For Astrological Purposes?
The 21st century is witnessing an explosion of new possibilities for astrology as technical advances make possible the discovery of hundreds of thousands of new objects in the heavens, previously unknown of, within our own solar system and beyond.
From countless asteroids and centaurs to hundreds of dwarf planets and transneptunians, there is a bewildering array of objects to choose from which can open up the horoscope like never before. With so many choices, which objects do we choose or work with, and for what purposes?
First of all, I wish to say that this new expanse of bodies, goes hand in hand with the new expanse in human awareness and potential. Minds and souls all over this planet are breaking old boundaries and paradigms and reaching for the infinite thanks in part to the explosion of knowledge made possible by the internet and all related media. What we do with all this knowledge will be the test of our mettle as a human species.
The planets or heavenly bodies can measure or reflect this unfolding growth within us. The first major indicators of this process were the discoveries of the outer planets Uranus(1781), Neptune(1846), Ceres and the major asteroids(1850's), and Pluto(1930). These ushered us into modern or industrial civilization and raised the planetary count from 7 to at least 10.
In 1977 the first centaur(Chiron) was discovered and a year later it was Charon(Pluto's large moon). Both ushered in a new and growing spiritual awareness of our connection to the planet or biosphere. Then in 1992 the first Kuiper belt object(1992 QB1) opened up a vast area of space(and conciousness) beyond Pluto, followed by objects like Quaoar, Varuna, Haumea, Makemake Sedna, and of course Eris in 2005. These Pluto-like objects(and Pluto itself) created a new category of space objects known as the "dwarf" planets, and their role in the birth chart is still unclear. Many more of these objects have yet to be named or discovered and still other bodies await us in deeper or more distant parts of our solar system.
When setting up an astrological chart, the main planets -Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturm, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, as well as the two "angles"(Earth/Ascendant and Inner Sun/Midheaven) are always featured. Pluto is definitely a planet to astrologers, regardless of what the astronomers say. These twelve astrological factors are a MUST in any horoscope. Then come other minor factors or bodies such as the North Node, asteroids, centaurs, plutinos, and more. Some like to include major stars, the vertex and part of fortune, as well as black holes, uranians and other hypotheticals. The list of bodies both real and theoretical is endless.
Which bodies should you be concerned with?
The main planets and angles, of course. Stick with what's in the solar system. Don't let the astronomers lead you astray with those exoplanets which while interesting and exciting are of no concern to us(astrologers) at this time. The seven traditional visible planets are always the most important, beginning with the luminaries(Sun and Moon), as are the angles or hemispheres(Earth/Asc and Inner Sun/Sky/MC). Then come the five worker planets -Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn which double-up in rulerships for those less enlightened times when the invisible outer planets aren't known or taken into account. Then come the outer or "modern" planets such as Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Eris is the new baby in our solar system and is still under study and there are no doubt other planets beyond it.
These twelve factors alone already provide a solid foundation for interpreting the birth chart. Perhaps the most pivotal factor of all is the Earth/Ascendant or rising sign which sets up the astrological houses. The other eleven factors(including the Midheaven) take a back seat to this Ascendant or Rising sign which is the Earth's influence as seen from our time and place of birth. The MC or Sky or Heaven is a projection of our hollow planet's Inner Sun and can be treated as a planet.
Size is an important factor in astrology as it immediately helps to cut down on the number of choices. All of the main planets are at least 1000 miles or larger in diameter. Pluto, the smallest, is some 1432 miles in diameter, followed by our Moon(2160), Mercury(3032), Venus(7,520), and the Earth(7,926). Astronomers give Mars 4200 miles but some say it's actually 11,400. The other larger outer planets are also in dispute. Are astronomers giving us innacurate measurements? Even the Sun may not be as large as the actual estimates. Not only the sizes, but even the distances may be off.
Most all planets or bodies develop hydrostatic equilibrium or roundness at a certain size or diameter. The lower limit is somewhere between 200 and 300 miles, although this can vary in individual cases. A planet's roundness or smooth shape is important in classifying it as a planet. Not all planets are round of course -some are oval or football-shaped. Ceres, which measures about 600 miles in diameter, is an excellent example of a dwarf or minor planet. Satellite images and studies have shown it to be much like Earth and the the terrestial planets and it warrants serious study in the natal chart. All dwarf planets do -and there may be hundreds of them! Personally, I consider any body between 500 to 1200 miles diameter to be a bona fide dwarf planet, and anything above 1200 miles to be a major planet.
While the major planets delineate major themes, in the chart, the minor planets may describle lesser or sub issues and complement the interpretation. I believe even the smallest asteroids have their story to tell -as trivial or insignificant as they may be. Asteroids(and centaurs) fill in the blanks where the planets don't. This is especially evident on an astrocartography or locality map which shows WHERE the astrological influences manifest. Tons of fun can be had seeing which if any of these asteroids cross over key cities or areas on a map. There is the popular idea that Virgo is ruled by the asteroids in general because of this sign's preoccupation with innumerable little details. To obtain all your asteroid positions and much more, go to the excellent Serennu.com(gives accuracy to the second!)
The important thing to remember is that every speck of matter in this material universe has an aura, energy field, or astrological influence, but it's only the biggest or flashiest ones that get all the notice or attention. It's also important to remember that the NAMING of a body is extremely important in terms of its power or significance. When a planet is named it is literally knighted or activated with new purpose and power and will play some role, major or minor, in a chart. Unnamed bodies, or those with tempoary technical labels, don't attract attention, and most are like powerless sleeping entities. Select named bodies over unnamed ones to cut down on the possibilities.
Here is a list of some of the largest named currently known minor planets in our solar system, as well as some stars, that you should seriously consider when doing complementary interpretation work:
Largest known and named dwarf planets and estimated sizes:
Largest known and named asteroids and estimated sizes:
Best known and named centaurs: Chariklo(162mi), Chiron(145mi), Bienor(128mi), Pholus(115mi), Ceto-Phorcys(108mi), Asbolus(52mi), Echeclus(52mi), Amycus(47mi), Cyllarus(44mi), Hylonome(43mi), Thereus(43mi), Nessus(37mi), Crantor(37mi), Elatus(30mi), Okyrhoe(30mi), Pelion(23mi), Sleeper: 1995 SN55(310km)
Brightest known and named stars: Sirius(-1.46), Arcturus(-0.04), Rigel Kent(-0.01), Vega(0.03), Capella(0,08), Rigel(0.12), Procyon(0.38), Achernar(0.46), Betelgeuse(0.50), Agena(0.61), Canopus(0.72), Altair(0.77), Aldebaran(0.85), Antares(0.96), Spica(0.98), Pollux(1.14), Fomalhaut(1.16), Regulus(1.35)
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