Dwarf Planets

Dwarf planets

Pluto and the "Seven Dwarfs". Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EightTNOs.png

Dwarf Planets

"Astrologers must remember also that there are several undiscovered planets which are producing pulls and shifts and focusing streams of energy upon our earth... Pluto is one of them, and having now emerged into manifestation (or rather into recognition) to it will be assigned all the unexplained conditions." (A Treatise on White Magic, p438-439, published 1951)

Astronomy defines a "planet" to be a object which meets the following three criteria: (1) It orbits the Sun or other star. (2) It's is large and dense enough to have achieved hydrostatic equilibrium or be spherical under its own gravity. (3) It's largely cleared its orbit of asteroids or other minor bodies. That definition gives our Sun the eight planets Mercury through Neptune, along with several "Dwarf planets". A Dwarf planet is almost a planet, however it has not met criterion #3, i.e. has not cleared its orbit of other bodies.

There are at least five Dwarf planets in our solar system. Pluto is one, which was considered a full planet until until 2006 when similar sized bodies were discovered in similar orbits. Ceres in the asteroid belt is another, which is round but shares its orbit with all the other asteroids. There are also the more recently discovered Dwarf planets Eris, Haumea, and Makemake beyond Pluto's orbit. Possible Dwarf planets include asteroid 10 Hygiea in the inner asteroid belt which may be rounded, and the additional large Transneptunian bodies Gonggong, Quaoar, Sedna, and Orcus. This means there are seven Dwarf planets or possible Dwarf planets located beyond Pluto. These "Significant Seven" Transpluto bodies can be called the "Seven Dwarfs", and they are all astrologically important.

The outer solar system is an interesting area, and features the Kuiper belt beyond Neptune's orbit (which is like a second asteroid belt), along with the scattered disc beyond that. The bodies out here move very slowly, and have orbital periods centuries long. Many of them are named after creator deities from various cultures, and therefore represent more abstract, generational, and planetary level energies. (This is similar to how Uranus/Neptune/Pluto are more psychological in energy compared to the inner more personal planets which are visible to the naked eye.)

Note that a Dwarf planet can and probably should be considered just a type of planet, and not necessarily less significant than a traditional planet (either astronomically or astrologically). In other words, all Dwarf planets are planets! :-) The problem with the name "Dwarf planet" is that it implies the planet is small in size, when it may not be. Tiny Mercury is smaller than certain planetary moons, but it's still a traditional planet because there's nothing else major in its orbit. Similarly, if a Jupiter sized body were to be discovered way out in the scattered disc, it would only be a "Dwarf planet" because there's other bodies there, when it would be larger than any traditional planet! Therefore, it would make more sense to call traditional planets something like "lone planets" (because they're by themselves in their orbits), and call Dwarf planets "linked planets" (because they have many neighbors). That's similar to the "rocky planet" versus "gas giant planet" distinction we already have to classify them.

The Seven Dwarfs

"...the significance of the other planetary bodies (of great number) within the solar ring-pass-not. The entire solar sphere is full of such bodies, characterized by the same features as are the seven and the ten, and each of them in some degree has an effect upon the whole. There are more than 115 of such bodies to be reckoned with, and all are at varying stages of vibratory impulse. They have definite orbits, they turn upon their axis, they draw their 'life' and substance from the sun... This fact will be demonstrated towards the close of the century..." (A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p793-794, published 1951)

The table below summarizes the "Seven Dwarfs", or the seven largest bodies beyond Pluto, ranked in order of size. Pluto itself and Dwarf planet Ceres are included for comparison. Listed is the planet's name, its minor planet designation catalog number, its Ray in Esoteric Astrology, its orbital period around the Sun in years, it's diameter in kilometers, its average distance from the Sun in Astronomical Units (AU), the number of known moons it has, the year it was discovered, its current location as of the start of 2022, the origin of its name, and the primary keywords of its meaning. Since all of the Seven Dwarfs except Sedna have at least one moon, these planetary moons should have astrological meanings too, and could be interpreted in a similar fashion as the moons of the inner planets, and be a way to personalize the slow moving body to each individual.

# Name Catalog Ray Period Diameter Distance Moons Discovery Location Named After Keywords
- Ceres 1 - 4.60 939 2.767 0 1801 28Tau Roman goddess of agriculture Nurturing, fertility
- Pluto 134340 1 248.54 2376 39.529 5 1930 25Cap Roman god of death Death, transformation
1 Eris 136199 3 559.07 2326 67.864 1 2005 23Ari Greek goddess of discord Discord, chaos, scheming
2 Haumea 136108 2 283.77 1560 43.182 2 2004 29Lib Hawaiian goddess of creation Mothering, One as Many
3 Makemake 136472 1 306.22 1454 45.431 1 2005 8Lib Easter Island god of humanity Fathering, creation
4 Gonggong 225088 4 554.25 1230 67.474 1 2007 4Pis Chinese god of water Rebellion, integration
5 Quaoar 50000 7 288.84 1121 43.695 1 2002 5Cap Native American god of creation Ritual creation, law
6 Sedna 90377 6 10666.28 1060 484.548 0 2003 28Tau Inuit goddess of the sea Trauma, acceptance
7 Orcus 90482 5 245.19 910 30.281 1 2004 14Vir Roman god of punishing damned Karma, reviewing

As with the main planets themselves, interpreting Dwarf planets is based on both the physical characteristics of the planet and its name in mythology. For example, Mars is a blood red color, and named after the god of war. The following quote illustrates how planets get named appropriately: "The names of the planets are not the result of arbitrary choice, but the planets name themselves." (A Treatise on White Magic, p439, published 1951)

Eris: Eris is the Greek goddess of discord, strife, and chaos. Unlike her brother Ares, god of war, Eris enjoyed conflict itself, and often didn't take sides. Eris started the Trojan War with a golden apple, by offering it to "the most fair", which caused the other goddesses to fight over it. See also to the Chinese parable of "how to kill three warriors with two peaches", which is another example of stirring up trouble by getting your enemies to fight each other. The discovery of Eris itself produced discord, and caused Pluto to be "demoted" to Dwarf planet. Eris is 98% of Pluto’s diameter, 27% denser, and unlike Pluto it's fully outside Neptune's orbit, so there are reasons to consider Eris at least as if not more astrologically significant than Pluto. The glyph for Eris is clashing spear tips. Eris has one known moon, Dysnomia, named after her daughter the goddess of lawlessness. Eris asks us, what are we fighting for and why, or what outdated or crystallized ideas/institutions need disruption? In Esoteric Astrology, Eris is associated with Ray 3 of creative intelligence due to its cunning and scheming, and can represent the "will to evolve" and the battles and struggles of evolution and discipleship. Web site mythologysource.com says it well: “The Eris of fighting was cruel and merciless, but the domestic Eris could use a man’s discontent and competitive nature to make his life better through hard work. One Eris focused her discontent outward and battled against other people, while the other Eris focused inward and inspired a man to fight against his own bad habits.”

Haumea: Haumea is the Hawaiian goddess of fertility. She's the mother of Pele (the well known goddess of volcanoes) and the other Hawaiian deities, splitting them off from herself. Haumea is egg shaped (which aligns with fertility) due to its super fast 3.9 hour rotation period. (As any mother knows, mothering is a very busy role!) Haumea also has rings and two moons, Hi'iaka and Namaka. These moons are named after Haumea's daughters, who were goddesses of hula dancing and the sea. Haumea's glyph is a woman giving birth. Haumea is the archetypal "mother", and is the energy of birthing into manifestation, sacrifice, and giving of oneself. Haumea asks what are we giving birth to, and for what causes are we giving of ourselves? In Esoteric Astrology, Haumea is associated with Ray 2 of Love/Wisdom, and the concepts of unity, Oneness, and "The One and the Many".

Makemake: Makemake is the Easter Island (Rapa Nui) god of fertility, who created humanity. Makemake is said to be "Chief of the Eggs", to have had no mother or wife, and to be associated with the "Bird-man" faith of the Easter Island people. Makemake therefore has a very archetypal "masculine" energy, and is the energy of will, direction, design, and manifestation. How are we individually and collectively "fertilizing" the world with our intentions, ideas, and actions? Makemake has one moon, but it hasn't been given a permanent name yet. Makemake's glyph is a petroglyph of a face. In Esoteric Astrology, Makemake is associated with Ray 1, will and purpose and the right use of them, and the office of the Manu (the director of the human Root Races).

Gonggong: Gonggong is the Chinese god of water, destruction, and chaos. In early times, he fought the fire god for control of the world, but was defeated and exiled. In his anger, Gonggong had a tantrum and knocked the planet askew, which is why Earth's axis is tilted. This may seem negative, and it certainly can represent destruction or calamity. However, every planet can be expressed in a more enlightened manner, and Gonggong can also represent major shifts in consciousness or environment, integration of polarities, or necessary destruction of that which needs to be released. Gonggong has one moon, Xiangliu, named after the venomous and gluttonous nine-headed snake monster who attended Gonggong. Gonggong's glyph is a Chinese temple with a serpent's tail. Note that the Chinese character "Gong" () means "together", "common", or "share", and that character's glyph is similar to the upper half of Gonggong's glyph, so there are positive potentials. In Esoteric Astrology, Gonggong is associated with Ray 4 of harmony through conflict, and the concepts of duality and counterforces, facing the "Dweller on the Threshold", overcoming dark forces in general, and redeeming the dense matter of the Moon Chain or the previous solar system.

Quaoar: Quaoar is the Tongva Native American creator god, who is either male or genderless. He emerged into being after an earlier more tyrannical god passed away. (In that sense Quaoar is similar to a new and more loving Christ-like figure, in comparison to a classic wrathful Jehovah-like ruler.) Quaoar danced and sang the other gods and world into being. This was a group dance in which Quaoar brought into being the first god, Quaoar and the first god danced together to bring forth the second god, all three brought in the next god, and so on. Quaoar also established law for people and the new world. Quaoar has one moon, Weywot, named after the god of the sky who Quaoar created. Quaoar was the largest Transneptunian body at the time of its discovery (hence it being given the special catalog number 50000). Quaoar's glyph is a diamond letter “Q” with a canoe shape landing upon it. In Esoteric Astrology, Quaoar is associated with Ray 7 of order and ceremonial magic, and is associated with “New Age” energies, group and Ashramic dynamics, and understanding or establishing new rules and laws. In contradistinction with some Dwarf planets which may seem negative, Quaoar may seem wholly positive, and it usually is, but not necessarily: Quaoar can also represent fears of change or of increased group orientation, or one's individuality being suppressed by rules and regulations imposed by a controlling organization.

Sedna: Sedna is the Inuit goddess of the sea. Her father threw her from a boat into the water, and when she tried to climb back aboard he chopped her fingers off. :-( Sedna sank to the bottom of the sea where she eventually accepted her role as the sea goddess, and her severed fingers became the seals and other sea creatures, which she cared for. There are different versions of her, such as in one she was a vicious monster who tried to eat her parents (so her father threw her overboard in self defense) while in another she was innocent (and her father threw her overboard to save himself). Sedna's energy is about trauma, victimization and transcending it, turning bad experiences into strengths, acceptance and “divine indifference”, healing and integrating depths, and stewardship and caretaking even when we don't want to at first. Unlike all the other Seven Dwarfs, Sedna has no known moons. Sedna's glyph is Inuit characters which look like a leaping seal. Sedna has a very long period of over 10000 years, which is much longer than any of the others, and is closer in period to super long cycles such as the 25765 year precession of the equinoxes, or the nodal movement of planets other than Earth's Moon. In Esoteric Astrology, Sedna is associated with Ray 6 of emotional turmoil and the astral seas.

Orcus: Orcus is a Roman god of the underworld. While Pluto is king of the underworld, Orcus is the punisher of the damned. This planet may seem negative, however remember that Orcus only punishes the guilty who deserve it. Orcus is therefore like a Sword of Damocles hanging over one's head, which will fall when and if appropriate. Orcus is associated with balancing karma, things that need to be made right, along with endings and reviewing one's life in general. Some have reported major Orcus transits in which nothing appeared to happen, which suggests they had no bad karma to be balanced. Orcus has one moon, Vanth, named after a demon who guides souls to the underworld (to either peace or torture, as the case may be). Note the relation of Orcus and its relatively large moon Vanth to Pluto and its relatively large moon Charon: Both have similar orbits, but are about 90 degrees apart so they are never Conjunct or Opposite. The glyph for Orcus is like the letters “OR” that's also a skull shape. In Esoteric Astrology, Orcus is associated with Ray 5 of concrete action and intelligent, impersonal analysis of matters, and pralayas or periods between incarnations or other manifestations.

Links: All of the Seven Dwarfs have official glyphs in Unicode. Just as there are many different schools of astrology (such as different zodiacs, different house systems, and so on) so are there different views on Dwarf planets. It took decades after Pluto was discovered to reach anything close to a consensus about its astrological meaning. Similarly, there are a variety of opinions on the recently discovered Dwarf planets, along with other smaller Transpluto objects that definitely aren't large enough to be potential Dwarf planets. Additional perspectives (along with alternate glyphs) are available on pages such as Chiron and Friends by Zane Stein, Consider the Whole Sky by Philip Sedgwick, Dwarf Planet University by Alan Clay, and others.

Disney Astrology

No mention of the "Seven Dwarfs" would be complete without a consideration of the similarly named fairy tale "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". ;-) The Disney version of the story provides names and personalities for the Seven Dwarfs. Each of the Disney Dwarfs is related to one of the Seven Rays. Although the Dwarfs are good as a whole, each can also be considered to express negative qualities of their Ray, and therefore act as a warning against the potential glamours of that Ray.

Ray Name Dwarf Warning against
1 Will & Power Sneezy Forcefully projecting spittle or other negativity into the world
2 Love & Wisdom Bashful Shyness, codependence, not standing up for oneself
3 Active Creative Intelligence Sleepy Too busy or too still, either way the right thing doesn't get done
4 Harmony Through Conflict Grumpy Always annoyed or finding things wrong with others and the world
5 Concrete Science Doc Verbose, with myopic vision (literally in his case)
6 Idealism & Devotion Dopey Involvement with causes or things that others find irrelevant or silly
7 Order & Ceremonial Magic Happy Hedonism or other physical plane enticements

Interestingly, potential Dwarf planet Gonggong when it was first discovered was nicknamed "Snow White", because it was believed to be bright white in color, and that seven other large Transneptunian bodies had been discovered so far. Eventually Gonggong was determined to be very red in color, and its official name was given.

The classical seven circuit Labyrinth

Orbit paths of the Seven Dwarfs displayed in Astrolog

Dwarf Planets in Astrolog

Astrolog supports dwarf planets starting with version 7.20. :-) The Swiss Ephemeris offers additional ephemeris files for numerous minor bodies, including the Seven Dwarfs, and these files come with all downloads of Astrolog. To display them, simply click to turn them on in the "Setting / Restrictions" dialog. One can also toggle them on all at once with the "Setting / Include Dwarfs" menu command or the "y" hotkey. These are full objects like any other planet, in which graphic glyphs and simple interpretations are available too.

Dwarf planets are also supported in older versions of Astrolog 6.30 through 7.10, however in those versions one had to manually download their ephemeris files, and then manually configure the program to display them with the -Yeb and other command switches.

The classical seven circuit Labyrinth

The classical seven circuit Labyrinth, with circuit sequence 3214765

The Cosmic Labyrinth

The Seven Dwarfs (i.e. the largest or "Significant Seven" Transpluto Dwarf planets) correspond to the Seven Rays, with one planet per Ray. In order from the largest to the smallest Transpluto planet, these Rays are 3214765. That ordering is significant, because it turns out to also be the circuit sequence for the classical seven circuit Labyrinth, or the order rings are visited when navigating it from outside to the center. The classical seven circuit Labyrinth design has been found in art in cultures around the world, such as Ancient Greece, Native American, the Peruvian Andes, and Scandinavian, making it a truly global symbol. All this means the Seven Dwarfs form a "Cosmic Labyrinth" in the heavens! There are 7 factorial or 5040 different combinations in which the numbers 1-7 can be ordered, so the probability of a random Ray sequence matching the classical Labyrinth is 1 in 5040. That seems too unlikely to just be a coincidence.

What does the Cosmic Labyrinth mean? It's in the outer solar system beyond Pluto, so perhaps it's an energetic address or welcome mat from our solar system to other systems or to the galaxy as a whole, indicating how to approach or align with the Logos of our system. Or, it could be an energetic pathway indicating how enlightened beings within our system can evolve beyond the "ring pass not" of the solar system. Either way, the Cosmic Labyrinth can be considered a symbolic celestial message in the heavens! :-)

Additional Transneptunian Objects

The inner solar system contains more than just the main planets, and also contains various smaller asteroids, Centaurs, and so on. Similarly, the outer solar system contains more than just the Seven Dwarfs, and also contains other smaller Transneptunian Objects (TNO's). These additional objects are all smaller than Ceres and the Seven Dwarfs, so they may not be Dwarf planets or round under their own gravity. Looking at them in astrology is similar to looking at less common asteroids beyond the first four and Chiron. They may be displayed in Astrolog by downloading their Swiss Ephemeris format ephemeris files, and then configuring Astrolog to display them in its Object Customization dialog or with the -Yeb command switch. Also, the Windows version of Astrolog can display them without any downloads needed, by configuring the program to calculate them using Web queries to JPL Horizons, in its Object Customizations dialog or with the -Yej command switch. Here are seven additional TNO's of interest:

# Name Catalog Period Diameter Distance Moons Discovery Location Named After Keywords
1 Salacia 120347 270.89 854 41.87 1 2004 3Ari Roman goddess of salt water Calm, friendly, pure
2 2002 MS4 307261 271.60 778 41.94 0 2002 13Cap Year of discovery Unknown
3 Ixion 28978 249.72 710 39.65 0 2001 0Cap Greek king of Thessaly Hubris, punishment
4 Varuna 20000 283.77 678 43.18 0 2000 4Leo Vedic god of sky and justice Truth, order, virtue
5 Leleakuhonua 541132 32087.96 220 1009.77 0 2015 9Ari Migration of kolea bird Long life cycle
6 Albion 15760 293.64 167 44.18 0 1992 8Tau Giant that opposed Hercules Fighting past barriers
7 Arrokoth 486958 293.25 22 44.14 0 2014 18Cap Sky in Powhatan language Spiritual sacred land

Salacia: Salacia is the 8th largest body beyond Pluto, so is the mostly likely body after the Seven Dwarfs to also potentially be a Dwarf planet. Salacia is the beautiful Roman goddess of salt water, who married Neptune. Unlike many myths which involve rape or deception, Neptune won her heart positively. The virginal Salacia was initially shy and hid from Neptune, until he sent a dolphin to find her and convince her to return and marry him willingly. (The dolphin was rewarded by being raised into the sky and turned into the constellation Delphinus. :-) Salacia can therefore be associated with a gentle, respectful, and patient approach to life. Salacia has one moon, Actaea, named after one of the Nereids or helpful sea nymphs.

2002 MS4: This is likely the largest unnamed object in the solar system, and the next largest TNO after Salacia. It's 83% the diameter of Dwarf planet Ceres, so may very well be a meaningful astrological body or even a Dwarf planet on its own. However, with no permanent name yet, there's little that can be said about how to interpret it. It shows that the outer solar system is still a developing area both astronomically and astrologically!

Ixion: Unlike the other bodies on this page, Ixion is named after a human king, and not a god or concept. Although most bodies can be interpreted positively or negatively, there is little positive about the mythological Ixion. Ixion murdered his own father-in-law so he didn't have to pay a bride price for marrying his daughter, and so was shunned by everybody. Zeus then allowed him to make amends at Mt. Olympus, but instead Ixion tried to seduce Zeus' wife Hera. Zeus make a cloud in the shape of Hera, and Ixion's union with it produced the first of the wild Centaurs. As punishment, Ixion was forever bound to a wheel of fire in the heavens. Ixion can be associated with selfishness, hubris, deserved punishment, and downfalls of one's own making.

Varuna: Varuna was the largest Transneptunian body at the time of its discovery (hence it being given the special catalog number 20000). Varuna is similar to Haumea, in that it spins rapidly and therefore has an ellipsoid shape. Varuna is the ancient Vedic god of the sky, who's also associated with the sea, justice, and truth. Varuna is somewhat similar to Orcus due to a focus on justice, and also somewhat similar to Quaoar due to a focus on order. Varuna is less impersonal and more related to promoting positive qualities of discipline, honor, and virtue (similar to a judge or police officer) and can be forgiving as well as punishing, depending on the scenario.

Leleakuhonua: Leleakuhonua is notable for having the longest period of any named object orbiting the Sun. It takes over 30000 years to orbit, which is over three times as long as Sedna. The name is Hawaiian for the migration cycle of the kolea bird, i.e. the Pacific golden plover. It was once believed that these birds flocked when rain was coming. Leleakuhonua can therefore be associated with super long life cycles, such as the 25765 year precession of the equinoxes, or the nodal movement of planets other than Earth's Moon.

Albion: Albion was the very first object discovered beyond Pluto (hence its low catalog number compared to the others). It's much too small to be a Dwarf planet (being only 62% the diameter of Chiron) but is still notable as being the gateway to humanity's awareness of a new area of the solar system, including all the larger Dwarf planets that were later discovered. Mythological Albion was a Giant that tried to prevent Hercules from passing after completing the last of his Labors. Albion is also the source from which Britain gets its name. Albion can therefore be seen as a barrier to a rich new area, which one must fight to pass in order to enter it.

Arrokoth: Arrokoth is extremely small, however notable since it's the first object beyond Pluto to actually be visited by a spacecraft. The New Horizons probe was directed to flyby it after visiting Pluto, and it was specifically discovered while trying to find an additional place for the probe to visit. Arrokoth is formed of two spherical bodies fused together, and so looks similar to a snowman. Arrokoth means sky or cloud in the Powhatan indigenous language. It was originally called "Ultima Thule", named for a special area beyond the known world, however that name was later discarded since it's also a racist term for a mythical homeland of the Aryan race. Regardless, the energy of Arrokoth seems to suggest a spiritual or sacred land which can be visited. An Astrolog animation of New Horizons visiting Arrokoth can be seen at: http://www.astrolog.org/astrolog/pic/5probes.gif

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