(Editor’s note: The author is discussing several of the trans-Neptunian dwarf planets (Plutinos) named after underworld deities — Pluto, Ixion and Orcus. Further resources in Footnotes.)
What on earth is going on?
In a world that seems to have lost all rhyme and reason, and where the complications of yesterday seem strangely simplistic, this is a great question. And there is a very succinct answer, although not one especially simplistic. It requires a certain perspective to make it sensible, in the true sense of that word, and it’s a perspective that does not have universal appeal. I do believe, however, that it is indisputably the truth. The answer is evolution.
I can illustrate this theory quite easily by looking to the past — humankind has faced this kind of evolution before, and, if not exactly thriving, it has survived. But our collective response is crucial to the happy resolution of our present difficulties, and that will require a high degree of faith.
Let’s begin there. Why faith? Well, the answer is that, as a species, we are now experiencing a type of spiritual evolution rather than a physical one. There are also ongoing efforts to thwart this spiritual process by agents of darkness, who, for the maintenance of their own ascendancy, require that humans become drones in a kind of collective entity, not unlike the ants in a colony or the capacitors on a memory chip. And while I realise this sounds outlandish, or like imaginings from the golden age of science fiction authors like Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, I firmly believe it is the truth, albeit not an empirical one that can be proven by scientists.
And therein lies the great conundrum of our age, as well as the shadow of my own Pluto-in-Virgo generation, which venerates science and depends upon it for the answers to our present challenges, as if science could supply anything but the most absurd answers. Its preference for using concoctions of nonhuman DNA and toxic heavy metals rather than living in harmony with natural processes that create strong immunity is one example of the Mecca of scientific absurdity. If health and longevity were the genuine objectives of the vaccine industry, why not employ non-toxic adjuvants like squalene and paraffin oil rather than mercury or aluminium compounds known to be detrimental to human health? This example, however, is an issue that does not get to the crux of the matter, but rather is symptomatic of the malaise that hinders and oppresses our current spiritual progress. (1)
The fact that these arguments and suppositions are so very contentious is illustrative of the breakdown of trust between the engines of human progress — science, medicine, government — and the humanity it is entrusted to transport into an allegedly brighter future. The golden ages of human emancipation into progress and enlightenment have typically been accompanied by literary, artistic, and spiritual dissemination, with the currency of personal self-improvement and societal renaissance being their common coin. Instead, we are witnessing the rise of ignorance, insularity, and xenophobia at every turn. This is no golden age, but a dark age in which the new inquisitors tasked with silencing dissent wear lab coats in place of cassocks. And their religion is a belief that the quantity of life should oppress its quality, even whilst peddling snake oil as the answer to all of our problems.
Our great advances in the fields of genetics, biology, and pharmacology are not fashioning a new Eden, but a great Bedlam instead. And this is why the world seems to have gone mad. In truth, the world is mad, and has deliberately been made so by those very agents of spiritual regression.
Reality, you see, does not occur in a vacuum. There is inevitably an astrological narrative that accompanies all Enlightenments and Dark Ages, and this is easily demonstrated, though its effects and ramifications are hard to divine.
Some examples: The stock market crash of 1929, which caused the first global recession, occurred five months before the discovery of Pluto. In terms of world timescales, this discovery and event were effectively concurrent, but even so, the search for Pluto began as early as 1894, when anomalies in the orbit of Neptune were first observed. So, Pluto was waiting in the wings, ready to make humankind grapple with its inner darkness.
Freud was developing his theories in the years leading up to Pluto’s discovery, but it was difficult then to appreciate how much his work would lay the foundations for a Plutonian landscape, a new paradigm in thought in which ideas of an unconscious life, of libido, of feminine sexuality, of a theory of dreams — all the psychological parlance and paraphernalia we now take for granted — would come into being in the decade leading to Pluto’s unveiling. And it was in 1932 when Edward Rutherford discovered that the atom could be split, the dire potentials of which were nothing less than the annihilation of all life on earth.
Thus, the domain of the Lord of Death became evident some months before his discovery, and this is the key principle we find at work in the world as we speak. New paradigms of human thought and understanding are becoming manifest through the revelation of both Orcus and Ixion. (2)
It is important to remain comfortable with the principle of the spiritual unfoldment that astrology represents, both personally and collectively. It is a means by which we can find a theoretical route to self-awareness, even to enlightenment. How many times have you contemplated the meanings of certain placements and configurations in your own chart, and seen them in a way that matched the apprehension of your current consciousness, and then, a little further down life’s road, when you re-evaluate that same glyph, it seems to contain an entirely new potential — one that reflects the hard-won fruits of the lessons you’ve learned since your last evaluation? This is an esoteric proof that astrology is no more than a map of your spiritual terrain, with the ongoing movements and overtures of the heavens acting as the levers and valves that channel increasing spiritual energies through the body ethereal. The only proviso is that you be awake to it.
Given that, is it any wonder that, in the age of Orcus, we are talking daily about self-isolation, social distancing, fake news, the post-truth age, false flags, and corruption at every level of public life? (3) Perhaps even more cogently, isolation has become an intrinsic part of our contemporary western lifestyle, with millions now working and living their lives virtually, while experiencing little human contact.
Similarly, should we be surprised by the increasing levels — obscene by any reasonable measure — of wealth inequality, of lobbying by special interest groups to the detriment of nearly all but a small hyper-privileged elite, and of a world effectively run by and for the benefit of narcissists and billionaires (is there a difference?), that have become commonplace since the unveiling of Ixion? (4)
We, therefore, are the “lucky” few to be alive at a time when a new class of dwarf planets, designated by the IAU to be named after underworld deities, are being classified and baptised. Each new player adds another archetypal dimension to our human consciousness, and we are attempting to assimilate an increasingly complex and disorienting array of mythic themes into our repository of psychological ordnance. And like any potentially explosive or toxic material, it causes injury, devastation, and misery when improperly handled. The problem is that, because these difficult energies are genuinely new, we are very inexperienced in terms of their management and care. We are the first generations in human history to contend with Ixion and Orcus (and Lempo). It is no surprise that we are in turmoil. Consider how the announcement of Pluto changed the world; it was a profound transformation hitherto unknown in time.
I feel that this explains so much. Yet it is argued by some that these new underworld deities (or asteroids in general) being unveiled and integrated into the astrological pantheon are not meaningful in the same way that we viewed Pluto’s discovery. I think this misses the point. But certainly Pluto is the pioneer, his introduction having paved the way for an entire domain of human experience previously unknown, or, at best, little trod, with the exception of a few brave pilgrims. It has taken a great deal of time and soul-work to begin to assimilate these dynamics into the universal human experience, but we have. It is now accepted that we have a psychological nature. Before Freud, this was considered fantastic fiction, like something from the pages of Astounding Tales. Now it is merely common sense, and it would be ridiculous to think otherwise.
These new archetypes are therefore not less important nor less profound, but we now have some proficiency in their handling — we are experienced, at least a little. As a result, how much more aware are we of pathologies such as narcissism since the baptism of Ixion? What about the rise in socially isolating conditions, such as autism, in the wake of Orcus’s discovery? Or the previously unimagined uncertainties that might affect biological gender types since the naming of Lempo? These new astrological paradigms are not less then, but instead they add detail, texture, and dimension to the previously vague “psychological” and underworld nature of the Plutonic realm. They are a necessary expansion of the Underworld, both personal and collective, if we are to spiritually evolve and grow, as individuals and as a species.
But, as Jung cautioned, there is no coming to consciousness without pain. These new archetypes add a great deal of struggle, contention, and conflict as we try to reach human consensus regarding the hitherto obscured and shadowy dimensions that they illuminate. Many feel it would be better had they remained in the dark, but we cannot put the genie back into the bottle, nor snap shut the lid on Pandora’s box. We can only respond to the difficult personal and spiritual work called forth by these new astrological archetypes by making the world a better place, in our own small way, as living examples to others of these evolutionary changes.
(1) The chart for the vaccine industry is highly intriguing and will experience its own Orcus, Ixion, and Pluto returns within the next 16 to 20 years. Expect difficult revelations.
The orbital periods of both Orcus and Ixion are 248 years, the same as Pluto’s. The vaccine chart is based on the first inoculation made by Edward Jenner on May 14, 1796 in Gloucester, U.K.
(2) Orcus and Ixion are two of the 13 Plutinos (trans-Neptunian objects) of notable size and mass; the other named ones are Pluto (the largest), Huya and Lempo. Lempo, discovered in 1999, is a Finnish deity of indeterminate gender! Coincidence?
Orcus was precovered on November 8, 1951, discovered on February 17, 2004, and named on November 26, 2004. (See: minorplanetcenter.net)
Ixion was precovered on July 17, 1982, discovered on May 22, 2001, and named on March 28, 2002.
(3) Editor’s note: Here is the author’s earlier (2008) article Orcus awakens: help!: “For those who are not yet aware, Orcus is a planet, technically, in contemporary parlance, a plutoid. It is somewhat smaller than Pluto, but its orbital period is identical to Pluto (248 years), and it follows a near identical path around the ecliptic, though offset, it was discovered 74 years to the day after Pluto was discovered, and it was named Orcus, by those astrologically-phobic astronomers, after the Roman name for Pluto, who was later known as Dis Pater.”
Jeremy also wrote this blog for TMA in 2015: Orcus opposite Neptune: then and now
Some thoughts on Orcus from that blog: “For an Orcus primer, it’s key to understand that Orcus is a Hadean archetype, and, alongside Ixion and Pluto, completes a trinity of mostly unconscious, often challenging drives and compulsions, which, through their deteriorating influence on our human condition, gradually help to bring us to self-awareness. Where Pluto is intense and personal and represents the compulsion to attempt control of situations and people in our lives, Orcus is detached and impersonal and attempts to manage challenging circumstances, not with Pluto’s habitual power struggle and its attendant unpleasantnesses, such as humiliation and subjugation, but rather through cold, inhuman disinterest. In archetypal terms, Pluto is the Mafia boss pulling everyone’s strings and Orcus is his henchman and willing executioner with a heart of stone. Pluto is impassioned, Orcus passionless……..Keywords for Orcus: integrity, authenticity, implacability, ruthlessness, loneliness, isolation, ‘dark night of the soul,’ alienation, meditation and prayer, spiritual depth, determination, diehard, unbreakable, detached, merciless, inhumane, cruel.”
(4) The author’s website, Chirotic Journal, has an article: Ixion and the Good Life (posted in April 2020).
In that blog, Jeremy notes: “On February 25th, Ixion made ingress into Capricorn. These transitions of major planets into new domains are usually interesting, but rarely devastating. The movement of Ixion into Capricorn, however, is important, and not only because it marked the point in time when Coronavirus went ‘global’ and ceased to be an exclusively Chinese problem.”
And further, Jeremy writes: “The energy of Ixion is fundamentally Hadean. He sits in the shadowy triumvirate with Pluto and Orcus, and his astrological message is of Pluto’s pedigree: transform or perish! The Underworld Lords each have their dominion: Pluto who hollows life out and turns all joy to ash; Orcus who isolates and imprisons you into a long overdue introspection; Ixion, the most subterranean of all the inmates of Tartarus, who makes an unendurable torment that you nonetheless must endure. It hardly matters so long as you wake up and get authentic.”
Bio: Jeremy Neal is an astrologer living in Durham, England. He is the author of Orcus (reviewed in TMA 10/13), available via Amazon in paperback or Kindle. See Jeremy’s blog: The Chirotic Journals