Orbital & Physical Characteristics


Sedna Consciousness, the Soul’s Path of Destiny, by Alan Clay

Welcome. I’ve been researching a book on the astrology of Sedna, which I’m calling ‘Sedna Consciousness, the Soul’s Path of Destiny’, deriving it’s meaning from the planet’s physical characteristics and orbit, from a look back at past cycles, from events around it’s discovery in 2003 and from the charts of case studies.

Here is a draft of the chapter on Orbital and Physical Characteristics of Sedna.

Orbital and Physical Characteristics

It tells me a lot about Saturn that it has rings and 62 moons, it speaks of the limiting and structuring principal intrinsic to the planet. Ceres is a ball of water with a hard surface skin, that says something important about the nurturing nature of the newly re-classified dwarf planet. Uranus, the bohemian disruptor of Saturn’s rules, spins at a 90 degree angle to it’s orbital plane and it rotates the other way from all the other planets except Venus, that’s very descriptive of the planet’s influence in the chart.

Pluto, although quite small, is the lord of transformation and now we know why he represents such power in the chart, because it turns out that Pluto is a binary dwarf, spinning around a common centre with it’s dwarf partner Charon, in an orbit which briefly cuts inside Neptune’s and sits at a sharp incline to the orbital plane of the other planets. That’s an energy that’s going to make changes by cutting through normal reality and through illusions and be impossible to control.

Before we get out hands on Sedna in this way however, let’s step back and organise our new busy solar system, so we can get our heads around where all the new planets fit in.

Our New Solar System

Here’s the new solar system in a nutshell. Astrologically it now has seven main regions, First come the small rocky planets like the Earth, which are the personal planets of Mercury, Venus and Mars.

Next is the asteroid belt with Juno, Vesta and Pallas, together with the first of the new dwarf planets, Ceres. These bodies speak of the more feminine energies of partnership, personal integrity, creativity, and of nurturing.

Next come four gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The first two are the more social of the personal planets and the second two are the more social of the spiritual planets.

In between Saturn and Pluto/Charon are a number of boundary crossing bodies called Centaurs which mediate between the increasingly more impersonal energies of the bigger planets as they enter our personal lives. The most well known of theses is Chiron and we will also use Pholus, Chariklo and Nessus.

The Pluto & Charon binary is for astrologers the first planet of the Kuiper Belt, but there are a couple of other new dwarf planets, Orcus and Ixion, with similar orbits to Pluto/Charon. These orbits have a strong inclination to that of the rest of the solar system and are being called Plutinos.

Next come the mysterious and exciting new dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt, which are MakeMake, Haumea, Varuna, Quaoar and Eris.

And the seventh region is the Oort Cloud which is where we find Sedna., The Oort Cloud is an extended shell of icy objects that exist in the outermost reaches of the solar system, roughly
spherical in shape and thought to be the origin of most of the long-period comets.

This diagram shows Sedna’s orbit, compared to other bodies in the Solar System, the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud. (credit: web.gps.caltech.edu ) Sedna’s orbit is in red in the bottom right diagram in relation to the orbits of the inner planets in the top boxes. The box on the bottom left shows Sedna’s orbit in relation to the Oort Cloud.


So finally, way out beyond the Kuiper Belt is the first of what scientists believe will be a new class of planet called Sednoids, all with huge, highly elliptical orbits like Sedna. This egg-shaped orbit is so large that it takes 11,406 Earth years to go round the sun once, which means it is anywhere from 76 to 990 times further away from the Sun than Earth, depending where it is in it’s orbit.

At somewhere between 1,180 to 2,360 km in diameter, Sedna is larger than Quaoar and almost as big as Pluto. And with an orbital speed of 1.04 km/s, it is the slowest of all the planets.

The rotation speed however of 10 hours is faster than most of the other planets except for Jupiter, Ceres, Haumea and Eris and interestingly is the same as Saturn’s, which for many centuries was the previous outer limit of the solar system.

Surface temperatures are estimated to be around -240° C.  That cold temperature inspired the discovering astronomers to name this new planetary body after the Inuit goddess Sedna, who mythology says lives at the bottom of the Arctic ocean.

Sedna is probably made up of an equal mixture of ice and rock. It is red in colour and may be covered with about a meter of hydrocarbon sludge, or tholin, formed from simpler organic compounds after long exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This sludge is produced when the Sun's ultraviolet radiation and charged particles alter the chemical bonds between the atoms, which is a "space weathering" process.

A similar space weathering process occurs on the 200-kilometre-wide centaur, Pholus, which is also very red. Pholus has an orbit which crosses the orbits of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, so the centaur has the ability to maintain alive the illusion (Neptune) and achieve the necessary discipline (Saturn) to make a dream come true. It is about growing, but often very spontaneously and unconsciously. Where Chiron brings long and helpless waiting, Pholus brings immediate progress.

And finally models of internal heating via radioactive decay suggest that Sedna might be capable of supporting a subsurface ocean of liquid water, like Ceres.

Astrological Interpretation from Orbital Characteristics

So in Sedna we have a planet whose orbit encompasses a far bigger and more spiritual perspective than any of the other inner planets. An impersonal energy, which is however nurturing and speaks of progress and of growth through a weathering process over time. And it has a Saturnian day-to-day perspective, which is practiced slowly and deliberately.