“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace.”
Allow me to announce the triumphant return of the TNO Watch!
those who aren't aware, we have far more than just the main 8 planets
in our solar system: There are actually hundreds of thousands of bodies
that we know of, and more are being discovered daily. Some of the most
interesting ones are minor planets out past Neptune, given the
designation Trans-Neptunian Objects, or TNOs.
And boy, do I have a good one to talk about today...
Orcus is in the Kuiper belt, and has a large moon- Vanth. He is a
plutino, locked in a 2:3 resonance with Neptune, extremely similar to
Pluto's orbit,except that it is constrained to always be in the opposite
phase of its orbit from Pluto: Orcus is at aphelion when Pluto is at
perihelion and vice versa. Moreover, the aphelion of Orcus's orbit
points in nearly the opposite direction from Pluto's, although the
eccentricities and inclinations are similar. Because of these
similarities and contrasts, along with its large moon Vanth that recalls
Pluto's large moon Charon, Orcus has been regarded as the anti-Pluto.
This was a major consideration in selecting its name, as the deity
Orcus was the Etruscan equivalent of the Roman Pluto, and later became
an alternate name for Pluto.
The Mythology: Orcus
was a god of the underworld, the punisher of broken oaths in Italic and
Roman mythology. As with Hades, the name of the god was also used for
the underworld itself. Orcus was portrayed in paintings in Etruscan
tombs as a hairy, bearded giant. Orcus was chiefly worshiped in rural
areas; he had no official cult in the cities. This remoteness allowed
for him to survive in the countryside long after the more prevalent gods
had ceased to be worshiped. He survived as a folk figure into the
Middle Ages, and aspects of his worship were transmuted into the wild
man festivals held in rural parts of Europe through modern times.
Since Orcus was only recently discovered, his astrological impact is
still being studied by those of us who get off on this sort of thing.
Still, from what we know we can glean a few things about how he works.
He is a facet of the Underworld, much like Pluto; but unlike our
favorite emo planet, Orcus is concerned more with the life-death-rebirth
cycle than outright power and death. Orcus is the decomposition of
living matter to become fertilizer or compost, enriching the soil so
that it may bear fruit again next year. Orcus is fecundity, the
knowledge that nothing ever truly dies, he is the law of conservation of
Also interesting is his moon, Vanth, who I think has just
as much import as the big guy does. Vanth is concerned with the passage
of souls from the world of the living to the world of the dead: She is a
psychopomp, being able to get in and out of hell as she chooses.
Therefore, Orcus can be seen in that light as well, helping transition
to the next stages in our life, helping us grow. Orcus is also the God
of Oaths, so we find a connection to Pluto- Oaths can be seen as a
pledge, or commitment of power, and Orcus has power over these,
enforcing fairness and coming down HARD on those who cheat others,
because in his eyes, they are cheating him!
To find out where he
shows up in your chart, go to astro.com, put in your birth details and
in the extended options, all the way at the bottom there will be a menu
of additional objects with Orcus' name there. Once you see it, click it
and generate the chart! Where does Orcus affect your life?