Dwarf Planet Data Dots

March 24, 2010

Last night I was blown away watching HBO’s currently running movie, Einstein and Eddington. This movie details the controversial support Einstein’s theory of relativity gained from English astronomer and physicist, Arthur Eddington, underscored by the political volatility of World War I. While I knew the story of how the Theory of Relativity was proved, I had never set up the horoscope for the event, or seen the details of this relationship dramatically embellished.

First, the story. Eddington proposed that if Einstein was correct and that space is warped by gravitationally significant bodies such as our Sun, during a total eclipse, the apparent positions of the stars near the Sun would appear different from a photograph of those same stars taken when the Sun was not in proximity. Eddington pressed the reluctant astronomers of Britain to provide funding for an expedition to a path under the next total solar eclipse.

Fortunately, World War I ended prior to the eclipse and the expedition headed to Pretoria, West (South) Africa to take photographs during the totality of the solar eclipse. It was a rainy morning on May 29, 1919, casting doubt on the success of the objective of the day. Moments prior to the actual eclipse, the clouds parted! Photos were taken and examined in a public venue back in England. Einstein was correct!! His Theory of Relativity was right, meaning Newton was wrong, or at least limited in his understanding of far-reaching gravitational concepts.

The chart is an interesting one. In the search for meaning of dwarf planets, especially in these early days of understanding them, any such historical event might offer an insight. At the time of this eclipse’s totality (15:11:34 local time) the midheaven stood at 20 Cancer 24. Adjacent to the MC was the undiscovered Hawaiian creation goddess, Haumea at 20 Cancer 52! Further, in that year, the heliocentric position of Haumea traveled over the North Node of another yet undiscovered dwarf planet, Pluto.

How this is to be interpreted, I really don’t know. But relativity reshaped our view of the Universe and shattered “laws” of physics as previously understood. Indeed a new reality had been created and all the while under the watchful eye of this creatively inspired planet.

Shifting gears, last Sunday at 9:45 P.M. EST, Washington, DC, Health Care became law in the United States (based upon the moment the 216th or majority vote was cast). Regardless of one’s political position on the issue, two dwarf planets appeared to be major players.

The night before I attending a lovely dinner party here in Tucson where prominent financial astrologers and a notable Vedic astrologer and three “standard” astrologers compared notes on the impending vote. We all observed that it would be close, no matter what, and with both sides rendering blistering final arguments with the Sun in Aries opposing Saturn in Libra, both those positions exalted. What really seemed to do the trick, though, was the conjunction of Ceres and Pluto in Capricorn, both squaring Sun and Saturn. Both Pluto and Ceres maintain an underworld, undercurrent, subterranean agenda thing based upon mythology. Pluto as associated with Scorpio carries the theme of other people’s money and refers to insurance. Ceres, as I see her, speaks for those who have no voice or cannot or do not know how to speak for themselves… such as children and their place within the health care system, the economically disadvantaged and those in the forsaken category of pre-existing condition. Ceres and Pluto took a stand against the “sensibilities” and cost factors of Saturn and blazed a new trail for health care in the United States. Again, you don’t have to like the outcome of the vote and the law to appreciate the astrology… and within the astrology, the importance of dwarf planets.


A New Planet(s)?

December 28, 2009

This past week a new entry appeared on the Minor Planet Center’s (MPC) public posting of Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNO): 2009 YE7. It’s not the only new discovery revealed from the batch of 2009 discoveries. To date in 2009, astronomers have released information of the discovery of eight Scattered Disk Objects (SDO) of which four fit the centaur criteria, making them cousins of Chiron. Five “standard” Trans-Neptunian Objects, including the aforementioned 2009 YE7 top the TNO discovery list. Notable about 2009 YE7 is the body’s absolute magnitude. This brightness factor is part of what astronomers use to reckon an object’s size. According to the rules of thumb – around which there are possible special circumstances – this new body weighs in somewhat smaller than Orcus and minimally smaller than Quaoar – both of which are assumed to be dwarf planets by many in astronomical circles according to the ultra-ill definition of planet criteria. A few astrologers now apply Orcus with gusto and consideration of the “other Pluto” as a planet. As well, 2009 YE7 appears to be larger than Varuna and Ixion – both of which appear to be likely dwarf planets.

It gets worse. Two bodies recently received orbital refinement: 2003 AZ84, now minor solar system body 208996 and 2005 UQ513, now 202421. Both these Trans-Neptunian Objects seemingly fall into the same size category of Varuna and Ixion and are likely smaller than 2009 YE7.

This means astrologers not only have existing delineations challenged by that thing that’s not really named, Snow White, as a most definite dwarf planet in the category of Pluto, Charon, Eris, Makemake, Haumea and Sedna, but 2009 YE7 in the realm of Orcus and Quaoar, who are most definitely probably planets. How’s an astrologer going to keep up if the Kuiper Belt continues to introduce significant bodies that a properly delineating astrologer cannot afford to ignore? I’m working on a model for this… it’s not quite there yet, but it’s close (and you’ll have to tune into to my Galactic Times, published through my official website – visit about me on this blog and you can get there from here).

Meanwhile, most astrologers do not include the full package of “no doubters” in the dwarf planet smorgasbord: Pluto, Charon, Eris, Makemake, Haumea and Sedna, let alone the most likely ones – Orcus and Quaoar. They certainly fail to include the “probably planets” 2009 YE7 – which just came to collective attention – or Varuna or Ixion.

Back to this new body. The orbital data is rough as of yet and it is risky to form definitive conclusions about it until the body receives a minor solar system body number, indicating astronomers believe they have the orbital elements pegged. What we do know is that it now travels through 25 Taurus 35 (as of January 1, 2010) and its north node crosses the ecliptic at 18 Leo 48. Significantly, another Kuiper Belt Object appears with one of its two ecliptically measured orbital factors in a sign that promotes self discovery, confidence, certainty in the soul, creative aspiration and all the benefits and merits of a conscious existence. Evidently, the Kuiper Belt seeks to reaffirm previously diminished personality traits in the interest of shoring up souls and spirits weakened by participation in the relatively rough existence of life on Earth. If the current orbital data is more or less spot on, 2009 YE9 will be determined to come closest to the Sun while in the sign of Scorpio as does Pluto.

No doubt the Pluto in Leo generation folks will come to embrace this body more than other recent Pluto generations. Accused of being the most solipsism rich of all Pluto signs, those of the Leo generation of this underworld body love to ponder the meaning of one’s existence and the splash one can make on the planet. The multitude of new found dwarf planets with orbital elements in Aries and Leo seem to agree. Figure out who you are, what you’ve got and get on with giving to the world in a good way. Of course the Pluto in Cancer generation wonders what went wrong with the idea of devotion to family, culture, heritage and country. The Pluto in Virgo generation stands amazed at the lack of modesty – false or otherwise – displayed by those full of themselves sporting Pluto in Leo. Pluto in Libra folks travel in packs and create cooperative ventures as to not stand out too much or draw attention to personal individuality. Pluto in Scorpio wants to give everyone what they’ve got whether others want it or agree with it or not. Pluto in Sag folks, the earliest ones of this generation now reaching into adulthood seeking their place, have it figured out or so it seems to them. Yes, each Pluto generation carries its ego-healing bear to cross.

All of these generations (except the very early portion of Pluto in Cancer) share Eris in Aries. This commonality inspires each and every person to find their optimal, personal niche and remain true to it. No matter what sign they traveled in a person’s nativity, Haumea, Makemake and Sedna sport agendas of personal development, the awakening of the soul and the fulfillment of one’s dharma.

Why not embrace these new planets? They impact your horoscope and support transformational effects that appear along the path of life. They ask the questions: What does one do after “seeing the light,” transforming about the restrictions of the mundane and diving deep into the underworld returning to the surface for the first breath of air as an awakened being?

Simple. Awaken to the skill sets now available upline in the heavens above courtesy of the new planets.

Does Size Matter… for Planets, That Is?

August 26, 2009
Relative Planetary Size
Relative Planetary Size ~ Image Courtesy Dr. Michael Brown

Does size matter for planetary status? Again, that depends.

It seems that when the astronomical community considers bodies in space, a large part of their thinking goes to planetary diameter and mass. Mass affects the bodies gravitational influence, which in turns allows a planet to “control” or “clear” its orbital neighborhood. Obviously, a large diameter makes an object more important as it becomes harder to miss.

Actually, it makes sense to some degree. Astronomer Mike Brown and co-discoverer of Sedna, Eris, Makemake, Haumea and Snow White (yet to be named), declares that the dwarf planets are so small, it’s absurd to consider them planets. During the International Astronomical Union’s meeting in Rio earlier this month, Dr. Gonzalo Tancredi suggested a diameter of greater than 450 km. as the lower limit diameter for a dwarf planet. Tancredi’s speculation now grants 14 dwarf planets, 8 probable dwarf planets and 19 of unclear categorization. While this helps to determine dwarf planets, no useful minimum diameter standard for planet has yet been proposed of which I am aware. Seems unfair somehow.

But let’s consider what the astronomers are seeing. Above is one of three diagrams from Mike Brown in his recent blog Planetary Placements: (http://www.mikebrownsplanets.com/2009/08/planetary-placemats.html) While he and I disagree on some planetary terms, we’re in alignment on the impact of celestial discovery. I strongly recommend his blogs for understanding the astronomy of what we interpret. So anyway, check this out!

At the upper left the smaller spheres, left to right, are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and a sprinkling of larger asteroids. The larger spheres below are, left to right, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Those dots on Neptune are the larger Kuiper Belt Objects. The largest is Eris and Pluto is second. Since this diagram is to scale, the first glance notes that asteroids and dwarf planets are virtual chicken scratch when considered by diameter and mass and relative to the terrestrial and gaseous giant planets. This is why it is hard for an astronomer to reconcile a planetary status for Pluto… which of course would mean that Eris would also be a planet and likely Haumea, Makemake, Sedna and Snow White.

Actually astrologers tend to ignore two size factors regarding Pluto and other solar system objects. Astrologers know, and I am one of them, that Pluto works with staggering planetary potency in a chart. It simply doesn’t matter how big it is. However, if size matters, why do astrologers ignore Eris, who is larger than Pluto? Again (ad nauseam), Eris is larger than Pluto. Similarly, while many astrologers declare the potency of the centaur, Chiron, and again I agree, why do they ignore the centaur, Chariklo, who is notably larger than Chiron and is Chiron’s wife?

I get the astronomers’ claims based upon the diameter criteria. What I don’t get is why astronomers do not consider other aspects of a planet’s physicality, for instance, density and relative gravity. Are these not potential measures of a planet’s potency? Gravity represents a planet’s drawing power, or its ability to attract and capture the attention of other bodies. Sure small planets have less gravitational influence, but could there be a per capita consideration. Per capita, Arizona has more boats than most states. Arizona doesn’t have more boats; Arizona has more boats relative to the population base. Density addresses how tightly packed a planet is. I often wonder how big Jupiter would be if packed to the relative density of Pluto or Ceres. Density symbolically represents qualities of concentration, focus and intention.

It occurs to me that there’s a bias against gravity and density as planetary physical factors. To me it seems this is like intentionally excluding two of the five physical senses. Certainly while enjoying a great meal, it would be silly to ignore the texture of food and the scent of a fabulously prepared dinner. Why shun the delectable attributes of the intriguing dwarf planets?

But then again, I know Pluto’s potency through years of working with the horoscopes of events and individuals. Let’s not even go into the current transit of Pluto to my natal Mars. Further, my research involving the other dwarf planets has not disappointed either. Every single day a new insight arrives that confirms the potency of these intriguing, important and spiritually significant bodies. Does size matter? Not in my book. But what do I know? I’m a guy.

If you’d like to see my entire case for does size matter, please visit my website www.philipsedgwick.com and click on the Does Size Matter hyperlink. Prowl around the site to sign up for my Galactic Times newsletter (free) and more. And keep coming back here often. That way you’ll stay aligned with what’s new out there.


April 29, 2009

To follow up on a recent blog about Mike Brown’s recruitment for a name for the moon of Orcus, here is a posting of an article I wrote for Major Sky Magazine (you can check out how to get it on my site) to keep you up to date with the latest on that astronomical/astrological mythic news.

Recently, astronomer Mike Brown posted in his blogs that he was accepting suggestions for a name for the moon of the Trans-Neptunian Object, Orcus, whose fate as a dwarf planet remains in limbo. The name he ultimately accepted to submit to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) was Vanth.

Okay, so why should we care two hoots about the name of a moon orbiting a Trans-Neptunian Object that does not yet have planetary status, albeit dwarf, though it someday might? Should we as astrologers care what astronomers and the dogmatic IAU think? Good questions.

First, let’s back up for some background character development for Orcus and his satellite, Vanth. Orcus is, for the time, the eighth largest Kuiper Belt Object, though when discovered he was fourth. His orbit is much like Pluto’s in dynamics, except for one key factor: the orbits of Orcus and Pluto point in different directions. (Check out JPL’s orbit plotter by going to: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=orcus;orb=1;cov=0;log=0;cad=0#orb. Scroll out until Orcus comes into view and have fun checking out the edge of our solar system). Thus, Mike Brown described Orcus as the anti-Pluto. Should we care?

Absolutely! Mike Brown, though he will assign you the characteristic of delusional for believing Pluto is a planet, cheerfully engages with astrologers. Attentively, he selects names to propose to the IAU, acutely aware of the eternal social and cultural impact such nomenclature assignment creates. Last November, while speaking at the University of Arizona, here in Tucson, he stated that the discovery and naming processes of Eris almost made him a believer in astrology. He’s on our side, from his own scientific side of the fence.

Vanth comes to us from Etruscan mythology where she is a chthonic figure typically appearing in funeral art. A daemon, she functions as a guide to the underworld and is often portrayed waiting for the arrival of the deceased, frequently grieving. She pals around with other demons more notably Charun, the name from which Charon (Pluto’s binary companion in orbit) is derived. She commonly carries a torch, key or scroll as seen in her depictions of slaughters and murders. While often shown as a solitary shamanic-like escort to the underworld, she appears at the time of death for many, unlike Charon who waits at the River Styx. By most accounts, she is considered a more benefic rendition of Charon, seemingly reaching out to those enduring a traumatic death. In her role as psychopompos, her torch sheds light to guide the path to the underworld and her scroll contains the fate of the departed. Some depictions show her rising out of the ground.

Orcus has captured the attention of many astrologers, Chiron, Nessus and Pholus innovator, Melanie Reinhart, for one. Orcus now stands in late Leo (his position can easily be found in Solar Fire software, on various sites such as astro.com, and also in my Galactic Trilogy CD) and is virtually opposite the yet to be orbitally refined, likely dwarf planet assigned the colloquial working name, Snow White.

Out there in free shareware land is a nifty astronomical program going by the name Stellarium. If you download this freebie, you can locate Pluto and scroll in on it using the wheel on your mouse. As you close in on Pluto, Charon pops out from the side and you can examine the radius vectors of both objects (distance to the object), determining which is closer. When Charon stands closer, symbolically he must be addressed first, before attempting to deal with matters Plutonian.

In classical mythology, all souls went to the underworld for judgment. Once in the underworld a soul’s fate could be assigned to the lovely Elysian Fields, the dreaded realm known as Tartarus or Hades itself. First one had to gain access to the underworld by paying Charon his due. Without proper payment or propitiation a soul was forced to wander the River Styx for a hundred years, not only a waste of eternity, but a drudgery.

With Orcus and Vanth, we now observe a more optimistic guide into the realm of the afterlife, yet the significance of the guides in the case of Pluto and Orcus cannot be neglected. While we often discuss the astrological nature of Pluto, and now Orcus, and the forced hands of fate they render, the nature of comprehension of the underworld journey and its shamanic significance dramatically and beneficially increases with the application of Charon and Vanth. Just because a person endures a Pluto or Orcus influence, transformation, evolution and enlightenment does not automatically result. The clients of astrologers prove this every day. There are hundreds of ways to apply Pluto poorly, and those observing Orcus note similar, but less severe effects with this body. Consider the underworldly guides. To apply the underworld deity, one must create clear intent, be willing pay one’s own way, so to speak, and persist on the path no matter what and must deal with the guides before being permitted into the core of the issue.

If a poll were conducted of working astrologers, many to most would avow the significance of Pluto. Those applying Orcus would provide similar testimony. For a person seeking to smoothly execute such an underworld transit, wouldn’t a guide be lovely? Charon and now Vanth await those ticketed for a transformational journey.