Asteroids are a relatively new addition to astrology, having only been discovered in the 1800s. Most of the asteroids exist in an orbital path between Mars and Jupiter, and their total mass amounts to a mere 5% of the mass of the moon!
Many astrologers only examine asteroids with strong aspects, within a 1º orb, up to a 3º orb for the Big 4 asteroids, Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta. There are over 21,000 named asteroids. In this post we’ll go over eight popular asteroids, their histories and associated archetypes, and how they might manifest in the chart on a good day versus on a bad day.
How to Find Asteroids in the Birth Chart
To get started examining asteroids in the natal chart, here are instructions on how to pull them up using Astrodienst:
- Create a free Astrodienst account to access your natal chart. Check out our post Astrology 101 for full instructions.
- In the Extended Chart Selection, scroll down to the Additional Objects box. Select whichever asteroids you’re interested in.
- You can also browse the Asteroid name/number list to the right.
- If you already know the asteroid number, you can enter it into the Manual Entry box to the far right.
The Big 4
The first four asteroids ever discovered, Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta, are often referred to as The Big 4 by astrologers. They’re the most commonly interpreted asteroids in the astrology chart.
Because they’re all named after Greek goddesses, astrologers sometimes see these asteroids as representing the feminine spectrum, in contrast to the planets which, except for Venus and the Moon, are all named after male gods.
The dwarf planet Ceres is named after the goddess of agriculture. She is an earth goddess, often depicted holding shafts of wheat. Ceres represents how you want to be nurtured.
An unbalanced Ceres aspect can manifest as grief, eating disorders, and infertility. In mythology, Ceres lost her beloved daughter Persephone to the ruler of the underworld, and in her grief put the earth into a perpetual state of winter, during which no grain could grow.
A strong Ceres aspect can manifest as a strong mother-daughter bond, a talent for cooking, a nurturing personality, and fertility.
Pallas is named after the “wise warrior” goddess Pallas Athena who was born, fully grown and wearing armour, out of Jupiter’s head. She rules alpha females, justice, cities, and father-daughter relationships.
A negative Pallas aspect can manifest as conflict, injustice, and “daddy issues.”
On a good day, Pallas brings strategic wisdom, justice, and healthy relationships with the father or authority figures in your life.
Juno is named after the queen of Mount Olympus, Jupiter’s wife and the goddess of marriage. On one hand she represents the perfect wife-queen archetype, devoted to her husband and their kingdom. On the other hand, Jupiter was a serial cheater, and Juno spent much of her energy trying to enact her revenge upon him.
On a bad day, Juno can manifest as infidelity, bitterness, and abusive relationships. A challenging Juno aspect can also speak to using children to manipulate a spouse, or valuing relationship ideals over relationship realities.
On a good day, Juno represents dignity, commitment, leadership, and diplomacy. A strong Juno placement can indicate commitment to partnership as a form of karmic or soul evolution and offer the native a “queenly” air.
Vesta is named after the virgin priestess goddess. She is another one of Jupiter’s sisters. As keeper of the hearth, she and her devotees were tasked with tending to the sacred fire that kept Rome safe – if they let the fire go out, they were buried alive. “Vestals” were also originally sexual priestesses who later were forced into celibacy – pre-dating modern nuns.
On a bad day Vesta can represent a fear of sex or intimacy, tunnel vision, and fanaticism.
On a good day Vesta manifests as sacred sexuality, devotion, and spiritual service.
Let’s look at four more asteroids, each named after famous mythological couples: Eros & Psyche, and Chiron & Chariklo.
Eros & Psyche (433 & 16)
Named after the mythical lovers, Eros and Psyche rule the sexual and romantic love that make up a soulmate union. Eros was Aphrodite’s son and the god of erotic love. Psyche was a beautiful mortal princess who roused Aphrodite’s jealousy. Aphrodite sent her son to poison Psyche, but they fell in love instead. Eros and Psyche had to literally go to hell and back again before they could gain Aphrodite’s approval and live happily ever after with their children Bliss, Pleasure, and Ecstasy.
Eros and Psyche represent who you seek in a romantic soulmate. Your Eros also represents what turns you on sexually, regardless of gender, and Psyche represents what turns you on emotionally and allows you to bond romantically on a soul level.
Chiron & Chariklo (2060 & 10199)
Chiron is the most widely studied of the “centaur asteroids.” The centaurs were mythological creatures, half human and half horse. In Greek mythology, Chiron was a centaur god who was maimed in battle and could not heal himself, despite being a gifted healer. Chiron represents the “wounded healer” and shaman archetype.
Chariklo was Chiron’s wife and, despite being lumped in with the centaur asteroids, was actually a naiad (freshwater nymph). She orbits near Uranus, which may influence her possible correlation with progressive vision and even sci-fi, according to Zane Stein.
She was mother of the “blind seer” Tiresias and mentor to several heroes including Achilles. For these reasons, plus her devotion to Chiron, she is associated with caretaking and holding space for gifted outcasts.
Once you’ve digested some of the above popular asteroids and their impact on your natal chart, there are some other fun ways to examine asteroids.
Try looking up your own name in the asteroid list – or the name of a significant other – and analyze those aspects. Aside from major asteroids which are named after the Greek deities, there are also asteroids named after pop culture icons like Bowie 342843. Where do your favorite pop stars exist on your own chart?
In a future post we’ll also discuss other valuable astrological points such as the moon’s nodes, the Part of Fortune, and the differences between Dark/Black Moon Lilith and asteroid Lilith. Make sure to check out our other introductory posts to astrology, including The Planets and Their Meanings and How to Read Your Astrology Birthchart.