Asteroids and their place in astrology

Planets are those bodies that large enough and/or have enough rotational spin to induce the hyper-dimensional effects of a torsion field. I’d like to think of this as a very fore-sightful definition that will become more understood over the next century or two.

Asteroids do not have the necessary bulk or the spin to create such torsion fields, at least not to the intensity of planets. Therefore they are not core energies for understanding planetary principles, the signs of the zodiac, and astrology in general. Asteroids illustrate sub-stories or side stories that can be irrelevant to many people, but highly relevant to some.

Because I was born with Chiron parallel my Ascendant (Asc), I am one of those for whom an asteroid is highly relevant. But Chiron is still not a core energy of astrology or even my human energy system.

Planets are the cosmic correlates to human chakras.

Planetary energies relate directly to the central human energy (chakra) system. Asteroids do not.

Asteroidism: confusing asteroids for ‘rulers’ of signs or adding so many asteroids to a chart it becomes cluttered, and uninterpretable.

Rulership positions for asteroids have been proposed by astrologers like Zipporah Dobyns. It should be understood that asteroids, while they may show similitude or correlation to particular planets or signs, are not dominant in this scheme, thus have no ‘rulership’ (prime significator) roles.

Trend – counter-trend

Such asteroidism is a modern trend (1970s-90s) in astrology that stimulated a counter-trend away from asteroid over-whelm and uninterpretable complexity, hoping for a greater clarity and simplicity from text book antiquarian forms of astrology. However, both are trends. Asteroidism adds in too much. Antiquarian astrology takes away the outers (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto). Trends usually are based on some valuable but overblown discoveries. Unfortunately these trends tend to generate a lot of following rather than leading, side-tracks, distractions, assumptions rather than questioning … none of which interests me.

It is very easy to over-dramatize the role of asteroids in a person’s chart or in astrology in general, because they provide a novelty relief from what must surely seem like boring old astrology to some. Their mythic figures help fill out the pagan pantheon and this can provide some water color hues and shading to our view of any astrological chart or of the sky.

Novel asteroidism is a great temptation. This is where astrology too easily becomes escapist rather than empowering.

With a list of thousands of asteroids, getting longer each year as we locate more, this becomes an untenable situation astrologically. With an almost endless list to choose from, asteroids provide an alternate list of explanations leading away from core, central energies and into side stories never-ending. Without a more advanced understanding of planetary and horoscopic functions with which to give proper context for such information, it becomes an interpretive shopping exercise in which one can pick and choose amongst endless explanations for various personal patterns, and with entertaining stories behind them. Unfortunately, this distracts us from important insights about ourselves, needed in growth and development.

When an asteroid is relevant in your chart:

Asteroids should be given an orb of no more than about 40′ in declination (that’s 40 minutes arc), and no more than about 4° in longitude (zodiac). If you have such an asteroid within that range of hard aspect (conjunction, parallel, square, opposition, contra-parallel) with a luminary or an authenticated, accurate Ascendant or Midheaven, then it holds a relevant theme in your life.

Look for the asteroid that has dominance. It is unlikely that you will have more than one that fits this criteria. It is far more likely that planets or luminaries, when seen against the backdrop of the full sky (including declinations), will answer any remaining questions you have regarding your chart.

The question is, Does your life hold that theme? If it does not, or you cannot relate to it, then forget it. Planets dominate.


1. The Luminaries and 8 planets are the core energies of astrology and the significators (rulers/principles) of the signs.
2. Planets/luminaries are cosmic correlates to the human chakra system. Asteroids are not.
3. Charts become uninterpretable when cluttered with asteroids, and distract from learning important life themes and lessons.
4. Asteroids give additional color and shading as sub-stories of the dominant planetary themes of a birth chart.
5. Asteroidism was a trend that has already triggered a counter-trend: text book antiquarian astrology.
6. Asteroids can be relevant when in tight hard aspect to a luminary, Asc, or MC of an authenticated, accurate chart, in longitude or declination.


About Kannon McAfee

Poet, herbalist/healer, professional astrologer. Kannon means Kwan Yin -- healer. So I approach my work and others with a healer's heart. I'm dedicated to advancing astrology as a soul-oriented science. My specialty is birth chart interpretation and rectification.
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