Exploring the Sedna Archetype
The Sedna myth and archetype demonstrate how our personal desires based on selfishness can backfire, the “be careful what you wish for” syndrome. It’s about how cruel life can be as well as not being able to count on others to take care of you. But it’s also about how selfishness and greed hurt others. This is undoubtedly one way where it relates to the environment, a common interpretation of Sedna’s meaning, reinforced by the fact she was active in both the Valdez and BP oil spills.
The real question is whether Sedna was a victim or simply another poor little rich girl. At what point might our selfishness bite us? What situations do we place ourselves in because of greed? How much do we jeopardize our own happiness either by what we want or by not appreciating what we have? Do we risk losing what we have for wanting more? We may tend to feel sorry for Sedna and her tragic life and fate, but do we recognize her own part in determining her destiny? How much does she reflect the entitlement attitude so pervasive in today’s society?
Cruel abuse is another Sedna element as demonstrated by her father’s actions when he beat her hands as she clung to the bow of the boat, severing her fingers. Does this symbolize the fact that her father had limited her ability to take care of herself by providing too much and thus spoiling her? Or does it illustrate that sometimes when we cling to something, it will still escape our grasp. Sometimes those we expect to rescue us hurt us. Again, selfishness is usually involved on the part of one or both parties. When we’re forced to let go of something we feel victimized, powerless, and that life is unfair, which it can is. Sometimes it’s not a person that forces us to let go. It might be an act of God such as an earthquake, hurricane or the economy that takes it all away. How many Sednas did we see following Hurricane Katrina?
When life is cruel, what do we do? Sedna’s severed fingers found new life in the creatures living in the sea. They in turn cared for Sedna. What new life derives from our loss? A new attitude? New friends? New compassion and insight? A new career? Do we see the beauty and miracle of the new life and allow it to nurture us, or become so absorbed in our loss that we fail to see it? As Helen Keller said, “Sometimes when one door closes we spend so much time staring at it that we fail to see the new one that has opened in its place.”
Our fingers are important in a multitude of ways and integral to our humanity and ability to take care of ourselves. Without them serious adaptations are required. This isn’t easy to accomplish, but the rewards are there if we do. Life may not ever be the same, but it doesn’t mean we won’t find joy. We can obsess on our misfortune or accept it and move on the best we can in a different direction. The highest in us can learn humility and allow our loss to become beautiful, serve us, and bring comfort and joy into our lives.
When Sedna’s beautiful hair becomes a tangled mess. she becomes bitter and cuts off the food supply until her subjects scramble to her needs. If we become bitter, we cut off our own source of nourishment as well. Emotional blackmail or demanding homage due to our misfortunes may momentarily serve our needs, but does it feed our soul? When we need help, how do we ask? Do we cut others off for attention or ask in humility? How far do we try to help ourselves? As with all planet and asteroid placements in your natal chart, profound insights into your deepest and often hidden motivations can be revealed through the sign they occupy as well as any aspects to them from other planets or asteroids, either natally or by transit. Sedna isn’t talked about very much, but should be, given the powerful message she espouses.
As noted earlier, asteroids are often deemed co-rulers of various signs. There are many elements of the Sedna myth relating to Pisces, including the story’s setting which involves the sea ruled by Neptune and her obvious martyrdom. However, I would throw a quincunx link to Leo in the mix, where her ego resided; this archetype has the flavor of a 12th/5th House encounter. Regardless of whether she’s co-ruler of Pisces or not, she has been in Taurus since January 1965, permanently since 1966. Before that, she spent over a hundred years in Aries, so she hasn’t been in Pisces since before 1866. Having an orbital period of approximately 100 years, she’s another entity that has a “generational effect.”
So, what common traits do those born between 1866 and 1965-66 have as a result of having Sedna in Aries? To put this into an historical perspective, it would include people born during the American Civil War through those born during the first few years of the Vietnam War. During that time we saw a lot of immigration activity. If people didn’t like their circumstances or surroundings, they packed up what little they owned and left, often crossing an ocean or vast expanse of land such as the early American pioneers. Leaving your family for a better life in another country an ocean away was not unusual. Sometimes things worked out better than others, but these folks dealt with their circumstances without having the choice of anyone, including the government, lending a helping hand. You took care of yourself or suffered the consequences; it was “do or die” and some chose the latter. This attitude is also reflected in the existentialist philosophies popular in the early 1940s. As a Fire Sign, Aries is impulsive, daring, courageous, energetic and definitely a fighter. As a Cardinal Sign, it’s action oriented, independent, and not prone to whining or self- pity. None of these traits sound much like the Sedna myth. In fact, if Sedna had been an Aries it’s highly likely that she would have taken care of Mr. Birdman herself, stolen his boat, and rowed herself home rather than indulging in all that wailing.
For those born after 1966, Sedna is in Taurus, a sign that loves material comforts and security with some tendency for laziness. Certainly there has been a general improvement in living conditions since that time, Third World countries excepted. Though even there, awareness of such things as women’s rights is gathering momentum. There has been a significant increase in an entitlement mentality as well. Hoards of people are no longer satisfied with what they have while counting their blessings, knowing it’s their own responsibility to provide for themselves like the Sedna in Aries generation who took things into their own hands. Taurus doesn’t want to work any harder than necessary for the desired comforts, much less do without, and thus will expect others to share, lend a helping hand, or give it to them outright.
When you look around the world today, you can certainly see an awful lot of this attitude. Indeed, you needn’t look any farther here in the United States than the bailouts of the past few years of the automakers, Fanny Mae, or the plethora of individuals who expect someone else to take care of them after they’ve made bad decisions or simply don’t want to be bothered with facing the consequences of poor choices.
In the European Union there is much the same attitude amongst various countries (Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, Greece and Spain) dubbed “PIIGS” where working for your own comforts single-handedly is not on their radar. Now, before any readers who may live in one of those countries gets offended, I want to point out that much of their situation also reflects their government officials and the corruption that exists there, as they take advantage of their position to exercise their own entitlement mentalities. In many cases, these people have stolen money that was supposed to have been set aside for deserving individuals who truly worked for it. These individuals who have violated the public trust, in time, will be exposed by Pluto’s transit through Capricorn as many already are. Likewise, the United States is so far over its head in debt there is no telling where that will ultimately lead. Thanks to indulgences and dependency which defy description, as well as the selfish and untrustworthy actions of government officials as well, they, too, will encounter Pluto, sooner or later. Nonetheless, on the collective basis, it’s not rocket science to see how the Sedna archetype manifests in concert with various other astrological influences and represents today’s worldwide dilemmas.
On the personal level, it will typically take a transit to activate your natal Sedna to bring a situation into your life that involves her story at some level. Any transiting aspect from Sedna to a natal planet will remain in effect for a very long time. This would give you plenty of time to work through your part in any issues associated with that house and/or connections with any planets by transit. Furthermore, aspects from your natal planets to Sedna play a part as well in either mitigating or exacerbating her influence. When any of these planets, as well as Sedna are the recipient of a transit, it will set them all into action. If you’re wondering how that might show up, here are a few comments and some questions to look for, given such a transit that includes Sedna along with any aspecting planets.
Keep a tight grip on what you want and recognize the consequences of your personal actions. Being too impulsive with selfish motives will have serious payback.
Greed and materialism will have consequences. How do you make yourself miserable with your wants and needs for creature comforts? Do you go into debt deeper than you can possibly dig out of without assistance and then expect someone else to bail you out?
Appreciation of your neighborhood, daily errands, neighbors, siblings, and education as well as the learning experiences you’ve experienced. Do you expect those around you to take care of you or your responsibilities?
Are you assuring your own misery by wanting or expecting too much, either of family members or perhaps by demanding a big, fancy house? How do you use and take advantage of your family members? Do you have an ulterior motive in all your actions and practice emotional blackmail?
Are expectations of your children, creative endeavors, ego gratification and romantic encounters too self- centered? Do you expect far more from others than you’re willing to give?
Is work a four-letter word to you? What is your attitude toward productivity? Do you expect top pay for shoddy work? Do you expect to have good health without practicing good diet and exercise habits?
What are your expectations in relationships versus what you’re willing to give? Are your expectations unrealistic? When they’re not met, do you martyrize over the lack rather than appreciating what you have?
Greed and selfishness with regard to sex, inheritances, or other people’s money are possibilities as well as transformational experiences due to traumatic events in these areas. Do you expect the taxpayers to take care of you in style while you languish at home?
What is your attitude toward other cultures or people different than yourself? Do you have unrealistic expectations of entitlement? Are you stuck in your own beliefs? Closed-minded? Snooty? Look down on others? Refuse to pay for an education that you know will help you or just too lazy to pursue one?
Are you willing to work hard to achieve your ambitions? What is your attitude toward authority figures? Are you a name dropper? Do you expect preferential treatment? Will you blame your failures or status on others for not providing enough help?
Do you expect more from your friends, coworkers, or group associations than you give back? Are you a “joiner” for personal gain and the networking connections you make? Do you exploit your friends? Are you rebellious? Are your hopes, wishes and goals purely selfish?
Are you a martyr when your demands aren’t met? Do you put others at risk in some way then, at the last minute, swoop in to save them and expect to be considered a savior? Do you practice forgiveness or retribution? Do you choose dark or light? Learn and grow or wreak revenge? How frequently do you indulge in “pity parties?”
Sedna delivers an important message, individually and collectively, at this time in history. As with all other difficult issues society is struggling with, each individual can assist by being part of the solution instead of part of the problem. The Sedna myth and archetype remind us of the importance of taking responsibility for our own actions and attitudes, a timely lesson for us all.
About the Author:
Marcha Fox has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Utah State University and retired from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas following a 23 year career in the aerospace industry. After pursuing her interest in astrology for over 20 years, she now devotes her time to being a full- time astrologer. In addition to maintaining her website and serving clients, she is also an instructor for the International Academy of Astrology, where she received her formal training. Her website can be found at www.valkyrieastrology.com as well as on Facebook. She can be reached at [email protected].