Chiron and Nessus: The Bold Thin Line

We’re in an unusual moment of two conjunctions to centaur planets in the same week. Today, Mars is conjunct Chiron in Pisces for the first time in nearly 50 years, and Thursday, the Sun is conjunct Nessus in Aquarius. The Sun and Mars are masculine or yang factors in astrology; both describe transformation processes and, because they are so different, there’s palpable tension between them.

Annunciation by Charlie Lemay.

To me, these events describe two ends of a spectrum of experience. They both involve centaur planets, which by their nature transgress boundaries — they cross the orbits of larger planets, though their orbits are controlled by those larger planets. I see their action as a necessary pressure vent, agents of change or something that points out what is otherwise difficult to see.

Let’s consider Sun-Nessus in Aquarius first. This one has been brewing for a while, and Sunday morning’s New Moon brought it into focus. Nessus in Aquarius describes the shadow side of that sign, which is about conformity. We say it’s about groups, but groups by their nature are about belonging, and where there’s an in-group you can be sure there’s an out-group. Collections of people have certain patterns that create these situations, some of which are visible, but most often to outsiders.

This is less about the nature of Aquarius itself and more about the nature of what it describes — the ways that social patterns develop. Sun-Nessus is on one level an invitation to see how groups of perfectly reasonable individuals can do perfectly heinous things, with one another’s support, and when they are willing to give their power to a collective. When you see one person after another get up onto the witness stand or go before Congress or get on television and lie about their motives and their actions, that’s what you’re seeing in action.

One example of this is when not one person in the media will break consensus — for example, it seems like everyone but people on TV knows there’s a problem with the official story of 9/11. But the talking heads keep a straight face and go on to the next story.

Often this happens with sexual abuse: groups go along with these incidents, for a wide diversity of reasons, usually to protect the group in some way (the atrocities at Penn State are an example of this). The coverup serves the purposes of the group, though it can hurt injured individuals even more than the initial event. The reputation of the campus is protected.

The purposes of some individuals are served because they get to stay in the group, if they shut up and don’t make a fuss. This is how you can have reports of priests sexually abusing children for 60 years before there is some collective admission; before there is some actual change. And many observers will keep their ‘faith’ and never give up. The late infamous Father Murphy of Wisconsin still has his devoted followers.

Individuals have specific and deep-seated psychological reasons for keeping their silence as well. It’s terrifying to call out a whole group, especially if you have a clue how you might be treated. Aquarius contains both inclusion and the terror of exclusion, which in tribal times was a fate worse than death. In the mind of a child, the leaders of the family are supreme, and a child can easily fear that without the approval of the adults, they could be out in the cold, where they can freeze and starve.

Yet throughout history there are people who do face the potential consequences and speak up for what they believe, or about what they witness. They somehow preserve their individuality enough to see themselves as distinct from the group, or at least to see the group mind for what it is. They are often considered a little weird — anyone who actually does their own thing is. And you can be sure they hear plenty of “Why don’t you just give up and go along with what’s happening?” (You can’t fight City Hall — there’s a reason for that and everyone knows it.)

The person who just might fight City Hall might have a Mars-Chiron contact. The conjunction stands out as the ‘take no bullshit’ placement. We’re now experiencing the conjunction, so one way or another we’re all getting a taste of what it represents.

Chiron is one of the most potent influences of individualism. It’s about standing apart. The first keyword for Chiron was given by its discoverer, Charles Kowal, who said: “This thing is a maverick” — independent minded and individualistic. The term also refers to unbranded cattle, that is to say, those with no clear claim of ownership.

Where you have Chiron in your chart, you will want to stand out. When you have Chiron strong in your chart you will have little choice but to stand out, to rebel, to refuse to do what is expected because it’s expected. If something is right (in your view), that’s one thing, though you’re not going to go along just because you’re expected to. Often, these are the places we carry injuries from having tried to rebel, but having failed.

When you add Mars to the mix, that brings in the energy of the warrior. It can manifest many ways, though I would say that the Mars-Chiron conjunction is at its essence about the refusal to conform for its own sake — which opens the potential to do something brave, original and probably difficult. Bill Moyers, John Dewey, Dorothy Parker, Fidel Castro, Benjamin Franklin, Joyce Carol Oates, Charles Lindburgh, Paul Newman, William Penn, Ross Perot and Queen Mary all come up on the natal chart search for this aspect. It’s the spirit of the authentic gadfly, the person who can see beyond their own personal interests and into the interests of something larger — and take initiative and act on what they know.

If you want to break free of the thrall of the group, or group think, Mars-Chiron is the thing to work with. It’s a kind of extreme individualism, but not for its own sake — always for a purpose. For most other people, standing out like that is terrifying. The people who do this might be a little scary, but we almost always respect them for their willingness to speak up for what we all know is right — often respecting their persistence even when we disagree with them.

Between Sun-Nessus and Mars-Chiron is a bold thin line — sometimes impossible to see but daunting to think of crossing. Yet sooner or later, everyone has their chance, their opportunity, their moment of necessity. It almost always comes when actual collective interests come into play rather than those that would support the elite or the in-group. And this is where we stand today.

Note, I’ve covered this aspect combination for you in this week’s sign interpretations (including all the signs and rising signs), and I will have more to say in Friday’s new interpretations — which are sent to our site members.

12 thoughts on “Chiron and Nessus: The Bold Thin Line”

  1. Regarding the Mars-Chiron conjunction and today’s news, on Valentines Day no less! There is a story unfolding in South Africa; Oscar Pistorius apparently has shot (by accident?) his (very beautiful) girlfriend and she is now dead. There is so much about this story that has myth-like over and undertones:
    – I see Oscar very much as a Centaur and a very Chiron-like one too…he literally has a hybrid body. He’s taken his disadvantage and made it is Raison-d-etre. He knocked on the Gates of Olympus and asked to be let in..and was (the Olympics – to run as an able-bodied)
    – he also (according to reports in The Telegraph and NY Times) had a strong interest in firearms and owned several of them. In one Nike ad that featured his image the tag line reads: “I am the bullet in the chamber”
    – there are several comments about his fear of burglars and a jumpy, suspicious nature that sometimes caused insomnia
    – there are also reports of the police visiting his house in previous calls regarding “domestic disputes”

    This clearly is a story unfolding…but the wounded Centaur certainly is haunted by ghosts and demons. A beautiful woman dies mysteriously by his hand. The Hero is brought low, not by outer events but by inner demons (be they fears of intruders or uncontrolled rage).
    Mars and Chiron in the flesh. Yet there is something else – the collective trauma we all hold around guns is being played out once more thru this story and there is also a very Nessus-Sun-Aquarius like feeling to this moment since Oscar is someone who occupies a large position on the world stage. The sun has shone so brightly on this Centaur and he is a vital symbol of strength and courage for hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
    Yet this Mars-Chiron moment of the fall of the modern Centaur by the shadows and violence of the gun culture programming may also yield yet another champion for gun control advocacy down the road, given the Piscean placement of this conjunction. Watching this story unfold will be so interesting. Sure, it does not have the magnitude of what is now coming out of Rome, but it is a significant piece of the puzzle because of the very real centaur-like qualities Oscar has embodied…some quite literally.

    Many thanks to Eric and his fabulous conversation with Melanie to help me understand some of these myths more deeply and appreciate the Centaurs among us more.

  2. Surrounding Dorner in a mountain cabin, this cop cross-talk commentary was picked up by a news anchor: “Do it right now, fucking burn this motherfucker!” And of course, they did. The anchor adds that the cops are “understandably upset.”

    This is yet another look at how ‘due process’ is threatened by group-think, authority gone mindless and maddened, and nobody knew it would end this way better than Dorner. Like Ruby Ridge, this is going down in the books as overkill and coverup, and Dorner is now an anti-hero for the 20-teens.

    The whole topic of a creeping police state has yet to be addressed, but will be soon enough. This Pluto demands it, and so must we.

  3. «though I would say that the Mars-Chiron conjunction is at its essence about the refusal to conform for its own sake »

    Thanks Eric for the depth of your thinking on the conjunction of Mars and Chiron

  4. Heinious things…… you are not wrong…!

    No sooner have we energised a project to build a music school in Brikama, The Gambia… to go with the Music Conservatoires in Guinea and Senegal…. than some Marlboro smuggling deviants sack the treasured archives in Timbukto in Mali, and ride around the desert causing mayhem! They chopped off peoples limbs because they like music! 120,000 sacred texts….back to the 12th century! Ruined or destroyed!

    The hardest …is connecting Mars Chiron to Sun Nessus. Each on it’s own is a manageable proposition. How do individuals act in harmonic balance with the group! How should they? Who says so?

    Do we have the time to let enlightened groups evolve; that they may offer enlightened leadership? How to we tweek the process along ” think harder.. work smarter ” lines?

    Africa is now a 54 headed Hydra! Europe is morally AND financially bankrupt.

    You guys can speak for yourselves!

    big love


  5. Helpful and educational perspective; thank you Eric.

    Fluidity – we’re rolling on the Thin Line here in LA aren’t we? The Cardinal Mahony “disgrace” is yet another example of expose’. (And yet he lives on ‘peacefully’ at St. Charles in NoHo and has just been asked to help elect a new pope regardless of having just been stripped of his duties……I mean, after all, he was only doing his JOB mis-directing funds in order to protect sex-offenders……)…

  6. Mooooo!? Unbranded, yes! Not sure if I have a Mars-Chiron contact in my natal, I will check it out. But this certainly speaks to me, really feeling this transit – conjunction.

    Eric, thank you so much for this very practical piece. It clearly explains to me what it means to find Chiron in action.

    “When you add Mars to the mix that brings in the energy of the warrior.”

  7. The Year of the Snake begins with the resignation of the Pope who was a member of the Nazi Youth and who, prior to becoming Pope, oversaw the Vatican’s handling of claims of sexual abuse by it’s psychologically damaged priesthood.

    As Ram Tzu said of our human world: “Only God can make something this ridiculous work.”

  8. “Aquarius contains both inclusion and the terror of exclusion.” I would speculate that there is also a “terror” of inclusion. I, for one, would not want to be included in or labeled as a part of any number of groups. (“Republican” is the first that comes to mind.) There are consequences to that as well, depending upon which group may be dominant and which one not. Ah, yes, almighty competition butting heads with conformity.

    With Mars square Chiron in the fourth house in my chart, I definitely feel the tension yet I am bluntly outspoken, at times too blunt. So be it at times. Thank you, Eric, for pointing me to looking at exclusion and seeing that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    Jann Kinz

  9. Yeah, I’ve been on a fight Philadelphia City Hall rampage last few days. Found a note from a senior city planner that a conspiracy against me had been engineered in a certain City Council Woman’s office, but I’ve figured out and collected evidence for 7 years now. It was just the crown on top of the cake. Luckily I moved across the country a few days ago before I let too much confrontation fly. They have been trying really hard to lock me up for being a whistleblower but I always get away. Supposedly I’m crazy. This time everything is moved and a permanent adios, although I will continue to expose. I have 200 sketchy pages of a book and after I calm down and get settled, will write the Philadelphia Corruption Story.

  10. reading this i totally pictured Christopher Dorner (the former cop/marine who’s ‘spoken out’ about the in justice in the LAPD and allegedly gone on a killing rampage) and figured you’d get around to mentioning his case at some point …

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