Take a gander at a few highlights drawn from the overall menu of Astro-events that will be coming our way this week… Mercury remains a busy little messenger-Planet, Chiron contacts offer opportunities for healing, and late in the week, we have both a Full Moon in Capricorn and a slightly intimidating Sun/Pluto opposition on the agenda.
Also, I reference a 50,000-word novel that manages to never make use of the letter “e”…
Our society as a whole seems to have learned just enough about Astrology at this point to fear retrograde periods…which might actually be worse than not being aware of them at all.
It’s not super-helpful to think of retrograde periods as being necessarily “bad.” Yes, depending on the specifics of a given retrograde interval, and also depending on the specifics of your own unique chart, then it could sometimes seem that things do go off the rails for you during retrograde times. Then again, if you were to keep a journal in dedicated fashion, you’d probably also find that plenty of things tend to go off the rails in your life even when no Planets at all are moving in retrograde fashion…
More helpful than adopting a viewpoint of “retrogrades = all bad, all the time,” it’s wise to always consider first which Planet it is that’s going retrograde…and then look at your own chart to see if you have any features in it that might be on the receiving end of that Planet’s shifting energies when the retrograde event happens.
But what does that mean in plain-speak, without all the Astro-jargon…?
Basically, the first part (“Which Planet is going retrograde?”) is saying that Mercury going retrograde, for example, won’t cause the same effects or ping the same themes that, say, Venus going retrograde will cause and ping. And the same holds true for Mars, and Jupiter, and Saturn, and on through the entire cast of planetary characters. Each Planet has its own unique set of functions, so you need to focus on which Planet is doing the retro-work in question.
And then the second part – the bit about looking at your own chart – means that a given retrograde event won’t generally affect any two people in quite the same way. Think of the Planet going retrograde as a transmitter, beaming out a signal. Now think of yourself and everyone else in the world as being receivers in the shapes of humans. Each of us is different, and we’ll each receive that Planet’s transmissions in slightly different ways. Some people will be reading the broadcast so loud and clear that it will hurt, while others will have to strain to hear it at all.
So what happens when the Planet going retrograde is that interesting Planetoid, Chiron? This is a pretty good question to be asking right about now, as Chiron is set to station retrograde this coming Saturday (July 1, 2017)…
We need to start off by focusing on what makes Chiron a unique force… Chiron the Planetoid is named for a figure from out of classical mythology who was known as “the Wounded Healer.” Chiron was an immortal centaur (= half-humanoid/half-horse) who was scratched with an arrow that happened to have been coated with the blood of the Hydra, one of the most fearsome monsters ever to slither across the ancient Greek landscape. Being an immortal, Chiron couldn’t die, but the Hydra’s blood was so toxic, that he couldn’t metabolize it out of his system, either. He couldn’t heal from the wound. Chiron was therefore trapped in this horrible state of perpetual agony.
When his own already impressive medical knowledge failed to offer up a cure, Chiron traveled the world, looking into more and more exotic possible remedies. Nothing helped, but he did at least pick up so much new healing knowledge and skill that he became one of the greatest healers of all time.
Perpetually wounded + medical wizard = “The Wounded Healer”
In our birth charts, then, Chiron points out an area where we bear some sort of deep-rooted “soul-wound,” some trauma or condition that causes us ongoing pain in our lives until we can hopefully learn to heal it. This can be an actual physical condition, or something less tangible (a spiritual, emotional, or mental “wound”). The good news is that our experiences with our own Chironic wounds can allow us to become great healers of the same kind of wounds in others.
All of which is the backstory… Let’s jump now to this Saturday, when Chiron up in the sky will suddenly look to us here on Earth as if it will be stopping in its tracks, and then moving backwards in the sky. This is just an optical illusion caused by the realities of us observing Chiron from a different body in space that’s moving at a very different speed than Chiron is…but in Astrology, this kind of event carries an important meaning.
The gist of it is that whereas Planetary energies are generally beaming themselves all around us in the external world, when a Planet goes retrograde, its energies will then seem to manifest more within our inner worlds. This Chiron retrograde period will therefore be a five-month window of opportunity during which we can possibly make great strides in recognizing and even healing our own deepest soul-wounds.
Your best bet will be – as always! – to start by analyzing the Chiron situation in your own birth chart. What Sign and what House does your natal Chiron reside in? The Sign will give you some clues about the nature of your intrinsic wounds, while the House will flag some area of your life in which those wounds will most often and most intensely be felt.
Next, examine any Aspects that connect your natal Chiron to any other Planets in your chart. Squares and oppositions will be especially useful in understanding more about the characteristics of your wounds, and grasping what might cause you to keep aggravating them all over again. Meanwhile, the more harmonious trines and sextiles will be more likely to suggest ways in which you might soothe and even heal those wounds.
After you’ve put in some time analyzing your own natal Chiron, take a look at where the actual Chiron Planetoid is in the sky right now – the very final stretch of Pisces – and see if you have any important Planets or Points in that same area in your own birth chart. If so, you may be especially inclined to feel the Chironic energy-waves during this five-month period. You might also want to examine the corresponding sections within the other Mutable Signs (Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius) in your chart, and the same thing will hold true: if you have any important placements in the last few degrees of any of those Signs, this retrograde period may be an eventful one for you.
Chiron will remain in this retrograde state until December 5th, when it stations direct (“goes back to normal”), so you have five months during which you can hopefully tune in and really gain insight with respect to your deepest, most longstanding sources of spiritual pain. Chironic healing is a tremendous gift when it comes, so it might be terrific policy to encourage it during this retrograde interval.
Gentle and versatile healing and other holistic practices will be especially helpful at this time: Reiki, meditation, and yoga are a few examples of some modalities you might consider. You can also make use of any techniques that can be keyed more precisely into your own specific Chironic situation.
Try viewing this period not as a time for wallowing in self-pity about your wounds, but as a positive opportunity to bring about some deep and profound healing…
Here’s what’s on tap for us this week in the astrological context… Highlights include Mercury getting all kinds of busy in Cancer, and Chiron goes retrograde! Tune in on what’s happening up there, so you can do your best work down here…
“Ouch.” That might be something that you hear more than usual during the Astro-event known as a Mars/Chiron square. You might even have occasion to say it a few times, yourself.
Let’s break down why that is… Mars symbolizes the Warrior. It’s our drive to assert ourselves, to be aggressive, to feel anger and lust, to be brave, to conquer or defend as the situation might demand. When Mars fires up, we often go to battle.
Meanwhile, Chiron represents the Wounded Healer. This symbol has to do with the ways in which we take on our deepest wounds. These traumas can definitely be physical things, but they can also just as easily be intangible: mental, emotional, spiritual, karmic. Chiron describes our own unique vulnerabilities, and also how we can learn to heal ourselves and others from those wounds.
And the last piece of the puzzle is the connection between them. In this instance, that connection takes the form of a square. That is, Mars and Chiron will appear to be exactly 90 degrees apart today as we view the heavens from our vantage point here on Earth. And squares generally come with a distinct aura of friction. Planets linked by a square are trying to work together, and to merge their energies into some new concoction, but it won’t tend to happen all that easily, and the process will probably not be very user-friendly for anyone standing in the fallout zone.
It could be that the energies don’t communicate all that well. Watch out for any disconnect between your inner warrior and your inner medic. Warriors always run the risk of being wounded – that’s just the nature of their biz – and such occurrences might be a bit more likely to happen during a transit such as this one. Even great warriors can be momentarily clumsy, or distracted, or otherwise somewhat off their game…and even great healers can have off-days, and they of course always require accurate information about a given injury before they can have any positive effect in trying to treat it. The static-riddled connection of a square can disrupt the flow of that kind of accurate information, leaving the healer essentially working in the dark.
For the next week or so, then, it will pay to proceed with a bit of caution when heading into conflict zones. Pick your battles with extra care, and if things go bad, be open to receiving more healing care than you think you might need (because some of what you do get might not land all that well). And for future reference, catalog your experiences this week by journaling if you can, as this might help you to really nail down exactly what types of wounds are your own greatest recurring afflictions. Identifying these harms now can allow you to minimize their impact when they try to show up in new forms later on.
It’s about 95F here in Providence today. My windows are up as I write this, so I keep hearing cars rolling by along the busy street outside, and many of them have various Soundgarden tunes blasting from out of their own open windows. This seems fitting enough, as the band’s frontman and primary songwriter, Chris Cornell, passed away last night of causes as yet unknown. I didn’t care much for Soundgarden in their early days, but I became a fan as they evolved, and I saw them live in concert twice in the ’90s, so this event saddens me…
While awaiting further details of Cornell’s passing, I found myself compelled to look at his chart to see how the transiting Planets out there in the system had lined up against his natal versions of them just as his current Earth-walk was drawing to a close.
A word of caution: Cornell’s birth-time isn’t known, so I used noon in order to generate a chart for him. However, while this method is generally solid in terms of determining which Planets were in which Signs for a person at their time of birth, it negates any reliability with respect to the Houses…
With that said, though, because I was investigating health concerns, I included the Asteroid called Hygiea. I’m not usually a huge proponent of using the Asteroids – we have plenty to work with as it is, just using the major Planets – but I’ve found over time that Hygiea definitely seems to spawn many unlikely synchronicities whenever I work her into the mix, whether that be in my own chart or in the charts of friends, family members, and clients. I was curious here to see if Cornell’s natal Hygiea was on the receiving end of any noteworthy Planetary energies at the time of his demise.
Here’s what I found:
Transiting Uranus was making an extremely tight sextile with Cornell’s natal Hygiea – so tight, in fact, that it was only a scant few minutes off from an exact 60-degree difference. Uranus can often symbolize sudden and unexpected developments.
Transiting Chiron – another health-related symbol – was about 1.5 degrees away from forming a perfect square with Cornell’s Hygiea. Squares can be friction-filled relationships, so when two health-centric bodies square up, the outcome could easily spell gloomy results for a person’s overall wellness.
The Moon’s South Node was less than three degrees off of an exact trine with Cornell’s Hygiea (which means that by definition, the North Node was the same distance away from a perfect sextile). When the Nodes get busy, karmic energy can come home to roost.
Finally, transiting Saturn was lined up in almost perfect opposition to Cornell’s Hygiea. Like squares, oppositions speak of tense dynamics, and Saturn symbolizes a rather demanding force that serves to test and temper whatever it touches. In this case, one possible interpretation is that it was Cornell’s wellbeing that Saturn was focusing on.
That’s quite a heavy burden of precise and pitiless Aspects! When you factor in Uranus, Chiron, the Nodes, and Saturn, you do not get a recipe for a good time. This mix speaks instead of shock, health concerns, and karmic bills coming due. And this does all feel like a handful of concepts that may well be on point with respect to the sad and early demise of Chris Cornell.
I’ll be watching for more details of his death, as I remain a fan, impressed with the man’s words, and with the voice that delivered them to the rest of us. And in the meantime, I, too, will be blasting Superunknown from my open windows.