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Asteroid Ceres 1   Leave a comment

Mother of mine you gave to me, all of my life to do as I please,
I owe everything I have to you,
Mother sweet mother of mine.

Mother of mine when I was young
You showed me the right way things had to be done,
Without your arms where would I be,
Mother sweet mother of mine.

 Ceres was credited with the discovery of spelt wheat (Latin far), the yoking of oxen and ploughing, the sowing, protection and nourishing of the young seed, and the gift of agriculture to humankind; before this, it was said, man had subsisted on acorns, and wandered without settlement or laws. She had the power to fertilise, multiply and fructify plant and animal seed, and her laws and rites protected all activities of the agricultural cycle. In January, Ceres was offered spelt wheat and a pregnant sow, along with the earth-goddess Tellus at the movable Feriae Sementivae. This was almost certainly held before the annual sowing of grain.

In Roman bridal processions, a young boy carried Ceres’ torch to light the way; “the most auspicious wood for wedding torches came from the spina alba, the may tree, which bore many fruits and hence symbolised fertility”.  From at least the mid-republican era, an official, joint cult to Ceres and Proserpina reinforced Ceres’ connection with Roman ideals of female virtue. The promotion of this cult coincides with the rise of a plebeian nobility, an increased birthrate among plebeian commoners, and a fall in the birthrate among patrician families. The late Republican Ceres Mater (Mother Ceres) is described as genetrix (progenitress) and alma (nourishing); in the early Imperial era she becomes an Imperial deity, and receives joint cult with Ops Augusta, Ceres’ own mother in Imperial guise and a bountiful genetrix in her own right.

Ceres was patron and protector of plebeian laws, rights and Tribunes. Her Aventine Temple served the plebeians as cult centre, legal archive, treasury and possibly law-court; its foundation was contemporaneous with the passage of the Lex Sacrata, which established the office and person of plebeian aediles and tribunes as inviolate representatives of the Roman people. Tribunes were legally immune to arrest or threat, and the lives and property of those who violated this law were forfeit to Ceres. The Lex Hortensia of 287 BC extended plebeian laws to the city and all its citizens. The official decrees of the Senate (senatus consulta) were placed in Ceres’ Temple, under the guardianship of the goddess and her aediles. Livy puts the reason bluntly: the consuls could no longer seek advantage by arbitrarily tampering with the laws of Rome. The Temple might also have offered asylum for those threatened with arbitrary arrest by patrician magistrates. Ceres’ temple, games and cult were at least part-funded by fines imposed on those who offended the laws placed under her protection; the poet Vergil later calls her legifera Ceres (Law-bearing Ceres), a translation of Demeter’s Greek epithet, thesmophoros.

In the chart Ceres represents the maternal instinct; provider, nurturer, law maker, source of wisdom, justice and protection.  Ceres as the Goddess of fertility and marriage is also an important asteroid in long term relationships and family planning.  Ceres is the only dwarf planet in the inner solar system, as she represents how we are moulded by our upbringing and our family she holds direct sway on the personal planets of the chart.  It is Ceres who tames our martian temper tantrums, instils saturn law and discipline.

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Posted February 27, 2014 by neptune's Aura Astrology in asteroids

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