Dwarf planet Eris is a member of a group of objects that orbit in a disc-like zone beyond the orbit of Neptune called the Kuiper Belt. She is the only planet, however, to take 558 years to orbit the Sun. In this sense, she stands alone. She is unique in our solar system, and everything we learn about her will make this more evident.
Eris appears almost white. With a radius of about 722 miles, Eris is about 1/5 the radius of Earth. Like Pluto, Eris is a little smaller than Earth's Moon.
Eris is one of the largest known dwarf planets in our solar system. She is about the same size as Pluto, but is three times farther from the Sun. Eris first appeared to be larger than Pluto. This triggered a debate in the scientific community that led to the International Astronomical Union's decision in 2006 to clarify the definition of a planet. Pluto, Eris and other similar objects are now classified as dwarf planets. Therefore, Eris was responsible for the formation of the new "Dwarf Planet" classification and the reclassification, some say demotion, of Pluto—upsetting the apple cart, which is very much what Eris is known for.
Eris was discovered in the constellation Cetus, known as the whale, which in ancient times was viewed as a man-eating monster of the deep. Cetus is therefore a symbol for the collective unconscious realm of humanity. It exists in the cosmos just “out of bounds,” past our ecliptic, (aka the ring of constellations we call the zodiac), and can be found just outside and alongside the constellations of Pisces and Aries. It is a vast constellation, covering about 45 degrees of space.
Eris however, has an extreme orbital inclination (44°), which is almost twice as long as it is wide. Eris' extreme orbit takes her inside the orbit of Pluto, much like Pluto's orbit travels inside Neptune's. (This last occurred 1980 - 2000). Eris is slower moving than Pluto, taking more than twice as long to travel around the zodiac once, compared to Pluto’s 248 year orbit. All of this suggests that Eris, through a very long process, longer than any we are accustomed to, works to interrupt our unconscious sleep to wake us up from our long collective dream. Her action may at times be more intense and dramatic than Pluto’s effect, much like an earthquake or volcano that erupts after a long period of unsettled energy. But for the most part, her action is persistent and subtle, which makes for the distinct possibility of a powerfully disruptive moment from time to time.
Eris was discovered on January 5, 2005 and announced on July 29, 2005. The discovery team originally gave the planet the provisional name Xena, after the character in the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess played by actress Lucy Lawless. Eris was formally named on Sept 13, 2006 for the ancient Greek goddess of discord and strife. The name fits since Eris remains at the center of a scientific debate about the definition of a planet. She is truly the Great Disrupter.
As Eris orbits the Sun, it completes one rotation every 25.9 hours, making its day length similar to ours.
Even though Eris can be up to three times farther from the Sun than Pluto, it approaches close enough that some of the ice on the surface might change directly into vapor, perhaps forming a solid deposit again when it moves away. Eris is covered in methane. which is highly volatile, just as she is.
Eris' Orbital Inclination ~44°Pluto's Orbital Inclination 17.133°
According to Nick Fiorenza, “Eris’ extreme eccentric orbit and its steep orbital inclination is our first clue to Eris’ rather radical and interceding nature. Planets with extreme eccentric orbits tend to bring awareness (or knowledge) from distant realms of consciousness into more conscious realms. Planets with extreme orbital inclinations tend to cut through the comfort of our existing sense of reality.”
Because of the high inclination of its orbit, Eris passes through only a few constellations of the traditional Zodiac; it is now in the constellation Cetus.
Photo Courtesy of Nick Fiorenza, lunarplanner.com
According to mythology, Eris was the Greek goddess of chaos, strife and discord. She was the daughter of Nyx (dark night) alone. She rode her chariot to war alongside Aries (Mars).
Eris played an important role in the events that eventually led to the Trojan War. All of the Olympians had been invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, who would become the parents of Achilles; however, Eris was not invited, due to her inclination to cause discord. As a means of revenge, Eris dropped the golden Apple of Discord into the party, which had the words To The Fairest One inscribed on it. Hera, Athena and Aphrodite started quarreling over who the apple should be given to, so Zeus appointed Paris, Prince of Troy, as the person to solve the dispute. The goddesses offered Paris various gifts, but he eventually picked Aphrodite, who promised him the most beautiful woman in the world; Helen, wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. (greekmythology.com)
Eris has one Moon, named for one of her daughters, Dysnomia, who is said to be the "spirit of lawlessness"—disrupter of civil order. Dysnomia has a nearly circular orbit lasting about 16 days. However, in myth, Eris had two daughters, Dysnomia and the peaceable one, Eunomia, who ends strife, returns order and maintains social stability.
Eris’ disruptive effects can linger for quite a stretch while we get over the upheaval she creates. It is built into Eris’ orbital process to take some time for her more positive results to manifest, which always come after discord.
For example, although the discovery of Eris invariably created disorder at first, a new order followed, in this case producing a new classification of Dwarf Planets (which is fitting to the theme of daughter Eunomia). This is significant when considering Eris' astrological character. Eris dismantles limiting conceptual boundaries to open us to a more authentic embrace of the bigger truth. Thus, Eris expands our awareness by upsetting existing, limiting and antiquated structures of consciousness.
Eris opens us to see beyond the finite bounds of our current perception, beyond the bounds we place upon ourselves, shaking up what is stagnant in consciousness. In doing so, we are left to redefine and reorganize our world view to embrace a far vaster reality—a view more fitting to our rapidly expanding awareness.(Thank you Nick Fiorenza).
Eris is currently out of bounds, traveling outside the ecliptic (which houses our zodiac) and she has been moving through the constellation Cetus for nearly 100 years. She is currently running parallel to 24 Aries in the tropical zodiac, which puts the female Great Awakener close to 0 Aries in the sidereal system. She is currently traveling parallel to the tail end of the constellation Pisces, and will arrive at 0 Aries in 2024. This transit, again 100 years long, has taken us from the depths of our subconscious realm (Cetus) to the realm of human consciousness (Pisces) and eventually to the Great Awakening of Humanity (Aries). 0 Aries is the birthing point of the western world. This is truly a new beginning, the birthing of the new order, the coming together of the two worlds.
Eris is the main dispositor of Ophiuchus. Ophiuchus is the newest quality of consciousness (or sign) we have available to us. It is known as the Serpent Bearer. In a recent workshop, Derek O’Neill said it is the emotions we must go after, not the mind. To do so we have to hang on to the serpent, and let it take us deep into the center of our hearts, where all the answers are. (I am paraphrasing... this is what I got out of his teaching). This is how we begin to work with Ophiuchus. We ride the serpent and take that second bite out of the apple that we misunderstood the first time. We have come full circle. We are at the beginning again. It is up to us to write a new story line, with our new consciousness.
Eris’ retrograde cycle moves her back and forth over a degree or two each year. Much like the Black Moon, she dances over the same degrees repeatedly, as though the constant communion with that part of our consciousness is what is needed to wake us up. Eris’ retrograde lasts about 25 weeks.
Eris is the only other planet or point in our solar system (at this moment) that dances wildly back and forth, like the Black Moon does. She is a Great Disrupter, an awakener, and she is here to shake things up. The Black Moon has a similar function, unveiling the Truth for all to see.
When Eris stations, either retrograde or direct, it can feel like an intense emotional upheaval. It doesn't have to be out of control, but it can definitely feel that way on the inside. Sometimes, we are so stuck in our old emotional habits that it is nearly impossible to get unstuck. The emotional disturbances of Eris are meant to take us to higher ground. When we are in Eris' storm period, (which lasts about a week before her station) don't be surprised to find emotional disturbances everywhere you turn. Keep to your Self, as other people's issues are none of your business, even when they try to make them so. Stay as centered as you can, keep breathing, deeply, and let those storms rage. They are clearing the field for each and every soul and soon we will have brand new territory to play in.
Eris' energy crackles with intensity. It is overwhelmingly disruptive, making us inwardly uncomfortable. Discontentment comes over the soul, and depending on how willing we are to accept discomfort for the agent of change that it is, we will experience anything from inner rumblings to a full blown earthquake that unsettles us or unearths us completely, to, at the most conscious level, an all-out volcanic eruption that blows our stack and causes us to emit the hot lava that has been building up inside us, sometimes for centuries. She can be considered a great excavator of sorts.
It gives new meaning to the truth that there is a blessing in every circumstance. We are beginning to get the hang of allowing our discomforts to just Be what they are, and we are learning that by doing so, we get to see the real reasons why they arise. It is now possible to redefine her highly judged tendency to be quick tempered and perceive it for what it really is: a passionate devotion to raising consciousness; the mastery that does not allow for too much sleeping or laziness, and the capacity to create the upheaval that is essential to clearing away the old and preparing for the new.
Eris is the female AWAKENER, and her purpose in causing us so much unrest is just that... Self-realization. Uranus awakens us with a lightning bolt, Eris awakens us with an inner event. She is not content to jolt us, or hit us with something that will disrupt the outer life... she aims with great precision at the core of our being, at our lower three chakras, and aims to get us to clear them all out. Uranus' revelations occur at the mental level, and Eris' occur within, at the core, in the heart.
There is a real reason why everyone on the planet today appears to have Eris in Aries. With each new degree Eris transits, we all awaken en masse to whatever she manages to provoke in our consciousness. Of course, that provocation comes from within, not from the planet herself. The planet is a reflection of what is taking place within. Aries is disposed by Mars, which has domain over the physical body. Eris' purpose right now is to clear us out at the lower levels of our physical being, (the lower three very physically oriented chakras), in preparation for her entry into Taurus in 2046, where the wise awakener will take aim at the heart center.
Eris is a lot like a loud alarm clock that goes off when we are in the middle of a deep and peaceful sleep. We may not like it when it goes off, but it wakes us efficiently. When she goes off, it is definitely time to wake up.
When the energetic atmosphere becomes distinctly uncomfortable, but we can't quite see anything yet, that could be compared to being soundly asleep, unaware that the alarm is about to go off. Fortunately, for those of us who are ready, willing and able to wake up easily, the alarm is no big deal. It serves an important purpose, which we embrace. We turn it off, get up and do what we have to do.
Look for anything in you or anyone in your life that is bringing the element of discontentment or disruption to your world. That is Eris at work, generating the inner earthquake or volcanic eruption that will soon awaken you.