Ever since the tenth planet was discovered as UB313, nicknamed Xena and now officially named Eris, it’s been calling to me. I don’t know why Eris speaks to me and not the other recently discovered planets, Sedna and Quaoar, but it is very clear to me that Eris has something to say astrologically.
I felt the same way about Chiron. I began studying astrology in 1980, and although Chiron was discovered in 1977 there was little astrological information available about Chiron until the early 1980s. It was the late 1980s before I even heard of Chiron, but immediately it beckoned to me. At the time many astronomers and astrologers thought Chiron was a comet or an asteroid, but it was later classified as a Centaur. There are lots of other Centaurs: Ixion, Pholus Nessus, etc. Because Chiron was a Centaur in mythology and classified as a Centaur astronomically, many astrologers wanted to assign the rulership of Sagittarius to Chiron. However, Chiron was completely unlike the other Centaurs; his half man/half horse form occured as the result of his parents having taken on a horse form when he was conceived. He was half immortal and is associated with integrating the spirit into the body: a very different role than the rest of the Centaurs who were primarily concerned with drinking and barbaric behavior.
At any rate, Chiron spoke to me loudly and I began to use him in readings nearly immediately. Astrology books in the mid-1980s classified Chiron as an asteroid and lumped him in with the other asteroids such as Vesta, Juno and Pallas as well as Ceres. I attempted to work with these other asteroids but they remained quiet and yielded no information to me. Yet my work with Chiron became very important and to this day I consider Chiron somewhat of a specialty.
As you know if you’ve been reading this column, the reclassification of Pluto and the addition of Ceres and Eris captivated me. Although I wish they had retained the name “The Plutons,” for me they represent an important shift in consciousness and in astrological consultations. The recent discoveries of Sedna and Quaoar did not speak to me in this way, nor it seems have other astrologers been inspired by those planets.
I have explored Ceres only briefly, but Eris is demanding quite a bit of attention which I suppose is appropriate in light of her significance as the goddess of Strife and Discord.
To learn more about the vast array of planetary bodies and to see who speaks to you, visit Zane Stein’s pages on Chiron and his Friends. Zane was one of the early astrologers exploring the significance of Chiron and he has lots of interesting information there.