You may have read some of my previous posts on the “tutelary deities” used by Roman astrologers. These came as a surprise to me when I read about them last year since I’d not come across them in any astrology texts or lectures that I’d attended previously.
Suffice to say, for the Romans not only did each sign have a ruling planet, it also had a ruling deity who was one of the 12 Olympians. This means that for the Zodiac there are six male and six female deities, which re-establishes a gender balance missing with the planets.
Obviously, some of the Olympians (Mercury, for example) are pretty busy, being the ruling planet for two signs traditionally (Gemini and Virgo), and the ruling deity for a third (Cancer).
To read more of how I found out about them click here.
To read the source material click here.
How does a tutelary deity work in practice? Well, I ponder this every month, and here’s my conclusion, the ruling deity is like a wise counsellor, someone you could turn to for advice
Keep in mind of course, that the gods represent archetypal energy. For example, I’m not expecting Jupiter to come down in a shower of gold, but the power that myth represents would be quite good to feel in my life right now!
Quite often as is the case with the domestic goddess Vesta ruling the work-related sign Capricorn, the tutelary deity provides balance. His or her qualities are not necessarily the qualities of the sign at all. Indeed, they are quite likely to be something the sign is missing.
However, there are exceptions. But that is for another post.
Here’s my current thinking about some of this summer’s deities. This is a work in progress: I’m trying to feel my way to an understanding, so these are just some initial thoughts.
Cancer – Mercury
Now there’s a surprise, Mercury could well provide the sharp intellect needed to balance the emotional power of Cancer. I’ve often found that Cancer Sun people are excellent at business (as long as it’s their own), an area ruled by Mercury.
|September apple harvest|
Leo – Jupiter
Leo is the king of the Zodiac so it’s only fitting that the king of Olympus is his ruling deity. In the myths, of course, Jupiter is a shape-shifting adulterer but also a judge. I think it’s the latter that Leos might need to keep in mind. Their tendency to behave unfairly, our of pique often needs tempering.
Virgo – Ceres
It’s good to see one of the (until recently) neglected gods at work. No surprise that the goddess of the corn rules the month of threshing. Virgo is often represented holding a sheaf of wheat. But how could Ceres help a Virgo? I think Ceres is all about nourishment, something which Virgo Sun and Moon often forget to give themselves.