Tag Archives: lunar nodes

The Stradivarius and the Nodes

On August 6, 2015, a stolen Stradivarius belonging to concert violinist Roman Totenberg was presented to his family at the U.S. Attorney’s office in NYC. His story shows the importance of the cycles of the Moon’s Nodes.

Roman Totenberg was born on January 1, 1911 in Warsaw Poland according to Wikipedia. He had the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Uranus in Capricorn, all opposed by Neptune in Cancer. This is striking symbolism for someone with a career in classical music, whose expertise demanded both skill and feeling.

Totenberg’s North Node in Taurus closely trined his Venus in Capricorn, bringing up the themes of talent, possessions and value in his life. His prized possession was his Stradivarius, bought in 1943. It was stolen in 1980, a period of 37 years, twice the lunar nodal cycle of 18.6 years.

In 1943, the year Totenberg bought the violin, both the transiting North Node and Jupiter were in Leo, and squared his natal Nodes. When the violin was stolen in May of 1980, the North Node was at 24 Leo, still within orb of squaring his Nodes, and exactly quincunx his natal Uranus in Capricorn. Transiting Pluto in Libra was also within a degree of squaring Totenberg’s Venus and formed a quincunx aspect with his North Node. There was a suspect but not enough evidence to prosecute him.

At the time of the violin’s recovery in June of 1980, transiting Jupiter in Leo was once again in square to Totenberg’s Nodes and quincunx his Venus. The family plans to have the instrument restored and to sell it to a performer, perfect symbolism for transiting Pluto closely approaching Totenberg’s Venus in 2016. By the time Pluto exactly conjoins the violinist’s Venus in early 2017, it will probably have passed to a new owner.

The South Node was in Taurus in 1734, the year the violin had been made by Antonio Stradivari in Italy, giving it lasting value.

The dealer who appraised the violin and alerted the FBI was born on October 10, 1952. His Jupiter is at 19-1/2 Taurus, closely conjunct Totenberg’s North Node and trine his Venus. The man suspected of stealing the violin, Philip S. Johnson, who predeceased Roman Totenberg, was born on January 27, 1953, not long after the dealer. Both men had Pluto at about 22-1/2 Leo, squaring Roman’s Nodes. The transiting North Node was closely conjunct Johnson’s Pluto at the time of the theft.

Wikipedia provides Totenberg’s birth date as well as other key dates in his story.

JFK Redux

The media has been having an orgy, feasting on the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy.  Does astrology show our obsession with him?  Of course. 

Kennedy’s South Node in his 9th house closely conjoins the U.S. Sun.  Judith Hill says in her book, The Lunar Nodes, that the Sun entity (the U.S. in this case) “…may cause you grief or trouble at some point.  Or sometimes they drain you.”  This seems appropriate, if understated, for Kennedy.  Obviously he would not have been killed had he not been president of the U.S.!  Hill also suggests that “It can be a karmic bond.”  For us, the country as a whole, Kennedy as a South Node person seems to be someone that strikes us to the core; we don’t seem to be able to let go of him.  Since the Nodes are diametrically opposed, those who want to know more about his position (North Node) or his at times creepy lifestyle (South Node) are both fascinated. 

The natal connection existed for a long time.  But why is it gaining momentum now?  Not all anniversaries are celebrated.  Transiting Pluto is within a degree of conjoining JFK’s natal North Node in Capricorn, dredging up his past.  To once again quote Judith Hill on this combination, “Pluto brings very deep, intense energy… Some individuals may experience an enhancement of personal powers… Your dharma may be pointed out…”  And Pluto can be obsessive. 

Of course, these are just a few of the many connections between Kennedy’s horoscope, the U.S. chart and current transits.  One symbol that I like is his Mars in Taurus conjunct his 8th house, representing the eternal (Taurus) flame (Mars) at his gravesite (after death – 8th house), being activated now by the transit of Saturn in Scorpio. 

But enough already!  Let’s put this guy to rest. 

There have been a lot of books lately on the Nodes.  I haven’t read them all, but I highly recommend Judith Hill’s excellent book, The Lunar Nodes (Stellium Press, 2009).  It describes eastern, western and contemporary approaches, natal placements and transits.  She really speaks from her own and client’s experiences.  It has a great Table of Contents and Bibliography though unfortunately no Index.  Buy it at Amazon.com:  The Lunar Nodes: Your Key to Excellent Chart Interpretation