Friday, August 25, 2006

Pluto No Longer a Planet

Astronomers just voted to downgrade the status of Pluto on the grounds that there are many similar-sized planetoids beyond the orbit of Neptune. This has some interesting implications regarding mapping the Tree of Life to the major planets.

Pluto has always been difficult to fit onto the Tree of Life and a number of different schemas have been proposed. Aleister Crowley originally wrote in The General Principles of Astrology that Neptune should be mapped to Kether and Uranus should be mapped to Chockmah. I have always preferred those attributions to Crowley's later scheme of mapping Pluto to Kether and Uranus to Da'ath. But then where does Pluto go? I have in the past mapped it to Da'ath on the grounds that the planet named after the Lord of the Underworld is a good choice for guarding the Abyss, but this is also not perfect.

There are some genuine reasons to doubt Pluto's status as a planet for the purpose of magical workings in addition to the political maneuverings of the astronomical community. Pluto is less than half the size of Mercury and has an erratic orbit that is more elliptical than that of the other planets. Its orbit is also tilted, whereas the other planetary orbits fall into the same plane. It is also remarkable that according to this definition there are in fact exactly 10 planets to match to the 10 spheres on the Tree of Life. For magical purposes, the Sun and Moon also count as planets bringing the total up to 10.

My book, Operant Magick, mentions the possibility that Pluto might be downgraded and promotes Neptune = Kether and Uranus = Chockmah. I guess it was ahead of its time, and I should probably update the section discussing Pluto with news of the downgrade for the final manuscript.

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Anonymous said...

I wonder how the new Planet 9 will fit the scheme, if it turned out the astronomers' calculations are correct and there is indeed a real planet out there that corresponds with the computer simulations.

I guess Pluto can still be used as the Path of Judgement and as an energy-entity that rules the now planetoid. Its energy is out there, regardless of it being categorized as a planet or a planetoid, as I observed both on myself and the surrounding world.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how just 2years have passed from that event and the financial crisis came. I guess Pluto didn't like it being downgraded, huh? :)

Anonymous said...

*had passed