This book has been several years in the writing – something which becomes immediately obvious once you start reading it. Henry Seltzer has left very few stones unturned in his quest to understand how the archetypal Eris shows itself in a wide variety of charts. From writers to revolutionaries and musicians to poets, the non-negotiable and sometimes violent energy of this new discovery bursts through to enrich and enliven any chart delineation. This treasure trove includes lots of case histories as well as chapters on Eris through the houses and in aspect with other planets. A historical Appendix is also included.
An eBook version is available through the usual online suppliers: Google books, iTunes, Amazon and Nook.
The Tenth Planet – Revelations from the Astrological Eris.
The Wessex Astrologer: £16.50
We live in a time when many new solar system bodies are being discovered and named. Most go unnoticed but, occasionally, there is a discovery that the entire world learns about. Such was the case with Eris, briefly the tenth planet of our solar system. Nicknamed Xena by her discoverer, Mike Brown, Eris’ discovery resulted in the International Astronomical Union (IAU) downgrading Pluto to the newly formed category of Dwarf Planet, which also includes Eris and Ceres. This caused heated arguments, not only among the astronomers themselves, but also Astrologers and the general public. Her final name of Eris, Goddess of Strife and Discord could not have been more appropriate!
The best-known myth of Eris describes this strife and discord well and tells how She was not invited to Peleus’ and Thetis’ wedding, because it was believed that She would cause trouble. Hera, Aphrodite and Athena had been invited and, so, when Eris arrived and rolled in a golden apple inscribed “For the Fairest One” (or “For the Most Beautiful One”, sources vary), each of the three Goddesses claimed the apple. Paris was chosen by Zeus to award the golden apple, which he gave to Aphrodite as She promised him the most beautiful woman in the world. In this myth we see that the trouble that Eris brings is never a simple argument that is easily settled, but always escalates and causes far greater problems, in this case the destruction of Troy.
In his opening chapter, Seltzer discusses the inspiration for his initial research on Eris and briefly describes her position as Goddess of Strife and Discord and as the sister of the God of War, Ares. He then moves to looking at charts that demonstrate Eris’ importance in the charts of, in his words, “activists, feminists and revolutionaries”. These descriptions are concise and well written and show Seltzer’s ability to focus on key points. Later, we are treated to a more detailed discussion of specific charts that demonstrate Eris’ importance in describing the deeper unconscious issues that underpin the drive to fight for one’s beliefs. The selected charts show people whose lives have been shaped by the power of Eris into meaningful, if not easy, lives and reflect the struggle that results from having such a powerful archetype prominent in one’s chart.
There is a “cookbook” section that gives astrologers new to Eris examples of how She will influence one’s life by house position and aspect. While the cookbook approach has fallen out of favour over the years, I found this section very useful when developing my ability to fully interpret Eris. When first discovered there was emphasis on Eris’ association with strife and discord, however, as with all new bodies, the more you work with Her, the subtler and more nuanced the interpretation becomes. This section does an excellent job of giving us this wider interpretation. I recommend using some of your favourite charts, interpreting the position of Eris and Her aspects and then referring to Seltzer’s interpretation. In each case I found a greater depth than I had previously realised.
My favourite section of the book is Appendix D – Historical Survey. With an orbital period of 558 years, Eris’ movement is perhaps more suited to Mundane Astrology and, in this section, Seltzer describes the mundane implications of the cycles of Eris with Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. This represents initial work but gives examples of the impact of these cycles, with discussion of some of the conjunctions, squares and oppositions that have occurred starting in the mid-1300s.
The Uranus-Eris cycle describes, in Seltzer’s words, “the cry for freedom inherent in the Uranus archetype, and the no-holds-barred struggle to achieve that typifies the Eris archetype”. Seltzer shows how scientific and religious revolutions and freedom have been highlighted by this cycle, for example Luther wrote his 95 Theses of Protest close to the Uranus/Eris conjunction of 1515-1516. Scientist, Charles Darwin was invited to join the second voyage of the HMS Beagle at the time of the 1830s Uranus/Eris conjunction and then published On the Origin of Species around the time of the first square.
The Neptune-Eris cycle is involved in the development of new media that come into being in a “pioneering outburst of entrepreneurial spirit”. An example of this is the printing of the Gutenberg Bible at the Neptune/Eris opposition of the mid-1400s; as ground breaking in its day as any of the developments in digital media that are occurring now.
Pluto-Eris is raw power, always violent, and very focused. We see the Spanish Inquisition at the Pluto/Eris opposition of 1481-1494. Seltzer also notes that Eris in the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) chart is conjunct Pluto in the chart for Islam itself. This is one of many occasions in this book where Seltzer highlights areas that are ripe for further research. In Mundane Astrology Eris seems to say “I am right, let’s get it done” with violence often ensuing if others stand their ground.
Eris is such a powerful archetype that we will learn more of Her importance in Astrology over the years. This book is an important first step in our journey to learn about this gloriously powerful Goddess. Even Astrologers who do not usually use the more modern bodies will find much information and insight in this Dwarf Planet.
I would like to thank the FAA for the opportunity to review this fascinating book.
Vivien began her studies in astrology in 1978. She holds the Diploma of Astrology from the FAA and a Bachelor of Social Science (Hons) in psychology from Charles Sturt University, and is currently planning to undertake the Advanced Diploma of the FAA.
Vivien now concentrates on research, with particular interests in the integration of the newly discovered solar system bodies into Astrology and in Evolutionary Astrology.
Vivien can be contacted at: email@example.com