Astraea was a female Cardassian and a Guide for the Oralian Way. The name "Astraea" is a traditional name assumed by the woman who is to be that generation's guide, a tradition that stretches back to the days of the Hebitians. Following the purge of the Oralian Way in which Skrain Dukat played a major role, this line appeared to have been broken for good. (DS9 novel: Day of the Vipers)
The Rise of Astraea after the Purge
The most recent woman bearing the name of Astraea whose identity is known was once known as Miras Vara, a young woman who at the time was studying agriculture at the Cardassian Science Ministry. On a trip to the Obsidian Order's storehouses to obtain Bajoran soil samples for her project, she was directed to a Bajoran religious artifact that had the encrusted samples she required: an Orb. With no prior knowledge as to the nature of the Orb, Vara had an overwhelming response to it and shortly thereafter began to research into the Oralian Way, whose tenets and customs she had previously had almost no knowledge of. She returned to encounter the Orb again, this time experiencing a powerful vision in which she met with generations of women who had taken the name "Astraea" and served as guides of their Way. She came to understand that she was to become the new Astraea and lead a revival of the ancient Hebitian faith.
Vara, who now traveled under her new name, began a search for the holy texts of the Oralians--the Hebitian Records, "the book in which all things are written." Here she encountered Thrax Sa'kat, who seemed to have known in some way about her coming and led her to an underground group of Oralian believers. From here, Astraea slowly built up a body of new followers. (DS9 novel: Night of the Wolves)
Eventually a former friend of hers from the Science Ministry, Kalisi Reyar, heard about the rise of the Oralian Way and realized that Astraea had made her first appearance at exactly the same time Miras Vara had disappeared, never to be seen again. Reyar attempted to betray Astraea to the Obsidian Order, but as Astraea was warned to relocate by a believer within the Order's ranks, the informations she passed along to agent Dost Abor turned out to be out of date, and infuriated at having his time "wasted," Abor shot Reyar. Sadly, the death of her former friend guaranteed her safety for the time. (DS9 novel: Dawn of the Eagles)
Finally free to worship in the open after the Dominion War, Astraea ran a meeting of followers of Oralius in the Torr Sector of Cardassia City which Elim Garak and Palandine have attended. Whether this is still the same Astraea who revived the religion, or a possible successor, is at this time unknown. (DS9 novel: A Stitch in Time)