Planets, Get Your Planets Here! ~ 16 August 2006

The cry sounds like that of a peanut vendor at a sporting event. Ironically, this weekend I am presenting a topic here in Arizona (yes, I’ll be recording it) entitled, “We Don’t Want No Stinking New Planets.” The first two words in the topic’s description: “Too Bad.” I’ve been forecasting for a few years now that astrologers will soon be forced to contend with not one new planet, but a platter of new planets. A proposal surfaced at the meeting of the International Astronomical Union in Prague this morning (effective at 8:00 AM, CET) that recognizes the following bodies as planets: Ceres, Charon and 2003 UB313. According to definitions yet to be ratified, the following bodies could be classified as planets virtually immediately: Pallas, Vesta, Hygeia, Ixion, Varuna, Quaoar, Sedna, Orcus, 2003 EL61, 2005 FY9, 2002 AW197, 2002 TX300. Michael Brown, one of the co-discoverers of 2003 UB313 speculates on his website that any body exceeding 400 kilometers in diameter could be classified a planet. That would cause the planet total to rise to fifty-three, inclusive of the known planets!

Where does that leave astrologers? As of now, Ceres, Charon and 2003 UB313 need to be given planetary weight in interpretations. Astrologers failing to comply will be charged by their clients a remittance for all previous sessions prorated to the percentage of planets short the interpretations have been. I’m kidding. But now, astrologers do need to include these bodies. We have Ceres in all computer programs and plenty of ephemeridae and delineation work has been published about her. We’re cool there. Charon’s longitudinal position from Pluto is negligible, so that’s good. The interpretation only needs figuring. As for 2003 UB313, there is a preliminary set of calcs available, but until the body receives a minor planet number, the calcs remain speculative and subject to inaccuracy. When its orbit becomes solidified, I’ll produce an ephemeris - as will a bunch of other folks. I’ve given the calc matter tons of thought lately. I currently have positions for first day of every month 1700 - 2099 for all the named centaurs and Trans-Neptunian Objects. As soon as a TNO receives planetary classification, I’ll compile a daily ephemeris for 1900 - 2050. Anyone who has my Galactic Trilogy CD will receive these at no additional charge, sent by e-mail only.

What does an astrologer make of all this? I have keywords posted on my New Planet, Sedna and Centaurs page derived from the implications of the degrees of the bodies at perihelion and node. You’ll find starter words for Ixion, Varuna, Quaoar, Orcus, 2003 UB313, 2003 EL61 and 2005 FY9. I’ll add 2002 AW197 and 2002 TX300 soon. These keywords only intend to inspire interpretive investigation. More comprehensive analysis of the named TNO’s does exist on the Galactic Trilogy CD. Optimism is held that the IAU can come to terms with the name for UB313 this week, though that offends the protocol of “have the orbit figured out first.” With a name we can add the valuable mythological associations (she is NOT Xena or Lila or Leyla).

Astrologers have already gone crazy and run amok on rulership for the new bodies. To this I say, “STOP IT!” I have already read many conclusive assignments of the new planets to signs. Simply, this is balderdash. How do I know? Because I was one of the enthusiastic astro puppies in 1978 who proposed Virgo be ruled by the newly discovered Chiron. At the time, we didn’t know there would be other larger bodies in the same general orbital track, and we did not recognize the Kuiper Belt even though Gerard Kuiper warned us of this in the late 1940's just as I warned astrologers we were going to be hit by many more planets. The speculations about Chiron’s rulership, while well-intended, were misguided.

I find most astrologers do not know the Ptolemaic origin of rulership. Way back when, the Sun was assigned to Leo, probably because it was hottest that month in Greece. Yes, it does appear that rulership assignment started out with a Northern Hemisphere bias. Then, the Moon was given to Cancer. From there, the first planet in the solar system went to the two signs adjacent to Cancer and Leo. So, Mercury went to Gemini and Virgo. Venus danced with the next two in line, Taurus and Libra. And so it continued, finishing with Saturn taking the leftovers: Capricorn and Aquarius. Now when the outer planets came into play, a similar logic first occurred. Uranus took Aquarius off Saturn’s shoulders and Neptune relieved Jupiter’s reign over Pisces, following back around on steps already traced. By that logical sequence Pluto should have granted Aries. Astrologers being like they are, will not release Pluto from Scorpio. Being a Scorpio, I see the connection or affiliation, but I also want astrologers to get it right. And I am well aware how Martian Scorpios can be.

Last year at a conference Robert Hand and I talked about rulership at length. He proposes a classical view of rulership that allows only the bodies that can be seen to the naked eye to rule planets. The snag is, Uranus can be seen to the naked eye. Still, I personally favor the classical rulerships and the assignment of associations and/or affiliations of the outer/new planets to signs. As for the new bodies, we’re going to need some time and research as opposed to running hither and yon based upon any astrologer’s subjective preference.

Certainly, more planets will be determined to exist. The new criterion discusses a roundness to the body and an orbit that revolves about a star, while not being a star itself. There is a proposed subgroup, Plutons; bodies that have highly tilted orbits with an intrinsic eccentricity (less round). You can view the details and definitions for yourself at

Here’s a little something or two to ponder. Charon possesses a gravitational quality such that it orbits with Pluto, not around Pluto, thus allowing it to be a planet. Consider Charon the ferryman. Passage into the underworld was not a given. Charon had to determine a person’s worthiness and appropriateness for the underworld. This, turned into an interpretive postulate, is gonna be a whole bunch of fun.

Why all these planets now? Why should we accept them? At one point astronomers and astrologers were one. Many astrologers who participated in the naming of centaurs close that gaping hole now centuries old. We’re getting closer to our roots. In fact, astrological interpretations came from specific observations of the physical reality of the solar system; as it should be again. Consider the complexity of life that most people presently encounter. With political climates, scientific innovations and technology forcing our lives to change, wouldn’t a few new tools to aid the psyche be welcome?

Obviously, there’s a lot more to come. With open minds, a desire to expand our consciousness in harmony with conscious discoveries, we can all offer meaning to the new bodies by perceiving their messages clearly... and do a lot of research, too.


Return to the website frequently. I’ll keep things as updated as humanly possible on the planet of my origin.