Dozens of new celestial objects were discovered in our Solar System at the end of the twentieth and at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Most of them came from the Asteroid Belt, which is between the orbital plane of Mars and Jupiter, but by the end of the century we managed to take a peek into the dark recesses of the edges where even the Sun looks as though it were just a very bright star. We had to realize that the Solar System does not end with Neptune and Pluto. Behind them there are large mysterious and until recently only partially explored territories: the Kuiper Belt, the Scattered Disc, and the very far away Oort Cloud (which is at a distance of about one light year from the Sun).
If we look at the process from a purely scientific viewpoint, it can be easily stated that it is as a result of technical advances and pure chance that we are able to get a glimpse of these far away celestial bodies right now. Yet, ever since modern psychology and the theories of C. G. Jung came to being, we are aware of the fact that there is no such thing as chance. What the less conscious souls refer to as “chance” is really synchronicity, the co-resonance of the Universal matrix with human consciousness, the impact of macrocosm on microcosm. True, we have just acquired the necessary tools - space telescopes and robotic spacecrafts - to penetrate the outer edges of the Solar System, but it is equally true that the human psyche has also matured enough to be able to expand and incorporate the reality of higher dimensions.
The mass discovery of new celestial objects is a profound metaphor of that process, and if we astrologers wish to keep pace with the development we should make an attempt to get acquainted with those bodies in order to accept them. The former depends on astronomers and suitable technical tools whereas the latter is a question of willingness on our part. However, from a purely astrological viewpoint, the most important step should be the astrological delineation of these new celestial bodies. The process has already begun with such pioneers like Barbara Hand Clow, Demetra George, Melanie Reinhart, Judy Hall, Zane Stein, Robert von Heeren, Robert Brown, and Karen Hamaker-Zondag, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
What’s more, the speed of discoveries has accelerated to such an extent that many tend to lose their interest. As soon as we manage to understand the meaning and function of a new celestial body in the astrological chart, a new one is spotted and we are forced to start re-considering the already existing and comfortable system… The whole process started with the discovery of Pluto in 1930, although then we had no idea that, according to today’s standards, what we spotted was far from being a planet. It continued with Chiron in 1977, and by the end of the millennium there was no stopping, an ever increasing number of new objects were being discovered at the outskirts of the Solar System. Even astronomers’ heads are spinning while they are busy creating exact categories for the newcomers in order that they can be defined, but interestingly enough they do not always seem to succeed.
To this day, more than a thousand celestial bodies of various sizes, orbital planes, and materials have been identified. At first astronomers had no idea what they could be, they behaved so differently from the known planets. They were a lot smaller, and had highly declined, very elliptical orbits that crossed over into each other and even into the orbital planes of the planets. The human psyche has reacted in a similar way: like a broken dam that is no longer capable of holding back the river, our consciousness got flooded by the new archetypes. Various names were suggested, for example “TNO” (Transneptunian Objects), which defined their position in the physical space, or “Centaur,” which was an attempt to delineate them. Discovered in 1977, Chiron was labeled as the first Centaur. Between 1992 and 2001, a further eleven Centaurs were named (Pholus, Nessus, Hylonome, Asbolus, Chariklo, Pelion, Okyrhoe, Cyllarus, Elatus, Bienor, and Thereus), all of which are relatively small bodies.
In 2003, however, astronomers spotted Sedna, which was later on reclassified as a Scattered Disc Object because it does not orbit in the main Kuiper Belt, reaching further out and with a much longer orbital period (11500 years). A few months later Eris was discovered, which, true to its name, became the real source of trouble: Eris is the Goddess of strife and discord in Greek mythology. This celestial body, which was first given a number (2003 VB 12), is bigger than Pluto! And in case Pluto is a planet, Eris must be one, too. Soon a sensational and optimistic piece of news appeared on the NASA homepage: “the tenth planet of the Solar System has been discovered” (July 29, 2005). However, this opened scary perspectives for astronomers, who already knew by then that at these far away regions of the Solar System there could be thousands of objects larger than 1000 km in diameter. And if all the Pluto and Eris type celestial bodies can get planet status, this decision will result in such a large number that cannot possibly be handled.
The International Astronomical Union decided to act immediately. In the summer of 2006 they demoted Pluto, created the term “dwarf planet,” and defined the rules according to which the newly discovered objects should be named. Centaurs orbiting between the planes of Jupiter and Pluto receive their names from the centaurs of Greek mythology. Plutinos, which are in orbital resonance with Pluto, are called after hellish characters and the Lords of the Underworld (like Orcus, Ixion, Rhadamanthus, and Huja). TNOs and SDOs receive their names from gods and Goddesses of creation myths of the world’s various nations (for example, Sedna, Varuna, Teharonhiawako, Quaoar, Makemake, or Haumea).
According to karmic and transcendental astrological delineations, Asteroids and Kuiper Belt objects with tight orbs (1-2°) refer to the karmic past. The astronomical classifications of each type provide a hint as to what sort of karma is involved:
- Asteroids add to the delineations of personal planets
- Centaurs form a bridge between visible and invisible planets, and describe capacities acquired through wounds in the karmic past. These wounds are deep and painful, but we may complete our tasks in this incarnation better with the help of the experience.
- Plutinos lead us to the Underworld; they are linked to hidden, occult knowledge which may help us find the “philosopher’s stone” in order to make gold and ensure profound transmutation. During the process, we either manage to turn ourselves into the Red Lion of alchemists or we fail and may even die of it. One thing is sure, however: we will not stay the way we used to be.
- TNOs, Plutoids (dwarf planets) and SDOs are linked to creation myths and thus describe processes during which the soul - a multidimensional cosmic being - chooses a 3D form of existence, enters a physical body, and accepts human qualities. It plunges into the densest material, which both captures and enchants it, and which is a downgrading from higher dimensions yet a very attractive alternative compared to non-corporeal existence. These celestial objects describe the process of embodiment and provide hints on destiny choices in the natal chart.
All four types of bodies reveal the karmic past; however, astrological delineations are rooted in different layers. Asteroids and Centaurs are always about personal karma, especially wounds and capacities. Plutinos describe initiation type knowledge that has been acquired and practiced through many incarnations. TNOs, Plutoids and SDOs with longer orbits indicate destiny choices made at the beginning of physical incarnation, or at the outset of any new incarnation cycle. Besides those general delineation principles, however, each may indicate very personal karma as well, which may be interpreted according to the astrological placement of the celestial object in question and its accompanying myths. With each new discovery, new age astrologers have the opportunity to reach beyond the rigidity and status quo of traditional astrology. Do not shun a little more work; you will be able to incorporate insights that can only benefit a better karmic reading.