Dear Friend and Reader:
Eris was discovered in 2005 and named in 2006, leading to the ‘demotion’ of Pluto into a dwarf planet, and the recognition that Ceres is more than an asteroid. Though it’s been more than seven years since the discovery (that anniversary was January 5), so far as I can tell, Eris is not a topic of open conversation in professional astrology. It’s still a boutique item, generally mentioned only by the few of us who track the newly-discovered bodies.
In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM (and a daily post Monday), I talk about the current aspect Saturn in Libra opposite Eris in Aries. My take is that this aspect is a comment on how it doesn’t really work when we try to define our identity through a relationship. That doesn’t stop people from trying — and even having temporary success. It’s just that when the relationship changes, or there’s an eruption of jealousy, you might get the feeling that you ‘don’t really exist’ and have to start all over figuring out who you are.
Eris is a deeply rooted source of passion, energy and chaos within the psyche that stirs up all kinds of identity issues. It can push people to find themselves; it can just as easily represent the place where we get lost.
Saturn in Libra to me represents the structure that Eris in Aries is trying to fit itself into, though the best way to see whether something fits is to try it on. The aspect — a rare one, happening every 30 years or so — peaks over the weekend. This happens concurrently with the Uranus-Pluto square, further emphasizing the deeply personal nature of any revolution that’s currently developing.
I took a few minutes this morning and put together some of my favorite articles on Eris, and I’m sending them to you as a compilation. These are all part of the Planet Waves subscriber series. If you find yourself diving into this list and reading voraciously, and you’re not yet a subscriber, brighten your day and sign up for a subscription. You’ll get a great service, you will love the feeling of being involved, and you’ll put some gas in our tank.
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Would love to know what you think of what you read below, and I am open to new ideas about how to cover Eris, so please speak up if you have some thoughts.
PS — You’re invited to share this page, including linking to it from your blog or Facebook. Here is a web version of this page. — efc
This article follows the development of Eris from its discovery by Mike Brown’s infamous team, through its provisional naming after Xena, the warrior priestess. “It was named for a heroic woman, for one thing, apropos of a discovery in Aries. Xena could show up in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus in one episode and in Egypt the next week. She was bisexual. She killed people. She was a kind of sorceress. I ran this past my writing partner Paloma Todd, and the first words out of her mouth were, “Oh, this planet is about postmodernism.”
Women are often expected to act pious and pure — or face being outcast. But what happens when they refuse? This article looks at a number of different feminine archetypes, from the Virgin Mary to Lilith to Eris, asking some obvious questions. I look at the topic of guilt without an obvious source, which places it in the family background, or as transpersonal material.
Rachel Maddow, the first (out) lesbian primetime news anchor, was born during the Chiron-Eris conjunction of the early 1970s. She is in many ways an expression of both, though Chiron tends to bring out the true nature of any planet that it makes contact with. Maddow provided me with her birth data, which I don’t reveal, though I do include samples of her chart.
This is a nice delineation of Eris in essay form, from our breakthrough annual edition Small World Stories. This edition is open to all readers, and it has many other useful delineations of the minor planets that, sitting here, look like the beginnings of a solid book on the topic of the new discoveries. For now you can go exploring. Note, I have done some additional work on certain of these points, particularly the centaurs and 1992 QB1, so if you’re curious, start Googling around.
This is an interesting piece that looks at how we might want to reconsider some of our ideas about Pluto in light of the discovery of Eris. Pluto and all that it represents is not “the end” or “the edge” any more. To go back to the beginning of this story, I suggest you read The Foggy New Edge of Neptune, my first article after the designation of Eris and Pluto as dwarf planets. This article includes the discovery chart of Pluto.
This is the first monograph (short book) ever written about Eris, which explores the new discovery based on its interaction with the sign Aries, where it’s a longterm visitor. In this monograph, I unfold the idea that Eris is a postmodern influence, the reigning queen of the identity crisis, and a factor that allows us to adapt to the constant changes of the current world.