Updated: Nov 1
Rahu and Ketu the shadow planets of disruption and rebellion, and spirituality and escape, move into the Pisces-Virgo axis from October 30th 2023 until May 18th 2025. The Moon’s Nodes are not physical planets and their interpretation is more complex than a usual transit, but they are very important symbolic players, especially in these tense times. Each Node is affected heavily by its ruling planet/dispositor, so Jupiter (Pisces) and Mercury (Virgo) will also be crucial over the next eighteen months: Jupiter altogether transits the remainder of Aries, the whole of Taurus and four days of Gemini until mid-May 2025, and Guru’s house position and aspects play a part in reading Rahu.
One is more or less forced to make a choice between the Nodes’ Mean and True position, and while I’m open to persuasion on the merits of ‘True’ Node (an innovation from the late 20th Century) the longer tradition is based on Mean, and is used in this article.
Rahu and Ketu are notable for intense, fated experiences in life, and your mission or in-tray at these return points changes. The nodal cycle is approximately 18.5 years, so anyone that age, or 36/37, or in their mid-fifties, or early seventies, will go through a new karmic cycle. You may experience a clear sense of re-set, where a persistent challenge of the last nearly two decades disappears or takes on a different quality. If you have worked honestly at an issue that at times has taken on an obsessive quality, then the burden may lift quite abruptly.
Three pairs of eclipses in this axis:
Rahu and Ketu’s meanings are bound up with eclipse symbolism. An eclipse comes whenever a New or Full Moon lands close to the Nodal axis, with the closer contact, the more complete the obscuration. The Total Solar eclipse of April 8th 2024 is the second Great American Eclipse after October 14th 2023, which should prove vital in the run-in to the US Election.
Appulse Lunar Eclipse March 25th 2024
Total Solar Eclipse April 8th 2024
Partial Lunar Eclipse Sept 18th 2024
Solar Annular Eclipse October 2nd 2024
Total Lunar Eclipse March 14th 2025 (29° Leo)
Partial Solar Eclipse March 29th 2025
Rahu was last in Pisces from March 24th 2005 to October 12th 2006. The rise of social media, from a Western astrology standpoint, is sometimes pinned to Outer Planets, like Neptune in Aquarius (which as it happens, is pretty influential). The last Rahu-Ketu in Pisces-Virgo transit between early 2005 to late 2006, however, saw the roots of all the major platforms. The initial form of Facebook was launched in 2004, but only became known as Facebook in August 2005. The first-ever YouTube video was uploaded on April 23rd 2005, and that platform was subsequently bought by Google on October 9th 2006. Twitter launched on March 21 2006, and its rebranding as ‘X’ has come in 2023, with great controversy, just ahead of its first Nodal Return.
So the Social Media Age is Rahu in Pisces and Ketu in Virgo. The rebellious and narcissistic aspect is very Rahu, while breaking down boundaries is Pisces all the way. Victimhood, arguably, has also come into its own in the online space, which might be connected with this present sign polarity: certainly Ketu is associated with sacrifice and self-pity. In any case, government and legacy media have been playing catch-up ever since social media has allowed everyone to have their shout to an unregulated international audience, and the Nodal Return from 2005-06 may have something to say about this.
In particular, March 30th to May 20th 2025, sees Rahu conjunct Saturn in Pisces, a meeting of two top malefics, which come together every approximately 12 years. Rahu is Machiavellian, dirty politics, and Saturn is formal government, where we can expect stringent moves towards regulating and licensing (read: censoring) all platforms. Saturn and Rahu were last conjunct in Pisces from January 12th to June 16th 1968, and from September 28th 1968 to March 7th 1969. History dot com lists this year as ‘one of the most tumultuous in human history’, with the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, side-by-side with rising consciousness and awareness of yoga and eastern philosophy. Robert F. Kennedy Jr of course is running as an independent candidate in the 2024 US election. History rhymes.
Rahu and Ketu make eclipses, which tend to coincide with spectacular events and natural disasters. The last Rahu in Pisces transit, 2005-06, saw Hurricane Katrina August 29th 2005, and the London bombings of July 7th 2005, where suicide terrorism came to the UK and had a city gripped in fear. The previous Rahu in Pisces August 19th 1986 – March 6th 1988 was the height of the Thatcher-Reagan years and also the start of the Gorbachev era. On October 16th 1987, hurricane-force winds lashed the UK, days before Black Monday, October 19th, a financial crash that wiped trillions off the global stock-markets. Some say the impact of that event is still being felt today.
‘If it bleeds, it leads’, but there are also positives connected with the Nodal cycle. Rahu is associated with a windfall or ‘Call from Hollywood’ experience – a sudden stroke of good fortune which ties in with intense desire. The north node rewards creative disruption and being open to breaking a situation, job or relationship down in order to rebuild or reimagine it. Ketu is more about taking an aspect of life away, where a sense of divine discontent makes us look for deeper meaning. If anything, the South Node has an even angrier and more unreasoning quality than Rahu, and can be even harder to integrate. The most outwardly secure or successful people are often hardest hit when Ketu points towards spirituality and simplicity.
Coming out of fiery and impulsive Aries-Ashwini on October 30th, Rahu works in a quite different way in Pisces-Revati, where intuition is subtler and more receptive. Rahu’s shadowy nature can also be deceiving and give an anxious inner life that deals with illusions of power – we have to separate reality from any passing psychic shadows. Rahu in Pisces also escapes from the overbearing, months-long aspect of Saturn in Aquarius, so you can express creative disruption in a freer and more positive way. Rahu is in Revati until July 8th 2024, a nakshatra associated with wealth and protection. This has some promise for Rahu’s materialistic nature, though your means of getting support may be from a spiritual or foreign source.
Ketu in Virgo sees analytical skills working well as a counterbalance to Ketu’s impulsive, ‘headless’ approach, and rational thinking combines with creativity. In Chittra initially up to February 1st 2024, this nakshatra’s symbol of a shining Jewel suggests skill with arts and crafts, and being drawn to bright ornaments and materials. Yoga and meditation for inner freedom is Ketu’s natural domain, and you can integrate new learning and detachment into finding an escape from the everyday routine. Absorb knowledge on the level of the mind, but also in a spiritual sense that resonates more deeply. Channel a gift for self-expression into extraordinary creative work at this point, and make art an expression of your true self.
Rahu is in the Gandanta zone, the gap or ‘knot-end’ space between Aries and Pisces until January 1st 2024, which leaves a planet unsupported and working unpredictably. Rahu is restless enough in itself, treat this transit with extra caution and give it time to settle before acting. Find a way between helping others and doing right by yourself: Rahu in Pisces is ruled by Jupiter, currently in Aries, where it still has an underlying impulsive and heroic quality. The Gandanta phase does not favour a sudden revolution, or anything on the extreme side of Rahu’s spectrum, but sees you win by slow steps towards change and renewal.