What do you see when you look at an asteroid?

I want us to be very careful how we approach this subject, because astrologers new to this study are jumping on the asteroid bandwagon, and there is much that is not known about these drifting clumps of rock.

One thing that is known about them, however, is that they change color and they endure a kind of earthquake when they hit Earth’s atmosphere.

The infrared technology I mentioned last month is discovering interesting things about asteroids, including the wonderment that when meteorites (chunks of asteroids) land on Earth, they are not the same color as when they started out in the heavens, and that contact with Earth disturbs the asteroid’s surface, so that it is, in fact, resurfaced as it passes by us.

Dr. Clark Chapman, an astronomer from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, in the United States, explained that these asteroids were “not monolithic, solid bodies”, because they were more like “rubble piles”.

Those of you who see this when they look at asteroids:

Demeter welcomes Persephone back, thanks to Hermes

are seeing the romanticised version of reality. In reality, asteroids look a little bit like this, an artist’s rendering of spacedust:

Pile of rubble orbiting Earth erratically

Now, according to Astrology.com, this is their take on asteroids and their usefulness to chart interpretation:

Some asteroids have been found to have astrological value, especially with relation to women’s issues and the development of influences more related to the feminine side and the power of the goddess. These tiny planetoids are generally found orbiting the Sun in a belt between Mars and Jupiter comprising thousands of cosmic boulders, some as little as a few meters across and some reasonably large. However, their orbits are variable and those described in this article have been found to be useful in modern astrology.

As always, I caution against easy acceptance of the value of a piece of spacedust, and want you to ask yourself, why am I naming this piece of space rock, why am I giving it value when it could disintegrate any time now, what do I hope to gain by applying a Greek myth to my life… etc. You know the tune by now.

However, having said that, asteroids are pretty interesting, but are they what we need in astrological study? As a woman, I want something sturdier than spacedust representing my issues, let me tell you. I’d like a few more honest-to-god planets, for one thing, not piles of rubble representing “the goddess.” This goddess is crumbling fast, and an asteroid’s resurfacing as it touches Earth’s atmosphere is one more reminder that I need to keep my supply of L’Occitane’s Orange Oil sugar scrub on hand, to resurface my own decaying exterior shell.

Asteroids seem to function mostly as a way to open up our imagination to the pantheon of gods and goddesses, and if they teach us the structure of Greek mythology, or other cultural myths, that’s great. That is ideal, in fact. By doing so, asteroids (and planets, of course) have taken on the role for modern humans that worship of gods and goddesses had for the ancients.

They went to a shrine and contemplated the ways in which the god or goddess reminded them of their daily lives, and if asteroids become attached to a storyline, and that story tells us something about ourselves, maybe we’ll learn something profound.

So do not stop looking at asteroids and thinking about them; just keep in mind that they crumble into dust really easily. They also go missing. Jodie Foster, the actress, had an asteroid named after her. The asteroid is now lost, and hasn’t been seen again. I hope this doesn’t have negative ramifications on her career, although it would appear that her life and Asteroid 17744 Jodiefoster (a Mars-crossing asteroid discovered on January 18, 1998 by the OCA-DLR Asteroid Survey) probably have little to do with one another.