Becoming Acquainted With Asteroids

I. The Centaurs: The Centaurs are asteroids which orbit outside the Kuiper Belt, in unique pathways situated somewhere between Saturn and Pluto. They represent various archetypes of the psyche, especially as modeled by Jung and his use of figures from Greek mythology. A study of the Centaurs as they are placed in a natal horoscope chart and the aspects they make to planets and points can lead to a deeper understanding of self-identity and expression as evolved from a foundation of collective archetype; we cultivate our state of being out of ancestral behavior patterns and social contracts which in turn are a reflection of collective myths.

Chiron: Chiron is known as the wounded healer. This asteroid of very powerful symbolism orbits between Saturn and Uranus, therefore is referred to as "the rainbow bridge", connecting the outer limits of earthly reality with cosmic intelligence and law. Where Chiron is in a horoscope chart can refer to a personal issue that is an on-going source of frustration and pain.

Chiron can also identified with the shaman and the maverick. The shaman or "sacred fool" holds a special community function; he or she can make contact with the spirit world, ancestors and various deities. They are the keepers of occult tradition and conductors of the sacred rites; they act as a bridge to the "other side" and serve as healers and spiritual teachers. The maverick does not make an easy fit with conventional society either; they can be people of exceptional talent and progressive vision, who can excel as entrepreneurs in specialized niches of the market place. However precociousness can also get this sort of Chironic native into trouble through a chronic tendency to overstep boundaries, to assume that the usual rules of conduct doesn't apply to them.

One is repeatedly forced by circumstances to try and gain mastery over a function of life over which there is no easy knowledge, control or final resolution, except by death. A Chiron affliction can also refer to problems with health, relationship or sexuality. Sometimes the Chiron placement expresses as a sense of entitlement or victimisation; someone else should handle the issue or one is rendered powerless to proceed. Sometimes Chiron's pain can be mastered by doing for others what one cannot do for themselves.

Nessus: Nessus represents primitive, unrestrained energy which can destroy without thinking and thus is destroyed by the same energy it seeks to dominate. This asteroid is also implicated in ancestral sin or the violation of one family member by another. "Family" can also refer to corporate or community groups. Issues of scapegoating, illegitimacy, incest, rape, unwanted pregnancy and conflict over wills or inheritances can be involved. Often the problems implicating Nessus are generational in span and duration. An afflicted Nessus in a natal chart can be sociopathic, immoral, exploitative or corrupt, maneuvering by guile, force or fraud.

Pholus: Prominence in the chart can indicate tendencies to short-term or wishful thinking, along with difficulty establishing and keeping boundaries. Maintaining a stance of willful innocence, blindness or idealism, a person with an afflicted Pholus tends to believe that when they behave inappropriately in a situation they will be protected by the greater powers and/or respected by other people. Disaster can result from impulsive thinking and narrow perception; this behavior is not viewed as improper, but rather as upholding a higher order of honor, even to the extent of martyrdom. Positively, the asteroid can be symbolic of visionary skills and the reception of true archetypal images eminating from sacred cosmic intent.

Chariklo: In Greek myth, Chariklo was the wife of Chiron. She offers relief from the dictates of patriarchy, through the safeguarding of sacred sexuality. Chariklo can represent balanced, active feminine expression, however she also serves in the protection of social boundaries including those that are transgender or sexual in nature. The polarization of woman into virgin or whore that characterizes many cultures, can be left behind for mature, self-fulfilled, maternal yet sexually active womanhood. As expressed by astrologer Philip Sedgwick, Chariklo serves in maintaining two important personal boundaries; one that would promote quality relations with other people and another that protects personal, sacred space, namely the enclosure of one's own spirituality and individuality.

Asbolus: Asbolus was a prophet and seer for the Centaurs; he had an overly stern sense of justice that led to his death in the battle with Hurcules. He is seen as representing management, achievement, leadership and materialism; it would seem he can see into the future especially as concerns loss, injustice or destruction but his words are not always heeded. Astrologer Johathan Dunn notes that Asbolus is prominent in the charts of people who are serious and even bitter.

Bienor: Bienor was a centaur killed during a fight at the wedding of Pirithous, King of the Lapiths. Mark Andrew Holmes lists the following descriptives for this asteroid: exuberance, expansion, empowerment, liberalism, generosity, love of others, compassion, cooperation or alternatively, condemning, hateful, judgmental, doomed effort, being attacked or becoming trapped.

Elatus:The Centaur Elatus was killed in the same battle with Hercules that was the doom of Chiron, Pholus and Asbolus. He was killed by a poisoned arrow that passed through his arm to hit Chiron on the knee. He used to pull up whole fir trees to use as weapons. Holmes' keywords for Elatus include: expressions, expressiveness, eloquence, to mislead, to deceive (including oneself); also possibly maneuvering away from attack.

Hylonome: Hylonome was a beautiful female Centaur who committed suicide after her partner Cyllarus was killed in battle with the Lapithae. Naive, compassionate and sensitive to criticism, she would seem to have issues with self-esteem, emotionality and wanting to be popular with everyone. She could signify someone who has difficulty standing alone or dealing with grief and loss; also one who tends to identify themselves and base their emotional stability out of relationships with others. Otherwise, there is an interest in fashion and good hygiene. According to Philip Sedgwick her job is to bring an end to grief through whatever means will bring resolution.

Ixion: Ixion, king of the Lapithae, was also father to most of the Centaurs and pretty much abused his power in many ways. Eventually he was punished by being tied to a wheel with snakes which turned eternally suspended in the space of Tartarus, realm of the dead. Holmes' keywords for Ixion include: busy-ness, workaholism, lust to acquire or possess, materialism and its consequences, lack of appreciation or gratitude, to take things for granted, regrets, being harmed by something of one's own creation, ...creating trouble or change, passing problems down through generations. Ixion in major hard aspect is prominent in the charts of those prone to self-sabotage through arrogance or impulsive action.

Okyrhoe: The female Centaur Okyrhoe was the daughter of Centaurs Chiron and Chariklo. She could predict the future; she was changed into a horse for revealing the plans of the gods to mankind. Holmes' keywords include: Being criticized or attacked and being able to withstand attacks or unpopularity; an ability to stand up for one's beliefs or principles.

Pelion: Pelion was named for Mount Pelion, a mountain in Greece where all the Centaurs abide. According to Philip Sedgwick and Timothy Joko-Veltman, Pelion signifies the process of balancing emotions and ego as a function of professional status. On the positive side one can support coworkers with special skills; negatively one can be demanding, immature, paranoid or cynical; engage in status displays and regurgitate past triumphs as a reason for current prestige. Pelion in positive aspect encourages us to wake up to the true reality and the way things really are.

Thereus: Thereus was a Centaur hunter who hunted very big game and brought them home alive to his cave. According to Holmes, Thereus stands for the ability to maintain healthy boundaries between personal and professional activities. One may tend to identify with career, relationships or material acquisition, besides appreciating beautiful things and people. Thereus also favors love of the wilderness, the hunt, nature, wild animals and concern for the environment.

II. The Asteroid Goddesses: These are large Kuiper Belt asteroids or planetoids, which orbit in the zone between Mars and Jupiter. Each one is reflective of a singular feminine archetypal principle.

Ceres: Ceres symbolizes the nurturing principle as in crops, harvest, food and the ecosystem in a mundane chart. She also embodies the dark and sexual aspects of the Great Mother, as in service to the dead and the blood mysteries of menarche and menopause. When afflicted, the place of Ceres in a horoscope can describe a dysfunction around the giving and receiving of sustenance, as in over-eating, anorexia or bulimic behaviors; also distortion and/or abuse visited upon offspring due to jealousy, sexual frustration or resentment of responsibility.

Vesta: Vesta represents an independent, self-fulfilling and self-determining principle. She also has to do with the setting and maintaining of healthy boundaries. Vesta can bestow discipline and the ability to focus with concentration towards productive ends. If afflicted in a birth chart, sexual dysfunction and/or an unwillingness to participate in intimacy is a common expression. Vesta is prominent in the charts of those associated with the sex trade, willing or unwilling.

Juno: Juno was the wife of Jupiter in Roman mythology. This asteroid symbolizes the ability, or inability to enter into a committed, loyal relationship. When Juno is thwarted in love, she can respond with jealousy, posessivelness, conditional love or vengeful tactics. One with a strongly placed Juno in the natal chart may also be chronic liar; they will distort the truth even when there is no practical use for doing so.

Athena Pallas: Athena sprung full-grown from her father Zeus's forehead. In the mundane sense, she represents the principal of chaste intellect, unpolluted by the lower elements of human contact and in full possession of the powers of wisdom and knowledge. But Athena also had the head of the Medusa on her shield, indicating an esoteric connection to the ancient world of instinctual knowledge and wisdom that is rooted in the earth. A supportive placement of Athena can indicate gifts of intellect, reason, literary ability and library angels. An afflicted Athena could thus symbolize someone who is split in psyche or disassociated from the body, for example one who "lives in the head," worshiping rationality and logic at the expense of instinct and intuition. Neurologists have found that logic and reasoning faculties do not function accurately without the inclusion of emotion, instinct and feeling.

III. The Love Asteroids The Kuiper Belt contains from 1.1 to 1.9 million celestial objects, of which about 635,000 have been given numered designations, and several thousand of these have been given names. Like the Centaurs, those asteroids which have been given names from global mythology would seem to have correlation to functions in psyche or behavioral themes that eminiate from the wellspring of collective consciousness. For example, the asteroids listed below can be descriptive of the love nature in a natal horoscope chart.

Eros: The location of Eros in a natal chart can describe how the individual accesses and experiences love with another. Eros is expressive of love, touch and affection, but it also symbolizes physical love. If positively placed in a chart it can add charisma and the ability to charm and attract anyone. An afflicted Eros can denote promiscuity, or a penchant for unrequited or sadistic love.In Greek myth, Eros was in love with Psyche (soul); the two are united in eternity only after much trial and tribulation on the part of Psyche; early on she loses her love due to curiosity and carelessness.

Psyche: Asteroid Psyche represents the seat of the soul as it is attempting to integrate with earthly life. The aspects it makes can signify how our ideals, rose-colored glasses, illusions and impulsive desires can lead to deeply challenging life experiences in the name of not only love but of fulfillment of self. Consider the possibility that spirit and soul are not finished, perfect creations. A large proportion of their most refined morphology surely must include transmutation by exposure and immersion in the earthly plane. Psyche's position delineates the pain we must all go through in trying to interweave dreams and creative visions into real life, including the relations we have with others. To the extent that one draws difficult experiences in love is the degree to which one rejects not only certain parts of self, but may also refuse to acknowledge the limits, shape and karmic intent of the union that would bring fulfillment, healing and joy.

Amor: Asteroid Amor represents idealized love, a love not necessarily of this earth. Amor is not particularly sexual in expression, but radiates warmth and a sense of "Agape" or a love that is given without an expectation of receiving. The house where Amor is found is where the person expects to express this kind of love. The pain of an afflicted Amor can involve disillusionment over this altruistic love not being returned, or there may be something else one wants that will result in the denial of love.

IV. The Notable Oddities: Most are of of planetoid status; Cruithne is sometimes referred to as the "Second Moon of Earth."

Sedna: Sedna is a newly discovered planetoid, and the furthest out identified object that is still a member of our solar system. Mythologically, Sedna is an Inuit Goddess of the deep seas. She represents creative ability that is kept to oneself, talents that express only when forced or through pain. She can be willful, immature and narcissistic in orientation. She represents the best abilities in oneself that are also the most difficult to access, integrate and give conscious expression out in life.

Quaoar: Quaoar is the second largest planetoid discovered to date and was discovered in the constellation of Ophiucus, or the Serpent Bearer. Much esoteric value is given to this area of the sky, with the implication that man must learn to weld the twin forces of creation and destruction in accord with natural law. Attunement with the archetype of Ophiucus would bestow the ability to see through the transience of material life; the battle between apparent good and evil is understood to be a dance of cyclic, harmonious resonance. Quaoar in myth is the great force of creation that sings and dances the archetypal images of physical life into manifestation. Quaoar prominent in a chart or contacted through hard planetary aspect would bring about a necessary cleansing of old demons, and initiation into a shamanistic participation in life.

Varuna: Varuna was the old Hindu God of the Waters and once ruled as king of all the gods. He is guardian of the oceanic demons and generates the clouds and rain, therefore is a sustainer of life. Varuna dispenses ultimate justice and keeps the cosmic order. As placed in a natal horoscope chart his energy can be misused as dogmatism even as applied to science; also extreme conservatism in religious movements and messianic leaders who dispense divine Rules and Regs. He is a patron of fundamentalism and of decrees that must be obeyed because they "come from God". Someone with a strong Varuna can have a charismatic aura of unquestionable authority or righteousness. Vladimir Putin as leader of Russia and conqueror of Crimea is quite symbolic of Varuna's style of power.

Eris: Formerly known as 2003 UB313, Eris is the largest dwarf planet so far discovered and 27% larger than Pluto. In Greek myth Eris was the the goddess of discord; she knew how to get a fight started without necessarily involving herself. On the positive side Eris represents the warrior feminine spirit resurrected from patriarchal restraint. Where she is represents where one will boldly go where none went before; she is patron of explorers and radical creators, impatient with status quo and tradition. Negatively she can represent one who is immature, quarrelsome and self-absorbed. Sometimes one is unaware of the destruction caused in the name of getting ones way; the proverbial "loose cannon" comes to mind. Other times the individual can be quite skilled at shock tactics and exacting revenge without blood on the hands.

Orcus: Orcus is is a planetoid that has nearly the same orbital size, period and inclination as Pluto, however tilted in the opposite direction. This planetoid and Pluto are in a complimentary orbital dance with one another, therefore both contribute to the archtype of transformation, transmutation and regeneration that has been the exclusive domain of Pluto. Orchus represents personal responsibility for the health and well-being of humanity at large, therefore the release of individuality in order to serve higher collective purpose; also the ability to sacrifice old ego constructs in order to change direction constructively in life.

MakeMake: A planetoid that symbolizes courage and quick wit, especially as applied to protection of the family. MakeMake also represents a talent for data collection, translation and making decisions quickly; also eggs, ceremonial feathered objects, nesting and anything having to do with birds as sacred symbols. If afflicted, a negative placement of this planetoid can be reflective of one who can use misinformation to manipulate to desired ends; being reckless, hiding or leaving to avoid consequences.

Haumea: A dwarf planetoid which is representative of creative and rejenerative forces; fertile and inheriently self-confident in the ability to perform on the stage of life. If afflicted, Haumea can be egocentric, resorting to attention-getting behaviors or self-martyrdom. Ceremonial rites tied to family or tribe traditions; unmasking rituals, surrendar of the ego to spirit.

Cruithne: This near-Earth asteroid maintains a peculiar, kidney-bean shaped orbit near the earth, that gradually shifts in position around the earth to complete an apparent circuit of orbits over a period of 385 years. The asteroid will never hit the earth, since its orbit is highly inclined. Cruithne is thought to represent the activation of special gifts for powerful women shamans, and the celebration of sacred sexuality. She could be the archetype for Lilith (Belil)redeemed to her original place of divinity as Great Goddess.

Asteroid Resources:

The study of asteroid archetypes and the position and aspects and asteroid would making to planets and points at any particular time can provide a whole new depth of understanding to the dynamics at work in any horoscope chart.

(1) Chiron and the Healing Journey, an Astrological and Psychological Perspective, by Melanie Reinhart, Penguin Books Ltd., New York, NY, 1989.

(2) Asteroid Goddesses, by Demetra George and Douglas Bloch, Ibis Press, Inc., Berwick, Maine, 2003.

(3) The Mechanics of Free Will, by Martha Lang-Wescott, Treehouse Mountain, Conway, Massachusetts, 1987.

(4) Mechanics of the Future: Asteroids, by Martha Lang-Wescott, Treehouse Mountain, Conway, Massachusetts.

(5) "Becoming Acquainted with Asteroids," by Marguerite Hafeman, .

(6) "The Asteroids of Creative Temptation, Greed and Worldly Power: Part I," by Marguerite Hafeman, .

(7) "The Asteroids of Creative Temptation, Greed and Worldly Power: Part II," by Marguerite Hafeman, .

(8) "The Love Asteroids: Cupido, Eros and Psyche," by Marguerite Hafeman, .

(9) "Eris, Sedna, Makemake, Haumea, Dwarf Planets, Centaurs and More," by Philip Sedgwick, . (Select from links listed at left side of home page.)

(10) "The Mythology of Eros," by Kim Falconer, . (Use underscore for word-space).

(11) "Asteroids," at Mark Andrew Holmes' Personal Web Page, . Scroll down the home page to reach the link; extensive list of asteroid definitions.

(12) Asteroid Ephemeris, .

(13) IAU Minor Planet Center and Minor Planet Names, .

(14) JPL Small-Body Database Browser, .

(15) The Lunar Planner, by Nick Anthony Fiorenza, . Scroll down to link to information about Orchus and other dwarf planetoids.

(16) "Chiron on my Mind", by Martin Lass,

(17)"New Wine in Old Bottles - The Centaurs and Grief", by Darrelyn Ginzburg, Mountain Astrologer Magazine, Feb/Mar 2004.

(18)"Centaurfold: Chariklo Lends a Hand", by Philip Sedgwick, Mountain Astrologer Magazine, Feb/Mar 2004.

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