Twelfth Planet, Plutinos or
Eclipses Promise or Peril?
The Lunar Mansions of Vedic Astrology
Children of the Gods
Wheels Within Wheels
Horoscopes of Destiny
Zodicac of Dendera
A Star Is Born
Age of Aquarius
Persia's Royal Stars of Ancients
The Lore of a Shaman
Plutinos, or Planet X?
by Julie Gillentine
of a donut-shaped universe intrigues me, Homer."
Stephen Hawking, guest-voicing on the "The Simpsons"
From the relative proximity
of the Moon to the vast distance of the heart of our galaxy Astronomy
is making CNN headline news. Recent reports include: confirmation
of a Black Hole at the center of our own galaxy, discovery of a
large Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO), location of a Jupiter-sized planet
in a binary star system, and sighting of a Near Earth Object (NEO)
at first dubbed Earth's second Moon. Our paradigm of the solar system
and galaxy is being altered. Some of these discoveries may challenge
October 2002 Astronomers announced confirmation of a colossal black
hole at the center of our galaxy based on observations of the star
closest to the heart of the Milky Way. Rainer Schoedel, at the Max
Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany said, "We
can now confidently say that a black hole does indeed exist at the
center of our galaxy."
Closer to home, in a story reminiscent of Star Trek, The Motion
Picture, a surprising object was discovered on September 3, 2002.
Thought at first to be an asteroid, astronomers realized the object
was orbiting Earth, not the Sun. The NEO (Near Earth Object), christened
J002E3, has yet to be clearly identified. Experts at NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) believe it could be the third-stage
booster of the Saturn V rocket which propelled Apollo 12 astronauts
to the Moon in November 1969.
Our Sun is in the minority as a solitary star. The majority of Milky
Way stars have companions. On October 6, 2002 CNN announced discovery
of the first-ever planet in orbit around one star in the binary
star system Gamma Cephei. The implications are that many more planetary
systems may exist within our galaxy than previously believed.
Planet X or the Twelfth
readers will be acquainted with the work of Sumerian scholar Zecharia
Sitchin and his groundbreaking work. Sitchin decoded Sumerian creation
myths and demonstrated that advanced astronomical knowledge was
contained there. Images on cylinder seals depict what seem to be
twelve planets in our solar system. He believes the myth is a form
of cosmogeneis, explaining creation of the asteroid belt (a collision
between the invading "Twelfth Planet" and another planet), and formation
of Earth's moon due to a catastrophic collision caused by the twelfth
planet in ancient times. Called Nibiru this planet supposedly has
a long elliptical orbit of 3,600 years.
At present nine known objects orbit between Jupiter and Neptune,
including Chiron and Pholus. These objects have been designated
as Centaurs. Their orbits are unstable, and these objects are believed
to be refugees from the Kuiper Belt. If Chiron is ever "perturbed"
by the gravity of the larger planets it will become a truly spectacular
comet as it races toward the Sun. It is my belief that such an event
in the distant past may be the source of the information decoded
by Sitchin from Sumerian cylinder seals since the long, elliptical
orbit described is more likely to belong to a long-period comet.
The term "Planet
X" has a different history than Nibiru, Zecharia Sitchin's Twelfth
Planet. Astronomers have searched for planets beyond those already
known since 1841. Pluto itself was an illusive Planet X for a time.
Certain websites have muddied these waters, claiming that an imaginary
Planet X is Nibiru, and casting Sitchin's important work in a bad
light with unsubstantiated apocalyptic predictions of a rogue planet
striking the Earth.
Quaoar, a new world
Shifting back to
the outer reaches of the solar system, in a region beyond the orbit
of Neptune, a new object has recently been identified. Half the
size of Pluto, and one-tenth the diameter of Earth, this new "world,"
has been named Quaoar (kwah-o-wahr), after a native American creator
god. Quaoar orbits the Sun every 288 years in a region of the solar
system called the Kuiper Belt. Quaoar is also not Planet X.
Kuiper Belt and Oort
is the Kuiper Belt (pronounced like viper), named for the astronomer
who predicted its existence. The Kuiper Belt is a disk-shaped ring
which contains short-period comets, asteroids and tens of thousands
of other objects, including Pluto and newly-discovered Quaoar. Some
astronomers have dubbed these objects "Plutinos." Many objects found
in the Kuiper Belt orbit the Sun in a 3:2 ratio to Neptune, including
Pluto; meaning it takes one and one-half times longer to circle
The Oort cloud,
named for astronomer Jan Oort, is an immense, spherical cloud of
rocky and icy debris which surrounds our solar system beyond the
Kuiper Belt. This cloud is leftover material from the formation
of the solar system and is now believed to be the source of long-period
comets. Comets are "dirty snowballs," rocky, icy objects which produce
spectacular tails of dust and gas if they approach the Sun.
From an astrological
perspective, Quaoar, and other objects in the Kuiper Belt, have
the most immediate potential to alter common astrological wisdom.
Even before Quaoar's discovery Pluto's status as a planet was being
called into question because of growing awareness of large objects
within the Kuiper Belt, Pluto's neighborhood. Many astronomers already
believe that Pluto is not actually a planet but just another KBO
(Kuiper Belt Object). So how will astrologers adapt to the changing
image of the smallest planet?
Before Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781, there was a convenient
relationship between the known planets and their relationship with
the twelve Zodiac signs. Astrologers speculated about other planets
which would ultimately fill out rulership of the twelve signs. Planet
Vulcan and the dark Moon Lilith were popular candidates.
Esoterically astrologers didn't
miss a beat and defined the discovery of Uranus as an evolutionary
step in humanity's unfoldment. When Neptune (1846), and Pluto (1930),
in turn were "discovered" astrologers perceived that our collective
consciousness as a human race had evolved to the point where we
could recognize and respond to these higher planetary frequencies
on a conscious level. Symbolically we were ready to move beyond
the limiting rings of Saturn. Astrologers speak of the outer planets
as "higher octaves" of Mercury, Venus and Mars respectively, acting
to raise our thoughts, feelings and actions above the realm of ordinary
The planet Pluto was discovered
in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, who continued the work of Percival Lowell.
Pluto's rocky composition, tiny size and atmosphere contrast dramatically
with the four gas giants at the outer limits of the solar system.
Pluto's orbit is highly elliptical, taking 248 years to cycle around
the Sun. During this time the orbit's eccentricity causes Pluto
to venture inside the orbit of Neptune for a period of twenty years.
Pluto's moon, Charon, is nearly half its size and was named after
the mythical boatman who ferried souls across the river Styx to
Hades. Astronomers believe that the Pluto-Charon system resulted
from a collision with another small planet in the ancient past.
At present this is also the most accepted scenario for the Earth-Moon
system which agrees with Sumerian myth.
The Mouse That
Pluto's origins were considered
a mystery for a long time because of its small size relative to
the other planets. Pluto orbits in the Kuiper Belt among tens of
thousands of smaller objects orbiting beyond Neptune.
Many astronomers now believe
Pluto and Charon are merely the largest KBOs (Kuiper Belt Objects).
Similarly, Triton, Neptune's largest moon, may have been a captured
KBO. Quite a furor erupted in 1992 when a consideration of giving
Pluto a dual status as small planet and KBO was discussed. Some
astronomers believe more than a dozen objects larger than Pluto
exist, and feel it's just a matter of time until a Pluto-sized object
is detected in the Kuiper Belt. For the moment however, Pluto is
a sentimental favorite and keeps its planetary status, albeit the
smallest and coldest in our solar system family.
God of the
Pluto was named for the mythical
god of the dead, Hades in Greek. He was an Olympian who was given
rulership of the Underworld, called the House of Hades. Hades name
meant "the Invisible," and was not spoken aloud for fear of arousing
his anger. Instead he was most commonly called Pluton, "the Rich,"
signifying the wealth of mines cultivated beneath the Earth. He
was often depicted with a horn of plenty.
Since Pluto's discovery astrologers have witnessed the paradox first
hand that Pluto's small size is no indication of its influence.
His astrological significance is viewed as an agent of transformation
through annihilation. He rules the deep and complex sign of Scorpio.
Astrologically and archetypically Hades, the Invisible, and Pluton,
the Rich, fit well with the deep, psychological issues which must
be mined when the influence of Pluto presents itself.
-- Where no one has gone before
I believe we are
at the brink of a shift with implications as profound as Galileo's
gift in showing us that Earth was not the center of the Universe.
These new discoveries have the potential to impact and expand how
astrologers interpret symbolic and archetypal content of the solar
system. Like the discoveries of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto heralded
new awareness, technology and transformation, so too will further
discoveries take us to the next level in our unfolding pattern
As new objects are discovered
within the Kuiper Belt it is possible that we will experience an
entirely different psychological mechanism. If Pluto is seen in
a new light his symbolic significance may expand rather than diminish.
Perhaps Pluto engages the collective energy of this second "hammered
bracelet," like focusing sunlight through a magnifying glass, in
an energetic manner we don't yet understand. Pluto's physical presence
may come to be be seen as a gatekeeper, guarding access to the vast
region of the outer solar system?
The Kuiper Belt itself may archetypically prove to be like the River
Styx, and crossing the outer reaches of the solar system will lead
us to the dark and icy realm of the Oort cloud, an underworld containing
potential riches to be mined. What will it then mean if a comet
is released from this region, flaring brilliantly in the sky? As
we pass the outer limits of the solar system we begin to engage
the galaxy itself; the largest unit most of us can conceive. Potential
new interpretations can represent a evolution in our conscious,
defining an expanded way of understanding and delving into the deeper
levels of our consciousness.