The Nodes – Rahu and Ketu
The nodes of the Moon are points in space where eclipses occur. Whenever an eclipse happens, what is occurring is the Sun, Moon and Earth are lining up in such a way that the Earth is interfering with the Sun’s light towards the Moon, causing a shadow to be cast onto the Moon (lunar eclipse), or the Moon itself is getting in the way of the Sun’s light and casting a shadow onto the Earth (solar eclipse).
Rahu is called the north node of the Moon and Ketu is called the south node of the Moon. These north and south nodes refer to the ascending and descending energy of an astrological chart. They are points in space where the Sun and Moon’s paths intersect, as it relates to the Earth (see image below). Rahu is an ascending energy; therefore we call it the north node. It is where we are moving towards our inspiration. Rahu is related to those things in previous lifetimes that we have not yet mastered, and it becomes our soul’s inspiration to master them in this lifetime. Ketu, on the other hand, represents a movement downward, hence why Ketu is called the southern node of the Moon. Ketu’s descending energy represents a going back or going to the past, which is why Ketu is often related to our past experiences. Ketu represents those things that made us feel safe and secure and those things that we defined ourselves through in past lifetimes.
When Rahu and Ketu affect a sign and a house within the chart, their powerful outside force has a tendency to possess and “hijack” the natural qualities of what that sign and house would normally represent. This is why Rahu and Ketu can be such confusing and perplexing influences because they possess and obstruct what is already there. In this essay, we will be exploring the effects of the nodes in signs 2 and 8, the natural signs of Taurus and Scorpio.
Sign 2 – “Sampat”
In the Year 3 Lunar Nodes Class, Kurczak related the energy of sign 2, Taurus, to the Sanskrit word “sampat”. Sampat means “opulence” or wealth. He described sign 2 as,
“…the bringing together the energy of the first sign. It is realizing what is required to stabilize the indications of the first sign. The second sign can show a focus developing what is required to stay alive to fulfill the path. The position of the second sign will show an area of life where one has responsibilities and ownership.”
The 1st sign, Aries, is about what has been brought forth. It is the individualized sense of self, it is a person’s individual, creative self-expression. When we look at sign number 2 and house number 2, this is going to give us an understanding of the individualized creative self-expression and tell us if that will be supported in such a way that it is able to grow into something strong. The 1st house, 1st sign is related to the Sanskrit term, “janma” meaning birth. The 2nd house, 2nd sign represent the years after birth. It is the connection to the mother and the connection to the immediate family. Sign 2 is a sign that deals with one’s nourishment. It is related to wealth, form, the bringing of something concrete and what the supports are related to that creative self-expression as related to sign 1.
Yavana Jataka & Sign 2
In the Yavana Jataka it is said, “The second sign has the shape of a bull. It is the throat and mouth of the Creator. It is related to forests, mountains, ridges. It indicates the places for elephants, herds of cows and farmers.”
The 2nd sign is the “throat and mouth” of the Creator because it is about expressing one’s needs. “The mouth” also deals with those things that we take in and how we get our nourishment. “Related to forests, mountains, ridges” – forests are often times where we go to get things we need such as firewood, healing herbs and food. These are places where a person can go and get their needs met. “It indicates places for elephants, herds of cows and farmers” – elephants represent a sign of wealth and prestige, and also herds of cows since one is often wealthy when possessing of livestock. Farmers represent the ability to till the land and bring forth crops, nourishment and sustenance from the land.
Ketu in Scorpio, Rahu in Taurus
In Kala Vedic astrology software, Ernst Wilhelm described the nodal energy of Ketu in Scorpio, Rahu in Taurus as:
“Ketu in Scorpio indicates a native who in recent past lives has attempted to gain security by cultivating inner strength when confronted by the limitation of external factors that are unable to fulfill their needs. Rahu, being in the opposing sign of Taurus, indicates the need to welcome whatever security an external source can practically provide. However, there are some fears involved in depending upon external forms of security, because the native has established a paradigm of not doing so through Ketu in Scorpio, which instead has relied on internal forms of security. However, fears in relying on external forms of security reflect inner fears and weakness that yet remain. Rahu awakens these fears by providing
material things that the native has not been confronted with a need for, or which awaken a need within them. These allow the native to see how secure they really are, helping them to complete the transmutation of all their needs. These natives can only enjoy those things Rahu provides when they are able to approach them without any desire or need.”
With the nodes, it is important to remember that just like Rahu and Ketu cannot truly be separated due to them being two halves of a single entity, the signs themselves are also not separate. Sign number 2 is an integral part of sign number 8 and they are not separate. This is true for all the other polar pairs within the zodiac. The zodiac is a wholeness in and of itself. It is not just a wheel where things are divided. Yes, there are divisions, however we need to understand that the signs are dependent on their polar opposites. Sign 1 is dependent on sign 7, sign 2 is dependent on sign 8 and so on.
When we have Ketu as a foundation in Scorpio a person will have their definition of strength and security coming through from having a solid and stable inner strength to confront the limitations of external things. Sign 8 of Scorpio deals with the idea of our deeper psychology and having the strength to deal with sudden breaks and changes. Are we able to deal with those sudden breaks and changes? That is why Scorpio is related to our longevity and to our emergencies. Everyone will run into sudden breaks and changes in their lives as well as emergencies and sign 8/house 8 will show us how well we will be able to manage those things.
With this axis, part of what Rahu is stimulating the person to do and the reason it becomes so uncomfortable, is that it makes the person feel so content internally that they become aware of a need of something external. The difficulty is that they do not know how to fulfill that need. What makes this uncomfortable is that it is drawing a person out of their sense of detachment and Rahu is telling them, “You need to explore that which you have not explored before.” The person has to accept the fact that they are being confronted with a physical challenge that they have never come up against and it is something they are forced to try and figure it out. There is a similar theme here from Rahu in sign 1/house 1 – Rahu is teaching them to go out and try whether one fails or not.
Sign 8 – “Friendly”
The energy of sign 8, as Kurczak mentioned in the Lunar Nodes Class,
“…is the highest relationship one can have. Being at peace with everything in the world. Not needing anything. Learning to see everyone just as deserving as you are. One is happy to see another satisfied as oneself. Since there no more needs, there is no competition and so one is happy for the good of all. Content to see others fulfilled because one is already fulfilled in all ways.”
Have you ever noticed that when a person is not fulfilled, they tend to hate it when other people get things? But when a person has all they need and has experienced all that has been required of them, they tend to be very happy for the good fortune and benefit of others.
Yavana Jataka & Sign 8
In the Yavana Jataka it is said, “The eight embodies a scorpion in its hole. This sign relates to the penis and anus of the Lord. The places of the eighth sign are caves, pits, holes, poisonous and stony areas, prisons, the abodes of ants, worms, boa constrictors and snakes.”
“A scorpion in its hole” – When a scorpion is in its hole, it is content. It is withdrawn and away from the world. “The penis and anus of the Lord” represents those parts of the body which are most sensitive. The penis or the genitals represent that ability for the human body to pass on their genetics and their DNA. It’s the part of the person that is vital to health and well-being and it is vital to the continuation of life itself. “The places of the eighth sign are caves, pits, holes, poisonous and stony areas, prisons, the abodes of ants, worms, boa constrictors and snakes.” – these are all things that people want to avoid, most of the time. They are things which are difficult. All of these places are where a person learns their strength and where a person can also rise from difficulty. That is why sign 8 and the 8th house is often related to this idea of sudden breaks and changes. When you get poisoned, often times it’s instantaneous. When you fall in a hole, often it is by accident. When you’re in a stony, poisonous area, you don’t plan to be there, you just somehow end up there.
However, with all of the negative things listed above, sign 8 can also be related to happiness and friendliness. When a person has learned to master all of the negative things mentioned about sign 8 in Yavana Jataka, we become supremely friendly because we are not afraid of those things anymore. And when you’re not afraid of those things and you become friendly, you will be good for others who many not necessarily have the wisdom and experience yet to know how to handle those sudden breaks and changes and difficulties related to sign 8.
Ketu in Taurus, Rahu in Scorpio
In Kala Vedic astrology software, Ernst Wilhelm described the nodal energy of Ketu in Taurus, Rahu in Scorpio as:
“Ketu in Taurus indicates that the native in recent past lives has attempted to create security by being secure in the material world, and this usually means through wealth and practical resourcefulness. Identifying with these has provided security and stability in a world that is not entirely so. In this lifetime, Ketu indicates a growing discontentment with materiality, as well as a tendency to disrupt any material structures of security, and so in doing the evolutionary goal of Ketu to free the native from material attachments is accomplished. Ketu in Taurus also indicates that the native is completing their karmas with respect to those material things that have provided security. Those things being indicated by the house position of Ketu as well as the planets influenced by Ketu.
Rahu in Scorpio indicates incredibly strong needs, needs that are not fulfilled by any security that the physical world has to offer. This may cause the native to compulsively feed off something that appears to fulfill a need, but when it is seen that this need is not fulfilled, another is sought. As long as the native is attempting to fulfill their needs through any physical manifestation, they will find themselves feeling empty and unfulfilled. As they are able to gain more inner security, they become capable of greater happiness.”
Sign 2 is your own resourcefulness and resources, and sign 8 deals with other people’s resourcefulness and resources because it is 2nd from the 7th house. When we have Ketu in Taurus and Rahu in Scorpio, there is a sense of security by having all that we need. With Ketu in Taurus, it’s about our own self being able to provide for everything that we need. And that attachment of being able to take care of everything then leads us to Rahu in Scorpio, which is learning to accept help from others. It is learning to see that your resources are dependent on other people’s resources.
So now what happens is Scorpio, sign 8 comes along and says “You have already proven your own resourcefulness. But what happens when you fall into a cave, a pit or a hole, not of your own doing? What happens when you find those things that you try to take care of, being eaten away by ants or decaying away by worms or being constricted by snakes? Will you really, truly still have happiness then?” What is happening here is Rahu in Scorpio is really calling a person away from physical security and trying to teach them that one should not build their happiness or comforts upon a dune of sand. Because all those things you think you can be secure in, all those things will come and go. When a person realizes that a physical thing can’t fulfill security, they seek something else.
Moreover, we know that the 8th sign is a bridge between sign 7 and 9, 9 being the higher purpose and being committed to long-term relationships. When we have Rahu in the 8th, the person may, when it comes to relationships, always be seeking psychological fulfillment through an individual, however it always falls through. They try again with someone else, and that also falls through and it becomes a repeating cycle. Ultimately, Rahu is calling the person to figure out how to get their needs fulfilled through something other than a physical manifestation. Once the person learns how to be okay whatever comes their way, this is what gives them that inner security, that inner fulfillment. Once they know how to keep themselves alive, then they become capable of greater happiness.
By: D. Quiñones, an Asheville Vedic Astrology Apprenticeship Student