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PLUTO TO IAU: BRING IT
How Will the Pluto's 'Demotion' Affect Astrology and Astrologers?
24 August 2006 Earth
The chances were looking good that the International Astronomical Union would ADD a few planets to our solar system: Ceres, Charon, Xena, maybe Sedna. Whatever.
Popular Pluto would be grandfathered in to the grateful smiles of old duffers brandishing telescopes and the clapping hands of science-loving schoolchildren.
But the IAU's short-sighted decision to demote Pluto to the status of 'dwarf' lacks lyricism, imagination, and heart. Let's not even try for emotional intelligence and marketing savvy. Killing Pluto will not endear scientists to the public. Scientists should know better. They suffer from an unfortunate P.R. problem as it is. When science projects go begging for lack of funding and public support, the advancement of civilisation itself suffers. It would have cost scientists nothing and benefited them greatly to be generous regarding Pluto, which only 76 years ago was awarded planetary status.
Astrologers were hit hard this morning by this nasty and narrow-minded news. We understand the problems: the solar system is growing. As the Hubble telescope daily discovers ever more celestial objects, scientists are scrambling to bring order into our rapidly crowding neighbourhood. We need order. Categories. Classifications. Labels.
And labels is what they are, and all they are: The IAU's well-intentioned attempt to fix an ever-expanding file cabinet. The boffins with measuring tapes in Prague have voted not unanimously, either — to say what constitutes a planet. Whether a celestial apparition is called a planet, a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO), a 'pluton', asteroid, comet or 'dwarf' isn't going to matter much in the field of astrological research, which is based on thousands of years of collected recorded data and observable phenomena.
There's a parallel here: in November 1977, Charles Kowal discovered Chiron orbiting between Saturn and Uranus. Was it a planet? An asteroid? Who could tell? Astronomers had never defined what a planet was. It was a game of wait and see.
Immediately, astrologers all over the world leapt into action at lightening speed and studied Chiron as no planet had ever been studied before. Astrologers Al H. Morrison and Zane Stein spearheaded a worldwide research project, distributing thousands of forms and surveys to people. Participants were asked to mark each time Chiron made exact contact with planets and angles in their own birth horoscopes and in the charts of their clients, friends and families. The results poured in; they were fascinating and elegant. For example, the horoscope of Louise Brown, the world's first test tube baby, was found to have Chiron rising (the point representing one's physical body) in her birth chart. The horoscope of the first woman in space, Dr. Sally K. Ride, had Chiron in the Tenth house (the career angle). Worldwide cooperation meant astrologers soon had a working model of what Chiron meant in charts in months — not years. Chiron was found to be associated with, among other phenomena, ground-breaking events.
Compare this with Pluto's discovery in 1930. In 1975 I asked the respected English astrologer Ronald Davison what he thought of Pluto. "Oh, I think it's too soon to know. really, what Pluto means in charts,' said he. This was 45 years after its discovery!
Fast-forward to 1990, when the announcement came: Chiron wasn't a planet or even an asteroid, after all. Not a bit. It turned out to be a comet, what astronomers call a 'dirty snowball'.
Ouch! By then we'd discovered zillions of properties for Chiron, from extreme medical talent to cloning to gene stocks to franchising and the timing of pregnancies. Would we have done all this back-breaking work if we'd only been researching a dirty snowball? Not a chance!
What astrologers learned in 1990 was, don't be prejudiced by a celestial object's category. And astrology needed shaking up. Our minds had to open. Although some astrologers retreated into myths, what the field needed to do was some good, crisp scientific-method style cerebrating. The Chiron project opened up our thinking. Since then, a few —too few, really —astrologers have been looking at the new planets, including some outside our nabe, the exoplanets.
So when the latest committee of well-intentioned earthlings come to strip Pluto of its epaulets, it probably won't make no never mind to Pluto. It's the data that matter. We will continue to record the evidence of the extreme and extraordinary 'effects' of Pluto's movement through our horoscopes.
Pluto's still the most powerful and devastating planet astrology has ever known. If Pluto's passing through the right spot in your horoscope it can make you powerful, rich or famous overnight. It can even save your life. Put Pluto in the wrong spot in your horoscope and your plane could go down, your job might sail out the window, or you could visit the 'assassination point' in your horoscope (JFK's was in Dallas) and be on time for your appointment in Samarra.
Call a Tyrannosaurus Rex a dwarf, or "Tiny' or 'Wimpy'... but it still gonna eat you!
P.S.: Pluto is the planetary ruler of Scorpio. Scorpios and Scorpio Risings need not worry. Pluto is still your patron pluton. Worry about the poor IAU members. Foolish mortals.
Comments on Pluto? Click
Soulmates, outcasts, troublemakers: Pluto
From John Davis:
From Liz Hazel:
Pluto was, and remains, a tiny colossus. Now he's squatting on the Galactic Center and will be squared by the solar eclipse on Sept 22. He's getting a make-over along with the solar system. The composition of the solar system, and the galaxy, is erupting into the collective consciousness. This newly-reclassified "dwarf" wields a whole lotta power! A rose by any other name.....
For a brilliant take on this whole kerfluffle, from the New York Times click here
Meet Zane Stein, pioneer of the new planets click here
Our charming and erudite Etonian, Robert Currey, gives Pluto his propers click here
Washington Post reports "Pluto Loses Designation, Sues IAU" click here
Let's hear it for SEDNA, aka 2003 VB12, the 'tenth planet' and all its new friends.
sign is Sedna in?
Where is Sedna now? 18 degrees of Taurus.
2003 VB12 's official discovery date is 14 November 2003 at Palomar, California, natch. SEDNA was almost exactly at 18 degrees of Taurus. This frosty, faraway freelancer is still hanging around the 17th and 18th degrees of Taurus...and will do for quite some time...she's a slow poke.
How did we find what zodiac sign SEDNA was in, so fast? The same way we've always leapt to calculate the zodiac positions of the exoplanets.
It's cool! It's quick! It's easy! Here's how you do it:
Find the astronomical name of your new planet, KBO, exoplanet, black hole, etc. (Example: 2003 VB12).
Jump onto the search engine Google. Type your new planet's name in and also add: RA . (This stands for Right Ascension, which is one of 'the measuring tapes' or belts astronomers use to locate anything anywhere in space. Astrologers use a different measurement called celestial longitude.) So type in: SEDNA RA or, better: 2003 VB12 RA Click!
Google will offer you a tasty selection of websites that list the RA (location, or x-axis) of your new baby planet. Visit a few, until you find your planet's RA and DEC, which is the Declination (the up and down tape measure, or y-axis for you boffins). The DEC comes with a plus or minus sign. Write these two down exactly as you see them listed, with the gaps, the RA and the DEC, + or -. (Example: after poking around, you can find easily that 2003 VB12 has RA 03 h 15 m 10 s (hours, minutes, seconds) and DEC + 05d 38 m 15 s (degrees, minutes, seconds).
Now rush to NED. This is the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database, love.
NED is your robotic friend. Go to INPUT parameters. At SYSTEM, choose EQUATORIAL. Go to the far right on the same line, and click on the rectangular button labeled SET J2000.0 Yes! Click it now! Next, where it says RA or Longitude, fill in the blank. (Example: 03 15 10 ). Do the same with DEC or Latitude. (Example: + 05 38 15 ). Don't forget to put the plus or minus in front of your numbers here. Next, go to OUTPUT Parameters. At SYSTEM, choose ECLIPTIC. Go to the far right on the same line, and click on the rectangular button labeled SET J2000.0 Just do it. Now....just click the button labeled CALCULATE.
AHA! YOUR ANSWER IS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. It's all the way to the left where it says OUTPUT: Ecliptic J2000.0 (Example: It's showing 47.91552829. That's in decimals, not hours, minutes and seconds, so call it 48.) The signs of the zodiac run in a circle, and have 30 degrees each. Aries = 0 degrees, Taurus equals 30 degrees, ergo, 48 degrees is 30 degrees for Taurus plus 18 more, voila! - 18 degrees of Taurus. Geddit? That's why we have robots to do these things for us. So next time you hear of Something New Out There, you can find out where it is, fast. No waiting and wondering. Happy exploring, planetary pioneers. Let us hear from you when you're checking out results! Byeee!
For more commentary
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This article first appeared on the Internet on 22 February 1996 on
Zane Stein's website.
Find him by clicking here
Re: NEW WORLDS
New planets and/or planetlike companions have been discovered orbiting the following stars:51 PEGASI 22 degrees PISCES 50' 55'' Now known to be 24 Pisces 16' 47" (First Discovery) Latitude 25 N 05' 49"
47 URSA MAJORIS 27 degrees LEO 58' 55" Now known to be 29 Leo 04' 32" Latitude 30 N 33' 48"
70 VIRGINIS 13 degrees LIBRA 37' 05" Now known to be 14 Libra 58' 14" Latitude 21 N 14' 34"
Zodiacal Positions: 1 January 2000
Zane Stein obtained positions for the new solar systems from astronomy sources on the Internet. Right Ascension positions are here converted to Celestial Longitude
(zodiac positions) courtesy of Rique Pottenger and Maritha Pottenger at Astro Communications Services in San Diego.
Pop these new solar systems into horoscopes as you would any planet. Unlike our near planets, these far-aways will not move from these positions during a human lifespan. You may, however, note transits, progressions, solar arcs directions, tight angles, etc. to these points. Let us hear your observations!
Our solar system is no longer the whole ball o' wax. A "new worlds" order approaches.
Keep staring into space!
Zane Stein and I will be publishing more information of these phenomena shortly.
Debbi Kempton-Smith New York
What the Gang at the Galactic Garage Are Saying...
Ordo Novum Seculorum...Talk about the New World Order! Got us three new solar systems in the shop here in just as many months, Danny boy, see how they glow!
Nuthin' near the like ever happened to Earth folk before, seems we were always
the only solar system around this town--only one we ever needed, if you ask me!--
and suddenly BANG! we got us a THANG hummin' and buzzin' over by the gate there,
and we gotta DEAL with it, like it or not, and from what I been hearin', some of these astrologers don't like it one little bit.
Some good ol' astrology boys been sayin' these new planets and solar systems out there are too far away to do anything much to earth people's horoscopes. But didn't them wild and crazy physics fellers find that the 'weak force' is the glue of the universe, and that the farther away a thing is, the stronger its effect? Ain't Pluto the pit bull of our solar system, meaner than a junkyard dog and father away from our sweet Earth than Hell itself?
I confess, my friends, I hardly know what to think about this new mess astrologers are going to have to handle now and worse to come: other solar systems! New planets! More comets! To think we astrologers used to be so back-woods-bigoted we wouldn't even study comets, until that sneaky maverick, Chiron, showed up in November '77. We didn't know it was a comet back in them days, figured it was a small planet, or somethin', an asteroid way off its path maybe. Zane Stein and Al Morrison launched a worldwide research and info pooling project to find out fast what Chiron might mean in horoscopes and in global events. And study it to death we did, finding it linked with healing, pregnancy, the Human Genome project, you name it, Zane Stein can tell you all about that. By the time in 1990 astronomers found out Chiron was a comet, a mere dirty snowball, astrologers had to confront a collective bias against studying anything outside the established old order.
Now comes Uranus hitting Aquarius (January '96) and Pluto entering Sagittarius (November '95) and astrology is forced to expand, observe, research, rethink, and adjust to this new, unsettling, foreign data.
If horoscopes are 'frozen snapshots' of our solar system at a particular moment, and the art and language of astrology are based on the shape of our solar system, shall future horoscopes include symbols for other, faraway solar systems?
28 August 1996
Will horoscopes of the future go to three dimensions and be read spherically, holographic images, like 3-D chess? Already we note parallels, declinations, parans.
Will horoscopes fifty , a hundred, 300 years from now be Earth centred , Sun centred, Areocentric, centred round something else?
Will we keep the zodiac and our home solar system as our smaller 'picture frame',
enclosed in a larger picture frame? And what should that larger picture frame be?
How much longer will astrology to continue to base itself on the present zodiac, the 'circle of animals' traced by the apparent path of the Sun along the plane of the ecliptic? Even with computers, it will take years to collect observations and to form theoretical and working models of these new phenomena.
Brilliant scientific discoveries are about to rush in on us, forcing us to adapt to and to acknowledge that our solar system is a dear , though suddenly picayune, enclave in a much larger neighbourhood.
An interesting theoretical model may come from examining the Galactic Plane, the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy in which we live. For now, until we have a grasp of where we fit in say, the plane of the Local Group of galaxies, the Milky Way galaxy may give astrologers a larger picture frame with which to work, thus adding a third dimension, the missing z-axis, to the horoscopes of the future. Astrologers will need plenty more room and new grids in which to plop in the huge coming influx of newly discovered distant planets, solar systems and other bodies in our home galaxy.
More solar systems have been discovered recently. Watch this space! Astronomers and astrologers, let us hear from you!
Copyright 1996 Debbi Kempton-Smith Islamorada
(from The Astronomical Companion by Guy Ottewell, used with permission)
For more information about Guy Ottewell publications, contact:
P.O. Box 426
Middleburg, VA 20118-0426
Author e-mail: Guy@universalworkshop.com
EXTRA! EXTRA! MORE NEWS! MORE EXOPLANETS! CLICK HERE NOW
Signs on the Road (Mercury Retro tables, too)
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