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Eris, Strife and Discord

New -- 11 February 2011

In Greek Mythology, Eris is known as the goddess of strife and discord. According to Hesiod, Eris is said to have two sides: one being cruel, fostering evil and war; while the other, as the eldest daughter of dark Night (Nyx), stirring up even the shiftless to toil... allegedly a good thing. The first is considered to be blameworthy, while the other is praiseworthy... at least, when you get to know her better. To further make the point, Eris is said to have two daughters: one, Dysnomia, is said to personify “lawlessness”, the disrupter of civil order. The other is Eunomia, “she who ends strife.”

Eris’ most famous story stems from her failing to be invited to the forced wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Apparently, she had been purposefully snubbed because of her alleged trouble making inclinations... and thus the wedding organizers thought of Eris as rather like inviting an ex-wife to a man’s wedding to a much younger woman. And in true ex-wife form -- all sweetness and light, and trailing behind her blood from her much used knife -- Eris tossed a golden apple into the midst of the wedding party, with the clever inscription: “For the most beautiful one”. Not a bomb, mind you; just an apple.

Nevertheless, this unaccountably provoked the goddesses, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite to claim the golden apple... and, of course, the title of “most beautiful”. To resolve the dispute in a amiable, goddess-like manner, they eventually turned to Zeus for a definitive choice. Zeus, being less than totally stupid, deftly passed the buck, deciding that Paris, Prince of Troy, should make the choice.

This led in turn to various attempts to buy the title (some of these goddesses have no shame). Hera offered Paris political power if she were chosen, while Athena countered with skill in battle (from which riches and wealth derived -- it used to be called "booty"; now it's called "bailouts"). But it was Aphrodite who took the price by offering Paris the love of the most beautiful woman in the world (Helen). The Prince of Troy then claimed his prize... which, of course, resulted in the Trojan War. The latter was not all bad, in that it afforded the opportunity for the gods and goddesses to choose up sides and go to war, while letting their hapless human supporters take the brunt of battle.

It is said that the moral of Eris’ “gift” of the golden apple, is that the discord thus created inevitably results in one making the choice of power, wealth, or love (the latter including beauty and rapture). Theoretically, one might be better off for having made the choice.

Astronomical Complications

Imagine the fun, then, when a planet somewhat larger than Pluto is discovered in the further reaches of the solar system, and thereafter, is named Eris. Adding even greater fun -- fuel for the fire, so to speak -- is that a moon of Eris was also discovered, which was then... eventually... named Dysnomia.

To get a better idea of Eris, check out Lunar Planner, with its excellent graphics.

The naming process is, itself, rather entertaining. At its initial discovery, the team which found the illusive planet, began calling it Xena (after the Warrior Princess heroine of the TV show by the same name). The International Astronomical Union (IAU), having little or no imagination... and apparently, not a fan of the show... went instead with the Eris / Dysnomia combination. The best part of this story is that the star of the TV show was an actress named Lucy (“...in the Sky with Diamonds”) Lawless -- that’s Dysnomia without the ness part of her character description. [The IAU may have absolutely no sense of humor; but they do provoke much merriment.]

In the role of “disrupter” or the cause of strife, Eris (the planet) did in fact fully live up to its name by causing more than just a minor planet’s worth of astronomical consternation. In truly traumatic fashion, the very discovery of Eris resulted in a re-evaluation of Pluto as a “planet” and its membership in the Big Nine exclusive club. It turns out that Eris is slightly larger than Pluto (but smaller than Earth’s Moon), has an orbital period of 558.76 years (more than twice that of Pluto), and a much more eccentric orbit. The latter results in the distance from Eris to the sun ranging from roughly 39 AU (~Pluto’s mean distance) to almost 90 AU [one AU equals the distance from Earth to the Sun]. Even more extraordinary, Eris has an orbital inclination of ~44 degrees from the Ecliptic Plane. We're talking serious "tilt" here.

Some excellent graphics to make all of this clear are by Nick Anthony Florenza, e.g., all of his figures on his Eris page. Note the extremes of eccentricity (Figure 1) and inclination (Figure 2 and 4), the relation of Eris’ orbit to the Ecliptic Plane (Figure 4), and the comparison of the only recently discovered eight “dwarfs” (Figure 3). [Obviously, one of the new discoveries should be re-named “Snow White”... probably Sedna, aka, “the exiled feminine”.] Another of Florenza's cool graphics on Eris, et al is here, while Sedna is shown in a bit of its own glory here.

By the way, you can spend a lot of time at the Lunar Planner site. Just don't forget to come back.

Because of the discovery of Eris (and additional TNOs), the IAU held controversial deliberations, and in their rank stupidity... uh, sorry; their... earnest... whatever... In any case, the IAU assigned the lesser title of “dwarf planet” to everyone else’s beloved planet, Pluto... as well as all of the new discoveries. Had, in fact, the IAU failed to act, it might have had to recognize a body such as Eris as the “10th Planet”... only to rather quickly find a place in the lexicon for the 11th through 17th or 18th “planets”, which are also plying their way about the heavens in elliptical orbits about the sun. The IAU had already nixed Xena for Eris, and selected Dysnomia for Eris’ moon. Not Eunomia (i.e., “she who ends strife”), but the sibling that causes the whole family to wonder if somebody got switched at the hospital.

On the one hand, Eris was obviously well named... she had upon her arrival, disrupted the festivities normally involved in the discovery of a new member of the solar system (much like a new baby)... and thereby split the world into intellectually honest classicists and... well... reactionary, history revisionists. The addition of Dysnomia was also prophetic, in that the IAU quickly left the laws of intellectual acumen and ventured forth into something all together different.

For an example of the above named stupidity of the IAU, consider only that “officially” Pluto and Eris are now referred to as “dwarf planets”, while the smaller planet, Mercury, is still considered to be a member of the Big Eight grouping of “planets”. One might not be so astounded by the IAU’s illogic or insanity, had they, perhaps, referred to Pluto and Eris... as well as Orcus, Guaoar, Ixion, Varuna, Haumea, and Makemake... as “eccentric planets”... or “Rogue Planets”... or with somewhat less baggage, the “Outer Planets”. Or maybe something just faintly applicable or descriptive.

Lunar Planners' graphics should make it clear, for example, that the real distinction of the later additions to the planetary annals, is that they have a much greater eccentricity (deviations from a perfect orbital circle), and comparatively severe inclinations to the Ecliptic Plane. But such thinking did not apparently affect the IAU. [See also: Mike Brown, “Death of a planet,” The Week, February 4, 2011.]

The great flaw in IAU’s nomenclature is that it negates or ignores what really makes the latest additions to Sol’s inventory unique. In what should now be construed as simply amazing, is the fact that the four Inner Planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, aka "Terrestrial Planets"), and the four Giant Planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) all lie in the Ecliptic Plane (within 7.25 degrees of inclination), and have roughly circular orbits (eccentricities of less than 0.206 for Mercury, and less than half that for the rest). In a manner of speaking, the now “Big 8” planets are orbiting in a two-dimensional solar system, whereas at roughly the orbit of Neptune, the solar system goes three-dimensional, with many of the Outer Planets cruising about with extremes in both eccentricities and inclinations to the Ecliptic.

This is astounding! How in the world would you explain such a transition... or even more so, explain how such a solar system evolved? Also... have we simply been looking in the wrong places for additional planets? And given the sudden jump in the Outer Planets category, are there many, many more to be found? Meanwhile, the Pluto-Orcus aspect should be enough to get anyone’s juices flowing. Here are two “dwarf planets” with essentially the same orbital characteristics, and because of their equal-but-opposite eccentricities, their orbits tend to form a rather fat Vesica Pisces, with the orbit of Neptune rather neatly enclosed as the pupil of the eye.

There are thus the anomalies of Pluto-Orcus, possibly Haumea-Mamemake-2009 YE7 (the latter yet to be named), as well as the geometrical questions of orbits... beginning with the classical planets, the Book of Coincidence, Jupiter’s satellites, and Iapetus. The latter is particularly curious in that this moon of Saturn is the only major satellite of the ringed planet which has a unique inclination (~15 degrees), and the only Moon with a not-on-edge view of the Rings. The latter sounds a bit like the solar system’s Ecliptic Plane of the classic eight planets, and suddenly lots of planets in extreme orbits... once you get just far enough from the object that the moon/planet revolves about.

Astrological Complications

Meanwhile, in other venues, Eris’ very long orbital period might easily be construed to suggest strongly that any possibly alleged astrological influence is likely to be measured over very long periods of time. At the same time, the 44 degree inclination further suggests that Eris is not going to be passing through most of the Zodiacal signs, except on a very, very long term basis.

The problem for astrologers is that one either has to memorize a whole new slew of constellations and their potentially esoteric (and debatable) interpretations... OR... one can instead concentrate on those noteworthy periods of time when Eris does in fact lie well within the Zodiacal confines. For example, in the Figure 4 from Fiorenza, one might note that the twin periods from Perihelion to South Node, and separately from Aphelion to North Node... could be just such distinct periods, and thus by limiting our discussion thusly, we can avoid, or at least a portion of... the inevitable controversies of astrological interpretation.

The challenge instead is that we must now think in terms of very long cycles... roughly two such cycles within a greater than half-millennial period.

But never fear... we have attempted to do so. Consider the following:


Perihelion / South Node Aphelion / North Node EVENTS

1936 BC /

1838 BC

Destruction of Ur (Sumerian Civilization); Tower of Babel; Sagas of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -- and monotheism; Amenemhat III (1841 - 1814); Sobenkneferu -- Dragon Court of Ankhfn-knonsu; Rhind Mathematical Papyrus [1]

1685 BC /

1639 BC

  Eruption of Mount Santorini; Ipuwer Papyrus (description) Hyksos Delta Kings (Canaanites?) expand/invade Egypt;
End of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (ca. 1630); [2]

1377 BC /

1279 BC

Moses (Akhesenpa-aten) (1367-1361); The Exodus; Jericho (1330); Ark of the Covenant as a weapon;
End of 18th Dynasty of Egypt (1335); Ramesses II (the Great) (1279-1213);
Monuments in stone. [3]

1126 BC /

1080 BC

  Aftermath of the Trojan War; dispersal of survivors;
End of New kingdom (20th dynasty) in Egypt (1069);
Philistines conquer Israel (c. 1050)... leading to Kings Saul, David, Solomon, and First Temple (for future disruptions) [4]

818 BC /

720 BC

Iliad/Odyssey written; First olympics; Rome founded (753);
Romulus “vanishes” (717); (722) Sargon II of Assyria ends kingdom of Israel; Ethiopian kings begin rule of Egypt (15th Dynasty) (722); Beginnings of
Library of Ashurbanipal; [5]

567 BC /

521 BC

  Buddha (563? - 483?) -- began teaching c. 534-519?; Confucius (551-479) -- began teaching c. 531-521;
Egypt conquered by Persians c. 525;
Zerubabbel builds the Second Temple;
Torah written down.

259 BC /

161 BC

Library of Alexandria (Ptolemy 323-283);
Rise of Rome (264-160); Pax Romana --
Rosetta Stone;
Jewish/Maccabees - Israelite independence by 142; [7]

9 BC /

39 AD

  Jesus Christ! (c. 4 BC - 33 AD - 50 AD?)
Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes... i.e.,
Power (of the people), wealth, and love... again. [8]

299 AD /

398 AD

Huns invade Europe 370; Goths sack Rome 410;
Library of Alexandria destroyed 391 AD (following partial destructions in 48 BC, and again in 270-275 AD);
Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople 381 AD. [9]

499 AD /

597 AD

  Muhammad (570-632); Rise of Islam, beginning 610;
Golden Apple for fairest, monotheistic god;
5th Ecumenical Council -- East-West Schism (553) [10]

859 AD /

957 AD

Eastern Orthodox final split with Rome (867):
Alfred the Great (871-891);
Anglo-Saxon Chronicles;
Mayas into Yucatan (900); Sung Dynasty in China (960):
Y1K Crisis. [11]

1110 AD /

1156 AD

  Crusades (1095-1272) [12]
Crusaders began the ‘holy war’ in Toledo, Spain by robbing and killing Jews (1212)... also defeating Moors. Almohads (fundamentalist Islamists) installed Islamic Iberia by 1172.

1418 AD /

1516 AD

Martin Luther - Reformation begins 1517;
Henry VIII (1509-1547) -- 8 choices of “who’s fairest”
Henry: Church of England versus Holy Roman Church.
Gutenberg Press (1454); Greensleeves; [13]

1669 AD /

1715 AD

  Great Plague of London 1663, Great Fire of London 1666; Louis XIV (1643-1662 to 1715); Divine Right to Rule:
Aurangzeb (India) (1658-1707) “rule with no restraints”... both leave impoverished countries, imposed religion. [14]

1977 AD /

2075 AD

Internet (1989-date)/
2012 Possible Ramifications? Religious Wars?
February 27, 2075... what manner of Disruption (and innovation)? Opportunities out of Chaos? [15]


What does all of this mean?

I have no friggin’ idea.

On the other hand... one thing is clear: religious innovation (like forming new ones) is rather the ultimate in tossing a golden apple into the midst of credulous humans. It is clearly where the choice for wealth, power, or love constantly vie for our attention. It’s just that we shouldn’t assume that love/Aphrodite wins every time.. or starts every war.

But there is another aspect. There is just not Disruption (with a capital “D”), as well as “lawlessness” (Dysnomia)... and a fair amount of Insomnia... but there is also Eunomia (“who ends strife”). It’s that second side, the praiseworthy aspect of Eris.

So... how exactly does one “end strife”. Well, talking among adversaries can help... i.e., communications and the ability to understand another’s point of view. And thus what does the younger daughter do... particularly at aphelion when Mom’s the furtherest away (out of sight; out of mind, so to speak) -- i.e., about 90 AU from the sun, vice ~39 AU at perihelion? Eunomia introduces new and innovative ways for communicating and understanding one another. From the printing press and libraries of papyrus to the internet... to carved pictures (and monuments) in stone to songs and chronicles. (There’s just nothing like a good epic to entertain and enlighten. Gilgamesh, anyone?)

And thus the reason for the blue highlights in the above table.

There does seem to be a pattern here... in particular, the introduction of new variations. Seemingly, no matter how you look at it, religion -- with its attendant wars and invasions in the name of one god or another and the so-called “divine right of kings” -- keeps raising its seriously ugly head. Contrariwise, ever better communications drops in on a regular basis as well. But to really buy those particular observations... one has to read below all those pesky little footnotes, following herein. (Think of this as being another one of Eunomia’s clever ideas to actually explain things without interrupting the flow of making a point for the reader... as, for example, in links to other web pages.)

One might in fact assume that one of the primary weapons in Eris’ bag of disruptive tricks is religion... and the inevitable accompaniment of dogma in attempting to deny any hope of compromise... OR communications (and the possibility of the "end of strife"). There is simply no better assurance of war and mayhem than totally unsubstantiated and irrational beliefs held by fanatics who are primarily noted for their inability to think... or even conceive of being... open-minded. And who furthermore are so intense that they must somehow inflict their religious beliefs on everyone else. One suspects that if all religions were banned, Eris’ resiliency would be sorely tested. (But then, there are the politicians and true believers in non-religious arenas... so Eris shouldn’t have to join the unemployment lines anytime soon.)

So... the question now becomes: What’s in store for 2075, with Aphelion having already been passed in 1977? (In other words, we're already in it... beginning... possibly... with the Reagan administration.)

Well... one outright guess could, perhaps, be gleamed from the Sabian Symbol for 6 degrees of Taurus (and 29’ -- the official crossing of the zodiac for that particular date): It reads:

“The Woman of Samaria at the Ancestral Well.” According to Dane Rudhyar, this is “The meeting of the traditional past and of the creative spirit pointing to the future.” “The creative future descends first to that which has become chaos. An old order is never open to a new Revelation until it has accepted disorder in the name of that Power which subsumes all forms of order, i.e., Love.” “...a ‘meeting’ that introduces into the collective situation a totally new factor which transcends it. A NEW QUALITY OF BEING is revealed which renders the old patterns obsolete.” [Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala, Vintage Books, 1974.]

Maybe we get introduced to an alien religion... one that ultimately makes sense. Nah... probably not.

In the interim, perhaps we can benefit from Lunar Planner observation:

Eris demonstrated, right from the start, its no-nonsense astrological role as the great disrupter. Although Eris creates a disrupting commotion, it clearly is not without purpose. Eris opens us to see beyond the finite bounds of our current perception, beyond the bounds we place upon ourselves, sort of 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.

In essence, there is always the possibility of Opportunities from Chaos.



[1] Accurately dating events from 2000, 3000, and 4000 years ago is always somewhat problematic. For example, the total destruction of Ur and the Sumerian Civilization -- one of the first truly astounding events in known history -- is routinely given as anything from ca. 2000 to ca 1940 BC (Ibbi-Sin) to as late as 1800 BC. Somewhat more accurate, relatively speaking, are the relations between events.

The Tower of Babel, for example, may be [according to Laurence Gardner, The Origin of God, and Genesis of the Grail Kings] may have basically followed the last king of Ur... a reactionary attempt to build a shem (not a tower, but a powdery substance) in order to appease the gods who had deserted Ur. The lament on the latter event was that, “The gods have abandoned us like migrating birds.” Thus, it must be time to build a shem...”, “that which is highward.” “The Babylonians called this sanctuary tower the Esagila, meaning ‘the structure with the utmost raised head.’” [ibid pg 47-48]

Also related to Ur’s demise is Abraham who took a powder as well [pardon any lingering, hidden puns lurking about in that phrase]. Thus began the saga of Abe, Isaac, and Jacob, as they -- according to the accounts first written some 1500 years later -- attempted to conceive a monotheistic religion.

Egypt was, curiously enough, part of this project, and where in fact, Isaac just might have been the son of Sarah and Sensuret I [Gardner, ibid]. Sensuret's descendent, Amenemhat III, meanwhile, co-ruled with his father from 1860, and then on his own from 1841 to 1814 BC... the 1841 date tying in nicely with the timing for Eris at her North Node. It should be noted that Amenemhat III was considered to be the “greatest monarch of the Middle Kingdom”, so we're not just dropping names to fit a date. Plus which, the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus may have been composed in Amenemhat's reign, and subsequently may have been recopied by Ahmes, c. 1650 BC.

Amenemhat III was particularly known for having build the Labyrinth of Egypt, whose history (after Herodotus’ laudatory account) might nonetheless only now be in the process of being re-discovered.

Herodotus on the Labyrinth:
"To strengthen the bond between them, they decided to leave a common memorial of their reigns, and for this purpose constructed a labyrinth a little above Lake Moeris, near the place called the City of Crocodiles. I have seen this building, and it is beyond my power to describe; it must have cost more in labour and money than all the walls and public works of the Greeks put together - though no one would deny that the temples at Ephesus and Samos are remarkable buildings. The pyramids, too, are astonishing structures, each one of them equal to many of the most ambitious works of Greece; but the labyrinth surpasses them. It has twelve covered courts - six in a row facing north, six south - the gates of the one range exactly fronting the gates of the other, with a continuous wall round the outside of the whole. Inside, the building is of two stories and contains three thousand rooms, of which half are underground, and the other half directly above them. I was taken through the rooms in the upper story, so what I shall say of them is from my own observation, but the underground ones I can speak of only from report, because the Egyptians in charge refused to let me see them, as they contain the tombs of the kings who built the labyrinth, and also the tombs of the sacred crocodiles. The upper rooms, on the contrary, I did actually see, and it is hard to believe that they are the work of men; the baffling and intricate passages from room to room and from court to court were an endless wonder to me, as we passed from a court-yard into rooms, from rooms into galleries, from galleries into more rooms, and thence into yet more courtyards. The roof of every chamber, courtyard, and gallery is, like the walls, of stone. The walls are covered with carved figures, and each court is exquisitely built of white marble and surrounded by a colonnade. Near the corner where the labyrinth ends there is a pyramid, two hundred and forty feet in height, with great carved figures of animals on it and an underground passage by which it can be entered".

Also... Amenemhat III’s younger daughter, Sobenkneferu eventually followed him, but ruled for just under 4 years (1777 = 1773 BC). However, under Sobenkneferu, the Dragon Court of Ankhfn-knonsu, and the scientific teachings of Thoth were established, suggesting very strongly that the Dragon Court was perhaps being formed 20-30 years earlier under Amenemhat. One can think of the Dragon Court has one devoted to philosophy, spirituality, and all manner of esoteric subjects. But its history may be far more intriguing than that. See, for example, Laurence Gardner [ibid].

Finally, it is always wise in historical research to consider when the history was written... and not just when the history happened. In ancient histories, particularly the Bible (both Testaments), the mind sets of the writers are often literally and figuratively centuries removed from one another. This opens the door for history revisionism on a massive scale.

[2] Mount Santorini erupted c. 1645-1600 (according to Wikipedia), but with some scholars claiming a more precise date of 1624 BC. Of course, one might claim that Santorini doesn’t count, if only because Eris doesn’t typically throw a bomb into the party, but merely a golden apple. On the other hand, one might assume that “erupt” and “disrupt” are somehow related... i.e., members of the same “rupt” family.

The Ipuwer Papyrus (see third table in link) is worth mentioning in that it appears to describe the rather traumatic aftermath of Santorini blowing its top. It is also noteworthy that Ipuwer seems to be describing the same event as the Exodus, but apparently some 400-500 years earlier. Immanuel Velikovsky has used the similarities of these written accounts to argue that the Ipuwer Papyrus is indeed describing the Exodus from the Egyptian perspective... and thus implying a really serious dating problem in Egyptian chronology. However... there is always the possibility that the Exodus writers (writing in the 6th century BC, 900 years after the Exodus) were simply plagiarizing the Papyrus. Knowing a good story when they saw one, they simply lifted the whole thing off Ipuwer's chronicles and arbitrarily assigned it to their own history. This, more than anything else, would explain the uncanny similarity of accounts. It’s called intellectual property violations... or piracy in the more modern vernacular.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Middle Kingdom is ending ca. 1630 BC. This was primarily due to the Hyksos Delta Kings, who had been hanging about in Canaan... and thereby accounting for the Canaanite sounds of their names), who may have taken advantage of Santorini firing a shot heard around the world, and thereby ended the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. The Hyksos then overstayed their welcome by about 110 years.

[3] Would you believe that Moses was also Akhesenpa-aten, aka Amenhotep IV, aka Akhenaten... the El Amarna dude who tried to replace the comparatively tolerant gods of Egypt with a single, decidedly intolerant deity... an attempt at imposing monotheism of the form that just might have been first pushed by Abraham, et al? Trust me; it’s probably true. According to Gardner [ibid]... and curiously enough, also Sigmund Freud... Moses was pharaoh Akhenaten... and after an Aten-inspired reign of some six years (1367-1361), Moses, having allegedly first arrived in a reed basket, had now been banished from the country. It was pretty much all downhill from there for the 18th Dynasty of Egypt.

As for the suggestion that Moses’ one god was, shall we say, less than tolerant then the pantheon of other gods, consider the following:

In Deuteronomy 6:10-11, the Israelites, fresh from their gig in Egypt, a pit stop at Mount Horeb, and “40 Years” of wandering the wilderness... were told:

“The Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities which thou buildedst not, and houses full of all good things which thou filledst not, and wells digged which thou diggedst not, vineyard and olive trees which thou plantedst not.”

In other words, God said “Let there be a free lunch for anyone willing to be absolutely subservient to a God, who incidentally adds:

“Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name... lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.” [ibid, 6:13-15]

As for all those pesky fellows... who did all the building of goodly cities, filling of houses with good things, digging wells, and planting vineyards and olive trees... these enemies must be overthrown. The Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites... were to be delivered by the Lord their God to the Israelite invaders, and thereafter, “thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy until them.” [ibid 7:1-2] Furthermore,

“For thou art an holy people... the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself; above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” [ibid 7:6] [emphasis added]

According to Laurence Gardner in his excellent book, The Origin of God... [Laurence Gardner, The Origin of God, Dash House, Brockenhurst UK, 2010.]

“Whether these statements were items of some historical merit, or simply wishful thinking by the biblical scribes [writing some 900 years later; 1330 - 450 (Joshua)], is a matter of debate. Either way, there is nothing merciful or gracious being stated here. What leaps from the page is the first literary example of the ‘God on our side’ principle.” “This concept has since been adopted on so many occasions by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. It has fueled religious antagonism and racial intolerance through the ages, with fear of retribution becoming confused with loyalty.” [page 215-216]

Gardner then goes on to note, curiously enough, that “the Mosaic intention to create religious and racial disunity was as unsuccessful in Canaan as it had been with the Aten impositions in Egypt.” [ibid, page 216] Gardner (and Sigmund Freud) argue persuasively that Moses was in fact the Egyptian pharaoh, Amenhotep IV, aka Akhenaten, who had been banished from Egypt in about 1361 BC. pages 192-193]

Nevertheless, despite the tendency of most people to choose to get along and tolerate others’ imperfections (as they would want to have their own imperfections tolerated), the Eris Disruption Process was already in progress.

Disruption, in fact, hit its stride with Ramesses II, whose reign extended from 1279 to 1213 BC [Wikipedia]. Apparently, Eunomia was now making waves as the monumental [pardon the pun] building program of Ramesses was initiated a whole new way to communicate -- from Abu Simbel’s message of beyond this spot on the Nile lies a very powerful king, to various pictures of masculine erections to let the populace know that it was time to make babies... to make up for those who had died in wars.

[4] The New Kingdom of Egypt held court [pardon the pun] from roughly 1550 BC to 1069 BC. It included some of the most famous of all pharaohs... i.e., the Ramesses PR unit’s greatest accomplishment.

Of notably less importance, the Philistines -- perennial arch-rivals of Israel -- were sacking Israel, leading up to c. 1050. Thereafter, Saul (1047-1007; notably 40 years, and about as reliable as those 40 years in the wilderness), took charge... followed by King David, King Solomon, and the First Temple.

[Traditionally, 40 years was considered to be the reign of an Israeli king... thus the necessity of 40 years between Moses and Joshua... just to be proper. Meanwhile, the very concept of actually wandering for forty years in as small an area as the Sinai peninsula... begs credulity on every imaginable level.]

[5] Traditionally, the Iliad/Odyssey have been said to have been written by Homer, c. 800 BC. [Some scholars have challenged the notion that it was Homer who wrote these two classics; and have theorized that they were in fact written by another Greek... with the same name.]

The first olympics were held, c. 776, while Rome was founded 753. Both events might be thought of as bringing people together, but subsequent histories tend to suggest there were also some disruptive influences brought along as baggage to these events.

Meanwhile, the first systematically organized library has always been credited to Ashurbanipal (c. 685-627), even if many of the tablets were probably begun much earlier. The technology of the day did not exactly lend itself to literary contributions of the billions of blog messages.

In 722 BC, Sargon II of Assyria conquered Samaria and brought the kingdom of Israel to an end. In the same year, Ethiopian kings begin rule of Egypt, said rule lasting to 683 BC (the 15th Dynasty).

[6] Speaking of injecting disruptions with the advent of new religions, this particular crossing of Eris through the Ecliptic Plane spawned several. There was, for example, Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, who apparently lived c. 563 to 483 BC... and who left the “good life” at age 29, thus beginning his teaching career c. 534 - 519 (dates uncertain).

Confucius (551-479), meanwhile, hit the road in his twenties, with a whole new routine, one notably different from Buddha’s.

Meanwhile, Egypt was... again... being conquered... this time by the Persians, c. 525. The ancient Egyptians have got to have developed a real distaste for the likes of Eris and her kids. They keep getting blind-sided, blitzkrieged, and otherwise worked over.

And speaking of people previously conquered and sent off to captivity, the Jews were being let go by Cyrus I. The new Jewish leader, Zerubabbel (fresh from his gig in Babylonian Captivity) returns to the “homeland” and promptly builds the Second Temple in 520 BC. Possibly, Zerubby had divine inspiration, to establish some form of legal rights to some specific ground... after which the future Jewish/Islamic controversy could fester over the real estate’s primary edicts, i.e., “location, location, location”. Or he could have had a bit of a messianic complex himself... OR the state-of-the-world at the time was such that every real power was busy and unlikely to prevent him in his grandiose building project.

Very important is the fact that in the years of Babylonian Captivity, the Israelites were plagiarizing their histories from Sumerian Sources, and to a lesser degree from Egyptian, Canaanite, and other histories. But the entrepreneurial writers did add a twist... an absolute, mandatory imposition of the Torah on the true believers. In fact, from what we know of the ancient times, all of the Jewish laws of Deuteronomy [see, for example, footnote [4] above], were based on the particular mindset of a people who had been routinely and consistently plagued, abandoned, and mistreated by their One God.

This particular South Node Crossing of Eris is, thus far, a massively important period of time, in which all sorts of golden apple sweepstakes were taking place. Curiously, it gets even better in future crossings.

[7] The Rise of Rome began with its first overseas ventures: The First Punic War (264-241 BC), the crushing of the Macedonian phalanx in 197 and 168 BC; and the defeat of the last remaining vestiges of free Greece in 146 BC... the latter which also marked the definitive end of Carthage. The entire process was one of imposing Pax Romana. Curiously, the Jews under the Maccabees were gaining their independence (which they achieved in 142 BC).

The Rosetta Stone c. 181 BC, was a decree by King Ptolemy V, written in three scripts: ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Egyptian demotic script, and ancient Greek. The use of three languages, saying essentially the same thing, turned out to be the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs (by Jean-Francois Champollion in Paris in 1822 AD). This was apparently a good thing.

The Ptolemy dynasty was also responsible for the ancient Library of Alexandria, establishing it prior to c. 246 BC, and embellishing it during the next several centuries. One clever idea in that regard was the decree of Ptolemy III, c. 246-222 BC, whereby all visitors to the city would be required to surrender all books, scrolls, and written media in any language. The surrendered scrolls would then be immediately copied, and then the librarians would generously return a copy (not the original) to the owners. In this way, the Library was adding to its collection on an ongoing basis. Sort of a reverse piracy... so to speak.

[8] Jesus of Nazareth was born c. 4 BC (plus or minus 3 years). He began his teaching career at age 33-35. If he did not die on the cross (see Crucifiction) -- and the Acts of the Apostles is even remotely credible in describing his subsequent activities... then 39 AD makes for a pretty good date for the beginnings of Christianity... the new kid/religion on the block. One very golden apple has just been thrown into the party mix.

Furthermore, this religion was quite different from the Jewish religion from which it sprung. Gardner [The Origin of God, page 302] writes, for example:

“Although it can justifiably be said that, by way of ultimate Roman Church intervention, the original philosophies of Jesus were corrupted to form the basis of a newly devised hybrid religion, it is equally clear that Jesus’ own message was based on the lore of the Essenes.”

“Jesus’ views on matters such as wealth, marriage and baptism were in no way commensurate with the 1st-century Hebrew culture of the Pharisees and Sadducees, nor even in agreement with the scribes of Temple Law. His views all stemmed from Essene tradition as referenced in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Throughout the gospels, Jesus makes his position perfectly clear:

‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees; hypocrites! You compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.’”

Of particular note is that Eris’ golden apple choice between power, wealth, and love is spectacularly demonstrated in the choice between: 1) Pharisees (curiously similar to democrats), 2) Sadducees (somewhat equivalent to aristocrats and republicans), and 3) Essenes (possibly, independents). Certainly a degree of consistency here. Eris is so clever!. [It never hurts to praise a goddess, particularly one with the tendency and talent to make one's life... disruptive.]

[9] For starters, the Huns invaded Europe in 370 AD. A bit later, the Goths sacked Rome in 410. Paganism had been re-introduced in 351 by Julian, but then Paganism was declared illegal and the Library of Alexandria totally destroyed (burned) by Theodosius in 391 AD. (The Library had been partially destroyed in 48 BC, and again in 270-275 AD, but the last disaster was premeditated, first degree murder.)

Also... "Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller", "rustic") is a blanket term, typically used to refer to polytheistic religious traditions." [ibid]

An intriguing question that arises is: Was anything saved by some foresighted and clever librarians, and had they previously or subsequently stored some notable bits and pieces of the Library of Alexandria away somewhere?

In any case, the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople was convened in 381 AD. It’s primary product was the Nicene Creed, along with a very negative debate over the Arian controversy... the latter being an ostensibly more rational version of Christianity.

[10] Ha! You thought the introduction of Jesus was going to give the Jews fits! Just when you thought it was safe to go into the desert again, along comes Muhammad (570-652). According to Islamic beliefs, Muhammad received his first revelation from God c. 610 AD, but may have begun mediating in a cave as early as 595 AD. By 613 AD, Muhammad had begun preaching, proclaiming “God is One”, with “surrender” being the only way to God.

Finally, the world’s stage was now complete for the golden apple award to be awarded to the fairest, monotheistic religion.

Of course, one of those “monotheistic religions”, i.e., the Christian communities was, in 553 AD, initiating the Fifth Ecumenical Council (aka Second Council of Constantinople), which brought together as one, the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, and other Western Christian groups. The term, “Ecumenical” is generally thought of as an attempt or movement toward a greater unity or cooperation. Unfortunately, the council achieved instead an East-West Schism. [A great graphic for “Christianity” is shown in Wikipedia’s definition of “Schism”. You really got to check it out.] Talk about "disruptive"!

[11] The year, 867 AD, may be said to mark the final spin-off of the Eastern Orthodox church from the Western version. It seems that Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, excommunicated Pope Nicholas I of Rome... and unaccountably, this was taken in a less-than-ecumenical manner by the normally fun-loving Roman Catholic Church cardinals, bishops, retainers, and so forth.

A bit later, Alfred the Great (871-891) arrived on the scene, and taking a page (or a papyrus scroll) from Ptolemy, initiated the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. And like the Library of Alexandria, the Chronicles would be substantially enlarged and updated over the next century.

Meanwhile, the Mayas were moving into Yucatan ca. 900, while the Sung Dynasty in China (ca. 960-1275) was just getting started.

Curiously, probably the most relevant event to our thesis was the Y1K Crisis in Europe. It seems that on the 1000th anniversary of Jesus Christ' birth, everyone was expecting the return of Jewish rabbi and the wholesale destruction of the world. (Curious thing for a "savior" to do; but so it goes.) In fact, before Y1K, there was great trepidation; afterwards, there was a lot of questions as to WTF! There had obviously been much ado about nothing, and now the authorities of the day had to come up with something to distract the people’s attention from what had obviously turned out to be a non-event.

Clever people that they are, they came up with the next Great Disruptive Event: The Crusades.

[12] The Crusades were conducted over a fairly long period of time, from 1095 to 1272... or more specifically: 1095-1099; 1147-1149; 1187-1192; 1202-1204... to the 9th Crusade in 1271-1272. Primarily, these Crusades were Christians invading Muslim territory (in Palestine), but also included, for example, the second team for the Crusaders who began their own ‘holy war’ in Toledo, Spain by robbing and killing Jews. By 1212, they had also defeated the Moors. Fun is where you find it.

Prior to that, the Almohads (fundamentalist Islamists) had installed Islamic Iberia by 1172.

There was accordingly, a lot of disruptive influences happening.

[13] Martin Luther nailed his manifesto on the church door in 1517... and thereby officially kicked off the Christian (Protestant) Reformation festivities in Europe. It may have helped that the Gutenberg Press had gone on line in 1454... and thus the potential for writing leaned treatises (and cashing in on book royalties and the like) had made things enormously more efficient. In some respects the Press really made the Reformation. The Press was also instrumental in a disruption of Catholic activities in Merrie Olde England.

For it was King Henry VIII of England (1509-1547) who initiated his very own “golden apple” award... i.e., which of his 8 wives would get to avoid being beheaded. Henry was already well into disruption by 1516, when in order to marry Anne Boleyn, he split from the Catholic Church, and began the Church of England... the latter sort of a Catholic Reformed Church... and thus one of the great oxymorons of history. (Anne, meanwhile, became Queen in 1533; but rather lost her head in 1536. Sigh.)

Henry, by the way, is reputed to have written Greensleeves... the latter a prime example of ways to communicate one’s heartbreak at being mistreated by a love. (Of course, various decidedly unromantic scholars would contest the idea of Henry writing such a classic... but like they were there?)

Meanwhile, Protestantism and the Church of England had provided splits in the Christian ranks, not unlike those in the Muslim lands between Shiites and Sunnis, et al (*)... or even among Jews and virtually every religion under the sun (or moon, in the case of Wicca). These splits were just the beginning, however, and split upon split finally produced the proliferation of religions we can choose from today... even if there is the slight problem of: Oh Ye of (One) LIttle Faith.

Curiously, the Church of England still alludes to the Divine Right of Kings (see [14] below), in that the current monarch of England, Elizabeth II, is considered to be the "Supreme Governor" of the Church of England.

(*) Sufi, Tariqah, Kharijite, Wahabi, Hanbali, Jahmiyyah, Ash'ari, Maturidi, Athari, Murjite, Mu'tazili, Sufri, and Ibadi, Hanafi, Deobandi, Barelwi, Hanbali, Maliki, Shafi'i, Twelvers, Usooli, Alevi, Akhbari, Alawi, Shaykhi, Ismailiyah, Nizari, Mustaali, Bohras, Dawoodi Bohras, Sulamaini Bohras, Alavi Bohras, Zaiddiyah, Bektashi, Chishti, Naqshbandi, Oveyssi, Qadiri, Suhrawardiyya, Salafism, Wahhabism, Liberal, Islamism, Tablighi Jama'at, Ahmadiyya, Druze, Zikri, Babism, Baha'i Faith, Sikhism, Five Percenters and Nuwaubu.

[14] The most recent, “South Node disruptive period” could be said to have been forecast by the back-to-back events of the Great Plague of London in 1663, followed by the Great Fire of London in 1666.

[A fascinating theory is that the latter was essential in definitively ending the former.]

But the main event was the penultimate period in what has become known as the Age of Kings:

Louis XIV of France, who came to his throne in 1643, and then began ruling in his own right in 1662, was known as Le Gran Monarque. Louis’ motto was “I am the State”, and this moniker reflected his belief (and the reality) of absolutism, rule with no restraints, the divine right of kings to rule however and without recourse to or by anyone else. Lou, as no one called him (and lived), was also known as the “Sun King”, or the center of the political universe. Because of his absolute supremacy in all matters, he also pimped for the Catholic religion. His reign lasted until 1715, after which he left France as “a troubled, impoverished country.”

On the other side of the globe in India, Aurangzeb (1658-1707) was known as the “Conqueror of the World”. Aka Alamgir, this absolute monarch established Islamic Sharia Law... despite the previous liberal policies of his immediate predecessors: Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan. In his misguided zeal, Aurangzeb prohibited music and dance... the latter which was totally contrary to a multitude of Hindu music/dance inspired practices. Aurangzeb also sought and crushed any resistance, destroyed temples, was vehemently anti-Christian, and, not surprisingly, left his country with a weak central administration, having depleted the fortunes amassed by his predecessors. He had also encouraged the growth of secessionist sentiments... which would plague the next king.

Kings may not be thought of as religions, but when “divine right to rule” is the rule rather than the exception, then the mono-omnipotent monarch himself constitutes a religion... one allegedly anointed by a monotheistic god... then the religious connections is rather appropriate.

[15] The latest Eris inspired, “Nodal Disruption”, may be said to have begun in 1977. But the most obvious ramifications appear to be the initiation of a new cycle in presidential politics in 1980. [See The Next Hundred Years, under "America's Jubilee Cycle", toward the end of the page.] This was followed by increasing, overt influence of religion in politics since then (*), and on a more positive note, by the Internet, where it is assumed the Internet began in earnest in 1989, and continuing thereafter.

(*) Actually, religion in politics has almost always been the rule rather than the exception. Basically, no religion seems to have a snowball's chance in hell from catching on, unless required under penalty of law and enforced by the politics of the state. It's just that in America, there was a brief respite from the mindless idiocy and disruptive influence.]

What’s next? Well... there’s always December 21, 2012, when the world ends. Or more likely, when a whole lot of cycles end... and then... well... who knows?

There is also the matter of the date of February 27, 2075... when things may really get out of hand... or just the culmination of events. Of course, most people alive today... may not be alive then. Still... with medical science progressing as it has in recent decades, there may be far more people alive in 2075 than would otherwise be advisable.

Meanwhile, I’ll have to get back to you on this one.


Chapter Seven -- Ophiuchus

Forward to:

Chapter Nine -- Synastry




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