MORE ARTICLES VISIT ASTROLOGICAL MUSINGS!
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THE NEWEST PLANET
with the elevation to Planethood of 2003 UB313 (formerly known
as Xena) now comes an official name: Eris, named after the Greek
goddess that set off the Trojan war by throwing the golden apple
into the circle of goddesses that would ultimately be for the
fairest of them all. The goddesses (Athena, Aphrodite and Hera)
competed for the apple, and the Trojan war was the famous result.
Eris is a troublemaker: the goddess of strife and discord, and
her Roman name was Discordia.
tenth planet is aptly named, because her discovery led to a great
deal of discord and turned the world of astronomy on its ears
and led to the declassification of Pluto. Now Eris, Pluto and
Ceres all rule jointly in their new classification as "dwarf
planets." This site has a great assortment of stories from
the myths about the nature of Eris from which the stories below
have been taken.
is a sister of Ares, the god of war, and as a nurse to dying soldiers
she has been known to fill their hearts with hate and the desire
for revenge. Aeschylus says, "discord is the last of the
gods to close an argument." Eris is likely to rule over the
domain of revenge which has previously fallen under Pluto's realm.
The role of Eris in the Trojan War did not begin from spite but
from wounded feelings since Eris was not invited to the wedding
of Peleus and Thetis. So Eris is concerned with wounds to the
ego that result in a disturbed psyche.
saw a more positive side to Eris: "She pushes the shiftless
man to work, for all his laziness. A man looks at his neighbour,
who is rich: then he too wants work; for the rich man presses
on with his ploughing and planting and ordering of his estate.
So the neighbour envies the neighbour who presses on toward wealth.
Such Eris (Strife) is a good friend to mortals."
Perhaps this is the lesson that Eris comes to teach:
was making his way through a narrow pass. He saw something that
looked like an apple lying on the ground and he tried to smash
it with his club. After having been struck by the club, the thing
swelled up to twice its size. Herakles struck it again with his
club, even harder than before, and the thing then expanded to
such a size that it blocked Herakles's way. Herakles let go of
his club and stood there, amazed. Athena saw him and said, 'O
Herakles, don't be so surprised! This thing that has brought about
your confusion is Aporia (Contentiousness) and Eris (Strife).
If you just leave it alone, it stays small; but if you decide
to fight it, then it swells from its small size and grows large."
Aesop, Fables 534 (from Chambry 129)
Eris is a very slow moving planet (it entered Aries back in 1928
and as of the latest date in the Swiss Ephemeris of 2036 is will
still be at 27 degrees Aries) and will be important to astrologers
only for its placement in the birthchart rather than its effect
by transit or current planetary cycles of the birthchart. However,
other planets will aspect it and it will be interesting to see
what effect in any those cycles will have.
may embody the principle that a small gesture can instigate a
big chaos (she is after all referred to as the goddess of discord
AND chaos. One tiny golden apple thrown into a wedding party began
the biggest war in Greek history.
thing that strikes me is that the whole golden apple thing (where
Eris throws a golden apple marked "to the fairest" into a circle
of goddesses and they duke it out to see who IS the fairest) is
about there being just one who is the fairest. The principle of
scarcity is what causes competition: if there is more than enough
of everything to go around, as the principle of abundance teaches,
then competition isn't necessary. There can be more than one true
religion, more than one best athlete, more than one beautiful
perhaps the light in this dark tunnel of strife and discord is
in expanding our sense of trust in the Universe even when we feel
it is collapsing in on us. This has historically been Pluto's
realm, and perhaps as we become more attuned to the transformational
process the process itself is becoming more specific as it divides
between Eris (the strife and discord that creates the endings),
Pluto (going into the underworld of endings and grief), and Ceres
(the process of regeneration).