Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain, Chicago.
Why Sweat the Small Stuff?
By Philip Sedgwick

BEING AN astrologer in the late '70's was a wonderful ride. Not only was it the time of starting many conversations with, "So, what sign are you?" it was the time of the first unusual discovery since that of Pluto some forty-seven years before. The 1977 discovery of Chiron excited astronomers and astrologers alike. Astronomers found a new 'maverick' body that fell outside the defined parameters of planets and asteroids.

Among astrologers, rabid conjecture immediately surged around the new body seeking to define its rulership before we even understood what the object was. Obviously, Chiron was an oddity, perhaps a bridge between the classical solar system and the 'modern' discoveries - thus the astronomical picking of a centaurŠ½s name. It wasn't a planet; it wasn't an asteroid - it was a unique half breed unto itself and suited to half human-half horse identification - for a while that was.

Soon Chiron ruled every sign in the zodiac and more acceptance of the object than dismissal fertilized the minds of astrologers to think outside previously determined celestial rules for the first time in nearly five decades. Chiron became the flagship of what we now know to be a fleet of more than forty centaurs.

The more esoteric of astrologers noting the energetic shift required to apply the essence of the established planets to presumed higher frequencies of the new gaseous giants, Uranus and Neptune and the bone-chilling frozen gas and dust of Pluto, suggested that Chiron offered a stepping stone to a soul in search of evolution. Much like ascending up the ladder of chakras from the denser, lower body to sublime, etheric upper chakras, Chiron served as a shifting point for attention, a clutch for consciousness and a step up transformer for energy. With the wide acceptance of Chiron, everything remained more or less celestially groovy for another fifteen years for astrologers.

In 1992 two bodies came to light that changed the astronomy of the solar system and should have brought sweeping changes in astrological theory and consciousness as well. Astronomers discovered the second centaur body, Pholus, and a yet unnamed body now bearing the minor planet number 15760, originally designated 1992 QB1. QB1 became the flagship of a sub grouping of what we now realize to be a band of icy, dusty bodies near the orbital realm of Pluto and beyond the Kuiper Belt. Proposed as a reality in the 1940's by astronomers Kenneth Edgeworth and Gerard Kuiper, the concept was widely rejected in the astronomical community as speculative and unfounded. QB1 proved both men right and shifted their controversial views from quackdom to perceptions conjured by maverick thinkers.

Minor planet 15760 moves in a reasonably round orbit, more distant than Pluto. To honor the first non-eccentric body in the deeper reaches of the solar system, astronomers apply the term cubewano (sounds a bit like que-bee-one). Cubewanos tend to linger between 42 and 45 (with a little plus or minus) astronomical units from the Sun and thus, have longer orbital periods that Pluto. Astronomers agreed that such bodies with orbits exceeding Pluto's go beyond the underworld implications carried by Pluto and as such should bear the names of resurrection or creation deities. This very cool naming agenda sets the stage as to the astrological importance of these bodies.

When astrologers spoke of Pluto, especially during the humanistic astrology movement of the 70's, they referred to his transformational attributes, the ability to rise from the pungent scents of the underworld smelling like a rose and emerge a transcendent being. To that, my personal reaction was always, So what? What then? We had a plethora of emerged souls touting their personal evolution but few seemed to do anything innovative, original and helpful. With the implication of that which lies far beyond the need to dip into the dark places to fully comprehend light places, maybe evolution and progress can happen. The Kuiper Belt bodies offer just that hope.

Personally, I am rather flummoxed by the resistance of the astrological community at large to accept Eris into the interpretation family. These are the same folks who demand that size does matter but diminutive Pluto is still a planet. Ah, Eris is larger than Pluto and personally wreaked havoc on the structure of the solar system precisely as she is supposed to do. Really now, if you could literally shake the shit out of your life and reset it harmoniously under the guidance of Eris and have everything feel better, would you? As part of her mythology, she conspired with Jupiter to reverse the order of the planets and stars such that a wrong could be righted. How cool is that?

Let's back up at this point to give our centaurian buddies the look/see and comprehension they deserve. The second centaur appeared in 1992 at the cusp of the Internet's appearance. Centaurs were sensual beasts; they fully felt with all senses and discriminated against no sense. They did however favor smell, which is how they could get tanked on the scent of wine and had such a nose for pheromones. How ironic is it that when social communication skills, interpersonal interaction and the ability to sniff out a person's scent fell by the wayside with wild Internet use and addiction, here comes the clan of sensual beasts to remind humankind to feel everything, no matter what it is? One astrologer told me years ago that she speculated the centaurs had twelve chakras: seven like a human and five more under the underbelly - woo hoo! Imagine how much they must feel!

Let us ponder at this point: If life is not working out satisfactorily and you find yourself in some plutino driven underworld, wouldn't it make sense to become a centaur and sniff things out with acute and accurate perceptions? Why not apply the five generally ignored senses before fretting about failing to possess extrasensory perception? The centaurs render all the sensual clues you might need - as if you need clues to feel what you feel. The scent of choices, good, bad and neutral, become vivid and a clear sense of what status quo must be upset to redirect life according to the contentment compass readily appear.

Go ahead, sweat the small stuff. Guaranteed the first guide to appear will be a centaur sporting flaring nostrils. You got a nose for it?