Do you live straddling two contradictory streams? Do you say, ‘I only spread love and light,’ and then post politically or religiously or racially divisive statements, attend hate-supporting gatherings, or laugh at those who are different (or who are seen as fair game, in your world)? Do you complain about your significant other, openly contemplating (even planning) divorce, flirting or even cheating, and then play up certain dates with all the romantic trappings and expectations, demanding you be treated as ‘the only one’? Do you prize (and require in others), for example, loyalty, or honesty, but reserve for yourself the ‘right’ to be disloyal or dishonest when it suits you (because your reason to do it is always a ‘good’ one)? No, I didn’t think you did, but there are many who do, and frankly, we’re surrounded by them right now! It’s the effect of Vesta opposed Neptune, challenging every single one of us to put lots of daylight between what we honor and treat as sacred, and the natural human propensity to fudge it all, just a bit, to live in a fantasy, to blur the lines or tell a fib, to ourselves or others, in the name of being gentle, or keeping the peace, or getting our way, or just plain avoiding a hassle.
The two energies actually carry a large number of similar themes: ideals, and particularly the imaginative ideals conceived in flawless form through pure creativity, as well as the spiritual ideal applied not just to the individual Soul but to the state of humanity, are all Neptune, while the Vestal counterpart is the identification and treatment of particular beliefs, practices, things, individuals, causes, and ideals in the life as sacred, honored, with aimed-for realization in an ideal form the goal. When these two oh-so-similar energies meet in opposition, we’re faced with embracing one and denying the other–and that’s an ‘all or nothing’ proposition, requiring a clear-cut choice. We can’t just lie a little, at this time, just do a little dishonest or deceptive thing, because battle lines are drawn–we can’t be a little pregnant, a little dead, or a little Neptunian in our behavior, without claiming it all as our own, because that puts us in an anti-position to the Vestal values of dedication, integrity, and the sacred.
As we undergo the New Moon new start, we see not only this opposition but a Venus-Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius that’s notable, because it acts as a kind of positive bridge connecting Vesta-Neptune, the NM, and the Saturn results of later in the month, and it does so via that Uranian-Aquarius commonality. It offers Higher Mind and the belief system a clear understanding of the rewards of a heart-oriented stance, of taking a generous and ideal-guided approach, and offers the opportunity to align the Self with Love, to kindly apply ‘the facts’ to what we care about. When we do that there’s no room for deception, no room to split consciousness along two divergent (and so both inauthentic) paths. If we do by chance grab the wrong end of the Neptune-Vesta stick, we may find ourselves at this point undergoing exaggerated heartsickness or heartbreak, punitively high costs in worldly efforts, we may get a bill for having ignored ‘the facts’, or we may see those beliefs we hold precious directly challenged by something or someone fact-oriented and forward-thinking.
We need to take into account that the Saturn-Uranus square will perfect on the 17th, and is already within orb. This will deliver in real-world terms the results of any rebelliousness, unreliability, erratic behavior, or Self-restriction we’ve imposed–but it will also bring the results of hard work aligned with Higher Mind, inventive or innovative efforts, and those things done in genuine service to the group. This will very likely tie back to the Neptune-Vesta opposition, with that setting the tone, leavened by Venus-Jupiter, showing the outcome to our responses through that mix of Saturnian-Uranian real-world circumstances.
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 possiblewill go a long way toward repair of the wound; so will seeing the creative or spiritual take material form in the life.
In thinking about our unicorns, I also started to think about where in the chart we might look for a truly direct line to our most characteristic desires, because it’s in recognizing and acknowledging our real wants that we begin to align our life so that dream becomes reality–and Zeus seemed the obvious choice. As the god who reigned over all the other gods on Olympus, Zeus is a mythic embodiment of male privilege and authority who clearly placed himself above considerations of the wants, needs, and even rights of others. He took what he wanted, made no apologies (not even to his long-suffering goddess sister/ wife, Hera/ Juno), and answered to no one–which strikes me as the ‘rugged individualism’ Western society has granted as a right to males (especially white males)–to everyone’s detriment. I think we’d all agree that the unfettered appetites of Zeus, his crass and uncaring behavior, and his obliviousness to the hurt and suffering he caused are undesirable–but the way in which he was able to not just pinpoint his appetites, but to act on them, is very desirable, with the proviso that we are able to identify ways in which these can be fulfilled that do not violate our highest values (Vesta), our relationships (Venus), or our Soul’s intents (the Sun), and certainly, that do not violate the rights of others. Easy natal aspects of Zeus to other bodies or points (some conjunctions, sextiles, trines) may show us the way toward our desires (or, point to what impulses we can trust in discovering and fulfilling these desires):
· Zeus to the Sun: ambitions and desires serve the Soul’s intents and so the Life Purpose. This is no doubt a sweet aspect to have, as it makes for smooth alignment among impulses, desires, and goals; they all mesh successfully with identity and expression. In hard aspect can indicate conflicts between the appetites and the goals.
· Zeus to the Moon: here the intuition and emotional perceptions aid (or hinder) fulfillment of the desires. The sign in which the Moon sits will profoundly affect the meaning of this Zeus–and may dictate the forms and/ or style used to express ambitions and desires. Nurture and/ or pronounced sensitivity will definitely be involved, and ‘receptivity’ may be a keyword in ambition manifestation; it may be a matter of attraction, as much as anything else.
· Zeus to Mercury: communication is vital to ambition attainment, so much so that some form of communication may actually be the ambition itself. No matter what the desire, this individual will be saying something with every choice–it’s just in the nature.
· Zeus to Venus: this brings relationships front and center with the desire nature, and with worldly and material ambition. This is not necessarily as $$ or thing-oriented as it sounds; this can apply Love (with a big ‘L’) to ambitions and desire expression, making for goals that are beauty or caring-infused. Again, a very attractive quality to the ambitions, so that fulfillment seems to come to the individual with little effort (or is denied inexplicably, with hard aspects), often through relationships.
· Zeus to Mars: contact between these two can set up a scenario where the individual only discovers (or achieves) her or his ambitions because she or he must fight for them (or in struggling for autonomy of expression they find their desire/ ambition), or where they find desires stimulated by the need to best rivals, or to state the ‘I am’ loud and clear. Choice and action are extra important with this contact, having an impact on reaching goals even when one would think the choice or action is irrelevant to achievement.
· Zeus to Jupiter: the individual may find opportunity in or through the social sphere, or must bow to educational needs or a religious hierarchy in order to meet ambitions. Or, the whole world is their oyster, and the life an oyster banquet! This person’s desires seem to get broadcast whether she or he wants it or not, and others may see them as excessively ambitious, competitive, worldly, or grasping, even when they are not.
· Zeus to Saturn: opportunities are met through established structures and organizations; mentors and authorities may need to ‘grant’ one’s desires or goals. May have achievement delayed until he or she thoroughly embraces Self-discipline. Can get stuck in a loop of ‘poor me’ and lack of achievement until he or she completely accepts responsibility for the life; then others come out of the woodwork to offer support.
· Zeus to Uranus: again, opportunities through the group–or one must be highly original in order to fulfill goals. Erratic behavior or ever-changing desires could de-rail achievement. Spontaneity must either be central to or completely eschewed in the life, dependent on which is missing from behavior, in order to meet and fulfill ambitions and goals. Uniqueness may make one a standout–though that’s not always good.
· Zeus to Neptune: staying on track can be a problem, as this contact can indicate shifting ambition targets and a propensity to follow delusion and accept unreality as legitimate. Imagination and creativity can take one straight to the top, as long as one is careful not to be solely Self-focused along the way.
· Zeus to Pluto: Opportunity may consistently come into the life via endings or the destruction of systems or entities–which the individual then resurrects in a new, improved form. Must watch the Self in interaction–showing one’s power may come too easily, and can come across as overbearing.
Interestingly, contact of Zeus to other asteroids seems to emphasize pitfalls found within the ambitions. For instance, with Vesta one may see oneself as having an aggressive prerogative to force others to do what one wants (the Will as sacred), while to Juno and Ceres we see power struggles featured, to Chiron says we may use wounds as an excuse not to achieve (or as fuel to achieve, making the most of the Chirotic wound or skills) & with Pallas a need to learn to follow the inner wisdom or wise counsel, and avoid the impractical, tempting as it may be.
This article previously appeared in ECLIPSE Astrological Journal.