Eris is a planetoid first sighted in 2003, which was confirmed in 2005. The first name proposed was that of Xena, Warrior Princess, the TV character portrayed by Lucy Lawless. This was thought to be silly, so a minor Greek character was pulled from a hat and the celestial body previously known as UB313 became Eris. There is some vague rationalization for this sort of haphazard process, which is similar to how Uranus, Neptune and Pluto came to be named. Eris has a moon, which was given the name of Dysnomia. But everyone still thinks of Eris as Xenia, Warrior Princess!! (If you never saw the show, well . . .)
Eris has an orbit of 557 years (Pluto's orbit is 248 years). Eris's orbit is highly eccentric. At its perihelion, it is well inside the orbit of Pluto. At aphelion it is roughly two and a half times further out - 38 AU to 98 AU. And its inclination, 44 degrees, is far above the ecliptic. I am advancing my own theory of astrology which makes the ecliptic a highly important area of the sky. Planets and stars in the ecliptic (23-ish degrees above/below the celestial equator) make more of an impact on the Earth than bodies outside this zone. It is therefore of interest to know Eris's declination. Regrettably, while Eris's longitude (sign and degree of the zodiac, 1700-2050) are given, its declination is not.
What we know of Eris is still provisional. So I will let the book speak for itself. From page 6:
It was when Eris was in a cooperative aspect (sextile or trine) that Eris exhibited a major discordant influence. When Eris was in a challenging aspect (square, quincunx, or opposition) then the other planet would minimize its influence. I refer to this as the Eris Frenemy Principle . . . A recent pop culture term, "Frenemy" is an enemy pretending to be your friend for the sake of manipulation . . . (Xena? - Dave)
At this point Canfield slips into fantasy - Eris is supposed to enjoy the groans of dying mortals, and her main vacation spot is a bloody battlefield. On a more benign level, Eris can stir up ambition to get people motivated so that they shake off lethargy & start working for their own benefit. Discord comes in when ambition goes too far.
As for conjunctions, the combining of Eris with another planet tends to create a topsy-turvy effect, in which the standard archetypes are turned upside down.
The book proper is taken up with chart examples, which are not terribly good. George Washington had Eris dead conjunct his Mars in Scorpio. Which in George's chart fell in the 7th house. Canfield cannot read a chart (in fact, few astrologers can, alas!), so, to him, Mars is George's ability to command an army and, conjunct Eris, shows our first President to be an oaf as a military commander, Eris undoing a Scorpio Mars's deviousness.
Scorpio on the cusp of the 7th, Mars in Scorpio in the 7th, that's Martha Washington. The usual interpretation is that she's the ever watchful, ever-ready-to-pounce eagle, soaring high above. Or the common scorpion, ready to attack without warning. She also has rights in George's 12th house, as it has Aries on the cusp. The 12th holds the skeletons in George's life, those private things he didn't want disturbed. Which, in George's case, Martha had free access to, to do with as she pleased. Which can be quite extremely painful to George. So is this an accurate representation of Martha? No. Wiki says they loved each other madly. So much for 10 am LMT.
Flipping 10 am LMT to 10 pm LMT (a common mistake) gives a much better chart. Adding twelve hours changes George's Venus from Pisces to Aries & puts it on the 6th. With Libra rising, ruler in Aries in 6, his army (6th house - a bunch of enthusiastic young Aries men) loved him. 10 pm makes Mars in 2 the final dispositor. I like. A commander who is fair (Libra rising), but determined & hard working (Venus/Saturn conjunct in 6) & ruthless (Mars) to get what he wants (2nd). Leo on the MC, a leader, but the ruler in the 5th in Pisces, he'd rather be home enjoying himself. (Or maybe his 5th house Sun is "George Washington slept here", nudge, nudge.) The Moon in Capricorn late in 3, he can travel by instinct if he has to, but would rather not (Moon debilitated). The 10 pm chart has possibilities. (February 22, 1732, 10 pm, Wakefield, VA, Dave's rectification) What is hard about rectification?
Having rectified George's chart, having moved Mars from the 7th to the 2nd, we test Canfield's thesis, that Eris conjunct Mars destroyed Mars' ability to get things. Mars in 2 is all about getting things. Seems to me that George got pretty much everything he ever wanted. Ruler of the 7th - Martha - in the second, George, in fact, did marry for money, but instead of Martha's money becoming his, her money remained her money for the rest of their lives together. Presuming Eris conjunct Mars has an impact, it is as if it weakened Mars, such that it acted as if it was in the house opposite (which is what happens when planets are in the signs of their debility, one of Dave's Rules). So if Eris made "Mars" to be ruling the 7th from the 8th, not the second, then the wife's property remained the wife's. This is very touchy, because when natal Mars is actually in the 8th house, the native ends up murdered. Which was not George's fate. (This will be the ultimate test of Barack Obama's chart, by the way. I personally think he was born much earlier in the day, and that he has the markings of a garden variety psychopath. God help us if so, but enough of this digression.)
This is an interesting analysis. Normally when I read a chart I don't deal with this level of detail. The use of dispositors gives me such a riot of detail I really don't need any more, so have never bothered with secondary bodies, such as asteroids, Centaurs, Eris, etc. But before I jump to them, I'm thinking, what about Terms? Before I take up something new, I want to dig again into the time-tested fundamentals. Mars at 23 Scorpio was in terms of Venus, which can be said to rule sweethearts & girlfriends in general, and which is the traditional ruler of the 2nd house. If 10 pm LMT is a more-or-less accurate birth time, then Venus, by term, also rules the 2nd house cusp, and Mars rules the term of the degree on the descendant, which brings Martha herself straight to the fore. Which is to say that Martha had more rights to George's Mars - and his money, wherever it came from - than George did himself. Exit Eris. Sorry about that.
Canfield follows chapter 4, on George, with chapter 5, on Martha. In Martha's chapter, the question of children comes up. Martha was a widow, she had previously produced four children with her first husband. She had none with George, they were in their late 20's when they wed. Supposedly George blamed her. Let's look at George's 10 pm chart: Sun in Pisces on the 5th house cusp, that's very good for children - and for girlfriends in general, and I am surprised George didn't father one or two before he wed. (In how many inns & taverns did he sleep?) But as he seems childless, let's look further. Ruler of Pisces is Jupiter, in Libra. That's okay for children, but in the 12th, they tend not to appear, the 12th suppressing physical reality. In its turn, Libra is ruled by Venus, which, in the 10 pm chart (but not the 10 am chart) is in Aries, an infertile sign. Where Venus is weak, as well as conjunct Saturn, which itself is weak. Saturn is the planet of death, not birth. The 6th house is the house of illness and weakness. I therefore conclude that George Washington, believing in his Piscean 5th house Sun, believed he could father children, but in fact his Sun was weak and he could not. Instead he fathered a country. We are his descendants.
Where does this leave Mr. Canfield and Eris? Regret to say, in limbo. I have used traditional astrology to demolish two of his findings, which happen to be the only two I looked at. Conclusion: More work on Eris needs to be done. Note that Dr. H., in his book on American Presidents & Their Wives, has rectified Washington to 5:39 am.
In science, there is a rule that we don't invent a new theory if an existing theory will explain the situation at hand. On TV, paranormal ghost investigators have a field day explaining hauntings in terms of bad electrical wiring. Astrology should, frankly, do the same. It would be good for the tradition if it was taken out & used more often.
For those of you who want more about Eris, this book can be a starting point.
ACS, 217 pages.