Asteroid 6998, Tithonus, a Jupiter Trojan, was discovered on October 16, 1977 by C. J. van Houten and Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld at Palomar Observatory near Pauma Valley, California. It has a period of 11 years, 323 days.

It was named for Tithonus, son of Laomedon and brother of Priam, both kings of Troy. Tithonus married Eos (Aurora to the Romans), goddess of the dawn. She obtained for him eternal life but forgot to ask for eternal youth for him as well. Slowly, he aged, and deteriorated, and when he became so decrepit he could no longer function, Eos locked him in his room, and then he was changed into a grasshopper.

Astrologically, asteroid Tithonus seems to indicate outliving one's own effectiveness or the point of one's work and may have something to do with degenerative disorders or conditions..

Stokely Carmichael, who left the United States for West Africa, where he died, continuing to proclaim communism the wave of the future long after the world had abandoned it, had Tithonus semisextile Saturn (work, career, rewards and consequences), decile Uranus (activism, radicalism), semisquare Jupiter (foreign travel, philosophy), sesquiquadrate Vesta (dedication) and Juno (the rage of the disenfranchised), and quincunx Pallas (politics).

American Communist leader Gus Hall had Tithonus sesquiquadrate Ceres (nurturance).

East German spymaster Markus Wolf, who ended up in prison after the reunification of Germany, has Tithonus conjunct Vesta, sextile Jupiter and trine Juno.

Mary Shelley, who wrote other things besides Frankenstein but never could put out anything as big a hit as that novel again, had Tithonus sextile Jupiter (publishing) and the South Node (the path of least resistance, past conditioning), trine the North Node (transcending past conditioning) and sesquiquadrate Venus (art).

Alzheimer's disease victim Ronald Reagan has Tithonus in the ninth house of philosophy, semisquare Juno (marriage). It falls largely upon his wife to care for him, a man who once despised weakness.

Woody Guthrie, a Huntington's disease victim, had Tithonus sextile Jupiter (support).

Stephen Hawking, who has ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), which has reduced him, basically, to a brain—an extremely brilliant one—in a wasted, almost useless, body, has Tithonus square Sun (to shine) and Pallas (mental perception).

Lou Gehrig, the pre-World War II baseball great who put amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on the public's radar screen when he fell victim to it, had Tithonus conjunct Chiron (the door-opener, "pay attention") and sextile Jupiter.

Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman who landed in a vegetative state following a heart attack and became the subject of a bitter battle between her husband and her parents, right-to-life groups and an intrusive state government led by Governor Jeb Bush, has Tithonus semisquare Mercury (the mind), sextile the Sun, square Juno, and quincunx the North Node.

Karen Carpenter, a well-known victim of anorexia nervosa who had a very well-known musical partnership with her brother Richard Carpenter in the 1970s, had Tithonus in the seventh house of partnerships, sesquiquadrate the Moon (emotions, the public) and opposite Uranus (sudden and shocking). The death of this attractive young musical star, who seemingly had everything to live for, was instrumental in putting anorexia on the public radar screen.

The glyph for Tithonus is mine and is intended to represent the changes that came over Tithonus as he aged—first down, then out, and then away (as a grasshopper).

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