Ceres is sometimes deemed an asteroid, at others a dwarf planet. Either way it is the largest object in the asteroid belt and, as such, is of unquestionable significance. Ceres speaks of how and where we seek nourishment. What we need to foster a healthy self-esteem, how we manage attachments, loves and losses and, perhaps most important of all, how we nurture ourselves and meet our own needs. When Ceres is retrograde this final issue is of particular importance, for it turns us back into ourselves to discover our inner parent in all its forms. In doing so it encourages us to withdraw all authority we project onto others and claim for ourselves our own sovereign ability to determine and shape our own lives.
The ability to parent ourselves is vital to the growth of both a healthy ego and a strong spirit. In Aquarius, Ceres speaks of the value of independent and unique expression which may, at times, separate us from others. Unwilling to compromise, it knows that time spent alone with our authentic self is infinitely more precious than time spent propagating a false self in return for companionship. That said, an effective inner parent knows when to bring our aloneness to an end and engage with others even if doing so demands compromise. No rebel can lead a revolution alone. Allies are needed and support important on the path to a new way of being. Alone time is vital, as are relationships. In the coming months we must develop the capacity to discern how best to balance these needs in such a way that we foster both our own Real Self and relationships with those who recognise that self, even when theirs may look very different.
Developing the capacity to meet our own needs, to comfort, soothe, take in hand and encourage ourselves, is vital as we awaken to change and express inner transformation through consequent external shifts. If we need others to tell us what to do, approve of our decisions or support us no matter what, we are limiting our capacity to become who we really are. Likewise if we are unable to connect in times of trouble, reach out when support is necessary and stick with significant others through the messy patches of human relationships we will lose out on the quickening power of our very humanity to catalyse inner and outer change. Human beings are social animals, but we need to socialise with ourselves above all else, developing a deep rooted relationship with our own authority to manage interaction with that of others. Without this boundaries blur, external expectations shape who we become and the confidence to fully face life and its challenges is never given a chance to grow.
In the coming months of Ceres’s retrograde passage we have an opportunity to consider issues of our own identity: where and how we receive affirmation of our worth, of who we are and which aspects of our nature are most important. In doing so the heavens invite us to loosen energetic ties and allow ourselves to drift a little further away from the ego strokes offered by the world around us. This isn’t about burning bridges and rejecting the attention of others, but instead managing our energetic attachment to their opinions, creating space to form our own and decide where to go from here.
Aspects of self are frequently concretised by the attention of other people. We give great weight to third-party opinions! If a particular facet of our being elicits acceptance and praise it may be hard to release if the time comes to do so. Valuing ourselves aside from the opinions of others enables the development of a stable and secure sense of self rooted in sacred source. This self can withstand the vicissitudes of relationships, twists and turns of fate and the ups and downs of life in the human realm. External conditions can be fleeting and ephemeral but what lies at our core will sustain us through the deepest and most profound change. It connects us with the ever-present divine in which is found our true being, no matter what anyone may think, feel or do. Anchored in this way we can honour truth and steer our own course, even if we must do so alone.
It is time to reflect on how we became who we are. If others have defined us we can release attachment to that identity, creating space for a deeper identification to arise: with who we are on the inside, the quality of our inner being, the pure awareness that rests at our core. When we find ourself in these we become less tied to the external world where appearances can deceive and what satisfies people one day may garner their rejection the next. Time, now, to foster our own inner parent who loves us unconditionally, knows us inside out and wants only the best for us. Who encourages, accepts and challenges us to rise up to our highest expression, whilst catching us with love if we fall. This is retrograde Ceres’s gift to us: security in the knowledge that we can meet our own needs, decide our own fate and know ourselves as the ever still presence at our core, no matter who or what may decide to make or break our day.