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By Sue Kientz

Released 6 May 2016, 1:25 a.m. PDT

Makemake and its newly discovered moonThis week Americans marked the fifth anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden. Thinking back to that Sunday night when the news broke, who wasn't shocked and surprised, including Bin Laden himself? Few were not electrified knowing that at last, the elusive Al-Qaeda leader was suddenly faced with American soldiers storming into his bedroom. Even those who knew it was coming, President Obama, his advisors, staff, and military, were on edge, pins and needles, hearts pounding.

Here's another surprise: eleven years ago we found the planet that corresponds to such unexpected and high-soaring experiences. I'm referring to Makemake, the third largest member of our solar system's Kuiper Belt, 1500 km wide with one known moon. And on the night Bin Laden was killed, Makemake was sesquiquadrate the Sun, corresponding to the electrically charged news that ran through America and the world, that the infamous evil genius of September 11 was dead.

Oh no, must have been Uranus, you might say. Nope. Uranus did not aspect Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Ascendant, or Midheaven when Bin Laden was finally eliminated; see the wheel of that moment. This wasn't Uranian excitement and upset. Makemake is of a whole new order.

But you're right if you sense this energy is like Uranus, even as the planet of machines, independence, and the Industrial Revolution seems sober and sane compared to Makemake. This sizeable denizen from Pluto's realm is quantum mechanics to Uranian mechanics. Uranus as higher or universal mind? Makemake is stranger, like the intelligence lurking in your phone, summoned by the magic word "google." We all need to know more, lots more about Makemake.

Makemake in Person

Thomas Edison Snippet

A perfect human example of Makemake's surprising and even shocking intellect is Thomas Edison. His is another chart with no major Uranian contacts to personal planets, and yet how much brighter, literally, can you get than the man who perfected the light bulb? See this snippet of his birth-chart wheel (left) and note how Makemake is less than a degree conjunct Mercury and a few degrees from conjunct the Sun. Edison's inventive skills were legendary. He had just finished surprising the world with the phonograph, when he wowed with electric light. From there he went on to invent the first film projectors, and then put first and last together to create talking motion pictures. Along the way, he developed the literally shocking electric chair. All without a prominent natal Uranus.

Small portion of Thomas Edison birth chart

Click for full wheel

Makemake isn't just a marker of scientific or criminal skill. The art world offers plenty of Makemake examples, like the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. His Sun (20 Leo 07) was square Makemake (19 Taurus 50). Hitchcock's movie masterpiece Psycho was designed to scare the pants off the audience, and he succeeded (see Hitchcock's chart wheel).  

Salvador Dali Snippet

Or Salvador Dali, another whom you would expect Uranian influence would explain his bizarre art. His personality as well was just plain weird. But Uranus is not the key to Dali. Put Makemake in his birth chart, keeping in mind this ultra-Uranian temperament, and you might appreciate that this explains someone who would paint melted clocks and scatter ants throughout his landscapes. Dali's Sun (20 Taurus 12) MercuryR (23 Taurus 28) Mars (25 Taurus 10)  were all conjunct Makemake (25 Taurus 06).

Small portion of Salvador Dali birth chart

Click for full wheel

Creator of the phenomenally successful Harry Potter novels J.K. Rowling got her idea for the books in true Makemake-fashion — it came like a lightning bolt out of the blue. Delayed on a train, the idea of Harry and his wizard friends "fell into my head," she has said. Incredibly, she did not have a pen with her and was not comfortable asking anyone for something to write with, so she ended up spending the four-hour delay thinking and developing the story about a young wizard going to learn magic at a secretive school, all in her head.

The Harry Potter books and movies are chock full of Makemake themes: flying, making things disappear and reappear, being jolted by unexpected energy, somehow surviving a fatal blow, and futuristic technology. Another shocking fact about Rowling: by 2011, she was estimated to be worth $1 Billion.

J.K. Rowling Snippet
Small portion of J.K. Rowling birth chart

Click for full wheel

A musical genius who universally shocked all with his passing just last month was Prince, who had Sun (16 Gemini 40) semi-square Makemake (29 Cancer 30) (see chart wheel). Sometimes labeled a modern Mozart, his talents were truly out of his world, as he had natural skills composing, performing, and producing.  The comparison with Mozart was spot-on, too, for our purposes of illustrating Makemake, as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had Sun (7 Aquarius 23) and Mercury (8 Aquarius 08) square Makemake (11 Scorpio 56). Mozart's breadth of ability was similarly prodigious, stunning, and cut off too soon (see Mozart's chart wheel).   

The Makemake Event

9-11 Snippet

2005FY9 license plateWhen I began studying Makemake, its official name was 2005 FY9. Once I saw its importance in charts like the 9-11 Terror Attacks, with Sun (18 Virgo 50) conj. Makemake (17 Virgo 02), and how when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, transiting Makemake (13 Cancer 01) was conjunct the U.S. Sun (12 Cancer 43), I snidely wondered if the “FY” in its numerical name somehow stood for “F*ckYou.” Seeing that the seven letters fit into Solar Fire's labeling field, for a time this served as my private nickname for the creepy yet fascinating planetoid.

Certainly hearing that phrase, spoken or shouted, shocks people; indeed, often it's meant to shock. What other well-known events might support Makemake representing moments that feel like being stuck by a cattle prod?

Small portion of 9-11 event chart

Click for full wheel

  • Rite of Spring debut, May 29, 1913, Sun/Saturn/Makemake (7 Gemini). When this avant-garde ballet by Stravinsky debuted in Paris, the audience rioted at the odd, dissonant sounds and bizarre choreography. Would Sun conjunct Saturn create such a stir? The full wheel will show you Sun trine Uranus (7 Aquarius 25), but how could that "soft" aspect, even in Aquarius, account for an entire audience nearly losing their minds?

  • Sandy Hook Shooting, December 14, 2012, 9:34 a.m., Sun (23 Sagittarius 01) square Makemake (29 Virgo 48). Not only did perpetrator Adam Lanza physically look bizarre, but he did the unimaginable: for no logical reason whatsoever, he woke up one day, shot his mother, and then went on a rampage at a local elementary school, killing dozens of people, mainly second-grade children. We can only speculate his motives, but one thing is sure: something mightily sparked his powderkeg.

    And even more recently,

  • Brussels Terror Attack, March 22, 2016, 8 a.m., Sun (2 Aries 05) opposite Makemake (1 Libra 52). One reason for us to learn more about Makemake is because terror attacks and other spectacularly orchestrated crimes, so often highlight this massive Dwarf, in the event and in the birthcharts of the perpetrators. In a recent article on the Brussels attacks, I show how these "random" men all had Sun/Makemake major birth aspects, and they acted at Sun/Makemake opposition. The vast majority of the 9-11 bombers had Sun/Makemake or Mars/Makemake major contacts, and many had both. If astrologers kept close track of Makemake, we could anticipate and perhaps even one day, assist in preventing some or even most of these catastrophes.
Rite of Spring Snippet
Small portion of Rite of Spring event chart
Click for full wheel

Makemake: Consistently Exciting

Prince Progression Snippet

Time and again, Makemake's presence indicates shocking and highly charged energies in transit as well as in natal charts. To further confirm this interpretation, know that Makemake also manifests similarly in Secondary Progression. An example of one who reached a brilliant career pinnacle at the “Makemake moment” was Prince when inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. On March 14, 2004, Prince's p. Sun (0 Leo 21) conjuncted p. Makemake (0 Leo 32). His performance on solo guitar for the song “And My Guitar Gently Weeps” was the most remarkable and scintillating expression of his genius, one which fortunately remains with us via video to enjoy forever (keep watching for Prince's solo towards end). Prince shows us positive Makemake, soaring, electrifying, totally above and beyond a stage-full of other bona fide, Uranian geniuses.

Small portion of Prince Progressed to Hall of Fame Induction

Click for full wheel

The Solar System Expands

You may ask, why would we need another Uranus? Stephen Arroyo in Astrology, Karma, and Transformation called Uranus the higher octave of Mercury, and this opinion is almost universally accepted by astrologers (Vedics of course disagree). But the solar system isn't two-tiered anymore. The discovery of large Kuiper bodies underlines that there are more sections in Sol's family than just inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth/Moon, and Mars) and outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune). Pluto and its fellows, most notably Eris, Makemake, and Haumea, and the Asteroid Belt with its major players Ceres, Pallas, Vesta, and Juno, represent growth experiences that are important to include. These mid-sized objects fill in key gaps in charts, although on closer inspection, one might notice certain "family" resemblances in their symbolic use.

Just like DNA forms complicated structures, yet it uses only four nucleotides, A, C, G, and T, astrology has four basic "notes" (call them Mercury, Venus, Moon, and Mars) that in variations repeat in the lesser-known sections of the solar system. Makemake is the Mercury of the Kuiper outcasts, as Eris is the alien Other, an unpretty Venus that we need to learn how to engage. Astrologers have long recognized Pluto as a subterranean Mars, but were unaware that Haumea is dramatic change, a terrible birth/death marker, like a powerful, impersonal Moon. This is why Makemake and these others often factor in the terrorist and the inexplicable genius's charts: they are outside the mainstream, foreign from our experience, but not so distant that we cannot grasp them, if we begin using them in our charts.

If this very brief intro to Makemake has piqued your interest, further examples of my proposed interpretation are found in this online article on Makemake (PDF), which is an excerpt of a larger chapter from my book on all the Dwarf Planets, called More Plutos.

Makemake keywords: Shock, surprise, sudden, jarring, electric, lightning, flash, bizarre, crazy, inexplicable, out of this world, high-flown, "it came out of nowhere," didn't see it coming, falling from the sky, soaring overhead, rocket science, sink hole, earthquake, explosive volcano, assumed dead but found alive.

Makemake professions/traits: Astronaut, test pilot, genius savant, Asperger's syndrome, US president, terrorist (usually an expendable pawn), executioner, scientist studying unusual phenomena or objects not directly accessible (cosmology, black holes, quanta, Higgs boson, Mars rover exploration, deep-space probes). This list is far from exhaustive.

Wheel Charts

Osama Bin Laden death, May 2, 2011, 1:20 a.m., Abbottabad, Pakistan, The Hunt for Bin Laden
Thomas Edison, February 11, 1847, 3 a.m., Milan, OH,
Alfred Hitchcock, August 13, 1899, 3:15 a.m., London, England,
Salvador Dali, May 11, 1904, 8:45 a.m., Figueras, Spain,
J.K. Rowling, July 31, 1965, 2 p.m. rect., Bristol, England,
Prince (Roger Nelson), June 7, 1958, 6:17 p.m., Minneapolis, MN,
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, January 30, 1756, 8 p.m., Salzburg, Austria,
9-11 Terror Attacks begin, September 11, 2001, 8:46 a.m., New York, NY,
Rite of Spring debut, May 29, 1913, 8 p.m. used, Paris, France,
Sandy Hook Massacre, December 14, 2012, 9:34 a.m., Newtown, CT, NBC
Brussels Attacks begin, March 22, 2016, 8 a.m., Brussels, Belgium,
Prince, progressed to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction, March 14, 2004.

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