Minor Planet Articles

Articles by Eric Francis / List Researched by Najma Abdulla

Above: Discovery Images of Sedna. The object is three times farther away from Earth than Pluto, making it the most distant known in the solar system. "The Sun appears so small from that distance that you could completely block it out with the head of a pin," said Dr. Mike Brown, Caltech associate professor of planetary astronomy and leader of the research team. The object, unofficially named "Sedna," is 13 billion kilometers (8 billion miles) away from Earth.

Introduction. We live in a time of discovery, like none other in astrology or astronomy. My very educated mother was just showing us nine planets, and then suddenly she kinda lost count. I have no idea how it feels for a reader to jump into the soup in one leap, when in 1994 when I started studying astrology, the notion of "another planet" (Chiron) was a big deal, something that astrology was still having a hard time accepting. Now there are some 300,000 catalogued objects orbiting our Sun, ranging from asteroids to trans-Neptunian objects in the Kuiper Belt to Scattered Disk Objects...well, it must be really weird. Do these bits of rock and snow mean anything in astrology?

And what is a planet? Well, it turns out that the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the scientific body which names the planets, will be determining that this summer. There are a variety of possible combinations for what could be the new standard: Pluto might be eliminated (which would count only for astronomy, since it's well established in astrology and not going anywhere), to adding four or five, including Ceres, Varuna and Quaoar, since they are large enough to hold their own spherical shape. Whatever happens, the result will be a shakeup for astrology, and we plan to be there with bells on.

As part of the preparation for that coverage, we've gathered everything I've written on the minor planet so far The articles on this link are a collection of pieces I've written on the minor planets over the past six or so years. They range from a piece on the first four asteroids (Goddesses of Astrology) to quite a few pieces on Chiron, as well as others on new discoveries such as Xena, Sedna and Varuna. Some of them I like, some are due for a good rewrite, but I consider them all valid expressions of my viewpoint up to the time of writing, layers in the story, pieces of the puzzle. They will at least get you started, and relate some ways to begin the process of thinking about new planets.

Part of that thinking involves thinking about ourselves. The process of so many planets being discovered means that more and more inner territory -- which the planets represent -- is being discovered, and made available. New planets give us different ways to consider ourselves psychologically and spiritually. They give us new ways to consider our potential, and unfamiliar mythologies to consider and see if we relate to. They give us new ways to integrate ourselves into a rather truly unstable moment in world history, when so much is changing around us, and when the change is accelerating rapidly.

If you're interested in the position of any planet mentioned in any of these articles, whether now or at the time of your birth, you can use this custom-made tool that looks them up, sorts them any way you need, and searches out aspects.

Thanks for tuning in. As always, your feedback is welcome.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis
Ottawa, June 2006

So where were we? Ah yes, I was doing a little investigative reporting in the dairy aisle at Vashon Island Thriftway when I uncovered the following story.

Astrology as a Healing Art: Chiron & the Minor Planets
As of this writing, there are more than 65,000 catalogued orbiting objects our sun besides the 'nine planets'.

Nessus/Sagittarius Secrets Revealed, act one/ASR
Any New Moon is a conjunction of the Moon and the Sun (when expressing aspects between two moving points, the syntax of astrology calls for stating the faster point first).

Nessus/ Shot in the Foot
Dear Readers, Far and Near: An astonishing event on the American political scene has taken things from perversely odd to the acutely bizarre.

Nessus Notes
There is very little written about the third Centaur, Nessus. Over the years, I've made a variety of comments, but have not actually pulled together one full article on the subject. The scattered ideas, however, do seem to add up to something.

Water Worlds
In recent years, a variety of planets near or beyond Pluto (but still within our solar system, orbiting our Sun and pirating our satellite TV stations) have been named for gods and goddesses associated with water.

Chiron was the first discovery in what became a new class of minor planets, the Centaurs.

Before & After Chiron.
Virgo is what's called a human sign, being one of the few regions of the zodiac represented by a person, specifically a young woman.

Exponentially Increasing Randomness.
Dear Astrolonaut: Last week, the International Astronomical Union announced the names of four Centaurs and an additional trans-Neptunian planet.

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

Why All This Nonsense?
Dear Eric, I stumbled on your Q & A section via Jonathan's website today and read with interest what you were cooking up there, especially relating to Eric H., the guy who thought his grandfather was living through him and responsible for his sexual issues.

Goddesses of Astrology
Above, asteroid Eros, which is the closet to Earth and whose orbit intersect the path of the Earth around the Sun, and thus may crash into us one ordinary day in this epoque or some other.

Chiron in Your Child's Birth Chart
In this article, I'd like to cover some basics about using Chiron in your child's birth chart.

Taking a Ride on Mars Conjunct Chiron
When the United States began the bombing and invasion of Iraq on the last day of winter 2003, Mars and Chiron were about to form a conjunction.

Mars, Chiron & Iraq
Hard to believe it's now been two years of nonstop, escalating war in Iraq.

Chiron in Capricorn
We knew it all along…the end of the game for Sen.

Part 1. Television, Man: Chiron in Aquarius
In a recent edition titled "Day Zero," I described the eight years between the two transits of Venus (June 2004 through June 2012) as a kind of anteroom to some great historical shift.

Part 2. All Of Us Here
This is the continuation to “Television, Man,” the June 25 Planet Waves Weekly essay on Chiron in Aquarius.

An Excellent Moral Crisis
Slowly I am assembling the pieces of Chiron in Aquarius. I recognize that this is a speculative venture; the transit starts Monday and spans about six years.

An Overview of Chiron
The Centaur planet Chiron is an astrological force for healing

Chiron: A Myth for Our Times
In some representations of Sagittarius, the archer of this sign is supposed to be a centaur, a half-man, half-horse.

Jupiter, Chiron, Earth.
We hear the term "ruler" kicked around a lot in astrology.

From the Born in the Sixties Series
If you were born in the 1960s and look up some of your planets in an astrology book, you're likely to read that people of your generation are restless, rebellious and idealistic.

Chiron in Pisces
Even when a planet sweeps through a sign for an entire decade, it's possible to notice certain qualities about the essence of that generation's condition that relate to the planet's position.

Xena/ The Cosmic Voice of Reason
Since it’s possible for horoscope columns to be effective without astrology itself working, we can look a little deeper into what makes this so

How Can Astrologers Already Interpret Xena’s meaning?
Hi Eric, About Xena…I have nothing against the warrior woman, quite the opposite – I quite liked the series

Advertising and the End of the World
WHILE WE'RE LOOKING at the alleged failures of the Sixties (the sexual revolution, the anti-war movement and others), I owe it to society to visit some of the great successes of that era.

Aquarius : In the On Position
EL SOUL ingressed Aquarius earlier today, the third of three Saturn-ruled signs of the zodiac: the first being Libra, where Saturn is exalted; second being Capricorn, Saturn's night house; and Aquarius, Saturn's traditional day house, now said to be ruled by Uranus.

Asking About Asteroids
Dear Eric, Please could you tell us all about the asteroids you regularly use in all your charts and why you use them?

Born at the Right Time
IN 1965 IN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT, BIRTH CONTROL WAS ILLEGAL. I don't mean you couldn't buy condoms in 7-Eleven. I mean that a married couple could, in theory, be arrested for using a condom in their own bedroom.

Holistic Astrology: An introduction to Chiron
Just weeks after its discovery by scientists in 1977, a new planet found its way into astrology

Chiron and Worlds beyond Neptune
As of this writing, there are more than 65,000 catalogued orbiting objects our sun besides the 'nine planets'.

Chiron in Aquarius
Dear Readers: The sky is gradually shifting into the sign Aquarius with greater intensity. Today, the planet Venus left Capricorn and joined the Sun and Mercury in Aquarius.

From Then to Here
ONE OF THE COMMONLY PERCEIVED GREAT FAILURES of the 1960s was the sexual revolution.

Harmonic Concordance: A Book About Women
Dear Friend and Client: With Mercury and Mars coming back online after their rather tumultuous, tedious and not-so-funny summer retrogrades, with Mars having blown past our reality and come close enough to get a good look at (it still is, if you can abscond a telescope), and with the Equinox and the Libra new moon in our pockets, the way is now cleared for the Harmonic Concordance.

Overview of the Concordance: with discussion of Chiron
In several recent columns you may have read about the Harmonic Concordance, a total lunar eclipse which happens the night of Nov. 8. To sum up: the eclipse is an exact alignment of the Sun and Moon at the Taurus Full Moon, which is part of a Star of David pattern, a six-pointed aspect technically called a grand sextile.

Sedna, Pholus and Nessus
Dear Eric: Where can I read about Sedna, Pholus and Nessus, and what they signify or portend?

Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs)
Hi Eric, You recently wrote, "The TNOs (objects in and beyond Pluto's orbit) talk..." That's one way to say it, but isn't it a bit confusing to define them as using Pluto's orbit when you are talking about trans-NEPTUNIANS?

Dear Friends, Earthlings and ETs: It's been a busy couple of weeks of space news, and a busy couple of days for some astronauts orbiting the planet.


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