Don’t even try to pronounce it, but newly minted Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) G!kun||’homdima could make quite a name for herself as the decades roll on. Named for a mythic character of the Ju\’hoansu (don’t try to pronounce that one, either!) people of Namibia, in southwest Africa, G!kun||’homdima is a beautiful young girl who appears most often as an aardvark (sometimes a python or elephant). Stemming from a click language, filled with more diacriticals than you can shake a walking stick at, G!kun||’homdima is far too much of a mouthful for Western tongues to handle, so, meaning no disrespect, we’re just going to call her Gkun for short. She defends her people and punishes wrongdoers using gamigami spines, a rain-cloud full of hail, and her magical oryx horn.
As my old granny would have said, ‘now I know as much as I did before’. Well, to explicate: gamigami is a type of sharp-spined plant, also known as Devil’s thorn, sometimes used as a weapon by the indigenous population; and an oryx is a large species of antelope, whose horn, like the Jewish shofar, is sometimes used as a ritual musical instrument. Hail you’re probably already familiar with. Gkun has a traveling companion, a moon called G!’oe !Hu, named for the horn. At an estimated 612 kilometers, Gkun is a bit smaller than most bodies classed as “dwarf planets”, but the asteroid Vesta, at 573 km, has recently been promoted, so there’s hope for Gkun as well. Her orbital period is some 620 years for one revolution about the sun, and she rotates on her axis (her “day”) every 11 hours.
Now, why should we care? Well, for one thing, because the cosmos reveals itself in the names it coaxes astronomers to name its children, rendering humanity’s collective psycho-mythic depths in vivid celestial panorama. And second, because Gkun represents an energy we desperately need more of on this planet at this time, and her spring 2019 debut may signal the rise of this on a global scale.
Based in her myth as protector and defender, her youth, and aggressive support of her people, Gkun can be seen as the driving force of female leadership, militant feminism, and dynamic interaction with restoring justice and order. Astrologer Philip Sedgwick, an acknowledged expert on this region of the solar system, suggests some initial keywords for Gkun: formidable, cleansing, nurturing, and confidence-inspiring on the positive end of the Gkun spectrum, and vindictive, retaliatory, self-absorbed, meddlesome, insecure, or smothering as its negative potential.
First discovered on 19 October 2007 (but not named until April 6th of this year), Gkun appears at 25 Taurus in her discovery chart, at the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with the Sun at 25 Libra and Pluto at 26 Sagittarius. That certainly seems to support the theme of “core empowerment”, and a semisquare to Mars at 7 Cancer establishes her as a warrior, champion or defender.
I don’t have much to say about Gkun at this point, but she came to my attention in the immediate aftermath of Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg’s stunning takedown of world leaders who are ignoring the global disaster during her appearance at the UN Climate Action Summit in September. In part, Thunberg excoriated her audience: “This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
“You are failing us.” Thunberg continued. “But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: ‘We will never forgive you’.“ The 16-year-old may look more like Heidi than Xena, but she packs a wallop like Gkun, with the entire global populace as her tribe, so of course I had to check her Gkun bona fides.
Born 3 January 2003, Greta Thunberg has Gkun stationary at 17 Taurus, trine the 12 Capricorn Sun, inconjunct Pluto at 18 Sagittarius (the same points activated at Gkun’s discovery), and in a stunning T-Square with Jupiter at 16 Leo and Mars at 21 Scorpio. This defines Thunberg as the personal embodiment (Sun) of a defender of the people (Gkun), which is an embedded, core principle of her existence (stationary status); a champion and activist (both Mars) who gains prominence and celebrity (Jupiter) for her work with the global devastation (Pluto) of climate change. Gkun is also semisextile asteroid Gretia (for Greta) at 16 Aries and quintile asteroid Thunberg at 4 Pisces, further establishing her as a Gkun avatar for our age.
When Greta Thunberg spoke at the UN on September 23, 2019, Gkun was again stationary, as in her birth chart. At 14 Gemini, Gkun had turned retrograde just six days prior, and has moved to oppose Thunberg’s natal Pluto at 18 Sagittarius and transit Jupiter at 17 Sagittarius, granting her additional force and power (Pluto) for her mission to the UN (Jupiter). As well, transit Pluto at 20 Capricorn was opposed by transit asteroid Thunberg at 26 Cancer, reinforcing her personal power and magnetism. Transit asteroid Gretia at 0 Scorpio is exactly semisextile the 0 Libra Sun, augmenting her visibility for the day, while transit Venus and Mercury at 11 and 15 Libra join with transit Jupiter to form a Yod with natal Gkun, depicting a female (Venus) addressing (Mercury) an international diplomatic assemblage (Jupiter) on the topic of saving her people (Gkun).
This successful foray into Gkun’s effects got me thinking about other young female activists, such as Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani woman who literally took a bullet in support of education for her gender in her home country; and Emma Gonzalez, one of the Parkland school shooting survivors who has worked to make gun control a reality.
Yousafzai became an activist as early as age 11, when she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC Urdu detailing her life during the Taliban occupation of Swat, her home province in Pakistan. The following summer, journalist Adam B. Ellick produced a New York Times documentary about her life; her international profile rose in consequence, she began giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize.
In October 2012, while on a bus in the Swat District, after taking an exam, Yousafzai and two other girls were shot by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt in retaliation for her activism. Yousafzai was hit in the head with a bullet and remained unconscious and in critical condition for days, later evacuated to a medical facility in Britain. The attempt on her life sparked an international outpouring of support for Yousafzai, and following her recovery, she became a prominent activist for the right to education, regardless of gender.
Based in Birmingham, UK, she founded the Malala Fund, a non-profit organization to promote female education globally, and in 2013 co-authored “I Am Malala”, which became an international best seller. In 2012, she was the recipient of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize and the 2013 Sakharov Prize. In 2014, she was the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize; at age 17, she was the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. In 2015, Yousafzai was a subject of the documentary “He Named Me Malala”, considered for an Oscar nomination. She was featured in Time magazine’s lists of the most influential people globally in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Born 12 July 1997, Malala Yousafzai has Gkun at 12 Taurus exactly opposed asteroid Malala at 12 Scorpio, a point which was named in her honor, making the precision of this aspect even more remarkable. This polarity forms the spine of a Grand Cross incorporating squares to Mercury and Venus at 7 and 16 Leo, and Uranus at 7 Aquarius. This ably describes Malala as a champion (Gkun) and activist (Uranus) for female (Venus) education (Mercury).
Emma Gonzalez is an American activist and advocate for gun law reform. As a high school senior she survived the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day 2018, where 17 of her classmates died; in response she co-founded the gun-control advocacy group Never Again MSD.
Just three days after the shooting, Gonzalez gave a viral speech against gun violence In Broward, Florida at the Rally to Support Firearm Legislation, proclaiming “We call B.S.” on the lack of action by politicians funded by the NRA. Subsequently, Gonzalez continued to be an outspoken activist on gun control, making high profile media appearances and helping organize the March for Our Lives in Washington the following month. Speaking at the demonstration, Gonzalez led a moment of silence for the victims of the massacre, standing on stage for six minutes, which she observed was the length of the shooting spree itself.
Partly in response to the activism of Gonzalez and other Parkland survivors, in March 2018 the Florida Legislature passed a bill titled the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which raises the minimum age for buying firearms to 21, establishes waiting periods and background checks, provides a program for the arming of some teachers and the hiring of school police, bans bump stocks, and bars potentially violent or mentally unhealthy people arrested under certain laws from possessing guns.
Born 11 November 1999, Emma Gonzalez has Gkun at 14 Taurus, conjoined Saturn at 13 Taurus and opposing the Sun at 18 Scorpio. This establishes her as an agent of Gkun, with defense of her “tribe” a high priority, perhaps in an official or professional capacity (Saturn) at some point. Gkun is also sextile to asteroid Emma at 16 Cancer, which is stationary, having turned retrograde the day before her birth. Emma opposes a pairing of Mars and asteroid Gunn at 18 and 12 Capricorn, which Gkun also trines, signifying her clear stance against (opposition) firearm (Gunn) violence (Mars). The trine from Gkun/Saturn to Mars/Gunn reflects her desire to further regulate, control or limit access (all Saturn) to firearms, based in a need to protect innocent victims (Gkun). Emma also trines the Sun and forms a T-Square with asteroid Gonzalez at 11 Libra, which is inconjunct Gkun, personalizing its energies to her yet further.
These three young women constitute a very small sampling of Gkun’s effects, but a formidable one. In tackling catastrophic climate change, empowerment of women through education, and gun violence, they reveal themselves as worthy representatives and embodiments of G!kun||’homdima’s drive to protect, defend, and heal. As the newly-named celestial body permeates the collective consciousness, hopefully we will see many more like them.