By Mary Plumb | February 8, 2010
In the course of a few days last week, I heard from five different people that their relationships were ending. We know about the long-term pressure from Saturn in Libra to redefine all relationship matters, but the urgency (i.e., within a few days) with which this happened made me notice another signature in the sky.
Transiting Juno, goddess of committed partnerships and marriage, is now in Aries and, from February 3rd – 9th, was in partile square to the transiting nodal axis at 21° Cancer/Capricorn.
Some partnerships have been subject to rude or liberating awakenings recently: Transiting Juno was conjunct transiting Uranus in late Pisces (26°34’) in June 2009, and again in November 2009 (22°45’ Pisces).
In late December, Juno came back to 0° Aries, having spent several months in that sign in the summer. (Juno made it to 4° Aries before turning retrograde in August.) Juno is now moving right along and, by early February, was at 21° Aries, squaring the transiting nodal axis.
This plethora of both tearful and clear-minded calls made me think about the importance of a planet (or other body) square the nodes, called a “planet at the bending.”
I understand that, in the natal chart, it is critical to integrate a planet at the bending to keep the life on track. Kathy Allan, in her fine article, Re-visioning the Lunar Nodes (TMA Feb./Mar. 2009), explains the distinction between whether the planet is at the South or North Bending. (If you don’t already have that issue, you can order a copy here.)
Planets at the South Bending are related in meaning to the South Node, that is, they signify a point of release — experiences are internal and have difficulty being expressed outwardly. The North Bending resembles the North Node, which is a point where energy comes in; events and experiences will manifest in the outer world.
To easily see which bending the planet occupies in a chart, start with the North Node and move clockwise around the wheel; if a planet is at the opening square, it is the South Bending. Continuing clockwise around the wheel, if the planet is at the closing square, e.g., 270° from the North Node, it is the North Bending.
The recent transit of Juno at the North Bending suggests outer manifestation. The people who called me were all taking charge, in one way or another. Some of the relationships may be finished in a definite way, or they may have reached a critical turning point where a new principle or idea will be brought into the partnership.
I looked for some examples of people with natal planets at the bending. (I’m only using one timed birth chart; all biographical material and birth dates are from Wikipedia.)
Web-based political activist and media personality Arianna Huffington (July 7, 1950) has natal Uranus at 6° Cancer, square the North Node at 2° Aries. Uranus is at the North Bending, suggesting that the nature of the planet will be expressed outwardly.
Writer and political activist Arundhati Roy (November 24, 1961) has natal Mercury at 19° Scorpio square the North Node at 21° Leo. Mercury is again at the North Bending, about which Allan writes: “The energy is under the ego’s control.” (Roy won The Booker Prize for her first book, The God of Small Things.)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (October 26, 1947) also has a planet at the North Bending: Natal Saturn at 21° Leo is square the North Node at 23° Taurus.
Actress Drew Barrymore (February 22, 1975) has the Sun at 4° Pisces, square the North Node at 6° Sagittarius. The Sun is at the North Bending, suggesting visibility and manifestation. Her early experiences with drugs and bisexuality are well known, along with her recent award-winning performance as Edith Bouvier Beale in HBO’s Grey Gardens.
David Deida (March 18, 1958) is not as well known, but provides an interesting example. Deida is a pioneering yoga teacher who has taught widely on integrating sexuality into spiritual practice. He has natal Mars at 1° Aquarius, at the North Bending, square the North Node at 2° Scorpio.
As I mentioned above, planets at the South Bending imply a sacrifice or offering of some kind. In her TMA article, Kathy Allen writes: “The South Bending resembles the South Node; planets here have difficulty in outer expression and are best used subjectively, spiritually, or given away to the collective.”
Michelle Obama (January 17, 1964) has Jupiter at 13° Aries square the North Node at 11° Cancer. Jupiter is at the South Bending. We can’t know about her interior life, but the suggestion is that the fiery temperament of Jupiter in Aries, although crucial to integrate, is somehow best used internally.
Diana, the Princess of Wales (July 1, 1961), often thought of in her lifetime as the most beautiful woman in the world, has natal Venus in rulership at 24° Taurus, at the South Bending, square the North Node at 28° Leo. It’s a bit of an eerie thought to consider her Venus as somehow sacrificed, or offered for the collective.
Vice President Joe Biden (November 20, 1942) has natal Uranus at 0° Gemini, at the South Bending, square North Node at 3° Virgo. Biden is known for his outspokenness, sometimes bringing political trouble. Another way of considering Uranus, the planet of shock and sudden events, at the South Bending: Uranus is also at Biden’s natal Descendant at 3° Gemini. His first wife and infant daughter were killed in a traffic accident in 1972. His two sons, although critically injured, made full recoveries. (1)
His Holiness the Dalai Lama (July 6, 1935) has natal Mars at 18° Libra square the North Node at 22° Capricorn at the South Bending. It might be hard to find a better example of someone who has used (a detriment) Mars for spiritual good, or for the good of the collective.
I have a few examples of people I know well (and for whom I have exact birth times) with the Moon at the bending in the natal horoscope.
In one chart, the natal Moon is at the North Bending in Cancer square the North Node in Aries. In another chart, the Moon is at the South Bending in Leo square the North Node in Scorpio. The Moon square the nodes in each chart suggests that family concerns and integration of the emotional function will be crucial in the life path.
The person with the Moon in Cancer (at the North Bending) has an exceptionally close relationship with her mother, and has been very happy in her role as a mother to her children. She does, however, continually get “thrown off course” by strong emotional reactions to all kinds of situations in her life.
The woman with the natal Moon in Leo (at the South Bending) is successful in her work, has had a difficult relationship with her mother since birth, regrets not having children, and has struggled with health issues and to find contentment in her inner life.
I know several people with Neptune at the South Bending square the North Node in Capricorn. Although both are well known in their professions, life circumstances have pulled each to place their inner spiritual lives as the focus for their life path.
I will be interested to hear your thoughts and observations about planets at the bendings, either by transit (remember, Juno square the nodes got me going on this theme) or in the birth horoscope.
All the best to one and all.
(1) Joseph Biden; November 20, 1942; 8:30 a.m. EWT; Scranton, PA (41N13 75W40). A rating