There is a side of astrology that has a strong correlation to the role myth and archetypes play in our lives, and it is one that has been explored by experts such as noted psychologist Carl Jung. The role of symbol and the way we tend to act out the archetypal roles we have presented to us fascinated him, and he saw these scenarios over and over again in the lives of the clients who came to him for understanding and guidance.
Right now this area of archetypal and mythic astrology has gotten an enormous amount of public attention, due to the imbroglio taking place in the Cosmos. Names like Pluto, Charon, Eris, and Ceres, once known only to astrological and metaphysical aficionados, are now bandied about in the media, due to the IAU's (International Astronomical Union) reordering of the planets, and asteroids.
Let's take a look at that and see what it means for us, and for our astrological awareness.
First, Pluto. Pluto has been regulated to a dwarf planet by the IAU, but that may change, since so much is changing now. Does Pluto's demotion mean anything for you, and your chart? No. Pluto is still Pluto, and still has his own orbit, and is still the ruler of Scorpio. Pluto is the Roman name given to Hades, the mythological Greek god of the underworld. It is Pluto/Hades, according to ancient Roman and Greek mythology, that we meet when we leave this earthly existence, and go on to life in the spiritual realm. Some people believe in a life beyond the physical one, some do not. But that is just one aspect of what Pluto represents in mythology, and in astrology. Pluto is also the catalyst for many of the transforming experiences in our life. Transformation governed by Pluto works from the inside out. After a Pluto transformation, many people find that like the phoenix bird, one of the symbols of the sign Scorpio, which sign Pluto governs, they rise from the ashes of their former selves, and fly onward and upward to a better, more fulfilling life and destiny. And that's Pluto.
Charon is the name given to the Moon that orbits Pluto. Charon is the guide who ferried the boat that leads from this life to the next one, and as you can see Charon and Pluto both are on a journey together, and it is fitting and right that they should be in tandem in the heavens, as they are in mythology.
There is a place in the cosmos called the Galactic Center, and it currently is at 26 degrees of Sagittarius. Pluto has conjuncted that degree off and on for several months now, which places Pluto right in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The Galactic Center encapsulates a place that is in essence the power center of the universe, the place where time began and where it enters into and from, depending on how esoteric and metaphysical you want to get. So we have the most powerful planet joining up with the most powerful esoteric spot in the universe, right at the moment when the astronomers of the world get together and bring the mythology of the cosmos into the consciousness of the world as a whole. That's strong stuff, symbolically and every other way you think about it.
An asteroid is a semi-planet, in essence. Its place in our charts is to detail more specifically and fully a certain aspect of our life time journey. For example, Juno is the asteroid that deals with marriage, Pallas with our wisdom and how we incorporate knowledge into our lives, and Vesta with the way we run our homes and families.
These asteroids are used by astrologers to give a more complete view of the life situation of the individual chart, and they are very useful to determine an analysis of specific areas of life. For example, in the case of Juno, how a person relates to their marriage, and what they want out of marriage to begin with, can be focused on by an examination of the sign Juno was in at their birth, the aspects it makes to their natal planets, and synastry connections to their partner's planets. It's a very handy way to get in-depth information above and beyond the normal Venus and Mars route, which is of course important. Venus deals with love and Mars with sex in relationship analysis, but Juno will hone in on the actual marriage scenario.
Dwarf planet 2003 UB313, once thought to be the famed "10th planet," was named Eris by the IAU on September 13, 2006. Bringing the daughter of Nyx (the Greek goddess of the night) into the cosmic spotlight is certainly appropriate to the current climate of cosmic upheaval in the heavens.
Eris is the goddess of discord, and her Moon was named Dysnomia, after her daughter. Eris's offspring is a wild child, and embodies the spirit of lawlessness, according to her mythology. Eris started the Trojan War, by throwing the apple of discord at a wedding she was not invited to. By asking Paris, one of the wedding guests, to choose the fairest and most beautiful of all the goddesses, she invited envy, hate and jealousy to make their way into a ceremony that should celebrate love, trust, and faith.
Paris chose Aphrodite, the Greek name for Venus, the goddess of love, as the fairest goddess. She gave Paris his wish, to have Helen, the most beautiful woman in Greece, and the ten-year battle between Greece and Troy began, once Paris and Helen ran off together.
Eris has a very long journey through the signs of the zodiac and she is currently in Aries at 21 degrees. Eris has been in Aries since 1926 and will be there for quite a while, past 2036. Whatever house in your chart Aries rules, there also Eris will be, depending on the degree she was in at your birth. When your Eris degree is triggered by another planet, you may feel a bit more irritated with everyone around you, and perhaps feel the urge to retaliate for a real or imagined slight. The more you can rise above those feelings, the better you will feel in the long run.
Ceres is the largest asteroid and was in the initial proposal by the IAU astronomers to become a planet all her own, but has now been classified as a dwarf planet. Ceres was initially identified as a planet when she was first discovered in 1801 and then she was demoted to an asteroid. Whether she eventually makes it up the ladder to full planet status remains to be seen, but it is fascinating to know that her name, Ceres, is now mentioned in the news.
Ceres is in essence the mother earth goddess. She is the nurturer and the sustainer of the universe as a whole. Ceres is the Roman goddess of the grains and she is closely identified with Demeter, the Greek goddess and the mother of Persephone, who was taken underground by Pluto. When Persephone is underground in her underworld realm, it is winter, and when she returns, it is spring. The mythology of life, death and rebirth is played out by Pluto, Persephone, and Ceres. But that is just one of the multifaceted associations this heavy duty planet/dwarf planet/asteroid Ceres brings to us and our understanding of ourselves, and our lives.
Ceres is in charge of wheat, fruit and grains, particularly cereals, hence her name Ceres. She feeds the earth, and the people living in it. Without Ceres we would starve, both physically and emotionally. Ceres is the potential ruler of Virgo, the symbol of the harvest. Ceres is asteroid number #1, and that says it all. Her progress through the twelve signs of the zodiac can still be charted, no matter what her appellation is, since that is not going to change at all, no matter that she is now called a dwarf planet, as opposed to the largest asteroid.
Ceres's journey through the signs of the zodiac varies, but she is in each sign for between three to ten months. Ceres entered into Pisces on December 30, 2006, and will be there until March 20, 2007, when she moves into Aries.
In her role as grain goddess Ceres's placement in our charts can help us see how we view our relationship to food, and how our weight affects our body image. Are we too fat, or too thin? Can we ever weigh the right amount? If we don't love ourselves, the answer is no, we will never be satisfied with our outer image, as long as we are dissatisfied with ourselves internally.
Our relationship to food is one that starts at birth, and continues for life. All of us can fall into the habit of using food for emotional sustenance, and we eat comfort food to be in fact comforted. If we starve ourselves, then we impose the most rigorous and stringent form of self punishment onto our bodes, our physical organs here in the material world.
If our personal Ceres is in one of the fire signs, Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius, then hot and spicy foods may be what we most enjoy eating. Our metabolism may burn very quickly, and we may be able to eat as much as we want without gaining weight. It's also possible we will suffer from indigestion, and have a tendency to eat on the run.
If Ceres is in an earth sign, Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn, then our metabolism may be on the lethargic side. It may be hard for us to lose weight, and it could be that we don't eat a lot, and still see the pounds pile on. If that is the case, it could be that we need to come up with a nutritional plan that will work with our body type, and our inborn metabolism.
In water signs Ceres may mean that we imbibe a little more than we should, that we take comfort from not just food but also liquids, and we could have a tendency to use alcohol to numb ourselves to pain, or to elevate our mood to one of temporary, artificial happiness. The water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces, and if Ceres is located there we might want to examine our habits and see if this is a factor in our lives.
If we don't enjoy eating, or if we have a rather abstemious attitude to food, then it might be that we have Ceres in an air sign, Gemini, Libra, or Aquarius. It could be that we think we can subsist on ambrosia, the food of the gods. But in reality, we may not be getting enough nutrition, or we may embark on an exotic eating plan that is not good for us physically. Our attitude to food may be quixotic, and we may need to discover why that is, and what we can do to develop better eating habits.
Ceres also rules how we were mothered and what our attitude is towards nurturing. If we have strong ties to another's Ceres, or he or she does to ours, then we may look at that person as a mother figure and he or she may do the same to us. It is apparent that we need to realize how important Ceres is, and has always been in our charts.
Ceres rules, among other things, how we feel about food, and how we were mothered. It is more important then ever that we know who Ceres is, and we have the Cosmos as a role model, telling us Ceres needs to be moved up a notch, so that we can understand more fully the role she plays in our lives, and our charts.