Astronomy & Astrology of the Main Asteroids

Ceres, Vesta, Juno, & Pallas

Nick Anthony Fiorenza

Asteroid Orbits - Ceres Juno Vesta Pallas

The Main Asteroid Belt

The Main Asteroid Belt, with nearly 400,000 designated asteroids, lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This is the home of Ceres, Juno, Vesta and Pallas. Asteroids always reveal issues at some level that need to be integrated "within" us all. Disintegrated asteroid issues fragment and scatter our energy outward in dysfunctional ways in the world. Integration of the issues embodied by the asteroids leads to the ability to interrelate in the world from wholeness, integrity and wisdom. Exploring the asteroids in the astrology chart most always fills in the missing pieces to unanswered questions.

Ceres Ceres Astrology

Ceres the Dwarf Planet

Due to her size and spherical shape, Ceres was reclassified as a "dwarf planet" in Aug 2006, along with Pluto and Eris—appropriately honoring Ceres to be the Mother of the asteroids; and now places a "planet" in the orbital location where a planet should lie—in this case along with her many children.

Ceres, mother of the asteroids, brings awareness to how we nurture and to that which is truly nurturing to us. Ceres embodies both mothering and agricultural qualities and brings attention to our relation with the Earth, the land, the seasons, and the harvesting of crops. Ceres is associated with fertility, the womb and stomach. Ceres brings attention to all that is cyclical in nature—to bounty, fertility and fecundity as well to the withholding or denial of bestowing that bounty. Astrological placements of Ceres reveal the nature of and areas of life in which we nurture and receive nurturing, but also how we may withhold our capacity to nurture or resist being nurtured ourselves, which is based around issues of self worth and self esteem. Ceres reveals our ability to be in universal flow—the unification of giving and receiving as one flow of energy through ourselves. Ceres asks for acknowledgment of our inner needs, to have self love and self worth. Ceres brings awareness to our capacity to care for others as well as the Earth. Due to Ceres resonance with the land, agriculture and the environment, Ceres is most often prominent in charts associated with catastrophic events that result in environmental change.

Potential Ceres issues are: fear of abundance, lack and material struggle; low self esteem; unworthiness; abandonment / rejection issues expressing as attachment to people and things, manipulation of loved ones, over-attachment to siblings, possessiveness, and control of siblings or of one's creations; mother-child complexes; and barrenness.

Ceres by Dawn - December 9, 2015

Ceres by Dawn - December 9, 2015

Ceres was discovered on Jan 1, 1801 by the Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi (1746-1826) on the cusp of sidereal Taurus, while retrograde conjoining Algol and the Gorgoneas. "Piazzi was a Theatine priest from 1769. He became (1781) professor of mathematics at the Univ. of Palermo, supervised construction of a government observatory (opened 1791) at Palermo, and was its first director. He also established a government observatory at Naples (1817). He was the first to discover (Jan. 1, 1801) an asteroid and named it Ceres. In 1803 he published a catalog of the fixed stars, and in 1814 he enlarged it to include 7,646 stars. He wrote Lezioni elementari di astronomia (1817)." (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2003, Columbia University Press.) Ceres is an oblate spheriod with a mean diameter of 952.4 km and has an orbital period of 4.60 years.

New Clues to Ceres' Bright Spots and Origins
Dec 9, 2015

Dawn reached its final orbital altitude at Ceres, about 240 miles (385 kilometers) from the surface of the dwarf planet in early December 2015. In mid-December, Dawn began taking observations from this orbit, including images at a resolution of 120 feet (35 meters) per pixel, infrared, gamma ray and neutron spectra, and high-resolution gravity data.

Various craters have been named after deities from a variety of cultures honoring the agriculture namesake of Ceres, such as Kupalo Crater, shown below.

Kupalo Crater on Ceres

This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows Kupalo Crater. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Kupalo Crater, which measures 16 miles (26 km) across, one of the youngest craters on Ceres and located at southern mid-latitudes, is named for the Slavic god of vegetation and harvest.

Other craters include Haulani, named after the Hawaiian plant goddess. The crater in the northern hemisphere that contains the mysterious bright spots has been named Occator, after the Roman agricultural deity of harrowing, a method of leveling soil. Occator is 60 miles wide and 2 miles deep. South of Occator is Urvara, a crater named for the Indian and Iranian deity of plants and fields. Dantu is named after the Ghanaian god associated with the planting of corn. Ezinu, a crater about the same size, is named after the Sumerian goddess of grain. Both are less than half the size of Kerwan, named after the Hopi spirit of sprouting maize, and Yalode, a crater named after the African Dahomey goddess worshipped by women at harvest rites.

More from the Dawn Mission to Vesta and Ceres:

Vesta Vesta Astrology

Closeup of the Asteroid Vesta taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the giant asteroid Vesta in September 2011. It is interesting that this image of Vesta looks somewhat like a human brain.

The Dawn Mission

Vesta Landslides by NASA's Dawn spacecraft

Vesta Landslides
NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the giant asteroid Vesta with its framing camera on Aug. 26, 2011. This image was taken through the camera's clear filter. The detail in this image shows a steep scarp with landslides and vertical craters in the scarp wall.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft - August 2011

Vesta is the second most massive of the asteroids, measuring some 530km (330mi) in diameter and has an orbital period of 3.63 years.

Vesta was discovered on March 29, 1807 by the German physician Heinrich Wilhelm Matthaus Olbers (1758-1840). He named the asteroid for the Roman goddess of virtue at the suggestion of Carl Friedrich Gauss. Vesta was retrograde conjoining the Super Galactic Center (SGC) in sidereal Virgo, the spiritual center of the Heavens, which lies between Denebola of Leo and Vindemiatrix of Virgo. Vesta not only conjoined SGC in ecliptical longitude but also in latitude, lying less than 2° south of SGC.

Vesta is the asteroid of focus, dedication & commitment; of physical, emotional, and mental clarity; and of self-respect. Vesta brings a capacity to be pure within self at all levels for the expression of one’s highest potential and true Essence. Vesta is of strength, purity, and perfection—of total dedication to purpose. Vesta brings attention to that which is of true importance to us and will ignite and burn away that which is not so we can become clear. Vesta is keeper of the sacred flame within self. Vesta asks us to examine our inner values, our passion in life, to become clear on them, and to use our creativity to keep that fire alive.

Potential Vesta issues are: scatteredness, with an inability to focus, commit or carry through; and avoidance of one's true purpose. Vesta can express as denials to address the mental, emotional and physical purification to support being a pure bio-logical vessel for the expression of Spirit—the requirements to express our true soul intent and purpose. This can manifest as fear of commitment, fear of sex and intimacy in all of its forms, and an invalidation of the emotional and physical aspects of self.

There is a huge crater on Vesta (recently discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope). The crater is 285 miles across, which is massive when compared to the Vesta's size. A good percentage of meteorites that are found on Earth have a similar composition to that of Vesta. This suggests the impact that caused the crater on Vesta may be the source of these meteorites. The complex astrophysical parameters of a planet or asteroid are part of that which creates its astrological characteristic. This recently discovered crater certainly lends insight into the "clear vessel" quality of this asteroid.

Goddess of the Eternal Flame

Mythological Vesta is the revered goddess of the Vestal Virgins, is daughter of Rhea and Saturn, the eldest sister of Jupiter, and is keeper of the sacred fire on Mt. Olympus—meaning keeper of the eternal flame (truth) of the soul. Fire, the element of Vesta, is purifying for the soul—serving to enlighten. Vesta and the Vestal Virgins were highly valued and trusted for speaking the truth. They kept and protected all important documents and records. Vesta is also the Roman goddess of the hearth, home and family—all quite fitting to Vesta's discovery conjoining Super Galactic Center.

DAWN - NASA Discovery Mission: Vesta & Ceres

• Vesta Highlights by "Dawn" NASA/JPLCaltech/

DAWN: intimate exploration of the asteroid Vesta. 2011 will be the year when we gain a deeper understanding of Vesta—asteroid of focus, dedication and commitment—thanks to NASA's DAWN. This brings a signifcant astrological emphasis to Vesta, and her role in our lives. DAWN, launched in September 2007, will enter orbit around Vesta in late July 2011 bringing us breathtaking images of Vesta. Previous missions have shown us a handful of asteroids, but none as large as this hulking relic of the early solar system. Measuring 350 miles across and containing almost 10% of the mass of the entire asteroid belt, Vesta is a world unto itself. Dawn will investigate two of the largest proto-planets in the main asteroid belt; Vesta in 2011 and Ceres in 2015. (NASA)

The Mountain of Rheasilvia

Vesta looks to be among the most rugged bodies in the solar system relative to its size - more varied in its topography than the Moon and Mercury!

Vesta Mountain in the Crater Rheasilvia

One of the largest mountains in the solar system resides in Vesta's southern hemisphere. At 20 km (~13 miles high), the mountain at the center of the largest south pole crater, Rheasilvia, is close to four times larger than Earth's largest mountain, the island of Hawaii (measured from the ocean floor), two and a half times higher than Mount Everest. More about Vesta Mountain

The Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia (Rea Silvia) was the mother of the twins Pollux and Castor or Romulus and Remus, founders and guardians of Rome; the immortal and mortal sons of Zeus in Greek mythology, who, along with Hercules, were part of the crew of the Argo—seeing to the fulfillment of the evolutionary mission of the soul.

Cool Video: NASA's Dawn spacecraft flies around Vesta
Sept 16, 2011

A new video from NASA's Dawn spacecraft takes us on a flyover above the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta.

DAWN Multimedia
DAWN Home Page

Dawn Mission Timeline
Launch - September 27, 2007
Mars gravity assist - February, 2009
Vesta arrival - July, 2011
Vesta departure - July, 2012

Ceres arrival - February 2015

DAWN launched on September 27, 2007, 07:34 EDT; the day after the Full Moon (day of Vision and Realization); Sun-ASC / Moon-DSC trine Jupiter.

Juno Juno Astrology

Juno and Jupiter

Juno and Jupiter by Gavin Hamilton.
Collection of the Earl of Leicester, Holkham Hall, Norfolk (out of copyright)

Juno, goddess of love, is the asteroid of covenant relationships, soul colleagues, and true lovers. In the astrological chart, Juno indicates the nature of the issues and opportunities in significant relations of all sorts: those that are of a personal nature to those of political leaders and nations of the world. Mature Juno is diplomatic, tactful, cooperative, and mutually trusting. Mature Juno expresses with a sense of equality within self that provides the ability to draw true partners and those of equality into one's life. There is an acceptance of another's truth or opinion without need to challenge or debate. There is an ability to honor and support others in their own choices and decisions. Mature Juno expresses self-confidence in humbleness and without defense.

Potential issues are: Superiority / inferiority complexes - competitiveness, defensiveness, lack of self confidence, arrogance and judgment of others; unconscious manipulation of others - power struggles seeking contention; betrayal, bitterness, spitefulness and standoffs; jealousy and possessiveness; one-up-man-ship—validating self by invalidating others (or reverse); dictating behavior—telling others what they should or should not do—minding others' business instead of one's own. A form of denial of Juno issues within self can express as needing to fix others or have them change or leave, instead of working on the issues within that surface while in partnership. Mature Juno expresses in mutual support and unconditional love to allow each other to grow and change through whatever issues surface. Other Juno issues are meddling; fear of abandonment, rejection or betrayal; inability to draw or participate with equals and true colleagues; hiding behind teacher-student relationship (on either side) or in any relationship of inequality or non-compatibility; partners drawn are those providing intense lessons only for both parties, rather than providing true, mutually supportive growth in equality and participation together in life purpose.

Juno's placement in the astrological chart is one of several points that determine the types of significant relations we draw into our lives.

Because Juno is where we deal with our inferiority / superiority complexes, and if this issue is prominent, partnerships drawn in earlier life can be full of lessons regarding such issues and not much else. Once a certain level of clarity is attained within self regarding the asteroid issues, true soul level covenant relations begin to show up. This does not mean we still do not grow regarding Juno issues, but there are those individuals with which we may also have a mutual soul bond and mission to pursue together.

Juno's day is Feb 14, our Valentine's Day, during which ceremony and celebrations are performed for the those of pure (true) love. February means " to make pure," "to purify," and Juno is our goddess of pure or unconditional love.

Juno was discovered on 1 Sept. 1804 in Germany by Karl L. Harding in sidereal Pisces. Juno is 244 km in diameter, and has an orbital period of 4.36 years.

Pallas Pallas Astrology

Asteroid Vesta

Pallas Athene
Copyright: Public Domain

Mythological Pallas Athene is the goddess of Wisdom, born from the head (wisdom) of Zeus. Pallas was strong-willed and would act on her own knowledge and wisdom, and preferred artful diplomacy rather than conflict, but was ready to fight if need be. Pallas is commonly called both the Warrior Woman and the Peaceful General.

Pallas embodies artful expression of creative intelligence and soul wisdom that has been claimed from the integration of past experience in duality—from having been on both sides of the fence at one time or another in our incarnational experience. This experiential wisdom provides a foundation to express non-judgment in courageous solution. Mature Pallas expresses artistic creative intelligence from the integration of the masculine and feminine principles, from unification beyond the judgments of one side verses the other. Pallas is the applier and defender of wisdom and truth; the expression of intellect in craft—inventiveness. Mature Pallas accepts personal responsibility for having cocreated one's experience; i.e. resolution of victim consciousness. Pallas has the capacity to link, unify and bring together, and has wonderful perceptual skills for planning and public relations. Pallas significantly effects emotional and physical equilibrium.

Potential Pallas issues are: "spiteful withdrawal" and "side-taking" that can manifest as self-sabotage due to judgments about use of power. Other symptoms are righteousness and self-importance; judgement and invalidation of opposite or alternative views; arrogance, fear of success, cowardice, inability to discern; rejection of honor or credit; denial of sexuality and all that it creates in experience. Un-integrated Pallas yields perceptual problems: dyslexia, vertigo, colour blindness, etc., and can also manifest as rape, incest, or physical abuse situations created by sexuality imbalances held at soul level. This can result in confused masculine / feminine principles at the incarnate level. Pallas governs the Liver / Spleen balance (violet / red) reflexed to the equilibrium and dizziness centre of the brain. The color Turquoise can be used as a sexual polarity balancer.

Pallas asks us to participate beyond judgment of this side verses that; beyond victim consciousness. Pallas asks us to honor that we co-create all of life's experience, and that we have been on both sides of the fence at on time or another in our greater soul’s incarnational experience. Pallas asks us to claim our personal power from our past experience in duality, no matter what it was. Pallas asks us to claim the wisdom from the experience and to use that experiential wisdom as a foundation of strength to express from, much like a solid Ti Chi stance; i.e., equally balanced on the left and right (spleen / liver). Pallas asks for artistic expression of our creative intelligence for solution beyond duality's paradox. Pallas is often prominent in the charts of artists and politicians.

Pallas was discovered on March 28, 1802 in Germany by Heinrich W. Olbers in sidereal Virgo, close to Super Galactic Center. Pallas is oblong in shape, and is 522 km in its average diameter, Pallas has an orbital period of 4.61 years.

Main Asteroids listed by discovery date





Eccentricity ORBITAL
Ceres Jan 1, 1801 959.4 x 888.8 10.58° 0.0789 4.60
Vesta Mar 29, 1807 530 7.14° 0.0895 3.63
Pallas Mar 28, 1802 570 x 525 x 482 34.84° 0.2299 4.61
Juno Sep 1, 1804 240 12.97° 0.2579 4.36