We have a lot going on in the sky this week, and although most of the major events peak toward the end of the week (the Aquarius New Moon on Thursday and Venus stationing direct Friday chief among them), a pair of oppositions are keeping our behavior in relationship front and center. The most immediate is exact today at 11:43 am EST: Mars in Libra opposite Eris in Aries.
Everyone alive today has Eris in Aries, since it is in the process of spending more than a century in this sign. In myth, Eris the goddess played upon the vanity and insecurity of her sister goddesses, causing discord and strife when she rolled a golden apple inscribed “To the fairest” into a wedding to which she alone (out of all Olympus) had not been invited. The ultimate result was the Trojan War. Eris the minor planet created its own kind of discord and upheaval when its discovery in 2005 lead to the de-classification of Pluto as a planet.
As a result, Eris in astrology carries among its themes one manifestation of the shadow feminine: a female energy that provokes insecurity in others regarding identity and self-image. As Eric has delineated in a PDF titled “Eris: Facets and Fragments of Self,” this mythological discord (combined with Eris’s original nickname, “Xena,” after the postmodern television heroine) translates and speaks to the constant state of identity crisis we’re living as denizens of this postmodern world.
There is, however, a positive expression of Eris. Depending on its house placement in a natal chart (for example, right on a person’s ascendant), Eris can also represent the recovery of a lost fragment of self. That recovery of self has been described by Eric’s friend and fellow astrologer Paloma Todd as, “a placement that moves a lot of shadow in others, and when integrated and activated gives power through immunity to other peoples’ expectations and projections.”
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