by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, November 30, 2012

Orcus on Station

 A simulation of Orcus' orbit as example of Plutino-class objects, all of which orbit in a 2:3 (2-to-3) resonance with planet Neptune

We don’t talk much about Orcus. Then again, there isn’t much written about Orcus the (Roman) god, and having only been discovered in 2004, the celestial object hasn’t been around long enough for astrologers to have built up their huzzahs and grudges about it.

(Yes, astrologers do such things. Some love Saturn, some loathe Saturn. Some are all juicy and into Pluto, some would just rather avoid the whole Plutonic subject.)

What we do know about Orcus is that it’s a Plutino, which means its orbit is controlled by Neptune – as is that of Pluto. (Hence the astronomical category name, yes.) Both Pluto and Orcus have orbits which are hugely off the plane of the ecliptic, too…the ‘ecliptic’ being the path of Earth around our local star – the Sun.
Most planets orbit the Sun more or less in the same plane as Earth does. But not Pluto. And not Orcus.

  It's a little hard to see in this orbital diagram, but the 'level' orbital ring of Neptune is being used here to show pretty much what the plane of the ecliptic is. As you can see, Orcus' orbit tilts in one direction (low on the left and high on the right) while Pluto's is just the opposite - hence the concept that Orcus is an 'anti-Pluto' Plutino.
(diagram generated by and courtesy of JPL's Small Body Database)
So we know that Orcus, like Pluto, carries with it some of the mystery and ‘now-you-think-it, now-you-don’t’ quality so typical of Neptune. Wherever we see Neptune’s influence, there’s always an emotional quotient. And that’s sensible to think should be true, as Neptune is the ‘outcome’ ruler of Pisces, a sign which is all about all those feelings we long to feel (which sounds oxymoronic, if you think about it)…and which at the same time has us scared to death of the power of our feelings.

All Pisces lessons ‘enter’ on a Jupiter note (since Jupiter is Pisces’ first ruler). This makes the emotional experiences…or avoidances…so common to all things Pisces and the associated 12th house a test of how well we know our emotional self (Jupiter equaling knowledge)…and what we are willing to learn about ourselves and life through emotional experience, particularly really tough, trying or even frightening emotional experiences.

We all know how this works with Pluto: Pluto is all about that which draws us, magnetizes us…Pluto is the lure in allure, the obsessing in obsessions.

But in anything Plutonic, we don’t know the truth of the thing. We’re swayed by our emotions. Our emotions gain control…which is why Pluto (and Scorpio, the sign Pluto is co-ruler of) is all about wanting control. We think we want control of ‘it’…but the truth is, we want control of ourselves. If we think ‘it’ is the issue, that’s only because we don’t have control of ourselves and we want to not run ourselves off some cliff.

Orcus will have some of that ‘emotionally reflexive’ quality too, simply because like Pluto, Orcus is a Plutino.

Another interesting Orcus factoid: it’s orbit is sufficiently offset to that of Pluto that some astronomers refer to Orcus as the ‘anti-Pluto.’

Pluto as photographed by NASA in June of 2010

Which is also very interesting – and apt – on the astrological level. Why? Because what we do know about the Roman god Orcus is that Orcus is a god of the dead. To be more precise about it, Orcus meets the soul as it passes over from life into death, and the idea was that Orcus would walk with you to where you were going to be ‘judged,’ apparently discussing all the pluses and minuses of your life with you along the way.

But let’s remember…nothing Orcus would discuss with you can now be changed – this being what makes the astronomical ‘anti-Pluto’ comment so interesting. Pluto as an astrological symbol really is about all we still have a chance to do. We may not like it, but we still have options and choices with regard to whatever that Pluto subject actually is.

Where Orcus comes into play, all is now done. So Pluto is any possible (which granted, comes with emotional risks) where Orcus is about the consequences we have to deal with, replete with feelings of nostalgia, regret or remorse.

Orcus is going retrograde at 9:30 p.m. on December 3rd (UT/+0 time) at 5 Virgo. Right away this tells us the subject matter concerns what we have done or how well we have taken care of ourselves (or loved ones) or how responsible we have been.

In going retrograde at 5 Virgo, Orcus is conjunct Royal Star Regulus at 0 Virgo, Agamemnon at 6 Virgo and fixed star Thuban along with Dionysus at 7 Virgo. The combination of Dionysus and Thuban definitely adds a note about ‘sacred obligations’ and things which perhaps have been ‘celebrated’ but come to naught. Or maybe they’re not worth the (Virgo) effort we’ve put into them, or defending them?

Regulus’ presence in this “equation” (if you will) speaks of success which only comes when we resist retribution or vengeance. But with Regulus combined with Orcus…is there some consequence for not having exacted revenge? In other words, is success now happening where we have resisted going after that pound of flesh but with that comes some overarching sense of regret?

What makes this all even trickier is the opposition to this Orcus station by Chiron, the image of those vulnerabilities in life we are really, really good at seeing in others but not so good at dealing with in our own lives.

It’s not a recipe for a whoopie-doodle moment, no. At some level, we’re facing the (Orcus) consequences of our (Chiron) vulnerabilities and what they can (Chiron/Orcus) do to us - or others.

 We don't have any photographs of Orcus as yet, but one of NASA's artists
has given this rendering of what Orcus just may look like
(image credit: NASA, May 2007)

But this can be educational. While Orcus is about ‘deeds done and choices made’ which cannot be changed, because this is our life we’re talking about, we can learn better going forward.

And maybe that’s the point. Whatever difficulties, whatever ‘endings’ we face now, maybe they have come into our lives at this time so we can learn from them and not do ‘that’ thing again in the future.

As always, we give a station like this one a two-day prior-and-after “station window.” So we can expect these Orcus ‘station effects’ to begin on December 1st and run through December 5th. The ones which happen before Orcus actually goes retrograde involve ideas which have yet to play out. Or maybe – in this case, being that it’s Orcus – where we’re going to get another chance. Or run into this same sort of dynamic again rather soon.

During the time that Orcus is retrograde, we can expect to be a little more…choosy, maybe? Or perhaps circumspect about what we do or don’t do? Following the idea that people born with Mercury in retrograde tend to feel transiting periods of Mercury retrograde less than those who have Mercury direct in their birth charts, maybe those born with Orcus in retrograde won’t feel this shift as much as those born with Orcus direct. (And if you’re going to go check this by looking up your natal Orcus somewhere online, you may want to know its astronomical number…it’s 90482.)

Orcus will be in retrograde until May 17, 2013 – at which time it will go direct at 3 Virgo. That it only moves two degrees during the whole of this time suggests that everyone with planets, axis points or nodes at very early degrees…(that’s me holding up my hand)…is in for a series of months during which lessons learned probably bear thinking about, particularly where choices have been made based on ‘getting back at’ others.

Whether we have exacted vengeance or where we’ve chosen to walk away and not do anything worse than yowl in pain (if that’s applicable)…all that is worth thinking through.

One last thought here: this would be a natural time to hear of consequences being suffered by someone else – particularly someone who ‘violated’ the ‘effort, standards, morality’ concepts which are so very Virgoan. While the burned hand teaches best, many of us learn deep-down lessons in our own lives by seeing what can happen to others.

Which is good…at least I’m guessing its good, though I wish nobody ill. It probably shouldn’t surprise me what people are capable of, but it still does.

May you and yours be well, and may all your Orcus consequences be inconsequential - except (of course!) where you can learn, benefit and thus do better as a human being!

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