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In 2005 and 2006, there are several minor planets changing signs.
Melanie Reinhart explores the meaning of these shifts. [i]

(First published in the on-line magazine ‘The Synthesist’. Do check out their site to download the entire issue, for many interesting articles on a variety of subjects relating to Psychosynthesis and other modalities of understanding our experience.) http://www.psavalon.com/psajournals.html

In 1977, the minor planet Chiron was discovered between Saturn and Uranus, and was named after the wise Centaur, half horse and half human, from the mythology of ancient Greece. Chiron was renowned as a healer, and was accidentally wounded by Hercules. However, he could not heal this wound, but as a demigod, neither could he die from it. Chiron represents the shamanic figure of the Wounded Healer, the energy which we invoke every time we are better enabled to serve others as a result of our experience of suffering and its release. Chiron’s renounced his immortality and changed places with Prometheus. Through this act of ‘enlightened selfishness’, both were freed.

In astronomical terms, Chiron was a strange object, reclassified four times before the early 1990s, when the Kuiper Belt was discovered. This vast ring of matter surrounds our Solar System, and is said to be the origin of a number of new celestial objects similar to Chiron, in addition to being home to millions of other interesting bodies [ii]. A new sub-category was invented by the IAU [iii] and named ‘Centaurs’ in honour of Chiron. So having begun as a loner and an anomaly, Chiron gained a virtual tribe of fellow centaurs, as in the myth!

Soul Recovery

The significance of this letter discovery, astrologically speaking, is that Chiron’s process of healing is located firmly within the ‘far out’ realms beyond, which are inhabited by Pluto, Lord of Transformation. The movement of energy which accompanies true healing, is indeed from the deep unknown and cannot be forced or faked, although we can work to create conditions that invite it into our souls. The Centaurs moving through the zodiac accompany the activation of a process where light is shed and healing brought to our unfinished business, incomplete gestalts, and suffering that was too great to process at the time [iv]. This can include the ‘deep past’ of our ancestral line, which is passed down to us.

Like Chiron giving up his immortality, the journey of incarnation includes for most of us a deep process of forgetting, switching off and denying the truth of our experience. The spiritual journey begins as we are called to re-member our inner wholeness, our dismembered sense of True Self. In so doing, we inevitably encounter the suffering still held in the soul as these pockets of experience are opened to the light of awareness. In this way we ‘retrieve’ or ‘recover’ the lost fragments of our experience, which can then be released as we connect more deeply with our Essence and remember who we really are. The traditional shaman’s healing often included such work, and the ‘message’ of the Centaurs calls us to address by ourselves individually these areas of suffering which obscure at times our inner light. Indeed, the Centaurs resonate with a particular singularity or aloneness, which is necessary for certain stages of our inner journey.

Chiron - Recapitulation

The Centaurs, then, symbolise and accompany healing processes in the individual and the collective. Sometimes, however, an experience of healing at a soul level will be occasioned by physical or emotional suffering as we undergo the purification required for us to be able to embrace the deeper sense of connectedness to all of life which is the hallmark of a spiritual awakening. Sometimes we only shift or change when the ‘voltage’ of our experience is raised sufficiently for us to make the quantum leap into a new way of being, and also for us to sustain it in the face of the turbulence and inner opposition created by the changes we have made. This is true whether or not we feel ‘in charge’ of making the changes, and may be intensified when changes are thrust upon us by adverse circumstances like illness, crisis, and loss. So when Chiron is active, what often happens is that present events trigger memories of past events, which may or may not be known to us. This has the consequence of heightened emotional reactions. We are ‘in the loop’ again, and thus an opportunity for healing presents itself. By understanding with compassion the true context from which our feelings arise, we liberate this area of suffering held in the soul.

Pholus - the lid comes off

Pholus was discovered in 1992 [v], and its process seems to be one where a small event sets off a chain reaction, either inwardly or externally, in terms of consequences. In the Greek mythology, Pholus was the keeper of the sacred jar of wine of Dionysus, god of ecstasy, whose rites were often characterised drunkenness and chaos, and which sometimes culminated in violence. So a Pholus process can feel like things getting out of control. Ultimately this is a healing, but the process can be taxing until things settle down. Which they always do! In the meantime, it is wise to take only essential actions and to let the flood tide subside. The jar of Pholus was not supposed to be opened for four generations, and so the astrological Pholus often highlights ancestral processes, whether known or unknown to us, which are releasing. This is why bearing witness is important: we are called to clarify our own ancestral lineage by our healing attitude to it. With Pholus, however, actions may precipitate quickly and then the consequences take a while to resolve. Sometimes there are specific things to do, like forgiveness work, or putting flowers on a grave. But often it is simply to inwardly acknowledge the suffering of those who went before us, and to recognise ‘the pity of it’ [vi]. Thus we step out of the loop. Pholus will move from Scorpio to Sagittarius during 2005, and release held emotion into the process of discovering meaning in our experience.

Nessus - the buck stops here.

The 3rd Centaur to be discovered is one that seems to address issues to do with the abuse of power, and it too has ancestral implications. It seems that Nessus brings opportunities to understand and release deep patterns of helplessness, being taken advantage of, and being oppressed. This is particularly relevant for people raised in a culture where they are in a minority group. Nessus processes really do seem to bring to an end the unfathomable ties that bind us to people, places, and situations. We can psychoanalyse our bonds, do ‘tie cutting exercises’, sweat and strain to be free of situations which burn with relentless continuity, but only when such endeavours are in harmony with the deeper timing of the soul will they result in deep release. And when they do, the healing is unmistakeable. Nessus activations correspond with times when things really do end, finish and transcend to another level.

Nessus moves from Capricorn into Aquarius during 2005. As both these signs relate to the root chakra, this is particularly interesting. Aquarius as a fixed air sign takes the stratospheric view of events, is able to see the patterns inherent in situations and trains of events. The element of air relates to perception, thought and communication, so with this movement there is the possibility of increased clarity about the beliefs, prejudices and conditioning which keep us unconsciously bound to our ‘tribal identities’. Indeed, ‘tribalism’ of one kind of another is daily being demonstrated in the unfolding of world events, as well as the destruction of communities and groups.

Cosmic Weavers

The paths of the Centaurs weave across the orbits of the outer planets, moving between Jupiter and Pluto, symbolising the flashes of individual awareness which bring new perspective, and help us relate in a fruitful way to the ‘big picture’, cutting through the astral density which accrues during times of turmoil. They symbolise the differentiation of experience previously impacted into unconsciousness, and act as agents of integration. As their orbital paths swing in towards the Sun, the focal point of our Solar System, they activate in turn our own connection with Source, bringing into the central Light that which has been held in darkness.

The rekindling of vision

When a planet moves into the next sign of the zodiac, a general shift in the cosmic background can be felt, as if the scenery of the cosmic play in which we participate is changed behind the foreground action. What is especially interesting about the shifts taking place during 2005 is that the Centaurs Nessus and Pholus are covering the same ground in the zodiac that Pluto and Uranus covered in 1995. At that time, Pluto moved into Sagittarius and Uranus moved into Aquarius. Suddenly the volatile, mobile and unpredictable elements of air and fire were emphasized [vii], and life began to feel ‘speeded up’, unstable and precarious, spinning out of control.

The planets beyond Saturn symbolise the larger movements within history and mark out experiences which are bigger than the individual ego, and in that sense cannot be integrated personally. Recent events on the world stage have reached such magnitude that the delicate flame of our own small sense of vision and idealism might feel weak and insignificant. The individual light remaining can now be protected and allowed to radiate, not blown about by the winds of collective prejudice, opinion and judgement. If we are to join creatively with others, we must be thinking our own thoughts, feeling our own feelings, and acting rather than reacting.

In this way, the Centaur transits of 2005 are beginning a healing of experiences set in motion since 1995, following in the footsteps of Uranus and Pluto. Pluto as Hades, in the Greek pantheon, the Lord of the Underworld was never visible above the ground, as he wore a helmet that rendered him invisible to ordinary sight. During 2005 as Pholus enters Sagittarius we may be granted deeper vision of the trajectory of our process since 1995. Chiron and Nessus entering Aquarius, following the movement of Uranus in 1995 may rekindle our own individual sense of vision and idealism; the realms of beliefs and ideas are featured, and the dust is settling sufficiently for us to see the way forward in our individual lives, against the background of a changed and still changing world

Centaur Calendar for 2005 [viii]

D = Direct, R = Retrograde. These are times of general intensification [ix] and are also fruitful for meditation and healing work. Retrogradation ushers in a period of review and reconsideration. Centaur themes as described above may be active. A feeling of renewal often marks the times when a planet enters a new sign. Note there are months which see a great deal of this activity - May, August and November especially.

Pholus enters Sagittarius 22 Jan 2005
Nessus enters Aquarius 30 Jan 2005
Chiron enters Aquarius 21 Feb 2005
Pholus R 2 Mar 2005
Pholus re-enters Scorpio 11 Apr 2005 until 18.11.2005
(This is a period of deep inner reviewing and integration of experiences,
Especially since 1999, when Pholus entered Scorpio)
Nessus R 7 May 2005
Chiron R 9 May 2005
Neptune R 19 May 2005
Uranus 14 Jun 2005
Chiron re- enters Capricorn 1 Aug 2005 until 6.12.2005
(Inner attention paid to healing themes concerning the structure of one's life,
especially since Dec. 2001 when Chiron entered Capricorn.)
Pholus D 6 Aug 2005
Nessus re-enters Capricorn 31 Aug 2005 until 15.11.2005
(Final endings occur and energy is released, especially from experiences
since early 1999 when Nessus entered Capricorn.)
Pluto D 2 Sep 2005
Chiron D 5 Oct 2005
Nessus D 8 Oct 2005
Neptune D 26 Oct 2005
Nessus re-enters Aquarius 15 Nov 2005
Uranus D 16 Nov 2005
Pholus re-enters Sagittarius 18 Nov 2005
Chiron re-enters Aquarius 6 Dec 2005
(Pholus returns to Scorpio one more time, from 17.7.2006 until 5.9.2006)


Chiron And Nessus Unite

On January 10th 2006, there is a conjunction of Chiron and Nessus, which is of interest because for many of us it will be the only one we experience in our lifetime. The previous set of 3 conjunctions were in 1921 and 1922, and there will not be another until 2084. Their meeting occurs at 2.41 Aquarius, and there is only one in this sequence. This zodiac degree area of early Aquarius is especially interesting because in January of 1956, Chiron was conjunct the other Centaur, Pholus at 5.45 Aquarius. Therefore this forthcoming conjunction will be especially relevant to those born in late 1955, or early 1956. Also, Aquarian energies have been highlighted strongly over the last decade as several planets have passed through this sign including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (which is still there). In addition we have in 2005 Chiron and Nessus moving into Aquarius.

Leaving The Tribe

The healing offered is one which focuses on fixed ideas and beliefs. Our world view is challenged, our tribal assumptions revealed, our national, racial and other group identifications which we hold dear, whether consciously or unconsciously, may be shown to be deluded, divisive or empty. We have the opportunity to release ourselves from past restrictions in a real way, as the times favour it. Aquarius is a sign very attuned to group consciousness, and this transit may radically alter our group allegiances. Who and what we ‘subscribe to’ becomes very important as a focus of energy, and we may find that we can no longer coast along with things that do not resonate with our deepest principles. Desire for peace, comfort or continuity with a nostalgic past may not hold! Situations will occur which spin us into different orbits, so to speak, where we may find new ‘soul tribes’ or experience a sense of deep home coming to ourselves as we let go of our regressive investments in groups and associations. We may form associations not so much as a reflection of past karma of various kinds we are magnetised by, but rather following the future which beckons us into the present of our own calling.

Ancestral Issues

There may be the release and healing of ancestral material which relates back to 1921 and 1922. This could be events in the lives of one or both parents which were not processed or released and which we have carried, as the density of the unresolved passed down to us. If this interests you, find out from your parents and/or grandparents what was happening in their lives at that time ... and don't be surprised if further insight and information comes to you through dreams and synchronous events!

The painting by French Symbolist Gustave Moreau, entitles ‘Dead Poetess carried by a Centaur’ portrays the healing ambiance offered by these energies – tenderness and compassion while travelling intense and challenging terrain. View it on line at:



1  Adapted from an article originally published in ‘Caduceus’ magazine, Issue No. 66.
2   See http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/faculty/jewitt/kb.html
3   IAU = International Astronomical Union, who are responsible for the cataloguing and naming of newly discovered celestial objects.
4   See http://www.centaurresearchproject.de/menu/ for a list of astrological resources on-line offering material on the Centaurs.
5   See 'Chiron, Pholus and Nessus: To the Edge and Beyond' by Melanie Reinhart, Starwalker Press 2012, for full exploration of their symbolism.
6   This phrase is used by Burt Hellinger in the 'Orders of Love' work on healing ancestral patterning.
7   Sagittarius is associated with the element of fire, and Aquarius with air.
8  For free downloadable ephemeredes of the Centaurs, see RIYAL, available on www.expreso.co.cr/centaurs, the website of astrologer Juan Revilla.
6  The degree of relevance will depend on the conditions of a given individual's birth chart pattern, but these dates are times of general intensification.

All website contents copyright © Melanie Reinhart 1989-2023 [except where alternative attribution is noted]. All rights reserved.


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