HAUMEA, THE RE-EMERGENCE OF A CREATRESS
New planets have been discovered in our Solar System which we need to learn about. One of them has been given the name of the Hawaiian Goddess of Creation. What has she come to tell us?
Ask an astronomer what the most interesting large object in the Solar System is and he will reply Haumea. Ask an astrologer and they may well reply Pluto. For even though they are both in the Kuiper Belt, one has been known about long enough to have found its way into astrology books and one hasn’t.
Early in the 21st century, astronomers in the Palomar-QUEST survey called Mike Brown, Chad Trujillo and David Rabinowitz, discovered several new planets - one of which is bigger than Pluto - in a place called the Kuiper Belt. This is a doughnut-shaped ring of objects that orbit mostly outside of Neptune. They looks like a swarm of bees from space because the Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO’s) do not orbit on the same plane as the classical planets. They move in elongated, elliptical orbits at angles to the ecliptic, because the gravity of the mighty Neptune pushes things around.
To cope with labeling and naming the new discoveries, the International Astronomical Union gave us official new categories and now we have a new class of planet called a Dwarf Planet. As the name implies these are mini planets and one lives in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter and the rest in the Kuiper Belt. Haumea has been classed as a dwarf planet, but just what else is a dwarf planet or planet or asteroid is a matter of current debate. However, astrologically these discoveries will symbolise change in collective consciousness as we move into the 21st century.
Planets in middle Kuiper Belt where Haumea lives, are broadly assigned names associated with creation, but the astronomers broke with the tradition of naming new planets after deities from ancient Mediterranean pantheons and chose names from world mythology. Haumea, for instance, was given the name of the creational goddess of Hawaii. This symbolises a new world view, particularly in relation to spiritual and religious beliefs.
Haumea the Dwarf Planet and the Dispute in Which Two Men Claimed Her
The circumstances surrounding a planet’s discovery tell us a lot about the meaning of that planet in astrology and Haumea’s emergence into Collective consciousness involves a story where 2 groups of men (astronomers) both claim her as their own, thus revealing some of her meaning.
Haumea the dwarf planet was discovered around Christmas of 2004. Mike Brown gave her the nickname `Santa` and began making the detailed observations necessary. He should really have announced her to the world in July 2005, but he had to take paternity leave instead. Then in the same month a team of Spanish astronomers headed by Jose-Luis Ortiz also claimed discovery of Haumea. They were examining data collected in 2003 when they had their Eureka moment, but unlike the Mike Brown team, they made a few quick enquiries and quickly registered their claim with the official committee of the I.A.U.
This meant the discovery was technically theirs. Unfortunately, the `quick enquires` had meant they accessed the publicly available web logs of the Mike Brown team. Mike then accused them of stealing his data with no previous awareness of Haumea; an accusation the Ortiz team denies.
Because the I.A.U couldn’t sort this out, they decided eventually to say that Haumea had been discovered in Spain but declined to give anyone’s name as official discoverer. So no one man can claim her as his own. Both the American and the Spanish teams had suggested names for her, but the Spanish choice had to be discounted because they had chosen a Spanish Underworld goddess and Underworld names could only be linked to a different part of the Kuiper Belt.
The I.A.U. must have been relieved, because this meant they could go with the American name. The guy in charge of the I.A.U. naming committee said the controversy was the worst in 400 years. This same chap also expressed amazement that Haumea hadn’t been found before because the planet is so bright she could be seen with even a junior telescope.
Why is it that all those astronomers in all those centuries didn’t spot her and then two discover her at the same time? One of the mysteries of astrology is that planets will only emerge when the time is right and their discovery will be synchronous with change on planet Earth. Haumea chose the circumstances and the year of her discovery, Mike Brown and Jose-Luiz Ortiz were simply pawns in her game.
Why the Name Haumea Was Chosen
Haumea has two moons that were discovered in 2005 using a big telescope on Hawaii and it was during this time that the name was chosen by David Rabinowitz of the American team. The planet was known to be made of solid rock and the Hawaiian goddess of that name has close associations with stone and the rocks that are formed as molten lava cools.
It was also recognised that the planet had clashed with another one and that had knocked lumps of rocky ice from her body. These surround her orbit and two of them are even large enough to be moons. In Hawaiian myth, Haumea is the mother of many other deities that are formed from pieces of her body.
Haumea is also the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth and Mike Brown was prevented from announcing Haumea`s discovery because his wife went into labour and gave birth to their daughter. These things by themselves make the choice of name appropriate, but there was significantly and coincidently much more to come.
President Obama and a Hawaiian Planet
When the suggestion was put forward for the name Haumea, no one could have dreamed that 2 years later, just as the name was finally being announced, a young mixed-race senator would run for the office of President of the United States of America and win. President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. Astrology needed to symbolise the changes that happen when the world’s most important superpower changes its leader, so sure enough the strange hand of fate worked its magic. Synchronous with the arrival of a Hawaiian president was the arrival of a Hawaiian planet.
Peculiar Features of the Planet
Haumea is the strangest object found to date in the solar system and very different to the rest of the Kuiper Belt Objects. In a paper published in the Astronomical Journal, Pedro Lacerda points out that “extreme, physically unusual objects are a profitable source of interesting science as they often challenge existing paradigms.”
She is shaped like a cigar (the only non-spherical planet) and actually spins end over end, completing a full circuit in just under 4 hours. Her strange shape and high speed has lead to the conclusion that she is a large piece of what was once one or two planets, having undergone a grazing-and-merging collision.
Another strange feature is a dark red spot on one side which is stark contrast to the rest of her very shiny icy blue surface. It is suspected that she has a rocky body and is covered in pure water-ice except for this dark red spot. This is in contrast to the other large dwarf planets, which have methane-rich surfaces.
All the members of the Haumea family share this water-ice spectral feature that is distinct from all other KBOs. Her original nick-name of `Santa` is amusing when one considers this ice and the presence of a dark red spot which is presumably Santa’s hat!
Haumea’s water-ice has exciting future possibilities, since if man ever reaches space travel potential, we would need bases on solid-rock planets with water. The planets past Mars are, of course, made up of gas and so could never be landed on or lived on
In 2009 it was reported in a scientific paper that Haumea has two moons called Hi'iaka and Namaka plus 8 confirmed family members all broken off her body by the graze-and-merge impact. These are remarkable because they are so shiny, but also because Haumea has the only known `family` in the Kuiper Belt. This is even more remarkable when we consider that there are 8 main islands of Hawaii, and in myth Haumea produces 8 offspring which are formed out of her own body.
Haumea, the Goddess of Hawaiian Mythology
Haumea has several different guises, all to do with creating or giving birth. In one she is a human, confusingly called `Papa` and married to a guy called Wakea. She is thought to be the first woman on Hawaii and therefore original mother and ancestor to the royal family who always inter-bred to maintain their pure bloodline.
According to Beckworth, she is also the feminine principle or goddess who creates the islands of Hawaii. The 8 islands are all volcanoes that run along a fault line; some of which still erupt. When they do the lava spews out, then cools and adds to the landmass. The fire within the volcano is Haumea in her Fire goddess form called Pele.
The old Hawaiians watched the process of land being formed from volcanoes and it provided them with a wonderful metaphor or model for understanding how the Earth was created. They equated the fire with Spirit, which is exactly right in spiritual terms, and saw that Earth is formed out of Fire. The old Islanders said that the Islands rose up as the body of Spirit. They were the material form of spiritual force and this means that land has an animate nature.
In an Hawaiian chant we are told that Haumea’s fabled husband Wakea, became `false` to her and out of jealousy tried to re-order the natural rhythms she had established; moving the Moon’s days around and using taboo to stop her crossing her threshold. This is a nice metaphor for how humans and science try to control Mother Nature. However, just as her discovery by two astronomy teams at the same time meant that none could claim her, so the human race may find that they cannot claim, own or control her either.
Hawaiian Creation Chant
The Hawaiians did not write to record their history, it was told in chants which were learnt more seriously than the western world learns its nursery rhymes. They had an important one called the Creation chant, which has many different versions on the 8 main islands. One striking feature is how well they all describe evolution from slime and tiny sea creatures through to larger marine life and mammals.
A translation by the last Hawaiian Queen in 1897 says, “Curious students will notice in this chant, analogies between its accounts of the creation and that given by modern science or sacred scripture.” She also made the point that “The ancient Hawaiians were astronomers, and the terms used appertained to the heavens, the stars, terrestrial science, and the gods.”
The chant is very long but basically says that the primordial soup was readied and then came `Time` which supported the Earth and held the Heavens. Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine) energies produced all manner of things living which then have a Yin or Yang gender, including the god/dessess or spirit which pre-exist mankind and are brought into being in earthly guises. So everything, including such things as surf, octopuses, strife, boils and deep holes is living, for the Hawaiians believe that sacred spirit or deity exists in all things.
Haumea is called different names from Lailai to Papa showing that she can take on many different guises; morphing from old woman to young girl and becoming her own daughter or granddaughter. We are told that as Haumea, she is great and fearless and has 8 different forms ranging from a shark to a goddess or spirit and a human woman.
Haumea gave birth to children from her brain amidst slime and they would become chiefs, islands or human babies. So to put it in a nutshell she is Mother Nature transformed into anything.
Haumea as Goddess of Fertility in Wild Plants and Forest
In one particular Island myth we are told that Haumea`s priestesses were privileged enough to be given a supply of wild food when famine befell the rest of the land. The implication here is that if we are sufficiently knowledgeable about the food that nature naturally supplies, then we will be able to eat when mass-produced agriculture fails.
In another myth a net thrown over her kills Haumea, but this same net is also used during a Makahiki festival to shake food over the land, encouraging good crops. The meaning being that Haumea’s wild food and plants are killed to grow farmed foods. The guy who throws the net over Haumea is called Kaulu, whose name means `growth in plants`.
This can obviously happen in reverse, for myth says that when he withdraws crops from the land, Haumea is forced to produce wild food because the soil will not just remain barren; one of god/desses has to provide. Apparently Haumea had wanted to vent her anger by withholding her wild food but it must be provided when cultivated crops are not available at certain time of the year. This shows that although Haumea is destroyer and guardian of wild growth she can be killed by being `netted` or controlled and will have to succumb to some conditions.
It has to be remembered that all the planets/deities can represent an abundance or depletion of those things that they represent. They can give or take away their qualities, meanings and gifts. Therefore Haumea is at work when her food is provided or withheld. However her myths aren’t always about wild food. In some she possessed a magic stick called Makalei that could attract seafood and was associated with a tree of never-failing food supply.
Haumea as Goddess of Childbirth and Fire
The Hawaiians were told through myth that Haumea could secure a painless childbirth. She was also talked of in the Hawaiian Book of Medicine as being able to prevent a Caesarean birth. She would use chants, incantations and herbal medicine to procure a natural birth.
Haumea herself was continually growing old and then being re-born and this could describe the process whereby the volcanic islands of the Pacific are born, sink into the sea and then new ones rise up again. As the volcanoes gave birth so easily, so Haumea could make this happen for humans. Haumea was the whole world to them in one form or another and in fact, all the myths describe Haumea as being and doing everything that their island home does.
One or two myths call her the goddess of underground heat. This alludes to the red heat inside the Earth that spills from the volcanoes and also the contents of the uterus. It is said in one myth that the fire goddess Pele was born from between Haumea`s thighs.
Others in the Pele family were born from parts of Haumea`s body. Pele was the goddess who lived in volcanoes and sent floods of lava to burn everything; she was said to influence those whose lives were filled with burning anger against their fellow men. Pele was in constant combat with one of her sisters, the ocean. Another sister, Hi‘iaka, was a cherished favourite and born in the shape of an egg. Here we see the family theme again.
Haumea as Representative of Human and Family Evolution.
The Hawaiian culture and history is deeply suggestive of hierarchy and `layers` of significance. Their verbal mythology, handed from Clan Chief to Clan Chief in the form of sacred chants, contains long lists of who-begat-who with emphasis on sacred incestuous lineage. They had a heavily demarcated class system of servant families, commoners, upper class and royalty.
They had a sacred Creation chant that talked of clearly defined `Eras` and their spiritual understanding of the other realms included dimensions of sky gods, earthly spirits and mischief makers, household gods, the home of the spirits of the ancestors and finally the Underworld. Haumea herself had several rebirths, reappearing as her own daughter and then granddaughter; each time marrying her son-in-law and grand-son-in-law.
One gets a real sense of Darwinian evolution when examining Haumea’s meaning and in fact she is conjunct Charles Darwin’s Moon at 18 degrees Capricorn, whilst his Moon is at 21 degrees in the second house Darwin was a 19th century English naturalist whose book “The Origin of Species” was revolutionary and his theory that all things have evolved from common ancestry has remained a central axiom of human evolutionary understanding.
During the 19th century, it was known that Darwin had a co-discoverer, Alfred Wallace, who promoted the theory that natural selection is the primary mechanism of evolutionary change even more “vigorously” than Darwin. Wallace`s horoscope has Haumea at 7 degrees Aquarius, conjunct his Mars at 4 degrees, so the term `vigorous`, used by the Alfred Russel Wallace website to describe his approach to natural selection, seems quite apt astrologically.
Hawaiian Spiritual Concept Has Now Been Proven Scientifically
The Kuiper Belt discoveries coincided with great advancements in quantum physics, with it’s theories of the building blocks of matter and the search for the holy grail of creation. We are discovering that matter has no solid bit; it is made up of “weird excitations and vibrations of invisible field energy”
The centre of an atom is made up of sub-atomic particles that are not actually solid. They are spinning energy that spins so fast it has a resistance and so feels solid. Like the spokes of a bicycle wheel that look solid when spinning but you can pass your hand right through when the wheel stops. Consequently, energy or spirit or Fire exists in matter or Earth. Fire becomes Earth.
In the same way that their volcanic islands arose out of the sea from the fire at the centre of the Earth, the material body is formed out of `spirit` or energy. The Hawaiians have always expressed this belief through their mythology but also through the way they lived their lives. They had abject, absolute, unquestioning conviction and faith in this as the meaning of life.
This has to be why Haumea has emerged into world consciousness. Her astrological meaning points out the synchronicity between Polynesian spiritual beliefs and the new fundamental scientific understanding of existence in which matter is made up of energetic force that moves so fast it seems solid. This force pervades and exists in all things, giving them dynamic life or energy. In spiritual understanding this energetic force is that of the element of Fire. This element holds spirit, deity, gnosis and what we understand to be god/desses and the Holy Spirit.
“Behind the (Papa and Wakea legend) is the Polynesian mythical conception of a dark formless spirit world presided over by the female element, and a world of form born out of the spirit world and to which it again returns, made visible and active in this human life through light as the impregnating male element.” 
That single sentence is actually breathtaking in its absolute accuracy of the New World scientific and spiritual vision of the twenty first century. However, it was written in 1940!
So What Does Haumea Represent in Astrology?
Haumea`s synchronicity with the arrival of a mixed race American president surely means that like Makemake, she will represent ethnic and minority races. The rocky composition of the planet and her myth also indicate a strong association with the Earth element and fundamental matters of creation.
As a female creational energy she does signify the re-emergence of the belief in the Creatress and as such, she may well also represent women’s issues and maybe even those of minority groups, such as homosexual men. Haumea has a real resistance to being owned by men or masculine energy, as we can see from the story of the discovery of the planet, when neither man could claim her.
There are also associations with evolution and transits to her invoke such things as the discovery of baby dinosaur skeletons. Since in myth she represents childbirth and prevents the necessity of Caesarean birth, she surely signifies such matters and this is supported by the dwarf planet’s obvious production of a whole family.
Haumea as Symbol of New Spiritual Awareness
It is difficult for us in western culture to even begin to understand the Hawaiian spiritual concept. And yet it more accurately reflects the true composition and nature of life on Earth and in the Cosmos than our monotheist (one god) religions do.
A Hawaiian cultural historian says this:
“Hawaiian culture evolved in close partnership with its natural environment. Thus Hawaiian culture does not have a clear dividing line of where culture ends and nature begins. In a traditional Hawaiian context, nature and culture are one and the same; there is no division between the two.” 
They had such a healthy relationship with their land and nature they themselves were healthy and so was their land. In the West we are either poisoning our land or piling concrete on it. We intensively rear poor chickens so that thousands are crammed into appalling conditions with no space or light. They are so weak they cannot even stand up and they have no feathers from stress and crouching in their own excreta. Supermarkets proudly sell their bodies for £2.
We don’t understand that what we do to chickens and our land affects our spiritual well being because we are all part of the same Universal Spirit or Force; it is part of us and it exists in all things. The force, energy and spirit of Mother Nature or Haumea IS the landscape and it also us. This is something we will all have to learn……one way or another.
copyright Alison Chester-Lambert 2010
This article is an excerpt from Alison's book called `Starry Messengers`. You can buy a copy from the home page of this web site.
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23 BECKWORTH, M. ibid. pp 304
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