Chiron squaring Saturn 2017


A tapestry of connections ...


Saturn is currently in late Sagittarius (until 20 Dec 2017, 04.48 GMT), approaching the zodiac area of the Galactic Centre, making a series of three squares with Chiron in Pisces:

28 December 2016
30 April 2017
2 November 2017

Additionally, Pholus is now located in late Sagittarius, and on December 4th 2017 makes one single conjunction with Saturn at 28°7' Sagittarius, as shown below. Note also the squares betweeen Pholus (a.k.a. "The Lid Comes Off" !!) and Chiron (the green line). Lots of activity in this 'Galactic Zone':


For a detailed exploration of this 'Galactic' theme, including discussion
of other Centaurs involved, see the article on this site, "To the Centre".


Fear and fear of fear...


First, a brief exploration of the theme of Fear. There is an astrological 'in-house joke', sometimes very much not funny, as it is often true! It goes like this: "Where there is Saturn, there is fear".

Saturn with his rings represents what 'encircles' us, with boundaries, structures and forms, visible and intangible, inherited and self-created. Our ego-structures, in a word. That which defines the shape of our life 'in the world', and with which we identify, consciously or otherwise. It is also Saturn's 'job' to hold firm and control those structures and to resist change, to focus and engage discipline to accomplish our intentions.

However, where it gets interesting is at the level of the 'invisible structures' which influence the course of our lives. Here lives our 'conditioning': the unconscious beliefs about life and ourself which may limit what is possible, and which will confront us during times of transition and change. Often, a challenge to those structures will generate fear as the 'top level' of the experience, so how we meet fear becomes important in the unravelling that which blocks us.

The 'heroic' approach is to simply steel oneself against the fear, grit ones teeth and 'get on with it', with or without support from others! This is an important skill to learn, particularly when we are facing major challenges in the external world. However, the limitation of this approach is that it does not necessarily transform the fear. So it may gradually accumulate, and even somatize, be projected, or manifest as physical afflictions.

What is perhaps more interesting, and in the long run, possibly more effective, is to learn about our own particular reactions to fear, en route to feeling the energy just as it is. What is your particular 'style' of avoiding fear? Here are some examples of typical defenses against feeling fear that you might recognize ...!


  • Contracting, 'freezing', becoming inert, procrastinating, delaying ...
  • Zoning out in distractions (tv, computer, phone, excessive eating, talking, reading) ...
  • Becoming hyper-active (cleaning, ordering, unnecessary 'doing') ...
  • Getting reactive and aggressive …
  • Cutting off from friends and people you love …
  • Worrying about the future …


'Nebuchadnezzar' - by William Blake, c.1795

So what else is possible?

We can usefully discern two different types of fear.

One is generated rapidly and bodily, in experiences where our immediate survival is threatened. Many believe that the Earth is in just this condition, right now. In these situations, our preservation instinct takes over and we do not 'wonder what to do'. We just do it. However, lingering 'trauma responses' from the past may influence our perceptions and behaviour in the present. Such 'structures' may contribute to over-working the 'fight, flight or freeze' responses for which the adrenal glands are responsible. This renders us less capable. See this interview with Peter Levine on 'Trauma Healing'.

The second type of fear is generated within our own minds, and may also be based on unresolved 'background fear', as above. If we proceed with awareness, we can begin to notice 'what we make' of things. Our expectations, assumptions, convictions (pun intended ... 'that which imprisons us'!) that are not intrinsic to a situation, but represent our 'interpretation' of it, or what we overlay on it. Our response to what we see and hear with our senses (what others say, what media input we allow, what we read, etc). How we 'proliferate' or 'escalate' things ....

Becoming aware of this ... may bring the sense that inside me is a frightened little animal. Nerves on edge, heart racing, limbs stiffened, ears back, teeth bared. Staying close to our own body-sense, with compassionate 'holding', may allow some of these feelings to soften, relax or even dissipate. A great deal of energy can be bound up in muted fear responses, and it quickly becomes available when gently 'met' at the physical level.

So ... the suggestion is to cradle that little animal and 'accompany' it through paying attention to your own physical experience. And train yourself to recognize ever more quickly when your mind is fabricating fears, usually about 'the future'. And just 'pull the plug'. Don't 'go there'. It is true that fear can be an essential 'Pay attention!' communication. Keeping our mental channels clear enough to recognize this can be supported by simple, meditative awareness of the present.

There is so much chaos, fear and aggression occurring on our beleagured planet during these times. When so many 'collective' structures are being rocked, challenged or destroyed all at once, a great deal of fear is generated. And unprocessed fear results in aggression, where we seek to threaten and/or control others. Or it can turn back upon ourselves.

We are surrounded by 'Fear Porn', deliberate or otherwise, and to be unduly influenced by this is to be rendered 'frozen', unable to think straight or act effectively. In homeopathy, an infiinitesimal amount of a substance similar to the affliction being suffered is used for healing. So that homeopathic snake venom can cure snake bites, for example.


Here, our compassionate work with own 'homeopathic' portion of fear renders us less vulnerable to being swept asunder by the compelling tides of 'collective fear'.

And in the space which opens, we are more likely to find creative ways of responding to the various pressures we experience from the demands of these 'changing times'.

Experience a guided meditation process with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.
Deep gratitude for his exquisite compassion and generous offerings of skilfull means:
"Transcending Fear, Finding Hope"  
and a longer teaching
"Transcending Fear"



The healing and wounding of ‘Authority’


We can witness today many astonishing permutations of Chiron/Saturn in relation to ‘Authority’. In ‘the world out there’, we see florid examples of authority figures (and institutions) being ‘wounded’ by accusations or revelations of wrong-doing, whether true or false. Chiron’s arrow pierces Saturn, in the form of ‘old structures’ being challenged, overturned or broken down completely. Corrupt authority is exposed (click here for a little-known example), dictatorships fall, admissions of guilt are forthcoming, punishment or retaliation is set in motion. More rarely, there are apologies, remorse and shame.


All this occurs amidst a veritable blizzard of arguments about truth, morality, ethics, integrity … all classic Sagittarian themes which Saturn ‘takes seriously’ as is his nature. Problem is … righteousness. The conviction that one’s own perceptions, views and opinions are ‘right’ (and the other guy is ‘wrong’). Even Mark Zuckerberg has come out saying that Facebook and other social media have contributed to the global dissemination of 'false news' (interview with BBC).


The Oxford Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year’ for 2016 was ‘POST-TRUTH’.
What will ‘The Word’ will be for 2017?


Shocking examples of the wounding capacity of authority also abound. Hardly a day goes by without examples of genocide, killing, assassination, massacre, poisoning… by one or other organisation, splinter group or individual … all claiming ‘righteous authority’ over the life and death of others.


What about Chiron as ‘healer’?


Where is the healing to be found? Without losing touch with what is occurring 'out there', let us turn for a moment toward the inner world and follow some astrological trails ...


Chiron is currently in Pisces, ruled by Jupiter and Neptune. As Saturn is in Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, we see Jupiter rules both Saturn and Chiron! And Jupiter is in Libra. Read on ....


The Jupiter connection ...


Jupiter is currently weaving between squaring Pluto and opposing Uranus, picking up the theme of the exact squares of the latter two (2012-2015). Pluto and Uranus together represent 'the extremes', as reflected in the mythology. Uranus was the primal 'Sky Father', while Pluto was 'Lord of the Underworld. The dark, the light ... far apart. The word 'extremist', or 'extremism' is often heard when current events are being described.


But Jupiter is called the 'Great Benefic' in traditional astrology. If we engage his kindlly light, our very own 'extremist' within may be revealed! This can only be of benefit, because 'going to extremes' may be a very taxing and ungrounding experience where 'the opposites' seeming progressively more estranged. Jupiter is currently in Libra, the sign of Saturn's exaltation, so we are encouraged, through this connection, to aspire (Jupiter) towards balance (Saturn), to keep both ends of any given polarity within view, identifying wholly with neither. In practice, for example, this means recognizing and pulling back from compulsions, not 'over-doing it' in work or play, examining our own 'extreme' views, tolerating but resisting the tendency to dramatize and escalate our reactions. (This is perhaps like the 'shadow' of Jupiter!)


'Libra' by Johfra. See also the 'Zodiac Gallery' on this site.


Libra is ruled by Venus, goddess of Love, Harmony and Beauty. Additionally, she presides over Value, Justice, Relationality and Aesthetics. For relevant material on this site, see here (Jupiter in Libra) and here (Venus). Both these two planets are called 'Benefics' and as Jupiter also represents the figure of 'The Teacher', perhaps our 'instructions' would read something like this:


  • Hold your dignity gently ...
  • Seek and cherish balance ...
  • Contemplate your values (Venus) and the beliefs based upon them (Jupiter) ...
  • Appreciate differences rather than generate negative judgement of self or other ...
  • Know that dark and light are the two faces of the One Unknowable Thing ...
  • Cultivate enjoyment and create beauty ...
  • Think about all the different kinds of love you have experienced ...
  • Be there for your friends. Especially, consider renewing communcation with anyone you love but have somehow lapsed out of contact with ...


You are invited, of course, to think of some 'astrological aphorisms' of your own!


The Neptune connection ...


The Neptune connection is particularly powerful with Neptune being in Pisces, therefore also ruling Chiron. Being an outer planet (also the ‘edge’ of our Solar System since Pluto was re-classifed), while the Neptunian energy may be reflected in external chaos, its essence can be sensed most clearly on the inner planes. Between 2017-2019, Uranus (in late Aries, then early Taurus) makes seven exact semi-squares to Neptune in Pisces.


Last time this happened, Neptune was discovered! Click here for forthcoming semi-square dates.


This period is significant because these semi-squares are the first ‘staging post’ on the current Uranus-Neptune cycle which began in 1993 with their conjunctions. This cycle is said to accompany the 'rise and fall' of major cultural and political forms. On one level, this is what we are living through today. But also, inwardly ....


Uranus is ‘The Great Awakener’, and Neptune is ‘The Ocean of Compassion’. Behind the scenes, secretly and invisibly, millions of people all over the world are experiencing the dissolving (Neptune, ruler of Chiron in Pisces) of their own inner obstacles and obstructions (Saturn) as the Light of Compassion is revealed. We all suffer some measure of hardness of heart, ego investment, false self identification, residual patterns and beliefs which reinforce isolation. While these may arise in a challenging way, we can honour and feel a sense of Unity with all people, and know that ...


Here, in the invisible realms, we are quietly being Awakened (Uranus) to Compassion (Neptune), along with millions of others.


Click here to see larger image with details.


This subtle ‘peeling away’ can be felt, rolling like the tides of a great ocean. Perhaps you feel it too? We are all part of that ‘great revealing’. Note that the word ‘apocalypse’ is derived from the Greek word apocalyptein, meaning ‘to reveal’! See here for the fascinating history of this word.


Neptune was (re)discovered in 1846, in late Aquarius, having been seen several times before, notably by none other than Galileo, in 1612-1613. How appropriate! As if Neptune was not 'ready' to be unveiled ...


With astrological Neptune we often ‘miss the obvious’ and the more subtle levels of what we are seeing become revealed only later. This is one of many examples showing how astronomy and astrology often co-reflect each other, illustrating the time-honoured unity of ‘Above’ and ‘Below’.


Much really dark and upsetting material is daily being revealed.

Can we really allow ourselves to deeply feel our responses?

Can we bear the Light of Wisdom and Compassion to also be revealed?



What about personal authority?


The word ‘authority’ contains the word ‘author’, meaning one who originates something – the agent, actor, doer, creator or instigator. One who 'creates a structure' (Saturn) or a trajectory of events. So 2017 is an excellent time to focus on this. Many people, seeing the ‘wounding’ of external authorities, will feel like children whose ‘parents’ are fighting or collapsing into denial, addiction and degeneracy ... leaving them vulnerable and abandoned (like in the mythic story of Chiron). Hence the arising of fear and reactive aggression. These primal feelings are easily triggered by political scenarios from which we must 'call back our souls'. This is not to ignore or deny anything .... but rather to 're-authorize' ourselves.


Chiron in Pisces comes in, accompanying the tide of collective fear and aggression. With a combination of choice, prayer and Grace, we can row back to the place of ‘refuge’ or sanctuary where our well-being is assured, in both chaos and peace, in sickness and health. We rest in the Source ...


Additional to the 'sea of chaos', we are fortunate during these times to be living in a veritable ocean of guidance – Neptune again! The work of many gifted spiritual teachers can be found online, in book or audio form, or accessible through live webinars. A small selection of resources is listed below, although you will surely have favourites of your own.


Pema Chodron

Purification breathing with Marcy Vaughn

Sounds True

Joanna Macy, eco-philosopher


Why not ‘author’ yourself a mantra, or ask to be given one? Try saying it out loud, repeating it as often as 'feels right'. Let it 'sing' to you in the back of your mind while are you busy doing the dishes, or cleaning your house. For a real challenge, take it with you into a session of work on your computer! Some possibilities are below ...

May I see with clarity, feel with compassion, and act with wisdom.

May all beings know peace.

May I share the blessings given to me.

May I be guided to the teachers and teachings appropriate for me.


A deep inner receptivity is the gift of Pisces, a devotional and reverential quality. To ‘author’ an ‘allowing’ is something of an oxymoron, but this is truly part of the art of prayer and meditation. See if you can ‘author’ this. Make time, make space, create structures which work for you (journal writing, scheduling your spiritual practices or simple quiet time). Gently hold an inner focus. This is not done 'just for ourselves' ... but for all of us, everywhere.


My Sufi teacher, Fazal Inayat Khan (1942-1990) was fond of saying


"Reality is a function of contradiction".


Contemplating this phrase may raise more questions than it answers! Just when you think you've 'got it' (Saturn in Sagittarius) you may be shown, by one means or another, that you haven't and your mind is busy going around in circles, like the two fish of Pisces (Chiron)!


However, the effort of trying to understand may give way into a peaceful acceptance of 'unknowing', perhaps via the way of powerful emotions which arise. We might even experience a precious sense of 'Being Known' ... in a Universe where we are safe, and we belong, without end ...




'Mother of the World' by Nicholas Roerich, 1924.