The Astronomy & Astrology of the
The Dwarf Planets

Pluto & Orcus

A new & extensive exploration into the nature of Pluto and Orcus, Pluto's Compliment

Nick Anthony Fiorenza

Introduction to Pluto & Orcus; their Orbital Relationship, & their Moons

Pluto, discovered by Clyde Tombaugh of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona on Feb 18, 1930, is now recognized to be one of many Kuiper belt objects and was reclassified on Aug 24, 2006 into the new "dwarf planet" classification. Astronomers are now finding several of these objects in the Kuiper belt to be similar to the size of Pluto; and one that is quite complimentary to Pluto is Orcus.

Skip to Orcus Summary

New Horizons image of Pluto by NASA

New Horizons image of Pluto by NASA
The New Horizons spacecraft made its long awaited flyby past Pluto and Charon on July 14, 2015, bringing unprecedented images of Pluto and Charon. Check images and videos out at NASA New Horizons.

Orcus was discovered on Feb 19, 2004 by Mike Brown, a professor of planetary science at the California Institute of Technology, and colleagues Chad Trujillo and David Rabinowitz. It was confirmed by a team based at the Starkenburg Observatory in Germany and other sightings from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Table Mountain Observatory in southern California. Originally estimated to be near the size of Quaoar, Charon (Pluto's moon) or even larger. 2004 DW was named Orcus on Nov 22, 2004. The name Orcus was chosen because it shares a similar size, orbit, and orbital inclination to that of Pluto.

Identifying the nature of our newly discovered planets is of poignant significance regarding Pluto's "assumed" astrological role. As we learn more about the nature of Pluto's additional family members, we may also refined our understanding of Pluto's astrological nature. Having thought Pluto to have a broad and encompassing character, mostly associated with death and transformation, we may now find Pluto is not responsible for as much as once thought because there may have been other planets in significant aspect or directly near Pluto (conjoining) in astrological charts cast to characterize Pluto.

Exploring the astrological nature of a newly discovered planet

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 that we can explore to give us significant insight into the astrological nature of new astronomical bodies. These are outlined in "Guidelines on How to Explore the Astrology of Newly Discovered Objects in Our Solar System". You may wish to read that first. It explains the meaning of a planet's Orbital Cross; a planet's aphelion, perihelion and its nodes in the ecliptic; as well as other things to consider.

The Orbits of Pluto & Orcus

Although Orcus is a bit smaller than Pluto, Orcus has a nearly identical orbital size, orbital period (year), and orbital inclination. However, Orcus' orbital plane's orientation in our solar system is tilted in the opposite direction from Pluto's. Orcus' orbit clearly reveals Orcus to be a compliment to Pluto. Due to their complimentary relationship, I present them together so we can get a better understanding of their similarities and differences.

Orcus and Pluto Orbital Inclinations

Pluto & Orcus orbital planes and their
inclination to the ecliptic plane.

Pluto's Orbital Inclinations
Orcus's Orbital Inclinations

Pluto's orbital inclination = 17.2°. Orcus' orbital inclination = 20.582°.
Pluto and Orcus' perihelions lie north of the ecliptic plane. However, their nodal axes lie
in opposite directions—creating an X in the ecliptic with an arc separation of 22° 49'.

Orcus-Neptune & Pluto-Neptune 2:3 Orbital Resonance

Pluto & Orcus have nearly identical orbital sizes and orbital periods.
Pluto's orbital period = 248.02 years
Orcus' orbital period = 247.29 years
Neptune's orbital period = 163.72 years

Neptune and Orcus have a 3:2 (mean-motion) orbital resonance, which is the same as the Neptune-Pluto 3:2 orbital resonance. This occurs due to the very close orbital periods of Orcus and Pluto.

A Neptune-Orcus 3:2 orbital resonance means that Neptune makes 3 orbits while Orcus makes 2 orbits between each Neptune-Orcus synod (heliocentric alignment). The Neptune-Pluto 3:2 orbital resonance means that Neptune makes 3 orbits while Pluto makes 2 orbits between each Neptune-Pluto synod.

This also means that the Neptune-Orcus and Neptune-Pluto synodic cycles are nearly the same duration.

Neptune-Orcus 1.510444661617396 ratio (~1.5 ratio) = 3:2 mean motion orbital resonance.
Neptune-Pluto 1.514903493769851 ratio (~1.5 ratio) = 3:2 mean motion orbital resonance.

The Moons of Pluto & Orcus

Just as Pluto has Charon as its primary moon, so too does Orcus have a moon, discovered on Nov 13, 2005 by M.E. Brown and T.A. Suer. In fact, just as Pluto and Charon are considered a dual planetary system, so is Orcus-Vanth. (Pluto's two smaller moons, Nix and Hydra, are discussed toward the bottom of this web page.)

The name Vanth was chosen for the moon of Orcus in April 2009. Mike Brown, as the discoverer of Orcus, had the privilege and was responsible for its naming. In Mike Brown's words as of March 29, 2009:

Orcus rotational period: 13.188 hours. Orcus rotational period: 153.2935 hours.

"The Moon of Orcus has about a ten day orbit around Orcus, in a tight precise circle. We suspect - though can’t yet prove - that Orcus and its satellite have their same faces locked towards each other constantly, like an orbiting dumbbell. Only one other Kuiper belt object and satellite are known to do this. Who? Pluto and Charon, of course.

The origin of the satellite of Orcus is confusing. Pluto and Charon are thought to have formed in a giant collision. Haumea clearly had a shattering blow to disperse moons and other family members. But small Kuiper belt objects are thought to acquired moons by simple capture.

Orcus is right in the middle. Was the satellite from a collision or a capture? We had hoped to answer this question by observations from the Hubble Space Telescope. If the satellite had looked just like other known collisional satellite, we would have been pretty convinced. It doesn't. Unfortunately that tells us less. We can’t rule out either. We have some ideas of new Hubble Space Telescope observations to try to tell the difference. For now, though, we’re just confused."

Update October 6, 2009: "The size, density, and formation of the Orcus-Vanth system in the Kuiper belt" The Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System

"In order to investigate the properties of the Orcus system, we obtained Hubble Space
Telescope (HST) observations to determine the orbit, and optical and infrared colors of the
components of the system, and Spitzer Space Telescope observations of thermal emission in
order to determine the size and thus density of the system...."

In Etruscan mythology, Vanth is a benevolent female daimon (mediator, gatekeeper, demigod) who guides the dead to the underworld, especially after violent deaths. (Etruscan historian Raymond Bloch)

More on the naming of Orcus's Moon, Vanth, on Mike Brown's blog. (See April 09 entries)

Astronomical Journal by M.E. Brown, et. al.

Pluto & Orcus Aspects

Due to the similar orbits of Pluto and Orcus, aspects occurring between the two planets should be considered extra significant. Astrologers might consider Orcus when ever considering Pluto. Orcus and Pluto were trine (120°) in 2007-2008, and due to their slow movement, they maintain a tight orb to any aspect over a few year period. The two were square (90°) in 1986.

Pluto-Orcus Orbital Plane Crossing of 2012

Another time when significant resonances occur is when one planet passes through the orbital plane of another. For example, Pluto crosses Orcus' orbital plane (moving from north to south of Orcus' orbit) in early September 2012 in sidereal Sagittarius (shown below). This is another nodal axis, this one created by the intersection of the orbits of Pluto and Orcus. Thus, when Pluto crosses the orbit of Orcus in 2012, Pluto passes through the orbital realm of Orcus, thus Pluto's astrological influence becomes augmented by the quality of Orcus. This is significant in the progression of the Earth-Pluto's synodic cycles that recently began over the "Gate of God" in earlier Sagittarius, as you may realize after learning more about the relationship between Orcus and Pluto.

Ref: Earth-Pluto Synods in Sidereal Sagittarius - A Revelatory Progression in Consciousness Begins

Orcus - Pluto Nodes

Orcus - Pluto Nodes in Sagittarius and Gemini
Pluto will be crossing Orcus' orbital plane in 2012, a few years before
Pluto crosses it south node, which occurs in 2018.


The Orbits of Pluto & Orcus

This first section is an in-depth exploration of the Orbital Parameters of Pluto and Orcus based upon the principles outlined in "Guidelines on How to Explore the Astrology of Newly Discovered Objects in Our Solar System".

This exploration will provide significant insight into differences between Pluto and Orcus as well as their similarities. Pluto will be seen in a new light and it will also become clear how Orcus is Pluto's compliment.

All sidereal longitudes are referenced to the Galactic Ayanamsa (Add 0°14' for the Fagan-Bradley Ayanamsa). Note: using a different Ayanamsa does not change the actual location of the planets with respect to the stars.

Pluto's Orbital Cross

New Horizons Pluto and Charon by NASA

New Horizons Pluto & Charon by NASA July 2015
The New Horizons spacecraft made its long awaited flyby past Pluto and Charon on July 14, 2015, bringing unprecedented images of Pluto and Charon. See images and videos at NASA New Horizons.

Pluto's Perihelion - Our Karmic Responsibility

Due to Pluto's 17.2° orbital inclination, Pluto's perihelion lies north of the ecliptic at the boundaries of three constellations, Virgo, Libra, and Serpens. Most significantly it conjoins Zubenelgenubi of Libra. Pluto's perihelion (the closest distance to the Sun in Pluto's orbit) reveals Pluto's purpose, the area in our lives of Pluto's greatest influence.

Zuben el Genubi and Zuben es Chamalli are the two primary stars of Libra and modern illustrations they create the two scales of Libra's balance. They respectively lie at 20° and 24° sidereal Libra. In an older mythological rendering by Johannes Kepler, one that brings far greater insight into the nature of this area of zodiak, these two stars are the Chelae (claws) of the Scorpion, which reach back from the Scorpion's head (Dschuba) toward the feet of the Virgin.

Although the constellation of Virgo begins at the Leo / Virgo cusp, it extends into the first 17 degrees of the sidereal sign of Libra. The Virgin lies supine with her head at the beginning of Virgo while the Virgin’s legs and feet extend from the Virgin's base chakra, the star Spica, which marks the cusp of sidereal Virgo-Libra, through the first half of sidereal Libra, with the Virgin's feet lying just in front of the Scorpions Chelae. The constellation of Virgo embraces ~46° of the zodiak—the longest ecliptical constellation.

Pluto's Perihelion Star Chart

The overall image is of the Virgin giving birth into the Chelae of the Scorpion. This image articulates the birthing of the soul into reincarnational process of soul growth through the balance of experience. This mythical articulation was destroyed in (Chaldean / Roman) times: The Scorpion’s Chelae and the Virgin's legs had both been severed from our stellar mythos, and so too its profound significance regarding the reincarnational process of the soul. Thus I dub the first half of the sidereal Libra "Under the Skirt of the Virgin" to mythically articulate the long obscured secrets hidden within this part of the zodiak.

To add more context: Bootes, Virgo's consort and protector, stands over the Virgin giving birth, over the cusp of Virgo-Libra, ensuring a safe and unadulterated birth.

Sanding over the Scorpion is Ophiuchus holding the serpent, with the serpent's head reaching toward and pointing to the Northern Crown, which lies north of the chelae and the feet of the Virgin. Ophiuchus is exemplar of one who has attained mastery of the forces of life and death, who has risen above the entrapment in the clutches of the Scorpion, who has mastered the path of soul growth through the balance of experience.

South of the Chelae and the feet of the Virgin is Centaurus, and the Southern Cross. The benevolent and wise Centaur, who stands over and protects the Souther Cross, is teacher of the right way to live to attain our evolutionary freedom. The Souther Cross embodies the unadulterated pure intent of the soul—the original cardinal virtues. This entire mythological scene articulates the means for our evolutionary freedom from the perpetual re-incarnational process of soul growth through the balance of experience; as well as providing clues to our dilemma of biological degeneration, death, and rebirth.

Zuben el Genubi and Zuben es Chamalli form a triangle with Dschubba, the head of the Scorpion. Zuben el Genubi, our primary perihelion star for Pluto, is the karmic seat for humanity. This ecliptical longitude also marks the exalted location of Saturn, our lord of karmic retribution and who demands we take responsibility for our life experience. Zuben es Chamalli is the dharmic seat—the way to balance our experience and thus freeing ourselves from the patterns of the past—how to attain the Northern Crown.

This is why our modern image of Libra is considered to be the scales of justice—implying the need to experience both sides (a balance) of human experience in order to gain self-mastery as an incarnating soul. It does not imply the guilt trip laden idea of paying for misdeeds of the past. Here, in the reincarnational clutches of the Scorpion, the incarnating soul learns self-responsibility, to claim the true freedom that the scales of Libra stand for by choosing to move from our entrapping patterns or life scenarios of the past (Zubenelgenubi) and to participate in a new way, to step into a new way of being, upon a new path of experience (Zubeneschamalli)—in essence to complete one's destiny or incarnational purpose of soul growth.

Pluto's perihelion at this zodiakal longitude reveals the area or role Pluto is addressing in our lives. As we know, Pluto is the opener and destructor who will dismantle our world when we refuse to change, who eliminates the superfluous and demands we get to the essence of it all—to do what we've come here to do. Pluto addresses the essence of Zubenelgenubi. When we do heed Saturn law of justice, Pluto, the reductionist, intercedes and demands we are left with nothing but our need to address the essence of our life responsibility, or life ends and the soul is left only to try again—to birth once again into the reincarnational claws of the Scorpion.

Pluto's Aphelion - Entrapment & Pending Time

Directly opposite Zubenelgenubi in ecliptical longitude is Menkar of Cetus in sidereal Aries. Pluto, at its aphelion, lies immediately south of Menkar, about 3° south in ecliptical latitude. Menkar marks the entrapping jaws of the fear-instilling technobureaucratic monster created by collective human consciousness. Conjoining Menkar are Almach the snagged foot of Andromeda; and Alpha Horologium of the pendulum clock.

The theme here is that of princess Andromeda who is chained to rocks by the sea about to be devoured by Cetus. In the story of Andromeda and Royal Family, Queen Cassiopeia’s boastful arrogance that her daughter, princess Andromeda, was more beautiful than Poseidon's Nereids, the nymphs of the sea, peeved Poseidon. As punishment, Poseidon sent Cetus the Sea Monster to ravage the shores of Ethiopia, which Queen Cassiopeia and King Cepheus ruled. Cepheus was advised that the only way to appease Poseidon was to sacrifice is daughter to Cetus. In acquiescence, the King had Andromeda chained to the cliff at the sea to be devoured by Cetus. Andromeda, although inheriting this unfortunate sentence, has a far greater and fortuitous destiny awaiting her. Perseus eventually kills Cetus and frees Andromeda. Perseus and Andromeda marry and they go on to create a city and rule a kingdom that bores the Persian world. Alpha Horologium, in the southern heavens, adds a relentless and underlying sense that there is finite time ticking away and that more than is humanly possible must be accomplished.

Pluto's Perihelion-Aphelion Summary

Here we can see the complimentary nature of the Pluto's perihelion and aphelion stars—and a theme of entrapment along with our responsibility or deal with our entrapments and the wake of our actions. Pluto's aphelion stars reveal that which get's us into entrapping situations (specifically arrogance and righteousness) in the human world, while Pluto's perihelion stars reveal the longer-term (karmic) ramifications of those actions and our need to take responsibility for the life scenarios in which we find ourselves.

Pluto's Nodal Axis

Pluto's Nodes

A planet's nodal axis can be thought of as a magnetic pointer, revealing a planet's path of action—(from the planet's south node theme to its north node theme) as it interacts in our lives on Earth. The Descending (south) Node stars reveal the nature of that which we must bring forth and express through the theme revealed by the Ascending (north) Node stars—how to apply the south node theme through the north node theme. We can consider the south node as providing the momentum to take action through the north node.

Due to the opposite and complimentary orbital tilts of Pluto and Orcus, their nodal axes lie in opposite directions. Pluto's south node resides in sidereal Sagittarius and its North Node resides in sidereal Gemini. Conversely, Orcus' South Node resides in sidereal Gemini and its North Node resides in sidereal Sagittarius.

Pluto's Inclusive & All-consuming South Node

Pluto's South Node resides at 25° 18' sidereal Sagittarius. It lies under the auspices of Aquila the Eagle and conjoins Deneb Al Okab, the Tail of the Eagle; the Neutron Star, X-Ray Source SS433 also of Aquila; and the Starseed Ring Nebula Super Nova Remnant M57 of Lyra.

SS433 Neutron Star

SS433 Visualization by Rob Hynes Binary Software (Louisiana State University, USA)

Deneb Al Okab refers to two stars, Zeta Aquila and Epsilon Aquila. Although the zeta star of the constellation, this star is the brighter of the two and is the third brightest star in Aquila, preceded by Altair, Eye of the Eagle, and Tarazed, Altair's companion. Zeta Aquila shines with the brightness of 39 of our suns and has with an amazing rotational speed, 165 times the equatorial speed of our sun.

Conjoining the tail of the Eagle (Zeta Aquila) is SS433, an exotic and dynamic binary star system similar to Cygnus X-3, but emitting twin-corkscrew shaped jets in wavelengths ranging from the optical to the X-ray. A companion star is feeding the collapsed neutron star's accretion disc, shown in the illustration to the right. A neutron star is a super-dense nucleus of a collapsed (dead) star. A slight 20° misalignment of the planes of the binary orbit and the accretion disk causes the disc and its rapidly evolving jets to precess (wobble) over a 162.5-day period and over a large angle. The precession also causes the jets' expanding helical spray.

SS433's primary characteristic is that it produces a dynamic and rapidly evolving expression that extends over the entire light spectrum, thus embracing all aspects of consciousness, from the most primal to the soul/spiritual, and without hesitancy and without prejudice or discrimination. It also has a consuming aspect to it, devouring the companion star's life force. This is a significant quality articulating the driving force behind Pluto's active role in our lives.

Ring Neb M57 of Lyra

Ring Neb M57 of Lyra
Image Credit: Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA)

Both the qualities of Deneb Al Okab and SS433 are fitting with the Eagle totem and the guiding tail of the Eagle. The Eagle, a lone bird, has the ability to rapidly remove itself to vast distances and height to gain an embracing perceptual (global) awareness, waiting to spot its prey, and with swift and pinpoint accuracy, then dives to snatch its target—again bringing insight into the (south node) force behind Pluto's action our lives.

North of Aquila and Deneb Al Okab is the beautiful Starseed Ring Nebula M57 of Lyra, the result of a super nova explosion. M57 is considered the prototype and showpiece of a planetary nebula, also the first discovered (by John Herschel). The term Planetary Nebula simply refers to a spherical nebula. M57 articulates the subsequent fragmentation of consciousness into various stellar races or rainbow rays of evolutionary unfoldment. M57, (also conjoining Sheliak) inspires multi-spectral creative expression. All-embracing M57 holds the memory pattern or source code of the DNA that unifies our diversity—reminding us that all rays of color and creed ultimately comprise and fulfill the unbounded expression of one unified creative intelligence. Here again this articulate the non-discriminatory and all-embracing nature of Pluto's soul node.

Pluto's North Node in the World of Daily Human Affairs

Pluto's North Node lies at 25° 18 sidereal Gemini, exactly conjoining Castor of the Gemini Twins. Although the Twins (Castor and Pollux) are of communication and human betterment, they have in some legend been at odds with each other, a bit argumentative. Here is the Gemini trait of competitiveness, debate, arbitration, and negotiation, but ultimately leading to agreement and solution.

Pollux is of an extraterrestrial nature while Castor is terrestrial in nature. Castor is the liaison in the world of daily human affairs, is of partnerships and cooperation and is concerned with practical affairs amongst the people of the Earth. Castor brings resources and people together that serve to get logistics accomplished in the world of business and commerce, whereas Pollux brings a greater awareness to the efforts of Castor, uniting individuals, groups and factions with concern for the greater evolutionary fulfillment of all parties. Pollux imparts more of an embracing awareness, whereas Castor has more of an intellectual emphasis. Pollux imparts the quality of an ambassador, orator, and liaison, whereas Castor's role is applied more so in business and management of daily human affairs. Pollux portends success, eminence and renown.

Conjoining Castor is Wasat of Gemini. Wasat, the umbilical cord, embodies the essence of sidereal Gemini. Wasat is the link and liaison that unites and acts as a catalyst. Wasat brings the logistical pieces together. Wasat is of planning, coordination, assemblage of diversity into a workable functional model; the mechanics of creating the means in physical logistics. Castor / Wasat is the engineer, the technician, the artist, the constructor, and coordinator (whereas opposite Sagittarius is the architect, inspirationalist, and vision holder).

Conjoining Castor and Wasat from the south is Muliphen (Mirza) of Canis Major inspiring people, partners, and soul mates that have disappeared or withdrawn to re-emerge as a steady and dependable presence. Also conjoining is Delta Monoceris, a star of the Unicorn, inviting us to embrace the unique gifts and talents of all participants.

Public Relations and liaison articulates the nature of the Twins—linking individuals together in larger groups or organizations that can serve a purpose far greater than the separate parties can accomplish alone. Here we find motivation for the coordination and exchange of resources and information between individuals and groups, and the planning of more encompassing joint ventures.

It is here where we find Pluto actively at work—in this case, with the all-embracing south node theme and the potent force driving it, ensuring we cooperate for the betterment of all, working hand in hand. As the opener and great equalizer, as Pluto is often referred to, Pluto indiscriminately breaks down differences, boundaries and segregations amongst people and the structures we have created that perpetuate those boundaries, and thus provides opportunity to rebuild our lives from scratch—hopefully from the all embracing nature articulated by Pluto's Sagittarian south node, in mutual cooperation as one human race. The nodal axis star alignments certainly place Pluto's destructing or dismantling force in a much greater spiritual context.

Pluto's Orbital Cross Summary

Pluto's perihelion and aphelion clearly reveals Pluto's role regarding our entrapment in the Human world and our responsibility to deal with the longer-term ramifications of our actions and life scenarios, our karma, extending beyond a mere lifetime. Pluto's nodal axis reveals Pluto's path of action (South Node to North Node) addressing how we co-participate and cooperate with humankind in our daily lives motivated from an all-embracing global vision.

Orcus Orbital Cross

Orcus's Perihelion - Humanitarianism

Orcus's Perihelion Star Chart

The location of Orcus's Perihelion reveals the area in our lives that Orcus is most influential. Due to Orcus' 20.574° orbital inclination, Orcus' perihelion lies north of the ecliptic in the constellation Pegasus; entering the ecliptic at 15° 04' sidereal Aquarius, the mid-point of this sidereal sign—marking the Angel Point of the Zodiak. This is one of the purest areas of resonance in the ecliptic; a fortuitous and beneficent area of the zodiak. Humanitarianism, altruism, and an evolved humanitarian-based society beyond conflicts based upon cultural, gender or religious differences are the hallmark of this zodiakal band. The word 'social' is derived from the Old French or the Latin 'socialis', meaning 'allied', or from 'socius' meaning 'friend'— good words to describe the essence of sidereal Aquarius. Here all are recognized as allied friends, as one human family.

In the northern heavens lying upon the galactic equator we find Cygnus the Swan, also called the Northern Galactic Cross. Deneb, tail of the swan, is the principal star of Cygnus and marks the top (head) of the northern galactic cross. Deneb is the first primary star that Earth's pole encounters in Earth's precessional cycle. It is the messianic head of the cycle of Earth's Precessional Cross—of the evolutionary cycle of the soul. Deneb governs the first of the seven heavens (evolutionary epochs) in the Earth's precessional cycle. Deneb embodies our unadulterated androgynous pure soul essence before fragmentation into race, sex, or creed. Deneb inspires us to stand in the awareness of our pure soul essence, in this wholeness and to participate from the maturity of unity consciousness, unbiased and beyond the segregations and categorizations common to modern-day mass-consciousness. Deneb provides the overseeing energetic to Orcus's Perihelion.

The Pelican Nebula Ionization Front

The Pelican Nebula Ionization Front
The Pelican Nebula is located a few degrees east of Deneb in the constellation Cygnus, about 1,800 light-years distant from Earth. The Image was taken by the MOSAIC CCD camera of the Mayall 4-meter reflector telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, USA; and was produced by NOAO Survey Program "Deep Imaging Survey of Nearby Star-Forming Clouds" Image credit: John Bally (U. Colorado), Bo Reipurth (U. Hawaii)/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Aquarius is the humanitarian waterbearer nourishes the body of humanity, articulated by Pisces Australis and the star Fomalhaut (which conjoins Deneb of Cygnus, also Sadalmelik of Aquarius and Enif of Pegasus). Fomalhaut, one of the four Royal Stars, embodies the essence of a humanitarian-based society, one in which basic human needs are met for all people. Orcus' perihelion lies just north of a prominent asterism (to skywatchers) composed of Sadachbia, Pi (Seat), Epsilon, and Zeta, which create a 4-star "Y"—a symbol used in electronics to denote an antenna—that which transmits and receives, is expressive/receptive. Sadachbia of Aquarius is the "lucky star of hidden things." Sadachbia indicates a physical gift of extreme value to be discovered, revealed, or claimed. The "Y" generally is depicted as the Urn of Aquarius—from where the nourishing humanitarian waters flow.

A bit further south is Skat, Delta Aquarius, also directly conjoining Orcus' perihelion. Skat is "star of the foundation," marking the shinbone of the waterbearer. Skat is of humanitarian philanthropic foundations, organizations, and business vessels through which material and financial support can flow for future-oriented humanitarian focused projects and for the nourishment of an evolved human society flourishing in the arts and sciences. Skat inspires action in support this pursuit. Skat is possibly derived from the Arabic Al Sak (the shinbone) or from Al Shi'at, meaning a wish (Allen).

Of primary influence is the constellation of Pegasus, in which the perihelion lies. Pegasus, in general, is of strength and support, that which lifts humanity above the entrapping forces and scenarios common to a less than socially mature world. Enif, Baham and Homam are a group of fortuitous stars. Enif of Pegasus, the nose of the flying horse, brings intuitiveness and sensitivity to the humanitarian / Aquarian pursuit. Enif is characteristic of altruistic people, those with the intuitive awareness to recognize what is of essence, of value, and worthy of humanitarian support. It is of those who are capable of providing material and financial support and who have the sensitivity to do so. Enif asks us to follow our intuition to do that which is truly supportive to our greater well being and to those around us. Homam, Zeta Pegasus, is "lucky star of the hero," also "lucky star of the high-minded man." Homam embodies the essence of the Pegasus theme in its wisdom. Homan inspires the inner drive to find a solution to our basic human needs. It is of achievement and success.

South and under the Waterbearer is Sculptor, referring to the sculptor's studio; with Beta and Gamma Sculptor conjoining Sadachbia of Aquarius. Sculptor articulates the environment and type of work that is being supported by the humanitarian resources flowing from the Urn—that of the arts and sciences, but also the sculpting of a beautiful and bountiful human society. South of Sculptor is the Phoenix, and the triangle of stars, Ankaa, Kappa and Epsilon. Ankaa also conjoins Achernar of Eridanus (not shown), the end of the river of life (fulfilment), which lies a bit further south of Phoenix. This is also Neptune's exalted location in the ecliptic. Neptune, of vision and ideals, also dissolves differences into universality.

Orcus's perihelion has quite a different feel than Pluto's perihelion, which conjoins the karmic Chelae of the Scorpion, however both are of responsibility. Pluto's regarding our personal entrapments, life patterns and karmic scenarios; and Orcus' regarding humanity's basic sustenance and wellbeing.

Orcus's Aphelion - Navigation through Diversionary Winds

Opposite its perihelion is Orcus's aphelion in mid-sidereal Leo, but south of the ecliptic in Sextans, the sextant, and primarily conjoining Beta Sextans. Orcus was discovered in this part of the heavens (in Hydra) as it was moving toward its aphelion in Sextans. In 2013, Orcus conjoins Gamma Sextans and lie less than 1° just north of this star. Also of influence is northern Alioth of Ursa Major; southern Suhail Velorum of the sail of the Argo; and Zosma of Leo. It conjoins Beta and Delta Sextans, and northern Alioth, by its aphelion in January 2019.

Orcus passage and Aphelion in Sextans

The sextant is a navigational instrument used to determine the "vertical" position (angular distance) of the sun, moon or stars from the horizon. The sextant reveals the need to reorient self so we know our position so we can plot our course, and take a new tack on our journeys in life. On a greater scale, this can be in regard to changing allegiance of our energies from the outer world, self-sacrificing to diversionary forces or currents in the world around us, to the vertical integrity of our inner soul / source directive and truth. On a mundane level this can be in regard to changing our fundamental approach or path in life, to establish our position so we can plot or take a new tack toward our goals. Here is the impetus to navigate through the diversionary and dramatic ego-driven world powers or re-align with the fundamental spiritual / galactic evolutionary currents embodied by our southern Argo—the path of our souls.

Argo Navis classically is the ship in the story of Jason and the Argonauts, a version of Gilgamesh and his fifty Sirian warriors. The Argo lies reverse in the heavens, stern to the east, bow to the west, along the galactic equator, thus associated with that which moves retrograde in the heavens, the greater precessional process on Earth, the evolutionary cycle of the soul. The stars of the Argo generally are associated with evolutionary matters for the entire planetary system, and for all souls' evolutionary growth and fulfillment. The Argo is divided into several sub-constellations. The stars of the sail of the Argo, Velorum, are of subtle evolutionary currents, forces, and portals transcendent to the stage of the temporal world.

Seyfert galaxy NGC 4051 in Ursa Major

The potent seyfert galaxy NGC 4051 in Ursa Major conjoins Alioth. Image Credit: George Seitz/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Underlying the first half of sidereal Leo and the northern dynamics of Ursa Major and the world powers is the essence of the Sail of the Argo, Velorum. A trinity of galactic oriented x-ray sources reside here, the Vela Pulsar (Vela X), the Vela X-1 neutron star, and the Pup-A Super Nova Remnant. These entries lie between Suhail al Muhlif, Gamma Velorum and Suhail Lambda Velorum, two primary stars of Velorum. Suhail Velorum is of the transcendent or subtle energy currents that underlie the material world, those that support and guide our greater incarnational sojourn. Suhail Velorum invites us to attune to these subtle evolutionary currents in the midst of the raging and diversionary winds blowing on the incarnate world stage.

Alioth of Ursa Major is the star of personal will. Alignments with Alioth teach us that our personal actions can alter the evolutionary currents that create our souls' evolutionary destiny. Alioth stimulates the use of personal will and our need to initiate personal action. Alioth is one of the classical seven rays of the Great Bear teaching incarnating souls the ramifications of the use of personal power. Alioth can express as forceful and manipulative use of power merely for personal gain, or when mastered, it can express as personal will attuned to Divine Will in phenomenal accomplishment that responsibly steers our evolutionary course.

Zosma of Leo, marks the hind of the Lion. Zosma (and conjoining stars) can manifest as hot air and foul winds producing a dramatic racket and fiery commotion, which can be of a diversionary nature—hence the need to establish our bearings articulated by Sextans and attune ourselves to and participate from the transcendent soul-level currents articulated by Suhail Velorum.

Orcus' Aphelion-Perihelion Summary

Quite different than Pluto's aphelion-perihelion axis, Orcus' aphelion-perihelion axis is about our personal attunement, direction of intent, and our choice regarding how we use our personal will applied for the greater well being of all humanity. Orcus is more about a soul's role and purpose on Earth in the context of contributing to human society. In contrast, Pluto's aphelion-perihelion axis is more about addressing our personal entrapments, and becoming responsible for our self-evolution. Pluto is more about addressing soul's personal evolution and being responsible for it.

There are two primary things for us to consider when it comes to asking what we are doing on Earth (and perhaps that which we might ask after this life; when we say to each other, "so what did you do while on Earth"). One is about what we learned personally, contributing to our souls' personal evolution. The other is what we did for the evolution of the collective; how we contributed to the whole body of human consciousness. Pluto and Orcus seem to address these complimentary areas.

Orcus' Nodal Axis - From Human Activity to Galactic Purpose

Orcus Nodes

A planet's nodal axis can be thought of as a magnetic pointer, revealing a planet's path of action—(from the planet's south node theme to its north node theme) as it interacts in our lives on Earth. The Descending (south) Node stars reveal the nature of that which we must bring forth and express through the theme revealed by the Ascending (north) Node stars—how to apply the south node theme through the north node theme. We can consider the south node as providing the momentum to take action through the north node.

As stated above, Due to the opposite and complimentary orbital tilts of Pluto and Orcus, their nodal axes lie in opposite directions. Pluto's south node resides in sidereal Sagittarius and its North Node resides in sidereal Gemini. Conversely, Orcus' South Node resides in sidereal Gemini and its North Node resides in sidereal Sagittarius. Both however reside in different areas of these signs.

Orcus Nodes

Orcus - Pluto Nodes

Orcus' nodes lie very close to the galactic equatorial nodes; i.e., the "Gate of God" at 5° sidereal Sagittarius and the "Gate of Man" at 5° sidereal Gemini.

The Gate of God and the Gate of Man

The intersection of the galactic plane (our Galaxy's equatorial plane) and the ecliptic of the Sun (Earth's orbital plane) creates the fixed axis of Earth's Precessional Cross. The "Gate of God" and its opposite point, the "Gate of Man," are the nodes of this axis in the ecliptic. The "Gate of God," astronomically called the Galactic Equatorial Node (GEN), is an ideal reference point for the sidereal zodiak (defining 5° sidereal Sag) (using the Galactic Ayanamsa.) The Gate of God brings emphasis to soul's greater mission and purpose on Earth; and to the precessionally driven "evolutionary cycle of the soul."

Orcus' South Node resides at 2° 29' sidereal Gemini, 2.5° before the Gate of Man and its north node lies 2° 29' sidereal Sagittarius, 2.5° before the Gate of God—thus conjoining the Gates. The north node specifically conjoins Galactic Center, which lies in the first couple degrees of sidereal Sag, slightly south of the Gate of God along the galactic equator. This galactic equatorial placement of Orcus' nodes is extremely significant, not only in general, but especially at this time in Earth's ~25,000-year precessional cycle due to the occurrence of Earth's Precessional Cross.

This means that Orcus path of action (from its south to north node) motivates us to apply the efforts of our daily activity while in the world of human affairs toward our soul's greater galactic truth, purpose or mission on Earth; and in support of and in tune with Earth's greater evolutionary time-cycle. This axis supports us to move from a punctual / personality consciousness to the durative awareness of the soul's greater evolutionary (galactic) sojourn; to apply ourselves and our daily lives for a far more embracing, long-lasting ideal.

Orcus South Node - Daily Human Activity

M37 open star cluster in Auriga

M37 is an open star cluster in Auriga containing about 200 stars with at least a dozen red giants. Image Credit: Kitt Peak National Observatory. NOAO/AURA/NSF

Orcus' south node, in early sidereal Gemini, lies just over the sword of Orion. It conjoins Saiph of Orion; Wezn and the Machine x-ray source both of Columba; the Quasar 3C147. Also of influence are Polaris of Ursa Minor; Betelgeuse of Orion; Menkalinan of Auriga, of which conjoin the Gate of Man.

"The Gemini Twins" are marked by the two principal stars: Pollux, the immortal extraterrestrial one, and Castor the mortal terrestrial one, the extraterrestrial incarnate. These two stars mark the last few degrees of sidereal Gemini. The Twins stand upon the galactic equator at a 60° angle to the ecliptic plane, with the "Feet of the Twins" lying in earlier Gemini, upon the "galactic equatorial node"—the "Gate of Man." Thus, Gemini is a galactic constellation and an ecliptical constellation, one common to our solar plane (ecliptic), and so with sol / soul purpose expressing through the daily activity of humankind—the theme of the Gate of Man. (Our feet are associated with our longer term / sole / sol / soul purpose in action.)

The role of the Gemini Twins is of partnership in mutual cooperation participating in the human world, one of linking and uniting the mission of the soul (Gate of Man) into and through our daily affairs in the world. The Twins work hand-in-hand for the betterment and evolutionary fulfillment of humankind. Gemini is of high intensity intellectual communication, knowledge, information, commerce, goods and services, and their exchange. It is also of the artisans of the world.

The Gemini Twins

Friend, colleague and siderealist Andrés Takra on sidereal Gemini, quoting: The Solunar's Handbook by Cyril Fagan, states: " 'The Ruler of Gemini is Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods, and his statues represent him as a naked boy wearing the winged traveler's hat and winged sandals.... He was the god of roads, traveling and travelers, and their protector. Being the god of shrewdness and sagacity, he was the author of numerous inventions such as the alphabet, speech, eloquence, numbers, mathematics, astronomy, astrology, weights, measures, schooling, education, music, and lyre and syrinx. Being the least religious of the gods and void of moral principles, he was also the god of thieves, fraud, perjury, cunning, exchange, barter, and of commerce in general.... Gemini was par excellence the constellation of gaiety and the delight of boyhood and youth. It produces those who enchant everybody with their conversational ability, wit, music and song, and their ability in mathematics, astronomy and astrology.' " Takra continues: "Geminians are always busy, always moving, doing a million things at the same time! Ubiquity is a Geminian trait. They are the intellectuals of the Zodiac and the creators in the arts and sciences (whereas Sagittarians, opposite them, are the patrons of the arts). Geminians are young at heart, nervous and polyvalent (whereas Sagittarians are mature, imposing, sanguine and intuitive). The House of Gemini (9th) is the realm of education, schools, universities, higher thoughts, ideas, writings, publications, communications, publicity, teachers, teachings, guides, travels, moves, long and short journeys, and cool windy areas. ...where insight and perception are codified into a coherent and communicable form for the masses."

The principal conjoining entries for Orcus' south node are: The Machine of Columba; Saiph, the right leg of Orion; Wezn, Beta Columba; and the northern Quasar 3C147 of Auriga. These entries reside at ~2° sidereal Gemini, opposite our Galactic Centre. The Machine, is a high-energy dynamic x-ray source; a BL Lacertae type object, which emit through a wide band of electromagnetic spectrum, from radio to gamma-rays but with an almost complete absence of emissions in the optical band. Appropriately named, the Machine articulates the essence of the human cognitive mind, the intellect, which processes logistical related matters for humankind, the bio-logical process itself—in contrast to Galactic Center's essence, that of cosmic mind. As the genesis point of the human mind, the Machine's intense dynamic core excites high-mental creative communication; and Auriga's Quasar inspires unconventional thought amongst colleagues, both of which excite new ideas that can move us forward into the future (Wezn of the Dove). Saiph of Orion inspires action upon this theme—moving from a stalemate mentality to one of opportunistic solution in physical action.

The Great Orion Nebula M42

Hubble's Sharpest View of the Orion Nebula - Image Credit: NASA,ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team

To add additional context to early sidereal Gemini: Menkalinan, the right shoulder of Auriga the Charioteer, conjoins Betelgeuse, the right shoulder of Orion, and the "Gate of Man" (at 5° Gemini). Menkalinan is of mutual support amongst colleagues with a responsibility to assist each other in the world of daily human affairs. Menkalinan is also a polarizer that will show indecision by bringing experience of the opposite side of an issue to make clear the choices and to reveal one's hesitancy to respond to life in the moment. Menkalinan will dramatize and create graphic illustration to elucidate one's hesitancies for those not abiding to the more subtle messages within. Menkalinan's helps to cut through the confusion, to make things plain and clear.

Betelgeuse marks Orion's right shoulder, from which he holds the upraised sword just under the gate of Man. Betelgeuse embodies the theme of a male warrior, is of a kingly nature, authoritative and is of human resourcefulness in action. Betelgeuse inspires a sense of responsibility to dynamically response to whatever is occurring in the moment. Betelgeuse will challenge existing systems or authorities to cut through whatever is in the way of solution. Physical constructive response is the hallmark of Betelgeuse.

Menkalinan and Betelgeuse's conjunction with the Gate of Man articulates the essence of sidereal Gemini, the role of responding to aid to our colleagues and the needs of our fellow humans—serving their greater fulfillment. The North Celestial Pole (NCP) making passage over this longitude at this time in Earth's precessional cycle marks the time of the erect Precessional Cross and the transition point for humanity to unite and link together as one world as we make this evolutionary crossing now at hand.

Orcus' North Node - Galactic Awareness - Purpose of the Soul

M7 open star cluster

M7, an open star cluster set against
the dramatic backdrop of the Milky Way. Image Credit: Kitt Peak National Observatory
N.A.Sharp, REU program/AURA/NOAO/NSF

Orcus' North Node resides at 2° 29' sidereal Sagittarius conjoining Galactic Center and lying just 2.5° before the Gate of God (5° sidereal Gemini).

Galactic Center, the heart center of our galaxy, is the zeropoint spacetime reference for our evolutionary system—the center of the soul. Galactic Center embodies the essence of soul's greater incarnational mission or purpose, beyond any given lifetime. The term Galaxy is from galacto, se. milk—meaning that which is mothering and nourishing, hence being our "Milky Way." Our galaxy, specifically Galactic Center, and the galactic plane spinning outward from Galactic Center, provides the greater evolutionary context or nourishing substance for souls. Galactic Center lies just south of the Gate of God (GEN) along the galactic equator, entering sidereal Sagittarius between the cusp of Sagittarius and the Gate of God, at about 2° sidereal Sagittarius.

The core of our galaxy is the source from which springs the spiraling arms upon which nest all of the stars and life in our galaxy. Alignments with our Galactic Core invite us to enter the pure essence of galactic awareness; to allow a re-assemblage of our consciousness and to subsequently re-emerge with a new wisdom and greater truth, which we must then apply with conscious and responsible deliberation in our lives. Typically this is an all or nothing deal, no in-betweens. Here we must strip ourselves of false facades and false gods, and relinquish lesser vibrational modes of being and ways of participating in the manifest world and pull forth the totality of our soul essence and express this greater maturity into a higher-order expression throughout our incarnational sojourns. Galactic Core offers opportunity for a re-instatement of the soul awareness.

Our ability to perform such a maneuver is a function of whether we have embraced our earlier initiations in life, of our spiritual adeptness and level of discipline and personal power we have claimed in life, and to go within and to turn inside-out, to allow a disintegration of all that we hold ourselves to be, and to reemerge only with our true essence of self.

If the maneuver is pursued in fullness, than we are forever redefined into a higher-order expression. If attempts are haphazardly made, one at best is left only with an unyielding need to surrender what yet must die along with the inability to live in the totality of their greater potential, which beckons relentlessly from within as a tormenting vortex that eventually must be faced.

The Trifid Nebula M20 at the Gate of God

The Trifid Nebula (M20) at the Gate of God
"This spectacular false-color view is courtesy of the Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers have used the Spitzer infrared image data to count newborn and embryonic stars that otherwise lie hidden in the natal dust and glowing clouds of this intriguing stellar nursery." Image & Caption Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, J. Rho (SSC/Caltech)

North of Galactic Center is Cebalrai (Beta) and Gamma Ophiuchus, which mark the right shoulder of Ophiuchus, he who stands with one foot over the Scorpion's head and the other over Galactic center. Ophiuchus is knowledge holder over the raw creative forces governing life and death—one who has attained ascension from the lower-order forces that perpetuate our scenarios of (re-incarnational) entrapment. Ophiuchus is exemplar of one who has mastered the initiatory forces of life and who has brought the interplay of these forces to a greater spiritual fulfillment. Cebalrai and Gamma Ophiuchus impart a sense of responsibility to live true to soul-level consciousness / galactic awareness; and to apply one's wisdom for the greater education of all souls.

Further North lies Etamin of Draco. Restaban (Beta) and Etamin (Gamma) of Draco create the eyes of the Dragon. Draco is the constellation that encircles and guards the northern pole of our ecliptic. Both stars are of a high administrative order overseeing the initiations of the incarnate soul. They lie north of and express through Hercules and Ophiuchus. Restaban expresses between the Head of Hercules (Ras Algethi) and the Heart of the Scorpion (Antares) into sidereal Scorpio. Etamin expresses just into sidereal Sagittarius and oversees the heart center of our Galaxy (Galactic Center).

Etamin, the eye of the Dragon, overlooks the Galactic Center portal where for those who have made passage through the initiations in earlier Scorpio, overseen by Restaban, who have surrendered lower order self and its attachments, who have claimed the wisdom and empowerment by embracing the initiatory lessons of life (the transmutational elixir provided by the sting of the scorpion), awaken to their greater soul awareness to ensue. As the eye of the Dragon, Etamin reveals our most ancient innate neurology, which can awaken the intermediate human brain through galactic center's kundalini fire to a higher neurological function. Etamin also marks the head of the Egyptian Hippopotamus, the primordial mother. As such, Etamin articulates the nature of our fundamental essence of self; to trust our basic intuition and instinctual response—a latent undisturbed stillness, a durative knowledge that transcends reasoning mind—the path of the soul, the Gate of God.

In contrast to the Gate of Man, at 5° sidereal Gemini, which is of the punctual daily activity along the path of the incarnate human, the Gate of God at 5° sidereal Sagittarius is of the durative long-term path or mission of the soul. Conjoining the "Gate of God" is the tip of the Zen Archer's arrow, marked by the star Al Nasl of Sagittarius, which points toward the Heart Center of our Galaxy. Al Nasl inspires us to hold undaunted focus upon our goal in the higher spiritual interest of our soul. Al Nasl brings us the ability to pierce the veils of illusion, and hit the mark of our highest ideals, to attain our dreams.

Orcus's Orbital Cross Summary

Orcus' perihelion and aphelion reveals that Orcus addresses how we are applying our personal will for the greater well being of all humanity; how we are contributing to human society. Orcus' nodal axis motivates the use of our day-to-day lives, our daily activity for soul's greater purpose on Earth.

Complimentary Roles of Pluto & Orcus


Primary area of focus: addressing our karmic responsibility and our personal entrapping patterns of behavior; i.e., being responsible for our personal evolution.

Path of action: participation and cooperation from an all embracing, non-discriminatory world view.


Primary area of focus: our personal attunement and direction of intent, the path we choose regarding how we use our personal will in our contribution to humanity.

Path of action: applying our daily activity in the world of human affairs for the greater path and purpose of the soul; i.e., for our long-term purpose in life.

The Discoveries of Orcus & Pluto

Orcus' Discovery

The sky chart below shows the location of Orcus at the time of its discovery on Feb 19, 2004. It lies south of the ecliptic in Hydra, in later sidereal Cancer, and under the auspices of the Head of the Lion. The orbital path of Orcus shows it was just under the head of Hydra in 1992 and will align with Alpha Sextans in sidereal Leo in 2012.

The Discovery of Orcus

The Discovery of Orcus (2004DW)

The sidereal signs (not tropical signs) are shown in the above illustration. To learn of the difference between the sidereal and tropical zodiaks, and their intimate relationship, you can explore the Sidereal Astrology WEB page.

Not only is the location of a planet's discovery of significance, but its path around the date of discovery is also quite revealing.

The dates in the star chart are heliocentric (looking from the Sun). Due to the continual retrograde cycles that occur when looking from Earth, there is about a two to three year period surrounding these dates when Orcus is at the locations shown.

Orcus crossed the "Gate of Man" (5° sidereal Gemini) in 1953, at its South Node. (So consider people born in 1952-1955 if looking at natal charts.) Here, Orcus is opening the Gate of Man. This is also interesting due to a few orbital synchronicities: Pluto recently crossed the Gate of God (5° Sag) in 2008. And Pluto crosses Orcus's orbit in 2012. Orcus reaches it aphelion in late January 2019).

Note: I originally had aphelion in 2013 - a typo. 2019 is the correct date.

Orcus then passes just under the foot of Castor (Tejat) - a theme about bringing forth that which had been hiding in the closet. (This would be the formative years for those born in the early 1950's.) Would this generation play a significant role especially throughout the first decade of 2000, as Pluto makes its way into sidereal Sag, across the Gate of Man, and across the orbit of Orcus by 2012, just Orcus's approaches its aphelion? It would seem so.

Here it is worth to take note of another orbital synchronicity. Orcus crossed Pluto's orbit in 1960 and Pluto crosses Orcus's orbit in 2012. This suggests a space-time tie-in between the renaissance of the early 1960's with the renaissance / transition currently at hand. (Also note that Pluto first squares Juno, then Saturn and then Jupiter (2009-2011) just as Pluto begins to move through the orbital plane of Orcus. See the Saturn Uranus Opposition.)

Pluto Orcus Crossing

Pluto lies within 1° of the orbital plane of Orcus about a year before the actual crossing occurring in September 2012. (Heliocentric). From Earth's view, due to Pluto's retrograde, this crossing extends another ± 6 months.

Orcus crosses the orbit of Pluto in 1960, conjoining Alhena of Gemini, a star marking the feet of the twins (sometimes illustrated as the foot of Pollux and sometimes that of Castor. Personally I find Alhena to be related more to the no nonsense administrative nature of Pollux). The word actually refers to the fourth Manzil (singular of lunar mansions), which embodies the entire essence of the feet of the twins—spurring bold dynamic action in the world of daily human affairs—with Orcus imbuing Pluto's essence for the few years surrounding that date. Alhena marks a time of commencement, a separating of the ways, to get off the fence of indecision and to take action. Here Orcus, influenced by the orbital path of Pluto, takes on Pluto's intensity and motivation to become responsible to destruct those life patterns and karmic scenarios that perpetuate our human entrapment—fitting to the psychedelic renaissance / revolution of the early 1960s.

Orcus continues to move further south of the ecliptic and across the sidereal Leo-Cancer cusp by 1974-5, conjoining Pollux and Procyon—inspiring the application of personal in allegiance to a greater purpose or cause. As Orcus moves through sidereal Cancer and into Hydra, Orcus then beings to work more at a subconscious level in the underlying belief structures of mass-populous and forming human consciousness.

At the time of its discovery in Hydra, Orcus was moving from the head of Hydra, across the Earth's celestial equator, across the cusp of sidereal Leo / Cancer, an then over the Hydra's heart (Alphard, the primary star of Hydra), and by 2012, Orcus arives to Sextans in sidereal Leo.

Astrologically, the stars of the Hydra, the water serpent, embody elusive sub-conscious forces stirring within. When we examine the stellar themes of the stars conjoining the head of the Hydra (specifically Zeta Hydra), including Acubens of Cancer and Dubhe of Ursa Major, we gain context for the theme of this few-degree band of the zodiak where Hydra's head resides. This is not the theme of Orcus' discovery, but these stars through which Orcus recently traveled add background context to Orcus' emergence into our lives.

Acubens, Alpha Cancer, indicates entrapment in dogma. This can be the dogma of the times, the current political / religious beliefs, as well as that created by our personal belief structures, the ideas and ideals about our lives and experiences we have in our lives. Acubens indicates a tenacious hold and stubborn resistance to release our dogmatic propensity.

Zeta Hydra lies immediately south of Acubens. Delta through Zeta Hydra & Pulsar CP0834 (which conjoins Gianfar of Draco, the poisoned heart) create Hydra's head. Zeta Hydra and surrounding stars indicate a multifarious undermining source of destruction (every time Hercules took off one the Hydra's heads, it immediately grew another). The conjunction of Acubens and Zeta Hydra reveals the repetitive undermining experiences in our lives are manifest from our own tenaciously held belief structures.

Associated Quasar 3C206 of Hydra, one of the brightest & closest quasars, suggests that although our dogmatic beliefs can take rather strange and unexplainable forms, they are not outside the realm of our own creation. They are however laser-like in their power to create. Quasar 3C206 reminds us to not be naïve to the powerful momentum of our beliefs and the undermining behavioral patterns they can create. This quasar tells us to not turn our backs on that momentum, to know it make take more than one attempt to overcome our dogma's hideous tenacity.

The Great Bear

Conjoining from the northern heavens are Dubhe, Alpha Ursa Major, Dubhe and Merak, Beta Ursa Major, are the two brightest stars of the Great Bear. At this time in Earth's precessional cycle, a line drawn from Dubhe through Merak leads directly to Earth's current North Celestial Pole (and the star, Polaris, of the Little Bear, Ursa Minor). Merak and Dubhe represent the alignment of personal will and divine will in allegiance to the evolutionary fulfillment of Earth's polar precessional cycle—to the fulfillment of evolutionary cycle of the soul.

Let us also note that Orcus is moving under the auspices of the Great Bear (Ursa Major), which stars are of the world powers—again with Orcus traveling silently through the depths of human consciousness. The theme of the great Bear is torn. Part of the Bear is of the fallen world powers, those of a totalitarian, controlling oppressive rule. Dubhe and Merak are of the integrous part of the Great Bear, that which is oriented toward a greater vision, for that which is truly nourishing for humanity, for that which is focused toward our evolutionary fulfillment.

Dubhe impels us to strive for a greater vision" beyond the accepted political-religious dogmas of the human world that keep humanity in darkness and delusion; and against the controlling global forces perpetuating that dogmatic rule.

At a personal level, Dubhe asks us to strive for the greater vision that we hold for the unfoldment of our lives—for the true nourishment, fulfillment, and freedom that we seek. Dubhe asks us to emerge from our own personal dogmas (belief structures) that hold us bound in lives that are less than we truly want. Dubhe supports us to create a new and better future rather than merely reacting to the past that we have already created and reinforce with our beliefs.

Dubhe is the star of the "Hor-she-shu," the worshipers of Horus—referring to the moving vernal point in Earth's ~25,000 year precessional cycle (see Earth's Precessional Cross). The vernal point is also called the Birthplace (of the Sun-Sol-Soul), the Christ Point, and Office of the Christ because it governs the evolutionary cycle of the soul—the re-awakening of soul consciousness on Earth. The precessional movement of Earth's pole, also called the God Head, governs the movement of the Birthplace (the vernal point) of the soul consciousness. Thus in this context, Dubhe holds the vision for when Earth's pole aligns with Dubhe and Merak—for when our reawakening to soul-level awareness begins.

Dubhe, conjoining Zeta Hydra, a multifarious undermining source of destruction, and Acubens of Cancer, the tenacious hold of our psycho-dogma, indicates that to overcome the undermining and relentless manifestations created by the very sticky and tenacious belief patterns requires perseverance to destroy, cut off heads of Hydra, the very beliefs we hold that crystallize our monstrous reality and to fight to achieve a greater vision for the evolutionary freedom and fulfillment of humanity.

All of the above can be thought of as from where Orcus has recently come, a stream of energy it has been working with just prior to discovery. Let us also remember sidereal Cancer, in general, embodies the theme of the Egyptian Scarabaeous—emergence from darkness, dogma, and delusion, and the reawakening to light—at a time which no one truly knows.

In this light, and with the revelation about Orcus' orbital cross presented above regarding Orcus supporting us to live true to the path of the soul / to our soul oaths, it seems quite fitting for Orcus to make is appearance at this time and location in its orbit. This stellar scenario certainly reinforces the concept of Orcus supporting our re-awakening to what we are really doing here on Earth, and to move from being merely blind followers of the antiquated political-religious dogma/s embodied by collective human consciousness. Clearly Orcus supports a re-awakening to our true spirituality unencumbered by religious, new age, or old age overtones.

As Orcus continues its sojourn through Hydra, it will then cross the Leo cusp and transit over Alphard, Alpha Hydra from late 2006 through early 2009, the Heart of the Water Serpent.

At the time of discovery, Orcus was retrograde (from Earth's perspective) in the last few degrees of sidereal Cancer, under the auspices of the the Head of the Lion. The front of the Lion—defined by the stars Algenubi, Epsilon Leo, the eye of the Lion; Rasalas, Mu Leo, the head; and Subra, Omi Leo, the paws of the Lion—reaches over into the last few degrees of sidereal Cancer.

The primary stars creating the theme of this band of the zodiak are: Subra of Leo (the paw); the stars of Pyxidis, and the very southern Alpha Pictoris (the latter star is not shown in the above star chart)—revealing a significant dynamic for the stage setting of Orcus' discovery. Adjoining stars adding context to the themes of Subra and Alpha Pictoris are: Algenubi and Rasalas of Leo; the Owl Nebula of Ursa Major; Alphard of Hydra; and Suhail al Muhlif of Argo Navis.


Subra, marking the end of sidereal Cancer, is the paw of the Lion impressed in the desert sand. Subra is of prints, tracks, plans, codices and ancient maps—clues to hidden trails and paths obscured by the sands of time. Subra indicates a discovery process is at hand, one leading to the secret chambers, entryways, even to liftoff sites of the gods—places hidden from ordinary view. Simply, Subra asks that we dig, uncover, and find the way to navigate the passage of our Heart’s true desire.

Synthesizing with the theme of Subra is the primary star of the very southern constellation Pictoris, the Painter's Easel. Alpha Pictoris indicates a picture or scenario is emerging from the æthers. This is a picture assembling itself as we break trail in our discovery process. Alpha Pictoris asks us to see the pathway or entryway emerging out of the mist covering an abyss, in the rock of a mountain side, in the billowing clouds blown by the wind, in the leaves fallen upon the ground, or simply in our mind's inner eye. Alpha Pictoris asks us to creatively assemble the signs, to read the message, to see the coalescing spirit substance yet to become.

Pyxidis, a sub-constellation of the Argo, is the Crow's Nest (or compass) of the galactic ship. Alpha Pyxidis, just into sidereal Leo, conjoins Subra, the paw of the Lion, and Alpha Pictoris. The stellar qualities of Alpha Pyxidis ask us to peer far beyond the common world to navigate through potential problems or obstacles upon our exploration. Pyxidis inspires us to find the map obscured in the sand, to see the picture waiting to emerge from the obscuring fog into visible sight, and to take an abode, place, vantage, or perspective from which we can see and find distant lands. Pyxidis indicates a process, one that requires patience, foresight, and perceptual attentiveness. Although this often is a lonely process, it is one serving our greater evolutionary journey, and as well, the journeys of our colleagues and companions. Pyxidis has little interest in the superfluous pursuits of the common world, always seeking new ground, looking forward, gazing ahead through time, to see through the present limitations into the depths of what can yet become.

Algenubi, Eye of the Lion, best embodies the theme of this few degree band of the ecliptic. Algenubi is of "breaking trail." These are the explorers and adventurers with interest beyond mere egoic importance to fit in with those performing on the worldly stage. Algenubi provides an opening into inner-dimensional chambers of the "Heart of the Lion"—embodied by Regulus. To enter this entrance to the inner sanctuary of the Lion Path, and to find the hidden, golden treasures within, we must have integrity within—to live true to our hearts, to our soul purpose on Earth.

The Owl Nebula M97

The Owl Nebula M97
Gary White and Verlenne Monroe/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

North in the heavens, in Ursa Major, lies the Owl Nebula M97. The Owl Nebula is one of the largest planetary nebulas. It has a faint central star and two dark recessed regions that give the nebula its name. Nebulas in general create a type of facade or fog that colors the surrounding theme. The Owl Nebula requires we use wisdom and night vision to see that which is obscured by the dogmatic veils that we uphold with our existing belief structures, or those created by prominent ego-based individuals and world powers. Here lies the need to see through the existing picture of our reality, and to use creative (third-eye) vision to allow alternative realms to emerge into our awareness. Only then can we step into an abyss where a hidden bridge awaits—to step out upon the Path of the Lion.

Alphard, Alpha Hydra, is the "Solitary One." Alphard inspires us to step away from the comfort and security of the accepted and agreed upon consensus defining our known reality, to walk a lone path. It asks us to risk our reputations, our work, our lives, and our beliefs, driven by the passion within our hearts, to find new answers to the challenges that we face in our pursuits. Alphard, in conjunction with the head of the Lion, is often of those who, for one reason or another, have self-exiled themselves from the norm, who stand alone, or are willing to, yet who create new ways that the masses would not otherwise pursue.

And finally but not least, conjoining Alphard is the very significant star Suhail al Muhlif on the sail of the Argo. The Suhail stars of Vela, the sail of the Argo, are indicative of refined subtle energies or currents at work that function at the level of the soul's greater evolutionary journey—those transcendent to the dramatics of the terrestrial incarnate world. "Suhail, among the Persians, is synonymous for wisdom; as in the Al Anwar i Suhaili, the Lights of Canopus. Also a personal title taken in Arabia as a symbol for what is brilliant, glorious and beautiful." (Richard Hinckley Allen)

Puppis-A Super Nova Remnant

The Pup-A Interstellar Explosion: A full view of the Puppis A supernova remnant seen in X-rays by ROSAT. The inset shows a high-resolution view of a small portion of the remnant seen by the Chandra X-ray observatory. Different colors show specific X-ray energies. Image Credit: Chandra: NASA/CXC/GSFC/U.Hwang et al.; ROSAT: NASA/GSFC/S.Snowden et al.

Suhail al Muhlif is Suhail of the Oath. Conjoining is the Pup-A Supernova Remnant of Puppis on the stern of the Argo, which enters the ecliptic in early sidereal Leo, just before Regulus. Both entries add a transcendent galactic (soul-level) context to the conjoining theme of Alphard of the Hydra, the solitary one, and the stars creating the head of the Lion.

Suhail al Muhlif and Pup-A are indicative of sacred oaths made and set in motion long ago, of soul level missions set out upon that transcend one's incarnational sojourn—missions to open doorways and portals which allow us to reach for and achieve soul's greater purpose. The soul oaths taken are to maintain our personal integrity to our souls' directives, to see to our evolutionary fulfillment in regard to our purposes in the world—to be of the Kahi Nub of Canopus, meaning the Golden Earth—to become what is beautiful and glorious. Pup-A also provides the inspiration and motivation to demonstrably live our soul oaths, to stand forth humble yet proud to achieve our purposes in life.

It seems quite synchronistic that Mike Brown choose the name Orcus for this discovery, the mythical god who punishes those who forsake their soul oath's, with the influence of Suhail al Muhlif adding to the stars conjoining the discovery location.

The proclamation of Orcus' discovery occurred immediately prior to the New Moon of Feb 20, 2004, which conjoined Uranus in sidereal Aquarius. The time immediately before a New Moon is one of surrender, of becoming empty so that a new theme could emerge as the new lunar cycle begins. Here again we find indication of a relinquishment process so a new picture could emerge—and in this case, we are leaving the conformity and restriction of a past lunar cycle (in sidereal Capricorn); and more significantly with Uranus combust on the Feb 20 New Moon, entering a cycle that inspires a radical break from the conformity of the past—with an explosion of higher mind supportive of a humanitarian-based society, which some might say, speaks beyond bio-logic, and instead, in behalf of an illumined heart.

Orcus in Summary

Although the astrology of Orcus is just starting to be explored, from the stellar alignments at the time of its discovery on Feb 19, 2004 in late sidereal Cancer, and its path deep through Hydra and passing under the auspices of the Head of the Lion, we can see that Orcus is working with the theme of exploration, of uncovering a blueprint or map that leads to a new picture, to delve below the constructs of mind that are merely based upon the convenience of our collective consensus to gain a deeper understanding of life. In doing so, Orcus forces us to confront the fear and loneliness encountered when leaving the apparent safety of mass consensus and choose to reveal the path of soul. Orcus may help us to uncover secret paths and realms of consciousness obscured by the sands of time, or by lifetimes.

Orcus, although Pluto like, expresses a quiet profundity, almost unnoticed as it serves us to find purpose in life or in life's experiences, or more ideally, to access our deeper soul purpose. Pluto dramatically forces us into the underworld of our incarnate experience to confront and clear out our deepest fears and behavioral patterns cloaking the true power of our souls. Orcus, complementing this process, impels an authentic, emotionally detached, observant pursuit to embody our soul purpose, such as through meditation, lucid dreaming and other spiritual or occult practices, to bring to awareness our soul-level agreements, to what we are really doing here on Earth—the oaths of our souls—into conscious awareness. Once found, Orcus imparts a continuous force to live true to those oaths and to apply the power of our souls from this awareness to contribute to our soul growth and to human society.

We will gain more insight into the astrological role of Orcus as the astrology of Orcus plays out over the years ahead.

Pluto's Discovery

The Pluto Telescope

The Pluto Telescope
The 13 inch Abbott Lawrence Lowell Telescope used by Clyde Tombaugh in his discovery of Pluto. Credit: Lowell Observatory Archives.

Clyde Tombaugh of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona discovered Pluto on February 18, 1930 when studying two photographic plates, taken 6 days apart with the 13 inch telescope shown to the right. The plates were taken on Jan 23 and Jan 29, 1930.

Pluto's Discovery in Gemini 1930

Pluto was discovered in sidereal Gemini conjoining Wasat of the Twins—the umbilical cord connecting the Twins, and which articulates the nature of the Twins quite well—the link and liaison which brings the pieces together and acts as a catalyst for cooperation. Note also that Gemini (as is Sag) is an ecliptical and a galactic constellation, lying on both the ecliptic plane and the galactic plane. The Twins stand upon the galactic plane, which is tilled about 60° to the ecliptic plane, with their feet upon the "Gate of Man" (one of the two nodes created by the intersection of the two planes at 5° sidereal Gemini). In this light alone, we see Pluto at the time of discovery, acting as a liaison—and in this case between the realm of Neptune and what was then only perceived as the cold dark beyond—an apt description for what most astrologers have thought Pluto to signify. This is one example of how the location and orbital parameters help to reveal a great deal about the astrological role any newly discovered astronomical body is playing at the time of discovery.

Pluto's Discovery conjoining Wasat of Gemini

Pluto was retrograde less than 1° from Wasat of Gemini at the time of discovery. Pluto was 0°15' south of the ecliptic, approaching its North Node, which conjoins Castor of Gemini—in fact being in its last retrograde loop south of the ecliptic.

Pluto was also approaching its North Node (about to move from south of the ecliptic to north of the ecliptic—emerging from the subconscious to conscious awareness. Pluto was also crossing the orbits of Haumea and Orcus, moving from outside of their orbits to inside—a place where all three orbits cross—a significator regarding Pluto's introductory role for humanity—in this case, in an orbital resonance (in cahoots) with Haumea and Orcus—little did anyone know.

Nearby Pluto, at the discovery time, about 15° further along in the ecliptic, was Haumea in sidereal Cancer—which is quite interesting when you learn more about Haumea. This aspect is of course 1/2 of a 30° astrological sign, and is one of the most basic aspects. Also called a quattuorvigintile (hardly a word to remember), this is one-24th of a circle (the harmonics ratio 24:1). The 15°aspect is 1/2 of a semi-sextile (30°), which is 1/2 of a sextile (60°). As the sextile has a harmonic resonance of strength, and the semi-sextile provides an opportunity to grow, to claim one's strength, the 15° harmonic division can be considered as the fundamental elements composing this opportunity. In music timing, 1/24 and 1/12 sum into the 1/8 group—a grouping of durations within the range of a measure. Thus we have the 15° harmonic nesting in the octad (8-fold harmonic division), which is of the experiential realm (the lunar cycle harmonic), the balancing of experience required to grow (to claim strength). The Pluto Haumea 15° aspect thus reveals an intimate dynamic in the evolution of human experience—we might say, in the death (Pluto) and rebirth (Haumea) theme. Pluto provides an ending and opening while Haumea midwives a new birth.

This is merely one example. At the time Clyde saw Pluto in the photographic plates (Feb 18, 1930), the Moon was approaching Pluto's perihelion (Zubenelgenubi), about to pass through the reincarnational "Chelae of the Scorpion" (the karmic / dharmic seats for humanity (Libra's scales of justice). The Moon by the evening of that day, would move to align with Zubeneschamali and trine Pluto.

Pluto's Additional Moons

Pluto's Moons Charon Nix and Hydra

Pluto - Charon - Nix - Hydra - P4
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, H Weaver, (JHU/APL), A. Stern (SwRI), and
the HST Pluto Companion Search Team / Feb 15, 2006 Hubble Space Telescope

In addition to Charon, Pluto's primary moon, two additional moons were discovered orbiting Pluto; one in 2005 named Nix, and Hydra in June of 2006—expounding upon Pluto's astrological influence. Pluto of course rules the underworld, while Charon, Pluto's primary companion, is the boatman carrying the souls of the dead to the underworld. Pluto and Charon are locked into a "mutually" synchronous orbit. This means that the same hemisphere of one always faces the other. This astrophysical dynamic may explain the reflective astrological nature of the Pluto planetary system—demanding we look at self—without much escape. (Our Moon is in a synchronous orbit with Earth, thus always showing Earth its same face, but the Earth is not in a synchronous orbit with our Moon, unlike the Pluto-Charon system.

Nix, the mother of Charon, is the goddess of darkness, of the night, the unseen. Hydra, the nine-head serpent, (also the name of our southern constellation extending from sidereal Cancer through Virgo), suggests a multifarious undermining force of destruction implying we must deal with the real underlying issues Pluto may bring to our awareness lest the symptoms from that denial will continually re-manifest in yet another destructive scenario.

A fourth moon was discovered in 2011 (P4).

Pluto's Four Moons

Pluto's Four Moons
Image Credit: HST WFC3 / UCIS F606W / July 3, 2011

NASA's New Horizons Visits Pluto in 2015
New Horizons YouTube Video
New Horizons Mission

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