Mythic Prelude

Saturn and Chiron

While the main astral dynamic of the year continues to beckon us, now from only two months out, and the year unfolds as prelude to the Star of David alignment coming on Nov. 8, the next two months have a pivotal role to play in purifying and preparing body and soul for the time of awakening that has already begun.

The time from now until Nov. 8 is ruled by the subtle but powerful opposition between Chiron in Capricorn and Saturn in Cancer. As these slow-moving "outer" planets have orbital periods of 50 and 29 Earth years, respectively, they tend to remain in relation to each other for months when an angle of relationship comes. This time the angle is the most energetic one:

180°, a position of creative tension between Saturn, the teacher of esoteric wisdom (right), and the wounded healer Chiron, also a major teaching figure, shown here with the boy Achilles. With these two planets highly charged by each other in the mirror of opposition, some kind of education will be underway now. The question is -- who will teach what to whom?

Before we look at the mythic game between Saturn and Chiron, which reaches its peak of power in late September just after the Libra New Moon on Sept. 25 - 26, we visit briefly a few power points that enhance and build up to the end of the month.

9/10:  Full Moon in Pisces opposite Sun-Mercury conjunct in Virgo. Pluto in Sagittarius forms the middle leg of a T-Square between Sun-Mercury and Moon. This will be, among other things, a moment when couples, friends and others in close and emotionally deep relationships will face and work out their power issues. Head vs. heart struggles are intense now.

9/15: Venus exits Virgo, where she has been "in fall" since August 22, and enters Libra, one of the signs of her rulership. The Venus role that applies here, and rules much of the festivity at the Autumn Equinox, is that of the autumnal mother who has borne her children, and thus now passes the lifebearer role to the young Virgin, while the mature Venus as Mother teaches her children the arts of preserving and beautifying life.  The lessons in this cycle -- which greatly favors creators and admirers of beauty -- continue through Oct. 10.

9/19 - 20:  Mercury "goes direct," reversing his retrograde (apparent backward) motion of the last 3 weeks and moving "forward" again on the zodiac wheel. The 17 days between Sept. 20 and Oct. 7 are favorable for mental and organizational work, communications and reports. It is likely that September and October will be months when many who have worked long and patiently toward creative and spiritual goals will break through into new progress and success, and they will see overt signs of more new happy outcomes on the way. Look for the Autumn Equinox weekend of Sept. 19 - 21 to be the gate of good news about changes in livelihood, residence, relationship. The changes accelerate now, as more and more human beings awaken, and put into effect some radical revisions to what had formerly been spiritual sleep patterns, luxuries of unawareness that now fade like smoke.

9/25 - 26. The Main Event. The New Moon conjoins the Sun in Libra just as Saturn and Chiron oppose each other most strongly. The purification begins toward the time of spiritual awakening, and energy renewal, that is coming later in the year on Nov. 8.

The mythic identities of Saturn and Chiron offer some clues to how this time of preparation and cleansing had best be played. While Saturn is well known to all students of astrology, the mysterious figure of Chiron grows more fascinating and influential at this time of surging interest in natural and alternative modes of healing.

Chiron is actually the son of Kronos/Saturn, so that their opposition from now into December is literally a confrontation between father and son. Chiron's future mother Philyra, who was exhausted by a shape-shifting struggle with Saturn and birthed a god boy who was half-human and half horse, was repelled by her son's centaur-like appearance, and rejected him, dealing him the first of the deep heart wounds that would manifest later as the central wound of separation. Chiron is thus a Man of Sorrows figure, spurned by humans and centaurs alike.

The pain of his loneliness seems to have yielded some pearls of creative art. Chiron is said to have been the one who discerned and named the constellations of the sky, who invented the art of playing music through wood pipes -- and is thus the spiritual father of all flute, pipe and didjeridoo players -- and who discovered the medicinal properties of herbs. Chiron was also so gifted in prophecy that he was often compared to Apollo himself.

He is known to have been the teacher of many of the greatest heroes of the Greek heroic age: Jason, Meleager, Asklepius, Aeneas and Heracles, among others, and also Peleus the father of Achilles, and the boy Achilles himself, with whom Chiron is most often shown, as above and also here, trying in vain to get the young warlover-to-be interested in making music on a lyre.

The student's face, as usual, says it all: I am not here to learn singing and dancing. When are we going to get to the sword? The urgency of Achilles, his petty jealousy and self-indulgent rages are central to the Chiron aspect now in effect, as we are now certainly in a phase of planetary decision. Will we proceed as Chiron does, in love and service and with a desire to heal and to create beauty? Or will we act like Achilles, and spoil for a fight, as long as we don't have to stay inactive and bear the agony of silence and the ordeal of peace? One root theme of this time is true warriorship, and the question of whether it is reflected in service, protection and mercy, or in hate and killing.

The relationship of Chiron and Achilles is a universal mentor-warrior bond, and this is why it is depicted so much in classical and neoclassical art. The tension is always palpable between the man of action, the warrior who wants action soon and revenge now, and the man of thought, the counselor who urges restraint and slow moves because he is always conscious of the wider sphere of suffering, human, animal and vegetable, that encloses the event. This is to say that Chiron has developed compassion, while Achilles, or any other Mars figure, has not, so that the warrior's main challenge is to evolve beyond stupid and reactive violence into intelligent service, protectiveness, courage and mercy. Everbody else's main challenge is to love the warrior while he goes through this evolution.

For awakened people, the most loving and useful way to play the Saturn-Chiron opposition is to exploit it as an opportunity to open the heart in preparation for the major awakening point coming on Nov. 8. More on this next month. It is time to stop war by loving the warriors in whatever ways are kind and fun. Two more radical ideas now apply:

The opposite of war is not peace. Peace is a temporary condition of boring uneventfulness, which is why human beings cannot bear it for very long. What if the opposite of peace were something much more exciting, especially love? What if the opposite of war is love?

If it is, then it follows that those who respond to war and war makers with hate and accusation and rage are doing more to keep war on the stove than they are to dissolve the need to cook war at all. The loudest war-haters are now part of the problem, where coalescing in intentions of love is concerned. We may have to retire the signs that say, Down With Him and No More That, and learn songs and slogans of love that will be more beautiful and compelling, and serve to charm and lift us all into the next level of awakening.

Love Them All. Keep Holding That Frequency.


Copyright 2003 Dan Furst



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