New Methods For New Planets

Climbing up Mount Pelion to the Chironian cave, a seeker would find two very different kinds of teachers in residence there: half-brothers Zeus (the Sagittarian) and Chiron (the Virgoan). One more likely to dispense wisdom and grace from atop his lofty throne, the other to gallop down the hillside to teach a disciple with his own hands, hooves on the ground. His name means Skillful Hand, and as master of healing with herbs, he taught the biggest names in ancient medicine (such as Asclepius). As guide of the hunt, he prepared Hercules, Achilles, and Jason for their quests. Chiron was also the foremost of astrologers.

In my recent article in the Career Astrologer, I introduced the Centaur planets Chiron, Pholus and Chariklo. We saw how their themes of healing come into play during the transits of 2020. Lets deepen our understanding of how these Centaurs guide individual lives, by delving in to notable case studies (in next week’s blogs).

When inviting them into our charts, remember that they are visitors from the distant Kuiper belt. Imagine these planetoids swooping toward our region of space with their orbital lassos that weave outer-planet energies into familiar Saturnian turf. Although the outer planets’ transpersonal influences can be difficult to grasp, Centaurs mediate between inner and outer realms. As “rainbow bridges,” these planets provide a missing link for the counseling astrologer.

Since his discovery in 1977, Chiron has worked his humble way into the astrological mainstream. Many know him as a Wounded Healer, Maverick, and Mentor. Now that Chiron has moved into Aries for the first time since discovery, we may find ourselves in a new era of working with the Centaurs.

The other members of the Centaur’s family lend their names to lesser-known planets which may be equally important. I have found that the Centaurs’ power to describe a “journey to enlightenment” is seen most clearly when dealt with as one whole family. This includes wife Chariklo (energy healer), daughter Okyrhoe (oracle), and friend Pholus (diviner). Viewed together, this crew of maverick planets can enlighten any chart.

In addition to the tools I introduce here, we can get to know our astrological Centaurs by tracking their transits to our natal planets and watching their natal cycles (such as the Chiron square). Yet, in working with the charts of hundreds of visionary and mystical experiences, I’ve found three methods that clarify the messages of these galactic oracles. Here I will share these ways of  revealing a Centaur’s purpose in our charts. We will look into the stories of Carl Jung, Edgar Cayce, Allen Ginsberg, and Jim Carrey to see how, with the right tools, Centaurs alone can speak to our most profound moments.

My astrological method to understand our new galactic messengers is summarised by the use of:
•Discovery Degrees: The degree on the tropical zodiac transited when astronomers first identify a new planet, especially when described by the Pleiadian degree symbols, a version of the Sabians reworked by John Sandbach. (DD)
•Centauric Progression Charts: a half-life progression for half-human Centaurs. Inspired by Davison’s Relationship Charts, calculate a chart of the midpoint in time between a birth and key event. (CP)
•Reciprocal transits between any of these points: e.g. Okyrhoe’s Discovery Degree (a), and someone’s Centaur Progressed Chariklo (b); a-b, b-a. (DD-CP, CP-DD)

Considering discovery degrees (DD) is especially helpful to understand Centaurs in action. Does the discovery of a new planet affect our consciousness? Is there cosmic significance to the moment we find a new astrological planet? The degree transited when a new planet is first observed becomes a sensitive degree on the zodiac. It’s a placeholder for that planet: when traversed by another, it’s as if a ‘shadow transit’ to the discovered planet occurs. Even transits prior to discovery seem to reflect the planet’s essence.

The Centaurs weave connections between ethereal Neptune and the solid ground of Saturn. Melanie Reinhart finds that they “help us integrate the high voltage frequencies of the outer planets, which without mediation, may blow apart our Saturnian reality.”

What does a Centaur feel like in our chart? How does it appear in our lives? We all know the feel of Saturn as we thud against its stone wall during a hard transit. It’s part of us: our bones, our time. Neptune, by contrast, is both dream and delusion, a misty lack of definition. Natal Chiron can appear first as the thorn in our side, the hurt which makes us seek help. If we find a spiritual friend to show the way, our hero’s journey takes shape. Chiron can represent each of these steps on the path.

As she weaves across the threshold between Saturn and Uranus, Chariklo connects our bodies with the beyond. She relates to our aura, the spirit around our form. This fits her planetary situation: Saturn is our skeleton, and Uranus sparkles through us as vibrating currents of kundalini. Though both Chiron and Chariklo travel near Uranus, Chariklo’s orbit – less eccentric than the others – resonates with Uranus. Chariklo thus activates our subtle bodies. She can appear as the grace of love’s healing power. At her more Saturnian side, she guides relationship boundaries, while her Uranian face is the thin veil between soul and cosmos.

Traveling beyond Saturn’s turf and crossing Neptune’s boundary to the Kuiper Belt, Pholus brings us closer to the realm of pure consciousness. We may find astrological Pholus deep within our personal caves, guarding goblets of potent brew.

As a planet, Okyrhoe’s reach is not quite as vast as that of her parents. She takes only 24 years to orbit, elliptically reaching out past Saturn in a cycle that puts her in 2:1 resonance with  uncle Jupiter. Orbiting in phase with Zeus/Jupiter grants her a direct line into the mind of the Gods. She is the uncanny voice within, our own inner oracle. If heeded, Okyrhoe flows to us the best cosmic information.

Up next: The Centaurs’ Mythic Zodiac, The Astrological Centaurs, and case studies galore! Then, Nessus.

On the Discovery & Pre-covery of the Outer Planets

The three outer planets of our solar system were discovered. That is, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were not basic facts of night-time existence observable by humans since the dawn of time. Their discoveries marked crucial moments in astrological time. When looked at side by side, these events are linked together in a meaningful weave: a story told by the planets as they took birth into our awareness. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, as well as newcomer Chiron, each function as part of our Solar system’s wider aura of information. Together they step down and transmit cosmic wavelengths of starlight from the ethers at the edge of our orbital egg to the intra-Saturnian layer of reality we call 3D.

Let’s turn to the fascinating synastry the planets have with themselves: through their discovery charts, which reveal what Mike Harding calls the zodiac’s “infinite synastry with creation.”

By now, the historical record shows that it was Galileo who first sighted Neptune, as early as 1612. He mistook the distant giant for a star (conjunct Jupiter in his telescope). In 1795, French astronomer Joseph J. Lalande also pre-discovered (May 10) what would be Neptune. This fact itself was discovered by the team of researchers who collaborated to find Neptune in 1846. In between these precoveries, Uranus was found by Herschel.

Astronomical Synastry in brief: 26° Aquarius

  • Precovery Neptune-2 had Pluto near where Neptune was later found, conjunct Saturn in late Aquarius.
  • At the same degree of the Saturn-Neptune synod of 1846, Chiron lay in waiting at Pluto’s precovery in 1909.
  • There, too, was Chiron’s unknown daughter Okyrhoe (conjunct Mom’s friend Pallas Athena), when Herschel found Uranus in 1781.

When Pluto was discovered in 1930, Chiron was conjunct the North Lunar Node. When Chiron was discovered in 1977, Pluto was conjunct the North Lunar Node.

At Pluto’s earliest precovery in 1909, Neptune transited exactly 18° Cancer 19′ (8/21/09, photographed by Edward Barnard at Yerkes Observatory). When Pluto was actual-pre-discovered, by means of the photographic plates taken by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory prior to his ‘discovery’ of the results (1/22/30), Pluto inhabited 18° Cancer 15′. Thus Neptune presaged its outer planet brother exactly.

Then, and maybe less significantly, trans-Neptunian object Borasisi was discovered at the same magic degree of 26° Aquarius in 1999. It’s not just a random space rock though: Borasisi shows up big time in a Neptunian-Uranian way. It’s the planet of ‘mad science’ or tech without a conscience.

A Pleiadian Interlude

 Neptune’s pre-discovery pair of future Piscean co-rulers Jupiter and Neptune (at 26.5 Virgo) coincided with one of the two degrees that the Pleiadian Degree Symbols* depict with a ‘tea ceremony’. At Neptune’s actual discovery in 1846, it was adjacent to the next of those degrees of ceremony. In 1612, at Galileo’s viewing, at 27° Virgo Neptune-Jupiter announce “A famous geisha performing the tea ceremony.” Here is a clear resonance with its future discovery at 26° Aquarius, adjacent to the symbol of 27°: “During a tea ceremony a man briskly mixing tea with a whisk.” I view Neptune’s birth degree with some orb due to the triple conjunction that year which formed with Saturn across both degrees.

Neptune in both its pre- and actual discovery is symbolized by a tea ceremony: the ritualized, conscious merger of the physical with the fluid. This imagery is appropriate for Neptune in Aquarius, a true bearer of water. The Pleiadian symbols for these two Aquarian degrees are remarkably evocative of the relationship between Saturn and Neptune, which govern ‘containers’ and ‘fluids’, respectively. Next to the “tea ceremony” degree lies Aquarius 26°: “A scientist measuring the mineral levels in a sample of water.”

These symbols appear to serve as ideal imagery for Neptune’s watery world as seen from within the boundary of our system: a Saturnian container for Neptunian spirit. Not only are both images of a liquid contained (Saturn-Neptune), but the acts of measuring minerals and brewing tea each invoke the relationship between solute (Saturn) and solvent (Neptune). This chemistry is the inevitable result of the Saturn-Neptune process: absorption and dissolution. 

*Pleiadian Degree Symbols are an updated series of Sabian Symbols by John Sandbach