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© by Zane B. Stein

Glyph for Thereus This glyph was
designed by
Mark Andrew Holmes
Glyph for Thereus This glyph was
designed by
Bartłomiej Jankiewicz



There were two different Centaurs with the name Thereus in Greek Mythology. But since it was the astrologer Phil Sedgwick who sent in the name proposal for this body to the astronomers, it seems logical to pay more attention to the Thereus that Phil was thinking about when he offered his proposal.

In Book XII of Ovid's Metamorphoses, we read about the horrible battle that raged at a wedding between the Lapiths and the Centaurs:

"'I saw Petraeus trying to tear an oak-tree full of acorns from the ground. While he had his arms round it, bending it this way and that, and shaking the loosened trunk, Piritho's sent a lance through his ribs, and pinned his writhing body to the hard wood. They say that Lycus fell by Piritho's's might, and Chromis by Piritho's's might, but Dictys and Helops gave the victor a greater title to fame. Helops was transfixed by a javelin that passed through both temples; hurled from the right and piercing the left ear. Dictys, fleeing in desperate panic, pressed hard by Ixion's son, stumbled on a mountain height, and fell headlong, breaking a huge flowering ash with the weight of his body, and entangling his entrails in the shattered tree.

Aphareus was there, his avenger, who tried to hurl a rock torn from the mountainside: but as he tried Theseus, the son of Aegeus, caught him with his oaken club and broke the massive bones of his elbow. Having neither time nor desire to inflict further injury on his worthless body, he leaped onto tall Bienor's back, unused to carrying anything but its owner, and, pressing his knees into the centaur's flanks, and clutching the mane with his left hand, he shattered the face, the mouth uttering threats, and the solid temples, with his knotted club. With the club he overthrew Nedymnus, and Lycopes the javelin-thrower; Hippasos, his chest protected by a flowing beard, and Ripheus, who towered above the treetops; Thereus, also, who used to take bears on the mountain slopes of Thessaly, and carry them home angry and alive.

That's all we really know about Thereus...that he was killed by Theseus, who also killed several other Centaurs including Bienor, and that he had a thing for bears. Not much of a myth to draw upon.

So for a moment, let's dwell on bears, and those who hunt them.

Bears have had a special place in the conscious of mankind for aeons. Cave drawings of bears have been found in Southern Europe dating back tens of thousands of years. In fact, there is some evidence that ancient hunter tribes in Eurasia may have worshipped the bear as central to their religion, and perhaps even that Neanderthal Man did so.

Around the world, bears figure prominently in the stories and myths of different cultures.

The Greeks and Romans had some wonderful tales involving bears. Perhaps the most well-known involves Callisto, who was transformed into a bear, along with her son, and eventually transported into the heavens (as the Great Bear, and the Little Bear). In some stories, Callisto was turned into a bear by a very jealous Juno/Hera, or an angry Artemis, and in others, Zeus/Jupiter himself turned her into one to protect her from a jealous goddess. In several versions, her son was out hunting one day and spied his mother (who was now a bear), and pursuing her, would have killed her had not Zeus zapped him into a bear as well.

Bears are seen as symbols of the warrior. Many tribal hunters cloaked themselves in bearskins in hopes that it would give them the ability and courage of the great hunter who once lived within the skin.

Later on, you can find tales of quite a few Catholic Saints who tamed wild bears and got them to do their bidding.

In the Western Hemisphere, it is easy to see how the Bear is one of the most sacred creatures to the Native Americans, who believed we had much to learn from "Brother Bear". Since the bear is cautious, it teaches us discernment and patience. Because the bear is capable of a fierce spirit when necessary, he teachs bravery and courage when it is needed. But the bear is happiest when left alone, preferring, in spite of his size, peace and tranquility, thus teaching us the value of harmony and balance. But one cannot miss just how huge, how powerful a creature the bear is, so he also stands for confidence, and even more, for victory.

If you'd like to read more about the symbolism of bears, BEAR is a wonderful place to start, as well as this site on the Native American Bears.

You should also check out this site, Bear Kinship.)

There are eight different types of bears in the world (yes, the Panda is one of the 8 types.) You can see pictures on each species here: Bears Of The World. But it was probably the Brown Bear that Thereus would go after in Greece.

And so, we have Thereus, a centaur with a reputation for hunting bears in perhaps not the nicest manner, who himself was killed by someone who was well-known for killing several other monsters. The Greeks and Romans did not have anything against hunting, but Thereus' cruelty as hunter, and his total disrespect for the noble creatures he hunted, was seen as monstrous.

Perhaps this tells us something about the darker side of this astrological body? Perhaps one thing this body shows us is how humanity suffers by totally disprespecting the earth's resources? And since Theresus was stopped from carrying the animals, kicking and screaming against their will, perhaps it shows where we can try to control someone's path, without considering what they want?

Oh, I did mention there was another Thereus. All we really know about him was that he was killed by Heracles, along with several other Centaurs, when they rushed to Pholus' cave to try and get to the wine.


orbit of Thereus

Thereus is one of a small group of bodies called "Saturn-crossers" because, as you can see from this picture, it's orbit moves in and out of Saturn's. This puts it in the same league with Chiron, Pholus, Asbolus, Elatus and Okyrhoe, all which have orbits that cross Saturn's.

But what makes this body a bit different than the other Saturn-crossers is that its orbit is only a little longer than that of Saturn's. Saturn takes about 29.46 years to make one orbit of the Sun, while Thereus takes 34.76 years. However, Thereus' orbit is eccentric, or a bit elongated, so it travels a good bit faster during parts of its orbit than others. This gives these two bodies a rather interesting relationship, because for parts of Thereus' orbit it can spend several years travelling at approximately the same speed through the Zodiac as Saturn, keeping pace with the ringed body, before it either moves farther out and falls behind, or further in and goes beyond.

What this means is that if the two bodies are in aspect while they are keeping pace, that aspect could reoccur many times over several years. I'll get back to that in a bit, when we talk about the astrology of Thereus.

There is a bit of a controversy over it's exact discovery date, because it appears to have been noticed in 1995, and 1999, but not truly identified until 2001 (hence the Minor Planet Center links it with 1995 MM6, 1999 NE2 and finally, 2001 PT13.) The IAU Minor Planet Center states Thereus, aka 2001 PT13, was discovered on August 9, 2001 at Palomar (by the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking Program), which puts its discovery position at 3 Pisces 46.

But that's more like its rediscovery, if you will. As 1995 MM6, it was first sited on June 28, 1995, at 20 Scorpio 47. And then, as 1999 NE2 it as sited on July 12, 1999 at 29 Capricorn 29.

So the one in Scorpio is the first discovery, but it wasn't until the one in Pisces that it was truly recognized for what it was. Which degree do you think we should use?

Thereus has an orbital inclination of 20.34624 and an eccentricity of 0.1982114.

It's perihelion is 8.5164, showing it moves closer to us than Saturn (with a perihelion of 9.2.) This is very close to two other named Centaurs, Chiron at 8.4568, and Pholus at 8.7316.)

Special note: Jonathan Dunn discovered that Thereus experienced a "major orbit change in 1924 due to a close pass to Saturn. The place of the perihelion moved from early Cap to late Cap in that year." (It makes one wonder....if Thereus' orbital cycle reflects in cycles here on earth, what type of perturbation would the earthly cycles have experienced when Thereus' orbit was perturbed?)

Thereus' aphelion is 12.7474, a good bit past Pluto's (9.96). (Okyrhoe's is closer to Saturn's, 10.9806.)


Thereus makes one complete orbit of the Sun in a little less than 35 years. In 1890, Dr. E. Bruckner announced the discovery of a climatic cyle with an average length of 35 years, and his evidence was overwhelming. Each cycle is composed of a cool-humid half and a warm-dry half. Could Thereus have something to do with climate cycles, or our awareness of climate changes?

On Amable's blog, Transneptunian Astrology, there is this interesting observation about Thereus: "This centaur has a strong ability to control and dominate rebellious elements like a film director (theatre), or a teacher in class with students uproar. This centaur remainds the movies "Training Day" (2001), "The Negotiator" (1998), or "Crimson Tide" (1995)." As I mentioned above, Thereus has an interesting relationship with Saturn, due to their respective orbits. For example, Saturn exactly opposed Thereus several times in the 18th & 19th Centuries:

18TH CENTURY *** ***
Mar 31 1726 02°Aq05' D 02°Le05' R
May 25 1726 03°Aq26' R 03°Le27' D
Mar 7 1727 10°Aq32' D 10°Le32' R
Jul 9 1727 13°Aq39' R 13°Le39' D
Feb 22 1728 19°Aq26' D 19°Le26' R
Aug 12 1728 23°Aq52' R 23°Le52' D
Feb 11 1729 28°Aq38' D 28°Le38' R
Sep 14 1729 04°Pi21' R 04°Vi21' D
Feb 1 1730 08°Pi06' D 08°Vi06' R
Oct 20 1730 15°Pi15' R 15°Vi15' D
Jan 19 1731 17°Pi47' D 17°Vi47' R
19TH CENTURY *** ***
Feb 3 1868 04°Sg21' D 04°Ge21' R
Mar 26 1868 05°Sg34' R 05°Ge35' D
Jan 4 1869 12°Sg19' D 12°Ge19' R
May 14 1869 15°Sg22' R 15°Ge22' D
Dec 19 1869 20°Sg30' D 20°Ge30' R
Jun 22 1870 24°Sg50' R 24°Ge50' D
Dec 3 1870 28°Sg41' D 28°Ge41' R
Aug 1 1871 04°Cp19' R 04°Cn19' D
Nov 14 1871 06°Cp48' D 06°Cn47' R

In the 20th Century, they did not oppose each other a single time. But from 2025 to 2034, they will make 20 exact oppositions, and from 2041 to 2047, another 13 oppositions. Strange, eh?

And during that same period.....throughout the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries, how many times do these two form an exact conjunction? TWICE!

August 14, 1798, 20 Cancer 30
July 7, 1944, 2 Cancer 12

Stranger still, is it not?

Can we glean anything from historical events occurring near either of the two Saturn/Thereus conjunctions? Well, they were within a degree of exact conjunction for about a month either side of the exact dates, so lets look at those periods:

  • August 14, 1798
    • A month before, on July 14, the Alien and Sedition Acts became law in the US, making it a federal crime to write, publish, or utter false or malicious statements about the United States government.
    • The Irish Rebellion against the British had been going on for three months before this conjunction, but on August 22, about 1,000 French soldiers landed in the north-west part of Ireland to help the rebels, and initially had some success in defeating British troops, even going so far as to set up a short-lived "Republic of Connaught". (But of course, the British eventually defeated the rebellion.)

  • July 7, 1944
    • A good portion of the news stories during the year 1944 were about World War II battles, so it's difficult to isolate specific events, but....
    • June 6, the Battle of Normandy. D-Day, the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France, is the largest amphibious military operation in history, helps liberate France, and greatly weakens the Nazi hold on Europe.
    • June 17, Iceland declares full independence from Denmark
    • June 22, Soviet Operation Bagration results in what is possibly the greatest defeat of the Nazi Wehrmacht in the whole war.
    • July 6, the Hartford Circus Fire, one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the USA, kills many, including more than 100 children.
    • July 6, future Black baseball star Jackie Robinson is arrested, and eventually court martialed, for refusing to move to the back of a segregated US Army bus (he is later acquitted.)
    • July 17, the largest convoy of the war embarks from Halifax
    • Japancese Prime Minister Tojo resigns due to the many setbacks Japan has been experiencing in the war effort.
    • July 20, an attempt is made to assasinate Adolf Hitler, but this fails.
    • August 1, the Warsaw Uprising begins
    • August 2, Turkey ends all relations with Nazi Germany
    • August 4, Anne Frank is discovered by the Gestapo
    • August 5, Polish insurgents free 348 Jewish prisoners from a German labor camp
    • August 7, IBM dedicates the first program-controlled calculator, the Harvard Mark 1
    • August 9, The US Forest Services releases the first posters featuring Smokey The Bear (I especially liked this one, since the mythological Thereus was famous for capturing live bears!)
    • August 12, The world's first undersea oil pipeline is laid between England and France

Let's look at noted individuals born during the same period in 1944 with close Saturn/Thereus conjunctions. Do you see any connections between them?

    • Boz Scaggs
    • Jeff Beck
    • Michel Polnareff
    • Jim Capaldi
    • Orhan Gencebay
    • Ray Davies
    • Michel Polnareff
    • Ronnie Von

    • Don Grady
    • Gary Busey
    • Jeffrey Tambor
    • Jan-Michael Vincent
    • Geraldine Chaplin
    • Richard Belzer
    • John Glover
    • MaryEllen Clark

    • Ernő Rubik
    • Raymond Moody (Parapsychologist)
    • Vicky Russin (Parapsychologist)
    • Yuri Romanenko (Soviet Cosmonaut)
    • Joanne Wickenburg
    • Mike Caven
    • Elly Post
    • Susan Scott
    • Doug Smith
    • William "E.T." Geiser
    • Sonja Blazer

    • Henri Richelet
    • Alex Buzo
    • Jon Peck
    • Edward Forry
    • Frank D Molinski Jr (Astrological Publisher)

    • Paul Wellstone, U.S. Senator
    • Robert C. Merton, Economist

Some personal observations about my natal Thereus:

  • It falls in my 6th House at 20 Leo 34. The two closest aspects it makes are sextile to my Mars (19 Gemini 14) and conjunct Pluto (17 Leo 57).
    • On February 10, 1971 thee was a Lunar Eclipse at 20 Leo 55, closely conjunct my Thereus. Within the next few weeks following, my girlfriend left her parents house, I left mine, and we moved in together in a common law marriage. She became pregnant a few months later, and when we found out we had a full legal wedding ceremony.
    • I consider 1984-86 my Thereus Return. Although it was only exact on August 9, 1985, it almost reached my Thereus in November 1984 before going stationary retrograde at 20 Leo 04, and when it turned retrograde once more after my return, it got as close as 21 Leo 42 before going stationary direct. Two sets of high stress events occurred during these dates, the second what I would call positive stress. In addition, on November 12, 1985, there was a total Solar Eclipse at 20 Scorpio 08, squaring my Thereus from the 8th house, which needs to be take into account:
      • During the first station, my wife notified me verbally that she was filing for divorce; during the actual station, I received the legal notice about the divorce proceedings; following the eclipse square my Thereus, she informed me that she was going to marry her new boyfriend as soon as our divorce was final; and around the time of the second Thereus station, the divorce became final. This is of course the woman I moved in with following the above eclipse
      • During the first station, I gave a talk on Chiron to a large group of people in Washington, DC; during the Thereus station, I left for a lecture tour of Great Britain and Ireland, my first time out of the country; following the eclipse square my Thereus, I had my first ever article published in a mainstream newspaper; and during the second Thereus station, my book on Chiron was published.
    • Jupiter came into exact conjunction with my Thereus, and a couple days later my daughter told me her news ---- I was about to become a grandfather for the first time.
    • On February 6, 1993, Saturn at 20 Aquarius 36 opposed Chiron 20 Leo 36 R, each only 2' away from exact aspect to my Thereus. I began taken a course in hypnosis which led to a degree as Master Hypnotist in mid-June with Chiron (now direct) again conjunct my Thereus.
    • On November 13, 1993, there was another solar eclipse square my Thereus from the 8th house. The woman I was living with at the time became pregnant, and following this eclipse we received word from the doctor that there might be someting wrong with the fetus. A few weeks and several tests later, it was determined that the baby had a genetic defect called Triploidy....having 69 Chromosomes instead of 46. We were told that the majority of such babies die in the womb, and those that survive until birth only live a few months, and always need life support. Those that die in the womb sometimes jeopardize the life of the mother, so at the urging of the physician we had an early induced labor and the baby was born not-alive.
    • Astrologer Al H Morrison was my friend and mentor, as well as the publisher of my book on Chiron. When transiting Thereus was in my 8th house, squaring my natal Thereus, I received word that Al had died a few days before. At the same time, Chiron was half a degree away from exact applying quincunx my Thereus from the 7th house, and Ceres was exactly to the minute conjunct my natal Thereus.
I've been in a lot of relationships in my life, but the four who had the greatest impact on my life all had a connection to my Thereus. Two of them had Mars conjunct my Thereus, the other two had Pluto conjunct my Thereus. It wasn't reciprocal....there wasn't a close conjunction between planets in my chart and their own Thereus. But the fourth lady was a different story. Her Thereus is 26 Sagittarius 09, my Sun 26 Gemini 09 (which puts my Earth at 26 Sagittarius 09.) And the ending of this relationship was the most traumatic experience of my life, greatest pain I've ever felt.

Phil Sedgwick, who named this body, suggests some possible themes for Thereus:

"Relational and professional attitudes based upon others. I am what I am in this relationship because of my career status or the ornamentation of this relationship.
Positive - Balance between relationship and work, money and sexuality.
Negative - Object oriented, status seeking, mercenary in work ethics, stunned by glamour and beauty of partner
Mundane - resumes, bios, promotional photos that project an image, any status object whether relational or professional
Ceremonial - tandem energy exercises, hiking for spiritual purpose with a partner, sitting in audience with an enlightened person"

John Delaney writes, "I interpret Thereus as a neutral and passive force - as waiting. In a 10th house/workplace situation, the top executive always feels pressure from the heir apparent, who hovers around the top executive. Until there is an opportunity, the heir apparent (Thereus) does nothing; only when there is an opportunity or a mistake by the top executive dows the heir apparent act, or "pounce".........the dynamic as "lurking, then pouncing."

As mentioned earlier, in 1924, the orbit of Thereus experienced a major shift due to a close approach to Saturn. In January that year in Russia, Lenin died. Stalin had been waiting....and within days after Lenin's death he began to purge his 'enemies' and consolidate his power. You could definitely say Stalin 'pounced'. Thereus-orbit-shift, Communist government shift

The psychic who calls himself Eric the Vermilion writes his psychic perceptions of Thereus:

"causing somebody to objectify, observe, and judge other people; voyeuristic; a Virgo vibe. You have seen these people standing in public, watching others, but if you stop and watch them back, they become uncomfortable. my experience with this type vibe is, they are looking at others, and picking on anything that could be seen as a fault, then sending killing energy to the person, for the reason of that fault."....Zane

Mark Andrew Holmes created the symbol above for Thereus, and has a few thoughts on this Centaur at:

Click here THEREUS, to find out how to discover where your Thereus is.

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