Naming of the Outer Planets

The ancient Greek deities were twelve in number: Zeus (or Jupiter), Hera (or Juno), Poseidon (or Neptune), Demeter (or Ceres), Apollo, Artemis (or Diana), Hephaestos (or Vulcan), Pallas Athena (or Minerva), Ares (or Mars), Aphrodite (or Venus), Hermes (or Mercury), and Hestia (or Vesta). These were the twelve gods from whome the Egyptians derived their kings. Where two names are given to a deity in the above list, the first name is that bestowed by the Greeks, the last given by the Romans. (Antedeluveian page 124).

Uranos was the father of Saturn, Neptune and Pluto. Uranos was the first god, that is to say, the first king of the great race. He was the son of Gaea (the Earth). Pluto was the "god of the infernal regions", the "under world" where the Sun set below the horizon, the world of the dead. (Antideluvian p 128)

Uranos was deposed from the throne, and succeeded by his son Chronos. He was called "the ripener, the harvest-god," and was probably identified with the beginning of the Agricultural period. He married his sister Rhea, who bore him Pluto, Poseidon, Zeus, Hestia, Demeter and Hera. He was the primal Greek god personifying the sky. His name in Roman mythology was Caelus (sky).

Herschel did not name the planet Uranus, he called it "the Georgium Sidus" (the Georgian Planet) in honor of King George III of England. The name "Uranus" was first proposed by German astronomer Johann Elert Bode in order for it to be in conformity with the other planetary names - which are from classical mythology. Bode was born on January 19, 1747, with his Sun sextile Pluto, the planet relating to uncoverings and discoveries.

Bode could not have as yet known that the name he apparently randomly chose was associated with revolt and revolutions: Ouranos own children revolted against him. He and Gaia had twelve sons and six daughters. Gaia suffered immense pain and persuaded her Titan sons to rebel. Four of these positioned themselves at the corners of the world, ready to grasp their father as he descended to lie with Earth, while the fifth, Kronos (Saturn), took his place in the centre and there castrated Ouranos with an adamantine sickle.

Neptune, or Poseidon, says, in answer to a message from Jupiter: "No vassal god, nor of his train am I. Three brothers, deities, from Saturn came, and ancient Rhea, earth's immortal dame; Assigned by lot our triple rule we know; infernal Pluto sways the shades below. O'er the wide clouds, and o'er the starry plain Ethereal Jove extends his high domain; my court beneath the hoary waves I keep, and hush the roaring of the sacred deep.

Homer alludes to Poseidon (Iliad, book xviii:) as "the god whos liquid arms were hurled around the globe, whose earthquakes rock the world". Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth. He was god of the Sea and other waters.

Urbain Le Verrier, who discovered the planet, claimed the right to name his discovery: Neptune. Soon Neptune became the internationally accepted name. In Roman mythology, Neptune was the god of the sea. Le Verrier was a French mathematician who specialized in celestial mechanics. Surely, he was unaware that the planet he discovered did in fact rule the sea, water and other related 'formless' phenomena. He could not have known this, since it must have taken astrologers a while to look back in time and work out its rulerships. Interestingly, his Sun (11 March 1811) was conjunct Pluto.

It is interesting that Pluto got its name from 11-year-old Venetia Burney of Oxford, England, who suggested to her grandfather that the new planet get its name from the Roman god of the underworld. Venetia was born on July 1, 1918, with her natal Sun also conjunct Pluto. (She also had an almost exact Jupiter-Uranus trine). Surely, she did not consciously know about the exact archetypal connectivity. It seems it was her destiny to name the planet appropriately. One wonders how much say we really have in anything.

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