Astrology, the way most of us know it, is based on Greek mythology. And Greek mythology shaped Western culture in ways we may have a hard time acknowledging. Still, it seems to work.
Chiron, an asteroid placed between Uranus and Saturn, represents the deepest wound each of us is born with — a wound we will have to carry during our lives but may be healed through love.
I think the most important part of astrology is not whether it is true or not, but the way its narratives make you reflect on yourself.
To understand Chiron’s importance and its symbolism, we have to know the myth first. So, lay back; it’s a long one.
Chiron was the son of Chronos (the God of time) and a nymph called Philyra. As they were together, Chronos had the shape of a stallion, and when Rea, his wife, and mother of all the Olympian gods, caught them, they ran away. After giving birth to a half-human, half-horse baby, Philyra, in horror, begged the god to transform her into anything that would free her from having such a monstrous child and became the linden tree.
Chiron was abandoned and rescued by Apollo, the god of medicine, poetry, music, and prophecy. He was his master and taught him all his arts. He also taught him astrology, hunting, and fighting.
Since then, Chiron has become the master of heroes. Among his most famous disciples were Achilles, Ajax, Jason, Ulysses, and Hercules.
Hercules was not only his most famous disciple but also was his closest one.
s, Hercules had to kill the hydra during his twelve labors, a serpentine nine-headed monster with lethal venom. Hercules impregnated his arrows with the hydra’s poison after finishing his task and carried them with him ever since.
A thing to know about Chiron is that he was not a regular centaur. Centaurs, like fauns, were known for being drunkards, violent, and lustful. But Chiron was different, in part because of his divine descent and because Apollo had raised him.
One day, when Hercules and Chiron were together, they were attacked by a group of centaurs, and although they managed to fight them back, in the chaos of the battle, Hercules hurt Chiron in the knee with one of his poisoned arrows.
They tried to cure him, but it was impossible. Chiron was in constant pain and, because he was immortal for being the son of Chronos, death could not free him from his suffering.
In desperation, Chiron reached to the Olympian gods and asked them to take away his immortality and pass it over to Prometheus. That way, the hydra’s poison made its effect, and he was relieved from his pain.
“Chiron represents the mortal wound in our immortal bodies,” said Melissa Lattke (@lattkedapapaya on IG), a Colombian astrologer, “a mortal wound that can only be healed through a conscious act of love. It is so deeply rooted inside of us, and it can only be handled through therapy.”
As Melissa explained to me, when a planet is retrograde, it means we have the chance to review our lives in that particular aspect that the planet represents. In this case, we have the opportunity to learn from our wounds to transmute them through love.
In Chiron’s case, the wounded healer, love transmutation happened several times: he overcame his parents’ abandonment through Apollo’s teachings and care and did the same for others. And he overcame the unbearable pain of the hydra’s venom by surrendering and giving his immortality to Prometheus.
However, Chiron didn’t manage to do any of those things alone — he always had help. And so do we.
The end of Chiron retrograde is the 15th of December, and the stars may do what they will, but if we don’t care about taking matters into our hands and deal with our deepest pains consciously and lovingly, nothing is going to change.