On or around August 29, 2012, the Moon's Nodes will leave Sagittarius and Gemini and enter Scorpio and Taurus. The nodes move backwards against the order of the zodiac, spending 18 months in each sign, and they are key indicators of places of growth and stagnation.
The Nodes of the Moon are those two opposite points where the Earth's orbit around the Sun is crossed by the Moon's orbit around the Earth. They connect the three primary astrological elements: Habit and emotion (Moon), creativity and consciousness (Sun), and the place where we live (Earth). They are also the points at which eclipses occur when there's a New or Full Moon within about 15 degrees of the nodes.
The North Node of the Moon, called the "Dragon's Head" by Vedic astrologers, is a place of growth or integration. It is especially important in natal (birth) charts as an indicator of where development occurs. The South Node of the Moon, the Dragon's Tail, represents old patterns where we tend to spin our wheels and find it difficult to make progress.
Counseling astrologers often direct their clients to apply the characteristics of the North Node and reduce dependencies on South Node traits. For example, I have the South Node in Sagittarius and the North Node in Gemini. This means that my journey this lifetime is to go from a search for absolute truth (Sagittarius) to an awareness of a multiplicity of perspectives in the present (Gemini).
Collectively, the transits of the nodes describe patterns that can hold us back or propel us forward. We're coming to the end of a nodal pattern that's the opposite of the one in my birth chart. The North Node has been in Sagittarius and the South Node in Gemini since late February 2011. This indicates that the diverse distractions of the present (Gemini) inhibit our capacity to see the bigger picture and its higher meaning (Sagittarius). The pettiness of contemporary politics is an expression of this South Node position, while more thoughtful discussions about our future is a desirable North Node in Sag trait.
The transit of the North Node into Scorpio is a signal to dig in emotionally to face our fears and desires. The South Node in Taurus, though, attracts us to comfort, ease and self-satisfaction. Scorpio challenges existing values, rattles relationships and re-examines the use of resources. It's understandable that we'd prefer to stay on the Taurus side of the nodal axis because it's a less demanding sign. Only the second zodiac sign, the Bull is about settling in and being comfortable with ourselves. That's a desirable characteristic, but it can be overdone with the Dragon's Tail in Taurus until February 2014.
Another way to look at this is to think of Taurus as a product. We assess what we have, what something is in its current form. Scorpio is a process where we are aware of how something is made, used and eventually discarded. The occasional bad press this sign gets is because it addresses issues that tend to make people uncomfortable. Power, desire, jealousy, sex, death and transformation are complex subjects that are less easy to face. Addressing the deeper emotions of Scorpio is tougher than enjoying the sensual indulgences of Taurus. Yet during the next 18 months, the progress we make as humans will, to some degree, depend upon our willingness to engage them.