Chiron is little understood in the overall scheme of the astrology, however I believe this to be because there are very few individuals who are attuned to chirotic energy, which to manifest at all in the life, requires a real awakening to the compassionate sense; such an awareness is not usually gained without a considerable experience of suffering or difficulty in one’s own life. Many astrologers who talk about Chiron do so from an intellectual (or Mercurial) viewpoint which is all very well, however, in my experience it is very difficult to relate to an energy that is not manifest in one’s own life. This makes it difficult to comprehend the key quality of the archetype, but not necessarily impossible. I will try to find an example of each placement where Chirotic force has been activated to better demonstrate the fundamental expression of Chiron thus.
I have read extensively on the subject of Chiron; I first read Melanie Reinhart’s “Chiron and the Healing Journey: An Astrological and Psychological Perspective“, then Martin Lass’ “Chiron: Healing Body & Soul“, and then finally Barbara Hand-Clow’s “Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets“. I cannot even begin to express how much more evolved Hand-Clow’s perspective is than the alternatives, and if you are looking for an insight then this is certainly the text I would most recommend.
I do not wish to write extensively on the various themes of Chiron, my fundamental viewpoint is that it shows most keenly the area of life or the issues to which we have the most painful sensitivity. The idea of sensitivity is very Neptunian and a part of the problem with apprehending Chiron is that our unevolved Mercurial/Saturnine perspective on the Universe lacks a sufficient vocabulary with which to describe the immeasurable. It is for this reason that I would say that you, as an astrologer at least, may be best served by considering Chiron to represent that kind of sensitivity that equates spiritually to the physical sensitivity rendered by an injury. If you have broken your arm and somebody touches the area of the break while it is still tender, you flinch away. Chiron relates to that same dynamic but in an existential manner; it is the same reaction as applied to a psychic wound or injury.
Now by that same token, if we have broken our spiritual bones and had to heal them through a difficult convalscence of the soul then we may gain a new awareness of the broken spiritual bones that others are nursing in their own lives; so Chiron is a gateway to compassion and through it we are given an opportunity to evolve, to find our true and individual purpose (Uranus), to awaken our spiritual and compassionate self (Neptune) and to transform our consciousness and rise above the concerns of the ego (Pluto). That is why Chiron is considerd by Hand-Clow to be the Rainbow Bridge to higher consciousness.
Put more mundanely and simply, Chiron offers us an opportunity to become a healer – the highest spiritual calling in all human life – or alternatively to require healing ourselves, because it is through the need for healing that we awaken the healer within.
This said, the vast majority of humans alive at this time will probably live out their entire lives without once being much aware of their Chirotic energies, if the client does not show evolvement, then the position of Chiron can be treated as a subtext at best.
Thus, Chiron in Pisces, through the first 6 houses:
1st House: Here is a painful legacy relating to self-expression or to the body. We may hear a call to be of service that is triggered through some literal or perceived deficiency in the physical body. This could be as simple as being unable to grasp our attractiveness, maybe we are victimised because of our looks; perhaps because we feel that others consider us to be not beautiful enough, or perhaps we are made to suffer unwanted attention because we are very attractive. Alternatively, we may suffer from a physical ailment that breaks down our ego-structure and makes life a struggle in some way. It is also possible that we are unable to express ourselves very clearly, we might feel that the things we say are misunderstood, misperceived or somehow or other “lost in translation”. Anyone with Chiron rising in Pisces though may look like a healer or be in some sense vulnerable-looking. If we allow ourselves to be transformed through Chiron in Pisces in the 1st house then we may discover that we have real wisdom to offer on the subject of the body-image or of the way in which we express our spiritual nature. Most people with Chiron in the first, especially when configured with the Ascendant will feel a call to healing in their life, and usually by the age of 50 there is a reconciliation required.
An example of someone that has been transformed through this position is Michael J. Fox who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1990 although he did not disclose the illness until 1998: he set up the Michael J. Fox foundation in 2000, just as Saturn applied to his Chiron placement by Solar Arc. This echoes clearly the creation of a formal organisation (Saturn) to tackle the physical effects (1st House) of a degenerative (Pisces) disease.
2nd House: Here Chiron creates an opportunity to awaken through an inability to get hold of financial themes in our life; or through being victimised or being made to feel helpless because of our financial situation. Situations surrounding money might therefore cause us considerable angst and difficulty and we may feel that the good things of life elude us somehow. This can often manifest as a feeling that “life is hard” or that we are just destined to suffer through poverty, privation or being the victim of other people’s greed. Similarly, food may be an issue for us and because of the rulership of Pisces by Neptune we might suffer from odd allergies to certain foodstuffs. Our possessions may elude us too, we might not be able to keep hold of the items which are precious to us, or we might be forced to confront our attitudes toward material things as a result of losing them in ways that often seem unfair.
An excellent example of Chiron in Pisces in the 2nd is to be found in the case of Billie Holiday whose childhood poverty set up many of the painful themes of her adult life. She had Mars conjunct Chiron in the 2nd tightly squared by Pluto in the 5th, so here there are dark themes of a sexual and financial nature; Billie was raped twice as a child, and she was forced to work in brothels in her teenage years and throughout her story there are these themes of sexual abuse that are closely configured to her poverty. She awakened to Chiron as a result and her music was a powerful testament to awakening spirituality (Pisces) through her singing (2nd house of Taurus, the throat and song). It is therefore quite unsurprising to read of her end when you consider the 2nd house placement of Chiron and the potential for being made a victim which is inherent in all things Piscean; she died from cirrhosis of the liver on July 17 1959 at the age of 44. In the final years of her life, she had been progressively swindled out of her earnings, and she died with only $0.70 in the bank and $750 (a tabloid fee) on her person.
3rd House: With Chiron in Pisces in the third we seem destined to be misunderstood, or to feel that our thoughts are confused and meaningless somehow. This may lead to something of an intellectual inferiority complex, and it may act as a spur to near-excessive intellectual achievement. By the same token there is a certain duality attached to everything in the 3rd (due to its Geminian slant) and thus there may be a problem with not being believed; you say one thing, people believe something else. You may be considered superficial, much to your frustration, or your sincerity might be continually called into question, although these may be motivating factors in proving your abilities. It is no coincidence that Gary Kasparov, Robert Browning and Alan Watts all shared a common Chiron in Pisces in the 3rd house; each of them was motivated to prove their intellectual prowess.
This same theme of being considered superficial and intellectually irrelevant can be seen in the case of Burt Lancaster. Initially dismissed as “Mr Muscles and Teeth”, in the late 1950s Lancaster abandoned his all-American image and gradually came to be regarded as one of the best actors of his generation. This early suffering and sense of being intellectually misunderstood manifested out in his later life when he became a vocal proponent (3rd house) of disenfranchised minorities and groups (Pisces) and he did much to support the early AIDs sufferers after the death of his friend Rock Hudson. Dual themes abound, Lancaster would never escape the intimation that he was gay, despite the fact that he was fiercely protective of his private life and denied the continual speculation.
4th House: Here our sensitivity is concerned with our early childhood, with issues of motherhood – possibly connected to out own mother or to our role as a mother, or more broadly it may be connected with an inability to care for somebody, or we may have to deal with issues of abandonment or feeling that we do not belong. With Chiron in Pisces here our heritage, culture or even our racial background may be ambiguous or in some way cause us difficulty or make us the victim of other people’s prejudice. There may also be issues around the home, perhaps our home-work balance is poorly defined, or we may find that some crucial practical aspects of our home situation are vague, confused or difficult to make sense of. I have seen cases where Chiron in Pisces here has correlated with an alcoholic or confused mother figure, or one that is literally absent.
Édith Piaf’s history resonates at every level with Chiron in Pisces in the 4th. Despite numerous documentaries and biographies, much of her early life remains “shrouded in mystery” which sets the tone for this placement straight away. She was allegedly born on the pavement in Paris, but this is uncertain. Her mother, Annetta Giovanna Maillard, was a French pied-noir of French-Italian descent on her father’s side and of Kabyle Berber origin on her mother’s. Her father was a street acrobat. Édith was abandoned by her mother and raised by prostitutes at a brothel in Normandy. By the age of 17, Édith had given birth to a baby girl, Marcelle who died aged two of meningitis. Édith’s childhood, home situation and mother, as well as her own experience of motherhood are so very confused, intangible and painful but she managed to transmute that difficult history into the most soulful and yearning music probably to ever come out of France in the last century.
5th House: Chiron in Pisces in the 5th house suggests that issues of creativity are intangible, difficult or elusive or that we feel our creative identity is confused. In my opinion however, the 5th is one of the better placements for Chiron, especially in artistic Pisces, because it offers a natural outlet for our sensitivity and intangibility. Consider J.K. Rowling as an example of a person who used Piscean fantasy to good effect as a creative outlet for Chiron’s sensitivity. Having said this, romance and sexual issues may arise with Chiron here in Pisces, perhaps the objects of our affections seem unable to commit, they may be unsure or vague about their feelings towards the native with Chiron here, or thet may even be purposefully deceptive. There may also be confusion about sexuality, or problems with childbearing. The 5th is concerned with our need to feel special, and with Chiron in Pisces here, that feeling may well elude us; perhaps our children take us for granted, or our romantic partners seem to be less than enthusiastic about our charms.
Cliff Burton, the bassist with mega-metal group Metallica has Chiron in Pisces in the 5th. His decision to become a musician was prompted by the death of his brother and the subsequent fallout that attends the death of a child within a family motivated him to become the “best bassist in the world” and he practised for up to 6 hours a day from that point onward. Intriguingly, Burton’s chart is one of those rarities that evinces not a single “easy” aspect.
6th House: Here Chiron is probably accidentally dignified and certainly Barbara Hand-Clow determines that Chiron here denotes the reincarnation of a healer (and too if Chiron is retrograde), and this placement does lend Chiron a most natural of expressions. The 6th is the house of habitual behaviours; thus it has a bearing on our daily activities – like work – but also on those kinds of habits, good and bad, which have a deterministic and cumulative effect on our physical, emotional and spiritual health. Chiron here then can represent a sensitivity to our habits and ongoing health and state of mind. Perhaps we just don’t “feel right” with Chiron here, or maybe we work too much as a means of ignoring our inability to take control of our unhealthy daily habits and chaotic routines. We may feel put upon or even victimised in our job, that nobody acknowledges our contribution, perhaps because we are being taken for granted. Chiron crossing the descendent makes an excellent placement for counsellors, healers and astrologers, (Alan Leo evinced this placement in opposition to Saturn rising at the Astrologer’s degree).
John F. Kennedy, 35th and most-loved president in US history had Chiron here applying to the Aries Point; his mission then was to heal the world and much of his vision of globally inclusive democracy was evident in his Chiron placement. His health however was torrid, with his spine giving him terrible problems throughout his life: consider this excerpt from Arthur Schlesinger’s biography “A Thousand Days“: “The shock of the collision with the Japanese destroyer in the Solomon Islands had torn Kennedy’s back, already weakened by the football injury at Harvard half a dozen years before. In his exhaustion after the rescue he came down with malaria. When he returned to the United States, he weighed 127 pounds and was in agony from sciatica. He had a lumbar disc operation at the Chelsea Naval Hospital, relieving the pressure on the nerve fibers. But his spine did not cease to torment him. ‘At least one half of the days that he spent on this earth,’ his brother has written, ‘were days of intense physical pain.'” In addition, he at one time or another suffered from Addison’s disease, various life-threatening fevers, Scarlet fever, jaundice, celiac disease, whooping cough, spastic colitis, underactive adrenal glands, Cushing syndrome, duodenal ulcers, nonspecific urethritis, prostatitis, hypersomnolence and several possible food allergies.
I may continue with this series if there is interest at a future point.