Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Sedna, Quaoar and Planet X


December 11, 2004


Dear Eric:

What's the deal on these discoveries of Sedna and Quaoar? Are they just Planet X repackaged?





Dear Luke,

I never knew Planet X came in a package. Besides which, Planet X was never actually discovered; it was speculated. Today, there are more than a quarter-million known objects going around our Sun. That is, our Sun, not other stars. They come in many shapes, sizes and categories, and, despite how numerous they are, most people don't have a clue that they exist. There are about a dozen objects beyond Pluto that have names; we've heard of some of them because Jonathan does mention them to spread the word and keep people's ears up: Varuna, Chaos, Ixion, and yes, Quaoar and Sedna.


Let's go back through a little history. When Pluto was discovered in 1930, it was called the "ninth planet."


However, more than a century before, Ceres had been discovered (in 1801) and according to Melanie Reinhart, the Chiron pioneer, its discovery was announced as the eighth planet (after Uranus, the seventh, which was discovered in 1781). Then at some point not so long after the discovery, scientists went back on their original classification of Ceres as a planet and created a new designation, asteroid. This is precisely when things get dicey; from this point on, nobody can seem to get straight what is and what is not a planet, and to this day there is no agreed upon definition.


Neither astronomers nor astrologers can agree on the definition of a planet. At least most astronomers (that is, stargazing scientists) know that all this stuff is out there, and the discoveries are causing great interest, particularly because these little worlds are seen as artifacts from the beginnings of the solar system.

As for what a ‘planet’ is, I think this is purely a semantic discussion (which one of the new planet discoveries gets into below). It's a matter of definition, and that definition is arbitrary. In Greek, it means 'wanderer' so I say if it wanders, it's a planet. Astrologers don't need to take the lead of scientists on what to use and not use in their charts. However, you can be sure if one day scientists come around and say that Ceres, Varuna and Quaoar are officially planets (the three most likely candidates to be added to the official list) then astrologers will go scrambling to get aboard.


At this point, most astrologers (people who read charts, write horoscopes, make predictions, etc.) generally deal with the phenomenon of new discoveries by ignoring them, or considering them irrelevant to what they do each day. This is understandable -- to a point. For one thing, it seems crazy to consider the possibility of thousands of new objects to include in a chart. Most astrologers think that nine is enough. Also, who is to say what they mean? What book can you look them up in? How do you know they have effects?


Well, you can't look them up in books for the most part, and what they mean can seem rather arbitrary, and is based on a wide variety of factors, from the mythology to the chart for the discovery. And there are a lot of these kids to consider, but there are also a lot of brands of dish soap to choose from. As it works out, new planetary discoveries are a specialty in astrology. They require research into science and mythology, many discussions with our astrological colleagues, and a willingness to test out the new discoveries in the charts of our clients. Not everyone is interested. Not everyone has the resources. And not everyone's clients are interested (I have found that my clients are very interested and willing to hear what these planets have to say -- which is how I have learned so much).


New planets give us something else, which is the ability to name psychological and spiritual processes that have always existed, or that are emerging into awareness and need to be identified now. The nature of astrology is to connect planetary cycles to human events, feelings and developments. In astrology directed at the unfolding of the consciousness (spiritual or psychological astrology) rather than personal events (mundane astrology), these new planets have an enormous amount of wisdom to offer us. And in the charts of major historical events, they almost always appear in interesting places, giving astrologers a look behind the scenes.


In my view as an astrologer who works with new planets every day, Sedna and Quaoar are two of the more significant discoveries since Chiron was sighted in 1977. Let's go over them briefly.


Quaoar was discovered March 15, 2002, by a team headed by astronomer Mike Brown of Caltech University. It takes about 285 years to go around the Sun, and is about 800 miles across (compared to Pluto, which is about 1,200 miles across). It was given the provisional designation 2002 LM60, and then, because the discovery was considered so significant, it was then placed in the permanent minor planet catalogue with the honor of number 50,000.


As for the name, according to the official naming scheme, it had to be chosen from among gods and goddesses of creation and resurrection; and according to the official Quauar web page, “The Tongva people (sometimes called the San Gabrielino Native Americans) inhabited the Los Angeles area before the arrival of the Spanish and other European people.” The name 'Quaoar' (pronounced kwah-o-wahr) comes from their creation mythology. In the words of Mark Acuņa, Tongva scholar, dancer and tribal elder:


"'Quaoar', the great force of creation, sings and dances the high ones (Deities) into existence. While Quaoar has no form or gender he is usually referred to with the male pronoun. He dances and sings first 'Weywot' who becomes Sky Father; they sing and dance 'Chehooit' Earth Mother into existence. The trio sing 'Tamit' Grandfather Sun to life. As each divine one joins the singing and dancing, the song becomes more complex and the dance more complicated. In turn 'Moar', Grandmother Moon (a very complex deity), 'Pamit' the Goddess of the sea, 'Manit' the Lord of dreams and visions, 'Manisar' the bringer of food and harvests, 'Tukupar Itar' the Sky Coyote (who is also our major hero), and 'Tolmalok' the Goddess of Shishongna (the underworld) join in the singing, dancing and creating. And finally the great seven giants who hold up the worlds are created. The High Ones in turn are aided by 'Eagle, Duck, Bear, and Frog' in a grand earth diving story. Frog brings up soil out of the deep dark sea, and the four animals dance it flat and wide. The 'Gods and Goddesses' then furnish the world 'Tovangar' with hills, mountains, trees, rivers, etc. 'Tobohar' (first man) and 'Pahavit' (first woman) are also part of this great 'Creation song and dance cycle'."


Okay, so, what does it mean?


As far as I can tell, it's about family patterns. We have a god who sings and dances the other gods and goddesses into existence. This dance of creation reminds me of how families are created, and the metaphor from the myth is indeed that the gods and goddesses are a family. It does not take a Ph.D. in psychology to see the relationship to the development of the family pattern and how an individual might respond to that. This is certainly a bit of information we need in this day and age, as we are finally starting to become aware of the damage and gifts offered to us by our families.


It immediately reminded me of a therapy process called Integrated Family Systems (IFS), with which I have had very good results, and which I was doing at the time of the discovery.


While you could get family information from the 4th house, the Moon or the sign Cancer (for example), Quaoar seems to offer something different, particularly when you study its aspects carefully. It describes in very specific ways the specifics of how the family pattern has worked into the psyche and the life experience; it reveals something hidden and difficult to see otherwise (as does Chiron, by the way).


I have put Quaoar into just about every chart I've looked at for two years (both those of clients and the charts I used to write the horoscopes), and it always seems to be connected to the psychological history of the family in a way that is useful, obvious and very helpful to the client when considering their different life situations. People who are working on healing their family patterns would do well to place this planet into their charts and see if they can deduce any messages, themes and other information. Space and time don't permit example charts today, but I'll get to one soon.


Currently, Quaoar is right around the middle degrees of Sagittarius.


As for Sedna.


Sedna was discovered Nov. 14, 2003, and given the provisional designation 2003 VB12. Note that it was discovered just after the Harmonic Concordance lunar eclipse. It has an orbit of 10,500 years, and is about 800-1,200 miles across. Discovered by Mike Brown from Caltech, along with scientists from Gemini Observatory and Yale University, this team had hit on another major discovery. According to the official website, Sedna is "the coldest, most distant object known to orbit the Sun.” The object was found at a distance 90 times greater than that from the sun to the earth -- about 3 times further than Pluto, the most distant known planet. The discovery was made on the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory, just east of San Diego.


In an interview, Mike Brown, the discoverer, addressed the question of the definition of a planet. "Indeed, if Sedna had been larger than Pluto," he said, "most would have hailed it as a 10th planet. This definition -- like the previous -- is historically consistent, but -- like the previous -- still fails the scientific test. Why is Pluto the cutoff size? Is there really a big enough difference in size between Pluto and Sedna and Quaoar that one should be called a planet while the others are not? The scientific answer remains a resounding no."


I am less experienced with Sedna than I am with Quaoar. But I am fascinated by certain collective issues that I see in Sedna; for example, the last time it was in its current position, we had an ice age.


It was named for a creation deity of the icy waters, a goddess who created seals, whales and dolphins, and is considered the supreme deity of the oceans by the Inuit people (Eskimos, who kiss by rubbing noses). The myth involves Sedna being kidnapped, and ultimately falling into the icy waters of the Arctic and having her fingers, arms and legs fall off and create these sea creatures.


Whales and dolphins are certainly in trouble right now. And I give Mike Brown and his team a lot of credit for their bold and controversial choice of names, which at the time caused quite a stir (links at the Sedna website below).


I wrote to Melanie Reinhart and asked her if she had anything interesting on Sedna (silly question), and this is what she sent back, in part based on a reading of its mythology and discovery time:


"Even in the face of unrelenting trauma and suffering, we can, indeed must, beat our drum and sing to life. This is not a plea for escapism, but rather an acknowledgement that the Work is about keeping our heart open in hell. Sedna’s story is about acknowledging just how bad things really feel, and starting from there. Radical acceptance is demanded. Allowing love and harmony into our lives (symbolized by the Star of David, or the Harmonic Concordance) may mean opening to the frozen places inside where we are conflicted and feel unloving. To try and manufacture joy is to metaphorically cut off our own fingers."


She adds, "As Carl G. Jung noted, synchronicity often accompanies something emerging into consciousness. Within a week of Sedna’s discovery, there was the biggest seal hunt in about 50 years. Hundreds of thousands of seals were killed, and, citing 'indigenous customs', the exploiters scored a legal victory over animal rights protesters. The supreme irony of this needs no comment, but indeed raises some important questions."


And on a final, somber note: "On May 9, 2004, the Sun was conjunct Sedna for the first time since her discovery, bringing light to her story. The international press was dominated by revelations of brutality and torture perpetrated by the occupying forces in Iraq. Truly the submerged suffering of the tortured victims surfaced in an ocean of obfuscation, outrage, confusion, denial, blame and shame. The repercussions have yet to fully unfold. However, these events have opened the secret world of war. When individuals tell their stories, the healing is contagious, and others are encouraged to do likewise. The Sedna story, like any major epic, has been told and re-told down the ages, and we may always listen afresh."


Currently, Sedna is in mid-Taurus.


To learn more about Sedna, see:


To learn more about Quaoar, see:


I have an article that covers some of the discoveries beyond Neptune:


And here is my article on Sedna: