Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty Images
What if I told you that a comet with a unique and oblong orbit that travels on the far side of the asteroid belt, hurtling through the space between Saturn and Uranus, can offer profound insight into our deepest wounds and our greatest strengths?
Well, you probably wouldn’t be that surprised because you’re here. But the drama! Anyway, it’s called Chiron, the “wounded healer.”
Chiron was first identified in 1977 by astronomer Charles T. Kowal. Too large to be an asteroid, yet too small to be a planet, Chiron’s discovery launched a brand-new category of celestial objects — centaurs — which are smaller planetary bodies that orbit between the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter) and the Kuiper belt (beyond Neptune).
So what exactly is Chiron? And what does it have to do with astrology, your birth chart, the future, etc., etc.? Keep reading.
Chiron is named after a centaur in Greek mythology — a teacher and healer who, ironically, could not heal himself. As the story goes, Chiron was gravely injured after getting accidentally struck by one of Hercules’s poison arrows. He retreated to his cave and spent years tending to his wound — but there was no relief. Unable to die due to his demigod status, Chiron was doomed to eternal agony, so eventually he went to Zeus (king of the gods) and proposed a trade, exchanging his immortality for the freedom of Prometheus (a Titan who’d been sentenced to eternal punishment for stealing fire from the gods). Zeus agreed, Prometheus was released, and Chiron’s soul was guided to Mount Olympus. Again, the drama!
Inspired by this story, in astrology, Chiron symbolizes the “wounded healer” in we mere mortals, exposing our deep pain, how we address that pain, and how our own healing powers have the ability to help others. Chiron symbolizes the strength of vulnerability, encouraging us to embrace the dark and thorny spaces of our past and take action. What’s more, this powerful comet emphasizes that individual healing is collective: The work we do to care for ourselves ripples outward, allowing us to heal others through our shared and empathetic experiences.
On an individual level, Chiron implores us to confront our most difficult memories, grapple with our greatest insecurities, and expose our deepest wounds — and its “placement” hints at how exactly we should go about that.
In astrology, the celestial bodies of our solar system, including Chiron, show up in our individual birth charts (a.k.a. a map of the sky at your exact moment of birth, calculated based on your date, time, and location of arrival). Their placement (i.e., what astrological house they’re sitting in), both in our charts and in the present, coupled with the meaning and symbolism associated with each celestial body, helps us understand and unpack our fears, desires, ambitions, and more and what to do with all that intel.
Starting in February 2019, Chiron moved into Aries, where it will cruise through 2026. This is actually the first time Chiron has stepped into Aries since 1976, so, for many of us, it’s the first time we’ve ever experienced Chiron’s signature sensitivity fused with Aries’s fiery impulsivity.
To locate Chiron in your birth chart, download TimePassages for iPhone or Android (it’s my favorite astro app!) or check the Chiron table available on CafeAstrology. Because Chiron has an irregular orbit of approximately 50 years, it stays in a zodiac sign for approximately 4 years, which means it’s very likely you’ll share a Chiron placement with those in your peer group.
Ultimately, what your Chiron placement will reveal is how you can transform pain into power in your life. On the other side of your deepest wounds — that is, the fears, anxieties, traumas, and challenges you’ve endured — is your very own power to heal yourself and others by acknowledging, accepting, and embracing your courage.
Take a look at what zodiac sign Chiron occupies in your chart, and how themes associated with that sign (detailed below) have shaped who you are. Is your Chiron in Cancer — did your parents have a difficult divorce that rocked your perception of stability? Or is your Chiron in Libra — did you only receive validation in the past by stroking others’ fragile egos? Next, consider how these challenges shaped your perception of reality and, in turn, have led you to be a more sensitive, compassionate, and empathetic person. How can your past experiences, your deepest pain, inspire you to help others who’ve faced similar circumstances? Believe it or not, leaning into these thorny parts of your person is the greatest medicine.
See below for keywords associated with the wounds and remedies for each Chiron placement to get started.
Thing that hurts you most: Fear of failure
How to remedy it: Teamwork over competition
Thing that hurts you most: Material wealth as validation
How to remedy it: Improving relationship with finances through generosity
Thing that hurts you most: Feeling left out
How to remedy it: Building friendship through shared quirks and idiosyncrasies
Thing that hurts you most: Childhood dysfunction
How to remedy it: Tending to your inner-child by cultivating healthy relationships
Thing that hurts you most: Being ignored
How to remedy it: Unapologetic artistic expressions
Thing that hurts you most: Perfectionism
How to remedy it: Focusing on process over product
Thing that hurts you most: Abandonment
How to remedy it: Developing deep relationship with self
Thing that hurts you most: Being controlled
How to remedy it: Embracing truth and honesty
Thing that hurts you most: Feeling misled
How to remedy it: Developing individual philosophies through life experiences
Thing that hurts you most: Parenting your parents
How to remedy it: Learning to prioritize fun and joy
Thing that hurts you most: Isolation
How to remedy it: Organizing community movements built on empowerment
Thing that hurts you most: Being bullied
How to remedy it: Integrating sensitivities and emotions into daily life