Monday, May 4, 2009

Chiron’s Keyword Corner: Ecology

By Joyce Mason
© 1993-2009,
All Rights Reserved

This is an update of an article that appeared in Chironicles in 1993. I am running it between Earth Day and Mother’s Day in honor of Mother Earth.

Astrology owes a great debt to mythology for our interpretation of the planets and planetary objects. Planets are named after the characters in these universal, archetypal stories.

There is magic—at minimum, synchronicity—in the way astronomers name planets. Most astronomers are “hard scientists.” Yet, the myths behind the names they choose offer whole galaxies of metaphorical information. When various aspects of the myth are applied to interpreting a planet in an astrology chart, insights abound, as luminous as a starry night. The Chiron myth is no exception.

As the tale goes, passed on through the millennia, Chiron lived in a cave on Mt. Pelion. Yet he was far from the stereotypical hermit-like mountain man (more accurately, half-man.) He was different from the wild centaurs. The latter were untamed beasts at best, known for raping and pillaging both women and the forest. They galloped through the woods, tromping trees and had no regard for the beauty around them. The wild centaurs were so hellish; they even appear in
Dante’s Inferno in the section First Ring, the Violent.

By contrast, Chiron was kind, nurturing, and trustworthy. He lived in the “upper half” of his dual nature of composite man and horse. The mentor and teacher of so many Greek heroes preserved the forest and nurtured the local ecosystem. In
Midpoint Keys to Chiron, astrologer Chris Brooks cites Chiron’s affinity with the environment and environmentally related diseases, suggesting that Chiron is associated with the human immune system. Immunity is the ability of a system to protect itself and fend off invaders that leave it weak and subject to attack. Similarly, the ozone layer protects the Earth from the ultraviolet rays sent down by the sun. If the ozone layer is depleted by human activities, the effects on the planet could be catastrophic.

Our environment is the crisis currently bringing out both the best (heroism) and worst (the wild centaur consciousness) in humanity. Going green has gone mainstream since I first wrote this article, a sight to behold after having worked in the reuse and recycling field for nearly 30 years and wondering if I’d ever see the day. On the other hand, the idea that there are people who still think global warming is a hoax makes me want to throw up my hands (or maybe just throw up!).

Chiron teaches us that nurturing is of the utmost
importance, and that the forest is sacred.

I have lived for 36 years in or near Sacramento, California— the City of Trees. Now I live in a stand of oaks in one of its suburbs. Living in an “urban forest” increases my sensitivity to the wholeness and whole-li-ness of living close to nature.

Unfortunately, there are those who haven’t come far from ancient Thessaly and destroying the forest and each other. There is a time for righteous indignation—an issue of boundaries—where to draw the line. A stray arrow in a fracas with the wild centaurs at a wedding reception caused Chiron’s incurable wound. Innocent bystanders can get hurt when the wild centaur energy runs amok. It destroys even the most beautiful of occasions—or planets.

The year 2008 was rife with weather disasters. There were 220,000 fatalities due to extreme incidents. In “
2008 – A Year of Weather Disasters,” author Cat Lincoln calls last year’s weather weirder and worse than 2007, which was bad enough. Among the evidence that it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature: earthquakes, cyclones, cold snaps, low-pressure systems, typhoons, and hurricanes. “Most show a frightening connection to the changing world climate.”

Even though God told Noah He’d never again destroy the world by water after the Ark Incident, I can’t help but notice how many of these weather disasters involve the element water. In astrology, the water element is connected with emotions. It feels like Mother Earth is crying, heartbroken.

Before Chiron was discovered,
Dane Rudhyar predicted that a planet “like a second Moon” would be discovered between Saturn and Uranus. This is exactly where Chiron was discovered in 1977. The great astrologer Rudhyar was onto something. It is our feelings that need release and healing. Chiron’s wound may have been physical, but his deepest wound was about fitting in, turning the isolation of extreme uniqueness (not a wild centaur and not really human) into finding his treasured role in society. That role was mentor and catalyst, training heroes who went out to save the day in a divine domino effect of sharing talents, skills and knowledge.

Ecology is everything—balance inside and out. Within an ecosystem, everyone’s thoughts, words, and deeds affect everyone else. High time we got it: We are each other. In these turning-point times, our upper (human) and lower (instinctual) parts of ourselves can be balanced at the heart center through love. Chiron’s myth helps us reconnect with nature and nurturing.

Celebrate Earth Day and Mother’s Day every day of the year. Love your Mother. We owe her our lives.



Soapbox Saturday: This post is also a response to Pop Art Diva’s Saturday Soapbox, “Do You Believe in Global Warming?” Click on the Global Warming link to learn more. Additional responses to Soapbox Saturday can be found on The Radical Virgo’s other blog, Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights.

Up Next: In honor of the upcoming Mercury Retrograde, May 6-30, The Radical Virgo will start doing some of the things that Mercury Rx is good for—recycling and reposting. (Anything with re- in front of it—revise, redo, reconsider—are great activities during this time.) Joyce Mason’s key articles will be reproduced here, starting with “The Radical Virgo,” the article this blog is named after. This baker’s dozen collection will run over the next several months.


Eileen Williams said...


What powerful ideas you bring to us, seconded only by the power of your imagery. I'm visualizing my own inner half (wo)man/half beast/horse and acknowledge that both parts: the higher level/spiritual and the lower instinctual needs have to be present and strong in order to achieve balance.
I so agree, when we (or Mother Earth) are out of harmony all sorts of catastrophes are just waiting to happen. Hope we all wake up to that fact before it's too late!

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks for your comment, Eileen. Like Anne Frank who made this statement from a place of much more imminent physical danger to herself and her loved ones, I believe people are still good at heart, no matter how dire the external appearances. I am committed to expanding awareness of that what we do to others, we do to ourselves. As we each spread love and understanding in our own way, I believe there will be a divine domino effect of healing and the forest--and humanity--will flourish again.

PopArtDiva said...

Yes, it does seem as though even Mother Nature is having a meltdown. I cannot agree with those who say there is no global warming.

I don't care what you call it, we have managed to throw the Earth out of balance and we are reaping the results though they are mild at the moment.