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.



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, childbirth, and caring for the young. Ceres brings attention to all that is cyclical in nature—to bounty 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.

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.

Ceres cryovolcano Ahuna Mons

This image, created from combined Dawn images, shows a slightly exaggerated view of Ceres’ lone cryovolcano, Ahuna Mons, as it might appear from the surface of the dwarf planet. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

"Ahuna Mons is a volcanic dome unlike any seen elsewhere in the solar system, according to a new analysis led by Ottaviano Ruesch of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, and the Universities Space Research Association. Ruesch and colleagues studied formation models of volcanic domes, 3-D terrain maps and images from Dawn, as well as analogous geological features elsewhere in our solar system. This led to the conclusion that the lonely mountain is likely volcanic in nature. Specifically, it would be a cryovolcano—a volcano that erupts a liquid made of volatiles such as water, instead of silicates." Sep 1, 2016 Ceres' Geological Activity, Ice Revealed in New Research.

Some additional astrophysical findings delineating Ceres' nourishing, nurturing and agricultural astrological characteristic.

• Ceres, Mother of the asteroids, is found to be rich in Hydrogen, the Mother of all elements.
• Ceres' gravity field indicates Ceres has a special property called "hydrostatic equilibrium," indicating its interior is weak (soft) enough that its shape is governed by how it rotates.
• Ceres contains low-density materials such as water ice, which the study shows separated from the rocky material and rose to the outer layer along with other light materials.

Although the primary Dawn mission to Ceres is complete, Dawn will remain in orbit around Ceres as it continues to provide new discoveries.

More from the Dawn Mission to Vesta and Ceres:



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

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 and entered the 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 investigates 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's largest mountain in Rheasilvia Crater.

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. The crater is named after Rhea Silvia, a priestess of Vesta in Alba Longa, Italy, who was the mother of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.More about Vesta's Mountain.

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

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.

September 2017: Data from NASA's Dawn mission suggests ice may exist beneath smooth patches of the asteroid’s surface. Researchers found the presense of high concentrations of hydrogen in large smooth patches of Vesta's terrain, which is often seen when solar radiation breaks down water molecules.
Scientific American: By Charles Q. Choi ( September 14, 2017



Juno and Jupiter

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

Juno was discovered on 1 Sept. 1804 in Germany by Karl L. Harding in sidereal Pisces. Juno has an orbital period of 4.36 years, is 233.92 km in diameter, and has a rotational period of 7.21 hours.

Juno, goddess of love, is the asteroid of covenant relationships, soul colleagues, and true lovers, of bonds and aggreements commitments in relationships, and of mutal respect and equality.

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 desire and draw into our lives. It is also where we seek mutual respect and equality in our relations. 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.

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. 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."



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 545 km in its average diameter, Pallas has an orbital period of 4.62 years and a rotational period of 7.8132 hours

Pallas Athene

Pallas Athene
(Public Domain)

Pallas Athene (often simply Athena), in Greek mythology, is the goddess of wisdom, born from the head of Zeus (Jupiter). 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. The goddess Athena was derived from the Egyptian Neith, matron of the city of Sais in the Western Nile Delta.

Egyptian war goddess Neith wearing the Deshret crown of Lower Egypt, which bears the cobra of Wadjet

Egyptian war goddess Neith wearing the Deshret crown of Lower Egypt, which bears the cobra of Wadjet.

Pallas expresses the artful application of creative intelligence for solution beyond duality's paradox—from beyond the judgments of one side verses the other. Pallas invites the integration of our past experience in duality—from having been on both sides of the fence at one time or another, and to claim that experience as wisdom. She invites us to use that wisdom as a foundation to express nonjudgmental courageous solution beyond life's paradoxes created by opposing forces. Mature Pallas expresses from the balance of the masculine and feminine principles, from a unified awareness. She is applier and defender of social justice, and accepts personal responsibility for having co-created one's experience; i.e. the resolution of victim consciousness. Pallas implores us to look at the apparent paradoxes occurring in our own lives as reflective, like a mirror, of that which is occurring within in our selves.

Pallas imparts the expression of intellect in craft and inventiveness, and an ability to link, unify and bring pieces together. She imparts wonderful perceptual and organizational skills and a capacity for pattern recognition, strategic planning and public relations. Pallas often has a prominent placement in the charts of artists and political reformists.

Pallas issues can express as spiteful withdrawal, which ultimately can manifest as self-sabotage due to judgments about use of power or awry creative / sexual energy. It can also express as righteousness, judgment and invalidation of opposite or alternative views, lashing out with a vengeance. Pallas issues can express as an imbalance in the masculine and feminine aspects of self, such as sexual imbalances, dyslexic and perceptual problems. Pallas governs the Liver / Spleen balance (red / violet), which is reflexed to the equilibrium and dizziness centre of the brain. Pallas significantly effects emotional and physical equilibrium.

Pallas Imbalances can also expesss symptoms such as 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 . Pallas issues can also manifest as rape, incest, or physical abuse situations created by sexuality imbalances held at a soul level, which can perpetuate confused masculine / feminine principles at the incarnate level, or a denial of sexuality.

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

Asteroid Orbital Parameters (listed by discovery date)





Ceres Jan 1, 1801 959.4 x 888.8 10.58° 0.0789 4.60 9.07417
Vesta Mar 29, 1807 530 7.14° 0.0895 3.63 5.342
Pallas Mar 28, 1802 570 x 525 x 482 34.84° 0.2299 4.62 7.8132
Juno Sep 1, 1804 233.92 12.97° 0.2579 4.36 7.21