Chiron Illuminates Life Lessons
Chiron and the Healing Journey, by astrologer Melanie Reinhart, is a fantastic, deep, esoteric dive into Chiron, as an asteroid discovered in the 1970s. Its an excellent resource for any astrology enthusiasts looking to deepen their understanding of the art. And, of course, it's a fascinating tool for anybody who loves to psychoanalyze their friends and relatives alike.
For anybody not familiar with this celestial body that has key implications for your natal chart (i.e. a map of the sky at the moment of your birth), here's a quick overview based on Reinhart's work. Chiron is an asteroid and Kyper Belt Object that was discovered between Saturn and Uranus, and thus is a bridge between these two, often conflicting, energies. In mythology, Chiron was the first centaur, fathered by Uranus and abandoned by both his mother and father after his birth. He is part horse, part human, and represents that dual nature within us all. He is an artist, musician, healer, and mentor to many mythic heroes, including Hercules. In fact, it was Hercules himself who gave Chiron the wound he could never heal from, and thus gave Chiron his most known title: The Wounded Healer. Chiron in astrology often represents an inherited wound that we will manifest again and again unless we take intentional action to understand the root cause of that wound and integrate it into our lives.
And for anybody deeply skeptical of astrology, Reinhart beautifully frames its value in her writing:
"The sustained study of astrology grants human consciousness the experience of vivid intimations of a divine intelligence of scarcely conceivable complexity, power and beauty. By having one’s limited rational framework repeatedly challenged by powerful synchronicities, one’s vision of the universe becomes opened to an intimate encounter with the numinous."
So if, for the sake of this blog post, we're working under the assumption that astrology can help us spot (and break) patterns in our lives, what patterns might Chiron reveal to us? Well, that, according to Reinhart, has a lot to do with what she considers your Chiron configuration.
What's A Chiron Configuration?
Your Chiron configuration is a combination of things.
The sign Chiron is in. (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc)
The House Chiron is in. (1st, 2nd, 3rd...12th)
The number of aspects it makes to other planets.
What planets its in aspect to. The more personal planets, the more likely Chiron is going to be felt on a personal level. The more out planets, the more likely you'll be tuned into or representative of a generational struggle or societal wound.
The orb of those aspects. So the closer in degrees the aspects are (less than 10 for some astrologers, less than 5 for others), the stronger the energy in the configuration.
Let's look at a quick visual to get some more insights into a Chiron configuration. I'll be your brave writer and offer up my own for reference.
Chiron is represented by the little key-looking icon. You'll find mine in my 9th house of Cancer.
I have Chiron in aspect to a number of planets:
Sextile Sun (orb of 3)
Square Mars (orb of 6)
Opposing Neptune (orb of 2)
Trine Pluto (orb of 4)
With such close aspects, and in particular an aspect to heavy hitters like my Sun and Pluto in my 1st house, my Chiron configuration would be considered strong but not one that rules over my whole life.
Here's a quick interpretation of what this all translates into from an astrological interpretation.
As I learn and grow and seek fulfillment (9th house), I will often reach the limits of barriers imposed by myself or society (Cancer/Capricorn axis). These barriers are likely related to how I feel and the way I feel allowed to and able to express those feelings (Cancer). As I seek to push past these boundaries, I will go through cycles of rebirth (Trine Pluto in 1st house), and at times lose sight of who I am and what I believe in (9th house) and the boundaries between myself and others (Chiron opposite Neptune). I'll be torn between the inherited beliefs of what a woman should be and act like and want (Cancer) vs. the way I know must behave to succeed in a corporate setting that demands more aggressive and confident energy (Mars in 6th). But my natural tendency to be of service to my community (Virgo in 11th) will assist my quest for growth and spiritual healing (Chiron in Cancer and 9th house). With Cancer and Capricon so highlighted in this configuration, it also speaks to competing mother/father energies, which, as a child of divorce, is an interesting insight indeed!
The Chiron Configuration, Activated
Now that you have a sense of how powerful and telling your Chiron configuration within your natal chart might be, let's get into the juicier stuff: how it gets activated throughout your life. Think of this Chiron configuration like a light switch: as planets follow their orbits through the sky, they will make new and different aspects to your natal chart, and as they do, they will activate your Chiron energy. This might be a moment of healing or enlightenment, a moment of heartbreak, a moment of grief, illness, or collective pain.
For example, when transiting Chiron is square your natal Chiron, that is a big activation. That first Chiron square might be a defining moment or trauma of your childhood, in fact. Or when transiting Chiron is opposite your natal Venus, you might experience some kind of relationship lesson or ending. Following the cookie crumbs the planets leave us is honestly a thrilling way to track and see the patterns in your own life.
But how does one track this, you ask? Well, it is a bit time consuming, but if you're an astrology nerd like me or looking for a way to procrastinate and still learn something new about yourself (or whoever you're psychoanalyzing *cough your mom cough*), it could be worth the effort.
Here's step-by-step way to track key Chiron transits:
Create a spreadsheet. Obviously.
Have columns for: Year, Sign of Chiron, Your Age, The House Chiron is In, Aspects Chiron is making, and your Life notes for that year.
Fill it in, year by year. You can use astro.com for help on this, or Google Chiron transits and find a chart for the past and looking forward into the future.
Next, note your major Chiron aspects: Chiron squares, Chiron opposes, and Chiron return. A square is in the sign three houses (or 90 degrees) away. An opposite is more obvious, it's six houses or 180 degrees away. Your Chiron return is when Chiron returns to the place it was when you were born. That'll be about when you're 50.
Note what was going at those points of your life.
Repeat, but looking at smaller aspects to Chiron (like Trine or Sextile). And also for the way Chiron aspects your Natal Sun, Moon, and Ascendant.
Here's a look at my own initial tracking.
Using Astrology to reflect on key moments of your life
I've also found it helpful, as I was reflecting on my own life's journey to date and thinking about the dates that truly stick out in my mind, to look up the charts for thos moments in time. This might be particularly helpful if you know you have a pattern and are trying to break it or really SEE it. That might be a relationship pattern, a health problem, and familial struggle, a career problem. Whatever it is, note some dates that were meaningful moments in that part of your life.
Then, look them up and examine the way that Transit moment aspected to your Natal chart. And in particular, how or where Chiron was being activated.
For example, as somebody who was in an emotionally abusive relationship for a good chunk of my adolescent and young adult life, I had a lot of wounds and lessons learned around, relationships, co-dependency, and using my voice to aks for what I need and want. And two key dates stick out to me in that journey.
The date I finally broke up with my toxic ex.
And the date I met my current, long-term partner.
Let's take a quick look at both of those to see what Chiron was up to.
Event 1: November 5, 2010
At this moment in my life, Chiron was up to quite a bit! The Wounded Healer was trine my transiting moon (Libra, 12th), giving me some helpful energy in meeting my subconscious needs and shedding light on my mental health. Chiron was also trine transiting Venus (Scorpio, 1st), allowing me to make space to prioritize my relationship with myself and what I needed and wanted for perhaps the first time, ever, in my life. To add to that moment of profound transformation, Chiron was also opposite transition Pluto (Capricorn, 3rd House), allowing me to speak up about the need for this ending in my life, and bringing about the death of that relationship.
Event 2: August 19, 2017
At this moment of time, my Natal Chiron was making no aspects with any transiting planets. Which feels like a moment of peace and pressing onward, free of shadow for the moment. So I pulled a few other aspects instead for us.
While in 2010, it had been my Natal Chiron trine transiting Moon and Venus, this time around, it is Transiting Chiron (5th house, Pisces) trine my transiting Moon and Venus (both in Cancer and my 9th house, the same house that Chiron was in when I was born). That's an interesting signature to be repeating itself on another momentous relationship day for me!
Transiting Chiron was also very closely square my Natal Uranus (2nd House, Sagittarius), denoting a moment of manifestation and healing tied to partnerships and relationships. With Chiron in an emotional sign (Pisces) and a passionate house (5th) this was truly an exciting and romantic time in my life!
And there are other cool and major astrology aspects happening at this time. First, I'm in the early stages of my Saturn return. In astrology, your Saturn return is a moment of maturation, its you entering a new phase of your life as a full and mature adult. I'm also just past a Venus return, which begins a new cycle and energy around all things Venusian: love, relationships, culture, travel, art, harmony.
So all in all, this was an inflection point in my life, the result of which is still bearing fruit now! It's amazing how much can change in 7 years. And how much healing one person can achieve.
If you'd like to learn more about yourself, astrology, and the way our individual and collective wounds drive the world and our lives in unexpected ways, I highly recommend Reinhardt's book, Chiron and the Healing Journey. While it will be a bit dense and hard to decipher for the true astrology newbie, the amount of research, mythology, psychology, and applied astrology is fascinating to read regardless.