Archive for the ‘Full Moon’ Category

Full Moon in Taurus — October 24, 2018, 16:45 UT

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

The chart of this Full Moon is interesting. The Moon at 1+ degrees of Taurus is in conjunction with Uranus, the planet of disruption and change.

The Full Moon is always an opposition of the Sun and the Moon. Now the Sun in Scorpio is in conjunction with Venus, the ruler of the Taurus sign. Venus is retrograding, and it is only two days from the inferior conjunction to the Sun. Inferior conjunction is the moment when Venus is directly between, and in line with, the Earth and the Sun. It is a beginning of a new Venus cycle, the same way as the New Moon starts a new lunar cycle.

The Sun and the Moon are exactly squaring the lunar nodes, the points where the yearly path of the Sun and the monthly path of the Moon intersect as seen from Earth. The nodes are always opposite each other, forming an axis. The North node is associated with the future and the South node with the past, and thus the meaning of the axis is often seen as karmic. The points which square the nodes are balancing points. The North node is now in Leo, the sign ruled by the Sun, and the South node is in Aquarius, ruled by Uranus.

Taurus and its ruling planet Venus are associated with values. Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius are fixed signs, and they resist change, they want to maintain. Uranus wants to break down, and the new phase of Venus and its retrograde movement want to re-evaluate and start something new.

Anne Massey writes in Venus: Her Cycles, Symbols & Myths: “We need to remember that the New Venus takes place while Venus is retrograde, which is not an ideal time to launch new action. This tends to be the time when we make new choices based on our changed values.”

38083 Rhadamanthus in the last degree of Libra is in conjunction with the Sun and Venus in Scorpio. 38083 Rhadamanthus is a trans-Neptunian minor planet named after a wise king of Crete, who later became one of the judges of the dead, because he had such a great sense of justice. He was also said to be a tutor to Heracles. The composition of the chart is contradictory, but the wisdom of Rhadamanthus is guiding us.

Full Moon in Aries — September 25, 2018, 02:52 UT

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

The Sun entered Libra on Sept. 23, 2018, and for a moment night and day were of equal length for everyone on Earth. Two days later, on Sept. 25, the Moon in Aries opposed the Sun for the Full Moon. The Moon was in conjunction with Chiron and Salacia at the Aries point.

120347 Salacia is one of the largest trans-Neptunian objects, almost certainly a dwarf planet, and it is orbiting the Sun at an average distance that is slightly greater than that of Pluto. It is actually a binary system Salacia-Actaea, where 96% of the total mass should be in Salacia itself.

120347 Salacia is named after the Roman goddess of salt water and the consort of Neptune. Even though the official naming citation describes Salacia as the goddess of the calm and sunlit ocean, the etymology of the name suggests that we are not talking about still waters.

The name Salacia is derived from Latin sal, meaning salt, and is sometimes translated to mean sensational. The Latin word salax can mean salacious, lustful, lecherous, provocative, or desiring sexual intercourse. Scholars have regarded Salacia as a violent aspect of gushing and overflowing water, personification of lust, goddess of prostitutes, and considered her as one of the aspects of Neptune representing the god’s desire for intercourse with Earth.

120347 Salacia entered Aries on March 1, 2017. Chiron is now retrograding at the Aries point. Chiron and Salacia will conjoin in the early degrees of Aries in April 2019. The orbital period of Salacia is around 270 years. 124 years ago, in October 1894, Chiron and Salacia made a conjunction in late Virgo, when Salacia was approaching the opposite position to its current location. The next year, in May 1895, Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguella was born in Castellaneta, Italy. He became later known as Rudolph Valentino, “The Great Latin Lover”, one of the biggest Hollywood stars of silent films.

Valentino became the sex symbol of the 1920s, the very first. Women loved and adored him and found him “triumphantly seductive”. There were rumors that he was gay. He was involved in one scandal after another, for example he was arrested for bigamy. Later he was in a relationship with actress Pola Negri, the famous femme fatale of the 1920s. Valentino died young, at the age of 31, which caused mass hysteria among his fans. Even suicides of fans were reported. Pola Negri made a scene at Valentino’s funeral, claiming they had been engaged.

Valentino’s time of birth is known, so we are able to cast an accurate chart for him. His ascendant is in the first degree of Libra, which the current Sun has just passed. The ascendant is an angle which shows how the world sees us, it describes the impression we make on others. So Valentino’s ascendant is in Libra, the sign ruled by the planet of love, Venus, and his Moon is there too. His Sun is in the other sign ruled by Venus, in Taurus. Both Chiron and Salacia are at his ascendant, Salacia in late Virgo and Chiron in early Libra.

Full Moon in Pisces — August 26, 2018, 11:56 UT

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

The Full Moon is always an opposition of the Sun and the Moon. Today’s Full Moon in Pisces was tightly aligned with another opposition, formed by two interesting minor planets. The Moon was in conjunction with a trans-Neptunian object (225088) 2007 OR10, which is orbiting the Sun in the scattered disc, among the coldest and most distant objects in the Solar System. The Sun in Virgo was in conjunction with 121725 Aphidas, the latest officially named centaur.

(225088) 2007 OR10 is big. It is the fourth-largest, possibly even the third-largest known body in the Solar System beyond the orbit of Neptune, and the largest known body in the Solar System still without a name. It was discovered 11 years ago, on July 17, 2007, by American astronomers Megan Schwamb, Michael Brown and David Rabinowitz. 2007 OR10 has a moon. In 2016, analysis of Hubble images taken in 2010 revealed a satellite, which was confirmed by a further analysis in 2017.

The discoverers nicknamed 2007 OR10 first as “Snow White” for its presumed white color. However, it was later revealed to be one of the reddest objects in the Kuiper belt, so the nickname was dropped. It has also revealed to be bigger than what first was thought.

In 2009 I wrote to Mike Brown and proposed naming 2007 OR10 from the Norse mythology, but he replied that he has been saving the Norse mythology for a distant and cold thing like Sedna. In Norse mythology the chief god Odin was at times using a disguise, which would match with the behavior of the object, but the name Odin is already used for an asteroid, so it cannot be used again.

There was a petition in the internet for naming 2007 OR10 as R’hllor, also known as the Red God or the Lord of Light, from the HBO series Game of Thrones, based on novels written by George R. R. Martin. There are other objects named from fictional mythologies (for example Borasisi, Manwë, Varda and Albion), so this is not an entirely impossible idea.

According to the International Astronomical Union’s rules, the discoverer of a minor planet has the privilege to suggest a name for the planet in question for a period of ten years following the numbering of the object. 2007 OR10 received the permanent number in 2009, so Mike Brown and his team will have some time left for their name suggestion, and then anyone will be able to make a proposal. Hopefully both bodies get named.

121725 Aphidas, the centaur in conjunction with the Sun now, was discovered on Dec. 13, 1999, by an American astronomer Carl W. Hergenrother. The orbital period is 76.23 years. The naming took place in October 2017. According to the official naming citation, “During the battle between the Centaurs and Lapiths, the centaur Aphidas remained in a drunken sleep. The Lapith Phorbas killed Aphidas with a thrown spear while he slept.”

People born with their Sun in conjunction with 121725 Aphidas are for example Anna Nicole Smith, Anneliese Michel, Rick Allen, Robbie Williams, Theresa May, Mr Lordi (Tomi Putaansuu).

Examples of events which occurred while the Sun was in conjunction with 121725 Aphidas:

Oct. 15, 1951 – Norethisterone, the progestin used in the combined oral contraceptive pill, is synthesized by Luis E. Miramontes in Mexico.

Sept. 30, 1955 – Actor James Dean is killed when his automobile collides with another car at a highway junction near Cholame, California.

Nov. 24, 1966 — The Beatles begin recording sessions for their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band L.P.

Dec. 3, 1967 — Christiaan Barnard carries out the world’s first heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.

Jan. 27, 1973 — U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War ends with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords

May 20, 1983 — Two separate research groups led by Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier independently declared that a novel retrovirus may have been infecting people with HIV/AIDS, and published their findings in the same issue of the journal Science.

May 29, 1985 — Heysel Stadium disaster: Thirty-eight spectators are killed in rioting on the terraces during the European Cup final between Liverpool F.C. and Juventus at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.

Full Moon in Aquarius / Total Lunar Eclipse — July 27, 2018, 20:20 UT

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Eclipses usually come in pairs. In this eclipse sequence there are three of them, two solar and one lunar. This Full Moon in Aquarius is a total lunar eclipse and the second one in this sequence. Two weeks ago there was a partial solar eclipse in Cancer. Another partial solar eclipse will occur on Aug. 11, 2018, in Leo.

This spectacular lunar eclipse will be visible in many parts of the world, at least partially. This is the longest total lunar eclipse of the century, because the Moon is passing through the center of the Earth’s shadow, and also because the Moon is near its apogee (the point of greatest distance) and thus moves slowly. Totality lasts 1 hour and 43 minutes, and the total duration of the eclipse is 6 hours, 14 minutes. Central lunar eclipses are the darkest ones and they are relatively rare. The previous one occurred seven years ago. During the total phase, the Moon will look reddish. If the sky is clear, the total phase should be visible in its entirety in southern Finland, where I live.

What makes this eclipse astrologically really interesting is that the Moon will be in conjunction with retrograding Mars. At the moment we are in the middle of the retrograde period of Mars (from June 26 to Aug. 27), and Mars reaches its opposition to the Sun on the day of the lunar eclipse. Now Mars is closer to Earth and shines brighter than usually in the sky. Also Mercury turned retrograde the day before the eclipse.

Retrograding planets work a bit differently than planets in direct motion. It is possible that the usual expression of the planet gets inhibited. Normally Mars gives us courage, initiative, desire and other beneficial features, but also anger and aggression. In Aquarius this could come out as collective rage. Turning anger inwards is as undesirable as is uncontrollable rage.

The Full Moon is always an opposition of the Sun and the Moon. All eclipses take place near the lunar nodes. In Leo, opposite the Moon and in conjunction with the Sun and the North node of the Moon is 32532 Thereus, a centaur planet with orbital period of over 34 years. This centaur can help us in dealing with Mars retrograde. In Greek mythology centaur Thereus was a hunter who captured bears and carried them home, alive and struggling. Why would anyone take a raging bear to their home? The myth doesn’t give us the answer, as there is nothing more told about Thereus.

Behind anger there is usually pain, and it takes courage and patience to face old wounds. In “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés there is a chapter in which she talks about rage and how to deal with it. Rage can become a teacher. She tells us a Japanese tale called “The Crescent Moon Bear”. These words of Dr. Pinkola Estés can offer us the missing piece of the Greek myth:

“So rather than trying to ‘behave’ and not feel our rage or rather than using it to burn down every living thing in a hundred-mile radius, it is better to first ask rage to take a seat with us, have some tea, talk a while so we can find out what summoned this visitor.”

Ever since I read the tale of the crescent moon bear, I have in my imagination seen centaur Thereus in his home cave, having tea and a chat with an angry bear. 32532 Thereus, like all other centaur planets, has potential for healing.

Full Moon in Capricorn — June 28, 2018, 04:53 UT

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Last night, if the sky was clear, you were able to see a bright spot beside the Full Moon. The Full Moon occurred in Capricorn, and the bright spot was the ruler of the sign, Saturn. The Full Moon is always an opposition of the Sun and the Moon, and now there is also Saturn opposite the Sun, reflecting its light.

There was also a third body with the Moon and Saturn, but so small and distant that you were not able to see it, not even if you had binoculars. It was 330836 Orius.

It is difficult to find any information on 330836 Orius. Still today, after nine years since its discovery and five years since its naming, I am not able to find even a Wikipedia page in English. I think this is due the fact that planetary studies are quite America centered, and 330836 Orius was discovered by Latvian astronomers Kazimieras Cernis and Ilgmars Eglitis at Baldone observatory in Latvia.

330836 Orius is a minor planet which belongs to the centaur class. Its orbital period around the Sun is almost 100 years and its diameter is approximately somewhere between 30 and 80 km. It was discovered in April 2009 and named in January 2013 after a centaur from Greek mythology. Centaur Orius lived in the mountains, and was killed by Heracles in the riot at centaur Pholus’s cave, when Heracles tried to steal the wine, which was common property of the centaur tribe.

Finland’s best-known film director Aki Kaurismäki (born April 4, 1957) has a conjunction of the Sun (identity), Venus (values) and 330836 Orius in Aries. The conjunction is trining his Saturn in Sagittarius and in sextile to his Mars in Gemini. Aki Kaurismäki’s film characters are usually people living outside the mainstream. Despite the melancholy and the setbacks that characters are facing, they are persistent, and there is hope for a better world.

Aki Kaurismäki has twice boycotted the Oscar awards. In 2003 “The Man Without a Past” was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of the best foreign language film, but Kaurismäki refused to attend the Oscar ceremony as a protest against the U.S. war in Iraq. In 2006 “Lights in the Dusk” was chosen to be Finland’s nominee for the best foreign language film, but Kaurismäki refused the nomination as a protest against President George W. Bush’s foreign policy. In an interview Kaurismäki once said: “The meaning of life is to acquire personal moral principles that respect the nature and other human beings and then follow them.”

Other examples of 330836 Orius can be found here:

New Moon in Cancer — June 24, 2017, 02:31 UT

Full Moon in Sagittarius — May 29, 2018, 14:19 UT

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

The Full Moon in Sagittarius was in conjunction with 38628 Huya, a trans-Neptunian object named after the rain god of the Wayuu people of Venezuela and Colombia. Venus in Cancer, Jupiter in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces are forming a grand trine aspect pattern in the water signs. Uranus in the early degrees of Taurus is opposite Typhon retrograde in Scorpio.

38628 Huya is a plutino discovered in March 2000 by Venezuelan astronomer Ignacio Ferrin. Like Pluto, Huya spends part of its orbit closer to the Sun than Neptune. It came to perihelion (the point in its orbit where it is nearest to the Sun) in December 2014. It will be closer to the Sun than Neptune until July 2029.

I tend to forget that 38628 Huya is a binary system. The satellite was discovered in 2012 and it has not been named yet. Pulowi would be an apt name for the satellite, because in Wayuu mythology Pulowi and Juya were a married deity couple associated with procreation and life. Pulowi is related to dry seasons and Juya controls the rain. Lack of water is a huge problem for the Wayuu people, who inhabit the arid Guajira Peninsula, and that is why the object was named after the rain god.

In Florida a subtropical storm Alberto made a landfall on Monday. In North Carolina and Maryland rain and flooding have caused damage and loss of lives. At the same time the weather here in Finland is dry and hot. The month of May has been the warmest we have ever experienced, since the official recording of the weather began in our country. Open fires are strictly forbidden, because the risk for forest fires is historically high now.

The environment of the Wayuu people has been polluted by the coal mining industry. They have been forced to relocate and leave their ancestral land. A Wayuu leader Jorge Montiel has said: “We will not be removed from the lands where our ancestors are buried. We are defending the animals, the forests and the water. This planet can’t withstand any more contamination. What good is all this wealth from oil and coal if we are dying of diseases and misery?” At the time of the total solar eclipse in Scorpio on November 13, 2012, Finland was in the midst of the worst environmental crisis in its history, when a waste water pool at the Talvivaara mine in Kainuu started to leak. The eclipse was in conjunction with 38628 Huya.

Our seas and oceans can’t withstand any more plastic. Last month a young sperm whale washed up on a beach in southern Spain. It had 64 pounds of plastic and waste in its stomach. Sperm whales are in danger of extinction. Around 150 million tons of plastic are already floating in our oceans.

On Monday the European Commission proposed a total ban on single-use plastic products such as plastic straws and cotton buds. Although we all as individuals are responsible, this is a step to the right direction. The pressure has to be put on the production.

Full Moon in Scorpio — April 30, 2018, 00:58 UT

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

In last October a fascinating triple trans-Neptunian object was named Lempo from Finnish mythology. A Full Moon is always an opposition of the Sun and the Moon, and now in the Scorpio Full Moon chart, the Sun in Taurus is in exact conjunction with Lempo. The luminaries – and Lempo – are squaring the lunar nodes, the points where the yearly path of the Sun and the monthly path of the Moon intersect as seen from Earth.

The nodes of the Moon are always opposite each other, forming the nodal axis, the meaning of which in astrology is often seen as karmic. The north node relates to the future and the south node to the past. The chart degrees squaring the nodes are seen as balancing points. Lempo is on that important threshold right now.

Astronomically Lempo is a unique multiple system. It is a plutino consisting of three bodies, which are all similarly sized, having diameters within 100 – 300 km. The two inner components form a binary. The third component is circulating the central pair. In this respect Lempo resembles the Pluto system, where four small moons are orbiting the central binary of Pluto and Charon. The Lempo system has been proposed as a possible target for future missions to the Kuiper belt.

Lempo was originally worshipped in Finland as the goddess of love and fertility. According to the myth, a glowing fireball shot from the sky and hit the ground. It was the sacred Fire Woman who came from beyond the visible world. The myth describes a meteor hitting the ground a long time ago. At first people were scared, but after they realized all the advantages which she gave to them, they became the people of fire. She gave them fertile soil, tools and weapons, she lit the flame of love, and she escorted the dead to the Otherworld.

There is a municipality of Lempäälä in Finland. The name supposedly originates from the fact that worshippers of Lempo lived there in the region. The name originates at least 2000 years back from the Iron Age. In Finnish folk poetry all “lempo” related words can be associated with fire and iron. One of the Finnish words – also in the contemporary language – meaning love is “lempi”. The word “lempi” originally meant a literal fire or a flame. The same kind of fire or burning sensation can be used to describe an internal state of a person.

Christianity gained a foothold in Finland during the 11th century. The reputation of Lempo worsened and she was equated with the devil. There are sources, according to which Lempo disappeared after the Christianization. But when people heard about Bridget of Sweden, they thought that she was the reborn Fire Woman, and the worshippers of Lempo turned to Saint Bridget. Bridget of Sweden (1303 – 1373) was a mystic and saint, and the most prominent religious and political figure in Scandinavia of her time. She was proclaimed a saint on Oct. 7, 1391.

Bridget of Sweden is celebrated on 7 October. According to Kustaa Vilkuna (1902 – 1980), a well-known Finnish ethnologist, linguist and historian, there was a big feast held in her honor every year in Lempäälä. We could even talk about a cult of Bridget. People dressed in their best clothes, drank beer and celebrated. Feasting was obviously thorough, because there is an old saying in Lempäälä, according to which the next day was also needed as a holiday. According to Juha Kuisma, a native born resident of Lempäälä, who has studied Lempo and the history of Lempäälä, at least part of the cult clearly originates from the time before Christianity.

Note, that both the discovery date of Lempo (Oct. 1, 1999) and the publication date of the naming (Oct. 5, 2017), are very close to the feast day of Bridget of Sweden, Oct. 7.

The medieval church of Lempäälä is dedicated to Bridget of Sweden. The church was built near a deep pit (now filled with grit), which according to the lore was once called “Lempo’s pit”, and was possibly caused by a meteorite. It was still marked on the 19th century maps. Archeological studies have shown that there was also a pagan cemetery at the site.

Lempo is mythological fire, which came from beyond the visible world. Likewise, we can say that Lempo is creative fire burning inside every one of us. Lempo is passion and attraction.

Soon after the naming of Lempo I saw a television documentary of Jimi Hendrix performing at the Atlanta Pop Festival in 1970. It has been said that his concert was almost like a spiritual experience. His playing was free from restrictions, he was dressed in red clothing and he looked like a flame. In Jimi’s chart Lempo is rising right at his ascendant in Sagittarius.

Full Moon in Libra — March 31, 2018, 12:37 UT

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

The Full Moon occurred at 10+ degrees of Libra. The Sun in the opposing sign Aries is conjunct Mercury and 37117 Narcissus, a centaur-like minor planet. Mercury turned retrograde a week ago, and is now approaching the Sun.

37117 Narcissus was discovered in 2000 by Canadian amateur astronomer William Kwong Yu Yeung at the Desert Beaver Observatory, a private observatory near Eloy, Arizona. 37117 Narcissus crosses the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn. Using a broader definition of a centaur planet, it can be classified as a centaur, but its perihelion, the closest point in its orbit about the Sun, is inside Jupiter’s orbit. The Minor Planet Center defines centaurs as having a perihelion beyond the orbit of Jupiter and a semi-major axis less than that of Neptune. 37117 Narcissus will reach its perihelion in January 2019.

The myth of Echo and Narcissus was told by Ovid in the Metamorphoses. Echo was a talkative nymph cursed by goddess Juno. Echo was unable to say anything on her own, only repeat the last words of someone else. She fell in love with Narcissus, a beautiful youth who rejected her love. Narcissus bent down to drink from a spring and as a punishment fell deeply in love with his own reflection in the water. He was gazing into the pool hour after hour, until he changed into the narcissus plant.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder with a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for other people. The condition was named after Narcissus from the Greek myth.

We need to be cautious in the usage of the term NPD, because in spite of the common use of the word narcissism, only a small fraction of people actually have the disorder. We all have 37117 Narcissus somewhere in our charts, and we all can sometimes be vain or self-centered. Many social phenomena of our time encourage narcissistic behavior. We publish selfies and pour our lives to Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and blogs.

Aries represents self-directed energies, and the Sun is the symbol of ego. Libra is the sign of relationships and projection, and in Libra we seek balance. The Full Moon in Libra should help us to reflect healthy self-esteem.

Full Moon in Virgo — March 2, 2018, 00:51 UT

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Last night’s Full Moon in Virgo was in conjunction with plutino 90482 Orcus.

90482 Orcus is a probable dwarf planet discovered in February 2004 by Brown, Trujillo and Rabinowitz. It has a large moon, Vanth. Orcus and Vanth form a binary system, and like the Pluto-Charon system, Orcus and Vanth are tidally locked.

The orbit of Orcus is similar to Pluto’s, but it is oriented differently. They have the same orbital period (247 and 248 years), and both have perihelia above the ecliptic plane, but their elongated orbits point in nearly opposite directions. Orcus is at aphelion when Pluto is at perihelion and vice versa. Because of the same orbital period and their mutual resonance with Neptune, they will always stay in opposite phases of their orbits. Orcus will come to aphelion (farthest distance from the Sun) in 2019.

Because of the similarities with Pluto, Orcus got named after one of the Roman equivalents of Pluto, the Etruscan god of the underworld. Orcus was also known as the punisher of broken oaths. It is likely that the name was transliterated from the Greek daemon Horkos, the personification of oaths. Oath-taking and the penalties for perjuring oneself played an important part in the Ancient Greek concept of justice. A curse was inflicted on a person who swore a false oath in the name of the gods.

The Sun in Pisces is now in conjunction with Neptune, which is associated with deception, lies and confusion, among other things. Keep your word, be clear in your expression, and don’t swear a false oath either.

Full Moon in Leo / Total Lunar Eclipse — January 31, 2018, 13:27 UT

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

“Earth’s increase, foison plenty,
Barns and garners never empty;
Vines with clustering bunches growing;
Plants with goodly burden bowing,
Spring come to you at the farthest
In the very end of harvest!
Scarcity and want shall shun you;
Ceres’ blessing so is on you.”
– William Shakespeare, The Tempest

The Full Moon in Leo was a total lunar eclipse and a SuperMoon. If the Moon had risen above the horizon in your location at the time of the eclipse, you were able to see a big red Moon. The media was advertising a Blue Moon. The term has no astrological significance and refers only to the fact that this was the second Full Moon in January.

This was a super powerful Moon. A lunar eclipse is considered more powerful than an ordinary Full Moon and so is a SuperMoon. The Moon’s orbit is elliptical, and when the Moon at the time of a Full Moon or a New Moon happens to be at perigee (the point of least distance) it is called a SuperMoon. Even the astronomers are using this term nowadays, but originally the term was launched by astrologer Richard Nolle in the 70’s.

The Full Moon in Leo was in exact conjunction with asteroid 1 Ceres, the very first asteroid to be discovered. Ceres was originally classified as a planet, and later downgraded to an asteroid. Now it is one of the dwarf planets and the only one in that category orbiting the Sun in the main asteroid belt. Ceres was discovered in 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi. Recent studies suggest that Ceres possibly has a layer of liquid water in its interior, and also water in the form of ice everywhere on its surface. There is a strong possibility that life on Earth originated from Ceres. Piazzi didn’t know about these hypotheses when, in the early years of the 19th century, he proposed the name after the Roman goddess Ceres, Mother Earth.

In Roman mythology Ceres had a daughter, Proserpina, whom she loved dearly. One day Pluto abducted young Proserpina and made her the queen of the Underworld. Ceres desperately searched her daughter everywhere, but she couldn’t find her. In her grief and anger Ceres stopped the growth of fruits and vegetables. Jupiter sent Mercury to free Proserpina. Pluto made Proserpina eat six pomegranate seeds, because those who ate food of the dead could not return to the world of the living. Therefore every year Proserpina has to spend six months with Pluto. This is wintertime on Earth. The other six months she is allowed to live with her mother Ceres. When Proserpina returns, Ceres allows plants grow and flowers bloom again. The myth describes the change of the seasons, and nature’s eternal cycle of renewal.

February 2 is Candlemas, one of the Christian holidays. The name refers to candles that are blessed on this day for use throughout the year. Originally in the ancient Rome this festival was feasted in honor of Pluto and Ceres. The Romans walked through the city with lighted candles, because Ceres sought her daughter Proserpina in the night with the light of a candle. Also the Celtic pagan festival Imbolc is feasted around this time, halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox.

In the Leo Full Moon chart we have a tight conjunction of two astrological symbols representing mother, the Moon and Ceres. Unconditional love, grief, nurturing and taking care of others, food-related issues and sharing are among the themes of Ceres.

In “Asteroid Goddesses” Demetra George ponders Ceres’ rulership in signs, and introduces Ceres as the ruler of Cancer, Virgo and the Taurus-Scorpio polarity. She mentions that Ceres, in her Virgoan expression, symbolizes workers, labor unions and strikes, among other things. On February 2 a massive political demonstration takes place in Helsinki. Finland’s largest labor organization, the SAK, is protesting the so-called “active model”, the government’s program to reduce the benefits of the unemployed. Thousands of workers will gather to show their solidarity with the unemployed. For instance, the bus and metro workers, and many branches of the public sector will be striking. The delivery of meals to daycare centers may be disturbed, and parents have been advised to pack some food along with their children on Friday. Several themes of Ceres can be recognized concerning Friday’s events.