Healing with Chiron & Hygeia
On November 1, 1977, astronomer Charles Kowal discovered a new sparkling jewel in the stellar treasure chest known as our solar system. He knew it was not a star because earlier observations showed that this strange object moved on a nightly basis. Kowal's first suspicions led him to believe that the object was either a comet or Minor Planet or asteroid. Further observation and calculations revealed that the object held to an orbit between Saturn and Uranus. This ruled out any notion of a comet or asteroid and definitively identified the object as a Minor Planet.
The tentative name given to this new find was Object Kowal which was later changed to Chiron after the mythological Centaur Chief. Oddly enough, Chiron had been telescopically photographed as early as 1895 but was merely considered a remote and elusive point of light in the night sky that never seemed to garner any scientific curiosity.
Both astronomy and astrology deal with what is known as hypothetical planets. Both communities are open to the actual discovery of planets that are first hypothesized to exist. In fact, astrologers anticipated the discovery of a planet between Saturn and Uranus long before their astronomical kin. When Chiron was discovered and adopted into the astrological planetary intelligentsia, it opened new doors to the art of astrological interpretation and became an important link to the emotional and psychological factors in a chart that were too long missing. The wisdom of Chiron imbues astrology with insight synthesis and with dimensional holographic perception. Named for the Great Centaur who was an astrologer, diviner, master teacher, warrior, musician, healer, homeopath, and alternative medicine practitioner, Chiron shows us how to heal ourselves by re-instilling the mind/body/spirit connection that was known to the ancients but lost to mankind. In the mythological hierarchy, Chiron is an older brother to Zeus (Jupiter). He taught the greatest heroes and healers in mythology. Among them were Jason, Hercules, Achilles, Peleus, Orpheus, Aristaeus, and Asclepius. Asclepius was Chiron's favorite student having been taught most of the healing arts including surgery, herbal medicine and astrology. Those of you who enjoy reading mythology might be surprised to learn that the great Warrior of Death, Achilles, was also taught the art of surgery and herbal medicine by Chiron along with his martial training. The mighty Hercules learned astrology from Chiron as well his fighting skills. According to legend, Chiron accidentally wounds himself with a poison arrow belonging to Hercules. As an immortal, Chiron could not recover from the wound and was fated to suffer for eternity. In unyielding agony, he decides to give up his immortality to free Prometheus. No longer immortal, Chiron is free to die. Out of respect for this great sacrifice, Zeus placed Chiron in the starry heavens.
The phrase, "No pain, no gain", readily applies to Chiron influence for often he guides us through the pain and hurt connected to past and present emotional embroilments and repressions until we have found our way through the tumults of the maze and become free to heal our inner selves. On this level, his influence affects our full consciousness. Astrological health research has been greatly enhanced by the discovery of Chiron as it has now proven itself to be a key factor in understanding some of the root causes of health ailments and how to heal them. In astrological relationship analysis, Chiron has also become significant when discerning the quality of healing influences between two individuals and how the relationship is hurt or healed via the bounty or lack of psychological and emotional understanding.
All planets in astrology have cycles which refer to the number of years a particular planet takes to return to its natural natal position. Chiron is widely known and accepted as the "bridge" between Saturn and Uranus by the astrological community. It sits center stage between two major astrological life cycles, the Uranus opposition which occurs around age 40/41, fondly known as the "last chance" mid-life crisis time (with or without Prozac), and the second Saturn Return between ages 58-60, a time of wrapping up life responsibilities and creatively planning for the last years of life. Chiron returns to its natal position at age 50 and truly represents a rite of passage. I know several older astrologers who have confessed that they would rather deal with a Saturn Return than the Chiron Return. For them, the Chiron Return represented a time when all of the repressed and painful emotional and psychological skeletons were let out of the closet to be addressed, resolved, and put to rest. Of course they realized that without this "healing from the inside out" process they would never have been able to move forward and make the amazing and successful life strides they were able to make. If one thinks of Saturn, Uranus, and Chiron as being "true" life quest linked, then it is the Uranus opposition that makes us emotionally aware of the quest, Chiron that makes us "up in your face" consciously savvy to clean up our act, and Saturn that gives us the where-with-all to manifest the new reality on the physical plane.
Years ago, a veteran astrologer once shared something with me about Chiron that sounded rather ominous but in fact made perfect sense. He told me that his case studies with Chiron had shown him that the Chiron Return was very "Soul" connected and it was during this cycle that the "Soul" would decide how long it would remain connected to the physical body. Chiron is associated with chronic and severe health crisis usually accompanied by the activation of Kundalini energy. So at this time, a spiritual choice would be made to either transform and seek out the true path of the life quest OR transcend and depart from physical life. He also said that his studies had further shown him that those souls who had decided to leave the planet usually did so due to sudden and unexpected serious physical infirmity or disease which was triggered by a hard Saturn aspect following the Chiron Return. On the positive side, I have observed that many people find a seemingly brand new life path after their Chiron Return. What they don't know is that the new path really isn't some amazing discovery but the true life quest intention all along. Accordingly, for some of these people the door to metaphysics is flung wide open and they find themselves totally immersed in a healing venue which they formally had no clue that they were capable of practicing or learning. This seems to be particularly true of those born with a retrograde (manifest it later in life) Chiron influence.
What about Chiron's place in the natal chart ... does it reveal the potential for the Art of Healing? Chiron is prominent in the charts of those with an innate ability to heal others. Energy healers, Reiki practitioners, crystal healers, and other "hands on" healers often have a connection between Chiron and the asteroid Ceres (nurturing and caring) in their natal charts. Medical "intuits" and meta-counselors often have a Pluto/Chiron trine particularly if Pluto is in the 8th house. Metaphysical writers and publishers and those who teach metaphysics often have either a third or ninth house Chiron connection. The charts of medical doctors (especially those with a good bed side manner) will show Chiron in the sixth house of health and surgeons sometimes display a Mars (ruler of surgery) and Chiron conjunction in the sixth house.
The rulership of Chiron is multifaceted and includes: All alternative, homeopathic and herbal medicine, medical channeling/intuition, energy healing such as Reiki, therapies and attunements particularly the "chiro"-practic, crystal healing, transformative astrology and archetypal counseling (such as Tarot etc.), access to the subtle realms of consciousness including holographic sight and multidimensional perception, near death experiences, metaphysical teachers and researchers, all holistic disciplines accompanied by pragmatic thought processes, and all forms of divination, particularly those engaged by "destiny" mentors, ecologists, hospice counselors, gurus, guides, palmists and hairdressers.
In Mythology, Hygeia is one of the daughters (actually a stepdaughter) of Aesclepius (aka Ophiuchus - you can read all about Ophiuchus by selecting POPUAR PLANET on the menu.) the great healer. She is the only one of his daughters to follow in his healing footsteps. Hygeia is often depicted in art as a beautiful maiden handling a snake. When viewed as a "sacred animal" the snake is believed to be all knowledgeable about the secrets of the cures and causes of illness and disease.
Hygeia is an asteroid and is the fourth largest object in the Asteroid Belt. It was discovered by Annibale de Gasparis on April 12, 1849 in Naples, Italy and was the first of his nine asteroid discoveries.
In astrology, the asteroid Hygeia represents our attitude and belief system concerning health and fitness awareness. Hygeia also rules sanitation and the valuable role hygiene and diet play in health maintenance. She often shows up by transit or appears on a major angle when an individual is experiencing a health issue and helps to define the actual problem by sign and house posits, medical degree, aspect or midpoint. The glyph or sigil of Hygeia resembles the caduceus or Rod of Hermes (a staff entwined by two snakes) which is also the well known and recognizable symbol of the American Medical Association.
Hygeian influence is felt among dieticians, physical fitness educators and teachers, dental hygienists, mental health facilitators who embrace the mind/body connection, holistic practitioners, sanitation inspectors, environmentalists, and preservationists who believe keeping the Earth clean and pollution free.
More and more contemporary astrologers are including the asteroids into their readings and analyses. New studies are showing some interesting facets of Hygeia particularly connected to imbalances. An astrological colleague for example, in an ongoing study of Hygeia's role in the charts of convicted sex offenders and pedophiles found a common denominator of these natal charts was the fact that Hygeia was in hard aspect to one or more personal planets in these charts. What about aspects between Chiron and Hygeia? By transit, Hygeia in harsh aspect to one's natal Chiron can indeed signal a health issue often times indicating that emotional responses are at the base or heart of a physical illness or physical consequences. Alternatively, transiting Hygeia making beneficent or easy contact with Chiron can herald talent or opportunity for healing at the very deepest levels.