Aquarian Cycles and Centaurs

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. 

Okyrhoe and her waveform of orbit in phase with Saturn (graph via R von Heeren’s kentauren.info)

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!

Paulo Coelho’s Lost Love

The natal chart of best-selling novelist Paulo Coelho features Chiron the healing centaur conjunct the Discovery Degree of Nessus in Scorpio. This implies a fruitful synastry between him and the centaur of purification: having a natal planet at another’s DD is similar to having the second conjunct the first. Any natal planet at one of these Centauric power spots draws some power from that Centaur.

Paulo Coelho: August 24, 1947 12:05 am Rio de Janeiro (A: Borges Collection)

Coelho’s spiritual memoir Aleph relates his real-life journey with Hilal, an obsessed fan who finds a way to join him on a trans-Siberian train adventure.

Spontaneously immersed in a dimension that he names the Aleph (after poet Jorge Luis Borges’ word for a universal power-spot), Paulo and Hilal find themselves healing a tortured love. Their Aleph-visions eventually culminate with a past life they shared during the Inquisition. The date of their healing experience happened to be recorded by the Russian press, since it took place the evening before the celebrity met with his fan, President Putin.

The chart of May 31, 2006 features a precise kite of Pholus-Vesta-Nodes. An Aleph of its own, this kite slingshots memories of the past (South Node) through potent (Pholus) adventures in relationship (Vesta). Nessus and Chiron conjoined at 8-10° Aquarius, t-squaring their own DDs (at 5 Scorpio and 4 Taurus). This transit offered a rare challenge to those able to listen to healing guidance.

Paulo’s Aleph experience: 5/31/2006, evening

Nessus is the centauric significator for the thread of karma between Paulo and Hilal, which leads to their mutual redemption. Coelho’s Centaur-Progressed Nessus lands at 5° Cancer: “Coming to a fork in the road a man has a surprising realization,” aptly divining a vision quest on a Siberian train. This symbol reveals how the writer’s natal promise of karmic redemption (Chiron at Nessus’ future DD) blossomed precisely at the time of his fateful journey with Halal.

Nessus Guide of Redemption

NESSUS: The Master of Shadows

The collective story of the Centaurs condenses several myths that span the spectrum of life and death, nectar and poison.

We meet the Astrological Centaurs first through their namesakes in these myths. The Greek epics such as Ovid’s Metamorphoses record generations of interaction between people and the gods. Here we learn there are two bands of Centaurs: the wild, and the wise. The wild, such as Nessus, are sons of King Ixion, a villainous figure. The wise include Chiron, son of Kronos the titan, and Pholus, son of Silenus. Pholus is half-foster-brother to Dionysus himself. Intoxication is a theme of his story. Mythical cohort of the others, Nessus brings the shadow (and its redemption) to the Centaurs’ portfolio.

A client of mine once unearthed repressed trauma during a reciprocal transit of Okyrhoe to Nessus/Nessus to Okyrhoe. Another contemplated how to deal with news of abuse in her church when Nessus had stationed retrograde on her Ascendant. It amazed us both when the phone rang during our session—confirming that her donations were canceled: “the buck” stopped here, as Reinhart says about Nessus.

Musee de Louvre

Nessus reaches farther than the other centaurs into Pluto’s realm, as he makes a 123-year journey around the Sun. As a Centaur guide, he brings us situations that incite maturity. This suits his myth, as he died at the hand of Hercules, after repeating the “sins of his father,” King Ixion. 

Nessus guides us to redemption from wounds caused by misusing power. His myth completes the circle from wounding to healing. After the scuffle in Pholus’ cave, Nessus escaped to a distant river. We meet him during Hercules’ travels with his wife Deianira following the twelve labors. The heroic couple meets Nessus, who deviously offers to help them cross a flooded river. Carrying Deianira on his back, Nessus attempts to repeat his father’s crime. Hercules kills him with an arrow, setting off a chain of events that will destroy him, too.

Deianira is tricked by the dying Centaur, and saves his blood as a love-charm. Years later, she tries to apply this charm to her wayward husband. The poison burns Hercules, so he throws himself on a pyre to end his pain. The gods accept this self-immolation as purification. In a roundabout way, then, Hercules’ tangle with Nessus allows him to redeem his heroic destiny, becoming an immortal. (As an Olympian, he marries immortal Hebe. Sorry, Deianira!)

This unusual process of redemption might be foretold in the sky: planet Nessus was discovered at 5° Scorpio, a point opposite Chiron’s own DD of 4° Taurus. Such astrology implies how these Centaurs together offer tandem guidance along the Taurus/Scorpio polarity of natural (Taurus) healing (Centaurs) of trauma (Scorpio).

Nessus’ DD 5° Scorpio: “Sharp rocks splashed, dripping with sea spray.” The dynamic waters of purification, offered with harsh edges – much like the guidance we receive from this Centaur.

timeline of a pandemic

With some hesitation, I am sharing this [edit: on March 16] astrological timeline of what I have come to understand as the signifiers of the worldwide pandemic we face today. For now it is offered without much commentary. For the dates in the past, you can see how they correlate with landmark moments of the viral spread of COVID-19. I’m not interested so much in the birth chart of the disease, which is probably not known, but in seeing how the planets moving forward will touch off the key degrees established by Eclipses and Lunations, etc.

Some of the upcoming transits of asteroids and centaurs align at the same time as known ‘warning signs’ such as Mars-Saturn, Jupiter-Pluto, etc. For astrological overviews of the epidemic see: Astrobutterfly; Anthony Louis, who takes Evangeline Adams’ approach; and Alex Miller, whose work (via my friend at Astrokastalia) brought the importance of asteroid Koronis to my attention.

Now that President Trump has announced the obvious, that this won’t be over by summertime, I feel less wary of publishing this timeline which clearly indicates a continuation through July. I believe we deserve the most information as possible about this situation, including what the planets have to tell us of the cosmic timeline. The rubric for this timeline is the Mercury Retrograde cycle, from Pisces to Aquarius and now back to Pisces.

Therefore: [updated June 27, 2020]

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The main centaurs involved are Chiron and Pholus, whose transits this year I’ve written about over at Astro.com. When Pholus conjoins the Lunar South Node, the theme of purging of consequences from the past seems prominent. Chariklo was a big factor in the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, even lending herself as “guard of personal space” to our new-found state of universal quarantine following the very Saturn-Pluto situation. Centaur Okyrhoe indicates telling the truth at danger to oneself, and Nessus of working through poison toward redemption.

Expect news of innovation – or technocratic malfeasance – when signifier Koronis meets TNO Borasisi, which is an indicator of scientific progress, often at great cost.

Centaur Astrology: Supreme Court Edition

{Originally posted on Hominy Creek Horoscopy’s blog 10/05/18}
While I do not intend for this site to function politically per se, it turns out that this moment in American politics is well described by the movements of the Centaur planets. As such it is my duty to present to you, the reader, the information I find in the skies so that you can make your own conclusions about events on the ground. Yet it seems important to write the following without casting any blame, since we should not attempt to infer anything legal from the general implications of a few transits.

As far as Centaurs are concerned, we get to the interior content more often than the event level: how it feels to be on a journey, rather than where it leads. So in isolation, Centaurs don’t automatically lend themselves to catchy political commentary.

Regardless of one’s politics, the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is a focalizing moment in American history. For some it is playing out as a macabre and over-the-top demonstration of white male privilege flying in the face of endless #MeToo revelations of systemic trauma. A peak example of believable women not being believed. Yet for others it is an equally peak display of partisan politics, of a conspiracy against conservatives (believed mostly by folks who forget this nominee’s role in a previous Presidential kangaroo court in the 1990s).

This judicial nomination has touched a nerve: it’s a watershed moment in the Trump presidency. So we can expect the natal chart of its central characters to be aligned closely with the world mind – the transits of the planets.

Transiting Okyrhoe is exactly square to Christine Blasey Ford’s Lunar Nodes. The will to speak the truth against the ire of the gods has reached an evolutionary crisis. Further, Ford was born with Mercury conjunct the South Node in Scorpio: she is an inveterate truth-seeker and speaker. She’s done this before (and her career as Professor of Psychology is almost a textbook example of this configuration). Transiting Okyrhoe squaring her natal Mercury-SN has pushed Ford into being a voice for a generation, and she is bearing the brunt of negativity from detractors on top of the trauma caused by reliving the alleged crimes against her.

 

Christine Blasey Ford (no birth time known) was born with a strong polarity of malefic planets in alignment with Chiron: Pluto-Uranus-Mars in late Virgo opposite Saturn-Chiron conjunct in Pisces. Perhaps Chiron can ameliorate some of this difficulty, over time, as the ‘inconvenient benefic’ it is. Not an easy path to tread.

Notably, she was born on the first Mars Return of Brett Kavanaugh: their natal Mars are within a half degree of each other, born in different years. Their only other close synastric conjunction is the centaur Pholus: the small cause with big effect. Pholus is also the drinker, or at least holder of the drink. He knows the dangers inherent in opening that cask of wine. (It cost him his life).

So Mars-Pholus synastry jumps out at the reader: it doesn’t look good, as such a combination certainly implies aggression under the influence. Their Mercuries are square, too. They are bound to voice different opinions and worldviews.

As a trigger to this synastry, Chiron moved in opposition to their shared Mars throughout much of 2018. It will station direct in late Pisces, opposite their Mars, again in December.

As for the transits du jour, the zeitgeist in the sky: Okyrhoe the truth-telling Oracle is prominent. She transits his Mercury and squares Ford’s, as mentioned.

Saturn and Vesta reached their perfection (actual joining in conjunction) the day before Ford testified at Kavanaugh’s Senate hearing (Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018). This combination of Saturn’s patriarchy with Vesta’s feminine flame can stand in for the whole movement to reclaim women’s power in the public sphere, as Tara Greene, astrologer at Infinity Now, has written.

This fitting pair can be seen as the raised fist of feminism against men in power. They are exactly aligned to Judge Kavanaugh’s natal Okyrhoe. This makes for a complex sign. Everyone has an Okyrhoe: a truth to tell, or a perspective to speak from. It was his that became the focus of scrutiny this month: what did he remember about his history, and how does it square with testimony of witnesses? His Okyrhoe would not stand a chance against the might of Saturn-Vesta, an iron hammer on fire.

Or is it that Okyrhoe’s truth is being voiced by means of his existence? That a natal placement can be a transpersonal signifier is quite centauric; maybe he is a pawn in a larger game of evolution.

Nessus was in gear driving against his natal Saturn throughout 2018, and remained within a degree this month. This Centaur is the most unsavory one, not a wise figure like Chiron, but a rapacious brute of an animal. So while Saturn crushes down against him, his own Saturn–sense of dignity and limits–is likewise trampled by Nessus.

Neptune applies to his natal Chiron, and he is forced to admit on the record to a history of heavy drinking, while being extra lo-fi-Neptunian about it and possibly lying to Congress about the extent of his underage intake of alcohol, which peers report being excessive.

Here the Centaurs’ tale is total: Okyrhoe has transited the Judge’s Pholus (19° Aqu 03) since this summer. Against the arc of 2018, all of this is sealed by that Aquarian degree: exactly opposite August’s Solar Eclipse at 19 Leo.

Thus his cork-popping centaur of intoxication had faced off against the summer’s Solar Eclipse, one which was configured with Okyrhoe. Eclipse Okyrhoe was at 19° Aqu 29, and remains near that point today in retrograde fashion. Okyrhoe would play a key role in the unfolding of the Eclipse’s drama for the months over which it held sway. We see this reaching a crisis point in both the nomination of Kavanaugh and in Blasey Ford’s central role in that process.

Now as it reaches some kind of conclusion [BK was confirmed 10/6 11pm], the present transit of Okyrhoe is 16° Aqu 15, close to the natal Mercury of Kavanaugh and thus square to Blasey Ford’s. [At the swearing in event, Okyrhoe was on the 9th house cusp of Law].

Regardless of what you think of Kavanaugh the man, it is clear he has acted as a lightning rod for these swirling energies of unrest and that these are astrologically mediated by the Centaur planets. Maybe we can gain some consolation in the fact that when prominent, Centaurs appear to help us on our journey back to wholeness. They can be uncomfortable mirrors, a band of inconvenient benefics, and require the active participation of the person in whose chart they appear. Evolution is a choice made individually and collectively.