Dark goddess Ceres was discovered in Sicily in 1801. The new planet was named after the Roman grain goddess because of her close mythological and cult connections to this Mediterranean island. Enna in Sicily was said to be where Proserpina was abducted by Pluto, who apparently flew out of the volcano, Mount Etna. (The Greek versions are Persephone, her mother Demeter and her nasty uncle Hades, god of the underworld.) There are some very interesting synchronicities.
When Ceres was discovered she was exactly, and I really mean exactly in alignment with fixed star Algol by 0 degrees 00’! The Algol connection with Ceres is all the stranger because Medusa’s head is also found on the Sicilian flag. They have mixed Ceres symbolism with Medusa by entwining the snakes with sprigs of wheat. Therefore there must be some esoteric connection between Medusa and Ceres. Later we will see the snake symbolism again with the stars involved in Ceres’ discovery chart.
Ceres was discovered at 8pm on the very 1st day of the 19th century.  For 50 years Ceres was actually classified as the 8th planet until the rest of the asteroids started to be discovered in 1851. The discoverer of Ceres, a Sicilian monk and astronomer, Giuseppe Piazzi wrote in his notes that Ceres was sitting on the shoulder of the bull (Taurus). Algol was at 23º Taurus in the 1800’s. Ceres has a great affinity to the sign of Virgo due to the Virgo constellation’s brightest star Spica being the chaff of wheat in the hand of the Virgin. As we have seen in my run down of the Virgo decans, the Persephone theme is very strong.
Darling Persephone is Ceres’ beloved daughter Kore, as she was known before Pluto ‘took’ her. Ceres’s themes are far more complex than simply ‘Earth Mother’. Unfortunately this expression is so over-used that it just conjures up images of hippie chicks with buggies full of babies and organic vegetables. Ceres is far more social than that (Like Jupiter and Saturn).
Remember Ceres comes between Mars and Jupiter so it’s not really a personal planet, nor is it just another mummy moon. Another problem with the ‘Grain-goddess’ brand is that it seems very one dimensional. I mean it’s bread right? How complex can buns get? You cannot look at Ceres in isolation because she really comes in a trio with Pluto and Eris, both mythologically and in the story of her reclassification as a dwarf planet. But I will come back to the simplicity of the Earth Mother because it’s so simple and obvious that we can overlook it’s importance.
The Persephone Myth & Kore
So Ceres is not just sun kissed, golden fields of corn. In fact this being Darkstar of course we must look at Ceres’ dark shadow, and like all the planets she has one! The Persephone myth is integral to Ceres’ meaning, as Robert Graves believes Persephone is the younger self of Demeter (Ceres). Before Persephone’s abduction she was the maiden/virgin Kore and after her abduction she was named Persephone. In terms of astrology we can say that that Ceres could signify the maiden Persephone and Eris the post-abducted Persephone. We could also play around with the triple goddess and say that;
Ceres/Kore = Maiden
Eris/Persephone Sotiera = Saviour maiden/mother
Pluto/Ceres = Crone
Ceres is about natural law and the cycles of life. The three dwarf planets are really a transformation based on the seasonal changes. The mourning that Ceres suffered at the loss of her daughter Persephone (or her own childhood/virginity) is mirrored in the infertile winter season. Hades for the Greeks was also the god of riches and deep in the underworld we find gold if we go deep enough. It is interesting death is associated with these buried treasures, whereas life is Ceres’s territory. Above ground, the ‘wealth’ is the land and our energising connection to it. (Check out ‘Earthing’.)
Opium poppies are associated with Ceres as Persephone was said to be picking them in a field when she was ‘raped’. Their blood red stains in the blazing field of gold signify the breaking of the hymen during the first act of sex, but they are also the start of menstruation for the blossoming young woman. We have to look at the myth in context with the times. In ancient Greece, sometimes when a couple wanted to marry, but the parents wouldn’t allow it, the suitor would ‘kidnap’ his beloved and they would spend the night out in the country somewhere. After that it was assumed the virgin had been deflowered and they would now have to marry in order to save the girls honor. On a personal note this happened in Sicily too where my grandmother aged just 15 eloped with my grandad who was in his 20s I believe. Huzzie! Only kidding Nonna, but my dad was the result. This is quite a quaint story, but by today’s standards my grandad would have been considered a pedophile.
Pedophilia and Abduction
100 years ago women were probably more mature by aged 15 as life expectancy was a lot shorter. Women became parents earlier and therefore learnt responsibility. Teenage abduction may not have been such a shocker in the past because Sicily was under Muslim rule for a good 500 years. Mohammed had a 9 year old wife, so this mentality might have rubbed off on the Sicilians. The earlier you get the girl, the better she is groomed into the obedient slave characteristic of Ceres/Pluto relationships. It’s important to understand some of the culture behind Ceres as she really is a product of the front line where East meets West. Ceres cosmic birth in Sicily means she must have absorbed some of that front line, edgy culture.
So the dark side of Ceres brings themes of abuse, rape, abduction and in the worst cases, pedophilia. There is very definitely a Svengali influence too seen with young singers in the entertainment industry, like Miley Cyrus or Britney Spears. These starlets were groomed from a young age by their Hollywood handlers/producers. These producers will be Pluto, while Ceres can be the stage mother or the daughter herself. To make things more complex, there is another Greek god named Plutus or Ploutos (the Greek word for wealth) who was actually the son of Demeter (Ceres). This represents the aspect of Ceres that is extremely materialistic, for in Dante’s inferno it states that “Plutus is the demon of wealth who guards the forth circle of hell ‘The hoarders and the wasters’ Dante likely concluded that Plutus symbolised the evil of hoarding wealth.” – Wiki.
Ceres & Narcissism
There a lot of bleed between Ceres and daughter Persephone. This confusion also occurs with Hades (Pluto) and Plutus. Hade’s mother-in-law Ceres, has a son (Plutus) who is also an aspect of Hades himself! This complicated scenario really mirrors the phenomenon of enmeshment found in Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Narcissistic parents often create triangulation between siblings. One child will be designated the ‘Golden Child’ while the another ‘the scapegoat’. Persephone shows all the symptoms of being the scapegoat, while her half-bother Plutus (wealth) is certainly the golden child. Of course these roles can flip around now and again, just to keep the children on their toes.
Persephone may start off as the golden child in the shape of Kore, while she is still very attached to her mother. Kore is groomed to be the little star, a mirror of her mother’s unfulfilled fantasies of fame. This is a lot to live up to and if Kore/Persephone fails she then becomes the scapegoat. Persephone can also become scapegoat by pairing with a badboy Pluto. The Plutus sibling can be the golden child by being Ceres’ substitute husband her real husband has failed in some way or has left the home. This of course is a very incestuous type of relationship. Either way, this negative Ceres is engulfing her children and becomes the devouring mother.
The Dark Traid
Ceres, Eris (Persephone) and Pluto are a triad. In psychology some of the cluster-B personality disorders are grouped together and called the “Dark Triad”. They comprise of Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Psychopathy. These mirror quite well the negative manifestations of Ceres, Eris (Persephone) and Pluto. So we get:
Negative Ceres = Narcissism as defined by Wikipedia; “ Grandiosity, pride, egotism and a lack of empathy.”
Negative Eris = Machiavellianism; “ Manipulation and exploitation of others, a cynical disregard for morality, and a focus on self-interest and deception”
Negative Pluto = Psychopathy; “ Enduring antisocial behaviour, impulsivity, selfishness, callousness and remorselessness”
Being brought up by a narcissistic mother can force the young scapegoat Eris/Persephone to become Machiavellian, just in order to survive. Eris can feel so unloved that she resorts to manipulation in order to gain the love that she does not believe will be given unconditionally. I will go into this much deeper in the Eris post once I rewrite it. But there are overlaps between innocent Ceres as Kore and Persephone as Eris. The way out of this character malfunction (as a result of Negative Ceres’ emotional abandonment), often does come in the shape of an abduction by Pluto. This forces Persephone to see her dark side and accept that she has indeed been abused by her own parent(s). In this way she goes through the dark night of the soul and starts to re-member her shattered ego. Her journey to the underworld and back shows this transformation.
Narcotics & The Cave Man
When negative Ceres experiences the loss of her narcissistic supply from her daughter she becomes distraught. Like the myth, she withdraws her material support (the abundance of nature’s bounty) and falls into a winter of depression. Her massive pride is hurt, how could Persephone leave her for that bad boy Pluto?! Another association with Ceres is the poppy, so Ceres may take to numbing her pain by taking narcotics. Note the etymology, narc-issism, narc-cotics is interesting to say the least! Narkotos is the Greek verbal adjective of narcoun “to numb, to make unconscious.” Now I know this all looks very bleak, but Ceres rules cycles and all is not lost here. This mourning period is just a stage. All mothers go through this stage when their children leave home and also when they go through the menopause. (so Ceres can describe this stage in a woman’s life too.)
A man will experience Ceres through his relationship with his mother or rubbing up against feminists! It might also manifest as the typical mother-in-law problem, where the mother Ceres feels threatened by her son’s new wife. Again the risk of triangulation comes into play, where the wife is seen as being manipulative and seducing the son away from loyalty to the mother Ceres. Men can have addiction problems too obviously which can bring problems of zoning out with porn, video games as well pain-numbing chemicals. Men have a natural need however to quietly contemplate, as primitives they would go to their caves (Modern day shed.) or chop wood, or stare into the fire (Modern day BBQ.) so they are naturally more inclined to be hypnotised by the computer screen. However in some ways this is fairly normal behaviour for men and a balance is what’s needed as always. So when I say ‘she’ in this post I mean the part of both sexes that is earth-connected, our pagan self.
Pentagram To Pentacles ~ Ceres World
Ceres in the modern world suffers at the loss of sacred pagan rituals that connected her to the land. Positive Ceres is the herbalist, the farmer, the magical cook, the nurse and healer who feeds and nurtures her family. It is a very traditional female role, and if she ends up stuck in an office she then becomes overly materialistic. The gold grain of the earth (‘Grana’ in Italian is another word for cash) becomes replaced by gold coins or jewellery. The magic of the pentagram becomes instead a craving for pentacles. You can see this very clearly in the tarot cards and the elements, where pentacles are associated with earth signs and the material world. Earth signs are also the ones most connected to the earth spirit and are the original pagans. When the Abrahamic monotheistic religions swept across pagan Europe they replaced the worship of earth deities with what are basically alien sky gods. The original ‘mater’ial world was looked down upon, and as women (or really the feminine in alchemy) were deemed closer to nature, they were also seen as lesser, more animalistic beings also.
So what this means for our earth mother Ceres is that she has been de-spiritualised. It is dispiriting to feel less worthy than your male counterparts. Self-worth plays a huge part in whether a person becomes a narcissist or not. Ceres resonates quite strongly with the 2nd house of self-worth. The house also rules the direct fruits of ones labour and one’s personal money. Opposite in the 8th house Pluto is associated with other people’s money, debt and usury. Sorcery also belongs here, the means that fake money and credit are created. This of course keeps workers in bondage as their labour is taxed. 8th house money is parasitical because it makes money from money rather than talent, skills or labour that 2nd house money does. So 2nd house workers/artisans are literally being vamped. How this relates back to Ceres is the notion of narcissistic supply. When Ceres cannot be energised by the sacred earth she will feel drained like she is dying. This is when she will resort to the fake energy harvesting that is retail therapy.
Plutocrats love to destroy national/cultural identity (Which ultimately comes from the land we live on.) because that way we resort to identifying with consumer brands. So you become a Hollister person, a Prada, a NorthFace or a Mac person… Your car says who you are, not the fact you are Welsh, Texan, Cockney, Parisian, etc etc. Note these are all Westernised areas, because most other ethnic groups have their religion as a unifying sense of oneness and strength. We have lost this thanks to globalism and this has been a deliberate strategy (More about this in the Eris post..) One thing that I think does unify us in the west is our love of nature and animals which is all very Ceres. Even when we are forced into the cities, we just love pets! Our cats sleep with us and there is that ritual of walking dogs in the park. We love our gardens and window boxes too. Ceres campaigns against animal cruelty and tries her best to be eco-friendly. These are her positive traits.
The negative side of Ceres comes up due to the degeneracy of morality in culture generally. According to ‘numerous studies’ (says Wikipedia) men (and what’s more Caucasian men) are supposed to show higher levels of all of the dark triad traits. But as hinted in my psychopathy post, I think this is extremely misleading as surely the deviousness of these traits would not actually show up in tests!
The most honest victim of an abuser will have probably picked up the ‘Dark Triad’ virus. These ‘Victims’ are more likely to test positive because they have come to believe they are “selfish, manipulating, self-obsessed (read self-conscious) etc”. This is of course the result of being raised by an abusive parent. The scape-goat child often has all these “Dark Traid” traits projected onto them by the whole dysfunctional family. They grow up believing they are dirty, evil and incapable of loving another. This is because the narcissist child is constantly told they are not devoted enough to the needy parent.
The same goes for a relationship with a Pluto Dark Cupid who wants total admiration, but nothing Persephone does is ever good enough. These are the toxic/vampiric relationships I mentioned in the ‘Dark Cupid’ post. Any attempt for Ceres types to be true to themselves is seen as a betrayal from Pluto, which the forces them to piece together a very fragile ego in secret. In my Eris post (which will be a part 2 to this post) I will focus on more positive solutions to Ceres’ dilemma and how this is related to the transpersonal and even the survival of the pagan soul of earth. Eris will be the resurrection, the phoenix from the flames of this shattered Ceres.