The Key to Experience
Chiron is subtle, probably feminine yin, with a capacity to find new ways of looking at old situations. Unlike Saturn that restricts, or Jupiter that expands, or Uranus that intuits or Pluto that destroys in order to create, Chiron partakes of a different activity. It teaches in a guiding manner yet through experience rather than the mental gymnastics that Mercury might force upon us as he drops a book on our heads for us to read. Chiron places experiences in our paths that niggle at us because we cannot logify them out of existence yet we cannot fully understand them either – bringing our bodies in line with our minds and spirits so that they can change and live on too. Anything is possible when Chiron is around.
A comet-like planetoid now called Chiron was discovered by Charles T. Kowal on November 1, 1977. This rara avis flies between the courses of Saturn and Uranus in a highly elliptical 51-year orbit, closer at perihelion to the Sun than Saturn and almost as far out at aphelion as Uranus. This has the effect of moving him swiftly through some signs, such as Libra, but very slowly through others, such as Aries. The current scientific position is that Chiron probably originated in the Kuiper Belt, a disk of objects orbiting beyond Neptune. The first of many such minor planets (Centaurs) to be discovered, Chiron still remains the largest and most significant of these in terms of human destiny.
Chiron, immortal son of Kronos (Saturn), governs healing and relationships; he teaches us, as he did with Jason, Achilles and Heracles, to fulfil our ultimate potential. Chiron taught his secrets to Asclepios, the divine healer, but in modern astrology he profoundly stands for the deep wounds we have brought into this life to be healed – and so to enable us to heal others. His emblem represents holistic understanding. The area of the chart in which Chiron is located is the focus of the karmic healing process, which is often very painful.
When Chiron is activated by major progressions and transits, experiences tend to occur that bring us face to face with what really drove us to come here to this beautiful, but often painful planet. The sorrows and sufferings of the deep past are activated, brought to the surface, and we are given the chance to resolve them: to awaken from the sleep of ages. These experiences are karmic in the true sense of the word, for they will shake us until we wake, so long as we do not dull their effects with alcohol, drugs, or other ways of remaining drowsy, such as overwork or compulsive sex.
Chiron shakes us according to our character, as revealed through the symbols of the natal chart. A person with strong Mars will turn to violent action, or aggressive behaviour to avoid the truth; someone with strong Venus will smother consciousness in pleasure; one who has a powerful Moon may become drug or alcohol affected; Jupiter will turn to gambling; Saturn to overwork and so on for all the planetary types. The key to this is understanding the opportunity to reach a new level of consciousness, so that our own wounds may be healed and so that we may become a healing beacon in our own communities.
Unlike the drunken centaurs, Chiron was wise, with extensive knowledge of the healing arts, astrology, music and medicine. Heracles (Hercules) unintentionally wounded his teacher in the knee, during his battle with the centaurs. Thus his wound was in a sense self-inflicted, for he himself had taught the hero to make the poisoned arrow by dipping it in the blood of the Hydra.
The last of his kind, Chiron relinquished immortality so that the titanic rebel Prometheus (who brought the gift of fire – stolen from the gods – to the human race) could be released from his eternal torment. Thus he died so that humanity might live. After his death, he was placed in the firmament as the constellation Sagittarius.
Chiron is a knowledge-holder who transmits higher teachings, either as an outer teacher (Saturn), or as an inner teacher or spirit guide (Uranus). Embodying the archetype of "the wounded healer", Chiron stresses the importance of going within to find an answer – and then sharing it with others.
In education, music and medicine, Chiron unites the body and mind, instinct and intellect. His ancient teachings are now resurfacing through the advent of holistic health and education. Chiron is often seen to be a "maverick", perhaps due to his eccentric orbit, and his closeness to Uranus. He can also be held responsible for deep, dreamlike states of consciousness, especially when connected by a major aspect with Saturn.
Close to their fiftieth birthday, most people experience what astrologers call the Chiron Return, when Chiron by transit crosses over his position in their natal chart for the first time in fifty years. This is prime time for the karmic realisation to be unbound. People born between 1961 and 1968 with Chiron in Pisces are now entering their Chiron Return phase. This release of a renewed spirit is very much the purpose of incarnation on this shining blue world. We all carry a hefty load of baggage, and most of us must endure the suffering caused by a profound psychological wound. We need to heal this wound in order to function in a world of wellness, to be able to dance lightly across the dreamscape – and to give of our own true beauty so that others may be released in order to join us in the dance of the free spirit. Chiron has entered our consciousness again after a sleep of some two millennia, and now it is time to let him express his healing gift.
Chiron, the Wounded Healer
Chiron, the Wounded Healer of mythology, is a planet that orbits differently to the others. Said to be the 'real' ruler of Virgo because of it's healing and Magickal properties, Chiron is also considered the feminine Centaur and so affiliated with Sagittarius. Chiron is subtle and experiential in its vibration and 'niggling' in its house placement. It is like the wound of the immortal God, unhealed, always there. This constant subtle pain is thought to produce some dynamic tendencies in individuals to come to terms with what is represented by this vibration in the area concerned. A skeleton in your closet not discussed too often but ever present subtly affects your attitude and pulls your focus in a certain direction. It may be suppressed but the pain will be real and on-going.
The Wounded Healer was a teacher and it is thought that the lessons of this planet will be paramount for our growth in this Age. It is referred to by Astrologer Barbara Hand Clow as 'The Rainbow Bridge' between ignorance and accomplishment, linking Saturn and Uranus, which co-rule in the paradox of Aquarius. Chiron is said to rule over Magick and if an understanding of magick can heal then perhaps Chiron's vibrations at this point will resonate enough for science to and Magick to meet as allies.
Chiron's myth is interesting, as all myths are. Hercules had returned from battling the Hydra and still had the poison on the tips of his arrows, not having cleaned it off in true Arian thoughtlessness. He was sitting on a hill with Chiron – eating lunch. Clumsily, Hercules leaned over and unfortunately pierced Chiron with the poisoned arrow. Aries/Hercules fought the Hydra but it was Chiron that copped the wound. Because Chiron was immortal he (or she) could not die, but would feel the pain of the poison forever. Chiron decided to give up immortality instead.
If we are all a part of the healing process of others then we are not immune to the antagonisms they face. If all is energy then I wonder if Chiron's taking on the pain that Hercules escaped is analogous to how we take on the pain others escape. For example, the wife of an alcoholic or gambler feels pain most days, even during those times when the person themselves may feel their fight is over. They clumsily, like Hercules, who thought their battle was over and past – forget the poison lives on – harming others. I imagine that an 8th house Chiron might be the medium who gets too close to her communicators and is accidentally harmed. But we can get hurt, just sharing lunch, with a friend who brings their world to the table with them.
They say that in the challenge lies the cure and this would be in true Chiron style. Chiron is a centaur and is therefore a composite figure in myth, having the body of a horse and the head and shoulders of a human. If Zeus remains masculine ruler with man's head and torso and the body of a horse then Chiron's entry in the 1970's may have finally brought a feminine centaur, a Yin to the unbalanced male Yang period. This is speculation of course but is worth considering, especially since the battle of the sexes is far from over. Interesting in this regard is that in the Greek legends Chiron was no female at all for this was a male domain where females had little or no input into affairs of state but were more child bearers as homosexuality ran rampant as men took boys to mentor in matters of state and relationships. Chiron was a teacher, which meant much more then than it does now because Chiron gave guidance that was respected in a sanctioned way.
We have a lot to learn about Chiron and perhaps more will come to light as this planet whose orbit is nothing like others grows in our psyche. In Living In Time Astrologer Palden Jenkins describes Chiron as having a sense of the different perspective about it. For example, an aspect with Saturn allows for "...finding needles in haystacks..." as ways around rigid systems become magickally possible when Chiron is around. Chiron can bend and stretch the usual perspectives of whatever happens in the house where it is located. This allows us to come at things from a different perspective, even as futility and lost hope have long taken hold in our consciousness. This is important for our future, a better future.
Lets look at the possible ways that Chiron, as a planet, acts in different signs and houses of our charts and enjoy the magick.