Currently, there are no set interpretations for Eris in the astrological chart. However, that does not mean that you cannot do what astrologers do when a new space body is found; assign characteristics to that body yourself. All you need are the right tools and astrological context.
Different Interpretations for Eris in the Astrological Chart
Interpreting Eris in astrology is difficult, but you can look at various aspects to start to gain a better idea of what it might mean.
Use the myth of Eris to discern the symbolic ramifications of the story. Typically, space bodies (whether planets or otherwise) represent a psychological process or conflict that is currently unfolding, or has unfolded (particularly in relation of a wedding if applicable).
Factors Related to Physical Manifestations
Occasionally, these planets can also make their presence known through an "actual" manifestation. For example, you may have to confront loving someone who is not free, either because of marriage or otherwise.
Situations Filled With Discord
You should also evaluate situations that you've had that are filled with discord and strife, which are Eris''s calling cards.
Check the Ephemeris
To see a full ephemeris of Eris and to discover the degrees you may have of this dwarf planet in your chart, see Astro.com. Note, too, that Eris is in Aries, the planet of war, and her original name was Xena, a character that embodies Aries. In light of that fact, scrutinize your Aries placements and degrees as well as the placements of Pluto since this is where you are more likely to see or feel Eris's impact.
Eris and Worldly Events
Additionally whatever is going on at the time of Eris's discovery will also be associated with the planet.
- One of the biggest hurricanes on record occurred in 2005; Hurricane Katarina. Quite obviously, that storm caused much in the way of discord.
- Moreover, 2005 seemed to bring about a record number of marriages, particularly with current celebrities. Here again, the dual nature of discord/love is shown.
- It may sound confusing, but keep in mind that Pluto is the gateway through which we enter the underworld, and it's our shadow side. As such, it makes sense that Eris shows the shadow nature of love.
New Planetary Bodies and Astrology
Whenever a new planet is discovered, astrologers quickly assess what is going on in current events at the time of that discovery. This process was clear with the discovery of Pluto. When Pluto was discovered:
- The Dust Bowl raged across the Midwest of America.
- The great depression was in full force; millions lost all their worldly possessions.
- The race was on to develop a nuclear bomb.
These themes certainly fit with Pluto's reputation for death and destruction.
Understanding Eris in Astrology Through Pluto
So, what does Pluto have to do with understanding the interpretations for Eris in the astrological chart? In short, a lot. First, it's worth noting that the planets, even dwarf ones and other significant space bodies, typically receive their names from mythology. Pluto, or Hades, is the god of the underworld, and all of the dwarf planets' neighbors and moons continue that theme of destruction.
Pluto's largest moon, Charon (not to be confused with Chiron), is a space object that might someday be classified as a dwarf body itself. Charon is the ferryman of the dead in Greek mythology. Many at the Naval Observatory actually wanted the moon to be named Persephone after Pluto's abducted bride, but much to the dismay of astrologers, the International Astrological Union (IAU) decided to go with Charon instead. Many astrologers are still upset over this decision, particularly since it has come to light that Pluto and Charon operate as a binary system; they orbit around a mass together and, to astrologers, this relates to Pluto and Persephone's "marriage".
Nix and Hydra
The smaller moons of Pluto are Nix and Hydra. Nix, spelled Nyx in Greek, is the goddess of night and the daughter of Chaos, while Hydra is the many-headed serpent-like figure so prominent in the story of Hercules's twelve labors. Of note is the fact that IAU decided to change the spelling of "Nyx" in order to reflect the Egyptian spelling of the name (Nix).
Eris in Context
This storied beginning brings full context to Eris. Interestingly, Eris, first discovered on January 5, 2005, was originally given the place-holder name of Xena after the television show Xena: Warrior Princess, but it's name was later changed to the goddess of discord and strife. Also note that Eris is the daughter of Nyx.
Eris in Greek Mythology
Eris played a significant role in Greek mythology. In fact, she caused the Trojan War! It all started at a wedding, as many fights do. Eris was not invited, and she took exception to that fact. Eris, true to her reputation for causing strife, tossed an apple engraved with the words, "to the fairest of them all." All of the beauties attending the wedding, in this case goddesses, wanted that apple, but who would have it? Aphrodite, Hera and Athena all duked it out. In that end, it was Aphrodite, who incidentally promised the beautiful Helen to Paris, that got the apple. There was just one little problem; Helen was already married. Paris, sure to claim his prize, wasn't about to let a little detail like marriage stand in his way, and so the Trojan War began.
Gaining a Better Understanding of Eris in Astrology
Interpretations for Eris in an astrological chart will vary up until the point astrologers decide that it has a place within the accepted tenants of astrology. Until that time comes, it will be up to you to assign Eris meaning as you see fit.