Asteroid Files: Orestes

Helios Men and madness; They are intrinsically linked. What if their link was more than it seemed?

The Astronomy- 13475 Orestes is a Jupiter Trojan. It was discovered on September 19, 1973 by C. J. van Houten and Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld on photographic plates taken by Tom Gehrels at Palomar Observatory near Pauma Valley, California. It has a period of 11 years, 294 days.

The MythThe asteroid is named after the mythological Greek hero Orestes, the son of King Agamemnon and his wife Clytemnestra. In the Homeric telling of the story, Orestes is a member of the doomed house of Atreus which is descended from Tantalus and Niobe. Orestes is absent from Mycenae when his father, Agamemnon, returns from the Trojan War with the Trojan princess Cassandra as his concubine, and thus not present for Agamemnon’s murder by his wife Clytemnestra’s lover, Aegisthus. Seven years later, Orestes returns from Athens and avenges his father’s death by slaying both Aegisthus and his own mother Clytemnestra. In the Odyssey, Orestes is held up as a favorable example to Telemachus, whose mother Penelope is plagued by suitors.  In Aeschylus’s Eumenides, Orestes goes mad after the deed and is pursued by the Erinyes, whose duty it is to punish any violation of the ties of family piety. He takes refuge in the temple at Delphi; but, even though Apollo had ordered him to do the deed, he is powerless to protect Orestes from the consequences. At last Athena receives him on the acropolis of Athens and arranges a formal trial of the case before twelve judges, including herself. The Erinyes demand their victim; he pleads the orders of Apollo. Athena votes last announcing that she is for acquittal; then the votes are counted and the result is a tie, resulting in an acquittal according to the rules previously stipulated by Athena. The Erinyes are propitiated by a new ritual, in which they are worshipped as “Semnai Theai”, “Venerable Ones”, and Orestes dedicates an altar to Athena Areia. As Aeschylus tells it, the punishment ended there, but according to Euripides, in order to escape the persecutions of the Erinyes, Orestes was ordered by Apollo to go to Tauris, carry off the statue of Artemis which had fallen from heaven, and to bring it to Athens. He went to Tauris with Pylades, and the pair were at once imprisoned by the people, among whom the custom was to sacrifice all Greek strangers to Artemis. The priestess of Artemis, whose duty it was to perform the sacrifice, was Orestes’ sister Iphigenia. She offered to release him if he would carry home a letter from her to Greece; he refused to go, but bids Pylades to take the letter while he stays to be slain. After a conflict of mutual affection, Pylades at last yielded, but the letter brought about the recognition of brother and sister, and all three escaped together, carrying with them the image of Artemis.

Why He Matters– Okay, so this guy is a bit weird. In the chart he represents a point of fate, where one is powerless to choose for oneself and then is responsible for actions they were not in control of. It also represents being a patsy and taking the fall for others. This has its logical ending in crimes of passion and the insanity plea. The nature of the relationship between Orestes and Pylades is questioned, and it is considered one of the many points of homosexuality as well. This can also be applied to the torment of the self, especially in regards to ones own homosexual urges. Mark Andrew Holmes credits this one as releasing toxins from something by working through it, dealing with a situation at a cost to oneself, a no-win situation, possibly finding long-lost relatives; being punished for what one had to do.

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 of the next page, there will be a menu of additional objects. Under that is a blank space where you can enter the number 13475, for Orestes. Once you have it entered, generate the chart! Where does Orestes affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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