Dr. Michael Brown
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DISCOVER the Astrology of SEDNA

by Kim Falconer


Minerva and the Muses. Detail of painting by Hans Rottenhammer 1564-1626. Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg.

Brace yourselves! Our solar system just got a whole lot bigger!


There is a new Planetoid named SEDNA found 3 times further out than Pluto!

From her frozen red surface, the sun appears only as a very bright star! Named for the Inuit goddess of the icy seas, what does this new discovery mean? Will Sedna, now transiting in Taurus, change the way we look at our astrological charts? Ourselves? Our global community?

Sedna as Goddess


A Journey to the Edge

Sedna dwells in a remote region of space, a distant world whose recent discovery triples the size of our solar system. From her icy surface, the sun seems only a twinkling star. Extremely cold, vividly red, eccentric in orbit and mysterious in constitution, her first sighting on November 14, 2003, 06:32 AM UT at Palomar Mountain, California marks a new shift in human awareness. Nothing this far away has ever been seen before.

Newspaper headlines proclaimed Sedna as our 10th planet though Dr. Michael Brown , who named her for the Inuit goddess of the Arctic seas, believes she will be classified as a planetoid . Estimated at about 1800 km, or 2/3 the size of Pluto, Sedna is the largest and most outlying body found since 1930.

Sedna orbits somewhere beyond the outer edge of the Kuiper Belt and the inner periphery of the hypothesized Oort cloud, a vast source of comets and other frozen bodies thought to extend half way to the next nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Her distance is between 76AU and 942AU, making a single journey around the sun in about 11,500 years.

Though remote, Sedna is still much closer than the ‘fixed stars’, important astrological points. Like homeopathy, distance (dilution) may actually increase potency. The question is what kind of potency?

The Astrological Sedna

Determining the astrological significance of Sedna requires diligent observation. Considerations include mythology, collective movements at the time of discovery and events, internal and external, that link to natal and mundane chart activation.

Astrologer and author Dennis Elwell cautions against giving excessive weight to singular episodes in the mythology and not enough to empirical experience. Though mythic themes are insightful, events coinciding with Sedna activation must be considered equally.

The first coincidence is the naming of Sedna . How do we know they got it right? Dr. Liz Greene, from London’s Centre for Psychological Astrology , elaborates.

“There is…a curious synchronicity between the time when the planet is discovered and the emergence in society of values and experiences which the planet represents symbolically. It’s as though the planet breaks upon consciousness in both a literal and symbolic way. I can’t really answer you as to why Uranus is called Uranus and Neptune, Neptune. I can only say that in some mysterious fashion they get the names right.”

The Inuit Sedna

Sedna resides in the icy depths of Adlivun, the Arctic underworld beneath the sea. There she rules all marine life, and controls the fate of humans by releasing her bounty to respectful hunters and withholding it from the careless. Disregard for the sacredness of life is the worst offence. When this happens, her long hair tangles with filth and requires a shaman’s journey to appease her rage.

The legends vary, though in most Sedna was once a beautiful girl. Many suitors came to ask for her hand in marriage yet she rejected them all, often to her father’s anguish. When one wealthy hunter was refused, he gave her his dog, saying it was all she deserved. She then marries the dog and gives birth to pups and babes alike.
Ironically, a dog to the Inuit symbolizes faithfulness to one’s own spirit, making this union a mark of individuation, completion. The hunter and her father, however, are appalled. When the dog-husband carries food to his banished offspring, Sedna’s father places stones in his pack so he drowns.

Still, Sedna continues to refuse all suitors until a mysterious man arrives dressed in very fine skins and feathers. Intrigued by the promise of warmth and abundance, she agrees to wed.

Her husband’s guarantee of comfort vanishes when Sedna realizes he is a Fulmar, a dangerous bird spirit living on a desolate island. Although he brings her fresh fish every day, there is no warmth, no furs, and no lamp oil. She falls into despair, wailing her lament.

In yet another version, Sedna is the child of two deities. Though well fed, she is a hungry girl and chews into her parents’ flesh while they sleep. For this she is sent into exile.

In every version, Sedna ends up in a kayak with her father. A terrible storm ensues, stirred by the angry Fulmar or other offended spirits. Her father fears for his life and tosses Sedna overboard. When she grasps the side of the kayak and tries to climb back in, he chops her frozen fingers off, one by one with an axe. As her finger joints fall into the sea, they turn into seals, whales, polar bears, fish, dolphins and walruses.

Sedna sinks below the waves, her upper body remaining a woman and her lower body transforming into a fish or dolphin. She comes to rest at the bottom of the ocean floor and is guarded by her faithful dog-husband. Sometimes she is depicted as a grotesque, one eyed vision of outrage. Other images are more seductive and mermaid-like.

Stories of mermaids, circulating for centuries and underscored periodically with actual sightings, tell of sea creatures, half female-half fish or dolphin. They personify both the alluring and treacherous aspects of the feminine, residing in the sea of the unconscious, holding a key to life and death. Like Sedna, they maintain specific taboos and seem to represent an innate fear of the sacred feminine, the “wickedness of which is an unescapable punishment, a necessary evil painted with fair colours” .

European tales, like The Handless Maiden , also involve a father who cuts off his daughter’s hands. The loss of ones hands is a potent and disturbing symbol. Hands represent our dexterity, allowing us to control and interact with the world. The father’s act of maiming his child—in the Inuit and European stories —is poorly motivated. Lack of incentive makes these tales all the more provocative. Among other things, they say something about abused family authority.

This doesn’t suggest that the astrological Sedna is a victim. Sedna is a life/death/life goddess. Her power and authority regulate who by their right action will live and who, by their negligence, starve. Here is what Dr. Kathleen Jenks says about Sedna and victimization.

“When victimization moves to the goddess-level as it does with Sedna, (it) signals us that there's an extra depth of compassion for the abused. It also tells us that this goddess-archetype has the wherewithal to make a difference and empower that person whose (planets) are resonating with Sedna’s sphere of power.
Sedna may come to represent an extreme terrain of the unconscious, one where issues of power, authority and respect for life do not separate from a respect for oneself. The Inuit are animistic, seeing divinity in all things. Sedna may ask us to account for previously unconsidered forms of negligence towards ourselves and our living planet.

Unappeasable by force, bribe or cajole, Sedna is softened by a shaman’s song of life. The 2003 New Zealand film, Whale Rider, echoes such a shamanic journey, impelled by the spirit of a people in need. Perhaps this is how we are to commune with Sedna, through the guided imagery of dreams and spirit journeys.

World Events

Sedna's discovery on November 14th, 2003 at 17 Taurus 58 coincides with 350 million people uniting in World Diabetes Day. Venerated astrologer Isabel Hickey taught that diabetes was a physical form of emotional bitterness, the inability to balance bitter thoughts with sweet ones . This highlights Venus, ruler of both Taurus, the sign of Sedna’s current transit and Libra, the sign long associated with this disease. Venus also links to personal, one-to-one, socially significant relationships and the drive for balance there.

Consider what other world events coincide with this discovery , and what they may say about fear, abuse of power and mother earth’s immutable authority. Here are just a few.

“Alaska's native horse killed off by food shortages and climate change - not human hunters.”

How actively do we protect and nurture life on earth?

“The world's most damaging potato disease discovered in Britain.”

How do we respond to the treat of food shortage and disease?

“Opposition to USA Patriot Act Swells”

How well do democratic governments protect the rights of their citizens?

“A gas explosion in a southern China coal mine killed 48 workers, injured two others.”

How well do we protect our labor force?

"Southeast Asia Water Forum- - Chiang Mai, Thailand."

How do we protect our global oceans/fresh water ecosystems?


Personal experiences

Sedna has been transiting through mid-Aries to mid-Taurus these last 75 years. Current generations share a similar placement in their astrological charts by sign and outer planet aspect, though house position and contacts to personal planet are more unique.

Recording the transits of Sedna and checking activation dates against inner and outer life events will help reveal her meaning. A downloadable Ephemeris is available on line at Astrodienst . There is also an ephemeris generator on Jon Dunn’s Astro site that gives declination, sidereal and draconic zodiacs.

Practical Examples:
Transiting Sedna was exactly opposite the author’s natal third house Saturn when learning to SCUBA dive in areas teaming with sea lions, dolphins and whales. By facing fears (Saturn) this time led to self-confidence and empowerment, particularly in the area of communication, higher education and teaching (3rd-9th house axis).
For another woman, transiting Sedna exactly squared the natal Moon in Aquarius. This coincided with a separation from an abusive relationship and major change of residence. Both these transits reflect significant turning points in life.

(Below) is the chart of a woman called Charlotte . During a troubled time, she sought astrological consultation, bringing this dream.


"I am looking into a deep inland sea, edged by descending stairs. I feel urgently compelled to follow the stairs down into the caverns underneath the water. I somehow know there is something down there that is hungry, trapped. I race down the steps and glimpse an enormous black walrus stuck in the dry caverns, unable to get to the water. I race on to free it, but as I turn the last descent of stairs, I run straight into a wall. The way has been blocked, sealed off. I can’t get to the creature to feed it and return it to the sea and I know it will starve."


Natal Sedna 4 Taurus 16
Transiting Sedna 17 Taurus 52

On examination of her chart, transiting Sedna was conjunct her natal 12th house Sun. Note her chart ruler, Venus, conjuncts natal Sedna, also in the 12th. With the abundance of earth (Taurus), she has a naturally pragmatic approach to life—sweet, calm and compelled by the realm of the senses. However, all that earth is “trapped” in the non-corporeal 12th house, the sea of the unconscious. Her relationship with the mundane world was well established yet her connection to her inner world remained relatively unexplored.

The sea links to the vast depths of Charlotte’s unconscious 12th house. It is interesting that mythically Sedna used her creatures, whales and seals, to communicate with human kind, to feed them or not as they deserved. The only way to reach Sedna, however, is through the spirit journey of the shaman. Once there, the shaman placates Sedna’s anger by asking how the taboos have been broken and what can be done to correct the offence. The shaman then combs her tangled hair, releasing the souls of animals abused and chants to her songs of life.

When Charlotte heard the myth of Sedna, she realized, through a stream of tears, she had always wanted to pursue her artistic talents but worked as a bookkeeper in her father’s business instead. She had never acknowledged how empty she felt.

By exploring the inherent conflict between the 12th house Sun in Taurus (square 3rd house Leo Moon) she found ways to feed and nurture her creative and mystical longings as well as her need for practical security. This Sedna transit coincided with an application and acceptance to art school, greater independence (separation from father) and a new journey into her hidden world of creativity and spirit. Although other transits occurred at this time, the imagery in Charlotte’s dream and the personal relevance she felt seemed specific to Sedna.


Sedna’s discovery heralds the expansion of not only our solar system but our capacity for conscious awareness as well. By tracking Sedna’s transits—perhaps looking first at the conjunctions, squares and oppositions—themes of her message will arise . Where is 18-19 degrees of Taurus in your natal chart? What planets or angles are activated by this contact? Have a look and be a part of this new and intriguing exploration!

From Swiss Ephemeris
Positions of 2003 VB12-Sedna
Date Long Decl
01 Apr 2005 18 ta 22 5°58
01 May 2005 18 ta 43 6° 5
01 Jun 2005 19 ta 6 6°10
01 Jul 2005 19 ta 25 6°13
01 Aug 2005 19 ta 37 6°12
01 Sep 2005 19 ta 38 Rx 6° 9
01 Oct 2005 19 ta 30 Rx 6° 3
01 Nov 2005 19 ta 14 Rx 5°57
01 Dec 2005 18 ta 56 Rx 5°53
01 Jan 2006 18 ta 42 Rx 5°52
01 Feb 2006 18 ta 36 5°54
01 Mar 2006 18 ta 41 5°59


Dr. Michael Brown

back© Copyright 2001 - 2006 Kim Falconer Last update January 13, 2006 NextQuantum Physics & Astrology!