In the ancient days of the Matriarchal
Society, before the Patriarchal System took over, there was a planet between Mars and Jupiter, orbiting our Sun. At some moment in time the planet was pulled into Jupiters orbital pull and exploded into thousands of
pieces. There are numerous orbiting bodies in the Asteroid Belt that have orbits
similar to Mercury and Pluto, but the four largest of them are called planetoids are named for the Goddesses, Ceres, Juno,
Pallas Athene and Vesta. The Asteroid Belt was discovered in 1802.
It is significant that Jupiter
was instrumental in the destruction of the Goddess planet. All of the asteroid
goddesses were connected to him mythologically. Ceres (Demeter), Juno (Hera),
and Vesta (Hestia) were all sisters of Jupiter. Pallas Athene was his daughter. Juno was also Jupiters wife.
Ceres was called Demeter in Greek
and was associated with the agricultural cycles. She presided over the Telestrion,
the Eleusian Shrine and was the keeper of the Eleusian Mysteries. The temple
society was a secret society and all initiates were sworn to secrecy. The secrets
of the Eleusian Mysteries have never been revealed.
The mythology of Ceres, like all
the others, begins with her Greek manifestation, Demeter. It was said that Neptune
took the form of a stallion, chased down Ceres, who had taken the form of a mare, and raped her. The child of that union was know simply as the Mistress, which is another name Kore or Persephone, as Queen
of the Underworld, which brings us to the major mythology surrounding Demeter (Ceres).
In Greek mythology, Demeters daughter,
Kore, was out picking flowers in a field near Eleusis. Hades (Pluto) saw her
and having been stricken by an arrow from Eros (Cupid), Hades fell madly in love with Kore.
He kidnapped her on the spot and took her into the Underworld in his great black chariot pulled by his magnificent
Demeter, disguised as an old woman
that had fallen on hard times, searched for her daughter. On the tenth day she
came to Eleusis and stopped there to rest. She was approached by the daughters
of King Celeus and Queen Metaneira, and the girls, taking pity on the poor old woman, thought she might make a good nurse
for their brother, Demophoon. They took her home to their mother who offered
the old woman food and drink, but Demeter refused everything except for some barley water.
Impressed with her, the queen hired her as nurse to her infant son.
Demeter, still despondent over
the disappearance of her daughter, immediately responded with love for the infant. She
stayed for a while, becoming attached to the young Demophoon. In time, she decided
to make the child immortal. Each night after Demophoons parents went to bed she
performed the ceremony of immortality, which called for the child to be placed in fire.
One night, Metaneira, feeling restless, went to check on her son and saw him lying in the flames. She flew into a panic and Demeter withdrew the child. Angrily,
Demeter transformed herself into her true self and Demophoon did not become immortal.
As it happened, Triptolemus, the
son the king of Eleusus, had been herding his fathers sheep in a field nearby and had witnessed the abduction of Kore. He told Demeter what he had seen and Demeter went into mourning. A temple was built for her and she dwelt within, withholding her gifts from the earth.
As time passed, the earth moved
into its first winter. Zeus responded to the prayers of his human subjects and
sent Hermes into the Underworld to make a deal with Hades to return the girl to her mother.
The deal that was struck called for her to return if she had not eaten anything while in the underworld. Before she could leave it was revealed that Kore had eaten seven pomegranate seeds. A compromise was eventually reached. Kore would spend half
of her time in the Underworld with Hades and the other half of her time with her mother on the surface. Hades made her his queen and changed her name to Persephone, which means she who is to be feared.
As a reward for his revelation,
after Persephone was restored to her mother, Demeter taught Triptolemus the mysteries of the earth and the harvest and he
became the founder of the Eleusisian Cult.
Ceres exemplifies the mother who
loses her child and then regains her. As our children grow, they tend to grow
away from us so they go out on their own and create their own lives. Eventually
there is a returning to the mother as the child ages and gains a new respect for the mother, as both a mother and a friend. Such is Ceres role in the horoscope. Ceres
is most associated with Cancer and the mothering principle. Those with a strong
Ceres showing will exhibit the ability to be strong caregivers. It will also
show a strong emotional dependency on the parent/child relationship.
Another strong area for Ceres
in the chart is that of eating and food. As the grain goddess she was in charge
of the earth and its produce. At a time when the earth was untainted by the discharges
and odors of the industrial age, harvests were healthy and nutritious. Now, nutrients
have been depleted from the soil and industry and weather have combined to shrink the areas where farming can be done. In many areas of the world, nothing can be grown and the resulting malnutrition this
has caused widespread disease and death. Eating disorders will show up through
a poorly placed or afflicted Ceres in the natal chart.
The glyph used for Ceres is Saturns
glyph inverted. Both these signs have to do with parenting. Ceres was one of the children Kronos (Saturn) swallowed up to prevent his own loss of power. Ceres, in reverse, could not eat without her child. So, it
is understood that both planets have an effect on the parenting one does and on the eating patterns developed.
When Ceres and Pluto come into
contact with each other, there are ramifications also. Generally, when they transit
there is a significant loss. This loss corresponds to the loss Ceres suffered
when Pluto (Hades) kidnapped Kore. Ceres is important to the grieving process. Her grief was all consuming and she grieved until her daughter was restored to her. Eventually we all must deal with this kind of intense grief. In my own experience, I was totally consumed with grief for four months after my husband died. Though he was not a child, I was his main caregiver. I know
from experience that you do lose the desire to eat. Your total focus in on the
loss and you refuse to let anything that does not honor that grief into your life.
Many astrologers dont include
Ceres or any of the other three asteroids because they feel they are inconsequential.
Such is clearly not the case. Ceres affects our ability to be caregivers,
our ability to parent, our ability to maintain healthy eating habits and the depths of our grieving process. I feel she should be included because she and her aspects can definitely help to better counsel clients.
Asteroid Goddesses, The Mythology, Psychology and Astrology of the Reemerging Feminine by Demetra George with Douglas Bloch
Bulfinchs Mythology: Age of Fable by Thomas Bulfinch
Mythology by Edith