The meaning of Ceres in astrology became easier to define for me, once I used her as my primary clue for predicting the Brexit. In fact, I would not dream of casting a horoscope without her. I began using Ceres in 2006, when astronomers reclassified her as a planet and I believe that just by knowing your Ceres sign and house, you can unlock your entire horoscope.
That’s Ceres (left) tipping out the harvest from her famous cornucopia, or horn of plenty. By sign and house in your astrological birth chart, Ceres shows where you are abundant. Ceres was the goddess of corn, specifically, in Ancient Rome and we associate her with cereal (the clue is in the name) and also serial benefits. There is a price to pay, however…
CERES, LOSS, COMPROMISE, RAGE AND GRIEF
It is quite true that Ceres by sign and house will show you where you have ‘the horn of plenty’ in your life. Transits to your natal Ceres by Jupiter, in particular, will reward you with incredible gains. In mythology, Jupiter was the god who solved problems for Ceres and in astrology, when Jupiter moves to the same degree (number) as Ceres, in any sign at all, he will aspect her. That is the moment to see your horoscope working for yourself, in real time. Ceres will reveal you as ‘the goddess of plenty’ below.
GIVING UP AND GIVING IN WITH CERES
Why do we also associate this planet with loss, compromise, rage and grief? The answer rests with Pluto. He is her son-in-law and he took her daughter away from her. The abduction is widely portrayed in art and sculpture. Unfortunately, along with your cornucopia, Ceres will also deliver some pretty dramatic episodes when you must give up, and give in – triggering deep emotion.
This theme of regular loss will be obvious if you look at your life as a whole. The episodes when you had to submit to fate, or other people, or large organisations will stand out in your memory. This is why Ceres in your chart can be so powerful. It also reveals why, by sign and house, this is where life can feel most dramatically intense, on a regular basis. This painting of Ceres (left) with Pan is by Rubens. The artist painted Ceres again and again, with instinctive insight. What you see here is a combination of satisfaction and faint smugness, written on her face – along with a hint of sadness. Ceres has it all, in terms of her famous ‘horn of plenty’ and as the goddess of the harvest, she reaps what she sows. She is entitled to feel pleased. The sadness, though, and the gloom in Ruben’s work, suggests the loss of her daughter Proserpina. In this art work, it has either happened, or Ceres may be all too aware that Pluto is looming, ready to take her child away and make her his bride.
HOW CERES CHANGED MODERN ASTROLOGY
When astronomers gathered together in 2006 to demote Pluto and promote Ceres at the same time, they changed modern astrology. How do astrologers discover what a planet, asteroid or other heavenly body means? Synchronicity. They turn to the original Roman myth, as all the members of the astrological family tree have been named for the gods and goddesses of Roman religion. Just as importantly, astrologers look at the year of discovery (when the heavenly body was found and named) and for major historical events which reflect the myth. This is synchronicity – the deeply meaningful coincidence, or correlation – that astrology is based on. A hypothesis is made and then tested in the birth charts of well-known people and in the charts for important events, countries and organisations. More insight into the meaning of a heavenly body comes over time, as new stories about the planet or asteroid emerge. Art helps. If you are curious about Ceres in your personal birth chart, peer at the paintings and sculpture long enough and you will began to understand this planet better.
CERES AND THE DAY ASTRONOMERS KILLED PLUTO
Raw feelings, deep emotions, entitlement, possessiveness, loss and mourning are part of the Ceres story in astronomy. Why? Because her promotion happened at the same time that Pluto was ‘killed’ by astronomer Mike Brown (his word for it). There are still some people who find the ‘death’ of Pluto depressing. Perhaps it’s no surprise to find Ceres implicated in depression, if your chart is tilted that way. Ceres raises issues about being ‘dwarfed’ or demoted. It can be painful. We also associate Ceres in your birth chart with the difficult process of having it all – then losing it all. You can see Ceres, below, in this painting by Jan Miel. She is characteristically holding the corn, on the far right. She seems lost in thought. The dark skies hint at her dark fate – the loss of her daughter. Again, it is not clear if she is being comforted by Cupido, Bacchus and Venus after the abduction, or if she is distracted by her own premonition of the loss, to come.
HOW ASTRONOMERS TAUGHT ASTROLOGERS ABOUT CERES
At first Ceres was called a planet by early astronomers, but as more asteroid belt members were discovered, she was demoted to asteroid. Then, in 2006 in a remarkable turnaround by astronomers, she was promoted to dwarf planet — a classification she famously now shares with Pluto, who was himself demoted in an uncanny echo of the Roman story.
In the myth, when Pluto abducted Proserpina and took her down into Hades, to make her his bride, Ceres turned to Jupiter to bring her daughter back. Jupiter refused, but he agreed to a compromise. Pluto and Ceres would share Proserpina between them, having access to the young woman for half the year, each. Ceres by sign and house in your chart will clearly show where you are repeatedly forced to share – with other people, or sometimes with the universe itself. Just as Pluto by sign and house also shows issues about dominating/losing power, Ceres will also reveal where you have it, then lose it, then compromise.
THE DISCOVERY OF CERES AND THE FIRST POWER STRUGGLE
One of my favourite astrology books isn’t an astrology book at all. It’s an astronomy book called Rock Legends, by Professor Paul Murdin (Springer). At the start of the 19th century, when a new heavenly body turned up in the telescope, the first power struggle began. Murdin writes, “In May 1801, Giuseppe Piazzi named the planet Ceres Ferdinandea, after Ceres, the goddess of agriculture (her name gives us words like ‘cereal.’) Piazzi was following the ancient tradition of naming planets after Roman deities. He was also acknowledging his support by his adopted country, since Ceres is the patron goddess of Sicily.”
THE PEOPLE POLITICS AND DRAMA OF CERES
The Ferdinandea part of the name was a controversial choice. This was Piazzi’s tribute to King Ferdinand III of Sicily, his patron but it also caused problems because of the people politics involved. Ferdinand was unpopular with some. It raised the usual Ceres questions – issues about being taken over, having precious objects/people taken away – and so on. The drama of Ceres was there from the moment astronomers began arguing over her name. The painting above, by Hans von Aachen, shows the moment Pluto took Proserpina, the daughter of Ceres, away from her mother – with all the breast-beating you might expect. Whenever we find Ceres in astronomy or astrology, we always find passion.
This was no formal scientific debate. The name the new planet was to acquire, triggered strong emotions. The German astronomer Johannes Bode wrote to a colleague, Baron Franz Xaver von Zach: “I would like to suggest the name Juno (Hera, in Greek)…We must remain with mythology for the sake of analogy and to avoid flattery, and because the planets found over Jupiter carry the name of his ancestors and those standing closer to the Sun the names of his spouse and children.”
CERES, THE POWER AND THE PASSION
The more we uncover about the secret history of the new planet Ceres, the more astronomy reflects astrology. She is about a change in the balance of power, above all other things, perhaps because in mythology, she was impressively powerful. The painting of Ceres overcoming Neptune, above, by Simon Vouet, shows the incredible potency of Ceres very clearly. This is the same in your astrological birth chart. Ceres shows where you possess potency (even though it will also be compromised).
When Piazzi heard about Bode’s opinion of his preferred name for his new discovery, he replied, “If the Germans think they have the right to name somebody else’s discoveries they can keep calling the new star the way they want, for we will always call it Ceres. I will be very glad if you and your colleagues will do the same.”
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND CERES
None other than Napoleon Bonaparte became involved in the debate. He also wanted the new planet to be called Juno. As if that wasn’t enough, the French astronomer Jerome de Lalande wanted to call it “Piazzi” and so the soap opera (with telescopes) continued. As this painting by Rubens (above) illustrates, there is a lot at stake with Ceres – abundance and power – so perhaps it is not surprising that grown men were arguing over here, even at the start of the 19th century.
“The pagan deities are no longer interesting and adulation please only the person who is the object of it,” de Lalande wrote, as the argument ran on. Eventually Bode gave in, and wrote to Piazzi, “I accept with much pleasure the name Ceres Ferdinandea. You discovered it in Taurus, and it has been found again in Virgo, the Ceres of ancient times. These two constellations are the symbol of Agriculture. The chance is very singular.”
King Ferdinand increased Piazzi’s salary by 1200 francs in consequence of the discovery of the new planet. As we now know, within a year the suffix Ferdinandea had dropped out of use. Astronomy had well and truly taught astrologers what they needed to know about Ceres, though. Then, as now, she is a symbol of people politics and power struggles, par excellence.
THE UNITED KINGDOM HOROSCOPE AND CERES
How do astrologers predict the future, months before it comes to pass? There is no great secret. It’s just synchronicity and common sense. The United Kingdom herself was born on the same day Piazzi found Ceres, 1st January 1801. The two are bound by fate. This fits perfectly. The Act of Union got rid of the Parliament of Ireland and merged the flags. It was a classic case of enforced compromise along with all the usual anger, loss, grief and people politics we expect. It was also about the division of power – and what power.
The Brexit vote – the EU Referendum of June 23rd 2016 – happened on a unique day in astrology when Ceres was at 23 Aries conjunct Uranus at 23 Aries. Mars triggered the ‘surprise’ vote (not surprising to astrologers) by lining up at 23 Scorpio. Sometimes fate clangs a loud bell in your ear. Ceres was going to rule the day, along with Uranus (revolution, freedom, independence) and Mars (anger).
Prediction – When Ceres returns to 21 Aries alongside Uranus at 21 Aries, the ‘new’ United Kingdom will be reborn. This takes place on November 24th, 25th, 26th, 2016. Mercury stands at 21 Sagittarius (which rules foreigners) on November 27th, so this seems like a key date in the revolution as England seeks her freedom.
WORKING WITH CERES NATALLY AND BY TRANSIT
Working with Ceres natally involves watching the transits to Ceres in your own birth chart. It is always useful to look at the transits of Proserpina, Pluto and Jupiter because they were part of the original ‘family’ in our Roman/Latin astrology. You can track the movements of these heavenly bodies on this website every day. Reading your own chart and keeping a journal about the outcomes is the best way of learning how Ceres works for you. Have a look at the aspects she makes, too. If other heavenly bodies are at the same degree (number) as Ceres in your birth chart, that’s a complex story. Ceres by sign and house is locked into more than one area of your life and you can expect episodes with many plots to unfold, whenever Ceres is triggered.
Watch your Ceres Return as well. When Ceres returns to the same sign and degree she occupied when you were born, you can expect a total reorganisation of that area of your life. By sign and house, Ceres will show you what/who is set to transform. The United Kingdom ‘birth’ chart set for 1st January 1801 at 00.00am in London, clearly shows Ceres at 23 Taurus in the Second House of money, banks, taxation, currency, property and debt. The United Kingdom will have her Ceres Return on April 13th and 14th, 2017 when Ceres moves to 23 Taurus. This is a volatile period for the pound.
WATCHING CERES IN ARIES AND TAURUS 2016-2017
Transiting Ceres is also worth watching, if she conjuncts your natal placements. As I write this in August 2016, she is moving through Taurus. She will retrograde to Aries on October 14th, 2016 and remain there until February 5th, 2017, when she returns to Taurus. The transit of Ceres in Taurus will foreshadow the massive, radical changes to come for the world economy which begin when Uranus enters Taurus on May 16th, 2018. Seeing the cycles of time like this helps another UK prediction.
CERES AND THE UK ECONOMY
When Ceres moves across Taurus at 11, 18, 20, 23 degrees she will trigger the finance, economy, currency and tax zones of the old United Kingdom horoscope, set for 1st January 1801. Ceres will conjunct Panacea at 11 Taurus, conjunct Mars at 11 Taurus, oppose Neptune at 18 Scorpio, conjunct Psyche at 20 Taurus and conjunct Ceres at 23 Taurus. That is quite a pile-up.
As we’ve seen, the UK has her Ceres Return on April 13th and 14th, 2016 when she returns to 23 Taurus. This is very close to the position of Uranus at 24 Aries, over the same two-day period. Mars will be at 23 Taurus on April 12th. As if that wasn’t enough, we have Mercury Retrograde in Taurus.
Mercury is associated with markets and merchandise, as astrologers have known for the last 2000+ years. Narrowing down the time frame for this crisis in the UK economy, the risk period begins on April Fool’s Day, April 1st 2017 with Mercury at 0 Taurus. He then moves to 4 degrees Taurus on 9th April, where he turns retrograde. The danger period begins with the Mercury Retrograde Shadow, though, from April 1st – so don’t be fooled. The shadow was there in the 1929 Wall Street crash as well.
On 9th April, 2017, Mercury staggers on his winged sandals and starts moving backwards through 4, 3, 2, 1 and eventually 0 Taurus, where he ends up on Thursday 20th April. He then vanishes, only to resurface on May 17th, 2016, where he retraces his steps through 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 degrees of Taurus for the last time, returning to normal from May 22nd.
You can see Ceres (below) along with Mercury himself on the old French bank notes, before the EU and the Euro took over Europe. This prediction is about the United Kingdom, not France, but I could not resist showing you the old Roman gods on the French currency! As I have predicted before on this website, after 2018 the Euro will be a thing of the past. Perhaps these beautiful old French notes will be revived, or maybe we will see a purely digital currency replace the old paper and metal. In the meantime, what about that UK chart? This will be an unforgettable Easter across the British Isles.
PREDICTION – Between April 1st and 20th, 2017 the United Kingdom will experience an historic crisis affecting the pound, the sharemarkets and the economy with further fall-out from May 17th to 22nd. There will be a deep change in the balance of power, involving the government, trading partners and the business world. A serious reality check is coming for anyone living in a credit or property bubble. The crisis will specifically affect house prices and mortgage interest rates.
This is big. In every single ‘birth’ chart we have for the United Kingdom, in all her many incarnations, she has a horoscope hotspot at 23 degrees. This is not just about a minor blip for the British economy; it is about her past, present and future.
Now. This is the real point of astrology. Before too much hand-wringing begins, the future after the initial crisis looks bright. Uranus in Taurus and Jupiter in Scorpio from May 2018 are going to change everything – for the better. If you cannot put a price on freedom, then you will be celebrating what happens when 2018 comes around. If you believe that you cannot buy independence in a catalogue, then you will be very pleased at what happens to the British economy in 2018. This is a revolution and it has been a long time coming. It will peak when Uranus at 23 Taurus conjuncts Ceres at 23 Taurus in the national horoscope and that will happen in August and September 2023. But that’s another (astrology) story!
Published on 27th August, 2016.