See too: Other Celestial
On 1 November 1977, the American astronomer
Charles Kowal discovered a small planet with an extraordinary
orbit. A couple of weeks later, this planet was named Chiron. There
are hundreds of asteroids in our Solar system - many of them bigger
than this new object, with an estimated diameter of, at most, 160
km. However, Chiron's orbit, positioned between Saturn and Uranus,
is unique. Chiron takes about 50 years for a complete revolution
and at times leans strongly towards both Saturn and Uranus. His
path is unstable, as he has probably only been travelling along
it for a couple of thousand years, and will probably only be there
for a couple of thousand more. In 1991, Chiron was classified as
a captured comet. Astronomers don't completely agree on whether
Chiron is an asteroid or a comet, so he can be found in the catalogues
for both. His position can be reliably calculated for the period
between 1500 B.C. and 4000 A.D. only, beyond this period, any calculation
must be considered uncertain.
The position of Chiron's orbit, placed
between Saturn and Uranus, is rather special. In spite of all attempts
at classification, Chiron has, as it were, taken on the role of
a planet. His path is severely eccentric, like that of Pluto,
so that he occasionally crosses the orbits of both Saturn and Uranus.
Most astrologers regard him as a sort of "mediator" between
these two, and as a link between the "Guardian of the Spheres"
(Saturn) and the outer planets. Accordingly, Chiron is said to have
both a Saturnian and a Uranian influence. Before Chiron was defined
as a captured comet, he was regarded as an errant asteroid, far
from the "herd", or belt, of the other asteroids between Mars and
Jupiter, a loner and rebel, going his own way. The key-shaped glyph
shown above has become widely accepted, and is part of the basis
for interpretation - Chiron is regarded as a key to the outer planets,
as well as to those spheres of life shown by his role in classical
to myth, Chronos ( Saturn ) once became inflamed with passion for
the nymphe Philyra. His wife, Rhea, caught him in the act, whereupon
he turned himself into a stallion and fled. The centaur Chiron was
the fruit of this union, a creature half man and half horse. Philyra
was filled with aversion, when she saw this child, so she asked
Zeus to turn her into a linden tree. Later on, Chiron lived in a
grotto on Mount Pelion, teaching young heros the martial arts, the
art of the chase, as well as music. His most famous students were
Achilles and Asclepios. The end of his story is full of symbolic
meaning: Unintentionally, he was wounded by a poisoned arrow belonging
to his friend, Hercules. Being immortal, Chiron lived on with the
terrible, incurable wound. When Prometheus was to be punished, Chiron
offered to die in his stead. This sacrifice of his own immortality
delivered him from torment.
Chiron is a creature both animal and
human, combining the dark, natural, instinctive parts with the rational.
Astrologically, he represents wisdom, patience and mastery over
the inner darkness. Due to his own incurable wound, he has intimate
knowledge of suffering, in all its forms. This enables him to tap
a deep well of wisdom from within, to ease the pain of others. Because
Chiron is not really on the same level as the "classical" planets,
aspects to him are not shown in our chart drawings.
Chiron in the Astrodienst Product Range
Chiron is included in the data print-outs
for the following chart types, but not in the drawings: Typ 2.AT
und 2.GR. In addition to this, a new drawing type was created, identical
with type2.AT, but with Chiron added into the drawing.
Neither the data print-out nor the
drawing show the aspects to Chiron. The position of Chiron is not
included in Lunar and Solar returns, progressions, transits, etc.
However, Chiron is included in the data print-outs for natal charts
with an additional chart ring, types 24.xx, 25.xx und 23.xx for
Pholus and Others
After 1992, Chiron was no longer the
only small object in our outer Solar system. A number of asteroids
were discovered between Saturn and Neptune. The first of these was
named after the second-most prominent centaur, Pholus. Accordingly,
this group of small asteroids is known as "The Centaurs". Apart
from the Centaurs, another small planet was discovered in the area
around and beyond Pluto, and beyond this, a new, great belt of small
asteroids, probably consisting of more objects than the main belt,
between Mars and Jupiter. Probably, Pluto himself should be considered
a member of this group, in spite of being much bigger than the rest.
The outer extremes of Pholus' path
cross the orbits of both Saturn and Neptune. Just as Chiron is considered
an astrological key to Saturn and Uranus, so Pholus is a key to
Neptune. His average distance from the Sun is a little greater than
that of Uranus, a complete revolution takes 92 years. In myth, Pholus
guards the centaurs' vines, the wine from these being the actual
cause for the battle between Hercules and the Centaurs. Like Chiron,
Pholus becomes embroiled in the battle by chance, and dies due to
a tragic coincidence - while curiously inspecting one of Hercules'
poisoned arrows, he is mortally wounded.
According to first astrological observations,
Pholus gives unusual ability in a particular area, or unexpected
results, due to a gift for experiment. Pholus' transits over the
main axes of a chart, often mark radical and unexpected change,
hinted at by his sudden and unexpected death in the myth.
Erminie Lantero, The Continuing Discovery of Chiron, Samuel
Weiser Inc. (1983), 189 pages, ISBN 0-87728-549-7. A detailed and
well-founded aid to interpretation based on a symbolic and archetypal
Melanie Reinhart, Chiron and the Healing Journey, Penguin
USA (paper), ISBN 0140195734, recommended.
Robert v. Heeren und Dieter Koch, Pholus. Wandler zwischen
Saturn und Neptun, Chiron Verlag, Mössingen 1995. An extremely
thorough work which, amongst other things, discusses Pholus in detail.
Highly recommended. ( Not available in English. )