Asteroid 399 Persephone is a main belt asteroid discovered by Max Wolf on February 23rd, 1895. It takes Persephone about five years to orbit the Sun, with her spending 3-4 months in each sign, orbit and retrograde dependent.
In Ancient Greece, the mythology of Persephone is a well known story. She was out picking flowers, Hades rose from the Underworld, snatched her and took her home. Her mother Demeter then roamed the Earth in search of her. Crops perished, the weather floundered and it was not until her return, that the natural world began to prosper once more.
On her return to the Earthen world, Hades tricked Persephone into the eating of pomegranate seeds, which thus tied her to the Underworld for six months of the year. In the Greek version of this myth, Persephone was not entirely out of control of her domain. There was love eventually shared with her consort Hades and out of the numerous tales of infidelity, these two were pretty committed to each other. Except for that one time, where Hades somewhat fancied Minthe, so Persephone turned her into, yes, the plant Mint! Plus, there are numerous portrayals of her relishing her role as the Queen of the Dead. Like her mother, in worship she was classed as a nature Goddess, but not of the Earthen world.
Persephone held the secrets of the afterlife and listened to the stories of the deceased. She was known as the Iron Queen and there is only one documented story that any of the deceased pleas resulted in a returning to the Earthen world. This related to Orpheus and his beautiful music, that was so sad, she relented and allowed his wife Eurydice to be released from the Underworld.
To locate asteroid 399 Persephone in your natal chart, head over to astro.com and input the number 399 in the additional objects field. Keep your aspects major – conjunction, square, opposition and your orbs tight, within 1 degree.
In your natal chart, asteroid Persephone indicates a natural attraction to the ‘bad boy/bad girl’ syndrome. Here, there is the tendency for the darker side of nature to figure prominently in attractions, especially romantically. Love relations are frought with hiccoughs, from parental involvement to a one-sided love commitment. One can also lay claim that Persephone in the natal chart, indicates a relationship commitment that moves far outside of familial and cultural expectations.
There is conflict indicated until understanding and acceptance is reached. Even if it is not reached, the Persephone individual will follow their attraction beyond advice and opinion that is given at the onset. There is the element of deception and trickery within the connection on some level, and this is where the Persephone individual must move to other aspects of her influence when it continues to bring negative lovers into the equation.
However, it is not all doom and gloom for the Persephone individual and romance, far from it. True love IS found, deep, committed love, but only where the larger concerns and attitudes about life are shared. In a sense, the love formed with the Persephone individual, is a dark love, where there are elements of danger/temper/possessiveness attached to it, but it is a real and raw union. This is a not a light and fluffy connection at all and one that not many on the ‘outside’ would actually understand.
As the Queen of the Dead, aspects to Persephone indicate heightened intuitive ability, possibly even medium-ship to some degree. The Persephone individual can find themselves drawn to a dark expression of the ‘arts’ and will find themselves naturally familiar with the world of reincarnation, karmic possibility and all facets of the afterlife.
On a social level, those with Persephone aspects would experience times of high social activity in their lives, and times of social isolation. There can be instances where the Persephone individual faces harsh forms of social out-casting, generally at the hands of deceptive play by others. In general though, the interactive swing between social and isolation is by choice. The Persephone individual is committed to their love connection and finds more solace in the close, one on one interaction they share with their mate, rather than filling their social calendar.
In regards to the maternal, there is separation and loss. The Persephone individual disconnects with the maternal, for whatever reason, at an early age and replaces that void with her love connections. This influence easily transfers, with maturity, to a focus directed towards the spiritual realm, which is a natural progression with this placement.
If you dig deeper into the mythology of Persephone, you see that there is far more to her influence than mere surface matter. For a start, there is her naming and the perhaps misunderstanding individual desire regarding her influence has confused. This entire article is a must read, where the basics of language add a whole new depth to her possibility.
In transit, Persephone indicates a time of difficult attractions and a disconnection from the maternal/maternal role. relationships take on a possessive tone, or there is a strong desire for social solitude. There is also heightened intuitive flow indicated and the possibility of some form of ‘karmic’ moment being brought to the forefront for assessment and closure. One can also claim that meeting individuals or facing new opportunity with a Persephone transit has the feeling of being ‘swept away’ attached to it. The key is to tune into the vibe of intention and see if it is something you are prepared to work with for the long term. It would also be wise to consider relevant transit information of Hades and Demeter.
Artwork – John William Waterhouse
© Karen Piscitelli