Ceres in Aries nurtures others by granting them independence and showing them how to be independent, strong, and action-oriented. Under stressful aspects, this combination can lead to a feeling of inadequacy or incompetence as a result of competition from a dominating parent or caretaker. Ceres in Aries can be fiercely protective of loved ones, and at times may also describe the single parent.
Officially titled Asteroid Goddesses in the Natal Chart, this 45-page comprehensive report is written by asteroid experts Demetra George and Douglas Bloch. In these pages, the four primary asteroids are fully explained, both in their general signficances as a feminine archetypes, and the meaning of each in your natal chart.
Cost is $25.
Here's a sample, an excerpt on Angelina Jolie's Ceres from her asteroid report.
One of the most important uses of Ceres is to time the birth of a child. Traditional astrology cites the Moon and the fifth house as significators for fertility and pregnancy, but Ceres works so much better. Try it and see. To whet your appeite, here are a few examples to show how Ceres works in action: David Letterman becomes a father, Angelina Jolie finds her path, and from the private case files, Sharon asks "When will I get pregnant?"
When Ceres aspects the outer planets, the path toward nurturing self and others frequently takes form as an occupational indicator. One feels that having a personal family is not enough, and service to the community or to humanity at large leads to a more fulfilling life.
Ceres, the Goddess who has control over nature's resources and cycles, could be called the Goddess of the Environment. In this sense Ceres became an emerging archetypal force in the 21st Century, and is entering our collective consciousness as a need to take care of our precious, dwindling, natural resources.
In traditional astrology only two planets are feminine, and the rest are masculine. The Moon and Venus describe the only socially acceptable roles that women were allowed to play over the past few thousand years, while men had the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto as archetypal role models. Of course nowadays women are no longer confined to being a mother (the Moon) or mate (Venus), and are actively participating as co-creators of the 21st century global culture.
Unfortunately, astrology in general has failed to keep up with the changing times. A few pioneers have shown how to restore gender balance to the horoscope, and it comes through the use of asteroids. By deploying the first four asteroids discovered - Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta, the horoscope becomes an equal opportunity psychological map.
Before Angelina Jolie married Billy Bob Thornton she was widely known for her weird escapades and emotional instability. Sure she oozed sex appeal and won an Oscar, but she had a bizarre side that wasn't really tamed until she adopted a child, a Cambodian boy named Maddox that she first met in November 2001.
"When Will I Get Pregnant?"
This next case study comes from my client files, and highlights the significance of Ceres in questions about pregnancy. The client, whom we'll call Sharon, was born with a Gemini Sun conjunct Ceres on May 28, 1971 (at 4:10 pm; Chicago). The Sun-Ceres conjunction naturally seeks to be a parent, but Sharon was having difficulty conceiving, and asked the astrologer what was going on.
Sharon had a good grasp of traditional astrology. She had fully expected to be pregnant over the last year since her Leo Moon was experiencing a conjunction from transiting Jupiter. Her Moon is well aspected with trines to her Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, and sextiles to her Sun and Saturn. Jupiter, the planet of abundance, should have given her a child when it arrived on her Moon, but nothing happened. She had checked with her gynecologist and everything was in fine working order, and her husband had a good sperm count. Sharon's astrological studies did not include the use of asteroids, and once Ceres was included in the chart analysis, the picture became clear.
At the time of our first consultation in early 2003 Sharon's progressed Ceres was applying to a challenging square to her twelfth house Pluto. Pluto here represents the hidden obstacle to her getting pregnant. Transiting Saturn in late Gemini was also squaring her natal Pluto, and her progressed Moon was conjunct Pluto, putting a bright red flag on this behind-the-scenes obstructionist. Pluto represents the deeply subconscious fears associated with getting pregnant, as well as a secret romantic affair. Pluto forms dynamic connections to the love planets Venus and Mars (tri-octiles or sesquisquares, 135º aspects), a combination often implicated in romantic triangles.
Sharon admitted to the secret liaison, and set out to get right with her husband. By the time transiting Saturn, the progressed Moon and progressed Ceres had completed their difficult connections to her Pluto, she had dismissed the secret affair as a hopeless fantasy, and confessed to her husband. She really did want to get pregnant. After her progressed Ceres completed the square to Pluto, it went on to form a link (an inconjunction, or 150º aspect) to her progressed and natal Jupiter. Ceres to Jupiter blessed her with her first pregnancy in November 2003. Also at the time transiting Jupiter was squaring her Ceres, and transiting Ceres was conjunct her Midheaven. Astrologers, please note the difference. Jupiter to her Moon did not work; Ceres to Jupiter, and Jupiter to Ceres did.
David Letterman made headline celebrity news on November 3, 2003 when he had his first child at age 56. Why did he wait until 56 to have a kid?
The Aries Sun here is an iconoclast, one that attacks or undermines polite society. Letterman has used this outlaw side to give his sense of humor an edge, one that has found favor with late night audiences. Venus, the ruler of his Taurus Ascendant, squares Uranus. This quirky pairing, aside from enhancing his eccentric side, makes committed relationships difficult. He's never been married.
The house where Ceres is located describes the area where the native finds nurturing, and takes care of others. Ceres is found in Letterman's twelfth house, where it finds sustenance, nurturing through secret and behind the scenes activities. Letterman takes care of himself through his sense of privacy, and he discreetly takes care of those who work for him. The twelfth house is also about secret relationships, and as it turns out, the mother of his child is a staff member never seen on television. Ceres is conjunct Mars and in Aries, so his care-taking style often takes the form of aggressive or provocative banter. Ceres and Mars-Aries energy actually aren't the most harmonious combination. When Letterman fights with people at work, it means that he cares for them. Call it tough love.
As an Aries, Letterman naturally identifies with his Mars, which makes it easier to project Ceres onto the workers around him, especially the caring, motherly female staffers. Mars as the archetypal warrior knows that to get ahead one must be strong, forceful, and daring. Mars in Aries is highly competitive and gives Letterman the relentless desire to be Number One. A strong Mars such as this represents the vanguard, the best and brightest of the patriarchal society that has ruled our collective civilization for the last several thousand years. Mars here offers Letterman the fortitude to become a dominant player in society, the alpha male.
Ceres, in contrast, does not seek power over others. Ceres seeks to empower others, and this is what makes her feel fulfilled. Ceres provides others with whatever they need to become healthier and more secure individuals. In the modern business world, empowering others is a short cut to personal failure, until those who have been nurtured and sustained recognize that they became that way through the kindness and steady assistance of the Ceres personality. Ceres grows people like a gardener grows crops, and eventually the harvest comes. She is patient, understands the natural cycles of birth, growth, and decay, and honors the critical passages for each of these stages. Ceres is most closely associated with the signs Cancer (the home) and Virgo (the harvest).
Using the traditional planets doesn't provide many clues that Letterman was about to become a father. Transiting Saturn in Cancer is one that might be summoned, perhaps giving increased importance to the clan. Saturn was also in an opposition to his Moon, but this Saturn-to-Moon cycle is in effect every seven years, and doesn't point to 2003 as being different. His fifth house of children is ruled by Leo, and transiting Jupiter had been passing through when he conceived his son. But one could just as easily say that he was entering into a new romantic relationship. Perhaps he found a lover but they weren't married. This is in fact what happened. The question remains, why have a child?
Angelina was born a multi-tasking Gemini (June 4, 1975; 9:09 am; Los Angeles) with Venus, the love goddess, right on her sensitive Cancer Ascendant. Venus here is what gives her the enormous personal magnetism, and the square to Uranus accounts for much of her quirky behavior. Yet when she married the grizzled, four-times married Billy Bob Thornton on May 5, 2000, her life suddenly switched to semi-normalcy. Somehow she became more stable.
Introduction to Asteroids, continues
Each of these asteroids represents a vital component of the emerging feminine consciousness, with each describing a range of talents, trials, and traits not covered by the traditional planets. Astrologers need to understand these asteroids simply because the issues dominating our emerging global community are not explained by the traditional planets. Asteroids fill in the missing letters of the astrological alphabet.
Perhaps the easiest way to understand the four major asteroids is by the unique relationship patterns that they codify. Ceres is the Great Mother asteroid, and is correlated to the parent-child relationship. She is the caretaker, nurturer, and ruler of major life cycles including life and death.
Pallas is associated with the father-daughter relationship, and in a broader sense symbolizes the favorite child who through her intelligence and wisdom supports the corporate and political state. In the simplest terms, Ceres is the mother and Pallas is the daughter.
Juno represents the wife-husband relationship. Major transits and progressions involving Juno are critical timers to forming, altering, or ending committed relationships. When this asteroid is used, Venus becomes better understood as a love planet that is more interested in sex and intimacy than commitment.
Vesta is the sister relationship, and she indicates devotion to an altruistic or sacred cause. Most commonly, a prominent Vesta shows a workaholic, but she is also an indicator for personal independence and integration, and therefore challenges personal relationships. Juno is the wife, and Vesta is the sister.
Men who are in tune with their feminine halves may express the inherent qualities of asteroids directly. This is especially true when the asteroid is closely aspecting the Ascendant or Sun. More often than not, the asteroids represent women in the men's lives. A prominent Ceres, Pallas, Juno or Vesta may be a man's actual mother, daughter, wife or sister, so that when one of these asteroids is activated, that person will show up in the native's life.
Women with an asteroid angular (conjunct or opposite the Ascendant, or conjunct or opposite the Midheaven) or in close aspect to the Sun tend to personify this asteroid very directly. The best way to see how any one of these asteroids works in the real world is to watch the individual who has the asteroid prominently placed, or to watch what happens when the asteroid is suddenly hit by a major progression or outer planet transit.
“We don’t allow faster-than-light neutrinos in here,” says the bartender.
A neutrino walks into a bar.
- joke circulating on the net
Letterman was born (April 12, 1947; 6:00 am CST; Indianapolis, IN) with his Sun in Aries and Moon in Capricorn, a combination that is driven toward success. This relentless, steamroller personality is further funneled into his Late Night host role with his Sun and several other planets in the twelfth house.
David Letterman Becomes a Father
on this page...
Introduction to asteroids, Ceres and parenting with case studies of David Letterman, Angelina Jolie, and "Sharon". Links to Ceres by sign, Ceres and the outer planets, Ceres and the environment.
Ceres brings abundance.
She is the Goddess of the Grains
The Discovery of Planet X
The first asteroid discovered was Ceres, and she offers the primary reason to expand the astrological alphabet beyond the traditional ten planets. But before exploring this archetype, let's have a look at the most common reasons that tradition-bound astrologers do not yet use asteroids. One of the main reasons is that although ninety percent of those interested in astrology are women, most of the major decision-makers are men. Men have a natural bias against using feminine archetypes, and this bias is supported by the objection that there are over ten thousand asteroids. They are demeaned as meaningless gravel. Why use just four?
Ceres was discovered in 1801, and fulfilled an expectation that a planet would be discovered somewhere between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Each of the known planets had orbits with a recognized, proportional distance from the Sun, except there was a big gap after Mars and before Jupiter. With the aid of the telescope, astronomers scoured the skies for Planet X.
When Ceres was discovered, astronomers were jubilant, having successfully predicted the discovery mathematically. However, they were soon dismayed to discover in quick succession, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta in the same orbital field. Many years intervened before the fifth asteroid was discovered, with the sixth, seventh, and so on following quickly thereafter. So a natural break occurs between the first four and the rest.
Astrologers know that the timing of a planet's discovery can be associated with the planet's essential symbolic meaning. The same holds true for the asteroids. The rise of a new feminine consciousness demanding social equality in the early 1800s is marked by the discovery of the first four asteroids. Astronomers named the new celestial finds after ancient goddesses, a synchronicity in tune with the times.
Now that the Hubble telescope is peering into the recesses of our solar system, new planetoids are constantly being discovered all the time. Astronomers are now questioning the status of Pluto as a planet since so many other trans-Neptunian objects have been found. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are all huge and gaseous compared to Pluto, which is small and frozen solid like the other celestial objects found outside Neptune's orbit.
Astrologers who question the use of the first four asteroids, if they are going to be consistent, should also question the use of Pluto as a planet. But we all know how important Pluto is. No astrologer would get rid of this tiny but powerful fellow, even though other trans-Neptunian objects rival Pluto in size and have similarly distant orbits around the Sun. We might conclude that Pluto represents a class of objects found beyond Neptune. In the same way, the first four asteroids represent a class of objects found between Mars and Jupiter.
Astrologers who use Chiron face a similar dilemma. Chiron is neither an asteroid nor a planet. Astronomers created a new class of celestial objects called Centaurs, of which Chiron was the first discovered in 1977. The other Centaurs found since then have similar orbits - wide elliptical paths that cross inside Saturn's orbit at their closest, but range outside Uranus's orbit and even Neptune's at the farthest. The two Centaurs discovered after Chiron were named Nessus and Pholus, and at least three others have been found. Astrologers who use Chiron, but not Nessus and Pholus can't complain that only the first four asteroids are used. The same logic works for the use of Chiron as for Pluto and the four major asteroids. Chiron acts as a carrier wave or as a messenger for the rest in its group. One could use the others, but Chiron is enough.
Traditional astrologers have borrowed the concept of carrier waves from physics to explain the outer three planets - Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. How could astrologers make accurate assessments and forecasts before these planets were discovered? As the explanation goes, these outer planets have resonance with three inner planets, namely Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The inner planets act as carrier waves for the outer planets until human consciousness could collectively discern the difference. The discovery of each of these planets represented an emerging consciousness which manifested as the physical sighting of the new celestial objects. In the same way, the Moon and Venus operated as carrier waves for the spectrum of feminine consciousness, but now it's time to refine and clarify what we're actually looking at, and Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta do exactly that.
Here we can see how Ceres is closely associated with food, and in Taurus as a provider of the basic necessities for life. Angelina donates one third her paycheck (she earns $16 million per film) to charity, funds that go directly into feeding the hungry and sheltering refugees.
This case study shows how Ceres can be classified along with Venus and Jupiter as a benefic. When her dormant Ceres suddenly came to life, Angelina found purpose and direction. Ceres is in her tenth house where it fulfills her sense of social responsibility.
What happened from an astrological perspective is that her progressed Midheaven was forming a conjunction with Ceres in rock solid Taurus. Her reputation and professional life (progressed Midheaven) was now anchored to the Ceres archetype, giving her a respect for a more traditional lifestyle. And she became interested in having children. By March 2002 the couple had successfully navigated through the red tape to complete the adoption process.
Although she and Billy Bob (b. August 5, 1955) separated shortly after that, he stimulated her maternal instincts since several of his planets aligned with her Ceres. His Mercury-Jupiter-Sun-Mars quadruple conjunction in Leo squares her Ceres, and in fact it was he who introduced her to their child Maddox while they were visiting an orphanage in Cambodia.
Angelina continues with the process of adopting other children, and plans on having seven altogether, one from each continent. She says her worldview changed when she read the script for Beyond Borders, a film that highlights the plight of the millions of refugees around the world. This happened in 2000 at the same time that her progressed Midheaven was conjunct her Ceres. Her interest is humanitarian; she has become the U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for which she has received several awards, and says she wants to feed all the hungry children in the world.
Michael O'Reilly is a professional astrologer and freelance writer living in Bend, Oregon. He writes the weekly NewsScope column and regular features for Dell Horoscope magazine. For information about personal consultations, please contact him at email@example.com or visit
The clearest indicator is Ceres. Ceres by secondary progression was right on his Sun, a once-in-a-lifetime state of affairs. If we consider the transits to be the planetary situations that everyone feels, the progressed chart represents the unique, internalized developments. Secondary progressions are based on the esoteric formula that one day after birth is the symbolic equivalent of one year after birth. Letterman was 56 when he had his child, so looking 56 days after he was born puts Ceres in a conjunction with his Sun. For this phase Letterman would personally identify (the Sun) with the parent-child relationship (Ceres).
As an aside, Letterman was deeply engrossed by his actual age at the time since his father died of a heart attack at 57. Letterman named his boy after his father, Harry Joseph Letterman. So the deeper significance of progressed Ceres conjunct his Sun was a reminder of life's major passages, and included the death of his father, his relationship with him, and his own mortality. Progressed Ceres moves about 1/4 degree per year, so becomes a noticeable influence within three or four years before becoming exact. The trigger for this underlying progression was transiting Ceres, which had just entered his fourth house of the home and family at the time young Harry Joseph was born.