Astrology is an ancient science and art that has been in use for centuries. The planets are named after the Mediterranean gods of ancient Rome and Greece. This illustrates the awareness possessed by our ancestors of the synchronicity between the activation of life's archetypal energies and the movements of heavenly bodies that seem to measure the timing of these events.
The last few centuries have been an exciting time for astrologers. We have witnessed the discovery of the outer planets and watched them conform to the synchronistic meaning ascribed to them by their names, joining and expanding the pantheon of deities that dance through the horoscopes of people and political events. Astrologers have become comfortable with the extended astrological family that now includes Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, and these have been utilised in western astrology for most of the twentieth century. Since the dust has settled from these cosmic discoveries, astrologers have had some time to study the action of some other newly discovered heavenly bodies - namely Chiron and the Asteroids.
The Asteroids lie in a belt that orbits between Mars and Jupiter. It is now known that this belt is comprised of thousands of asteroids, but the first four were discovered many years in advance of the rest. These four asteroids were named after four major Olympic goddesses, which happened to redress the gender imbalance among the primarily male planetary deities that populate the horoscope. Thus it was that Ceres, Juno, Vesta, and Pallas Athena came along at the time of the birth of the women's movement in the nineteenth century. Astrologers do work with the myriad of other asteroids as well, but these four, with their associations to four of the most important goddesses, are the "standard" ones in use.
Chiron was discovered in 1977, and was named after the wise Greek centaur who tasted immortality. Chiron lies between Saturn and Uranus and occasionally passes within the orbit of Saturn. At first thought to be a comet or asteroid it is now considered a "planetoid" or small planet-like body.
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