If you're anything like me, you were hooked on astrology the minute you got a taste of it. You probably discovered your Sun sign, studied a few of its basic qualities, and felt totally seen. The stars know who you are better than even you do, it seemed, and you wanted more. Over the years, you've probably been taking in astrological knowledge by osmosis. You may have even gotten your birth chart read so you could reveal even more of the hidden secrets your astrological persona has been containing. Mars sign, Venus sign, Moon sign, ascendant: you want to develop your understanding of them all. The nuances of your birth chart are endless. There are even signs not even the most astrologically-informed of us all are aware of and if you've taken a confused peak at some of the smaller planets in your chart, you've probably wondered what does Ceres mean in astrology?
You're thinking, "I probably need a PhD in astrology to even begin to fathom that," but truthfully, we're all learning about this stuff together, one sign at a time. The smaller, more obscure planets in our chart explain various subtleties in our personality that our more major planets might not—Ceres being one of them. Ceres, Chiron, Pallas, and Juno are all known as dwarf planets or asteroids, and in fact, some astrologers even say they could never explicate an accurate horoscope for someone without also identifying their Ceres sign. For everyone who feels their Sun sign might be missing their more complex qualities, look no further than Ceres.
If you aren't sure what your Ceres is (or any of these strange signs I'm mentioning right now), check out this birth chart calculator and find out yours.
There are a number of asteroids floating around between Mars and Jupiter, but the four biggest and, in our opinion, most important are Pallas, Juno, Vesta, and of course, Ceres. She is the largest of the four and on January 1, 1801, became the first of the four to be discovered by astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi in Italy. After a year of research, he was able to prove it deserved to be known as a dwarf planet (making it just as influential to our charts as Pluto!).
In terms of Greek and Roman mythology, the four asteroids are all named after the female relatives of Jupiter (AKA Zeus). Juno is his wife, Pallas Athena, his daughter, and both Vesta and Ceres are his sisters. Like the way Venus and the Moon influence our chart, these four planets also represent the intrinsically feminine aspects of our personality.
The most all-encompassing way to describe Ceres is the Earth Mother. She rules over health, nutrition, agriculture, and overall, a universal nourishing that permeates everything we touch and are touched by. She also symbolizes fertility, the transitions a woman experiences through the various stages in her life, motherhood, and the fierce energy that family relationships are intertwined with. Ceres describes what we need to feel nurtured in this life and how we nurture those around us.
You know how deep, dark, and beautiful a mother's love is? It's so strong, the sharpest and most indestructible knife couldn't carve a mark into it. Ceres represents that depth of love that sits within all of us. It's kind of amazing to think that there's a Ceres breathing fire into every loving act we commit, isn't it?
Just take whatever astrological sign that is associated with Ceres in your chart and let that inform how exactly that invincible love takes shape in your world. For example, if it's a Gemini, maybe your love extends through conversations, art projects, and cultivating freedom and independence for your loved ones. If it's Taurus, your love might take the form of fierce and uncompromising devotion, as well as a foundation of stability.
On the other end of the motherhood spectrum, Ceres also represents grief, loss, and even our response to the abduction of whomever we love most (namely our children). She also represents the issues we may have in our parent-child relationships.
Mythologically speaking, Ceres nearly lost her daughter, Persephone, to Pluto (AKA Hades), after he kidnapped her. With the ferocity of a mother's love, she was willing to do anything to get her back, even strike a deal with Hades that allowed her to return home for eight months out of the year. The four that she remained with him were during the winter season, which explains why our Earth is without harvest and barren from food when Persephone is away; Ceres, ruler of agriculture, is in pain and missing her daughter. Feminine love is truly a force to be reckoned with.