136199 Eris

This dwarf planet is named after the Greek goddess of chaos, strife, and discord. She is usually considered to be the daughter of Zeus and Nyx. Her Roman counterpart is Discordia, and her thematic opposite is sometimes the Greek goddess Harmonia, or the Roman goddess Concordia. She is sometimes associated with the goddess Enyo / Bellona.

The discovery of this trans-Neptunian object was one of the factors that led to the creation of the category of dwarf planet, and the re-definition of Pluto as one. When it was first discovered, it was given the nickname Xena, as in "Planet X" and also as a reference to the television show "Xena: Warrior Princess." Some names were proposed and voted on, notably Persephone, disregarded due to the existence of the asteroid 399 Persephone, and Lila, a concept of divine creation in Hindu mythology. Ultimately it was named Eris, partially in reference to the chaos in the community that resulted from the dwarf planet re-definitions.

There is a symbol that comes to my mind for this minor planet: Eris' golden apple, represented by the open-circle apply glyph with a solar dot, which featured in her myth that led to the Trojan War.

However, a different symbol for this body has already become widespread, thanks to to the modern religion of Discordianism. It is the Hand of Eris, sometimes described as the Five-Fingered Hand, or as two curved arrows converging. This symbol is used to represent followers of this joyfully absurd faith [1]. This is the symbol I use for this minor planet, resembling two halfcircles converging on a vertical line. Its resemblance to the symbol for the contellation Pisces is coincidental. This modern symbol is perhaps more appropriate than any that connects to the ancient Greek character, since the naming of this body was closer in time to the practice of Discordianism than any ancient worship of the goddess, if there ever was any.

It should be noted that several other symbols for this minor planet have reached a level of notoriety in astrological circles. For example, a symbol of a large cross surmounting a circle, sometimes used in Poland, or a circle with a downward arrow. Zane Stein [2] also proposed two symbols: a dot in a partial triangle in a circle, representing the Eye of Providence, and a Greek letter Kappa in a circle, standing for καλλίστη or "fairest," representing the apple of discord.


This dwarf planet has a single moon, 136199 Eris I Dysnomia. It is named after the Greek goddess of lawlessness, and daughter of Eris. She didn't ever have much of a role in worship, but has had a role in poetry, philosophy, and recently anarchist theory. The naming is also a reference to Eris' original nickname, as Lucy Lawless was the actress who portrayed Xena.

The symbol for this minor satellite was devised by Denis Moskowitz. It is a pair of curvy Greek capital letter Deltas, one on top of the other, pointing towards each other, in reference to the symbol for Eris.

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[1] Principia Discordia, p.28, https://principiadiscordia.com/book/28.php

[2] "Chiron and Friends," Zane B. Stein, retrieved 24 September 2018, http://www.zanestein.com/Trans-pluto.htm

[3] "Astronomical/Astrological symbols for other planets' moons," Denis Moskowitz, retrieved 24 September 2018, https://www.suberic.net/~dmm/astro/moons.html


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