Helios on Manwë– Have you ever watched a truly great Superhero movie (*cough* Thor: Ragnarok or Civil War *cough*) and come out of it pumped up, feeling like you could take on the world, just like them? All that was stopping you was not having a great spandex costume that leaves nothing to the imagination? Well, that and not having any superpowers or anything…. Well, the thing is, we could all be heroes! Let’s look to this week’s Transneptunian to show us how!
The Astronomy– 385446 Manwë is a binary resonant Kuiper belt object in a 4:7 mean-motion resonance with Neptune. It was discovered on 25 August 2003 in northern Chile. It has an orbital period of 287.70 years (105,081 days) and an eccentricity of 0.1114. Its perihelion is 38.599 AU and aphelion 48.671 AU. Manwë has one known satellite, Thorondor. It is estimated to be about half the size of the primary, 33–53 km vs. 58–92 km. Manwë has significant and irregular photometric variability, demonstrating that its components are not tidally locked. The surfaces of Manwë and Thorondor appear to be very red. The composition of Manwë is unknown but likely to be mostly ice because the nominal density (with large uncertainty) is less than that of water.
Manwë and Thorondor are predicted to be going through a period of mutual occultations and transits from 2014–2018, where one object crosses in front of the other as seen from Earth. Pluto and Charon went through a similar series of mutual events from 1985–1990. Observations of these events will allow for better estimates of the radii of the two objects and their densities, as well as possibly determining their shapes and mapping surface color and albedo features.
The Myth– Manwë is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Manwë was the King of the Valar, husband of Varda Elentári, was conceived in the thought of Iluvatar as a brother of Melkor, and King of Arda. He lived atop Mount Taniquetil, the highest mountain in the world, in the halls of Ilmarin, in the realm of Valinor. The winds, airs, and birds were his servants, and he was lord of air, wind, and clouds in Arda. He was the noblest and greatest in authority of the Valar, and less powerful only than Melkor.
Manwë was (with his brother Melkor, i.e. Morgoth) the greatest of the Ainur, and the one that best understood the will of Eru. When Melkor created the discord in the Music of the Ainur, Manwë took over leading the song. When Arda was formed, Manwë was appointed Ruler of Arda, hence his most common title, the Elder King. Manwë was a kind, compassionate ruler, unconcerned with his own power, but he did not understand evil, even in the form of his own brother. He released Melkor from Mandos, thus allowing him to cause the distrust of Fëanor, the Poisoning of the Two Trees, the murder of Finwë, the theft of the Silmarils, and the revolt of the Noldor. To hearten the Eldar, he had Aulë fashion the vessels to hold Sun and the Moon, for he knew the rising of the Atani was coming and sent Thorondor and the Eagles to watch them. After Morgoth’s fall at the end of the War of Wrath, Manwë cast him into the void. In the Final Battle, when Morgoth and his most powerful ally, Sauron, escape, it is said that the Elder King and the two Dark Lords will battle on the Plains of Valinor, but that they will not slay each other, as Morgoth is destined to die at the hands of Túrin Turambar. Manwë appeared dressed in long blue robes, with blue eyes. He wielded a powerful staff coated in sapphire made for him by the Noldor. The Vanyar were his favorite Elves, and they lived with him and Varda on Mount Taniquetil.
Manwë means Blessed One, from “mān” meaning “good, blessed or unmarred”. Súlimo means Lord of the Winds from ‘sûl’ – ‘wind’. His titles include Elder King, High King of Arda, King of Arda, Lord of the Breath of Arda and Lord of the West. He was first mentioned in The Silmarillion on page 20 at the top of the sentence, ‘But of the airs and winds Manwë most pondered…’
Why He Matters– Well, there is a lot of weirdness with this one, as befits a lengthy lore dump from Tolkein- You’re forgiven if you skipped down to this section. To be honest, it’s been years since I read the Silmarillion, but I don’t know anyone else who bothered to read it, so let’s dive in, shall we?
Though his story might give you a sense of a nerd, Manwë is actually a goddamned heroic badass. The whole point of him in the chart seems to be “A call to action”- where ordinary people are pushed into a situation that they need to step up and achieve some really amazing things. The drive to help others is strong with this guy, and Manwë is prominent in the charts of first responders that I checked- with almost all having a Mars-Manwë contact. Manwë is where we become great, where we become Heroes.
I would expect to see him most powerful in transit, when we are confronted with horrible situations that we need to overcome. There may be a connection to creative expression and performers as well (specifically singers), but I would need to do more research.
As I said above, Manwë is currently making a series of occultations with his binary partner, Thorondor. This gives him added importance, and it highlights a trend we are experiencing- We are currently in the golden age of Superheroes in media; Black Panther, Infinity War, hell, even the convoluted ArrowVerse and the Justice League movies. We cannot get enough of our heroes right now, and I would say that comes down, at least in some part, to Manwë and Thorondor. The occultations line up with Thor: The Dark World-Infinity War (The Infinity Stone storyline) and The Flash run in the Arrowverse. Manwë is using our superheroes to show us the best possible versions of ourselves and what we could be- and it’s important to realize all of the heroes we have right now are incredibly flawed, and oh so Human. You can rewrite your story at any time, no matter what you have done- You can come back from the brink and be redeemed; That is the promise of Manwë, who seeks to redeem his brother at all costs and return to idyllic peace. Yes, it is a bit naive, but honestly, I’ll bet it gives Morgoth pause once in a while, knowing his brother still believes in him and wants him to come home. The sad thing is, Morgoth will never do that, because it takes the most humility in the world to swallow your pride and beg those you have wronged for forgiveness. But that’s a story for another time….
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 385446 Once you have it entered, generate the chart! Where does Manwë affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!