Asteroid Files: Nemesis

Thumbnail-HeliosHelios– This period of time has been dominated by one of the most deplorable, cruel and ugly elections we have faced in recent memory. It has brought us face to face with the ugliness within ourselves and others. Deep divisions in the way we approach the world has come up, and the fate of the world is on the chopping block. Whichever way the wind blows, there is no going back from this. This is the new normal. With that said, I know the perfect asteroid to profile.

The Astronomy– 128 Nemesis is a large 188 km main-belt asteroid, of carbonaceous composition. It rotates rather slowly, taking about one and half Earth days (39 hours) to complete one revolution. Nemesis is the largest member of the Nemesian asteroid family bearing its name. It was discovered by J. C. Watson on November 25, 1872, and named after Nemesis, the goddess of retribution in Greek mythology. Nemesis was also the name of a hypothetical companion star of the Sun, which does not exist [H-That we can currently detect! Increasingly it seems like SOMETHING is out there in the dark reaches of our solar system]. It is categorized as a C-type asteroid, indicating a primitive carbonaceous composition. Based on IRAS data Nemesis is about 188 km in diameter and is around the 33rd largest main-belt asteroid. The 39‑hour rotation period is the second longest for an asteroid more than 150 km in diameter.

The Myth– In the ancient Greek religion, Nemesis was the goddess who enacted retribution against those who succumb to hubris (arrogance before the gods). Another name was Adrasteia/Adrestia, meaning “the inescapable”. Her Roman name/counterpart is Invidia. The name Nemesis is related to the Greek word νέμειν némein, meaning “to give what is due”, from Proto-Indo-European nem- “distribute”. Divine retribution is a major theme in the Hellenic world view, providing the unifying theme of the tragedies of Sophocles and many other literary works. Hesiod states: “Also deadly Nyx bore Nemesis an affliction to mortals subject to death”. She is implacable justice: that of Zeus in the Olympian scheme of things, although it is clear she existed prior to him, as her images look similar to several other goddesses, such as Cybele, Rhea, Demeter, and Artemis. She is portrayed as a winged goddess wielding a whip or a dagger. Although a respected goddess, Nemesis had brought much sorrow to mortals such as Echo and Narcissus. Nemesis believed that no one should ever have too much good, and she had always cursed those who were blessed with countless gifts. The word Nemesis originally meant the distributor of fortune, neither good nor bad, simply in due proportion to each according to what was deserved. Later, nemesis came to suggest the resentment caused by any disturbance of this right proportion, the sense of justice that could not allow it to pass unpunished. O. Gruppe and others connect the name with “to feel just resentment”. From the fourth century onward, Nemesis, as the just balancer of Fortune’s chance, could be associated with Tyche. In the Greek tragedies Nemesis appears chiefly as the avenger of crime and the punisher of hubris, and as such is akin to Atë and the Erinyes.

Why She Matters– Do I really have to spell this one out for you? She is hubris, more specifically what following that hubris will mean for you. Her placement shows the consequences you face for your arrogance and audacity. She is Justice, in many ways similar to Themis. She is the one who doles out the fate your actions deserve. Note that she has tremendous power, but only what you have earned. Her energy is very Saturn meets Lilith. She is essentially an actionable force of karma, and can usually be tracked back to a specific moment and cause. What I find interesting is the latency period, she moves slowwwwwwly, giving you time to forget your sins til they suddenly come back to bite you square on your arse. Some astrologers take the easy way out and assign her the role of the modern use of “nemesis” aka rival or enemy. Sure, I suppose that could be a potential outlet for this, but every rival has a reason to be one- There is a huge amount of emotional connection in that kind of relationship! It’s too exhausting not to be exceedingly personal. Others give her the role of the “other woman” type of energy, very prevalent in cheaters charts. I would call that the reverse of Nemesis, not to mention super lazy astrology. The myth doesn’t support it. That’s more Ixion or Medusa.

To find out where she 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 128, for Nemesis. Once you have it entered, generate the chart! Where does Nemesis affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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