The Missing Ruling Planets of Taurus & Virgo
Our science of astrology has evolved according to our greater understanding and discovery of more distant planets in the 'octave scale' of the solar system. In the past, some planets shared rulership over two astrological signs and now as a society, we’ve been evolving as we've made new discoveries over the years regarding the outer planets - the true planets are now being allocated their correct rulership and our true understanding of a divine order behind the cosmos is being constantly revealed. For example, after its discovery in 1930, Pluto has now been acknowledged and given the correct rulership of Scorpio which formerly was ‘covered’ by Mars. The same, I believe, is true for Venus who currently rules both Taurus and Libra and for Mercury who rules both Gemini and Virgo. Venus is the clear ruler of Libra and Mercury the clear ruler of Gemini - so what are the missing planets ruling Taurus and Virgo? The following are some thoughts and ideas on this topic which were discussed together with astrologer Oka Fala.
Astrology, we believe, will evolve to give Ceres the correct rulership over Taurus and there are others who feel the same way; Virgo (connected with health, organisation, purity) we believe, will be recognised as being ruled by Chiron, the great wounded healer, instead of Mercury.
One major reason why this is important to consider is because of the Titius-Bode law (a mathematical equation that predicts the spacing of orbits of planets out from the sun.) A gap was discovered between Mars and Jupiter where a planet should be according to this spacing law – due to the discovery of this gap, Ceres in the asteroid belt was discovered in 1801 - the asteroid belt fits perfectly in the gap according to this law. The law was again revised by Mary Blagg in 1913 with very accurate results for the positions, although her work was not given much recognition.
The astrologer Thomas Burgoyne also believed that there was a missing planet between Mars and Jupiter:
"Strange as it may seem, it is, nevertheless, a fact, that there is a missing planet...The ring of planetoids, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, indicate to us the empty throne of Abel, whom Cain (Mars) slew in his anger. The time will ultimately come when this orb will be re-constituted, and Abel will rise up from the dead." The Light of Egypt.
A Destroyed Planet, Phaeton
This missing gap between Mars and Jupiter of the Titius-Bode law (and Blagg's formula) revealed not only Ceres, but a whole asteroid belt and some astronomers believe that these asteroids are the remains of a hypothetical planet, Phaeton, which was destroyed due to hypothetical causes such as internal instability or being struck by another celestial object for example. The name Phaeton was chosen since in Greek mythology, Phaeton as the son of the sun god Helios was destroyed after steering his father’s solar chariot with disastrous consequences.
Ceres by Antoine Watteau (1717-1718)
The dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt was discovered in 1801 by the Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi who found it in a gap of a sequence known as the Titius-Bode law as mentioned. It therefore makes sense to see that the asteroids are now gathered in the orbit of a missing or destroyed planet.
Dwarf Planet, Ceres
If this is true, then Ceres, as the largest dwarf planet in the asteroid belt, is a piece of that old planet and carries the same frequency signature – the position of the asteroid belt has a certain frequency signature in the ‘octave’ of distance from the sun and affects our consciousness accordingly. Everything in our universe is frequency, vibration – everything is sound and vibrates. The position of the orbiting planets are significant and they appear on different sections of the octave scale at a macrocosm scale. Recognising Ceres in the asteroid belt as the largest remains of the 'missing planet' means that a whole section of that scale is no longer lost to us and its unique and defined features can be incorporated into our astrology. Ceres, as the largest asteroid or dwarf planet remaining in the asteroid belt, could represent the most powerful influence to tune into, in astrological terms. Ceres reminds us that after painful events such as the abduction of her daughter, hope can still be found and life can return.
Roman marble statue of Demeter (Ceres)
Ceres & 'Mother Nature'
Ceres is another goddess, so it’s not difficult to make the switch from Venus as ruler of Taurus – but her symbols are more refined in regard to the Taurus energy and suit it better. Ceres (Demeter) was the archetypal ‘mother’ goddess whose daughter (Proserpina or Persephone) was abducted by Hades (or Pluto) in Greek and Roman mythology. In this famous myth which was part of the Eleusinian rites of Ancient Greece, Persephone’s re-emergence from the cold and wintery underworld brought the seasons of Spring and Summer to the land and her descent back to her husband after the harvest brought the Autumn and Winter.
In astrological terms, it could be said that the motherly energy of Ceres and Taurus is different to that of Cancer and the moon which is often associated with the mother and tends to be focused on the emotional and psychological aspects of mothering (which can either be loving and inspire psychological growth or can incorporate the archetypal ‘terrible mother’ aspects.) Taurus (and Ceres) energy represent the physical side of mothering (mother nature, food and nourishment) whereas Cancer and the moon symbolise the psychological and emotional side of mothering and development.
Ceres with cereals, by Dominik Auliczek in the late 18th century.
Ceres & Cereal
This ‘mother nature’ archetype of Ceres and Taurus focuses more on the physical body, nurturing with food, connection with nature and her cycles and rhythms (seeds, planting, harvesting,) manifesting and abundance and feeling supported by nature, cereals and the Cerealia festival which was performed in ancient Rome for seven days in April – the time of Taurus.
April, ruled by Taurus, is a powerful time for gardening, connecting with plants and the physical earth. In this month (and May) many seeds can be potted outdoors and indoors for vegetables – it's a great time to get sowing and growing. Taurus is an earth sign and connected with the physical realms – the body, the earth, manifestations, abundance and growth. This energy works wonderfully with Ceres as its ruling planet.
Ceres or Demeter was the goddess of agriculture, fertility, grains and motherhood. Her daughter Proserpina or Persephone was kidnapped by the king of the underworld (Pluto or Hades) and her return to the upperworld each year brought an end to the famine created by Demeter’s anger about the abduction and the return of plant growth according to Greek and Roman mythology. The Eleusinian Mysteries were Greek secret initiations which took place at a sanctuary in Elefsina in Greece where initiates would learn about these sacred rites regarding nature and the seasons of Demeter and Persephone in a cycle of three stages including the descent, the search and the ascent (return;) these themes are certainly apt for a missing planet which is re-discovered!
Chiron as Ruler of Virgo
There are others, including us, who feel that Chiron is the correct ruler of Virgo which is associated with health, organisation and purity. Mercury is fast moving and associated with trade, travel, language and communication - this makes him a great ruler of the quick-witted 'mental plane' sign of Gemini, but it has led to patterns in our healthcare which may put an emphasis on quick-fix solutions, pill profits and trading medicine. Real healing needs to go to the roots and can require meticulousness, time and patience - this is the realm of the slow-moving Chiron who understands the energetic, emotional and mental frequencies behind our dis-ease and how to get them back into resonance through our lifestyle.
Healing & Resonance
Sound healer and practitioner Jonathan Goldman believed that healing involved bringing the organs or body back into its natural state of resonance. In his book Healing Sounds he described how deeper states of understanding could be accessed by tuning into different frequencies and entraining with them. He explained that it was possible to use equations to obtain an audible frequency of a planet based on its rotational period. Yet this esoteric knowledge is ancient and Pythagoras taught about ‘the Music of the Spheres’ - the movement of the stars and planets and their sounds which we could consciously attune to and which Pythagoras had claimed he could hear. His mystery school on the island of Crotona taught about this higher understanding of music in connection with mathematics.
“As the ancients seemed to know, everything in the universe is in a state of vibration. The chair you may be sitting on is in a state of vibration, as are the pages of this book. Sound may be understood as being vibration. ‘Resonance’ is the frequency at which an object most naturally vibrates. Everything has resonant frequency, whether or not we can audibly perceive it. From the orbits of the planets around the sun to movement of the electrons around atoms, everything is vibrating.” Healing Sounds by Jonathan Goldman
Chiron and Achilles by John Singer Sargent (c. 1922)
In astrology, Chiron is one of the 'centaurs' - a group of planetoids which orbit between Saturn and Neptune, with eccentric orbits, meaning that they cross over one or more orbits of the other planets. They don't fit neatly into the mathematical law of the orbits as discussed - but their eccentricity is a vital part of the greater order - it enables them to think 'outside the box.' This may add to the healing ability of the centaurs who are able to learn about the frequencies of other planets and their 'eccentricity' may add to their great wisdom and foresight in the field of healing. In the works of C.S. Lewis, the centaurs of his stories were described as being great astrologers. They move at a key position between the more 'material' realms of Saturn (father, work, systems, government) and the more spiritual outer planets of Neptune, Uranus and the deep underworld of Pluto. It could be said that they are therefore able to bring spiritual wisdom into our material realms in a functional and wise way.
18 centaur planetoids have been discovered and three (or four) have been named after mythological centaurs: Chiron, Pholus, Nessus and Chariclo. Chariclo was a nymph in mythology and the wife of Chiron who was thought to have the ability to shapeshift into a centaur. 10199 Chariklo is in fact the largest centaur - so her energy may work well with Chiron together and more can be read about her here. Her graceful energy may be able to assist in more shamanic healing and in spiritual awakening. Chariklo's name means 'graceful spinner' from Greek origins which is quite apt.
A Healer with Focus
Chiron, the wounded healer, was the mentor of Achilles who was considered to be the wisest of the centaurs who learnt from his adopted ‘father’ Apollo, the art of medicine, and he was trained in archery by Apollo’s twin sister Artemis, emphasising his ability to focus and be meticulous - these are all very 'Virgoan' traits - Virgo is famous for its organisational ability and connection to the realms of perfection or sacred geometry (perfectionism!)
Chiron became known as a great healer and astrologer and he taught many of the Greek heroes including Jason, Actaeon and Asclepius. From him we have the term ‘wounded healer’ since in the varying myths there seems to be a theme of a poisoned arrow hitting his hoof and poisoning him yet he was not able to heal himself and passed away and was immortalised by the gods as a constellation.
As mentioned, in astrology, Chiron is a 'minor planet' and thought to be a comet which is orbiting the sun between Saturn and Uranus – it moves slowly and therefore can show us collective themes for each generation regarding the ‘wounded healer’ aspect - the particular house it is found in may reveal more personal aspects to a birth-chart. There is a lesson to learn here when working with centaur energy – no matter how much knowledge we have in healing or psychic ability etc, sometimes we may have blind-spots and need help from others – stepping into that vulnerable place and receiving from others can be part of our healing (feeling the inter-connectedness) or it can be a lesson in humility.
Interestingly, the glyph of Chiron in astrology is a key - this is the planet which can really unlock our hidden potential. At a time when we are witnessing very detrimental behaviour and practises in our medical paradigm including corruption and abuse of power with the pharmaceutical companies who make a lot of profit from medicine - connecting Virgo (the healer) with Chiron might be a powerful remedy we have been waiting for.