Dear Friend and Reader:
Today is the day that Chiron enters Pisces, where it will stay until 2018-2019. This is Chiron at the slow end of its orbit, in outer-planet mode. It seems like only yesterday (in the mid-1990s) when Chiron was clipping through a sign in just 18 months. I am here with an extended special edition audio presentation about this transit. The recording is about 35 minutes, and describes the three basic levels of Chiron in Pisces: water itself, the emotional realm and the spiritual realm. I describe all three in the audio, and end with a bit of history about Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius.
Basket star and anemones, Vancouver Island, BC. Photo by Bev Dulis waterworksdesign.net.
Chiron is one of those things in astrology that really does need an introduction. Though the discussion has gone on some places for more than 30 years, there are relatively few cohesive and balanced discussions of what this energy represents. Amanda Painter, one of the Planet Waves editors, researched my various articles about Chiron in Pisces and we’ve got her selections below. Each excerpt links to the article from which it originates.
First, I have an older piece on how Chiron may be applied in readings. It’s called When Astrology Listens. It describes a case-taking technique that enables the astrologer to deduce how Chiron is working in a person’s chart, without having to speculate. The technique is based on listening to what a client has to say about their experiences of Chiron transits. Chiron is an influence that grounds strongly in experience rather than in theory, so the client’s history can be quite meaningful and helpful to their own healing process and the astrologer’s role as facilitator.
In Small World Stories, the 2008 annual edition, we included a succinct introduction to Chiron. Described by someone named Al Morrison as ‘the inconvenient benefic’, “Chiron nearly always bestows a profound gift; it will save us over and over, waking us up just in the nick of time; but the events surrounding it almost always seem a bit shocking as they occur. Though over time, a degree of mastery of Chiron’s most fundamental energy may be attained: and that energy is awareness.” Further into the essay, I note why the events surrounding a Chiron transit can feel so jarring:
Perhaps if humanity were not so intent on denying its awareness, ignoring its knowledge, suppressing its potential and investing its energy in greed, Chiron would feel gentler or not be necessary at all. Perhaps if we considered understanding and embracing our shadow nature as important as seeking the light in our spiritual pursuits, we would not need Chiron. If it were more encouraged to allow curiosity its place, and to let it be a teacher, we would not depend so heavily on Chiron to instigate the experiences and crises we need to learn and grow.
The influence of Chiron in Pisces on the natal charts of a whole generation of people born during the 1960s — as well as the cultural matrix of that whole period — gets a close look in an article from a decade ago, simply titled Chiron in Pisces:
Chiron in Pisces is calling us to make peace with all the great mysteries of life: God, death, passion, Eros, altered states of consciousness, and the origin of the human experience. Individuals with Chiron in Pisces can express an innate knowledge of these mysteries, which can be developed into healing gifts or creative talents if the native chooses. It’s worth mentioning that Pisces is the sign associated with illusion, theater, film, art and music. Other signs speak of the creative aspects in different manifestations; Pisces speaks to the waving of illusion, and a gift for doing this both artfully and with integrity.
Building on the theme of the 1960s as a defining era, Chiron in Pisces: The Missing Piece summarizes the relationship between two astrological phenomena which defined the Sixties and are again shaping our current 2012 era: the Uranus-Pluto cycle and Chiron in Pisces. It turns out that Chiron was a key piece to how the Sixties felt:
Across the sky in Pisces — unknown to astronomers or astrologers at the time — was a small planet called Chiron. Though it would not be discovered until 1977, planets are active long before we’re aware of them, and Chiron’s influence in this era was a protective spiritual backdrop that provided a kind of refuge, a source of inspiration and focal point within all the madness that could make a song like “All You Need is Love” meaningful. If you were born in the Sixties, Chiron in Pisces is likely to be a prominent factor in your astrology, and you’ve been working with it all your life.
In that same article, I describe how this current rendition of Chiron in Pisces comes with its own version of a wake-up call:
To put it bluntly, we might discover that we’re not as spiritual as we thought, in the sense that we need to apply our beliefs and ideals to the world in a real way. Chiron calls for a practical approach to whatever it touches. If you believe you’re spiritual, what is the working end of that equation? Where does that quality make contact with society — not just your altar or your yoga mat? You could look at Chiron in Pisces as the focusing of dharma: acting as if to hold the world together. Chiron takes us out of the theoretical realm and directly into what comes with evidence and documentation.
Most recently, the subscriber issue How to Cross an Ocean; How to Light a Fire touched on today’s ingress into Pisces, which shifts the flavor of our cultural focus:
Wherever it may be, Chiron focuses attention, and the oceans (signified by Pisces) need attention. So too does the vast interior of human consciousness represented by Pisces. This last sign of the zodiac works for all of us as a source of creativity, emotional contact and escape from the hard-edged world of the ego. If not for Pisces, there would not be music or art, and sex would not be the same. We would not recognize the subtle shades of our emotions. Yet we tend to pollute this realm with everything from mind-bending psychotropic drugs to contact with 5,000 advertisements a day.
It may sound a bit overwhelming in a rather diffuse sort of way. But as mysterious as the themes of Pisces and Neptune may feel to some, Chiron does not leave us drifting out to sea, as I explain later in that article:
The extended, simultaneous presence of Chiron and Neptune in Pisces is about developing the awareness and discipline to handle deep emotional, and what you might call mystical, energy. You don’t swim across the ocean — you travel in a boat. The same is true for the oceanic multidimensional realms represented by Pisces. You can think of Chiron as the boat, the vessel which includes such tools as perception, analysis, documentation and — most significantly — boundaries.
And as for calling attention to the water on the planet that Chiron in Pisces may represent, we saw a startling example in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which accompanied Chiron’s temporary ingress into Pisces last year. Pisces, Chiron and Whole-System Thinking gives a broad view of some of what Chiron is trying to show us:
Chiron in Pisces is revealing a new dimension of awareness, or rather, pointing out what we need to be aware of. My take is that Chiron in Pisces is homing in on two things: one is natural systems, that is, what preexisted industrialism, and where these intersect with our technological systems. The other is what we think of as spirituality, and by that I mean we’re being pointed to a void of awareness of how our beliefs influence our reality; how interconnected we all are; and how dependent we are on the environment in which we live.
Yours & truly,
PS, Thank you to my Chiron teachers, who helped me figure out this little planet: Melanie Reinhart, Robert von Heeren, Zane Stein, Dale O’Brien, Barbara Hand Clow and many, many astrology clients who shared their biographies with me in the process of my working on their astrological charts.
Eric Francis, the founder and editor of Planet Waves, is an astrologer and investigative journalist. He was working in his first job as a municipal newspaper reporter when he discovered that his editor also owned an astrology bookstore. This began a long relationship between astrology and journalism, which has taken Eric through the pages of many newspapers as a horoscope writer, including the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror plus numerous other venues. Today, Eric covers global turning point events through the lens of astrology. He is a specialist in newly-discovered planets.