Several years ago I took a closer look at the asteroids and their astrological meanings among other things by studying the natal charts of my friends. I have found a text I had collected from the Internet back then and am drawn to share it here. None of it is of my own writing. The links I had collected the information from are listed in the article. So, what follows is the basics of astrological meanings of the asteroids focusing on Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta, Eros, Chiron and Lilith. (Chiron is included in addition to the “goddesses”, because of my personal special and even earlier interest in it.)
This book was the most quoted and recommended at that time: Demetra George (with Douglas Bloch) (1986) Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology and Astrology of the Re-emerging Feminine
The mythologies – how they apply to our lives – shift as we shift.
Part 1: The Asteroids – New Agents of Planetary and Personal Transformation
“From a historical perspective the discoveries, naming and recognition of planetary bodies has coincided with leaps in the evolution of human consciousness and corresponding cultural changes.
For example, just before and after the discovery of Uranus, planet of equality and freedom in 1871, man witnessed the American and French Revolutions. When Neptune, planet of mysticism and illusion was discovered in 1846, idealistic movements such as transcendentalism and spiritualism emerged. In 1930 with the sighting of Pluto, planet of mass transformation, the awakening of a sense of collective welfare and the Dawning of the Atomic Age brought humanity face to face with a choice of life or death. The discovery of each outer body indicated that humanity was ready to activate and integrate the archetypal principle inherent in the mythology of that planet. The same process is occurring through the discovery of the asteroids.
The asteroids, a belt of planetary bodies largely between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, were discovered in the early 1880’s. The first four sighted were named after the great goddesses of antiquity: Ceres, Pallas Athene, Juno and Vesta. Mythologically, these goddesses were co-equivalent in rank with the gods Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto as Vesta, Ceres and Juno were the three sisters of these gods. Pallas Athene was birthed from the head of Zeus.
Symbolically, these asteroids represent aspects of the archetypal feminine principle that are now emerging into mass consciousness. An archetype is a universal thought form, prototype, primordial pattern, deeply imprinted in the collective human psyche.
Before the use of the asteroids, the only significators of the feminine in traditional chart interpretation were the Moon and Venus. The socially acceptable roles for women were the Moon as mother and Venus as mate. Ceres, Pallas Athene, Juno and Vesta represent new voices of the dormant feminine recently activated and now demanding power, recognition, justice and equality in our society.
It is important to emphasise that this phenomenon is not solely limited to women. The awakening of new aspects of feminine expression has had an equally profound effect on men. As women are altering their traditional role expression, men are developing new responses to the transformed woman. Old patterns are no longer acceptable, and new sets of expectations and roles are now required of them.
In the past men had projected their feminine qualities of emotion, nurturance and sensitivity onto women. With the recent activation of the feminine centres represented by the asteroids, men have been pressured and encouraged to both ~own~ and develop these qualities.”
Part 2: Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta, Eros, Chiron and Lilith
“Ceres shows your capacity to nurture and what you really care about.
Juno clarifies how you deal with committed personal relationships (like marriage).
Vesta‘s placement in the horoscope shows where and how we can be dedicated, where we can focus our energies to the greatest effect. Vesta can give your keys to how you express your sexuality.
Pallas Athena represents strength and wisdom. It can show your approach to solving problems creatively.
Eros describes the nature of erotic love.
Chiron gives clues to where you can be a mentor or a healer. Plus where you might need healing yourself.
Lilith: A little-known element in astrology charts, Lilith is known as the “dark Moon” and, as such, represents our “dark” or hidden emotional selves. By making peace with and embracing our own darkest emotions, we can integrate ourselves.
Ceres: Ceres in the Signs shows our nurturing style and the types of things that make us feel nurtured. Ceres in the Houses shows where we are most likely to express our nurturing side and also where we can best receive nurturing.
The asteroid Ceres is called the Great Mother asteroid. She is also called Demeter [mythologically the mother of Persephone]. She represents unconditional love, the relationships between parents and children, and all the issues of devotion, attachment, separation, loss and grief. She also rules agriculture, productivity, nurturing, nourishing and caring. She is associated with issues of self-worth.
Ceres is an incredibly powerful archetype with a wide range of useful interpretations. In the personal horoscope Ceres shows how we take care of others, as well as how we take care of ourselves. Ceres is our Inner Mother, and is especially concerned about eating habits and the other ways that we physically grow our personal lives.
Pallas Athene: Pallas (the Roman name for the Greek Athena) shows our ability to recognize patterns, to arrange and re-arrange things.
Joan of Arc, Xena, Wonder Woman and Sigourney Weaver’s characters — these figures are all aspects of Pallas Athene.
She is both the Warrior Woman and the Peaceful General, representing strength and wisdom. Following her example, we find our inner courage and strength and know that we will survive life’s challenges. Our confidence in our abilities, our creativity and resourcefulness in times of crises, and our level of physical coordination depend in part upon this asteroid’s position in our birth charts.
Pallas or Pallas Athena or Pallas Athene, also known as Minerva, is associated with wisdom and intuition. Brought in with these attributes are those of logic and applied strategy. It is also creative of original thought, showing artistic ability. Pallas also rules the relationship between father and daughter.
Pallas Athene is said to have emerged full grown from the brow of Zeus, her father. Her glyph is that of a shield, indicating her role as warrior/goddess. As such, she is protectress of the state and upholder of justice. Her other roles are goddess of wisdom and intelligence, healer, patroness of the arts and promoter of professional excellence.
Juno: Juno in the horoscope gives an indication of the kind of marriage partner that we need and will get. Juno clarifies how we deal with committed personal relationships.
Juno defines where we seek commitment, harmony and balance. It helps understand where we balance the need for commitment and intimacy with personal freedom and can help you identify the kind of marriage partner you attract or how you perceive their qualities. In many ways it explains our own behavior within committed relationships and the path we walk to bring physical expression towards spiritual understanding within the union.
Vesta: Vesta’s placement in the horoscope shows where and how we can be dedicated, where we can focus our energies to the greatest effect. But it also shows where, periodically, we have to withdraw and “recharge our batteries.”
Vesta also has an effect on our sexuality, but it is not the raw, animal drive of Mars or Pluto. It is more of a reasoned choice, which is in tune with Vesta’s affinity with the sign of Virgo.
Vesta, also known as Hestia, is associated with spiritual truth and cultural values. Known as the “keeper of the flame” exuding warmth and good feeling, she was Goddess of the Hearth. It is indicative of personal integration, like an old soul being happiest in surroundings that have stood the test of time, where the home fires have been kept burning so to speak. It is comfortable, yet there for a purpose.
Wherever Vesta falls in the birthchart will show the area in which we are most likely to be committed to a purpose.
Vesta defines where and how you see your mission and truth in your life and world. It is where you are the Guardian of the Sacred Flame and where you rely on your inner sense of the Goddess and self reliance. It is connected with sexuality and healing and inspires your willingness to focus on your own spiritual and inner causes. Vesta is dedication, focus and spiritual commitments.
Eros: describes the nature of erotic love. Where Eros rules in the astrological chart—by sign, house and aspects—marks our beliefs, orientation and experiences of erotic love.
The Asteroid Eros can shed some light on some of our erotic turn-ons. In mythology, Eros was the god of sexual love and desire. He was considered irresistible. In Roman mythology, Eros was known as Cupid. “In Greek art Eros was depicted as a winged youth, slight but beautiful, often with eyes covered to symbolize the blindness of love. Sometimes he carried a flower, but more commonly the silver bow and arrows, with which he shot darts of desire into the bosoms of gods and men.”
Eros overpowers the mind with love and sex. Eros represents sexual objectification, passion and desire, and creativity.
Chiron: Chiron gives clues to where you can be a mentor or a healer. My mark: plus where you might need healing yourself.
Chiron is a knowledge holder who transmits higher teachings either as an outer teacher (Saturn) or as an inner teacher or spirit guide (Uranus). Embodying the archetype of “the wounded healer”, Chiron stresses the importance of going within to find an answer – and then sharing it with others.
In education, music and medicine, Chiron unites the body and mind, instinct and intellect. His ancient teachings are now resurfacing through the advent of holistic health and education.
Chiron’s placement in the horoscope indicates one’s experience of the wound that does not heal, (or the wound that does not seem to heal, because although an important lesson may be learned through dealing with it, the wound seems to spiral around with another lesson on a deeper level).
Chiron represents one’s experience of woundedness and the nature of the wound. Second, by coming to terms with suffering through an acceptance of one’s mortality, one arrives at a greater state of wholeness or healing. Third, Chiron shows how one comes into one’s own as an elder or mentor who can provide healing and guidance to others. Thus Chiron also astrologically indicates the ways and means with which you can guide others, as well as the kind of mentoring and healing you seek for yourself.
Lilith (= Dark Moon): A little-known element in astrology charts, Lilith is known as the “dark Moon” and, as such, represents our “dark” or hidden emotional selves. By making peace with and embracing our own darkest emotions, we can integrate ourselves. Lilith is one of the keys in astrology which can help us attain that goal.
The Dark Moon describes our relationship to the absolute, to sacrifice as such, and shows how we let go. In transit, the Dark Moon indicates some form of castration or frustration, frequently in the areas of desire, a powerlessness of the psyche, or a general inhibition. On the other hand, it shows where we question ourselves, our lives, our jobs, and our beliefs. I (Liz Greene) feel this is important, since it gives us the opportunity to “let go” of something. The Dark Moon shows where we can let the Whole flow into our selves, without putting an “I” in the way, without putting up a wall in the form of ego. At the same time, it doesn’t indicate passivity – on the contrary – it symbolizes the firm will to be open and trusting, to let the Greater World flow through one, relying entirely on the great laws of the universe, on that which we name God. To prepare us for this opening, the Dark Moon creates a necessary void.
Relationships that carry Lilith energy are initiatory, soul to soul, a deeper opening of the center, where our personal and impersonal experience emerges. Remember the Black moon is self-centered illusions for the purpose of purging negative desires, leading to deeper truth within our hearts, as the longing and yearning of our souls.”