Many astrologers use the asteroid Chiron, which was discovered in 1977, orbiting between Saturn and Uranus. Chiron has been called the Wounded Healer, because the ancient myth of this centaur involves the awareness of suffering in this life, and the ability to heal ourselves and have compassion for others.
Here is Chiron’s story. His mother, Philyra, was seduced by the god Chronos, who, in order not to be caught by his wife in that adulterous affair, turned himself into a horse. When Chiron’s mother gave birth to him, she saw he was a centaur, half-man, half-horse. She was so appalled by what she’d brought into the world that she abandoned Chiron, and she asked to be turned into a linden tree (which in Greek is called Philyra). The horrible psychological pain of having his mother so disgusted by him is Chiron’s first wound. Later, he became the mentor, teacher, and healer of many of the young gods, including Jason, Achilles, and Hercules. Many years later, during a great battle, Hercules accidentally wounded Chiron, but because he was sired by a god and therefore immortal, the centaur could not die. Instead he lived in agony. When Zeus punished Prometheus for giving fire to mankind, Chiron offered to take the banished god’s place to receive unending torture. His compassion of Prometheus, and his willingness to sacrifice his already agonized life, moved the heart of Zeus, who then allowed Chiron to die.
Back to our current Astronomy: because of the asteroid’s eccentric orbit, that actually crosses the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, Chiron spends different amounts of time in different Zodiac signs, anywhere from 18 months to 8-9 years.
Last week, on 8 February, Chiron moved into the sign of Pisces. (Actually, he went into Pisces for a brief period back between April and July, 2010, but then retrograded in Aquarius until last week.) This time, Chiron will be in Pisces until 2019.
Many, many astrologers have been talking about what Chiron’s long, long visit to Pisces will show us. Eric Francis, an excellent Astrology writer, had a very good article on it in April of last year. He reminded us that the Uranus-Pluto opposition of the 1960’s, that brought such revolution and social upheaval, would’ve been much harder to deal with if we hadn’t had Chiron in Pisces providing the background of love and compassion.
I interpret Pisces as the sign of connection. Where Aquarius has a high, intellectual, distanced view of life, Pisces is where we feel connected: to each other, to all sentient beings, to the heavens. The “high” end of the Piscean spectrum is the awareness that we are not separate beings, but are each of us individual cells in a spiritual body. This is the part of the Pisces energy where enlightenment is possible. The “low” end of that spectrum is the spacey, ungrounded, lack of being able to take responsibility, and a tendency to play the victim.
When Chiron travels through Pisces, awareness of suffering is raised. Both Chiron and Pisces are well tuned in to suffering and pain. But both the sign and the asteroid have the energy of healing about them, of compassion for others going through rough times. It takes a bit of work to consciously bring out the higher energies. We are aware that life is hard, here, and everywhere. We understand, we feel the pain, whether it’s ours or someone else’s. But we must remember that from pain comes many good things: lessons, growth, evolution. It’s not easy, certainly when it’s our own wounds we’re dealing with, especially those of childhood and times past. But we have the ability to step back from our suffering, to learn and grow and mature.
And I agree with Eric Francis. Having the revolutionary tranists of Uranus opposed Saturn, and now with Pluto in Capricorn as well, would be untenable without the connection and compassion of Chiron in Pisces. Also, Jupiter has moved into Aries: the king of the gods is in the realm of the god of war. Revolution and aggression are everywhere. But the beauty of Chiron, the Wounded Healer, the one who taught not only martial arts, but also music and healing to the gods, is with us.
I think what’s happened in Egypt last week is a perfect example of the benefits of Chiron traveling through Pisces. The youth of that world revolted, they stood up for what they believe in and refused to be deterred. It could have been disastrous, like the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989. But unlike that gathering, the protests in Midan Tahrir (Liberation Square) in Cairo had a unifying, connecting energy that forced an iron-fisted dictator to step down. Although it wasn’t completely bloodless—some 350 people gave their lives for the cause—it was nearly so. For whatever reasons, the military did not attack the protesters, and the people in the streets came together in peace. They protected each other, organized everything from sewage removal to data storage, and used their technology and their will to connect the rest of the world to their protest. Just as Chiron healed the youth of his world in ancient Greece, so he helped the youth of Egypt peacefully remove a 30-year tyrant, and usher in a brand-new era for that country.
With the collapse of many old regimes (Pluto in Capricorn), the need for revolution and new ways of doing and being (Uranus oppose Saturn), and the possibility of massive aggression (Jupiter in Aries), I believe that it’s the energy of Chiron in Pisces that will be our saving grace. As usual, the stars and planets do not cause events on Earth. Instead, it’s our understanding of the archetypal energies, as relayed through the centuries in myths and stories, that help us know how to navigate in our changing world. We can strive for the highest part of that energetic spectrum, the enlightened and compassionate part of Chiron and Pisces, to connect, empathize, and have compassion for the suffering of others, to help them heal. And to heal ourselves as well.