I’m very pleased to offer my first recorded class on centaur astrology! This is a presentation I’ve edited from a live class I shared with the Asheville Friends of Astrology on May 21, 2021. In some ways I intended it to function as an introduction to Centaur astrology, although this one is aimed more at understanding the planets in their mundane sense (how they play out in the world, vs. their role in natal charts of individuals). You will definitely gain an understanding of what these planets do astrologically, which can be applied to their role in our personal lives as well.
We make an overview of six centaur planets: Asbolus, Nessus, Okyrhoe, Pholus, Chariklo and Chiron. We take a look at their unique orbital features, tell their mythic stories, and locate their discovery degrees and share the Pleiadian degree symbol for each. Then we look to the graphic ephemeris to see how they play out in 2020, 2021, and 2022! A special focus is given to the Okyrhoe-Nessus cycle, and the Asbolus-Neptune square, both of which loom large over 2021 and beyond.
I hope the recent Full Moon conjunct Pholus opened up some stuck places for you, leading toward that healing catharsis he is notable for offering — while July’s Aquarius Full Moon conjunct Chariklo looks like it is well-timed for us to gain awareness of how our shared environment and our personal roles in the collective continue to matter significantly. Here’s to that lunation bringing us a heightened understanding of our interbeing, in the words of Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh.
Thanks for reading! As always, let me know how I may be of service for you with Centaur astrology readings or energy healing.
I’ve finally put together a class on the Davison Relationship Chart, a technique that is foundational to my approach to working with Centaurs in visionary experiences. The class is available to buy here as audio accompanied by chart files and notes. This is an intermediate-level astrology class, inexpensively priced at $11.
We see why astrologers might use Davison Relationship Charts to calculate a real-world “composite” chart for two people. This chart can show relationship dynamics between all kinds of relations: professional, inspirational, romantic. In this 45 minute lecture, alongside the Centaur planets, we discuss how to cast these charts, and interpret them in the lives of Lennon & McCartney, Freud & Jung, Ginsberg & Blake, and the channelers of A Course in Miracles.
Then we apply the same technique as a tool for exploring visionary experiences, using the case studies of Allen Ginsberg Blake vision, and Dr. Albert Hofmann’s discovery of LSD.
This is the first in a series of recordings and presentations I will be publishing soon!
Next up: Intro to Centaur Astrology, and a series of conversations with Dr. Jenny Kellogg about our favorite Centaurs and asteroids.
Asbolus is a centaur we encounter at pivotal moments in the Centaur Cycle of Greek mythology. Presently, the shadowy seer of omens is near the spotlight, astrologically: conjunct our Moon’s North Node, or Dragon’s Head. This places him in mid-Gemini, where a crew of planetary bodies transmit solar light to several layers of the solar system at once – all along the nodal axis of Uranus. The groove carved into cosmic space by the Nodes of Uranus run deep: his long orbit traces cycles of our transformation from trauma into enlightenment. At Uranus’ heliocentric North Node, we now have an unusual connection between that crossing and our Moon’s own Node.
Something in the collective is tuning in to a larger process of introspection, purification, and understanding. Asbolus is joined by asteroid Psyche (a large metallic body) and Trans-Neptunian Object Altjira, all in mid-Gemini for many months: from September 2020 through this month of March 2021, when they are joined and activated by Mars. Altjira (Austro-aboriginal god of timelessness) and Psyche each have their own band of consciousness-raising to do, which I hope to explore elsewhere.
Despite being known as one of the “wise centaurs”, Asbolus has only recently entered my vision as a centaur healer. I noticed that this year’s New Moon of Lunar New Year (Tibetan and Chinese) fell in exact trine to the mysterious planet. As I tuned in and welcomed this centaur into awareness, I began to feel a distinct vibration. Then a large mass of snow slipped from my roof in a minor avalanche. Since the Greek word asbolos refers to soot or ash, I felt this to be a welcome sign of his arrival, in purified form as snow. Asbolus the centaur planet was discovered on April 5, 1995 at 7° Libra 46 (8° Libra): “Secretly a torch burns for thousands of years in the ruins of an ancient city.” This Pleiadian Degree symbol, as usual, cuts right to the heart of a centaur’s discovery degree: the mythos of a name blends into its first entrance into our sight. Asbolus then holds the Centaurs’ torch, keeping their light safe through the millennia ’til now.
Benjamin Adamah, one of the few astrologers who has addressed this centaur, writes that asteroid #8405 was named for Asbolos after “its dark surface,” which itself is due to a “large impact crater”. He notes “Asbolos was seer, whose correct warnings not to fight the Lapiths were ignored.” This resulted in a violent battle, recounted by Ovid in the Metamorphoses, in which many centaurs were killed by Theseus. This moment in mythic time (Centauromachy) is crucial as it followed the death of King Ixion, who had fathered those brutish centaurs including Nessus, and was also King of the Lapiths, who fought off their king’s interloping offspring to retain sovereignty over their land.
While he tried to prevent that first massacre, it was Asbolos, conversely, who then “provoked a bloodbath in which the centaurs Chiron and Pholus met their deaths at Heracles’ hands. Asbolos was crucified by the demigod who shot arrows through his limbs.” The Centaur Cycle met its climax at Pholus’ cave, when the immortal centaur Chiron is wounded and begins his healing crisis by way of Prometheus’ liver and Zeus’ begrudging grace.
Adamah analyzed six levels of this centaur in a chart. In sum, he writes that “Asbolus is a heavyweight in the horoscope; sombre, pessimistic, with a lot of depth – but tangled in a vortex-like manner of information processing.” Asbolos (spelled with an o to denote the mythic character, modernized as Asbolus for the planet) was known by Hesiod as “an augurist from bird flight” – that is, one who read signs from the birds. Pholos divined from entrails, Okyrhoe received prophetic visions. Asbolus then completes a Centauric Triad of visionaries.
Synchronistic with Asbolus’ entry into my sights, a book I had been perusing since last year (Bottoming Out The Universe by Richard Grossinger) turned up a fascinating case study, one that becomes clear when seen in the light of Asbolus. As usual with these planets of grace, when we plug the right centaur into the equation, all kinds of mysteries are solved. Grossinger recounts the well-known story (new to me) of one James Leininger, a young American man who is (convincingly) believed to be the reincarnation of another James, one killed in action in World War II at Iwo Jima. This story is proper to Asbolus as it deals with ancestral healing and reincarnation (themes of all the male-archetype Centaurs) but moreover, because of this planet’s specific motif of ashes and fire.
Born on April 10, 1998 to Christian parents in San Francisco, James Leininger was an ordinary boy until he started to have increasingly vicious nightmares as a toddler. In May 2000 his mother woke to screams of “Airplane crash! Plane on fire! Little man can’t get out!” Mr. Leininger eventually tracked down the identity of the “little man”, and the young James would shake hands with his surviving squadron, and befriend his remaining family.
James Huston, Jr. was killed on March 3, 1945 when his plane was shot down, the only member of his squadron to die in that battle – tragically it would have been his final mission anyway, as they were scheduled to go home. The 21-year old fighter pilot would apparently reincarnate 53 years after falling to the sea. We thus have the astrological data needed to compare death with rebirth, rare in a modern context.
It is most notable that at this time of research, Asbolus, with its 76.5 year cycle (near to an average human life expectancy) is in exact return to its place at Huston’s death (Gemini 21° 52 in 1945, and Gemini 21° 36 at present).
Activations to young James’ natal chart
Asbolus in James L’s Nightmares, May 1 2000:
transiting Asbolus to natal Pluto: a fiery vision of death is seen
transiting Pholus to Asbolus (applying 1.25°): a visionary explosion leading to deep ancestral healing & knowledge
transiting Mercury and Venus opposite natal Asbolus: (fine-tuning the timing of a slower centaur transit)
transiting Okyrhoe to natal Mercury, applying 2°: visionary ability to communicate
transiting Jupiter-Saturn opposite natal Chiron: healing events began which led to his father’s quest for truth leading to grappling with own religious tolerance of reincarnation, etc.
Transit: death of JH to “re-birth” as JL
Inner: Outer (death chart receiving transits of rebirth)
Mars: Uranus: catalyzing an inspiring life from a battle’s death
Mars: opposite Chariklo: from war, a spiritual rebirth – Chariklo holds space for reincarnation
Pluto: Chariklo: the soul’s literal rebirth into a new body
Uranus: opposite Pluto: the traumatic sudden death finds its trajectory of ensoulment
Thus a Mars-Pluto opposition receiving a Chariklo-Pluto opposition by transit. Clearly an axis of war being transited by an axis of astral travel and reincarnation, signifying redemption of the former in the latter.
Pluto opposite Uranus: with a 4° orb, there is a reciprocal transit of Uranus and Pluto (Pluto-Uranus opposition, Uranus-Pluto opposition, linking signifiers of generational trauma and spiritual embodiment.
Chariklo: Asbolus: from this fiery melee, the astral body travels through the purifying flames of Asbolus – a phoenix into rebirth
Asbolus: opposite Nessus: the centaurs of ancestral healing aligning – a fiery emissary of future love, as Nessus connects with the funeral pyre of Heracles the wounded hero, Asbolus is the purified ashes that remain.
Here is just an overview of basic Centaur alignments at play in the dramatic story of one James taking rebirth as another. Asbolus has much to teach us about the mysteries of life and death it seems. There is also a new film out this year called Surviving Death that includes James’ story, which I haven’t yet watched! Shall I tell Netflix they released it on the Asbolus return of the original protagonist?
During a consultation with one of my clients today, I received more insight into the metaphysical framework of spirit / spiritual entities. A multi-tiered diamond appeared in my mind’s eye to represent the various levels of spiritual being, as pictured above.
I saw this in the context of conveying the nature of certain spiritual entities, where spirit showed me that enlightened centaurs (like Chiron) reside on Level 4, along with other “pagan spirits” like Cernunnos, gods and goddesses, ascended masters, and the like.
I had heard of there being a sort of spiritual hierarchy before, but this was my first time sensing it directly from spirit. Interestingly, spirit relayed that Archangels operate on Level 3, above the deities that I mentioned previously. I also saw that humans / earthly human reality is at Level 7, but didn’t sense what exactly is on all the other levels. I suspect that elementals and other such lower-level spirits reside on Level 6.
The spiritual hierarchy, so to speak, is about different levels of vibration, and souls are essentially particularized forms of consciousness.
In receiving these insights I also saw the opposite triangle of the diamond, representative of the shadow realm, the other side, our shadow selves, demons, etc. Crucially – I saw a circle drawn around the entire diamond, connecting these two halves as part of a singular unit.
This is to say that shadows are just as much a part of the cosmos as perceived light, and that a vast spectrum of spiritual phenomena tends to come in pairs, duality, and opposites. All that is, is of God; everything simply operates at a different energetic, vibrational level. There are indeed “lower” and “higher” vibrations; this is simply a part of the metaphysical framework of spirit / cosmos.
I say this to emphasize that on an ultimate level of consciousness / reality, it doesn’t seem possible to make value judgments of good vs. evil in there being one better than the other. Everything is whole; each part is unified in divine consciousness.
This also resonates with my increasing understanding of overall reality as nonlinear, as a multiversal composite of many realms, worlds, and timelines existing simultaneously. Life as spirit is not about linear evolution, but about totality of experience. Souls experience a multitude of incarnations in order to experience the many sides of themselves, to be both villain and hero, rich and poor, to experience as many different perspectives as possible.
The higher self is a composite of these versions, encompassing both shadow and light. Our higher selves are the best and worst of ourselves, our many faces, the accumulated wisdom of every incarnation experienced by a particular soul.
As such – we would do well to remember that all things exist in harmony, and that all facets of existence belong together as part of a greater unity. Our souls, as well as the cosmos at large, ultimately speak to balance and the divinity of union.
With the Great Conjunction and its changing elemental setting this year, the Chronocrators – as they used to refer to Jupiter and Saturn – fall in the Air sign of the Water Bearer. Aquarius is strange: a sign known by the name of an element it is not. Dare we say that sounds Uranian? The origins of this sign are fascinating (and for another time), mythically connected to the divine cupbearers, Ganymede and Hebe.
Aquarius is a rich setting, as far as Centaurs are concerned, because of its affinity for two very contradictory planets: Saturn and Uranus. Saturn rules the sign according to the thema mundi, and the modern planet Uranus has found the fixed air sign to be its temporal home as well. The basic thing centaurs do, astrologically, is to bridge these two planetary lords of Aquarian stock (Saturn and Uranus).
Holding both of these planetary archetypes, the Aquarian has a demanding sense of social justice that makes her seem fixated on ideas, but only in the service of moving us onward. A concern for high standards (Saturn) in tension with a desire to bring the world up to that ideal level: the taciturn eccentric.
The Uranian as a type is one who has one ear tuned to the heavens at all times. For an Aquarian, with the basic Saturnine nature, this can provide a revolutionary bent: like the Centaur, head in clouds, hooves on earth, the Peak Aquarian wants us all to abide by the rules, just a newly written set, a bespoke social contract, always set in the future. What does it mean when two planets of social justice converge in this sign?
With the meeting of Jupiter and Saturn this Solstice, many cycles fall into alignment. Firstly, the coincidence of Solstice marks the Sun’s moment when it reaches peak southern declination and pauses before returning to northern climes – or, at the midpoint along the arc of where its Ecliptic path intersects our own equatorial plane, tropically speaking. The Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) mark a kind of Earth-Node.
Likewise, the place where this Great Conjunction occurs – in the first degree of Aquarius – marks a Nodal place for the centaurs. Chariklo, divine healer and partner of Chiron, as a planetary body in our solar system is the largest and also most orbitally round (and one of the least eccentric) Centaur. Her range is similar to Chiron’s, traveling between the boundaries of Saturn and Uranus. Presently in late Capricorn, and a veteran of the Cap’n Crunch of 2020, Chariklo will enter Aquarius after January 2021. When she does, she will cross her own North Node – the place where her inclined orbit trends upward and crosses the ecliptic, before coasting down toward the opposing, South Node.
At its own North Node, applying the logic of planetary nodes from Dane Rudhyar and Mark Jones, a planet expresses its full evolutionary zeal – what it has to offer us at its utmost purpose.
Chariklo in Aquarius then, fresh from her conjunction with Saturn and Pluto (witnessing an epoch of destruction), will sweep into the recently constructed edifices of Jupiter and Saturn’s 200 Year Airy Age. A watery nymph Goddess in the Men’s club. (And her father- and brother- in law, no less!). Yet, fortunately, her family extends into other helpful dimensions.
Daughter Okyrhoe, a water nymph (like Mom) who takes after Dad (and his divine stock), is equally of the Air element. As fate will have it, on the day of Solstice, the Moon in Pisces will conjoin Okyrhoe – translating her wisdom into the sublunary sphere, our world. More, she will be in harmonious 60° aspect to her partner in divination, Centaur Pholus over in early Capricorn.
Two interlocked Centaurs, with shared skill and astrological offerings (helping us access our mantic wisdom, understanding signs and divination) camped out in Pisces and Capricorn: ruled then by the meeting Gods Jupiter (Pisces) and Saturn (Capricorn).
The union of their dispositing planets, then, augurs an alignment of the aspecting centaurs at just the same time as the Moon agrees, and as the dispositing giants inhabit a Centauric Nodal degree. Just before escaping Capricorn, however, they also transit the South Node of centaur Pholus. A planetary descending Node transited by his current ruler (Saturn, now in the last degree of Capricorn) closes a chapter of karma, or shows us the worst in a planet’s nature – which for Pholus is a Neptunian overindulgence in escapism and our “ambrosia” of choice.
So of these, Chariklo is the more poised for inspiration ahead. But at the moment of gaseous syzygy, Moon sextiles Pholus and welcomes his insight as mediator of the Neptunian (both mythically and astronomically, as traveler to there and back). With Moon conjoining Okyrhoe, she is highlighted most strongly in the sky – and so we can draw upon her nature as one who bridges the very planets in question: Jupiter and Saturn.
It’s a very humble sounding task for a Centaur – who usually brave trans-Uranian climes to return to the 3D world of Saturn with something psychedelic or transcendent, Okyrhoe’s orbit between the two ancient gods makes her just the person to seek guidance from in times like these. What does their blend do? It is her duty to know, and offer the nectar of that knowledge to us as inspiration. Saturn as time is lord of Fate, while Jupiter as spirit is lord of Grace, or release from fate.
As Centaurs do, stepping information down into palatable, intelligible, vibrations for our intra-Saturnine minds to pick up on, is here made most approachable by Okyrhoe: she governs divine visions that take place within space and time, the Jupiter within the Saturn. What will she now show us for the age ahead?
Chiron will also sextile the big duo in Aquarius (they apply toward sextile of him), bringing the other Uranian ranger into the picture too.
If we look at our system from the outside in (rather than from here on out as we are accustomed) the alignments that take place on Dec 21, 2020 really do some multidimensional sky weaving. As the ancient concept of spheres leads us, we can layer beyond the Saturnian (but before the Firmament and Fixed Stars) the extra dimensions of at least the Uranian, Neptunian, and Plutonian (which could be synonymous with trans-Neptunian). Between these outer three and the cusp of the inner world (Saturn, traditionally the slowest and most distant known planet), the Centaurs weave like Daliesque spiders on giant stilts – imagine their hooves prancing upon two of these disparate rings at once. Chiron and Chariklo’s steps between the ring of Saturn and of Uranus, Pholus’s between Saturn/Neptune, Nessus’ between Saturn/Pluto, and little Okyrhoe plucking the bounds of Saturn and Jupiter like the strings of a harp — or to extend the metaphor to her cognate goddess of spontaneous flow – the strings of Saraswati’s Veena.
This Aquarian Conjunction brings in the interstellar vibrations, too. The Fixed Star Altair the Eagle sits upon this degree of the ecliptic. In our spherical model then, this is a very distant point yet in alignment from the point of view of Earth – geocentric astrology.
Altair the Eagle is instantly a Jupiterian motif – the Eagle of Zeus who plucks the liver of Prometheus, and the Eagle who sips the ambrosia held by Ganymede the cupbearer (an Aquarian archetype).
Further ‘out there’ is a guide to the stars that always hits as wisdom to me, a channeled or “spiritually collaborative” compendium of star civilizations (Starlight Elixirs and Cosmic Vibrational Healing by Smulkis and Rubenfeld). This detailed exploration of the beings of various friendly stars mentions only one astrological planet, once – and that is Saturn, in the section on Altair. How curious! They describe how this star helps us “saturn” up and “understand resistance to flow” “overcome obstacles and have courage to move forward.”
And while we are out here in the stellar regions, Okyrhoe’s union with the Moon occurs conjunct the bright, lonely star Fomalhaut, watcher of Autumn. This point is the “mouth of the fish” constellation, Pisces Austrinus, which according to Eratosthenes “swallows the water being poured by the water bearer,” Aquarius.
Combining these motifs we have the starry Eagle (symbol of Jupiter and his sacred waterboy), and the thirsty fish whose Mouth receives the Aquarian ambrosia. With Okyrhoe as bridge between the realms of the planets forming the Great Conjunction, herself conjoining this spiritual star as the Moon brings the whole spectre into earthly reach, this Oracular Nymph is bearing lots of astrological weight for us.
Moon will conjoin Okyrhoe just before the Great Conjunction, but after Jupiter has already joined Saturn in the sign of Aquarius. At the conjunction itself, Moon will be 27° 57 Pisces, just past Okyrhoe’s Discovery Degree and also Venus’ Degree of Exaltation. To seal the trend, the Great Conjunction happens to be conjunct the North Geocentric Node of Venus (thanks to @EmpressAtlantis (empressatlantis.com) for this insight!). The Goddesses at least seem to be conspiring as usual, bless them to bless us!