Asteroid Hygeia is the fourth largest of the asteroids and takes 5½ years to orbit the Sun. It was named after the Greek goddess of health, daughter of Asclepius (god of medicine). So as the personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation, we might consider that asteroid 10 Hygeia relates to these things in astrology. Other astrologers have said as much which I will mention later.
I’ll also look at some personal transits involving Hygeia for an operation I had in 2012. I must say that the astrology does confirm the belief that she has association with health. First though, I’ll show the discovery chart and see if there is anything there which might be associated with the meaning of the name, “Hygeia”.
Asteroid Hygeia Astrology Chart
Asteroid 10 Hygeia was discovered by Annibale de Gasparis on April 12, 1849, in Naples, Italy. I could not find an exact time so have set the chart for 10 pm. Mars conjunct Neptune is interesting and must be important in this chart because it is on the degree of the previous Solar Eclipse. Neptune does rule illness and Mars pain, and they make a quincunx aspect to asteroid Hygeia. The quincunx is an aspect of health, usually some imbalance. Mercury, the messenger of the gods, is also important because it is on the degree of the preceding New Moon, both opposite asteroid Hygeia.
So there are opposing forces to contend with, some difficulty in getting her message across. That makes sense, we know what’s good for us but how many of us refuse to listen to good health advice? Mercury conjunct Saturn implies a serious message but also difficulty getting it across. Mercury conjunct Saturn can also mean depressing news, or melancholic thoughts, and that tends to be what we think when being lectured about health issues. This conjunction can also mean we fear knowing something, or fear the worst, in this case hypochondria. More melancholic thoughts and even fear of poison comes from the North Node on the fixed star Zosma.
Venus in The Pleiades is associated with sickness by Robson, and Venus is opposite Chiron, the wounded healer. Although I have guessed the discovery time, it must have been around then as discoveries in those days had to be made at night with a telescope. Within a couples of hours either side of 10 pm, the Moon was on the fixed star Ras Alhague, the brightest star in constellation Ophiuchus (Aesculapius), the father of Hygeia. He holds the Serpent of wisdom and healing, and this is how Hygeia is depicted in ancient sculptures and artworks. Ebertin says that this star makes one:
especially prone to infectious contamination caused by toxins. People thus influenced are easy-going in the use of medical drugs, hallucinatory drugs stimulating foodstuffs, too much good living and overindulgence in tobacco and alcohol.
Astrologers on Asteroid Hygeia
As I mentioned in the introduction, astrologers have made the link between asteroid Hygeia and health. Loni Haas say asteroid Hygeia:
represents our attitude and belief system concerning health and fitness awareness. Hygeia also rules sanitation and the valuable role hygiene and diet play in health maintenance. She often shows up by transit or appears on a major angle when an individual is experiencing a health issue…Hygeian influence is felt among dietitians, physical fitness educators and teachers, dental hygienists, mental health facilitators who embrace the mind/body connection, holistic practitioners, sanitation inspectors, environmentalists, and preservationists who believe keeping the Earth clean and pollution free.
Jeremy Neal makes a good argument for Asteroid Hygeia ruling Virgo and the 6th house:
if we are burning the candle at both ends, drinking too much, eating junk food and not washing enough we are offending Hygeia, and her judgement will be handed down in the form of illness, disease, degeneration and habitual instability. This is why Hygeia and the 6th house are a perfect fit; it is why Virgo and Hygeia are very comfortable together. Here is the exact kind of specific, attentive, habitual, nutritional and service-minded concern that is so beloved of Virgo. Virgo is Hygeia.
Asteroid Hygeia Keywords
Health, hygiene, tradition and natural medicine, doctors and healers, disease, illness, toxins, fear of poison, fear of doctors, fear of medical results, hypochondria, hesitation to get checkups, operations, misdiagnosis, drug abuse, diet, worrying about the health of family and friends.
I wrote this when I first published this post on 15 February 2012: Earlier today I went to hospital for a colonoscopy and gastrectomy (probed in both ends), because I had a test a few months ago which was positive for blood in my poo. I looked at the charts and there were obvious indicators like Uranus on my Chiron and Neptune opposite my Mars. I included asteroid Hygeia out of interest and it was most interesting. When I had the test, asteroid Hygeia was on the fixed star Ras Alhague (her dad), and transiting Pluto was square my Hygeia. When the doctor told me the results, Hygeia was conjunct Mercury (health news), both on my Ascendant. When I had the operation today, Hygeia was conjunct the Midheaven and sextile my Hygeia.
Find Asteroid Hygeia in Your Chart
1. Create your chart HERE.
2. Choose “Extended Chart Selection”.
3. In “additional asteroids or hypothetical planets”, add 10.