Centaurs in Myth & 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.