by Boots Hart, CAP

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Eris Retrograde

An artist's rendition of Eris and its moon with the sun far, far away in the distance
(image credit: A Schaller, STSci, April 2006)

Sometimes discord is something which goes wrong. Sometimes discord is an interruption which gets us to think things through. Or to see things as part of a bigger picture and because of that, to make a more powerful choice.

Eris is a dwarf planet. That puts it on par with Pluto – another dwarf planet and an astrological symbol which is thought of as the energy of transformations which come upon us, which change lives, which in being harnessed can change or destroy our world.

Both Eris and Pluto orbit out beyond Neptune. And as such, they both represent energies we can’t quite predict, which are definitely ‘bigger than we are.’ That said, Pluto differs markedly from Eris in two vital ways. The first is the difference between Pluto being an object ‘controlled’ by the spellbinding (and evidently planetoid binding) energy of Neptune where Eris goes its own way.

The other is in size. Eris is roughly three times the size of Pluto…which says a lot for that Neptunian juju which gets Pluto all that hot human PR.

But Eris Effects are nothing to fool with. We of the astrological ilk are nowhere as near familiar with Eris (which was only discovered in 2003) as we are with Pluto, but for those of us who are avid (or habitual) chart watchers, wherever we see Eris natally…or by transit…those points represent areas or dynamics which we either use purposefully for positive benefit, or which tend to rattle our chains or otherwise bite us in the metaphorical nether parts.

So the name Eris – which in Greek mythic reality would be Eris Discordia is really about the discord which comes upon us, or our willingness or efforts or determination to go out there and shake things up. And it would seem that when our efforts are altruistic (as opposed to purely selfish) Eris seems to enhance not just the effort, but our lives as a whole.

I’ve written long-form about Eris, and here’s the link to to that page…

I’ve also written some about the pattern of Eris’ movements. In short and glib terms we can sum it all up by saying that Eris’ zodiacal progress is pretty much ‘slow and unsteady.’

Yes, that’s a joke. Eris moves slowly and it’s our lives – when Eris is affecting us in some focused way – which seem unsteady. Or maybe destabilized is a better word. But then, sometimes life has to destabilize the norm in order to get us into gear. My best astrological guess is that Eris energetics are part of that metaphysical machinery.

For now what we want to know is what degree is Eris going retrograde at, and what is it affecting?

Considering our these past few days with Mars entering Cancer, the deepening of the major water trine and Uranus going retrograde, Eris going retrograde represents a fairly serious challenge, one which comes from beyond our personal norm. The issues being presented are very real, and considering what with Uranus turning to retrograde on July 17th, for some it will be difficult to separate Uranus effects from those of Eris.

Uranus…change, breakthroughs, sudden shifts of circumstance, shocks, flights, insights, eruptions, explosions, discoveries…against Eris, the unsettling of the norm, the disrupting of our status quo, those forces which cause us to consider something totally unexpected not when we want to, but right now.

These two concepts sound rather like different levels of the same thing. And if we believe that unbeknownst to us, the universe is unfolding as it should, this m̩lange, this fusion, this confluence of effects Рwhich is occurring during a highly emotional grand-trine-in-water period Рhas its purpose.

Obviously those whose charts answer to both 12 Aries (Uranus’ station degree) and 22 Aries (Eris’ station point) are going to feel the greatest shifts as we go into and emerge from the period defined by Uranus’ station on July 17 and Eris’ station on the 19th. For those whose charts are only aspected directly by one or the other, the energies of the object which aspects your chart will feel more ‘directed’ at you (or personal) while the symbolism of the other will be felt or recognized in the world around you.

With that said, Eris and Uranus are both going retrograde in Aries, the sign of consciousness, conscious awareness, physical existence, physicality, personal assertion and assertiveness… the whole panoply of variations on “I Am,” however you conjugate it.

But there are differences. Uranus (as we talked about in the last post) is going retrograde at 12 Aries. And 12 Aries is by definition emotional degree, which is to say where Uranian energies (the discovery, the interruption, the startling fact) is being manifested emotionally. That suggests anything from excitement to terror, from awe to fervency. Being that Uranus is the secondary of societal/’mass concept’ Aquarius, with Eris serving in a sense to ‘set off’ Uranian energetics it wouldn’t be unlikely to have people step outside of or depart from their societal roles…or societies rules during this time.   

As it goes retrograde on July 19th at 11:08 a.m. the shift of relative motion (perceived or otherwise) between Eris and Earth will no doubt manifest in many ways typified by 22 Aries, a degree which involves luck which can either be very rewarding or  undercut by frittering away time or opportunities through fudging, vacillation, indecision or that sort of simple confusion which invites us to ‘forget it’ and hope that things will sort themselves out.

It sounds like fertile Eris ground.

Being in that Eris is going retrograde in a third decanate degree (between 20 and 29 of some sign), it may do us well to think of this as a time when what we do to change, improve or benefit the ‘greater situation’ or status quo and thus utilize these energies for betterment (rather than sitting around waiting for them to thwack us in the face) may well be the most positive way to go.

But no, not necessarily all that popular. The mere idea that so much disrupting Uranus/Eris energy is being brought to bear on and in our world and our lives during an ongoing emotional period delineated by major planets Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune all in grand trine formation will without question have many people’s mindsets set to ‘stubborn’ simply because they aren’t prepared to experience something different.

Or what it feels like to have to cope with change.

Or what it feels like to go through changing.

Or what it feels like to simply have control wrested from their hands by forces – or even plain good sense – which apparently is beyond their control. 

By definition, Eris station/retrograde moments wouldn’t be thought of as effortless. The Eris energy is now turning inward and for the next few months will ‘reside’ inside, promoting and provoking any and all processes which get us to see life from a different point of view.

And that…or the process of getting there…may not be all that pretty.

After all, thinking back to the Eris myth, Paris (You remember him…the guy who started the whole Trojan War by stealing Helen from her duly wedded husband?)…Paris is given an ‘apple of Discord’ by Eris and asked to give it to the goddess of his choice: Venus (appeal), Hera (protective nurturance) or Athena (wisdom). And much like humans have done throughout the ages, Paris chose Venus…which leads to trouble for Paris, Troy, Helen, and a lot of other folks, with the implication being that to choose beauty – the ‘pretty thing’ – to favor that over other (Hera or Athena) qualities not only isn’t such a great idea, it actually opens the way for Discordia (Eris).

There’s another thing to consider here as well – that being how Eris is going retrograde (in the company of Pelion and trine Venus-in-Leo) just as Jupiter enters the orb to oppose Pluto.

This opposition doesn’t become exact until August 8th. So we evidently have a while to wrestle with the difference between our wants and desires (Pluto), that which will build a better future (Jupiter in Cancer), our willingness or ability to change things as they currently are structured (Pluto in Capricorn) and our ability to keep everything in perspective (Jupiter)…especially emotional (Cancerian) perspective.

Moreover, when Jupiter does reach the moment of exactitude with regards to its opposition to Pluto, Jupiter will be conjunct Alhena - the fixed star which speaks of Purpose – and (surprise!) Pallas.

Those who recognize Pallas as the first name of Athena will probably be going ‘ohhhhhh….’ about now. (Or maybe that was just me.) In any case, it would be reasonable to suspect that the Uranian cracks and Eris upheavals we get into now will lead to a gaining of dispassionate (Pallas Athena) sorts of lessons.

Call it wisdom, call it perspective – to have Athena (Pallas) brought into this Jupiter-Pluto face off with our Self, our life or maybe our concept of how life really works says there are lessons to be learned over the next few weeks.

And how those who learn them will become more wise. Whether this is our moment to swallow our nerves (our ‘emotional discord’) in the process of be or becoming the person we can be, in coming to the recognition of our Purpose and that said Purpose may not be ‘shaped’ the way we thought it was…that may not be easy. Or convenient.

A Hubble Telescope's view of Jupiter
(photo credit: NASA, ESA H. Hammel/Boulder Colorado's Space Science
Institute, Jupiter Comet Impact Team, July 2009)

But it is what it is. And whether we greet that fact with sulky dismay or with an eye to this being an opportunity – that’s up to us.

In going retrograde on July 19th, Eris ‘official’ station window opens on the 17th (Uranus’ station date) and ends on July 21st – a day after Mercury goes direct in Cancer (more Cancer energy, anyone?) and a day before the Sun enters Leo, Venus moves into Virgo and the occurrence of a Full Moon in Aquarius.

The fact that the Sun and Venus will both be moving through ‘critical’ degrees of respective signs just before the Full Moon suggests that a lot of us are going to be pressing and pushing to get something done. Things are becoming ‘cumulative’ in our world or in our psyches. There will undoubtedly be those who don’t handle the intensity of these feelings all that well, and ‘feelings’ or emotionality would seem to be a vital part of this discussion as any time we see a planet pass through 29 degrees of any sign we see it ‘setting off’ the energies of any other object or astrological symbol in that sign – which in this case would be Mercury, Pallas Jupiter, Mars and Black Moon Lilith (which adds a bit of ‘counter-cultural’ or ‘against the grain of tradition’ to this mix).

This last day of Eris’ ‘official’ station window will also see Mars entering the orb of opposition to Pluto. Considering that the theory on stations tells us that events which happen in the wake of the actual moment of stationing have something to do with the playing out of ‘things already done’ (or committed to, etc.) this well may be a moment when those who have been working or struggling to break through some set of restrictions or to get something ‘going’ will find ways to overcome inertia.

For those who have been ‘hiding’ from change however, this period may be particularly chaotic – particularly emotionally, however your emotionality is triggered.

Eris Discordant is not our solar system’s most genteel symbol. But Eris does serve to get us thinking in ways we hadn’t considered before. Whether that’s recognizing that you can make a difference…or that you aren’t bound by some arcane rule or tradition…or that you need to be more realistic about something or someone or life itself…that’s about you. That’s about your chart.

The Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302) is really beautiful, but considering temperatures at its heart are
somewhere in the area of 250,000 C, it would seem to fall in the realm of 'look, but don't touch'!
(photo credit: Hubble Space Telescope, NASA, JPL)

As tough and trying and for many tumultuous as this month has been, it has purpose. Sometimes life tells us that it’s time to stop being caterpillars and time to transform ourselves into butterflies. Only by doing that can we not just fulfill the beauty of our potential, but do that which is necessary to leave something of ourselves…be that in our work, in how we effect others or maybe through having a family…for generations and eons to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment