eKC feature
August 31, 2006


The Dwarfing of Pluto: The Elevation of Ceres and the Divine Feminine
(Part One)

by Quan Tracy Cherry

Wow! The International Astronomers Union (IAU) has reclassified Pluto as a “dwarf planet.” My ilk is quick to dismiss it, but what does it mean that this decision occurred now? I postulate that is not the demotion of Pluto. It is the elevation of Ceres.

(In 1851, Ceres was demoted to asteroid status after being considered a planet for 50 years. 2003 UB313 (a k a Xena) while important does not have the centuries of observation behind her/it, so I will discuss this dwarf planet from a popular culture perspective later in the article.)

Astrologers are modern day storytellers. Loving the fact that some of my ancestors came from Western Africa (I fully plan to get DNA testing to conclusively know my folk were from Dahomey.), the term griot (West African storyteller) has genetic roots for me.

The story about Pluto/Hades is also known as myth. If it weren’t for the myths, I could easily be bored in my practice. I still have fond memories of Ms. Goldman’s Intro to Mythology course at Wayne State University, a course I took while an undergraduate in Detroit, MI. It made the daytime dramas infinitely more fascinating in knowing the back-story. To this day, I continue to record General Hospital.

Mythology of Pluto, Ceres and Persephone
When Zeus/Jupiter, Poseidon/Neptune and Hades/Pluto overthrew the Titans, the three brothers drew lots for which parts of the universe they would have dominion over. Zeus/Jupiter got Mount Olympus (and many lovers), Poseidon/Neptune had sovereignty over the seas and Hades/Pluto got the underworld. Needless to say, Pluto (I’ll use the Roman planet names hereafter) was not thrilled. Who would love this god? There are only two instances where he came up from the underworld and even then he possesses a hat that renders him invisible.

Ceres/Demeter and Persephone had an incredible mother and daughter bond. Through this blessed bond, there was a perpetual harvest on earth. Persephone grew into a hottie. Pluto noticed, along with others. Ceres watched her daughter like a hawk. One day, Persephone recognized a budding narcissus flower. She smelled and picked it. Earth opened up. Pluto abducted (and raped) her. Earth sealed back up. Where was the fair Persephone? No one knew.

Some accounts suggest the crone Hecate witnessed the event. Ceres took off her diadem. She refused to eat or bathe for nine days and nights. Either is was the seer and sun god Helios who told her where Persephone was, or Hecate. Whatever. The point is Ceres did not stay being the Goddess of grain. She wandered the earth as a grief stricken old woman and served as a nanny for a royal child in the city of Eleusis. Jupiter, however, allowed Persephone to stay in the underworld. Persephone ate pomegranate seeds (a no-no in the underworld). The compromise between Pluto and Ceres was for every pomegranate seed Persephone ate, she’d have to stay in the underworld with Pluto. To the ancient peasants this explained winter. When Persephone is with her husband, Ceres‚ grief causes nothing to grow, hence winter.

Modern Day Applications
“The classification doesn't matter, Pluto — and all solar system objects — are mysterious and exciting new worlds that need to be explored and better understood. Anytime we visit a new world — planet, moon, asteroid, comet, whatever — we make exciting and surprising new discoveries about the evolution of our solar system and about our own planet,” said Louis Friedman, executive director of The Planetary Society.

The lord of the underworld classified as mysterious? It’s a Pluto thang you wouldn’t understand. Unless you have a lot of Scorpio or have lived with or loved one of us, you just won’t understand. Like Will Smith first major hit, “Parents” — Pluto likes being misunderstood.

I know Pluto would enjoy being classified as mysterious. It was rumored that anytime he came to the upper world, he wore his invisibility hat. He and Scorpio rule over the mysteries of life — birth, death and sex. What really happens in the sex act? Have you seen someone leave his or her bodies at death? Where does our souls go? How do you recognize your soul?

These are the mysteries upon which Pluto feeds and thrives. Without mystery, Pluto atrophies and the world has little to no meaning. And, thanks to the IAU, the door has been unlocked to the mysteries of what makes a planet. Hallelujah! This weary astrologer generates immense affection all around anytime this adolescent society looks up and within instead of down and without.

It took Pluto moving into the sign of Scorpio 1983/84 for our planet to recognize that through AIDS when you have sex with someone, you have had sex with everyone that came before you. Yes, we are one. Pluto under his Greek incarnation is called Hades, which is sometimes spelled Aides. Coincidence? As an astrologer, griot and symbolist, I use all available information as fodder for our soul’s growth. After all, the soul sets up our physical existence for our ability to evolve, solar systems and all.

Though astronomers have little respect for their ancient astrological roots, astrology continues to thrive and insinuate itself into our modern day culture as a visionary art form and sacred language. Planets are named after the gods and goddesses of old. However, the downgrading of Pluto paved the way for a reclassification of the largest asteroid, Ceres. She was the first to be discovered on January 1, 1801, technically the first day of the 19th century.

The IAU classified Pluto, Ceres and 2003 UB313 (a k a Xena) as “dwarf planets” near the beginning of the 21st century. Y2K notwithstanding, a new day and vision have become very necessary. As in the 19th century, when women and blacks were at best second class citizens, what does this dwarfing of Pluto but equalizing with Ceres foretell for the second class citizens or the developing world of our global village?

Pluto as mythological enemy of Ceres centuries later has been irrevocably tied to her, just like these two had to share Persephone. Whatever the scientists determine in the future, these two dwarf planets symbolize the focus and emphasis on the feminine energies on this planet.

Astrologers As Pioneering Visionaries
We have a role to play in society as astrologers. The storytellers, for sure, keep the dreams alive for humanity (shades of Dr. King and Carl Jung). Yet, as pioneers we cannot stop to tailor our visions or messages in order to be accepted. Pioneers must be unconcerned with popularity polls or setting up rules. Leave that for those who want to lead and manage. Inspire folk to think for themselves, that is one of the best functions of an astrologer or reader who uses what Jung called “great dreams of humanity” (myths) in their practice and daily lives.

What are the chances that the largest asteroid would be considered a dwarf planet at the same time the planet that shares the most intimate ancient mythology is demoted? Is there nothing to the old stories and myths? Even the most skeptical has to rethink the connection between art and science, astrology and astronomy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m wholly unconcerned about what astronomers think about my astrological practice and knowledge. I think astrologers as storytellers inspire people to gain self-awareness and hopefully live more fulfilling lives.

Xena As Ruler
Consider the other dwarf planet, Xena, named after a fictional character on television. Xena, The Warrior Princess, was a cult favorite among many lesbians and gay men. The relationship between Xena and Gabrielle had many homoerotic currents. Xena (rumored to be fathered by Aries/Mars) was a female-centric show. Like Persephone, Xena took a journey away from her mother and developed her own identity. The show featured a powerful woman warrior (Amazonian in makeup) who blended masculine and feminine traits expertly.

Xena was not a butch dyke, lipstick lesbian or ball breaker. Her character exemplified a life of integrating strength and compassion (certainly for Gabrielle and any folk who needed defending). Sure, it was campy (I purchased a bumper sticker that read “Xena Rules.” Yes, it was in San Francisco and it had a small rainbow border). I enjoy the fact that the writers used many mythological elements in their writing. (Have you seen the Excedrin commercial depicting Poseidon with a headache and a boat on a tempestuous sea?)

For the record, this pioneering visionary would love to live in a world where Xena rules. Maybe, just maybe, this third dwarf planet has a hidden agenda and vision of true peace and contentment. I understand it was a television show. However, remember the etymology of the word “television?” It means, “see from afar.” Are the planets near us? We see them from afar. As our lives become increasingly complex, we pick up quick sound bites in order to understand the nature of our reality. Xena is as good an anchor as what we feed ourselves through the daily news or propaganda. Scheeh, she is even better.

As ruler, Xena would have a society where women and men could fulfill untraditional gender roles. True visions, real ones can only occur when our inner contra sexual energies are in sync. In other words, each female has an internal masculine energy a k a animus (Jung) and each male has an internal feminine energy a k a anima. When Pluto was discovered in 1930, psychologically driven words such as projection, subconscious and persona were not widely used. But, today we talk about our subconscious and ego did this or that as we talk about the weather. And, you think I care what a bunch of astronomers say about Pluto?

Dwarfing Pluto Does Not Affect My Astrological Practice
In order to be a practicing astrologer in this buckle of the Bible belt, I’ve developed a resiliency that consistently surprises me. In January 2006, I celebrated my tenth anniversary of being a full time astrologer. As a non-practicing attorney, I continually educate myself as if I were a practicing one. Lawyers have to enroll in continuing education to keep their licenses active; I do the same just with astrology. Had I been a practicing lawyer, I would not have the breadth or depth of knowledge I do now. Astrology and its symbols can be applied to all aspects of human life.

If I had maintained my fundamentalist roots, I would not be here writing this article. My brothers told me in 1985 that I would die at Armageddon if I left being a Jehovah’s Witness. I did die. I died to a life of spiritual famine like Ceres wandering the earth as a bereaved old woman except encapsulated in a young black male one. Before I studied astrology, I chose to leave religion, career, home and family. At that time, Pluto (transformation/death/rebirth) was transiting over my Sun (consciousness, identity, ego).

Again, I ask the question, what do these astronomers know about the working of true spirit and soul? Not a whole lot. At least 30% of my clients come to see Pluto’s child (I am Scorpio, Pluto rules my sign) when they are having major aspects (communicative angles) to their Sun, Moon or other intricately connected planets in their natal charts. If it were not for Pluto, I would not have a practice.

If I were not born a Scorpio, I would not have this passionate interest in what drives people. Hell, I like the dwarf planet classification, Pluto and his children get more done when they are not in spotlight (remember his invisibility hat, shades of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak). Pluto also gives us the knowledge of what is hidden from view. He knows knowledge is power, and he will share only with those who are relentless in their quest for evolution.

Let Your Will Take Place
There is a pagan maxim “As above, so below” or for the Jesus-centered “Let your will take place on earth as it in heavens.” The theory (which I know is true) when we are ready for evolution on earth, planets are discovered or reclassified. Similar to an actor taking her cue about when to go on stage, Pluto revealed himself in 1930 smack dab between two world wars and more than a smattering of megalomaniacs. Depth psychology was in its toddler stages. It was as taboo to see a shrink as it is today to see an astrologer. Humans developed the capacity to wipe life off this planet. The underworld symbolically represents what is hidden, repressed or denied in psychological terms. Yet, in mythological terms Pluto was the lord of death, rebirth and transformation. As a collective, we are primed for another major change.

You may be thinking how does a reclassification mean all of this? For decades now there has been a realigning of male and female energies. We have done patriarchy (remember how Jupiter did nothing regarding Persephone’s abduction and rape?) How phallocentric! Jupiter represents the spirit behind written laws. How many times does this society blame victims of rape or abduction? Know about the Stockholm syndrome as it relates to the complex relationship developed between abductors and the abducted?

Before patriarchy, matriarchy existed. Imagine the bliss between mother and daughter in the Ceres and Persephone story. Imagine a world without harsh winters. Imagine a time where all children are wanted and protected. In essence, this third millennium demands we grow to balance our male and female sides of ourselves. In this dawning of the Age of Aquarius, we can no longer project the undeveloped sides of our natures onto others.

Know this: What will save this planet is what saved Ceres and Pluto — compromise. Ceres fed everyone. As the granddaughter of Gaia and in her role as universal mother, to this day she carries the promise of sustenance of all. When Ceres could not care for her own daughter, she cared for other people’s children (royal child, Demophoon — are we not all someone’s child?) But, when there is excessive attachment (yin, feminine), the universe balances it out through separation and individuality (yang, masculine) or vice versa in the case of Pluto and living in the underworld all alone. It is a simple but difficult timeless truth.

(In Part Two, I will explore a new definition of the family and offer future visions for the planet.)

More information on Quan Tracy Cherry can be found at www.beliefisnotrequired.com


2005 Discovery Publications, Inc. 104 E. 5th St., Ste. 201, Kansas City, MO 64106
(816) 474-1516; toll free (800) 899-9730; fax (816) 474-1427

The contents of eKC are the property of Discovery Publications, Inc., and protected under Copyright.
No portion may be reproduced in whole or part by any means without the permission of the publisher. Read our Privacy Policy.