The Nodal Problems


Technically the nodes of the Moon are the positions on the ecliptic – the sun’s path through the heavens – where the path of the Moon crosses. There are two: the North Node of the Moon where the Moon crosses going north, and the South Node where the Moon crosses going south. These nodes travel backwards through the zodiac at about 3′ per day.

But I want to discuss the symbolic meaning of the North and South nodes of the Moon. The North Node, also called caput draconis or the head of the dragon, is where we get nutrition, sustenance, energy. The South Node, also called cauda draconis or tail of the dragon, is where waste products are expelled. These can be seen as input and output. Or, to use terms from physics, source and sink. And they must be in balance. Too much input without corresponding output can lead to bloating and expansion – excess. Too much output can lead to emaciation, wasting away – limitation. And we can have a Jupiter problem or a Saturn problem at both ends. It is like the alimentary canal, where input takes place at the top and output at the bottom. In the Unix/Linux world the term /dev/null (pronounced dev null) is considered a source and sink for any process.

In terms of the world system, the meanings of the nodes should be obvious. The North Node is where we take in food, water, energy, minerals, whatever we need to keep running the world. The South Node is where we get rid of the wastes, which can be the exhaust of your car, the plastic bag you throw away, or the spent fuel of a nuclear reactor.

For a long time we’ve had a Jupiter problem at both ends of the nodal axis. We were using our resources, water, oil, et cetera, et cetera, like there is no tomorrow. We’ve also thrown away trash assuming that it would somehow disappear, that there was no consequences for producing all that garbage. We have assumed that both the source and sink were infinite – we’ve thought we have a real /dev/null on the physical earth.

We are now moving to a Saturn problem with both ends of the nodal axis. The Saturn problems with the North Node are often prefixed with the term “Peak”. People often assume that peak means that you have run out of some resource, as in the term Peak Oil. But of course it doesn’t. If you are climbing a mountain and reach the peak your journey is not over, but rather half finished. If we have reached the peak (of oil or whatever) it does not mean we have exhausted that resource, but rather that we have used half of the supply, the low hanging fruit as it were, and after that we have to work harder to get the second half, as can be seen with the non-conventional oil we are hearing so much about now, as in tar sands and shale oil. So we have a peak of fossil fuels, water, edible fish, minerals, land, and so forth.

The Saturn problem with the South Node is a little different. We’ve produced so much waste – the Jupiter problem – that now there is a limit to how much more waste can be disposed of easily. We have an excess of waste with no place to put it. The most obvious example is t-he CO2 that has been produced by the burning of fossil fuels for the last several hundred years. This has left much waste in the atmosphere which has lead to the greenhouse effect. But there have been many other problems. Think of all the plastic waste which has now created islands of plastic scrap in the seas. Or radiation in the ocean, which are often the repository of our junk. Or all the toxic chemicals that are now found in every human being. Or all the fertilizers that have run off the land and caused dead zones at the months of major rivers. The list can be extended.

This was all predicted before. Think of the book Limits of Growth – the title sums up our situation – which appeared in the early Seventies. At first it was praised but later the backlash came on, and now it is widely assumed to have been nonsense. But the trends predicted by the book mirror closely what is happening in the world now. But still very few want to hear the message.

Parties do basically two things: consume stuff and produce waste, just like a human being but on a larger scale. After a party one needs to clean up and replenish supplies. This is relatively simple when you have a vacuum cleaner and a corner store. The longest party I have been involved in was four days long over a Thanksgiving Weekend. At the end our large propane tank was empty – we ended up cooking the turkey in the fireplace – and the septic system had to be replaced because it had been so overloaded. But a 500 year party is different, so much larger and longer. It started out slow, with not many at the party. The first thing was to expand the room for the party, and then allow more for the party-goers to consume. Then more and more people came to the party. As time went on the party got bigger and bigger. There are three big themes of the party which we will later explore in detail: Capitalism, Industrialism, Rationalism.

These nodal problems have been the result of the 500 Year Party. In the next 500 years we will be dealing with these nodal problems so we can find a way to to continue to live on this Earth, since it should be obvious to most intelligent observers that the methods of the last 500 years are not sustainable. We are now in a position like Wile E. Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons who has just been chased of a cliff. As long as he doesn’t look down he believes that nothing has changed. But eventually….



500 Years — Part I

The title of this blog contains the words “500 Years” so we need to show why 500 years is an important period of time, what I call a basic cycle. It is long enough to be a period where many changes happen, and short enough that we have had several during recorded history.

First let’s consider the periods of revolution of the outer planets. This is similar to the Moon rotating about the earth, though in this case these planets are rotating about the Sun. The Moon takes about 27 1/3 days to go around the Earth, as measured from, say, 0 Aries to 0 Aries.



Number of Periods

Total Years





















The average of the five cycles is 496.53 years. This is not to say that all these planets return to the same position in about 500 years, but only that their relative positions return. Also note that the inner planets not mentions have such small cycles that they of course fit into this scheme. The longest cycle of those not mentioned is Mars, which is only two years.

Next let us consider the synodic period of two planets. This is the period between one conjunction of the two planets and the next conjunction. After the first conjunction the two planets move and so the next conjunction takes place after, and perhaps long after, the faster moving planet returns to the spot where the first conjunction took place. This is similar to the period from one New Moon to the next New Moon. As the Moon moves during 27 1/3 days the Sun moves almost one-twelfth of its total rotation (as seen from the Earth) and so the Moon needs to move a little more after it returns to the spot of the first conjunction – New Moon. That is why consecutive New Moons advance through the zodiac. The synodic period for the Moon-Sun is about 29 ½ days.

Synodic Planets


Number of Periods

Total Years









































The average is 500.60 years. This is a relative return of all these cycles.

To sum up, there is a basic cycle of 500 years in which all the planets of the solar system return to their same relative position. This 500 year cycle is the basis of the title of this blog, The 500 Year Party. The next question of course is when does the 500 years start. This is similar to the question of when the 20 year Jupiter-Saturn cycle starts. The Jupiter-Saturn cycle has long been used in astrology; I have seen it in a book of ancient Persian astrology, where it was said to rule the rise and fall of kings. In present times, the cycle starts near the beginning of an even decade, so I call this period the bi-decade and it consists of an outgoing half – from conjunction to opposition – like the lunar cycle from New to Full Moon, the waxing cycle. Then the odd decade – from opposition to next conjunction – like the phase from Full to New Moon, is the waning period. So waxing decades are the Sixties, the Eighties, and the Oughts, whereas the waning decades are the Seventies, the Nineties, and this current decade. I’ll leave it to the reader to find the differences between the waxing and waning decades.

There is another large astrological cycle called the Great Year, based on the Precession of the Equinoxes whereas the first point of Aries – the Vernal Equinox – moves backward through the zodiac at a rate of approximately one degree every 72 years. This causes the Pole Star to change through the ages, and results in the charmingly named Age of Aquarius, which is due any time now. The Great Year is about 26, 000 years. The actual year consists of 12 months, but 52 weeks or 13 4-week periods. This difference between 12 and 13 is the result of attempting to merge the lunar – moon-based – and solar – sun-based calendars. But the ratio of a week to a year is about the same as the ratio of 500 years to the Great Year, so I call this 500 year cycle the Great Week.

From: Astrology: Worlds Visible and Invisible Everett Blackman AFA 1974

The Grand Cross

A grand cross in astrology consists of four planets each square to two other planets and opposed to the third, thus forming a square. The one coming up at the end of April illustrates a grand cross well. It has been said of a grand cross that someone gets crucified on it. Notice at first glance that all four planets – Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto – are at 13 degrees of cardinal signs, so the orb for all aspects is less than one degree – it is a tight cardinal grand cross. If you look at the fourth harmonic chart you can see how close all four planets are.


Also included is the graphical ephemeris of this period which show exactly and in a very visual manner how the four planets come together. Notice that they all cross exactly where the U.S. Sun is at 13 Cancer.


Consider the four planets involved in the grand cross: Mars, the planet of War, Jupiter, the planet of Capitalism, Uranus, the planet of Revolution, and Pluto, the planet of Transformation. They are all in conflict and cross-purposes. These planets all highlight issues that are very important at this time of our history. This grand cross of late April could represent a peak of the crisis represented by those four planets.


The long lasting Uranus-Pluto square, of which I’ll write more later, is an additional stress to our system. You can see small outbursts all the time.


This is an impressive formation involving four planets, including two slow moving ones whose square has highlighted this decade. The question becomes what does it mean. I have seldom seen such an impressive formation. The only other one I have seen was in Summer of 2010 (july 30 was the peak), but not as impressive as this one. I wasn’t looking forward to it, and looking back nothing really as large as I could have expected happened. Or so I thought at the time. With the benefit of a few years hindsight I realize this was the height of the WikiLeaks release, showing American war crimes in an official video and the government charged a young private first class with providing the video. WikLeaks had and continues to have, repercussions. The imprisonment, in one form or the other, of Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden, lead from the events of that summer. The Arab spring came about after that WikiLeaks release because, even though people in Tunisia had a good idea of what there government was up to, the WikiLeaks release confirmed it.

So one thought I have is that there will be no big event at the end of April, but only an event which upon looking back at we will realize that this was the start of something important.

But looking at the current world situation, it could be more than a symbolic event. This is the Centennial of the start of World War I, and it looks like people want to celebrate the event by more than just many books and TV specials. As I write this the events in the Ukraine have heated up. And it looks like a replay of the start of the Cold War. The Russians are being demonized much as the Soviets were 60 years ago, and the United States media seems to be as willing to repeat the government story of state enemies with at least as much stenographic ability as they had then. This period also recalls the time of the Cuban missile crisis. One wonders if intelligent beings are in charge of this country, or we are just on automatic pilot. So it is interesting to watch the tension build as this square builds to exact on April 21. The blindness and stupidity of officials reminds one of the blindness and stupidity of diplomats in the months and years before the outbreak of World War I.

Then take a look at the same grand cross as transits to the United States chart, also shown in the graphical ephemeris and the fourth harmonic. Yes, all four of those planets came together on the Sun of the United States, and also of course the Saturn of the United States. So we know that the United States will be strongly effected by whatever comes down in the last week of April.

Notice that the U.S. Sun is exactly opposed by Pluto, and this will continue for a couple of years, the middle of May is the first time it will be exact. Pluto has never been opposite the Sun of the U.S. since its birth, so there is not much of a track record. But the last time that Pluto was opposite the U.S. Sun was between the Seven Years’ War and the Revolutionary War – the tightest period was 1766 to 1770. This was the time was such things as the Stamp Act and the Townsend Acts were put out by Britain to get more money from the colonists to pay for the Seven Years’ War, which of course, said the British, the colonists benefited from. These various acts got the colonists angry and led to the Revolutionary War.

My guess on this opposition, which I talked about in the run-up to the 2012 election, and considering that the Sun represents the President and the government, is that whatever party has elected the President in 2012 would not be able to elect a President in 2016, since the party in office would be so disgraced.

And then we have Uranus square Sun. This happens more often than Pluto opposite Sun. The last time was 1970 and 1971. Anger was building towards President Nixon over bombings in Cambodia – the Kent State killings took place on May 4, 1970. Also there was an uprising at Attica prison in New York – many people were unhappy with Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s prison policies. But this time this square is combined with the Pluto opposition.

Note that the Ascendant of the U. S. chart is at 12 degrees of Sagittarius and so there is a quincunx with the Sun. This means that these four planets in the Cardinal Cross all make aspects to the Ascendant of the United States,though not as tight as with the Sun. Also note that the Moon is sesquiquadrate to the Sun of the United States, so what makes an aspect to the Sun also makes an aspect to the Moon. In this case we see that both Pluto and Uranus semisquare the Moon, and so the Moon is at the midpoint of Uranus and Pluto. This midpoint is not nearly exact – it will be exact this fall just in time for the Election!

Needless to say, this is a complex picture and it is impossible to even guess what it signifies. Stay tuned!

Remember the Maine!

The Spanish-American War is widely considered to mark the start of the American Empire.  The event that touched off the war was the explosion of the U.S. cruiser Maine in the Havana harbor the evening of February 15, 1898.  At the time it was widely assumed, helped by the jingoism of the press, that it was an attack by the dastardly Spanish.  Now it is thought to be an explosion on board the ship, but still conspiracy theories abound.  This act led America to invade Cuba – which had long been considered “ours” – and the other Spanish colonies, most notably  the Philippines, leading to a bloody war which featured American water-boarding.

The last Indian wars were past, the frontier had been declared closed, and many American thought it was time to expand beyond our borders.  The Spanish-American War came about at a convenient time. In  fact, America was itching for war.  Back in December 1895  the United States almost got into a war with Great Britain over Venezuela.  Many of the “leaders” of the country, such as  Theodore Roosevelt, were for it  as a  way of increasingly America’s manhood.  It had been so long since this country had a war, and it was time for another one.


Looking at the chart, it seems like a mirror image of the 9/11 chart.  We have the notorious Saturn-Pluto hard aspect, again an opposition, along the Angles.  But in this case Pluto is on the Descendant and  Saturn is on the Ascendant, the opposite of the 9/11 chart.  This makes sense:  on 9/11 the explosion was in the Homeland – the Ascendant – whereas the explosion on the Maine was in a foreign country – the Descendant.  Pluto was also     on the Descendant during the earlier war scare.


Notice by looking at the graphical ephemeris that Pluto was again stationary about to turn direct and Saturn was slowing down  about to turn retrograde.   The exact opposition took place a couple of weeks later,  on the Ascendant and as both were stationary.  At the time discussion was happening in Congress and the newspapers about the upcoming war.     Also notice the year long conjunction of Neptune with natal Mars, repeating a similar Neptune-Mars theme which we saw in the  9/11 chart.

Mars had passed over Pluto a week before.  I  jokingly call this the sign of mass murders (Ebertin says force, brutality), which doesn’t please those with this common configuration; the conjunction happens every two years, but one can see why I call it that: The killer at Virginia  Tech had  this conjunction.  Also notice that Mars passed over the Moon of the United States in another month as people were getting agitated for war, and by late April when war was declared, Neptune was stationary on natal Mars  and transiting Mars was opposite natal Neptune and square natal Mars, thus accentuating the problematic Mars-Neptune square in the U.S. Chart.