Asteroid 38083 Rhadamanthus was discovered on April 17, 1999, at Kitt Peak Observatory near Sells, Arizona, by the Deep Ecliptic Survey (Robert Millis, Marc Buie, Eugene Chiang, James Elliot, Susan Kern, Karen Meech, David Trilling, Mark Wagner, and Lawrence Wasserman). It has a period of 244 years, 115 days and was named for a son of Zeus and Europa who one of the three Judges of the Dead in Greek mythology(the others were Aeacus and Rhadamanthus' brother Minos).

Rhadamanthus had jurisdiction over the souls of people from Asia and was said to be especially stern and inflexible.


Astrologically, Rhadamanthus seems to function much as a judge, or a judge serving as an administrator— stern, upright, self-effacing and self-critical (says Jonathan Dunn). Rhadamanthus, to me also seems to have a connection with things Asian (including Christianity, which originated in what is now Israel and adjacent Israeli-occupied territories which also lie in southwest Asia), and also seems to be connected with beliefs lying outside the mainstream.

The U.S. Supreme Court, circa 2000.

Laura Schlessinger, a notoriously judgmental, homophobic and abrasive pop psychologist who is a Modern Orthodox Jew, has Pholus (learning reverence and fearlessness) tightly conjunct Rhadamanthus, also Rhadamanthus sextile Jupiter (religion, philosophy, success) and Varuna (pompous, judgmental), and trine Ceres (nurturance).

Ariel Sharon, whose harshness toward the Palestinians has made him infamous and helped impede the Middle East peace process for over twenty years, has Rhadamanthus in the eighth house of legacies sextile Venus (values, outrage, desire for peace) and the Vertex (idealized, significant or fated relationships), square Mercury (ideas, communication) and Chaos, trine Uranus (defiance, rebellion) and opposite Juno (the disenfranchised).

Pope John Paul II has Rhadamanthus in 7th-house Taurus in an Earth Grand Trine with Pandora (having an impact), Saturn (authority, career), Lilith (refusing to accept), and Vesta (commitment); also sextile Uranus (liberation, defiance) and opposite the Part of Fortune (success, development). He helped bring about the end of the Cold War through his moral authority and position as head of the Roman Catholic Church, and also has steered the church toward the social and political right.

The Dalai Lama, a figure of equal if not greater moral authority than John Paul II who has spent much of his life exiled from his native Tibet, has Rhadamanthus in the eighth house, cusping the ninth, semisquare Juno (the disenfranchised), sextile Hidalgo (pushing an agenda), trine the Ascendant, sesquiquadrate Mars (fighting for something), and opposite the Part of Fortune.

L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, had Rhadamanthus semisquare the Midheaven (authority, career, reputation) and the East Point (appearance before the world); sextile Mars (aggression) and Uranus (nonconforming, rebelling); trine Pallas (mental creativity) and Nessus (pushing boundaries, seen as predatory); and quincunx Don Quixote (taking on the system).

Jim Jones, leader of the suicidal cult People's Temple, had Rhadamanthus conjunct the Ascendant on the 12th house side, also conjunct Pholus (reverence, fearlessness, insinuating oneself in); square Ceres (to provide nurturance), Hylonome (grief) and Varuna (to make oneself big); trine Mercury (speech, thought, ideas), Neptune (need to believe, to delude others), Pallas (mental perception), Asbolus (the prophet) and Cruithne (connection to one's culture [American, in this case] or to the land); and sesquiquadrate Mars (aggression). The mass suicide of Jones and his followers in their remote rural jungle compound, Jonestown, near Port Kaituma, Guyana, was precipitated by a visit from a California congressman, Leo Ryan, investigating allegations of abuse at the compound. Ryan was gunned down by Jones' followers.

Marshall Applewhite, born four days after Jones, also led a suicidal cult, Heaven's Gate; he had many of the same aspects as Jones, but Rhadamanthus in Applewhite's case was conjunct the Midheaven and square the Ascendant, and Don Quixote as well.

Luc Jouret, founder of another suicidal cult, the Order of the Solar Temple, had Rhadamanthus in the first house of personal interests, conjunct Mercury and Stentor (speaking in a loud voice), sextile Chariklo (glamor, loss of perspective), and quincunx Saturn (authority).

The glyph for Rhadamanthus, suggesting a hangman's noose, is mine.

Go Back