Asteroid 26 Proserpina is a main belt asteroid, Mars/Jupiter, discovered on May 5th, 1853 (a Taurus) by R. Luther. Proserpina takes over four years to orbit the Sun, spending roughly three months in each sign, retrograde dependent.
With most of the Roman mythology, it is an adaptation of the Ancient Greek religion, where the stories have been adopted and altered to suit Roman culture. Proserpina is the Roman equivalent to Persephone, but there are a few strong elements that set the two myths apart. Proserpina is the daughter of Jupiter and Ceres, who was out frolicking one day, picking flowers, running with bunnies as butterflies fluttered about her like a halo and birds twittered overhead. Whilst Pluto did rise from Etna on his four black horse drawn chariot and plucked her from the field, pitching Proserpina to Hades, making his bride. he was coerced by magic to do so. Pluto was not captivated by Proserpina as was his counterpart, Hades who was blinded by the beauty and essence of Persephone. In the Roman version, it is Venus who sends her son Amor to shoot Pluto with one of his ‘love arrows’ so that the dark prince would set out on the lover hunt and find himself a bride. Ceres was beyond annoyed at the capture of her daughter, and ceased assisting the earth and its crops. She refused to return to Mt Olympus and began to walk the globe, casting a desert with every step. In the end, Jupiter’s concern grew heavy and he sent Mercury to Pluto and they struck a deal. Once Pluto forced Proserpina to partake of six pomegranate seeds, he tied her to him for six months of the year and life returned to normal. Proserpina spent the Spring and Summer months with her mother, and the Autumn and Winter months as Queen of the Underworld by Pluto’s side.
To locate Asteroid 26 Proserpina in your natal chart, head over to astro.com and input the asteroid number in the additional objects field. Keep your aspects major – conjunction, square, opposition and your orbs tight, within 1 degree. It is also advisable to look for any connections including Pluto and Ceres, to add further detail.
In your natal chart, there are numerous possibilities but the main under vibe is that Proserpina indicates an area where you have no romantic control. You are completely at the whim of others here and there is little to no consideration for your feelings or wants regarding love. There is a dominating partner that is determined to cause problems within your family and fails to see beyond their own wants. You could also find that there is a cultural leaning, where a union is forced where there is no love. This could also involve a much older partner that has closer connections with the parental or has similarities to an older family member. There is a despairing parental behind the scenes that feels the union is a loss, not a gain, causing deep, emotional dramatics whilst the relationship is alive. With Proserpina in tight aspect in the natal, you feel like a relationship puppet, a non contributing entity whilst those on the external rim of intimacy pull at your heart strings.
More interesting facts to add further distance between the myths of Persephone and Proserpina. Firstly, the meaning of their names. Proserpina means ‘to emerge’ in Latin, whilst Persephone means ’she who conveys the ineffable’ or ’she who is borne of holy sacrifice’. Perhaps Proserpina is more akin to the symbolism of ’spring’, even if it plays no relation to actual crops, emerging from the emotional darknessemerging from the darkness – whilst Persephone symbolises the hidden, the intuitive and the moment of ending. Still, this further deepens the impact of control loss implicated by aspects to Proserpina. Her personal mythology has been completely absorbed by others until she has become nothing but a puppet figure in the dramatic dance of the significant others within her intimate sphere.
In transit connections, Proserpina indicates a time where you have no romantic control. You can be overwhelmed by an attraction to a much older individual, or someone who you know is completely ‘wrong’ for you. Relationships formed within this transit face familial conflict, especially regarding the maternal. Females find that the attraction is less physical than usual, perhaps even attracted to a feeling of provision and long term security rather than pure passion – whilst males can feel the need to settle, rather than be swept off their feet by true love. The important element to keep in mind with a Proserpina transit is the lack of true love within the connection and that it has joined for reasons belonging to another’s agenda. Neither Pluto nor Proserpina sort each other out, yet they were propelled together by circumstance and were forced to work with what they were given. In an alternative world, Pluto would have realized he was playing to the magical whim of Venus, that he had not fallen in love and let Proserpina return to Ceres. But men can also be lazy and remain within a connection simply because it is easier than it is to move on. Females need to consider this in a Proserpina transit and determine if it is time to seek a more passionate union.
Examples of Proserpina – Woody Allen, well known for marrying Mia Farrow’s foster daughter. Even though Woody Allen and Mia Farrow had never lived together, he was considered her step father figure in life. Allen has Proserpina conjunct his Sun. Mia Farrow has Proserpina conjunct her Mercury, and there is no listed data for Soon Yi. I would also like to highlight to highlight that Mia Farrow has a T-square with Pluto, Ceres and Mercury, but there are no connections with the alternative Greek myth. Woody Allen also experiences a T-square between Pluto, Ceres and Vertex.
Artwork – Frederick Leighton
© Karen Piscitelli