Asteroid Ceres in Astrology plays an important role in the natal chart in relation to nurture, loss, sharing, food, farming, agriculture, etc.
Asteroid Ceres in mythology
Ceres is the protector of the Earth, and the benevolent goddess of all plants that are consumed for food, agriculture, type of diet, food, fertility, etc. However, a tragedy struck her. Her beautiful daughter, Persephone was kidnapped by Hades (Pluto in Roman), the god of the underworld, and taken to his dark caves. As expected in Greek mythology which can be pretty twisted, Hades happened to be the brother of Ceres, and he fell in love with his own niece. He promised her all the gold and comfort, if only she will love him in return. Ceres meanwhile grieved and raged at the loss of her daughter, and abandoned the care of her plants, resulting in worldwide starvation. Zeus intervened and a deal was made wherein Persephone could stay half time with her mother Ceres and half time with Hades, and this is how we got the seasons, spring and summer when Ceres is happy and winter when Ceres is grieving.
Asteroid Ceres in Astrology
Demetra Goerge in her book on “Asteroid Goddesses”, calls Ceres the “nurturing prnciple”. Ceres placement in the natal chart shows how we take care of ourselves and others and the potential for loss and grief. The aspects to Ceres show whether it is hard for us to nurture or if it comes easy. Do we have to sacrifice something, or share with others – like a mother who may have to let go of her career in order to take care of her kids? In predictive astrology, Ceres is also a good timer of pregnancy and birth, along with 5th house and its ruler. It also shows adoption especially in the 5th/11th axis or in combination with the moon nodes. Ceres prominent people often have Ceres in conjunction with an angle, luminary or the nodes. Ceres was considered the largest asteroid but in 2006 the Astronomical society promoted it to the status of dwarf planet as it is similar in size to Pluto.
Ceres is about Nurturing and Childbirth
Ceres is the goddess of Fertility. In horoscope, Ceres an show issues in early nurturing, abuse in childhood, and about pregnancy and adoption. It also shows through transit and progression, when there is an addition to the household through birth or adoption. One client had progressed Moon conjunct his natal Ceres when he brought his adopted son home. When I got my son, I had both progressed Venus and Moon oppose my natal Ceres. The planet that is transiting or progressing to Ceres at the time of birth could show the ease or difficulty in being a parent. Saturn aspects to Ceres could show that caregiving is not going to be an easy task due to personality issues or other environmental problems, like a child needing more attention due to medical reasons. Pluto or Uranus transits to Ceres during time of birth could mean sudden change or transformations due to the birth of the child.
Ceres is related to Grief and Separation
There often is a theme of loss and grief for Ceres prominent people, especially in relation to their children. Sometimes it could be just having to let go of something that is important to them. Mia Farrow, and actress and activist, is a classic example of a Ceres prominent person, with her Ceres conjunct the descendant, square Pluto and opposite Astraea, the asteroid for law and judgement. Mia Farrow had 12 children, 4 of her own and 8 adopted. Symbolic of Ceres, she lost one of her daughters, Soon-Yi, when she found her daughter’s nude pictures in her long term boyfriend, Woody Allen’s apartment. Later, Woody Allen ended up marrying Soon-Yi. Does this remind you of Hades kidnapping Ceres’ daughter, Persephone? She also alleged that Woody Allen sexually abused their other daughter, Dylan but this was dismissed by the Court. She grieved the loss of two of her children, Tom Farrow when he was 14, and Lark Previn, when she was 35. The title of her autobiography, “What Falls Away” very aptly describes some of the characteristics of of Ceres – grief and loss. Her separation with Woody Allen and the court process involving her children occurred in a very publicized manner. Even as recently as 2014, her daughter, Dylan wrote about her experience of sexual abuse with Woody Allen. The involvement with the court and law with regards to her children is seen with Ceres opposite Astraea, an asteroid often associated with law.
Toni Morrison, an American novelist and a noble laureate, has Ceres conjunct her south node. She brought up her two sons as a single mother and it was a big blow when she lost her son, Slade in December 2010 to pancreatic cancer. She says in an interview about her experience of losing her son “”What do you say? There really are no words for that. There really aren’t. Somebody tries to say, ‘I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.’ People say that to me. There’s no language for it”. During the time of the loss, transiting Saturn was conjunct her Ceres and South Node, while transiting Pluto was exactly on her solar arc Ceres and South Node. Julie Andrews, a singer and an actress has a Ceres conjunct her Sun, and she was devastated when she lost her beautiful voice after she went through a surgery to remove non-cancerous nodules from her vocal cord. Singing was a big part of her life and after this loss she took to other creative outlets like writing.
Ceres is Related to Food, Agriculture, and Eating Disorders
Chrissy Hyndie, a musician and founder of the band “Pretenders” has Ceres conjunct North Node in Pisces. She became a vegetarian early on in her life, and later in 2007 started an all vegetarian restaurant in Akron, Ohio. She has talked often about vegetarianism, and said “It is the best that ever happened to me”.
Ceres involvement is also seen in eating disorders. In my research on Moon Pluto and eating disorders, I found that Karen Carpenter, the popular musician of the sixties who died of Anorexia Nervosa had Ceres square her Moon Pluto conjunction. Also, Portia de Rossi who played a savvy lawyer in the TV show “Ally Macbeal” suffered from eating disorder. At the time of her lowest point, when she was only consuming 300 calories per day, solar arc Ceres was aspecting her natal Moon Pluto square. Shirley Soffer, the education Director of NCGR has also written an article on “Ceres and Pluto” in August 2008 isssue of The Mountain Astrologer magazine, that discusses their connection with food and eating disorders. She says “both Ceres and Pluto are connected with the vital life forces itself, with energy in the fullest sense of the term, whether it’s energy through food or energy through fuel”.
Richard Lyng has Ceres conjunct Sun and the North Node with both conjunct the midheaven. Ceres is also also at 1 degree Capricorn, conjunct the cardinal point. He served as agriculture secretary and is credited in influencing global farm policies and in trying to develop the nation’s food stamp program.
Making A Case for Ceres Rulership of Taurus
Since Ceres has been given the same status as Pluto, it makes sense that it has its own sign to rule just like Pluto (rules Scorpio). The sign that most aptly symbolizes the Ceres archetype is Taurus. There are many reasons. Taurus opposes Scorpio and it symbolizes their mythological and astrological conflict between Ceres and Hades (Pluto). Scorpio, ruled by Pluto is the 8th archetype and is about sharing and intimacy, and Taurus, the second archetype is about having strong values and boundaries. Taurus is possessive and has to learn about sharing (loosening its boundaries) from its opposite sign, Scorpio. Ceres fits right in here because she was pushed by Pluto to share her daughter, Persephone. Also, Taurus is the fixed Earth for which Ceres was the goddess anyway!
Soffer, Shirley (2008, August-September). Ceres and Pluto. The Mountain Astrologer, Pg 32-39.
George, Demetra, and Douglas Bloch. Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology and Astrology of the Re-emerging Feminine. Berwick, Me.: Ibis, 2003. Print
Anyone has prominent Ceres (Ceres aspecting angle, Sun, Moon or the nodes), please share any of your experience with loss, issues with parenting, agriculture, food, etc., which is ruled by Ceres. Also, like to hear what you think of Ceres ruling Taurus.