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Libra New Moon: Proving Moment for Eris

Monday is the Libra New Moon — the Sun and Moon making their monthly conjunction in the sign of Libra. What’s distinctive about this Libra New Moon is that it is opposite the minor planet Eris. The discovery of Eris informed everyone that the minor planets exist, and was, in part, responsible for the demotion of Pluto (when it became minor planet [134340] Pluto). The number in brackets is the minor planet catalog number, stated in formal notation.

Nobody doubts that Pluto is just as potent as ever, despite being a “minor” planet; now it’s time to consider a more recent discovery — (136199) Eris, a body about the size of Pluto, with an orbit more than twice as long. At this point, Eris is so far from the Sun that it will be spending more than a century in Aries, a factor that is feeding the sense of identity chaos so prevalent in our phase of history.

In an article in the current issue of TMA, I describe the process of deciphering what new planets mean and how they work. I give numerous examples of what I call “proving moments” — significant news or personal events, at which times the newly discovered point is involved in something like a New Moon or a Full Moon, especially when there is an unusually tight alignment, say, two degrees or less. When this happens, it’s possible to witness the expression of the newly discovered point as it reveals itself. (By newly, I mean within the past 20 years or so.)

We are about to have just such a proving moment with Eris. What we witness over the next few days will be expressive of the nature of Eris. In fact, what we’ve been witnessing in the past week is offering some insight, although an asteroid called Psyche has been very active as well. Psyche brings an atmosphere of healing crisis in personal relationships, deep self-doubts, and the quest for authentic faith in one another and ourselves.

I’m proposing that the Sun-Moon conjunction in Libra represents an idealized view of relationships. Libra is one of the signs that most vividly describes relating to others (it’s the sign opposite Aries, which is about self-focus). At this time, we’re noticing that prefab views of relationships are not working well; people are behaving differently than the rules say they should. In fact, the rules seem to be a cover-up of actual behavior.

All of this is coming under special focus now. Eris in Aries is a factor that stirs up chaos within the psyche. There is a sense that “I don’t know who I am, this is all so confusing, what do I want.” One typical way to resolve this kind of dilemma is to shift one’s identity into a relationship and ‘find oneself’ there.

We invest so much energy in relationships, often with persistent disappointments. We can learn something about this from Libra. This is an unusual sign, having two very different planets associated with it: Venus (its ruler) and Saturn (in its exaltation there). Libra at its best is a perfect morph of both: the attractiveness, emotional affinity, and creativity of Venus, melded with the structure, firmness, and respect of Saturn. We need both of these in relationships.
Most of the time, we fake it — often in support of maintaining an image, or in a struggle to handle intimacy. Now, these appearances are being challenged by forces emerging from deep in the psyche.

Named for the Greek goddess of discord and chaos, Eris often does have this quality when you study it in news charts. It can also represent the sly move, subterfuge, or the covert long-term plan for domination (whether political or within the politics of love). Its motto in such cases is “by any means necessary,” regardless of whether the goal itself is legitimate or necessary.

In personal charts, Eris seems to be related to the identity chaos that we’re experiencing here in the postmodern world (the modern world, with the rug pulled out from underneath logic). We spend much time wondering who we are these days — going through identity crises, transforming ourselves, and collecting business cards for the various things with which we might identify ourselves. We’ve all met the person who is the bank vice president, the Reiki master, the doll clothing designer, and, simultaneously the house organizer. That’s a reminder that Eris is in Aries.

Yet Eris is saying that we have to be ourselves, and that it’s not possible to use a relationship to substitute for that. The usual chameleon-like attempts to be the person you think your partner wants you to be are not going to work under the stress of this opposition, and you may even begin to realize that they never did. Within this context, we might call Eris “the thin line beyond which we can’t fake it.”

However, when this method suddenly stops working, we can feel like we don’t know who we are — perhaps with the sensation of vertigo, or our world crumbling. The sense of not knowing can be profoundly unsettling and disorienting. Removing the false foundation can lead directly to feeling as though we don’t have any foundation at all.

In my view, this is part of the reason why many people stay in relationships that don’t support their growth. At least they feel supported on the level of ego identity, even if it comes at the expense of personal independence and freedom. Notably, it also saves many of us from the responsibilities that come with true independence and freedom. Many have spent their lives going from relationship to relationship, trying to establish stability there, yet at the expense of their growth and evolution.

Things can get very weird when one person or the other reaches the point where they can no longer remain static. If one person’s identity is “founded” on that of the other, both people can become unstable when one of them starts to grow. Often there’s a reaction to suppress this new growth. Eventually, it is likely to fail, and there may be a collapse, drama, or crisis. That crisis might involve jealousy, which is one of the ultimate threats to a relationship when it has been a substitute for having a life.

And it looks to me like this particular pattern is coming into focus with Monday’s Libra New Moon opposite Eris in Aries. I said earlier that this is a proving moment, when we get to observe what’s happening to us personally, as well as to watch the world around us for information about Eris and what it represents. I’ve made a few observations here that I trust you can take into consideration and still study yourself and your environment for more information.

One last thing about today’s astrology: there is a square between Mars and Chiron, which is about working through sexual and creative blocks — the perfect assistance for today’s Libra New Moon. I cover that in greater detail in Sunday’s edition of my own blog.

Bio: Eric Francis is the editor of Planet Waves and host of Planet Waves FM. Connect with him at Planet and


  1. I wonder what this means for someone whose natal moon is in Libra? More felt? As for working through those creative blocks? Ugh … when aren’t I?

    • Lizanne, Sun/Moon to your Moon is usually pretty creative, and energizing. I happen to know you’re born under the sign ‘Acurious’ so you have a lot of air to breathe. As for creative blocks, it’s best to let the creativity do the work for you. How would you describe the block, or the feeling of being blocked?

  2. This aspect could be a true test of some relationships as you say Eric and a couple of the most obvious relationships here in the U.S. would be the Republican and Democrat teams vying for the titles of President and Vice President. How true can the bottom half of the ticket stay to the top half of the ticket and still maintain their own identity?

    I thought of Juno while reading your article and how different the myths are for these two symbols of equality in marriage (relationship); Eris demanding equality or she will leave, and Juno demanding equality or she will make your life hell. Ironically there is an astrological connection between these symbols now; a sesquiquadrate (135 degrees apart), with the asteroid Juno at 8 Sagittarius.

    In his latest newsletter “Sky Scraping” (Oct. 14, 2012), Phil Sedgick calls this aspect “one of applied action” and “demands dedication and discipline to any cause plan or agenda”. I’m guessing this could be more difficult for one of the VP candidates than the other since there’s no hope for an annulment at this late date!

    I enjoyed your article and it’s subject very much and hope you will continue to write about the new and different minor planets here at TMA.

  3. One observation I have is most or many women are petrified (going along with not knowing who we are) to be on their own and single for any length of time. We therefore do whatever is necessary, be it servant, whore, mother to stay in a realtionship, never really playing the role we were meant to as ME. Only when all these roles produce pain and discontent do we dig down and find ourselves. Not to discredit the up and coming generation who have more than we “older women”. It just takes a good amount of time and tears to break out if you were from the 50’s 60’s where this was such an issue. Thanks to Eris for helping me understand and become who I am now!

    • True Susan, and this doesn’t just apply to staying in a male/female relationship. I am busy breaking free from relationships with other women (my grown daughters and friends)that seem to demand me to play a role according to a set of rules that don’t work for me nor allow me to be me. These ‘rules’ are indeed used to cover up a great deal of behavior by these folks that is at odds with the rules they are touting–just as Eric says here. In short, this can be seen in ALL relationships at this time.

  4. Maybe another good way to understand the meaning is pay attention to events around the time Sun is conjunct the north or south node of Eris. Sun is exactly conjunct South Node/Earth is exactly conjunct the North on October 29th which is my birthday,and so I have the same alignment with 10 minute orb. It is strong connection to the collective energy. I definitely feel the themes of dversity,equality,discord,controversy as well ideology that unites or divides leading to inclusion or exclusion. I am a multiethnic, neurodivergent, sex hormonal divergent, and pagan. In those ways, I do not fit the status quo. I know what is like to be excluded even though I believe in equality to the point that I support women rights and gay rights.

    • On October 29th, 2012
      Sun will be exactly conjunct the Geocentric South Eris Node in 6’13 Scorpio and oppose the Geocentric North Eris Node in 6’13 Taurus

      In Heliocentric System, Earth will be exactly conjunct/oppose Heliocentric Eris Nodes in 6’14 Taurus/Scorpio

      On April 26, 2012
      Sun was exactly conjunct the Geocentric North Eris Node in 6’14 Taurus and oppose the Geocentric North Eris Node in 6’14 Scorpio

      In Heliocentric system, Earth was exactly oppose/conjunct Heliocentric Eris Nodes in 6’14 Taurus/Scorpio

      These are annual alignments that happen on the same dates.

    • You have given us much to think about Raymond Scott and I thank you for that. I’m particularly fascinated by the astrology for the Pakistani girl who was shot. Do you have more info from her birth chart?

      Not only is October 29th the day the Sun is conjunct Eris’ node and your birthday and a Taurus full moon (conjunct my south node), it’s also the day Mercury enters Sagittarius. I’m feeling the Earth move under my feet!

  5. I’ve been reading this over and over. One other thing I like about the Eris legend is that through her discord, she caused others to show their shadow sides. Those who close ranks and exclude others might as well put up a banner saying “this is what I’m afraid of in myself!”
    But it’s the Psyche connection, with the healing crisis and self-doubt, I’m feeling most at this time. This New Moon is conjunct (within two degrees–I don’t go any wider orbs than that) Mercury and Mars for me. I’ve been feeling others who have invested their identity in their relationships with me crumble, suppress, and go dramatic as I’ve changed greatly in the past year, and it’s starting to wear me out greatly. Thank you for looking sensibly at the complex characters of these asteroids–there’s a lot there to mine.

  6. Forgot to put the stop-plug into the boat. Luckily in shallow water with my chest waders on. Water flowing into boat. Jump out. Reach into murky, freezing cold water put the stop in.

    Literally, spent an hour of the day pulling a boat through low waters, except for the canal. Then it got stuck. My co-worker and I actually used paddles to try and shovel boat out of lake bottom. We shoveled the bottom of the lake with canoe paddles to move the boat forward. Decided this path was too much. Turned it all around and pushed it back to where we started.

    Went and to get a canoe. Truck got stuck. Got the truck unstuck. Drove to another access point to the lake. Drove around a lock-gate, a double black diamond run. Launched at another lake access point. Successfully collected the water samples for Science.

    Driving home, got stuck one more time. go forward can’t go back.

    Chiron in Pisces square Mars in Aries, Libra New Moon opposite Eris.


  7. This astrology feels very apropos to me after spending years doing my own thing and now entering into a new relationship, I find myself wanting nothing to do with being in a relationship at the expense of my “growth and evolution”.
    So thank you for this insight, and the feeling the universe is supporting me right here and right now.

  8. So far, I’ve been a bit sceptical about Eris. It is transiting my Mars and will continue to do so for at least another 3-4 years. But nothing much seems to be happening. In fact, I’m having quite a good time, right now. But then, I’m not in a relationship! Maybe that explains it.

  9. By the way — this is for research freaks in the audience.

    Tracy Delaney, the author of (the most amazing minor planet research tool out there), checked on the frequency of the New Moon opposite Eris in Aries, exact to within one degree [not two, as previously stated]. Eris remains in Aries for about 126 years if I recall, from 1922 through 2048. The range of the opposition she checked was two degrees. Today’s New Moon is the 7th time it’s happened since 1922. The are all pretty close.

    She writes, “It’s been on an intermittent eight-year cycle, coinciding with [the year right before] US election years (and transits of Venus) … this cycle starts to dissolve after 2028 … the one in 2036 is one degree and 4 arcminutes away, the next one further away etc.”

    Note, 2004 and 2012 were the only times in presidential election years, so far. Because this can only happen with the Sun in Libra, these were right before the elections.

    Thank you Tracy.

    Eris entered Aries (for the first time) 3rd June 1922

    25th Sep 1927 22:10:41 UT – NEW MOON at 1 li 50? 1? – Eris at 0 ar 52’18? Rx
    27th Sep 1935 17:29:25 UT – NEW MOON at 3 li 40’17? – Eris at 3 ar 8’35? Rx
    29th Sep 1943 11:29:15 UT – NEW MOON at 5 li 26’54? – Eris at 5 ar 19’39? Rx
    1st Oct 1951 01:56:39 UT – NEW MOON at 7 li 5’15? – Eris at 7 ar 26’41? Rx
    2nd Oct 1959 12:30:51 UT – NEW MOON at 8 li 33’50? – Eris at 9 ar 29’46? Rx
    14th Oct 2004 02:48:15 UT – NEW MOON at 21 li 5’59? – Eris at 20 ar 17’54? Rx
    15th Oct 2012 12:02:30 UT – NEW MOON at 22 li 32’20? – Eris at 22 ar 9’45? Rx

    Future years:

    16th Oct 2020 19:30:54 UT – NEW MOON at 23 li 53’28? – Eris at 24 ar 0? 9? Rx
    18th Oct 2028 02:56:28 UT – NEW MOON at 25 li 15’52? – Eris at 25 ar 52’33? Rx

    Eris enters Taurus (for last time, to stay) 9th March 2048


  10. Barack Obama has Sun trine and contraparallel Eris,
    and he was elected when there was a Minor Grand of Venus in Sagittarius, Neptune in Aquarius, and Eris in Aries.

    USA has an almost exact Sun-Eris opposition in its Right Ascension chart.

    The Pakistani school girl that got shot by the Taliban has Eris conjunct Saturn within 1 degree and square Sun within 1 degree.

  11. Very interesting posts – I have natal Sun at 22 degrees Aries (along with Mercury, Venus and Moon) and of course have had Eris conjunct the Sun in the 4th house. I lost my partner of 7 years 5 years ago and have not had a relationship since but I have not felt like being in one for all this time preferring to ‘be myself and please myself’ having raised my children who have fled the nest. I do feel a bit selfish but I don’t care! I did think that the Libra new moon opposite my Sun might change my mind but so far it hasn’t. It will be interesting to see what transpires on the 29th October though as this full moon will square Pluto in my chart.

  12. Do you feel this is responsible for all the neediness I’ve been seeing lately? My Facebook friends are popping up with questions like, “If I were gone, would you miss me?” and “If I didn’t log in, would you notice?” A couple weeks ago I did a chart on someone who had cried out for help on his FB page, got no response, so left cryptic clues that he was going to off himself, like “Take care of my dog,” etc. Then he OD’d (but was found in time). Even today, I can tell a couple of my friends are feeling the need for more attention.

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