Friday, August 18, 2006

Exciting Times for Astrologers!

The recent proposal by the International Astronomical Union to increase the number of recognized planets in our solar system is being closely watched by astrologers. If the proposal is approved later this month, the asteroid Ceres will be re-granted planet status, Pluto's 'moon' Charon will be promoted, and an object known as 2003 UB 313 (out past Pluto)will also be named and recognized. Ceres, which was considered a planet for a short time in the 1800's, gets to be a 'dwarf planet', while Pluto and its little friends will be 'plutons' (IAU translation: they're dinky, and their orbits are wobbly, but Disney will sue us if we demote Mickey's dog).

The proposed planetary lineup: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto + Charon (a 'double planet'), and 2003 UB313, currently nicknamed 'Xena' for the television character (I shit you not).

The addition of these new planets will open up the astrology market as never before. Once meanings have been assigned to Charon and Xena (Ceres has already been defined by the goddess movement), every chart caster will need to buy an updated ephemeris. Astrologers will urge their clients to get a new, 'complete' natal chart, and, of course, updated editions of the basic books will be compiled and sold.

The IAU has indicated that even more planets could be promoted in future years. Let's hope not, since you know astrologers are now thinking: "Aha! 12 planets, 12 signs!" and arguing about which sign gets Ceres and which sign gets Xena.

Astrodienst has set up pages with the FAQs and the IAU press release, and visitors can access an ephemeris for 2003 UB 313 from the main page. Since it takes forever to load (it's very popular right now), let me save you some time: Xena moved into Aries in 1926, and it's still there. Since Aries is the Warrior, 'Xena' seems to be a somewhat appropriate name, but it will eventually leave the sign. Might I suggest 'Yuggoth' as a possible alternative?

Sarah G