The Gods Reward Sacrifice
A tiny, bright comet whizzes through space like a fractal freak of nature. Breaking away from the deep space cordon of the centaur asteroid belt, this icy rock spins on its wild path alone, not yet captured by any planet. Discovered in 1977 By Charles Kowal, it was named Chiron, after the centaur in Greek Mythology.
In that narrative, Saturn took the form of a stallion in order to pursue and rape the beautiful nymph Philyra, and when Chiron was born, half-horse and half-human, she abandoned him in disgust. Fortunately, the Sun god Apollo adopted Chiron, protected him, and gave him the knowledge of music, prophecy, poetry and healing. Apollo’s love showed Chiron how to love others.
Chiron grew to be a consummate teacher to the sons of kings and many of the most famous Greek heroes, including Jason, Asclepius, Achilles and Hercules. Chiron was given immortality, but it backfired on him. During a battle with some other rampaging centaurs, Hercules accidentally wounded his mentor Chiron with a poisoned arrow. The injury never healed, and Chiron was in constant pain, wishing for death.
Hercules brokered a deal so that Chiron could sacrifice himself for Prometheus, releasing him from Zeus’ punishment, since only an immortal could exchange places with the fire-giver, who was chained to a rock as lunch for eagles. Chiron voluntarily gave up his immortality and died on the rock. However, he was not sent to Haides, but given an revered place among the stars in the constellation Sagittarius.
Chiron earned the title of a “wounded healer” because of the way he lived his life. Since 1977, six other centaur-asteroids from the Kuniper Belt, some larger, have been discovered, but Chiron travels alone, swinging from inside Saturn’s orbit to outside Uranus’ in an eccentric route that takes 50 years to complete. In 1996, Chiron reached perihelion inside the orbit of Saturn, and is now Uranus-bound.
Astrologers see Chiron as the eldest and the most civilized centaur in a tribe of otherwise barbaric nomads. Chiron is the beast who has risen up to embrace his humanity, eschewing his animalistic brethren and is trying to find redemption by healing others. Only after the cruel rejection of his birth and unbearable pain of his life could he fulfill his destiny and get his final reward of grace and honor among the gods.
What Chiron teaches us is that the hardest experience of your life can also be your greatest treasure, and bring out the best in you. Chiron’s place in your chart is a place of pain, but also awareness and rebirth. It is knowledge gained through agonizing experience that can be shared with others while sparing them from going through it themselves.
Chiron’s natal position tells you where your tender, (as of yet) unhealed wound lies. If Chiron is in Aries, the will is damaged; in Taurus, it’s the body image; Chiron in Gemini means trust is betrayed; A Cancer Chiron’s own emotions hurt them; When Chiron is in Leo, creativity and leadership are impaired. Virgo Chiron is wounded by the truth; in Libra’s Chiron, love itself is the wound. Passion costs the Scorpio Chiron pain, and Sagittarius Chirons are lamed by self-doubt. Chiron in Capricorn puts panic into core beliefs, while in Aquarius, Chiron gets completely ostracized. Poor Pisces Chirons have lost their way, can’t navigate the heavy seas of memories.
Chiron reveals our emotional and psychological wounds, from our earliest memories. Aspects to Chiron in a chart describe who or what helps a person heal (flowing aspects) or what people and events further perpetrate the wounding (hard aspects).
This asteroid is a very powerful tool to help us pinpoint the source of our pain and feelings of rejection. The centaur can also show us the place where we have been physically wounded, or are vulnerable to attack by our enemies, and how to reconcile them.
Although I haven’t taken this position myself, many people assign this asteroid to Virgo as its new ruler. Why not? Virgo rules both health and illness and Chiron rules the process of healing. Virgo is the sign of service and Chiron shows where we can be of service to others with knowledge gained by being wounded. Virgos are orphans, like Chiron, and need the consideration of a kindly mentor to show them how powerful they can be.
Comparison of the Zodiac systems
|Aries||Mar 21 - April 20||April 15 - May 15||April 19 - May 13|
|Taurus||April 21 - May 20||May 16 - June 15||May 14 - June 19|
|Gemini||May 21 - June 20||June 16 - July 15||June 20 - July 20|
|Cancer||June 21 - July 21||July 16 - Aug 15||July 21 - Aug 9|
|Leo||July 22 Aug 22||Aug 16 - Sep 15||Aug 10 – Sep 15|
|Virgo||Aug 23 - Sep 22||Sep 16 - Oct 15||Sept 16 – Oct 30|
|Libra||Sep 23 - Oct 22||Oct 16 - Nov 15||Oct 31– Nov 22|
|Scorpio||Oct 23 - Nov 21||Nov 16 - Dec 15||Nov 23 – Nov 29|
|Ophiuchus||NA||NA||Nov 30 – Dec 17|
|Sagittarius||Nov 22 - Dec 21||Dec 16 - Jan 14||Dec 18– Jan 18|
|Capricorn||Dec 22 - Jan 20||Jan 15 - Feb 14||Jan 19 – Feb 15|
|Aquarius||Jan 21 - Feb 19||Feb 15 - Mar 14||Feb 16– Mar 11|
|Pisces||Feb 20 - Mar 20||Mar 15 - April 14||Mar 12 – April 18|
[These books are for 12-sign astrology; However, aspect and transiting angles are the same in all systems.
Go to our Ophiuchus Rising page for the meanings of the angles, planets and asteroids in Ophiuchus]
Key Words for Astrology -- Paperback
Aspects in Astrology: A Guide to Understanding Planetary Relationships in the Horoscope -- Paperback
Sextrology: The Astrology of Sex and the Sexes -- Paperback By Stella Starsky, Quinn Cox
Transits Simplified -- Paperback
Astrology of Human Relationships -- Paperback