Cruithne - Asteroid 3753


What is so remarkable about Cruithne?  There are many thousands of asteroids in orbit around the Sun, ranging in size from small spherical planetoids a few hundred miles in diameter to tiny and irregular lumps of rock.

The first asteroids were discovered 200 years ago, and they moved around the Sun in orbits between those of Mars and Jupiter.

Soon after Pluto was discovered in 1930, a debate started over whether Pluto was really a planet, or a satellite of Neptune that had managed to escape.

Meanwhile some asteroids had been found to possess orbits that passed beyond that of Jupiter, while others came well inside the orbit of Mars.

Chiron, orbiting in the region of Saturn and Uranus was discovered in 1977, and during the last decade or so, a host of small bodies called transneptunian objects have been discovered.  As their name suggests, they lie in the outer reaches of the known solar system.

Attention has also been drawn to so-called Near Earth Asteroids, which sometimes pass - you've guessed it - fairly near to the Earth.  Cruithne is one such asteroid.

Cruithne - Astronomy

Cruithne is about three miles in diameter and it moves in a path that takes it from outside the orbit of Mars towards the orbit of Mercury.  Cruithne takes almost exactly the time to go round the Sun as the Earth.  Cruinthe's rapid motion when it is close to Mercury's orbit is compensated by its slow motion when it lies beyond the orbit of Mars.

I have provided some very good links at the bottom of this page, and these give detailed accounts of Cruinthe's motion, with diagrams and simulations, and an Ephemeris link.  Essentially the interaction between Cruithne and the inner planets leads to a complex cycle of movements over a period of about 770 years.  For example, Cruithne did not spend any time in the signs Cancer through Scorpio  between the early 19th century and 1994.  

Cruithne - Astrology

I have searched for information regarding the astrological significance of Cruithne, (if indeed there is any!), without any success.

There are several possible ways to begin to understand the Astrology of a planet, asteroid, house cusp or whatever.

Some methods that come to mind are as follows:

(1).  Read what others have already written - not a possible option for me at present.

(2).  Check out a lot of charts, and relate character or events to Cruithne's placement by sign, house and aspect - this will be time-consuming!

(3).  Look at the Mythology.  This is a perfectly viable way of proceeding, and I have provided a couple of links for those who are interested in pursuing this line.  Mythology is not my strong suit :-)

(4).  Look at the Astronomy.  This approach is useful.  For example, some of the differences between the meanings of the inner planets and the outer planets can be understood in terms of their orbital periods, even if some astrologers go too far by suggesting that the effects of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are "only" generational!

Cruithne can make reasonably close approaches to Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury.  Fortunately the orbit of Cruithne is inclined by about 20 degrees, so collisions are unlikely - at least according to its orbit as understood at present.  Just as some astrologers see Chiron as a link between Saturn and Uranus, Cruithne could be seen as a link between the four terrestrial planets.

Some sources refer to Cruithne as Earth's second moon.  I feel that this is misleading.  Cruithne is much more like a tiny sister to the Earth, orbiting the Sun with much the same period.  Perturbations by the inner planets make its orbit change in size over hundreds of years, but these fluctuations appear to be periodic, the result being a complicated dance of Earth and Cruithne round the Sun, rather than Cruithne orbiting the earth in any meaningful way.

Neptune and Pluto appear to be locked into a pattern where Pluto completes two orbits for every three orbits of Neptune, conjunctions occurring every 492 years. At times Pluto is closer to the Sun than Neptune.  Nobody knows whether this resonance is stable in the long term, but it would be rather surprising to me if this arrangement were to be a very temporary one.

While some astronomers believe that the asteroids originate from a planet that broke up into small pieces, perhaps due to the presence of the massive Jupiter, most authorities currently suggest that Jupiter's mass prevented a planet from forming in the first place in the region between Mars and Jupiter.

So how does all of this relate to Astrology?

Although Carl Jung has been widely associated with Astrology, partly because of his own interest in the subject and partly because his four functions, (Intuition, Sensation, Thinking and Feeling), fit in rather nicely with the four astrological elements of Fire, Earth, Air and Water, that is no reason not to call upon the work of Sigmund Freud, and his threefold division of the psyche into the Id, the Ego and the Superego.

If the signs are taken in groups of four, my belief is that the Id corresponds to Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer.  The Ego corresponds to Leo, Virgo, Libra and Scorpio, while the Superego is associated with Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

The Superego signs are ruled by the "gas giants", Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

The Ego signs are ruled by the Sun and the three other "terrestrial" planets Mercury, Venus and Mars.

The rulership of the Id signs is controversial, but most astrologers would accept that the Moon rules Cancer, and there is some support for my belief that Pluto rules Aries.  I regard the Earth as ruler of Taurus, and a transplutonian planet, (Tobey's Planet Z), as ruler of Gemini.

Each planet and sign can be associated with a Freudian division of the Psyche and a Jungian function.  To take a non-controversial example, Jupiter and Sagittarius are associated with Superego Intuition.

Now suppose that the Id signs, the Ego signs and the Superego signs are separated not only conceptually, but also astronomically.  Is there, in a sense, some sort of astronomical discontinuity at 0 Aries, 0 Leo and 0 Sagittarius?

Well there is a relatively large gap between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, (rulers of Scorpio and Sagittarius), and as we have seen, current thinking is that no fully-fledged planet was allowed to form in that space.  We have (most of) the asteroids instead.

Again there is a discontinuity between Pisces and Aries, in the sense that there is an overlap in the orbits of their ruling planets, Neptune and Pluto.  Sometimes Pluto is closer to the Sun, (and to the Earth), than Neptune.  Could the years when Pluto is closer than Neptune provide a seeding time for a new cycle, an end becoming a beginning, as it were?

What about Cancer and Leo?  Is there any unusual relationship between the Moon and the Sun, (in the sense of a gap or an overlap, or other discontinuity)?

Well, for people on Earth, the answer is maybe.  From a geocentric point of view, the four closest planets orbiting the centre of the solar system, the barycentre, are the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars, (the Ego planets), followed by the gas giants, (the Superego planets).  The Id planets are a mixture of the two most distant planets and the Earth on which we stand, and the Moon which orbits the Earth, rather than the Sun.

So how about Cruithne as a metaphorical boundary between the Id and the Ego?  Its convoluted 770 year cycle easily exceeds the 492 year Neptune-Pluto cycle.  Yet in other ways Cruithne is astrologically very close.  It can zip through several signs in one day(!) when it passes near to the south ecliptic pole, as it did in November 1995.

As to how to interpret Cruithne in a chart, my tentative suggestion is that it might behave astrologically as a messenger between all the terrestrial planets, helping to integrate the conscious ego energies of Mercury, Venus and Mars with the solar energy and literally bring these down to Earth, through the Ascendant, (or through the Equal House 4th Cusp, for those purists who put the centre of the Earth in the chart).  When working well, Cruithne might help to ensure alignment of the expression of the Ego energies with the expression of the Ascendant.

Cruithne by aspects, sign and house would indicate the best way of going about this task.

I would certainly be interested to hear of other's experience with Cruithne.  My early research suggests some interesting connections between Cruithne's position in the charts of family members, which would make sense.

Please take a look at some of the links to other relevant sites.

Relevant Links

Near-Earth asteroid 3753 Cruithne --Earth's curious companion--  An excellent page by Paul Wiegert, Kimmo Innanen and Seppo Mikkola.  Lots of clear explanation and diagrams, and useful links.

Cruithne, Earth's second Moon by Bob Jenkins.  Wonderful simulations here, and many of them.  Other interesting links too.

Asteroid 3753 Cruithne Aspects & Distances
by Jonathan Dunn, with a gateway to an ephemeris for Cruithne that you can generate online.  The rest of his site is great value too!

The Pictish Kings by David Dale - comprehensive celtic history.

Baby Names - Cruithne I came across this while searching - amazing!  You can find out what your own name means as well......


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Page created June 17th 2001


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