Asteroid 17 Thetis


Asteroid 17 Thetis is a bright, main belt asteroid, discovered on April 17, 1852 by R. Luther. She takes just under four years to orbit the Sun, spending around three months in each sign, orbit and retrograde dependent.


In Ancient Greece, Thetis was the ocean nymph and mother of Achilles. It was stated in a prophecy by Themis, that one of her offspring would eventually overthrow Zeus from his throne. So despite her being fancied by the King of the Gods and his watery brother Poseidon, it was arranged that she would be married to the mortal Peleus. She hated the idea and protested loudly. But Chiron was one step ahead of her and had already told Peleus to tether her tightly whilst she slept. She thrashed about, morphing into her numerous shape-shifting forms – the flame, water, a lion and a serpent – before, finally, exhausted, she consented to the marriage.

The wedding was all set, outside of the Chiron’s cave and it was full of magic, mayhem and great presents! Poseidon handed over two immortal horses, Hephaestus made a fancy blade, Athene gifted a gorgeous spear. Even Apollo was there, playing his lyre whilst the Muses set the scene by singing in the background. But then, we have translation probability and the interjection of one of those people who seriously should not be anywhere near Facebook – Eris! Yes, it is also claimed as a possibility that the uninvited Eris dropped the golden apple A-bomb at this wedding too. Maybe it was a side business of hers? Who knows, but anyway, we have the Goddesses fluffing about who is the fairest etc etc read more here..

Over time, Thetis gave birth to seven children, killing six of them by testing their immortality by tossing them into a fire. Achilles was her last and here, the story variations divide. She either bathed him in ambrosia, introducing him to fire bit by bit, slowly turning him into an immortal – until Peleus caught her fussing over the last ankle and hit the roof. OR, she held him by the ankle as she dowsed him in the river Styx, thus leaving him with the one area of mortality. After Thetis was discovered for her efforts to alter Achilles dynamics, she fled back to the sea – leaving Achilles in the care of Peleus. As was quite common at the time, care of the child was passed to another and in this instance, Achilles was then handed over to Chiron for raising. More about Achilles in the future……


To locate asteroid 17 Thetis in your natal chart, head over to and input the number 17 into the additional numbers field. Keep your aspects major:- conjunction, square, opposition and your orbs tight, within 1 degree.

In the natal chart, Thetis has one main message, and that is the parental desires for more and the level of their control. This is the ’stage mother’ on steroids in reality, the desire for immortality over-shadowing the maternal instinct.  Or, alternatively, the over-protective parent. In both instances, she was operating under the belief provided by oracle prophecy that one of her offspring was destined for greatness, or early death – and she did what she could to defy both.

Thetis in the natal chart will indicate a pocket of the psyche where the parental expectation resides. This can also be directed towards ones own off-spring and how the entire parental pattern behavior evolves from child to parent. For instance: a natal Leo Thetis may experience a maternal who is determined the child achieves some level of surface fame. However, a natal square to Uranus starts the pattern that as a parent, this is rebelled against and the natal Leo Thetis as a parent, encourages the children to just be children.

In transit, asteroid Thetis can indicate a time when the parental expectation is brought to mind, in either a pride or disappointment sense – and as a parent, a time for evaluation of the past and an assessment of the present expectation.

Possible Keywords:- maternal expectations, insecurities, performance anxiety, pattern continuance, feeling inferior, parental rebellion, formulating new parenting cycles, disappointment, aims to achieve just to please the maternal, maternal separation, proving oneself


Artwork – Anton Losenko
© Karen Piscitelli


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