Asteroid 279, Thule, was discovered on October 25, 1888 by Johann Palisa at Vienna, Austria. It has a period of 8 years, 310 days and is about 94 2/5 miles in diameter.

Thule was named for a somewhat mythical island in Earth's far north to which the ancients gave the name Ultima Thule and which is believed by some to have been Iceland, Greenland, or the Shetland Islands, a British archipelago in the North Atlantic north of Scotland. Its location has never been pinned down. To the ancients, it was the northern limit of the habitable world.

Astrologically, Thule has been said to indicate traveling around, bigotry, sense of superiority, haughtiness; it can also indicate the opposite: tolerance, inclusiveness, broad-mindedness.

Infamous homophobe Fred Phelps has Thule semisextile Venus and Pholus (dictatorial, psychologically infected, need to show respect) and trine Varuna (grown huge, inflated, judgmental, fundamentalist).

Parochial Christian and viciously partisan Republican Texas congressman Tom DeLay has Thule conjunct the South Node (past influences, separations), square Lilith (reluctantly dealt with, marginalization) and Don Quixote (to take on the system), quincunx Heracles (to struggle with, hubris), and opposite the North Node (connections made).

White supremacist and fringe politician David Duke has Thule parallel Saturn (work, consequences) .

North Carolina congressman and Islamophobe Cass Ballenger (born December 6, 1926 in Hickory, North Carolina), who has made groundless complaints about the Council for American-Islamic Relations and blames it for the breakup of his marriage, has Thule conjunct Lilith, semisextile Pluto, sextile Vesta, square Ceres (family issues, need to have control), trine Venus, Nessus (psychological toxins, predatory) and Dioretsa (foolish, off-base), opposite Asbolus (foolishness, bad experiences), and contraparallel Saturn.

Jesica Santillan, a Mexican teenager who made a long and arduous journey without a visa to North Carolina for a lifesaving heart-lung transplant, only to die when she mistakenly received organs of the wrong blood type, had Thule semisextile Pholus (need to show respect) and Damocles (danger, crisis, politics), sextile Chariklo (need to keep perspective), square Venus and Pallas (politics), and biquintile Mars (surgery). The transplant was received with protests from some people because she was an illegal alien.

Malcolm X, who gave up promoting racism after making the hajj and is mainly known for his assertive civil-rights message contrasting with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s milder, more Gandhi-ish approach, had Thule in the fifth house of self-expression, conjunct Venus, semisextile Mars (anger, assertion), undecimal Mercury (writings, speaking, ideas), decile the Moon (the public), Pluto (to go to hell and come back, transformative, unforgettable) and Pallas (politics, defending civilized values), sextile the North Node, quintile Uranus, trine the South Node, and sesquiquadrate Jupiter (religion, travel, philosophy, mind-expansion).

Pope John Paul II, a very well traveled Pope and very conservative in some ways who has still tried to reach out to other religions, has Thule in the twelfth house, on the Ascendant, conjunct Mars (energy), sextile Don Quixote (travel, taking on reality) and Dioretsa (something that sticks), quintile Jupiter (religion, travel), tredecile Pluto (transformative), and quindecile Chiron (self-wounding, teaching).

Bill Clinton has Thule conjunct Chiron (the door-opener, the key, need to pay attention, self-wounding).

Reza Pahlavi (born October 31, 1960, in Tehran), the son of the late Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran and the exiled heir to Iran's abolished Peacock Throne, has Thule undecimal Asbolus (counsel given but not necessarily taken, bad experiences), sextile Pandora (to stir things up, feminism), quincunx Vesta (dedication) and contraparallel Saturn. He has worked against the mullahs' regime in his homeland and says he will only reclaim the throne if Iranians want him to and espouses Western ideals of freedom and democracy.

Indian-British actress Parminder Nagra (born October 5, 1975, in Leicester, England), the star of the hit film Bend It Like Beckham, which is about a Sikh Indian-British teenage girl who has to go against her tradition-minded parents to become a soccer player, has Thule nonile Pallas (conceptualization, the feminine as fighter), sextile Chariklo (glamorization), trine the Sun (to shine, celebrity), Lilith (nonwhite, on the edges) and Elatus (eloquent expression), quincunx Hylonome (popular appeal), and contraparallel Saturn (work, career, rewards).

The glyph for Thule is mine.

Thanks to Jonathan Dunn for introducing me to this asteroid.

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