Descending Moon's Node

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The dragon's head and its tail (= South Node)[1]

Synonym: Moon's South Node

The point at which the path of the Moon intersects the Sun's path (the ecliptic) when moving in a Southerly direction as seen from the Earth.

The Ascending Moon's Node is situated directly opposite.

In Indian Astrology the South Node is a god named Ketu and has planetary status.


The descending or south node is associated with the past, whether in the karmic sense of things brought over from past lives into the present one, or in the sense of the influence of the past in the present life, such as one's inherited traits. The south node may also show an area of life where the person is proficient, but yet where little further growth will occur: the person's "comfort zone."

The descending node reflects childhood experiences, particularly those present from an early age. Because they are so taken for granted, the individual may be tempted to fall back into familiar and at times obsessive behaviour patterns when confronted with new challenges. This behaviour may also lead to negative experiences which can leave the child - or later adult - with feelings of inadequacy. When this happens the behaviour pattern can have addictive traits while offering only apparent but not real security.

An individual remains largely unconscious of the themes associated with the south node while (ideally) striving to achieve the themes associated with the north node. However, this goal can only be reached if a balance is achieved between the two poles.

At the moon's nodes the moon's orbit intercepts the ecliptic

The descending node is sometimes associated with Saturn. Saturn may be related to the south node in the sense that it is often associated with the past, difficult topics (Shadow), and compulsive patterns of behaviour. Another planetary comparison is that the south node equates to the lunar principle (the moon).

Planets which are conjunct the descending node or in square aspect to the nodal axis are generally difficult to cope with and are often experienced as deficits. The challenge is to find new and creative ways to express them. The Swiss astrologer Claude Weiss stated that: "The person who is able to let go of the past is the one most able to find constructive ways of expressing planets conjunct the descending moon's node, and with this he transcends the apparent contradiction between the descending and ascending moon's nodes. He/She then experiences planets conjunct the descending node as if they were conjunct the north one because he/she has managed to free him/herself from a linear understanding of time."

See also

Notes and References

  1. Medieval illustration, coloured