Eros and the Divine Consort Juno
By Kim Falconer
Often even Juno, greatest of heaven dwellers, boiled with flaring wrath at her husband's fault, knowing the many intrigues of passionate Jove.
Juno differs from the other asteroid goddesses in her unwavering desire for marriage: Ceres prefers the company of the earth, her daughter and the occasional lover. A staunch virgin, Pallas Athena seeks the company of men as comrades in arms. Although offered the hand of marriage by Poseidon and Apollo, Vesta prefers to stay sequestered in her temple, content with managing the sacred flame of renewal. She welcomes men only as a consecrated act of divine union. Yet Juno wanted marriage.
Juno Jupiter, king of the pantheon of Mt. Olympus, to be her lawfully wedded husband. Originally a virgin sky deity in her own right, her marriage to Zeus is thought to represents a merging of two cults that were once dissimilar. How ever it came about, the marriage of Jupiter and Juno was a rocky one.
As he did most women, Jupiter made various attempts to seduce Juno early on, but she would not submit to him unless he promised to marry her. His desire must have been great, because he agreed and they were married on Mt. Olympus with all the gods and goddesses in attendance.
Although Juno was faithful to her marriage vows, the mighty Zeus certainly was not. The more furious, vengeful, and jealous Juno became, the more he sought the extramarital company of other goddesses, mortals and youths. Their relationship seems volatile and laced with domestic violence, threats and deception. Juno also persecuted the illegitimate offspring of her husband’s escapades (as seen in the story of Hercules) with relentless cruelty. In spite of this, Jupiter continued his myriad affairs yet still longed for his wife. They had at least three children together.
Primarily the goddess of marriage and maternity, Hera/Juno rules over all aspects of the feminine. She is the image of the archetypal divine consort and while long-term committed relationship is her realm, she did have dealings with Eros. Aristophanes tells us that golden winged Eros drove Juno’s chariot and then presided over her wedding to Jupiter. Although the domains of wedlock and erotic love are not the same, there is a sense of acknowledgement and support from Eros. This is not reciprocated by Juno when it comes to illicit love.
When Eros and Juno meet by opposition, the qualities of risk, passion, intimacy and transformation may merge with those of a committed relationship and the desire for ongoing union with a partner. This is not always an easy mixture. Eros wants erotic excitement, change and growth; Juno wants stability, commitment and ongoing relationship. The two are basically antithetical.
Eros and Aphrodite
me a thousand kisses, then a hundred, then a thousand more. --Catullus
Asteroid 1388 Aphrodite orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter, taking a little longer than 16 Psyche to make the circuit—5.24 years. She was discovered on September 24, 1935. Interestingly, on September 24, 2004, she will conjunct Eros at 3 degrees of Cancer.
As a goddess, Aphrodite is whimsical, demanding, licentious and immoral. She inflicts mortals with outrageous lusts and yearnings, often very species inappropriate. Her brand of love is epithemia; a touch me, taste me, tickle me kind of love—the more exotic, the better.
Her adventures revolved around the art of seduction, revenge and conquest, though not the conquest of the mind but of the heart. She wore a magic girdle that had the power to enrapture the emotions of anyone, mortal and god alike. She used her girdle not unlike the darts of Eros, although she was known to loan it out, something Eros never did with his quiver and bow.
Many of the attributes of Aphrodite coincide with those of Eros, her son and companion. They both incite strong passions in gods and mortals alike with their enchantments of desire. They have lustful adventures, stirring up trouble wherever they go. In many ways, they act as a team, Eros often taking the role of messenger to his mother not unlike Hermes was messenger to his father Zeus. In combination, the two can bring together the epithemia (physical sensuality) of Venus and the erotic nature of Eros. When conjunct, we expect to encounter both in unison. At a minimum, it indicates very tangible desires.
Erotic relationships do not necessarily involve sexual attraction, yet with this combination, they most often will. In myth, both Eros and Aphrodite ignited each other’s passions, though seemingly inadvertently.
When Aphrodite was playing with her young son, she unwittingly pricked herself with one of his arrows causing her to swoon helplessly in love with the youth Adonis. Later, it was Aphrodite who sent Eros to dispose of the mortal Psyche, and in doing so, he accidentally pricked himself on his arrow, beginning their turbulent romance.
Like Eros, the parentage of Aphrodite is duplicate. Hesiod has her born from the severed phallus of Uranus when Cronus lopped them off and flung them into the sea. The drops of blood hitting the earth sprouted the Erynies and Aphrodite was born out of the foaming surf. This genealogy links her, like Eros, to the Erynies or goddesses of vengeance. Fittingly, much of the mythology of Aphrodite/Venus revolves around her wrath and revenge.
Homer, on the other hand, portrays Aphrodite as the daughter of the minor goddess Dione and therefore belonging to the younger generation of gods. This is commensurate with the two genealogies of Eros, one as an original deity born of Chaos and the other the son of Aphrodite.
The discrepancy between the two versions gave rise to one of the most important philosophical discussions of myth in classical literature: the speech of Pausanias in Plato's Symposium. Pausanias compares the original, motherless Aphrodite as 'Ourania' (literally 'heavenly') and the younger, 'Pandemos' or 'vulgar', 'of the people'. He also likens the elder Eros to a spiritual love and the son of Aphrodite to raw, and often uncontrollable, passions.
The asteroid Aphrodite together with Eros may bring a feeling of rapacious sexual desire, passion and compulsion to whatever planet or house it touched.
Eros and Cupido
lyric Love, half angle and half bird,
And all a wonder and a wild desire.
Asteroid 763 Cupido orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter taking 3.35 years to complete a return.
Cupido in Latin means "longing, desire, desire for power, ambition and avarice". It is physical desire personified in the god of love. The name links to the Greek Eros through the Latin designation Cupid. There is certainly an association to longing for union in this asteroid.
763 Cupido seems to relate specifically to the image and the “look” of love. It evokes the story of Narcissus, a young Thespian whom the nymph Echo fell in love with.
Echo was a handmaiden of Hera, known to distract her goddess when Zeus wanted to fool around with someone else. Echo would chat and sing to Hera while Zeus slipped away.
Hers discovered the betrayal and cursed Echo with the loss of speech. From then on she could only speak the last syllable of every work uttered in her presence. In this state, Echo fell in love with Narcissus but was unable to communicate. He didn’t understand her declarations of love and rejected her.
Devastated, she spent the rest of her life hiding in caverns. She died, in some versions, of a broken heart.
The gods punished Narcissus for his insensitivity, cursing him such that if he ever saw his own image he would die. One day, he leaned over a beautiful pond and saw his own reflection. In that moment he fell in love with himself, and drowned.
There is a link somehow between what we see, what we perceive, and the image of Self. Narcissus is an archetype of self love and although he took it to extremes, it is a necessary component of loving someone else. It is the first step.
Cupido can be the “look of love,” tantalized by an image to the degree that seeing it can be either enrapturing or foreboding. Cupido is associated with new love, first love, or even “love at first sight”.
With Eros conjunct Cupido at 13 degrees of Cancer on October 6th, we have not only a conjunction but one at a critical degree. (13 degrees of a cardinal sign)
EROS BY TRANSIT
The following delineations look at the transit of Eros through CANCER
Those with the Sun in Aries, or Aries in or ruling the first house, may find the passage of Eros through Cancer a time of deep awakening. Eros here can rouse feelings of excitement, animation and a desire for intimacy and creativity within the domestic environment. If the family life has become staid or barren, Eros in this sign could cause a flurry of disruptions. It strikes like lightening into the heart of the matter! What do you need to do to instill an experience of the erotic into the core of your being? Are you feeling authentic in your home, family and sense of emotional security? Are their issues to address with parents or parental figures? Eros here is going to encourage you to ponder these things in the most stimulating way!
Those with the Sun in Taurus, or Taurus in or ruling the first house, are going to find that communications of all kinds—fax , letters, emails, phone calls and face to face debates—spice up like an exotic recipe. Everything out of the ordinary, from mixed up messages to passionate love letters are possible now as Eros wings crafty and vivacious through this sign. Intriguing experiences could arise between siblings, those part-way related and community members. Creative projects are possible as long as things stays above board. This is a time to learn about feelings of desire, creative longing and poetic musing. Taking time to read, study, talk, debate, share information or explore the internet will help awaken the potentials of this transit.
Those with the Sun in the sign of the Twins, or Gemini in or ruling the first house can use the time of Eros in Cancer to augment or bolster income, talents and resources! Eros will help you get in touch with passion and creative longings. If the job at hand is too routine, predictable and boring, you may want to break out. Decisions are best made after the new Moon on October 14th, so use this period to ponder and reflect. What do you value that is going to put pizzazz in your life? This is a time to investigate the possibility that what you really want and what you are actually doing are two disparate things. Change is possible once you have connected with your feelings. Avoid acting on a whim. If a new relationship starts up now, give it a little time before you commit.
Those with the Sun in the sign of the Crab, or Cancer in or ruling the first house may experience the passage of Eros through your own sign as forceful and invigorating. When Eros touches your Sun, and perhaps other personal planets or Ascendant, the thrill of love, creativity and passion may embrace your heart. This is a productive time to examine your artistic life, your goals, hobbies and modes of self-expression. Are they challenging? Are they authentic? It is also a time where you may feel more erotic in your self-expression. Do you have a relationship that can contain feelings of passion, desire and longing? How's your sex life? Eros sweeps through Cancer just ahead of Saturn’s final 8 months there and conjuncts several other asteroids en route. Consider this a celebration time and a questioning time. How you respond now will foreshadow greater events in the near future.
Those with the Sun in its own sign of the Lion, or Leo in or ruling the first house may use this transit of Eros through Cancer to discover new connections between the conscious and unconscious mind. So much is operating under the surface and behind the scenes! You are going to be more aware of these shadowy undercurrents in life, either through dreams, artistic expression, books you read, movies you watch, synchronistic events or forms of psychoanalysis or body work therapy. You will also be aware of the separate nature of existence. Eros now may ask you to examine your sense of connection with all life and your feelings of intimacy in personal relationships. Are you bonded? Are you linked? Eros through Cancer will give you a chance to enhance your most personal ties in creative ways!
Those with the Sun in Virgo, or Virgo in or ruling the first house may find this a time of increased social activity, stimulating group projects and a feeling of connection and closeness with friends and other like minded people. You are going to want to mingle! Someone you always considered a pal or comrade may appear in new light, making your heart pound and your eyebrows lift. This may be a creative thrill, or an intimate one, either way, fresh enthusiasm is at hand. This transit is likely to awaken your desires to become everything you can possibly be. Perhaps you will feel inspired to take a course, finish a degree, look for a new job or expand the depths of your relationships. Whatever for it takes, Eros now is your ally in the fight to become exactly who you are!
Those with the Sun in Libra, or Libra in or ruling the first house may find themselves revealing their more sensual, passionate and creative side to the public. This is a time to express openly your natural sexuality, your spunky social grace and your astute creative eye. You may find that “the public” is more responsive to these qualities, as if they just never really saw you fully before. For those working in more social fields, this is going to be a productive and creative experience. If your job keeps you behind the scenes, you may find yourself hankering for more exposure. Questioning your career, your public image, your associations with groups of people and other aspects of social standing are constructive now. The answers you find will help you make creative choices in the near future.
Those with the Sun in the sign of the Archer or Sagittarius in or ruling the first house may find the transit of Eros through Cancer an experience of deepening connections with significant others. The desire is to make all important contacts an experience of erotic transformation and exuberant creativity. This, naturally, is a bit ask. In sweeping fashion, you might feel it is your mission to nurture, love and possibly seduce all those in your path. The key to this time will be in selectivity and sensitivity. Be circumspect around who you “select” and sensitive to the needs, goals and emotional maturity of others. You have a gift right now to enhance your experiences in deep, rich and erotic ways. Make sure that the ones you are enhancing with feel the same way. This is about merging, not coercion.
Those with the Sun in the sign of the Sea-goat, or Capricorn in or ruling the first house may find the transit of Eros through Cancer awakens and refreshes their desire for intimacy and union. This is a time to let the sun shine on all partnerships and bask in the warmth that they provide. Single or isolated Sea-Goats are going to feel irksome at the lack of contact now and frustrations can surface when least expected. Use this transit to help clarify your needs and desires where socially significant relationships are concerned. Are you connected in ways that offer fulfillment and nurturing in your life? Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to “let” others care for you? Do you always have to be the capable one? Answers will pave the way for the next eight months of Saturn in your solar seventh house! Use the time well.
Those with the Sun in the sign of the Water-bearer, or with Aquarius in or ruling the first house, may find the transit of Eros through Cancer rejuvenates their sense of meaning and ritual in life. All the little things become more significant and it is important to create a sense of order and sequence to the necessities you carry out. Eros wants to explore deep intimacy and creative expression. Some busy Aquarians may not feel they have the time for such pursuits. To avoid raising the ire of this god, you may want to adjust your routine somewhat to accommodate the guest. This is a time to enhance connections with those who touch your life daily and to honor the talents, skills and attributes you strive to express. There is a link to the body here and physical intimacy needs to be authentic as well as erotic. Discover what it is!
Those with the Sun in the sign of the Fishes, or Pisces in or ruling the first house, may find this transit of Eros brings a blast of romance to life in ways quite unexpected. Lightening could definitely strike! At a minimum, you will feel more youthful, expressive and free. This is a time to paint and write and sing and dance, whether these are attributes of your adult life or not. Honoring the inner child with fun adventures, going to meetings based exclusively on pleasure and creative expression or doing anything that puts you in the spot light will be of benefit. Somehow, you will discover the significance of “play” and the vitality of having fun with those you care for. Avoid isolation, and no matter how many dead-lines, report dates, exams or extensions are staring you in your face, give yourself the gift of enjoyment through connection with those of heartfelt compatibility