The Lunar Nodes and Mr. Clinton
At the SBAS meeting David Railey gave a most valuable talk on the Lunar Nodes. In western astrology the Nodes represent things that are operating on a deep emotional and instinctual basis. For this reason they are often out of, and beyond, our conscious awareness.
The Nodes and the signs in which they fall symbolize the root polarity of the natal chart. The conflict inherent in this root polarity is between the urge to grow and develop in consciousness (North Node), against the pull back toward security, safety and instinctive comfort (South Node).
The North Node is a willingness to take risks, to move into unknown territory, and to overcome the fear of freedom in order to attempt the North Node qualities.
The South Node is the old and familiar ground where we know we can succeed and be safe; although we will eventually stagnate if we stay there. This polarity needs to be resolved through integrating the positive talents and habits symbolized by the South Node with the fulfillment that comes from developing ourselves in the new directions indicated by the North Node.
Because the Nodes are associated with eclipses, they represent the life path and the search for eternal life, or at least, immortality as an historical figure. Being Lunar, the Nodes symbolize the parts of our psychology which are emotionally driven, vulnerable and fluctuating.
The key words for the North Node are: intention, fulfillment, direction in life, and development (evolution). To do the North Node is to feel some insecurity because it involves the risk of leaving the “tried and true” for the new. But if we do it, we find fulfillment through a new set of accomplishments, through the development of new talents, skills, and habits, those being the things we intend to learn in this lifetime.
The South Node describes that which represents security, habit, and instinct. It indicates the talents, skills, and abilities that are innate to us, and, therefore, easy and comfortable. It also includes the “baggage” of negative habits and tendencies we bring into this life. These traits tend to come out under stress when we feel most insecure (remember the rule: “Under stress we regress!”). We are comfortable with the South Node behaviors; we feel safe with them, and tend to fall back on them for security.
David suggested that the Lunar Nodes are a KEY to unlocking and entering the natal horoscope by looking at the DISPOSITORSHIPS involved with both Nodes.
The definition of DISPOSITOR: a planet is the “dispositor” of the planet(s) located in the sign(s) it rules. For example, a North Node in Gemini is disposed by Mercury (located in, say, Leo); Mercury is itself disposed of by the Sun (located also in Leo). So, because the Sun is in its own sign, it becomes the final dispositor, or ruler, of the North Node.
The Lunar Nodes and Mr. Clinton
Let’s now apply this information to Bill Clinton’s natal chart. He has the North Node in Gemini, in conjunction with Uranus (a singleton as the only planet in a Mutable sign), in the ninth house. (For a discussion of singletons, see Eleanor’s articles on Inferior Functions: pt 1 and pt 2).
As we saw in the example in the paragraph above, it is disposed of by Mercury in Leo. Leo signifies willpower, consciousness, leadership, warmth and strength; it can include the negative qualities of pride to the point of hubris, arrogance, the sense of law unto oneself, a kingly “Dieu et Mon Droit” (God and My Right). Mercury is “sandwiched” between the “Lords of Karma,” Saturn (time) and Pluto (evolution).
Clinton has a highly charged transpersonal North Node! His highest destiny is to speak for, to communicate to the whole world (Mercury, Mutable signs, 9th house = to broadcast information and ideals on the universal level), ideas and ideals for the present and future (Uranus) which are timely (Saturn) and of a powerfully positive evolutionary (Pluto. Leo a “yang” or positive sign) nature. Most Leo’s would be well advised to pray, “Thy will be done, not mine.” In Clinton’s case it is mandatory if he is to accomplish his life’s mission.
Bill Clinton’s “Chain of Disposition”
When a planet conjuncts one of the Nodes, it tends to reinforce that Node. With a powerful Uranus (the “Awakener”) conjuncting his North Node, Clinton is probably far more aware than most of us of his life-purpose. He has a clear vision of it. Keep in mind all that the sign Gemini signifies, good and bad. At worst, Mercury/Gemini is a thief and a prevaricator; he is also the god of commerce, education and the messenger of the gods, an angel. With the North Node dispositor, Mercury, hemmed in by Saturn and Pluto, Clinton can be severely punished, smacked hard, when he falls back into his South Node’s worst tendencies and deviates from the North Node’s high path. The undesirable qualities for a South Node in Sagittarius, 3rd house, include an inflated sense of entitlement to special, superior privileges because he is smarter (3rd house).
The South Node is in the third house, disposed of by Jupiter, which in turn is disposed of by Venus in her own sign Libra. Jupiter and Venus are both in Libra and in the first house of self-image. Isabelle Hickey used to say that although the “benefics” were outwardly fortunate. they were spiritually corrosive. It may be that Clinton’s Achilles heal is his great personal and worldly good fortune, based on charm and luck. Venus, the final dispositor of the South Node, is also the ruler of the eighth house of profound transformations and psychological death/ego death. And, of course, Venus disposes of the twice-singleton Moon (the only planet in an earth sign and only one in a social house). The Moon stands apart from the rest of the chart in terms of the Nodal Axis as the only planet on the west side of it. The west side of the chart, and, in this case, of the Nodal Axis, is the dependent side, while the east is the independent side. The whole of Clinton’s chart is contained within a quincunx (150-degree aspect) between the Moon and Jupiter. This aspect is a “crazy maker,” paradoxical, and crisis provoking.
As an aside note, we often observe that a Moon Singleton correlates with addictive tendencies. The inconjunct aspect or quincunx (150-degree angle) symbolizes the necessity to make paradoxical adjustments. An interesting read is “The Clinton Syndrome” by Jerome D. Levin, Ph.D. It gives a brief biography and discusses the clinical psychology of the problematic facets of personality, which are indicated astrologically by the Nodal axis, the Moon Singleton and the Moon-quincunx-Jupiter boundary of the Clinton natal chart. The psychodynamics of the Nodes by sign and house described in Martin Schulman’s, “The Moon’s Nodes and Reincarnation,” seem to back up Dr. Levin’s analysis of Clinton, (even leaving aside the past-life theory).
If we look at the full “chain of disposition” (see illustration above), on Clinton’s chart, we see evidence of a potentially schizoid personality. The Sun is the final dispositor of Mercury, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto and the North Node, while Venus is the final dispositor of the Moon, Mars, Jupiter-, Neptune and the South Node. How to integrate the “King” and the “Artist?” Take leadership to the state of a fine art, statesmanship; become the king of artists, the king of lovers, a “movie idol.” Serious psychotherapy is very likely in order here!
The Clinton challenge is to resolve the inner dilemma through reconciling his last-quarter Sun/Moon square. The last-quarter phase symbolizes the “harvest of a cycle, a harvest of meaning and understanding.” It is a time (or a life) to tear down whatever has by now served its purpose and become obsolete. Whatever does not harmonize with the growing consciousness and understanding must be repudiated; this is a time to begin to “let go,” but of what? It is a time for his philosophy of life to establish itself as ideals underlying the coming new cycle. This is a reiteration of what the ninth house Gemini North Node conjunct Uranus implies!
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.