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News > Solar & Cosmic  > Dawn spacecraft in orbit around Ceres: Updated!

Dawn spacecraft in orbit around Ceres: Updated!

By: by Mark Lerner
Dawn spacecraft in orbit around Ceres: Updated! | Solar & Cosmic

Important Updates February 26 and March 4 & 6, 2015: The Dawn spacecraft has already been snapping pictures of the largest asteroid Ceres, and Dawn will arrive at Ceres -- in order to orbit this key celestial body for several months -- starting on Friday March 6.* [The charts for the Discovery of Ceres, by Sicilian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi, on Jan. 1, 1801 and the Arrival of Dawn at Ceres on March 6, 2015 are included at the end of this feature.] *Update on Friday March 6: The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA announced this morning that at 4:39AM PDT, the gravitational pull of Ceres captured the Dawn spacecraft. Although Dawn is still about 40,000 miles from Ceres, it will gradually become closer to the main "dwarf planet" of the asteroid belt in the coming weeks -- with Dawn about 8,400 miles and in a pole-to-pole orbit around Ceres (April 10) and with increasingly improved photographs being taken around 2 weeks later. Eventually, Dawn will orbit Ceres at around 235 miles, closer than the International Space Station is to Earth. Amazingly, all of this is happening as transiting Neptune -- the ruling planet of photography, among many other human inventions and fields of experience -- unites with America's natal Ceres (for the first time in 164 years!) at 8+ degrees of Pisces, and making additional conjunctions with our Ceres in the late summer of this year and the first two months of 2016. At our nation's birth on July 4, 1776, undiscovered Ceres was the only celestial body stationary in the heavens -- therefore, exceedingly powerful, making the USA the melting pot of nationalities, ethnic groups, and religious affiliations. Note: Ceres is strongly connected with Commodities, and exactly in synchronicity with Dawn orbiting Ceres this morning -- March 6 -- the prices of gold, silver and platinum are plunging in the key financial center of New York City.

What is crucial to be aware of -- and this will be emphasized later on in this story -- is that all of the key themes and archetypes of Ceres are about to be activated to an enormous degree in humanity and throughout our beleaguered home planet. This always happens when our space vehicles fly by or orbit celestial bodies and -- in particular -- photograph them, so that we earthlings vividly and imaginatively connect with those solar systemic orbs.

Here is a sampling of Ceres themes: Cereals and Grains; Mother Earth and Nature; Agriculture and Farming; the Food Industry; Gardening (with Venus and the Moon); Productivity (or drought and scarcity of food, when Ceres turns negative); Maternal Figures (with the Moon); Parent-Child relationships, and particularly Mother-Daughter connections; the Environment and organizations like Greenpeace (with Juno); Veterinarians; Pets and pet products (with the Moon); Cooking and Baking (with the Moon); Nutrition, Herbs and Botany; Commodities; the Labor force in general.

In addition, the myth of Ceres's daughter Kore (later named Persephone) being kidnapped (and, in some versions of the myth, raped and also made into Pluto's Queen of the lower realms) by Underworld-ruler Pluto, and the search by Ceres that inevitably led to Persephone being returned to her mother (but only for two-thirds of the year while having to spend the other one-third with Pluto) is associated with the appearance of flowers, fruits, vegetables and natural life on the surface of the Earth for a good portion of each year, but the withdrawal of the life-force of Nature to the depths of the Earth for several months every year (or what we call winter). This mythos on multiple levels of consciousness and being may be played out in societies throughout our globe in the coming months as the Dawn spacecraft continues to send us photographs of this highly significant and mysterious celestial body in our solar system.

I will have more to say on all this after Dawn starts orbiting Ceres (for many orbits over 16 months, reaching as close as 235 miles from the surface of this "dwarf planet") -- including the extraordinary link between the birth of film-maker, director-writer-producer George Lucas, the Secret of Star Wars, and the Discovery of Ceres (something I wrote about in the pages of our astrological magazine Welcome to Planet Earth, in print from 1981 to 2000). Please read below this original feature about the Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres from 2+ years ago.

Original Dateline Sept. 7, 2012…Dear Earth Aquarius News Readers: I have been following the Dawn mission to Vesta and eventually to Ceres for a couple of years. Just below is a new mission status report from NASA as of Sept. 5, 2012. My two-part series on the fantastic symbolism of Vesta and our economic life follows. Hopefully, I will be able to compose part III in the relatively new future. Many Blessings, Mark Lerner - Publisher

Mission Status Report from NASA

PASADENA, Calif. -- Mission controllers received confirmation today that NASA's Dawn spacecraft has escaped from the gentle gravitational grip of the giant asteroid Vesta. Dawn is now officially on its way to its second destination, the dwarf planet Ceres.

Dawn departed from Vesta at about 11:26 p.m. PDT on Sept. 4 (2:26 a.m. EDT on Sept. 5). Communications from the spacecraft via NASA's Deep Space Network confirmed the departure and that the spacecraft is now traveling toward Ceres.

"As we respectfully say goodbye to Vesta and reflect on the amazing discoveries over the past year, we eagerly look forward to the next phase of our adventure at Ceres, where even more exciting discoveries await,” said Robert Mase, Dawn project manager, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Mundane Astrology, the Summer Solstice, Vesta Stationary, and the NASA Dawn Mission to Vesta and Ceres: Part I

By Mark Lerner

Thirty-Nine years ago at the Summer Solstice of 1972, I bought my first astrology book – Astrology: The Space-Age Science by Joseph Goodavage. It happened by accident as I was looking through a book rack at a local store in Forest Hills, NY.

The reason it excited me was that the author claimed that three of the most famous astronomers, physicists and scientists who lived between 1500 and 1800 (Kepler, Galileo and Newton) were practicing astrologers, but that their biographers tried to hush that up because astrology is often disparaged by intellectuals, scholars and professors.

The book also examined world history in the light of astrological principles and focused attention on the occurrence of earthquakes when certain planets were overhead or directly below.
Since I grew up reading the World Almanac as my favorite book every year and devouring the daily and Sunday newspapers my Dad would bring home, when I realized I wanted to be an astrologer, I also wanted to put a major emphasis on studying Mundane Astrology.

Mundane Astrology

This is the field that studies the birthcharts of nations, world leaders, political parties, economic markets, weather anomalies and catastrophes, current and past events, including the coronation of kings and queens, the IPO of a business, the inauguration of presidents, the launching of spacecraft or aircraft carriers, disasters like the World Trade Center terrorism or the start of a war.

The main tools to analyze and interpret all of these charts are the beginning moments of each season, the New and Full Moons of every month, Eclipses and Total Eclipse Paths, major planetary alignments, stations or stopping points in the zodiac of celestial bodies (as seen from the Earth), and – of course – the ongoing transits and progressions to the charts being scrutinized.

In addition, we now have elaborate mapping software related to relocation elements in astrology that allow us to see how celestial bodies – at key moments – energize particular longitudes and latitudes around the globe.

Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice 2011

The reason for the social and political uprisings during this springtime in countries like Egypt and Syria was the extremely close union of Sun and Uranus (the key planet of revolution, shock-waves, liberation, and the multi-media) at the zero point of the zodiac (0 degrees of Aries).

It was this simultaneous arrival of Sun and Uranus this past March that also triggered the extensive and deadly outbreak of tornadoes across the USA.

Now as the Summer Solstice is about to arrive on Tuesday June 21 at 10:18AM PDT, we have another dynamic set-up that may lead to three months of turmoil on Earth and within humanity since the solstice coincides with (a) Mercury square or 90-degrees to Saturn; (b) Mars square to Neptune; (c) and – most importantly – the asteroid Vesta stopping in direct motion at 19+ degrees of Aquarius and beginning a retrograde cycle until September 17.

Vesta in Aquarius and Motionless

The station of any celestial body is important to watch – for individuals, groups, nations and all of humanity. However, when the station occurs right at the start of a season, its power for good or ill is magnified.

This situation is even more crucial to recognize when you factor in that NASA launched the Dawn space mission to Vesta and Ceres (two of the first four asteroids discovered between 1801 and 1807) on September 27, 2007. And now Dawn is set to orbit Vesta this summer – starting on July 16, 2011 and see its surface features close up.

What Does Vesta Rule?

Vesta rules over or equates with home and hearth (thus, the entire housing industry), safety and security (including national safety, national security), insurance rates and coverage, the entire investment realm (therefore stock, bond, precious metal, commodity and real-estate markets), embassies of foreign countries, as well protection agencies across the board (police, fire, ambulance), and espionage services (CIA, FBI, NSA). Vesta also rules shadowy, secret groups – KKK, Nazis, Mafia, etc.
Vesta is also sisterhoods, monasteries and religious retreats, and the Eternal Flame that represents the life-force of towns, cities, and countries.

For example, at the beginning of June (even before the start of summer), the front page of The Wall Street Journal began with a headline reading “Housing Imperils Recovery.”
The sub-headline is “Home Prices Sink to 2002 Levels; Consumer Confidence Falls as Pessimism Grows.” Everything connected to home and hearth, including construction of new homes and foreclosure problems of existing homes, is under the rulership of Vesta.

Seeing is Believing

Vesta in Aquarius stops exactly on the Summer Solstice and precisely ignites America’s natal Vesta in Taurus from July 4, 1776. This is an extremely rare alignment and suggests the development, during the summer, of a very dangerous situation – for all the realms mentioned in the preceding section above, but especially National Safety and Security.

Furthermore, the Dawn spacecraft is already sending to us photographs of Vesta as it nears its orbital point around this asteroid on July 16.

When the Voyager II spacecraft arrived at Uranus (late January 1986) for the first time to take close-up pictures of that unusual planet, the space shuttle Challenger exploded. [Uranus rules aircraft and space travel as well as shocking events.]

When the same Voyager spacecraft arrived at far-out Neptune (late summer of 1989), the Berlin Wall fell and communism began to dissolve in the Soviet Union. [Neptune has always ruled Socialism, Communism, Utopias, Communes, etc.]

The Summer Solstice is going to be all about Vesta and its themes. Eventually, the Dawn spacecraft will visit Ceres in 2015, the largest asteroid (ruling food, agriculture, commodities, mothering, productivity and especially water), and that same year, the New Horizons spacecraft will see Pluto up close for the first time (Pluto = the underworld, extremes, death-rebirth, spiritual willpower, but also terrorism and atomic/nuclear power & weapons). America’s astrology cycles are unbelievably intense that year, too.

Get Ready for Part II

Remember that safety and security archetypes across the board are ruled by Vesta and the Dawn spacecraft has been taking photos of this asteroid since May 3. Last month Sony encountered a gigantic cyber-attack where personal data on customers were stolen by hackers, and just this month Citi Bank had a major break-in of their security systems.

Leon Panetta – our current CIA Director, who is in confirmations to become the next USA Secretary of Defense – told the Senate Armed Services Committee just in the last two days:
“The next Pearl Harbor that we confront could very well be a cyber-attack that cripples America’s electrical grid and its security and financial systems. It’s going to take both defensive measures as well as aggressive measures to deal with the threat of cyber-attacks.”

The Dawn Spacecraft Orbits Vesta: Part II

As America appears to be careening toward a national debt-ceiling crisis that could alter our status as the world’s number one economic power, and as sovereign debt problems plague various European nations, something has been occurring in the solar system that few people on Earth have recognized.

The Dawn spacecraft – launched on September 27, 2007 – is about to arrive at the brightest asteroid Vesta tomorrow (Friday July 15), begin to orbit this ancient goddess of home, hearth, safety and security, and spend a year taking high-resolution photographs of this enigmatic celestial body that is about 330 miles wide.

It is hoped that our astronomers will find out why Vesta is so bright, whether it has magnetic properties, what is the darkened area around its equator, and all kinds of secrets about its elemental make-up – helping us determine some of the mysteries of the creation of our solar system.

Not Just Any Asteroid

Along with Ceres, Pallas and Juno, Vesta is one of the first four asteroids to be discovered (between 1801 and 1807). It was Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers who discovered Vesta on the evening of March 29, 1807 when the asteroid was located at 29 degrees and 01 minutes of the sign of Virgo. This zodiacal placement will play an astounding role in the history of humanity ever since as I will explain as we move forward in this article and Part III. [It is noteworthy that 5 years earlier – in 1802 – Olbers also discovered the asteroid Pallas.]

As explained in Part I, Vesta’s archetypes and qualities are not just associated with home and hearth, safety and security, but with a high range of themes concerning insurance rates and coverage, soul-sister relationships and sisterhoods, the Eternal Flame (signifying the life-force of ancient temple magic, city-states, tribes and nations), protective agencies (like the police and fire departments, and emergency/ambulance services), secret and arcane organizations (such as the FBI, CIA, NSA, Secret Service, and even the KKK and Nazis), embassies, “turf wars,” and – last but not least – the Investment Community (including stock, bond, real-estate, precious metal and commodity markets).

As Above, So below…

The ancient axiom of spiritual astrology – coming from Hermes Trismegistus of ancient Egypt – is As Above, So Below, what’s true in the greater universe or macrocosm is reflected in truth in the smaller universe or microcosm.

With Dawn gradually approaching Vesta during these past few weeks, the debt-ceiling crisis in America – threatening to destroy our AAA-credit and AAA-bond ratings – has been akin to a tsunami wave of financial disaster, bringing with it the potential for a global investment cataclysm.

When Voyager II arrived at Uranus in late January 1986, the Challenger space shuttle exploded. [Uranus – when negative – rules aviation, shock waves, and technological breakdowns.] When Voyager II then swept past Neptune in the summer/fall of 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, Germany was reunited, the Communist tyrant of Romania (Nicolae Ceausescu) was toppled from power, and the Soviet Union began to dissolve. [Neptune – when negative – rules dissolution, chaos, and the shadow sides of Communism.]

For decades I have watched our space missions with excitement – simultaneously realizing that as each human-designed craft reached a planet, the themes-archetypes-qualities of that planet would be revealed in dramatic fashion throughout our lives on Earth.

The United States Secret Service

To reveal the crucial importance of Vesta in all of our lives, I am also including the Noon chart for the birth of the United States Secret Service from July 5, 1865. In an odd coincidence or synchronicity, the legislation that would create the USSS was on President Abraham Lincoln’s desk on the night he went to Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. (April 14, 1865) when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

Our Secret Service was originally founded to combat counterfeiting due to the large number of banks, producing vastly different types of currencies, during and just after the Civil War. This battle against counterfeiting is strongly associated with the investment/financial theme of Vesta.

Later on – after the assassination of President McKinley – the Secret Service became much more involved in protecting (another major keyword for Vesta) the life of the president as well as the first family.

Shocks to the System

When President Lincoln was murdered – because he did not choose to have his replacement bodyguard close by in the second half of that evening’s performance of Our American Cousin – the largest planet in the sky, Jupiter, stopped its direct motion at 29 degrees and 01 minutes of Sagittarius, precisely squaring the discovery placement of Vesta at 29 degrees and 01 minutes of Virgo.

On that fateful evening in our nation’s capital, the planet of acting as well as nebulosity – Neptune – was right on top of President Lincoln’s natal Vesta in Aries. Meanwhile, later in 1865 – within 24 hours of America’s annual Solar Return – when the Secret Service was commissioned inside our Treasury Department, the asteroid Vesta returned to its discovery placement in the last degree of Virgo from March 29, 1807.

Therefore, perhaps more so than any protective agency in America, the Secret Service acts as a supreme agent of Vesta and needs to make absolutely sure it preserves, protects and defends the people we elect to high office.

In Part III (Still in the "works" as of March 2015)

There is much more to this story, and to what the Dawn mission in the asteroid belt will be telling us about the real nature of Vesta as well as the destiny and fate of our global investment community within humanity – not to mention the pertinent themes of housing values, foreclosures, interest and insurance rates, and national safety and security measures.

In addition, I will show how President Kennedy’s assassination (when Vesta exactly opposed the USA Uranus, and was involved in a rare Pythagorean Triangle) was linked to the shadow side of Vesta, the failures of the Secret Service, and the life and death of President Lincoln.

Furthermore, a series of dates coming up during the next few months will be presented, when transiting Vesta and/or other celestial bodies are most active – especially in the charts for America (now experiencing transiting Vesta in Aquarius square its natal Vesta in Taurus), President Obama as well as other world leaders who need to make sure they stay well-protected during the volatile economic/investment environment that is taking hold on Earth at this time.

For more information on the Dawn mission to Vesta and eventually on to the largest asteroid Ceres in 2015, visit (and go to the section on Current Missions).

©2011 & 2015 by Mark Lerner and Great Bear Enterprises, LTD. All rights reserved.

Discovery of Vesta
Launch of Dawn
Secret Service
Discovery of Ceres
Dawn arrives at Ceres

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