Chiron has been called a planetoid (small planet), and an asteroid (although most asteroids orbit in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter). Currently, some astronomers theorize that Chiron is a former comet. We do know that it is a small body which orbits between Saturn and Uranus. It was discovered by Charles Kowal in 1977, so astrologers have had a limited period of time to study its significance in horoscopes. Chiron orbits the zodiac in about 50 years. It has an irregular orbit, so spends a relatively long time in certain signs (Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries and Taurus) and moves relatively quickly through others (Gemini through Sagittarius).
Many astrologers have noted that the names given to minor bodies (such as asteroids) appear to be “right”—that is, the mythology or associations of the names seem to fit. Chiron, in the Greek myth, was a centaur—half man, half horse. He was noted as a teacher of heroes. He taught Hercules, for example. Chiron also taught Asclepius, who taught Hippocrates, who was the father of modern medicine. One of Chiron’s students accidentally wounded Chiron. Being immortal, Chiron could not die, but he suffered great pain from his wound. Zeus (Jupiter) took pity upon Chiron and turned him into the constellation Sagittarius.
The myth suggests a clear association of Chiron with Sagittarius. Some astrologers have emphasized the “wounded healer” persona of the mythology and suggest Virgo or other health/healing connections. My experience is that the Sagittarius connection fits very well. If we consider that the driving thrust of Sagittarius is a search for ultimate truth, spiritual (and physical healing) could be one focus out of several in a quest for total truth. The Sagittarius association also brings in education, travel, spiritual quests, religion, or anything which expands our mental and/or physical horizons. There is a restless, seeking, searching quality to Sagittarius.
In the natural zodiac, Sagittarius falls in the 9th house, so we understand the urge to seek the best, the highest, the most ideal. This idealistic thrust can be a problem if we promise more than we can deliver, or look for godlike perfection from areas of life which involve mere human beings. Jupiter, Sagittarius, and the 9th house (and, presumably, Chiron) can point to areas where we expect more than is possible, where we may overidealize (and be disappointed) or continually expand—seeking more and more and MORE of whatever we define as an ultimate good. Chiron thus relates to beliefs, values and ideals.
Sagittarius also has a strong theme of freedom, as one needs a degree of independence in order to seek Truth and ultimate Goodness. (“Good-bye, I’m off to Tibet to seek enlightenment.”)
The following are some suggested keywords for Chiron: drive for knowledge, thirst for enlightenment, ideals, maverick, truth-seeking, teacher/student/healer, urge to know MORE, pioneer, quest for perfection, urge to go beyond known boundaries, optimism, worship, trust, value, drive to experiment/take risks, freedom needs.
One example is a woman born with Chiron on her Ascendant. Her family was only into “beer drinking and horse racing” according to her. She felt driven, from an early age, to go to the library, to study, to learn. Her family laughed at her so she hid the library visits, but she continued to go, to satisfy her intense inner desire to learn.
Another woman who was also born with Chiron on her Ascendant degree “When my friends see me after we haven’t been together for awhile, they don’t ask ‘How are you?’ They ask, ‘What are you studying now?’” Among students who attend our 10-day Astrology Intensives in Helena, Montana each year, there is often a strong Chiron—on an angle, conjunct the Sun, Moon, Mars, Ascendant ruler, etc. They are willing to devote a lot of time, energy, and money to seeking the truth, particularly spiritual answers.
Several clients with Chiron in the 7th house have expected a lot in relationships. One individual with a strong freedom focus in her chart is still unmarried at age 40 (no one ever was quite ideal enough), although she is seeing a Sagittarian at the moment.
It is particularly worth watching clients born in the mid-1940s when Jupiter, Neptune, and Chiron (all associated with the quest for the infinite, seeking God in some fashion) were in Libra (partnership). For some periods, Juno (the marriage asteroid) was conjunct Jupiter, Neptune or Chiron.
The post-war generation was most affected by psychoanalysis and the decline of traditional religion. Psychology, having no spiritual basis, tended to overemphasize relationships. People were encouraged to expect husbands and wives to be best friends, sexually exciting, mentally stimulating, good providers and a whole host of other qualities that are more than one person can generally provide. Many people ended up expecting more than is humanly possible of themselves, of their partners, and of their personal relationships. The divorce rate rose among this generation and continued to rise.
Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron also traveled through Scorpio which is related to sexuality, and the desire for a mate with whom to share money, resources and pleasures. The Scorpio sojourn was not shared by Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron. There was a period in the late 1950s when Jupiter was in Scorpio, while Neptune was still in Libra, but Chiron was in Aquarius. In parts of 1969 and 1970, Jupiter was in Libra and Scorpio while Neptune was in Scorpio (but Chiron occupied Aries). These Jupiter and Neptune placements again focus on idealization, or seeking the absolute in relationships. Naturally, the constructive form of Jupiter/Neptune/Chiron in Libra/Scorpio would be choosing partners (and other relationships) which emphasize mental stimulation, the quest for the truth, searching, mysticism, individuality, and moral and ethical principles. People can stay together when they share similar beliefs, goals and values so long as neither one expects the other to be already perfect, able to provide total happiness.
Chiron in an earth house ties the ideals to making a living. Several clients with Chiron in the 6th or 10th have looked for that perfect, ideal job, or tried to do their work to meet an infinite standard. Especially with other mutability in the horoscopes, the individuals can be job hoppers, each time hoping the next position will be “THE” one.
Other clients have managed to find satisfaction in a job which helps to make a more ideal world, including service professions such as counselors, therapists, religious orders, medical work, etc. Alternate possible careers include the pursuit of knowledge (teaching) or disseminating information or inspiration to others (writing and publishing). For example, in Barbara Hand Clow’s book, Chiron, she gives example charts of three publishers. One has Chiron in Taurus in the 2nd house (earning money through providing information). The second has Chiron in Sagittarius in the 10th house of career. The third has Chiron conjunct Pluto (which is the ruler of the Midheaven). Ms. Clow also includes a writer who has Neptune conjunct Jupiter conjunct Chiron in Libra in the 2nd house. Of the five priests, nuns or theologians Ms. Clow includes, two have Chiron in the 10th; one has Chiron in the 2nd. The fourth has Chiron rising in Sagittarius (but a 9th house stellium including the Midheaven ruler and Neptune in the 10th house strongly tie ideals to career). The fifth individual has Chiron in the 7th (marriage to God) along with Neptune conjunct the Midheaven and Jupiter conjunct the Sun in the 2nd house.
One client with a Cancer stellium (in the 3rd and 4th houses) but Chiron conjunct her Taurus Ascendant emphasized: “I am always up. I’m definitely an optimist, and most astrologers have read my chart as moody and depressive. That’s not me!”
A woman with Chiron on the Ascendant was born in Europe, but has traveled constantly throughout her life.
A man with Chiron conjunct Mercury writes humor and loves to travel (short and long trips).
The above is perhaps enough to give the reader some idea of the connotations of Chiron. This section will provide brief delineations of Chiron by sign, house, and aspect (along with a few examples of famous people).
As with any relatively slow (outer planet) body, the sign placements are less personal than the house placements. Similarly, aspects involving outer planets could hold for quite a number of births, while aspects to inner planets tends to reflect more individual, personal issues.
CHIRON in 1ST HOUSE
You probably expect a lot of yourself. You may be quite idealistic, eager to learn, spiritual, ethical, religious, philosophical, or perennially seeking MORE out of life. Dangers include the extremes of “I am perfect” (overrating oneself), or “I should be perfect” (demanding more than is reasonable of oneself). You may be a perpetual student, teacher, traveler, and seeker of truth—OR believe you personally have the ultimate answers and take a guru role. Your principles are your very own and quite personal.
You can experiment with different ways of expressing yourself. Original thinking is probably instinctive for you. You could generalize about assertion, anger, or self-expression and might rethink or revolutionize ideas about courage, identity, or crises. You tend to be optimistic, easily focusing on the positive in life. You are apt to be future-oriented.
Your personal actions are affected by the big picture. Your identity may be connected to group consciousness. Democratic ideals probably come naturally to you. You are usually direct and straightforward in your perception of individual truths.
EXAMPLES: Rollo May, P. Yogananda, Norman Mailer, Karl Marx, R.D. Laing, H.G. Wells, Konrad Adenauer, W. B. Yeats.
CHIRON in 2ND HOUSE
You may expect a lot sensually, materially or financially. You could turn money, pleasure, indulgence or comfort into an ultimate value—and seek it perennially (amassing more and more) OR be dissatisfied that you never have enough. Alternatively, you may earn money and get pleasure through seeking ultimate truth—fields such as education, religion, publishing, or anything which is idealistic or expands mental and physical horizons. Your principles are important in your handling of material goods, gains and gratifications. You may find comfort in individual truths.
You can experiment in your handling of pleasures, possessions and tangible forms. You might generalize about physical gratification and money. You may do some very original thinking about security, comfort, resources, beauty, and satisfaction. You could examine ideas and ideals about ownership, salaries, aesthetics, or the physical senses. The big picture might influence your finances, pleasures, and possessions. Your income (and outgo) could be affected by group consciousness. Democratic principles probably appeal where pleasure and tangibles are concerned.
EXAMPLES: David Bowie, Walter Mondale, Disraeli, Cat Stevens, Jack Paar, Alice Cooper, Victor Hugo, Alan Watts.
CHIRON in 3RD HOUSE
You may expect a lot of siblings, relatives or the mind. Original thinking permeates your mental style. Your mind, tongue and hands (dexterity) could be quick and versatile. You are apt to idealize thinking, communication, learning, variety, flexibility, or perception. You may expect more than is possible of yourself in the intellectual arena. (“I should always know the right answers.”) You may idealize understanding, versatility, the mind, or objectivity. OR, your principles may be adaptable and changeable (situationally-based). You can see many sides to individual truth.
You know how to experiment with words and information. You can be adroit at reforming ideas. You easily generalize in your learning and teaching. You may seek information about the big picture, especially ultimate truths—religion, philosophy, spiritual quests, etc. Group consciousness could affect your intellectual world. Both learning and teaching could come easily to you. You may value equal access to information—trying to democratize the flow of knowledge in the world. You tend to believe that the mind can handle anything—that ultimate solutions lie in thinking and communicating.
Idealism could be a theme with siblings or other relatives. You might idealize a family member (putting them up on a pedestal). Your values, principles, and world view are likely to be strongly influenced by a sibling, relative or teacher. You may expect more than is reasonable of those around you—or feel you cannot measure up to their high standards. Alternatively, you encourage your relatives to manifest their highest potentials and they help you aim for the best as well.
EXAMPLES: Phil Donahue, Arlo Guthrie, Yehudi Menuhin, Sandy Koufax, Robert Redford, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Sigmund Freud, Jean P. Sartre.
CHIRON in 4TH HOUSE
You tend to expect a lot of your mother, your own mothering, home or family. Your mother figure could be religious, idealistic, optimistic, involved with foreign lands, intellectual, have high standards, or chronically want MORE from life. Your nurturing parent influenced your ideas and ideals—what you define as ultimate truth in life. (Her beliefs may be a positive example you emulate—or a negative one in which case you move in the opposite direction.) Your principles are affected by your family roots.
You are apt to place a high value on your home—wanting to create the ideal nest—but not wanting to stay there! You may have a home on the road, in a foreign country, with lots of people coming and going, a religious or spiritual home, or a home full of books, interesting people, and fascinating discussions. Group consciousness may be illuminated in your home and you might even have a communal situation. You could bring the wider world into your home (or take your home into the world). You may feel torn between security and safety—valuing rootedness, but seeking variety in the domestic realm. You could place a high value on your homeland and be quite patriotic or concerned with the course of your country.
You can experiment with emotions, dependency and nurturance needs, and domestic arrangements. You may think, theorize and experiment about feelings. You may feel torn between intellect and emotions, between attachment and separation. Your relationship with a nurturing figure could have been ambivalent—unsure how much you wanted closeness and how much you wanted to be independent. Your mothering figure was probably working on the balance between emotional connections and the independence to explore the wider world. If she overdid either side, you would tend to take on the opposite.
You are likely to want to nurture in an ideal fashion, and may demand more than is reasonable of yourself in that realm—or avoid caretaking for fear of not doing it perfectly. Your challenge is to come to terms with your early experience of mothering (whether too much independence or too much closeness or a good balance) and seek the best in your own expression (while still allowing yourself to be human and fallible). You can nurture ideas and be emotionally supportive of idealism.
EXAMPLES: Zubin Mehta, Ernest Hemingway, Bill Moyers, Hal Holbrook, Helen Reddy, John Denver, John H. Glenn, Nelson Rockefeller.
CHIRON in 5TH HOUSE
You may expect a lot of those you love, and of love itself. You could turn romance, children, love, creativity, sex, or a starring role into an ultimate value. If you overidealize any of the above, you may want more and more and be insatiable (romantically, sexually, in being onstage, etc.). If you seek only the best, you may avoid a part of life rather than having something less ideal (e.g., not have children, not get romantically involved, etc.). The middle ground allows you to encourage the best in those you love—praising, motivating, and egging them on in terms of ideas and ideals. Their views would also affect your principles, values or moral attitudes. You can feed each other’s excitement and joy in seeking the highest in life.
You could experiment creatively, with a zest for change. You can generalize about joy, drama and expansive potentials. You may reform ideas about speculation, risk-taking, thrills, or fun. You can get excited by individual truth. You probably embrace, admire, and approve of original thinking. You are apt to perceive democratic ideals as generous, superior and exciting. You are working on the balance between group consciousness and your need to be special. You can infuse light, life and charisma into the big picture.
EXAMPLES: John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Henry Miller, John Derek, James Dean, John C. Fremont, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
CHIRON in 6TH HOUSE
You may expect a lot of colleagues, your job, or yourself as a worker. You might seek the perfect job (and could be chronically dissatisfied or a job-hopper). You might try to do your work perfectly (and demand that you never make a mistake). You might make work your ultimate value in life, the area where you put your trust and look for meaning, which risks a loss of faith if you lose a job. You might find work which makes a more perfect, or a more ideal, ethical, or spiritual world. Your job could contribute to the betterment of people or society. You could pursue democratic ideals at work. Group consciousness might affect your work place or routines on the job. You might work in a field involving travel, education, religion, teaching, publishing, or anything inspirational. You might work with your mind, or original thinking could contribute to your productivity.
Your principles are apt to be practical, organized and logical. You may believe that the big picture calls for patience, thoroughness, and service. You may subject individual truth to critical investigation. You can rethink and reform ideas through analysis, discrimination and flaw-finding. You want to put the mind to work in the world, so experiment with ideas and ideals using techniques which are practical, which analyze and measure, which watch for useful applications.
You may generalize about work, health or common sense. You could idealize good health, or seek the perfect physical functioning. You might be widely read concerning matters of health, nutrition, hygiene or bodily well being. You probably place a high value on being competent in the body and on the job.
EXAMPLES: Dr. Tom Dooley, Louis Pasteur, Dustin Hoffman, Albert Camus, Johnny Carson, Elvis Presley, Auguste Rodin, Clint Eastwood.
To be continued.