Ceres connections in synastry can reveal how one person accepts (or doesn’t) their partner’s nurturing. “Nurturing” is defined as caring for someone, and fostering their growth. Ceres (or Demeter) is named after the Goddess of the crops. She had a daughter (Persephone) and they were close. So close, in fact, that Ceres never wanted to let her go. Then Pluto (or Hades) kidnapped Persephone and dragged her off to the Underworld. Ceres’ grief was intense. In retaliation, she denied mankind their food by making the crops wither and die; she was hurting, so everyone else would as well. A deal was eventually struck with Pluto, and Persephone was allowed to spend part of the year above ground, with her mother. This was when Ceres allowed the crops to grow. When Persephone spent the rest of the year below ground, the crops were dormant. So Ceres’ cycle of growth and loss reflects the cycle of life. In your chart, her sickle-shaped glyph describes how you handle that cycle. Aspects to Ceres between two charts will not make or break a relationship, but this asteroid gives insight into the intricacies of nurturing, separation and loss between two people.
Ceres in the Natal Chart
Natal Ceres by house, sign and planetary aspect describes the kind of nurturing you received as a child, the kind of nurturing you give and accept as an adult, and how you deal with the threat of loss. She is strongly associated with motherhood. For example, natal Ceres in 4th House (home and family) Gemini might indicate that your childhood home was a nurturing place. But Gemini’s domain is the mind, so maybe nurturing was not expressed primarily with food and cuddles. Your intellect and curiosity were nurtured instead. Home was a place where ideas could be safely exchanged, and you were encouraged to read, discuss and question. As an adult, you’re comfortable with a vibrant exchange of ideas, rather than hugs. But if your Ceres forms a square or opposition to another planet in your chart, that nurturing might have been blocked. Perhaps your mother didn’t allow open communication or questions. Ceres in the 8th House of intimacy suggests that your sharing of resources (sexual and financial) is wrapped up with nurturing. Harmonious aspects to natal planets would encourage a healthy expression (sex that nurtures, financial assistance with no strings). Hard aspect to natal planets might indicate difficulties opening up to, or letting go of, an intimate partner.
Ceres in Synastry
Ceres will not be prominent in all couples’ synastry. There may be no interaspects between your Ceres and your partners’ planets, and vice versa. This doesn’t mean there’s no nurturing between you. It simply indicates that Ceres’ themes are not dominant in your relationship. But when she is aspected, pay attention to what she’s saying.
Let’s say you have natal Ceres in Cancer, trining your Venus in Scorpio. You love (Venus) to take care of (Ceres in Cancer) your partner. Your brand of love is full-on mothering. You want to feed your partner and keep him safe. You need lots of hugs and intensive one-on-one time, because that’s what nurtures you. But your partner’s Saturn (limits) in Aries squares your Ceres. He is focused on being independent, and feels smothered by all the care you attempt to slather on him. You may get along great in other areas of your relationship, but when you try to look after him, he pushes you away. Is this a deal breaker? Not at all. But Ceres’ grief and loss (which are always there) will be triggered. You may take it very, very personally when your partner says “No thanks” to your care. But chances are, since your natal Ceres is in good shape (with its flowing trine to Venus) you’ll be able to handle this “loss” with equanimity. You’ll back off and give your partner space, even though you may always want to do more for him.
Problems arise when your natal Ceres forms hard aspects to your natal planets, and your partner triggers this. Maybe your Ceres squares your Pluto. The Ceres/Pluto dance is writ large in your chart. Perhaps as a child you experienced an intense loss (it might have involved your mother, or a crucial part of your security base). This trauma opened up a hole that you can’t seem to fill. Your partner’s Moon (needs) conjuncts your Ceres. On the one hand, you have the inside track on your partner’s needs. She is in tune with your brand of nurturing, because she needs what you have to offer. But her Moon also squares your Pluto, so your nurturing comes with a price. You want your lover to need you to the point that she can’t live without you. You almost like it when she’s ill, because that means you have control over her recovery. If you sniff even a hint of her pulling away, you panic. You become the Devouring Mother.
The key is realizing that the cycle of loss (and eventual growth) is part of everyone’s life. It happens to be pronounced in your life, but just because something was taken away in the past, doesn’t mean that the pattern needs to repeated in the future. Although, with Ceres square Pluto, that pattern can be repeated (as you drive your partner away) until you understand that you can’t compel someone to stay by your side.
When Ceres works well between two people, she makes a warm addition to the relationship. If you have Ceres in your 9th House (long distance travel, higher education, philosophy) nurturing involves an exploration of the unknown: stretching your boundaries, and taking your partner with you on a wonderful adventure or debate. In the courageous sign of Aries, you’ll do this in a way that pushes your lover to learn for himself, just as your independence was nurtured as a child. If your partner’s Sun conjuncts your Ceres, you’ve found a fabulous travelling companion. He accepts and encourages your adventurous style of getting your needs met, and he wants to share in the adventure. Maybe you’re the couple that goes on high-adrenaline vacations. Together, you feel totally happy and complete when you’re off climbing glaciers or trekking through the jungle. Clinginess or fear of losing the other is not an issue. This doesn’t sound like what most people associate with nurturing, but Ceres (when she’s healthy) indicates unconditional acceptance and care that makes you, and others, feel good. If you meet someone whose planets or angles make a harmonious connection to your Ceres, it feels just right.[/show_to]
Related: Ceres in Libra
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