Asteroid Files: Hidalgo

Faith… What is it good for? Well, this might be surprising to hear from me, but… maybe more than you might think.

The Astronomy: 944 Hidalgo is a small Solar System body with a semi-major axis beyond Jupiter’s and an orbital period of 13.77 years. This makes it a centaur, the first to be discovered, but it was discovered in 1920 and has hence traditionally been called an asteroid. Hidalgo is estimated to be 38 km in diameter. Hidalgo has traditionally been considered an asteroid because centaurs were not recognized as a distinct class until the discovery of 2060 Chiron in 1977. With a high eccentricity of 0.66, its perihelion of 1.95 AU takes it to the inner edge of the asteroid belt, whereas its aphelion of 9.54 AU takes it out to Saturn’s orbit, a characteristic normally associated with Saturn’s family of comets. Some astronomers therefore suspect that it was once a comet. Strictly speaking, Hidalgo is a Saturn-grazer rather than a Saturn-crosser as its aphelion does not clear Saturn’s. Hidalgo’s severe orbital inclination of 43° is suspected to be the result of a close encounter with Jupiter. Even as recently as 1922, Hidalgo passed within 0.89 AU of Jupiter, significantly affecting its orbit.

The Myth: Guess what? This one ISN’T named after anyone mythological! The guy 944 Hidalgo was named for actually existed (and we can prove it with records and such, unlike, say… the ancient greek Titans, for instance)! 944 Hidalgo was discovered by Walter Baade on October 31, 1920 at Bergedorf Observatory near Hamburg, Germany. It is named for Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, who was responsible for declaring Mexico’s independence in 1810 and the ensuing Mexican War of Independence. German astronomers who were in Mexico to observe a total eclipse on September 10, 1923, had an audience with President Álvaro Obregón. During this meeting, they asked his permission to name the asteroid after Hidalgo. Father Hidalgo was the parish priest at Dolores de Hidalgo(then Dolores), Guanajuato in north-central Mexico. Born of Spanish stock in Mexico, he was known for encouraging his parishioners to grow silk in defiance of a colonial Spanish law which required all silk to be imported from the mother country. He became involved in organized unrest arising from Napoleon I’s conquest of Spain and a desire on the part of Mexico to be independent from that country. On September 16, 1810, Father Hidalgo rang the bell of his church to summon his parishioners to rally for Mexican independence–el grito de Dolores (the cry of Dolores)– which resulted in a popular uprising against the Spanish colonial authorities. Although the uprising failed due to lack of adequate military training and weaponry on the part of the mostly poor peasants who composed Father Hidalgo’s army, and Father Hidalgo ended up first defrocked and then executed, the movement toward independence for Mexico proved inexorable once set in motion, and it became a separate nation in 1821. September 16, the anniversary of el grito de Dolores, is celebrated as Mexico’s Independence Day. The name Hidalgo comes from modern Spanish, is a contraction of the Spanish hijo de algo (son of somebody), and originally referred to a member of the lesser Spanish nobility who was the lowest-ranking type of man entitled to use the honorific “Don” in front of his name.

The Astrology: So, Hidalgo is traditionally described as one of the asteroids dealing with passion (fitting neatly into the centaur box [Which, yes, we will be talking about those more over here but I am not the biggest fan of working with them]). Now, this one is quite active in my own chart, and I feel a certain kinship to it, in more ways than one. Don Hidalgo and I both came from a very, very religious background, and inherited a legacy from their fathers that we could never truly hope to fulfill. So, I would say that Hidalgo better represents the concept of Defiance. There is a very strong moral code in Hidalgo, and certain rules about how people should be treated, especially if they are less fortunate than you. This moral code rejects elitism, and would rather fight for the common man than benefit off the backs of others. Now, obviously this will express itself differently in all people, otherwise we would have no concept of oppression, or exploitation, and racism/classism wouldn’t be a thing. If you are in tune with it, Hidalgo will lead you to a place where you can stand strongly in your own truth; rejecting the ideas that are forced upon you by those who would warp and twist your morals and ethics. If not, you might find yourself stuck serving a system where your expression of truth is subjugated and ignored, with no chance of change until you raise your voice- and that is a common thread with Hidalgo: At some point, you will need to say something and speak out against a system that doesn’t speak for you. When you do this, you risk leaving the safety and stability of that said system, and for some that may be all you know. Taking the leap and speaking out will paralyze you with fear, but staying silent will prove to be intolerable. A choice will need to be made, and it can only be made by you.

To find out where he shows up in your chart, go to astro.com, put in your birth details and in the extended options, all the way at the bottom, there will be a menu of additional objects. Under that is a blank space where you can enter the number 944, for Hidalgo. Once you have it entered, generate the chart! Where does Hidalgo affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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