^Rahula, the Tibetan Buddhist conceptualization of the Nodes, called Rahu/Ketu in India
There is an interesting trend in astrological thought that I've noticed amongst a few different practitioners to utilize the north node (aka Rahu) as a form of accidental dignity even when conjoined one of the lights. This is especially prevalent in electional astrology, and most notably the kind used for crafting astrological talismans.
According to ancient astrological authors the nodes are both very malefic points, only truly helpful in special instances. Below are some quotations to drive home this point:
In the sixth consideration it is necessary to examine the Ascending Node and the Descending Node, in which houses and decans they are, and by which [starts] they are beheld; for many times also when stars are well situated, especially the benefics, the Descending Node being with the Sun or the Moon or Jupiter, it harms the nativity considerably and brings disasters. With the Sun, indeed the Ascending Node or the Descending Node injures the father, but with the Moon it causes the death of the mother or declares her to be ignoble, especially in the angles. And the Ascending Node signifies the same thing with Saturn or Mars, especially in the angles, because the Ascending Node, when it is with benefics, does good, but with the malefics, evil. Similarly too, the Descending Node with Saturn or Mars does good things, but with the rest [of the planets], evil. for it sets aside their virtue, lest [text breaks off unfortunately].
It will be necessary to examine the sign in which the ascending node of each nativity is located: note whether it is tropic, solid, bicorporeal, and which star rules it. The effect of the sign will be weakened there. For we often find that stars which normally can have some effect at the nativity or at transits have no effect in these places. If they are at a phase while at the ascending or descending node, they become the causes of evil, especially if they are found to be retrograde or setting.
[Electional] With reference to the days under investigation: if the moon is passing through the current position of the ascending node [Rahu], or through the points in square or opposition [thus with Ketu], particularly if it is at the same degree position, beware of starting anything: do not sail, do not marry, do not have meetings, do not begin anything, do not plant, do not introduce; in short, do not do anything — What has been started will be judged insecure or prone to come to a bad end; it will be something regrettable, incomplete, subject to penalties, grievous, and not lasting. If someone seems to have begun the development of some business in these days, the business will go bankrupt, will be troublesome, subject to penalties, easily ruined, and a stumbling block. Not even benefics which happen to be in these places do anything entirely good. Therefore, even without <consulting> a natal chart, if anyone guards against the current transits of the moon through the ascending node, he will not make a mistake.
If the degree in the Ascendant is at a connection/node, the native will be short-lived.
For every nativity the solar and the lunar degree-positions must be closely observed to see if they are coming to a node. (If so, they cause a lack of success in enterprises; even more, they also involve men in violent dooms and afflictions and bring a death that is extraordinary, far-famed, sudden, and unexpected. The diseases of these men are dangerous and incurable.)
Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra:
Among these, the Sun, Saturn, Mars, decreasing Moon, Rahu and Ketu are malefics . . .
Jaimini Sutras [planets in swamsa* (translation by Ernst Wilhelm)]:
Rahu therein — archers and theives as well as snake charmers and a maker of metal mechanical instruments . . .
Saturn and Rahu in that — consuming/imparting betel leaves [this translates to drug problems today] . . .
The Sun and Rahu — snake death . . .
Ketu therein — an elephant dealer or thief . . .
*a technique used for determining character, career and predominate life patterns
Either node has a destabilizing effect upon whatever it touches. If one is attempting to craft a talisman or prescribe a remedy for a particular planet then it is unwise to use an electional chart where the nodes are prominently featured or connected to the planet one is focusing on. This is especially true in the case of the Moon (Sun as well). In fact neither light should be conjoined a node for any mainstream electional purposes even if they are not the main lord or planet to focus upon for achieving the desired result for the simple reason that the lights are the foundation of everything else in the astrological chart.
The Moon represents the point in which the light of the Sun, reflected in all other planets, is focalized and made individual, thus connecting something or someone to the sub-lunar sphere (earth), the domain of generation and corruption (change). If the Moon is afflicted in a chart then everything else suffers dramatically just as an unfocused or damaged camera lens greatly hampers the possibility for a good photo.
For talismans of the Moon, which represents the summation of the personality or ego, what is called manas (mind) in sanskrit, and is composed of feelings and thoughts related to sensory input, the Moon should not be conjoined either node, and especially not Rahu. Valens is exceedingly clear that the Moon conjoining either node or placed 90 degrees from them in an electional chart is a clear sign to not proceed with just about anything. The nodes greatly destabilize the mind and make it extraordinarily difficult for peace to be had. It is quite common for the north node with the Moon to be an indicator of an early death of the person's mother, while Ketu can often signify a struggle with sanity on her part. The same is the case for the nodes with the Sun for the father, although there are mitigating circumstances such as dignity and reception, so it would be unwise to assume the effect is always the same in all charts.
According to Rhetorius it is especially harmful if the south node is also conjoined Jupiter because it greatly diminishes his power to provide harmony and equilibrium within the chart as a whole, a very important function. We can extend this logic to Venus in a night chart, wherein she is the more powerful benefic.
As we know there is an exception to every rule in all disciplines. The same could be said for the nodes and elections. If one fully understands the true essence and purpose of the nodes in the grander scheme of things then one can employ the powers they represent for truly constructive (or very destructive) purposes. This is, however, a topic for another time. In a later article I hope to explain more concerning the fundamental nature of Rahu/Ketu.