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Just thought this was pretty–it has nothing to do with Chiron–fungi are very Plutonian! Watercolour depiction of the fly agaric, 1892. Likely painted at an art class near Bristol, England, the writing says “Agaricus muscarius” and “Leigh woods Sept/92” CC BY 4.0

In our ongoing exploration of specific natal aspects Readers have submitted for discussion (submissions are closed), we focus now on Chiron. Though initially considered an asteroid, it’s currently classified as a Centaur (it was in fact the first-discovered, lending its character to the classification itself), which is defined as an object orbiting the Sun between the asteroid belt and the Kuiper belt–and yet it behaves a little bit like a comet, so also carries a cometary designation (95P), and some even consider it a dwarf planet. All this variety (or is it confusion?) about how to categorize it hints at one of its most prominent characteristics: that what it designates in our natal charts has layers of meaning, an onion of hurt, experience, skill, and unique perspective, all of which can teach us about ourselves and our place within the world.

There is the Chiron hurt, something so deep and pervasive the individual can often be unaware of it; there is what we learn from the hurt, that we can then utilize, to help both ourselves and others; there is a Chirotic gift (or more than one) related to the sign and to our own processing and experience of it, which before 2012 we could offer only to others (and that we can now access–and so ‘do’–for ourselves); and there is a Transpersonal expression of this energy, one that takes the individual, cumulative Chiron knowledge and applies it to the Collective condition. So, Chiron designates qualities that are highly personalized, highly individual, and that with enough effort at understanding and re-shaping, we may at some point in life lift from the entirely personal, reactionary arena to utilization of the ‘gift within the wound’, to, finally, a transpersonal, Collective expression, one where our gift in some way answers a need found in the Collective or out in the world.

(Birth data redacted) I am interested in my Chiron, in Capricorn. I have had numerous struggles with structures and authority figures. I feel that this recent period has been sort of like a final exam or defending my thesis. I know that the wound doesn’t really go away but I feel stronger just putting all the past struggles into context now instead of feeling as though they are coming at me as a series of random tortures. I wonder what you would have to say about a broad now-moment and a future with Chiron in Capricorn. Thanks for choosing my inquiry–if you do!

You don’t ask about an aspect, but rather an entity, a single body, which is okay when it’s one that in the general astrological world still suffers from a state of too little clarity–that is, it’s difficult to see Chiron’s action in the natal chart when we see it in its most simplistic terms, ‘wound and gift’. That tempts us to want to reduce its effects to a clear-cut negative or positive, and that’s not only unproductive, it dismisses our need to look at how truly personal the manifestations of this energy are, how completely they have been tailored to our character, experience, and responses. Neither of those definitions of Chiron as wound and gift is wrong, but those labels do remove the nuances of what can be a very important, even vital, influence for the individual.

For you, Chiron plays a fundamental role in Self-image, with its location in the 2nd of assets and talents, and in Capricorn, the wound almost certainly involves your relationships to and reactions to both structures in the life and the concept of authority, with the initial reaction almost always presenting in response to those who hold authority in your life. At least part of why you may be responding so strongly and personally to Capricorn life areas is this body’s location in the 2nd of Self-image–it may feel that what hurts you also, inevitably, defines you (and we might want to throw in rules, ways in which your Will or feelings have been thwarted or restricted, and matters where you feel it’s ‘all work and no play’, particularly when this stands in contrast to what others around you seem to enjoy).

Does it feel as if the drudgery always falls to you? Where Chiron sits can often seem to be a difficult place, one where we’re denied joy, and if it does for you, dear Reader, that’s not surprising, especially considering that the closest aspect Chiron makes to a major body is its opposition to Uranus–and that may feel as if every time you try to ‘be yourself’ or act spontaneously or think independently (Uranus rules the 3rd) you get a Capricorn response (which may sound like ‘Control yourself’ or ‘Sit down’ or even ‘You’re not allowed’ or ‘That idea’s crazy!’). Compound this with Uranus in the 8th suggesting that others seem to have all the freedom, are allowed to be as erratic, unpredictable, or unique as they want–and that you may feel you have to clean up after them–it may be the only initially perceived path that allows you to feel good about yourself, by complying with these ‘demands’ (and this is supported by Chiron’s semi-sextile to the Ascendant and its trines to Jupiter and Hygeia in the 6th, all possibly making you feel it’s your duty to serve the larger social order, and to modify yourself in order to do so, that being healthy depends on it–but really, being healthy depends on working out your relationship to Chiron and the social order that surrounds you, rather than just complying with it, as you’ll never find peace by conforming).

And, with Uranus in the 8th but ruling the 3rd (as well as the close assembly of Sun, Mercury, and NN–Whole Sign), you may have the feeling that others are either trying to control your thinking, or that they are assessing your mental processes and reasoning as flighty, unreliable, or ‘out there’–and so, by extension, calling you these things (Sun in Aquarius 3rd), reaching into the mentality and insulting the Capricorn wound, which demands adherence to and observance of the rules, the status quo, and authorities. It may seem you are being insulted, expected to be ashamed, every time you act in ways that feel original or unique to you–but that’s an internal mechanism, one that plays out in you but that is spurred by others, even though the message you may be getting is, ‘Who do you think you are?’

One of the most difficult facets of your placement is that this energy is in a highly personal space (the 2nd, the part of you that judges yourself) but doesn’t contact any of the personal planets. Without contact to the personals (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars) one can feel adrift, as if the wider world, even the Universe, is targeting you, inflicting puzzling and unwarranted Capricornian penalties, suppressing your efforts at Self-improvement and earning (2nd)–and unless you can get some perspective, may trap you in ‘Me Against The World’ scenarios that play out over and over in new circumstances, but using old energies. Capricorn Chiron can bring a heavy sense of responsibility, and that’s difficult to fulfill when you feel that authority may consistently be against you (or that authorities have such high expectations or standards for your performance that you feel they’ll never be met).

Born just after a Lunar eclipse, hence the natal Sun and North Node are quite close, and may give a sense that accomplishment is a relentlessly difficult uphill climb, as if the prime moment for presenting what you know and feel has somehow passed. Re-frame this as a sense of completion in terms of being ready to pass things on to others or to cooperate with others in your efforts. A sesquiquadrate of Chiron to Ceres points out how tough the relationship is not just to external authorities but to your own inner sense of being in charge, of granting yourself permission to go forward. Become your own authority, in a sense, and this may offer the freedom you’ve (probably) been seeking.

Though this exercise was about natal aspects, not forecasts, I can suggest this: both personal security about who you are, and about making your way in the world, likely comes from disciplined expression of the talents, especially the creative ones, when applied to achieving specific goals with the cooperation of others (Chiron ruler Saturn conjoined Neptune in Libra in the 11th of goals, wishes, friendship, group involvement); look for others who support your originality and who are accepting of an individuality that’s comfortable for you–and there’s no ‘right’ model for this, that’s what makes it so hard–you have to trust yourself and stay firmly connected to the reality of things, even as you dream and invent. This may be an intense academic stance, may involve the sciences or futurism, may be about creative uniqueness, especially manifesting the imagined in real-world terms, or the way Higher Mind and spirituality are intertwined, and may involve a need to write, speak, or communicate your specific viewpoint to others.

Taking an intellectual approach (Sun and Merc in Aquarius) may initially cause internal conflict as Chiron demands a material response, but seeing that creativity in the current reality (Chiron ruler Saturn conj Neptune) is needed will resolve the tension, without too much conscious effort. Knowing healing is possible will go a long way toward repair of the wound; so will seeing the creative or spiritual take material form in the life.

Part Two coming next week, and if you want to know more about Chiron, you may want to try my book, which takes a personal, experiential approach to exploring your Chiron placement, using both definitions and an included workbook and question format–have a great weekend!