Is it an asteroid? A burned-out comet? A planetesimal leftover from the creation of the solar system? An errant moon of Neptune, long since torn away from its original orbit? Or a particular type of asteroid called a Centaur? Ever since November 1, 1977, when scientist Charles Kowal discovered Chiron hurtling around the Sun between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, scientists have been trying to make up their minds. Smaller by far than any planet (its estimated size is 200 miles across), Chiron has a peculiar orbit that causes it to spend more time in some signs (Pisces, Aries, and Taurus) than in others (Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio). A complete swing through all 12 signs of the zodiac takes 51 years.
In mythology, Chiron was a compassionate tutor whose students included three heroes: the warrior Achilles, the Argonaut Jason, and Hercules. One day, Chiron was accidentally scratched by one of Hercules's poison arrows. The pain was so intense that he wanted to die. But Chiron was immortal. Unable to die, he was forced to cope with the agony. In the process, he became expert in the arts of healing. Yet despite Chiron's knowledge, his pain never lessened. Nor did he develop a tolerance for it. He did, however, find a solution. After negotiating with Zeus, he bequeathed his immortality to Prometheus, who had given fire to mankind and was being tortured as a result. So Prometheus, having been freed from his agony, joined the society of the gods on Mount Olympus while Chiron, relieved of his agony, was allowed to travel into the underworld, release his bodily pain, and take up residence in Hades.
The symbol for Chiron looks like a letter K balanced on a circle or oval. It resembles an old-fashioned key.
In the years following its discovery, few practitioners were brave enough to insert Chiron into birth charts. It seemed too soon, and astrologers didn't know enough about it. That has changed. Today, Chiron, referred to as the Wounded Healer, is often included in interpretations. Astrologers see Chiron as both a point of pain and a source of healing — an area where you have suffered or been disappointed and where you must find resolution. Astrologers also associate Chiron with the holistic healing movement.
Note that the astrological Chiron, like the mythological figure, is more than a victim and a healer. As a tutor, Chiron was known for his wisdom and his teaching ability. Astrologer Zipporah Dobyns, PhD, links Chiron with Sagittarius and suggests that it indicates not only the quest for knowledge but also the impulse to share it with others.
Chiron is small, distant, and impossible to see without a telescope. It's prominent in your chart if
1 It occupies an angle (and especially if it conjuncts or opposes your Ascendant or Midheaven).
i It closely aspects the Sun, the Moon, or the planet that rules your Ascendant.
To discover Chiron's position in your chart, turn to the Appendix, or go to the Web.
Chiron spends, on average, a little over four years in each sign. Thus it indicates an area of concern both for you and for members of your immediate generation.
1 Chiron in Aries: Your efforts to express your personality have been thwarted. You suffer from a bad case of fear of failure, and taking the initiative isn't easy for you. Finding the courage to do so — and you've got courage aplenty — is the only way to overcome your fears and feelings of inadequacy.
1 Chiron in Taurus: Stability and security are key issues for you. On the one hand, you long for economic comfort. On the other hand, you struggle to manage your money. To put your desire for material goods and security into perspective, you need to pursue your deeper values.
1 Chiron in Gemini: Communicating your ideas is a challenge, and you may not feel up to it. Seeking knowledge and acting as an educator enable you to heal this feeling of inadequacy. And here's another issue that may envelope you from time to time: gossip. It's one way people learn about each other — and yet it can be lethal.
1 Chiron in Cancer: Your domestic life, especially as a child, may be fraught with pain. Relief comes through consciously seeking to create a supportive emotional environment. True healing comes through realizing that ultimately everyone has to nurture themselves.
1 Chiron in Leo: In childhood, your efforts to get attention were thwarted, and you may doubt your own talents as a result. Creative expression helps heal the hurt. Acting and teaching are also beneficial because, putting aside whatever sorrows you may have suffered, everyone needs to be center stage once in a while.
1 Chiron in Virgo: You grew up with extraordinarily rigid rules. Now you struggle with anxiety. Seek relief by focusing on wellness, by serving others without sacrificing yourself, and, above all, by refusing to be a martyr. Or try another approach entirely by taking up a craft where your perfectionism — which is so often a problem on the personal level — is actually rewarded.
1 Chiron in Libra: Partnerships are vital to your well-being, but they're also disappointing. You're certain that a healthy relationship can heal you, and yet that doesn't seem to happen. Balancing romance with objective reality is essential. It's also important to defuse the pain of rejection. One possible way to do that is through art.
1 Chiron in Scorpio: You long for love, passion, and phenomenal sex. But your secretive ways and deep-seated fear of revealing yourself (and hence of being rejected) make it difficult to fulfill your desires. Healing comes by plunging into your sorrows and working your way through them. Seek psychotherapy or any other form of self-knowledge.
1 Chiron in Sagittarius: What's the purpose of life? The traditional answers leave you feeling frustrated and alone. A personal search lessens the pain. Strange as it may seem, lifelong education, designed to fit your individual requirements, can bring you healing.
1 Chiron in Capricorn: In your heart, you long for success. You obey the rules, but they let you down. Healing comes when you turn away from society's rigid definition of status and find other ways to express your own deepest authority.
1 Chiron in Aquarius: What's wrong with people anyway? You're sadly aware of the resoundingly negative impact of ethnic conflict, societal injustice, and isolation. Addressing those wrongs by working for the greater good can turn your life around.
1 Chiron in Pisces: Pisces is the sign of compassion, sensitivity, and sacrifice. But you can't help noticing that many people give lip service to those qualities without actually practicing them. Your mission: To see the sorrow and react appropriately without being overwhelmed by it. Finding a spiritual base can ease your angst.
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