TNO Watch: Sedna

– Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the one you have been waiting for! Let’s take a dip in the icy cold waters of Sedna!

The Astronomy– Okay so first of all, Sedna is one of the weirdest objects in our Solar System, based on her orbit alone. Read on:

90377 Sedna is a large minor planet in the outer reaches of the Solar System that was, as of 2015, at a distance of about 86 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun, about three times as far as Neptune. Spectroscopy has revealed that Sedna’s surface composition is similar to that of some other trans-Neptunian objects, being largely a mixture of water, methane, and nitrogen ices with tholins. Its surface is one of the reddest among Solar System objects. It is most likely a dwarf planet. For most of its orbit, it is even farther from the Sun than at present, with its aphelion estimated at 937 AU (31 times Neptune’s distance), making it one of the most distant known objects in the Solar System other than long-period comets. Sedna has an exceptionally long and elongated orbit, taking approximately 11,400 years to complete and a distant point of closest approach to the Sun at 76 AU. These facts have led to much speculation about its origin. The Minor Planet Center currently places Sedna in the scattered disc, a group of objects sent into highly elongated orbits by the gravitational influence of Neptune. However, this classification has been contested, because Sedna never comes close enough to Neptune to have been scattered by it, leading some astronomers to informally refer to it as the first known member of the inner Oort cloud. Others speculate that it might have been tugged into its current orbit by a passing star, perhaps one within the Sun’s birth cluster (an open cluster), or even that it was captured from another star system. Another hypothesis suggests that its orbit may be evidence for a large planet beyond the orbit of Neptune.

The Myth– Sedna is the goddess of the sea and marine animals in Inuit mythology, also known as the Mother of the Sea or Mistress of the Sea. The story of Sedna, which is a creation myth, describes how she came to rule over Adlivun, the Inuit underworld. Sedna is also known as “Mother of the Deep” or “Big Bad Woman”. More than one version of the Sedna legend exists. In one legend Sedna is a giant, the daughter of the creator-god Anguta, with a great hunger that causes her to attack her parents. Angered, Anguta takes her out to sea and throws her over the side of his kayak. As she clings to the sides, he chops off her fingers and she sinks to the underworld, becoming the ruler of the monsters of the deep. Her huge fingers become the seals, walruses, and whales hunted by the Inuit. In another version of the legend, she is dissatisfied with men found for her by her father and so marries a dog. Her father is so angry at this that he throws her into the sea and, when she tries to climb back into the boat, he cuts off her fingers. Her fingers become the first seals and she becomes a mighty sea goddess. When she is angered, the shaman travels to wash and comb her hair for her, after which she is placated and releases the animals to the hunters.

Other versions of the legend depict Sedna as a beautiful maiden who rejects marriage proposals from the hunters of her village. When an unknown hunter appears, Sedna’s father agrees to give her to him as wife in return for fish. Sedna’s father gives Sedna a sleeping potion and gives her to the hunter who takes her to a large nest on a cliff, revealing his true form: a great bird-spirit. She wakes surrounded by birds. Her father attempts to rescue her, but the bird-spirit becomes angry, causing a great storm. In desperation, Sedna’s father throws her into the raging sea. Attempting to cling to the kayak, her hands freeze and her fingers fall off becoming the creatures of the sea. She falls to the bottom of the sea and grows a fish tail. Sedna is kidnapped by a different bird creature in yet another version. Her father then leaves in his kayak to rescue her from the floating ice-island where she is imprisoned while the bird creature is away. The creature, enraged by her disappearance, calls to a spirit of the sea to help him. The sea spirit locates the kayak with the two humans aboard and creates huge waves to kill them. Her father throws Sedna overboard in the hope that this will appease the angry god. Sedna clings to the kayak but her father grabs a little axe and chops three of her fingers off before striking her on the head. The three fingers each become a different species of seal. The stroke to her head sends Sedna to the ocean floor where she resides, commanding the animals of the sea.

The varying legends each give different rationales for Sedna’s death. Yet, in each version, her father takes her to sea in his kayak, chopping off her fingers. In each version she sinks to the bottom of the sea, worshiped by hunters who depend on her goodwill to supply food. She is generally considered a vengeful goddess, and hunters must placate and pray to her to release the sea animals from the ocean depths for their hunt.

Why She Matters– I LOVE SEDNA. I have never hid this, she is nothing short of amazing. Sure, she is also an eldritch horror, crazy arctic ice monster, but how could you not love her? She’s a giant mystery wrapped in an enigma, and she inspired us to push the boundaries of what we know, demanding that we take notice of her crazy ass. Her astrology is no different- Sedna represents a point in the chart that is frozen, or inaccessible. Anything that she touches feels like it is stuck behind a wall of ice, and that you can never touch it. Now, this is actually far more powerful than you would think, because Sedna has the unique ability to override ANY OTHER PLANET in the chart. She can just stop them dead in their tracks, and put them on ice. That is completely insane, and no other planet, major or minor, can do that- Not even Pluto. Further research must be done on the others in the Oort family, once they are named, to see if they have a similar potency. As with all Trans-Neptunians, they are generational, so look at the the house placement- The sign will not matter.

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 of the next page, there will be a menu of additional objects. Under that is a blank space where you can enter the number 90377, for Sedna. Once you have it entered, generate the chart! Where does Sedna affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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