The Sabian Journey of Magical Chiron
by James Burgess
This post is written by James Burgess, a writer and teacher of astrology. He has published works on Sabian Symbols and is currently working on a commentary about Dane Rudhyar’s contribution to Sabian Symbols.
Chiron is leaving Pisces. On February 18, 2019, it arrives at the first degree of Aries, commencing the start of a new 51-year cycle. We can track its Sabian journey to discover what Chiron is trying to teach us.
Chiron, known as the ‘wounded healer’ is a symbol of awakening. It brings a shift in perception – we change how we see things – and this perceptual shift is an aspect of our awakening, the key that unlocks secrets about the nature of reality. Its discovery on 1 November 1977 heralded a new era of human consciousness.
I remember the period very well when it was last going through Aries in 1968 – 1976. We had already been shocked to see what had become possible in the world, which was at last, starting to get over our history of poverty and grinding repression.
We had assimilated the shuddering impact of rock ‘n’ roll, The Beatles, The Doors, and Dylan and were dressing colourfully, rebelling against conventionality, and claiming unprecedented clout as teenage spenders – the fashion and music industries had reached economic maturity.
All of this was huge; yet the spark that could light up this potential fireball had not yet been lit. Not until Chiron entered Aries. During its passage through Aries some major initiatives occurred that have subsequently grown into era-defining movements. Here are some:
- First Jumbo jet
- Moon landing
- Microsoft and Apple started
- Woodstock Festival, and the electronic music revolution of Pink Floyd and others
- Political agitation, with Vietnam protests, Luther King assassination, votes for 18 year olds, and riots in the Soviet Union.
If you look beneath the surface of these events we can tease out a common thread, one associated with Chiron’s meaning. We see the acceleration of awakening consciousness.
People travelled abroad on Jumbos, and had epiphanies to see that previously-feared foreigners were actually very much like them. The space programme brought to us a picture of our planet appearing as a vulnerable little ball suspended in the vastness of space, which triggered greater ecological awareness. Technology began – today’s lifestyle in the making – with computers, internet, social media and mobile phones which had been all but inconceivable to the ordinary person.
Also, with music, dance, drugs, and sexual liberation reworking our collective mind-set, somehow we became a little more enlightened, responsible, and accepting.
Chiron is called the ‘Rainbow Bridge’ because its non-judgemental approach allows all the colours of the rainbow, and its ability to shift awareness bridges the separation between people of different viewpoints.
An aspect of Chiron’s teaching is equivalent to what many people are waking up to today – we need to get along better – and this will happen only when we see things from another point of view. Looking for and finding another viewpoint is a shared path for all of us who are now awakening.
The Sabian Symbol for the degree of Aries 1 is described by Marc Edmund Jones as ‘A woman rises out of the water, a seal rises and embraces her’.
The ocean represents the unconscious, instinctual knowledge and behaviour of our species, from which uncounted initiatives are thrown up, as many as the waves of the sea.
Similarly, every word spoken could theoretically stimulate a knock-on effect creating tangible changes in the world. But most initiatives fall by the wayside, seeds spent without any lasting effect. Only one in a million thought-seeds can survive and we cannot know until later which will endure and have any outcome.
Yet not all are lost. There are creative initiatives, many of which are not well-formed or clearly stated as ideas, perhaps they are vague feelings just ready to become thoughts, and not even yet put into words.
In order to help this process we might want to improve our listening – not only to the poorly-expressed feelings of a friend but also to our own inner voice. We can also encourage new perceptions and ideas, especially in children who are less judgemental and stuck in old patterns.
It is intuitively clear that by 2070, when Chiron returns to Aries again, we will have either solved our issues to do with overpopulation, climate change, and other serious problems, or we will have paid the heavy price of collectively failing to do so.
Chiron offers us a way to build a bridge to that distant year and astrology historians may well be pointing to 2019 as the time that we found the seeding of our way out of the fog of confusion and distortion that currently clouds our thoughts.
From February 18, something can take place that is so very subtle that you may not easily notice or understand its long-term implications. Perhaps you have felt you were waiting for a special person or horizon-expanding opportunity; now is the time to be optimistic and expect this to occur.
Indeed we can all approach each new situation hopefully, and widen our sense of what might be possible – not excluding miracles and unicorns.