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Planets: Vulcan, Lilith, Transpluto, Odd Moons & Planets Generally

To conclude the section on planets, here are books on the Earth's Dark Moon aka Lilith, Vulcan & Transpluto, as well as on the planets generally & outer planets specifically:

Planets: The Moon Mercury-Saturn Uranus-Pluto Leftovers!

The intramercurial planet, Vulcan

A small, old book (about 1910), reprinted by the AFA. Vulcan is a small body orbiting inside the orbit of Mercury. It's rarely seen (it's tough to spot Mercury & we've tried), though has been seen traveling across the sun's disk. This is a very sketchy book, hardly enough to wet the appetite. The tables are nearly a century old and were only approximate then (perhaps useless now). Maybe this book will inspire someone to do the definitive research and bring Vulcan into the astrological community?

Contents: The intra-Mercurial planet Vulcan; Modern observations; The observation of 1907; The elements of Vulcan; How to compute Vulcan's longitude; Astrological nature and effect of Vulcan; Tables of Vulcan; The heliocentric tables of Vulcan.

AFA, 35 pages, paper.

The secondary Earth moon, Lilith

INTERPRETING LILITH - Delphine Gloria Jay, $23.95


Foreword, by Michael Munkasey
Foreword, by Robert Carl Jansky
A poetic excerpt from the lyric play, Lilith, of 1919

1. Astronomical history & legends
2. The Lilith influence
3. Lilith through the signs
4. Lilith through the houses
5. Aspects to Lilith
6. Lilith in return charts


This is a comprehensive book with extensive delineations of Lilith through the signs, in the twelve houses, and in aspect to the usual planets. I found the text to be wordy (close to two pages per sign, nearly three pages per house), but the delineations never quite became clear. Jay treats Lilith-to-planet aspects in a general way. We sometimes get notes on specific aspects (conjunctions, oppositions & squares, primarily), but the result is more of a wash.

Under Facts About Lilith (pgs. 15-17), we learn that Lilith:

  • Has two levels.
  • Is impersonal.
  • Is collective.
  • Is "maturing" and "alien to sentiment" - which is presumably childish.
  • Leads to extremes.
  • Creates "fascination" - a word not immediately defined.
  • Exaggerates desires.
  • Likes Saturn.
  • Lilith's house placement forces us to deal with our own immaturity.
  • Lilith represents raw urges - emphasis in orginal.
  • Provides creative talent for one's occupation, according to its sign placement.
  • Magnifies the energies of aspecting planets.
  • Is similar to Uranus. Responds strongly to it, as well as to Mars & Saturn.
  • Is exalted in Gemini, falls in Sagittarius, dignified in Capricorn, detriment in Cancer. Which makes it a Mercury-Saturn planet.
  • Lilith represents a shadow on the personality.
  • Lilith represents the unconscious.
  • On its higher level, Lilith sharpens the mind.
  • Subjectively, Lilith introverts.
  • "Lilith is the priestess in woman." (pg. 17)
This looks scattershot to me, but there is a lot here.

AFA, 133 pages.

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Lilith Ephemeris 2000-2050 - Delphine Gloria Jay, $23.95


Foreword, by Sylvia DeLong

Lilith Ephemeris, 2000-2050, every 24 hours at midnight GMT


This book replaces the previous 20th century ephemeris of Lilith. The publisher tells me this was done at the behest of the author. So if you need earlier positions, you should get Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson's book.

The Introduction is a very good and informative survey of what is known of the astronomical 2nd moon of the earth, Lilith, with vague references to a third earth moon. I don't think this information has ever been compiled in one place before. In brief, a series of observations that started in the 17th century and which intensified in the last days of the 19th century, abruptly ended with the discovery of Pluto in 1930. Soviet scientists worked with Lilith in the 1960's. Since then there has been little interest in Lilith among conventional scientists. Astrologers, however, are a different matter.

While the positions are the most accurate ever published, the layout of the ephemeris is not as good as could be desired. The publisher has put six months on one page, and six months on the next. I am disappointed they chose to start the first six months of 2000 on page 1, which puts the remaining six months on pg. 2. Which means that in every facing page group (FPG, a term in layouts), on the left-hand page are the final six months of one year, and on the right-hand page, the first six months of the next. This is cumbersome, and could have easily been avoided. It would be better if an entire year could be seen at a single glance.

AFA, 100 pages.

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Lilith brought to light
Lilith notebook
Lilith in the signs
Critical, malefic & azimine degrees
Positive purpose of Lilith
Lilith in the houses
Lilith aspects
Lilith in childbirth
Progressed Lilith
Lilith in the horary chart
Lilith's havoc (case studies)
The 40 day spiritual cycle
The students shared their Lilith findings

Lilith ephemeris, 1977-2000 daily; 2001-2016 monthly
Beginner's keyword interpretation (general astrology, not for Lilith)
Blank chart


Lilith is the Earth's other, dark moon, visible only when it transits across the face of the sun, & so virtually unknown though recorded by astronomers since 1618.

In the chapter entitled, Lilith Brought to Light, the author writes,

Lilith is soulless, the wild within the tame, the blemish on the otherwise perfect surface, the hungering for outward attention . . . Sinister & hostile though she be, she is an attention getter. . . (pg. 1)
Two pages later, Lilith Notebook starts with,
The overall conclusion reached through this work is that inimical Lilith is a threat to making the right choices in life lead by mischance to mistakes of a regrettable nature. She is symbolic of man's vulnerability when chosing whether to take the positive or negative course of action. Lilith, then,is the lure to forbidden fruit. (pg. 3)
This is better written, better focused, more comprehensive, than Delphine Jay's book. In the ephemeris, daily positions (1977-2000) are given to the nearest degree.

AFA, 140 pages.

The secondary Earth moon, Lilith, as it appears in Jewish mythology

LIVING LILITH: Four dimensions of the cosmic feminine - M. Kelley Hunter, $28.00


Chart data
List of illustrations

1. Lilith comes in dreams & myths
2. THe four Liliths in astrology
3. Lilith in the arts
4. The cosmic feminine in wisdom tradition
5. Lilith on the world stage
6. Interpreting Lilith
7. Living Lilith



In this book care is taken to distinguish between the asteroid Lilith, the Dark Moon Lilith (a secondary moon of the Earth), the Black Moon Lilith (a name for the Earth's barycenter. See the diagram here. It is physically inside the Earth itself), and, finally, the star Caput Algol, presently at 26 degrees, 17 minutes of Taurus. I knew of the first three. I had not heard of the Algol - Lilith connection. The author says the Hebrews knew the star by that name, quoting Richard Hinkley Allen, Star Names, Their Lore & Meaning. In Allen's book Lilith is described as Adam's nocturnal vampyre, aka, a succubus. If I were a merciful God & had succubi attacking my creation, I would certainly see to it that he had fundamental protection. And this isn't imaginary wishful thinking on my part. When my 8 year old daughter's sleep was plagued by discarnates, I got rid of them. To the best of their ability, this is what loving fathers do.

In examining the Wiki entry for Lilith, there are repeated references to succubi. Which certainly fits the usual description of Lilith, but you will not find the words, "succubus" or its opposite, "incubus" in this book. As for the Hebrew usage of the word, Wiki says only, The Book of Isaiah 34:14, describing the desolation of Edom, is the only occurrence of Lilith in the Hebrew Bible.

Hunter's book confuses Lilith, the sucubus, with Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love & sex. Inanna is a fairly wild character, but, like an individual siren, she appears to those who are conscious. (Succubi & incubi are nocturnal & only affect sleepers.) This is an important distinction. Hunter's first chapter, on dreams & myths, is a mess.

But we're astrologers, we want the astrology. Signs, houses, aspects, that sort of thing. Which is chapter 6. Behold:

When we place our four Liliths in relation to Moon & Venus, we get a more complicated & relevatory picture of our feminine side [the author writes primarily for women]. Does one Lilith placement have a stronger connection to the Moon or Venus? Some charts show a dynamic interaction between these factors that brings the path of feminine consciousness to the fore in a compelling way. It may not mean smooth emotional seas, but rather an exploration of uncharted waters. (pg. 141)
This is about as much delineation as you will find in the book. I wouldn't mind finding adjuncts to the traditional planets, but so often astrologers fail to do more than make superficial interpretations of planets/signs/houses, before rushing off to take up strange & exotic creatures. These creatures are then called upon to fill in the cracks in the astrologer's own understanding. This is unsatisfactory.

On pg. 144 are guidelines for the asteroid Lilith. The keywords are rebellion and rejection. Martha Lang-Wescott's classic book is listed in the bibliography. Consulting that book, I find the asteroid Lilith involved in love-triangles, which can include (according to Martha) using a hobby or pasttime to thwart the affections of one's spouse. Hunter's more simplistic interpretation seems to be based on the previous chapters on art & politics. Pages 154-165 are delineations of "Lilith" through the signs. Hunter does not distinguish any of the three possible Liliths, save to mention that any of them, in Taurus, is a companion to Caput Algol, the 4th Lilith. Of this fancy, Martha says, Distinguish between the asteroid, Lilith, and "the dark moon, Lilith." These are different points with very different meanings. (Mechanics of the Future Asteroids, pg. 179. Emphasis in the original.)

Dear Margaret Cahill, publisher: You put a lot of work into these books, and it gives me no pleasure to rip them to pieces. Could you, in future, please do basic research (a simple Wiki would do), and guide your authors to better results? The conclusions & opinions don't bother me so much as bad research that destroys everything built on it.

The back of the book begins,

In our twenty-first century renaissance, renewed interest in the goddess has brought many faces of the divine feminine into modern awareness. Lilith is one of the most alluring - and ancient. After five thousand years of smoky rumours, this female of ambiguous reputation remains a mystery. As seductive femme fatale, crib death hag or cosmic goddess, vampire or beacon of female integrity, she has continued to excite our cultural imagination. If we follow her trail back in time to seek the source of the fear & negativity she typically evokes, we often discover, not only a major shift in the collective human image of the feminine, but also something essential that needs to be redeemed in our personal lives.

Wessex Astrologer, 212 pages.

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BLACK MOON LILITH - M. Kelley Hunter, $24.95


Introduction: Why Black Moon Lilith?

1. What is Black Moon Lilith? In astronomy; The four astrological Liliths; The Dark Goddess in myth & religion; Lilith in the arts; The psycho-spiritual nature of Lilith

2. Interpreting the Black Moon: Looking for Lilith; Black Moon through the Zodiac

3. Famous Black Moon people Black Moon Beatles

4. Black Moon in the houses

5. Black Moon Lilith with the planets The personal planets, Mercury, Venus & Mars; The social planets Jupiter & Saturn; The outer planets Uranus, Neptune & Pluto; The new solar system; The lunar nodes

6. Lilith's dark mirror Lilith in relationship; Lilith speaks: a dramatic monologue

Appendix: Astronomy notes
Chart data


At first I thought this was a "me-too!" book, but then I saw it was a sequel to the author's previously published Living Lilith (see above).

The short review is that this is more of the same. The author has learned nothing, nor does she wish to. Books like these amount to Astro-Fantasy (Astro-Fiction, if you like), which has as much relation to astrology as Science Fiction has to science. In Sci-Fi we note a trend for enchanting seductresses with big boobs & skimpy outfits, ever ready to lure unsuspecting astro-sailors into their grasp. Like the sirens of old. In the Black Moon division of Astro-Fi we find exactly the same thing. If you're a Sci-Fi buff, that's all the more I need to tell you. Get this book & revel.

The long review.
The real challenge in reviewing this book is to meet the Black Moon head-on. I've been pouring over the text for two days and haven't found it. In Chapter 1 we learn the Black Moon is the empty second focal point of the Moon's orbit around the earth. This is according to Kepler's laws, where all orbits are eliptical and have two focal points.

But when I Wiki the same topic, Orbit of the Moon, I learn that The Earth and Moon orbit about their barycentre (common centre of mass), which lies about 4700 kilometres from Earth's centre (about three quarters of the Earth's radius).

The barycentre isn't empty. It's part of the earth. Nor does Wiki make any mention of any secondary orbital focal point. Empty or not.

Why is this? It might be because the Earth/Moon dyadic pairing is strongly influenced by the Sun, such that there doesn't seem to be a secondary focal point to the Moon's orbit. Here you will find a sketch of what the Moon's orbit around the Earth really looks like - nothing like what you thought.

This is from Wiki, but is not accurate. It shows perhaps 1/10th of the Earth/Moon orbit, yet shows four full moons. Four full moons (or four new moons, makes no difference) is one-third of the Earth's annual orbit. The Moon's "orbit" around the Earth is three or four times more strung out than what this diagram shows. However, the separation between the Earth line and the Moon line (look closely) is probably fairly close. The Earth is 372-ish times as far from the Sun as the Moon is from the Earth. Interplanetary distances really are vast. The misleading diagrams we make trivialize them.
In other words, the eliptical idea of the Moon's orbit is a nice thought, but in fact, the Moon orbits the Sun, not the Earth. The Moon in fact weaves in & out of the Earth's orbital path. At every new moon, the Moon has moved 1/13th of the earth's orbit - just as we have. The Moon dances around us. It only appears to circle us. Go look at the diagram, and then puzzle it out. Now do you understand what the Moon's "orbit" looks like?

Where is this "empty focal point" that Hunter insists upon? By process of elimination, it must be the Earth's empty focal point in its orbit around the Sun, as this is the only point available. As the eccentricity of the Earth/Moon orbit is 0.016710219 (rather small), that empty point must be rather close to the Sun itself. Which means the "Black Moon" that Hunter speaks of must closely shadow the Sun, completing a full transit of the zodiac every Earth year. At some moment during the year the "Black Moon" will be behind the Sun, at some point it will be ahead of the Sun, and at other times it will be conjunct the Sun. But in general, a guess would be that the Earth/Moon empty point is never more than three or four degrees from the Sun, if that.

M. Kelley Hunter is confused about this. Frankly, so am I. In the Astronomical appendix she asks the opinions of others, David Cochrane of Kepler among them. Cochrane's sharp - sharper than me. I doubt he was confused. Presumably he told Hunter, who either didn't believe him, or didn't understand him. Here is some of what Hunter says in the Astronomical Appendix:

There are three choices [for the Black Moon]:
1. Topocentric, from the Earth's surface, which would obviously vary by latitude & longitude;
2. Geocentric, from the center of the Earth. . .
3. Barycentric, from the Earth-Moon barycenter. . .

Published tables are geocentric-based. (pg. 174)

The Unicorn Connection
The Black Moon is often considered synonymous with the Lunar Apogee, the furthest point of the Moon from Earth. The data is workably close, pointing to the same zodiacal point, yet it is not precise. . . The Black Moon as second focus of the Moon's orbit is near the Earth. . . The Lunar Apogee is the point at which the Moon is furthest from Earth, most free from Earth and most open to divine influence. Using the mean Black Moon gives us a "clean," archetypal position.

. . . French astrologer Luc Bigé opens further mythic dimensions of Black Moon Lilith by naming the five points on the long axis of the Moon's orbit.

1. The Lunar Perigee he calls Priapus, a phallic god of rustic origin. . .
2. Earth is our home ground.
3. The barycenter . . . is called Hecate. . .
4. True Black Moon [note: not the mean BM - Dave] the empty focus of the ellipse . . .
5. The Lunar Apogee, or mean Black Moon, is seen as the Unicorn.

Don't get bogged down trying to understand it all! Use whatever positions of Black Moon you can find & see what you discover as you enter the labyrinth.

- all from pg. 175

In this book, M. Kelley Hunter delineates the mean Black Moon as it's a relatively stable point (whatever it is), since the true Black Moon position varies wildly. See the diagram on pg. 15.

So lemme see . . . The true Black Moon, the empty point in the ellipse, is a point that doesn't seem to exist, since the Moon in fact does not orbit the Earth to start with. The lunar apogee (point of greatest distance from the Earth - a completely different point) is the mean Black Moon, but it could also be a sickly small white horse with one horn. And despite whatever the author says in the book, you can just make it up anyway.

Which is more latitude than the old Sci-Fi writers would give. They expected you to follow the plot & stay around to the end of the book.

Which brings up the question, Who is M. Kelley Hunter & why is she writing these books? Aside from the obvious need to call attention to herself, that is.

At her website, she has commentary on the recent (January 2011) flap over the shifting zodiac & the 13th sign, Ophiuchus. Of the 13th sign, she says (scroll down),

And it's fabulous that Ophiuchus, the "13th constellation," the Serpent Charmer, has risen into the collective consciousness. We need this powerful archetype of a healer, a shaman.
Which will probably be gone by the time you find this, buried in some distant corner of Hunter's website, or perhaps deleted altogether. It merely confirms that Hunter does not understand astrological fundamentals. Blather like this leaves us wide open to attacks from even more ignorant astronomers. Which are eagerly taken up by a fawning media. Astrologers like Hunter are our own worst enemies. Astrology is a noble & wonderful science. It can heal the sick, it can work wonders. Why do we wound ourselves with dreck like this? Why?

I looked up Luc Bigé (Hunter gives his name as "Luc Bige"). In 1993 he wrote a 268 page book on sun signs, La Symphonie du Zodiaque (French transpersonal astrology. Here is an excerpt from the blurb on the back: Aucun signe n'est << bon >> ou << mauvais >>, il est. Chaque signe est presente avec ses differents niveaux de conscience, du niveau des principes au niveau transpersonnel en passant par les niveaux socio-culturel et individuel. ). The picture on his FaceBook page shows a pleasantly bald middle aged man, with beard and glasses. He likes Alan Oken. So do I, as a matter of fact.

The final question is one of market. So far, the author has published with two small specialty houses. They're not big enough to give her any real sales, moreover, as both are astrological specialists, publishing books of fantasy tends to hurt their overall reputations. M. Kelley Hunter would be better served, methinks, if she took her existing books, tarted them up a bit, dumbed them down a triffle, and sold them to a major New York / London publisher. A big publisher has the means to get Hunter's books to the market that would most profit from them. Lots more sales than Wessex or the AFA could ever imagine. I'm serious.

AFA, 210 pages.

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THE BOOK OF LILITH - Barbara Black Koltuv, $12.95


The Talmud on Lilith

1. Origins
2. Life & deeds
3. Lilith, the seductress
4. Lilith & the daughters of Eve
5. Cast out & redeemed



This is the mythology of Lilith, Adam's first wife, as viewed, for the most part, from the Talmud & Zohar. As I am unfamiliar with these books, I looked them up.

The Talmud, a written collection of Jewish law, ethics, customs, and history, came about as a result of the end of the Jewish state in 70 AD. Prior to the loss of the Temple, this had been an oral tradition.

The Zohar is a mystical commentary on the Torah, which is the Five Books of the Mosaic Bible, ie, the heart of the Old Testament. It first appeared in Spain in the 13th century, from sources which claimed it was from the second century, AD.

From the back of the book we learn the author is a clinical psychologist & practicing Jungian analyst in New York. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1962. She specializes in love, sexuality & relationships, both human & archetypal. She has travelled in Mexico, Central & South America, Europe and North Africa. She has spent "a great deal of time" in Jerusalem.

There is NO ASTROLOGY in this book, but it might be of interest to those of you looking for more information on the Lilith archetype. As is typical of modern authors, no effort is made to investigage clairvoyantly, nor metaphysically. As is typical, the author attempts to show how an "evil" thing is really something which we should respect & admire. In this regard, the very last words in the book are of interest:

The fourth & final feminine quality carried by Lilith is that of God the mother & creatrix, in addition to God the father & creator. In this sense, Lilith is Adamath, the feminine red mother earth of woman's nature. She is the part of the feminine Self that modern woman needs to reconnect with in order to no longer be a spiritual outcast. Lilith can help women remember that:
There was a time when you were not a slave, remember that. You walked alone, full of laughter, you bathed bare-bellied. You say you have lost all recollection of it, remember . . . you say there are no words to describe it, you say it does not exist. But remember. Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent. (from Monique Witting, Les Guerilleres) - pg. 122.
Koltuv not only correctly names Lilith as a succubi (pg. xi), but also describes her, more or less correctly, as a night demon who lays hold of men & women who sleep alone, causing erotic dreams & nocturnal orgasm. (Introduction, pg. xi). (The demon who attacks sleeping females is known as an incubi & appears as a male.)

A succubi is a curious creature to make a heroine of, as, speaking as a male, we will kill them, or, failing that, suppress them (which, in fact, the male sex has), or, if that is not possible, we will become homosexuals & the race will end. This isn't logical. It's visceral. We don't like being preyed upon. Our opinion has not changed one whit from that of Adam, who, so far as I can tell, went eyeball to eyeball with God & forced God to try again. The female authors who advocate Lilith seem to have overlooked the male view, which would imply they are conflicted about the male sex, would it not? Or perhaps they wish we were invasive incubi, rather than flesh-and-blood men? For that matter, show me the woman who prefers an incubi to a real man. Show me even one.

Lilith seems to be another subject where the more I study it, the less I like it, but that might just be me.

Nicholas-Hayes, 127 pages.

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Persephone, a hypothetical planet beyond the orbit of Pluto

PERSEPHONE IS TRANSPLUTO, The Scientific, Mythological & Astrological Discovery of the Planet Beyond Pluto - Valerie Vaughan, $12.95
There are planets beyond Pluto, they just haven't been sighted yet. Just as Neptune was predicted, then discovered, a planet beyond Neptune was predicted, and Pluto discovered instead. As Vaughan points out, the planet they were looking for was about 8 degrees from Pluto at the time of Pluto's discovery (a long, long way in a big 'scope). Rather than wait for astronomers, astrologers & mathematicians are already working out the orbit & astrological interpretation. Vaughan says the theme of Persephone/Transpluto is Separation/Reunion with a feminist slant. Find out more in this fascinating book. Contents: Astronomy and astrology; Discovery of a new planet; Rebirth of the feminine; Mythology as mystery - or the mis-story of herstory; Persephone's rulership of Libra - the union of dualities; New planet on the horizon; The mythology of scientific discovery; The resonance between astrology and astronomy; Searching for Trans-Neptune reveals evidence of Transpluto; After Pluto's discovery - the hunt continues; The astrological discovery of Transpluto; Persephone in the chart and in our lives; The modern era - Persephone in Cancer/Leo; Science, myth, astrology, history - the Persephone connection; The powerful feminine principle; Discovering a symbol-glyph for persephone; The celebration of ancient mysteries; Persephone, the myth and the planet; Persephone ephemeris 1900-2015. 254 pages including glossary and references. One Reed Publications, paper.


YANKEE DOODLE DISCORD, A walk with planet Eris through USA history - Thomas Canfield, $15.95


Foreword, by Maria Kay Simms
Introduction to Eris

Part 1: Eris in Capricorn: Who says a goat is a failure?
1. Eris in the chart of the USA
2. The loser of his country
3. The foxy old man
4. General discord
5. Lady Washington
6. The confounding father
7. An essential character
8. The second Napoleon Bonaparte
9. The wisdom of the Sphinx
10. "For God's sake, John, sit down!"

Part 2: Eris in Aquarius: A bearer of troubled waters
11. Old Hickory democracy
12. The cock of Kentucky
13. Old Abe Lincoln came out of the wilderness

Part 3: Eris in Pisces: Fishy business:
14. Rough and ready Teddy
15. "That man in the White House"
16. America's dictator

Part 4: Eris in Aries: Rambunctious:
17. The master of Camelot
18. Prince von Metternich goes to Washington
19. The great communicator
20. Eris in the 21st century: Wounding the healer
21. Eris into the future: Watch Uranus

Yearly positions of Eris 1700-2050


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)

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.

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.

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.

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Compilations of the usual planets:

PLANETS IN SIGNS - Skye Alexander, $18.95


1. Getting started
2. Astrological families
3. The Sun
4. The Moon
5. Mercury
6. Venus
7. Mars
8. Jupiter
9. Saturn
10. Uranus
11. Neptune
12. Pluto

About the author


From the back of the book:

What's your sign? Here's the complete picture - not just the Sun, but also the Moon & planets through all twelve signs of the zodiac. Alexander describes each of these heavenly bodies & its significance in the birth chart, then shows how the different signs color & shape the energies of the planets & lights. Each lucid analysis includes examples of famous people whose charts contain that particular planet-sign combination so you can see how others have utilized the energies.

The signs of the zodiac are the most dramatic yet fundamental part of the birth chart. Early astrologers called them the Soul of Nature. C.G. Jung depicted them as archetypes. By looking at the signs in which the planets were positioned at your birth you'll discover your strengths & weaknesses, special talents & problem areas, potentials & inclinations in love, work, play, health & more.

Alexander also covers the four elements & the three modalities - the building blocks of life - and reveals what it means to have a dominance or weakness of one of these significant factors in your chart.

The sun, moon & planets through all 12 signs.

Whitford, 272 pages.

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PLANETS & PLANET CENTERED ASTROLOGY - Stephanie Jean Clement, $18.00
From the back cover: "Now for the first time we can cast charts on any planet, asteroid, or moon we choose....The broader perspective of 'Plants and Planet Centered Astrology' comes at a time when we need vision about our individual futures and the future of the planet Earth." Contents: Planets viewed alchemically; Sun and the moon; Heliocentric spiritual map; The planets and their charts. 176 pages including bibliography and glossary. AFA, paper.

Planets: The Moon Mercury-Saturn Uranus-Pluto Leftovers!

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