Astrology: Chiron in Aries

Pompeo Batoni, ‘Achilles and the Centaur Chiron’, oil on canvas, 1746. Chiron’s principle role was as a humane, wise and kind teacher.

Chiron stations retrograde 12 July 2020 at 9º26′ Aries, and will remain retrograde until 14 December 2020, when it stations direct at 4º56′ Aries. Chiron moved into Aries 18 April 2018, and will remain in Aries until 15 April 2027, with multiple retrograde cycles throughout this time period, the next appearing in August 2021.  With an erratic orbit, Chiron takes approximately 2- 9 years to travel through each sign of the zodiac. He takes 9 years to go through Aries, but only 2 years to move through Leo, Virgo, Libra and Scorpio. The longer he spends in any sign, will of course lead to a more developed expression and resulting overall impact, and there is much to consider in how Chiron distributes his energy throughout the zodiac. Chiron isn’t a planet per se; it is an asteroid, though it tends to function just as profoundly in our charts as would any other planet, particularly if in aspect to personal points or planets. He can be considered a generational influence, and as such, there will be many people of one’s own age-set who experience his impact upon their lives in a similar fashion. Personal understanding of world events and cultural trends and how these impact us on an individual level will be very similarly apprehended. Chiron does not rule any particular sign, as his influence is universal, and can be expressed through any of the twelve zodiacal sign permutations. He can be considered a helper, a maverick, a go-between, a form of psychopomp, shaman or mediator, as his influence on the chart is to show exactly where it is that we need to address challenges, wounds, and those difficult things that give us trouble which we tend to suppress, frequently experienced only in projection, denial or complete repression.

Considering his mythological origins, we know that Chiron was a centaur, half-man and half-horse. This speaks of his capacity to unite the more evolved intellectual and spiritual capabilities of humanity with the raw, primal, animalist urges which still flow through our bodies and psyches, mammals that we are. As far as centaurs went, most were quite bestial, falling prey to uncontrollable urges of lust, aggression and physicality. As Chiron was the foster-son of Apollo, god of medicine, healing, prophecy and music, his education in the arts and sciences elevated him above the common experience of his brethren, and allowed him a wider perspective on life. As with most of humanity, he had a personal tragedy which defined the course of his life. His occurred when entertaining the great hero Hercules; he offered the hero the wine of Dionysus, and in lust and rage, his fellow centaurs sought to attack Hercules at his leisure. Not one to stand for any affront, Hercules took it upon himself to slaughter the attacking centaurs. Chiron was caught in the crossfire, and was wounded with a poisoned arrow, tipped with a fatal toxin. Being immortal, Chiron was unable to die from his wound, as one normally would, but instead had to withstand immense torment and suffering as the poison continually worked through his body, causing him unending agony. He was finally released from his torment by Prometheus, who offered his mortal soul in exchange for Chiron’s immortality, thereby satisfying the punitive urges of an angry Zeus who sought eternal revenge for the crimes that Prometheus had committed against the gods. And so, Chiron was able to finally die, but his energy lived on in the constellation Centaurus.

Because of his terrible biography, Chiron is frequently referred to as “the wounded healer”. His energy has to do with the processes of acknowledgement, understanding and acceptance. There is no sugar-coating it, Chiron poses a difficult energy, as it underlines that part of us which causes us to feel most dysfunctional. Every individual soul has something specific and definite which perpetually causes shame, grief, discomfort, insecurity, and a feeling of impotence or lack of capacity. We all suffer from this reality. Chiron’s sign and house placement can help us to understand exactly how to find the thorn in our side, and with attention, objectivity, honesty and effort, Chiron offers us an opportunity for tremendous growth and maturity.

When in Aries, Chiron is working with the typical Aries issues of immaturity, impetuosity, selfishness, callousness, and the principles of force, personal and global power, manifestation of will, energy exchange, violence, aggression, domination, and war. How we move through the world, how we choose to initiate action, how we create something from nothing, the way in which we exert our willpower – all of these things are point of focus with Chiron in Aries. This correlates quite tellingly with current events, as we find ourselves gripped in the chokehold of a global pandemic that has utterly changed the way the world operates. The old rules of engagement no longer apply, either on a personal or transpersonal level, and this thwarting of the will impacts the individual on a deeply personal, visceral level. We feel powerless and infantilized in the face of forces so much larger than us (Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). Exertion of will is squelched, and movement through space and time – a basic Aries function – is limited, requiring reconsideration and editing at every step.

For Chiron turning retrograde at 9º 26’, the related Sabian Symbol is this: “A man teaching new forms for old symbols….this is a symbol of the continuous and necessary rectification of understanding through direct and every day experience, such as brings every factor of inner realization into immediate and personal significance. Key themes: interpretation, exceptional capacity for putting one’s individual heritage to work, and when negative, witless distortion of values and twisted perspective in general events.” (Marc Edmund Jones, ‘The Sabian Symbols in Astrology’.) This speaks strongly of the current requirement to look deeply at our shared histories, our personal and societal prejudices, and the need for firm and courageous honesty (an Arian trait, when well utilized). As mentioned above, an unhealthy Chiron can result in projection, denial, suppression and oppression. On a global level, it is far too much to realistically expect anything but an unhealthy expression, so projection and denial are the name of the game. With projection, we find massive attempts at scapegoating, cancel culture, blame/shame tactics, and endless, exhausting tautological arguments where someone is to blame, is always to blame, will and must be blamed. Sound a bit like what we have going on right now? Indeed.

Combined with Neptune in Pisces, in itself stewing a hot-bed of fomenting mania, Chiron in Aries energy now creates a dangerous atmosphere that will likely continue to result in further examples of public, damaging witch-hunting, false accusations, and wild assertions based on ill-examined and little understood, unconscious matter. It’s like the world sprang a leak of deep, wretched toxicity, and it is just oozing all over the place, the spill widening, the stain sinking ever deeper into the fabric of our consciousness. How to remedy this? We must summon higher standards of personal accountability, courage, energetic determination aimed at self-betterment and pro-actively call out lies, bullying, manic/panic reactions and practice basic grounding. Keeping it real is hard, but it is what we have to do in order to ensure that things don’t spiral out of control. I am not going to touch on the influences of the other trans-generational planets here (Saturn, Uranus, Pluto), as this would entail lengthy and intensive review which presupposes the patience of you, dear reader, but suffice it to say that we are in a pressure cooker of wild archetypal matter, all swirling into a thick and heady stew of crazy-making. How to make it through this time, sanely and maturely?  Keep it real, ground yourselves, ask yourselves, not once, not twice but perhaps thrice “Is that true? Is that real? What does it really mean to me, and just why am I so angry about that?” before joining in the fray which is building on the sidelines, stronger and deeper each and every day. Chiron in Aries wants to taste blood, and perhaps in obeisance to the gods, we must offer up a bit, but the point here is that in order for us to grow, our bloodlust needs to evolve into something new. Aries requires a maturation process, and we have years to go until Chiron moves along into Taurus, but we have so much room for transformation available. We can harness that dynamic, pioneering Aries energy for true change, on both global and personal levels. This is the opportunity that Chiron in Aries offers us: to take up the mantle of the blooded soldier, the seasoned battle commander with the clarity of vision that only experience and wisdom can bring.