Asteroid 16 Psyche is massive in size and her weight is one percent of the entire main asteroid belt. Discoveries have shown that she is completely metallic and has no water components whatsoever. It is also claimed that her massive size does affect the other asteroids in an uneasy manner. Discovered on March 17, 1852 (a Pisces) by Annibale de Gasparis, Psyche spends near five years orbiting the Sun, spending roughly three or so month in each sign, orbit dependent.
The mythology of Cupid and Psyche, Amor and Psyche, Eros and Psyche, has become legendary and it is the common archetype of many the romance and romantic expectation. Psyche was mortal and beautiful, the perfect creature and the complete envy of Venus. Completely jealous, Venus finally convinces her son Cupid, to cast his magic over Psyche so that only the ugliest and vilest of creatures would find her attractive. Turning himself invisible, Cupid flies to her whilst she is sleeping and takes pity on her, feeling she has been born too beautiful for her own safety.
Still prepared to fulfil his task, he leans over and to his surprise, she wakes up and stares him straight in the eye. Despite his invisibility, she sees him and in his shock, rather than scratch her shoulder with his arrow, he scratches his and falls madly in love with her.
From this moment on, he cannot continue his mission and reports back to his mother, Venus, who is furious and casts a curse on Psyche. It was final, there would be no husband for Psyche and Cupid brought about his own retribution in his disgust, with the refusal to shoot anymore arrows of love. As the Earth starts to grow old due to the lack of marriages and mating, Venus finally rescinds and reluctantly gives into Cupid’s demands. He wants Psyche for himself, end of story.
Despaired at the lack of mortal male interest in marrying their daughter, Psyche’s parents consult an oracle to see what the holdup is. They are told to take Psyche to a mountain top, where she is swept away by the west wind and taken to Cupid’s palace. Here, the marriage is consummated and hot love is made under the cover of darkness, with Cupid’s insistence that Psyche never leave the lights on. He wanted his identity kept quiet until he was ready to reveal his true form. On returning from a visit with her two sisters, Psyche was told by her sisters that her husband was a repugnant serpent and that she should see for herself by lighting up the room at night. She took their words on board, fired up the lantern, and saw her gorgeous, winged God. Pissed off at her defiance of his wishes to maintain the secrecy of his identity until HE was ready, Cupid takes off into the shadows, never to return.
Thus begins Psyche’s journey to find the love of her life. After seeking assistance from Ceres and Juno, who both tell her that she must face Venus, she runs about like a mouse in a wheel, fulfilling the impossible quests set forth by the furious Goddess. Thanks to the assistance of the other Gods and Goddesses, she passes her quests until the very last one – taking a piece of beauty in a box from Persephone to Venus. Not able to resist, Psyche opens the box to take a slice of beauty’s pie all for her but finds no beauty, just sleep, which rushes over her immediately.
Cupid rushes to her side, finally finding forgiveness within and brushes the sleep away. It is then that Cupid faces Jupiter with their plight and after a big meeting of the Gods and Goddesses, Psyche is brought to Olympus and partakes in the magic drink of ambrosia and becomes an immortal. Over time, and after the birth of their daughter, Venus and Psyche forgive each other and there is happiness ever after.
Apart from the intricate and romantic mythology/fairytale -Psyche means, spirit, breath, animation of life and her form is portrayed as a Goddess with butterfly wings and she is the deification of the human soul.
To locate asteroid 16 Psyche in your natal chart, head over to astro.com and input the number 16 in the additional objects field. Keep your aspects major – conjunction, square, opposition – and your orbs tight, within 1 degree.
In the natal chart, Psyche symbolizes so many things. You have the romantic, you have the dedication to the one you fall in love with, you have the running through hoops to prove that love and you have the harsh feminine figure that is jealous and manipulative, a standing force of disruption on the path of love. The problem with Cupid and Psyche is his attempts to keep his true self a secret. The first crack in that desire started during the task of casting his magic when Psyche woke up and saw through his invisibility. She also took on-board gossip and went against his wishes, exposing him once again, cutting through everything he had in play, seeing him, despite his efforts to maintain the facade of his life role. He is displeased with this, annoyed with her and there is turmoil, but ultimately, the process to the end is worth it as everything comes out in the wash and there IS a happily ever after.
Individuals with natal aspects to Psyche have the natural ability to see through the surface garbage with new attractions. They are in search for ‘the’ individual, where the complexities of the attraction are intricate, where there are huge forces to surmount and toils to be dealt with to find that moment of pure, passionate love. When this connection is found, there is turmoil at the beginning and much heartache involved. Yet the Psyche individual will refuse to give up, much to the annoyance of everyone else and continue to fight for the happy ending that they know is well deserved.
The good thing about the natal Psyche individual is that they do gain support with their unwavering dedication within their quest to find their true lover. Whilst they face resistant from some level of parental, or authority figure, there is also the hands of guidance from those they meet on their quest. Despite the difficulties attached to natal Psyche, it is a mind blowing and ‘fated’ path to love.
In transit however, it can be a bit creepy, dependent on rulership. Everything and all of the above can apply with transiting Psyche, but only works when the feeling is mutual. Meetings whilst Psyche is on the move can have a one-sided element, where one party feels fated and the other does not. This obviously opens the door wide for stalker types and can become quite messy. Individuals can misread ‘fate’ and continue to bash their heads against a closed to romance door. By ignoring the obvious resistance and failing to take on-board the lack of support they are receiving in their chase of the disappearing individual matters naught, they continue, convinced they are meant to be together. Obviously, this leads to continued romantic discontent and where the planets and relevant aspects would unravel more detail regards these matters.
Another element of consideration with Psyche is that of the affair expression – entering into a romantic relationship where one, or both of the parties is already committed. There is the obvious excitement of the unknown, the clandestine darkness, the harsh, negative reaction from other parties, gossip, and more often than not, strong feelings beneath the surface attraction that can lead to a more permanent commitment at a later stage.
In considering your personal manifestation of transiting Psyche, look at romantic connections when Psyche is in Scorpio, your 10th House or the Nodes and Nodal rulers. These connections have a ‘fated’ feel about them and even if they fail to have all of the vital elements for long term connection, they are gateways for following, more placid connections with transiting Psyche.
All in all, Psyche transits are a fine indicator that it is a positive to open the door to love, or to peel another layer off your present romance. Especially when in favorable rulership. It is a great time to connect with romantic others on deeper levels and to reassess the ‘love’ agenda – decide what aspects of your approach and expression need a breath of fresh life.
Artwork – Edward Burns-Jones
© Karen Piscitelli