However, the astrology we have inherited is — like our society — often much more skewed toward the masculine. Though the four main asteroids were discovered between and and named for the four remaining Olympian goddesses, it seems that we have yet to truly integrate them into modern astrology. After much investigation, I have come to see that the recent astronomical reclassification begs us astrologers to reexamine the role of the goddesses, particularly with respect to the astrological processes of rebirth and transformation. She climbs higher in the sky each morning until she reaches about halfway up to the zenith.
She then repeats her rising and disappearing act to return as a morning star. So, Venus appears to journey through the Underworld in her passage between incarnations as the morning and evening star. Thus, it seems entirely reasonable to look to the planet Venus for personal themes of death and rebirth in the horoscope — especially if she is within at least 25 degrees of the Sun and, therefore, is preparing to descend to, is within, or is beginning to emerge from her Underworld journey.
There is evidence that the Eleusinian cult of Demeter actually predates the Olympians and evolved from an old agrarian fertility cult. Ceres became so caught up in her grief that she caused the vegetation to wither and die. Jupiter intervened and sent Mercury to retrieve Persephone, but not before Pluto had tricked her into eating a pomegranate — which forced her return to the Underworld each year.
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Of course, this is an origin story that seeks to explain the seasonal cycle of Nature, but it can also have cultural and psychological correlates. Psychologically, the myth of Ceres, Persephone, and Pluto can represent any dynamic whereby a relatively innocent or powerless person is forced to abandon or surrender a part of themselves to a more devious or powerful figure. Certainly, this is something that all human beings experience, to one degree or another.
However, Pluto was not the one who was transformed or reborn in this myth — it was the goddesses Ceres and Persephone! Perhaps the astronomical reclassification is a signal that we astrologers should consider assigning functions to the newly discovered planets that are more truly representative of their mythology. Forms or Ideas, in the Platonic sense, are metaphysical principles that organize matter.
So, transformation, in an astrological context, involves the process of going beyond the current organizing principles. Obviously, the social planets Jupiter and Saturn and the outer planets beyond Saturn represent forces over which the average individual sometimes has little or no control, and their transits can thus spur us to go beyond our current organizing principles.
Still, the most important and empowering transformation often occurs when we, like Ceres, demand attention for parts of ourselves that have been abducted or denied by these forces. This personally directed transformation engages our will, whereas being compelled to change by forces outside ourselves can be confusing and victimizing. The power of homeostasis is such that, even when we find ourselves being forced to stop living in a stale or outworn story, we may still have a hard time making changes.
So, we ask our astrologer to tell us our future. For many modern astrologers, this question simply boils down to: When will the agents of change — the outer planets — activate the nativity by transit? But unless the client is seeking change to be imposed from the outside, then the astrologer who is focusing only on outer-planet transits may be entirely missing the point! In terms of personally initiated transformation, rebirthing comes from consciously making room for something new in our own stories — in our day-today lives.
Sometimes there is no convenient way to do this; we must personally upset our present homeostasis to create a new story for ourselves.
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In many ways, I think that the asteroids act as more personal agents of the processes of change that are initiated consciously and experienced internally. To expand on the label given the outer planets by Howard Sasportas, The Gods of Change, I would say that the asteroids are Goddesses of Change — or transformation. Pluto, as a God of the Underworld, certainly seems to be representative of the transformational space — the darkest recesses of our unconscious. On the other hand, Venus and Ceres in the nativity show how naturally and organically involved the person is with the process of transformation — the deeply personal work of re-integrating our lost parts.
The process itself occurs in three steps or stages and is represented by the Asteroid Goddesses: Vesta, Pallas, and Juno. The first step of the transformational process is symbolized by Vesta, goddess of the sacred flame. One of the inherent effects of a flame is that it reduces physical material to ash.
Vesta, the first stage, is where we find ourselves experiencing heavy feelings of isolation, and our awareness is turned inward.
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This has the effect of focusing and compressing the awareness like the potential energy in a tightly coiled spring. I have often seen that transits and progressions to and from Vesta result in situations where the native is initiated into the transformative process. In the wake of his accident, Dylan withdrew from the public and, apart from a few select appearances, did not tour again for eight years. Charts are not shown. The second step of the transformational process is represented by Pallas, goddess of strategic warfare and heroic endeavor. Pallas was the patroness of crafts especially weaving and also the more disciplined and strategic side of war, so this creative release is best accomplished by practicing the consistent repetition of elements of a new pattern or story.
This repetition eventually gives rise to a new order or homeostasis, much like the iteration of a fractal gives rise to a larger pattern. One of the best examples of the creative power of Pallas is the July 4, chart for the U. Pallas conjunct the Aquarius Moon in the 3rd Whole Sign house speaks to one of the fundamental qualities of the American character. Pamphlets by freethinkers such as Thomas Paine reiterated the spirit of the American Revolution; these were distributed among the people and even read to inspire the soldiers.
In mundane astrology, the Moon represents the People, and the Aquarian conjunction with Pallas represents the fundamentally resilient spirit of the American people. I believe that President Obama was successful in his campaign largely because of his consistently repeated appeal to this spirit, which was echoed in his victory speech:.
Vesta Goddess of the Hearth
The third and final step of the transformational process is represented by Juno, goddess of women and marriage. Juno presides over the ritual and legal arrangements of marriage and is the archetype of union. Thus, Juno symbolizes the final stage of transforming our life story by following and completing the synchronistic connections to the players who will help us to flesh out our new pattern.
Since we see here the idea that arrangements for union must be made according to social and legal customs, there is an implicit quality of discrimination within this stage. To allow the transformational process to culminate, we must be discriminating enough to notice and welcome opportunities to join with others who are truly representative of the newly emerging homeostasis. We must also show determination in rebuffing any potential connections that are not representative of the new story. A great example of this process is the chart of musician Paul Simon, who was born with a Sun—Juno conjunction in Libra chart not shown.
As a final comment on this threefold process of transformation, I would like to point out that the very astronomical characteristics of the individual asteroids seem to back up this concept.
Asteroid Vesta in Shamanic Astrology | InSpiral Nexus
Pallas, Juno, and Vesta, the next three asteroids to be discovered, together have as much mass as Ceres. So, these three represent pieces of what Ceres herself represents as a whole: Ceres, the Bringer of Seasons, symbolizes the constant cycle of death and rebirth, while Vesta, Pallas, and Juno represent three particular agents and stages of this process. Vesta has the tightest orbit, contained entirely within the orbit of Ceres, so it makes sense that she symbolizes the first step of the transformational process.
Juno has an extremely eccentric or elliptical orbit; this means that she crosses the orbits of the other asteroids, which suits her role as maker of connections. Of the heroes of my generation, one of the first and perhaps the most notorious and influential was Kurt Cobain of the band Nirvana.
See Chart 1, below. Also, Venus has fairly recently risen from invisibility in the Underworld when she was outshone at her superior conjunction with the Sun. Saturn is opposite Uranus, signifying the profound social unrest of the times. Jupiter is trine Saturn and sextile Uranus—Pluto. In my last article in The Mountain Astrologer, I outlined four primary archetypes of the Hero: warrior, Wanderer, Martyr, and Magician — represented by the four elements of fire, air, water, and earth, respectively.
In terms of the four Heroic archetypes, I think we can safely say that Cobain was walking the path of the Wanderer from an early age. The Wanderer rejects what some would call safety and flees it, learning instead by autonomy and independence. Cobain was magnetized to the punk rock sound and wrote lyrics that expressed both alienation and a sense of vulnerability.
Of course, the elemental correlate for the Wanderer hero is air. Ceres forms two mutable t-squares with the oppositions of Venus—Saturn to Uranus—Pluto. So, we have all three planets associated with transformation and the Underworld involved in a t-square, with Ceres as the focal point. Transformation means going beyond the current organizing principles. In many ways, secondary progressions are the ultimate indicator of Life Seasons, because only the inner personal planets and asteroids progress enough to form new aspects, and yet these occur over an extended time similar to outer-planet transits.
So, we can look at the long-term emergence of elemental personal processes that we all grapple with on a regular basis. Progressions basically track the three months of transits after your birth. Along with the nine months of gestation, this completes the yearly cycle — a Cosmic cycle — your Season of Becoming. In astrology, Pallas can be an indicator of wisdom, intelligence and healing. She is a tomboy, that harnesses a more male energy, embodying the warrior archetype. She is a daughter born when a boy was wanted. Pallas shows where you have genius qualities in your chart — although you may doubt yourself.
The Glyph Of Pallas. Third discovered, Juno is the ninth largest asteroid. In Greek mythology she is the equivalent of goddess Hera. Incredibly important in both Greek and Roman culture she was hailed as Queen of the Gods. She fulfilled her duties as a loyal partner, however it was typical for her to kill the offspring of Zeus born of other women — and to slay his other lovers. She is considered the antithesis of Lilith a. In contrast, Juno remains loyal and faithful to Jupiter, regardless of his indiscretions.
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Last to be discovered of these four, Vesta is the second biggest asteroid and the fastest to transit the zodiac signs. In mythology, she is the virgin goddess, a Roman version of Hestia. Regarded as the most important goddess to the Romans she was called upon to bless newborn babies, and in every house in ancient Rome there was a sacred fire made to Vesta, which was protected and not allowed to burn out, blessing and protecting the home.
Kimberly started Star Sign Style to gather together all things celestial in a honey pot of wonder. She's studied astrology in London and India, specialising in the fashion and beauty of the stars. Her Sagittarius moon lights up with talk of travel, while her Mercury in Taurus waxes lyrical over cosmic cosmetics. The Astrological Significance Of Halloween….
Astrology for the aesthetically inclined. Fashion, beauty and adornment with celebrity zodiac signs.