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The Asteroids

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Ceres, with a diameter of about 913 km, is the largest of the main asteroids within this solar systems' Asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter). This was the first minor planet, or asteroid, to be discovered--occurring on January 1st 1801 by G Piazzi at Palermo in Sicily.

The distance of Ceres from the Sun varies between 381.5 and 446 million kilometers (237 to 277 million miles), and has an orbital cycle of 4.60 years.

Ceres in Mythology

Named Demeter in Greek mythology, she was the goddess of harvest and fertility; daughter of Cronus (Saturn) and Rhea; mother of Persephone by Zeus. In Roman mythology, she was named Ceres, the goddess of agriculture and grain. Pluto (Hades), the god of the underworld, kidnapped Persephone to live with him. A devoted mother, Ceres was very distressed. After a years search, Helios, the Sun god, took pity on Ceres and informed her where her daughter was. Ceres was angry with Zeus and the other gods for their collusion in allowing Persephone to be carried off, and refused to live with them, preferring to live on Earth among men.

Saddened by their actions, Zeus held council with all of the gods to determine Persephone's fate. It was decided that if Persephone had not eaten anything, she should return to her mother, or otherwise remain in the lower world. Persephone had only once eaten a pomegranate, so the gods decreed that eating only a pomegranate should not allow her to remain continually, but only for a third of the year. As long as the ears of corn were below ground, Persephone had to remain in the lower world with her husband.

Ceres loved all men, and had created corn for their use, and often wore a wreath of wheat-ears around her head. She taught men how to cultivate plants, and in return they prayed to her during sowing, and raised alters of earth during the harvest. Her worship was connected not only as the earth goddess, but with fertility rites and rites for the dead. Her chief festival was the Cerealia, and is celebrated on April 19. The word cereal is derived from her name.

Ceres in Astrology

With a strong association to her mythology, Ceres connects well with the signs of Cancer and Virgo, symbolizing an individuals nurturing potential and cultivation of plants. Sustenance in both physical and emotional forms is a keyword for Ceres. Ceres can have a significant influence in female biological functions throughout her life, from puberty to menopause, including conception. Whether easy or difficult, being the perfect mother falls into the realm of Ceres.

Referred to as a minor planet, Ceres may have a strong impact in one chart, but negligible in another. In charts with challenging planetary influences, a degree of separation, isolation, eating disorders, or abuse may be evident. With beneficial aspects involved there can be an emphasis on caring for people and things. How we use food for better or worse can reveal a great deal about our relationship to ourselves and to those we care about and love.

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