“Let Sun-Chi brew as you work on tonight’s article,” Eric typed on Tuesday. He was referring to the Sun-Chiron conjunction, exact on Friday. You can think of that event as the capstone to this last week, which has involved the Sun’s ingress of Pisces and Tuesday’s New Moon situated midway between Neptune and Chiron.
I quipped, “Is Sun-Chi the spiced version of Sun tea?” (That’s when you put tea bags in a glass jug of water and let the sunlight brew it for iced tea.) “Get it?” I continued. “Like Sun Chai? Oooh – or maybe more like ‘Sun Qi?!” And wouldn’t you know it, there was more to my bad puns than I thought. He replied, “It would not be as funny if it didn’t describe the astrology perfectly. ‘Spicy Sun’ is Sun-Chiron in Pisces. And then Sun Qi/Chi is even better: Chiron is focusing the vital force of the Sun.”
Let’s rewind a bit. Today and for the next few days, the Sun is conjunct a minor planet called Chiron. Discovered in 1977, Chiron was the first discovery in the centaur class — a group of planets whose members are named for the morph of human and horse from ancient Greek myth. They all have unusual orbits; they’re fairly small (asteroid sized) though Chiron has the distinction of being a very large comet that takes 51 years to go round the Sun.
Chiron is the embodiment of seeming contradictions: man and animal, man and immortal, a doctor and a mentor to a generation of Greek heroes (Achilles, Jason and Heracles among them), an immortal who sustained a mortal wound in battle — and who in the process of healing it, developed numerous remedies and cures that benefited mankind. He was taught medicine by Apollo, and in turn taught the art to the god of medicine, Asclepius. Over the years, astrologers have translated elements of the myth, data about how the planet’s orbit works and information from clients into a delineation of Chiron in astrology charts.
One thing to know about Chiron in any configuration is that it grants a distinction of some kind. Chiron’s first keyword was maverick, given by its discoverer, Charles Kowal, an eminent astronomer (not an astrologer) who just died last November. Where there is Chiron, something is unusual, or stands out, or must be itself in some bold way — that, or in not doing so it stands out in a negative way.
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