This article has been sitting in my drafts all year(s), so in honor of Uranus’ retrograde station, please enjoy this Centaur astrology piece just updated ‘from the archives’!
The Centaurs are prominent in the lifestory of writer and gymnast Dan Millman, author of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior (published in 1980) and its sequels. We at the Centaur Space have exclusive access to a timed birth chart (thanks, Dad!), as well as the date of the week he met the real mentor who inspired the character of “Socrates” in Warrior. The peaceful part of his nativity includes Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Pisces (ruled by Jupiter in Libra, with Chiron). Natal warrior-planet Mars relaxes in Cancer (along with sullen Saturn, each one a malefic planet far from home). His Scorpio Moon completes the watery grand trine, and conjoins Chariklo; in delineation, if we are looking for signs of transformational potential, a luminary conjunct a Centaur attracts the eye. In Scorpio, a desire and ability to enter the Mysteries. Chiron trines Okyrhoe, so any mentor figure might be one who speaks unconventional truths. Jupiter trines the Seventh House North Node in Gemini, which itself is disposited by a very Jupiterian Mercury in mid-Pisces (which is sign-, decan-, and term-ruled by Jupiter). The potential for meeting (North Node) a spiritual teacher (Jupiter) is strongly foretold in this nativity.
From the Wikipedia plot summary of Peaceful Warrior, we are reminded that all good Mysteries begin with a confrontation with Death (Pluto). The chasm is bridged by an encounter with a Chiron/Mercury type psychopomp – his future teacher.
The story begins when Dan experiences a series of nightmares, where he is in a dark lane. In front of him is Death, about to claim his life, when an old man appears out of nowhere and confronts Death. One particular night, Dan heads out to an all night gas station, where he meets the same old man from his dreams.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Way_of_the_Peaceful_Warrior
Their meeting took place in Berkeley, CA “between Christmas and New Year, 1966”; we can approximate that as December 27, 1966. On holiday from college athletics, Dan’s unexpected encounter with an enlightened Zen-mechanic-trainer transformed his competitive life into a humble journey to the heart.
During that Christmas vacation, the Saturn-Uranus opposition in the sky aligned to Dan’s MC-IC axis. A fine time to meet an unusual teacher. Transiting his Immum Coeli, place where we access ancestry and Earth wisdom, Saturn near 24° Pisces was joined by Chiron at 22° Pisces, too: his mentor would be a spiritual maverick. With this outer-planet axis aligning with Okyrhoe’s Discovery Degree, things got more centauric, calling in a prophetic and magical figure. At the time of this fortunate meeting, Chariklo was applying close to Dan’s Sun, within a quarter of a degree. He was about to get infused with a healing dose of love. Born under Chariklo’s conjunction to the Moon, the planet of Grace’s transit of his Sun brought a spiritual mentor in his life, through whom he also met the love of his life, a fellow traveler along the eccentric path taught by Chironic “Socrates”. Destiny is seen to have graced his way through the lunar South Node which transited Dan’s potent Chariklo-Moon. Meeting this teacher fulfilled the natal promise, and a Peaceful Warrior was born.
When they met, Dan’s Centaur Progressed* Sun traveled within a few degrees of Chariklo’s Discovery Degree (an acceptable orb for an approximate date; the Sun would transit this degree within the week), also conjunct Centaur Progressed Uranus. This exemplifies a reciprocal transit** between Chariklo and Sun (as he was experiencing Chariklo-Sun unions in both the transiting and Centaur Progressed dimensions). The astrological effect is that Chariklo expands his awareness beyond the physical body, manifesting as Dan’s transformation from a star college athlete to spiritual aspirant. In fact, Dan suffered a terrible leg injury just after meeting his mentor, who becomes a “Mr Miyagi” to his Karate Kid. They succeed in rehabilitating his fracture with physical discipline and spiritual training. Pleiadian degree symbol of the CP Sun at 4° Leo happens to be “An old wise man riding out of the forest on a stag,” which fits the shaman-like teacher who surpasses age 100 by the end of the book. Mercury opposite Pholus and Chiron guarantees there will be a story to tell, full of an unexpectedly psychedelic healing wisdom.
*Centaur Progressed: the Davison Relationship Chart of a person and notable event, a half-life chart for peak experience.
**Reciprocal transits happen when any type of A transits any type of B and vice versa. In Centaur work we often find this reciprocity activating between natal, progressed, and discovery degrees (which act as phantom places for Centaur transits, cf. Eleanor Bach’s “hidden aspects” to asteroids’ stationary degrees).