I’ll start write out with a caveat: Sedna Consciousness is a serious astrology book, probably best suited to those who know at least a fair amount of astrology. Astrology News Service usually offers reviews of books that are accessible to the general public, but there are reasons for making an exception in the case of Alan Clay’s new book.
Those looking for a Big Picture reference point in astrology have found it in the dwarf planet Sedna, whose orbit exceeds 11,000 years – more than 44 times Pluto’s orbit. Given the enormous scale of Sedna’s orbit, it far exceeds the boundaries of personal, social, or merely generational planets. It isn’t personal at all, and in fact all of human history to date fits neatly inside one half of a Sedna cycle, and all of human prehistory is summed up in about 30 orbits.
The author correlates Sedna’s orbit with the Ice Age cycle here on Earth. To date, we have had an ice age about every nine Sedna orbits, ostensibly comforting news since we had our last ice age just recently – the last time Sedna came around this close to the Earth. We should thus be good for about another 88,000 years. Yet Clay suggests that we have synchronistically become aware of Sedna at this point in time because of the realities of climate change. Sedna is in part a warning and in part a teacher for us as we try to navigate an environment that is changing rapidly. While hopeful from a long-range viewpoint, the myths around Sedna offer little comfort for us in terms of things working out as we would like in the short run.
The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is another area that Clay associates with Sedna’s discovery. He is a great believer in the inevitably of advanced AI, and goes so far as to question – like many a science fiction story – whether it may not be that AI takes over the planet from us, perhaps as a means of securing their (its?) own survival. At the very least, he sees that machines with the capabilities of learning and adaptation will become increasingly independent of humans, and if they do not dominate us, they will be indispensible to us.
The title of the book, Sedna Consciousness, gives us the most important clue in understanding the importance of Sedna. While astrologers tend to think in terms of a planet’s symbolic meaning – the objects, experiences, areas of life with which it is associated – Clay suggests that Sedna heralds an entirely new type of consciousness, a novel perspective for seeing the world. From Sedna’s icy cold and distant perspective, even major calamities can be seen as having an ultimately positive role in the development of our consciousness, although better choices can also be made.
Astrologers familiar with the evolution of consciousness have retrofitted the discoveries of Uranus, Neptune, and sometimes Pluto (as well as Saturn and the classical planets) to models of consciousness development, but none have applied the idea of a new level of consciousness to a planet (by any designation) that has recently been discovered. However, as the crises facing us become ever more pressing, the need to accelerate the process of consciousness expansion increases – a process that Clay sees as the key role of Sedna.
Interconnecting the themes of environmental change and the rise of artificial intelligence, a kind of global thinking emerges, an impersonal yet compassionate (or potentially so) view that extends identity beyond person, society, culture, or even species. Alan Clay describes Sedna Consciousness as a kind of social coordination, in which we see our connections to each other and the planet as primary. What he is describing resonates very much with Don Beck and Christopher Cowan’s Turquoise Consciousness in their landmark book, Spiral Dynamics.
Getting to such a perspective involves letting go of a great deal. In order to transcend to a higher stage of evolution, we need to release, or die to, much of what we identify with at lower levels. That is a difficult and painful process, but at this point in our history it may be the only way forward.
Sedna Consciousness is a big book, with many examples of the planet in the astrology charts of individuals and events. It is available in digital format as well as in paperback. Ultimately hopeful, it offers many occasions for deep concern and fear. While it is geared towards astrologers, any reader will find a lot to think about in its pages.