You Started It! Eris– Shaking It Up in Your Chart
Disruptive influence or Warrior for the Truth? What does Eris means in our charts.
Bigger than Pluto, Eris just fails to meet the criteria to be classified as a planet but shares dwarf planet status along with it and Ceres. We are only just starting to be aware of the influence of Eris in our charts and to do that we need to look not just as the myth of Eris but also its discovery. Eris was discovered in January 2005 by astronomer Mike Brown. Mike wanted to call the new planet Xena – that just happened to be his favourite TV show at the time. But the International Astronomical Union decided to name it after the ancient Greek Goddess of Discord – Eris.
In Roman mythology Eris’s counterpart is Bellona –described by Shakespeare in Henry V Part 1 as ‘the fire-eyed maid of smoky war’. Sounds more like Xena, doesn’t it? And as we delve deeper into Eris what we find is that Xena conundrum appearing. In other words, there are two sides to every planet – and every story.
In Greek mythology, Eris is the catalyst for the Trojan War by lobbing a golden apple marked ‘For the fairest’ into a group of goddesses – Hera (Juno), Aphrodite (Venus) and Athena (Minerva). Of course they argued about just who was the fairest and then went to Paris, the not too bright but extremely good looking shepherd prince. All attempted to bribe him to decide in their favour – all three stripped off so he could appreciate their charms and offered other inducements – in the case of Aphrodite – Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris, who could see better than he could think, choose Aphrodite and the promise of a trophy wife. So, we are told the Trojan War was all Eris’s fault. Unless we look deeper that is.
Eris was the original wedding crasher. Left off the guest list she turned up anyway and threw in that disruptive apple to stir up trouble. But in this case, trouble was deserved as the wedding was in fact, a sham. This was no love match – it was a forced wedding between Peleus and Thetis – the future parents of Achilles. All Eris did was expose not only the ‘fake’ celebration but the insecurities and dark sides of the so-called ‘beautiful’ people. Eris acted as a catalyst – no more.
If we look at the period from Eris’s discovery in 2005 to today, we can clearly see links emerging with forced marriages and human trafficking making headlines and more recently #metoo. Sometimes disruption is necessary to expose an underbelly we would rather not see – and sometimes we have to become that catalyst and release our Xena side.
One of the best modern takes on Eris in mainstream media is the film Muriel’s Wedding. Toni Collette who plays Muriel, captures the Eris/Xena polarity. She strives to fit in with her shallow friends but at the wedding of one of them, witnesses the bridegroom having sex with one of the bridesmaids. Muriel dreams of her own glamourous wedding and the man who will take her away from her dysfunctional family and dead-end town, while continuing to desperately bend herself out of shape to fit in with her ‘fake’ friends. The result – disruption but exposure of all that is fake about her friends, her family and ultimately herself. Muriel moves from Eris into owning her inner Xena and her truth and inner self. If we look at the original myth, Eris did not belong at fake wedding attended by fake people. Eris asks us if we are like Muriel – trying to please people we have nothing in common with and actually, really don’t like.
When we ‘act out’, when we disrupt things or even when we appear to self-sabotage or cause trouble, then this is a sign Eris is at work and has spotted something fake. We start something so the truth can eventually come out. Eris triggers those insecurities within but at the same time asks us why we think others may be better than us? Eris probes beneath the surface and allows us to see what is really going on behind the scenes so the truth can emerge. This can be about ourselves but also about others too. Are you trying to ‘fit in’ or keep up appearances in a way that goes against who you are? Eris is the action which exposes the truth about what is really going on. Sometimes we need to ‘go to war’ on behalf of our true selves. Yes, others may call this disruption because they are the ones who end up exposed.
Whatever aspect of Eris we identify with, the motive behind our actions will always be to see the truth come out. So, become a warrior for one and see through any sham or disruption as a search for what is truly real.
Written by our Astrologer Helen