Achilles: Issues of False Confidence

Achilles was one of the great Greek heroes of myth and legend. One of many students of Chiron who went on to deeds we talk about even today, the stories of his conquests, his leadership and most of all his handsomeness are legion. Therefore it would seem to be an odd planet to associate with issues of confidence, but if you factor in the Achilles heel — the vulnerable spot on the great warrior — you get a clue.

achillesThe delineation of Achilles, the Trojan asteroid, is not as straightforward as simply that; many minor planets have delineations that push and stretch the mythology, or which seem to bear no resemblance to it. Achilles orbits our Sun locked into an orbit with Jupiter. Jupiter is accompanied on either side, at about 60 degrees distance, by two clouds of asteroids called the Trojans. Achilles and Jupiter take just under 12 years to orbit the Sun once. Properly called (588) Achilles, it was discovered in 1906. It was the first of the Trojan asteroids to be discovered, by a German astronomer named Max Wolf.

I was first tipped off to the idea behind the asteroid Achilles about seven years ago by a reader on one of the minor planet lists, who said, “just check out this delineation and see if it works.” And that was: false confidence or false lack of confidence in women. She was specific: check the charts of women.

So, I started casting Achilles into nearly every client’s chart, and sure enough, I could spot something interesting about how the client handled their confidence. Whether they denied themselves confidence they deserved or had confidence that seemed to have no basis, Achilles was providing useful information about where to look for the source of the feeling. That is the point of working with the minor planets: and their delineations are good only as far as they provide information that can be applied in counseling or in reading historical charts.

Let’s skip the part about this planet applying primarily to women and look at Mr. False Confidence himself, George W. Bush. Let’s see if we can find the source of his bravado. Wouldn’t you know it — Achilles is one degree from his South Node, in Sagittarius. This guy is a professional; he is the embodiment of the archetype of false self confidence that emerges from that very Sagittarian theme of religion. I really don’t think he has any false lack of confidence, but you never know what’s going on deeper. I would imagine that if he lacks confidence, it’s the real thing.

In other words, if you have every reason to be confident, if you’ve accomplished great things and you still lack confidence, that is false lack of confidence. Mr. Bush does not qualify for this distinction. Indeed, it is difficult to find someone in the public sphere who does, since everyone is there because they exhibit either confidence or false confidence.

To grasp this dimension, we would need to look at personal charts. I think that given the predominant theme of Achilles’ personal beauty, we can look to that idea for guidance. Too bad we cannot get the chart of this girl — the Onion’s fictional Anne Macais sums it up the false confidence theme beautifully:

“I’m hot. It’s natural to question why I should be promoted, admitted to the club, given that expensive necklace, allowed to use your car whenever I want, and able to expect that someone else will always pick up the check, but that’s all settled now because I’m beautiful. And since I am advantaged, physically, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be given free rein to do what I will in this, or any other, situation. I’m sexy. That ought to take care of any adversity, trouble, or potential slight inconvenience, to me, that might come up.”

The thing with beauty is that it’s an Achilles heel: if you have confidence based on how you appear or seem to others, you are likely to be prone to doubt that this is all they see in you; and as someone who photographs a lot of models, I can tell you that most of them are certain that someone more beautiful is going to come along and take their place; which is actually true.

False lack of confidence is more difficult to study. In some ways it’s a subjective call: you have to decide that the person has less confidence than you think they should. However, this is the kind of thing you get to do as an astrologer. So we need examples of people who seem like they should be confident, but who don’t quite pluck it up. Any ideas who?

6 thoughts on “Achilles: Issues of False Confidence”

  1. Hi there,
    what would you say about Achilles exactly (same degree) conjunct Pluto in the 12th house at 16 Libra? The only aspect 588 makes is this conjunction and a trine to my Venus.

    I have a lack confidence although by all accounts I shouldn’t. Oh and I’m female.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. So does this mean wherever it is found in our chart we should beware because that is the place where we think we have it all but do not?

    What about Achilles’ transits then?

  3. Actual confidence. Would that be when I act, without really having the proof if it’s right in the eyes of whatever or whoever, simply because my intuition or some deep feeling of necessity tells me this? Those are for me the moments I can grab feeling confident. Most of the time I am more or less wrestling with it. I looked it up in my chart, 2nd house Scorpio. Transitting today at the end of my 6th/descendant. Boy, I really have to read this stuff again!

  4. In a way, it’s like the question: “If a tree falls in the woods.” It takes the actor and the observer to decipher whether or not there is an issue over confidence. I think if you know who you are there is no issue. If you’re lost, you’re bound to exhibit either extreme at different times. And then there’s always projection.

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