by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chiron in Pisces: Needed Feelings vs. Crisis of Faith

 Lightning striking a tree - photo credit: NOAA

Chiron goes once around the zodiac in 50.54 years. Knowing that, it’s easy to recognize that Chiron is – as some have called it – a ‘bridge,’ which in the age sense would be between life segments.

Having one of those eliptical orbits which doesn’t divide nicely into segments, for early Baby Boomers, Chiron tended to hit it’s first ‘challenge point’ (the square) during early/middle childhood – say, around 6 or 7 years old.

By the time we get to late Baby Boomers, that same ‘first quarter’ point occurs at about age 20-21.

Again, we’re using generalizations. But this one holds pretty much all the way through not just the end of the Boomers (Pluto in Leo), but pretty much through the Pluto in Virgo Yuppie years. By the time we reach 1971/1972 which is the end of the Yuppie generation and the beginning of Gen X, that first Chiron square is occurring more around age 17-18 than 20-21, showing us how Chiron is now moving back towards where it was at the beginning of the Baby Boomer generation, that having happened in the late 1980’s…some 50 years after Pluto’s shift into Leo back in 1938/1938.

Why does this matter? Well, of all the many interesting metaphysical essays and books which have explored the Chiron process, one thing seems clear: Chiron is about a challenge we have to undertake without knowing how to deal with it.

For those born (generalizing again) in the latter part of the 1920’s into the early 1940’s, the idea was how to get through childhood and indeed what childhood is and is about. And this may well tell us a whole lot about why those people have grown up to be a generation which investigates the effect of childhood on people and thus, on society.

But on the personal side…those people are always being tested by their own sense of childhood. And that basic pattern will repeat with those born in the mid/late 1980’s and on into the 1990’s, though we can’t say exactly what their adult focus is going to be. Why not? Because they’re growing up not with Pluto in Cancer (the family/childhood issue) or Pluto in Leo (childhood learning and growth, adult fun and frolic)…they will be growing up with Pluto in Scorpio (other people’s values/my worth to others/my effect on others) or Pluto in Sagittarius (need/lack of need to know/know what is right).

For middle/late Baby Boomers, as well as the Pluto in Virgo Yuppies and early Pluto in Libra Gen X’ers, the issue is more about the 18 to 21 (generalizing… generalizing…) shift into adulthood. Their lives will be marked by their ability to have done that and all they experienced during that time, how they dealt with that period.

But whoever we are, whenever we are born, Chiron still hits its natal point at 50.54 years. That’s universal. Thus we have that golden moment when we all look back and go…oh, now I get it. Some of us realize what we didn’t do and undertake it at that point like a person obsessed. Others figure…why worry? It obviously wasn’t that important or I would have already taken that on!

Thus we come to a pretty good picture of the Chiron return as a point of self-reflection. Of passing from the hustle-bustle years of our 30’s and 40’s into a more aware period: the 50’s and 60’s, where we know the moments count and we become more prone towards cherry picking what we want to do with that time. And there are those folks who upon reaching this point simply get paralyzed with fear about time, too.

Plus all those ‘variations’ on a theme: those who are a little frightened but a lot empowered and those who are undecided about whether to try or settle for what they’ve already built in their lives. Who is which and how much of what – that’s an individual chart question. But generally….the Chiron question which arises at about age 50 is as described above, give or take a generational influence.

Into all this comes the fact that as of February 8 at 7:56pm (UT/+0) Chiron enters Pisces. Why we would then care about all the above is not just because it’s interesting, but because Chiron’s 50.54 year orbital cycle means that the last time Chiron entered this most global, worldly, trying, universal, humanistic and effusive of water signs was back in 1961.

 An Aries Wheel (no specific location) chart of
Chiron's entrance into Pisces

And do we all remember what happened during the 1960’s? Speaking in US of A terms (because that’s where I live and where I grew up) we had hippies and bra burnings and demonstrations in the streets. There were wars and the cry of ‘sex, drugs and rock-n-roll!’ as both a proclamation of freedom and call for rebellion. President Kennedy was assassinated. The national society was in upheaval. The US prosecuted a painful war in Viet Nam so hated at home that soldiers, those who had seen things no human should have to came home not to support, love and care but to near invisibility.

Credit cards and color TVs were really just coming on the scene and becoming part of American life.

Fifty years later retrospectives on Kennedy are being played on TV. The cost of drugs and fighting wars is just being grappled with in human terms even with the United States (again, citing just one country) still has its fingers in a lot of foreign pies.

Such are the cycles which amount to the expanding of our feeling horizons and what can be a crisis of faith, or a crisis which arises out of having put too much or too little faith into life, our values, our emotions - whatever.

As I often say, I phrase things in terms of American doings because I grew up in America (for the most part - I did spend some time living aboard)...and because I still live in the USA...California, to be exact (which may explain something about what time posts generally go up on the blog, no?).

But the point is that this is not just about America: global cycles are global. So if you're not American, think back on your own national, cultural or personal family history. What was happening fifty years go and was it a break from the norm? Were people breaking out of old molds (or trying to) and feeling a deep need to be 'more in touch' with what it means to be really human?

That's the question!

The good news is that with Pluto now in Capricorn, the very sobering realizations we are facing now are not only difficult, trying and contentious, but also an opportunity. Astrologically, opportunities are denoted by sextiles, and as Chiron enters Pisces, given that Pluto is already in Capricorn, thus we are being given a signal that those things which evoke such great feelings of need (Chiron) and which we have perhaps despaired about (Chiron in Pisces) because they have to do with the very need to change our functioning world (Pluto in Capricorn) - that's exactly what we're being told we can now work on.

And apparently some folks are rather ahead on this curve. Painfully so!

So whether what you are focused on are the results of credit/debt gone globally wild or what modern technology can do now as part of the interwoven fabric of world culture, what that may well be doing is  increasing our awareness of the cost of questionable behavior and choices based on fantasies of grandeur or imagined needs versus what real standards of humanistic humanity are when you get right down to it. 

Yes, this is part of the turmoil sweeping the Middle East. But it's also part of world-wide economic instabilities. It's part of the results of little Jeanette getting cyber-bullied by her classmates or when ideals overtake not just legalities and ethics, but moral and mortal common sense.

Let's face it - these problems did not arise all at once. They're not just today's doings. They're not even just a decade or two (even three) old.

Every round of Chiron raises such specters. And though humanity makes advances with every round Chiron makes, we ultimately make advances by remembering what it means to be human.

And that we are all human.

Yet when you're dealing with those who don't want to recognize that, it often takes really brutal circumstances to break through all that denial.

The unity, the denial, the breaking through same and recognizing that we not only have far more in common with each other than we are different - that's the combination of Chiron and Pisces, and the kinds of questions we all will face while Chiron passes through Pisces. Kids born in these next few years will grow up with feelings and these sorts of realities in their human toolbox. Hopefully they’ll use both of their tools in tandem, but we can bet that Chiron in Pisces’ native sense of vulnerability is also going to breed some hard-headed, hard-ass types who because they can’t ‘afford’ to feel force everyone to pay the cost.

This also applies to world economics: the last round of Solar Eclipses we had in Pisces were during 1998 and 1999 – years when many thought some sort of catastrophe would happen because clocks and computers weren’t going to make it over the date change into 2000.

Remember that? That’s instructive as it not only has a ‘the world is changing’ Solar Eclipse flavor, but also a ‘how am I going to cope with this’ Chiron flavor – all in Pisces, a sign which is all about evoking our emotions so that we can feel them. 

Through feeling our own emotions, hopefully we will do something about circumstances. Maybe just our own, but maybe not. As the sign of faith, mercy and charity (not hope – hope is Aquarian)…Pisces asks if we can not merely forgive ourselves our humanity, but maybe forgive others theirs.

Can we help things be better and through that, have a better world to live in?

Chiron will be fully devoted to this emotional passage through Pisces until it dips into Aries come February 19, 2019. And though there’s not a huge amount of ‘associated astrological commentary’ which accompanies this shift, that Chiron came within conjunctive orb of fixed star Fomalhaut in late January (2011) when it reached 29 Aquarius says a lot. 29 Aquarius is all about humanity – specifically legal debate, the military and a clarity of  administration which is maybe absent at other times. That lore for this degree cites human suffering suggests whenever we see celestial objects of import moving through this degree there will either be suffering or attention to suffering – and sometimes both.

 Chiron, Athena and Achilles by Pompeo Batoni

Which on the metaphysical level figures well…not happily, but well considering that to be specific here Chiron is a symbol of necessity. And if the necessity is to hurt so that we may be driven to find a fix or a cure or enough reason to give up some soap box we have long claimed as our stand – that’s simply what the universe is going to deliver. 

All things happen for a reason. Sometimes we just don’t like the reason.

What else is new, right?

To be aware of also: the lunar nodes are about to change signs. That means society is about to change gears as a whole. And let’s not forget the celestial world's solar systemic 'big blue': Neptune. Neptune is about to enter 29 Aquarius, and that is both going to fog up the mental windshield even as it provokes a greater cry of need.

And after that...? After that Neptune also enters Pisces, doing so but a couple of weeks after Uranus enters Aries. What does this amount to? Well, it's something of a double-header labeled necessity and drive, amounting to the choice to get to doing or get done to.

Yes, well, would you rather not know? As with all other things in astrology, those who use the energy are less likely to have the energy use them. That’s about the size of it.

So those who heed the call when Chiron enters Pisces (not even waiting for Uranus) will get a step or two ahead. And that difference could be huge. Would you rather have the thing happen you want to make happen - or have that thing you have been dreading (or maybe worse yet, that you haven't even dreamed of!) happen to you.

Yes, yes...for some, surprises are always good. But let's just get real here. Things may be going (technically) just fine. Okay - good for you. But do you feel fulfilled? 

Ah...a whole other form of 'crisis of faith.' Faith can be in things. It can be in country. It can be spiritual and/or religious. But when it comes right down to it, faith is about our ability to have faith.

Pluto in Capricorn, among other things, can be a signal all about realizing ‘things’ aren’t the sum and total of life. To paraphrase President Obama’s recent speech in Arizona, success in human terms is more about whether we have loved well and done something to make a contribution to this world than how much money is in the bank.

Sure, money helps. Given that civilization has settled on pieces of paper, little decorative discs of metal or even numbers in a computer as symbols of barter, that ‘money’ is necessary.

But it’s not the measure of our humanity. Back when I worked in motion pictures, I once made a joke that movie crews run on money, food and gossip. Back in the 60’s there was that cry of ‘sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.’ In society, as in astrology, there is the eternal cry for money, sex and power. None of these things are really what we're aiming for. They're means to an end. In the end, those are all means by which we feel ourselves feeling like we exist in this world. They're about validating our faith - in self, and for those who believe in Deity, in God.

That's Piscean - whether you believe in God as God or Creation as Existence. Sacred or secular (or both!), that's Pisces. Chiron’s move into Pisces signals that for these next years to come, we’re going to be feeling a whole lot more about how we feel about things, and how we don’t want to feel…or wouldn’t want to feel...precisely so that we learn what feelings are. And that they matter – and not just to us, but also to others (that being a Piscean mandate, that we lose the ego/me thing and consider everything in universal terms).

So going forward, our feeling good at the expense of others or the world - or the society we live in isn't likely to work like it used to. Or as we thought it would. And yes, there will be those who stick like glue to what they wanted to believe would be true. That's a whole other form of Pisces - being scared to be wrong.

Those people will, like as not feel, Chiron's hoof in their....well, somewhere soft and/or vulnerable!

Oh - and that hoof part? that's a reminder that Chiron is a Centaur - both in the mythic and astronomical sense. The idea of Centaurs is the joining of 'animal strength' (the horse) to the human mind (understanding, knowledge and awareness). This 'struggle' about whether mind rules animalistic nature or the animalistic nature carries us away - that's the essence of any Centaur (mythic or celestial) and thus the core of what underlies the Chiron challenge in each of our lives.

As a solar system object, Chiron acts much like a comet in that it cycles through the orbits of other planets. Starting out near Uranus at 18.89 AU, Chiron comes as far in as past the orbit of Saturn, reaching 8.114AU at it's closest. That means that at its farthest from the Sun, Chiron is almost nineteen times as far from that Sun as Earth is (one 'AU' being the distance from Sun to Earth). And at it's closest, it's rather between Saturn and Jupiter.

Like all centaur 'comet' objects, Chiron represents information coming to us. So we shouldn't be surprised that we feel like we don't know enough (or even anything!) when Chiron matters turn up. We don't! And thus, especially considering the Pisces thing, we're bound to feel pretty helpless.

Recognizing how we do sometimes feel helpless and how helplessness feels is a great lesson so long as you remember it as a motivation in what you do, how you do it and that you do it.

Chiron in Pisces signals the proliferation of need. But need is not neediness. Chiron is a symbol of needing to learn that you don’t know how to even start learning. And that’s why it’s so interesting to see how each generation has its own Chiron signature.

It’s hard to bridge these bridges – for ourselves and between each other. So prepare yourself for emotional discomfiture and uncertainty yet to come. What you realize about yourself - what you've done, where you've been, what your life has come's not guaranteed to be all that wonderful in this next while or two.

But that's just the point - if you don't get that something is wrong you can't change it. That means where you've been oblivious to something or on a wrong track, you have to have that 'ugh!' moment (day...month...year) of recognition, reorientation and thinking things through.

 Fixed star Fomalhaut amidst a ring of cosmic dust
photo credit: NASA/JPL - Caltech

Yet for those willing to take the beast on...Chiron in Pisces can be a fabulous time. It can be a time of breaking out of one's shell. A time when you achieve mastery which you only dreamed of. Or maybe which you never even dreamed of!

That Fomalhaut is a fixed star ‘fixture’ in early Pisces tells us that for the next two years its vitally important to clean up our acts! Fomalhaut promises success only where the dream, the aim, the desire is neither corrupt nor corrupting – so take your measures there.

This is not just showing others that you care about them. It’s about proving to yourself that you care about the fact you give a damn below the shallow surface. It's that need to feel human which counts here.

One more 'clue' here. At it's farthest from the Sun, Chiron is rather in the Tempel-Tuttle district. You may remember comet Tempel-Tuttle? If not, here a LINK to that blog.

The idea to contemplate here is that we periodically get greeted with things in life so that we can learn. And if this 'layer' of our solar system (considered as concentric rings) holds true, we may not like the lesson. We humans, we do so like to think things are going to be calm and peaceful and lovely...not to mention the way we want them to be! But if they were, we'd probably get bored. Or we'd waste our time.

Or yes - maybe we just wouldn't learn anything. 

As for what happens in your individual life and how that really works? That's up to you, your 'group', your society and your world. But it is very real, and we are all about to break out in a need for renewal.

This post is going up a day or so early - which is to say, while Chiron is still at 29 degrees of critical Aquarian mass energetics. Aquarian is the idea of the society and the greater concern. Pisces is the emotional experience of the greatest concern. As we go forward over these next few days, you will like as not feel the conversation and your own emotions shift.

Then, hopefully, we will all move into that renewal mode - partly because we want to feel renewed, but also so that we can feel ourselves experiencing ourselves being human as part of the process.

After all, without feeling our humanity, how can we really feel all that human?

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