by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hebe Goes Retrograde

by Francisco Javier Ramos y Albertos (1784)

About a week or so ago I got an email from someone who reads this blog. She wrote to ask me about an asteroid named Hebe, wondering what it meant specifically with regards to Hebe in Virgo. Here is part of what I wrote back:

Hebe would have entered Virgo (this time around) back around October 19, 2011.

The general idea of Hebe in Virgo would be two-fold. The first (and more obvious) form of Hebe in Virgo would be how doing service (or holding one's self to standards) in this world does more than help others - it helps us. The second would be about how the investing in doing the job well increases the benefits ultimately reached. 

Because she had offered the lovely and poetic idea of Hebe in Virgo as a 'perfect offering,' I added this:

I hesitate to use the word 'perfect' with Virgo as that would seem to encourage Virgoan over-focus.

The mythic Hebe is the servant to the gods of Olympus. It is Hebe who brings cups of ambrosia, that (apparently delicious) and highly regarded immortal draught which when consumed, endowed one with immortality and which apparently was brought to the gods whenever they wanted a bit of eternal drink.

Hebe is also regarded as an embodiment of youth, and as one of the attendants to Aphrodite (Venus) is part of the mythic Greek nexus about beauty.

Her mother is Hera (known to the Romans as Juno) which, seeing as both Hera and Juno are asteroids on their own has given us to understand that there are (at least) two different sides to the ‘mothering influence’ from which Hebe comes. Hera is the keeper of the hearth and more of the nurturing side of this duo where Juno is the organizer, the self-modulating and self-disciplining concept which keeps us on track. (Or doesn’t, depending!)

Interestingly, Hebe is the female version of Ganymede, an asteroid astrologer Alex Miller thinks of as being associated with male sexuality, and often male homosexuality. I can’t say I’ve seen a corresponding bent with regards to Hebe and lesbianism, but I have seen Hebe in various configurations which speak to how people of either gender deal with submissiveness as part of their sexual natures, or as a component of their ‘doing service’ (or just plain having to do what needs doing) in daily life.

As asteroids go, Hebe is quite a notable one. It’s the 5th brightest of all the asteroids in the main asteroid belt which falls in that big gap between the personal planets (in order: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth/Moon, Mars) and the generational or social/societal planets (Jupiter and Saturn). Hebe is also quite large – it’s mass is estimated to be one-half of one percent of the total asteroid mass which is out there.

(I know…when we talk about asteroids you hear me say such things fairly often. How can everything be that big? Well, what that’s really saying is how small a whole lot of those asteroids out there really are – and not just when compared to planets, but in comparison to each other!)

Hebe’s position in the asteroid belt tends to be ‘a bit on the inside.’ The belt being composed of a space which starts at 1.665 astronomical units from the Sun (Mars’ farthest distance from the Sun) and 4.95 astronomical units (Jupiter’s nearest approach to the Sun)…in all of this Hebe orbits our Sun at a distance which is at it’s nearest, 1.937 astronomical units and at it’s farthest, only 2.914 astronomical units.

Hebe's orbit
(diagram generated using JPL's Small Body Database 

So Hebe never goes more than half way out through that big giant ‘slot’ between the personal planets and the generational pair, a space we think of astrologically as containing all the things (asteroids) we have to deal with, learn about or learn to utilize while on the way to achieving our worldly and social/societal (Jupiter/Saturn) goals.

Thus in the personal sense, Hebe has to do with service to ourselves and the service that we do. And for that, evidently we nourish ourselves, our lives or our souls, however you want to phrase it.

And that fits, seeing as the mythical Hebe furnishes eternal nourishment …ambrosia, which we probably think of as ‘the fruits of our labor’ in the greater and lesser senses.

This becomes additionally interesting when we think of Hebe as one of Venus’ attendants. Yes, we could think of what we do as being all about what we get out of it…which would be the more baseline Venus concept. But Venus being really about the hinge which turns cause (what we put into something or how we present ourselves or what we do) into effect (our rewards of whatever kind)…that means that Hebe, as some form of ‘doing service’ is that part of the ‘personal aim’ which helps us reach our (Jupiter/Saturn) goals.

Who knew, right?

With an orbital period of 3.78 years, Hebe averages about three to four months in any given sign. And at the moment, it’s in Sagittarius, sign of learning, of law, of things and ideas which are foreign to each one of us, of education and of religion.

(A fine time to get a new Pope, right?)

Hebe entered Sagittarius on January 31st, 2013 – right around the time that Jupiter went retrograde and so much trouble was going on in our world. We weren’t thinking of others, we (as human beings) obviously haven’t learned to live with each other…or even ourselves!…and we seem to think everybody exists to serve our needs.

And that may be the Hebe point. Hebe will be in Sagittarius until November 17, 2013. And during that time, not only are people likely to be more demanding than usual (wanting others to serve their needs) but every sort of thing ‘put out there’ is going to be tested to see if it serves some purpose. And for the remaining months of Jupiter in Gemini, where we are perhaps going over the line or pushing too hard or saying too much (or not the right thing), where we may be speaking before we think and discovering what our limits are (and therefore what we need to learn in order to move ahead) as much through what doesn't work as what does...

That may be the Hebe point. Hebe in Sagittarius will be about what we can do which works for others and for us...and what may work only for one side and not the other.

To be frank here, my astrologer's guess is that we’re likely to see and learn a lot about human flaws and bad behavior of these next few months.

But let’s not get all gloomy here…once Hebe goes retrograde (at 10 Sagittarius) it will back up all the way to 24 Scorpio, and that’s an interesting span. First of all it suggests that between April 2nd (the date Hebe goes retrograde) and July 16th (when Hebe goes direct) this is a great time for trying things out and all sorts of research and ‘test models’ which will help us sort out what works from what doesn’t work – and why.

If you need some sort of personal ‘prep time’ for something yet to come, April through mid-July looks like a goodie. Why? Because Hebe in retrograde is all about helping ourselves. Or even helping ourselves help ourselves. So this may be a time when you do something about you…or when you get help in something you need to do about some situation in your life.

A bronze of Hebe by Robert Thomas in Birmingham, England
(photo credit: Elliott Brown, August 2009)

It’s all good. So long as you approach the subject with a reasonable amount of humility and an awareness that the real goal is the accomplishment to be reached down there a bit further along the road, a lot can get done.

10 Sagittarius is a degree which seems to confuse ability with genius, ‘ability’ being used here as the idea of the action verb which gets something done and genius being the internal vision or inspiration which gets the idea and sees how things could work (or how they might work) IF they were put into action.

The positive here lies in listening and absorbing what isn’t yet at the level where it serves your purposes or will carry you on to your goal (or goals, whatever they may be). Though you see the gap or the lack, to know that you are able to change things and able to make improvements – that’s your spark of genius, whether you recognize it or not. Sagittarius is a fire sign, so there’s lots of ‘envisioning’ which happens through whatever object passes through this sign. So now we’re seeing how we could make things better for others and how that could move us closer to our goals…maybe in terms of who we are as a human being, or maybe in terms of some worldly aim.

Whichever – both work. And they may work even better in your soul as a course of action to follow going forward if I tell you that the other end of this retrograde run (24 Scorpio) is a degree all about building our personal world and an internal ‘knowing’ how to deal with others so as to gain their support.

One more interesting item to note here: come the end of May there will be a second ‘eclipse season’ Lunar Eclipse. It will be positioned at 4 Sagittarius and happen on May 25th, exactly one month after the April 25 Lunar Eclipse at 5 Scorpio.

When that eclipse happens, Hebe will be at 2 Sagittarius, a sign that how we do things is of that moment and (particularly for anyone whose chart has a planet, node or axis point at 2-6 of any sign) germane to what happens then.

By and large, Lunar Eclipses are very emotional moments. Some people (those not very good with their feelings) will tend to create situations where someone else has to ‘own’ their emotions. But that’s not good for either one of you…and at this particular point in time (May 25th, I mean) you may actually come to understand why foisting your feelings off on others doesn’t work.

We’ll talk more about that then, of course. But for now, Hebe is about to go retrograde. Since it’s going retrograde on April 2nd, it’s ‘station window’ begins on March 31st and ends April 4th: any and all issues which happen during this time which bring to light the idea or issues of ‘service’ and what it means to serve others or feel good because you’ve helped someone – or even what ‘serves your purpose’ are worth paying attention to.

All this said because someone sent me an email.

Obviously yes, I respond. But that’s part of my Hebe thing: I believe in being of service in this world. It works for me.


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