Mars Retrograde Conjunct The South Node In Aquarius: Reverse Psychology


The Moons nodes, also known as the “dragon’s head and tail”, or in Vedic astrology, “Rahu and Ketu,” are an interesting, telling, and poignant mathematical point in a chart to examine. The North node, said to represent one’s “destiny”, or at least, what supports one’s destiny. It’s where our destiny finally begins to unfold, germinate, and produce fruit, and what places us into alignment with our life purpose and higher calling… Even though the north node connects us with our purpose and destiny, going towards it and fully surrendering to it and embracing it as essentially the “foundation of our success” is usually difficult for us to do, (unless we have something like Saturn conjunct our South node.) There is typically a lot of inner resistance to the process of “going North” and setting up camp there. It’s ultimately only as difficult as we ourselves make it out to be, but largely depends also on how the actual planets in the chart relate with and around it.

Conversely, the South node, represents a sort of “comfort zone.” A habit, or even compulsion. Something we do without thinking. Something that feels easy and satisfying and comfortable, and has quite a pull on us-because it doesn’t require that we challenge ourselves or grow in order to heed it’s call. We know it like the back of our hand, and often fall back on it for comfort, self soothing, and escape. It is also a sordid past…and a way to sort of run from our problems and not face ourselves….or our destiny. As meaningful, powerful, and fulfilling as a sense of “destiny” and a deep connection to ones life purpose truly is, to many, it is also incredibly intimidating, and can feel difficult to fully surrender to at first. Too much time or energy spent in the south node however, can ultimately make us feel empty, yet many people run for years from this thing we call “destiny.”


Confronting a dragon, head first,  feels a lot more intimidating, risky and terrifying, -than approaching him stealthily towards his tail from behind….

What I’m getting at in all this, is that it appears the Universe is employing some incredibly clever reverse psychology…..With the Dragon’s Head/north node in the sign of Leo, it actually becomes more challenging for us to think only of ourselves, our own enjoyment, personal gain, and entertainment. We are faced with more resistance both internally and externally to be purely self aggrandizing, self gratifying,  egoic, narcissistic, dramatic, and attention seeking…It is our “destiny” however, to become more confident, and to ultimately “put ourselves out there” in some way. It is our “destiny” and our “challenge” to hone in on and explore the true power of our creative gifts, to embrace them, and to ultimately share them. In contrast, with the Dragons Tail/South Node in Aquarius, it becomes “easier” and “more comfortable” -even habitual-or in the very least, absolutely necessary, (in the case of Mars’ full stop here) to see and to develop a larger vision, to want to put these creative gifts in service to something larger than merely ourselves. To become more experimental, future oriented, humanitarian. It is impossible to ignore injustice, the downtrodden, the have not’s, or the fact that the world is in dire need of progressive thinkers and humanitarian, innovative healers, under these configurations. 

Mars spending so much time in futuristic and humanitarian Aquarius, conjunct the Dragon’s Tail in Aquarius, makes it even harder to ignore that there is a great deal of inflammation in the world, and throughout society, that there are causes to stand up for and problems to solve that are larger than merely our own personal agendas. Mars emboldens us to approach this intimidating dragon from behind…the universe seems to know full well that pulling humanity out of it’s ego and into a more collective vision and nobler cause, is a delicate process that requires coaxing, clever maneuvering, and in extreme cases (such as Planet Earth, Circa 2018), -reverse psychology.  Almost compulsively, we crave substance, and solutions to not just our own problems, but to widespread problems we see around us. We crave change ..we crave revolution, we crave freedom and liberation… It is difficult not to rubberneck at the plight of friends, loved ones, the collective, the giraffes, the whales, the forests, the ocean, the planet….and good god… the future…..Even further, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the normalization of narcissism within society, and even within the human race,( as Anthropocentrism), -has become…. kind of a problem…and has had troubling and even devastating consequences for the entire planet…something humanity has seemed to become all too “comfortable” and jaded around…as if… by “habit”….conditioning, and overexposure…

Such things are difficult to ignore, because a South Node in Aquarius inflamed by Mars makes them *easy* to see…..


What if there was a way to make teamwork, maturity, rationality, growth, a noble sense of purpose, sustainability, working together instead of competing, and doing the right/just thing, more palatable to people, by simply appealing to their egos, their sense of fun, desire for attention, validation, glamor, and/or entertainment? Or by simply illustrating that being purely self gratifying and remaining in a state of collective immaturity has some serious drawbacks?  Enter the Universe: A marketing genius. 

Mars, like the Sun, (ruler of Leo), does in fact rule an aspect of our ego. An aspect of our ego defined by doing, driven and motivated by our desire, passion, and even sex nature. With the planet of action, impulse, and forward motion, stuck, (but revving it’s engine, drifting backwards in neutral, and seeming closer to Earth than ever,) parked in opposition to the north node in Leo, our more self seeking desires are stared down with high beams and somewhat called into question. We are forced to contemplate the wider implications and the longer term vision behind our moves, impulses, and initiatives.
A process of integration, reflection, experimentation, and innovation is called for. It could take us a while to find our footing, and to connect all of the dots into a coherent picture. While Mars remains in Aquarius and backtracks into Capricorn over the coming months, we will simultaneously be saturated with the more self absorbed and self seeking aspects of human nature, creating a stark contrast that will beg to be reconciled, refined, integrated, and deployed. 


“Working with” the nodes, by transit, or within ones own natal chart, regardless of their sign or house placement, is never a matter of favoring one over the other, or repressing one to express the other, but more a matter of synergy. Of synergizing them so that the energies actually support one another, and even enhance one another, in functionality and optimization. The moons nodes are not planets, but mathematical points in the sky, and are always in mathematical opposition. Much like parts of a brain, they are ultimately intended to function as a flowing and cohesive whole. 
 If Leo and Aquarius were represented by parts of the human brain, I think it would be safe to say that Leo would undoubtedly represent the reward system, the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. That incredible rush we get when we do something that feels good (or get something we want), and the rush of excitement, inspiration, and anticipation that we get from even craving and looking forward to something that feels good (or getting something we want). 
Aquarius on the other hand, would represent the neocortex. The parts of the brain involved in cognition, higher logic, spatial reasoning, language, math, delay of gratification, wise planning for the future, and the assessment of longterm, future consequences. 
In psychological terms, this axis can be said to represent the spectrum of polarity between narcissism and echoism. Finding a healthy balance between these two extremes, and forming a functional, whole, and "healthy" ego, is the key to this axis. Under these configurations, those who tend to lean towards the spectrum of grandiose entitlement, who expect others to carry their slack, pay their way, and do all of their work for them, so that they can continue to focus solely and exclusively on their own momentary gratification and personal entertainment, at the expense of others (and at the expense of their own higher development)- will experience a series of uncomfortable wake up calls that necessitate integrating a more humanitarian and egalitarian frame, based on equality. A wider and higher vision, a more mature approach to life that incorporates the needs and basic rights of other people. Essentially, they will be challenged to become less selfish/self serving. Conversely, those who tend to lean more towards the spectrum of echoism (the psychological opposite of narcissism), will find it more difficult than ever to further tolerate having their empathy, selflessness, desire to help others, and willingness to sacrifice, to be further exploited and preyed upon, in order to merely enable those who do not have their best interests in mind, and whose only interest in fact, is self preservation and self gratification, - at the expense of other people...Those who lean more towards echoism, will be challenged to become comfortable with being more selfish, to stand up for themselves, not only for their own wellbeing, but also for the benefit of the whole, and for the bigger picture. 

A collective healing is called for that requires everyone to do the work and share the load, -equally -not just those whose backs and characters have been conditioned into carrying the responsibilities and burdens of those who feel that they are just "too important" for such humble and unglamorous spiritual/emotional/psychological/intellectual, and/or physical labor, development and sacrifice, (and who would simply "rather not be bothered with it all", -yet still feel entitled to it's fruits. To further enable such attitudes of belligerent entitlement, either individually, interpersonally, or sociopolitically, will come at a great cost, not just to the enablers themselves, -but also to those enabled, and finally, to society, and even the planet as a whole.

 More generally, and internally, the ability to fuse together what makes us happy with what helps a wider collective and creates a sustainable future for ourselves and others, is essentially the art and a science of this axis. Deriving happiness, and even ego gratification, from serving a wider collective, and not just ourselves, would be another way to put this. Putting the Ego in service to the Whole. The Aquarius/Leo axis emphasized this summer through Mars retrograde, and Mercury retrograde coming up in Leo, (on top of these nodal transits,) challenges us to honestly examine the existential ills of society, the future, and even of our own situations, without losing courage, without losing heart, without losing confidence… We are challenged in fact, to build our confidence in the face of it, to find our purpose within it, to even find our ego within it, to put our creativity, penchant for drama, fun, entertainment, and theatrics, into the service of a higher vision, into the service of the people around us, the world around us …The future…. It will be difficult to ignore that there are people, animals, a whole entire global community, that sorely needs us to share and offer up the best of ourselves, and to play our part (with feeling!) in raising the consciousness of the collective somehow. It is difficult to ignore the disparity between the “haves” and the “have nots.”

Such things are difficult to ignore, because a South Node in Aquarius, inflamed by Mars, makes them incredibly *easy* to see……

(standing out like a sore thumb really.)


This axis, whether it’s north node Leo/South node Aquarius, or north node Aquarius/south node Leo, the Ego is nonetheless called  into the service of a wider community, a higher vision. Although these transits impact all of our charts in one way or another, if your north and south node happen to be on this axis (in either direction), or you have prominent personal planets in either Leo or Aquarius, you are feeling these issues very acutely, and fate/destiny is speaking directly to you, ..very loudly.. This is a very significant time. You may feel aware of some very profound shifts occurring in your life at this time.
 If you’re experiencing your “nodal return”, (have North node in Leo/South node Aquarius) you are truly coming into your own, and being confronted with key events and people that will encourage you (and even challenge you) to follow your destiny, reduce inhibitions, and increase your confidence in doing what it is you truly love. Follow your bliss, and share it with the collective, so they too can benefit from the joy that is in your spirit….Perhaps shyness or lack of confidence has inhibited you from pursuing something you actually really derive a lot of happiness from doing. Now is a good time to work through such confidence issues and embrace that you are, in fact, a Golden God. You might feel others around you are “doing it better” or are better, faster, stronger, etc etc…but don’t let the light of others distract you from nurturing your own. Let the fact that they shine give you permission to do the same! Allow any competitive nature within you (or within others, towards you) to inspire you rather than discourage you, and allow the greatness within others to encourage the greatness within you. Most of all, this is a time to follow your heart, and your sense of joy, and to challenge yourself to release inhibitions around self expression, creativity, sense of lightheartedness, enjoyment, playfulness, and even love, sex, dating, and romance. It may involve children even, or the arts. Depending on the house placement of the node, this can manifest in various ways/areas of life, but increasing your confidence in yourself overall is a major key to unlocking your destiny…

 If you are experiencing what is called a “reverse nodal return”, (North node in Aquarius/South node in Leo) consider this a time that the Universe is making it a little bit *easier* for your to see your true destiny, “your north node path,” (which we are typically very resistant to). You may still feel resistance to this, perhaps intensely. In the case of an Aquarius north node, what is illuminated by events and people that occur and come into your life at this time reveal how you could derive purpose, meaning, benefit, and (gasp!) even an ego boost, -from serving the collective in some way. It is a call to action. In turn, it also makes it a little bit more *difficult* and challenging to continue to justify a purely self serving/self seeking/self aggrandizing/self gratifying approach to life. This can actually be a very fulfilling and meaningful time, as you are made aware of the powerfully positive impact that you are capable of having on the world around you, thus creating a healthier, more substantive and authentic ego than before, one founded on what you have to offer to the collective, (as opposed to one founded on empty attention seeking, compulsive thrill seeking, drama, competition.) This transit brings home the reality that if you want to hold the mic and have the spotlight, (or live a celebrity lifestyle), it’s important to have something of substance to offer to the people. Putting the interests of others first is actually what will give you the gratification, validation, and attention that you crave. This requires doing the inner work that perhaps too heavy an emphasis on the south node (Leo) has made you put off or avoid. The universe is here to make that process a little bit easier to confront, (certainly, more difficult to avoid), and bring you some much needed awareness and closure to some negative patterns that have been blocking you from your true destiny. During this time, you will have direct experiences of your future potential, as you discover meaning, purpose, -and even an ego- that lies beyond the self and mere self gratification. You will actually find yourself achieving gratification through connecting with a higher purpose. This will increase your confidence and maturity. It could involve helping others in some way, some form of activism, or simply standing for something you believe strongly in.. Depending on what house the node is located within, this could manifest and serve you in a number of ways, but overall, connecting to a higher, more collective vision of humanity and the planet we inhabit, is a major key to unlocking your destiny.

*Feel free to check back to read (or re-read) my previous Mars Rx article below that covers the eclipses, the Venus retrograde, and the remainder of 2018.


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