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Unexpected Lunar Nodes Discussion with Adam Sommer

Unexpected Lunar Nodes Discussion with Adam Sommer

In episode 127 astrologer Adam Sommer of the Exploring Astrology podcast joined the show to answer some questions submitted by listeners of both of our podcasts, but we got stuck on the very first question and ended up having a 90-minute discussion about the lunar nodes.

On the Moon’s Nodes

We open the episode by introducing Adam, talking a little bit about his background and podcast, and then we transition into the Q&A session and read our first question, which was from a patron of Chris’ podcast named Sheila Roher. Sheila wrote:

As your note in your book, Hellenistic astrology doesn’t seem to pay a huge amount of attention to lunar nodes. Babylonian astrology viewed the nodes as dangerous gateways to change (with dragons ready to charge into action). Many astrologers from different ‘schools’ (whether Medieval or Theosophical or New Age) tend to favor the north node and view the south node as more problematic. Some Jungian astrologers view the nodes as a key indicator of the themes the person is seeking to balance in their lives (a view I find usually accurate and helpful with clients). How, if at all, are you using the nodes in delineation? How much weight do you give transits to the nodes, nodal returns, or transiting nodes to natal planets?

This then led to a full discussion on the nodes and their meaning in astrology, and in particular some of the issues surrounding how they have come to be interpreted in the west in the past few decades versus how they were used in other traditions of astrology in the past.

Some of the discussion points included:

  • The relatively recent development of past life/reincarnation associations with the nodes.
  • The way the nodes are used in the Hellenistic, Medieval, and Indian astrological traditions.
  • The tendency to treat the south node as accidentally malefic in some modern traditions.
  • Why the north node is only listed sometimes in charts.
  • Adam’s views on the significance and importance of the nodes in natal chart work.
  • The nodes as destabilizing or disruptive factors in some traditions.
  • The connection of the nodes with eclipses.
  • A possible traditional justification for the way the nodes are viewed in modern times.
  • Empiricism versus symbolic reasoning as the means of determining what things mean in astrology.
  • And many other topics.

Although the nodes have come up from time to time before on The Astrology Podcast, I’ve been meaning to do a show on them for a while, and this sort of turned into that episode unexpectedly.

Thanks and our apologies to everyone else who sent in questions for the Q&A! We are planning to do a followup episode at some point in order to get to some of the other questions.


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 127 transcript

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  • Good afternoon friend, Your pod cast is spot on (imo). You and your guest gave an interview which is so easy to follow.. Each point and topic ya’ll touched on contextualized most favorably the positive importance with the node’s subject from our western astrology’s perspectives. Thanks to you both.

  • Complete pleasure having a listen to you two! It is my first introduction to Adam Sommer, so thank you Chris.
    Such rich conversational symmetry between the two of you — I reveled in the organic flow of your chat on, what happens to be, my main interest presently! Bravo & thanks

  • It’s amazing to me that the earliest suggestion of the nodes being related to past lives found so far is in the 1930’s from Rudhyar. By the early to mid 1970’s the North Node = future and South Node = past lives was well established and was fundamental to my astrological practice at the time as well as many other astrologers. Many thanks to both of you!

    • i think that was in reference to modern astrology david… as for other forms of astrology holding this view, i imagine indian astrology has held this idea for a much longer time, but i have no references to provide for my view here..

      • As I said in the podcast James, the association of past and future lives with the nodes is not a view that was traditionally held in Indian astrology either. Modern western astrologers often just assume that this is an Indian view, even though that is not necessarily the case.

  • I really enjoyed this– I would love to hear more about nodes actually! (I also have a Martin Shulman book on reincarnation and retrogrades and I should look for the node one as well.)

    It was also funny to hear of Adam’s location in Gold Hill, Co. because I used to live up there (17 yrs ago) on the Gold Hill Road where it meets Sawmill- almost at the Peak To Peak–! Very random and nice to know astrology is alive and well in Left Hand Canyon !
    I have Sagittarius N Node and loved being up on the mountain, I always think back to that time as a baseline of sanity and wholeness!
    Thank you both for this!

    • Oh Amy! I think you know something…. I have a 9 deg Sag NN in House 4. I lived with a view of the mountains for 37 years and now do not have them and am MISERABLE. Have to move back. Also, with an IC of 28 /Scorp feel a craving for water that was also always in the enviro that I now do not have. Am seriously thinking of doing a reading with previous guest on this podcast, Moses, for a relocation reading. Do you live by the mountains now?

      • Yes the locational reading would be very interesting! I actually live in LA where I’ve been for 17 years (ugh) and I can’t stand it anymore. I’m actually really drawn to Miami of all places- right on my mars line..? ? Everytime I’m there it feels “right”. I have mars Leo 02 at midheaven. Though honestly, when I was there in July I was hit by another driver and now I’m embroiled in a lawsuit against them- we were driving literally right over my mars line on an island when it happened.. so yeah.. might need to look into the details a bit.. yikes.

  • Very nice to hear an interpretation that does not relate to past life. My House 10 SN was very alive and active this time around, except, no planets in that house so the duality of Gemini cusp was not so prevalent except that I wore many hats and was very flexible. My ex on the other hand has a 29 degree Venus Mercury conjunction is same sign and house and had tow simultaneous careers. For the record, I found the MC to have a great influence on career enviro and even tasks at hand. This duality of what one is drawn to and what one finds so easy to do, but not compelled to (NN vs SN) is an interesting dynamic. So the suggestion to watch the transits to these points by aspect I think is very important to find the clues. How does this play out when activated, or when the ruling planet is activated?

  • Nice! Have either of you noticed a functional difference for the southern hemisphere? The ascending appears to be descending when viewed from the opposite perspective.
    I noticed Adam’s observation with interest about experiences of de ja vu with the nodes. They are an intersection of the sun’s annual path with the moon’s monthly, and I have speculated before about an interfolding of time (or muddling) at the nodes (and at eclipses which add the ‘here and now’ into the mix).
    So glad to hear about some critical reasoning and research. I had started to step away from the NN as future / SN as past concept myself, and then faltered as I started to question my motivations (I have SN with my Sun and wondered if I was just looking for a kinder interpretation). Thanks 🙂

    • I have never noticed a difference. Logically, you would think so, but not so much. A great majority of my clients and students are down there, and we have definitely had deep explorations on the subject. But yeah, business as usual =0

      • Interesting. Like the crescent moon looks balsamic but still functions as the crescent.

        I think I’ll be listening to his one again. 🙂

  • thanks chris and adam.. i found this podcast pretty trite and boring.. oh well.. as for putting the south node on the chart with the north node – it seems unnecessary… everyone knows the south node is opposite the north node.. for those who like to clutter the chart with this, that and all else – you do have that option on solar fire and etc..

  • You touch a bit on the transit of the moon to the nodes as being unfortunate for elections or just feeling like an otherworldly few hours (deja vu, etc.
    What about natal moon conjunct the South Node?
    (SN @ 16 Cap in 12th, Moon @ 18 Cap in 12th, Rising @ 23 Cap)

      • Adam, can you go into more detail about this aspect? I can’t seem to find very much information in it at all. The info that I can find is pretty negative.

  • I massively respect you for posting comments even when they are critical of your work. An inability to withstand pointed criticism is a sign of insecurity. Thumbs up.

  • I recently went through a SN return and l actually told my friend explaining my experience of it being akin to PTSD so Adam hit it on the nail…