Beltane and Chiron Square Pholus

This year’s Beltane chart had a most interesting feature: the square of Chiron and Pholus. These are, respectively, the first two discovered centaur planets, which opened up a new dimension in astrological thought. Centaurs are all devoted to healing, and they also tend to to have an edgy feeling.


When Melanie Reinhart called her book about the centaurs “To the Edge and Beyond,” what she meant is that they take us beyond known boundaries and accepted definitions.

These two slow-movers hardly ever make an aspect. Saturday’s square goes back to a conjunction on Jan. 24, 1956, when Chiron and Pholus (both undiscovered at the time) met in Aquarius. If you think of that as the New Moon, it took these two points 62 years to get to first-quarter phase.

And when it happened, it happened in grand style. To begin with, Chiron is in the first degree of Aries: it’s holding the Aries Point, the first degree of Aries, which is the great intersection of the individual and the collective. In practical terms, the Aries Point serves as an amplifier, extending the range and the reach of any aspect that comes in contact with it.

Among other roles, Chiron serves as a reality check. Where there is Chiron, there is documentation. There is a process. There are limits. There is regulation of the flow of energy.

Chiron on the Aries Point is broadcasting the core concepts of Chiron to the world: the notion that healing exists; that it is possible; and that there is some issue that we need to address, as individuals and collectively as a society.

Chiron in Aries can run the gamut of feeling from “I must find out who I am” to the sensation of being agonizingly messed up and feeling alienated. It can also be aggressive; if guilt and resentment are not addressed, they tend to turn to attack.

Pholus, the second discovered centaur, is occupying the first degree of Capricorn — which, as a cardinal point, is a direct extension of the Aries Point — due to the exact 90-degree aspect. Pholus in that position is broadcasting individual/collective issues as filtered through a sign associated with family, corporations and government.

Dates of the current set of square aspects between Chiron and Pholus, courtesy of

Dates of the current set of square aspects between Chiron and Pholus, courtesy of

Among the manifestations of Pholus are sensations like: everything is about to go out of control; ridiculously small things have seemingly huge effects; and “this whole mess goes back for generations — what the heck are we supposed to do about it now except get triggered over and over again?” Indeed, we could add ‘triggering’ to the very short list of key concepts for Pholus.

The torrent of nonstop controversy and scandal coming out of various government entities, which is probably running at its highest peak since the days of Caligula, is described in this placement.

Now let’s put the two together. Chiron is serving as a kind of checkpoint for Pholus. As the master centaur, Chiron calls the shots. In this case, he represents an imposition of reason and rationality on what would otherwise be an insane situation. Yet this must be an act of will, not of happenstance.

Chiron is about the raising of consciousness, and this does not happen quickly, or automatically. There can be the long struggle — which is the quest for becoming an individual. That is not easy these days, as the world devolves deeper and deeper into tribalism, despair and a post-fact reality: yet everything has its natural limits, even a tidal wave.

One last note on the Chiron-Pholus square. This phase (what we could call first quarter) lasts a little while, because of the retrograde motion of planets. There are a total of eight exact contacts, spanning between mid-2017 and early 2020.

Soon, a point called Salacia gets involved, and that’s sure gonna be interesting. Remember that name — Salacia — and Chiron conjunct Salacia.

That, and happy Beltane.

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