So it’s been decided, under the dark phase of the clear the clutter new moon - our solar system has undergone a much needed reclassification, and we now have 8 planets instead of 9. And Pluto, the cause of much head scratching and furrowed brows in science circles due to the is it/isn’t it debate, has been demoted to ‘dwarf planet’ status. Ceres and Xena are now also dwarf planets, with plenty of room for more to join them in the coming years… I might be missing something here, but didn’t we all already know that Pluto was a small planet? Anyway, apparently this fine-tuning of name-tags is part of a greater plan by boffins to ensure we can tidy up all that trans-neptunian clutter that has become such a problem over the last decade. Only on Virgo new moon, eh? I have cupboard in much the same state requiring my urgent attention.
And so what does this mean for astrology? Well, obviously I can't speak for everyone, but I suspect astrologers will probably give the same amount of time to Pluto’s demotion in status as your average scientist gives to astrology. And this is because astrology studies the apparent effects on us, on a personal or collective level, of planets in certain positions relative to the earth. Planetary mass (or distance) probably doesn’t have any bearing on why astrology works, as it seems to matter not how big or small the object is, it’s all in the effects, and Pluto’s impact in a chart is undeniable when studied for any length of time. However the new category means more status and fame for objects such as Ceres, and speaking personally as someone who didn’t really set aside much study time for such objects, this looks likely to change from now on.