Wednesday morning at 5:35 am EDT, we get an Aries New Moon with some serious mojo to it. Not only will the Sun and Moon be conjunct, but within about three degrees are Eris, Mars and Venus. Yesterday Genevieve Hathaway offered one solid perspective on what it means to have Eris sandwiched between two pairs of personal planets (focusing on relationships). This is also a moment to pay attention and see what the astrology brings, to observe how it manifests.
We call this a ‘proving moment’ for a new planet. A proving moment is an event when the properties of a newly discovered planet are likely to manifest in some way. It might not be immediate — it might take a week or two, though the Aries New Moon might represent something about your life right now. (In fact, a number of people seem to be dealing with Eris-type conflict lately within themselves, and it’s getting played out in their relationships.)
Both the Sun and the Moon are applying to Eris — meaning that they are approaching Eris, which moves waaaaaaaay slower. Eris is spending more than a century in Aries (and takes about 557 years to go around the Sun once). Venus and Mars are also close by, making them active participants in this New Moon even though they have already conjoined Eris and moved on. We’ve only known of Eris since 2005, but already we have some idea that it has to do with the quest for self-knowledge and the sensation of a kind of identity anarchy. With Venus and Mars involved, we can extend this idea into the realm of sex and gender.
Even those who consider themselves heterosexual, or who are described as “hetero-normative” by gender-queer people, have questions about their sexual identity. Much of that involves gender, the roles that are assigned to the sexes, and taking steps to understand who we are as sexual people. Sexuality is close to core identity on our particular planet. It resides deep in the psyche and is a realm where all kinds of alchemy takes place.
Our experiences — and in particular, our sexual experiences in this case — help us to shape, understand and define who we are. There’s no need for certainty, only to ask honest questions, or to allow feelings, thoughts and experiences to lead to honest inquiry — or better yet, playful curiosity.
Meanwhile, the astrology is likely to be stressing out many relationships. There is an overload of self-focused energy (many planets in Aries; Uranus is there too, though it’s earlier in the sign and not directly involved in the New Moon). Between the shouts of ‘I am’ (most of the planets in Aries) and ‘Who am I?’ (Eris in Aries) there’s plenty of space for inner conflict, interpersonal tension and confusion over what’s actually triggering you.
A little patience, introspection, empathy and receptivity can go a long way to balance the abundance of outwardly expressive energy in the astrology now — which includes a kind of driving need to embrace the reality of the other. That’s related to Venus being in the Aries stellium of planets. Venus rules two signs that have opposite energy to that of Aries: Taurus and Libra. In Aries, Venus can get overly assertive and forget how to receive and empathize.
Beneath all the aggression of the world that we are seeing now, and the obsession with watching aggression, there are many sexual and relational questions. You don’t need to look far to see and feel that. But it’s as if there is sometimes a barrier that makes it look like anger and passion have different energy sources, when really they are different forms of the same energy. If you’ve ever witnessed someone’s passionate tirade and mistaken it for anger, you have a sense of this. And destructive emotional violence sometimes gets dismissed as ‘passion’.
The key in these days will be to observe carefully and remain curious. You can allow many of the questions that bubble to remain open for now; or, if you have an answer, don’t be afraid to leave it open to alchemical transformation.
You can see a full chart for the Aries New Moon here. For additional reading on Eris in the pages of Planet Waves, consider these resources:
The Foggy New Edge of Neptune. This was my first article after the reclassification of Pluto due to the discovery of Eris. It describes how astronomers attempted to redefine the edge of the solar system in 19th century terms, reverting back to what was true in 1846 when Neptune was discovered.
Calling Home the Castaway Woman. This is a more recent delineation of Eris, which looks at the archetype of the marginalized woman.
Eris Notebook: Dancing with Discord. This looks at the history of the second wave feminist movement (’70s Women’s Lib) and the conjunction of Chiron and Eris in 1971-72. This is the conjunction that Rachel Maddow has in her chart, as does anyone born during this era.
Pluto in the Age of Eris describes the issue of new planets, and how we need to recast Pluto given the discovery of Eris and many other discoveries beyond Pluto’s orbit.
Finally, here is my delineation of Eris from Small World Stories, the 2008 annual edition of Planet Waves.