Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà (Take a guess)

It’s not about Cerebus, the superhero (pictured), or about Cerberus, the three-headed dog. But it is about a beautiful maiden. Interested? Once upon a time there was a beautiful Aardvark Maiden. Aardvark Maiden?? Is there such a thing, you ask? Not a fan of aardvarks, or does the combination seem a little odd? Apparently, the Juhoansi (Kung) people of Namibia thought theirs was a beauty, until the Christians came along and pretty much destroyed their mythology. Anyway, there was this beautiful Aardvark Maiden, a goddess, going by the name Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà (pronounced GOON-hohm-DEE-mə in English). We’ll have more about her later. And now, there is a small binary dwarf planet (maybe) named after her, which is what we are really interested in here.

Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà  was discovered on 19 Oct 2007 at the Palomar observatory in California, at 9:09 UT. The discovery chart is below (bigger). It was first given the provisional nomination of 2007 UK126, and later named itself after the Aardvark Maiden on 6 April this year. The English spelling goes without all the diacritical marks, which are basically clicking sounds, and is spelled Gkunhomdima. We’ll stick with that one from now on.

Gkunhomdima is a binary world, with the primary being about 400 miles in diameter and its secondary being about 100 miles in diameter. Whether or not it is actually a dwarf planet is open to question. The primary’s shape is now known not to be circular. Its secondary is also large compared to the primary, meaning its stated position is the system’s barycenter as it orbits the Sun, with a period of about 620 years. Since 1900, Gkunhomdima has only transited through 3 ½ signs – Pisces, Aries and Taurus, which gives an idea of how slowly it moves. As of now (19 Jul 19) it is currently at almost 14° Gemini, just about to make its retrograde station. Its north node is at 11° Leo.

Gkunhomdima is a member of the extended scattered disc and is a trans-Neptunian object (TNO). Its orbit is inclined 23° off the ecliptic and is quite elliptical. It was knocked out of a normal orbit early in the history of the solar system, probably as Neptune migrated outward to its current position, which gives the high  inclination of Gkunhomdima’s orbit. However, there is no known orbital resonance with any other planetary body, except for its binary companion. Its ‘moon’, or secondary is called G!o’e !Hu (pronounced GOH ay KOO). Goeku means ‘horn’, or Oryx horn. And that takes us to a bit of mythology.

Here is what little we know, from the Wikipedia article (There isn’t much else):

“Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà is the Beautiful Aardvark Girl of Juǀʼhoan mythology, who sometimes appears in the stories of other San peoples as a python girl or elephant girl; she defends her people and punishes wrongdoers using gǁámígǁàmì spines [devil’s thorn plant], a rain-cloud full of hail, and her magical oryx horn. The name “Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà” derives from gǃkún ‘aardvark’, ǁʼhòm mà ‘young woman’ and the feminine suffix dí. The moon Gǃòʼé ǃHú is named after Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà’s horn: gǃòʼé ‘oryx’, ǃhú ‘horn’.”

Bolding for emphasis. That’s not much to go by, but even that little bit is indicative. Gkunhomdima is a protector goddess. The bolded words above give the needed clues. If you have ever trodden on a grove of devil’s thorn plants in your bare feet, you have no doubt had an introduction to Gkunhomdima. The symbolism here is beautiful: If you tread on the wrong path you had better watch your step! I have had such an introduction to devil’s thorns (literally) and it is not much fun. Your feet stay sore for good while.

As to her magical oryx horn, we are left to our imaginations on that one. But the hailstones can raise a good lump on one’s head if they are large enough, or larger still, cause serious injury or even death. Think ‘death by stoning’. Again, punishment for wrongdoing. And that type of storm is becoming more and more frequent these days, especially since the start of this century. What is the Aardvark Maiden trying to tell us?

She is a protector, or tutelary deity, like a gramavedata in Hinduism, because she protects the land and its native people. In order to see what she might mean to us, we can start with where she was when she told us her name. She was then at the 12th degree of Gemini (11Ge03), the Sabian symbol reading:

A negro girl fights for her independence in the city.

These days we would use ‘black’ instead of ‘negro’, but in Elsie Wheeler’s day ‘negro’ was the norm. It is more than a little interesting that the symbol reflects the mythology, except for the bit about the city. It points to the subjective accuracy of the Sabian symbols. On the day, Sedna was within a degree, just passed, Venus had just transited past the square to Gkunhomdima and mars was approaching its conjunction there, speaking of fighting for independence. Aside from that, we can look to her discovery chart for more clues.

When she was discovered, Gkunhomdima was at 25 Ta 44 retrograde. (Sabian: A boy with a censer serves the priest near the altar) The Sabian symbol points to ritual, protection (the censer) and to keeping one’s faith in an ongoing basis. She formed a triangle with the Sun and Moon, making a Pythagorean triangle, all the aspects being less than a degree from exactitude. It is thus a significant indicator. The Sun and Moon are square, with the Moon trine and the Sun quincunx Gkunhomdima.

The Sun/Moon square points to inner tensions, parental relations, hereditary patterns and so forth. The trine to the Moon indicates a good relation with females and the mother (Gkunhomdima being a female protector deity), whereas the quincunx to the Sun points to a more therapeutic use of masculine energy and the need for constant adjustment to circumstances, being careful with how we use our energies. The Sun and Moon as the basis of the triangle also indicate the need to rely on our basic cycles for health (day/night/month/tidal and so forth) and can also even point to things like the need to eat seasonally, depending on other factors in one’s chart and where Gkunhomdima is placed.

Then, there are the midpoints: Gkunhomdima=Sun/Plu=Mer/Jup=Sat/Nep.

The Sun is trine Pluto in the discovery chart, giving a more positive reading to the midpoint: “creative power, consciousness of aim or objective, an appreciation of innovations, the qualities of leadership.” Mercury and Jupiter are also separately well aspected, except for a square between Jupiter and Uranus, on the whole giving good common sense, a creative mind, an optimistic outlook, and so on.

The one sour midpoint is the Saturn/Neptune, our ‘health midpoint’. Saturn and Neptune are not in aspect to each other in the chart, but nor are they adversely aspected on the whole. In fact Neptune is fairly well placed, and Saturn is conjunct Venus. Overall, this midpoint indicates the desire to care for others, to make sacrifices in service, but on the other side, indicates undermining psychological conditions that lead to illness, neuroses and tormenting emotional dispositions. The latter point can be seen in the Venus/Saturn conjunction. However, that conjunction can also give a great sense of loyalty, but also not the best financial sense. All of these factors will be indicated as we go along. They are also important in considering directions to and by Gkunhomdima.

Gkunhomdima gives indicators of how it works when it transits between signs. It first touched into Pisces in May of 1872, entering fully in December of 1875. It had been in Aquarius since 1755. It first touched Aries in May of 1946. It entered Aries fully in March of 1948. It first touched into Taurus in May of 1986, entering fully therein by April of 1987. It touched into Gemini in July of 2010, entering the sign fully in June of 2011. It will leave Gemini completely by May of 2030. We see that it is thus picking up speed, astrologically, since the turn of the 20th century. It will enter Leo fully by 2046. This gives an idea of the eccentricity of its orbit. Gkunhomdima spent over 100 years in Aquarius. It spends a mere 16 years in Cancer. History, connected with when it changed signs, will tell us something of what it represents. We have the following:

  • Capricorn, 1626 – 1628: Economy of Spain collapses (remembering the Saturn/Venus in the discovery chart), Puritans settle in Salem, Wurzburg witch trials and witch persecutions Europe-wide (a period marked by mass hysteria), English Parliament was dissolved, sparking the English civil war
  • Aquarius, 1752 – 1755: Ben Franklin’s kite experiment (showed that lightning is electricity), Moscow fire ravages the city, the French and Indian War
  • Pisces, 1872 – 1875: start of the Gilded Age in the US, Reconstruction in the US, start of the Long Depression
  • Aries, 1946 – 1948: The UN is founded (remembering the Mer/Jup MP). The CIA is founded, the Marshall plan is implemented, the Truman Doctrine, start of the Cold War, Israel established, UK moves to socialism, solid state electronics is born, IMF, NHS and WHO established, apartheid begins in South Africa
  • Taurus, 1986 – 1987: Iran-Contra, Chernobyl, London Stock Exchange deregulated, Perestroika and Glasnost, US tax reforms (neoliberalism), Mir space station, construction of the Chunnel, the Single European Act (precursor to the EU), world stock market crash (Black Monday)
  • Gemini, 2010 – 2011: The Arab Spring (largely fomented by Western interests), Wikileaks, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, the Great Recession, European Sovereign Debt Crisis

We see the midpoints in the discovery chart working out here, along with the Pythagorean triangle in the discovery chart. At each of these transition periods there were powerful weather and geological events that killed large numbers of people. There were also manmade disasters as well, all too numerous to mention. The question then arises: What eventuated in the periods following these transitions? The following is suggestive:

  • Capricorn: new power structures emerging, challenging monarchies and the Church as ruling factors
  • Aquarius: investigations into the laws of nature, humanitarian initiatives (such as abolition of slavery, abolition of torture, etc.), revolutions of any kinds – industrial, geopolitical, religious
  • Pisces: the rise of the secular state, great movements in economics (communism, libertarianism, etc.)
  • Aries: the great movements to independence, decolonization, the birth of many new states, war becoming more ideological than brute-force, with the advent of mad
  • Taurus: The financialization of economies worldwide
  • Gemini: The clash between hegemony and multi-polarism, the rise of the sovereign state in distinction to vassal allies, multiple blocs forming

What appears to take place with the transits of Gkunhomdima, if one responds to her influence, is first a period of purging, of inner questioning, wherein obstacles to one’s way forward are eliminated. These are often experienced as difficult periods, wherein the stings of karma are felt acutely (re: devil’s thorn spines and hailstones raining on one’s parade). And if one is a man, women will often feature in those events, either as helps (protectors) or as Kali-like beings, and sometimes with both being present at the same time. There is always a feminine influence, regardless, testing of the more masculine qualities.

With all the preceding in mind, our Aardvark Maiden is not a heavyweight, in the vein of a Pluto, Eris or Saturn. But neither is she to be discounted or underestimated. In individuals she works with the maintenance of one’s higher ethics and in directing one onto a better path. In that respect she is a complement to Orcus, the Disciplinarian. More often than not, she will be found active in mundane charts – event charts – where a transition is needed. This is in distinction to Ceres, which indicates turning points in general, regardless of the direction one takes. A study of all the goddess worlds, seeing that all the major planets are represented by masculine deities, would make for a fascinating and revealing study.

Whether or not Gkunhomdima is eventually officially classified as a dwarf planet or demoted to a lesser planetary body, since she has seen fit to now name herself, she warrants our consideration and a look at what she tells us astrologically. And if you choose to dismiss her, well, all I can say is to watch out for the thorns and hailstones of fate when her transits come around, and don’t complain when it happens. It’s for your own good!

You can access her ephemeris from 1900 to 2050 HERE.

Featured pic from Comicartfans.com

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