Eris and Planetary Rulership

Does Eris have rulership over any sign? Let’s go over what we know.
Eris is a planetoid more massive than Pluto whose unusual orbit lies beyond Pluto. If Pluto has rulership over a sign, so should Eris, but apparently it’s not that simple.
Eris is associated with the goddess of discord and chaos. She’s been called the “female Mars” and this makes a lot of sense if you consider that the goddess Eris and Mars’ Greek counterpart Ares are siblings; children of Zeus and Hera. Her symbol even looks like Mars’ except the arrow points downward. She represents the dark, chaotic side of feminine energy, similarly to the hypothetical Lilith. She was overlooked by the other gods when she was the only one not invited to a wedding, so she dropped an apple labeled “For the Fairest” between three of the most powerful goddesses, then sat back to watch her small action domino into the Trojan war. She represents the energy of the misunderstood, overlooked, and vilified. She is an important planet in astrology that represents more than generations, she represents entire eras of humanity. The difficulty with Eris is that determining her ruling sign brings up more discrepancies and questions than it does answers. Ceres has a similar issue, however she’s less controversial in that she easily rules over Virgo, leaving Mercury as Virgo’s secondary ruler and Gemini’s sole ruler without disrupting the rest of the planetary associations, but I’ll touch more on that later.
Eris is not as easy to deduce.
The current solution appears to be to ignore it. Claim that Eris doesn’t have rulership over any sign. It’s an astronomical planetoid and while she does have some contribution to astrology, she isn’t important enough to rule over an entire sign.
So, as usual, Eris is getting overlooked, which plays so perfectly into her symbolism. Calling her “dark feminine” is a bit misleading. While dark is not necessarily evil, it is often interpreted that way, and Eris is not evil energy. She is the energy of the oppressed, the abused, the scorned, and the vengeful. She is the REACTION to oppression, not oppression itself. This energy is not evil, it’s simply a normal human response to being mistreated. Eris is the patron of the overlooked.
Considering women are both the largest in number and longest oppressed of the marginalized groups, it makes sense that her energy is attributed to the “dark feminine” since that is where it’s most noticeable. In truth it manifests in all marginalized and oppressed groups and persons who are fed up with being overlooked and mistreated. Feminists have been viewed by the public as something to fear, or dismiss rather than respect. It is often misunderstood as a quest for power rather than a quest for respect and equality. The same can be said for all civil rights movements. Eris energy rules all of this, and she is back with a (well deserved) vengeance.
In 1926 she entered the sign of Aries, and she will stay there until 2048. The entire Eris in Aries era is a period of revolution and rebirth for the oppressed. She is telling us it’s time to fight back, and this time she’s brought firepower. In Aries, Eris is disguised as Mars, dressing up not only as a man, but as a warrior in order to assume her role as avenger of the damned. In this way, Eris in Aries takes the form of Joan of Arc, who was born, lived, and died all during the last Eris in Aries period more than 600 years ago.
Nope. Ignoring her should be out of the question. Now that we’ve got that taken care of, let’s return to the problem of determining her sign.
This isn’t the first time a new planetary discovery disrupted the current pattern of astrology. When Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were discovered, it threw astrology out of whack. Traditionally, the planetary rulers were nice and even.
The luminaries, Sun and Moon, each ruled over one sign each, Leo and Cancer respectively, and this is still true today. The planets ruled over two signs each.
Mercury ruled over Virgo and Gemini
Venus ruled over Libra and Taurus
Mars ruled over Scorpio and Aries
Jupiter ruled over Sagittarius and Pisces
Saturn ruled over Capricorn and Aquarius
You may notice that there is a pattern. It is more apparent if I rewrite my previous list in a different way.
Sun rules Leo
Mercury rules Virgo
Venus rules Libra
Mars rules Scorpio
Jupiter rules Sagittarius
Saturn rules Capricorn
Saturn rules Aquarius
Jupiter rules Pisces
Mars rules Aries
Venus rules Taurus
Mercury rules Gemini
Moon rules Cancer
See the pattern yet? However, when Uranus and Neptune came into the picture, the rulerships changed. Instead of looping back through the zodiac with Saturn as a pivot, the rulerships just kept on moving in order. Uranus took over rulership of Aquarius which made a lot of sense, Neptune took over rulership of Pisces which made even more sense, but then we have Pluto. If it were to follow the same pattern then Pluto should rule over Aries, not Scorpio. Given the symbology, that didn’t make sense. Scorpio was the obvious choice between the two Mars signs, so the pattern was altered. A newly discovered planet could “take” either sign from the next planet in the “loop” even if it wasn’t in astrological order. The planet order mattered, but the sign order no longer applied.
This left us with our current planetary rulership breakdown:
Sun rules Leo
Moon rules Cancer
Mercury rules Gemini/Virgo
Venus rules Taurus/Libra
Mars rules Aries
Jupiter rules Sagittarius
Saturn rules Capricorn
Uranus rules Aquarius
Neptune rules Pisces
Pluto rules Scorpio
If we apply the same rule of “taking” either sign from the next planet down, then Eris (located after Pluto) should take one of Venus’ two signs: Taurus or Libra.
This makes sense if you consider that Eris is also associated with Persephone, the goddess of spring and fertility as well as the queen of the underworld. The only reason that she was not named Persephone is that there was already an asteroid with that name.
If we take a look at the Persephone symbolism for the moment, one could make an argument that Eris is the ruler of Libra. Persephone was born as the goddess of fertility, but later became the goddess of the underworld. For those who don’t know the myth of Persephone, the gist is that she was kidnapped by Hades (Pluto) and taken to the underworld. She knew that if she ate anything, she would be forced to live there forever so she refused to eat. Unfortunately her mother Demeter (Ceres) couldn’t find her for so long that she was starving so she ate six pomegranate seeds. When Zeus and Demeter found her, Hades said she couldn’t leave because she ate six seeds, but Zeus wasn’t sure if he was more afraid of Hades or Demeter so he came up with the brilliant idea that Persephone would spend six months of the year with her mother and the other six months (one for each pomegranate seed) with her abductor/rapist/uncle. Obviously, Demeter was pissed about this and decided that every month Persephone was taken from her the crops wouldn’t grow and the world would freeze, thus creating the seasons. Because of Persephone’s dual nature as both the goddess of the underworld (death) and the goddess of fertility (life), this fits Libra quite nicely.
However, even with that being said, Eris as Libra’s ruler is difficult to wrap my head around. I think it is unlikely that a planet ruling chaos could be the ruler of Libra, the sign of order, despite her dual nature and pension for justice. Logically, that would make Eris the ruler of Taurus. Once more focusing on Persephone, the goddess of spring would be a reasonable match for Taurus considering Taurus season is smack in the middle of springtime. Unlike Libra however, Eris’ other associations can be applied to Taurus as well. Taurus is a more solid, independent side of Venus than Libra. Eris being the representation of the powerful, dark feminine, nasty woman energy that was scorned and vilified by patriarchy since the beginning of time opposed to the patriarchy-approved femininity of Venus, enduring Taurus seems to be an appropriate fit for the planet. The sister of Mars opposed to his lover.
This is all well and good if we’re forced to stick with the current forced pattern of ruling planets… but what if we’re not?
Considering her chaotic nature, associations with Mars, and powerful feminine energy the most obvious sign for Eris to rule over would be Scorpio. Scorpio, which is currently believed to be ruled by Pluto and traditionally ruled by Mars, IS the zodiac’s feminine side of Mars, and the sign of the misunderstood and vengeful. The myriad similarities between the sign of Scorpio and the planetoid Eris is nearly perfect. There is just one caveat.
Why should Scorpio have three ruling planets while Taurus and Libra have to share just one?
And that right there is the problem. It shouldn’t, but because of Scorpio’s near perfect alignment to Eris, any other sign wouldn’t fit by comparison. If Eris rules over a sign, it has to be Scorpio, and yet it can’t without creating imbalance when astrology by nature must be balanced.
So what if we could have both? What if Eris could rule Scorpio without unbalancing the zodiac? One sign per astrological planet, perfectly correlating to their signs. That would be preferable, yes?
Astrology doesn’t just change when astronomy does, and astrology is not a science. It has explicit rules and follows set patterns, although there are differing opinions on these rules and patterns. However, there are times when astronomical discoveries do require astrologers to reconsider portions of astrology that were believed to be set in stone. Eris’ discovery is one of those times.
Now ponder this:
What if astrologers made a mistake, and Pluto was never the ruler of Scorpio?
I’m aware that this theory opens a whole new can of worms. It would change at least one more planetary rulership that we currently take for granted, it could change Pluto’s element, it could change which houses and signs Pluto is strongest in, it could change a person’s dominant planets… It would change a LOT. However, I have a solution to this, and it might not be what you’d expect.
What if Pluto is the ruler of Libra?
I know, I know, this seems kind of out there, but toss your reservations aside for a moment and take a look at this:
Sun rules Leo
Moon rules Cancer
Mercury rules Gemini
Venus rules Taurus
Mars rules Aries
Ceres rules Virgo
Jupiter rules Sagittarius
Saturn rules Capricorn
Uranus rules Aquarius
Neptune rules Pisces
Pluto rules Libra
Eris rules Scorpio
Now, isn’t that nice? Doesn’t it almost seem meant to be? Yes, but it’s not the only reason Pluto could be the ruler of Libra. I’m not just trying to force it to work—believe me I have Pluto in Scorpio in 12th conjunct my ascendant so it would significantly change the way I look at my chart—there is a lot of evidence to support this.
First of all, Pluto is the judge of the dead. If there is a controversial death, Pluto steps in to decide if a soul should go to Elysium or Tartarus. Given Libra’s association with justice, this makes a lot of sense.
Second, Pluto’s wife Proserpina/Persephone returns to him at the autumnal equinox, the start of Libra season.
  • Libra rules marriage and partnership, but is also an air sign and can have a fear of commitment. Pluto’s wife only lives with him exactly half the year, but he is married.
  • He initially kidnapped her in the first place because he was so overwhelmed by her beauty that his judgement was impaired.
  • Libra is actually a masculine polarity sign, so it’s a little strange that Venus the planet of feminine energy would be its ruler.
  • This one is probably the most important. Pluto is sometimes considered a binary planetary system. It is the closest thing in the solar system to a binary planet system because its moon Charon is about half the size of Pluto and rather than orbit Pluto, the two dwarf planets actually orbit each other while the rest of Pluto’s moons technically orbit both Pluto and Charon. The next closest planet to a binary planet system is the Earth and Moon. Binary planet system screams Libra energy.
  • It can’t even decide if it’s a planet or not and even though a decision has been made it keeps going back on it.
There are enough similarities between Pluto and Libra to at least consider that it was meant to rule Libra all along, plus Scorpio is so mistrustful that it WOULD pretend to have a different ruling planet while it’s true planet lurked in the back of the solar system in hiding. Not to mention that if any sign reconsidered its ruling planet, it would definitely be Libra. That poor sign can’t stick with a decision to save its life.
BONUS: Quick note on Ceres. Yes, it’s only one of many major asteroids in the belt considered to be a dwarf planet, but it’s the largest AND the only one that’s nearly spherical. It looks like a planet, and while it’s smaller than Pluto it’s also much MUCH closer. It is also the most likely candidate in the asteroid belt to “clear the neighborhood” and may be in the process of “cleaning up” the other asteroids in the belt. Also, the reason the belt hasn’t formed into a planet yet is because Jupiter’s pull makes it an imperfect environment. So, if it couldn’t form a perfect planet it might as well break apart and start over until it gets it right. If this doesn’t sound like Virgo energy, then I don’t know what does.