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Mythology of Ceres
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A Brief History of Astrology

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 black stallions. 


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.




1.         Asteroid Goddesses, The Mythology, Psychology and Astrology of the Reemerging Feminine  by  Demetra George with Douglas Bloch

2.         Bulfinchs Mythology: Age of Fable  by Thomas Bulfinch

3.         Mythology  by  Edith Hamilton