In ancient Greek mythology, Chiron was the son of the god Kronos/Saturn. Saturn desired to mate with Philyra who, with the help of Hera, changed herself into a horse to escape Saturn’s advances. Saturn, however, became a horse just in time to accomplish his goal and the result was Chiron, half man and half horse. Chiron was no ordinary Centaur; he was half-divine and after having been abandoned as a baby on a mountaintop by his horrified mother he was later, according to some accounts, adopted by Apollo became a master healer and astrologer, renowned for his wisdom and became a teacher of many including Achilles.
In astrological symbolism, Chiron represents the process of healing that forces us to expose old wounds to the light of consciousness so that they can be healed. Saturn represents obstacles and responsibility and tests us, ultimately developing strength of character. The opposition of Saturn to Chiron in the planetary skies brings a global test (Saturn) to societies and individuals that are wounded and forces a “healing crisis” in order to facilitate change.
Because of the illusion of retrograde motion, planets sometimes appear to be moving backwards in the sky and therefore can aspect each other multiple times during one planetary event. When this occurs, the dynamic expressed by these planets over those multiple times increases in intensity. For example, in early 1986 Saturn approached an opposition to Chiron at the time of the crash of the Space Shuttle challenger that killed all seven astronauts aboard and terminated for a time the exploration of space. Shortly after the exact opposition one of the Chernobyl reactors explodes, causing the worst nuclear disaster in history and terminating for a time the expansion of nuclear power.
As Saturn made the second opposition to Chiron in that series, the Iran/Contra scandal was exposed causing a serious wound to the American government. As Saturn approached the third opposition to Chiron, stock markets around the world fell in the great Crash of 1987 which caused repercussions around the globe.
As we approach a new opposition of Saturn to Chiron we are seeing an eruption of crises that have long been ignored and are coming to a head now to be dealt with. The dysfunction in the US government, the division in the Islamic world between terrorist factions and peaceful groups, the fracturing of the Republican party between the true conservatives and the right wing, and currently a new challenge by evangelical groups who support protecting the environment against the right wing agenda of the current administration and their evangelical cronies who believe man’s dominion over nature was intended by god. As these crises come to a head there is an opportunity for tremendous growth and evolution as we navigate the rough waters. Maintaining a long view of the situation can help us keep our perspective as things become more difficult.