ASBOLUS, discovered in 1995 and orbiting our Sun in 76 years, is the the fourth-ever Centaur and the second planet ever to have been named by the International Astronomical Union at the suggestion of astrologers. The first was Nessus, discovered two years earlier.
Asbolus crosses the orbits of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the modern planets that were discovered by science. In this respect, Asbolus is associated with distinctly modern issues, including the rise of technology; issues of power and technology; the resulting use of ‘modern magic'; the pain caused by the dissolution of family and community; the rise of the Corporation as the supreme civic power.
But as Alice Miller pointed out, we need to come to the difficult conclusion that we were all abused children in our society, and that has provided us with a wealth of injury we can use as fodder for growth and expression. As with all Centaurs, any injury associated with the planet tends to focus power, awareness and ability, which in the case of Asbolus may be extraordinary — both the pain, and the gift.
Asbolus in Greek means ‘carbon dust’, and carbon is the basis of all life and all organic chemistry. Inherent in the idea is the gift of life. It is the one of two things that all living things have in common, the second being the need to survive. People with a prominent Asbolus (such as in the ascendant) have usually been through difficult or catastrophic upbringings but appear to have managed to survive relatively unscathed. They may have hid behind the couch as their parents threw things at one another, or suffered abuse and betrayal by one or both parents. But they have lived to tell the story, so what we have is the planet of The Survivor.
However, like a cat or dog who will not reveal that it is ill, Asbolus people may cloak or conceal their pain, so as not to arouse the attention of predators. In such a situation the defenses that arise out of the conditioning would be subtle and complex.
Regardless, much of the game on this planet does amount to survival, and prominence of Asbolus in a natal chart appears to bestow the ability to keep walking through the mine-field of life no matter how explosive it may be. Asbolus may bestow protection, adaptability, or blessing under adversity, even when one is unaware of these things. However, that may not always be appreciated for what it is, resulting in various fear complexes or what are called in current parlance intimacy issues.
Regarding carbon dust, Asbolus connects us with the most basic element at the core of terrestrial life, a deep contact with something organic and essential — the ability and the impulse to endure, live and even thrive despite it all.
A short delineation would sound like this: “Survival and the recognition of having survived. Deep contact with something organic and essential — the ability to endure and even thrive ‘despite it all’. Asbolus arrives with intense circumstances but also protection from victimhood, and protection even when it seems like none is there, such as in the story ‘Footsteps’.”
In counseling, explore the client’s level of faith, the basis of their faith and what may have shaken it. It may be necessary to explain the fact that they made it and that the original trauma is over. There may be a need to connect to something elemental, to consciously engage their source of strength, and to claim some credit for having been through so much and come out intact.
Check the influence of Chiron transits for the flow of events that have shaped the life; check Nessus to learn the nature of specifically betrayal-related or sexual abuse. A Nessus transit might time such an event. Pholus adds a reference to the generational nature of the experience, and where it might most provocatively express itself; where it might seek release.