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Starward May 2011



This month is going to be pretty quiet compared to March and April (thank the dear Lord!) except for those with planets between 5º and 8º inasmuch as Pluto went retrograde on April 9 and will be touching those degrees until the end of the year. I’ve included an article by Astrogrrl describing this event.


I’ve also included a description by Maritha Pottenger (Zip Dobyns’ daughter and a noted Astrologer in her own right) on the big 4 Asteroids and a detailed description of Ceres by Michael O’Reilly. In the following months, I’ll include descriptions of all the Asteroids and Black Moon Lilith, their aspects, and their signs.


If you don’t know where the Asteroids are located in your chart, go to, Extended Chart Selection. If you don’t have access to a computer, let me know, and I’ll print out your chart with them so you will have them and can start to learn them.


Astrologers are using Asteroids more and more because they give a complete portrayal of you and their interaction in your chart. Play with them and you’ll see for yourself.


By the way, astrologers have great discussions on which US chart to use. The reason I use the U.S. Sibley chart (Sagittarius rising, 7/4/1776, 5:10 pm, Philadelphia, PA) is that’s the time the final signatures were affixed. There are a handful of charts some astrologers use, but, to my mind, the events on September 11th proved the Sibley chart correct – Pluto was exactly conjunct the US Sagittarius rising. The keywords for Sagittarius are: outgoing, aspiring, philosophical, spiritual, playful, distractible, forthright, visionary, restless, adventurous, broad-minded, communicative, risk-taking, and athletic. Key phrases for Sagittarius are "I know," "I explore and discover," and "I broadcast or publicize." I personally think that those keywords fit us to a “T.”


Sandye Sievers
May 2011 “



New Moon



The Keywords for Taurus ~ practical, loyal, persevering, resistant to change, sensual, security-conscious, possessive, dependable, nurturing, artistic, value oriented. Since this New Moon falls in the 5th house of the US Sibley chart, it emphasizes creativity, speculation, and activities involving children. Social life picks up and a deeper emotional quality is added to creative projects, love relationships and activities involving children. Avoid speculation.


The New Moon falls in the 12th house of the Jacksonville chart and sheds light on the hidden and subconscious elements of life. Enemies, self- made or otherwise, could surface now. Longing for solitude and introspection. Subconscious fears and hang-ups may cause emotional difficulties.


Full Moon






The Full Moon in Scorpio normally is a miraculous time of transformation and regeneration. As we go through the great cosmic shift of 2010-2012, much in our lives is disappearing so as to be reborn. We are now healing and regenerating from what has happened during the past months. We are globally entering a period of “enlightened consciousness” and we’re being liberated from those errors in our thinking that led to needless stress and suffering.

Some of us may feel a bit lazy since the Moon inconjuncts Mercury, Venus, and Mars. If you’re going to yield to being a couch potato now, it’s OK! While it may seem like “unenlightened behavior,” to the contrary, it’s often helpful to get your mind completely off a problem so that your deep psyche can work unimpeded. When you do revisit your attention to the issues at hand, you may experience sudden new insights and inspiration.

Since both the Sun and the Moon are making positive aspects to Uranus, we should be able to open up to new ideas, opinions, and inventions. This is the time for self-examination and self-correction.

This Full Moon plays out both in the US Sibley and Jacksonville charts in the 6th (duty, work, health, habits, pets) and 12th (subconscious, hidden strengths and weaknesses, secrets, sorrow, suffering, limitations, handicaps, frustration, and behind-the-scenes action) houses.


Planets changing signs in May:

    May 11 @ 3:03am:  MARS in 00º00’ Taurus
    May 15 @ 6:12pm:  MERCURY in 00º00’ Taurus
                    7:18pm:  VENUS in 00º00’ Taurus
    May 21 @ 5:21am:  SUN in 00º00’ Gemini    

May 3rd New Moon


May 17th Full Moon


Pluto Retrograde

By: Astrogrrl

It's time for Mr. Intensity's retrograde cycle. This year Pluto retrogrades from April 9 to September 16 and will go over the road he's already traveled from 8º back to 5º in Capricorn. Do you have natal planets/house angles between those degrees? If yes, then Pluto has been hanging around agitating that part of your chart/life. Just when he moves past the degree of your natal planet/house angle, he switches gears and heads for it again. But it's not personal. It's his job. And it's each of our jobs to endure with whatever transformative change he is helping us make. The more we resist, consciously or not, the more difficult his transit on our charts/in our lives will be.

Pluto in Capricorn turns its focus inward. He questions our structure, the very foundation that we operate from, the beliefs we hold so dear, the disciplines we practice, the principles we abide by, and that which we have always known to be our truth. From previous posts, I've briefly explained the importance and meaning of Pluto in Capricorn:


Pluto represents rebirth, regeneration, and transformation. He is our compulsions, obsessions, ability for control, and empowerment. Pluto gives us the power to tackle obstacles in life through deeply understanding our situations, which results in our letting go and being transformed in the process. Pluto's process usually brings endings, purging, destruction, complete annihilation of what no longer works before a renewal can occur.

As he transits signs, he moves through our natal and solar houses affecting our lives slowly, subtly but with glaring, remarkable life-altering results. Pluto currently moves through Capricorn, where he is ambitious, practical, and determined. Capricorn represents social status, public life, reputation, hierarchies, and established government. Globally, Pluto's transit in Capricorn until 2023 may bring changes in government systems, restructuring of proven but antiquated methods, issues with security, and the like. Expect these issues to be extended to our personal lives -- how we feel about security and what makes us secure; a look at what we do, hold on to, practice, believe in that no longer reflects our current life, our present self, our present drives; establishing or reevaluating of our goals/aspirations and taking steps toward achieving them.

While Pluto is retrograde in Capricorn, he will revisit the period from now and back to mid-December 2010. Perhaps, recurring issues or events that you went through on and off for much of 2010 but left unfinished may also get another look. How have things progressed since then? What's different? What's the same? Where's the hang up? Why can't you seem to give it up or let it go? What are you really afraid of?

Make use of this Pluto retrograde period as best as you can. Whatever you ignore or whatever you remain 'blind' to may come back to really bite you in the ass, especially when Pluto (purging/cycle of death & rebirth) and Uranus (revolutionary/radical change) square (conflict/war) each other next year. They will come close to squaring in July-ish but their square won't perfect. However, late June to July-ish could give some of us a big, loud wake up call or maybe something less harsh like a bright light bulb resulting in a long awaited a-ha moment. Those with natal planets/house angles between 4 or 5º of cardinal signs might experience this more forceful than most.

Pluto retrogrades from April 9 at 1:50 a.m. PDT / 4:50 a.m. EDT until September 16 at 11:24 a.m. PDT / 2:24 p.m EDT. The retrograde occurs at 8º back to 5º of Capricorn. Early born cardinal Sun signs or Risings and those with natal planets/house angles between 5º and 8º of cardinal signs may feel the effects of this retrograde stronger than others. For those with natal Pluto in the early degrees of Libra (born approximately October 1973 to April 1974; August to November 1974; April to August 1974), you're going through your Pluto square Pluto years. These are trying years where external forces demand that you face up to your own shadow and become in contact with the buried parts of the self. So, you're not going crazy. Hang in there and work with the changes that needs to happen. Resisting just makes the transition more painful. Be mindful that resistance can come in the form of unconscious drives.

For me, Pluto has been in an opposition my Sun & square my Uranus for most of 2010 and will continue to do so for all of 2011. This Pluto transit puts extra pressure to my natal 10th house Cancer-Sun that is natally in a tight square to my Uranus (in Libra & in natal 1st). As if that's not enough, Neptune has also been square my Neptune for quite some time & will continue for much of 2011/some of 2012. I'd have to 'checked out' not to feel the pressure. 'Luckily' for me, my birth chart is natively strong with Pluto energy. I have Pluto-rising and sextile my natal Neptune. So, it's a "familiar" energy of delving deep, accepting harsh truths, cutting off unnecessaries and restructuring deeply rooted foundation. What's pushing the envelope, however, is that Pluto's opposition to my Sun and square to my Uranus forms a cardinal T-square with my natal Uranus as the focal point of the T-square's tension! For the non-astro folks, a square is the most challenging relationship between two planets. Think of the planets involved being at war. Each forcing upon the other the strength of their will. Action is required with a square, although agreeing to disagree is sometimes the best way to handle the forcefulness of a square. An opposition is also challenging but can be solved by balance, compromise and meeting each other half-way. A t-square has at least double the square energy in addition to the challenges of the opposition between at least two planets. Square = conflict/war. Opposition = requires balance. T-square = ouch. Squares, oppositions, t-squares -- it's all about growth/personal development and sometimes growing pains inevitably comes hand in hand with maturity.



The Big Four Asteroids

by Maritha Pottenger


For more detailed information, positions, example delineations, mythology and astronomical background, please see The Asteroid Ephemeris by Zipporah Dobyns with Rique Pottenger and Neil Michelsen, or The Asteroid Goddesses by Demetra George.


Ceres: Mythologically, she was Demeter, the Earth Mother. Goddess of green growing things, she was devoted to her daughter Persephone. One day, Persephone was stolen away by Pluto and imprisoned in the underworld. Ceres went into mourning and neglected her duties. Earth began to die. Zeus had to intervene. Since Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds while in the underworld, Zeus decreed that she must spend six months a year underground (during which Ceres mourns and we have Fall and Winter) and six months above ground (at which point Ceres rejoices and we have Spring and Summer). Astrologically, we are assigning a mixture of Virgo and Cancer to Ceres. She does relate to the ethic of the craftsperson: doing something well for its own sake. She seems to symbolize the personal, fertile side of Virgo, involved with gardening, growing things, the Earth and fertility. She also operates as another key to the mother or mother figure (along with the Moon) as well as the individual’s own capacity to mother others. The sense is someone who does a good job for the sake of the people involved. An integration of home and family needs with work needs when positively expressed.


Vesta: The vestal virgins dedicated their lives to the temple, where they kept a hearth fire burning continually. Any household could come to the temple of Vesta (Hestia) and get a torch to replenish their hearth at home, if it had gone out. The vestal virgins did not have committed relationships with men, nor did they have children while serving the temple. After their term of service, they could — and did — marry and have children. Vesta seems to operate as a super Virgo: single-mindedly focusing on the work — the job for its own sake. There is often tunnel vision. The total dedication can lead to great success in the world, but sometimes the price is alienation from personal relationships. When found in personal areas of the chart (Letters 4, 5, 7, & 8), Vesta indicates the need for extra care and balance lest one set the work and career in opposition to the personal home, family and love life. A sense of almost spiritual dedication to work (=) or obsessive-compulsive (8) overtones to the basic 6 theme.


Pallas: Pallas Athena was the goddess of wisdom, who sprang from Zeus’ forehead, fully clothed with armor and shield. She was a warrior goddess, noted for choosing the winning (or “righteous”) side. Her relationships with men were on her own terms. She taught weaving and other arts to mortals. Pallas seems to represent the fighting side of Libra: the willingness to compete as well as cooperate. There may be subtle overtones of Aquarius or Sagittarius to symbolize the independent approach to relationships. Pallas is prominent often in therapists, counselors, business consultants and all kinds of people who relate to others on a more impersonal level, not a committed marriage or living together situation. She may also be a key to political action, fighting for social causes and the entire struggle for equality in the Women’s Movement and other groups. She is also associated with artistic talent (particularly visual and graphic arts) and may be a factor to watch in learning disabilities such as dyslexia. Pallas denotes a strong desire to relate, but on an equal basis.


Juno: or Hera was one of the few married goddesses on Mount Olympus. She is remembered largely in our male-biased myths for her jealousy and possessiveness (hence the suggestion of Scorpio overtones). She does seem to operate as an asteroid of marriage — a key to that relationship and to the kind of marriage partner(s) we tend to choose. Often prominent in synastry between two people romantically involved, especially when marriage has been the farthest from their minds in the past or seems unlikely due to major differences. She shares the Libran focus on beauty and enjoyment of the luxuries of life. Artistic talent is likely when she is prominent. She is more inclined to seek the legal bond of marriage, some kind of firm commitment. Libra with Scorpio overtones is suggested.


In general, Ceres and Vesta are more true to their own nature. Pallas and Juno (as would be expected with their Libran focus) are more chameleon-like. They may blend and adapt, depending on their context. Thus, Pallas in relationship-oriented houses and signs (5, 6, 7 & 8) may be very interested in marriage, home and family, and Juno in transpersonal arenas (9-12) may be quite freedom-oriented, political, into social causes, etc.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


By Michael O’Reilly


Ceres and the other asteroids are all located between Mars and Jupiter, a belt situated between the personal and so-called transpersonal planets. Ceres in the individual horoscope can take on both a personal and/or transpersonal perspective, depending on the connections it makes to other planets. Ceres points to a variety of vocational interest, including all the helping professions, child education, agricultural occupations, food service and industries, and work with animals.


When Ceres aspects the outer planets, the path toward nurturing self and others frequently takes form as an occupational indicator. One feels that having a personal family is not enough, and service to the community or to humanity at large leads to a more fulfilling life.


When Ceres is closely aligned with URANUS, one feels like a global citizen. Perhaps one’s personal family is too dysfunctional to identify with, or for other reasons the individual relocates away from the ancestral background. This may mean living in a foreign country, getting involved in a humanitarian cause, or otherwise bridging racial, cultural, or religious roots. Examples from the celebrity world include:


·         actresses Drew Barrymore and Joanne Woodward,

·         soccer star David Beckham,

·         Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos,

·         political debutante Chelsea Clinton,

·         musicians Jerry Garcia and Janet Jackson,

·         zen basketball coach Phil Jackson,

·         politician Joseph Patrick Kennedy,

·         international beauty Claudia Schiffer,

·         Indian film director Manohj Night Shyamalan,

·         baseball star Ichiro Suzuki, and

·         tennis champion Serena Williams


Each of these celebrities has a Ceres-Uranus aspect with an orb of one degree or less, a tightness that becomes a powerful dynamic in shaping the individual psyche. Each of these celebrities is an active participant in creating the global village.


When Ceres aspects Neptune, the individual might feel driven to take care of the less fortunate in society. Spiritual needs may nurture the self, as well as inspire one to fee others spiritually as one develops a sense of compassion. Tom Cruise with his Sun conjunct Ceres and trine Neptune is a good example of this combination. His devotion to scientology provides an outlet for these impulses. Another example is Jennifer Butterfly Hill (2-18-74), an environmental activist who lived on top of an ancient ponderosa tree for two years to protest the clear cut of an old growth forest. Her Ceres is in cause-oriented Aquarius and forms an exact sextile to Neptune, giving her a deep compassion for trees as living beings.


Under stressful aspects, the Ceres-Neptune individual may develop a dependency on drugs, fall victim to deception, or otherwise become a celebrated victim. Kurt Cobain (2-20-67) is a prime example here. The founder of grunge music was a hopeless heroin addict. His Ceres is found in the communications sign of Gemini, but forms a hard aspect to Neptune. Likewise, Martha Stewart has natal Ceres in the 2nd house of money, where it forms a close square to Neptune. Her fall from grace centered on illegal insider trading – in other words, financial fraud. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has Neptune conjunct her Midheaven where it forms a square to Ceres in the 7th house of partners. At the time JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963, transiting Ceres and Neptune were forming a conjunction right on her Scorpio Ascendant.


Ceres in aspect to PLUTO is an extremely powerful motivating force and may bestow unusual abilities on the individual. These may include the ability to heal or facilitate major life changes. Daniel Radcliffe (7-23-1989) has Ceres in dexterous Gemini closely aspecting Pluto in magical Scorpio. His starring role as Harry Potter demonstrates some of the supernatural talent that may appear in various guises with this aspect. Many individuals with challenging Ceres-Pluto aspects feel called to work in hospices, where they assist or guide patients through the door of death. The schizophrenic genius John Nash (6-13-28) overcame tremendous psychological forces to achieve a semblance of normalcy and claim the Nobel Prize. Russell Crowe, who played John Nash in the film A Beautiful Mind also has a natal Ceres-Pluto aspect.


George W. Bush was born with Pluto in his 1st house opposite Ceres. Bush’s Pluto is conjunct Mercury, a combination that produces a very focused political ideology. With Ceres modifying his Mercury-Pluto, Bush found success in the campaigns by touting “Compassionate Conservatism.” One may assume that his wife Laura had a hand in developing this philosophy, since Ceres is in the 7th house of partners. Ceres here also denotes his father’s influence, and many of W’s advisers come from George, Sr.’s cabinet. VP Dick Cheney (1-30-41) for example, was the elder George’s Secretary of State, and his Aquarian Sun is exactly conjunct W’s Ceres. The 7th house is also the house of open enemies, and one of W’s staunchest opponents is the environmental faction, which is symbolized by Ceres.


Ceres association with the environmental movement can be seen in John Denver’s horoscope. He was born with Ceres conjunct Saturn in vocal Gemini, and located right in his Gemini 1st house. Denver was well known for his songs about nature, and when he became a celebrity he began a speaking tour that promoted various environmental groups and causes. He established several environmental organizations himself and became an enduring symbol for protecting natural habitats. Here the Ceres-Saturn connection comes through as taking personal responsibility for the continuous survival and well being of nature.


Ceres in aspect to CHIRON, known as the Wounded Healer, is often found in the charts of health practitioners and alternative healers. The caring, sensitive aura of the Ceres individual combined with the awareness of other realities and dimensions as denoted by Chiron may inspire vocational or professional outlets. These include being an astrologer, massage therapist, chiropractor, herbologist, acupuncturist, or naturopath. Many nurses and doctors also have this combination.


Ceres by transit can bring traumatic life changes, especially when it’s under difficult natal configurations. Jackie O’s Ceres brought her a lifetime of such tragedies, and Superman actor Christopher Reeve is another example. Reeve was born with Ceres in restless Gemini and opposed to Mars, a natal alignment predisposed to accidents while traveling. On May 27, 1995, during an equestrian competition, he suffered an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. At the time, transiting Ceres was exactly conjunct his Leo Ascendant (which rules the physical body) and transiting Mercury had just turned retrograde which conjunct his Ceres.


To those who have learned to work with Ceres, this asteroid may bring long life. Ceres in aspect to both Jupiter and Neptune is found in the charts of the world’s oldest humans. According to the 2001 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, Eva Morris holds the official record for being the oldest human. She was born on 11-8-1885, and died peacefully in her sleep at an English nursing home just 6 days before her 115th birthday. Eva was born with Ceres sextile Jupiter and opposite Neptune, giving her an innate ability to take care of herself, especially in a spiritual sense, since Jupiter and Neptune are the two planets associated with faith.


Guiness recognizes Jeanne Calment as the oldest person ever who has authenticated birth records. She was born on February 21, 1875, and died in 1997 at age 122. She was born with Ceres trine Jupiter and sextile Neptune. While the publishers of Guinness Book require a birth certificate for authentication, when considering church records, the oldest person ever was probably Maria do Carmo Jeronimo, a former slave from Brazil, who died on June 14, 2000, at age 129. She was born on March 5, 1871, and has Ceres in Virgo square Jupiter and inconjunct Neptune.


Elizabeth “Ma Pampo” Israel, from the tiny island nation of Dominica, has church baptismal records that indicate she was born on January 27, 1875, only a month before Calment. She died shortly after her 128th birthday in early 2003. Like the others, she has the blessed Ceres-Jupiter-Neptune cosmic signature. Ma Pamo is a national Dominican hero, and was widely celebrated and interviewed during her last years. Following her predisposition to Ceres, she believes in good nutrition and attributes her longevity to eating natural food. She ate fresh crab, dumplings, and fish, and drank coconut milk regularly. “The artificial fertilizer they’re using now is what is making people sick and killing them slowly … they will never live long,” she said in one of her last interviews.


From these examples and case histories, astrologers can see that Ceres represents a power archetypal force that should be included in any analysis of the natal horoscope. From questions about pregnancy, vocation, parenting issues, food complexes, to life and death situations, Ceres is the missing link that provides the answers. If astrology is the algebra of life, then Ceres in her most exalted role is the gift of life itself.


Intuitive Astrology Classes:

May 2

May 16


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