SEDNA:
GODDESS OF THE FROZEN WATERS

 

Exploring the meaning of the discovery of a new ‘planet’ called Sedna,
announced in March 2004. (
1)

 

Picture Credit: Artistic rendering of Sedna, European Journal of Psychology

 

 

New ‘planets’ are announced from time to time, demonstrating more journalistic ambition than scientific fact, as the criteria for 'planet' status has not been met by any new celestial object yet discovered. The same is true of Sedna. However, labels aside, let us allow the Heavens to ‘speak’ in the time-honoured manner of astrological tradition, and engage our imaginations with this event. 

Star of David 

Sedna was discovered at 6.32am on 14.11.2003, in Nogales, Arizona, (2) and announced on 15.3.2004. That November’s eclipse season featured an exact Star of David pattern (3) between planetary aspects, most precise around the Lunar Eclipse on 9.11.2003. The hexagram or six-pointed star is a powerful symbol, with one triangle pointing up and the other down. Heaven and Earth unite, bringing balance, harmony and awareness, providing an akasha, a space for heartful things to happen. Clearly, the world is in desperate need of just such qualities. I believe that Sedna’s discovery at this time has an important bearing on this. Check your diary to see what happened for you during November 2003, for we know now that Sedna, Inuit Goddess of the Frozen Waters, was then awakening as if from a dream within the soul of the collective. Follow, then, the ripples of whatever stones were dropped into the mirror pool of your own soul … 

The story of Sedna 

The story of Sedna, like the Parsifal story in Western mythology, is a multifaceted epic saga, with many regional variations whose anecdotes are sometimes contradictory.(4) Here is the main outline of one version:

 

Sedna is a young woman whose father becomes impatient with her, because her suitors always reject her, or she rejects them. She is finally coerced into an arranged marriage with a man who seems elegant, wealthy and kind, but who turns into a cruel raven once they are in the marital home. When her parents leave after visiting, Sedna tried to escape back home with them. However, disaster strikes … their small kayak is attacked by the raven, who pursues them once he discovers that his wife has fled. The father, fearing the swooping raven will capsize the kayak, tips Sedna overboard into the icy sea. She holds on desperately to the side, but he chops off her fingers. As her frozen fingers sink into the icy waters, they become the sea creatures of the Arctic wilderness: seals, whales, and fish.

 

Eventually Sedna herself, fingerless, injured and betrayed, sinks to the bottom of the ocean, which she is said to rule to this day. If she is angry, she withholds food and the people do not eat. She may also entrap the spirits of the departed. Then the shaman must make a journey down into the depths, and try to soothe her, comfort her, and assuage her rage. He will comb her tangled hair, plead with her, and show her pictures of the children who need food. But Sedna will not relent. Eventually the shaman must return, defeated, banging his drum, and singing to life. Only then, maybe, sometimes, will Sedna release the creatures who feed the humans, so that life may go on ... (5)

 

 

The symbolism of frozen water

 

Sedna’s orbit is about 10,500 years long, so the last time she was where she is now was during the last Ice Age. It is said that we are facing the possibility of another Ice Age, owing to disruption of the Gulf Seam by non-saline water moving down the Atlantic from the melting Polar Cap. How fitting also that she should be discovered now, during the mutual reception of Uranus, the Awakener, and Neptune, King of the Sea.(6) The encounter with what has been lost, drowned out, or frozen long ago is her theme, which can most fruitfully be taken on the inner levels. On other words, our own ‘Ice Age’ is being highlighted here. Or the wounds in the soul caused by the impatience, condemnation, dismissal or anger of the father. Or the living hell of unresolved outrage. Or the violence of hardship where we cut off from what is desperate and vulnerable in ourselves or others in order to survive. And how this harshness is internalised. This is a grim story of cruelty, coercion and betrayal, with no happy ending. Sedna will not relent. She will not give the people food. She will not release the spirits of the dead.

 

However, the version quoted here tells us that even in the face of unrelenting trauma and suffering, we can, indeed must, beat our drum and sing to life. This is not a plea for escapism, but rather an acknowledgement that the Work is about keeping our heart open in hell.(7) Sedna’s story is about acknowledging just how bad things really feel, and starting from there. Radical acceptance is demanded. Allowing love and harmony into our lives (symbolised by the Star of David) may mean opening to the frozen places inside where we are conflicted and feel unloving. To try and manufacture joy is to metaphorically cut off our own fingers. But we can still beat the drum and sing ... 

Synchronicity 

As C.G. Jung noted, synchronicity often accompanies something emerging into consciousness. Within a week of Sedna’s discovery, there was the biggest seal hunt in about 50 years. Hundreds of thousands of seals were killed, and, citing ‘indigenous customs’, the exploiters scored a legal victory over animal rights protesters. The supreme irony of this needs no comment, but indeed raises some important questions.  

Cruelty and torture  

On May 9th  2004, the Sun was conjunct Sedna for the first time since her discovery, bringing light to her story. The international press was dominated by revelations of brutality and torture perpetrated by the occupying forces in Iraq. Truly, the submerged suffering of the tortured victims surfaced in an ocean of obfuscation, outrage, confusion, denial, blame and shame. The repercussions have yet to fully unfold. However, these events have opened the secret world of war. When individuals tell their stories, the healing is contagious, and others are encouraged to do likewise. The Sedna story, like any major epic, has been told and retold down the ages, and we may always listen afresh.

 

The ocean of Samsara

 

The ocean features in many current issues: controversies over fishing rights, widespread water pollution, diminishing fish stocks, and extinction of oceanic species. In esoteric literature, we find the notion of the ‘waters of space’ as the primal stuff of precreation, and it has been discovered recently that indeed space is full of hydrogen and oxygen, which together make water. In the Buddhist tradition, they speak of the ‘Ocean of Samsara’, meaning the boundless expanse of illusion and distraction in which the unwary can drown, suffering endlessly until purified by understanding and compassion. 

Alignment with the Sun 

Sedna is an object technically called an ‘oortoid’, meaning that she emerges from the inner edge of the Oort Cloud, a region of deep space from which are said to originate the long haul comets that periodically appear. Because Sedna’s orbit is so long, her position barely shifts from one year to the next. So in an individual horoscope she cannot be used like a planet. However, anyone with planets at the degree of Taurus/Scorpio where Sedna is currently placed (see table below) may feel a resonance with this story of holding fast, or perhaps being held fast, to the truth of personal emotional suffering and waiting for the right time to release or reveal. There is enormous transformational power in this. Equally, feeling our own frozenness makes possible a healing of subtle but profound significance.

 

Each year, in May and November, Sedna is highlighted as the Sun passes her degree of the zodiac.  
See the table below.

 

Sedna is now on the inward arc of her long journey around the Sun, slowly approaching closer, symbolising things ‘coming to light’. The planet Neptune, King of the Sea, is currently in Pisces, the sign it rules ... he has perhaps found his goddess consort in Sedna, who presides over the deep and frozen waters which hold in compassion our deepest traumas and suffering until we may, like the shaman, have the courage to once again emerge, playing our drums and singing to life.

  

Sedna is now the official name!

 

As of September 28th 2004, the International Astronomical Union officially accepted the name "Sedna."  http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~mbrown/sedna/

 

The table below, outlining the conjunctions and oppositions of the Sun and Sedna was updated in November 2014, using Solar Fire v.9.0.20.

 

 

 

 

DATE

Zodiac

Positions

GMT

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

6 May 2000

16°Ta03' D

16°Ta03' D

07:55

Sun

Opp

Sedna

8 Nov 2000

16°Sc20' D

16°Ta20' R

10:55

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

7 May 2001

16°Ta36' D

16°Ta36' D

03:27

Sun

Opp

Sedna

9 Nov 2001

16°Sc53' D

16°Ta53' R

05:53

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

7 May 2002

17°Ta09' D

17°Ta09' D

23:00

Sun

Opp

Sedna

10 Nov 2002

17°Sc26' D

17°Ta26' R

00:51

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

8 May 2003

17°Ta42' D

17°Ta42' D

18:21

Sun

Opp

Sedna

10 Nov 2003

18°Sc00' D

18°Ta00' R

20:04

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

8 May 2004

18°Ta16' D

18°Ta16' D

14:09

Sun

Opp

Sedna

10 Nov 2004

18°Sc34' D

18°Ta34' R

15:11

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

9 May 2005

18°Ta50' D

18°Ta50' D

09:55

Sun

Opp

Sedna

11 Nov 2005

19°Sc07' D

19°Ta07' R

10:26

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

10 May 2006

19°Ta24' D

19°Ta24' D

05:40

Sun

Opp

Sedna

12 Nov 2006

19°Sc42' D

19°Ta42' R

05:56

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

11 May 2007

19°Ta58' D

19°Ta58' D

01:41

Sun

Opp

Sedna

13 Nov 2007

20°Sc16' D

20°Ta16' R

01:21

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

10 May 2008

20°Ta32' D

20°Ta32' D

21:39

Sun

Opp

Sedna

12 Nov 2008

20°Sc51' D

20°Ta51' R

21:00

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

11 May 2009

21°Ta07' D

21°Ta07' D

17:56

Sun

Opp

Sedna

13 Nov 2009

21°Sc26' D

21°Ta26' R

16:36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

12 May 2010

21°Ta42' D

21°Ta42' D

14:15

Sun

Opp

Sedna

14 Nov 2010

22°Sc01' D

22°Ta01' R

12:20

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

13 May 2011

22°Ta18' D

22°Ta18' D

10:33

Sun

Opp

Sedna

15 Nov 2011

22°Sc36' D

22°Ta36' R

08:23

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

13 May 2012

22°Ta53' D

22°Ta53' D

07:19

Sun

Opp

Sedna

15 Nov 2012

23°Sc12' D

23°Ta12' R

04:17

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

14 May 2013

23°Ta29' D

23°Ta29' D

04:01

Sun

Opp

Sedna

16 Nov 2013

23°Sc48' D

23°Ta48' R

00:25

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

15 May 2014

24°Ta05' D

24°Ta05' D

00:43

Sun

Opp

Sedna

16 Nov 2014

24°Sc24' D

24°Ta24' R

20:39

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

15 May 2015

24°Ta41' D

24°Ta41' D

21:34

Sun

Opp

Sedna

17 Nov 2015

25°Sc00' D

25°Ta00' R

16:47

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

15 May 2016

25°Ta17' D

25°Ta17' D

18:25

Sun

Opp

Sedna

17 Nov 2016

25°Sc37' D

25°Ta37' R

13:12

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

16 May 2017

25°Ta54' D

25°Ta54' D

15:33

Sun

Opp

Sedna

18 Nov 2017

26°Sc13' D

26°Ta13' R

09:30

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

17 May 2018

26°Ta31' D

26°Ta31' D

12:34

Sun

Opp

Sedna

19 Nov 2018

26°Sc50' D

26°Ta50' R

06:02

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

18 May 2019

27°Ta08' D

27°Ta08' D

09:39

Sun

Opp

Sedna

20 Nov 2019

27°Sc28' D

27°Ta28' R

02:46

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

18 May 2020

27°Ta45' D

27°Ta45' D

07:03

Sun

Opp

Sedna

19 Nov 2020

28°Sc05' D

28°Ta05' R

23:19

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

19 May 2021

28°Ta23' D

28°Ta23' D

03:29

Sun

Opp

Sedna

20 Nov 2021

28°Sc43' D

28°Ta43' R

20:11

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

20 May 2022

29°Ta01' D

29°Ta01' D

01:02

Sun

Opp

Sedna

21 Nov 2022

29°Sc21' D

29°Ta21' R

17:06

Sun

Cnj

Sedna

20 May 2023

29°Ta39' D

29°Ta39' D

22:45

Sun

Opp

Sedna

22 Nov 2023

00°Sg00' D

00°Ge00' R

14:03

 

 

See http://www.expreso.co.cr/centaurs  for free download of Sedna ephemeris (in Riyal software).  

_________________________________________________________________

 

 ENDNOTES

 

(1) http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~mbrown/sedna/.

This article was first written in August 2004, and published in the Autumn 2004 issue (No. 64) of Caduceus magazine, UK, edited by Sarida Brown. It has been edited to update the astrological references.

 

Note that this is the second time that Melanie has published inspirational material about a celestial object before it had been officially named, and her work has been subsequently affirmed by the IAU naming decision. The material about the Centaur called 'Nessus', in Saturn, Chiron and the Centaurs, was published many months before the official naming, and the revised version (Starwalker Press 2011) recounts the story of the naming.
                                                        

 (2) The time digitally logged on the first photograph of Sedna’s position (i.e. first recognition).

 (3) See Celestial Hexagramwww.melaniereinhart.com/melanie/articles.php

 (4) Search ‘Sedna’ on the Internet for an astonishing array of variations.    
           

(5) Grateful thanks to Brian Lee who sent me this version, from Edward Carpenter’s book O What a Blow That Phantom Gave Me. He also drew my attention to the significance of Sedna’s conjunctions with the Sun, as tabled above.

 (6) See Lightning Over the Waters, Parts I & II, article first published in Caduceus magazine, now posted on www.melaniereinhart.com/melanie/articles.php

(7) This phrase comes from Stephen Levine www.levinetalks.com