The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 242, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guest Demetra George
Episode originally released on 2/1/2020
Note: This is a transcript of an audio podcast. We strongly encourage you to listen to the audio version, which includes inflections that may not translate well when written out. Transcripts are created by using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and the text probably contains some errors and differences from the audio version. Please submit any corrections to Chris Brennan by email at email@example.com.
Transcribed by Elizabeth Ocean
Transcription released August 11th, 2020
Copyright © 2020 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
Chris Brennan: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This episode was recorded on Saturday, February 1st, 2020 starting just after 3:00 PM at 3:03 PM in Denver, Colorado. And this is the 242nd episode of the show and this episode I’m going to be talking with astrologer Demetra George about the use of the asteroids in astrology. For more information about how to subscribe to the podcast and help support the production of future episodes by becoming a patron. Please visit, theastrologypodcast.com/subscribe. Hey Demetra, thanks for joining me for this episode.
Demetra George: Yeah, it certainly is a pleasure, Chris and this is the year I’m revisiting the asteroids, so it’s very timely.
CB: Yeah. This is very timely because you’re doing a number of new talks and workshops on the asteroids this year and this has been a major part of your life for several decades now. Right?
DG: Certainly. I would say the first 25 years of my astrological career was created by my exploration of the asteroids roughly from 1973 to the late ‘90s. It was during that time that I wrote asteroid goddesses and began to teach the material all over the world. In the late ‘90s. I connected with the traditional Hellenistic Astrology and that’s been a 20 year endeavor that now is almost complete and I wanted to reconnect with the asteroids one more time.
CB: Brilliant. Alright. So, we talked about some of this and we went over like your entire life story in a biographical episode in episode 73 of The Astrology Podcast and people can definitely go back and listen to some of that, but I still wanted to touch again on like how you got started with the asteroids and how that became a major part of your career because you had a unique story with them. In terms of how you got into them, just by chance at your first astrology conference, right?
DG: Correct. It was in April of 1973 and I was living in the mountains of rural Oregon and there was an astrology conference in San Francisco. At Lone Mountain State College, put on by the New York organization. It was my very first conference and I walked in as a very young woman, not knowing anyone and standing off to the side of me was a very friendly looking woman who I sort of sidled next to, so wouldn’t appear as if I was totally isolated and alone. And she engaged me in conversation and that turns out to be Eleanor Bach, who had recently published the very first asteroid ephemeris several weeks before. She had copies, literally hot off the press in her satchel. And when she found out that my name was Demetra, that was the equivalent of the Roman goddess Ceres, which was the asteroid that prompted so much of her own curiosity.
DG: And that I lived on a commune in Southern Oregon involved in organic gardening. She was very curious to look up where Ceres was in my chart. And when she found it opposite my Sun, a wide smile came across her face and she reached into her bag and gave me a copy of her book. Then I took that book back home. Basically living off the grid and outside of the mainstream astrological community for at least the next three years, I began to place the asteroids into the charts I was doing. I had been studying astrology, not even two years at that point and beginning to tell the stories of the goddesses when I would see one prominent in someone’s chart. And from there began to develop my understanding of their meanings.
CB: Okay. So in the significance of Eleanor Bach publishing that ephemeris in 1973 titled the Asteroid Ephemeris is that, this is like prior to the era of personal computers so that you couldn’t just go to astro.com and have the asteroids calculated on the fly in your chart. You actually, everybody was still calculating charts by hand. And even though some of these asteroids had been around since the early, like 1800s, this was the first time that somebody actually published an ephemeris that would allow you to calculate where they were in birth charts.
DG: Exactly. And she, it took her quite a few years of begging and pleading and cajoling astronomers to go through the very tedious calculations in order to generate their orbits and their astrological positions because their orbits were highly eccentric. It was not such an easy task, but she persevered. And that was like very special, within three weeks of its publication, I just stumbled into her, at my first conference. So it’s like kind of a moment of fate or destiny
CB: Being named after the first asteroid that had been discovered.
DG: Correct. And that was my, for many people wonder about where that name came from and the story goes, it was my grandmother’s name and I had been named after my maternal grandmother, Margarita when I was born. But when it came time for me to be baptized, my godmother refused to name me with that name and she insisted that I be named Demetra after my paternal grandmother. So they had to change all the birth certificates and such. And then later on when all of the other asteroids started to be discovered, I looked up the asteroid Demeter, that’s the Greek equivalent and my grandmothers were Greek and that asteroid was conjunct my 12th house, Saturn in my chart, which is the paternal significator.
DG: So there that was.
CB: Okay, and so you then take this asteroid ephemeris home. You’re still relatively early in your career, but then you started incorporating the asteroids into your work as what must have been one of the first astrologers then, to really start working with them in some personal capacity, as you were first starting to read charts and learn astrology.
DG: Right. As far as I know, I said I was totally unplugged from the mainstream community and living off the grid. And this was before the internet and computers. I didn’t really know what was going on very much in the larger community. Eleanor in her book had given some tentative keywords that she thought might be associated and very short, entries on the mythology of the goddesses. And because again, going back to my Greek grandmothers who told me the myths as my bedtime stories, I had some familiarity with the myths of the goddesses and gods of the Greco Roman Pantheon. So I would just start by telling the story of the Ceres/Demeter, of being the goddess of agriculture and her daughter being abducted and her grief and sorrow and eventual reunion. And I began to see my friends’ eyes light up and say, you’ve just told me the story of my life.
That led me to the whole, eventually, the archetypal Jungian theories around mythology as being sort of the archetypal stories of the collective unconscious and that people began to recognize what were seemingly unrelated incidents in their lives as falling into this mythic pattern. And seeing their lives as a universal expression of one of the basic fundamental stories of our Western tradition. And that realization allowed for a huge self-understanding and acceptance and being able to place oneself in the larger scheme of themes and understand a sort of larger vision of what one’s life was about. So it is a very profound experience that happened as people then started relating the deep details of their own stories and how they correlated with the mythic drama.
CB: Okay, and you spent 10 years then doing that research or over a decade doing that research before you eventually published your first book, which is your book Asteroid Goddesses on this topic in 1986, right?
DG: Right. So it happened that by the early 1980s I had a whole body of information that I had accumulated. And at that point I was giving little talks here and there, but I remember going to another conference in the Bay area and asking someone who is involved in publishing what was the best way for me to disseminate the material. And they said, well, you need to write a book because you can, if you give a talk, maybe eight people will hear it, but if you write a book, then you have a larger audience. So then I went back circa 1980 with, oh, I have to like write a book, but my children were quite young at that time and I had been out of academia for at least a dozen years. Ah, and that’s when Douglas Block came into the picture, who’s the editor, co-author of asteroid goddesses. And when I met him, he was a local Eugene astrologer. I put the asteroids in his chart. They were very prominent and important. He encouraged me to write this down. I said, I’m not really a very good writer. He said, well, I am just like sit down and write what you can and tell me the stories. And together he did like a line by line sentence by sentence editing of the work and that resulted in the Asteroid Goddess book that was completed at the end of 1984 and then published one week before UAC in June of 1986.
CB: Okay. So, this was when, and this was your first book and this helped to popularize the use of the asteroids. Although it seems like it was part of a broader wave where by that time a number of people were starting to get into it and starting to get excited about asteroids to some extent.
DG: To some extent, Dobbins was doing a lot of very important work with the asteroids, but they were looked at at that point with some derision and humor by the larger astrological community who called them floating gravel and debris and the, do I want to say the established astrologers, were quite resistant to listening about them or incorporating them. Their attitude was we’re doing fine with the 10 planets that we already have. We don’t need anything else cluttering up and confusing our charts and besides we’ve got our systems down and we really don’t want to have to learn anything new.
CB: Okay. So there was like resistance to the idea of the asteroids at first?
DG: Tremendous resistance to the idea. And I realized at that point that I would never break into the higher levels of the astrological community by trying to convince the people at the top. But what I had was a wide open audience for the grassroots clients. And that seventies and eighties was the height of the women’s spirituality movement. And I connected with that and had huge audiences of women who are desperate to know where the goddesses were in their charts and how that shaped and influenced their lives. So, especially with Vicki Noble who had the motherpeace school, we did a lot of teachings in Europe and in the United States and through the trickle up effect, these were people who also went to astrologers for reading. So as they went to their astrologer and said, well what about the asteroids in my chart? That’s what I want to know about. That was really what motivated established professionals to begin considering and incorporating them.
CB: Okay. And so here’s the cover I was looking for. I can’t find the first edition, I think this is the cover of the second edition, right?
DG: Right, the first edition is like Wonder Woman characters.
CB: Oh, really? Ok, yeah. I’ve got to find that. Well, so and also the title and the second edition was changed. So it’s Asteroid Goddesses, the Mythology, Psychology and Astrology of the Re-Emerging Feminine.
DG: Right, that was the title in the first edition as well.
CB: Okay. So right there then in the title, like part of the premise is framing the asteroids as part of the re-emergence of the feminine as like a major sort of conceptual access point and sort of motivation for why the asteroids are important or why you were trying to integrate them and thought they were important to integrate into your astrology, right?
DG: Yes and this is the basis of the new work that I’m creating this year for the asteroids is that I’m actually tracing the a woman’s movement from around the time of the discovery, the asteroids right up to the present era of me too. And then looking at the charts of the current political candidates to see whose are speaking to the concerns of the feminine. So we’ve, many of us have learned in our studies of basic astrology that the discovery of the planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto seem to correspond with collective events in the world that corresponded to their significations. So when Uranus was discovered a planet we associate with freedom and rebellion and revolution. Its discovery in 1981 was coincident with the American and French revolutions and likewise.
CB: Yeah, 1781.
DG: Okay, and likewise for Neptune and Pluto. So the asteroids that were discovered right at the beginning of the 1800s, my thesis is, corresponded to, an awakening or reawakening of the feminine principle and psyche and society.
DG: And I have a lot of examples of the foreshadowing of that and the 10 years or so before. And then women who were born around the time of the asteroid discovery were involved in the organization at the Seneca falls convention, which was the first national organization to come together for women’s rights. And because this year 2020 is the hundredth Centennial of women having the vote, it seems an especially appropriate time to develop this new work. And I’m giving this talk a number of times this year as commemoration of that event. But yes, definitely the awakening of the feminine seeking equality, on all levels, I feel is definitely part of the discovery of the asteroids, that there’s an operative theory As above, So below, that when a celestial body is discovered external to us, it corresponds to an awakening at that center of consciousness within the psyche. And so for new celestial bodies named after the goddesses of the highest rank in Greek mythology, definitely connected with that awakening.
CB: Okay. So the first four asteroids discovered between 1800 and 1807 were Ceres, Pallas, Athena, Vesta and Juno and the astronomers who discovered them named them all after a Greek or Roman goddesses. Whereas up to that point, there were only two celestial bodies that were named after female goddesses, which were the moon and Venus and the rest of the celestial bodies were named after a male gods, basically. Right?
DG: Correct. And there’s a perspective that, well, throughout most of Astrology’s history, as far as we know, the major practitioners and clients were men. But in the last century and a half, most of the clients, certainly, and a majority of practitioners are women. And until the inclusion of the asteroids within working with a Pantheon of two feminine archetypes, the moon and Venus and then eight masculine archetypes. And by and large, the two roles that women have had available for their self-expression have been as wives, Venus and as mothers, Moon and with the discovery of the asteroids. And then certainly with the publication of the ephemeris in the ‘70s, coincident with the second wave of feminism, many more roles became available for the expression of feminine energies, not only in women but in men as well, for everyone in general. And so the asteroids from that perspective, and at least the first four are more than just extra points to put in the chart, but they bring that gender balance into the scope of human expression.
DG: Yeah. When you talk, when we speak about the great Olympian gods, Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto were brothers, Ceres and Juno and Vesta were their three sisters. And actually they were all born first before the boys were. So in terms of ranking in the Pantheon of a royalty and hierarchy, they have equal rank with Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto. And Pallas was the daughter of Jupiter who was self born out of his own head.
CB: So one of the arguments you’d make, cause I did open it up on Twitter and I asked her some questions for this interview today and there were a lot of good ones that came through. One of them was from Alice Bolan on Twitter who said, what do you say to people who say that the asteroids are a less serious or valid form of Astrology? And this is sort of connected with this because part of your answer is that these are not just additional variables that you’re throwing in a chart, but it’s also balancing out maybe the argument you’d make is it’s balancing out an inherent imbalance in the system as it’s been constructed, to some extent up to this point.
DG: Right, absolutely. And the counter argument had been, well, asteroids have in astronomy had a lower rank than the planets do. And that’s why the controversy some years ago over whether Pluto was a planet or not was so interesting. Where Pluto got demoted to a minor planet and Ceres got promoted from an asteroid to a minor planet so that they were of equal rank. And then mythology Ceres, like most important stories with Pluto’s abduction of her daughter and a feminist perspective of that story goes that Ceres and her daughter Persephone were the rulers of both the earth and the underworld. And when Jupiter defeated his father and took over as King, he gave the underworld to his brother Pluto for his domain. But the only way that Pluto could claim his kingdom was through the abduction and rape of the daughter of the goddess who owns it in the first place, which was often a way that challengers to feudal Lords establish their hold, by having relations with the woman who had been the wife of the slain Lord of the castle and then affirming their rulership so that there was a certain injustice that had occurred. The demoting of Pluto and the raising of Ceres had sort of righted an old wrong. So that was the story that we passed around in the circles of people who had been very connected with myth and asteroids while that was happening.
CB: Okay. One of the points I want to clarify at this point is that part of the theoretical premise and the operational premise for your work on the asteroids all along, is that the meaning of the asteroids name or the name assigned to an asteroid, why somebody might say that that was just given randomly by some astronomer and it doesn’t have any inherent meaning. Part of the premise is that the name given to these celestial bodies when they’re newly discovered does have some sort of symbolic meaning or synchronistic connection with its actual meaning and astrology, right?
DG: Yes. And that’s one of the places where astrology becomes so weird. In my 40, almost 50 years of doing astrology, my trajectory has been more toward a certain fate rather than Free Will. But it’s not been the traditional Hellenistic Astrology that’s brought me there. But it’s been the asteroids and one of the stories. And it’s true that the astronomer who discovers an asteroid has a privilege of giving it its name. And then people say some astronomer who doesn’t know anything about, you know, Jung or the collective psyche or symbolism or astrology arbitrarily gives some random body this name and you’re saying that it then means that, and I have to say yes, and I don’t know why that works, but I’ve seen dozens and dozens of examples that it does, you know, one of my stock stories is the chart of Prince Charles who has the planet Venus in Libra and within 15 minutes of arc of the asteroids Camilla and Parkes.
DG: And he has had from his early youth, a lifelong love for someone who carried the name of Camilla Parker Bowles. When I saw that, you know, whatever angst I had about Diana immediately dissolved because it was somehow woven into his destiny of his birth moment that his Venusian affections would be tied to that vibratory energy. I can fill up the next seven hours with stories of how the minor asteroids work like that in people’s charts. So that’s one of the mysteries of astrology. And as I said, it’s weirder than even most of the Time-Lord methods that we do, when we try to think about why should that work in that particular way.
CB: Right. So, initially the astronomers, when they were discovering this first like a hundred or so asteroids, they were trying to give them additional Greek and Roman names from mythology in order to follow the prior naming convention of the planets. But then eventually they started naming, giving them ordinary names of people or celebrities and then eventually names of places and trees and flowers and even concepts because there’s –
DG: Countries, cities. There’s a whole host of names and one story I remember quite early on in my work was, a man had the asteroid, Juno, the goddess of marriage, conjunct the asteroid Kiev and the asteroid Russia. And it was having some sort of Uranus transit at the time. And I said, Oh, the goddess of marriage is being activated in unusual and unexpected ways. Like, you know, do you have any connection with anyone from like Russia or Kiev in particular? And he was shocked because he was involved in exchanging letters, looking for a mail order bride with a woman from Kiev. And the reason he called was to find out if I advised him traveling to Russia to meet her.
CB: Wow, okay.
DG: Okay, so that’s how specific that they can be in their indications.
CB: Sure. So, but the original starting point then instead of it being like approaching the body empirically by just like throwing it in charts and starting to see what pops up and somehow narrow it down from there, the starting point or the initial starting point is the name or the mythology associated with the body and then placing it in charts in order to see the ways in which that name or that mythology manifests in the lives of individuals.
DG: That’s, that’s correct. And certainly people who are involved in a more scientific kind of astrology or research astrology often object to that approach. But I argue that the very beginnings of astrology were mythologically oriented in ancient Babylonia where the planets were considered to be one of the manifestations of their gods and that the attributes that were given to the planets were in accordance with the characteristics of the deities that they were associated with. And that even came forward into when the Greeks received astrology, that the earliest astronomers receiving the astronomy of the Babylonians in naming the planets look for their own day. They either had the closest association with the day of the, of the Babylonians. So when the planet that we know is Venus was presented to them as Inanna or Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love, they said, Oh yeah, we have a goddess of love. That’s Aphrodite. And so all of these significations, that plan that were put under the auspices of Aphrodite and then Venus by the Romans, so that there is a mythological basis for the meanings of celestial bodies because back to the very beginnings of our tradition.
CB: Right, right. So you would argue that the basis of traditional astrology is not an inherent, entirely just abstract, conceptual notion about different planets based on their astronomical movements or things like that. But the use of mythology has been an inherent interpretive tool going back in the astrological tradition thousands of years.
DG: Exactly. And we certainly would like to think that astrologers had thousands of years of empirical data and working out the significations of the planets. But we certainly don’t see that in actuality that, that kind of record keeping existed in that particular way.
CB: Sure. Like sometimes there’s charts or whatever they are working with clients, but in terms of what the origins of some of the techniques are, it’s kind of mixed. And sometimes you have different things coming from different sources. Clearly in one of the major ones is mythology.
DG: Exactly, so Mars has to do with violence and bloodshed and battle. It’s totally in alignment with Ares, Mars being the God of war
CB: Right. And that was always a question, of sometimes the question that comes up is which one came first? Like the astrological meaning or the mythology, mythological meaning,
DG: Right. But if we believe in a sort of, and here we go into the universe is alive and then sold with meaning that the relationship between the planets and the myths and the human psyche are not all separate and discrete entities, but a part of a larger holistic web of unified meaning.
CB: Okay. So all that being said though, in terms of the use of mythology and the connection with the gods and the Mesopotamian tradition and also in the Greek tradition, in some of the later traditions, at least in terms of interpretations of natal charts or Horary charts, mythology, I don’t want to say completely dropped out, but maybe it was not as prominent as like a technique for consultations. But then it became a super prominent technique. It seems like in late 20th century astrology, especially following some of the work that Carl Jung was doing. So I was wondering, I mean we’ve already touched on this a little bit, but it seems like the use of mythology as a delineation tool in astrology is like another major component that really came into play here, in a major way.
DG: Right. Certainly. Liz Greene was one of the first people to start in that way and who sparked this sort of mythic connection with astrology in our recent history. But if we go back to why I think mythology dropped out of the tradition had to do, first of all with Ptolemy trying to bring astrology into a more scientific direction. And right at that time period, you have the shift in religion between the many pagan gods and of the previous religion and the monotheistic gods of Christianity. And that the astrology trying to become more scientific also wanted to disconnect itself from any kind of religious controversy. So it was reframed as the qualities of hot, wet, cold and dry and physical causation and so on, so that the many pagan gods wouldn’t compete with the one and only one God. However, the mythological perspective of astrology went underground into astrological magic where the gods continued to be invoked with all of their attributes in the performing and timing of magical rituals.
CB: Right. That makes total sense. So the shift from like polytheism in the West to monotheism and then also the shift towards conceptualizing astrology as a causal influences of the planets, which was one of the things that allowed it to survive through the middle ages and not be stamped out completely would have had the side effect of removing mythology to some extent as one of the interpretive principles. But then that sort of came back in a big way in 20th century astrology. Okay, that makes a lot of sense. So then your book comes out in ’86 that really does help to popularize the asteroids again, especially amongst the younger generations of astrologers. And then there were other major practitioners who contributed to the popularization of the asteroids around this time period in the 1980s and ‘90s as well, right?
DG: That’s right. Eleanor Bach was the first person who gave us the ephemerides. There are several astrologers such as Nana Gwyn press who are part of the New York NCGR community where Eleanor was, that began working with them. Bill Meridian actually was another person who started working with the asteroids then and continues to do that now and he has some very fascinating material on how he uses them with his financial astrology. Then on the West coast, Zipporah Dobbins was fascinated by the asteroids and her son, Mark Pottenger created a software program so she can easily generate lists of asteroids. And Zipp was one of my teachers in the early years where I got more closely connected with the astrologers while I was writing my book. And then because the Zipporah Dobbins was and her daughter, Meritha were part of Neil Nicholson’s ACS astro computing services. That was the company who was open to publishing my book because they had a personal history of working with this material.
DG: So there’s a huge debt that goes to Meritha Pottenger and Neil Nicholson for leading in the project. And then when it was published, in 1986, Neil was one of the organizers of UAC and it had come out like a week before. And I said to him, is there any chance of a cancellation at UAC so I could give a talk. And they came back and they said, well, yes, as a matter of fact, there is like we can’t pay you or give you a room or anything, but we’ll give you a room and an open spot.
DG: And so we went to that conference and Douglas and I got a table and at the trade show where we were offering to look up asteroids for free and people’s charts and write them in. And then at the bookstore we sold a book to 10% of the people who attended UAC and that was like a great launch for getting it out into the community right away.
CB: Wow. Okay. So you made a huge splash at the first United Astrology Conference in 1986 with the book, with the asteroids book. Then, so besides that, there was also in the 1980s Lee Lehman.
DG: Okay, so Lee Lehman and Al Morrison and Lee Lehman did, were the first people to put out the ephemerides of a number of minor asteroids.
CB: And that was The Ultimate Asteroid Book?
DG: Well, The Ultimate Asteroid Book came later.
DG: Some years later. But it was in late 1977 so I was working with the asteroids at that point that I hadn’t written my book and I went to the post office one day, I was living in Waldport, Oregon and there was this brown envelope filled with all of these ephemerides these of 10 or 12 minor asteroids, and I said thought to myself, how did they know to send them to me? But I just like once again took them and started adding those into my chart and it was Lee and Al who were responsible for publishing them.
CB: Wait, do you still not know? Like how did you end up with that? Why did they send it to you?
DG: Right, I still didn’t really, quite know what mailing lists my name had gotten on that I was sent that. It was another one of those mysteries of how.
CB: Right, you are just like falling into it?
DG: Right, falling into it, being the little hippie girl on the Oregon coast and just going along with the flow so to speak.
DG: So there was Lee and then Lee wrote a book called The Ultimate Asteroid Book, which she had jokingly said was her ultimate word on the asteroids. And then she was onto her horary astrology after that was published.
CB: So she went traditional not long after that.
DG: Yes, exactly. And then Zane Stein was one of the first forerunners of getting the works on Chiron out, both the ephemeris and the initial research and publicity and Melanie Reinhart picked, was one of the people who picked up on Chiron and the Centara asteroids associated with Chiron mythologically.
CB: Okay. So yeah. Then to her book, I’m trying to remember the title of Melanie Reinhardt’s book, but that’s one of the books that helped popularize the use of Chiron and establish some of the basic interpretive principles for after its discovery in 1977.
CB: Okay. And then who else? Barbara. Barbara Hand Clow.
DG: She wrote another book on Chiron and that was very popular for a period of time. And when we were, discussing this, wondering about why Chiron seemed to have caught on and the asteroids didn’t necessarily,
CB: Yeah, that was one of the questions that came in from one of the Twitter users who let me find their name really quickly so I don’t accidentally forget somebody cause that was a really good question, but they just asked. Yeah, it’s from Twitter user at skyinsightsoneohone who asks, why does Chiron get so much attention? I definitely think its signification is valid, but is there a reason why the other asteroids are usually neglected in favor of that one? Which is really an interesting question cause I noticed in your book and asteroid goddesses, it’s really about the four original original asteroids got a set of steroid Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta and Chiron has a relatively short treatment in there.
DG: Right. Well, there are many answers to that question. Chiron is not technically an asteroid. First of all, its orbit is out between Saturn and Uranus and the asteroids are primarily in the belt between Mars and Jupiter. So it’s a different category of solar system objects. At the time I was writing the book, I already knew of a lot of the work that was coming out on Chiron so I didn’t want to reduplicate it and instead focus on the asteroids so that those are some of my choices for the book. But I can’t help thinking that because Chiron was a male figure and the first four asteroids for all female figures that the misogyny that has existed quite uniformly in our culture toward women was reflected to a certain extent in the astrological community by not being open to feminine principle celestial bodies while they were quick to embrace a masculine one.
CB: Mmm, okay. Yeah. And then I think even for younger generations of astrologers, for whatever reason, when I came into the community in 1999 or 2000 astro.com had Chiron as a default planet. That’s just in all charts by default. Whereas the other asteroids aren’t. There’s something where you have to deliberately add them in.
DG: Right and then on a simple level, Chiron is just one thing that you have to deal with and manage and learn about the asteroids. It’s almost like never ending. Okay. You start with the first four but then now there are 20,000 others and where exactly do you draw the line and seeing that may have been just too overwhelming or intimidating for many astrologers to be able to grasp and grapple with.
CB: Yeah. I was looking up some stats on Wikipedia and it said that a hundred so the first four were discovered between 1801 and 1807 but then by 1868 over a hundred asteroids had been discovered. By 1921, it was over a thousand and by 2015 it was over 700,000 asteroids have been discovered, although not all of them have been named quite yet.
DG: Right. There are about a little bit over 20,000 now that have been named and numbered that astrologers can obtain positions for for their charts and Mark Pottenger’s software program that I have used from the beginning and continue to use. There’s continual updates. So it comes with a library of all of those asteroids. I believe that David Cochrane’s Kepler Sirius program has an asteroid add-on that also accesses the larger list and solar fire has one as well, but I don’t know, I don’t think they have all the asteroids on theirs. And then on astro.com you can go and get a list of all of the named asteroids and select which ones you’re interested in and get a specific position for that asteroid.
CB: Okay. Do you, who came up with the glyphs for the asteroids? Do you know?
DG: Oh, that was like initially for Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta. They were presented in Eleanor Bach’s book and they came from the attributes that the goddesses carry that identified them in Greek art and sculpture. So the glyph for Ceres is the sickle by which she harvests the wheat as goddess of agriculture. The glyph for Pallas. Athena is the spear that she carries into battle along with her shield, the glyph for Juno is the scepter of royalty and the glyph for Vesta is the hearth fire and she was the goddess of a sacred flame.
DG: Here, do you have like today’s chart up on the board? Is that what you’re looking at, presenting?
CB: I’m going to share for the video, people watching the video version, a chart just for right now that just shows the four asteroids and then Chiron is still there as well just to show you symbols.
DG: Why don’t you go through and name them starting with a Vesta in Taurus.
CB: Sure. So Vesta is in the top left and that.
DG: Glyph is supposed to show the hearth and then the fire because, okay. And that’s at 15 Taurus in the top left in this chart and the bottom very bottom in Libra at the bottom of the chart is Juno. Okay. And she was the queen of heavens, later the sister and then the wife of Jupiter. So that’s the scepter of royalty, which she holds.
CB: So it looks kind of almost like a, almost like a sextile glyph at the top or like a star. And then across below it and then over on the far right at five degrees of Capricorn right now that is Pallas.
DG: That’s Pallas Athena. And that’s the spear. And she was a goddess of wisdom and of war. And so that is one of her military or battle tools is the sphere.
CB: Okay. And then just above that, at zero degrees of Aquarius right now is the glyph for Ceres.
DG: Correct. And she was the goddess of agriculture, among other things, and that’s the sickle by which she harvested the wheat. So those glyphs were initially proposed and because they were representations of the symbols that were used in ancient Greek art, there wasn’t any controversy about them that they were quite accepted. But then as all the other asteroids came out, various artists started coming up with their own representations. And then there started to be these flames and wars in the asteroid community about why are you using so-and-so’s glyphs when I think you should be using my glyphs.
DG: Right, that’s when I said, I don’t think I’m going to use any glyphs aside from the first floor. I’m just going to write their names out in my chart and bypass this difficulty altogether.
CB: Sure. And then we’ve seen a little bit of that continue recently with some of the new planets being discovered, like Ares and I’ve seen different astrologers coming up with certain glyphs and passing around petitions to, sort of to get people that adopt their glyph as like the official one and stuff. And it’s interesting seeing some of that stuff happening in our time.
DG: Yeah, of course.
CB: Yeah, all right. One of the things I wanted to touch on, so either one I wanted to touch on at some point, and maybe we could do this later, your later connection or conceptualization of the asteroids with the ancient Greek concept of the diamond. But maybe before we get there, because we’re already focused so much on the big four, maybe we could talk a little bit more about their, their meanings.
DG: Yes. I was hoping that you’d get there. So let’s see if I can, do this in about three to four minutes on each one. Okay. And I’ll start with Ceres which is the first asteroid discovered, the largest of the asteroids, and if the asteroids had originally been one planet that exploded or had broken apart Ceres would have been the core of that planet.
CB: Right? Cause it’s like by far the largest, and it’s not just like the largest, but it’s actually really, really big. Right?
DG: Right. It’s like 600 meters. I’m not positive about that number, so.
CB: Sure. But relatively like some of the other ones are very small, but yeah. Okay.
DG: Okay, and Ceres was known as the goddess of agriculture who is responsible for feeding the people of the earth. She was also the goddess of the death rebirth mysteries, the Eleusinian Mysteries and her famous story is the abduction of her young daughter, Persephone by Pluto, the God of the underworld and her frantic search. And then when she found out that it was her own brother who had abducted and violated her child, her rage. And her grief and depression and her powerlessness and then finally, causing a famine on the earth as a bargaining chip to get back her daughter, which was partially successful. And so people who have a prominent Ceres in their chart often have a strong desire to be a parent or a nurturer to be a founding mother or a founding father of an organization, to nurture and sustain growth.
DG: But they often experienced some kinds of loss or separation from their child or parents or loved one that is a major, scene that shapes the rest of their lives. And because Ceres so connected with food, the child’s first awareness of being loved is through being held and fed by the mother. And a clear stream of that gives a strong sense of self worth and self esteem. If that flow is interrupted, there can be poor self esteem and never being able to develop. So on an inner level, Ceres has a lot to do with our relationship with food, with our mother and the value in which we hold ourselves. Because when Ceres and Persephone were separated, they both were unable to eat. The goddesses of agriculture couldn’t eat because they were terrified.
DG: All of many women, especially their eating disorders can be symbolized, can be seen. In the chart also with a strong Ceres. And when one starts poking into the causes of eating disorders, there is a whole body of research that shows that they are often the body’s response to early sexual violation by a family member. And when women feel that their world is no longer safe and they are terrified, one of the symptoms is the inability to partake of nourishment. So those are some of the themes that come up in sort of a depth psychology view of Ceres that are often profound healing places when looking at the charts of clients to be able to surface those issues and to have a symbol which can address them. And one of the most important pieces is that feeling safe is key to a kind of healing and self-integration. Okay. So that’s Ceres.
CB: One of the things that’s interesting is that obviously there’s a large part of that that’s informed by the mythology, but now there’s a large part that, of the things that you’re talking about that are informed by seeing thousands of clients and like seeing these themes come up over and over again in their lives when Ceres is like prominent in their chart in different ways.
DG: Correct. And so that’s where it gives credence to the mythic approach can be, um, what’s the word? verified through actual experience. Sure. And we have the asteroids and Persephone, and Proserpina which is the Latin word for Persephone. So those are even more specific in this theme.
CB: Right. Cause sometimes there’s families of asteroids that you’ll look for to cluster together certain themes or certain groups of concepts.
DG: Exactly. So if I see a strong Ceres, then I’ll also look for Persephone and Proserpina, the asteroid Demeter and Pluto, and look for the correlations between those. And not to make this part go on longer, but I think that this example, like pull some of that together. A person I know who had Ceres conjunct her ascendant, lost her three year old child in an unexpected fire. Her new husband was unable to conceive so that there was a double loss of not being able to replace the child. They ended up adopting a child and Ceres in her sojourn becomes the nursemaid to some other child so that there is that theme. Then this woman had a green thumb and she was an organic gardener and she had a business running a bakery so that there is the whole cultivation and preparation of food.
DG: As she got into her food, she became a nutritional counselor. Again, we’re in the food thing and that led her to, many of her clients coming with stories of sexual abuse to become a therapist and her latest emanation is working with the sexually abused children themselves. So in one lifetime, many of the different manifestations of Ceres all come together like in one lifetime and in the course of our lives, like we don’t do all of our chart all at once or all of the manifestations of any single planet all at once. But over the course of a long life, many aspects of it will come to the fore at different times.
CB: Okay. That makes sense.
CB: So that is Ceres. And then the next asteroid discovered was Pallas.
DG: Was Pallas Athena. She was the daughter of Jupiter born so-called parthenogenetically out of the top of his head as the goddess of wisdom and war.
DG: And she took her place right at his side along with Apollo as Zeus’ favorite children and highest ranking. She became the patron deity of Athens, and she was the only one of the old goddesses that was elevated in terms of being an image of the feminine that was strong, capable, wise, strategic and battled. She was always beating Mars and the Iliad and totally humiliating him whenever they got into it with one another. She was also the patron of the artisans and craftspeople; the Goddess of weaving, and had a huge range of significations, but they made her to be–the price that she had to pay for this elevation was being a Virgin goddess and not having any lovers or consorts. And so for many women who carry the Pallas Athena archetype, they often find their life as a struggle between being the best they can be in whatever is their chosen fields of expression, whether it’s athletes or politics or education or whatever at the cost of, being too strong of a woman for to be considered in relationship.
DG: So the girl who is applauded for winning the debate team victory in high school, no one really wants to ask to the prom because she’s too threatening on an intellectual level. So that there is a huge piece of work of integrating that and realizing that the roots of the feminine are based in wisdom and creativity, and that one doesn’t have to disown one’s femininity to be able to express that and those qualities in a healthy way. So sometimes also because she was her father’s favorite daughter, we have the sort of father/daughter complex that arises with the Athena, of women who seek their father’s approval and to seek masculine approval and sort of negate their mothers and their sisters and other women as being too passive or silly or ineffectual so that there’s, again coming to terms with one’s femininity and because Pallas was born from an androgynous condition of Zeus. Pallas, I’ve also seen her be prominent in the movement toward androgyny and the integration of male and female polarities within oneself and I think can be a valuable research tool in all of the gender fluidity that is coming to the fore at this time.
CB: Okay. And non-binaries.
DG: Non-binaries. Correct.
DG: And, finally, Eleanor Bach, insight that she had because her spear and shield and secret emblem, the palladium (a wooden statue of her) gave invincibility to whatever side was carrying it in battle. She has to do with the auto immune system and the ability to resist attack and disease. So those are just a few high points with Athena that again, become very valuable in addressing the concerns of contemporary clients.
CB: Yeah, I’m getting a much better sense as you talk through some of these things, how it’s bringing in additional components and perspectives on feminine archetypes that maybe either aren’t present or at least not talked about as much as core principles when you’re talking about the only two otherwise feminine archetypes in classical astrology, of the Moon and Venus. Although I guess sometimes those show up, but they get compacted down into just two significators of morning rising Venus or evening rising Venus and things like that.
DG: Yeah. In the Asteroid Goddesses book, there’s a mandalah of the asteroid goddesses that shows that the Moon is the base or foundation of all of the feminine, Venus is the center or the core emanation coming into manifested form, or the Moon is the potentiality. And then the four asteroids sit at the four Cardinal points, which are the differentiation of the feminine into four primary modes. Okay. So that’s all in one of those early chapters.
CB: Right. Okay. Brilliant. Alright. So that’s Ceres.
DG: Ceres and Pallas, and then Juno is best known as the goddess of marriage. But in actuality she was a queen in her own right in archaic Greece before the Dorian tribes that carried Zeus as their God came in, invaded that land and Zeus is interchangeable with Jupiter and well, he had many affairs when he got to the land of Argos where Juno was, she was too powerful. She was the oldest. The ancient Goddess associated with, economic prosperity, and then with all of vegetative life. So he had to marry her, in order to amalgamate the two cultures. And then Greek myth portrays her as the angry, jealous shrewish wife. But the alternate perspective is that, there is a part of her who willingly gave over some of her power to Jupiter in order to forge an equal, deep, intimate, profound union with the other, but her pathos lies in that she didn’t get what she was hoping for.
DG: She sacrificed the whole queendom and then got set up as a figurehead and denied her ability to exercise her wisdom and rule her people. But she didn’t accept it meekly. And she totally acted out. And as a noted mythologist called her the image of the captive nation princess, who is coerced but never really subdued by an alien conqueror. So Juno is a more specific differentiation of Venus and the urge toward committed relationships that are equal and fair with justice. And then it spreads out to not only equality and marriage for women, but equality, equal opportunity in all areas of life for all kinds of oppressed people. And I first got a clue to that years ago looking at the chart of the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who is running on a presidential platform on the rainbow coalition where he had his Sun conjunct Juno, but in my recent work with the women’s movement, many of the charts in the first wave of feminism, Juno as the asteroid, that seemed to be most prominent.
DG: And so it has to do with women’s equality across the board.
DG: In a relationship, not only to a specific partner, but universally.
CB: Okay. That makes sense.
DG: Okay. And then the final asteroid is Vesta. And Vesta is Hestia in Greek, the goddess of the hearth fire, the fire that is in the center of each house that forms the cohesion of the household and the fire on the public hearth. That is the ritual fire for the religious practices in the city. And then in Rome, Vesta was transformed into the day of the Vestal virgins who are oath bound to celibacy on the punishment of death being buried alive and they’re responsible for tending the sacred fire that ensured the safety of the Roman empire. So the initial speculations on Vesta and then the arc, well, the Vestal virgins morphed into the nuns of the middle ages and the old maids are spinsters by Victorian times.
DG: Initial speculations was that Vesta had to do with, um, sublimation of one’s sexual energy into either following a devotional or religious paths like yoga, certain traditions in yoga that call for celibacy or becoming a workaholic when one is totally focused on one’s work to the exclusion of relationship or I’ve having that, um, value of, celibacy or being one’s own person, being self-defined, not being defined by one’s relationship to a child, a parent, a partner or boss. Anyone else. Then initially when I put Vesta in charts and started talking about this, some people could relate, but some said, oh, that doesn’t really describe me at all. Like I’ve had lots of sexual encounters, whether I’ve been with someone or even when I’ve been with someone outside of that relationship. But many of them were fleeting and temporary. That seemed like so right at the moment, but like so terribly like crude and gross and shameful afterwards.
DG: And this was sort of my first poking into pre-Hellenic pre-patriarchal myths and discovering that in ancient Mesopotamia there were lineages of Vestal priestesses who tended the sacred flame that were unmarried. But among their most important functions were the sacred sexual rights, whereby they would have ritual intercourse within the temple complex in order to bring healing or fertility to the members of the community. There is a class of Ishtar’s priestesses that would have ritual intercourse with soldiers returning from battle to cleanse them of the horror of their blood crimes before they re-entered society. And so I began to see, and I’m leaving out a lot of material here, that Vesta can represent a woman’s autonomy over her body sexually and as well as for men and for those who encounter the fleeting sexual encounter that seems like a communion at the moment.
DG: And really weird afterwards. It is evoking some ancient archetypal memory of this being one of the highest functions one could have. And the other side of Vesta being the fear of sexuality, the fear of pregnancy, which would cause one to be killed and being totally repressed in one’s sexuality. But when you understand the ancient connection, you can see then, the two extremes of the similar continuum. So in my recent work now with Asteroid Goddesses 2020, Vesta was very quiet during the 1800s and into the 1900s, with the exception of Margaret Sanger opening the first birth control clinic — there was Vesta in a prominent position. Now with the #MeToo movement, Vesta is everywhere as voice where there are allegations of sexual harassment that come forth. So again, that has been fascinating with the ancient myths and the speculation and now seeing so many charts where she’s the asteroid that seems to be most prominent in the #MeToo movement.
CB: Right. So in that you said Asteroid Goddesses 2020, that’s the talk in the workshop that you’re going to be giving a few conferences and other places this year.
DG: Yes. You know that talk is so huge right now that I’m thinking of perhaps giving it four or five times this year, of dividing it up into foreshadowing first wave, second wave, third and fourth wave and what’s happening in our election. So I’ll see how I rearrange all the pieces of it as this year unfolds. But I’ll be giving it next week at Fort Lauderdale at the South Florida Astrological Association. I’ll be giving some variants of it at NORWAC. I’ll be doing a webinar on it through Astrology University on summer solstice, I’ll be giving a variance on the British women and Feminism at the Faculty of Astrological Studies in Oxford in August. And then I’ll be bringing it totally up to date at ISAR in September.
DG: Right, so this is a major piece of my work in 2020.
CB: Awesome. Okay. That’s exciting. And so that gives us core meanings and you go into all of those in much more depth, of course in Asteroid Goddesses and then?
DG: Right, it’s totally devoted to the mythology and psychology. Then it has a cookbook section of the asteroids and various signs and houses and aspects. Douglas Knight expanded the interpretations in the book to a report program called Asteroid Goddesses that you could order through my website. It’s only $25 and it’s about a 30 to 40 or 50 page report that gets printed out of the full meanings of the asteroids in your individual chart.
CB: Okay. And what was your website again? It’s like demetrageorge.com.
DG: Yeah, demetrageorge.com. You can go into the store and it’ll pop. It’ll pop up at some place.
CB: Okay, I know we’re running out of time because you’ve got to go later. So I want to quickly try and get through a few other major questions to round this out. One of them or two that are connected is one. In the mid to late nineties, you got really into traditional astrology and studying Hellenistic astrology especially. And that’s what your most recent as well as your forthcoming book is about, as we discussed in an episode, I think a year ago. But one of the questions is how do you incorporate the asteroids into a more traditional framework? And two, there’s so many asteroids now. How do you sort and prioritize which ones are more or less important to a person?
DG: Yes, I’m glad that you got to that Chris. Throughout my traditional studies, I’ve continued to use the outer planets as well as not only the four major asteroids and Chiron, but I have a custom list of about 500 other asteroids that I scan for every client chart I do and pull out the ones that are most significant. So I haven’t abandoned the outer planets of the asteroids as I’ve been developing the Hellenistic traditional Astrology, but I’m treating them in different ways and using the Hellenistic to establish the basic framework of the chart. And to use the classical visible planets as rulers of signs. I still look at where Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are in the chart, their house position, their transits, but I don’t use them as the rulers of the topics of the houses of Aquarius and Pisces and Scorpio. And then I layer in the asteroids and well they have affinities with certain signs. I certainly do not use them as rulers of those signs.
CB: Okay. You have like some, that was one of the questions. Yeah. You no longer use the modern rulership scheme, you use the traditional rulers of the signs of the Zodiac and you also don’t assign rulership of the asteroids to certain signs? Right, right. In the book I said that asteroids have associations with certain signs. Ceres, certainly with the fertile earth of tourists and with like the death rebirth mysteries with Scorpio and with the goddess who carries the sheaf of wheat with Virgo, and so while there’s overlays there, that doesn’t mean that she rules the signs and this goes back to the assignment of rulerships not being based on affinities but geometry, but let’s not do that conversation at this moment.
DG: Then how do you place in the chart so as not to get overwhelmed and Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta I treat the same as all of the other planets with the same orbs that I use for other planets.
CB: Which is like up to 10 degrees or something? Could be up to 10 degrees.
DG: Could be up to 10 degrees and the more Hellenistic I go, if they’re simply in the same sign and they’re co-present, they have a relevance to the topics of that house, if I’m looking at them in terms of aspect, I sort of go back and forth. And the places that I see as most significant are the seven power points in the chart. And those are in a conjunction with the Sun, the Moon, the ruler of the Ascendant. And with the four angles, the Ascendant, Descendant, Mid-heaven, an IC, and if there’s a major asteroid at those points, it’s really important. And if there’s a minor asteroid at those points within a one to two and certainly not more than three degree orb, then I’ll look at it and make note of it. Okay. But that I’m not using five and 10 degree orbs for the minor asteroids. After the conjunctions to these planets, I might look for oppositions if it seems to be relevant. Squares to a lesser extent squares only if they seem to fall into a major aspect pattern that’s connected with other planets. I’m certainly not looking at quincunxes, which I don’t use anyway, so they have seven or eight degree or orbs between some planet and an asteroid. It’s like that doesn’t fall anywhere within the range of signification. So I’ve greatly narrowed the orb and the signification as a way of creating the filtering mechanism for working with the minor asteroids.
CB: Okay. And you seem to be prioritizing like hard, hard aspects like especially the conjunction and the opposition and then lower the squares with important planets and then even lower still if you even consider it like a trine or a sextile to a luminary or are you even doing that?
GB: Yeah, not much on the sextile that turns out, you know, when Kepler was doing his thing on aspects in the end, trying to determine which aspects are most important. That was pretty much the ordering that he came to is as well. Okay. The conjunctions and opposition seemed to be the most prominent followed by some of the other aspects. Yeah, I think there was another comment in there, but I lost it. Okay.
CB: Sure. That’s fine. One of the other things, I know you’ve done a talk for a while, which I really loved when you were trying to synthesize and you did eventually, so you have Asteroid Goddesses which you wrote in 1986 but then later in 2008, you published Astrology and the Authentic Self and this is a great synthesis of modern and traditional astrology and kind of outline. You do have a chapter where you bring the asteroids into traditional context and you do outline your hierarchy of high priority asteroid placements versus moderate versus low. So people interested in that should really check out that book for the synthesis, would you say or I mean?
DG: Yes, certainly that’s a way of integrating all of that material. And then, oh, you had said the thing about the asteroids and the daimons.
DG: Right and I remember at the very beginning of my exposure to Hellenistic Astrology and Project Hindsight’s sort of poo-pooing the asteroids of course. And then going back to Schmidt with his asteroids and sharing how the asteroid Plato is really important. This chart. And the second famous philosopher, favorite philosopher, was also key-ly placed in the chart and he challenged me. He said, oh, well, if you could find a place for the asteroids in ancient cosmology, I might think more about considering them. So that led to the piece of work on seeing the asteroids is daimons. And then the ancient philosophical view of the world. The daimons were semi-divine spirits that were tiny and invisible. And there were thousands of them everywhere in the universe. And they were the attendants of the planets in the Corpus Hermeticum, who went about taking care of the details of the planetary decrees. And so then I pose this notion that the asteroids of which there are thousands and were invisible and were tiny in the sky and gave the details associated with planets could be correlated to the ancient view of the daimons and that way found a place for them in both, Hellenistic Astrology and ancient cosmology.
CB: As these intermediate deities or intermediate spirits between the larger celestial aural realm and the realm of like individual human beings.
CB: Okay and the title of that talk, because that’s on your website, I think it’s Asteroids, Daimons and Fate, right?
DG: Yes. And there’s a lot of examples of how the asteroid daimons play out in specific charts. Okay. You know, I’ve worked with them, the chart of Jackie Kennedy a lot and in her chart she has Moon in Aries. Valens calls the Moon one of the significators of legal marriage and opposite the moon within a degree of the asteroids, John and Aristotle, the name of her first and second husband. Then with her Midheaven was the conjunction of the asteroids, Mowery and Temple. The third great love of her life, she was not married to, was Maurice Templeman. And then with those or the asteroids, Odysseus and Penelope. And I said, well, what does that have to do with this whole complex? And it turns out the Island of Scorpios that she lived on with her marriage to Aristotle Onassis, when she sat on your deck and looked across the sea, there was the Island of Ithaca that she could see, which is where the mythology of Penelope and Odysseus came from. So even there we have the confluence of the mythic and personal within the charts of an archetypal person. And we see the details of not only where you’re going to end up, but who specifically you’re going to end up being with and there are many fascinating stories now, probably all kinds of people will run out and look up on astro.com the names of their significant others and see where they are in their chart. And that will be for many of you big aha moment.
CB: Yeah. So I mean that’s what you would recommend is look at personal names, sometimes places or locations. I know in terms of other minor asteroids, you said you had a short list of those that you’ll look up in each chart that are mainly mythological ones or ?
DG: First thing is mythological, and some are common names and some are common places and some are concepts, Lust and Fate and Temperance and Beer.
CB: Oh yeah. You have a funny anecdote about the asteroid Beer that you sometimes tell, I don’t know if you want to go into it, but otherwise people might be wondering.
DG: Right, do you remember it? It’s like,
CB: It was like, there was a story once where, I don’t know if they were mocking or questioning the question of asteroids, but you had a client maybe once who for some reason you like threw the asteroid Beer in their chart and it was really prominent, like exactly conjunct their Sun or Ascendant.
DG: Conjunct their moon on the sixth house and she was an alcoholic and it was a family problem.
CB: Okay. Yeah. So it’s just sometimes even random. Right?
DG: Right. Yeah. Asteroid Baccus who is the God of wine. I did a reading for someone at NORWAC years ago and there it was conjunct this person’s Sun. And I said like, do you have any connection? Like with wine? I just threw that out and it turned out that he had a family vineyard and was a producer of high quality wine in California. So I can just go on endlessly with those examples that they are there. And as I said, the use of the minor asteroids brings me to the edge of what is reasonable and Astrology sort of pushes me off the edge. That’s like one of the great mysteries that the asteroids hold for the contemplation of the cosmos.
CB: Sure. And it seems like even though you have sorting mechanisms for trying to figure out which ones are going to be more important or less important, and you focus especially on conjunctions with the luminaries or with the ruler of the ascendant or the degrees of the four angles, it seems like to a certain extent, there’s still this wild card element of so many that you’re not going to be able to use or incorporate all of them.
CB: But there might be some other element about how they come up or some mysterious element in which they may be operating in a person’s life in ways that you never know or never see, even if they are in some ways.
CB: Okay, great. I’m trying to think if there’s any other major questions or things we meant to touch on before we wrap up here. Just in terms of this, I know a lot of people ask about Lilith and while you touched upon it, an Asteroid Goddesses, that’s something you dealt with in more depth in a later book. Right?
DG: Right. Mysteries of the Dark Moon. I did the mythic psychological portrayal of Lilith and finding our way through the dark has the workbook, astrological workbook and there are three bodies. Lilith. One is the asteroid one is this thing called the black moon, that’s the empty focal point in the moon’s orbit around the earth. And then there’s this hypothetical second satellite of the earth, that’s also named Lilith. So there can be a lot of confusion over which one to use. I think all three of them are relevant even though the third one is totally hypothetical and I haven’t really worked with that very much at all in many, many years. But solar fire has the black moon as the default. So many people have used that. And mythologically she was a handmaiden of Inanna that then got cast out of the Inanna’s garden and then became incorporated into a Babylonian mythology is a screeching she-demon of the night that the Hebrews brought back into the garden of Eden as the snake that tempted Eve, and they demonized her as a principle of feminine sexual allure and being ostracized and exiled and cast out. She’s one of the most toxically repressed of all of the feminine archetypes. And there’s a lot of very deep and heavy and painful material that can surface up when she’s involved in significant placements in the chart.
CB: Do you have a preference between the asteroid versus the dark moon?
DG: I think that they’re both archetypes and they both work. And if you want to split hairs you can do that. But I think they both give forth meaning and in the positive interpretation, especially the black moon is connected with the Indian goddess Kali and it’s the ability to like with her curved knife cut through illusion and see and speak the truth of things as they are. And oftentimes people don’t really like other people who point out the elephant in the middle of the room and expose that which everyone else wants to keep suppressed. And so that, that’s part of the courage involved in the expression of that archetype.
CB: Okay. Brilliant. Alright. Well, we’re at 90 minutes, so I know you have to go. There’s a bunch of other asteroids and other things I’m sure that you use and incorporating mythology and in terms of your short list, but you’ve done dozens of talks on this and you’ve shared, I’m just looking through your website and it seems like you have over a dozen different talks and workshops that are available for sale if people want to learn more about this.
DG: Great. Yes, it’s an incredibly rich area for research and I encourage everyone out there. The field is so wide open, there’s so much to be done and can be done. Definitely if you want to connect, and not only certainly with the feminine but with an expanded view of the archetypal mythic dimensions of the cosmos. The asteroids are a beautiful field to cultivate. Very fertile.
CB: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your contributions to that over the course of the past few decades. And yeah, thanks for joining me today to do this talk, and share this. I’d been wanting to capture some of this piece of history for a while and I’m glad we got a chance to do it today.
DG: It’s always a pleasure connecting with you, Chris, and with all of your listeners and thank you for this hour.
CB: Awesome. Thank you. So people can find out more information at your website, which is demetrageorge.com. Like we said, you’ve got that Asteroid Goddesses 2020 webinar coming up through astrology university on June 20th of 2020. If people sign up for your newsletter on your website, they can get notified about registration. You also mentioned the asteroid goddesses personal report, which is just $25 on your website. Of course your book Asteroid Goddesses, 1986 is in it, it’s like the third edition. Like the current edition was revised at some point.
DG: Right, where the ephemeres these were updated so that they’re current for this time now. That’s published by Ibis press.
CB: Okay. So search for the Ibis press version for the latest.
DG: Or Amazon, if you just, yeah, you could go to Amazon. Yeah, look for the most recent edition. Okay.
CB: And then finally you’ll be giving talks on this at the Northwest Astrology Conference in Seattle this year in May. The ISAR conference in Denver in September and at the Faculty of Astrological Studies summer school, which is…
DG: in Oxford in August as well as South Florida Astrological Association, next Saturday.
CB: Brilliant. Alright, awesome. Well, thank you again for joining me today and thanks everybody for listening and I guess that’s it for this episode. Thanks to the patrons who supported the production of this episode of the Astrology Podcast through a page on Patreon.com including patreons, Christine Stone, Nate Craddick and Marin Altman. Also thanks to the Astro Gold Astrology app firstname.lastname@example.org, the Portland school of Astrology at portlandastrology.org, The honeycomb collective personal astrological almanacs at honeycomb.com and also the International Society for Astrological Research, which is hosting a conference in Denver, Colorado on September 10th through the 14th 2020 more information about that at isar2020.org and the Northwest Astrological conference, which is happening in Seattle, Washington May 21st through the 25th 2020 more information about that at norwac.net. To sign up to become a patron and get early access to new episodes and other bonus content. Go to patreon.com/astrologypodcast.