Asteroid Theodora And Byzantine Role Models

I am reading Theodora – Actress-Empress-Whore by Stella Duffy. There are others – see below – as well as less juicy historical takes but this one is epic.

She rose from obscurity (her father was the bear-keeper at the Hippodrome in Constantinople, her mother a dancer – when her father was mauled to death by a bear, the family were left destitute) to become the most powerful woman of Byzantine Rome.

Her erotic performances scandalized and titillated an empire. She saved a throne and defied untold enemies. It is infuriating that there is no exact birth date recorded for her. It’s all “circa 500” so it’s impossible to get a chart for this remarkable woman.

She was, according to historian Barbara Walker, a ‘temple harlot’:

“Gibbon suggested the period in the 10th century when Rome was ruled by two women of the house of Theophylact, Theodora and her daughter Marozia, both queens and sacred harlots, bearing the title oisenatrix. “The most strenuous of their lovers were rewarded with the Roman mitre, and their reign may have suggested to darker ages the fable of a female pope.

Liudprand, bishop of Cremona, said it differently: “A certain shameless strumpet called Theodora at one time was sole monarch of Rome and — shame though it is to write it — exercised power like a man.”

Ha ha.  Then again, any woman with power in those days was deemed a whore or a witch so who knows what she was really up to? So, unless something incredible is unearthed, no birthchart for the Empress Theodora, alas. But she IS an asteroid – number 440. You can throw it into your chart via Astrodienst’s extended chart options.

Let’s just go for it and say that asteroid Theodora is where you’re extra imbued with life force, ambitious and brilliant at managing byzantine complexity. That era was so laden with corruption and intrigue that centuries later, it’s still an adjective for particularly complicated political processes or terrible conduct cloaked in pomposity.

Imagine the strength of persona you would need to be a women confronting all that. My Theodora is conjunct my North Node so i’m going with that interpretation.

Where is your Asteroid Theodora?

65 thoughts on “Asteroid Theodora And Byzantine Role Models”

  1. My Theuta is in my first house in Leo at my Asc…And at the Sun Moon conjunction of my bf…As a young child I was in love with Teuta…Great post! Thanks…By the WAY I AM scorpio…

  2. Oh wow… Right at 0 Aries, Sextile my Sun and to Saturn, Conjunct Mars, Quincunx my Midheaven and Trine to my Pluto/Ixion/Quaoar/ B.M. Lilith!

  3. I just realized that in addition to my theodora (natal) lined up to be conjunct Pluto (next year this time), I’ve really got my North Node transiting Theodora at the moment. Don’t know how I didn’t see that earlier… I know Mystic gave Theodora’s attributes, but I’m still fuzzy on how that combines with North Node. I think of North Node as evolution/where we are headed or where we have arrived after self-work.

  4. i just had a thought, what about checking if there is an asteroid with your name and seeing where that sits in your chart?

  5. Theodora is sloppy conjunct Mercury in the 11th house with Scorpio. So yeah I rose from nothing in the friendship/social life dept (picked on and bullied) to being a hub of friendship in my current life.

  6. Theodora is the only thing that I have come across that is in Pisces in my chart.
    *wave to baristagem at the top of the thread* Meeee tooooooo!

    It’s 31 degrees and right smack bang in the middle of my 5th house.


  7. My Theodora is like Mystic’s –conjunct my north node–in Gemini in the 7th house.

    Two of my inspirational ancient heroines are Antigone and Penelope. Antigone is asteroid 129 and Penelope is 201. I looked them up and was thrilled to find that Antigone is in my 8th house–FINALLY, I have something in my 8th house! Though there are no significant aspects, at least there’s something in there. (Kind of interesting that the Antigone story is all about death.)

    Penelope is a “crafty” weaving woman, and she held down the fort for 20 years while her husband was off at the wars– I admire her for those qualities. She is on my MC and conjunct my Mars in Virgo, within 2 degrees. That’s pretty cool.

  8. Theodora is conjunct my Neptune in Cap, 7th house.

    So… Neptune makes me a bit prone to illusions in regards to my relationships with others, but Theodora means I sexily and powerfully bounce back each time! And good ol’ Cap means I’m pragmatic about the whole heartbreaky affair!

  9. I only got to know more about theodora last year when I had to style a shoot based on her, I did a lot more reading than I had too because she was so fascinating.

    Theodora is on my sagittarius DSC opposite ascendant, just tipped into 7th
    perfect love?
    mistress of my heart?

    I love heroine stories. when younger I had a massive jean d’arc phase. I think it was the guided by voices thing and a girl in armor trying to save her people. The whole saving your clan from extinction, rising up to protect your people thing gives my spine serious chills. think its ancestral.

  10. Theodora in Taurus conj Jups in the 3rd and v close to IC in Gem. Thanks for new topic Mystic as I’m in the mood for random musings tonight as it is miserable weather here in Bris – wet and cold and I’m staying in. (Libra 8th house)

    My favourite asteroid would have to be Demeter aka Ceres – great mother goddess and goddess of the earth, harvest and seasons. She hung in there against the abduction of her daughter Persephone by Hades and persisted in using her powers to persuade Zeus to intervene. I also love the stories of her wanderings while Persephone was serving her time in Hades every year. At one time she disguises herself as an old peasant woman and is taken in by a kindly mother as a nursemaid to her baby boy named Triptolemus. She comes to love the boy and bestows him immortality. Years later, she sends him out with the gift of corn to all of mankind and to teach them to use the plough and sickle so they would no longer be at the mercy of famine. This is the mother archetype exalted imho. Isn’t that what the ultimate parenting goal is? To send out your progeny as a great gift for mankind.

    Ceres conj Lilith in Sag in 10th house.

    I also love Hecate. Right now I am calling on Hecate as I’m at a crossroads in my life and need her farsightedness and ability to see in all directions (that’s her on my avatar). She told Demeter the fate of her daughter and also made Persephone’s time easier in Hades by befriending her thus earning Hades trust and gaining her a place in the spirit world.

    Hecate conj Merc/Uranus/Pluto in Virgo in the 7th.

    1. Found this about Hecate which is exactly what I need at the moment:

      “The Greek goddess Hecate reminds us of the importance of change, helping us to release the past, especially those things that are hindering our growth, and to accept change and transitions. She sometimes asks us to let go of what is familiar, safe, and secure and to travel to the scary places of the soul.

      New beginnings, whether spiritual or mundane, aren’t always easy. But Hecate is there to support and show you the way.

      She loans her farsightedness for you to see what lies deeply forgotten or even hidden, and helps you make a choice and find your path. Oft times she shines her torch to guide you while you are in dreams or meditation. “

      1. Very interesting ff!! As i have Hecate also in Gem, along with Theodora. Change and growth.. Hope she works for you and light to you.. x

        Can be hard to let go, you are Cancer right? Soz if i mistaken. 🙂

        1. Am Leo but with NN/Vertex/Mars and Moon in Cancer (and you could add Venus as she is at Gem 29.59 conj all that); so yes to finding it difficult to letting go of feelings and some people (but not things so much). Love reading about the goddesses, so much feminine power and greatness buried in HIStory. Love and light to you to Sassygirl x

  11. *adds another possible asteroid obsession to the list*

    Theodora is in Taurus in the 6th and is conjunct my Saturn and trine lilith – by 0.03 deg. So I guess these two (Lilith and Theodora) work in cahoots. Why am I not surprised.

    I do need to work on this 6th house stuff more.

  12. Right. So – Theodora is 1 degree Libra in my second house….money and possessions. I have Sun in Libra and Mercury in Libra in my second house too. Never seem to have enough money – but can rise above that?

  13. Theodora Conjunct Neptune in Sagg in the 9th….
    So sexy and imbued with life etc with a mystical, far flung travel option incorporated, but beware the daydreams….
    God, that is so my life. In the last 15 years I’ve had one flirtation with an Aussie boy… the rest have all been foreigners, and travel is my raison d’etre.
    Ok – Please Angels – help me manifest this in a wonderful and positive way.

  14. This has got nothing to do with the topic, and is more in line with the ‘wombat’ discussion. But it made me laugh… And I quote ‘my baby calls me the loch ness monster, two huge humps and I’m gone’


  15. I’m fascinated by matriarchal civilisations and/or eras, particularly why they don’t tend to reign for any significant length of time as opposed to patriarchal systems.

    Afghanistan is an amazing region … ferociously tribal, not particularly predisposed to having “democratic capitalism” foisted on it. Iran is another incredible place … so rich in culture and mysticism and altogether shifting from one region to the other.

    I wish I could visit … but in these times it would be a dangerous proposition.

      1. Very similar. Met my Colombian at 18 married at 19 had baby at 20…Fate certainly will find you, even if it doesnt last 😉

      2. Thought maybe you had some saggi in you sweetie? I know its probably a bit biased or whateve but i just cant date aussie men, love anyone from a differnt culture to me.

  16. Anyhoo … so Theodora is great and all …

    but what about Sam Rockwell in Iron Man??? Like first The Green Mile, then Moon now IR … geez that guy is just flippin my damn organic, milk fed, freakin tofu-injected burger!!! I believe he’s a Saggo? Cool. Toros OUT. Saggos IN.

        1. No laughing here – Totally agree…on both counts -Sam and Robert! Sexy as and amazingly versatile actors. (Ps and loved Sam doing his little sexy dance in Charlie’s Angels to all-time sexy song “Got to Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye)

  17. Asteroid Theodora is BANG ON my Capricorn Sun – only 1 degree in it!
    You know, I too have risen from nothing to rule, my erotic performances frequently titillate and more often scandalise, I have saved a thrown (OK, a community organisation), and incredibly… I am also AMAZING.

    I’m adding her to the swag of girl-power asteroids I have significant conjunctions with. Yikes, I’m scarier than Scary Spice.

    Meanwhile, Asteroid Theodora is EXACT conjunct my Gemini Midheaven today… Hmmm.. What should I do? Strip in the boardroom? I’m wearing very fancy undies today.

    1. Hahaha. So did you? I’ve got Theodora on my moon in Cap, also lengthening a list of ‘strong female’ stuff going on. Strong is good, but I do hope I’m not TOO scary…

      1. Hehe.
        NO I did not, but I did get weirdly hit on by a work colleague… Yikes.
        No such thing as too scary Plum. Cap Moon deserves someone(s) up for a challenge. x

  18. I’m reading about her too. Great read and she’s an amazingly modern gal from all accounts.

    That’s so cool that she’s an asteroid as well. Theodora falls in my 4th house and opposite my Sat/Jupiter 10th house conjunction. A great mantra for my sometimes murky family life.

  19. So now I find i can add Theodora to the Eros-Psyche conjuction and Venus-Neptune conjunction bang on ascendant all going on in my Scorpio 12th house…

    Am at the very end of the limits of the optimism and hope one might expect from natal Saggo Sun tightly conjunct Pandora in 1st, so please, madame universe, make Theodora’s life force and eventual faith/wealth re-manifest in MY life during this Venus-Mars in Scorp transit….

  20. I love Theodora !! and may need her wisdom… so it’s power through exotic dancing, right? Got to work on that…

    She’s there in my 5th house with Pluto about to go conjunct (must check the exact date…) What on earth could that mean, Pluto conjunct Theodora in 5th house??? It’s a house that’s, obviously, been totally churned up by Pluto. Can Theodora be helpful? I think I need all help available.

    1. If Pluto transit means destruction and rebirth, the dropping of attempts to control others and the gaining of self-mastery, and if Theodora instensifies the theme of powerful life force arising undefeated to greater heights from the muck, and if 5th is about one’s creations/romances as an affirming mirror to the ego, then at least you can be assured that you will rise from whatever ego/heart chakra/child-related disappointments that arise early in the destruction phase of the Pluto transit, as an even more powerful, purified force of creation and self-expression that manifests in ways you might never have dreamed of before, sexier than ever thanks to your intensified self-mastery, which is so sure of its own greatness that it cares not for mastery over the actions/ reactions of others to the authentic self….

      Er, or something cool like that. Think we could all do with a bit of that given the Venus transit n’all, eh?

        1. reckon you nailed your own chart/Theodora, not to mention the charts/solution to the problems of most people in this blog-universe already, hon!

      1. oops – reply from me that looks like it was to shell, above, was meant for you, sweatpea (but hi to you too shell – from recent posts sounds like you are actualising the phd all over the place, so you go grrrl)

      2. Wow! Thank you for that fantastic interpretation. (I bow, blow kiss). Love it. You are really quite good at this, you know.

        Oh the self mastery…. So elusive.

  21. I think I’m starting to believe in separtism … you know like Wonder Woman Island or even more preferable – that disappearing island in the Mists of Avalon.

      1. Mine too, first house 11 degree Gem opposing my Uranus….. Need to be more Gemmy. please teach me prowln 😉 slow ass toro rising

        1. just babble on a lot (it doesn’t actually need to make sense); read the first and last paras of a book then prattle convincingly like you’ve read the entire thing; have multiple interests, lovers, personalities; have rapid seemingly incomprehensible changes of mind, like … last week it was Coopers, this week it’s Beck’s .. stuff like that

          I would warn you tho’ that your Toro Asc will find it all terribly tiresome after awhile! 😉

        1. yeh the sexist religionist wank got on my nerves too, but I persevered for the sake of Morgaine. The book was actually amazing since it told the story of a druidic celtic priestess fighting against the oppressive Christian patriarchal regime of the time. It’s infuriating to know that eventually the fuqers took over, but guess what? The genetics pulled through and eventually women’s rights have been addressed – even if tokenistically. BUT enough for us to get a sense of our own power, and perhaps a bit of “kindy practice” before we unfurl our power and our wisdom – this time? Stand back mofos ….

        2. actually I should put it in histocultural words: the book was a wonderful allegory of how Christianity and the whole Crusade movement sought to wipe out all indigenous spiritual beliefs and practices for the purposes of power and control over land, property and prestige in Europe between the 10th – 13th centuries.

          The Celt’s monument Stonehenge still stands tho and has anyone noticed that crop circles look a lot like overview plans of the sites they are created on??

      1. She’s been getting on my tits. I’m reading it at the moment – middle of the last section now. Have loved every juicy morsel of it – besides Guiny of course. Also recently read The Lost Lands by Lucy Cavendish which has a section on Avalon. Always read several books at the same time.

  22. Theodora is in Taurus in my 6th house. I have risen from the depths of undecipherable health issues to shining healthfulness. Healthy is sexy. I like the idea of undefeated and powerful, because I want to be beautiful forever. Like even when I’m 80. I’m working on how to do that. Not that I’m anywhere close to 80, but I believe in planning ahead. So far my research shows not eating very much after 60 is the best way to retain beauty in old age. Whew! I get to eat for awhile yet.

    I’m not sure how the Taurus part factors in.

  23. Holy moley…. 😯

    Theodora is at 24 degrees Pisces in the 1st house & right next to Pisces rising at 23 degrees…. Whoa! It is now travelling across my 3rd house where my Sun, Moon & Venus all live in Gemini…. 😯

          1. You have her in the 5th?

            Well that makes your 5th house (omg!) which is the house of pleasure & creativity even more sexed up! 😯

            You should be totally tuning in to working that Theodora venus a-go-go…. 😯

          2. So maybe its that when I am being pleasurabl creative then I get powerful and sexy.

            I like the concept (not sure it is true)… it sure as hell beats the arse off whimsy!

          3. *pleasurably

            I am never really sure how to ‘tune into’ the sexed up stuff… I mean, Venus is my calling card, but my relationships are few.
            It’s like men are either terrified of me or want to keep me in a gilded love cage.
            And 99 percent of the time I don’t think they are interesting. And if I do find them interesting, they think I am waaaaaay too intense and tell me to go away, then miss me and want me back, then go away and only have me around on _their_ terms, which I have recently come to the conclusion is _not_ on.
            RECLAIM MY POWER!

            … sorry … its been a couple of weeks working through this. Still trying to work it out.

          4. Sounds like you need to take control of your Venus & do not let anyone else in the driver’s seat venus a-go-go.. no matter what!

            I have found that once you start moving to the tune of another you forget the beat of your own drum….. & BAM! You find yourself wondering what the hell went wrong… 😯

            Oh & I love this quote from I don’t know, someone….

            ‘Start treating yourself right because it shows others how you expect to be treated.’
            ………………… or something like that …………………..

      1. Oh Steph you know what this means….. we are amazing just like Theodora!

        That is what it means doesn’t it? 😯

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