Historical Survey of Eris

By Henry Seltzer

No discussion of Eris as a new outer planet archetype would be complete without at least an outline of the historical periods when Eris was in axial and square alignment with the other outer planets. Astrologer Richard Tarnas, in Cosmos and Psyche, provides an exhaustive study of certain planetary combinations that shows the power of analyzing such periods of history. In his book, Tarnas defined a method whereby he recommends 15 degree orbs on either side of the exact conjunction or opposition, with 10 degrees for the intervening squares. Although the 15 degree orb that Tarnas uses is large, he makes a good case for it in his already classic work. These define periods when the archetypal themes of the outer planet archetypes of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are thus combined, without reference to whether the period is one of conjunction or opposition. For example the French Revolution of 1789-1799 was almost exactly coincident with a Uranus-Pluto opposition, and the subsequent 1960s' rebellious period saw very similar themes, upon a much later conjunction. The period that he gives for this latter combination, using the 15 degree orb, is 1960-1972, which fits nicely with the volatile 60s. He also cites Jupiter with Uranus as periods of scientific and intellectual invention. In this Appendix, I give, in outline form, some indication of the combinations of Eris with the outermost traditional Western planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.


The hallmark of these periods would be the cry for freedom inherent in the Uranus archetype, and the no-holds-barred struggle to achieve it that typifies the Eris archetype, therefore characterizing these periods when they combine as times of proto-revolutionary activity that attempts to throw off the chains of prejudice or persecution. One such period would logically then be the founding of the freer Western society of the New World, especially in North America, to which many originally emigrated in order to flee religious oppression in Europe. Looking back into still earlier periods, it's interesting that the Magna Carta (1215), that epic pronouncement that in England limited the absolute power of kings, was signed under a Uranus– Eris square.

1377–1385 Opposition (15°)

In 1378, in Florence, the tulmulto dei Ciompi – the revolt of the wool carders – brought workers into power; a moratorium was declared on debts and interest rates were reduced. The business class was, however, soon returned to power. Feudalism was more common in 14th century England, and during the same period of time, in 1381, a significant rebellion was fomented on the part of serfs who sought the end of the feudal system, and for a brief moment achieved it. They had been greatly oppressed for many years. This was termed "The Peasant's Revolt" or "The Great Uprising," and has been much studied by historians, and was once considered a defining moment in English history. The rebels demanded the end to feudalism, and this was briefly granted by the young King Richard II, when he met with them outside the City of London. After the rebellion became violent, killing many of the aristocracy and also foreigners living in London, it was dispersed, its leaders executed and the feudal system reinstated.

Also in 1378, a quirky and very unusual (Uranus) Papal Schism resulted in two Popes, one in Avignon, France, and one in Rome. This was actually the continuation of a ploy for power on the part of France. One fomenting rationale was an attempt by the new Pope in Rome, in 1378, to curb corruption. This moment also contributed to religious freedom in that some of the groundwork was laid for the Protestant Reformation, 150 years later.

In England, the teachings of John Wycliffe grew to a point of active conflict when he was expelled from Oxford in 1381. The lay mysticism he preached was another precursor to the Reformation, so that the theme of greater religious freedom was again invoked by this act. Wycliffe's translation of the Bible appeared in 1382 – and was the inspiration and chief cause of the Lollard movement, a pre-Reformation movement that rejected many of the distinctive teachings of the then-extant Church, inspiring subsequent rebellious movements within an increasingly fractured Christendom.

1422–1431 Conjunction (15°)

The very beginning of this period marked the death of Henry V of England and the ascension of his infant son, Henry VI, ruling for 15 years through his regents, which changed the rulership of England and the characteristics of the long standing war between England and France. A new element of uncertainty arose.

This period also saw the ascension of Joan of Arc in 1429, the defeat of the English invading army, and her subsequent martyr's death by burning (1431). This was considered an important turning point of the Hundred Years War, and resulted in the crowning of the Dauphin as an actual nativeborn King, leading to the eventual return of France to the French some two decades later. Joan of Arc was ultimately sainted by the Catholic Church, becoming one of the principal patron saints of France. As befits a violently battling religious figure, she herself was born under the preceding Neptune-Eris square of 1407-1418, probably in 1412, when the square was within a few degrees of exactitude.

1465–1473 Opposition (15°)

The printing and popularization of many classic manuscripts in Renaissance Italy made for a new kind of intellectual freedom. The "Dark Ages" were beginning to recede. Many manuscripts from the Classic era now found their way into publication as science and humanism was reborn. It was in many ways an early precursor to the Age of Enlightenment.

This followed the remarkable decade of the 1450s – with Eris and Neptune in axial alignment – when Gutenberg published his Bible and when the fall of Constantinople in 1453 brought Byzantine scholars and their precious preserved manuscripts to the safety of the European continent.

In Italy, the Florentine Renaissance was in relative disarray, between the death of Cosimo de Medici in 1464 and the secure takeover by his grandson, Lorenzo, who acceded to power in 1469 at the early age of 21 and did not stabilize his reign until the mid-1470s. Soon he would come to be called Lorenzo the Magnificent, in the era of Botticelli and Verrocchio. A decade later, Leonardo da Vinci and Pico della Mirandola were in their prime. Thus these years from the mid-1460s onward were the chaos before the birth of the golden age of the Florentine Renaissance.

In England this was also a time of violent uncertainty and rebellion, as the Wars of the Roses raged, dominating England from 1461-1471. During this time period the country's ruler switched several times from the House of Lancaster (Henry VI) to the House of York (Edward IV) and then back again. Edward VI was restored to the throne in 1470, but was deposed in May of 1471 when Edward IV was reinstated.

1512–1520 Conjunction (15°)

This period was an age of innovation, in keeping with the symbolism of the Uranian archetype, simultaneously stimulated by both Jupiter and by Eris over the first two years. These years of the culmination of the Italian High Renaissance saw the rise of Humanism as a new kind of art flourished, with the completion of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, and of Raphael's series of paintings for Pope Julius II, including some of his most famous works like The School of Athens and Mount Parnassus. Titian was at the height of his early period, The Assumption of the Virgin being completed in 1516. In Nuremberg, Albrecht Dürer was engraving and painting his greatest works, such as Adam and Eve.

These were also the years of Luther's rebellion against the papacy – initiated by his railing attack against corrupt Church practices. In 1517, the 95 Theses of Protest were written, and over the next two years were translated from Latin into German and widely circulated. He questioned whether the Christian laity could not read for themselves the Bible in the vernacular, tolerating no intermediary between themselves and God. This began the Protestant Reformation and established new vistas of religious freedom.

Also, in global exploration, this period saw new developments that greatly expanded the consciousness of Western minds regarding the dimensions and true characteristics of the earth. Balboa first sighted the Pacific in 1513. In this same year, Ponce de Leon became the first European to set foot in Florida, which he named. Ferdinand Magellan led the first expedition to sail into, and name, the Pacific Ocean, rounding the tip of South America in October 1520.

It is interesting to note that the equally important first voyages of Amerigo Vespucci were somewhat earlier, when Eris and Uranus were also in combination, although not in dynamic aspect. His explorations of 1499–1500 were the first to observe the size of the South American land mass and he was first to correctly assert that it was in actually a new continent that had been discovered. Eris and Uranus were closely sextile, within 4 degrees for almost the entirety of these two years.

1555–1562 Opposition (15°)

Another blow for religious freedom was struck in September 1555, when the Peace of Augsburg was signed between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and the Lutheran Schmalkaldic League, establishing the principle that rulers within the Empire could choose the religion of their realms. It was the triumph of the Reformation.

In England, the ascension of Queen Elizabeth I in 1558 represented a move toward the re-establishment of Protestantism, while Catholic worship in secret was also tolerated.

1603–1612 Conjunction (15°)

This was the time of revolutionary science in the persons of Kepler and Galileo, who separately in 1610 were each able to provide proof in different ways of Copernicus' heliocentric theory of the Solar System.

In England, the beginning of this period coincided with the end of the long-standing reign of Queen Elizabeth and the coronation of King James I. This changing of the guard in the English monarchy resulted in greater persecution of Catholics, and inspired their reaction in one of the most famous revolutionary acts in English history: the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. This was intended to assassinate the King and destroy the entire House of Lords in session. The plot was foiled when Guy Fawkes was discovered guarding the gunpowder in the cellars on November 5th, 1605, which has been commemorated ever since as Guy Fawkes Night and celebrated with bonfires. The Guy Fawkes mask has become a symbol for revolutionary activity.

The King James Bible, published in 1611, encouraged the principle that every person was free to read the Word of God for him or herself, another factor in the burgeoning power of the common man, enabling greater religious freedom from centralized authority.

This period also saw the establishment of the first permanent colony in the New World, at Jamestown, in 1607. The symbolism associated with Uranus includes revolutionary new beginnings and this certainly was one. The determination of the colonists to establish themselves in new territory makes for a nice fit with the Eris symbolism of survival at any cost. The hardship of this event could be summarized in the loss of 80% of the population due to disease and starvation from 1609-1610 and a vicious war with the local indigenous population. These natives had originally helped the colonists but were subsequently drawn into warfare resulting by 1610 in their being wiped out.[1] This settlement paved the way for the colonial period of American history that in turn led to the American Revolution of 1776 to 1781 (see next section).

1653–1670 Opposition (15°)

In England, this was the period of the Restoration of the Monarchy, beginning in 1660. It was the pendulum swing back to the status quo before the English Civil War of 1642-1651 that had put the Parliamentarians in power under the puritanical Oliver Cromwell. In keeping with the surge of Uranian energy, the Restoration signaled greater religious freedom and was far more tolerant to British Catholicism.

During this period also, John Milton wrote Paradise Lost, dictated from 1658 to 1664, and published in 1667. The poem presents Protestant themes of separation from religious dogma and the freedom to choose for oneself. Blake averred that Milton had a great deal of sympathy for the opposition to organized religion in presenting his story of the rebellion in Heaven and the subsequent Fall from Eden, calling him, in praise, "one of the Devil's party."

Interestingly, this followed directly upon the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of 1643-1658, marking a period of time from the 1640s onward that was characterized by the outbreak of new religious movements like the Quakers. For example, in 1656, John Naylor led his fellow Quakers on a pilgrimage in which they threw off their garments, crying "Holy, holy, holy" in imitation of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, implying that all men were Christ. Naylor was jailed. Mathew Fox, who was already imprisoned, had founded the movement earlier in the mid-seventeenth century. Rent by controversy during the 1660s and the 1670s, the Quakers went on to eventually find a safe haven in the New World.

1722–1732 Conjunction (15°)

In alignment with the freedom principle represented by Uranus, this was the heart of a period of greater openness toward new information and for allowing diversifications of opinion greater scope. The religious wars were over and religious tolerance was gradually spreading. In science, after Newton, there was a fresh breeze blowing that aided the spread of new discoveries and concepts. The results of New World exploration in terms of the comparing of other cultures with the European, and the discovery of novel plant and animal species, was also an enlightening factor during this period. Jonathon Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels appeared in 1726, famously satirizing the notion of encountering other vastly different cultures, and how by describing these a traveler might make his reputation. Swift himself was born in 1667, during the preceding Uranus–Eris opposition.

This was also the early ascendancy of the freedom-loving Voltaire who established an international reputation by skewering the conventionality of traditional religious and political viewpoints of his day. His exile in England, from 1726-1728, greatly enhanced his international influence. After returning to France, he began his long relationship with Émilie du Châtelet, and together they studied Newton's work. Eventually, her translation of Newton's Principia was to promote the wider acceptance of Newton's scientific achievements and his philosophy.

1780–1790 Opposition (15°)

This was when the American revolutionary war was raging, and when the aftermath of the British departure allowed the colonists to establish the beginning of their own sovereign state. The symbolism is appropriate. The U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788. The swearing in of Washington as the country's first president was in March of 1789.

The Bill of Rights, a refinement of the original constitutional document, came in 1791, during what Tarnas refers to as the "penumbral" period, that is, when the opposition was within 20 degrees of exact.

The long parade to bring the remains of the radical iconoclast Voltaire to be re-buried in Paris, in July of 1791, was attended by a million people, also during the penumbral period of this Uranus-Eris opposition.

1829–1838 Conjunction (15°)

The historic second voyage of HMS Beagle from December 27th, 1831 to October 2nd, 1836, which the young Charles Darwin was invited to join for purposes of scientific and geological exploration, fits neatly into this time period and makes a great deal of sense in reference to the Uranian symbolism of the liberation of men's minds from the dogma of the past. Perhaps no other theory to emerge out of the Victorian era would so greatly shake up and overturn the established truth of the day than would the Theory of Evolution.

1855–1863 Opening Square (10°)

Darwin's epic work announcing and explaining his discoveries, On the Origin of Species, was finally published on November 24th, 1859, when he was fully ready to back up his extravagant claims. Interestingly, on that date Uranus and Eris were in exact alignment, within 10 minutes of a degree, at 53/4 degrees of Gemini and Pisces. The publication of Origin of Species ushered in an era in Western culture that was more humanistic in its thinking and less based on religious ideals of self-abnegation.

One of the landmarks of the American Labor Movement also occurred during the peak of this square alignment, early in 1860, with 6,000 shoe workers marching in Lynn, Massachusetts, in a strike for better pay and conditions that soon spread throughout New England.[2] Eris was in close sextile to Pluto at the time as well, to the degree.

1877–1885 Opposition (15°)

The invention of the electric filament lamp in 1878 made possible the widespread use of electric lighting. This was a simultaneous discovery by Joseph Swann and Thomas Edison, separated by several months. The first street to be lit with electricity took place in America in 1882, when the conjunction peaked. The symbolism of the archetypal combination is consistent with a new pioneering commercial medium using electricity, Uranus symbolizing electricity.

This was also the heyday of a period of peace, prosperity and progressive thinking dubbed the Gilded Age in America and the Belle Époque in France. In England this period coincided with the beginning of the latter half of the Victorian era. Progressive social agendas included the rise of sociology as a science and the concept of "Social Darwinism" as promoted by the philosopher Herbert Spencer. This was a move in the direction of freedom of thought and away from the more straight-laced thinking of earlier and more strictly religious times.

1923–1932 Conjunction (15°)

The Roaring Twenties, the Stock Market Crash and the subsequent beginning of the Great Depression fall within this period. The connection between the Uranus archetype and the wild and licentious 1920s – especially in America – is easy to recognize. In America, with Prohibition in effect, an important component of the law of the land was being ignored on a grand scale by all classes of society, particularly the well-to-do. Due to bootlegging, gangsters established a huge foothold in American life. This was the essence of this entire period, leading up to the softening and then repeal of the ban on alcohol sales during the penumbral period of 1933.

It was also a period of extraordinary breakthrough in physics, the birth of what came to be known as the new field of quantum physics, with discoveries such as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the unification of the theory of quantum mechanics. The year of 1927 is considered the year of most rapid development in physics in the entire history of the science. The famous Solvay Conference of October 1927 in Brussels solidified these understandings and saw Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr in discussion over the ultimate meaning of the new developments in quantum theory with Einstein's famous statement that "God does not throw dice." It is interesting to note that Uranus and Eris both occupied the middle of the first degree of Aries in October 1927, with not more than 10 arc-minutes of separation between them.

1967–1975 Opposition (15°)

The year 1968 brought student revolution to the streets of Paris, and in America the anti-war movement against the Vietnam War. The 1968 Democratic convention Chicago was protested and bloody confrontations with the police ensued. Note that this period overlaps with the end of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction that signaled the 1960s. The period of the overlap proves enlightening in this regard, since Eris would thus amplify Uranus-Pluto. This was 1967–1972, which included Woodstock and the first Moon landing, both during the summer of 1969, arguably the height of the Sixties. The finale of the Woodstock concert by Jimi Hendrix – including his red-bandana rendering of "The Star-Spangled Banner" – was considered a "defining moment of the 1960s".[3]

2012–2020 Conjunction (15°)

This is our current decade as of publication, the decade of the "Turbulent Teens." It is interesting to note: within the same year that Uranus comes to conjunction with Eris, using the 15 degree orb, for the first time since the 1930s, the Uranus-Pluto opening square becomes exact to the minute, in June of 2012, with Pluto conjuncting Eris in the U.S. chart and with Uranus also in sextile to the U.S. Uranus. Transiting Saturn for this month is exactly opposite Eris in the sky. A similar crisis to the 1930s was then gripping the American nation, following the 2008 housing bubble and subsequent recession. This relates more to the Saturn-Eris opposition that was partile at the time, although in another very obvious sense, great change was coming to America over this key period. It remains yet to be seen how this interesting period of radical transformation is related to stages of freedom. The real question is what will emerge in a further symbolic chime with this World Transit as the remainder of the decade unwinds.


The theme would be: media, images, fashion, religious conflicts and takeovers. There could be an iconoclastic dedication for bringing new channels and forms of belief into existence, perhaps with violence or an extreme pioneering outburst of entrepreneurial spirit.

1360–1375 Conjunction (15°)

In 1360 Wycliff began his writings to the effect that there need be no intermediary between a man (or woman) and his or her God, not the priest nor even the Church. His writings prefigured the Protestant Reformation 150 years later. See also the preceding section for Uranus-Eris that was also in effect subsequent to this time period.

In 1362 English was declared to be the language of law and the courts of England. This was the beginning of the recovery of the English language after the Norman invasion of 1066. This was a cultural change as the "vernacular" became more readily available for business and legal discourse.

1450–1467 Opposition (15°)

This timing includes the beginning of a new medium of art and communication with the pioneering invention of movable type by Gutenberg that precipitated great cultural change. This period began, famously, with the mass publication of a religious work (Neptune), namely The Gutenberg Bible in the early 1450s. By 1463 printing had spread throughout Germany and was on its way to other European sites. In 1467 Gutenberg died.

This period also saw the bloody and horrifying capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, finally completely destroying the old Byzantine Empire, pillaging and re-purposing the capital of the last remaining Christian outpost of civilization in Asia. This event is fully symbolized by these two archetypes in combination since it represented a violent overthrow by means of implacable willpower, achieving a long-cherished goal (Eris) to remove the last remnants of an existing culture (Neptune) and all in the name of religion.

1500–1510 Closing Square (10°)

The exploration of the New World was beginning, with a corresponding shift in consciousness as to what this world had to offer. Humanism was on the rise in Germany, in the years preceding Luther. Also, Martin Luther entered his monastic sojourn in the Augustinian cloister of Erfurt, which shaped the remainder of his life. His famous conversion to religious studies took place in 1505 and in April 1507 he was ordained as a priest; he entered the cloister on July 17 of the same year.

Also in 1507, the first map showing America as a separate continent was produced as a result of the explorations of the early 1500s. The reign of Henry VIII of England began – on April 21st, 1509 – which would eventually spell a religious shift freeing England from the subjugation to the Pope in Rome.

The reign of Julius II, descended from the Medici of Florence, also signaled a cultural shift, and lasted for most of this period, from 1503 to 1513, taking the papacy to new levels in support of the arts, and of war, as emblematic of a truly Renaissance prelate. He was the most well-known patron of the arts among Medieval pontiffs.

1543–1560 Conjunction (15°)

In the first year of this period, Copernicus published his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres). This was an essentially religious moment – the beginning of the transfer of intellectual power from Church to Science, completed with Newton's publication of Principia Mathematica in 1687, during the subsequent opposition.

In 1549 the Book of Common Prayer was introduced in England, a victory for Protestantism, and in the rebellion that formed against it several thousand Catholics were slaughtered.

In England the coronation of Queen Elizabeth I – in 1558 – signaled an end to the religious uncertainty of the reign of ‘Bloody' Mary who preceded her and was Catholic. Elizabeth made the country more firmly Protestant and would reign for 45 years. In 1555 the Peace of Augsburg effectively ended the Holy Roman Empire, asserting the right of states to choose their religion. In 1560, Protestantism became the state religion of Scotland.

1670–1725 Opposition (15°)

At perihelion, Eris is not much farther away from the Sun than Neptune, hence the long period when they remained within 15-degree orb of their opposition.

The middle to late 1600s was the time of Newton and Descartes... The Discourse on Method was published in 1637. Principia Mathematica followed in 1687, arguably initiating the modern age of science. The Glorious Revolution in England of 1688-1689 was in essence a Protestant take-over that forever removed the potential for a Catholic ruler. A new cultural awareness was ushered in, hastening the societal shift that followed from explorations in the New World. A new era of Protestant religious tolerance (although not extending to Catholicism) was birthed in England. See also the Eris-Uranus conjunction of 1722-1732.

On the leading edge of this period, in 1658, within the 20-degrees that Tarnas uses as his "penumbral" period, the Maryland Toleration Act, the first attempt at religious freedom in the colonies to be guaranteed by law, was finally passed, after being initially rejected. It lasted thirty years.

1779–1794 Opening Square (10°)

These were the years of the French Revolution, including the Reign of Terror, the entire period signaling a massive shift of power from the Church to the State. The suppression of traditional Christian religion in France during this period was similar to the Soviet revolution of 1907. The storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789, was the quintessential moment of the French Revolution, and is still celebrated as Bastille Day in France. In 1789 this day was accompanied by a near-exact Eris-Neptune square, making a T-square to Neptune from Eris opposed to Sun-Mercury within 2 degrees.

In 1791 the First Amendment to the U. S. constitution, guaranteeing freedom of religious expression, and denying the "establishment" of a state-sponsored religion, was passed as part of the Bill of Rights, sponsored by Thomas Jefferson. His correspondence would later show that he was trying to create a "wall of separation between Church and State."

1839–1856 Conjunction (15°)

This time period coincided with the more widespread availability of the photographic technique and the coining of the word "photography," in 1839. It is interesting that the onset corresponds not to the invention of the photographic process but to its mass acceptance, and the accompanying cultural shift.

As with the Gutenberg moveable type press, when Eris and Neptune were also in axial alignment, a new medium was being pioneered by dedicated practitioners and early adopters. In this case the medium was also concerned with image (Neptune).

1892–1904 Opening Square (10°)

This period coincided with the invention and early development of moving pictures, another media shift that became more available for mass consumption, resulting in great cultural transformation. In the early 1890s movie making was rudimentary, and a novelty. This situation gradually improved, as documented in Wikipedia:

The first eleven years of motion pictures [from 1890 onward] show the cinema moving from a novelty to an established large-scale entertainment industry. The films became several minutes long consisting of several shots. The first rotating camera for taking panning shots was built in 1897. The first film studios were built in 1897. Special effects were introduced and film continuity, involving action moving from one sequence into another, began to be used. In 1900, continuity of action across successive shots was achieved and the close-up shot was introduced.[4]

The year 1900 saw the first film with editing and plot; and perhaps the most famous early film, The Great Train Robbery, was made in 1903. The notable French film company, Pathé, one of the first to achieve commercial success, was formed in 1904.

1936–1954 Opposition (15°)

This period encompasses the tremendous cultural changes that led from the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the rise of Nazism in Germany, to the involvement of most developed nations in World War II and its aftermath. There was a widespread disillusion that followed the end of "the last just war" as it is sometimes labeled, leading to the hypocrisy of the 1950s, and the response of the Beat movement, in America at least, that was in many ways the precursor to the cultural rebellion of the 1960s.

For film, this was the advent of color in movie making, such as Technicolor, "the most widely used color process in Hollywood ... [up to] 1952," initially used most commonly for filming animated movies such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Fantasia (1940) as well as live-action spectacles like The Wizard of Oz (1939) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), also musicals such as Singin' in the Rain (1952).[5]

This period also corresponds nicely with the period of Film Noir, another developmental period in filmmaking, and one in which the dark side of a feminine symbolism is readily discernible.

1986–1997 Closing Square (10°)

This is the almost exact timeline for the birth of the modern Internet. In March 1989, a computer programmer in Switzerland named Tim Burners-Lee took existing networking a step further by inventing HTML and the World Wide Web. Although sharing of files had been going on for many years with leaps forward in 1985 and 1986, when network speeds became acceptable and the number of users grew exponentially, this was the first time that commonly addressable URLs came into use. Over the next few years, with Uranus and Neptune also in conjunction, and in the period of the Uranus-Eris square of the early 1990s, there were further strides in the establishment of this truly international and people-oriented communication and media system that seems to have the power to change the global political situation. In any case a brave new era was instituted, similar to the timing of the onset of the great cultural shift caused by the invention of the printing press, in the early 1450s, when Neptune was opposite Eris with Uranus in square.

Perhaps the height of the rapid development that followed took place in 1993, when Mosaic (the ancestor of Netscape) was created and graphical searches became commonplace. In 1993 there was also an exact Uranus-Neptune conjunction in precise square with Eris, never more than a few degrees apart from January to November, while over the summer the separation from a perfect square with Neptune narrowed to a half of a degree. By 1997 the number of sites had grown to over one hundred thousand, and a competition between the surfing applications Netscape Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer had begun the "browser wars." This development changed the world as we know it, with another new medium; this is a theme we have seen again and again in the timing of these Eris-Neptune alignments.

This time period also corresponds to the rebirth of 3D in movies. The technique of 3D in moviemaking had become familiar in the 1950s but in a cruder form. By the time of the beginning of this period, as the reference below indicates, the technology had become advanced enough that a resurgence in popularity was possible.

In 1986, The Walt Disney Company began more prominent use of 3D films in special venues to impress audiences, Captain EO (Francis Ford Coppola, 1986) starring Michael Jackson, being a very notable example. In the same year, the National Film Board of Canada production Transitions (Colin Low), created for Expo 86 in Vancouver, was the first IMAX presentation using polarized glasses. Echoes of the Sun (Roman Kroitor, 1990) was the first IMAX film to be presented using alternate-eye shutterglass technology, a development required because the dome screen precluded the use of polarized technology.[6]

Even more importantly, advances in CGI from this same period permitted new breakthroughs in a different direction, as the first realistic CGI animal, credited with Labrynth (1986) was followed by Jurassic Park (1993), with dinosaurs that seemed "real," and Toy Story (1995), the first feature-length CGI animation.

After the success of Toy Story, computer animation would grow to become the dominant technique for feature length animation, which would allow competing film companies such as DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox to effectively compete with Disney with successful films of their own.[7]

The next Neptune-Eris conjunction will take place from 2030–2045.


The theme of Pluto-Eris would encompass raw power in the political arena, potentially violent or at the very least extremely and forcefully dedicated. Some of the most difficult historical periods fall into the years of these axial and square alignments between Pluto and Eris.

1481–1494 Opposition (15°)

These were the years of the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition, known for the extremity of its torture methods. This most feared branch of Catholic inquisition for deviations from orthodoxy was founded by Ferdinand and Isabella beginning in 1478, during the early penumbral period of 20 degrees of separation, and rose to become a favored instrument of preserving power and the uniformity of Christian faith by 1483. The period of its most powerful sway lasted to 1500, although the Inquisition was not officially disbanded until the 19th century.

1482-1492 was also the time of the conquest of Granada, expelling the Moors from the European mainland, by these same Spanish monarchs, and in 1492 all Jews were expelled from Spain.

The initial discovery of the New World took place in 1492 setting off a wave of exploration and plunder. Columbus and the Spanish conquistadors that followed him were notoriously cruel to the Native Americans that they encountered.

1527–1543 Closing Square (10°)

The beginning of this period saw the brutal Sack of Rome, in 1527, that effectively ended the Italian Renaissance.

These were also the years of the second part of the dramatic reign of Henry VIII of England who married five more times after his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. His mistress and second queen, Anne Boleyn was the first to be beheaded, while others died in childbirth or had the marriages annulled. Elsewhere in Europe the Pope was deposed and captured by the Emperor Charles I.

(For 250 years from opposition to conjunction, Pluto chases Eris at a similar distance from the Sun)

1746–1772 Conjunction (15°)

The Seven Years War raged in Europe, beginning in 1754 with the main conflict in the seven-year period 1756–1763. It involved most of the great powers of the time and affected Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines.[8]

These were also the years of the bloody French and Indian War (1754-1763) on the American continent, followed by colonial unrest leading up to the Boston Tea Party of 1773 and, eventually, the Declaration of Independence of 1776, during what Tarnas refers to as the "penumbral" period of the combination, within 20 degrees.

In England, George III became King in 1760. Although militarily successful throughout much of his long reign, he has the dubious distinction of being the English monarch to "lose" the American colonies to the War of Independence that began during the last stages of this period of strife. The Boston Tea Party was a response to a series of disagreements between the colonies of the New World and the tyrannical government of the Old that claimed ownership. This took place on December 16th, 1773, with Pluto just beyond the 15-degree mark and in trine with Uranus. Eris and Uranus were in close sesquiquadrate aspect.

1892–1923 Opening Square (10°)

Labor unrest in America, often spilling over into violence, is detailed below. In Europe as well there was conflict and much violence and death. The Russian Revolution was preceded by increasing labor unrest and conflict at many levels of society, from 1905 to the Bolshevist victory of 1917, eventually leading to the establishment of the U.S.S.R. in 1922. World War I (1914-1918) was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, followed by major political changes, including revolutions, in many of the nations involved.[9]

In America, this was the age of the Robber Barons who consolidated their power in the aftermath of the Civil War and who now ran the country. The election of Grover Cleveland in 1892 signaled a call for reform that was ignored by the new administration, which served the interests of the very rich.[10] The impoverished workers of the 1890s had little recourse but to strike.

The year of 1892 saw strike struggles all over the country; besides the general strike in New Orleans, and the coal miner's strike in Tennessee, there was the railway switchman's strike in Buffalo, New York, and a copper miner's strike in Idaho ... marked by gun battles and many deaths.[11]

Eugene Debs was inspired to write

If the year of 1892 taught the workingman any lesson worthy of heed, it was that the capitalist class, like a devilfish, had grasped them with its tentacles and was dragging them down to fathomless depths of degradation.[12]

In 1893, as President, Cleveland used the army to break up a march on Washington inspired by the depression that gripped the country in the wake of the economic policies of the past several administrations.[13] Depressions were more regular occurrences, in 1893, 1907 and 1919, leading up to the big one of 1929. The peak of this World Transit was 1906–1912, when the square was less than 1 degree. Conditions of labor grew worse and worse with the accompanying union activity in resistance, much of it bloody. The formation of the I.W.W. in 1905 had a socialist agenda. Attempts at reform were instated during the presidencies of Roosevelt and Taft, from 1905 to 1912. The remainder of this period saw a great deal of union activity because working conditions did not improve.

1969–1982 Opposition (15°)

This was the closing phase of the Vietnam War, leading to the American withdrawal of troops in 1972 followed by the evacuation from Saigon in 1975. There is an overlap with the period of Uranus conjunct Pluto and the opposition from Uranus to Eris from 1967 to 1975. The Vietnam War began in 1964 after "American Advisors" were already in the country, and then escalated in the following few years, reaching a peak of violence that was increasingly opposed at home from 1968 to 1972. This was the war – and the anti-war movement – that helped to define the Sixties.[14]

The Kent State anti-war demonstration in which four student protesters were killed, took place in 1970. The Attica prison uprising of September 1971 ended in violence when inmates and hostages were attacked by the National Guard with assault rifles blazing and 31 prisoners and 9 hostages killed.[15] In America also, during the 1970s there were American Indian Movement confrontations, most notably at the town of Wounded Knee, North Dakota, in 1973, with a similarly violent ending.[16]

In Europe there were student protests, most famously in Paris in 1968 on the very eve of this period. The extremely violent "Troubles" of NorthernIrelandalsoreachedapeakofviolenceintheearlytomid-1970s.[17] In Turkey there was increasing violence between left-leaning and conservative movements, with the May 1, 1977, incident, called "Bloody Sunday," with Pluto opposite Eris within 2 degrees of exact, one of the most violent.[18]

September 11, 2001 – Pluto trine Eris

Although Pluto and Eris were not in dynamic aspect when the events of September 11, 2001, changed history forever in an act of extreme violence against the United States, they were within seven degrees of trine each other, an aspect that Tarnas does not cover. It is fascinating to note that as Pluto opposed Saturn across the Ascendant / Descendant axis of the U.S. chart, transiting Eris conjoined U.S. Chiron within one quarter of a degree.

At the timing of the subsequent invasion of Iraq, on March 19, 2003, Eris and Pluto were in trine within one-quarter degree as Pluto opposed U.S. Mars. See Chapter 7 for a more extended treatment of this latter event.

March 11, 2011 – Fukushimi-Daiichi Nuclear Plant Disaster

This environmental disaster and massive radiation leak occurred with Pluto square Eris within 15 degrees, considered as the "penumbral" period for the square described in the following section, according to the formula arrived at by Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche. In fact not yet settled as of publication, with 300 tons of radioactive groundwater per day leaking into the ocean, the initial problem was caused by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami on this date that damaged three nuclear reactors out of a total of six plants at the Fukushima complex and made them unsafe to be entered and repaired. Over 300,000 people were eventually evacuated from the region. The disaster is considered "man-made" in that adequate safety provisions were not in place.

2013–2027 Closing Square (10°)

In the first year of this period, the environmental movement to combat global warming reached new levels of desperation, as 350 organizations and the Sierra Club launched the year with the biggest climate action rally yet. Meanwhile, California saw the onset of Carbon trading, and several Nuclear power plants closing around the U.S.: Crystal River in Florida; San Onofre, in California; Kewaunee and Zion in the Midwest. Electric utilities using coal went bankrupt, as the EPA finally moved to issue regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Beijing struggled through months of toxic smog in the winter of 2012-2013. Tornadoes in the U.S. set a new record: 811. The Philippines were hit by a massive storm in Typhoon Haiyan.[19]

The Chart of ISIS

Also in 2013, an extremely violent development within the then-ongoing Middle-East conflict between militant Islam and Western democracies was recorded by the fresh outbreak of a jihadist rebel group calling itself the "Islamic State of Iraq" and later "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," or ISIS. The chart for ISIS used by most mundane astrologers is for April 8th, 2013, which has an Aries stellium of Sun, Mars and Venus, with Mars and Venus at about 21 degrees. The position of Eris in this chart is in close conjunction to the stellium, at 22 Aries 14. In his article on the subject, published in the February 2015 edition of The Mountain Astrologer, Claude Weiss points out that the Mars-Venus position in the chart for ISIS aligns with Pluto in the chart for Islam itself, from 622 A.D. – and we could add to this salient point that the position of Eris (in conjunction with these two personal planets) in the chart for ISIS makes for an even closer match to the past event. Pluto in the chart for Islam is in the very same degree as Eris in the chart of ISIS, just 11 arc-minutes away, at 22 Aries 25. This is fitting for an organization intent on forcing their religion on the world against all odds and certainly with an excess of violence, going against the grain of higher-minded Islam.


[1] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamestown,Virginia

[2] Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States: 1492 – Present, HarperCollins, New York, USA, 1980, 1999, 2003, pp. 226-227.

[3] Daley, Mark (2006) "Chapter 5: Land of the Free. Jimi Hendrix: Woodstock Festival, August 18, 1969". In Inglis, Ian. Performance and Popular Music: History, Place and Time. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p.57. ISBN 0-7546-4057-4 – quoted in Wikipedia article on Woodstock.

[4] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_film.

[5] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technicolor.

[6] Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_film.

[7] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_film#1990s.

[8] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Years'_War.

[9] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_war_I.

[10] Zinn pp. 256-260.

[11] ibid p. 276.

[12] ibid p. 278.

[13] ibid p. 260.

[14] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War... see also http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/vietnam/timeline.htm

[15] Zinn pp. 520-521.

[16] ibid pp. 534-535.

[17] Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provisional_Irish_Republican_Army.

[18] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taksim_Square_massacre

[19] http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/a-fierce-green-fire/timeline-of-environmental-movement-and-history/2988/

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