Planetoids

Sedna - Journey to the Edge

Sedna is a painting by Antony Galbraith
Sedna by Antony Galbraith

Sedna - Journey to the Edge - Updated from Falconastrology 2006.

Who is Sedna?

Sedna dwells in a remote region of space, a distant world whose discovery tripled the size of our solar system. Seen from her icy surface, our sun is only a twinkling star. Extremely cold, red, eccentric in orbit and with a mysterious constitution, her first sighting on November 14, 2003, 06:32 AM UT at Palomar Mountain, California marks a new shift in human awareness. Nothing this far away has ever been seen before.

Early newspaper headlines proclaimed Sedna as our 10th planet though Dr Michael Brown, who named her for the Inuit goddess of the Arctic seas, predicted Sedna would be classified as a planetoid, along with Pluto, Eris and other "Trans-Neptune" bodies. Estimated at about 1800 km, or 2/3 the size of Pluto, Sedna is the largest and most outlying body found since 1930.

Sedna orbits somewhere beyond the outer edge of the Kuiper Belt and the inner periphery of the hypothesized Oort cloud, a vast source of comets and other frozen bodies thought to extend halfway to the next nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Her distance is between 76AU and 942AU, making a single journey around the sun in about 11,400 years, compared to the planetoid Eris, with an orbit of 557 years and Pluto, 248 years.

Some Perspective on Distance

Though remote, Sedna is still much closer than the ‘fixed stars’, important astrological indicators in the chart. Like homoeopathy, distance (dilution) may actually increase potency. The question is what kind of potency?sedna-art

The Astrological Sedna

Determining the astrological significance of Sedna requires observation and time. Research includes exploring the mythology of the name, collective movements and social spotlights at the time of discovery and events, internal and external, that link to the natal and mundane placement of Sedna in the chart.

Things to Consider

Dennis Elwell, astrologer and author, cautions against giving excessive weight to singular episodes in the mythology and not enough to empirical experience. Though mythic themes are insightful, events coinciding with Sedna activation by transit must be considered equally.

Naming Sedna

The first coincidence is the naming of Sedna . How do we know they got it right? Liz Greene, from London’s Centre for Psychological Astrology, elaborates on this topic.

“There is…a curious synchronicity between the time when the planet is discovered and the emergence in society of values and experiences which the planet represents symbolically. It’s as though the planet breaks upon consciousness in both a literal and symbolic way. I can’t really answer you as to why Uranus is called Uranus and Neptune, Neptune. I can only say that in some mysterious fashion they get the names right.”

The Inuit Sedna

Sedna resides in the icy depths of Adlivun, the Arctic underworld beneath the sea. There she rules all marine life and controls the fate of humans by releasing her bounty to respectful hunters and withholding it from careless ones. Disregard for the sacredness of life is the worst offence. When this happens, her long hair tangles with filth and requires a shaman’s journey to appease her rage.

The legends vary regarding her origins, though in most stories, Sedna was once a beautiful girl. Many suitors came to ask for her hand in marriage yet she rejected them all, much to her father’s anguish. When one wealthy hunter was refused, he gave her his dog, saying it was all she deserved. She then marries the dog and gives birth to pups and babes alike.

Ironically, a dog to the Inuit symbolizes faithfulness to one’s own spirit, making this union a mark of individuation, completion within herself. The hunter and her father, however, are appalled. When the dog-husband carries food to his banished offspring, Sedna’s father places stones in his pack and drowns him.

Still, Sedna continues to refuse all suitors until a mysterious man arrives dressed in very fine skins and feathers. Intrigued by the promise of warmth and abundance, she agrees to wed.

But it doesn't go well. Her new husband’s guarantee of comfort vanishes when Sedna realizes he is a Fulmar, a dangerous bird spirit living on a desolate island. Although he brings her fresh fish every day, there is no warmth, no furs, and no lamp oil. She falls into despair, wailing her lament.

Another Version

The Legend of Sedna (Sraiya, ca. 2010, pen and ink)

In yet another version, Sedna is the child of two deities. Though well fed, she is a hungry girl and chews into her parents’ flesh while they sleep. For this, she is sent into exile.

In every version, Sedna eventually ends up in a kayak with her father who finally comes to rescue her. A terrible storm ensues, stirred by the angry Fulmar or other offended spirits who don't want to let her go. Her father fears for his life and tosses Sedna overboard. (Thanks, dad...)

When she grasps the side of the kayak and tries to climb back in, he chops her frozen fingers off, one by one with an axe. As her finger joints fall into the sea, they turn into seals, whales, polar bears, fish, dolphins and walruses.

Sedna sinks below the waves, her upper body remaining a woman and her lower body transforming into a fish or dolphin tail. She comes to rest at the bottom of the ocean floor and is guarded by her faithful dog-husband.

Sometimes she is depicted as a grotesque, one-eyed vision of outraged spite. Other images are more seductive and mermaid-like. She probably can be both.

The Mermaid Mythos and Other Connections

Stories of mermaids, circulating for centuries and underscored periodically with actual sightings, tell of sea creatures, half female-half fish or dolphin. They personify both the alluring and treacherous aspects of the feminine, residing in the sea of the unconscious, holding a key to life and death. Like Sedna, they maintain specific taboos and seem to represent an innate fear of the sacred feminine.

European tales like The Handless Maiden also involve a father who cuts off his daughter’s hands. The loss of the hands is a potent and disturbing symbol. Hands represent our dexterity, allowing us to control and interact with the world. The father’s act of maiming his child—in the Inuit and European stories —is, to us, poorly motivated. Because he was afraid of the Fulmar? Afraid of her?

Lack of proportional incentive makes these tales all the more disturbing. Among other things, they say something about abused family authority, a theme in the Sedna mythology.

The Life-Death-Life Goddess

This doesn’t mean that Sedna is a victim. Quite the opposite, she is a life-death-life goddess. Her power and authority regulate who, by their right action, will live and who, by their negligence, will starve. Here is what Dr Kathleen Jenks says about Sedna and victimization.

“When victimization moves to the goddess-level as it does with Sedna, (it) signals us that there's an extra depth of compassion for the abused. It also tells us that this goddess-archetype has the wherewithal to make a difference and empower that person whose (planets) are resonating with Sedna’s sphere of power.

Sedna may come to represent an extreme terrain of the unconscious, one where issues of power, authority and respect for life do not separate from a respect for oneself. The Inuit are an animistic people, seeing divinity in all things. Sedna may ask us to account for previously unconsidered forms of negligence towards ourselves and our living planet.

Te_Fiti_8Connecting with Sedna

Unappeasable by force, bribe or cajole, Sedna is softened by a shaman’s song of life. The 2003 New Zealand film, Whale Rider, and the more recent 2016 Moana echoes such a shamanic journey, impelled by the spirit of a people in need. Perhaps this is how we are to commune with Sedna, through the guided imagery of dreams and spirit-journeys, stories and song.

World Events at Discovery

Sedna's discovery on November 14th, 2003 at 17 Taurus 58 coincides with 350 million people uniting in World Diabetes Day. Venerated astrologer Isabel Hickey taught that diabetes was a physical form of emotional bitterness, the inability to balance negative thoughts with positive ones. This highlights Venus, ruler of both Taurus, the sign of Sedna’s current transit and Libra, the sign long associated with this disease.

Venus also links to personal, one-to-one, socially significant relationships and the drive for balance there.

Consider other world events coinciding with this discovery, and what they may say about fear, abuse of power and Mother Earth’s immutable authority. Here are just a few.

“Alaska's native horse killed off by food shortages and climate change - not human hunters.”

How actively do we protect and nurture life on earth?

“The world's most damaging potato disease discovered in Britain.”

How do we respond to the threat of food shortage and disease?

“Opposition to USA Patriot Act Swells”

How well do democratic governments protect the rights of their citizens?

“A gas explosion in a southern China coal mine killed 48 workers, injured two others.”

How well do we protect our labor force?

"Southeast Asia Water Forum- - Chiang Mai, Thailand."

How do we protect our oceans/freshwater ecosystems?

Tracking Personal Experiences

Sedna has been transiting through mid-Aries to mid-Taurus these last 85 years. Current generations share a similar placement in their astrological charts by sign and outer planet aspect, though house position and contacts to the personal planets are more unique.

Recording the transits of Sedna and checking activation dates against inner and outer life events will help reveal her meaning on a personal level. A downloadable Ephemeris is available online at Astrodienst to keep track. There is also an ephemeris generator on Jon Dunn’s Astro site that gives declination, sidereal and draconic zodiacs.

Practical Examples

Transiting Sedna was exactly opposite my natal third house Saturn when learning to SCUBA dive in areas rich with sea lions, dolphins and whales. By facing fears (Saturn) this time led to more self-confidence and empowerment, particularly in the area of communication, higher education and teaching (3rd-9th house axis).

For another woman, when transiting Sedna exactly squared the natal Moon in Aquarius, it coincided with a separation from an abusive relationship and major change of residence. Both these transits reflect significant turning points in life.

Chart and Dream

Charolette_Natal

Above is the chart of a woman called Charlotte. During a troubled time, she sought astrological consultation, bringing this dream.

"I am looking into a deep inland sea, edged by descending stairs. I feel compelled to follow the stairs down into the caverns underneath the water. I somehow know there is something down there that is hungry, trapped. I race down the steps and glimpse an enormous black walrus stuck in the dry caverns, unable to get to the water.

I race on to free it, but as I turn the last descent of stairs, I run straight into a cement wall.

The way has been blocked, sealed off. I can’t get to the creature to feed it and return it to the sea and I know it will die."

Charlotte's Natal Sedna 4 Taurus 16
Transiting Sedna 17 Taurus 52

Interpretation

On examination of her chart, transiting Sedna was conjunct her natal 12th house Sun. Note her chart ruler, Venus, conjuncts natal Sedna, also in the 12th. With the abundance of Earth (Taurus), she has a naturally pragmatic approach to life—sweet, calm and compelled by the realm of the senses. However, all that Earth is “trapped” in the non-corporeal 12th house, the sea of the unconscious.

Her relationship with the mundane world was well established yet her connection to her inner world remained relatively unexplored.

The sea links to the vast depths of Charlotte’s unconscious 12th house. It is interesting that mythically Sedna used her creatures, whales and seals, to communicate with the People, to feed them or not as they deserved.

So, the only way to reach Sedna, however through the spirit journey of the shaman. Once in Sedna's realm, the shaman placates her anger by asking how the taboos have been broken and what can be done to correct the offense. The shaman then combs her tangled hair, releasing the souls of animals abused and chants to her songs of life.

Hearing the Myth of Sedna

When Charlotte heard the myth of Sedna, she realized, through a stream of tears, she had always wanted to pursue her artistic talents but worked as a bookkeeper in her father’s business instead. She had never acknowledged how empty she felt.

By exploring the inherent conflict between the 12th house Sun in Taurus (square 3rd house Leo Moon) she found ways to feed and nurture her creative and mystical longings as well as her need for practical security. This Sedna transit coincided with an application and acceptance to art school, greater independence (separation from the father) and a new journey into her hidden world of creativity and spirit.

Although other transits occurred at this time, the imagery in Charlotte’s dream and the personal relevance she felt resonated strongly with Sedna.

Conclusions

To sum up, Sedna’s discovery heralds the expansion of not only our solar system but our capacity for conscious awareness. By tracking Sedna’s transits—perhaps looking first at the conjunctions, squares and oppositions—themes of her message will arise.

Where is 25 - 27 degrees of Taurus in your natal chart? What planets or angles are activated by this contact? Have a look and be a part of this new and intriguing exploration into the unknown.

From Swiss Ephemeris

Date     |  2003 VB12  - Sedna |

----------------------------
01 Jan 2017  | 25 ta 12 Rx |
11 Apr 2017  | 25 ta 27    |
20 Jul 2017  | 26 ta 37    |
28 Oct 2017  | 26 ta 26 Rx |
05 Feb 2018  | 25 ta 41 Rx |
16 May 2018  | 26 ta 30    |
24 Aug 2018  | 27 ta 23    |
02 Dec 2018  | 26 ta 42 Rx |
12 Mar 2019  | 26 ta 24    |
20 Jun 2019  | 27 ta 33    |
28 Sep 2019  | 27 ta 55 Rx |
06 Jan 2020  | 27 ta  2 Rx |
15 Apr 2020  | 27 ta 20    |
24 Jul 2020  | 28 ta 30    |
01 Nov 2020  | 28 ta 17 Rx |
09 Feb 2021  | 27 ta 32    |
20 May 2021  | 28 ta 24    |
28 Aug 2021  | 29 ta 16    |
06 Dec 2021  | 28 ta 34 Rx |
16 Mar 2022  | 28 ta 17    |
24 Jun 2022  | 29 ta 28    |
02 Oct 2022  | 29 ta 48 Rx |
10 Jan 2023  | 28 ta 54 Rx |
20 Apr 2023  | 29 ta 15    |
29 Jul 2023  |  0 ge 26    |

Thoughts?