The Mythology, Psychology & Astrology of the Re-emerging Feminine
Demetra George & Douglas Bloch
Intermediate – Advanced
Contemporary/Modern Psychological; Mythological
Rabbit Hole Ready?
Whether you are currently using asteroids in your chart interpretations or not, Asteroid Goddesses is guaranteed to make you pop them into your astro software, just for a peek at where they are in your chart, the charts of your beloveds, the charts of your most fave or loathed celebs, your cats…..they are that interesting. The depth and length of the rabbit hole you wander through from there is entirely up to you, though I highly recommend playing with the extensive list of asteroids on Astro.com, if only to see whether the asteroid Beer is actually conjunct your beer loving aunt or uncle’s angles. You’ve been warned. And you’re welcome.
Demetra and Douglas’s seminal work on the Big 4 asteroids – Ceres, Pallas Athene, Vesta and Juno, was originally published by ACS in 1986, was reprinted 15 times and finally updated and republished through Ibis Press in 2003. I currently own both versions and, utilising the one true litmus test of just how informative an astrology text is, have read them both, cover to cover. Whether this is because of my childhood-to-current-era love of Greek and Roman myths, the exact conjunction of Ceres to my Sun, or because it is just a mighty good read, I will never know. But you, dear reader, are sure to find some fascinating tidbits within the covers to get you thinking, and perhaps researching, these astrological power points.
Between The Covers
As the title says, Asteroid Goddesses is packed full of mythology, psychology and astrology. There are chart examples aplenty for house placement, sign and aspects (rabbit hole alert!), and a short interpretation for each. Considered, well-researched suggestions are presented for potential rulerships – Ceres as a ruler of Cancer and Virgo! Vesta as ruler of Scorpio and Virgo! – giving us plenty of food for thought but just enough to leave us wanting more. Never fear, there is also a ‘Further Reading’ bibliography at the end of the relevant chapters. True to Demetra’s interpretations, my Vesta placement would happily devote herself to a monastic life of reading and conveying information on astrological texts, if only Ceres wasn’t so prominent…who wants a fresh baked cookie?
There is a brief but very interesting (another rabbit hole alert!) overview chapter of the minor asteroids; Psyche, Eros, Lilith, Toro, Sappho, Amor, Pandora, Icarus, Diana, Hidalgo, Urania and Chiron, who is absolutely not merely a minor asteroid imo! Though fellow planetoid Pluto may be inclined to scrawl such mean things in blood on bathroom walls in fits of pique, Chiron is a sturdy addition to the planetary pantheon and deserves his own book. Luckily others agree and have remedied this (see upcoming reviews ;)).
Asteroid Goddesses was conceived and birthed during the latter days of the second wave of feminism, amidst the fight for gender equality based on the male/female principle, and in part, sought to redress the imbalance of male to female astrological points in a chart. The assignment of gender to the planets, particularly the more recently ‘discovered’ outers – Uranus, Neptune and Pluto – is a topic too lengthy and serious for this short read, hopefully entertaining and informative book review blog, but it would be remiss of me to not acknowledge readers who identify as non-binary; do not let the subtitle turn you off this book! We have a long way to go before there will be any accord regarding how best to refer to archetypal energies in non-gendered ways, but starting the discussion is always the best place to begin. Demetria and Douglas are gentle authors, and as inclusive as could be at the time of writing. I will leave you with this, as noted by Demetra (p.211)-
“The illusion of duality spawns an artificial separation between object/subject, me/you, male/female, us/them. responding to the possibilities inherent in the asteroid symbolism can lead individuals to a more inclusive and holistic awareness of all sentient beings”
Must. Own. Asteroid Goddesses
This book is a worthy inclusion into any astro library. The current edition of Asteroid Goddesses is available in paperback at Book Depository, and Amazon has both hardcopy and digital formats.
I do not receive a single razoo or perk from any endorsements I make on this blog. It’s all for the love of astrology and books. Enjoy!
You can check out Demetra’s abundance of excellence here – https://demetra-george.com
Happy astro reading!
WHAT’S IN THE BOOK
Chapter One – The Asteroids – Agents of Transformation
Chapter Two – The Asteroids – Harbingers of a New Mythology
Chapter Three – The Mandala of the Asteroid Goddesses
Chapter Four – Ceres: The Great Mother
Chapter Five – Ceres in the Horoscope
Chapter Six – Pallas Athene: The Warrior Queen
Chapter Seven – Pallas Athene in the Horoscope
Chapter Eight – Vesta: The Eternal Flame
Chapter Nine – Vesta in the Horoscope
Chapter Ten – Juno: The Divine Consort
Chapter Eleven – Juno in the Horoscope
Chapter Twelve – The Minor Asteroids: An Overview
Chapter Thirteen – An Astronomical Portrait of the Asteroids
Chapter Fourteen – Epilogue
Appendix: Ephemerides of 16 Asteroids 1931 – 2050
WHAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK
I’m still miffed that Chiron is in the book because planetoid, but other than that, the authors have got it all covered.
Lake Worth, Florida
This book review was originally published on the stellarleeastrology blog.