In Western astrology, Lunar Nodes are generally associated with the karmic past and future*.
Other schools of astrology have associated the Nodal axis with meetings and relationships. Noel Tyl has further developed this symbolism to mean the “mother” involvement (“it is the point at which the apparent paths of Sun and Moon cross – signifying fecundation – which suggests relationship, connection to groups and public, and the mother, or the maternal.”)
This is observable rather easily in consultations – whenever the Nodal axis conjoins the planet or an Angle closely (within 2 degrees orb), there is a strong maternal influence (this could be mother, or other female figure such as grandmother, etc.) in terms of the planet.
There are several ways to think of this:
1) The Nodal axis-planet combination suggests what kind of mother one had: I’ve had several clients who had alcoholic mothers when the Nodal axis conjoined Neptune natally. While those are quite extreme examples and not meant to be taken as law, similar quality of escapism in the mother (hence the abandonment to the child) would affect the psyche deeply.
2) The Nodal complex suggests the kind of experience we had with the mother – a male client with Nodal axis conjunct Uranus told me he was unable to connect with his mother emotionally at all during childhood, and this was coloring his views of women in his adult relationships. This may suggest that the emotional connection was disrupted within the original relationship, leading to independence or isolation.
3) When a planet squares a Nodal axis closely, could there be a conflict between the mother and the child in terms of the planet? I had a client with Moon square the Nodal axis, and Nodal axis conjoined Mercury: she said her mother was very different from her, and especially in terms of emotional experience, the mother wasn’t able to empathize with the daughter at all.
And here is the main consideration: the Mother Complex is the internal mother-image we carry inside. This image defines how we nurture and care for ourselves and others. The client in the last example had a really hard time paying attention and nurturing herself emotionally, saying the emotions felt unimportant, or bothersome. Thus the pattern of dysfunctional mothering is passed down from the mother to the daughter.
Luckily, we can stop the chain of dysfunction right here: our becoming aware of the incomplete mother complex can lead to a transformation of the internal mother image. This way, we take back the planet that was usurped (or eclipsed) by the Nodal Mother Complex. Then true healing and individuation can begin.
*idea popularized by karmic and evolutionary astrologers, perhaps especially through charismatic writing of Jeffrey Wolf Green and Stephen Forrest – in general the North Node is associated as the point of future growth, and South Node as a carryover from the past. In the mother complex discussion above, the distinction between North and South Node are irrelevant, as we consider the entire circle as Nodal Axis, and conjunction to either Node suggests strong maternal influence.