Don Quixote

Asteroid 3552, Don Quixote, was discovered on 26 September 1983 by Swiss astronomer Paul Wild at Zimmerwald, Switzerland. It is an Amor asteroid with a period (year) of 8 years, 256 days and is about 13 miles in diameter. It was named for the title character of Miguel de Cervantes' novel Don Quixote, owing to what Lutz Schmadel, asteroid orbit computer and author of Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, describes as the "long-term erratic nature of [Don Quixote's] extended orbit, comparable to that of Hidalgo".

Don Quixote de la Mancha sallied forth to be a knight-errant on his broken-down "steed" Rocinante, with his "squire" Sancho Panza beside him on a donkey, and proceeded to make a fool of himself, attacking windmills in the belief that they were giants, attempting to rescue women who did not want to be rescued. In the end, Don Quixote retired quietly to his home.

Don Quixote, in astrology, has to do with romantic idealism, being a knight-errant, tilting at windmills, swimming against the tide, trying to act in defiance of the facts of life.

Don Quixote's North Node is at 20 Pisces 46 and its South Node at 20 Virgo 46. This suggests that the essence of the positive side of Don Quixote is altruism, taking life as it comes(Pisces) and doing one's duty well(Virgo).

This is backed up by the numerology of Don Quixote's asteroid number. Its asteroid number adds up to 15 and reduces to 6, a number of unselfish deeds and service to humankind, which warns against thoughtlessness, selfishness, possessiveness and being domineering. Circumstances make heroes, not intention. You do not set out to become a hero. If you do, you will only make a fool of yourself, as did Cervantes' Don Quixote. Heroes do what they have to do, and do it well; those who seek to become heroes out of a desire for self-aggrandizement land in trouble. 15 is a number associated with difficulties with the opposite sex(1 being a number of self-will and 5 being a number of freedom): going out to save the world and neglecting one's relationships can exact a price.

I wrote this article on Don Quixote for GAIA, the newsletter of AST SIG, the asteroid special interest group of the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR).

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