Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Read about Sedna, Pholus and Nessus

January 21, 2005


Dear Eric:

Where can I read about Sedna, Pholus and Nessus, and what they signify or portend? I didn't have much luck looking for this information, so I spent last night looking at different astrologers 'read' on 2005. But I would like to know more.





Dear Emmie,

I covered Sedna (a newly discovered planet that takes about 13,000 years to go round the Sun, making Pluto seem nearby) in a response on this page in the Dec. 11 column, which references the work of Melanie Reinhart. I also did an article about it last spring when the name was announced. She is named for the Inuit goddess of creation, a deep-sea goddess who created the whales, seals and their cousins.


More recently, Jonathan, who seems to always have an interest in minor planets and astronomy brewing away on the back burner, decided it was time for dinner, and pretty much surprised the world with an entire database on Sedna in his 2005 annual forecasts. I think his message, if implicit, was clear: Sedna is a major discovery, worthy of attention and full-on planetary status. To my knowledge, Jonathan is the first wide-appeal astrologer to ever put a minor planet to work in this way.


These multiple delves into interpretation, plus a lot of experience with clients, watching history and writing horoscopes, are how we come up with what are called 'delineations' of new planets. As you get this information, you keep a little collection of what appeals to you and what you don't understand, and gradually apply it to your experience.


As for Pholus. This is a centaur planet that was discovered in 1992. The first centaur was Chiron, discovered in 1977. After the discovery of Chiron, things were pretty quiet for a while; then came Pholus, which unleashed a whole lot of new discoveries. This came the same year that the first planet in an orbit beyond Pluto (in our solar system) was discovered -- 1992 QB1, which still has no name 12 years after discovery. And then the discoveries came by the thousands. Follow the progression. Chiron, discovered 1977, has minor planet catalogue number 2060. Pholus, 12 years later, has minor planet catalogue number 5145. Just eight years later, by 2000, Varuna came along and was given minor planet number 20,000. Two years lager, there was Quaoar, minor planet 50,000!


Centaurs are orbit crossers: small worlds that cross the orbits of other planets. They make connections, blend energies, and create new patterns of reality. Or, they help point to ones that we did not see earlier. Chiron crosses the orbit of Saturn. Pholus crosses the orbit of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Much like Chiron brings together Saturn and Uranus (the energies of energy and matter), Pholus adds Neptune to the picture, and provides us with quite a complex addition to both psychological and historical understanding. I won't get into the mythology here -- maybe another time.


But the most vivid and palpable energy of Pholus is release. Think of the combined intensity of Saturn (the container) and then Uranus and Neptune (that which is contained). Pholus opens the container and lets something out, a bit like Pandora. Whereas Chiron can represent long and slow transformations (though not always), Pholus tends to make things happen more suddenly: level shifts, changes of mind, healing processes.


Pholus addresses themes involving multi-generational patterns of any kind. These include but go beyond addiction patterns. A Pholus theme also includes how we respond when in the presence famous people.


Last planet you mention, Nessus, discovered in 1993. Nessus has the distinction of being the first planet ever named by astrologers. In the late 90s, a committee of minor planet astrologers including Melanie Reinhart, Zane Stein, Dieter Koch and Robert von Heeren, proposed the name to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the official body that approves the names of new discoveries. The name was accepted. This was an unprecedented example of full cooperation between the usually-sundered arts of astrology and astronomy.


Nessus is a planet that addresses the healing of abuse patterns. The abuse can be psychological, physical or sexual in nature; it can be 'potentially inappropriate' contact or behavior; and it can involve revenge. Nessus has themes that feel like 'the return of karma' and what goes around comes around. Actions have consequences, but you can almost always discover the source. Nessus is a very good diagnostic tool in handling situations with these themes. It shows us where and how we've been hurt in the past, and how we're likely to hurt others -- and how we can heal those hurts.


For people interested in studying minor planets, I can recommend a few names to Google, besides the ones I've already mentioned. There is an astrologer named Mark Andrew Holmes who is a truly excellent of minor planet energies. Look and you'll find lots of his material online. There is someone named Juan Revilla, an intense, intellectually complex astrologer whose keywords, while sometimes complicated and confusing, often bear out to be quite meaningful. Juan has written a free program called Riyal, which casts the positions of hundreds of minor planets, and is a most excellent astrological tool. It works on PC only, or 'virtual PC' if you have that on your Mac.


One last resource -- the Centaur list. This is a list with a few really clear thinkers and a lot of potential, but it needs the new energy, curiosity and positive vibes that would come from readers of this web page. You can sign up for free at this link; the traffic is currently at about 125 messages per week, not to high for a list (but you can get the daily digest format, too):


With new planets, it comes down to this. Studying them helps; the ideas of other astrologers helps. But what works the best is finding the new planets in your own chart, and watching them in action. If you don't understand the planet, get an understanding of the house where that planet is placed and describe your unique experience of that house. You're likely to 'get it' on the spot.


Gradually, these new planets become our friends; they become the wise, intuitive and healing voices of our soul. Really, they are already inside us, waiting for us to listen.