Like all planetary bodies, when discussing the asteroids, centaurs and dwarf planets in astrology, we are exploring the synthesized mental, emotional, and physical facets of self—our "astrology." Although it requires astrological research over a lengthy period to truly validate and hone in on the astrological nature of a newly discovered planet or asteroid, there are several things to explore that can give us significant insight into the astrological nature of new astronomical bodies. These are outlined below.
There are four points of primary significance in a planet's orbit: the planet's perihelion (the location in a planet's orbit when it is closest to the Sun); its aphelion (the location in a planet's orbit when it is furthest from the Sun); a planet's ascending node (also called the north node - the location in a planet's orbit when it crosses from south to north of Earth's ecliptic plane); and a planet's descending node (also called the south node - the location in a planet's orbit when it crosses from north to south of Earth's ecliptic plane). These four points compose a planet's "orbital cross."
I stress the importance at looking at true astronomical star alignments to the four primary points of a planet's orbital cross, not tropical signs, as tropical signs are "relative" to Earth's seasons and the moving vernal point in Earth's precessional cycle, thus reducing insight to a Earth limited view rather than exploring it in the stellar environment through which it moves in the heavens. Here we are interested the "absolute" ecliptical positions and star alignments. Looking at the four points of a planet's orbital cross is viewed from the Sun's perspective.
The perihelion and aphelion star alignments reveal more about the general nature and role of planet. A planet's perihelion stars reveal the nature of a planet's greatest influence, and the life area in which its influence is occurring. It generally is also when the planet is moving its fastest, whipping around the sun. It is when it is most imbued and charged with solar fire.
Its aphelion star alignments, when furthest from sun, provides additional perspective to the nature of a planet's influence. Although the planet is at its most withdrawn point, its aphelion is still quite significant, here regrouping, in a sense, before its begins its journey back toward its perihelion. The aphelion star alignments provide clarity and perspective about a planet's influence, sort of the intent behind or motivating its presence.
A planet may be north or south of the ecliptic at its perihelion (and aphelion). When a planet's perihelion occurs north of the ecliptic, this may suggest that the area of its primary influence is working more in a conscious, externalized or overt way in our lives. When the perihelion occurs south of the ecliptic, this suggests that the area of its primary influence is working more at a transcendent, subconscious or internalize way in our lives, or within the underlying energetics of our lives.
A planet's nodal axis brings insight into how it interacts with the Earth plane. A planet's nodal axis is created by the intersection of the planet's orbital plane and Earth's orbital plane (the ecliptic). A planet's South Node is where in the ecliptic the planet moves from north to south across the ecliptic plane during its orbit. A planet's North Node is where the planet moves from south to north across the ecliptic plane. A planet's nodal axis can be thought of as the planet's energetic current of expression on the Earth Plane. It is much like a magnetic pointer inspiring us to move from the south node theme to north node theme, it reveals a path of action for growth to occur. The South Node stars articulate what are internally inherent attributes in this axis of expression, where as the North Node stars articulate how those attributes are expressed externally in the world. It impels us to take the South Node's energetic and to express it or expand upon it in its complementary form, that revealed by the North Node, thus synthesizing the two energetics into wholeness.
Exploring the stellar alignments of a planet's orbital parameters (the four points of a planet's orbital cross) can lend tremendous insight into the astrological nature of a planet&mdashhow a planet is working within our consciousness and interacting in our lives.
Much like Earth's orbit around the Sun creates our ecliptic, each planet has its own unique ecliptic. When a planet's orbit is tilted significantly to Earth's ecliptic (call a planet's orbital inclination), the planet's ecliptical constellations are much different than our ecliptical constellations. Exploring a planet's unique zodiak (the constellations and stars along the planet's ecliptic) can also bring additional insight into the nature of a planet's astrological influence. This is the unique path of a planet through the heavens, which can tell a story of its own.
The angular inclination of a planet's orbit with respect to Earth's ecliptic is also of significance. A planet with an extreme orbital inclination (drastically tilted to Earth's ecliptic) will tend to cut through Earth's plane of consciousness in a more extreme of sharper way, interceding, in a sense, in Earthian affairs as well as in the human psyche.
The eccentricity of a planet's orbit is how elliptical or circular a planet's orbit is. The Centaurs, for example, generally have very eccentric orbits, thus reaching or bridging between the orbits of other planets. As an example, the Centaur Chiron's orbit extends from the orbit of Saturn to that of Uranus. The Centaur Pholus' orbit extends from the orbit of Saturn to that of Orcus. The Centaur Asbolus links the orbits of Jupiter and Uranus. The orbit of Quaoar for example is rather circular and is inclined only slightly, and thus having a more balanced and gentle character.
The orbital plane crossings of two (or more) planets are also of significance. The intersection of two planets' orbital planes create a nodal axis, an axis of energy exchange. The nodes of this axis can lie anywhere in the heavens. Unlike a planet's nodes in the ecliptic, which occur where a planet's orbital plane intersects Earth's orbital plane, the nodes between two planets can lie north or south of the ecliptic, thus lying in non-zodikal constellations and conjoining unique stars.
Orbital plane crossings bring the resonances of one planet into the realm of another. In other words, an outer crossing planet bestows its force and its effects in consciousness into the realm of the inner planet, augmenting its astrological nature and our understanding in consciousness. In compliment, the visiting planet integrates its experience while inside the orbit of its host, taking the wisdom gained with it as it leaves its host's orbit. This is but one facet of how planetary consciousness itself evolves, as well as contributing to the evolution of the entire solar logos. This is similar to exploring the nodes created by a planet's orbital plane and Earth's ecliptic (orbital plane), but here we are considering the orbital plane crossings (nodes) of any two (or more) planets. When one planet crosses the orbital plane of another, it enter's that planet's experiential plane of consciousness no matter where that occurs in the heavens. The stellar environment around that node (as well as that nodal axis), can led insight into the nature of the exchange involved, as well as how those nodes (that exchange) expresses into Earth's ecliptic, into our experiential plane of consciousness. Exploring the relationship of orbital planes can lend insight in to the relationship between two planets. A good example of this presented in the article about Pluto and Orcus.
The physical properties of a planet including the geological make-up of a planet, its diameter, rotational velocity, atmosphere, etc.; as well as that of a planet's moons, if any, all contribute to astrological nature of a planet. Neptune's amorphous atmosphere as a good example. Neptune's surface is not solid like Earth's. It is composed of a heavy layer of swirling clouds mainly composed of methane. Neptune's bright blue surface appearance continually changes due to underlying winds that blow up to about 1500 miles per hour. This dense atmosphere morphs into liquid moving inward toward its icy silicate core. Neptune is made up mainly of hydrogen, helium, water and silicates. Neptune's geophysical nature is one of the reasons for Neptune's amorphous astrological nature, which is of dreams, visions, and ideals. Neptune dissolves that which is fixed and segregated into universality. Neptune elevates and spiritualizes that which it aligns with toward higher more universal ideals because it dissolves the categorizations and quantifications of our limited logistical processes. Neptune's resonance and the planetary cycles though which it expresses play a significant role in the formation and dissolution our ideologies. All of a planet's physical and orbital parameters contribute to "a planet's harmonic signature."
The mythology associated with the formal name given to the planet is generally the first thing astrologers grab a hold of. The mythology is very significant when we realize the naming or a new planet is not mere happenstance no more than is the name given to a child at birth. The formal naming of the planet generally occurs after its orbital parameters and astrophysical nature are reasonably confirmed, which in some cases can take years. The naming of a new discovery is the discover's responsibility. I think is interesting to explore the potential astrological nature of a planet based upon the other considerations presented in this article before a planet is given name and we have any mythological context. A good example of this is the Dwarf Planet 2007 OR10. OR10 is the third largest of the current dwarf planets and the largest unnamed body in our solar system. Although discovered in 2007, its naming is still pending (as of 2016). Will its eventual name and associated myth fit and compliment the other methods of exploration presented herein, or will it create some confusion and other things yet to consider?
A Discovery Chart is especially significant. It is much like a person's natal chart. Our personal natal chart delineates the aggregate of our soul-level experience and wisdom gained up to precipitating into this incarnational expression. It thus reveals our propensities and our opportunities in this life that impel us to continue to evolve. Just as we are far more than the mere life we experience and the body we identify ourselves with, a planet is also a conscious living entity that has existed before our discovery of it, and it has been traveling on its own evolutionary sojourn. It embodies an entire creative force or intelligence that creates a part of the energetic environment in which life on Earth forms and evolves. Just like a personal natal chart delineates the aggregate of who we are as we enter into this time and space, so too does a planet's discovery chart delineate its entire aggregate of experience as it emerges into our conscious awareness.
A Discovery Chart lends insight into the role a newly discovered planet, why and how it is serving humanity as it emerges into our conscious awareness, as well as its message to us, what we need to look at and address to evolve. It is important to look at the astronomical location in the heavens at the time of discovery as well as the star alignments and aspects with other planets.
A discovery chart is made from the time and location when the planet was discovered. With new distant objects, a discovery is generally made in an image taken from either an Earth-based observatory or a space observatory. The date and time of the actual discovery can be different then the date and time of the image was acquired, sometimes it occurs shortly after but it can sometimes be days or longer. The time that images are are acquired is well documented by observatories (as the mean time it took to acquire the image), however the astronomer making the discovery may or may not note the exact time of his revelation. It is the latter that is of most importance when creating a discovery chart, as that is the first moment of the emergence of the new planet into human consciousness. If the actual discovery time is not available, then the image time can be used, however I would not place as much importance on angles and houses in that case.
We can also consider the nature of the Lunar Cycle in which the discovery occurred, and when in the lunar cycle the discovery occurred; as well as other active planetary cycles, especially those in primary aspect to the any of the orbital parameters (nodes/perihelion) and discovery location.
We can consider world events surrounding a planet's discovery and those occurring in the lives of their discoverers; and during the sometimes lengthy naming process of a newly discovered planet. Eris is a good example of the latter. Eris overturned the apple cart in the astronomical and astrological world causing quite a commotion. It was responsible for the creation of the new "Dwarf Planet" category to which Pluto and Eris now belong. These repercussions lent significant insight into the Eris' astrological nature.
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