TNO Watch: Makemake

Helios– Look, up in the sky! It’s some sort of… Bird-man!

The Astronomy
– Makemake is a dwarf planet and perhaps the largest Kuiper belt object in the classical population, with a diameter approximately two thirds that of Pluto. Makemake has one known satellite, S/2015 (136472) 1. Makemake’s extremely low average temperature, about 30 K (−243.2 °C), means its surface is covered with methane, ethane, and possibly nitrogen ices. Makemake was discovered on March 31, 2005, by a team led by Michael E. Brown, and announced on July 29, 2005. Initially, it was known as 2005 FY9 and later given the minor-planet number 136472. Makemake was recognized as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in July 2008. Its name derives from Makemake in the mythology of the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island.

The Myth– Make make (pronounced Meke-Meke) is awesome. He is what would happen if Mercury was in charge. Needless to say, the gods are TERRIFIED of this, and what would happen, so the awesomeness is kept to a minimum. Easter Island, to be specific, or Rapa Nui by those who call it home, also called Rapanui for added confusion. Now on this tiny, desolate, remote little island, there used to be one of the lushest tropical paradises the world has ever seen, populated with the friendliest, happiest islanders that you ever did know. Researchers are experimenting with a compound that occurs only on that island and nowhere else, that may be the key to not only curing cancer, but also stopping the aging process and growing super-plants that grow huge and bear tons of fruit.

Now we don’t know a lot about the island, its people, or its mythology, or those big stone heads that everyone is always talking about, the Moai; we do however, know that some of the local pastimes on the island included pick pocketing, wearing silly hats, generally making fun of everyone, and something called the Birdman Competition.

Pay attention, because this is important.

The competition was a rite of passage for the young men coming of age on the island. What would happen is, the contestants would be notified in a dream by the village seer that they would be playing, and that would pretty much be the end of their involvement. They would then select a Hopu, who would swim across shark infested waters about two miles out to retrieve an egg and bring it back to their patron. The first one to do this would receive special privileges, and basically be the alpha male on the island for a year.

This seems to be what Makemake is all about in astrology, the divine trickster who calls us into the competition that is our life, and leads us to victory. It’s all about the sacred quest which is so central to the rite of passage that leads us from boys to men (or girls to women, but there are many other stories that parallel that transition much better than this one, in my humble opinion.)

Now this is not a simple story by any means. Make make is a trickster, after all. He throws obstacles in your way, and will expect you to overcome them. Half of the game is figuring out the rules, as it is with anything Mercury. When you do, however, you earn the big prize: self-realization.

Why He Matters– Self-realization is what the ancient Greeks were talking about when they said “Know Thyself”, one of my favorite mantras. You see, if you know who you are, then you are less likely to be fazed in this world, where everyone is trying to impose an idea of who you should be on you. Let me rephrase that: If you know who you are, no one can make you into something that you’re not. And even more importantly, you don’t have to make yourself into anyone that you don’t want to be.

And that, my friends, is where the true power lies. Not power over others, not power in fame or power achieved through force; just the power to rise to the challenge of being yourself in a world that is constantly trying to get you to be something else.

Also, I would be remiss if i didn’t bring up another major theme Makemake is tied to: Sustainability. Now that has become a major buzzword in our world, but what does it really mean when you get down to it? Well I’m glad you asked. Sustainability means building a life that you can keep going, based upon what you have, and not over-reaching or overtaxing your resources. As we seem to be burning all of our bridges here for this idea, and we sacrifice new ideas that could take us out of the hole we’ve dug for ourselves to balance the budget, you have to wonder, “What is the trickster pulling here?”. I guess we’ll see.

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 136472, for Makemake. Once you have it entered, generate the chart! Where does Makemake affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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