Because of Chiron’s unusual orbit, it often hooks up with one planet with which it dances over a long period of time. Between 1952 (before Chiron’s discovery in 1977) and 1986, Chiron opposed Uranus a total of 41 times. The Chiron/Uranus opposition is a strong significator in the birthchart of an individual who is becoming awakened (Uranus) to the power of transformation that results from facing the painful psychic wounds (Chiron) from which we attempt to hide. Chiron is associated with the healing of the body through achieving spiritual wholeness, and during the awakening period of the Chiron/Uranus opposition, and particularly after the discovery of Chiron in 1977, the concept of “holistic healing” and the body-mind connection was revived after centuries of taking the back burner to “science.”
The current cycle of Chiron’s opposition to Saturn which concludes this month has occurred a total of , making this another key significator. The current phase of the dance began in September of 2003 and concludes this month. To fully understand the way Chiron works astrologically, it’s useful to go back to his roots in mythology and legend.
In mythology, Chiron was born of Philyra, mortal woman, and Saturn, immortal god. In order to escape Saturn’s amorous pursuit, Philyra had herself turned into a mare; however, Saturn outsmarted her and shapeshifted into a horse in order to accomplish his intention to rape her. When Chiron was born half horse and half man, like a Centaur, Philyra was so ashamed she abandoned him in a cave, thus establishing the deep psychic wound for which Chiron is well-known.
Being one-half god, Chiron was immortal and thus survived this early abandonment. He went on to study with the god Apollo, who some say became his foster father. There Chiron learned the arts of music and homeopathic healing, as well as skills such as archery, hunting, and the art of warmaking. He was wounded when a poison arrow struck him in the leg. Because he was partly immortal, the wound did not kill him but kept him in pain for the rest of his life. He achieved death by trading places with Prometheus, who had been bound to a rock by Zeus in punishment for mocking him. In allowing himself to be bound to the rock, Chiron released his immortality and was able to find peace through death. (more on Chiron here.)
Because Chiron is actually the son of Saturn, the opposition between them brings up issues of paternalization and self-doubt. Despite the fact that Chiron is Saturn’s son, Saturn has no contact with him and he grows up without a sense of identification even though his affiliation with Apollo, the Sun God, offers him a beautiful life of music and learning. In the astrological opposition, Saturn forces a confrontation and we tend to see a resurgence of father issues, both personally and globally. This confrontation is clearly seen in the dynamic between the paternal United States and the rebellious Islamist fundamentalists and Iranian state, a dynamic that has significantly worsened since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
On a more personal level we are likely to experience our own wounds of abandonment and inadequacy in a more direct way as Saturn applies pressure on us to face any areas of our life where we have avoided dealing with these issues. For some of us this may have resulted in disease to the body as Chiron attempts to bring deep-seated emotional and spiritual issues to the conscious level so that they can become integrated and transmuted. The more we allow Saturn to act as our teacher, doing the work that is required to illuminate our own darkness, we will be more fully able to reclaim those parts of ourselves that have become lost, becoming more energized and more fully awake to life’s possibilities.