THE CHIRON RETURN
Chiron has an unusual orbit, which is known to change throughout time. In the past, it has occasionally been as short as 46 years, or as long as 52 years. At the present time, the orbit is close to 51 years for one cycle. It averages out, over many centuries, to 49 years. I would like to discuss the Chiron return first from the standpoint of the 49-year average, second from its current cycles, and third as a return no matter how long the orbit is.
Anyone who has been involved with astrology even for a short while should know how important the number 7 is. At approximately age 7, a child experiences Saturn in square to natal Saturn, and then every 7 years thereafter Saturn again makes a hard aspect to its natal position. At age 28 [4 x 7], the Saturn return takes place for everyone, and this represents a major cycle for the archetypal human. [Of course, since the orbit varies slightly each cycle, and there are periods of retrograde apparent motion, Saturn does. not return to its natal position in everyone’s chart at exactly 28 years to the day, but varies with each cycle and with each individual].
And the orbit of Uranus is about 84 years, thus representing the symbolism inherent in the numbers 7 x 12. Again, it does not return at exactly 84 years to the day---but 84 does represent the archetype.
Chiron’s orbit is represented archetypally by the numbers 7 x 7. This has many levels of symbolism, and basic numerology is outside the intent of this book. But a few points are worth mentioning.
First, with Saturn, it is a number 4, which is multiplied by the base 7 to get the orbit. With Uranus, it is a 3 x 4 which is multiplied by the same base. With Chiron, it is a 3 + 4 times base 7. With Chiron, the 3 and 4 are fused together to make a new number, unlike Uranus which has the 3 and 4 simply elevating each other to a new level via multiplication.
Not only that, but with Chiron, we have the unique situation of the number seven being squared ---thus elevating the whole number seven to a higher level. I will leave the further numerology of these numbers to those of you who are inclined in that direction.
I would like to make a comment, however, on humans in general at that age. Aristotle in his Rhetoric, said, ‘The body is at its best between the ages of thirty and thirty-five; the mind is at its best about the age of forty-nine.’ I agree with him, up to a point. In referring to the typical human being, his statement is very close to the truth. However, for those who truly comprehend the meanings of Chiron, the mind must continue to be ‘at its best’ for many, many years after age 49. More on this shortly.
The time around 50 or so is usually a time when old friendships are treated more warmly, and seem more worthwhile than ever before. The harsh relations with colleagues, caused by years of competition, usually begin to soften at this time. Even difficulties with relatives often begin to be less troublesome now. Physically, the average body begins to grow shorter. In the male, there is a marked decline in the level of testosterone, while in the female, more women begin menopause at age 51 than at any age between age 45 to age 55. Overall, there is a feeling at this time that one has completely formed one’s personality. As George Orwell wrote, ‘At fifty, everyone has the face he deserves’.
The Chiron return at the present time comes remarkably close to the time that the progressing Sun makes a Septile [ 1/7 of the zodiac, or about 51^25’43”] from its natal position. Since I am a firm believer that all coincidences have some meaning to them, I feel that there must be a connection between the meaning of the Septile, and the discovery of Chiron while its orbit parallels this aspect. Let me elucidate on how I perceive the Septile:
There is much in the above paragraph that relates to the actual Chiron return. There IS a feeling of destiny and purpose for many at this time, and a time of major decisions. And what happens at the return DOES set the course for entire rest of one's life.
But in order to comprehend truly this time in one's life one must first go back and understand a little of Chiron’s meaning at birth.
At birth, ones parents, and everyone else in the world, are worrying over some types of problems that relate directly to whatever sign Chiron transits. The obstacles they are trying to overcome are major issues, and pre-occupy much of the parents’ minds. These obstacles can be things that have been let go for too long, and now MUST be taken care of---or they could be the result of changes in the world which cause restructuring, or redefining of issues and situations. But whatever the problems are, things must be dealt with.
Of course each family is different, so the individual problems a family faces will take on different aspects of Chiron’s sign. For example, when the poor family was trying to stay alive during the Depression, Chiron in the sign Taurus brought out the Taurus survival instinct. But for a family that was wealthy at that time, entirely different Taurus issues had to be faced.
The common denominator of the Chiron sign, however, is the parents’ pre-occupation. What happens is that the child’s mind becomes imprinted with the importance of these particular problems. The child does not realize that s/he will have to face other problems later, which may be of equal or greater importance. Since More and Dad are so tense about what is going on at the time of the birth---the child becomes imprinted with the concept that solving these problems is 'priority one’.
The child learns that nothing must stand in the way of resolving any difficulties in these areas. This then becomes a deeply ingrained ‘personal imperative’ which stays with the child the whole life long.
As the child grows up, Chiron passes through each succeeding sign one by one, and thus eventually through every house of the chart. The child must deal with each type of new problem that develops, often coming from new or unexpected directions. Each new problem resolved gives the developing individual new experience, and serves to sharpen the problem-solving skills. Nevertheless, the individual still retains the basic personal imperative throughout each learning experience. When Chiron makes a hard aspect to its natal position, the individual learns that some other problems are also imperative. But never is the basic personal imperative altered---just sometimes adjusted or re-focused.
As the Chiron return approaches, the person has experienced every possible Chiron-to-Chiron aspect; passages of Chiron through every house, and through every sign. S/he has had to deal with it from every possible direction, and from all perspectives. Hopefully, the person has learned a great deal from all of these experiences in life. The past Chiron cycle has been a source of many, many lessons for the person.
When the Chiron return arrives, it can be an evolutionary leap. The person can now take off, and fulfill his or her purpose on earth. BUT, for many, it is too difficult. For many, the leap is not made.
Just as in the period around the child’s birth, at the Chiron return, the world is contending with problems that relate to Chiron’s current neighbors with anxieties in these areas; news reporters discussing related world issues; listen to co-workers discussing their difficulties in these areas. In other words, at the time of the Chiron return, the person is in effect coming home. What s/he has spent a lifetime dealing with, trying to resolve, trying to learn, is now plaguing everyone around the world. What will anybody do?
When Chiron makes ANY transit, the person can at least for a brief moment enter Chiros---the time outside of chronological time. At the Chiron return this no longer is an option---the person finds self forced into Chiros, maybe once, maybe several times. While these moments may be brief, they are now unavoidable.
The person looks around and sees others trying to overcome difficulties that s/he has spent a lifetime trying to deal with. People seem distraught, perplexed and confused. Yet, to the person having the Chiron return, many of the answers seem obvious---many of the problems easy to solve.
Now for Chiros. Major decision time. Should one help others with what one has learned ? Should the Chiron-return individual become a guru, a teacher, or even become the mentor for a younger individual ? Should the person begin to try to counsel others ? OR, will the person attempt to make a profit from his or her knowledge and experience, becoming a creature of the material world, and selling the information ? OR, will the person, perhaps, close up and withdraw, and not even try to help another?
No matter how one has lived up to this point, even if one has led a totally selfish or materialistic existence, one can now make that evolutionary leap. Note the word ‘can’, please. One has the greater free will under Chiros than under ordinary chronological time---but still one must make the choice.
For some people, the return is a very critical time in personal terms. They may develop a major illness, or a serious life-crisis. But even when the Chiron return comes on with such force, the purpose is the same. This crisis gives a major opportunity to make a major decision. Out of such crises comes great awareness, and the potential to become a truly gifted teacher, or even healer.
The story does not end here, of course. A few years later, and the person will experience his or her second Saturn return. What has occurred at the Chiron return will often set the course for what is to happen at the Saturn return.
To clarify this: if, at the Chiron return, one has made the leap to sharing the fruits of one’s experience with those in need, then the Saturn return may be seen as the closing of one chapter in life, and the beginning of a new one. It will be seen as a stepping up, and life will be viewed as being truly grand.
But, if one did not step up at the Chiron return---if one chose a path of selfishness instead of a path of light---AND, one did not rectify this course during the years since the Chiron return---the Saturn return will generally be experienced as a great weight, and as the beginning of the downhill portion of one’s life.
As I said at the end of the previous chapter---if you are not subject to the Saturnian consciousness, you will not have your time sense shaped by the state of your body and its metabolism.
This should tell you that at the Chiron return one should work to develop an awareness of Chiros and learn to live in the ‘Now’, in order for the years after the Saturn return to be truly fulfilling and not years of deterioration.
At the Chiron return some people may feel rather superior to those around them, and quite self-justified. ‘See, just as I have been saying all along’, might be their attitude. Or they may feel that the ‘know it all’ in the areas of their natal Chiron sign. Such individuals can be heard saying, ‘Now, you must do it this way.’ Attitudes like this are not those that lead to taking the giant step upwards. They tend to irritate the very people whom the Chiron-return person is trying to help.
The most positive aspect of this time in life is achieved by linking the higher nature of the two signs which are frequently linked to Chiron: Libra [truly perceiving those you are helping as being your equals, not, inferiors, as well as looking at each teaching experience as your own learning experience, as well], and Sagittarius [sharing the knowledge and wisdom you have acquired, trying to share the true meaning of each experience, and wanting to understand what is going on in the minds of other people]. Perhaps we cannot say that Chiron has rulership over these, or any signs. But there is a definite affinity between Chiron and the signs Libra and Sagittarius.
The ancients had a definite awareness of the connection between liberation from Saturn---and the time around age fifty. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Leviticus 25:8-11, we find the following: ‘And thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then thou shalt cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound through all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you.....’ [There is more,. but this is the main part]. As you can see, every fifty years all slaves had to be freed, and liberty became the most important thing.
And in each person’s life, the opportunity to achieve freedom from the Saturnian past, and freedom from anxiety about the Uranian future, comes around the fiftieth year---at the Chiron return. UNLESS, of course, one has opened up and truly embraced the principles of Chiron before the return arrives.
Wherever you have your natal Chiron, you tend to be most unaligned with any party or group---most on your own unique path. So you can see that, when Chiron returns, events and circumstances will focus attention on your particular path and stimulate your individualistic approach to the affairs of Chiron’s natal house. Thus, Chiron as the door opener, opening up to your own special destiny. The Chiron return often brings about an awakening to your own singular purpose.
It can be a time of great power. You can overcome the most frustrating limitations now---the most mind-boggling obstacles. The house Chiron occupies indicates the area from whence the potential power can be drawn---and during the Chiron return you have the greatest potential to control and utilize this great power.
Chiron is often viewed as a way to TAP the power of this natal house, and at the return, the potential exists to turn the tap wide open. But consider carefully how you handle this power. The best way, it seems, is:
You might like to take example from a few people who made the giant step, accomplishing great things at or near their Chiron returns:
In closing this chapter, I must state that it is NOT over for those past their Chiron return who have not made that major jump. The lessons of Chiron can be learned at any age. The first step is to try to get into your own personal Chiron, and the next step is to try to learn the meaning of Chiros. If you learn to live in the present, age itself will cease to be a factor.
Barbra Streisand won a 10-year film and recording contract estimated at $60 million. Hermann Hesse wrote Steppenwolf, which dealt with man's double nature. P. L. Guinand, a Swiss inventor, patented a new method for making optical glass. Maya Angelou served as host to an educational series entitled "Humanities in the Arts", which has become a mainstay telecourse used at colleges around the USA.