Dear Planet Waves Subscriber:
For those who appreciate the concept ‘holistic’, I have some astrology news for you — Chiron in Pisces. We think of holistic as something like going to a naturopathic doctor, though it has much wider implications. Here is a succinct Wikipedia definition. The concept of holistic (from holos, a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total) is the idea that the properties of a given system (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave. Or, looked at another way, every ‘part’ contains the whole or represents an accurate picture of the whole system.
As of Tuesday morning, April 20, Chiron is now in Pisces for the first time since the 1960s. It made its ingress within hours of the Sun entering Taurus. Still considered a new element by most astrologers, this small body was discovered orbiting our Sun in 1977. Chiron has a strange orbit; it spends just 18 months in a sign when close to the Sun (as it did in the mid-1990s) and seven to nine years in a sign when distant from the Sun (as it is doing now). This makes a sign-change a particularly special occasion at this point, and Chiron in Pisces arrives with a new feeling, shifted sense of reality and a new healing agenda.
The Aquarius-Pisces cusp, where Chiron is now (on the Pisces side, as of today), is a part of the zodiac that is about whole-systems consciousness. These are signs near the end of the story of the zodiac, and as a result they take on vast topics and have a long history. The mental/intellectual quality of Aquarius and the creative/intuitive attribute of Pisces together expand our awareness and help us see ourselves and our issues from a viewpoint that is distinct from what we think of as individual. Chiron’s presence here calls our attention to the necessity to see ourselves as part of something larger than ourselves, and subtler than the physical world.
At first these shifts may be difficult to discern, though they are likely to be a new form of a message you’ve been getting for a while. Chiron is, for many, a background presence. Consider that for the five years that Chiron was in Aquarius, we saw a gradual explosion of Internet use — but the change is subtle unless you consider it all at once. Most places it’s more than doubled the past few years, and the number of portable devices seems to be growing faster than anyone can keep track. Usage of Facebook has surpassed Google. That’s an image of Chiron in Aquarius: a vast web of interconnectivity.
Pisces addresses even larger systems, which don’t necessarily need as much technology to hold them up, and Chiron tends to enhance our experience of any sign that it’s transiting. Think of the Internet as a simplistic model of something that already exists: the subtle sphere of consciousness that is biopsychic — the web of life that connects everything and everyone. What if we tuned into our ability to connect with that level of awareness, as a natural experience?
In many respects, Chiron in Aquarius has been a study in form — the particular form that communication takes, such as what kind of device or networking system is used. Pisces is about the content; the creative dimension, which will be emphasized by Chiron’s presence here. Many people fear that they’re not creative; Chiron says it’s about consciously wanting the experience, and then directing one’s awareness there.
This creativity factor involves our relationship to what we think of as God or to our spiritual source. We tend to live as if separated from that source (something easily discerned by observing ourselves and others as we make decisions). Chiron is calling us to full awareness of either direct contact, or our sense that we lack contact. This way we can start taking steps to get what we need and healing issues that can only be resolved through a full-awareness approach.
On the way there, we’re likely to encounter the denial factor, which is the shadow side of Pisces. We know that we deny plenty just to get through the day, and much else besides because it’s inconvenient or threatens our concept of the world. Chiron in Pisces is likely to serve as a force that pulls back the veil and reveals the truth of many issues we would prefer not to look at. Most of them involve the interrelationships between the levels of society and ecology: how advertising pushes us toward ecological destruction; how abuse of mood stabilizers alters our involvement in politics or the economy; how many of us shape our self-image through video games, fashion ads and TV commercials, and aren’t even especially concerned about this. Yet are these really the exemplars we want to be using? And if not, what do we want to hold as an example?
Through July 20, we have a warm-up of Chiron in Pisces. Then Chiron will retrograde back into Aquarius, where it will stay until February 2011, when it returns to Pisces for the next eight years — to be our constant companion through whatever it is that we are calling 2012.
Yours & truly,
In many ways you live an existence driven by idealism and fantasy, but this fact is often veiled from your awareness. You’re more likely to consider yourself a pragmatist or someone bent on achievement, and lately you’ve been true to form, bringing new determination to the idea of meaningful success. With Chiron transiting into Pisces, your focus shifts to seeking understanding on the deepest levels of your psychology: your hidden life and your spiritual dimension. Chiron in Pisces is an awakening point to delve into what you may think of as the ‘other side of your personality’ but which is really a deep inner well that is as much part of you as the aspects of yourself that you encounter in normal consciousness. You may have noticed that in recent years, despite your focus on your adult priorities, your imagination has become more like that of a child. Images mean as much as words. The harder you work the more you need to escape. Yet it’s often been difficult to concentrate the energy in a productive way. You’ve become more curious about the nature of your soul, yet it’s often challenging to find a practical home for this quest in the world. Chiron in Pisces is an opportunity to open up dependable access to those dimensions of yourself. If you feel slightly uncomfortable at the prospect of this, or if your early experiences make you stop and question your reality, you’re on the right track.
In the background of your life for as long as you can remember, you’ve struggled to fit into the world. This experience has been so pervasive that it’s tended to disappear, punctuated with moments of mystery about why you could not find your way. Then the intensity of the issue began to grow, and at times focused into outright crisis. What should you be doing, and if you have an idea of what, then how? Chiron in Pisces is here to help you focus your aspirations in a way that combines three elements of life: expressing your most authentic dreams, tapping into your financial potential for your true career, and taking part actively as an authentic part of a group or subculture. What we think of as ‘community’ is an integration point: the key element and not a luxury. This quest requires that instead of being judgmental of your ideas, creative efforts and past experiences, it’s time to open up and allow the energy to flow through you. You have kept many of your most creative ideas secret for a long time, literally blocking energy, and you’re now being summoned into public view. The purpose of what is commonly called creativity is not merely to develop yourself and your mind, but also to help create a shared experience that allows you and others to open up to life. The goal is not perfection, success or applause but rather a shared meeting space where everyone can thrive.
You may be aware of how you would live boldly in a perfect world, rather than the edgy, competitive place we find ourselves at the moment. You are suited for leadership in a place that honors the softer aspects of human nature; that makes space for the hidden life we all possess; that is less concerned with profits than it is with embracing love and peace. Chiron in Pisces is here to awaken you to the fact that whatever state the world may be in, your life needs to be oriented on these subtler attributes of existence. In particular, the work you do every day would benefit from harmonizing with the spiritually or creatively oriented energy of Pisces. The chances are you already have a vision for a professional life that would be something like this, but you don’t necessarily say anything about it. Part of you may be too cynical to believe it’s possible. In your belief system, it may not be possible all at once, but it’s something you’ll be steadily growing toward over the next 10 years, as you move from a kind of active dream state to enacting concrete ideas. Here is an image: Imagine you live near a river, in a time when rivers were safe and clean. Every day you go to the river and gather water and bring it to where you live. Then one day you figure out that you can build a pipe and divert a little of that water on a constant basis, and have it transported to where you need it.
We all have issues with faith. We live on a planet and in a society where a lot can go wrong, and most of how we defend ourselves is by the prowess of intellect: planning, analysis and efforts aimed at control. Yet your usual methods are giving way to a process of visioning the possibilities, and in particular, the possibility you want to manifest. Chiron in Pisces is another way of saying vivid imagery. Therefore, focus on envisioning exactly what you want to manifest, create or become. And among them is a vision of yourself, which rightfully would begin with the feeling of what it’s like to live guided by faith in yourself. This transit will help you tune into the emotional cycle wherein you seem to lose and gain that faith. Vision and faith will feed and support one another. They are habits, and because the sign involved is Pisces, once you get them going they will be enmeshed deeply in who you are. And while challenging, they are such dependable techniques that you will want to use them. We tend to be so dependent on our mental faculties that they take over our minds. Like a computer, your mind makes an excellent slave and a terrible master. Allow your higher power to take over. Said another way, your quest is to go from belief to faith. To do this, you will need to distinguish the two.
All of life consists of relationships, and looked at one way, those relationships consist of agreements. Since this is true on one level, let’s start there. You tend to be idealistic about those agreements, and Chiron transiting into Pisces is calling on you to be practical, grounded and focused. This is a time to create written contracts where verbal ones existed in the past. It’s a time to see if the goals of longstanding partnerships add up to the results you want at this time in your life, and notice whether they are pointing you toward your objectives for the next phase of your life. Do they honor the person you are becoming, as well as the person you are now? Deeper down, closer to the truth of the matter, is that relationships are based on a shared reality that is much softer and more intuitive than an agreement. They thrive on a shared vision. Indeed, our world’s insistence on agreements is a substitute for precisely this intuitive and visionary factor: a mutual sense of perspective; a common spiritual orientation; the subtle understanding that relationships are for mutual benefit. Chiron in Pisces is going to work like a clarifying filter on both dimensions: of contracts and of your shared vision, guiding you toward that place where the two become one thing, which is a dimension beyond either. Chiron will be keeping your sex life pretty hot as well.
You tend to be discriminating — in fact, to a fault. You hold both yourself and the world to high standards, sometimes ones that are impossible to attain. This seems to be the direct result of past disappointments in relationships, events that have gradually cultivated in you a subtle lack of trust of others that you seem to spend a lot of time and energy fighting with. It’s now time to heal that particular issue, and in the process, renew your faith in relationships and in yourself. Here is a question: Was your trust hurt because your expectations were unrelated to the person you were actually dealing with? It’s time to size up how you look at others, and why. Chiron in your 7th solar house is about noticing where you were perceiving people in unrealistic ways, as well as where you lost contact with a common language. Part of regaining that is about learning how to listen in new ways. Indeed, learning a language, hearing comes before speaking. Can you think of important events in your life where you decided it was time to shut your ears and stop paying attention to what others were saying? Imagine Chiron as one of those old-fashioned hearing aid funnels that gathers sound and presents it to you in a focused way. The key to translating is to seek understanding, rather than judgment. Once you know what someone is getting at, you will know what to do with the information.
Many times in life you were certain your efforts were going nowhere or adding up to less than the energy you put out. Still, one thing you can be grateful for is your willingness to be helpful. It’s not that you’re ‘nice’ (you probably are) but rather that your mind is grounded in knowing that part of why we’re alive is to be supportive of our environment. Within our society there’s no commonly accepted concept of whole or holistic: ‘home’ has nothing to do with ‘work’; creativity and earning money are divided from one another; friendships and relationships are put into different categories, and so on. Then we’re conditioned to see health and wellbeing as separate from these other factors of life. Chiron in Pisces, your 6th solar house, is about taking a whole-systems approach to your existence. Now is the moment of making sure that all the parts of your life work together and are designed to support one another. Look for the common ground that everything in your world shares (which is you). Observing how you feel, seeing where your energy goes, considering your purpose for doing anything — all of these will offer clues to how to integrate that which seems to be separate, out of place or challenging. Remember, what you are shifting awareness of is not ‘your life’ but rather yourself. The deepest gift you receive will be confidence in your purpose here.
You have a powerful fantasy life. Oh my goddess: you do know how to let your imagination run free. You take many risks there that [you think] you would never take in real life. This involves the Pisces angle of your chart, and Chiron has now arrived there, representing a cosmic-scale craving to turn fantasy into experience. It could be any kind of fantasy you like, from the art you want to make to the love you want to make to some risk you want to indulge, but remember — we’re talking Pisces styled. Often, fantasy itself is satisfying and serves a nourishing purpose. Chiron has a different objective, which is some form of actuality and fully incarnated experience. I recognize we live in a time when the difference between ‘real life’ and ‘the imagination’ is being played down or intentionally blurred. I also recognize that experience is supposedly scary: it challenges our current, often delicate state of affairs. There is the element of potential failure involved. Other forms of risk show up when you leave the confines of your inner mind. I suggest you consider the extent to which dwelling on your imagination is an indulgence for your conservative side. Conversely, I propose that your desire for experience is about exploring the side of your nature that wants nothing more than liberation. One of the first questions that comes up under this transit is, how attached to your limitations are you?
Those born under your sign tend to be some of the boldest in the neighborhood, but then you pay for it with a deep, abiding insecurity. Which one is really you? Well, the two spheres of consciousness co-create one another. Anyone with a shred of spiritual awareness, and you definitely qualify, has noticed a few times that the human ego is extremely frail and terrified of its own potential lack of existence. There are those times when you recognize that what we call life is about as solid as taking a ride on a soap bubble that can burst at any moment. And what is beyond that? What is the existence beyond the ride on the bubble? You’re vividly aware of this dimension as well, and it’s where some of your most useful information comes from — you know, the stuff that “you don’t know how you know it, but you do.” Chiron in Pisces is here to help you tap into the mystery of your inner core. It’s here to remind you of what is beyond the transience of experience. Most significantly, Chiron will remind you that the basis of your reality is not your ego structure and all the ways you try to define yourself, but rather your growing awareness of your soul. I don’t mean soul in the mystical sense, but rather the most pragmatic: your inner being and the actual foundation on which your existence is built.
Going back at least a year, you’ve been under such pressure to change that it’s amazing you’ve had time for anything else. This pressure has been coming from so many different directions that it’s been difficult to keep your mental focus. But let’s turn the clock back beyond the past year — my question is, how many of your ideas have you acted on? They come flying in; you’re gifted with insight and foresight: but what about some measure of consistent action developing them? Chiron in Pisces will have some interesting, even intense, mental effects, the first of which we could describe as a crisis of focus. You may be overwhelmed with the need to sort yourself out; to get your priorities in order; to understand the rational basis for your intuition. At other times you will be confronted by how little you know, which is a healthy response to existence. Sometimes you feel like your entire thought process is a dream. Imagine that you’re going from a dream to a lucid dream: one where you can consciously choose what you experience. Think of this as being given a power tool, one that is potentially dangerous because it bestows your mind with certain properties of clarity that you’re unaccustomed to. This might arrive with the sense of waking up to how out of it you were. Remember to wake up now, rather than worrying about what you failed to notice in the past.
Financial independence is one of those themes that never seems to go away, and which affects everything in your world. Yet the notions of ‘financial’ and ‘independence’ are outer forms of a deeper question, which concerns how you feel about yourself. If you’re in feel-good mode, nothing can shake your confidence; you tap into an infinite depth of love. If your inner climate changes, you can be wracked with doubts about your purpose, your worthiness, and whether you have enough energy (or money) to accomplish what is most important to you. One of the first tasks of Chiron in Pisces is to tune you into the dualism involved: to get the two sides of your mind in communication with one another. The ‘two ways you feel about yourself’ tend to be mutually exclusive and, in a sense, unrelated. They seem to have so little in common, you might go mad from cognitive dissonance if you tried to think of them at the same time. Yet they have something crucial in common, which is that they’re elements of your potential. There is wisdom in your confidence, and another kind of wisdom in your insecurity. The two add up to something beyond the sum of the parts, which is an understanding of the source of your power; which is your spiritual grounding; which is your self-esteem; which relates directly to money. You don’t need to integrate them — only to notice that they’re attributes of the same thing.
Few concepts in astrology evoke the seeming paradox of existence like Pisces, and one of them is Chiron. Both ask the deepest questions, such as those concerning the relationship between soul and body, or between a person and existence. These are topics of rampant speculation, which usually gets categorized as ‘spirituality’. Yet if we go beyond theory, and beyond the religious concepts designed to abuse human doubt, we come to the fact of life as a journey of experience. And that, in a phrase, is the nature of Chiron’s arrival in your birth sign. This holds true for your relationships, your creative process, your experience of growth, and what you want to do every day. What they all have in common is experience, and as Chiron makes its way through your sign — first for a few months through late July, then for eight years starting in 2011 — I suggest you use the concept of experience to trump your doubts and your misgivings. Experience is the most fundamental bottom line of existence, which places you on equal footing with everyone around you, and at the center of your life. Among the many things we can say about Chiron transiting one’s own birth sign, particularly the mysterious last sign, is that you have some strong encouragement to choose based on who and what you want to experience. If your response is: “Really? Is that okay?” then you can see precisely why it’s true.