CHIRON at 50:
Return to the Scene of the Crime
by Cathy H. Burroughs
Copyright 2000-2013. All Rights Reserved
The Chiron Return poses the question:
What am I going to do with this last part of my life?
- Astrologer Melanie Reinhart
After the Saturn Return at 30, and the midlife crisis at 40, one of the lesser known, but most significant rites of passage, at 50, is the formidable Chiron Return. It is, perhaps, due to the relatively new discovery of Chiron, in November 1977, that so little is known about this profound period of transformation, that 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 metamorphsize 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 assembly line into his factory - all these accomplishments happened after 50.
Turning 50, or thereabouts (for some, it is 49; others's 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 "elder. Like the Chinese character for crisis, the Chiron Return represents a "dangerous opportunity." Here, we revisit ancient patterns; 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.
For More about Chiron, Check out:
Chiron and the Healing Journey by Melanie Reinharts
Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner & Outer Planets by Barbara Hand Clow
The Continuing Discovery of Chiron by Barbara by Erminie Lantero
The web page of Chiron's foremost expert Zane Stein:Chiron and Friends
AccessNewAge Home Page Looking Deeper Magazine