What am I going to do with this last part of my life? - Astrologer Melanie Reinhart
After the Saturn Return at 30, and the midlife crisis at 40, one of the lesser known, but most significant rites of passage, at 50, is the formidable Chiron Return. It is, perhaps, due to the relatively new discovery of Chiron, in November 1977, that so little is known about this profound period of transformation, that reveals so much about the secrets of the human psyche.
Neither planet nor asteroid, Chiron has been determined to be a comet or planetoid (minor planet). Found between the orbit of Saturn (representing tradition) and Uranus (representing progress), Chiron forms a bridge between the old and the new, historical origins and individual expression. Chiron mediates between the conscious awareness and reality-basis of the practical personal and social planets (Sun through Saturn) and the multi-dimensional cosmic consciousness of the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). It provides a gateway forward or back, whichever is deemed essential for growth, forming our own link between the natural and the supernatural, the physical and the metaphysical.
Part horse and part human; part mortal and part immortal, Chiron, a Centaur, is associated with the archetype of the “wounded healer.” Mythically, Chiron, born a mutant, was rejected at birth by his mother, who thought him an abomination. Chiron was forced to raise himself. Facing many rejections and trials, ultimately, his accomplishments as a great teacher and healer (he was personally trained by Apollo), self-sacrifices (he relinquished his immortality to Prometheus who was imprisonment in the underworld for bringing fire to earth), and wisdom (tutored personally by Athena), brought him the respect of Zeus, who gave him his own constellation.
Chiron represents (and is given definition, by sign, house placement and aspect) where we feel fundamentally wounded. He also embodies our dualities and inner contradictions: where we have the potential to be both: godlike and human; instinctive and reasoning, where we feel most rejected and ashamed, but where, too, we have the capacity to heal.
The fact that Chiron has been so difficult to categorize is emblematic of the Wounded Healer’s dilemma: that of feeling unable to find one’s niche or place in the world. Hence Chiron in our charts also represents where we feel disenfranchised and where we can contribute most to those who themselves feel to be outcasts.
Chiron, himself an accomplished teacher and healer, is thought to be prominent in the charts of healers, astrologers and spiritual teachers. The symbolism goes further to say that embodied in the primal wounding of a being, either physically, spiritually or incarnationally, is the secret to their healing.
Perhaps the most universally acknowledged image of Chironic consciousness is the image and person of Christ. Other famous Chironic figures in our culture include Martin Luther King, Jr., who was born with Chiron direct and stationery, inspiring many future generations with his “dream.”
Another Chironic theme is the conversion of the “ugly duckling” types who metamorphsize at 50, just as Chiron returns to the position it was at birth. In Magi Astrology, Chiron is the center of their astrological universe with Chiron aspects and transits indicating soul mate opportunities and indications when your ship will come in for your destiny.
Turning 50, or thereabouts (for some, it is 49; other’s 51) marks a new paradigm in Western Astrology, as Chiron returns to its natal position. This momentous watershed delineates the end of the heroic youth, as we enter the realm of “elder. Like the Chinese character for crisis, the Chiron Return represents a “dangerous opportunity.” Here, we revisit ancient patterns; have the opportunity to go back to the source of our deepest, unresolved wounds; to heal them, once and for all, so that we can live the remainder of our lives in keeping with our true soul purpose.
Some say, however, that it may not be possible to fully understand the repercussions of this passage, until Chiron itself has completed an entire cycle, in the year 2028, 51 years after its discovery. opportunity we all have now: to produce both a personal and universal elixir of mysterious and inordinate possibilities.
How fortunate we all are to be positioned at such a juncture!