Eris

The Eris-Uranus conjunction of 2015-2017

Eris Uranus conjunction

(Album Art from “All Hail Discordia” by Divine Right.) If the global situation seems crazy and insane (and it does!) we can blame it on the conjunction between Eris and Uranus in the warrior sign of Aries, a conjunction that began in 2015.

Eris is a small planet that was discovered in 2003.  Her Roman name was Discordia – she is the goddess who, when not invited to a wedding, began the Trojan War by throwing a golden apple marked “for the fairest” into a circle of goddesses, beginning a dispute that threw Greece into turmoil for ten years.  (Read more about the mythology of Eris here.)  Eris moves very slowly – its orbital cycle is 560 years – and it is still not clear what astrological impact it brings.

Uranus is the planet of radical change and revolutionary behavior.  It has been in the sign of war (Aries) since 2010, fomenting conflicts around the world.  When the planet of discord (Eris) aligns with the planet of disruption (Uranus), it’s easy to see where established paradigms and principles would be turned upside down.

The last Eris/Uranus conjunction took place between 1927 and 1929 in the first degrees of Aries.  This was a period of tremendous scientific and technological (Uranian) breakthroughs as well as political turmoil.  The discovery of quantum physics, the first transatlantic flight by Charles Lindbergh followed by the first woman-led transatlantic flight (Amelia Earhart),  an 8.6 magnitude earthquake in China, rebellions and revolutions encircled the globe including China, Austria, Portugal, Mexico, Japan, Afghanistan.  This of course was the peak of the “Roaring Twenties,” a period of cultural revolution and excesses of all kinds that ended in the stock market crash of 1929 – an event that certainly caused the “shock and awe” with which Uranus is associated, as well as the discord of Eris.

Under this influence (until early 2017), the very fabric of our lives is being shaken and stirred and it will be ever more necessary to find ways to adapt.  The world is changing – we are at the cusp of a new age in Aquarius, and the past is falling away at an ever-increasing pace.

On a personal level, Eris draws out latent feelings of resentment and we may find ourselves more inclined towards reactive behavior.  Attending to these feelings in a conscious and mindful way can bring about healing rather than repression which will help us to utilize this disruptive period to create positive change.

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By | 2016-10-08T12:16:29+00:00 September 9th, 2016|Featured posts, Planetary cycles|5 Comments

The astrological quandary of new planet discoveries

Each time a new planet has been discovered, it has opened a new doorway in the field of astrology.  For thousands of years the visible planets told the entire astrological story, and life was considered to a march towards one inevitable destiny.  The planetary story of the natal chart was either exalted or debilitated, and one was forced to resign oneself to fate.

Beginning in the late 18th century with the discovery of Uranus, the astrological landscape began to change.  A flurry of revolutionary ideologies and a drive towards individuality, the hallmarks of the Uranian influence, spread like wildfire around the world.  Neptune’s discovery in the 19th century led to an increase of spiritual and mystical thought (as opposed to the religious dogma of the church state that was the primary governing force throughout the second millenium of the common era.  Pluto’s entry into the pantheon in 1930 opened the doorway for the great psychological teachers of our time (Freud and Jung) and oversaw the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs that were later used annhilate a large part of Japan (Pluto rules the underworld of the psyche as well as the process of destruction and regeneration).

Between 1801 and 1804 the four commonly used asteroids (Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta) were discovered, although they were not included in the astrological pantheon until the early 1970s.   Chiron’s discovery in late 1977 was an intriguing event for astrologers because of the difficulty in identifying whether Chiron was an asteroid, a comet, or a small planet (read more about that here) and for many years astrologers grouped Chiron together with the other asteroids although astronomers classified Chiron as one of the Centaur minor planets.

Beginning in 2002 there was a flurry of new discoveries.  Quoaoar, Sedna, Haumea, and then Eris began to captivate the imaginations of astrologers although none of these planets have achieved any kind of widespread use, perhaps because their distance from Earth means that their orbital cycles are too large to have any real immediate meaning in the human experience.  Other planetary objects bandied about by astrologers are Orcus, Ixion, Makemake, and the millions of asteroids of which over 10,000 are named and included in astrological programs.

Some of these new discoveries speak to me and some don’t.  Chiron jumped out and took me on as a student way back in the late 1980s, but the four main asteroids, which I studied at the same time, have never had much to say to me.  I experimented some with Eris in charts but found it not to be useful in my consulting work.  The Black Moon Lilith, which is merely a point and not an astrological body, has been speaking to me ever since I discovered that point sitting right on my Pluto.

In my own work, I have found that introducing too many factors into the chart muddies the water and makes it nearly impossible to scry into the true meaning of the chart.  For me, the symbology works like this:

  • The personal planets (the visible, traditional planets including Sun and Moon) describe the personality.
  • The outer planets act as transformational forces.
  • Chiron serves as the bridge between the personal and outer planets to heal the personality and facilitate transformation.
  • The asteroids, and points like the Black Moon Lilith and probably these other planetary bodies, tell stories about the chart to fill in additional detail.

I will of course continue to read what others have to say and share the latest astronomical news with you so that we can continue to expand our awareness and our knowledge of the way the Universe shapes the world around us!

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By | 2015-10-18T08:38:34+00:00 October 18th, 2015|Astrology, Science|2 Comments

Astrology, the Kepler telescope, and extrasolar planets

The orbiting Kepler telescope has spotted a Jupiter-sized planet around another star — a sighting that demonstrates it can see Earth-like planets if they are out there, scientists reported on Thursday.

The planet, called HAT-P-7b, was already among the 300 or so known so-called extrasolar planets, the team led by the U.S. space agency NASA reported. But measurements of its orbit by Kepler show the telescope will be able to see smaller planets, they reported in the journal Science.

“Kepler is operating at the level required to detect Earth-size planets,” the team, led by William Borucki of the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, reported.

read more here...

In the conversation with Steven Forrest that I taped for last week’s radio show I asked him his thoughts on adding new planets to the astrological repertoire.  Steven’s philosophy is “as above, so below,” the principle on which astrologers usually rely in explaining how astrology works, applies to most things in the sky.  Asteroids, Chiron (a sort of permanent comet), other bodies in the Kuiper Belt, all of these planetary bodies belong to our solar system and have some astrological effect for humans on planet Earth.

It seems to me, though, that astrology was given to us as a tool to observe planets in OUR solar system.  Once we begin talking about planets outside of our solar system I would make the assumption that there would be no astrological effect on Earth.

Eris, Sedna, and Quaoar are all “trans-Neptunians,” meaning they are located past Neptune but still within our solar system.  I have just started incorporating Eris into client charts, and some astrologers are looking at Sedna and Quaoar.  There are quite a few other trans-Neptunian bodies that are used by some astrologers, particularly those that call themselves “Uranian” astrologers.

Still – all of these are bodies within our solar system that are subject to the gravitational pull of our Sun.  With the rapidly accelerating progress of space exploration there are hundreds or maybe thousands of new planets ready to be discovered.  But does that mean they should all be incorporated into the birthchart?  In my view, it’s that gravitational pull to the Sun that defines whether or not a body in space has an astrological effect.  The Sun is to the Solar System as the heart is to the human being, and it’s that parallel that for me excludes any new exo-planet currently discovered.

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By | 2009-08-05T07:20:14+00:00 August 5th, 2009|Astrology, Astronomy|Comments Off on Astrology, the Kepler telescope, and extrasolar planets

Eris is bigger than Pluto!

The new planet Eris has been found to be 27% larger than Pluto, causing some astronomers to joke about Pluto not being able to catch a break. As astrologers know, however, size doesn’t matter – despite it’s tiny size, Pluto packs a powerful wallop.

I have done just a little work with Eris in charts where it forms tight aspects to other planets and haven’t been able to get a clear sense of how it works. From the lack of published material on the subject, neither has anyone else! On the other hand, not every planet speaks to every astrologer, and many astrologers still do not work with Chiron. I’ll continue to report Eris news as I find it and please help me out by posting any links that you find!

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By | 2007-06-17T10:54:00+00:00 June 17th, 2007|Astronomy|Comments Off on Eris is bigger than Pluto!

The astrology of Eris, the newest planet

ErisAlong with the elevation to Planethood of 2003 UB313 (formerly known as Xena) now comes an official name: Eris, named after the Greek goddess that set off the Trojan war by throwing the golden apple into the circle of goddesses that would ultimately be for the fairest of them all. The goddesses (Athena, Aphrodite and Hera) competed for the apple, and the Trojan war was the famous result. Eris is a troublemaker: the goddess of strife and discord, and her Roman name was Discordia.

The tenth planet is aptly named, because her discovery led to a great deal of discord and turned the world of astronomy on its ears and led to the declassification of Pluto. Now Eris, Pluto and Ceres all rule jointly in their new classification as “dwarf planets.” This site has a great assortment of stories from the myths about the nature of Eris from which the stories below have been taken.

Eris is a sister of Ares, the god of war, and as a nurse to dying soldiers she has been known to fill their hearts with hate and the desire for revenge. Aeschylus says, “discord is the last of the gods to close an argument.” Eris is likely to rule over the domain of revenge which has previously fallen under Pluto’s realm. The role of Eris in the Trojan War did not begin from spite but from wounded feelings since Eris was not invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. So Eris is concerned with wounds to the ego that result in a disturbed psyche.

Hesiod saw a more positive side to Eris:

She pushes the shiftless man to work, for all his laziness. A man looks at his neighbour, who is rich: then he too wants work; for the rich man presses on with his ploughing and planting and ordering of his estate. So the neighbour envies the neighbour who presses on toward wealth. Such Eris (Strife) is a good friend to mortals.”

Perhaps this is the lesson that Eris comes to teach:

“Herakles was making his way through a narrow pass. He saw something that looked like an apple lying on the ground and he tried to smash it with his club. After having been struck by the club, the thing swelled up to twice its size. Herakles struck it again with his club, even harder than before, and the thing then expanded to such a size that it blocked Herakles’s way. Herakles let go of his club and stood there, amazed. Athena saw him and said, ‘O Herakles, don’t be so surprised! This thing that has brought about your confusion is Aporia (Contentiousness) and Eris (Strife). If you just leave it alone, it stays small; but if you decide to fight it, then it swells from its small size and grows large.” – Aesop, Fables 534 (from Chambry 129)

Eris is a very slow moving planet (it entered Aries back in 1928 and as of the latest date in the Swiss Ephemeris of 2036 is will still be at 27 degrees Aries) and will be important to astrologers only for its placement in the birthchart rather than its effect by transit or current planetary cycles of the birthchart. However, other planets will aspect it and it will be interesting to see what effect in any those cycles will have. You can be sure that astrologers everywhere will be keeping a close eye on it!

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By | 2016-09-09T09:30:48+00:00 September 15th, 2006|Planets|Comments Off on The astrology of Eris, the newest planet
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