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Planetary Energies
An Analysis of the Capture chart

Finding Eris

Asteroid 2003 UB313 (initially called Xena) was renamed Eris on September 6th 2006 with the name being made official on September 13th 2006. The reasoning behind the name involved the dissension that its discovery caused in the world of astronomy due to its diameter of 2,400 km +/- 100 km being slightly larger than Pluto (2,300 km), which then resulted in Pluto being removed from the planet category and placed with Eris into a new category of dwarf-planets.


Eris is the most distant object so far seen in orbit around the sun (although this claim has recently been challenged) and has an elliptical orbit of 560 years. It is currently in its slow phase, a long way from the Sun and creeping through the sign of Aries 


In Greek mythology Eris is known as the Goddess of Discord’. The Greek Myth of the Goddess Eris and the ‘golden apple’ involves the egocentric behaviour of the Goddess's mother of Eris - Hera, her stepsister Athena and the infamous Aphrodite when they via for Eris’s ‘golden apple’ which is the reward for being judged the ‘The Fairest One’. Zeus (Hera’s husband) chooses a Trojan mortal named Paris to be the judge. Prior to the judging, all three Goddesses attempt to bribe Paris. Aphrodite successfully offers Paris the love of the world’s most beautiful woman – ‘Helen of Troy'. During the ensuing 10 years of the Trojan War in which Helen's husband King Menelaus fights to reclaim her, Eris’s brother Ares/Mars sides with Aphrodite/Venus while Athena fights for the return of Helen to her home and husband in Greece.




The name Eris came 20 months after its ‘discovery’ at 11:20 am on January 5th 2005 (Palomar Observatory, Pasadena, California), although the actual physical ‘capture’ of Eris on photographic plates was made 15 months prior. Due to Eris’s slow motion the computers that were supposed to recognise movement didn’t notice Eris until the data was reanalysed for distant objects in January 2005.

Finding Eris
Eris - with its moon Dyscordia (lawlessness).

The Eris 'capture' chart has Eris conjunct Pallas Athena, the favourite Goddess daughter of Pluto's brother Zeus, who is endowed with the virtues of wisdom, justice, war, and the arts. Eris is a sister of Athena and they both form a favourable trine relationship with transformative Pluto. 


Meanwhile Ares/Mars is in a difficult semisquare with his sister Eris and is conjunct a contrary Uranus (retrograde in Aquarius) at the mid point of Pluto and the North Node (destiny).


The Mars/Uranus conjunction has a difficult square to the female asteroids of Vesta whose quality is spiritual dedication in preserving home and tradition, and Juno (the Roman equivalent of Hera) whose characteristics surround the power of feminine relatedness.


Saturn (son of Uranus) then forms a difficult 'Thor's Hammer' (sesquisquare) with Mars/Uranus and Vesta/Juno; and the Vesta /Juno pair are further stressed by their exact opposition to the Black Moon of hidden desires.


The three Goddesses vying for the 'golden apple' are Athena (Pallas), Hera (Juno), and Aphrodite (Venus) and in the 'capture' chart Venus (Aphrodite) is the best placed being sextile Chiron and Jupiter (Zeus)/Moon and also in a trine angle with Saturn in the sign of Cancer. 




Why Now?

Since WW2 there has been an increase in the migration of youth from country towns to cities as a result of industrialized agricultural processes. Cities do not provide the same community fabric as country towns did with their Saturday gatherings surrounding sport, their communal Saturday night dances and the bygone traditions of Sunday church and after mass gatherings.


In the last Twenty years technology has filled the void of physical outlets and since the discovery of Eris social media has reached a golden age with the most notable inovation being FaceBook. It may not have seemed important in the beginning but Facebook now has more than a billion active users.


Facebook was launched on February 4th 2005 but had a predecessor in Facemash which Zuckerberg created on October 28th 2003 - eight days after Eris was captured on photographic plates. Coincidently the workings of Facemash seem to parallel the Eris fable: "…used photos compiled from the online face books of nine houses (at Harvard University), placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the 'hotter person'. 



The social networking effect of Facebook is to develop people’s understanding of relatedness much in the same way that Eris works in natal charts. Individuals strive to present their best via their postings and this process then leaves them open to critical comment from their peers.


YouTube was also created in February 2005.




Why Now?
Current Affect

Planetary Energies

Mars represents the primary male energy which is balanced by the feminine yin energy of Venus. Howard Sasportas in his book ‘The Twelve Houses’, comments on the nature of Venus:


“Venus may show the area of life in which we feel rivalry or envy towards those who might be better endowed than ourselves. It is also where we use seduction, sweet deceit and other such wiles to secure our aims…Aphrodite (Venus), the Goddess of love and beauty, sometimes makes a mess of people’s lives...At times, in the house of Venus, a certain degree of pain, strife or suffering is needed to bring us into better harmony or balance if we have swung too far in any one direction.”


Pluto is thought to be the higher octave of Mars, he is monogamous and seeks to understand the nature of his desires and the mechanisms by which they lead to a devoted love for his wife Persephone. Eris has an orbit outside Pluto so perhaps Eris is Pluto's partner in that she has an understanding of the perfect love that captures Pluto. In this way Eris may be regarded as the higher octave of Venus and the ruler of Libra - which leaves Venus ruling the more earthy sign of Taurus.


The feeling of the 'capture' chart is discord created by energetic male and female yearnings and impropriety's versus the proper processes of relationship. The fact that the Sun and Mercury of the 'capture' chart are together in Libra and trine Mars/Uranus, while Venus trines Saturn and Eris/Athena trines Pluto, would indicate that ultimately Eris is a positive force, albeit a complex one.






Current Affect

The current economic crisis has grown out of the western world’s obsession with material wealth, but this is not directly our fault so much as it is a propaganda campaign sold by the media to brainwash us into believing that happiness lies in material acquisitions that then reflect our worth within society.


Venus rules values through the 2nd house of Taurus and what we have come to value more than anything is economic growth and the material wealth it provides. The growth of Facebook has shown that there is a demand for connectivity but nobody - except a Government at election time - is selling community fabric. Hopefully Eris’s activation of Libra will correct this imbalance before it leaves the sign of Aries in 2047 - and perhaps the critical point for change is when Pluto pulls up square to Eris in 2020.





    Eris Traits: socially disturbing, idealistic, discordant, transformative. 
A chart for the original 'capture' of Eris on October 21st, 2003 is shown below (time unknown):
(First written Dec 2010 - revamped 3-5th Dec 2015) 

An Analysis of the 'Capture' Chart

ERIS - Discord and Resolution
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