We’ve never talked about the comet Chiron, but it’s time we did. Also known as the Wounded Healer, it will be “squaring” the austere Capricorn New Moon on 23 December, 2022, the same day Chiron stations direct after a long retrograde that started on 19 July, 2022. This lunation could be more wounding than healing. Let’s get our bandages ready.
But first, some context, for it is everything.
Astronomically, Chiron refers to a large comet discovered in 1977, between Saturn and Uranus. It takes roughly 50 years to orbit the Sun and it was first thought to be the 10th planet in our solar system. That designation has since been changed to “minor planet/comet.” Due to the fact that its astronomical status is thusly mixed or hybrid, it was named Chiron, after the Greek mythological centaur (half man/half horse).
For our purposes, the mythological aspect of Chiron interests us more here than the merely astronomical one. The Wounded Healer’s story is downright Dickensian. The lovechild of Cronos, who, in a fit of passion, took the form of a horse to impregnate the fetching nymph, Philyra, poor Chiron was abandoned by his mother out of disgust for his accursed hybridity. He was just an urchin living on the proverbial streets, until Apollo (God of Knowledge) took the lad in and taught him about herbs and medicine.
Unlike all the other centaurs (a randy, rough-hewn, aggressive bunch), Chiron was gentle, civilised, and peaceful. He began teaching students–and one of them, Hercules, accidentally pierced his master with a poisoned arrow. Chiron, though immortal, could never cure this wound. Despite his ability to heal others, he could never heal himself.
The lesson of Chiron is that you never stop trying to heal your wounds, even when they are existentially incurable. At the same time, you must continue to work to heal others, even when you are in pain yourself. Chiron’s message is a profound one that we must confront.
How does this story fit into the Capricorn New Moon? We mentioned earlier that Chiron will be “squaring” this lunation. Herein lies our second level of context.
In astrology, we want to pay attention to conjunctions (planets at a similar degree in the sky), oppositions (planets 180 degrees apart), trines (planets at 120 degrees of separation), or squares (90 degree planetary aspects).
While conjunctions are said to be neutral in their influence, a trine suggests an auspicious angle. As such, trines are of the nature of abundant Jupiter. Whenever we have planets forming trines–even if Planet Luck isn’t one of them – we get a Jupiterian effect nonetheless.
If trines betoken auspicious energy, oppositions are said to be of the nature of malefic Saturn – they produce lack rather than Jupiterian largesse. Again, even if Saturn itself is not part of an opposition, the impact of this aspect indicates subtraction, attrition, or loss. During oppositions we may break-up, get fired, or lose your amazing loft space with the white rafters that you spent days painting.
Squares are of the nature of Mars, that is, belligerent, difficult, and ornery. But they also challenge us. They say: we are going to make your life hard, but if you meet our demands, you stand to benefit.
Experientially, square transits feel something like, say, an early morning flight to Fiji. You must arrive to the airport at 6am. You wake even earlier to get ready. You have slept very little. The security line is astronomically long. The flight is packed. The man next to you in coach is so large that you’re sitting both beside and behind his girth. But by noon you’re on the beach, drinking daiquiris rimmed with plump, tropical fruits.
What we are seeing with this lunation, then, is a double challenge to deal with our woundedness. First, this square aspect is asking to work through hardships related to Chiron-themes, that is, pain we might be feeling or wounds we must heal in others. Take a step back. Where am I hurting? Who have I hurt that I must heal? Who has hurt me that I must forgive? If we are to sip on the daiquiris of emotional release, we need to go through the rough flight to get there. That is the message of this New Moon.