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Presence heals the past

The timeline of Chiron and Saturn

From 2003- 2006, Saturn makes a series of seven oppositions with the Minor Planet Chiron, across an axis of great interest in the zodiac. We consider this pattern ...

Saturn lives at the edge of the visible solar system, and until Uranus was discovered, was thought to be the only planet with rings. Indeed, Saturn was beloved of the Melancholic temperament, once cultivated for its depth, poetic inspiration, deliberateness and sobriety. In stark contrast, today’s Western culture hosts an ever-increasing percentage of people on medication for depression. Speed, superficiality and surface values do not give time, indeed permission, to feel ‘down’. Sadness is not valued as a mellowing experience, but seen as a problem to be gotten rid of. Saturn has been outcast. However, he shows up on the world stage as the weak, corrupt or oppressive authority. He has become the ‘Sick Old King’ of myth and legend, where the kingdom is failing from drought, disease and various afflictions because the king is ill, but unable to die. He awaits the arrival of a redeemer who must first undergo a series of tests and trials to help him develop compassion before being ready to take over the kingdom. Only then can the Sick Old King die. Meanwhile, creatures and humans alike suffer, facing the temptation of despair.

However, Saturn also carries positive symbolism that is rich and deep. As Lord of Manifestation, Boundaries, Limitations, and Time, Saturn’s process confronts us with some of the most difficult, as well as the most rewarding aspects of being incarnated. The Saturn process goes slowly, deepens over time, responds to the seasons and also carries the imprint of all our experience – in other words the ‘stuff’ of our lives, including where we have blocked and fearful areas within the soul where hurt is still unhealed. Saturn’s process is very much about carrying on when we would rather give up, enduring when we think we can go no further, and allowing the mortar and pestle experience of daily life to grind us into matter more refined than the raw enthusiasms of youth. So in living authentically, meaning close to our truth, whatever that might be, we develop ‘gravitas’. This in turn is related to power, authority and responsibility, the lesson of time, patience and experience. [1]

Saturn in Cancer

Since June 2003, Saturn has been in the sign of Cancer, concerned with all things lunar, as the Moon rules this sign. Issues about security, both national and personal, come into focus both as healthy self-protection needs, in terms of nourishment, contact and safety, and also as protectionism, where fear closes us in. Although the ‘surveillance society’ of the UK has been in the making for a while, awareness of this uncomfortable fact is now dawning. Everything is somebody else’s business as the village busy-body of old reincarnates in the probing, all-seeing, all-hearing detection and recording mechanisms that crane at us from building corners, banks, light poles, petrol stations, elevators, motorways…

Curiously, at the same time, the media displays images of life’s most intimate moments exploited to sell products. Now it is not the exotic that promises fulfilment, but the ordinary, which has become a rare commodity. The Latin verb ‘ordinare’ means ‘to arrange, appoint, order or settle’ [2]. I wonder how many people’s lives feel this way? Time shared with a friend over a cup of tea, or playing with the cat, reveals the ‘God of Small Things’ [3] who may whisper tenderly in our ear about the spiritual significance of the ‘sub lunar realm’ (literally ‘under the Moon’ i.e. our Earthly existence) have great value. This is the Teaching of the sign of Cancer.

Chiron in Capricorn

Saturn rules Capricorn, opposite the sign of Cancer, and since December 11th 2001 the Minor Planet Chiron has been there. Cancer and Capricorn are sometimes called ‘The Axis of Incarnation’, and there is a celestial myth that states that they are the entry and exit portals for souls coming to the Earth plane. It would seem likely to me that there are more people being born and dying now than at any other time in recorded history. Chiron’s themes include the wounding and healing that accompany our journey through life. Chiron is the shaman of the planetary pantheon, a traveller between the worlds in a voyage of consciousness and awareness. Moving through Capricorn the gaping wound is revealed in the leadership of many nations, countries, tribes, businesses and many other large organisations. Wounded structures are being revealed and created everywhere. In time, the destructive force collapses in on itself, but sometimes not until huge suffering has been unleashed. All this goes on the in the ‘Body of Mankind’ which we inhabit [4]. And, most important, Chiron brings healing to the corrupted Saturn principle, and works for its redemption and renewal. Also, let us not be deceived by appearances. Behind, below, beneath ….. that is the place to look for signs of renewal, for we best seek the resurrection, not the tomb.

The Root and the Brow

The Chakras are vortices of energy located along the spine, which transmit energy through the different levels of our existence, linking inner and outer and circulating energy rather like the blood in the physical body. In an ancient tradition linking the zodiac with the major Chakras, the signs traversed by Chiron and Saturn during 2003-2006 relate to the root and brow Chakras respectively [5].

Thus our most refined, highest and most focused personal consciousness at the brow is brought together with the densest and most powerful of the lower chakra energies, at the root. Now tribal issues greet us anew, with identifications we didn’t even know we held. We might feel territorial, prejudiced, separatist, threatened, paranoid, unsure, grabbing, deeply anxious and also ashamed of these feelings. For this is a powerful purification, an exchange between the ‘above’ and the ‘below’ in the ‘Body of Mankind’ that occurs over these 3 years. Gently acknowledging these feelings may help us not act on them inappropriately, causing suffering for others and ourselves. Insight can also help us not judge ourselves and others. As the old structures crumble, we are invited to configure anew the powerful energies of positive Saturn: discipline, focus, persistence, loyalty, dedication and humility. We are resubstantiating our deepest truths, dreams and knowing. This takes time, trust and careful ‘midwifery’ of the spirit, for a new-born individual structure is being prepared, a home for our truest sense of self.

Chiron and Saturn weave in and out of contact as shown in the diagram below: [6]

Further, you can see in the table below the dates on which the exact oppositions occur, shown above as the lines crossing. Where the lines bend around, the planet depicted is changing direction, from Retrograde to Direct, or vice versa. As the two are working together, there is a rhythmic oscillation between root and brow, between foundation and future, between public and private, between group and individual.


R = planet moving Retrograde, or appearing to go backwards
D = planet in Direct motion, going forwards
Cp = Capricorn
Cn = Cancer
All times quoted in 24-hour clock, GMT.

Saturn enters Cancer 4 Jun 2003 01:27    
Chiron D 18 Sep 2003 05:34 12°Cp22'  
Saturn Opposite Chiron 25 Sep 2003 18:49
12°Cn24' D
12°Cp24' D ROOT
Saturn Opposite Chiron 24 Oct 2003 15:49 13°Cn14' D 13°Cp14' D SACRAL
Saturn R 25 Oct 2003 23:43 13°Cn14' R  
Saturn D 7 Mar 2004 16:52 06°Cn17' D  
Chiron R 2 May 2004 05:13 26°Cp08' R  
Saturn Opposite Chiron 15 Aug 2004 08:45 21°Cn34' D 21°Cp34' R S. PLEXUS
Chiron D 26 Sep 2004 17:22 20°Cp30' D  
Saturn R

8 Nov 2004

06:55 27°Cn21' R  
Saturn Opposite Chiron 28 Dec 2004 05:28 25°Cn13' R 25°Cp13' HEART
Chiron enters Aquarius 21 Feb 2005 17:35    
Saturn D 22 Mar 2005 02:54 20°Cn24' D  
Chiron R 9 May 2005 01:49 03°Aq17' R  
Saturn enters Leo 16 Jul 2005 12:30    
Saturn Opposite Chiron 21 Jul 2005 08:11 00°Le37' D 00°Aq37' THROAT
Chiron re-enters Capricorn 1 Aug 2005 03:45    
Chiron D 5 Oct 2005 05:32 27°Cp48' D  
Saturn R 22 Nov 2005 09:01 11°Le19' R  
Chiron re-enters Aquarius 6 Dec 2005 01:02    
Saturn Opposite Chiron 20 Feb 2006 05:01 06°Le03' R 06°Aq03' D BROW
Saturn D 5 Apr 2006 12:55 04°Le23' D  
Chiron R 15 May 2006 08:38 09°Aq46' R  
Saturn Opposite Chiron 20 Jun 2006 18:19 09°Le02' D 09°Aq02' R CROWN

The Healing Sequence

Additionally, as there are 7 exact oppositions, we may imagine this energy resonating with the major chakras, rising from root to crown. The most recent activation was of the Solar Plexus area, on August 15th. Look back in your dream book or journal to see what healing was occurring at this time. You may find a process of empowerment, clearing out old conflicts. You may also find uncomfortable revelations of misused will and power struggles, for it is in the ‘school’ of the Solar Plexus that we learn to deal with these energies, which are seeking purification by being linked to the heart, the first chakra above the waist. Chiron was a centaur in the Greek myths, his lower half being that of a horse. He was, though, a wise being and the healing he brings is through accepting our ‘animal’ half, and thus releasing it’s negative grip on our consciousness as well as honouring its wisdom. The split is healed.

The next activation

On December 26th 2004 the Moon at 16.06 GMT is near her annual close approach [6] to the Earth, so the Full Moon in Cancer will be exceptionally bright and drawing powerfully the waters of our emotional energy. The Chiron/Saturn opposition lines up for the 4th time 2 days later, resonating with the heart chakra. This chakra is central, balancing the 3 above and the 3 below; it encompasses and thus purifies the energies below, allowing their strength and rootedness to support the flowering above. Here we anchor self-love and acceptance, and open to a deeper and more detached kind of loving, which recognises and honours difference, seeking co-operation and harmony. The element of air is traditionally associated with the heart chakra, and concerns itself with communication, ideas and dialogue. The inspirational energies of Jupiter and Neptune are located at this time in the airy signs of Libra and Aquarius [7]. Heart feeling is not ‘sticky’ and possessive, but spacious, tender and sensitive. When our ideas become bogged down with false beliefs, the heart is closed. This activation is an opportunity to sit quietly and observe the edifices of false thinking fall, leaving a welcome sense of more space, more lightness, and more freedom of spirit as the heart takes wings.

And onwards ……

This sequence invites us to simply be aware of its unfolding through time. There is nothing we need do except perhaps configure circumstances which help us to sustain focused awareness, and allow time for reflection. Chiron will move into Aquarius and Saturn into Leo (see table for dates) for the final 3 activations, including the 7th chakra on June 20th 2006. This concerns perceptions of Higher Purpose, the Plan of Destiny, and deep insights into the perfection of things as they are in our life. From this deep acceptance, new action becomes possible. This chakra receives the ‘downloads’ from higher dimensions, and thus begins the process of energy filtering down into manifestation as the seed ideas of new forms are sown. First Capricorn and Cancer brought water and earth, now quickened by the air and fire of Aquarius and Leo. So be ready for creative ideas, new insights and understanding, and a wider view. Meanwhile we follow the purifying and opening which will weave through the months, like the two snakes of the healing wand, the Caduceus.

This image portrais the motion of Saturn and Chiron relative to the Earth, over a period of 40 years starting from June 2003. It was created using the ACS software "Astrological Mandalas" available from Roy Gillett at "Crucial Astro Tools" Tel. 01276 683 898 or email roy.gillett1@ntlworld.com


1. See 'Saturn, Chiron and the Centaurs' by Melanie Reinhart (CPA Press 2002) for fuller discussion of Saturn's many themes.
2. Cassell's Compact Latin Dictionary, London, 1963, p.156.
3. The title of a book by Arundhati Roy published by Flamingo Press in 1997.
4. The notion of the 'Body of Mankind' is found in various mystical traditions: as Adam Kadmon in the Kabbalah, and as a parallel to the 'Body of Christ' in Christianity.
5. Q = quarter. E.g. Q1 = beginning of January - end of March. Diagram computed with Solar Fire V5.
6. Apogee at 17.00hr GMT 27.12.2004.
7. Thanks to Laura Boomer for editorial help and for reminding me of this trine.


All website contents copyright © Melanie Reinhart 1989-2021 [except where alternative attribution is noted]. All rights reserved.


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