Eclipses must be getting even darker these days. The South Node of the moon has just conjoined Pluto on April 5th, 2019 and, moving backwards in its retrograde cycle, goes on to conjoin Saturn on May 2nd. Could this be why astronomers, using an array of telescopes from all points of the globe, were able to finally photograph a black hole?

Of course, you cannot photograph a black hole, because where it is, the gravity is so intense, that even light cannot escape. The photograph was of the event horizon – the rim around the black hole where matter and light, any event, finally disappears. It’s like a golden ring – the eye of Sauron. Nobody really knows what happens after this. The late Stephen Hawkin theorized that matter was drawn out like spaghetti by gravitational forces. At the center of the black hole all matter is crushed into an infinitely small space called singularity. From the event horizon to the center, black holes are large: the one photographed is larger than the entire solar system and 6.5 billion times the mass of our sun.

The Saturn-Pluto-Node cycle
Considering events on Earth often reflect events in the Heavens, there are likely to be clear parallels between our new-found ability to photograph a black hole, and the conjunction of Saturn, the South Node and Pluto. This triple conjunction is very rare – the last one was in 1882 – and there have only been three conjunction in Capricorn in the last 2000 years. Negotiating Brexit has sucked all the oxygen out of British political life, and Parliament has reached an event horizon of its own. It appears that Saturn, Pluto and the South Node represent a monumental blockage, with no apparent way out one way or the other.

Parallels major and minor
A glance at the news in this period shows events large and small, which reflect this historic planetary combination. Archaeologists in Indonesia have discovered Homo luzonensis in a cave –  remnants of a 3-foot tall human which became extinct just 50,000 years ago. It is the Moon’s nodal axis which makes a magical connection from one dimension to another, from past to present, from event horizon to singularity, from body to soul. By digging deeper and deeper into the floor of the cave successive layers of bones were revealed going back in time.

If Saturn on the Node represents a blockage, then Pluto on the Node represents the forcible removal of the blockage. At Fukushima nuclear power plant, devastated by the 2011 tsunami, scientists have finally got around to removing the nuclear fuel rods from the damaged reactor. The policy of the Japanese government is to enable the population of the region to return, which means eliminating the sources of radiation from the region so that new life can take hold once again.

It is not just the big things, which reflect this historic triple conjunction. In the USA, a 40-year old man tried to sue his parents for trashing his collection of porn, which he valued at $29,000. He had gone to live with his parents after his wife divorced him. (Surprise). His father claimed it was for his own good. This is also the meeting of Saturn and Pluto. The prosecutor’s office decided against filing charges against the parents for throwing out 12 boxes of films and magazines and two boxes of sex toys.

Tunnels and Elevators
The Moon’s nodes are like wormholes, a transdimensional connection, joining one reality to another. Sometimes actual tunnels connected with the past are revealed when the nodes are emphasized. For example, on September 10th, 2007, just before a solar eclipse in Virgo, with the Moon exactly on the South Node, excavations in the City of David exposed Jerusalem’s main drainage channel through which the residents of the city took refuge in Roman times.

The nodes also show channels in the human body, especially related to Kundalini. Particularly when the nodes run from the MC to the IC – the backbone of the chart – there is a sensitivity to experiencing Kundalini awakening as forces from above unite with forces from below. Sometimes this position of the nodes is more prosaic. One friend has the South Node in Virgo conjoining the IC and the North Node in Pisces on the MC. He lived on the 4th floor with a fish shop at street level. People in the apartment block complained about the smell, so a ventilation pipe was constructed up to the roof. This incidentally coincided with a huge career boost for the friend. Fishy karma.

President Trump is an excellent example of the nodal axis from the 10th to the 4th house, although Kundalini awakening is hardly his thing. Living in the penthouse on the 58th floor, he ascends and descends on a golden elevator – the kind of thing you have with Leo rising and the Sun conjoining the North Node. Trump is in his own god realm here, and the mortals below are represented by the eclipsed “blood” Moon in the 4th house. Perhaps that was the source of inspiration for his inauguration pledge to stop the “carnage” on city streets.

The Nodes and Karma
In Western astrology, a major influence on the understanding and interpretation of the Moon’s Nodes was Martin Schulman’s “The Moon’s Nodes and Reincarnation”. His basic premise is that the South Node represents conditioned influences – past karma – and that the North Node represents what we aspire to in this life. During the first two cycles of the Node we act according to our conditioning, gravitating unconsciously to what we did so well in an earlier incarnation, represented by the South Node. Later, and primarily after the second nodal return age 37, we reject the easy solutions of the past and embrace a development cycle based on the North Node.

Clients do seem to identify strongly with this kind of interpretation. For example, someone with the South Node in Taurus may find themselves attracted to a life of comfort and material pleasures, but subsequently quite radically reject these comforts, finding greater life values in the North Node in Scorpio – psychological insights, purging of material attachment, deeper intimacy etc. The interpretation of the nodes is further refined by the house positions, so, if the South Node in Taurus was in the 6th house, an earlier attachment to the security of a guaranteed job and accepted status amongst colleagues might then transform to a desire to work and live alone to investigate life’s mysteries. Generally, the South Node can be likened to assets in the bank, which can be drawn upon throughout life, whilst the North Node is something built anew. There is a sense of being “full”, where the South Node is, with a corresponding sense of meaninglessness – you cannot keep pouring into a container that is full.

Rahu and Ketu
The Vedic story is very different. Rahu (the North Node) and Ketu (the South Node) are demons who aspired to become gods. Rahu stole and drank the nectar of the gods, whereupon Vishnu threw his discuss, severing Rahu at the neck. As a result, Rahu became the disembodied head, whilst Ketu became the headless tail. Whilst in the Western tradition, the North Node is seen as faintly beneficial and the South Node faintly malefic, in Vedic astrology, the North Node is a hungry mouth devouring everything it can get, whilst Ketu is seen as a more spiritual force that rejects the ego, develops compassion and hungers for knowledge of spirituality. Ketu wants loneliness and its own space. Rahu wants ever-expanding greatness; it is a shadow planet falling prey to illusion.

The Nodes and the Planets
In Vedic astrology, the conjunction of the South Node with Saturn is the meeting of spirituality and discipline. It is at this time that the opportunity exists to examine ingrained habits acquired throughout the past and commit to change. Combined with Pluto, the opportunity exists to completely eliminate problematic structures which have been established layer upon layer, and replace them with new structures with a new purpose.

When a planet conjoins the North Node, something special happens. The disembodied head of Rahu takes the planet and injects an obsessive quality to it. When the Sun conjoins Rahu, it is as if the father is subsumed by a greater “Father” which wants to assume godlike attributes. In Trump’s horoscope, the Sun in the 10th conjoining Rahu evokes precisely this sense of being unique and possessing a godlike ability to be the one person uniquely capable of transforming America. When the Sun conjoins Ketu, quite the opposite effect takes place, when the ego cannot shine and self-confidence is subdued.

When the Moon conjoins Rahu, the influence is unfathomably deep, because it is the unconscious mind which can evoke obsessive feelings, creating a complex emotional mood which is difficult to objectively navigate in. Venus-Rahu tends to amplify love to an unrealistic level. The influence of Rahu is to make things balloon, so in this case people with this conjunction are exceedingly romantic. Venus-Ketu can evoke quite different experiences, as there is a denial of the sensual desires or urge for union, which Venus inherently needs.


Pluto and Automation
Pluto in many ways represents the rise of the machines. It is estimated that automation will disrupt jobs at about three times the rate of the Second Industrial Revolution which sparked strikes and riots at the turn of the 20th century. (Note 1) One in five working age men have not worked in the last year in the USA. Life expectancy has declined through drug overdoses and suicides. It is not immigration which is causing large scale disruption – it is automation.

The conjunction of Saturn and Pluto, highlighted by the South Node, brings awareness to bear on the forces of capitalism which put profit above humanity. Climate change, unemployment and job insecurity, and the disparity between rich and poor are a manifestation of this. The process of automation through artificial intelligence is only just beginning, and this will require a complete rethinking of capitalism, perhaps something like a universal wage. One of the themes that is sure to be examined in the 2020 US election will probably be centred on the effect of automation and proposals to deal with it.

In our own lives here in 2019, there will be areas of our lives, which have been blocked for years, and which have dictated negative behaviour and repressed emotions for years. Saturn and the Node conjoin every 11 years, and there will be echoes of earlier cycles, although the influence of Pluto will dredge up karmic and genetic influences from ancestral sources also. When the blockages are removed, it will feel like a sewer that is drained. The detritus of the past will be sucked away into that black hole and reconstituted as a building block for the future.

Adrian Duncan 15th April 2019

1. “The Collision of Demographics, Automation and Inequality”