True Node, Mean Node, North Node

What’s the difference between the terms True Node, Mean Node, and North Node?

The terms True Node and Mean Node both refer to the same thing.

True and Mean are two different ways of calculating the Moon’s Nodes.

The Moon’s Nodes move backward through the Zodiac at a rate of one revolution every 18.5 years. When astronomers calculate the Mean Node, they take the nodes’ rate of motion and average it out. The resulting position is the Mean Node.

In reality, the Nodes “wobble” a bit. Once astronomers obtained instruments sensitive enough to measure this wobble, they began to plot its course and call this position the True Node. Although the Nodes move around the Zodiac in a retrograde direction, the True Node is sometimes direct. The Mean Node is always retrograde.

There are plenty of ideas about the meanings of retrograde planets, but I have not heard anything about the meaning of a direct True Node. I suspect it is not of great importance.

Which is better, Mean or True?

There is no agreement among astrologers as to which is better to use in chart analysis. There are valid arguments supporting the choice to use either one. They are never more than a few degrees away from each other, so it rarely makes a difference. If your True and Mean nodes fall in different signs, consider that both signs may be valid!

One comment

  1. Hi Molly,
    I’m an astrologer. After noting that several clients and my youngest daughter have Direct Nodes, I’m inclined to believe that there IS a meaning. It just hasn’t been discovered yet.

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