Jupiter Mythology Woodcut

The asteroids are small planet-like bodies that orbit the Sun in a belt that lies mostly between Mars and Jupiter. They first dawned on human consciousness in the early

1800s. The first four asteroids to be sighted were given the names of four of the great goddesses of classical antiquity: Ceres (discovered in 1801), Pallas Athene (discovered in 1802), Juno (discovered in 1804), and Vesta (discovered in 1807).

Many more asteroids were soon discovered, so that by the end of the nineteenth century, over a thousand were known. The first asteroid ephemeris (a table listing planetary positions) was made available to astrologers in 1973 by Eleanor Bach, and it covered only the original four. Today astrologers have computer software developed by Mark Pottenger that tracks the placements of over nine thousand.

Among the thousands of asteroids known, Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta have a special place. While these are not necessarily the largest asteroids, they were the first to be discovered, and as such they have imprinted themselves on human consciousness in a significant way. They also complete the female pantheon of goddesses, rounding out the system of symbols begun in the usual 10 planets. Of the six great goddesses of Olympus, only Aphrodite (Venus) and Artemis (the Moon) are represented in the conventional astrological symbol system. The other four great goddesses of Graeco-Roman mythology—Demeter (Ceres), Athene (Pallas), Hera (Juno), and Hestia (Vesta)—were missing from astrology until they were reinvoked by their discovery in the early 1800s.

Juno, the third asteroid to be discovered, represents a third stage of life. After the Pallas stage of going out into the world, possibly to have a career, one is ready to encounter one's equal and embark upon the journey of partnership that usually takes the form of marriage.

The glyph for Juno suggests a scepter, befitting the queen of the gods, and a flower, befitting her femininity. In general form, the glyph for Juno resembles that for Venus; but instead of the circle denoting Venus's mirror, there are outward-pointing rays, indicating that the seductive femininity of Venus is about to turn outward, bearing fruit in marriage and children.

In classical mythology, Juno, known to the Greeks as Hera, was wedded to Jupiter (Greek Zeus), supreme king of heaven and earth. As such, she became his queen and the goddess of marriage. In the myths of an earlier time, however, long before her meeting with Jupiter, Juno was one of the primary great goddesses in her own right. As the only one who was his equal, Juno was chosen by Jupiter to initiate with him the rites of legal, monogamous, patriarchally defined marriage. As his queen, she became but a figurehead and was repeatedly deceived, betrayed, and humiliated by her husband's many infidelities. In the myths Juno was portrayed as a jealous, manipulative, vindictive, revengeful, and malcontent wife who, after tempestuous fights, would periodically leave her husband. However, she always returned to try to work things out one more time.

In the human psyche, Juno represents that aspect of each person's nature that feels the urge to unite with another person to build a future together in a committed relationship. This partnership is sustained over time through a formal and binding commitment, whether it be a worldly or a spiritual bond. Juno speaks to one's desire to connect with a mate who is one's true equal on all levels—psychologically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

A sixteenth-century woodcut of Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, and Mercury from Greek mythology. Reproduced by permission of Fortean Picture Library.

When we do not receive intimacy, depth, equality, honesty, respect, and fulfillment in our unions, Juno speaks to our emotions of disappointment, despair, anger, and rage, which can overwhelm us. This is especially true when we have given up a great deal, such as a career, family, home, or religion, to enter the relationship. The Juno in us makes us confront the issues of submission and domination, fidelity and infidelity, trust and deception, and forgiveness and revenge. In her realm, we find ourselves in power struggles for equality as we attempt to balance and integrate ourselves with another person and learn to transform selfish desires into cooperative union.

Within a context of separation and return, Juno encourages us to take the vow of "for better or worse, in sickness and health, till death us do part." She brings the wisdom that conscious relationship is a path to spiritual enlightenment, and the knowledge that relationships allow us to perfect and complete ourselves.

In today's world, Juno is also a symbol for the plight of battered and powerless wives and minorities; for the psychological complexes of love-addiction and codepen-dency; for the rise in divorce rates as people are driven to release unmeaningful relationships; and for the redefinition of traditional relationships in the face of feminism and of gay and lesbian coupling.

To sum up, Juno is the archetype of the wife and partner who maintains her marital commitment to her husband in the face of conflict and struggle. In the birth chart, she, along with other chart factors such as the seventh house, represents your capacity for meaningful committed relationships, your attitude toward such relationships, and the type of relationship experiences that you need in order to feel fulfilled. She represents both what you need and what you attract, and she also signifies the ways in which you act out your disappointment over broken unions. These relationships are usually romantic in nature, but may sometimes assume other forms such as business, professional or creative partnerships.

The Asteroid Goddess Natal Report Writer generates a 40-page personalized interpretation of these four major asteroids in the birth chart. It is available from Astrolabe.

—Demetra George

Sources:

Dobyns, Zipporah. Expanding Astrology's Universe. San Diego: Astro Computing Services, 1983. Donath, Emma Belle. Asteroids in the Birth Chart. Tempe, AZ: American Federation of Astrologers, 1979.

George, Demetra, with Douglas Bloch. Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology and Astrology of the Reemerging Feminine. 2nd ed. rev. San Diego: Astro Computing Services, 1990.

-. Astrology for Yourself: A Workbook for Personal Transformation. Berkeley, CA: Wingbow

Press, 1987.

Lehman, J. Lee. The Ultimate Asteroid Book. West Chester, PA: Whitford Press, 1988.

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