The Asteroid Chiron
Chiron is one of four large asteroids that factor into a natal chart in astrology. Just like the planets and other, smaller celestial bodies, they orbit the sun at the center of our solar system and interact with other planets in meaningful ways. During the phenomenon of retrograde, a celestial body will appear to be moving backwards, counter to its usual orbit. In reality, it is an issue of perspective. The orbit doesn’t change direction, but it’s placement in relation to our own planet does.
What’s a Retrograde?
Retrogrades are known to bring out opposing and often negative qualities of the signs and planets they affect. The elements are the same, but the application changes. Any given year will see multiple retrogrades, and 2020 is bringing about a cluster of retrogrades. Mercury in retrograde is the best known, and also happens three times this year: February 17 to March 10, June 18 to July 12, and October 14 to November 3. Chiron goes retrograde in Aries today, and won’t go direct again till December 15 of this same year.
Chiron, the Wounded Healer
Chiron is sometimes called the wounded healer. Named for the Greek god, Chiron was born as a centaur, the son of the powerful titan, Chronos. In the myth, Chiron’s mother abandons him out of disgust, and he is instead found and raised by Apollo, the god of music, art, and poetry. Chiron’s rejection at the hands of his mother became an unhealed wound for him, and so the subject of abandonment, loss of love, and pain are inherent in what Chiron represents.
But Chiron was also a great healer. He chose to focus on the emotional and physical wounds of people, understanding that deep sense of loss; however, what he was able to do for others he was ultimately unable to do for himself, as he could not heal himself, physically or emotionally, and died from wounds he would have been able to easily fix in another.
Chiron in Retrograde
Chiron the asteroid represents all of these things: the passion for helping others and the resilience and strength of adversity, but Chiron in retrograde is that darker underbelly, the Greek god’s inability to heal himself. Chiron in retrograde is the wound of all people, it is generational trauma, and right now it is hurting.
Change in the Stars
Another planet that is currently in retrograde is Jupiter, which started its retrograde journey mid-May and will continue through mid-September. Jupiter rules law and order, justice, and authority. A retrograde here means great institutional change, which we have already begun to see happen. If Jupiter in retrograde is focused on toppling systems of oppression, Chiron is focused on the wounds left behind on and in the people. This is the time to have hard conversations, to ask yourself where your responsibility lies. We are entering a time of cosmic upheaval, but it is also a time of cosmic healing.
Healing Within and Without
We must look to Chiron and remember that healing is communal, it comes from others, from acceptance, love, and protection. Alone, we are vulnerable, but together we are strong. Embody Chiron when you work to protect others, to heal others, and be willing to ask for help in return. Societal changes may seem too big to tackle at an individual level, but that doesn’t mean individual action isn’t necessary. This is the time to look at yourself and ask how you can heal your own wounds, and how making yourself stronger and better will allow you to help others be stronger and better in the future. Do not ignore your own darkness.
A Time for Reflection
If you want to embrace Chiron’s energy with an open mind and heart, make time to reflect during this retrograde. This is a great time to reflect on your own pain, fears, and failures. Look at the things you are afraid to look at, examine your wounds, your hurt. Sometimes pain is like rot in an orchard, it can start small, but it will spread throughout the ecosystem and affect everything. It’s time to embrace forgiveness, both for others and for yourself.
A Moment for Change
If the cosmos wants you to remember anything, it’s that everything is cyclical, and that there is a season for each aspect of our deeper, collective selves. This transition is going to feel deeply personal, but it is bigger than any one of us. We all experience these cosmic shifts together. Imagine a world where everyone takes the time to look inward, reflect, have difficult conversations, and grow. Don’t you want to be part of that transcendent, societal shift? Let your pain fuel your compassion. Let your darkness find the light. Embrace loneliness, change, and humility. The time is now.
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