All About The Asteroids
The mythology of Ceres
Ceres is the Roman equivalent of perhaps the more recognizable Greek goddess, Demeter, Goddess of grain in particular. The most common story about Demeter involves her daughter, Persephone. The story goes that Persephone was kidnapped and taken to the underworld by Hades. Demeter searched tirelessly for her, focused only on finding her, and during this time the earth was barren. Zeus sent Hermes (Mercury) to retrieve Persephone before there was no one left alive to worship him, but Persephone had eaten pomegranate seeds while she was in the underworld, which bound her to Hades part of the year. Thus, when Demeter is with her daughter, the world blooms, the grains grow: summer. When Persephone is in the underworld, the earth is barren and Demeter is in loneliness: winter.
The astronomy of Ceres
The glyph for Ceres sort of looks like a sickle – appropriate since she is the goddess of grain. It is a ‘dwarf planet’ (formerly an asteroid) and was discovered in 1801. It is in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and is the largest object in the asteroid belt (although the Kuiper belt has larger objects such as Eris, Pluto, and Sedna). Its orbit is 4.6 years.
The astrology of Ceres
The theme here seems overall to be the theme of mother, which leads me to make associations with Cancer and the Moon, and while I think those are valid, I tend to think of Ceres more as the healing and nurturing energy of Gaia, Earth Mother. Ceres, like Lilith and other asteroids, is not going to be highly dynamic in everyone’s chart, but if it’s prominently placed in your chart, I think issues of nourishing others and especially self-nourishment are going to be particularly important themes. Ceres work is about it takes to sustain life and to allow life to thrive; underneath all the things we do to nourish others and ourselves is the basic urge to care for and be cared for, looked after, provided for.
Perhaps the dark side of Ceres manifests as an inappropriate and out of balance relationship with the idea of nourishment. I can certainly buy into the suggestions (although untested) that eating disorders of all kinds could be related to wounding to the Ceres function. If we are undernourishing ourselves (through various forms, not just food), perhaps we should ask what is it we think we don’t deserve and why? If we are over-doing it, we could be looking for comfort in the wrong places, and harming ourselves. I also think there is a theme of co-dependency to be found in unhealthy Ceres function, where the nurturer needs the nurtured just as much as viceversa, and perhaps more. This can also be found in unhealthy Cancer expressions, but I think is more specific to Ceres.
Lilith the asteroid, Dark Moon Lilith, and Black Moon Lilith
The mythology of Lilith The mythology of Lilith is vast and goes through several incarnations – which may or may not be related to each other, and certainly predates the bible stories (possibly back as far as 3500 B.C.), although the story of Lilith as the first wife of Adam is possibly the most widely known. The first mention, though, seems to be in ancient Sumerian texts, where Lilith is described as the handmaiden of the fertility goddess Inanna. This Lilith has often been depicted as a bird, or a woman with large wings.
As I’ve heard it, in the story of Lilith being Adam’s first wife, she refused to be subordinate to Adam, and so left the garden when God wanted her to cooperate or else be exiled. It was said that after she left she consorted with demons and bore monstrous children – which god killed because they were considered abominations and had promised that he would kill one hundred of her children every day if she left the garden. It is said that Lilith went mad with grief and supposedly started to earn a reputation as child stealer & baby killer. Because of the time frame in which these stories about Lilith appeared, it is likely that the pre-existing legend of Lilith was adapted to a biblical story (as many ancient stories were), where Lilith was demonized herself in contrast to the ‘goodness’ of Eve, who was the second, more passive, good, and subordinate ‘helpmeet’ to Adam.
The Astronomy of the 3 Liliths
Lilith the asteroid is an actual physical body, asteroid #1181, located in the asteroid belt between Mars & Jupiter and discovered in 1927.
The name “Dark Moon Lilith” (DML) is sometimes used interchangeably with "Black Moon Lilith" but they are actually two different things. Apparently DML was first sighted in the 1600s but documentation on it begun in 1898. It is a ‘hypothetical’ planet; a “non-reflective body.” We’re actually not really sure what it is or whether it is anything significant. Some people think its orbit is too regular to be a naturally occurring object. Some think it’s a “ball of space dust,” just some debris. Accurate data on its orbit is difficult to come by and it’s typically not considered as often as Black Moon Lilith is
The Black Moon Lilith (BML) is not an actual physical body either, but an important point relative to the moon’s orbit around the earth. The moon’s orbit is an ellipse around the earth, with the earth not quite in the middle. An ellipse can be considered to have two points in it, since it’s not an exact circle. The nearest point to the earth in the moon’s orbit is known as the perigee. The farthest point to the earth in the moon’s orbit is known as the apogee. I’ve heard it said two ways: that BML is either the point of the moon’s apogee, or the point midway between the earth and the moon’s apogee – the “empty focus.”
The Astrology of Lilith
Lilith won’t be highly active in most charts. The closer it is to an important point in your chart (such as the sun, moon, or one of the angles), the more fruitful it will be to look at her symbolic effect in your life. I am dealing primarily with Black Moon Lilith in the following speculations.
The stories of Lilith are certainly edgy and dark. Some astrological writings have tried to depict her as a champion for the power of woman. That makes it sound like embracing the idea of Lilith would be like saying you’re a ‘woman with attitude.’ But I think Lilith is not that tame or manageable. She was born from blood and earth. She is representative of the primal feminine that I think has yet to be truly acknowledged in the collective consciousness. Again, we’re not talking about the feel good “women with attitude” principle, but the taboo, raw, gritty, sometimes overwhelming and frightening power of woman. The power of women seems often to be thought of in the terms of the creation of life, but Lilith is not the warm and fuzzy ‘mommy’ image that we think of, it’s the raw power that it takes to create life itself.
If Lilith is active in your chart, this will be a spot where there is a frightening power, one that is very magnetic yet difficult to define or project consciously. You will likely draw experiences to you that are intense and that have a taboo or sexual element to them. This can be like a force in your life, almost like a part of you that cannot be tamed. Women with this power may have a sort of ‘maneater’ feel about them, or may even find themselves a magnet for obsession from those attracted to them which they don’t understand fully. One astrologer tells a story of a female client who had BML on the ascendant and was so beautiful that it was actually a frightening force for her, one that she could barely wield and one that often resulted in unwanted attention. Men with Lilith prominent in their chart may find themselves drawn to women of this sort, where the obsessed and dominating element is present (please forgive the gender stereotypes as I try to reason these energies out!)
It is likely to be an area of problematic and overwhelming force in the life of those who have Lilith prominent. These experiences are just as much about riding the wave and just trying to stay afloat as they are learning to channel and cooperate with the power. Often it’s representation in the biography of the life brings themes of loss, especially related to in circumstances of a sexual nature (literally or symbolically), such as loss of things created (even children), or loss of one’s own power (such as rape steals power), and the like.