artistic plans. Alternatively, you can practice nonattachment with regards to intimacy, or find some kind of creative self-expression. If you’ve outgrown a relationship, this could help with its dissolution.
Expansion, discipline and letting go
Rahu and Ketu are the only “planets” that move backwards through the zodiac. On March 31, they move into Gemini (Rahu) and Sagittarius (Ketu). This shifts their associated planets.
Ketu is now influenced by Jupiter, the ruling planet of Sagittarius, and will want to expand beyond all boundaries. With Jupiter in sidereal Sagittarius until May 1, this feeling will be intensified. Rahu is now infused with the qualities of Mercury (Mercury rules Gemini), which may lead to perhaps having too many irons in the fire.
Saturn is already in Sagittarius, welcoming Ketu to its new home, and will be with Ketu for the duration of the year. Therefore, an overarching theme for the rest of the year is structured and disciplined spiritual practice, or the breaking down of date structures. If you’ve felt stuck, this kind of energy is great for extricating yourself from a rut
Communication pros and cons
At this time, Mars’ special aspect will now touch Ketu, creating a kind of spiritual warrior dynamic, or a real passion for letting go of things that no longer serve you. When Mars moves into sidereal Gemini from May 7 to June 23, there is a danger of speaking too fast or unnecessarily harshly, so be careful with communication then.
From June 2 to 21, Mercury, the planet of communication (talking, writing and students), is in his home sign of Gemini, joining Mars and Rahu. If you have any kind of mercurial project going, this is a great time to channel all that energy into it.
Vitality and progress
On June 16, the Sun enters Gemini for a month, which should be a period of increased vitality. If you’ve previously been struggling to finish certain projects, you should find it easier to complete them now. Resist the temptation to work too hard or do too much. Rahu is the “too much” planet, the planet of taking one extra step you don’t need to take, the planet of giving you a million dollars one day only to have you spend a million and one the next.
By June 23, both Mars and Mercury have moved on, leaving the Sun vulnerable to the Rahu/Ketu excess. For the next week, you may be vulnerable to self-doubt and your energy levels may dip. You might want to take it easy during this time. Conversely, it may be a good time to ask for a raise since the Sun is a career planet and Rahu rules ambition.
Connections and progress
From June 29 to July 23, Venus tours Gemini, bringing a Venusian quality to the mix. This might make you susceptible to “love at first sight” feelings, an ardent feeling of love, or an element of delusion or illusion. Vet suitors carefully.
Mars visits Virgo from September 25 to November 10, creating a special aspect that influences Saturn and Ketu. Saturn likes to take its time, while insisting on being on time, but it can mean things take longer than you think they should. Mars likes to do things immediately. Be patient with yourself and constructively channel that Mars energy without being attached to a particular timetable of results.
Success in November
On November 4, Jupiter returns to Sagittarius, softening both Saturn and Ketu. When Saturn and Jupiter converge on one house, it is an opportunity for success. Jupiter brings opportunities and Saturn provides the wherewithal to make use of those opportunities. This combination can help you with spiritual disciplines, dreams of travel and increasing your capacity to understand philosophy or wisdom teachings.
The year ends with an intense configuration. On December 17, the Sun moves into Sagittarius, joined by the Moon and Mercury on December 26. This results in six planets in Sagittarius opposing Rahu in Gemini who, because of Mars’ continuous movement, now receives a special aspect of Mars again. This special pattern creates an opportunity for you to re-evaluate your life goals. December 26, and the last week of the year, is a great time to set your goals for 2020.
It’s always better to let go of what no longer serves you than to have those things forcibly removed (a more malefic manifestation of Ketu). If you have learned to move with the give-and-take rhythm of Rahu/Ketu throughout the year, you should be more than ready to embrace the challenges and successes of 2020.
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