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!

Centaurs in Myth & Zodiac

THE CENTAURS’ MYTHIC ZODIAC:
Mythic Chiron and Pholus connect through the story of Hercules, which enshrines a twelve-fold archetype of the Hero’s journey to redemption through ordeal. Guided by his mentor Chiron, Hercules found Pholus guarding the elixir that would reward one of his labors.  Inside the centaur’s cave, Hercules taunted Pholus to open his sealed flask of wine. A scuffle ensued when the neighboring centaurs got wind of the wine. To fend off the Centaurs, Hercules shot them with his arrows laced with the Hydra’s venom. Chiron received his fateful wound, and curious Pholus accidentally poisoned himself with the same arrow, too. Thus astrological Pholus is the “small cause, big effect.” Once the champagne is popped, it’s hard to get back in the bottle. Events under Pholus’ influence quickly take on a life of their own and get out of control. Subjectively this can feel ecstatic or euphoric (Robert von Heeren’s adjective of choice for this centaur).

Planetary Pholus was the second centaur discovered (1/9/1992), clueing astronomers in that Chiron was not a singleton, but a pioneer of his own class. At the first degree of Leo, the symbol for Pholus’ Discovery Degree is “Not knowing what to say, a woman blushes.” Quite apt for a shy centaur guarding drink.

Chiron’s story culminates when he takes the place of Prometheus, who was tortured for his trickery: giving fire to his creation, humanity. Planetary Chiron was discovered at 4° Taurus, for which the Pleiadian symbol reads: “In a shadowy place in a forest an iridescent fire arises from the ground.” Through 2019, Uranus approached the place in Taurus where we found Chiron (3°50’). Did we gain electrified insight into Chiron’s purpose at the conjunction of May, 2019 and once again in Spring 2020?

If Chiron is the “wound”, then where is the medicine? Chariklo is famed as the Centaur’s wife, yet with a fine pedigree herself, she holds her own as a planet. Daughter of Apollo and assistant to Vesta in the temples of Athena, Chariklo embodies the spiritually accomplished Medicine Woman. We can relate her placements to healing, trance visions, and spiritual relationships. Chariklo’s discovery (2/14/97) degree of 7° Leo is symbolized as “A man’s astral body travels into the sky to see the stars more closely.” This astral body is what leaves during dreams and out-of-body experiences, the kinds of events for which astrological Chariklo plays a vivid role.

Pegasus, from Wellcome 373 Persian (Nujum al Ulum)

Okyrhoe was born to Chiron and the nymph Chariklo. They named her after the “swift flow” of the river on the banks of which their daughter took birth. She speaks truths that unsettle the gods in power. In his Metamorphoses, Ovid recounts how the girl fell into “the mystic mood of prophecy.” In such a trance she once spoke of Chiron’s future wounding, and its aftermath. For her soothsaying, Zeus transformed her into a mare so that she would be mute. One story tells us how in her equine form, Okyrhoe flew off to the stars of Pegasus. When discovered as a stellar body on September 19, 1998, Okyrhoe incarnated conjunct the alpha star of Pegasus, Markab, at 25° Pisces. The degree symbol reads “At the river, singing and purification by water.” Okyrhoe was thus found “in her myth body” of Pegasus, at the degree symbolized by the waters which give her name.