Free Weekly Astrology Class: Bacchus the Pleasure Asteroid

Bacchus is Jupiter’s son. Usually shown with grapes (he rules wine) and a leopardskin draped on his person, he is a symbol of rock’n’roll (1950’s rock’n’rollers also being draped in leopardskin) and hedonism.

Bacchus is Jupiter’s son. Usually shown with grapes (he rules wine) and a leopardskin draped on his person, he is a symbol of rock’n’roll (1950’s rock’n’rollers also being draped in leopardskin) and hedonism.

In your chart by sign and house he shows where you give pleasure and like to receive it. If you have exact (zero to one degree orb) aspects to Bacchus in your horoscope then the pleasure principle will rule your life. You may be a brothel madam or run a vineyard.

Bacchus British Museum E 600x448 - Free Weekly Astrology Class: Bacchus the Pleasure Asteroid

Less obviously, Bacchus by sign and house shows you where you very specifically indulge yourself and other people. It may have nothing to do with alcohol or ‘Bacchanalia’ (the wild Roman parties that took their name from the god).

If you have Bacchus in Taurus in the Second House then you may work in a bank, distributing credit cards so people can spend themselves into debt in order to have a good time, all the time (and you can too, because you make commission).

As with all astrology you have to put this asteroid in context. He was found in 1977, the year that punk rock broke. In the middle of hard economic times, Bacchus appeared to create a movement that revolved around beer and 1950’s iconography, thanks to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. Vivienne’s shop SEX on the Kings Road in Chelsea became the centre of punk.

The Roman Bacchanalia was associated with the sexual excess of the empire and sculpture we have of Bacchanalian processions in the British Museum shows the followers of Bacchus drunk, or high, and certainly in abandonment.

Bacchus British Museum C 600x448 - Free Weekly Astrology Class: Bacchus the Pleasure Asteroid

A maenad and two satyrs in a Dionysiac procession, Roman, about AD 100 reminds us that the Greek predecessor of Bacchus was Dionysus.

Astrology is Roman, not Greek, so we use the Italian names and archetypes.

The symbolism is developed from Greece and in modern astrology we acknowledge where the image of Bacchus comes from (Dionysus) but still use the developed Roman idea.

The British Museum sculpture from The Townley Collection shows what it calls ‘an ecstatic procession’ and the drug ecstasy is associated with Bacchus. So is the British new wave band XTC who rose to fame shortly after 1977.

Bacchus British Museum B 600x448 - Free Weekly Astrology Class: Bacchus the Pleasure Asteroid

Wild felines like the leopard but also the panther are Bacchus symbols. You don’t get that kind of detail unless you use asteroids, which is why modern astrologers enjoy using them. They enrich and explain a chart.

Bacchus aka Dionysus 4 448x600 - Free Weekly Astrology Class: Bacchus the Pleasure Asteroid

The Romans painted the eyes of their sculptures to make them seem alive – as if the gods were real – and you can see that here in the front and rear view of Dionysus/Bacchus, the Greek god adopted by the Romans. I took this photograph in Rome, partly to show his red lips. He may as well be wearing rock-star lipstick!

Bacchus aka Dionysus  448x600 - Free Weekly Astrology Class: Bacchus the Pleasure Asteroid

Bacchus has a very particular feel in a chart. Look at your own horoscope by sign, house and aspect (the patterns Bacchus makes).

You can almost guess who would have a ‘strong Bacchus’ in the world of the famous. By strong, I mean, Bacchus makes more than one exact aspect in a chart and so different bits and pieces of a personality and destiny are always pulled into that symbol. Hedonism or indulgence follow one round.

Bacchus British Museum F 600x448 - Free Weekly Astrology Class: Bacchus the Pleasure Asteroid


Images in article: Jessica Adams

Feature Image: Rene Bernal




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33 Responses

  1. This so perfectly encapsulates the Bacchus pleasure principle. I have Bacchus conjunct my natal Mars at 7 degrees of Scorpio. My favourite outfit when I was younger? A black biker jacket with a leopard print lining teamed with leopard print heels. For me is was sex, wine and rock n’ roll! Never did the drugs. Rock and roll to free my soul. Hey – I miss that outfit! LOL And Bacchus says: Why stop now?!

  2. Hi Jessica,

    Thanks for this article. I have Bacchus at 13 degrees in Aquarius. I also have Mars at 14 degrees in Taurus and Juno at 14 degrees in Cancer. Can you please tell me if this means I get pleasure from group activities that involve action and commitment?? Thanks!

    1. Yes, that’s right. In fact 2021 is unforgettable as Jupiter will move to 13 Aquarius and conjunct Bacchus, who was his son. That group is very important then.

  3. Thank you dear Jessica, I was so looking forward this article on Bacchus! He’s very strong in my little boy’s chart and it shows. He’s such cheerful person, irresistible really. He has a great appetite, laughts a lot, enjoys himself almost always, sometimes in the most impossible situations, because he just wants to have fun all the time. It’s contageous. My mother already labelled him a hedonist 🙂 He has Bacchus at 23 Cancer, Mercury at 24 Cancer, Moon at 23 Gemini, Ops at 22 Leo. (Sun, Venus, Mars, Vulcano is also in Leo and the Ascendant, Diana, Panacea and the North Node is also in Cancer). He also resembles a lot to my father-in-law who also has Mercury at 24 Cancer (Venus, Mars, Vulcano in Leo) and is a Sun in Cancer. I, myself have Psyche at 24 Leo. How likely is that? It really amazes me.

    1. It’s funny that your mother spotted Bacchus. He is very strongly Bacchanalian and quite rock’n’roll actually. His Moon is the key in Gemini in the Third House of media, the internet, advertising, the spoken word, songwriting and acting. He is also very strongly Leo and will want to influence teenagers when he is older, in his forties or fifties. The music industry may well call him. Or the entertainment industry.

  4. Hi there Jessica,

    I’ve been curious about Bacchus in my chart for a while now. I have these factors around 1 degree:

    Bacchus in Capricorn 1 degree 25′
    IC in Aries 1 degree 9′
    MC Libra 1 degree 9′

    Maybe important (?) Vulcano in Aries – 0 degree 47′

    If I’m interpreting correctly these three form a trine (?) but beyond that, I’m not sure what to make of it. With Bacchus in structured Capricorn in 10th house of career, it doesn’t sound like party time. Although reflecting back in time, my early career right out of college was in the advertising business, and those were certainly party times!!! Now that I’m in my later years, things are distinctly UN-FUN on numerous levels. I sometimes long for the earlier days, it was much more carefree in terms of lifestyle.

    Anyways, I would love to hear your interpretation of my aspect and what I can look forward to. And how the MC/IC should be thought of when interpreting the chart.

    And P.S., I am a huge XTC fan! The Mayor of Simpleton is probably my favorite 🙂

    1. Your job in advertising was your Bacchus in Capricorn in the Tenth House. Work as play. Aspects aren’t active all the time – they have to be triggered – but you will find any time a slow-moving outer planet goes to 1 degree it will help bring your Bacchus back. If your birth time was strictly accurate, then your IC and MC are correct, and your MC actually rules your vocation or true calling in life. Square Bacchus it suggests something you cannot quite square about what your highest achievement should be, with the work itself. You won’t really feel that in 2020 as nothing is at 1 degree yet, but Jupiter moves to 1 Aquarius in December, making a semi-sextile to Bacchus (who was his son) so you would expect a brand new opportunity involving friends or groups, quite outside the situation, to help you rediscover the party you thought you’d lost, in your career. And of course it’s Christmas so there will be a round of parties, virtual or real, at that time. I’m glad you like XTC. Good taste.

  5. Hi Jessica – I have a question that is off the topic of Bacchus but wanted to connect with you 🙂

    In my 2020 Astrological report for the Forum, on page 28 you describe “The Late May Revolution that Lasts”, and the dates you point to coincide with the sea change of George Floyd: May 25 he died, May 26 officers were fired, May 27 protests began. You point to Psyche and Uranus as key to the revolution. Will you be building on this – or will Psyche and Uranus? I’ve been watching Taurus/Uranus for finance-related revolution and this is unexpected!

    What an incredible revolution the world is seeing because of the occurrences of those 3 days! I always enjoy your writing and look forward to more!

    1. Thank you for pointing that out. Uranus and Psyche in Taurus are about a revolution in the world economy, and also our values. In America, George Floyd has started a movement which may attract voters to the Democrats more than anyone expected – particularly non-white working-class voters. That would certainly shift the economy and we are seeing a Democrat leadership in 2021-2024 which taxes the rich and gives back to the working class, and also people without jobs. So the murder of George Floyd has kickstarted an issue which was never there before. The non-white, working-class or unemployed vote. That may be enough to rock a radical new economy.

  6. Hi Jessica,

    How can I interpret my Bacchus in 10 Capricorn with my Pluto at 10 Libra?
    I also have Mars at 11 Cancer and Vesta at 9 Taurus, if they count in this context.

    Thank you so much!!!

    1. Your desire for pure pleasure at work does not square with your need to control your marriage, sexual partnership – or a work partnership. It won’t be there all the time, just whenever the aspect is under transit. Mars in Cancer is about your home life and tension there. Vesta in Taurus is about sorting out gender politics with your budget. So there is some tension there between work and home, or work and love. Creative tension requires creative solutions and I’m sure you’ve found them.

  7. Hi Jessica,
    Thanks for this interesting article on Bacchus. Im trying to work out what he means for me. He’s in Leo where I have a whopping great stellium including my Sun, Moon and Mercury, and he’s conjunct my MC and Apollo in Leo. I do own a good haul of leopard print clothes and shoes, so perhaps Bacchus is part of how I express myself in the world!
    I’d be grateful for any insights you might have on this part of my chart.
    Thank you!

    1. Leopard print clothes and shoes is interesting. Bacchus in Leo in the Fifth House is about the greatest pleasure in sex. In fact a Bacchanalia in Rome was about sexual abandon. Leo and the Fifth House are about pregnancy as much as anything else, though, so transits to Bacchus would have astrologers asking if you were serious about contraception or not (or becoming a parent). Bacchus is about the highs of life, so also in Leo in the Fifth House, it’s about the high of having children, or godchildren, or just – teaching a younger generation.

  8. Hi Jessica,

    Thank you for the lesson. One thing I don’t understand, and wondered whether you could explain, please-

    “By strong, I mean, Bacchus makes more than one exact aspect in a chart and so different bits and pieces of a personality and destiny are always pulled into that symbol. Hedonism or indulgence follow one round.”

    My chart shows as Bacchus 1 Capricorn. How can he make more than one exact aspect in a chart?

    As always, I appreciate your time and knowledge.

    All the best


    1. Bacchus at 1 Capricorn actually makes no exact aspects in your chart Jeanie, so there are no patterns. He’s not strong. In fact he’s out there on his own! Thank you.

  9. Hi Jessica,
    My Bacchus is in Capricorn in the 10th opposite my cancer moon in the 4th. Does this mean my good times/having wild fun oppose my actual emotional needs?
    Kind regards

    1. Bacchus in Capricorn in the Tenth House is work as a party. Career as pure pleasure. Achievement, ambition, success and status as life’s champagne. Your Cancer Moon is about your need ‘to be needed’ at home, or with the family. Put that together Jen and you will find that you have a classic life-work balance to sort out.

  10. Hi Jessica,
    I find Bacchus interesting. I’m very pleasure focused but I thought that was because of my Venus. I see that Bacchus is close to my Sun and Saturn and also part of a stellium. However the more intriguing part is the oppositions it forms. Would these temper it a bit or in fact make it more prominent?

    1. Oppositions create tension in the chart that demands action, like being involved in a tug-of-war at school. You have to cheer on one team, or both, perhaps, switching sides. So you will ‘back’ your Bacchus sometimes and push back against it at others.

  11. I feel that giving pleasure to people is part of my calling or what I want to be doing for life direction/work as a special kind of tour guide. Does that make sense with my chart ? The 24 Bacchus in Aquarius Together with 24 IC Capricorn and 24 MC Cancer? I would be very interested in your answer Jessica! Thank you x

    1. Bacchus in Aquarius in the Eleventh House is pleasure with groups and friends – given and shared. It turns up when people are in bands with big fan clubs. If your birth time is strictly accurate then this aspects your Cancer (home town/country) MC really well and of course your Capricorn IC (you come from a family where ambition has been inherited). It would need to be more than an average tour guide role, though. Special is correct – this would need to be out of the ordinary; perhaps your own business or a five-star role within a larger company. Capricorn IC people don’t really want less than the biggest and best. Virtual walking tours are likely to be very popular in the new world of reduced travel and enforced one hour exercise!

  12. Thank you for the reply, Jessica. My mother-in-law is an astrologer but she is following more traditional methods (doesn’t work with these asteroids) and still said the same thing as you! It’s also interesting you’ve mentioned rock’n’roll – when I was eight month pregnant with him we went to a big rock show and one women pointed at my belly and said “This baby’s gonna rock!” It was such an enigmatic moment. Maybe he really will 🙂

    1. Work is play, and play is work. Career is really about pure pleasure, and doing well, achieving ambitions, winning higher status, finding success is almost like a natural high for you. You can bring joy into any corporate, government, business or administrative structure.

  13. Hi Jessica, just wondering how one can kick Bacchus into gear? I have him in Aquarius at 24 degrees but have zero community and honestly less than one handful of friends and they’re all from times gone by, not close in geography at all. Does my Neptune in Sag at 24 and Pluto in Libra at 23 come into play at all? Will next years Aquarius weather be more fruitful with a change of locale (destination unknown) on the cards?? Thanks so much as always 🙂

    1. Mercury, MC, Salacia and South Node are also in Aquarius in your chart, in the Eleventh House, so it’s not just Bacchus. Friendships and teams, clubs, groups or communities are a second job for you (the MC). They are also where you have to learn about communication (Mercury) so again it feels more like work or study than the pure fun of Bacchus. Salacia suggests two worlds of unreality through one friend. The South Node suggests years of karma with friends and groups going back into past lives, actually. So there is more to this than meets the eye. I wonder what has happened with friends and groups, even from childhood. In 2021 you will find Jupiter in Aquarius brings one opportunity after another to fix the past and build a completely new social life for the future. And to rebuild or build a crucial group.

  14. Hi Jessica,
    Thank you for your insights. Looking at my chart, I have Bacchus at 25 in Sag. I would be obliged if you can share your review of how this plays out in my chart. Thank you!

    1. Bacchus gives pleasure and receives it. People are drawn, as much as you are drawn. Sagittarius rules foreign nationalities, foreign culture and languages. So when you project that, in a place where they find you foreign, others are attracted and enjoy it. It’s rather like a French teacher who finds students flock to his class because of the way he speaks. It is the same when you travel. You lose yourself in travel and throw yourself into foreign cultures.

  15. Dear Jessica,
    Thankyou for such an interesting article. Looking at my chart I have Bacchus at 19 Aquarius, Apollo at 19 Taurus and Mercury 19 Gemini. I also have a tonne of things at 18 degrees throughout my chart.
    I would love to hear your thoughts on how these work together (or oppose). For example I will spend money (even if I can’t really afford it) on getting gifts, wine, cheese, presents for friends and people at parties, gatherings and functions because I want to share the experience but I also need to learn how to curb the temptation to party but still enjoy the conversations and friends without going full ‘Bacchanalian’ every time! Loving all the articles, horoscopes, podcasts, and comments on your site. They have been so insightful especially in 2020.

    1. Thank you. Bacchus is leading you a merry dance and you spend money you cannot afford on party food. Awareness is everything, though, and you can ‘have a good time all the time’ (to quote Spinal Tap) with Bacchus, without blowing your budget and annoying your Apollo in Taurus. There is quite a good Zoom festival coming up with Brian Eno, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Noam Chomsky, Dr. Jane Goodall and others which might appeal to your Bacchus in Aquarius. Feel the energy but spend less!

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