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Chiron in Aquarius

Dear Readers:

The shocking news of the week, and the best astrology news in quite a while, is that Chiron is about to go into Aquarius for the first time since 1961. This happens Monday, Feb. 21, 2005 at 6:09 pm GMT in London, 1:09 pm EST in New York, 10:09 am PST in California, 5:09 am on Tuesday, Feb. 22 in Sydney, and 13:56 local time at Cydonia Mensae, at the 'Face on Mars'.

For those who would like to start from the beginning on Chiron, this is a minor planet orbiting our Sun that was discovered in 1977 by astronomer Charles Kowal. It was at the time considered the first significant discovery since Pluto in 1930, which is largely because it was found orbiting outside any known asteroid belt.

Chiron is not exactly what most astronomers, or astrologers, think of as a planet; personally, I don't get hung up on this discussion, because most people (including scientists) are offering arbitrary, as in unscientific, arguments, which are not so poetic either. There is nothing in the world uglier than a scientist making emotional arguments. I say if it acts like a planet astrologically, it's a planet. But according to the legend, Chiron was initially announced as a planet, so it got the attention of some astrologers, who were very dedicated and passionate at the time. Technically, it turns out to be a huge 'proto comet' about 160-180 KM across, which is enormous for a comet nucleus. It has an atmosphere or two, a couple of tails, and a fairly large following in the astrological world, as these things go.

Chiron is believed to have been pulled into the inner solar system from the region where Pluto lives, called the Kuiper Belt. Compared to Pluto, which was discovered in 1930 and which didn't have a book written about it in English till around 1985, Chiron has gained ground among astrologers very fast.

Chiron's first astrological keyword was bestowed by its astronomical discoverer: maverick, or the one who does things differently. "This thing is a maverick," he said, because it defied any known planetary category. He called it Chiron because Chiron was half-man, half-horse, neither truly human nor truly animal, but a kind of crossbreed. As such, Chiron's story is the story of all humanity, as we all live with the division between human and animal, and in many respects that is what makes us truly human.

Chiron was discovered in the sign Taurus. It's discovery degree symbol, or Sabian symbol, is 'The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow', which is about the linking of the mundane and the celestial order. Hence we have a source for all the rainbow, bridge, and transition between the cosmic and mundane type imagery given to Chiron, and which it seems to deserve.

Chiron's more subtle themes, as later deduced by astrologers, are very much in tune with both Chiron's name and myth, and also the era in which it was discovered, centering on what was at the time called 'human potential'. Yes, there was a time in history not so long ago when people were willing to admit that the human race had actual potential, and that together we could make the world a better place. The mid-to-late 70s were a daring era in history, with much experimentation in feminism, therapy, spiritual ideology, divination, astrology, organic food and sexuality. Holistic healing was starting to get attention. Look around at the oldest institutions, from yoga programs to food co-ops, and you'll see that many of them started in the late 70s to early 80s.

One interesting bit about Chiron is that there exist what are called 'pre-discovery photos' -- pictures of the night sky including Chiron that were later found in the file cabinets of observatories, but which nobody at the time connected to the existence of a planet. The first such photo was taken in 1895, in the same year that D.D. Palmer did the world's first procedure in a new medical art he had discovered, what he called 'chiropractic' -- curing a janitor in his office building of deafness by adjusting the bones of his spine. Chiropractic is a holistic form of medicine and was named for Chiron, the first Centaur of Greek mythology. The word 'Chiron' means 'one who has hands' and many things of a chirotic nature, such as chiropractic, are done with the hands. Along the same lines, the French word for surgery is 'chirurgie'.

Chiron of Greek mythology was a famous healer, surgeon, herbalist and mentor to the generation of great heroes of the Helenic age: Jason, Heracles, and Achilles among them, and Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. (Chiron was taught the art of medicine by Apollo.) So right away we see some core Chiron themes: teaching, healing, medical arts, and the hands. Psychologically, Chiron focuses awareness, generally around some kind of injury, creating processes in the psyche where one typically starts with an early injury or weakness of some kind and then -- due to little other than the need to adapt to life on the planet -- develops it in to a talent, a gift or a healing skill. If the pain associated with that injury or weakness is not addressed, then it can get worse and not better, or more deeply entrenched, until at some point awareness is added to the equation. This often happens during Chiron transits, where systems seem to break down so that new ones can take over.

Since Aquarius deals with systems of all kinds, this may be a defining quality of the Aquarius phase.

Chiron is now working as an outer planet, as it has crossed outside of Saturn's orbit. Chiron's orbit is located between Saturn and Uranus. Saturn takes about 29 years to go around the Sun; Uranus takes about 84 years to go around the Sun; Chiron takes just over 50 years. All planets (as Kepler figured out) have an elliptical or egg-shaped orbit, but Chiron's is unusually so. At the close end of its cycle, the perihelion, it comes inside Saturn's orbit and at the far end, the aphelion, it goes out nearly (but not quite) as far as Uranus.

Thus, Chiron functions as a mediator between the 'structure' property of Saturn and the 'energy' property of Uranus. It can work or appear to work as either of these two planets, but more often it brings energy and change into a structured system (such as a relationship or job), or alternately helps apply structure to an experience of energy. Remember though that both Saturn and Uranus are planets associated with Aquarius, so no matter how you look at it, Chiron brings a lot of energy into the equation. When Chiron shows up, there are usually immediate developments, so Chiron is very useful and practical, particularly in doing diagnostic work with an astrological chart.

Because of its elliptical orbit, Chiron takes just 18 months to go through Libra, where it's nearest to the Sun (this occurred in 1997), and nine years to go through Aries, where it's the furthest from the Sun (this last occurred in the early 1970s). Now that it's reaching the far side of its orbit, Chiron will take about six years to go through Aquarius. It has taken about three and a half years to go through Capricorn, beginning in late 2001 (just after the Sept. 11 incident), though it still has a little more time left in that sign; 2005 is the transition between Chiron in Capricorn and Chiron in Aquarius.

This is because Chiron will retrograde back into Capricorn on August 1, retrograde back to 28 degrees, station and come back to Aquarius on Dec. 5. It will remain in Aquarius until it begins to transition out of that sign and into Pisces in 2010 and 2011. As I covered extensively in Bridge to the Core, Chiron in Aquarius is the single most consistent new factor between now and 2012; it is the express train to the future. It seems clear, from experience and intuitively, that this is an era-defining astrological change.

Here is the chart for the first entry of Chiron to Aquarius:

Chiron to Aquarius

What we get in the coming couple of seasons is a warm-up to the new era. Chiron has an unusual way of helping define eras in history, seeming to do so increasingly as it gets further from the Sun and slows down. The now-ending Chiron in Capricorn phase has brought out evidence of some of the most sordid behavior by governments and corporations since Machiavelli personally ate meat on the planet. But in true Chiron fashion, this activity has been brought to light rather than be kept hidden away. Chiron's main job is to light the way to spiritual growth by raising awareness, or at least making awareness available if we want it. When we look back on this era in a few years, we will be stunned at what we knew and took so nonchalantly -- of this, I would be happy to bet the entire reading audience dinner (as a journalist, I always welcome free meals).

Chiron is doing some fancy tricks this spring. Chiron in Aquarius is fancy enough. Aquarius is a very different energy than Capricorn. Capricorn deals with issues and themes relating to authority, parents and obligations. Aquarius is about community, groups of people, collective enterprises, and the quest for belonging and tribal consciousness. So Chiron in Aquarius is likely to raise the whole issue of WE, and what WE are doing, and what WE mean to one another, and who I am in connection to US. Aquarius is the extremely useful zone in astrology where we all figure out that we're not alone, but we have to figure out who we are first, or at least notice that we exist. The Aquarius formula is that true individuality comes right before true group consciousness. Another part of the formula is that freedom requires responsibility.

The first really fancy trick is that Chiron is now forming an close conjunction to another planet in its class, Nessus -- the third Centaur planet (discovered in 1993, and which reached Aquarius a few weeks ago). This reaches its most exact position the first week of May. My take is that this is a major, era-defining aspect that awakens the culture in some way. Aquarius is the sign of 'we the people' and Chiron brings significant awareness wherever it goes. Nessus comes with the theme, 'the buck stops here', and is always quite willing to point out the psychological darkness on the planet -- and give us the tools to heal it. So, as I see it, the buck stops with we the people. We can expect to see, and partake in, some resistance to the many shenanigans perpetuated by the so-called leaders holding office in the Western world. By August, both planets will have retrograded back into Capricorn, where they remain in a close conjunction, giving us one last fabulous hurrah for the Chiron in Capricorn ('post 9/11') era.

The next impressive move that Chiron is making is that when it goes into Aquarius and stations in an exact conjunction with Nessus, it's making an exact square (or 90 degree angle) to its discovery position. This is to say that Chiron was discovered in the 4th degree of Taurus in 1977. Now, it reaches the 4th degree of Aquarius, along with Nessus. Taurus and Aquarius are fixed signs, so that means we get a square aspect. So we have a landmark moment in the history of Chiron itself, and its place in our minds, our development and our astrology. In the story of one's Chiron transits, the square is usually a big moment.

The next fancy trick is that there are currently under way a series of seven Chiron oppositions to Saturn. The next three will occur with Chiron and Saturn in their new signs, Aquarius and Leo, respectively. The next one is July 21, 2005, very close to a Full Moon, both in time (four hours before) and in distance (the Capricorn Full Moon is in the late degrees of Cancer/Capricorn, just two degrees away from the Saturn-Chiron opposition). Mark your calendar and fasten your seatbelts. This aspect-event is going to involve a lot of people and come with some major revelation, shift or change. My take is that this will arrive on the heels of a very exciting springtime, and whatever occurs may seem like a reaction to the energy that has been raised, and a reaction it may be.

But whatever the dark forces have up their sleeves, Chiron in Aquarius is setting off a social process that's not going to be reversed. The years between now and 2012 come with a long series of escalations, elevations, and increase in the vibration level of the planet. There will be ups and downs, but the one thing that's most likely to increase is consciousness. Which leads to the last fancy production of Chiron I'll discuss today.

It is tempting to use previous cycles of planets in an attempt to understand what the next cycle will bring, and I'm going to give into that temptation. The previous phase of Chiron in Aquarius, which began Thursday, Jan. 27, 1955, is certainly instructive. This occurred during a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Cancer, with Mercury in Aquarius opposite Pluto in Leo. This was at the very height of the Cold War, the Red Scare, and the above-ground, domestic testing of the atomic bomb in the Southwestern United States. Dwight Eisenhower, a retired WWII general who could not decide if he wanted to be a Democrat or a Republican when he entered politics a few years earlier, was president.

Life was strict. If you were a mom and your apple pie didn't come out perfect, your husband could call the police and have you arrested.

It was at this time in history that something called the Beat Generation was getting under way. The Beat Generation was both a literary movement and a much wider social movement. The Beats were the generation that brought us the idea of 'finding yourself' as a widespread social phenomenon. They were mostly young people who were rejecting the traditional capitalist values of the day, waging a rebellion that included free expression, forming community, living collectively, and experimenting with states of mind through drugs, spirituality, meditation, drumming and all the things we now take for granted.

Nineteen fifty-five was a huge year in the history of the Beats and the history of the United States and its counterpart, Russia. This was also the year that actor Jimmy Dean died in a car crash at age 24, providing a poignant symbol of lost or sacrificed youth, and reminding all rebels to get a cause. This actually happened. The Civil Rights movement was going into high gear, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. becoming a household name.

The Cold War became completely entrenched with the takeover of the Kremlin by Nikita Krushchev. While the Beat movement had been heating up for years, a poet named Allen Ginsberg had just arrived in San Francisco the year before and was at the time at work on a poem called Howl. Howl is literally a bellow of pain for an entire generation. It begins with the line, "I saw the best minds of my generation..." which is to say, the poet is bearing witness to collective events -- very Aquarian, and truly Chiron in Aquarius.

Ginsberg organized a series of readings in a garage-gallery in autumn 1955, including reading part of his poem, which would soon be considered one of the great works of American poetry. Jack Kerouac (author of 'On the Road', which came later) met the poet Gary Snyder in Berkeley. Lawrence Ferlinghetti launched City Lights Books with his own 'Pictures of a Gone World'. (City Lights still exists and Ferlinghetti is Poet Laureate of San Francisco.)

This was an era in which many things became so obvious you could not miss them unless you climbed into a trash can or hid down in your bomb cellar -- which many people did. While we view the 1950s as a conformist time, that was true for the conformists. The Beats were committed to absolute authenticity in their writing and in their way of living, and had no use for the values that were dragging society into triviality, hypocrisy and materialism. I will (probably) look at some of their writing as a way of understanding Chiron in Aquarius in tomorrow's lead essay at Planet Waves Weekly.

If you'd like to subscribe, go to this link. Subscriptions still include free access to Bridge to the Core, the annual 2005 Planet Waves horoscope, where there is much information about Chiron in Aquarius.

On a historical note, the last day of Chiron in Aquarius was the day that John F. Kennedy was inaugurated, Jan. 20, 1961. When Chiron left Aquarius, what we think of as the 1960s began -- the work of the Beat Generation spread into the wider culture and led to a massive-scale rejection of capitalist values, an uprising against the Vietnam War, and a great experiment in Human Potential -- which was great while it lasted.

All of this week's questions focus on Chiron.

Jupiter, Chiron, Neptune Conjunction

Dear Eric
In your article Chiron in Aquarius, you wrote, "The shock of Chiron in Aquarius will be all the more stunning given that we are currently living through Neptune in Aquarius: drugs, delusion and denial in the sign of collective reality. For a while, both processes will unfold at once, yet heading for the guaranteed to be infamous Chiron-Neptune conjunction of late Aquarius of February 2010." Can you expound further on the "guaranteed to be infamous Chiron-Neptune conjunction"?


Dear Susan
I think I was actually referring to the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction of May 23, 2009. I'll have to go back and check my clipping and see, apologies if I made an error. This is a highly unusual conjunction because it involves three relatively slow moving planets all making a one-time conjunction in one degree of the zodiac, the 27th degree of Aquarius.

Since Chiron has not yet entered Aquarius, it's not really possible to say what the conjunction is about, but I can tell you what I meant by the reference. When doing long-term astrology, I look for unusual points of reference in the future. Certain aspects stand out, like a high mountain. As such you can use them as points of navigation. The conjunction of these three planets certainly rises high above the landscape, and the theme is distinctly spiritual, as all three planets involved are what you can, without hesitation, call spiritual influences. As such, it's possible for me to assure you that it's going to be interesting and even infamous without actually knowing quite why.

True, it is possible to look at the chart, see images and predict. But I do a different kind of astrology; what you might call meta-astrology. I think it's more sensible to use the aspects to build meaning and to give ourselves sane direction, rather than to have them dictate back to us what we should be thinking. I feel that we are in a co-creative process with the planets, and this chart is certainly a moment with a lot of creative potential.

All three planets involved in the conjunction work well together. There are strong aspects all around: Mercury and the Moon forming a square to the conjunction, and Venus and Mars forming a sextile, to give two examples. So we know we have something.

One potential use of this chart is as a research tool. As we're looking at old charts, and at charts for the future, such as eclipses, we can see correspondences. And when those come, we can figure out ways to use those events to further our learning and growth rather than to do something else.

Chiron in Aquarius and Humanity

Dear Eric
I remember an astrologer talking about the 8th house and the 11th house and sex once. I think it may have been you. Wondering what you can see about the potential changes coming as Chiron moves in to Aquarius? What's possible as far as human beings' relationships in the next six years. Is this the place where we move from 'relationship' to 'relating'? Is this where spirituality and humanity begin to come together? 'In the world but not of the world' or is this 'in the world and of the world'?


Dear J
That was indeed me writing on the theme of 8th house sex in contrast to 11th house sexuality. At the end of my reply, I'll provide a link to my original article, on A few years have passed since I wrote that article, and I have some additional thoughts, particularly about the 8th house.

In our society we do something a little intense, which is that we expect our one-to-one relationships to be perfect systems that include love, sexual passion, companionship, a sense of family, actual family, and economic dependence.

In this way, love, sex, reproduction and money all get thrown into the same cauldron, with an added catch: 'till death do us part'. That adds death to an already complicated equation. And then we idealize and worship that relationship form, and then we expect perfect happiness even as human beings grow, change, and develop in 'imperfect' but truly natural ways.

The 8th house (associated with Scorpio, the 8th sign) is no ordinary house. It is like this huge central computer where every last bit of our current reality gets processed through before it can go anywhere else. The result is that life is often a huge survival drama when it doesn't really need to be one.

When we say 'it all comes back to money' and 'it all comes back to sex' and 'it all comes down to power' and 'everything is about death', these are statements that are true from the 8th house perspective. Then we tend to force everything into that perspective pretty much constantly. But the real volatility and explosiveness comes when we mix love, sex, money, reproduction and death -- and THEN expect it to work perfectly in one-on-one 'loving' relationships. Stated this way, it seems kind of nuts. The result often works out to be intense, unhappy situations wherein people think they own one another, or are bonded to one another permanently, and are not convinced that love exists unless there are jealous episodes and the simultaneous illusion of perfect sexual fidelity.

(Nobody said the 8th house was a rational place; it is not. It's also not very romantic, but be careful because romance leads directly there.)

My thesis (not particularly original, but somewhat original to astrology) is that we need to move our erotic encounters to a new house; that is, take a new viewpoint on them, which I have proposed is the 11th house. I suggest we relax our expectations for perfect sexual fidelity, and we ease off on the whole business of thinking we own our partners (and then calling that love). The 11th house emphasizes friendship, community, shared resources and ethics. I think that if we build our erotic encounters on these ideas rather than on the principles of ownership and 'till death do us part', we will be a lot happier.

The 11th house and all things Aquarian (the 11th sign) call on us to take up the RESPONSIBILITY OF FREEDOM. Part of why the 8th house is so comfortable is that all our decisions are made for us. We don't really have to take responsibility; we just need to surrender. That is appealing, but it's only going to help us express one aspect of our humanity. Eventually, one wants to do something besides possess or be possessed, and that takes dedication, trust, a sense of independence, and actual freedom. And it takes support of the people around us. These themes are the essence of the 11th and of Aquarius.

I trust that the process of Chiron in Aquarius is going to make it a lot clearer that we do in fact have one another to depend on, and that we're not in this life alone. Many of us share similar hopes and dreams (an 11th house theme), many of us have a vision for more relaxed relationships that don't come with so many expectations, many of us want a little or a lot more freedom, and many of us are figuring out that if we share our resources, we will be a lot more abundant and a lot happier. I also propose that we would have more loving and stable environments within which to raise our children. The dream of perfect monogamy may be nice, but the results of a long series of failures of that 'institution' make it very difficult for children to have any sense of themselves.

I think more than any 8th house themes that we need to outgrow in our relationships is the idea that death must be a factor, and that money must be a factor. Even if we could invent a mode of monogamy that allowed for inner change of individuals, and that allowed for financial independence (or even more gentle interdependence), we would come a long way to liberating ourselves from the seemingly mandatory misery of the one relationship model we are taught by our society. While these are not easy ideas to change, they do in fact change, and they often change a lot faster than we think. So, if we actually think, and have open discussion in our partnerships, and focus on the friendship angle of relating to people, maybe we can think and relate our way to a better and mellower place.

The original article is: Beyond Death and Dowry: Astrology Points to a New Sexuality, at this link.

I develop the theme at this article, called For the Love of Money, on a site called

Why Has Chiron Been Sent to US

Hello Eric
Your Cainer posting of 17 Dec 04 prompted this submission. You requested questions from readers in their late 40's/early 50's, pondering what to do with one's life. Myself and others who have wandered for years in the metaphysical maze, selecting tools that we felt were appropriate at the time, are in the process of finding out something rather simple. Chiron? Does this planet help us to remember what we came here for? To simply, but purely, feel good in our entire being? And in doing so, does this feeling not reverberate on the cosmic cell phone in every possible way? I believe many of us are willing and ready to shed the agendas and programs collected in life that we readily accepted as real and true and are now exploring the 'ohm on the range'. Chiron? Yes, indeedoo, I believe he is helping us to 'remember' just how simple it is. Abundant blessings to you and other Bright Lights at PlanetWaves.

Nova Scotia, Canada

Dear Donna
When a new planet is discovered, we experience something that first began March 13, 1781, with the discovery of Uranus -- the first planet ever discovered by science. That something is that astrologers get a chance to define a process in the psychological and spiritual tool known as astrology. But at the same time, as planets appear, there are actual changes in society that are physical, tangible expressions of that planet's energy. So connections are made between the cosmic and the mundane; and a way of looking at the world is invented. This happens over time, through observation, and through experience.

To use the above example, Uranus is viewed by many astrologers as a planet that brings revolutions, whether in government, science or consciousness. And it was discovered in the era of the great revolutions. To give another example, Pluto is understood to be about power, control, death and major transformations. Pluto was discovered in 1930, right before the rise of fascism in Europe.

There are many examples of this process in action, one of the best of which is Chiron. As I explained in the introduction, Chiron was discovered at the height of the Human Potential Movement, when people were discovering concepts like 'healing' and 'self-actualization'.

Chiron had many opportunities to be discovered. Since the pre-discovery photographs go back to 1895, we could speculate that Chiron entered awareness when the time was right. Or, we can just trust synchronicity and go along for the ride.

New planets give us an opportunity to give a name to something that already exists; and to see things that exist in a new way; as well as to create or invent processes or experiences that we need, using the planet as a kind of model or inspiration. This takes time, and it takes the devotion of astrologers and their clients, who do the initial work. I feel that this initial work ultimately spreads into the culture far beyond astrology, even reaching people who have no concept of the planet or of astrology.

Chiron is surely a useful concept now. A process that helps us raise awareness, change, grow, face ourselves, and heal the experiences that hurt us could be considered welcome at any time in history. But if you look at our lives today -- so defined by our sense of wounding, injury or lack, and at the same time with so many methods and opportunities for healing available -- you could say that all we need is loving awareness -- and the cooperation of the people around us.

One of the things that Chiron teaches most effectively is how important it is to be in our bodies, and to relate to ourselves and to others in physical form. We could use some more of that these days. Since we have been given such horrid views on our body (principally by religion), we have collected a lot of darkness here. Now, we get to act as discarnated spirits by way of the Internet.

We need light and strength to face the darkness, and these are factors that Chiron adds to the astrological process. We also need the dedication to the technical side of healing that Chiron offers, and to the service aspect. I'll cover this in the next question, but Chiron works quite consciously with both. No matter how much you pay a healer for their work, they must be dedicated to their particular art form as well as to their clients in order to do their work effectively.

And often it takes many years and great patience to become a healer. But most of all, it takes the willingness to grow as an individual, and to address one's own concerns, issues and needs, so that we are able to do clean work and keep our issues as separated as possible from those of our clients; and yet, to not see ourselves as separate from them. It is a fine line to walk.

Chiron is here to stay. It may still be 'controversial' or difficult for some astrologers to understand, or seem to be 'too small' to be a a planet. In actual fact, people feel, experience and must deal with the effects of their Chiron transits. It's about time that astrology got serious about helping its clients do so.

Chiron as True Ruler of Virgo?

Dear Eric
When I first heard about Chiron on Jonathan's pages he said that there was a possibility that this was the true ruler of Virgo. As a Virgo (26th August 1946, 3.15pm, Glasgow, Scotland) I really feel empathy with that idea, particularly as in the last few years I have trained as an holistic therapist (Aromatherapy, Reflexology, IHM and Reiki master) and would like to take this up full time once I retire from my day job. I also seem to have a stellium in Libra with Chiron and would like to know if this has significance. Have astrologers advanced any more in their thoughts about whether Chiron rules Virgo? Also, has there been a recent transit of Chiron which might account for my wish to take part in healing therapies? I would be very grateful for some enlightenment on this.

Thank you
Maureen 'Namaste'

Dear Maureen
The discussion about what sign Chiron 'rules' has been going on since astrologers first started working with the planet. I am something of a purist as far as rulerships go, and I feel that the ancient system of what are called 'essential dignities' is best left intact. I am cautious about saying that Uranus rules Aquarius, Pluto rules Scorpio or Neptune rules Pisces. I will always -- always -- use the ancient ruler (Saturn for Aquarius, Jupiter for Pisces and Mars for Scorpio) first before attempting to use the modern one.

I think there is a lot of room for discussion about Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, and I think we need to know a lot more about how these planets evolved into their current meaning at all, as part of understanding the role of Chiron and other new planets. Often it is one astrologer who says something that catches on, and there is little actual discussion, either sooner or later. Often people come out with horrifying interpretations, like the Devil has been discovered, then over time, the other influences are seen.

Seeing the affinities with the signs of the zodiac helps astrologers be more objective and balanced in their views. Clearly, Chiron has an affinity with Virgo. Indeed, in many ways it seems to be redefining Virgo, and helps explain some of the intense properties of this sign that are not satisfactorily explained by Mercury, the traditional ruler: the focus, the dedication to service, the affinity for teaching and healing, the depth of intelligence, the long-term commitment, and most of all, the revolutionary spirit that seems to come pouring through Virgo.

You are an example of someone, and I have met many people by the way, who live out this Chiron aspect of Virgo. Some of the most revolutionary women I've ever known, and some of the greatest healers, have strong Virgo signatures. Chiron seems to blend in with these traits and qualities quite well, though we cannot forget the Mary/Isis aspect of Virgo -- that is, the Goddess.

Yet there is also the Sagittarius aspect. We can't really ignore the fact that there is a huge Centaur in the sky in the direction of Sagittarius, or that a Centaur is one of the most commonly accepted and traditional symbols of this sign. Chiron is likely to be that Centaur, as he was allowed to leave the Earth plane and live on the 'higher' astral plane in the form of this constellation, Centaurus. From this bit of mythology, we can learn a lot about Sagittarius and a lot about Chiron.

Sagittarius represents the 'quest' aspect of Chiron -- the spirit of pursuit of one's goals, of searching the outer world, of seeking for oneself through travel and education, and most of all, seeking awareness of one's higher self. I think that the Sagittarius and Virgo aspects of Chiron go together quite well, and provide a real point of balance.

But then there are the opposite signs, Pisces and Gemini. I am not ready to make the assertion that Chiron is 'poorly placed' in these two signs. I am much more familiar with Chiron in Pisces, as I was born in this era, as were many of my peers. And this placement seems to provide a genuine and heartfelt quest for God and for the spirit of the cosmos. Not one's own higher self, but rather the much greater cosmos that we must live in whether we recognize it or not. Certainly, recognizing our place in the scheme of things is a beautiful theme of modern spirituality, with all we're learning from science, which is often verging on mysticism these days.

As for Gemini, I think Chiron in this sign has a lot to do with healing the dualism that characterizes the physical plane -- the inescapable interplay of opposites, polarities, and dark and light. And there is the ever-important emphasis on relationship that Gemini is such a necessary part of.

So, to sum up, I think that the discussion of the affinities of the outer planets needs to be open-ended, open minded, based on a balance of theory and experience -- and most of all, creative.

I'll be tracking the development of Chiron in Aquarius in Planet Waves Weekly, and as I mentioned, I've written quite a bit in Bridge to the Core. See you next week, and at

Please visit Planet Waves Parenting -- the first astrological journal for parents, at

Bridge to the Core, the 2005 Planet Waves annual horoscope, has turned out to be a very nice web page: up to 1,400 words per sign in the annual forecast area; a number of articles addressing Chiron in Aquarius, Saturn in Leo, and sign changes by two other centaur planets (Pholus and Nessus); an astrological calendar for 2005; and a massive charts resource area for students of astrology or those who are just curious. I've done my most in-depth writing ever on 2012 and the astrology between now and then. There are dozens of magnificent bridge images sent in by our readers. There is writing by Planet Waves literary slugger Jeanne Treadway (who writes about walls, while I cover bridges) and a Mayan astrology report through July by daykeeper Carol Burkhart, of the Galactic Alchemy web site.

Bridge to the Core is free to all Planet Waves subscribers. To find out more, check this link.

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