Asteroids and Egypt
Rita Bremer M.D.
The growing list of numbered asteroids reached 3258 in March 1985. According to Eleanor F. Helin in her article “Earth-Crossing Asteroids An Update” (Minor Planet Bulletin Vol. 11 No. 3 1984) there were 59 known and catalogued Earth-crossing asteroids as of April 1984, of which 29 are named. When first discovered, asteroids are given an identification number including the year of discovery and a pair of letters based on the order of discovery during the year.
“An earth-crossing asteroid is one whose orbit intersects that of Earth, or will cross it part of the time, due to the gravitational forces of large terrestrial planets.” (Eleanor F. Helin).
According to their perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) and aphelion (greatest distance from the Sun) distances, the earth-crossing asteroids fall into three orbital classes:
ATENs (only four known objects) inside Earth’s orbit.
APOLLOs (all 36 Apollos with one exception) come inside Earth’s orbit.
AMORs (20 of the 39 known Amors) come close to but not inside Earth’s orbit.
The very first Earth-crossing asteroid was discovered on January 3, 1918, by M. Wolf in Heidelberg, Germany, and was numbered and named 887 Alinda. It is in the Amor class. The second was 1221 Amor discovered on March 12, 1932 by E. Delporte in Uccle, and the third was 1862 Apollo, discovered on April 24, 1932 by K.R. Reinmuth in Heidelberg. Apollo was lost for many years before it was finally rediscovered. Our knowledge of the asteroids has increased dramatically in recent years. There were only six numbered Earth-crossing asteroids prior to 1970. Worth mentioning here are the discoveries of two Earth-crossing asteroids by the Infra-Red Astronomical Satellite (IRAS): 1983 VA and 1983 TB. The orbit of 1982 YA takes it closer to Jupiter than any other near-Earth asteroid. Hephaistos and 1982 TA have orbits similar to comet Encke. A current theory suggests that at least some of the asteroids with elongated orbits which cross the orbits of Mars, Earth, etc., may be “burned-out” comets.
The apparition (appearance) discovery of object 1976 AA on January 7, 1976 by Eleanor F. Helin was of great interest because it was the first Earth-crossing asteroid found with an orbit smaller than that of the Earth. It was numbered and named 2062 ATEN. This asteroid has a diameter of 900 meters, and is an S-type with a high albedo (reflection of solar light from its surface). This asteroid is predicted to make its next apparition in the year 1996. On October 22 or 27, 1976, asteroid 2340 Hathor was discovered and found to have an orbit even smaller than that of Aten. The third asteroid in this group is 2100 Ra-Shalom, discovered on September 10, 1978. The fourth of this group (not numbered in order of their discovery), 1954 XA is lost, and just recently the fifth Aten-class object 1984 QA was discovered by R.S. Dunbar on August 30, 1984.
Asteroid 2340 Hathor is the smallest of all asteroids to date with a diameter of only 200 meters. 1 Ceres is the largest of the known asteroids with a diameter estimated to be between 965 and 1014 kilometers. 2212 Hephaistos, estimated to be 10 kilometers in diameter, is the largest of the known Earth- crossing asteroids.
HATHOR was an important great Egyptian sky-goddess. This cow-headed Egyptian deity was popular as a goddess of music, joy, love and motherhood, but she was also feared as the Eye of Ra who handed out punishment for rebellious humanity.
ATEN or ATON was an ancient Egyptian deity representing the sun-disk. Amenhotep IV, King of ancient Egypt from 1372 to 1354 B.C., declared state worship of an abstract force symbolized by Aten and thereby abandoning polytheism. This reputedly first monotheist changed his name to Akhanaton or Ikhnaton which means “Aton is satisfied.” He also declared himself to be the physical son of Aton and he gave orders to deface the name of AMON wherever it occurred on statues or monuments. How much was due to religious zeal and how much to a political struggle with a powerful traditional Priesthood remains uncertain. The Priests and the people were outraged at the destruction of their tradition. Ikhnaton built a new city for himself in the desert, and promoted a more naturalistic art than the stylized traditions preceding him. He was not interested in fighting, and refused to send military support to the areas of Syria and Nubia, so these two provinces were lost to Egypt and its status of empire with them. Nefertiti, one of the most beautiful women of antiquity, was Ikhnaton’s wife (1372-1350 B.C.), though he may have divorced her towards the end of his reign. There is an asteroid named for her: 1068 Nofretete. According to I. Velikovsky, Ikhnaton was the father of the famous king Tutankhamen whose tomb escaped the tomb robbers and preserved its royal riches for modern archaeologists. Other historians believe that Ikhnaton only sired six daughters by Nefertiti. The Encyclopaedia Britannica suggests that Tutankhamen was probably a brother of Ikhnaton’s co-regent, Smenkhkare, and married to Ikhnaton’s third daughter. Whatever the truth, the Aton worship died with Ikhnaton’s death. Tutankhamen, who gained the throne after Ikhnaton and Smenkhkare had presumably died, was forced or chose to restore the great God Amun in both his name and in his temples. A general and a regent, probably strongly influenced by the traditional priests, ruled for Tutankhamen since he came to the throne as a child and died just as he was reaching adulthood. After his death, the regent, Ay, married the widow of Tutankhamen and took control of Egypt.
The asteroid 2062 ATEN was quite prominent in the chart of ANWAR SADAT. On the day of his assassination, Aten at 27 Leo 21 was square to the Venus-Uranus midpoint at 27 Scorpio, and was conjunct Sadat’s natal Saturn at 28 Leo 3 retrograde. Mars at 21 Leo 18 in the assassination chart was conjunct Sadat’s natal ATEN at 21 Leo 23 stationary direct, and Egypt’s natal Pluto. Mercury at 3 Scorpio 52 stationary retrograde in the assassination chart was in opposition to Sadat’s progressed ATEN at 3 Taurus 42, both squaring his natal Mars at 3 Aquarius 34, and also making aspects to Egypt’s natal Mars-Lachesis conjunction at 3 Cancer and its progressed South Node of the Moon at 3 Aquarius 34. As an interesting sidelight, Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions which occur every 20 years have been associated with the birth of world teachers. A conjunction occurred in 571 A.D., the year in which Mohammed was born, in 3 degrees Scorpio, so the assassination Mercury marked a step in the evolution of the world of Islam. The Sun in the assassination chart at 13 Libra 5 was square the asteroid America at 13 Cancer 6. Remember that the Sun in the chart for our Declaration of Independence is at 13 Cancer. The assassination Moon at 14 Capricorn 26 was conjunct the fixed star Manubrium, and Sadat’s natal asteroid America at 14 Capricorn 34. It was also in opposition to the discovery position of the asteroid Aten at 14 Cancer 46 retrograde.
Sadat fell victim to a very sophisticated assassination plot concocted by Islamic fundamentalist religious fanatics roosting among his own military. So it seems Aten plays a note in the astrological make-up of religious fanaticism or an encounter with it. I also perceive an accentuated and exalted ego. Sadat once expressed that he would like to be buried on Mt. Sinai. One can intuit here what this implies regardless of what his conscious motives might have been.
The asteroid 1864 DAEDALUS (in the Apollo class), which is also a Mars-crosser, might be of some interest here. It was discovered by T. Gehrels on March 24, 1971, and will make its second apparition in 1985 and will pass the Earth within 0.299 AU on November 16, 1985. (F. Pilcher Minor Planet Bulletins). The term AU stands for “astronomical unit,” defined as the average distance between the Earth and the Sun.
In Greek mythology, Daedalus is known as the master craftsman, builder of the famous Labyrinth on Crete. However, he also was involved in politics. He fell into disgrace with King Minos because he had assisted Pasiphae, King Minos’ wife, in some undertaking that might have given some momentum to a religious movement. In mythology, Daedalus had helped Pasiphae to couple with Poseidon’s white bull, which King Minos had failed to sacrifice to Poseidon. From that union, Pasiphae bore the monster Minotaur. Daedalus constructed the Labyrinth to house this monster. Tired of King Minos’ continuous pursuit, Daedalus finally assassinated him with the help of King Cocalus’s two daughters. They murdered him while he was taking a bath.
In the Sadat assassination chart, we find a conjunction of Icarus at 3 Libra 54 with Daedalus at 4 Libra 22, trine Sadat’s natal Mars. Icarus, you will remember, was the son of Daedalus who escaped from the labyrinth with his father on wings of wax but who flew too close to the Sun so that his wings melted and he fell to his death. Icarus and Daedalus in the assassination chart bring us back full circle to another Jupiter-Saturn conjunction: the third of the triple conjunctions in 1980-1 occurred on July 24, 1981 at 4 Libra 56. Sadat’s natal Daedalus was 9 Leo 45 retrograde and his progressed Daedalus was 9 Cancer 34 stationary direct, both aspecting the first of the triple Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions which occurred on December 31, 1980 at 9 Libra 30. If Sadat’s published birth time is accurate, his progressed Daedalus turned stationary direct on his natal MC. One final astronomical synchronicity involved an occultation of a star on October 5, 1981, the day before the assassination. The occultation by Artemis was observable from Iberia and Africa.
Helin Eleanor F. “EARTH-CROSSING ASTEROIDS AN UPDATE” The Minor Planet Bulletin, Vol. 11, No. 3, 1984
Velikovsky I. Oedipus and Akhanaton, Doubleday & Co.
Michelsen Neil: ACS Custom Asteroid Ephemeris of Aten; & Custom Asteroid Ephemeris of Daedalus
CAO-TIMES: Ephemeris of Icarus; & Ephemeris of America
Anwar Sadat: Birth Data from 2001 The Penfield Collection
Egypt: Data from Moon Moore The Book of World Horoscopes
P.S. from Zip Dobyns
For a more specific definition of “apparition,” the dictionary offers “the state or condition of being visible; esp. the visibility of a star, planet, or comet.” An “occultation” is defined as a temporary blocking of a celestial body from our view due to another body (planet, asteroid, etc.) passing between the hidden object and the Earth. A recent taxonomic classification system for the asteroids was published in Science on August 2, 1985. Vesta was considered unique, and was given its own class: V. The other classes included C, S, M, and P. The S category (including Aten) was described as similar to meteors, composed of chondrites and stony irons. The C and S types were said to dominate the main belt of asteroids which orbit between Mars and Jupiter. Of the limited number of asteroids analyzed in this Science article, Psyche and Klotho were the only two in the M category. Psyche is listed as having the highest albedo (surface reflectivity), suggesting that it might be “the collisionally stripped, metallic core of a differentiated asteroid and, by far, the largest piece of ‘refined’ metal in the solar system.” p. 446 The symbolic implications of Psyche’s bombarded, hard center are fascinating in light of the defensive, victimized feelings I often find associated with people when the asteroid is in high focus in a chart. See my article on Ramirez in this issue of The Mutable Dilemma.