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Archive for March, 2015

Ceres

The Big Mama Asteroid

By Dikki-Jo Mullen

Note: Jacksonville, Florida Astrologer Mr. Coleman Smith, editor of the North Florida Astrological Association’s newsletter “Skyward”, has asked me to contribute a feature about Ceres since I will be a guest speaker at the NFAA meeting. For those of you who might not receive “Skyward”, the article is reprinted here.

At first glance a diagram of the solar system reveals a beautiful symmetry. Beginning with Mercury the planets circle the Sun at proportional distances except for a gap between Mars and Jupiter. Something seems off beat or missing there, a misstep in the celestial dance. This gap is where the asteroid belt is located. The theory is that once, long ago, another planet orbited there but something, perhaps a passing meteor crashing into it, made it explode. Between 1801 and 1806 the four largest pieces of what might have once been the real 5th rock from the Sun were discovered. When there is a significant discovery in the celestial dome it tends to correlate with a new phase of development, some kind of discovery or new awareness, which affects life on Earth. The four largest asteroids (there are thousands of minor ones) were named Ceres (mother), Pallas (daughter) Juno (wife) and Vesta (sister) for the female archetypes interacting with the planet Jupiter or Zeus. Their discovery correlates with the first stirrings of the womens liberation movement. By the time astrologer Eleanor Bach calculated an accurate ephemeris for the asteroids it was 1973 and the role of women in society was in a full fledged transition. Since then astrologers who seek greater insights into the various aspects of femininity have been able to include the asteroids in natal carts as well as analyzing transits.

Ceres is the largest asteroid, measuring about 600 miles across. The massive size (compared to the other asteroid fragments) suggests that Ceres might be the most influential of them all. Ceres is named for an ancient Italian goddess of growing grain and rewarding harvests. In her honor the Romans would celebrate the spring time with a festival called Cerealia. The cult of Ceres was among the oldest of the plebeian cults.

The glyph astrologers use for Asteroid Ceres suggests a sickle used to harvest grain, the staff of life. Ceres, named for the goddess of fertility and crops, has been associated with a rulership over both Virgo and Taurus. Virgo, the harvest maiden, holds a sheaf of grain while the Moon is exalted in Taurus, suggesting the most nurturing of mothers. The keywords for Ceres are womanhood, family planning, ecology, personal service, health, nourishment and fertility. Ceres guidance addresses issues of parenthood, the generation gap, dependency, attachment and productivity, sharing and grief. In mythology Ceres (also Demeter) is the mother whose daughter, Persephone (also Pallas), was kidnapped by Pluto. Her grief at losing her beloved daughter for half of the year is reflected in the seasons. Because Persephone is forced to spend half of the year (winter) in Hades, the underworld, and is allowed to return to the surface of the Earth to rejoin her mother, Ceres, for the other six months (summer), Ceres created the cycle of seasons. The winter symbolizes her time of loss and grief. In the Tarot deck The Empress, Key 4, might be linked to Ceres.

 

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