working with the asteroids 5236 Yoko (1990) and 327695 Yokoono (2006)
From Athena to Zeus we, as astrologers, derive our interpretations of the celestial bodies from the starting point of the individual archetype’s myth: what the mythical Jupiter was said to be like informs how the planet is interpreted. Then, over time, and with observation, the qualities and areas over which the archetype has influence is both corroborated and honed.
The following is my “Myth of Yoko Ono” (myth being an archetypal story, not something that is made up), her life in simple outline. It shows the areas of life where we, too, may be affected by similar events. For instance, if a woman had a strongly aspected natal 5236 Yoko in the 5th house of children, she may also experience her child being taken from her by the child’s father or father figure, feeling helpless and unable to do much about it.
I find the fine tuning that the Asteroid Goddesses add to a chart more striking than the basic information the ten planets provide. The latter tend to give the size, shape and color of one’s life-tapestry. The Asteroid Goddesses then fill in the details marvelously, meticulously and often with uncanny accuracy.
As we learn from hindsight (the birth chart), we may be better equipped to forge ahead (transits charts, etc.) in a balance way. In other words, history, personal or otherwise, is supremely important. It gives us the pattern and likely outcomes once we become aware of and familiar with the types of threads used in any given ‘tapestry’. Only then can we exercise wise choice rather than operating in default mode. And that, for me, is what astrology is all about: choice.
The Story of Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono was born into a wealthy, privileged family. She was a trained Western classical musician from a young age. During World War II she and her siblings were evacuated to the country where they were always hungry and hated by the rural people who worried about having enough to eat themselves. The country children ridiculed Yoko because she was from the city and had Western mannerisms and tastes. It was here that she learned to love the sky and found inspiration and solace there. The sky would figure prominently in much of her work.
Imagine letting a goldfish swim across the sky.
Let it swim from the West to the East.
Drink a liter of water.
Imagine letting a goldfish swim across the sky.
Let it swim from the East to the West.
– from Grapefruit, by Yoko Ono, 1964
Yoko means Ocean Child in Japanese. Always thought of as an original thinker and uniquely imaginative, she was the first woman allowed to enroll in Gakushuin University’s philosophy course in Japan. But she gave that up after two semesters becoming bored with the sterility of academia. She travelled to New York City, where her family had moved for her father’s work in banking, and attended another prestigious school, Sarah Lawrence College. There she studied music composition and literature. In the City she became part of the avant garde art scene, and had a daughter, Kyoko, with Tony Cox, an American.
Yoko became a working conceptual artist and showed all over the world. Whilst setting up a show in London, she met another artist whom she recognized as her soul mate and the two were soon inseparable.
In the male-dominated world in which Yoko’s soul mate, John, lived and worked, her presence, as a woman and a foreigner, was highly resented by many. John’s very famous band was in the process of dissolving and Yoko was an easy, visible scapegoat. The fans who professed to love John hated Yoko, and could not accept their idol’s evolving life. They wished for him to forever remain freeze-dried in a specific timeframe.
John and Yoko began experimenting artistically and their creativity grew and grew. Their main message throughout their many projects was “Give Peace a Chance”. It was a challenging time for Yoko. Kyoko’s father had spirited the girl away even though Yoko was awarded custody of her daughter. Although Yoko searched all over the world, she never found her (the Demeter archetype). She eventually moved back to New York City, a place where both she and John felt at home.
See the sky between a woman’s thighs.
See the sky between your own thighs.
See the sky through your belongings by making holes in them.
i.e., pants, jacket, shirt, stockings, etc.
– from Grapefruit, by Yoko Ono, 1964
Yoko and John eventually had a child together after many years of trying. As a family they pioneered a new way of parenting: At John’s insistence, he took care of the baby, and Yoko went to work to secure their financial future. Although she was very unsure of her ability to be effective in the business world, Yoko soon discovered she was a natural.
When their child was just five years old, and when John and Yoko were completing their latest collaboration, John was murdered in front of Yoko, leaving her desolate.
Yoko worked quietly on her art and raised their son alone. One day nearly 30 years after Kyoko disappeared, she came back into Yoko’s life of her own accord and remains in close contact.
Yoko worked tirelessly for peace and to keep John’s art and message alive in the world (Medusa Archetype, a protector). She created many monuments to his memory including Strawberry Fields in Central Park, The Peace Tower in Iceland, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, and many charitable projects.
As a lifelong advocate for peace and justice in the world, Yoko continued with her own art too and when she was 82 years old (and still a vital force), a very famous modern art museum, that had up until this time ignored Yoko’s work, launched a retrospective exhibit of her work in the city in which Yoko still lived. She was finally being given recognition as a woman in a field still dominated by men.
With all the hatred and slander that Yoko endured for 50 years, she always remembered how important cultivating inner peace as well as outer peace was and never expressed bad feelings or resentment. She was always compassionate and gave everyone the benefit of the doubt no matter how hurt she was by remarks made against her.
Sit under a blue sky.
Keep your head open
Let ideas come into you.
-Acorn, by Yoko Ono, 2013
Yoko is one of the most remarkable artists of our time, an accomplished business woman, and one of the most important living (at the time of this writing) role models for exemplifying peace we have amongst us. It is interesting to note that the women’s spirituality movement began to pick up speed in 1990 with the discovery of the asteroid 5236 Yoko. In the late 1980s many foundational women’s spirituality books were published. In 1992 Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, was published. It was a runaway best seller, a bible for many women navigating their way into new terrain, bringing worldwide attention to the women’s movement.
The presence of two asteroids bearing Yoko’s name indicates that slowly, over time this archetypal energy is becoming unveiled within the Collective Mind. We can now work consciously with the challenges Yoko has held for us in archetypal form all these years. We were not ready to shine a light upon this difficult energy, but which nonetheless affected each of us. An itch we couldn’t scratch.
Some issues we might contemplate for ourselves around the Yoko Archetype that may show up for us if either one or both asteroids have strong aspects in our own charts are below:
- We can maintain our authentic values and convictions in the face of constant ridicule, vicious hatred, and deep grief.
- We engage in creativity because it is important to us regardless of who else treasures it. With patience and focus we may come to be acknowledged for our contributions much later in life.
- We do not have to be conventional or to apologize for being our authentic selves, though our path will be fraught with difficulty, the way the world presently exists.
- We can maintain our integrity doing and being what we know to be correct regardless of the ill that is visited upon us, and know we add to the evolving paradigm by doing so.
- Can we hold a vision that is bigger than we are?
World Events in 1990 – a year of huge change
The immanent release of Nelson Mandela is announced in South Africa
Multiple-party election in the Soviet Union is voted into law and Mikhail Gorbachov is the first executive president of the Soviet Union
The UK and Argentina restore diplomatic ties which were severed in the 1982 Falkland War
The first woman president in the Americas, Violeta Chamorro, is voted into power in Nicaragua
East Germany holds its first free elections
Anti-poll tax demonstration in London’s Trafalgar Square turns into a riot
West and East Germany agree to merge economies and currency and become one country on October 3rd
The World Health Organization removes homosexuality from its list of diseases
J. K. Rowling gets the idea for Harry Potter on a train from Manchester to London
The destruction of the Berlin Wall officially starts and Checkpoint Charlie is dismantled
The first two female Anglican priests are ordained in the UK
Iraq invades Kuwait which leads to the Gulf War
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain resigns and is replaced by John Major, who abolishes the poll tax