The Moon’s Nodes are retrograde more often than they are direct and so pull on the subconscious life experiences trying to integrate with current life situations. When the nodes are in direct motion, there is a more “karmic, straight-path forward manifestation”   Mean Nodes are always retrograde, while True nodes are true twice a month, when the moon crosses the ecliptic, and so demonstrate the relationship between the Moon, the Earth and the Sun.

Astrologer Carl Payne Tobey (1902-1980) discovered in that in a  vast number of major disasters, involving fire, bad weather and loss of life occur in association with eclipses when the Sun and Moon are conjunct the Moon’s Nodes.  He was unique in challenging Nodal astrololgy by broadening their influence:  he used several different aspects instead using just the traditional one-degree conjunction.

                                      The Tobey Wooble

The key for Tobey was using the Sun to form a T-Square against the nodal axis, i.e. the Sun is point focus to to the nodes. He called this a “Moon Wobble,” because, the Moon is “wobbling” in its path by declination.   Tobey wrote that we experience a significant likelihood of massive environmental damage with loss of life and property when the Sun forms an aspect to the nodes of 0°, 90°, or 180°; he also increased the nodal orb to five degrees.

As the  Moon Wobble occurs when the Sun forms a square to the lunar North Node it creates an energy similar to that associated with the eclipses or the New or Full Moon. While the Dragon’s Head has a favorable astrological impression,  as it is considered a melding of Venus and Jupiter, the Dragon’s Tail is malefic as it a blending of Mars and Saturn & Uranus highlighting the unconscious tendencies that undermine our best intentions and encourage us to revert to karmic destructive or separative patterns.


                          Nodal Degrees

Tobey called the degree where the North Node is found was “Karmic”.  As shown below in the 1930’s actress Jean Harlow, she has a North Node at 12 Taurus, so according to Tobey the twelfth degree of every sign is the nodal degree and he would look for aspects to it.  The South Node, placed opposite is an empathetic point in the horoscope and not given the same amount of weight as its boreal brethern.  Tobey wrote, that when the Nodal Degree is activated by either a progression or transit, significant karmic events can be expected.  To illustrate this we will use Miss Harlow’s map as it fits the pattern almost perfectly.


                                   Nodal Returns

The Moon’s nodes move back by transit to their birth position once every 18.6. This means that in our 19th year, we have a Nodal Return as well as 37th, 55 1/2th, 74th  and 93rd birthdays.

As the Nodes are an axis, halving this period gives the Nodal Opposition, the Counter-Nodal Return, when the transiting North Node is in conjunction with the natal South Node and vice versa. So our 9th birthday often symbolizes the end of childhood,  and out 18 ½ a graduation from high school.

The 28th birthday is the turn to Saturnine adulthood (or for Jean Harlow when genetics and her unfortunate habit of dyeing her hair with peroxide took its toll, read more at Slate about that).  The 37th – 55th is when we are established in our career and at our peak earning years. By our 66th year we traditionally retire and start again having some leeway until at 74 illnesses may crop up.

                                                Transitting to or Progressing From?

The transiting nodal axis is others are activating in our chart at that time.  This is when other people will be playing an important role in current situations. The difference is when a transiting planet is activating a natal nodes, the person  will be applying the energies ascribed to the planets  accessed, but when the transiting nodes affect a natal planet an outside influence will be triggering them.

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In Miss Harlow’s chart, she has a North Node in the Eigthth House conjunct Saturn.  The Eighth normally the home of Scorpio and sex appeal but it is also a hosue of legacies.  Here, Harlow has a NN suggests her strong sex appeal with Plutonian white hair and curvy figure that Mars would love (Pluto and Mars are the Lords of Scorpio) but as the NN is aligned with Venus and Jupiter, women instead of being jealous would agree!  Yes she is a blonde bombshell!  She’s gorgeous!  They would exclaim  and rush to the beauty parlor to emulate her.  Capricorn hugging that NN would suggest at some point she would have to pay the piper for that allure, particularly as it is sextile Neptune who never forgets an obligation for what the heavens so generously bestowed, but that always seems so far away.


harlow obit.png

The “acute” sunburn in the New York Times obit was actually jaundice.


Speeding ahead to June 6 1937 (Jean died on the 7th) we see that North Node is in the same place as is Saturn and between them is lovely Venus opposed by Jupiter at 14 Scorpio, the Ruler of the Eighth House suggesting an overload to her genio-urinary system.

harlow progressed.png

Jupiter is square her progressed Mars at 13 Aquarius, the other Ruler of Scorpio, in the Fifth House.  It is also Square her progressed NN suggesting a total attack on her internal system that ultimately killed her. Her Midheaven at 06 Cancer is sextile to the NN, which in this case is not a good thing, because it is abetting the whole process of a kidney failure (with friends like these!)   The only good thing about this is that she was probably unconscious as with everything in Taurus, suggesting that talking was difficult, so we are assuming she was in a coma at that point.

As for the “Nodal Degree” yes  once again is at 12 Taurus, a symbol of “Window Shoppers” a degree that symbolizes human imagination in the sphere of self-awareness.  It’s keyword is visualization and represents positively, the potentials of human achievement but negatively, the realization that all desirable things are beyond one’s reach.

the star comment on Harlow loss.png




  1. Having viewed about 1000 charts now, I have not found that this Nodal agreement in natal charts works as well as it did for Miss Harlow.  But I will perserve in this study nonetheless.  It does seem to work better in mundane astrology from what little I have tested.
  2. Miss Jean Harlow is #433 in the Jones 1000.  Dr. Jones at 7:30 PM instead of our 7:40.
  3. Download Miss Jean harlow dies here.
  4. Mr. Carl Payne Tobey’s lessons can be read here.  He wrote lots of magazine articles on his work, many of which were published in Hugh Heffner’s Playboy magazine.
  5. The obit and memoriam clips are from the New York Times newspaper, Times Square, New York, New York, June 8th, 1937 edition.
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