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Puvungna
Puvungna
A Tongva sacred gathering place located in the
Califonia State University campus at Long Beach
QUAOAR  MYTHOLOGY

An indigenous creation myth

suggests this planet's astrological meaning




The Quaoar myth from the indigenous Tongva people of southern California eeriely resonates with the high esoteric Sanskrit teachings from India and the esoteric teachings of Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition, and points to possible astrological meanings for this new planet. This page investigates the astrological meaning of Quaoar in a natal astrological chart. For a look at Quaoar from the perspective of mundane astrology, the astrology of world events, please click here.

|   Mythology   |   Eastern Teachings   |   Kabbalah   |   Astrological Meaning   |
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MYTHOLOGY

The name, Quaoar, comes from the creation mythology of the Tongva people, the indigenous inhabitants of what is today the Los Angeles area of Southern California. The Tongva lived there peacefully for hundreds if not thousands of years before the Europeans first arrived in the 1600s.

As background to naming the new planet, Chad Trujillo, co-discoverer of Quaoar, gives us the Quaoar mythology in his website by quoting the words of Mark Acuna, Tongva scholar, dancer and tribal elder:

"'Quaoar' the great force of creation sings and dances the high ones (Deities) into existence. While Quaoar has no form or gender he is usually referred to with the male pronoun.

"He dances and sings first 'Weywot' who becomes Sky Father; they sing and dance 'Chehooit' Earth Mother into existence. The trio sing 'Tamit' Grandfather Sun to life.

"As each divine one joins the singing and dancing, the song becomes more complex and the dance more complicated. In turn 'Moar', Grandmother Moon (a very complex deity), 'Pamit' the Goddess of the sea, 'Manit', the Lord of dreams and visions, 'Manisar' the bringer of food and harvests, 'Tukupar Itar' Sky Coyote (who is also our major hero), 'Tolmalok', the Goddess of Shishongna (the underworld) join in the singing, dancing and creating.

"And finally the great seven giants who hold up the worlds are created. The High Ones in turn are aided by 'Eagle, Duck, Bear, and Frog' in a grand earth diving story. Frog brings up soil out of the deep dark sea, and the four animals dance it flat and wide.

"The 'Gods and Goddesses' then furnish the world 'Tovangar' with hills, mountains, trees, rivers, etc. 'Tobohar' (first man) and 'Pahavit' (first woman) are also part of this great 'Creation song and dance cycle'."


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THE  EASTERN  TEACHINGS

By comparison the Eastern Sanskrit teachings about the creation of the universe, rich though they be with poetic Vedic obfuscation, tell a similar story.

Briefly (and in plain English--scholars and pundits may begin cringing now: flames may be sent to any Guru claiming to be God) the Eastern tradition speaks of an unknowable and undefinable Something which is beyond words, not to mention gender, number, and case.

Whatever It is, this great Undefinable Whatever, and for who-knows-what unfathomable reasons, manifests universes from time to time (assuming the universe in question possesses time as we know it). Theoretically, there could be an infinite number of universes, provided an inventory could be taken of such things (and don't be hasty about taking off your shoes and socks to start counting--this is trickier stuff than you could imagine).

In any event when It decides to manifest a universe, our Undefinable Whatever first brings forth a Creator God whose purpose is to create and sometimes maintain the specific universe in question. This Creator God (Ishvara is one name often bandied about for the Creator God of the universe you and I are currently living in) is imbued with the skills and capabilities to generate the designated universe into existence.

BTW, with an infinite number of universes, that would mean an infinite number of Creator Gods, so imagine what the annual convention in Heaven must be like!  

Anyway, among the capabilities of the Creator God is the knack for creating sub-gods/goddesses which in turn are given the ability create other sub-sub-gods/goddesses, who in turn make sub-sub-sub-gods/goddesses, and so on, until the necessary pantheon of deities with carefully specified skills are on hand to get on with the actual work of conjuring up the actual material universe. Then and only then are the souls called forth to inhabit the universe in question.

Since nothing lasts forever (not even Creator Gods, sub-gods/goddesses, etc.), at the end of each particular universe's life span (which in the case of our universe is measured in tens of billions of years), all the material manifestations of the universe as well as the non-material manifestations (Creator Gods, sub-gods/goddesses, etc.) are drawn back into the Undefinable Whatever (think of a big Cosmic vacuum cleaner) and cease to exist as differentiated entities. At least until the Undefinable Whatever burps up the next universe, at which point the whole process begins again with a new Creator God.

The Tongva people's creation myth is almost an exact parallel of this story. Quaoar is the name given to the Creator God, and the various other deities in the Tongva myth perform the work of the sub-gods/goddesses. The parallel is actually quite uncanny, and there is no evidence the Tongva people ever had contact with India.


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KABBALAH  SIMILARITIES

In a similar fashion, there are remarkable similarities between the myth of Quaoar and teachings of the Jewish mystical tradition, Kabbalah.

The Tree of Life

The now-familiar pictorial representation of Kabbalah, the Tree of Life (pictured right), graphically represents the principles of this ancient metaphysical system.

Once again, I will oversimplify, a necessity given that Kabbalah takes many lifetimes to master. (And yes, Kabbalah accepts the notions of karma and reincarnation, much to the dismay of not a few mainstream Talmudic scholars.)

Kabbalah drops the notion of the tribal god, Yahweh, and speaks about an undefinable and transcendent All, which can neither be named or known. In this regard it is quite similar to the Eastern notion of the Absolute.

Loosely speaking, the circles in the diagram (known as sephiroth--and each has its own rather curious name) represent stages of manifestation from the top circle (which represents the unknowable All) to the bottom circle (which represents physical reality). The intervening circles and lines represent the metaphysical process whereby the All manifests the world.

What differentiates Kabbalah from the Eastern teachings may be seen in the arrangement of the circles, the sephiroth, which are lined up in three distinct vertical columns. The left column is feminine (or yin in the Taoist tradition), and the right column is masculine (or yang in the Taoist tradition).

But what is unique is the centre column of circles, which Kabbalists call "the third column", which more or less represents an equilibrium point between yin and yang enabling manifestation to occur at a lower vibrational level, something not mentioned anywhere in the East.

The process by which the All manifests through the sephiroth is staggeringly complex, and likely you could count on the fingers of one hand those who actually understand it fully, but in broad terms the process is fairly straight forward.

From that undefinable state which is the All (top circle), energy rushes forward to the right hand column (masculine, yang) and is then contained and defined in the left hand column (feminine, yin) until an equilibrium point is reached (centre column) on the metaphysical plane.

This process is continued repeatedly with each equilibrium point being a lower vibration than its predecessor. Eventually the metaphysical vibrational level is so low that compression takes place (analogy: steam condensing into water) and the energy bursts forth into physical form in the material plane (bottom circle).

What is striking about the Quaoar creation myth is how closely it follows the Kabbalistic process of manifesting a masculine energy first and then a feminine energy. And in the same fashion as Kabbalah, the process of manifesting yang-then-yin repeats with increasing complexity until finally the material world is created. Even the grandfather figures in the Quaoar myth appears to perform an equilibrium function similar to centre column of sephiroth.

And in case you haven't already guessed, there is no evidence the Tongva people ever studied in rabbinical school.


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Quaoar's astrological meaning SYNTHESIS

My take on Quaoar, as of October, 2002:

It's not as strange as one might think that separate unrelated peoples in separate unrelated parts of the world at separate unrelated times have come up with remarkably similar approaches to profound questions like the source of the universe.

The late Joseph Campbell made an academic career detailing these similarities, and while he is best known for his work with the myth of the hero, he studied creation myths, too, and documented their striking cross-cultural similarities as well.

Western astrology is the only astrological system in the world which incorporates a new planet into its system. The teaching in Western astrology is that when a new planet is discovered, its archetype is now ready to be consciously present and used throughout all humanity. For instance, look at the existing outer, transpersonal planets and their discoveries over more than 200 years.

  • Uranus, discovered in 1781, ushered in revolution and technology
  • Neptune discovered in 1846, brought us the Romantic era and snake-oil salesmen
  • Pluto, discovered in 1930, brought us depth psychology and the horrors of nuclear war--our dark side
  • Chiron, discovered in 1977, brought alternative health and the spiritual journey into the mainstream of western society

And now we have Quaoar. For astrologers, what we have in the Quaoar myth is a flag for the starting point to understanding the astrological meaning of Quaoar. Quaoar is the Creator God, the Absolute which bursts forth a rush of manifestation which is to be ordered into a coherent material plane.

While as incarnate humans none of us is God (Leos, please take note), we do have our inner connection to Source, and it is Quaoar which points us to that connection and asks us what we wish to do with it. We each, ultimately, are here for the purpose of dharma, that is finding our right path. That means shedding our karma (ie, since karma is just an unlearned lesson, this requires learning our lessons, as in cheerfully not repeating our mistakes) so that the karma no longer impedes our real reason for being here.

Quaoar is that glorious metaphysical point/process wherein the All creates chaos for the purpose of shaping it into material form. Quaoar is where we have the potential to take that Cosmic chaos and bring it into form.

Naturally, this presents some interesting free choice for us. In shaping this chaos into form, will it be my will or Thy Will which guides the shaping process? Ah, yes, once again we are back to all the old ego issues here. Quaoar, like all the transpersonal planets (Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto), isn't likely to work well at all if the ego's will tries to control the process of shaping divine manifestation.

Like the other outer planets, it will take us time to understand the personal growth process required so that we might shed our ego-based attempts to hijack Cosmic Intention and yield (or surrender) to the Higher Will which Quaoar will no doubt require. Then we may see that The All manifests through us rather than from us, and we might be at peace with that.

Anyone involved in the creative arts, for example knows that creativity involves going into a timeless state and allowing the inspiration to "spring forth". It can't be forced, and for the truly creative, it cannot be denied, either. For instance, I once remember an English professor in university telling our class in one simple sentence why it is novelists write their books:  "They have to."

So where does that inspiration "spring forth" from? A cosmic point of chaos, for chaos is creative. Chaos is creativity. There cannot be creativity without chaos. Quaoar rules that. Scientists tell us that the Big Bang, which created our universe some 15 billion years ago, started as singular point of cosmic chaos. And out of that extraordinary singularity of chaos, viola!  A very nice little universe, thank you very much. Chaos is the divine precondition to creativity.

Like the other outer planets, Quaoar will be definable at a personal level by its house position in the natal chart. Since each of the 12 houses represents a different range of human activity, there will be distinct differences (in some case vast differences) in where individuals bring forth this new energy depending on the house position. I expect that the astrological interpretation of Quaoar will show where (house position) and how (aspects to Quaoar) chaos, as a sacred energy, may be grounded into physical manifestation by and for an individual. That's best option.

Worst option will be to show where and how ego can bungle chaos and snarl an individual up in one collosal mess (think soap opera, for openers). Look for squares and oppositions to be warning flags for misusing the Quaoar energy. Individual levels of spiritual evolution will be key to understanding whether a person will use this energy for better or for worse.

Because Quaoar represents a high vibration, higher even than Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Given the exactness of the circular orbit, a form of mathmatical perfection even the astronomers have commented upon, in the astrological chart I would expect there to be a commensurate drive to make the resultant manifestation congruent to that same high perfect vibrational level, in other words a seeking to make the manifestation as pure as the energy which motivated it. Again that would be how the spiritual seeker might use the energy. By contrast, a dense energy type would try to take the energy and mould it into the will of the ego, which of course is a recipe for various sorts of disaster.

By transit, the astrological interpretation of Quaoar likely will be another "Big Picture" planet in that because Quaoar's transits are often take as much as two years rather than a few months, it will point to times when an individual makes those major (and sometimes challenging) adjustments in life direction which entail leaving behind the desires of the ego and moving forward in touch with a desire to manifest Higher Will.

This could involve chaos manifesting in a person's life. The intervention of chaos into a person's life during those transits, rather than being a curse, may come to be realized as the most compelling opportunities in a lifetime to seize upon one's Higher Destiny and dharma, assuming the ego is prepared to allow that to happen. Failure of the ego to let go could present very difficult times when the chaos strikes.

Yet this is not the chaos of Uranus transits, which often enough tips over apple carts and rudely rubs one's nose in obsolete ways of doing things. Where Uranus by transit grabs an individual by the scruff of the neck to shake the ego-based karma out of person, Quaoar is without karma. It is the Absolute, and the Absolute is beyond karma. Quaoar will introduce change not to rock the boat, but to offer the new path.

If there is upheaval with a Quaoar transit, I would expect it to be less in the earthquake category (Uranus) and more in the "darn-this-is-a-mess-and-I'm-going-clean-it-up-once-and-for-all category", or in the "I've-never-done-this-but-I-have-to-do-this" category.

Since transparency is fashionable these days, perhaps it's appropriate to indicate my own astrological Quaoar positioning. Quaoar in my natal chart is in Libra conjuncting Neptune in the 8th house, both of which sextile my natal Saturn in Leo in the 7th house. And FWIW as I write this, my Sun in Virgo is smiling quietly as if to say:   "At last, a planet which understands what Virgo is about!"


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