Patrick Heron: Horizontal Stripe Painting, 1957-58
Patrick Heron: Horizontal Stripe Painting, 1957-58

While perusing the always excellent Oxford Astrologer, I came across a new-to-me astrological concept. Christina Rodenbeck was discussing Mark Rylance’s embodiment of Saturn in his performance as Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall, noting that he found his voice when his progressed Venus was at the bendings of the north and south node. After a bit of research I learned that the bendings is a term that refers to the powerful point that is halfway between the North Node and the South Node.

The direction of the bendings matters in interpreting meaning. According to Mary Plumb in the Mountain Astrologer:

“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.”

Planets are at the south bending if they are 90 degrees away from the north node — clockwise. Planets at the north bending are 270 degrees away from the north node clockwise.

In my training, planets square the north and south node are important factors to weave into the mythological backdrop of life. Bendings aside, Steven Forrest describes planets in hard aspect to the south node (which means that if the aspect is a square, the planets are necessarily in hard aspect to the north node as well) as past life influences that blocked you, hit you out of the blue, which you might have been able to circumvent, and was left to work through in this lifetime. It is a karmic storyline that could be repeated, or, alternatively (and to the benefit of the chart holder), the plot re-written in earnest in order to move forward with the North Node story.

The concept of bendings adds an additional layer of depth in assessing the storylines of the nodal axis. With the bendings we get an idea of how a person relates to qualities represented by what’s going on at the north or south bending and how these qualities might show up as external events. We can also observe action around these points as they happen, with planets in transit, to acquire information about how these points play in day to day life.

Happy watching : )


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