What’s the Big Deal With Turning 50?

Little Known Facts About Chiron in Your Astrology Chart

The Chiron return poses this question: “What am I going to do with this last part of my life?” (Astrologer Melanie Reinhart)

The planetary returns offer great new insight about key issues in the life: every 1.6 years, Venus returns to the position it was at your birth, bringing new perspectives on love, work and values; the midlife crisis between 37-42 brings an array of major life re-evaluations, but lesser known is the significance of the Chiron return, which takes place between 48 and 50.

Perhaps because Chiron was only discovered fairly recently (in November 1977), there is so little known about this major life juncture, which 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.

In our own charts, 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 glyph or symbol of Chiron is both the key and the key-hole, so many consider that Chiron provides both the key and the access to the kingdom, the pathway of our magical quest or to our ultimate purpose. 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.

Once mastered, this healing can be taught, through practical application or example, as a powerful antidote to others to transform their wounds into profound sources of 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 undergo metamorphoses at 50, just as Chiron returns to the position it was at birth. Some of these include Henry Kissinger, who became Secretary of State and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; William Faulkner, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature; and Henry Ford, who introduced the assembly line into his factory. All of these accomplishments happened after 50.

Turning 50, or thereabouts (for some, it’s 49; others 51) marks a new paradigm, as Chiron returns to its natal position. This momentous watershed delineates the end of the heroic youth, as we enter the realm of the elder. Like the Chinese character for crisis, the Chiron Return represents a “dangerous opportunity.” Here, we revisit ancient patterns; we 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.

During this critical time, we may relinquish that which is misshapen or inauthentic; we may re-order our priorities; or liberate the unlived passionate expression of our spirit, living a life which is intimately creative and restorative to our true selves. By accomplishing this, we can congruently contribute to the fundamental healing of ourselves, our family or soul group; our society and our planet.

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.

One thought on “What’s the Big Deal With Turning 50?

  1. katrina

    In Magi Astrology Chiron is a Rock Star and a critical factor in Soul Mate connections and financial windfalls. I’ll have a more detailled article on this coming in August, but when Chiron conjoins a planet like Venus, Mars, the Moon, Neptune or Jupiter it brings your ships in; it indicates this time is of great good fortune with gateways opening for you – left and right. This is true of your birth chart but also of transits or how the planets in the sky impact your chart.

    These cycles can be picked up psychically as well – in Magi they are called Cinderella Linkages or Super Golden Linkages and they are just that – Golden!

    Be welll and enjoy your life, Katrina x


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