Ceres, The Great Mother Principle
The first asteroid discovered is by far the largest of the bunch. 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. Here's a brief look at Ceres in the twelve signs:
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.
Ceres in Taurus nurtures others by providing them with the basic necessities of life, especially the tangible resources that bring a sense of stability. One's inner mother feels secure when financial benefits are plentiful. Under stressful aspects, Ceres here can feel overly dependent on possessions, or that one's self worth is based on how much one has. Ceres in Taurus nurtures self and others through the sense of touch.
Ceres in Gemini may nurture others or feel nurtured through communication, education, and travel. Talking things out makes one feel loved and accepted. Under stress, this placement may lead to problems with duality, mental confusion, or an over-emphasis on persuasion and intellectual superiority. Ceres in Gemini nurtures others by sharing important information, and through visits that enhance points of view.
Ceres is strongly placed in Cancer, and feels deep emotional bonds with family members, especially with the mother and/or children. Ceres here expresses itself in a kind and caring way, and provides loved ones with both emotional and physical support. Under stressful aspects this placement can lead to an overly sentimental or dependent relationships. Ceres in Cancer also nurtures others and self with food.
Ceres in Leo feels nurtured and nurtures others by expressing personal talents, creativity, and independence. The parent with Ceres in Leo takes care of the child by encouraging a sense of self-confidence. Under stressful aspects, this placement can lead to a feeling of inadequacy over one's creations, or what one takes pride in. Ceres in Leo feels nurtured when personal efforts are appreciated.
Ceres in Virgo is strongly placed, and fosters a sense of service to others, a love of work, and a feeling of competence. This placement leads to excellence in craftsmanship, but under stress can bring a perfectionist attitude. Parents may be overly critical, or one's inner parent may never be satisfied with the result. Work in the health services or food industry is common with this placement.
Ceres in Libra nurtures self and others by developing a cooperative attitude and a sense of sharing. One nurtures self by developing meaningful relationships, and the caretaker with this placement shows how to excel in social interactions. Under stress, Ceres in Libra may place too much importance on being accepted by others, and forget self-development. Ceres in Libra loves fine dining.
Ceres in Scorpio is exceptionally powerful placement, and nurtures others by imparting a sense of life's most significant passages and the importance of deep family bonds. Ceres here nurtures others or self through total transformation, a process that involves emotional self-control. Under stress, personal relationships may be plagued by jealousy, possessiveness, or resentment. Ceres in Scorpio may be a healer or facilitator.
Ceres in Sagittarius nurtures others by showing them how to explore their environment and expand their horizons. One nurtures oneself and others by finding a sense of personal direction; one encourages an optimism that creates success, and how to enjoy life as a journey. Under stress, this Ceres placement can lead to the feeling that life is meaningless or one has no moral compass.
Ceres in Capricorn nurtures others by showing them how to succeed in life. With this placement one feels nurtured by a sense of achievement. This is the wise mother placement, one who teaches others how to take responsibility for their own lives. Under stress it can lead to excessive dependence on position or status as a substitute for creating loving or caring relationships.
Ceres in Aquarius nurtures others by developing their sense of social justice and an acceptance of their own uniqueness. One feels nurtured when accepted by the group, or when participating in causes, or in activities shared by people with similar goals. Under stress Ceres here may feel disconnected from others, or that one is socially inept. This placement fosters a sense of personal freedom.
Ceres in Pisces nurtures others by imparting a sense of connectivity to a larger whole. One may feel nurtured by identifying with all of humanity, or some spiritual mission. Ceres in Pisces is extremely compassionate and concerned about the welfare of others. Under stress this placement can lead to feelings of abandonment or helplessness. Ceres in Pisces is the lover of the universe.
on this page...
Ceres by sign, Ceres and the outer planets, with links to an introduction to asteroids, Ceres and the environment, Ceres and parenting, case studies of David Letterman and Anjelina Jolie.
Ceres brings abundance.
She is the Goddess of the Grains
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
Introduction to Asteroids
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. By deploying the first four asteroids discovered - Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta, the horoscope becomes an equal opportunity psychological map.
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).
This is an excerpt from Ceres and Parenting. Read the rest here
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.
to order your report or to discuss how it can be bundled with a personal reading.
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.
Ceres and the Environment
Ceres and the Outer Planets continued...
Ceres and the Outer Planets
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 and the other asteroids are all located between Mars and Jupiter, a belt situated between the personal and transpersonal planets. Ceres in the individual horoscope can take on both a personal and/or transpersonal perspective depending on the connections it makes to other planets. Ceres points to a variety of vocational interests, including all the helping professions, child education, agricultural occupations, food service and industries, and work with animals.
More specifically, when Ceres is closely aligned with Uranus, one feels like a global citizen. Perhaps one's personal family is too dysfunctional to identify with, or for other reasons the individual relocates away from the ancestral background. This may mean living in a foreign country, getting involved in a humanitarian cause, or otherwise bridging racial, cultural, or religious roots.
Examples from the celebrity world include actress Drew Barrymore, soccer star David Beckham, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, political debutante Chelsea Clinton, musicians Jerry Garcia and Janet Jackson, zen basketball coach Phil Jackson, politician Joseph Patrick Kennedy, international beauty Claudia Schiffer, Indian film director Manoj Night Shyamalan, baseball star Ichiro Suzuki, tennis champion Serena Williams, and actress Joanne Woodward.
Each of these celebrities has a Ceres-Uranus aspect with an orb of one degree or less, a tightness that becomes a powerful dynamic in shaping the individual psyche. Each of these celebrities is an active participant in creating the global village.
When Ceres aspects Neptune the individual might feel driven to take care of the less fortunate in society. Spiritual needs may nurture the self, as well as inspire one to spiritually feed others as one develops a sense of compassion. Tom Cruise (July 3, 1962), with his Sun conjunct Ceres and trine Neptune, is a good example of this combination. His devotion to scientology provides an outlet for his these impulses.
Another example is Julia Butterfly Hill (February 18, 1974), an environmental activist who lived on top of an ancient redwood tree for two years to protest the clearcut of an old growth forest.
Her Ceres is in cause-oriented Aquarius and forms an exact sextile to Neptune, giving her a deep compassion for trees as living beings.
Under stressful aspects the Ceres-Neptune individual may develop a dependency on drugs, fall victim to deception, or otherwise become a celebrated victim. Kurt Cobain (February 20, 1967; 7:20 pm; Aberdeen, WA) is a prime example here. The founder of grunge music was a hopeless heroin addict. His Ceres is found in communications sign of Gemini, but forms a hard aspect to Neptune.
Likewise, Martha Stewart (August 3, 1941; 1:33 pm; Jersey City, NJ) has natal Ceres in the second house of money where it forms a close square to Neptune. Her fall from grace centered on illegal insider trading, or in other words, financial fraud.
Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis (July 28, 1929; 2:30 pm; South Hampton, NY) has Neptune conjunct her Midheaven where it forms a square to Ceres in the seventh house of partners. At the time JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963 transiting Ceres and Neptune were forming a conjunction right on her Scorpio Ascendant.
Ceres in aspect to Pluto is an extremely powerful motivating force, and may bestow unusual abilities on the individual. These may include the ability to heal, or facilitate major life changes.
Daniel Radcliffe (July 23, 1989) has Ceres in dextrous Gemini closely aspecting Pluto in magical Scorpio. His starring role as Harry Potter demonstrates some of the supernatural talent that may appear in various guises with this aspect.
Many individuals with challenging Ceres-Pluto aspects feel called to work in hospices where they assist or guide patients through the door of death. The schizophrenic genius John Nash (June 13, 1928) overcame tremendous psychological forces to achieve a semblance of normalcy and claim the Nobel Prize. Russell Crowe, who played John Nash in the film "A Beautiful Mind", also has a natal Ceres-Pluto aspect.
George W. Bush (July 6, 1946; 7:26 am; New Haven, CT) was born with Pluto in his first house opposite Ceres. Bush's Pluto is conjunct Mercury, a combination that produces a very focused political ideology. With Ceres modifying his Mercury-Pluto, Bush found success in the campaigns by touting "Compassionate Conservatism". One may assume that his wife Laura had a hand in developing this philosophy since Ceres is in the seventh house of partners. Ceres here also denotes his father's influence, and many of W.'s advisers come frm George senior's cabinet.
Vice President Dick Cheney (January 30, 1941; 7:30 pm; Lincoln, NB), for example, was the elder George's Secretary of State, and his Aquarian Sun is exactly conjunct W.'s Ceres. The seventh house is also the house of open enemies, and one of W's staunchest opponents is the environmental faction, which is symbolized by Ceres.
Ceres' association with the environmental movement can be seen in John Denver's horoscope. John Denver (December 31, 1943; 3:55 pm; Roswell, NM) was born with Ceres conjunct Saturn in vocal Gemini, and located right on his Gemini Ascendant. Denver was well-known for his songs about nature, and when he became a celebrity he began a speaking tour that promoted various environmental groups and causes. He established several environmental organizations himself, and became an enduring symbol for protecting natural habitats. Here the Ceres-Saturn connection comes through as taking personal responsibility for the continuous survival and well-being of nature.
Ceres in aspect to Chiron, known as the Wounded Healer, is often found in the charts of health practitioners and alternative healers. The caring, sensitive aura of the Ceres individual combined with the awareness of other realities and dimensions as denoted by Chiron may inspire vocational or professional outlets. These include being an astrologer, massage therapist, chiropractor, herbologist, acupuncturist, or naturopath. Many nurses and doctors also have this combination.
Ceres by transit can bring traumatic life changes, especially when it's under difficult natal configurations. Jackie O's Ceres brought her a lifetime of such tragedies, with her Ceres in the 7th house of partners squaring Neptune at her Midheaven.
Ceres and the Outer Planets continued...
To those who have learned to work with Ceres, this asteroid may bring long life. Ceres in aspect to both Jupiter and Neptune is found in the charts of the world's oldest human beings. According to the 2001 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, Eva Morris holds the official record for being the oldest human. She was born on November 8, 1885 and died peacefully in her sleep at an English nursing home just six days before her 115th birthday. Eva was born with Ceres sextile Jupiter and opposite Neptune, giving her an innate ability to take care of herself, especially in a spiritual sense since Jupiter and Neptune are the two planets associated with faith.
Guinness recognizes Jeanne Calment as the oldest person ever who has authenticated birth records. She was born on February 21, 1875 and died in 1997 at age 122. She was born with Ceres trine Jupiter and sextile Neptune. While the publishers of Guinness Book require a birth certificate for authentication, when considering church records, the oldest person ever was probably Maria do Carmo Jeronimo, a former slave from Brazil who died on June 14, 2000 at age 129. She was born on March 5, 1871, and has Ceres in Virgo square Jupiter and inconjunct Neptune.
Superman actor Christopher Reeve is another example. Reeve (September 25, 1952; 3:12 am; NYC) was born with Ceres in restless Gemini and opposed to Mars, a natal alignment predisposed to accidents while traveling. On May 27, 1995 during an equestrian competition he suffered an accident which left him paralyzed from the neck down. At the time transiting Ceres was exactly conjunct his Leo Ascendant (which rules the physical body), and transiting Mercury had just turned retrograde while conjunct his Ceres.
Elizabeth "Ma Pampo" Israel, from the tiny island nation of Dominica, has church baptismal records that indicate she was born on January 27, 1875, only a month before Calment. She died shortly after her 128th birthday in early 2003. Like the others, she has the blessed Ceres-Jupiter-Neptune cosmic signature. Ma Pampo is a national Dominican hero, and was widely celebrated and interviewed during her last years. Following her predisposition to Ceres, she believes in good nutrition, and attributes her longevity to eating natural food. She ate fresh crab, dumplings and fish, and drank coconut milk regularly. "The artificial fertilizer they're using now is what is making people sick and killing them slowly... they will never live long," she said in one of her last interviews.
From these examples and case histories, astrologers can see that Ceres represents a powerful archetypal force that should be included in any analysis of the natal horoscope. From questions about pregnancy, vocation, parenting issues, food complexes, to life and death situations, Ceres is the missing link that provides the answers. If astrology is the algebra of life, then Ceres in her most exalted role is the gift of life itself.