Saturday, January 24, 2015

Astrological Overhaul

At the Smithsonian Natural History museum, a very large model of the moon.

If you're not interested in astrology, this will be boring.

When astronomy and astrology split, both were the worse for it. I've tried to find a reference to the history of the split, but in my cursory google searches, have not found anything definitive.

Astronomers are utterly dismissive of astrology. Oh the outrage, oh the condemnation. If they try to describe or define astrology, it's clear in seconds they know nothing about it. It's below them to study it. It's a very intense reaction.

Astrologers aren't interested in thinking about the split, as far as I can tell - a sad thing. Though the field as a whole continues to integrate newly discovered objects and locations, there has been no comprehensive revision, in spite of how much new, sometimes startling, information we have now about the physical nature of our family of planets.

Though astrologers embraced the discovery of Pluto, a planet much needed, and many astrologers work with large asteroids and dwarf planets, the blueprint of the astrological solar system remains same: the sun, 8 planets, plus the moon and the earth. If astronomy and astrology were still happily married, things might shift.

What is known now is that the solar system contains 4 rocky planets, four gas giants, and two belts of objects: the asteroid belt and the Kuiper belt. Beyond that is the Oort cloud and beyond that, the magnetic field of Brother Sun goes on and on. The Solar System is huge! Astrology should reflect this, but it doesn't - yet.

If astronomy and astrology were still entwined, it would be clear we should re-assign planetary rulership. For instance, Venus is called "Earth's evil twin" by astronomers. It is sulfurous, boiling hot, stormy and toxic. It should rule Scorpio, not Taurus and Libra!

Here's how I would reorder the rulership of the planets, if it were up to me which it is decidedly not!

Mercury should continue to rule Gemini. The way it whips forwards and backwards (not really but from here its apparent motion is wacky) is as crazy as the ever shifting Gemini mind. Also that whole hot side/cold side is very Geminish.

Venus - Scorpio
Mars - This stable, rocky planet would be a perfect ruler for Capricorn.
Ceres, a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt, should rule Virgo. Duh. Of course!

Jupiter, often called a failed star by astronomers, is well suited to rule Leo. The sun is waning in August, and the luster of summer is fading. A failed star would be the perfect ruler of Leo.

Saturn - Its beauty and grace is extraordinary. Even the six sided polar storms are beautiful, harmonious. Saturn should rule Libra.

Uranus - What a crazy planet! Its rotation is sideways, it's electric blue. Of course it must rule Aquarius.

Neptune - Ah, the deep oceans of gas make this planet a great ruler for Cancer. The planet is blue and dreamy, blue like crabs at the bottom of the sea, blue like the ocean in mid-July. It's suited to ancient animals like crustaceans. I understand associating the moon with Cancer, too, but in my system, it doesn't quite square up. I will explain.

Pluto is part of the Kuiper belt. I think all the objects in the belt should rule Sagittarius. Sag is associated with travel to distant places of mind and body. The Kuiper belt is the last, most remote place in the solar system where there are objects. It is way out there! Even thinking about the Kuiper belt requires a long stretch of the imagination. It is so Sagittarian. It also seems right that the belt contains lots of objects. Sag is the sign of the philosopher, the contemplative. That kind of thinking requires the ability to hold many different ideas at once. The entire belt of objects is relevant, but there is the problem of how to chart it. We saw Pluto first and it seems to work well as the signifier of that far-away region. We should associate Pluto - as an ambassador from the distant darkness of the Kuiper belt - with Sagittarius. Pluto would not rule Sag, only be associated with it as an emissary from that far distant place.

I believe Brother Sun should rule Aries. At that time of year the light is strong and ascending quickly. Brother Sun is mighty in April. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the Sun is our father, brother, and the central member of the solar system. They go together.

The moon should rule Pisces. It is a wise and watery sign, also the last sign in the zodiac. It feels right to have the sun and moon rule the last and the first signs of the wheel, and for the moon to hold the akashic records of wisdom, rather than far-flung Neptune.

Mother Earth should rule Taurus. I don't know how to make a chart to reflect this. Oh the potent fecundity of earth - it is so Taurusian. Look at pictures of the other planets - they are either dreary rocks or gaseous orbs. None of them is fit to rule sensuous Taurus, but Mama Gaia is.

I've spent years thinking about this, while simultaneously learning more and more about our neighborhood and the family of Brother Sun. Alas, the astrological community is not jumping into the astronomical fray of new information except to add new bodies to the mix.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for astronomers to become intrigued with what the night sky means to us at a soul level. We've been watching the stars and planets for countless millennia. The patterns they make against the backdrop of stars, the waxing and waning of the moon and the solar cycles, are hard wired into us. Human beings find patterns wherever we look. We create meaningful stories from those patterns. We've been gleaning wisdom and self awareness from our stories about the planets and stars since forever.

Meaning gives us depth, makes us fully human. Meaning is what we seek in every one of the arts. Sadly, astronomers couldn't care less about that kind of meaning. Just the facts, ma'am.

In the Reyaverse, astrology and astronomy should involve hard science as well as the quest for meaning. They should get back together. Oh well. It's not up to me.


  1. You HAVE given this a lot of thought! I'm not generally much of an astrology fan, as you know, but let me just say I'm not sure (as a Scorpio) that I want Earth's evil twin ruling me! :)

  2. And let me add that it's interesting to think about the two pursuits (astrology and astronomy) having common roots, and wondering about the point at which they separated. I'm not sure I've ever really considered that.

    1. You're funny.

      Venus is powerful! Beyond what we puny humans can tolerate. Scorpio is pure power. It's so right for your sign.

      You know being a Scorpio is just one thing about you. You are multi-faceted.

    2. Not just common roots, Steve. They were one and the same. There was no division.