Cosmic Reporter: An Interview with Demetra George
This is a re-posting of the Cosmic Reporter's blog from October 20, 2008
Goddess Powers: An Interview with Astrologer Demetra George
This week we’re offering a 10% discount on our Goddess Powers Astrology report, which examines four asteroids in your birth chart to reveal your personal goddess energies. Demetra George, the author of this report, has been active in Astrology since 1971 and specializes in archetypal mythology and ancient techniques. She is the author of several books, including the pioneering Asteroid Goddesses.
Demetra also leads tours to sacred sites, and I got to talk with her just after she returned from Greece.
Cosmic Reporter: How was your trip?
Demetra George: Greece was absolutely beautiful — I was struck by the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. Something I had always known is that the energies of the divine tended to congregate in certain landscapes because of the power of their beauty. So temples were built to mark those places, but even though many of those temples have fallen, the power of the deities is still in the landscape.
I’ve been leading tours to Greece since 1992 but as of several years ago I joined together with Dennis Harness to form Ancient Oracle Tours. The underlying concept of the tours is the integration of Astrology, mythology, ancient history and archetypal psychology in sacred sites. We brought people to Greece this year, and we have an upcoming trip to India in a few weeks and plans for Egypt next year.
In terms of the Goddess Report, I’m planning a trip in 2011 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of my book Asteroid Goddesses. I’m making an itinerary that goes to the sacred sites of these goddesses — Ceres, Juno, Vesta and Pallas.
In the tours I work with this astrological material in an embodied sense. In the ancient literature, one of the beliefs is that diseases were sent by the gods because of a transgression or offense to the gods. When a person was ill and there was no obvious cause, they were sent to the Oracle to find out which god was offended, and then they would be sent to the site of that deity to make offerings or amends. This concept has been incorporated into modern archetypal psychology — that disease can be caused by disowning parts of the self, and that healing involves integration of these rejected parts.
On these tours we look to see which gods and goddesses are most prominent in a person’s birth chart. When we go to those sites, participants have the opportunity to do personal meditation there to ask for insight and healing for the part of their life that’s been out of balance or causing pain and suffering. So even though we have a lot of fun on these trips, they’re spiritual pilgrimages to bring healing into one’s life. This is how we blend Astrology, mythology, healing and ritual in these places of power.
CR: How did you get interested in working with the asteroids?
DG: I’m Greek by birth — all of my grandparents were born in Greece and came to America in the 1920s. My bedtime stories, as told by my great grandmothers, were myths of the Greek gods and goddesses, and I always wondered how I might be able to incorporate the love of the stories and traditions into my work.
In my early 20s, when I had just gotten into Astrology, at the first conference I went to I accidentally ran into Eleanor Bach who had just published the first ephemerides or tables of the first four asteroids. When she asked my name and found out it was the equivalent of the goddess Ceres, she looked it up in my chart and found it was opposite my Sun. So she gave me a copy of her book.
I started using the asteroids in people’s charts because this astrologer was kind enough to give me her book at my first Astrology conference. Since these asteroids were new and astrologers hadn’t yet written about them, I went back to the myths. When I saw that an asteroid was strong in a person’s chart, I would tell them the story of the myth and they would say, “You just told me the story of my life!”
When a planetary body is prominent in the sky at the moment of birth, then the mythological story associated with that planet’s namesake becomes a major theme in the person’s life, shaping their experience and destiny. So this is how I got to work with Astrology, mythology and healing.
CR: How did the asteroids come to be associated with goddesses?
DG: Whenever an astronomer discovers a planet, they have the privilege of naming it. The first of the asteroids was discovered on New Year’s Eve in 1800 by Father Giuseppe Piazzi, who was a priest. He decided to name it Ceres after the goddess of his native land because his observatory was one of the sites where Pluto or Hades was said to have abducted her (Ceres’s) daughter Persephone. And this set the precedent for the other asteroids that were discovered to also be named after the goddesses of antiquity.
Esoteric Astrology works with the idea “as above, so below.” It has been suggested that planets in the solar system correspond to centers of consciousness in the human psyche. When planets are discovered and named, it represents an awakening of consciousness. The fact that these planets were named after goddesses reflects an awakening — or reawakening — of the feminine principle in society.
Until 1973 there were no tables for astrologers to put these goddess asteroids into charts. 1973 corresponds to the awakening of feminist consciousness — many more roles became available for the expression of feminine energies. Before the 1970s the only feminine planets were Venus, representing the role of wife, and the Moon, representing mother. The inclusion of feminine asteroids in the astrological pantheon was symbolic of the larger cultural phenomenon of a fuller expression of feminine energies as they operated — not only in women but men as well, and society and culture in general.
You could say that, since it’s up to the discretion of the astronomer to name the asteroids, this is arbitrary, and how could that relate to the asteroid’s meaning in a chart? But if we believe that this is a holistic universe, and that there’s a creative intelligence that permeates the universe — and in my opinion this is the only model in which Astrology can work — then the mind of the astronomer is tuned into the mind of the collective in giving a planet its name.
CR: Are there any asteroid goddesses who are particularly associated with the Halloween season?
DG: The goddesses of the Underworld — Hecate and Persephone are two goddesses associated with being guardians of the souls of the dead who initiate people into the rites of rebirth. In my book Finding Our Way Through the Dark, I have ephemerides that allow people to place those asteroids in the chart as well.
CR: What are you currently working on?
DG: I’ve just completed a new book, Astrology and the Authentic Self, which will be published in November this year. And then I hope in January to be able to start on another asteroid book where I set forth stories about 250 additional asteroids, so people can find out how they are shaping influences and guardians of their lives.
CR: Thank you, Demetra!
Find out about the asteroid goddesses in your own chart — and take advantage of our Halloween discount — get your Goddess Powers Astrology report this week!
It's great to hear from Demetra again. I love what she has done for our insight and work with the asteroids in the charts. I knew her when.....