When major asteroid Ceres, The Great Earth Mother, turns retrograde on July 7th, all matters of motherhood, family, nurturing, and our ability to receive and give love come up for reflection.
Ceres retrograde will linger until October 18th, though she won’t officially leave her post-shadow retrograde phase until January 3rd, 2021.
While Ceres originally turns retrograde in Pisces, on September 27th she will enter the air sign of Aquarius, challenging us in different ways. This means that this energy of reflection will stay with us for the remainder of the year.
However, as this energy mirrors that of the zodiac sign Cancer, this is one area of focus we’ve been asked to pay attention to for the entire year.
What is Ceres and what is its purpose in astrology?
Ceres is one of the major asteroids, the others being Chiron and Pallas. She is the largest asteroid and is found in orbit between Mars and Jupiter, originally named after the Roman Goddess, Ceres.
Traditionally, this asteroid rules all aspects related to motherhood, including our food sources — specifically farming, nurturing, self-care, self-love, and our ability to accept and give love towards others. Really, this is about how we show up for others, but also how we show up for ourselves.
At times, this Goddess has been connected to grief, as in mythology Pluto had stolen her daughter Persephone and taken her down into his underworld to marry her. While Ceres was never able to get her daughter completely back, she did have to split her time up between her mother and her husband. Because of this, we may also see themes arise around self-destruction or the value of time during the next few months. We must pay closer attention to the lessons this asteroid is trying to teach us this time around.
Usually, this retrograde occurs once a year as an opportunity for us to check in with ourselves, and to see if we are in relationships that support the level of work that we’ve done and the love that we have for ourselves. But it also asks us to look closely at what it means to nurture ourselves, others, and those we love.
This particular retrograde we will be looking closely at what the role of mother is defined by, and how those we call by this title measure up to what our actual needs are.
The reason we will be especially drawn to the focus of mother and nurturing is because we have seen our Cancer Moon Eclipses dominate the energy this year, which coincides with the pandemic energy of being asked to stay at home.
All of these factors carry the same energy of reflecting on home, motherhood, and family. And, if we truly accept the love that we feel we deserve.
We’ve seen so many planets retrograde, and now, once again, have a planetary body turn into a sign that’s going to have us evaluate ourselves and our homes. It feels overwhelming and occurs just days after our Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn.
But the one theme to the astrology this summer is that we can’t avoid change, no matter how hard we try.
While many of the other transits this summer ask us to take a closer look at our relationships and home life, this is really the first that challenges the kind of love we accept. And it’s a mirror that there is no escaping from.
Ceres in Pisces will deeply challenge whatever decisions and choices we’ve made in terms of relationships, specifically those we chose out of wounding and not healing. It’s those relationships we continually hoped would improve but never have, so even if we didn’t settle in the beginning, we found ourselves slowing sinking into it, succumbing to the truth, yet unwilling to change it.
Ceres in Pisces will challenge all of this. We will be asked to look more deeply at the mothering we received as children versus the mothering our inner children wished we had, providing a deep and powerful opportunity to reparent those inner children, giving them the love, security and protection we didn’t feel we received.
On September 27th, as Ceres moves into Aquarius, we will find ourselves shifting towards being able to make decisions from our healing versus our wounding, which ends up making all the difference in our lives.
When we have done that work and no longer need to attract partners (specifically, women for men), which mirrors those early childhood dynamics we had with our mothers, we’re also able to accept and give love — not just to those we care about, but to ourselves as well.
Healing is the key to happiness. But there is also a point to the madness.
It may be easy to slip into retrograde fog this month as it seems we can’t even keep track of the lessons we’re supposed to learn.
One great way to make the most of this time is to keep a journal by your bedside, and in the morning reflect on what happened that day and how you are feeling when you wake up.
Staying connected to our emotions and checking in with your physical body enables us to remain rooted in reality, rather than be overwhelmed by what we are processing, emotionally and mentally.
The other piece, though, is that when we don’t understand what the point is, and we find ourselves feeling frustrated by the endless stream of unpredictability, it means we’re also being taught surrender, acceptance and trust.
We don’t always need to know how it will turn out to start on this journey. We don’t always need to have everything figured out or to be given a guarantee.
Sometimes, we simply just need to hold onto that love we have for ourselves, the truth we’ve learned on our journey, and to have faith that wherever this lesson of motherhood and nurturing lead, it’s one we were meant to take.