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Since Chiron’s discovery on November 1, 1977, this small planet has received little or no respect from astronomers.  At best, it’s classified as a minor planet similar to those in the asteroid belt.  With an estimated diameter of 100 to 400 miles, it is comparable at one end of the scale, with Ceres (the largest asteroid, with a diameter of about 600 miles).  At the smaller end of the scale, Chiron ends up as the 16th largest “minor planet” -- hardly in the same league as the traditional “gang of nine”.  

Even Chiron’s minor planet status has been questioned by those astronomers who have observed what they suspect might be a tail attached to Chiron -- thus implying that the so-called planet is “merely” a comet.  Such a lack of respect for the solar system’s alleged tenth planet is, however, inconsistent with the fact that the nucleus of your average, run-of-the-sun comet is only a few miles in diameter, making Chiron an extremely large comet!  Furthermore, Chiron’s orbit, while even more eccentric than Pluto, is still a planetary orbit -- and Pluto is still considered a planet  [Admittedly, even Pluto’s status is in question.  The discovery of another planetoid, half Pluto’s size --  named Quaoar -- has suggested that Pluto is in some danger of being classified only as a Kuiper Belt Object.]   

Chiron’s orbit is also steeply inclined to the plane of the elliptic (about 6o 55’) -- but less than Pluto’s (17o 8’) or Mercury (7o 0’).  But this is still more than twice the inclination of any of the other planets.  Thus not only is Chiron eccentric, but it also has a rather slanted view of the cosmos -- small wonder it gets no respect from traditional astronomers.  

For astrologers, however, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Chiron has more than a passing significance.  Unlike it’s sister minor planets (such as Ceres, Vesta, Pallas Athena, and the like, who are still hanging around the old neighborhood of the asteroid belt), Chiron is attracting a great deal of attention (and with good reason).  Chiron may, in fact, turn out to be as important astrologically as some of the major planets!  Admittedly, this is a pretty strong statement.  But consider some of the interesting and unique aspects of this planet which has only been within our consciousness for less than fifteen years.  

At the moment of its discovery, Chiron was at 3o 11’ Taurus (in retrograde).  The Sabian Symbol [1] for this location (i.e. Taurus 4o) is: “The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow”, or according to Dane Rudhyar’s interpretation: “Riches that come from linking the celestial and the earthly nature.”  That, at the very least, should grab your attention!  For probably more than any other fact, this Sabian Symbol suggests the exciting potential of this minor planet orbiting at a distance from the Sun somewhere between Saturn and Uranus.  It may eve be appropriate to interpret Mr. Rudhyar’s interpretation literally.  He goes on to say:  

“In Genesis, the rainbow is the symbol of the Covenant of God with Noah.  In all mythologies it expresses, in one way or another, a linking process -- or the bridge used by divine beings to communicate with mortals.  What the linking process brings to the individual consciousness is elusive, as the rainbow never ends where you are, yet it is the source of symbolic, universally valid wealth.  All wealth, in a very real sense, comes from ‘commerce’, i.e. from the commingling of minds and from contracts, and thus is based on faith in the validity of the promise.”  “Man need not be overawed by the celestial display of power, for it leads to a fruitful contact with beings of light.  This is a natural kind of COMMUNION, involving a transubstantiation of matter.” [1]  

These concepts of linking and communication are further amplified by Barbara Hand Clow in her outstanding book:  Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner & Outer Planets [2].  Ms. Clow provides a compelling argument that Chiron’s discovery and arrival on the scene means that a bridge has been formed between the conscious (those planets visible to the naked eye) and unconscious (those planets not visible to the naked eye -- and in The Tree of Life, beyond the Abyss).  This idea is supported in several interesting ways.

Physically, Chiron moves at perihelion within the orbit of Saturn and at aphelion is further from the sun than Uranus at its perihelion (although, technically Chiron does not cross Uranus’ orbit).  In this way Chiron appears to be the connecting link between the conscious archetypes of al the planets known to the ancients, and the subconscious aspects represented by Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Another connecting link between Chiron and the other planets shows up in the manner in which Chiron’s cycle (i.e. the time necessary for it to complete an orbit around the sun) relates to the cycles or periods of the other planets.  Just as in A Book of Coincidence and the Harmony of the Spheres, where, for example, the periods of Mercury, Venus, and Earth, equals (within a 1.31% error) the period of Mars, or Uranus plus Neptune’s periods equals Pluto’s (within 0.15% error), Chiron also connects in at least three notable ways:  1) the periods of Saturn plus Chiron plus Uranus equals Neptune (within a 0.39% error); 2) Mercury plus Venus plus Earth plus Mars plus Saturn plus Chiron equals Uranus (within 0.16% error), and 3) One fifth of Pluto’s period plus all of Earth’s period equals Chiron’s period (within a 0.0079% error).  [There’s the 5 Sacred Geometry again!]

These connections are not coincidental!

Astrologically, transiting Saturn and Chiron (the epitome of structure and the maverick, respectively) were in a virtually continuous opposition from late 1985 through mid 1995, a period of nearly ten years (and which roughly corresponds to the period of time when Pluto was transiting Scorpio)!  During this period, the planets were in exact opposition no fewer than twenty times.  Following Chiron’s perihelion in mid February 1996, the two planets were again in exact opposition an additional seven times, a process which will not be complete until the final one in June 2006.

This extraordinary event derives from the fact that Chiron, from 1985 through 2006, is at roughly the same distance from the Sun as Saturn, and thus according to v’s Laws of planetary motion, is moving at approximately the same speed.  [It’s not the size of the planet that determines the speed, it’s the geometry!]  Thus, once the two planets are lock in opposition, they continue to be so for almost twenty-one years.  Obviously, this is not a common occurrence among the other planets.  Pluto and Neptune did manage a long term sextile (60o angle) between themselves for essentially the same reason, i.e. Pluto crossing Neptune’s orbit.  But the opposition between the maverick and the establishment is particularly noteworthy.

More specifically, Saturn is the planet of discipline, duty, limits, boundaries, responsibility, commitment, structure, experience-based authority, restrictions, and reality.  Chiron, on the other hand, is the maverick, astrologer, holistic healer, ecologist, and mentor.  In the latter role, the Greek mythological Chiron transmutes ordinary mortals into mythic heroes and aids them in the achievement of each of their individual quests.  The opposition of these two planets in effect pits the maverick mentor heroes and individuals (including ecologists) against the authorities (including special interest groups) who would impose boundaries and limits on those same individuals.  Moreover, Chiron teaches students to be generalists instead of specialists, holistic techniques rather than reductionist ones -- all in direct contrast to Saturn’s defense of the status quo.

Chiron also considers the ultimate act of heroism to be the transformation of self.  In this regard the mythological god, Chiron, gave up his immortality in order to save another, stating in mythological terms that the teacher must die in order for the student to truly live.  Saturn, on the other hand, would defend the authority figure to the death.  Thus, the opposition of Chiron and Saturn refers to sociocultural Saturnian restrictions on the Chironian quest of individuals for self-transformation, or at the very least, Saturn attempts to rigidly channel the transmutative energies.  The Chiron-Saturn opposition indicates “challenging phases in the cycle, times when adjustment and compromise must be made, or else conflict will result -- the latter is typically the more likely outcome.” [3]

Mythologically, Chiron is the priest king of the Centaurs and the half-brother to Zeus.  As such, Chiron was skilled in music, gymnastics, hunting, warfare, medicine and Astrology.  He was the astrologer-teacher, the mentor who initiated heroes, warriors, and magicians; including Achilles, Orpheus, Jason, Hercules, and Peleus.  Chiron’s warrior training was one of the spirit, encompassing a way of life and ranging from the sacred spiritual warrior to members of street gangs -- existing at all levels along a continuum.  Chiron’s talents were more intuitive and rational, and he trained his students to, above all, follow their destiny.  He also founded the Asclepian, the ancient healing temple.  Importantly, Chiron was also the wounded healer, the immortal who upon being accidentally fatally wounded by a poisoned arrow, descended into Hades in exchange for the freeing of Prometheus, the giver of fire to mankind.

Saturn, on the other hand, the Roman god identified with the Greek god, Cronus, was the father of Zeus.  Saturn (Cronus) was the ultimate patriarch who, concerned that his son might overthrow him, swallowed each of his children when they were born (thus providing the ultimate in tasteless acts -- particularly when one considers the taste of most children).  Eventually, Saturn was overthrown in true patriarchal fashion by his youngest son, Zeus (who had obviously managed to avoid his father’s weird eating habits).  In many respects, Zeus continued the patriarchal traditions of Saturn, while his half-brother, Chiron, went off in an entirely different direction.  Now they are actively opposing each other.

Do not underestimate the extent of this battle between the two opposing forces.  They are very much alive in the world today, and the outcome is not clear.

Chiron also has an affinity for Pluto, the two of then having conjuncted only once since Chiron’s discovery, on -- of all dates! -- December 31, 1999!  According to Richard Nolle [3], Chiron conjunct Pluto may be an easing of the tension between Saturn’s status quo and Chiron’s instinct of the human spirit seeking to manifest itself.  Barbara Hand Clow [2] speaks specifically of Initiation.  Recall that the mythological god, Chiron, in his Descent into Hades, represents this critical concept of initiation, of a Descent into the Underworld, into Hades (another name for Pluto), letting go of all the attachments of ego and status (as the Goddess, Inanna, did in her own descent), and ultimately finding pure gold and enlightenment (“The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow”).  In Clow’s view [2], “we cannot survive the death analysis of the journey to the Underworld without the synchronous [Cronus!] experience of the vibration of the higher self.”  Chiron brings us the divination skills to align with the collective unconscious, such that with the hard work of depth clearing, we can also evolve in the vision of our higher self.

The Sabian Symbol for the Chiron-Pluto, millennial conjunction is: “A Flag Turns into an Eagle; the Eagle into a Chanticleer Saluting the Dawn.  The spiritualization and promotion of great symbols of a New Age by minds sensitive to its precursory manifestations.”  The implication involves a new step in human evolution, wherein the flag becomes the eagle (both symbols of the USA), where as the first living creature to perceive the rising sun, heralds the new age.  The key word is “Annunciation”.  At least, to those “mind sensitive to [a New Age’s] precursory manifestations”!  And the conjunction occurred on 12-31-99!  The universe must be grinning from ear to ear!

The Chiron-Pluto initiation is one into the most profound mysteries and esoteric teachings, descent into the Underworld to activate the atavistic response, and ultimately beginning the process of moving toward genuine spiritual enlightenment.  The final curiosity is that Chiron may be an errant planet, and not necessarily an established member of our solar system’s hierarchy.  This recently discovered maverick appears to have limited stability in its orbit, and may be a new arrival!  In other words, it may have arrived at just this time in history, and for some very specific purpose(s).  As it finishes its opposition with Saturn, it may find it has other fish to fry, and thereafter leave our solar system.  While Saturnian interests would prefer a stable (solar) system, mavericks tend to break away from the pack and head for new pastures.  Don’t be surprised if Chiron does exactly that!



 Some Bare Basics         Astrology          Death and Rebirth

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Synastry         Mundane Astrology

Geometry and Astrology         Science and Astrology         Applying Astrology



[1]  (All references to Sabian Symbols are taken from:) Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformations and its 360 Symbolic Phases, Vintage Books, New York, 1974.

[2]  Barbara Hand Clow, Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner & Outer Planets, Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, 1990.

[3]  Richard Nolle, Chiron, The New Planet in Your Horoscope, The Key to Your Quest, American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe, AZ, 1983.



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