weeks after its discovery by scientists in 1977, a new planet found its
way into astrology. It was named Chiron, after the famous surgeon and
healer of Greek mythology. Though the majority of astrologers don't use
Chiron in their charts, its themes have had an undeniable effect on astrology,
providing us with the most spiritually-oriented planetary influence since
Neptune, and guiding astrology to the level of a holistic healing art.
What Does It Mean?
the time of Chiron's discovery, there were, of course, no books
on its meaning. There were neither records from Arabic, Greek or
Latin texts, nor instructions for how to deal with a "new planet"—a
concept that was undreamed of until the discovery of Uranus in 1781.
the time of Chiron’s discovery, something else happened that provided
first clues to the meaning of Chiron: the emergence of holistic
consciousness in popular culture. We take for granted that you can
stroll into a health food store and buy kava kava, ginseng or colloidal
silver, or get some Reiki for your migraine. Back then, people were,
after years of philosophical discussion of "holism" among intellects
and occultists, beginning to dig deeper into the mind-body-spirit
translation from Greek is "one who has hands." Massage therapy,
acupuncture and other hands-on arts began to surface around the
time Chiron entered astrology. The chiropractic profession won a
lengthy federal lawsuit against the medical establishment (Wilk
vs. American Medical Association), granting chiropractors the right
to exist in the medical field as primary caregivers, protected from
the degrading comments of conventional M.D.s they had long endured.
New Kind of Astrology
new planet is an unknown, and it was the mystery of Chiron that
provided much of its power. Around the quest to understand what
this planet means, a new kind of astrology has grown up: one that
asks questions, listens to clients, does research and looks outside
the box of conventional teachings. Much early information came from
astrologers such as Zane Stein, Richard Noelle, Al Morrison and
Barbara Hand Clow casting Chiron into the charts of clients they
knew, studying transits in comparison to life events and deducing
its meaning. Teachers were learning from their students, and though
these early writings have provided a base of information, they strongly
encouraged new astrologers to keep asking questions.
The first clue to Chiron's theme actually came from an astronomer,
Dr. Brian Marsden, who termed it a "maverick" because it did not
fit any typical scientific definitions. Chiron was a hundred times
too large to be a conventional comet, but not as big as Pluto, so
it wasn't really a planet in the previous sense. An asteroid-sized
object located far outside of the asteroid belt, its elongated 51-year
path (far longer than most asteroids, which orbit in about four
years) crossed inside Saturn's orbit, and extended out to Uranus
(a considerable variation). It broke all the rules.
with a strong Chiron placement (angular or aspecting many planets)
are almost always mavericks, too. Chester Wilk, the gutsy and persistent
chiropractor who sued the all-powerful medical establishment, is
a great example, with Chiron on his Midheaven, the Tenth House cusp.
Strong Chiron-types must be different as a matter of survival. Yet
often, their greatest contributions come as a result of a long personal
struggle. Wilk's lawsuit, for example, lasted more than ten years.
second keyword was "bridge." Chiron serves as a connecting point
between different worlds. A direct link between the eccentric, unpredictable,
futuristic and inventive world of Uranus (pure energy), and the
traditional, structured, predictable and past-oriented world of
Saturn (pure form), Chironic people often strive to ground new ideas
into existing forms, and bring structure to innovative ideas.
also turned to mythology, where Chiron was a great healer and teacher.
The French word "chirurgerie" means surgery, and Chiron was the
teacher of Aesclepius, the Greek god of medicine (incidentally,
early forms of chiropractic were called "Aesclepian manipulation").
Chiron taught ethics, music, combat arts, battlefield medicine and
healing arts to a generation of Greek heroes, including Jason and
Heracles. "Mentor" and "multitalented" joined the list of Chiron-associated
words. Look at the charts of healers and mentors, and you’ll surely
find something interesting going on with Chiron.
understand Chiron, it helps to understand something about Pluto,
which represents the growth we experience by enduring the most necessary
and at times painful life lessons, and integrating what we now call
that at the time of Chiron's discovery in 1977, just one obscure
book had been written about Pluto, which was discovered 47 years
earlier (Fritz Brunhubner's book on Pluto was written in 1934, but
went unpublished in English for 32 years). As late as the early
'70s, the longitude of Pluto was not even listed in Raphael's
Ephemeris. The first widely-read statement of Pluto's meaning
was published in a 1973 pamphlet by Isabel Hickey. Finally, in 1985—55
years after its discovery—the first popular book on Pluto appeared,
written by Jeff Green, the same year that Zane Stein came out with
Essence and Application: A View from Chiron, the first
book about Chiron in English.
is an interesting cultural metaphor about how these planets work,
and work together. You could say that Pluto, after its discovery,
went largely ignored or denied, both by astrologers, and by the
world. Jeff Green describes it as an "unconscious process." Indeed,
less than three years after the discovery of Pluto, Hitler came
to power, and began the Holocaust eight days later, but America
did not get involved in the war against him until 1941.
takes these same lessons with full awareness and a sense of immediacy,
serving as the conscious side of the evolutionary process. The easiest
way to use Chiron is by viewing it as part of a system with Pluto.
Pluto provides the deepest inner movements that bring the strongest
lessons. Chiron offers the awareness that those lessons are necessary,
meaningful and worthwhile—what you could truly call "spiritual awareness."
Consider that before Chiron, there was no planetary energy that
specifically represented healing. Isn't that strange? But now we
have Chiron, and by using its natal placement and transits, we work
on a level where astrology is raised to the level of a holistic
art and a spiritual science.
more information on Chiron click here.