Thoughts on Eris:
Planet of the 21st Century?

It seems a new planet is discovered every century; Uranus in the 1700's, Neptune in the 1800's, Pluto in the 1900's, and now Eris in the 2000's. Eris(formerly known as Xena or 2003ub313) is the latest major discovery since Pluto in 1930. First photographed in late 2003, it was not suspected as a planet untill early 2005, and its announcement came in July of that same year. Eris orbits the Sun in a highly inclined orbit of 557 years taking anywhere from 15 to 123 years to go through each sign of the zodiac. It is presently at its farthest point in tropical Aries and will stay there untill about the mid 21st century. In September of 2005 it was discovered to have a moon named Dysnomia(formerly named Gabrielle), and in April of 2006 the Hubble telescope determined its size at 1490 miles in diameter, making it smaller than our Moon but slightly larger than Pluto. Originally thought of as the tenth planet, it has now been re-classified as a dwarf planet along with Pluto, Ceres, and many other similar Kuiper belt objects. Personally, I still believe it is the tenth planet.

What does this discovery portend for humanity as a whole and for individuals alike? When Uranus was discovered in 1781 all kinds of revolutions were going on which would usher in the modern era we now live in. Two of the most important events were the birth of the United States and the discovery of electricity. When Neptune was discovered in 1846 all kinds of spiritual and mystical societies were being born preparing us for a collective world conciousness. Steam power, gas, and the film industry were all Neptunian developments. when Pluto was discovered in 1930, the world was in the middle of two World Wars and the power of the atom was unleashed. Pluto is also the underground and the death or breakdown of our present age so a new one can begin. Eris must represent the birth of this new age to come. Because of its stay in Aries, the transition of the ages will not be a peaceful one. Rather, it will involve much fighting and aggression, and the onus will be on individual rather than collective effort or accomplishment. This is doubly amplified by the fact that Eris is the Greek godess of chaos and discord, the twin sister of Ares or Mars.

The name Eris(pronounced "ee-ris") and signifying discord, was proposed to the IAU on September 6th, 2006 by its discover, Mike Brown. The IAU unanimously voted to accept the name on September 13th, 2006 as it reflected the discord that characterized the planetary debate of the time. This date marks the official moment or birth of its new power over us. It has always had power over us, but in a dormant kind of way. Its official acceptance in the planetary scheme(at least by the astrologers) will signal its full awakening and resultant influence over both our world and our individual lives. The nature of this new influence will reflect the zodiac sign with which this new planet will be linked to. This is called it's "ruling" sign. Just as Uranus came to be the true ruler of Aquarius, Neptune of Pisces, and Pluto of Scorpio, so Eris may very well become the true ruler of one particular sign. There are presently four possible signs that can be linked to Eris: Taurus, Gemini, Virgo, and Libra. This is because two planets, Mercury and Venus, are still ruling two signs each. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo, and Venus rules Taurus and Libra. The name of the planet and its meaning and the sign it is linked to will ideally complement one another.

According to the natural succession of signs, Aries was to follow Neptune/Pisces. Instead, it turned out to be Pluto/Scorpio, and instead of Taurus and Gemini following, it will likely be Libra and Virgo. In esoteric legend, these three signs(Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio) were once joined as one single body(and sign) before being split apart, so that the zodiac consisted of only ten signs and ten planetary bodies, but we now have twelve. If Eris equates with Libra, then what of Earth, which in my works I have also linked to Libra? Either I am wrong and must reformulate my Earth/Libra theory, or BOTH Earth and Eris are ruled by the seventh sign -two halves of the same coin so to speak. Perhaps Earth's true orbit was once between Pluto and Eris, but because of all the asteroidal debris, it had to be relocated to a safer area to where it is now? This is also one of the reasons why both Pluto and Eris have such highly inclined orbits -to avoid collision with the asteroids. If Earth was once between Pluto and Eris, its orbit would be something like 360 years and this would probably explain the day-for a year symbolism in many scriptures. This is all, of course, speculative, but I am keeping myself open to all of the possibilities.

Another clue to determining the astrological identity of a planet is race and/or nationhood. Any time a new planet is discovered, it usually corresponds to new race or nation or groups of nations being born. Uranus, for example, signified the birth of the United States and its separation from Great Britain(Saturn), I am not certain of Neptune, but Pluto was the rise of Russia or the Soviet Union and its separation from Mars-ruled Europe. Either Earth or Eris may signify the next superpower, which in all likelihood will be China. China is a Sun in Libra nation(Oct,1,1949). The great Tangshan earthquake of 1976 was a wake up call for China's entry into the modern world and perhaps the planet's identity as a whole. The collapse of the Soviet empire, German reunification, and the liberation of Ukraine and a host of other eastern European states(many of which attained independence while the Sun was in Virgo) in the late 1980's, may have all been influenced by Eris(and perhaps another planet beyond). What of the prophesied coming of a super Europe or a one world government? Could Eris play an important role here as well. Germany was reunited on October 3rd(Libra), 1989 and may be instrumental in reuniting the whole of Europe and perhaps the world. Why was September 11(Virgo) chosen as an important turning point in our perception of the world? Did it infer to the influence of some Virgo-ruled planet?

The new influences of the signs of Libra and Virgo, it seems, are everywhere in our present society. The spiraling divorce rate is a sign of the separation between Taurus and Libra and their respective rulers, as both these signs together represent the institution called marriage. The computer or information age is obviously linked to Gemini-Virgo. Both these signs rule the principle of imformation and/or communication. When the actual split up occurs, telepathy may once again become the normal way to communicate and the language problem will be solved. Could Eris and perhaps another planet beyond it account for these new influences?

What about on a personal or individual level? How does(or will) Eris affect us here? If Eris rules Libra what does this mean for our relationships. Will marriage disappear? Will we find new ways or reasons to relate? If Eris rules Virgo(or there is another planet beyond that does), what will this mean for our health, working lives, and environment. Will we use clean sources of fuel, live longer, and work shorter hours? I believe all of these changes and more are already underway. Another important change or phenomena occuring in our world is the changing climate. In order to have any kind of lasting global utopia it must begin with an equable, comfortable, and stable climate. The process for this is already underway as the planet's interior continues to heat up and the excessive ice, snow, and water evaporates to eventually form a greenhouse-producing canopy around the planet.Untill this is accomplished, we shall never really be able to have a utopia on planet Earth. Could Eris or a planet beyond it (Vulcan?) be the trigger for this ecological regeneration?

Most people born since 1900 will have Eris in Pisces or Aries. The transition from Pisces to Aries was in the 1920's(see Eris tables on this site for specific dates). Eris' transit through Aries is the longest of any sign taking over 120 years to do so. It is shortest in Leo taking only some 15 years. Most of us, therfore, belong to the Eris in Aries generation(1922-2048 AD). What does this mean in terms of personal characteristics? It is false to believe that Pluto or Eris, just because they are so far away or take so long in a sign, that they are not personal influences. Distance has nothing to do with it. Astrological energies are spiritual energies which mean that they are faster than light and unnaffected by distance or other material impediments.

The proper interpretation of Eris in Aries will depend largely on what sign that planet rules. If Libra, then Eris in Aries can be interptreted as meaning peace through war or aggression(President George W. Bush would be fine example of this), or harmony and balance through decisive action, or a desire for active and challenging relationships. If Virgo, then Eris in Aries can be interpreted as skilled or technological warfare, metallurgy and the auto age, or even weather warfare. As a whole, Eris in Aries can indicate that we are a pioneering and courageous generation, but that we are also an aggressive and self-centered bunch.

Perhaps a good indicator of the sign Eris rules is its perihelion point in the zodiac as seen from the Sun. In Neil F. Michelsen's heliocentric ephemeris for the twentieth century, Pluto has a steady perihelion point in mid Scorpio -the sign it is linked to by rulership. Is this coincidence or by design? Eris' aphelion(farthest) point has been calculated to be 1336' Aries which occurred on March 16, 1977. It's last aphelion(closest point) was at 853' Libra which occurred in early July of 1699. Could this signify a Libra rulership? In the ephemeris, all the other planets with basically circular orbits have perihelion points in signs not related to their ruling signs. The exception is Mercury which always has its perihelion in mid-Gemini, which is by the way its ruling sign. Why only Mercury, Pluto, and perhaps Eris? Because these are the only planets with highly inclined or elongated orbits!

One way to verify Eris' influence is to try and see if it fills in the gaps in people's charts, especially if those charts do not contain any planets in Aries. I have done this with myself, family, and friends, and it seems to work. I have also noticed this in certain celebrities. Catheine Zeta-Jones, for example emanates a definite Arian look or quality, but there are no Aries planets in her chart(except for Chiron). Either her birth data is questionable or Eris or some other body in Aries is coming through. I have found the Eris in Aries influence very easy to detect in those with fire signs rising, and especially Sagittarius for some reason. Also, the younger generations seem to display Eris' influence much more readily or poignantly, and the effect it has on the physical appearance can be very strong or striking.

Both Pluto and Eris are similar in many ways and can be seen as a pair of sorts, just like Jupiter and Saturn or Uranus and Neptune. Each pairing represents a distinct level of conciousness or attainment. Jupiter and Saturn, for example , are worldy planets or influences, whereas as Uranus and Neptune are otherworldly. Pluto and Eris wil represent the next step beyond this, whatever it is. They will be the smallest and most distant pairing in our solar system, but no less important, and will in all likelihood substantiate the Pluto-Persephone myth of ancient lore.

Eris is presently at it's farthest point. It is on it's way back, however, and will reach perihelion(closest point to the Sun), in about 280 years or around 2285 AD. Eris' discovery is a fun and exciting time for astrologers and astronomers alike. It signals a new phase in our understanding of both ourselves and our cosmos. There will probably be more major discoveries to come, reflecting our unlimited growth potential, but for now we are focused on Eris, which may well become(to astrologers if not astronomers) the planet of the 21st century.

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