I would like to introduce you to the Centaur Chiron, according to Modern Western Astrology. In India, this celestial body is still little known.
As an example, I’ve chosen Steve Jobs, a modern “myth” with all his contradictions: many details of his life are connected to the Centaur. Known for his “reality distortion field”, Steve seemed able to control the minds of others. He was a visionary leader and kept a strong capacity for wonder up to the very end. His sister says that Steve died repeating thrice: “Oh wow!” For every guest at his funeral, he had left a goodbye gift: “Autobiography of a Yogi”, a book discovered in his teenage years.
Imagine the Solar System. Visualize the planets and a group of minor bodies (comets and asteroids, etc.). Concentrate on the space embroidered by two precious belts: first the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter; then, the Kuiper Belt between Neptune and Pluto. Pull away from them, until you encounter the Oort Cloud, the place from which long-period comets originate. Now, back up a bit: between the Kuiper and the asteroid belts, exactly between Jupiter and Neptune, there are around 44,000 Centaurs. Another step back: in this space of the Centaurs, between Saturn and Uranus, shines Chiron with variations of luminosity, typical of comet activity.
Chiron was the name attributed in 1861 by Hermann Goldschmidt to a hypothetical ninth satellite of Saturn; its orbit was supposed to be between those of Titanus and Hyperion. The discovery was never confirmed. Later, the name Chiron was given to the asteroid 2060 Chiron, discovered on 1st November 1977 at 10:00 a.m. by Charles Kowall. Being unable to determine with certainty whether it was an asteroid or a comet, astronomers decided to include it in both categories, also calling it a planetoid. Its cometary designation is 95P/Chiro.
The term “maverick”, not aligned, was adopted by astronomer Brian Marsden who, because of its hybrid characteristics, considered Chiron a body outside of the solar system, which had escaped the Kuiper Belt and destined to disappear again beyond our system. Its very eccentric orbit is tilted 7° from the ecliptic, intersects the trajectory of Saturn, and brushes past that of Uranus. Chiron appears to be very lightweight and is subject to perturbations from large planets, despite its dimensions (diameter: 500 km). Its light is weak: magnitude 18m. It makes one revolution in 50 years and 7 months.
On 29th November 2011, thanks to the tracking of Pluto, MIT detected an occultation of Chiron, observing the shadow deriving from its transit in front of a luminous star. This made it possible to see a mysterious fog produced by two dusty rings. Chiron is surrounded by rings with a circular shell of gas and dust, 300 km away from its centre. In short, Chiron is a massive periodic comet of the solar system, but belongs to the class of Centaur asteroids, between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. Now we know that, having arrived from the Kuiper Belt, Chiron has been orbiting in its space only for a million years: almost from the same time when Homo erectus appeared.
To escape Cronus, the nymph Phylira turned into a mare. But the god, changing in turn into a horse – also to avoid attracting the attention of his wife Rhea – managed to abduct her. Their union produced a son who was half god and half horse: Chiron. Immediately after the birth, frightened by her son’s hybrid form, Phylira abandoned Chiron and turned herself into a linden tree. Apollo and Artemis immediately adopted Chiron. Apollo instructed him in the arts, medicine, music, and hunting. Artemis taught him to recognize and use herbs. Integrating the teachings of his mentors, Chiron learned how to heal the sick with the sound of the lyre. Unlike the other centaurs that were crude, savage, and violent, he became wise, educated, generous, and mild-mannered. He invented the constellations to help the Argonauts, during their voyage in search of the Golden Fleece. He was the teacher of numerous heroes: Hercules, Ajax, Achilles, Aristaeus, Asclepius, Aeneas, etc. His cave at the foot of Mount Pelion became the most famous school of all of Hellas. His teachings covered music, philosophy, medicine, hunting, and the martial arts. He was also famous for his divining talents and as a counsellor: many gods turned to him when they were in difficulty.
Chiron married the nymph Chariklo, Apollo’s daughter. Her name was given to the asteroid 10199 Chariklo. Their daughter Ocyrhoe received the gift of divination and became a prophetess. She predicted that her father would have been killed by one of his pupils. Later, because she did not observe professional secrecy, she was transformed into a mare. As for her prediction, Heracles, to whom Chiron had taught the art of hunting, arrived to fight against the centaurs at the entrance to his master’s cave. During the fight, an arrow dipped in the venomous blood of the Hydra of Lerna pierced Chiron’s knee, causing him excruciating pain. Chiron was immortal, but he felt pain like humans and animals. Unable to stand any more of the extreme suffering, he begged Zeus to revoke his immortality. In exchange, he offered to die to save Prometheus, who was chained to a rock in Tartarus for having stolen the fire of the gods and given it to men. Euthanasia, the good Death, then ended Chiron’s sufferings. Zeus, who loved Chiron, gave his permission, and to honour him, he took him into the sky as a constellation. Although the myth is the same one, the Centaurus constellation and Chiron are not the same astronomical entity.
A few months after Chiron discovery, astrologist Zane Stein added it to the astrological corpus and, in 1981, recognised its qualities of healing and instruments for obtaining it. Other astrologers, such as Richard Noelle, Al Morrison, and Barbara Hand Clow, observed the position of Centaurus in the charts of the consultants to identify others of its meanings. The first book on Chiron was written in 1985 by Zane Stein and called “Essence and Application: A View from Chiron”.
While the asteroids orbiting in the belt between Mars and Jupiter are midway between personal and generational planets, Chiron travels the Zodiac in around 50 years. So, its position in the Signs is not personal. The House of the wounded centaur indicates the contexts in which we must take care of ourselves and of others, but also the type of awareness to seek through teaching and experiencing. The opinion of Barbara Duffin in The Mountain Astrologer, Dec-Jan. 1994, is very interesting: she says that the story of Chiron suggests that the way we use or reveal knowledge is a responsibility that can turn against us. The hybrid Centaur also indicates:
Obviously, not all these meanings appear in a single chart: our ability lies in grasping those that best fit the person being analysed.
According to Maria Teresa Russo, a possible etymological root of the term “Chiron” may be Keiròs, Greek for “hand”: hence “God of the expert hand”. Bypassing Russo’s interesting medical and thaumaturgical reflections, it comes to my mind that the non-zoomorphic part of the centaur was characterized by his hands, which he skilfully used to heal and touch, but also to use musical and martial instruments. An archetype of intelligence deriving from manual dexterity, Chiron combined instinctive strength with the arts, science, and creativity. As a matter of fact, hands have a close relationship with knowledge and learning: handling helps one to know and indicates that one has mastery over what one touches. The hands are the bridge between the animal and the divine; they have made us skilful, up to accomplishing the miracle of digital instruments. One of the key moments of evolution was the development of the opposable thumb, which guaranteed the firm grip with which Australopithecus could chip a stone and, later, to construct tools and utensils. From the chipped stone to the wheel, the bow, and the computer mouse, the instruments created through manual skill have accompanied human beings throughout their evolution. At the dawn of our age, looking at people’s hands was a way to understand their hidden intentions. The ordinary Centaurs used their hands for their needs and to fight, while Chiron used them to increase wisdom, knowledge, and evolution.
The hybrid Centaur taught men the veneration of the Gods, the sacredness of the cosmic laws, and refined manual skills. In our age, Chiron suggests us not to get lost in the technological devices, but to humanize them with skill. He suggests us that gears are created from the combination of divine intuition, human intelligence, and animal instinct. Chiron and his relationship with hands also reminds me of the Mudrā: the sacred gestures that communicate the secrets of the universes, the qualities of the animal species, the feelings of human beings, and divine power. In Jobs’s story, hands also remind us that he learned calligraphy in a course taught by Trappist monk Robert Palladino… and that it was from that course, in which no processors were used, that the future digitized creation of the fonts emerged. His hands also bring us back to the computer, the multi-tasking smartphone, and digital animation, which have changed the way we listen to music and create movies. The genius of the digital revolution was the adopted son of a man whom he himself called “a genius with his hands”. And, like Chiron, Steve wanted to raise his craft as a designer to the mastery level. Both when he was a penniless hippie and when he became a magnate, Jobs contributed to “the stream of history”, putting technology into everyone’s hands. I invite you to listen to Jobs talk at Stanford University. Everything he said in that circumstance, intensely resonated as a chironian chronicle: https://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the
rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones
who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can
quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only
thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they
push humanity forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we
see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can
change the world, are the ones who do.
Many contrasts coexisted in Jobs: abrasive character, fastidiousness, arrogance, impassiveness, fury, need for control, intuitiveness, ingeniousness, wisdom, compassion, responsibility, aesthetic sense, and spirituality. These contradictions derived from traits of his DNA (Centaur nature) interwoven with the environment around his adoptive parents (Apollo and Artemis loved and educated Chiron). The wisdom of Jobs became legendary, as did his anger. He was consulted for advice by friends, common people, presidents, and rock stars (humans and gods asked Chiron for advice). Steve Jobs was a complex, ambitious man, a perfectionist with a grand vision who changed history. A real Chironian, he was a hybrid between a Zen Buddhist and a salesman. His profession was a fusion between art and technology.
Accurate “AA rated” birth data
Except for quick references, I will mainly concentrate on the systemic group regarding Chiron.
Spirituality, sensitivity, creativity (Sun in Pisces) paired with perfectionism and detail-driven attitude (Rising Virgo). Depth and strategic methodology in everyday management (Sun in Pisces on the 6th, ASC Virgo, MC Gemini). Evident, creative, and nonconformist creativity (Mercury in 5th Aquarius ruling First and Tenth). Fiery, impulsive nature that translates into conflictual actions and destructive reactions (Mars dignified in Aries square Pluto on the 12th). Wisdom, spirituality, and leadership “outside the box” (Jupiter, Uranus and South Node in 10th). His ability to love was a fundamental value, but somewhat selective and severe, despite a strong, unsatisfying need for love (Venus in Capricorn rules the 2nd and the 9th; Saturn rules the 5th). And yet, he mesmerized people with his burning emotional sensitivity (Moon in Aries on the 7th rules the 11th).
If we move gradually toward the Chironian zone, we arrive at the 5th Cusp in Capricorn. The 5th extends in Aquarius with Mercury the ruler of ASC and MC, squaring Saturn in Scorpio on the 3rd: strategic and brilliant, always ready to take risks, to inform, educate, and entertain, Steve behaved as a manipulator in selling the results of his technological visions. Eager to test his creative nature (Chiron in the 5th), Jobs experimented with drugs, spiritual practices (Sun in Pisces, Jupiter in Cancer on the 10th, Neptune on the 2nd), fasting, and rigid, unconventional foods (Sun on the 6th. Sixth House ruled by Saturn and Uranus).
many years later, I realized that the Syrian guy I had shaken hands with
in the Falafel restaurant named Jandali was the same Jandali my mom and
sister had told me about in 1982.
In Karmic Astrology the Fifth, in addition to the sphere of pleasure, creativity, and manual dexterity, indicates genealogy and the knowledge passed down from the paternal family.
Steve was loved by his adoptive father, who had transmitted healthy values and taught him to use his hands to create useful objects. However, certain of Steve’s character traits were different from those of his adoptive parents. Later, he discovered that his birth father was a non-practising Syrian Muslim, and that his paternal grandfather had been a self-made millionaire.
The awareness of having been abandoned accentuated his angry nature and his abrasive reactions, creating short circuits with his compassionate side and need for spirituality.
His resentment over being abandoned formed the basis for his social fulfilment, via extraordinary routes, suspended between utopia and reality. Not recognizing himself in ordinary corporation situations, Jobs was forced to deal with conflictual situations both outside and within his own ingeniousness.
Steve was vulnerable and easily felt attacked. Anger, success, ingeniousness, and empathy were the ingredients of the balm to soothe his pain. He often channelled his excesses of rage into expressions of derisive originality.
The price to be paid for the recognition of his identity and his ingenious visions was the lacerating conflict between the pursuit of social success and the spiritual values.
His relationships were linked to something solid which he needed, but which frightened him because they risked jeopardizing his social fulfilment and freedom.
The polarity of character between the spur for success and the underlying need for protection accentuated his aggressiveness. His competitive feelings implemented the dream to be realized. His fear of betrayal pushed him to personally and meticulously select all the personnel for his team; he never delegated this task to anyone else.
The painful wound led him to a pilgrimage into his depths and intensified his out-of-the-box initiative. He found relief by projecting the tension into technological innovation.
A relentless tyrant, he was fierce with his enemies, and desirous of keeping total control, but he also was deeply aware of his own plan: to change the world, starting with himself!
He was always in search for something! The Grand Trine helped him manage the continuous challenges of the Grand Cross.
With an excessive power in work environment, his leadership could change into disparaging dictatorship (Sun on the 6th opposing Pluto on the 12th), despite his empathetic nature and spiritual practices (Sun in Pisces disposed by Neptune). Challenges may have caused explosions of anger (Dignified Mars Trine Pluto) but also assertiveness, while founding outlets in his existential plan. His karmic project (Nodal axes on the 4th/10th) was supported by the spirit of transformation intrinsic in the generation to which he belonged (Node Trine Pluto).
The first story is about connecting the dots.
His salvation laid in his capacity to magnetize and create
loyalty in his collaborators, by showing them a future success structured
in the here and now.
The Venusian coldness in Capricorn changed into an insightful communication style with Saturn in the 3rd ruling the 5th, and absorbing the creativity of Chiron: wound, love, resilience… and the capacity to leave the obsolete road for new prospects of beauty.
He left the official curricula and instead studied… calligraphy and oriental disciplines.
He used creative communication for social fulfilment. Steve was perceived as an innovative Master in the art of communication, professional success, and selling (Mercury on the 5th in Aquarius rules ASC and MC). He had incredible concentration powers and shaped reality, through the energy deriving from conflict (Mercury square Saturn and Trine MC).
Because of its elliptical orbit, Chiron’s movement across the Zodiac is irregular, with a different speed in every Sign: from the longest period in Aries to the shortest in Libra, the duration of its stay varies, as can be seen in the table (Time spent by Chiron in each sign, in order of speed).
As for the other planets, there are 4 salient moments in its cycle: first waxing square to itself, opposition, waning square, and return. However, the phases do not all occur for all individuals at the same age. The image shows the approximate age when the phases of the cycle take place, according to the natal Chiron.
Steve had natal Chiron in Aquarius, so the waxing square occurred between the ages of 21 and 23 years, the opposition between 32 and 36 years, the waning square between 38 and 41 years. Obviously, the exact age must be calculated with the aid of the ephemerides.
I will only consider the positions of Chiron, since a complete analysis is not covered in this article.
1955 Chiron in Aquarius on the 5th.
Start of the process with the birth circumstances: his parents abandon him. His mother wanted him to be adopted by college graduates. When she discovered that his adoptive mother hadn’t finished college, and her husband hadn’t even finished high school, she refused to sign the papers, until they guaranteed they would send him to college.
Taurus on the 8th and Aquarius on the 5th: 1977/1978. 22 – 23 years.
An event causes the wound to flare up based on the issue of the natal Chiron placement. Tendency to repeat it on others. Steve reiterated and projected his wound of abandonment, refusing fatherhood and he refused to recognize his daughter. Just like his birth parents, he didn’t feel ready.
Gemini on the 9th and Aquarius on the 5th: 1984. 31 years.
Jobs met his birth mother and sister; part of the abandonment wound was healed. The pain over his rejection was replaced by love for his sister, who remained at his side.
Leo on the 11th and Aquarius on the 5th. 1991. 36 years.
Possibility to learn the mechanism that revives the wound which, throbbing, craves for a remedy. He married Lauren Lowell and decided to have a family.
Scorpio on the 2nd and Aquarius on the 5th. 1997. 42 years.
The old suffering is reactivated, through another existential sector to be re-examined. Steve elaborated his exacerbated feeling of payback, as he returned to the office as CEO.
Chiron in Fifth. 2005. 50 years.
Time is starting to teach or to heal others. Depending on the inner work done in the previous aspects, it may be accompanied by an appalling or insightful event. Evolution leads to the pursuit of the wholeness, to an abandonment of the suffering. During a talk at the University, Steve spoke about the elaboration of his wound, as a teaching to youngsters for their future.
The closing phase begins.
I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked
myself: - If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what
I am about to do today? - And whenever the answer has been -No- for too
many days in a row, I knew I needed to change something.
Steven did whatever his primitive Centaurean part impelled him to do, but also became a wise genius with his Chironian nature. And lastly, as a true Chironian, he assessed the scope of mortality. I am very impressed by the words uttered by his sister Mona:
It seemed to me that he counted his steps, trying to go--as was the case with the wheelchair--ever farther. Steve was not caught by the death, he reached it.
I like to conclude with a thought I deeply dedicate to all astrologers.
Some wounds can be healed, and others only alleviated. Some cannot be healed, but we can learn to live with them. Chiron teaches us, as astrologers, how to take care of ourselves, before nurturing people with their wounds. He shows us the way to help them finding their own path towards healing, where possible and where access is allowed.
We shall also remember to pay attention to the boundaries between us and the person we take care of: Heracles, inadvertently, hurled the poisoned arrow, just as he crossed the threshold of the cave where his master Chiron lived. And so, he smote his beloved guru.
Data Source and Biobliography:
Birth data Steve Jobs: Astrodatabank, Rodden Rating AA.
Gainsburg, Adam, Chiron: The Wisdom of a Deeply Open Heart, Soulsign, United States, 2006.
Hand Clow, Barbara, Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets, Llewellyn Publications, Minnesota, 2002.
Lass, Martin, Chiron: Healing Body and Soul, Llewellyn Publications, Minnesota, 2005.
Reinhart, Melanie, Chiron and the Healing Journey, Starwalker Press, London 2010.
Russo, Maria Teresa, La ferita di Chirone: Itinerari di antropologia ed etica in medicina, Edizioni Vita e pensiero, 2006.
Stein, Zane B, Essence and Application: A View from Chiron, Centaurean Astrology, Western Australia, 1995.
Wilson, Suzan, Steve Jobs: Wizard of Apple Computer. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2001.
Young, Jeffrey S., Steve Jobs: The Journey is the Reward. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1988.
Chiron planet: By Celestia Team (Celestia) [GPL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html), GPL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html) or GPL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Chiron myth: Pompeo Batoni [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Hand holding Moon: CC0 Creative Commons, via pixabay.com
Jobs with iPad: By matt buchanan (originally posted to Flickr as Apple iPad Event) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Jobs statue: By Derzsi Elekes Andor [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
First published in: www.infinityastrologicalmagazine.com, Mar/Apr 2018.
Nunzia Coppola (Meskalila) is D.F.Astrol.S, counselor in psychosocial Gestalt, CIDA delegate, ISAR VP and MAPAI. In India, where she lived for fifteen years, she has followed the paths of initiation with Aghori Langta Baba and Jay Kali Brahma Mahi Tara Mahakāla Vināsini. She is the founder of Astravidya School of Karmic Astrology. She translated into Italian Deborah Houlding’s “The Houses. The temples of the sky”, Edizioni Capone, and wrote several books herself. She is the founder and president of the Cultural Jayavidya Association. Her site is www.jayavidya.org. She has been awarded as Global Outstanding Astrologer by The Indian Institute of Oriental Heritage. She also won the title of Woman Astrologer 2016 by the same Institute.
© 2018 - Nunzia Coppola - Infinity Astrological Magazine
27-May-2018, 08:33 UT/GMT
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