A lot of people still haven’t heard of Eris, a dwarf planet in our solar system that was discovered in 2005. She lives outside of Pluto’s orbit and is nearly the same size. Whether the study of Eris will change the way we look at new planetary bodies in astrology remains to be seen, but, like all new discoveries, Eris is aptly named for the vibe she brings with her to the natal chart.
Cool Facts about Eris
Eris is only two to three miles smaller in diameter than Pluto, but astronomers expect her to be heavier and more dense. In fact, the discovery of Eris changed the way scientists consider what constitutes a planet, and, in part, led to Pluto’s downgrade to dwarf planet. It takes 558 years for her to orbit the Sun, and her path along the ecliptic is so eccentric and irregular that the time she spends in each sign varies widely.
The composition of Eris has been a topic of intense investigation. Astronomers believe that she is primarily composed of rock and ice, similar to other objects in the trans-Neptunian Kuiper Belt. It remains unclear whether Eris possesses an atmosphere. Scientists have observed indications of a thin atmosphere composed mainly of methane, but further research is needed to confirm this.
The surface of Eris is intriguing. Due to distance and limited information gathered so far, science’s knowledge of Eris’s surface features is relatively limited. Remote observations by astronomers have revealed the presence of dark and bright patches on her surface, hinting at variations in composition and potential geological activity. Detailed exploration missions to Eris would be necessary to unravel the secrets hidden beneath her icy exterior, but it would take a very long time to get there.
The Mythology and Archetype of Eris
While most of the major planets in our solar system are named for Roman gods and goddesses, Eris is named for a Greek goddess. She is a deity associated with chaos and strife, and was named Discordia in the Roman myths. Known for her disruptive nature and ability to sow discord among both mortals and gods, Eris holds a prominent place in the pantheon.
Eris was often depicted as a beautiful but malevolent goddess. She was the daughter of Nyx, the goddess of the night, and sister to Ares, the god of war and namesake of the sign Aries. Eris herself personified the embodiment of conflict and disagreement, taking pleasure in creating chaos and stirring up trouble wherever she went.
One of the most famous stories involving Eris is the myth of the Judgment of Paris. According to the legend, Eris was not invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis and, in her anger, she decided to wreak havoc on the celebration. She threw a golden apple into the midst of the festivities, inscribed with the words “For the fairest.” This act instantly ignited a fierce competition among three powerful goddesses: Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena, each believing herself to be the rightful recipient of the golden apple.
Unable to decide among themselves, the three goddesses asked Paris, a mortal prince, for his opinion on who should get the apple. Each goddess attempted to bribe him with promises of great power and wealth. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, offered him the love of Helen, who was the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris, swayed by Aphrodite’s enticing proposition, awarded her the golden apple. This fateful decision eventually led to the events of the Trojan War, as Helen was already married to King Menelaus of Sparta and Paris was willing to go to war to be a homewrecker. Oops.
Another myth involving Eris is a story of a battle between the gods and the giants. Eris sided with the giants, who sought to overthrow the rule of the Olympian gods. Her presence in the battle added some of her signature chaos and strife, heightening the intensity of the conflict.
Eris’s mythology extends beyond these specific stories, as she was often invoked by her followers to explain instances of discord and disagreement among mortals, emphasizing the pervasive influence of her spicy nature in everyday life.
What Does Eris Mean in Astrology?
It’s important to note that the interpretation of Eris in astrology is still evolving. Everyone under 97 years old has Eris in Aries, as she has been there since 1926. Eris will remain in Aries until 2048. As a relatively new discovery, her significance and precise meanings are still being explored and debated within the astrological community. Different astrologers may have varying interpretations and approaches to her role in astrological readings.
All we can do is study how Eris may have coincided with historical events and generational attitudes towards women, change, and activism. No sign or house is set to be ruled by Eris, and she may simply be an independent outlier in astrology. That may actually be quite fitting for her archetype.
Eris is currently seen as a potential disruptor, challenging the status quo and exposing underlying tensions or power dynamics. She can symbolize a catalyst for change, particularly in situations where there is a need to address deep-rooted issues or injustices. Her vibe is often linked to themes of social activism, rebellion, feminism, and the breaking down of oppressive structures — and of playing the long game. Think of how society started to change for women in the Roaring 20s — and how far women have come since then. That may be exactly what a strong goddess, known for discord and disruption, could do in a sign like Aries to smash the patriarchy.
In traditional natal astrology by house and aspect, Eris may represent the shadow side of our psyche and the parts of ourselves that have been repressed. She can indicate areas where we may experience internal or external conflicts, prompting us to confront and integrate these suppressed aspects. The Eris vibe, perhaps, can bring to light unresolved issues, unresolved anger, or feelings of being an outsider or misunderstood.
Eris is also associated with truth-telling and the pursuit of authenticity. Her vibe encourages individuals to question established narratives, challenge the status quo, and seek their own personal truth. It can inspire a willingness to speak out against injustice, advocate for marginalized communities, and stand up for what one believes in.
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