Unlike the Sun, Moon and the planets, the north node, also known as the dragon’s head or Rahu, is not a physical object but instead represents the northern intersection of the solar and lunar orbits, and these intersections are also the points where eclipses occur. While both lunar and solar eclipses can occur at either the northern or the southern intersection points, it is customary to associate the northern point or Rahu with the solar eclipses while the southern point or Ketu is associated with the lunar eclipses.
Rahu is often ignored in western astrology, and even when it does gain attention his significance is quite small overall. In vedic astrology however, its significance is at the very least on par with the planets and often even greater. In Hindu culture and mythology, Rahu is represented as an antigod\demon named Swarbhanu who drank from the nectar of immortality, but as he did so his head was cut off by Vishnu turning him into two separate entities with the head becoming Rahu and the body Ketu.
For more information about the mythology associated with Venus, please visit “Killer whales and Jesus Christ – Rahu and Ketu in mythology”
In the Hindu texts it is said that Rahu is similar in effect to Saturn and represents that which we must learn and experience in the current lifetime. In contrast to its partner Ketu, who is often equated to a black hole, Rahu acts almost like a white hole that overblows and exaggerates the planets it is with and the house in which it falls in the birth chart. It is also a signifier for novelties and innovation, anything foreign and alien, conversion and migration, new technologies and inventions. It also represents illusions and delusions, obsessions and hallucinations, chemicals and drugs, bacteria and viruses. Anatomically, it also represents allergies, parasites and infections, genetic mutations, tumors and cancer.
What the hell is a ‘white hole’? And since when novelties and foreign stuff have anything to do with Saturn?
Basically, a white hole is the complete opposite or inverse of a black hole, and instead of swallowing anything that comes near it, it spits everything the black hole swallowed back out. The comparison between Rahu and a white hole is more than allegoric, as Rahu represents the future which just like a white hole constantly spews more and more new things into our lives. In fact this comparison goes even further, as the things that Rahu as the future brings into our lives come to replace the things that slowly get lost in the past and become the domain of Ketu, thus representing the cycle of life.
The way Rahu got to symbolize the new, foreign and unusual, and as a result the future which brings them about, can only rarely be glimpsed in one lifetime. The only physical manifestation of Rahu that can actually be seen by humans is the eclipse – a situation when the Sun is covered by the Moon, and ceases to shine. This phenomenon was so frightening and unusual in the eyes of most ancient civilizations that sometimes even human sacrifices were offered to satiate the hunger of that terrible beast that threatens to swallow the sun. This is why Rahu became associated with everything freakish, foreign and unusual, as well as the future that brings them about.
The solar eclipse is also the reason that Rahu is associated with Saturn, who is sometimes known as the black sun and represents anything dark and the gloomy. Both are also considered cold, as Saturn is dim and distant while Rahu actually blocks the warmth of the Sun. In addition, Rahu just like Saturn represents scarcity due to solar eclipses being so rare and unique.
Addictions, obsessions and poison hardly sound like a bright future, so why are they connected to Rahu?
As mentioned before, Hindu mythology portrays Rahu as a head that was cut off from the body, and as such it can swallow the sun yet has no stomach to hold it in so it goes out of his neck unharmed thus ending the eclipse. The fact that he has no stomach however, also means that he can never satisfy his hunger, which is exactly what happens with obsessions and addictions. It also means that just like an addict he doesn’t know when to stop because his belly can never be full.
Another widespread depiction of Rahu is as a serpent or dragon, which is why it is called the dragon’s head in the west. This depiction together with the association of serpents with both medicines and venom gave rise to the connection between Rahu and chemicals, poison and drugs. In addition, the clinginess and coiling around of the snake is another reason why Rahu is associated with obsessions and addictions.
So the connection to hallucinations is just a bad trip? And what does it have to do with parasites and viruses?
If we think about it, the only physical manifestation of Rahu which is the solar eclipse is nothing more than an optical illusion created by the Sun and the Moon. And yet from earth, it looks as if the Sun is being swallowed by some monster with the world becoming dark and the day suddenly turning to night. Is it any wonder then that Rahu represents Illusions, delusions and hallucinations, all of which skew our perception of reality just like the eclipse itself?
The connection between Rahu and bacteria, viruses, parasites and other infections on the other hand, stems from his association with everything foreign. Unlike the commensal, symbiotic organisms that live in our body helping us to digest food and fight diseases which are represented by Saturn, these parasitic and predatory life forms are an alien element which wasn’t there before and shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Mutations, allergirs and tumours huh? This just keeps getting better and better…
While modern culture portrays mutations as freak shows, ninja turtles and X-men, in reality mutations are the reason humans evolved from single celled creatures. Fundamentally, mutations are the engine that drives evolution forward, allowing nature to adapt and try new things, hence the connection to Rahu which represents innovations and the future. Unfortunately, these mutations can sometimes produce undesirable results such as genetic diseases and tumours. And while tumours are technically parts of our body, they are also foreign elements that shouldn’t actually be there just like parasites and poison which are also represented by Rahu.
Allergies on the other hand, are not in fact a foreign element in and of themselves but instead represent the reaction of our bodies to thing that it considers foreign. The same is true for inflammations as well, as they also represent the body’s reaction to infection or foreign substances, as well as to other threats.