The asteroids Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta all made a startling appearance at Joe Biden’s Inauguration, as witnesses to the oath he took as President of the United States. In the days around January 20th, three of the four asteroids made returns to their natal positions in Biden’s chart, and the fourth was standing on the summit of his Midheaven degree. This was an unusual and striking confluence of their individual cycles relative to his chart, a day when they all spoke in unison restating their visions for him on behalf of the country.
Download a copy of Biden’s Inauguration chart
The Inauguration ceremony marks the beginning of his administration and thus can be seen an electional chart, describing the trajectory of his term in the office of President. The presence of these asteroid goddesses in key positions relative to his natal chart embedded their individual concerns into Biden’s agenda for the next four years. (In the accompanying diagram, Biden’s chart is in the inner wheel and the transits for January 20, 2021 at 12 noon are in the outer wheel. Note the transiting asteroids conjunct natal points that are circled.) The asteroids have an approximate four-year orbit through the zodiac, but similar to the other planets they have variable periods of retrograde motion. They return to their natal position about every four years; but what is unusual is when they make their individual returns at the same time.
In Greek myth Juno was best known as a goddess who took a stand for justice and equality in relationships. In my double webinar Asteroids Goddesses 2020 (part 1) and part 2 surveying the role the four major asteroids in the history of women’s rights, Juno was the most prominent in the charts of the leaders and critical moments for women’s suffrage and for civil rights of all classes of oppressed peoples. In Biden’s natal chart, Juno is at 9 Sagittarius conjunct his Ascendant and signifies signifying his lifelong commitment to equal partnerships and equal rights under the law for all people. On Inauguration Day, Juno at 10 Sagittarius had just returned to its natal position.
Ceres was named after a goddess who, unlike the other deities, lived on earth rather than in the heavens. Her concerns were the land itself and its agricultural productivity in order to feed the living, as well as a mother’s love to protect her child. The full impact of her power as a goddesses was to cause a famine which she would not lift in order to force the other gods to intervene and return her daughter who had been abducted to the underworld by Pluto. Ceres at 19 Pisces is conjunct the I.C. in Biden’s natal chart. On a personal level this placement speaks to the loss of his own children to death and his compassion for the grief and suffering for the losses of others. On a collective level, it points to his determination to reunite the children separated from their families at the border as well as his sweeping climate change policies to protect the earth itself from destruction. On Inauguration Day, Ceres at 18 Pisces was had returned to its natal position.
Pallas Athena was exalted as the goddess of wisdom and victory in war by means of strategy rather than by brute force. Her shield was emblazoned with the head of Medusa, an apotropaic symbol that defends against attack. She was also a goddess of healing and is associated with the body’s immune system defending itself against disease. Ancient literature recounts how by a vote of the majority, she won a contest to be the patron deity of Athens; but the repercussions were that women lost their rights of citizenship and the vote. Pallas also was famed for instituting the first court of law, marking the shift in ancient culture from justice by retribution and vengeance to that of trial and judgment by a jury of one’s peers. During 2020, Pallas was conjunct Jupiter and Pluto, lords of life and death, at each of their three historic conjunctions pointing to the intersectionality the pandemic, politics, voting, the integrity of election results and the courts. In Biden’s chart, natal Pallas is at 12 Aquarius and addresses his first priority to combat the attack of the COVID-19 virus and the second to protect voting rights. On Inauguration Day, Pallas at 14 Aquarius had returned to its natal position a week earlier.
Vesta, the deity of the Roman Vestal Virgins, tended the eternally burning sacred flame that was thought to ensure the safety and protection of the Roman Empire. As the Greek Hestia, she presided over the sanctity of the home. In Biden’s chart, Vesta at 13 Aquarius is conjunct Pallas at 12 Aquarius. One could posit an interpretation that the heart of Biden’s concerns is to protect the homeland against threats, which is the primary responsibility of all presidents. At this time in 2021, the people of the United States are threatened by continued attack not only from the virus, but also from domestic and foreign agencies, including the spectre of global climate change. On Inauguration Day, Vesta at 21 Virgo was transiting across Biden’s natal tenth house Midheaven degree at 19 Virgo, symbolizing the pre-eminence of the flame of protection activating the summit of Biden’s natal chart. The Midheaven signifies the actions that a person takes and thereby shapes their honor, public reputation, and role in society.