Asteroid 5863 Tara, is an Amor asteroid that was discovered on September 7th, 1983 by C.S Shoemaker. Amor asteroids are astral bodies that are close to Earth, closer than the known planets, but they do not cross into Earth’s orbit. Asteroid Tara takes around 3 to 3.5 years to orbit the Earth, spending a month, to six months in each sign, orbit and retrograde dependent.
Guanyin, Kuan Yin, or Tara as she is known in Tibetan Buddhism, is the bodhisattva to some, Goddess to others, of compassion and mercy. Her name means ‘one who hears the sounds, or cries, of the world’, and she is venerated in most Asian countries, and religions. Kuan Yin is depicted as androgynous in many works, as the Lotus sutra, a popular Chinese work, states that the she can take on any form in order to teach dharma to the sentient beings on Earth. Other depictions show her meditating with the Buddha or another bodhisattva, that suits the form of Buddhism in practice, or holding a basket of fish, a willow branch, a cup of water, or being flanked by her two child disciples.
There are numerous legends and tales pertaining to Kuan Yin, all revolving around her desires to cure mankind of their pain. It is said that she was offered her place in the heavens, but on hearing the cries and turning to see the suffering of the sentient beings, she turned back towards the Earth plane, vowing to remain until she had eased all the suffering. She is commonly worshiped by fisherman, as she calms dangerous seas and guides those who are lost.
In the legend of Shancai, her male disciple, it is stated that he was crippled, but despite his disabilities, he remained determined to learn the dharma from the great Goddess. Dharma is cosmic order, and the path to virtue and righteousness. On finding her on the great mountain, Kuan Yin tests his dedication by conjuring three sword wielding pirates to chase her across the mountain, Seeing his teacher in danger, Shancai gives chase, even following her off a cliff. Mid fall, Kuan Yin grabs the boy, cures his injuries and on seeing his reflection in a nearby, Shancai also discovers he is now handsome. From that day onwards, Kuan Yin taught Shancai the entire dharma.
In the legend of Longnu, the tale of Kuan Yin’s other child disciple, the son of one of the dragon kings is caught as a fish, and taken to land, where he is unable to turn back into his fish form. As the fish remains alive for many hours on land, the villagers believe that eating the fish, will lead to the path of immortality. On hearing this, Kuan Yin sends Shancai to the village, with all of the money they have, but due to the bidding war, they were quickly outbid. Near the end of the sale, Kuan Yin can be heard calling high from the mountains, *’A life should belong to the one who tries to save it, not one who tries to take it’. The villagers, humbled by this comment, leave the sale and Shancai takes the dragon son back to Kuan Yin, who returns the son to his father. Out of gratitude, the Dragon King sends his grandaughter, Longnu, to Kuan Yin, with the gift of the Pearl of Light, a torch that continually glows. Awed by being in the presence of the great Goddess, Longnu begs to become her disciple. Kuan Yin agrees on one condition, that Longnu be the owner of the beautiful light. Thus, in depiction, you will find Kuan Yin flanked by her children, Longnu holding a bowl as the light, and Shancai with his palms closed and his knees slightly bent, to indicate he was crippled.
As the East and West slowly united throughout history, the remarkable similarities between Kuan Yin and Virgin Mary were duly noted. It is also stated that during the harsh times of religious suppression, many devotees, especially in Japan, would create sculptures of Kuan Yin in the likeness of the Virgin Mary, with her holding a child, in order to not be persecuted.
*information from wikipedia
To locate asteroid 5863 Tara in your natal chart, head over to astro.com, or serennu.com and input the asteroid number into your chart details. Keep your orbs tight, no larger than 1-2 degrees, and your aspects major, conjunction, square, opposition and quincunx. Please include the quincunx, as my studies show that those who are able to express their compassion in the most public of lights, experience Tara in quincunx to a major planet.
It was interesting to note the pure lack of astral bodies named in the honour of Kuan Yin. There is one asteroid named Kuan, discovered in 1999, but the astronomers last name is Kuan, and Kuan is also a common Chinese boys name, not overly suited to a great Goddess. There are a few volcanic craters on Venus with her name, and different variations, but with such strong mythological support, it was surprising that no moons, or asteroids have been given the pleasure of this dedication. When I found asteroid Tara, the Tibetan variation of the name Guanyin, she was placed in direct opposition to Black Moon Lilith, a true indicator of the sexism and racism involved in her being disregarded in a sense, by the astronomy world. Never mind Kuan Yin, we have you now, and we shall enjoy your message.
As an astrological archetype, Kuan Yin, or Tara, is the embodiment of pure femininity, the side of a woman that looks beyond the surface and connects with the true concern, then endeavours to sooth and heal the issue. Kuan Yin is the positive manifestation of feminine intuition and counselling, the pure love and nurturing that guides the broken to the path that mends. Kuan Yin is forgiveness, but also honest guidance to what is right, and what is wrong. When one considers the true essence of the word ‘mother’, the qualities expressed in the legend of Kuan Yin come to mind.
In your natal chart, Kuna Yin’s message is simple, but it is strong. Kuan Yin is the Goddess of compassion and mercy, and where she is posited in our natal chart, is where you will experience and express these qualities. Looking towards chart data and we find Princess Diana experienced asteroid Tara in Gemini in quincunx to her natal Capricorn Saturn, posited in her 2nd House. Whilst Princess Diana experienced sadness in her Gemini 7th House of relationships, difficulty with public enemies and negative self image issues, she was able to embrace her position and give an enormous amount of energy where there was pain in the world. Oprah Winfrey experiences a similar situation as Princess Diana, except her asteroid Tara is posited in her Pisces ruled 7th House, and is in quincunx to her natal Neptune in the Libra ruled 2nd House. There is no denying that Oprah’s main relationship in life is with the world, and as much as she makes financially, she does what she can to bring sunshine to those in her midst.
To the other end of the scale, and looking towards Ted Bundy, the serial killer, and you find asteroid Tara in a 2 degree conjunction from his natal Venus in Scorpio. Venus is in quincunx to his natal Uranus, which in turn is in opposition to his natal Black Moon Lilith. What could have been a deep desire to assist in women’s issues, has twisted into a psychopathic blood bath. David Koresh, the Waco cult murderer, experienced asteroid Tara at 29 degrees Leo, in opposition to his Black Moon Lilith, which was also in quincunx to his natal Saturn, opposing his MC, squaring his Ascending and trine his natal Pluto. Interestingly enough, asteroid Tara is conjunct the fixed star Regulus, which experienced a very rare occultation by Venus in the year that Koresh was born. The ego conditioning in this individual and his perceived dictatorship over others is very negative Regulus/Black Moon Lilith and quite mind boggling, as it is with all self-appointed cult leaders no doubt.
In synastry, connections with asteroid Tara, will show a shared point of caring and support. Conjunctions, oppositions and quincunx aspects, supported by positive aspects being experienced with the point in quincunx, will experience the most positive of Kuan Yin expressions. In transit, aspects to and from asteroid Tara, will indicate times in your life where you are being asked to be more compassionate, or when you will be seeking mercy, and a compassionate point of view.
Possible keywords:- kindness, compassion, understanding, meeting an individual who eases your moment, generosity, charity, understanding ones karma, soul healing, lack of compassion, cold hearted, blinded to others needs, psychological issues, abuse, neglect, cruelty, unconditional love, sound discipline, guidance regards right and wrong, positive mother experience, warmth, intuition regards healing, maternal instinct, forgiveness, connecting with the virtues of the Universe, moral order, spiritual ascention
Artwork – Zeng Hao
© Karen Piscitelli