How Can Astrologers’ Already Interpret Xena's Meaning?
August 19, 2005
About Xena... I have nothing against the warrior woman, quite the opposite -- I quite liked the series. In fact, Xena is no bigger fiction of our imagination than the Greek gods in their time. They all depict the different sides of human nature and they all have a lesson to teach. Xena is a strong, independent woman who kicks ass (but in a nice way) and looks great. She even has a stage name that might suit a porn star. (No offense, Miss Lawless.)
What I do not seem to understand is that all of a sudden, I see information in horoscopes related to Xena's behaviour and how that will affect us. How on earth can astrologers, at this moment, predict what kind of influence she will have on our behaviour??? She has only come into the picture! It's like taking a pill and then deciding what it will cure.
I'm apprehensive about the name the next discovered planet, asteroid or whatever will get. What if they call it 'Mickey Mouse', 'Chanel' or heaven forbid, 'George B'. First we would all go loony, then we would spend all our money on clothes and I don't even want to think about that last option...
You get the Raphael's Ephemeris this week. Please email my office and we'll get it right out to you.
I share your concern that the process of defining the "meaning" of new planets is going too fast, and that the response to Xena has been a little ridiculous. I speak as a guy who loves both roller coasters and deciphering new planetary discoveries. All most people know about Xena at this point -- including most astrologers -- is the name, and it's (allegedly) just a temporary name until the International Astronomical Union (IAU) approves the real one.
The process of understanding a new planet takes a lot of patience, much research, and working with a great many clients and events. Eventually, after a time, a pattern may emerge, and the planet may begin to yield some of its meaning or message, and show up in a way that is helpful to clients. By helpful, I mean point the way out of their struggles.
Astrologers who work out new plants carefully rely on a number of different factors. In my experience, they are:
1. The discovery chart of the new planet; there may be several, including the naming and the announcement. I would trust the discovery chart the most, which these days is the date and time stamped on the photographic plate that led to the discovery.
2. The shape, size and position of the new planet's orbit, including which other known orbits the new planet crosses.
3. The name of the planet (once approved) and the mythology associated with that name. The mythology must be worked with in a subtle way, and the mythos translated to logos -- that is, there is a creative or intuitive leap taken when the literal myth is translated into some kind of factor influencing human behavior, experience or perception.
4. Historical eras and turning points that become apparent with sign changes and major aspects of the new planet, which can be checked over the centuries.
5. Placement of the planet in charts of clients whose natal horoscopes are well known to astrologers. The same can be done to some extent for famous people, but in truth we know relatively little about them. We know more about their achievements, which can be quite telling.
6. Careful tracking of events in the lives of clients when the new planet makes aspects by transit, in the past or the present, to the natal chart.
7. Observing the planet's position in the charts for major historical and news events.
8. The contemporary culture at the time of the discovery. This can be quite difficult to see because few people can actually identify what is going on now, and that more than anything is driven by what we want to think is happening. However, some of these factors will be included in the discovery chart.
I don't think too much of this has happened during the past month.
However, the new planet fad was bound to catch on some time. When presented with actual, unprecedented major discoveries in 1930 (Pluto) and 1977 (Chiron), the astrological community was slow to respond, even reticent and at times full of ridicule. As late as the mid 1970s, Raphael's Ephemeris was not listing the daily position of Pluto. Today, it entirely omits Chiron, which has finally been listed in most other ephemeredes.
Regarding Pluto, the first book about this planet in English did not occur for nearly half a century after the discovery, in the mid 1980s.
The majority of astrologers may not like or understand Chiron, but it would appear that it is here to stay.
For two decades, astrologers argued that the jury was still out on Chiron, fearing they would be laughed out of the astrology conference if they acknowledged it might be meaningful. It was considered freaky and New Agey. One famous astrologer said to me [paraphrasing slightly], "When Chiron was present in a transit pattern, something intense was going on, but I couldn't tell you what it meant." This astrologer once presented me with guidelines for delineating Chiron that would have disqualified Mars and Saturn as planets.
But the other reaction, to lurch into an interpretation, is even more troublesome. At least people going slowly have time to think and observe.
Skip ahead to 2005. There are now a quarter million known bodies orbiting our Sun. Little of it matters, except to the most esoterically attuned astrologers who specialize in these bits and bobs of solar system artifacts -- and those who are truly intuitive and come up with original interpretation material that is both creative and relevant; and it does happen. But this is based on the skill of the astrologer as much as the planet itself. But skepticism prevails.
The, finally, someone discovers something bigger than Pluto, so of course, it must mean something; after all, it's bigger than something that used to mean nothing. I have received emails telling me that Xena is the Planet of the Gods (this is the Ramtha theory), Planet X (the name Xena is a clever pun in that regard), and the web pages positing the truth are bubbling up out of the ethers. The discussion that it took half a century for astrology to wrap its head around Pluto is something I have not heard lately.
And the whole notion that there might be a "new planet" (I speak of the discovery of Uranus in 1781) is still quite new and interesting.
We certainly do live in a time when people really need something meaningful to grasp onto. Perhaps the fuss should be directed at the planet Chaos.