No Place for Weird

May 27, 2009

When amateur astronomer William Herschel discovered Uranus with his home-conjured reflective surfaces, he upset the solar system apple cart. Herschel’s discovery blew open the lid holding the status quo of centuries of solar system perception in place. The scientific, cultural, astrological and theological perceptions of the local universe shifted into a wider and more inclusive view. Or did it?

Uranus immediately assumed astrological keywords based upon current events, prevailing archetypes and recent discoveries. Naturally, a rebellious, overturning nature attached itself to Uranus stimulated by the recent world’s revolutions in France and the United States. Truly, Uranus stood out as a weird planet. With his extreme tilt and revolution around the Sun, he demonstrated atypical planetary characteristics. And he generated a huge debate surrounding his rightful name. The Brits wanted to name him for the king – probably to keep money flowing into the coffers of the Royal Observatory. Some astronomers wanted him named Herschel and those of the time contended that would enable personal naming protocols and would start a planetary naming narcissistic trend. Slowly a consensus evolved that the name should remain consistent to the existing Greco-Roman mythology protocol. The French weighed in, proposing that Uranus should be named Neptune. Can you imagine how astrology would be different had that happened, if at all? Finally, after some finagling, Uranus became the consensus name, though hard liners persisted in calling the planet whatever they pleased for quite some time.

The new, highly inclined planet quickly inherited those “revolutionary” terms and assumed an individualistic nature consistent with an elderly god who could not be bothered. Other than the eunuch or asexual associations applied to Uranus and the sign he rules, Aquarius, the mythology seems largely lacking in the interpretive archetypes. Instead, words like detached, aloof, fiercely independent and weird went the way of Uranus – possibly the nature of the planet’s discovery and orbit instead of mythical associations.

So he inherited keywords based upon his previously unknown status, but why so weird given that he was now part of the planetary club? Why not linear and logical assessments? For instance, Saturn, the previous outermost planet in the solar system, held dominion over limits, boundaries and as far as one can practically go. Should not this set of attributes belong to the new, outermost planet in the solar system? Uranus assumed none of this.

Should an astrologer consider the heliocentric degrees of a planet’s north node and perihelion, a clear picture of the planet’s dharma and its sense of urgent priorities gracefully appear. For Uranus he holds perihelion in Virgo and ascending heliocentric node in Gemini – as does the dwarf planet Ceres. These planets share a not so curious common denominator based upon orbital dynamics. Both planets’ ecliptically measured hot spots lie in mental signs. When either Ceres or Uranus experiences a log jam of facts that impact intended agendas or personal preferences a most cranky and contentious behavior riddles the landscape, seeking to restore fulfillment of the bodies’ desires. While disruptive and chaotic, these reactions in the case of Uranus, do not match with the individuality, weird, aloof profile assigned the planet.

Now, Eris, goddess of discord, assumes some of the characteristics of Uranus. Her counter culture ways, her fierce independence and her tendency to create and love of upheaval and mayhem previously and incorrectly given to Uranus are being reassigned.

Does this make previous astrological assessments wrong? No and yes. The placement of trends that had no home upon Uranus was a natural reaction to the first planet coming to light since sky watchers first observed the sky. Curiously, this assignment effect did not occur with Neptune and Pluto. True, the Kuiper Belt Object, possible dwarf planet, Orcus takes on Plutonian keywords, but through his own mythic archetypes, not those of Pluto and not requiring reassignment of Plutonian keywords. Orcus offers a kinder, gentler Pluto, especially given the recent introduction of his moon, Vanth.

Is Eris taking over the tasks of Uranus? Not at all. Simply, disruptive discordant concepts naturally applied to the first body known to change the consensus reality model. Now that Eris can do it for real, Uranus is losing some of his disruptive spark.

Eris gets what it means to be weird. It’s weird not to want to fit in with everyone else on the planet. It’s weird to abandon material agendas as gospel. It’s totally off-kilter to release addictions to status and success. But at the end of the day (and not the Mayan Calendar), it is totally naturally, graceful and spiritually fulfilling to pursue only agendas that meet the needs of the soul. Welcome Eris and find your personal measure of weird – you know, that soulful part of you that fits no other agenda nor seeks inclusion in any activity or with any person that does not further.