Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Explore More of Your Sabian Self

Article © 2016 by Joyce Mason

30 Virgo: Totally Intent Upon Completing a Task,
A Man is Deaf to all Allurement.

This is my Sun Sabian. It also could be said to be The Radical Virgo blog’s, as 30 Virgo encompasses the full Virgo experience at the completion degree of the sign. It’s about Laser-like focus that resists distraction.

"The Sabian Symbols are a set of 360 phrases of words that correspond with each of the 360 degrees of the wheel of the zodiac, from Aries 1 to Pisces 30.

~ From Lynda Hill’s website

In my last post, Your Sabian Self, I suggested a starter exercise as a means to get better acquainted with your Sabian word pictures. Several of my astrologer friends really got into the process. I discovered I had lost my original document where I had done this exercise years ago, so I was right in there doing it again with them. As I dug in, I realized that putting your Sabians by degree and title of the symbol was only the beginning of an even better, three-part process. Here are my additional suggestions, including the first so they’re all in one place for you.

Playing the Sabian Symbols
1. Symbols Word Snapshot. Referring to your chart, create a document with the degree of each of your planets and sensitive points (angles, nodes, Part of Fortune or Spirit, Vertex or whatever ones are meaningful to you). Remember to round up unless the degree is exactly 00, e.g. 12 Pisces 00 is 12 Pisces. (Twelve Pisces 01 is 13 Pisces.) Write just the text of the symbol next to the degrees. Keep this Sabian snapshot of your birth chart and learn the “pictures” each symbol suggests. Notice how they play in your life. If you don't already own a book on the Sabians, they are posted online at Cafe Astrology.

2. Symbols Collage. Create a collage of pictures, one that represents each Sabian symbol. This is a project that takes a big piece of poster board, glue, scissors, old magazines and 2-4 hours. It can be done over time rather than in one sitting. Use images only—no words. You can also find possibilities by doing an image search on Google or whichever search engine you prefer. For example, in searching for the Sabian featured on this post, I used “image, man, laser and focus” as keywords. If you don’t mind paying a small fee per image, a great source is or other stock image sites.

3. Symbols Synthesis. Journal what you learn from #1 and #2 after completing both. Keep an open journal, where you can record insights over time, as they bubble up. Periodically, meditate on your Symbols collage to drink in your Sabian chart portrait. Let it stimulate more ahas.

The structure of this three-part journey is to start with word pictures, continue by representing them with actual pictures, and then to see what chemistry happens when you pair your impressions from #1-2, allowing them to morph into ahas in #3. Note that I suggest the important bridging step of an images-only collage to represent your Sabians. By accessing your right brain, you will also be in the “dream world” of your memories and the Creative One. This is where Inspiration lives. It is the best symbols incubator, housed in both your personal and the collective subconscious.

I have drawn my ideas for “playing the Symbols” from my experiences with other oracles. For example, suggesting a visuals-only collage of Sabians comes from doing Soul Collage work. (See the guest post by Sandra Mosley, A Prescription for Planets in Pisces: Soul Collage® Your Natal Chart, for more on this process.) Using only the word pictures without going instantly to interpretation using books, expert websites and/or your own analysis comes from my experiences with Motherpeace Tarot readings. (See How I Read Tarot Cards.)

Please share your experiences in the Comments. Enjoy your this new way of looking at your chart.


Photo Credit: © visivasnc -

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Your Sabian Self

Clues for the Healing Journey

Article © 2016 by Joyce Mason

25 Scorpio: An X-ray

The Sabian Symbols are a set of 360 phrases of words that correspond with each of the 360 degrees of the wheel of the zodiac, from Aries 1 to Pisces 30.

~ From Lynda Hill’s website,

My Jupiter in Scorpio is on the Sabian Symbol, An X-ray. Over the years, I’ve come to attribute a lot of affinities in my life to this image, among them, my obsession with humorous dancing skeletons, Day of the Dead style. In fact, I have a thing for skeletons, especially seeing my own on x-rays—how literal. (One of my friends has this symbol on her Sun. Her career was in radiology!) Once I bought a blank greeting card with a hilarious drawing. It was a skeleton sitting at his or her computer with lots of cobwebs all around. On the screen it says, The Great American Novel. I still haven’t stopped smiling over it, as I’m sure I’ll still be striving to write great novels from beyond the grave. Lastly, my love of mystery and the mysteries of life represent the deep examination to the core of things that x-rays allow us to do—to make out things you cannot see with the naked eye.

Recently, I had a healing experience that reckoned back to my x-ray Sabian symbol in a way I had not expected. I felt compelled to share it and hope that it’ll give you pause to look at your Sabians in a new way.

Old Symbol, New Application. I’ve been having major back issues. I am not a wimp when it comes to pain. In the course of my life, I’ve lived with a lot of it, both physical and psychological. Case in point, when I had a hysterectomy in the 1990s, a rampant case of endometriosis was discovered as a secondary diagnosis in the process of dogging the primary problem. Half my medical team was comprised of women, and they could not believe I could stand, much less walk around, with that level of the disease. Most women would be doubled over in pain.

And so it has been with my back and me. I had not been able to move forward in ways that are essential for my husband and me to get on with the rest of our lives. I had little energy (very uncharacteristic of me), craved excessive amounts of sleep, and just could not seem to start my engine. Granted, I’m coming off a year that challenged me to the brink of my resources, but recovery has been slower than a Pluto Return and felt like one.

I addressed the psychological side of the issue, but even though I’d been waking up in the middle of the night from back pain, it took me some time to realize that I had to take new actions on the side of the physical. A friend referred me to a new chiropractor who works with a method that requires a lot of pre-evaluation, including x-rays. Not only did the x-rays confirm the status of arthritis I already knew I had. They uncovered a previously unknown condition in my mid-back that explained why I was having a hard time getting out of chairs, bending over, etc.

Pain ultimately brought me to the x-rays, a long time after I should have arrived already. The new chiropractic adjustments have been a booming success from the gate. The first one was so intense; I almost saw stars! The release had so much impact; it took me a couple of days to adjust to the neurological shift.

Also as a result of the x-rays I’d have never had, but for a new doctor requiring them, I’ve been referred to a pain clinic in my medical group that offers many other services, traditional and non-traditional. All this good fortune from x-rays. Holy Jupiter!

A New Look at Your Sabians. I have long loved the Sabian symbols, but I have been just as mystified by their somewhat convoluted language. Thanks to Sabian experts like Lynda Hill, Blaine Bovee and several other pioneers in Sabian interpretation, I have had authorities to consult when I’m trying to decipher what a particular symbol might mean for me. However, my recent x-ray experience pointed me in another direction as a starting point, one that’s more simplified.

Just like tarot cards, the Sabians are an oracle. In How I Read Tarot Cards and Oracular Spectacular, I talk about leading with intuition and how you and/or a consultant respond to the pure symbol. Leave the book and any classical meanings till last, because your visceral and “off the top” response often will give you the most personalized information. I never thought of applying this to the Sabian symbols, but the x-ray experience was a big aha about how it works with this oracle system, too. I’m not saying to abandon what the experts have to say, but because of the complex imagery—and in order to personalize it—it often helps to start simply. You know, how they tell you when taking a multiple choice test, go with your first response. It’s often right. And speaking of tests, any visual oracle is like a Rorschach ink blot test. What you see is what’s going on.

To give another for-instance, my husband has an exact Moon/Saturn conjunction in Leo on the Sabian, A Chemistry Teacher. With his multiple health conditions, he takes a boatload of medicine. His humorous response to this fact of life is the old DuPont slogan, “Better living through chemistry.” For weal or woe, Tim has taught others around him, including me, the benefits and downside of drugs. Oddly (or maybe not so oddly with this Sabian on his Moon), he has managed to benefit more than not from the drugs he takes, even given the large load. Go figure. Saturn points to the traditional or institutional, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that “establishment medicine” has done him well for the most part. Makes him feel better (Moon).

Take a new look at your Sabian symbols. Create a document with the degree of each of your planets and sensitive points (angles, nodes, Part of Fortune or Spirit, Vertex or whatever ones are meaningful to you). Remember to round up unless the degree is exactly 00, e.g. 12 Pisces 00 is 12 Pisces. (Twelve Pisces 01 is 13 Pisces.) Write just the text of the symbol next to the degrees. Keep this Sabian snapshot of your birth chart and learn the “pictures” each symbol suggests. Notice how they play in your life.

And if you’re looking for what brings love (Venus), vitality (Sun) or fortune (Jupiter)—or any other specific outcome, get to know the symbol on its planetary representative. This simple observance may surprise you as much as it did me.


Photo Credit: © zooco -

Saturday, March 26, 2016

How to Use Your Chiron for the Highest Good

Article © 2016 by Joyce Mason

The divine domino effect:
One healing
hand reaches out to heal others, a chain reaction for healing the world.

A reader recently asked me for some direction on how use her Chiron better. I know many of you have the same question in the back of your minds, maybe even in the front. Here are my thoughts on making optimal use of your Chiron.

Chiron, the Sun’s Shadow

First, for context, Chiron in the signs is like the shadow of the Sun in that same sign. Since Sun signs are where most of us first start to understand astrology, I think this is a powerful insight about how Chiron works. For instance, Aries Sun is a warrior, innovator and doer. Chiron in Aries may be wounded through violence of some sort (war, abuse, bullying) and may be stuck, unable to start things or answer the ultimate Aries question, “Who am I?” Chiron in Leo may not be able to shine. Chiron in Gemini has pain around issues concerning the mind or communication. You get the idea. It’s an inability to be that signature type of solar hero, which may be why mythical Chiron had a school that turned young boys into some of the greatest heroes in Greek mythology. Speaking of …

Connecting the Mythical Dots

Next, let’s look at the structure of the Chiron myth. Of all the places we derive the meaning of astrological Chiron, the myth of the centaur planet’s namesake is primary.

Chiron starts out being a misfit—considered ugly, a freak—neither a man nor a horse. He’s some sort of pieced-together creature from disparate parts like Frankenstein’s monster. He’s a shocking sight no one has ever seen before. Abandoned by both parents early on, who would even be his friend? There wasn’t anyone or anything else like him on earth, no one who had faced the struggle of being two species in one body. Yet from a metaphorical perspective, this is the plight we all face. We live in a world of duality, and there is more than one of us living in our skin.

Despite his rocky beginning, Chiron carries on, and his many gifts evolve. Gossip of his talents catches fire and his ability to make a vital contribution to the community cannot be denied. He becomes a teacher and mentor of heroes. He goes from the shadows to a mountain top to turn out stars. Somewhere along the way he catches a poisoned arrow to his thigh during a scuffle where he’s a bystander. The arrow was misaimed by his most beloved student, Hercules. This is how Chiron incurs his incurable wound. It almost makes me cry.

And so it is with your Chiron and mine. We start out feeling hideous with our gaping wound. Sometimes it’s so deep; it hides in the cave of our subconscious for a long time. Because it’s so painful, we can barely look at it. Often those closest to us pierce our scabby cover-up, not even meaning to, and open the carefully guarded sore. Once the pain becomes excruciating, with or without a catalyst, we have to at least peek at it for any promise of relief. As this process of hide ‘n’ peek continues, we keep on inching forward. In doing so, others eventually see inside us as we open up—past our warts and all. At some point, if we keep at it; we see past our warts, too. With the beginning of self-acceptance, our learning in the shadows comes to light. Our essential mission is as dual as Chiron’s body. Part 1, we have to salve our own wound and get as far beyond being stuck in it as we can. Part 2, we must share with others what we learned about overcoming our pain in our “cave.” Part 2 is the completion step of our own healing. The twelve generic types of wounds are reflected in the twelve Chiron signs.


One of the most confounding parts of the Chiron myth is why Chiron trades places with the suffering Prometheus, the archetypal character associated with Uranus. As if suffering himself from a wound and malady tantamount to systemic blood poisoning wasn’t painful enough to an immortal, who cannot die to get out of it; Chiron volunteered to replace Prometheus who is being punished for stealing fire from the gods. The torture Prometheus endured almost makes water boarding look humane. Our archetypal Uranian was chained to a rock where an eagle pecked out his liver nightly. Each morning, he’d find it regrown, and the agonizing process repeated over and over again. Chiron was already suffering from lingering pain, and he signs up for this?

What is the symbolism of Chiron’s doing such a thing? The idea of a “sacrificial lamb” has been repeated in various cultural mythologies, probably best known to us in the biblical story of Jesus. But the Chiron myth predates Christ’s “dying on the cross for our sins” by thousands of years, as do many other similar mythical sacrifices. A dying and rising god also has been a common theme among religions for millennia. Chiron is only a demi-god (godly via his immortal father, Chronos), but ultimately Chiron dies and rises, too. The gods are so impressed by Chiron’s generosity toward Prometheus; they release him from the bonds of his immortality and his pain. After three days, he is raised up to the sky as a constellation.

But I’m getting ahead of myself to the resurrection. (I’m writing this during Easter week.) Back to the suffering. Let’s look at how defines the term scapegoat. This is another word for a sacrificial lamb, an archetype that repeats itself in so many cultures.



1. A person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.

2. Chiefly Biblical. A goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. Lev. 16:8, 10,26.

Verb (used with object) to make a scapegoat of.

As with most mythology, the answer about how this relates to Chiron is more figurative than literal. (You’ll be glad you don’t have to cut off an arm or leg or offer your organs to a vulture to make good use of your Chiron.) We simply have to, at some point, switch focus from ourselves to offering up our suffering to our tribe and the world. I believe this is the symbolic meaning of changing places with Prometheus/Uranus. We let what we learn from our lingering wound become a balm for humanity at large. Both the pain and healing curve we encounter in our Chiron configuration are meant to be shared. That’s why so many people write memoirs about how they overcame this or that malady, abuse or alienation. How they lived through excruciating physical and/or emotional pain. This is the sense in which we become “scapegoats” and carry pain for others. I, for one, am grateful that I only have to do one of Chiron’s healing assignments for myself and my world—not all twelve. The universe is designed so that we don’t have to learn every single lesson or every aspect of our major lessons the hard way. It’s preferable, if not essential to sanity and survival, to get some of this knowledge by example.

In life, we encounter more than one source of pain, even though there is one that’s primary, what we often refer to as the Chironic wound. It’s our Achilles heel, the tender spot where no matter how much we’re “over” the worst of it, there will always be a vestige reminder, like your grandfather’s old war injury kicking up every time there’s a storm brewing.

Each One, Teach One—or More

To make the best use of Chiron and its network of sign, house and aspects: we simply have to heal enough to start to teach and mentor others about the ins and outs of our own Chironic material. How we overcame. How we got from pain to acceptance to finding our place in our communities, which in some way, involves sharing our process. It involves exposing the worst days of our lives and our deepest vulnerabilities. (And remember, to be as Chironic as the guy who started it all, you have to volunteer.)

There are examples of this phenomenon all around us. There’s a feature in the March 28, 2016 issue of People on Nia Vardalos of My Big, Fat Greek Wedding fame. She tells of the pain she and husband Ian Gomez endured struggling with infertility. [1] They ultimately adopted a foster child. Since Nia is one of my favorite actors and I’m half Greek and adopted; I couldn’t resist reading her memoir that came out a couple years ago, Instant Mom.  She has Libra Sun with Chiron in Pisces conjunct Jupiter. Dealing with the health issue of infertility had to be painful for her. Imagine a Greek woman unable to conceive or a Leo Moon with no heir. Or a Chiron in Pisces who couldn’t merge with a child, especially when she comes from a culture where moms often practice smother love. I know from direct experience that women with Mars in Cancer can live for mothering, whether or not they have biological children. (Just ask my cats.) Nia is more than willing to share this Chironic story with us through her Leo Moon, now that most of the suffering is in her rearview mirror—and her daughter is ten, happy and well-adjusted. The experience of becoming an instant mom ultimately led Nia to write her latest movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, opening this month.

        Click chart to enlarge

In fact, People magazine is one of the best sources to read these stories. Not only does it cover stars; it covers ordinary people who overcome—perhaps the biggest stars of all. Some examples include the annual issue highlighting people who have lost tons of weight, usually over 100 lbs. apiece. There are stories about how the loved ones of murder victims have dealt with their loss and gone on with their lives. Trans people’s sex changes and how they help others with identity issues, gender or otherwise.

We have many parents and grandparents to thank for turning their tragedies into charities or laws to help others. For instance, Megan’s Law, requiring public registry of sex offenders, grew out of the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl by a known pedophile. Her parents’ crusade to save other families from this horrible pain resulted in the federal legislation named after their daughter. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) grew out of the death of Candy Lightner’s 13-year-old girl, a victim of a hit and run by a drunk driver. MADD’s mission is  … “to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking." [2] Its efforts have been influential in legislation and other methods to reduce these senseless deaths.

But you don’t have to take it on stage or screen or write a book about how you dealt with your suffering in order to make good use of your Chiron. You don’t have to carry a placard or start a nonprofit. The greatest healing often takes place, one-on-one by small deeds done with compassion. Knowing another’s pain and conveying that empathy is one of the greatest gifts we ever share. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

We can do no great things, only small things with great love.

 ~~ Mother Teresa

Maybe you’re a Chiron in Libra who can’t stand injustice, so you give moral support and advice to friends as they go through the legal channels, righting wrongs. Maybe, like the Chiron in Aries reader who inspired this article, you care for a wounded warrior relative—literally, a soldier with war wounds. Perhaps you’re a Chiron in Sag whose family had a very different worldview from you, and now you enjoy helping people learn to question their beliefs in a positive way until they arrive at a philosophy that’s truly their own.

In other words, you don’t have to make a career of your Chiron, though that’s fine, too. Healing opportunities are all around us. We are each other’s best teachers and healers. Offering up our experience to help one another is the most positive expression of our encounters with our Chiron configuration.

Making Poor Use of Chiron

Let’s not leave out Chiron’s shadow, if for no other reason than to help you recognize your choices and to give you some pointers, if you don’t want to stay in lingering pain.

A personal example that pops to mind are the poetry groups I frequented in the 1970s. I learned early that writing could help me express my seething feelings, and I did this almost ad nauseum in my twenties. I wasn’t alone. My poetry critique groups were more intense therapy than any session I attended with my psychologist. The raw angst expressed by a room full of sensitives was thick and piercing. It went on and on. My first husband called me on it, how I used my poetry to stay stuck in anger. It was like a slap in the face that made me “come to,” and I still thank him for it. (I didn’t start with gratitude, though, believe me. For an example of a Chironic healing curve, read my poem in the article Take Back Your Poems.) Though I was so hurt by my husband’s “making me wrong” about what was actually healing me; I think it was my wake-up call. I began to see that agony is a phase in a process of growth. It doesn’t have to be a destination.

There are endless examples of how we can do the downside of Chiron. Chiron in Taurus might unconsciously set up issues with money and possessions to keep the pain percolating, making bad investments or trusting poor advisors. Underlying is an internal belief: I just can’t get my act together about money. Chiron in Cancers might alienate their children, fulfilling their abandonment fears: You never write. You never call! Lastly, there’s a generic Chiron issue where we seek or enable broken people just to have someone to fix. Compulsive fixers are the folks who still need to tend to their own fixin’. (Those who watch Scandal, where Kerry Washington plays a professional fixer with a very messed-up personal life, know what I mean.)

Learning More about Your Chiron

All anyone can do is to aim you in the right direction when it comes to understanding your Chiron. That’s because Chiron is an inside job, why the image of the “cave” and isolation are such huge themes in Chiron’s mythical story. Of course, this is the path to the generic truth that all the answers lie within. In the end, we each have to figure out the meat of it for ourselves, though I’m certainly grateful for the individual and group shares that make Chiron easier to decode and navigate. Chiron is above all, experiential. You won’t unlock it just by using your head. Lead and listen with your heart.

Below are more annotated resources of the books I’ve written that I hope will offer you more insights. There is also a library of articles here on The Radical Virgo. Just pop the keyword Chiron into the search engine.

It sounds corny, even cliché, but we’re in this world together. The journey to healing and wholeness is a group effort, and if you stay stuck in your pain, you never get to experience or share your gifts that come out of it. And you won’t get to ease the way for us all to live well and rock our world.

Books on Chiron by Joyce Mason

Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer. This is my “Chiron 101.” It offers an overview of how Chiron works and explores Chiron in each sign, the typical wounds you experience and the gifts you acquire from each of the 12 healing paths from Chiron in Aries to Pisces. Five stars on Amazon. (Formats: PDF, Kindle)
Poems to Heal the Healer: The 12 Chiron Signs. These poems describe the pain-to-wholeness healing curve of each Chiron sign. Taken together, they describe how each of us fulfills ourselves and contributes to our collective Chironic journey. (PDF)

Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People. An update of the article series of the same name, two of the five parts are about Chiron and its bridging role to help us handle the high resonance of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. For those of us with numerous personal planets in relation to the outers (I call them PUNCs for Plutonian, Uranian, Neptunian Chironics), it’s tool to help you go from feeling different to understanding your special role in these fast-changing times. Much of the Chiron material in this book is not replicated elsewhere. (PDF)

Keywords to Unlock Chiron. My ultimate Chiron book that helps you explore your experience with this archetype by way of your resonance with 50 of Chiron’s keywords. A depth exploration of the words than enable us to make sense of (and sentences about) Chiron. There have been two excerpts of Keyword chapters on The Radical Virgo, Maverick and Embodiment. A guidebook for your Chiron journey. (PDF)

Photo Credit: Volunteer design © djvstock -


1.   Nia Vardalos, “My Long Road to Becoming a Mom,”People: March 28, 2016, pp. 64-44.


Now, How About a Little Healing Laughter?
The Crystal Ball, my first novel in the Micki Michaels mystery series, is now on sale for only $0.99 in Kindle format. You don’t have to own a Kindle to read it, as the app is free to download on any device: computer, smartphone or tablet. Paperback is $14.99. Why is Micki—a do-gooder, astrologer and longevity enthusiast—living with Curt Stern, an ex-FBI agent? Watch this odd couple bust crimes in progress at the costume party of the Millennium, a “come as you’ll be in the future” party. Chiron is even a character. A fast paced romp and read with 4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. (Kindle, Paperback)