Astrological Musings

Chiron retrograde 2011A retrograde lesson

We are most familiar with Mercury turning retrograde and the snafus that ensue, but all of the planets turn retrograde at one point or another.  When the planets in the sky are observed from Earth, they sometimes appear to move backwards because not all of the planets are moving at the same speed.  If you are driving in a car and pass another car that is moving more slowly, it may seem as though that car is moving backwards.

Using the same car analogy, as  planet prepares to turn retrograde it’s like a car making a U-turn.  It has to slow down in order to reverse direction, and then it is almost stationary until it reverses and then picks up speed again.  During that time the planetary influence is stronger than any other time as if a laser beam is focusing the energy that we associate with that planet into our lives.

It’s a mystery how this planetary influence works.  Is it a purely symbolic event that stimulates something that occurs only in our own psycho-emotional system?  Does the actual planetary body in the sky create a field of resonance to which our own psyche responds?  Does it actually send a beam of influence that instigates certain behaviors?  In any case, a retrograde planet urges us to retrace our steps, and the influence of that planet is emphasized in a more personal way.


Chiron is best known as the “Wounded Healer,” but I’ve been calling it the “Soul Healer” instead.  In the early days of working with Chiron we used to say that Chironic wounds were the ones that cannot be healed, but I’ve discovered over the years that the wounds of the soul CAN heal.  Then the aspect of Chiron as mentor and wise guide comes into fruition.

During this alchemical process of transmuting the places of pain within us into wisdom, we are asked (and sometimes forced) to walk through the fire of the night of the soul.  In facing our deepest fears and sadness we are able to breathe through the emotion, observing with mindfulness as the sensation transforms into pure light.  This is how healing takes place.

What to expect

Chiron turns retrograde at 5 degrees Pisces and will travel only back to zero degrees Pisces before turning direct again, which means that the laser beam of Chiron’s healing force will resonate between zero and 5 degrees Pisces until February of 2012.  This means that if you have planets in this range of degrees in the mutable signs (Pisces, Sagittarius, Virgo, Gemini) Chiron will challenge you to open your heart to any painful places that are activated by this transit to facilitate their softening and release.

If you have planets between zero and 5 degrees Taurus, Scorpio, Capricorn, or Cancer, the process of release will be facilitated by harmonious aspects between Chiron and the planets in these signs in your chart.

While the healing and emergence process is most powerful for people whose charts are most specifically affected by Chiron, its influence will be stronger for all of us during the retrograde period and there is an opportunity for more personal guidance.  Chiron has just entered Pisces, where it seeks to instill in us the value of that deep inner resonance that comes when we allow the messages of the soul to emerge in all of their myriad forms, blissful or agonizing.  It’s that Truth of spiritual experience that brings us to the ultimate place of wisdom where Chiron resides.

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