Asteroid Goddesses: Four Faces of the Feminine•
Posted on June 17 2020
Even if our astrological portrait is sketched with the help of major planets and points, there are a few other details that we can uncover to paint a more accurate, in-depth picture. Asteroids might not impress through size- if we put all known asteroids together, the result would still be smaller than the Moon- but they’re packed with meaning, bringing different nuances to the personal planets and points that they touch in our natal chart.
Out of approximately 10.000 asteroids tracked by NASA, four of them are widely used by astrologers. Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta, the goddess asteroids, were discovered at the beginning of the 19th century. In anticipation of the Women’s Rights Movement, these asteroids revealed feminine archetypes that go beyond the mother (Moon) and the wife (Venus) image, painting a more realistic picture of what it means to be a woman.
The four asteroids are the most obvious in a chart when they touch on personal planets or points, especially through conjunction. If you resonate strongly with one of the archetypes below, check your natal chart to see if you have major asteroid connections!
Ceres is the first asteroid ever discovered and the largest, considered a dwarf planet together with Pluto and Eris. Named after the goddess of agriculture (Demeter in Greek mythology; “da mater” means “the earth mother”), Ceres shows what we need to feel nurtured and how we nurture others.
Because the first nurturing experience of our lives was in a relationship with the mother, Ceres shows how we relate to her and whether she could fulfill our physical and emotional needs. This, in turn, marks our current relationship with our emotions and our body, especially with the way we use food as sustenance.
As a reflection of our upbringing, Ceres describes our relationship with Mother Earth and our approach towards parenthood and caregiving. A strongly placed Ceres is often found in people who embody the mother archetype- nurturers, caregivers, and empaths.
The sign, house, and aspects of Ceres in the natal chart hold information about what we need to feel cared for, as well as the obstacles that could appear while we’re trying to get those needs fulfilled. A challenging Ceres can point towards a difficult relationship with the mother, low self-esteem, or unhealthy eating patterns. Connecting to this asteroid’s energy means connecting to our inner mother and finding healthy ways of nurturing ourselves as we establish a strong connection to the rhythms of nature, as well as to the inner ebb and flow of our emotions.
Pallas: Wisdom And Independence
Pallas-Athena is the goddess of warfare and wisdom, the daughter of Zeus who was born out of his head fully grown and armored.
As the second asteroid discovered in the 19th century, Pallas embodies a gender-nonconforming type of energy, an approach to femininity through the lens of independence, ambition, and a holistic type of logic. In the natal chart, Pallas shows where we can be inspired by divine wisdom in our use of creativity, intelligence, and strategy for reaching our goals.
Because we learn courage and self-discipline from the father figure, the sign, house, and aspects of Pallas can reflect issues with the father or with authority figures. In her shadow, Pallas can manifest as rebellion, self-righteousness, or suppressed emotions, while an integrated Pallas brings courage, ambition, and involvement in social causes. A prominent Pallas is often found in the charts of people who embody strong alpha energy, whether they’re male or female, or in the charts of those who aren’t afraid to bend gender norms.
The energy of Pallas portrays femininity in bright reds and sharp contours, merging intuition, healing, and creativity with fierce independence and wit.
Known as the asteroid of marriage, Juno shows the kind of partner that we need long-term, as well as our attitudes towards partnership and its many layers. This third asteroid is named after the wife of Jupiter, the queen who was unwavering in her loyalty to the king of the gods, but also bitter and resentful for his many betrayals. In a birth chart, Juno represents our attitude towards teaming up with another in an intimate dance, the way we uphold and respect boundaries in a partnership, the balance that we find between giving and taking.
In challenging aspects, Juno can show issues linked to infidelity, jealousy, bitterness or manipulation, experiences that eventually lead us to a better knowledge of whom we want to be loyal to and why. A strongly placed Juno shows a person for which intimate relationships are an opportunity to grow profoundly through partnership work.
Juno is the part of us who is deeply attuned to others and seeks long-term connections based on mutual respect, while also being aware of the more complex issues of a partnership. In synastry, Juno connections are often found in the charts of married couples or long-term partners.
Vesta is the goddess of hearth and home, the keeper of the sacred flame in Roman mythology and a symbol of devotion, cultural values, and sexuality in astrology.
Although she’s a virgin, she is also the symbol of motherhood and fertility. In a natal chart, this apparently paradoxical asteroid highlights the dance between sexuality and faith and illuminates our tendency towards devotion and single-minded focus.
Vesta is the archetypal nun and she represents the part of us who is dedicated, focused, and pure in her intentions. The goddess was served by the Vestals, virgin priestesses who had to maintain her sacred fire and who had originally been sacred sex workers. Initially, the word “virgin” was used to talk about someone who is self-sufficient and whole, a woman who doesn’t depend on marriage to a man. The sign, house, and aspects of Vesta in our natal chart show where and how we’re able to offer service to others while staying independent and detached from the process.
A challenging Vesta in the natal chart could show issues linked to sexuality or committing oneself to a long-term mission. A strongly placed Vesta can show themes linked to service and self-sufficiency in sexuality or spirituality. Some people with a prominent Vesta could be celibates (voluntary or involuntary), harvesting sexual energy to focus on their work instead of relationships, or others could be involved with more than one person physically while their soul stays unattached.