Maerten de Vos / Public domain

Europa is the sixth largest asteroid in the Main Belt, but we hear surprisingly little about her! Named after a Phoenician princess, mother of King Minos of Crete, and one of Zeus’s famed conquests, Europa has a complex mythology. Jupiter has a moon called Europa, but in this article we are talking about Europa the asteroid – they are completely different objects.

This archetype has something to say about the unleashing of women’s power in the world independent of the containing frame of the men in her life.

In your Human Design, Europa shows where you have the ability to create a stable structure of abundance through the strength of your own regenerative nature, your passion and seductive charisma.

It also seems to be telling us about the power of being seduced. It can bring new life, but it can also carry us off our personal path. Choose wisely!

Europa’s Mythology

You might read that the continent of Europe was named after princess Europa, but her name was likely an early description of the western shore of the Aegean Sea. It was common to link feminine archetypes with land – mother/mater/matter.

Europa is descended from the Argive princess Io*, whom Zeus transformed into a heifer. Her brother Cadmus brought the alphabet to Greece.

Europa was so very beautiful that Zeus found her irresistible. He transformed himself into a white bull and persuaded her to ride on his back, then whisked her off to Crete where he made her queen.

The motif of the bull is woven all through Europa’s mythology and meaning, a consort of the ancient all-powerful earth goddess. Europa is much more ancient than the Greek myth, and was likely related to Demeter and the ancient moon goddesses like Astarte.

This terracotta statue of

The bull is a multi-dimensional symbol of earthly passions, desires, magnetism, wealth and potency whose shadow is greed and lust. It is the image of archaic power, fertility and enterprise, the sacredness and ever generative fertility of Mother Nature.

The bull heralded spring, when the bountiful Earth became carpeted with wildflowers and the cycle of courtship began.

Hilary Bond PhD

This is one of a series of stories of Zeus using various ruses to abduct and seduce or rape women. Swashbuckling and devious, he could be the anti-poster boy for the #metoo movement. In this version he makes Europa Queen of Crete and she goes on to have a good and happy life.

Europa’s Discovery

The discovery point of an asteroid can tell us a lot about it’s meaning. Europa was discovered on 4 February 1858 by Hermann Goldschmidt from his balcony in Paris.

You can access the full interactive chart at

Europa was discovered in Gate 40 line 4 rx. The traditional I Ching ideogram for 40 shows someone grasping the horns of a bull and somersaulting over it’s back. It’s about letting go of guilt and worries, allowing situations to resolve without having to interfere in the process. When we think we have to solve problems we get pulled down paths that lead nowhere.

This is borne out by the Sun activation in 13: don’t be resentful about others not sharing your agenda, reconnect with your original intention, disengage from the struggle and focus on creating harmony. And the Earth activation in 7: the situation that was a source of strength is now a lifeless husk, lay it to rest.

Darkstar Astrology describes Europa as being swept off her feet rather than taking responsibility for her own life. The dream of being carried off to a utopia overrides her own purpose and pathway.

As I write this post, Europa is conjunct the North Node in Gate 12, and the video WAP is creating waves for being just too much woman.

This reminds me of the Cinderalla Complex, described by Colette Dowling, where women fear their own independence and have an unconscious desire to be taken care of.

There is definitely an aspect of suppression of women’s sexual power in this archetype. The patriarchy took the sexual power of the goddess and encased it within the romance of committed relationship. This could be part of the ‘seduction’ – that there is no place for the raw power of women, that it must be contained within a relationship with a man.

It’s interesting to find minor planet Salacia making a channel with the Earth activation. There’s a similar dilemma playing there – will I allow myself to be seduced? Will this pull me off my lifepath or open up a whole new world?

You can search for the asteroid Io in using minor planet number 85. Europa is part of the standard asteroid list.

I'm Kim Gould, founder of Love Your Design. I have been innovating and taking Human Design to the next level since 2003.

Beyond Type and Strategy, beyond the keywords and rigid rules, there are Asteroids, Dwarf Planets, Multidimensional Human Design and Holographic Human Design to explore. Come join me!

Want more? Join our Love Your Design Communitywhere we break the bounds of standard Human Design and explore it's full multidimensional potential.

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