Sedna’s Not A Sulky Selkie

Monday January 10th 2022

A few days ago, my dear friend, Isabel Tifft, wrote to me with some of her thoughts about possible astrological meanings of Sedna, one of the minor planets beyond Neptune, discovered and named in 2003. I found what she said so fascinating that I asked if I could share it with you.

I found it even more interesting when I noticed two things. The North Node is about to conjoin Sedna in Taurus — one of the first things the Nodes will encounter after changing signs. And next year, Sedna will move into Gemini — after spending the last 56 years in Taurus. 

Here is a recap of the story of the Inuit Goddess Sedna.

Deep beneath the ocean waves, in the darkest part of the world, there is a goddess of abundance. Seals and fishes, walruses and polar bears, whales white and killer, everything that swims comes from her. When there is lack, she must be appeased; when there is plenty she must be praised. You may visit her, if you can travel on the astral plane, comb her tangled hair and braid it. She likes that.

But the extraordinary thing about this goddess is that she used to be a human girl.

Some say, that girl married a dog, and her dog babies shamed her parents, so they maimed her and threw her into the deep. They cut off her fingers, which became seals. They cut off her hands which became bears. They cut off her forearms which became whales. Some say the half-dog babies were sent to sea in a canoe.

Others say, she married a bird, a fulmer, disguised as a human. He fed her on nothing but fishes, and housed in her a fish skin shack. So her father killed him and as they escaped, the fulmer’s friends attacked. Sedna was maimed — again her hands — and tossed into the deep.

Some say, she was vain and turned away suitors. Others say she was nothing of the sort. Some say she was a giant; others that she was just a beautiful girl.

Others say, she had no father; she was an orphan: looked after by the whole village, bullied by the whole village. Her protectors/abusers eventually threw here into the sea, where she transformed into a glorious creature: half seal, half woman, all goddess.

What is certain is that now, she lives deep under the Arctic ice, and the creatures of the sea are hers. She is a powerful goddess of abundance.

Here is Isabel’s letter.

Dear Christina,

I followed a wild hare, haha, and went down the Sedna rabbit hole today. I looked for sites that described their work as research-based, rather than myth-driven. I let my brain float along in pattern-recognition mode, rather than trying to think along with so many gender-,  agenda-, and personality-driven essays. I won’t try to recap the individual things I read. Just the final shape of what I came to.

When I took another look at my chart, with Sedna included. I got chills.

In my natal chart, she’s between Mars and the Sun, lensed like a burning bug:

Mars @ Taurus 0:55

Sedna @ Aries 29:45

Sun @ Aries 28:35

I was particularly dissatisfied with the old “brutal throwaway w/ subsequent deification” storyline for Sedna. I’ve come to the following tentative conclusion: the story isn’t completely irrelevant, it’s just seen through the wrong lens for Sedna’s astrological influence. Here’s my take.

There’s an implacable quality that comes up often. I’ll compare it to Saturn, which I’m familiar with.

Saturn provides a narrow path to success, but it usually is a path; Saturn is restrictive and precise, but has a whole narrative, a process, in mind. Saturn looks forward, back, and along the way. He’s not necessarily critical nor qualitatively oriented, just rule-bound. You sow, you work, you manage your crop in relation to the forces that affect it, you can then (probably) reap. Very orderly. Saturn’s capable of surprise, but doesn’t specialize in it.

Sedna isn’t fooled by hard work or following the rules. Her standards are less contextual, more absolute. If the work damages the greater good, she’ll take it out — no path forward, no mercy; or rather, mercy is irrelevant, mercy is already out of play.

She can tear down malignant economic structures. She can decapitate fossil-fuel works. I’m pretty sure she’s getting to work on the international economy — again. I’m creep-tastically curious where she sits in Trumpsohn’s charts. [22° Aries, sextile Sun in Gemini, trine Moon in Sagittarius, square Saturn in Cancer– all within a degree. Also conjunct Hygeia. ed]

Back to the myth.

In every version, she’s stuck in either one or two implacably oppositional relationship/s and is terribly inconvenient to the power figure/s. She’s brutalized, dismembered, and thrown away. All of that is pretty implacable right there, and the whole nuanced landscape of love, responsibility, courage, propriety,  property, care, the power to choose — it matters as much as a box of macaroons in the way of a bulldozer: sweet, but irrelevant, and quickly annihilated.

She’s pushed around. She’s abandoned. She’s chopped up. She’s thrown away. In every version.

Also in every version, something about her refuses to die. Something about her shoves the power of new life into her free-floating bits and pieces. Something about her seizes the astonishing power of the deeps and inhabits & owns it forevermore.

Saturn can deliver unexpected gifts in addition to the earned successes. Sedna gives nothing for free. If you want to eat from her larder, you’d better ask the right way, reach the right way, receive the right way, and dispose of the remains appropriately.

It’s not that she’s “rebellious” or “defiant”; it gets phrased that way when other forces set themselves up in opposition to her and use terms like “rebellious” and “defiant” to imply that she’s a lesser agent working against greater ones — those who want to derail or be in denial of her hard justice. (It’s not useful to belittle this force, but the tactic is common enough in human affairs, especially towards what’s considered feminine, like consideration and health and seeing the whole.)

There’s some airy-sounding speculation that Sedna represents a higher plane of spiritual evolution. While that’s a lovely idea, I think Sedna revisits a more basic relationship to responsibility and collective survival. Remember that evolution is a spiral, not an asymptotic trajectory; we have to come back to basics at each cycle of development, before we can go any higher.

“Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.”

Certain things are always true, and must be built into our lives before we can presume we’re up to further evolution:

  • We’re all in this together. We don’t have to like it, but if we fail to act accordingly, it won’t end well.
  • There are no shortcuts or free rides through the laws of physics accompanying an earthly incarnation: water will flow, fire will burn, every state of being will change, and every object will exist as matter until it’s completely transformed into energy.
  • There is always an afterwards/there are always consequences.
  • These things remain true regardless of whether we notice, acknowledge, believe in, or act in accordance with them. Therefore, we’re better off if we do so.

These ineluctable truths are Sedna’s neighborhood.

Sedna says: do it right & do it together, or face implacable consequences — together. Like it or not. Your actions earn the outcome. Too late to negotiate: do right, or die.

Sedna in a nutshell.

Which brings me around to my chart:

Juno @ Aries 23:39

Sun @ Aries 28:35

Sedna @ Aries 29:45

Mars @ Taurus 0:55

Ceres @ Taurus 4:49

We’ve talked about soul tasks and whether my disease state relates. [Isabel has suffered chronic pain for about 20 years, which includes a concatenation of complex disablities].  Again, I think so for me, but not as a policy: I came in wanting to clean up specific shit, and a pain disease was one good way to do that. I get the feeling that “it was never meant to be this bad.”

Here’s Sedna’s special gift to me: while there were a lot of less brutal and disruptive options, Sedna’s presence — with Mars’ blade in one hand and the Sun’s blaze in the other — made room for this extraordinarily disruptive, intransigent, no-quarter/no-prisoners kind of condition to set in.

And I, because Sedna is sitting there with my physical self (Mars) in one hand and my life force (the Sun) in the other, keep refusing to die; I refuse to accede to the usual consequences of being “dismembered”; I evidently don’t have it in me to give up in the face of relentless brutality from those forces which were supposed to support and protect me, but instead cut me up and threw me overboard. And, much as I owe to others, I generally get through each day, each appointment, each task, all alone. I’ve spent time in the dark & silent solitude of deeps similar to hers.

Also, I lived on the salty water for the worst years, and it really helped me.

Moreover, I still hope/aim (once I’ve dealt with a quorum of medical PTSD) to turn the years of blogs, advocacy, and advice into online and accessible resources that can give others some of the savvy, strength, and sheer nerve to get through and not just survive, but live “between the cracks” of complex chronic illness’s demands and lever open those cracks as wide as they can go. Transforming my free-floating bits into seals and whales, indeed!

This quality of intransigence, whether of systemic disruption, doughty survivorship, the brutal reckoning of 2008’s financial meltdown, or the growing reckoning for failed environmental policies, seems to be the key to Sedna’s signature force.

Intransigence, yes, but also scale. Sedna is beyond anything we could have imagined (like CRPS and all its crazy little friends, like Covid, like islands sinking and nearly a quarter of Louisiana now permanently brackish & flooded, like the worldwide wildfires).

Beyond everything.

Sedna has no regard, and probably no perception, of human notions of enoughness or proportionality. That’s not her scale. She operates on the scale of oceans, species, earthquakes and tsunamis; whole systems, not single organs.

When things are too bad to conceive of, we find out which side of Sedna we are on.

Love, Isy

To find Sedna in your chart, go to, extended chart selection, scroll down to Additional Objects. You may be more of a Taurus, or an Aries than you think. And just think, we’re about to get generations of babies born to tell stories about the deep sea.

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  1. PM says:

    Right above my ascendant. Woo what a ride!

  2. Vesta says:

    Me too. I almost could have written that. Pain disease for about 20 years. Do everything alone.
    My Sedna is also 29 Aries. Retrograde, if that makes a difference.
    It’s in my 7H, opposite my Scorpio Sun (out of sign), and sextile (out of sign) my Cancer Jupiter 9H which is trine my Sun. So that’s a mini t-square? I forget the name. Sedna is also biquintile my Sag Moon. So looks like it’s quite important.
    I can relate to the brutalness, being Scorpio sun. More no-nonsense, maybe? The energy repeats in my Sag stellium. Sag can be described as ‘blunt’. I cut to the chase, in other words. With Mercury in Scorpio, I can be sharp. I learnt young to soften my words. It’s conjunct my Neptune, which I think means I can put vague nebulous feelings into words? I usually see it described as good at poetry.
    Lot of water in my chart. Goes with the lost at sea feeling, like I don’t belong. Neptune is strong too. I really like the sea theme of Sedna. 🙂
    There’s a wonderful animated movie of a selkie. Song Of The Sea (2014).
    I don’t know my soul task. I thought it was my NN in Gemini. I know I should write, but what?
    I haven’t given up either. I can relate to your friend fighting back.
    I have a little extra salt to help with muscle pain. It helps that I love salt. That’s so funny! 🙂
    I haven’t done anything to directly help others. I used to respond to people individually until I realised I can’t help everyone. So I approach it from another angle and try and change the system instead. Politics. I can understand the whole system thing of Sedna. I’m the ideas person behind the scenes. I mention things to key people and leave it with them. I know raising awareness leads to change. I work with that.
    I was reading something about post-viral conditions recently, about how nearly half of people experience some symptom or other, it’s incredibly common. It made me angry to read that because for the last 20 years or so, I’ve been made to feel like an outlier. I thought my condition was rare. But it’s not! Just no one could be bothered to fund research or even write about it in media, if they did, it was to abuse. Long Covid has forced that issue. There’s a lot of research happening right now. And with the reams of articles on the subject, I am starting to understand my condition better. Social media is helping too, with people talking about how they’re feeling. I’ve gone from feeling alone to having some sense of belonging, even feeling normal! Even if I do still do everything on my own. I saw on the news today that it’s similar for other conditions eg ADHD. So that’s Sedna too, togetherness.
    Thank you for this article, Christina! Great food for thought. 🙂 xx

    • Isabel says:

      Vesta, I’ve always enjoyed your comments here and I’m honored that this spoke to you. I blog (mostly at but often wish I could take the approach *you* find more natural and communicate with & educate those in power. I feel obscurely better about not being able to do that, because you are. [Fist-bump!] Thank you!

  3. beverley shiller-mckillip says:

    This is a fascinating article Christina! I just have to share this with you. My husband is a 12th house Taurus sun @27 degrees. He is in the habit of sharing his dreams with me and a few days ago he had a nightmare involving a woman who had her fingers cut off and this morning told me he had a dream of me with long blonde hair that had turned a murky green colour. Needless to say your article gave me chills!!

    • Christina says:

      Actually awed by this. Extraordinary.

      There are some wonderful contemporary artworks of her with her flipper hands, which I couldn’t use for copyright reasons, but worth digging around the internet. I find the imagery truly speaks to me — especially as a person who types a lot!

      • beverley shiller-mckillip says:

        The loss of the nimbleness of fingers but the power gained under water by flippers! Food for thought. I’m now fascinated by her stories and my spouse obviously has some deep connection to her. I used to write down his dreams ( he wouldn’t) I think I’ll start doing so again! Thanks again for this!

  4. Isabel says:

    It’s probably worth adding the astronomical feature we discussed privately:

    This dwarf planet has a huge, vastly irregular, boundary-crossing orbit between our system and outer space. It probably came in from out there.

    Metaphorically, it links us to a greater reality, not originating from our particular set of laws, as it were.

  5. Vesta says:

    That’s so kind. Thank you! [fist bump!] haha 🙂
    I felt bad I wasn’t able to do what you can do and it made me really happy to know that someone out there has got it covered.
    I started how I do it by accident, originally, I was seeking help. Then I found I needed to explain what for. I realised what I was saying was valuable, so now, when public feedback is requested, I respond. I add my voice in social media, which I know is watched by journalists. And I write to my MP if it’s something important. Social media makes it easier to engage with politicians. I show my support to those who work hard to support us. I want them to know we’ve got their back. My way of giving back.
    Since I went through the hell of uranus/pluto squares in my 4H and 7H, I found I reconnected back to myself and I learned to take my power back. I didn’t do it intentionally, I was just glad to still be here! Learning to stand up for myself better helped me not feel intimidated by those in positions of power.
    I was thinking about Sedna and feeling scattered, disconnected, and what pluto did, making me fall apart to fall together. It occurred to me you can’t take your power back until you’re back to yourself. You have to be home. I’m going to give it more thought, but it kind of feels right.
    Thank you so much for your great insights! I’ll check out your saturn articles. 🙂 xx

    • Vesta says:

      awww I messed up! 🙂
      That was a reply for Isabel. I hope she sees it. Sorry, Christina! Can’t believe I did that. Oh, mercury retrograde soon. xx