By Ivo Dominguez, Jr.
I have a new book out called Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans, and in the last few days I have received many questions and comments at workshops and in emails on the discovery of a new planet in our solar system. Some have asked about the meaning of the new planet. Others have implied or directly stated that every new astronomical discovery overturns Astrology’s claim to wisdom. Here is an answer to these and many other similar questions. Astrology is a sacred science and there is no quick answer to the meaning of another Planet in its canon. Please note that I am capitalizing Planet to distinguish it from its usage as planet in Astronomy. This is not the first time that Astrology has added a new Planet or Asteroid into its system. The process of this addition is slow and messy, much as it is in any science sacred or mundane.
Once we actually know that there truly is a new Planet, so far it is just a mathematical conjecture, then the work can begin. When we know its current position, and the speed and shape of its orbit, Astrologers will begin to add the new Planet into the charts of people whose life histories are well known. By looking at many charts and at crucial periods in their lives we may begin to see clues as to the meaning of the new Planet. Astrologers who are of a more mystical bent may meditate, ask the spirits, commune with their Higher Self, etc. to gain some insight. This insight will then be tested and challenged by a very large community of practitioners. Some Astrologers will try to deduce the qualities by looking at its location in the various theoretical schemes of Astrology. In some regards this is like adding a new element to the periodic table, and some educated guesses can be made.
Here’s two examples of extrapolating upon what is known. We know that the new Planet’s orbit is very far from the Sun and takes somewhere between 10,000 – 20,000 years to complete one cycle. The established pattern in Astrology is that the closer to the Sun and the faster the orbit, the more the Planet is associated with individuals, inherent qualities, and quickly changing events. The farther out and the slower the orbit, the more that it relates to ever-expanding settings such as families, societies, cultures, and so on. Of course large patterns like societies and cultures affect individuals’ lives, but as external events that are internalized. So the new Planet is a probably a marker for very large and very slow cycles. When the new Planet is officially observed, not just calculated, many Astrologer’s will run a chart for that moment of discovery for clues about the qualities of the new Planet. Another chart will be created when it is officially named as well. My pick for a name is Xibalba.
When will we know what this new Planet means and how and where it fits into Astrology? This could take a few decades or even a century or so to achieve general agreement in the field of Astrology. There will be a plethora of papers, talks given at national and international conferences, numerous debates, predictions will be made and tested as we know more. Finally, we’ll reach a tipping point when more and more Astrologers use the new Planet in the charts they construct and there will be enough data and real life experience to add it to the accepted lore.
For Astrologers, new discoveries in Astronomy are welcome opportunities to expand a system of sacred science that has been evolving and changing for thousands of years.
Ivo Domínguez, Jr. has been active in the Wiccan and the pagan community since 1978 and has been teaching since 1982. He was a founding member, and past High Priest, of Keepers of the Holly Chalice, the first coven of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel a Wiccan Tradition. Ivo is also one of the organizers for the New Alexandrian Library. You can find him at http://www.ivodominguezjr.com.