Makemake is the second new planet to be named after an indigenous people's creator god, in this case the indigenous people of Easter Island. Several years prior Quaoar was named after the creator god of the Tongva peoples in what is today southern California.
Two new planets named after creator gods creates a fascinating astrological field of inquiry for both mundane and natal astrology, which will be explored below in brief.
Makemake (pronounced maki-maki) is the third largest Kuiper belt dwarf planet, slightly smaller than Eris (the largest) and Pluto (who was demoted by astronomers to dwarf planet status following the discovery of Eris). Makemake has an eliptical orbit of about 309 years around the Sun, and unlike Eris and Pluto, Makemake appears to have no moon(s).
The teaching in western astrology is that when a new planet is discovered and named, the archetype of that planet becomes available for everyone. For the three years after Makemake was discovered in 2005 to its naming in 2008 it was known by the astrological designation of 2005 FY9. Click here for a complete set of Makemake ephemerides available for free download from this website.
Discovered: March 31, 2005
Named: July 13, 2008
Diameter: 1,300 – 1,900 km
Orbit: 309 years
Temperature ~30 K
Mass: ~ 4×1021 kg
Surface gravity: ~ 0.5 m/s²
Moons: none discovered yet
Astrologers often use the mythology of a planet's namesake to begin an examination of the planet's potential meaning, but the preserved mythological lore of Makemake is sadly limited given the systematic and tragic extermination of the native Easter Island population by the white Europeans.
Additionally, the centuries-long internecine quarrelling amongst the tribes themselves prior to the arrival of the Europeans did not help matters any. Click here for a quick summary of what we do know.
About all we can say for sure is that Makemake was the mythological god who created humanity. That's not a lot to go on. So given the limits of the preserved mythology of Makemake, we turn to other tools to give us guidance.
The traditional teachings of western astrology give us our first guidance for the meaning of Makemake in a natal chart. First we recall that each planet represents a unique energy inside all of us, and however similar any two planets might at first seem, they are, at their core, each singular and not to be confused.
Another new planet, Quaoar, which is also named after an indigenous people's creator god gives us a worthwhile comparison to get started in understanding Makemake.
Quaoar is a creator god who himself is created by an undefinable All and descends into the metaphysical plane (but not the material plane) to create the material universe. Makemake is a creator god who emerges from the depths of the ocean in physical form and creates human beings.
Right away we can see a major difference. Quaoar is preoccupied with metaphysical creation (which in turn does eventually manifest as the material physical world), while Makemake is a material world creator who lives in the material world. Makemake was also a fertility god, which is certainly a worldly form of creativity.
So for an astrological interpretation, we might look to see Quaoar as more esoteric and Makemake more pragmatic.
One of the things I noticed about Makemake was that during its early three unnamed years (2005-2008) the Indigo children were responding to transits both by and to the planet we today call Makemake. The pattern I observed was that such transits often involved significant academic achievement or lack thereof. Remember that for school children academic performance is a big part of their pragmatic day-to-day life.
This response to the transits of an unnamed planet was remarkable to me for two reasons. First it is unusual for anyone to respond to an unnamed planet as the energy is not yet defined, and second in my experience it is very unusual for children to respond to the transits of any outer planet. Normally outer planet transits are a deaf note for children.
Now that Makemake is named, as astrologers we need to carefully observe how people respond to transits. As a hint, there is always the old tried and true Jupiter rule: when Jupiter by transit conjuncts, squares, or opposes a natal planet, the natal planet's energy is magnified significantly. This happens every three years, so you are not far away from finding out for yourself what Makemake does in your chart and in the charts of those you know.
Among the things we need to look for are the three levels of evolution in Makemake. This is part of the brilliant legacy of Dane Rudhyar, who correctly observed that each planetary energy, unique as it may be, manifests in one of three distinct fashions:
Beginners' level: The vast majority of the population will manifest the energy of Makemake from a position of being buried in the dysfunctional swamp of density. We need to observe carefully to see if the mythological reference to a warrior god is part of this dense manifestation of creativity, or whether some other characteristic(s) predominates.
Intermediate level: At this level, the individual tires of density and the grief it creates, and the individual takes a spiritual journey to get out of the swamp. Just what sort of creativity is required to move Makemake to a great spiritual quest?
Spiritual level: At this juncture in human evolution, few people use their planets at this level, but such people are wonderful to be around. The well-known pattern with the other planets is that often the spiritual level of evolution of a planetary energy is vastly different from the two previous levels, beginners and intermediate. Again we have to observe what will certainly be at first the few small number of people who manifest this creative energy at a highly evolved level. What sort of practical creativity are they bringing forward?
Remember, we are still in early days with this planet and have much to learn. Share your observations and experience. Join in the discussion about Makemake at this website's New Planet Forum.