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© by Zane B. Stein


by Zane B Stein

Much has been written about the horrible natures of the fixed stars; the wars, destruction, and evil natures they produce. Even in this day, when Humanistic Astrology so influences other areas of interpretation, the fixed stars are usually given the same meanings they were given thousands of years ago. For example, The Aselli are said by various astrologers to indicate “Death by fever, fire, hanging, beheading, or violent catastrophe, ruin, disgrace, wounds, hurts to face, eye trouble, blindness, imprisonment”.

Yet surely, we cannot believe in an inherently hostile universe, with thousands of stars just waiting to inflict negative events upon us. Just like everything else in astrology, these stars must have something to teach us, and they must have a way to make use of their energy. To perceive this, we must first look at our own solar system.

Our Sun is the source of all life here on earth. Its particular type of energy, its particular wavelength, creates our particular reality and gives each creature his purpose. Saturn defines and limits our reality, until we are ready to go beyond it, through Chiron’s door. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are often thought of as being alternate realities, but they are really just orbiting around the same sun as the other planets; they just add new chapters to our understanding, filling in gaps and annihilating false beliefs about our reality.

But the Sun is a star, and one of innumerable others in the universe. Each star is unique, the way no two snowflakes are the same, although some stars are similar to each other. Should there be people on a planet orbiting some other star they would have an entirely different reality than us---one that fit the unique energy of their sun.

Our life here on earth is fueled by our Sun's energy, and we were meant to follow a particular life that fits in with this energy. In a horoscope, the Sun is the main force, dominating the life from the house it occupies, but also every planet, since they orbit it and reflect its light. We were meant to let the Sun be our guide, and the shaper of our goals.

But the fixed stars are the suns for other realities. Unlike our Sun, which pervades every area of the chart, the fixed stars are concentrated energies, focused like light through a magnifying glass to a specific spot in our chart. When they go unaspected, we notice them in our lives mainly as vague desires and feelings, which we push out of our mind as illogical. However, when they form an aspect with something in our chart, they act as a second sun in that one spot.

They can, in fact, actually compete with our Sun for dominance over that area. The purpose of the aspect is to give these people an opportunity to tune in to a reality which is alien to ours---one that cannot be found under our Sun's rays. They have the opportunity to grow and do great things through an insight not found on earth. But they must remember that the Sun is still their reality; they still live under its rays.

Most people; however, forget this. They let the star succeed in taking over the area it is in, and that is a big mistake, for when this happens they no longer fit in our reality in some way in that area; they are ‘different’.

Some stars are very similar to ours, with similar energies from compatible realities. They give what seems to be positive influences, such as Agena (23Scor56 in 2010), which is described as giving refinement, morality, good health, and respect. People with close connections to this star may see it as a positive influence, and other people may applaud their accomplishments. But these people are still not totally in this reality if they let the star dominate; they still stand out, still do not quite ‘fit’.

Other stars are the center of a reality so drastically different from ours that when their energies dominate an area in someone’s chart the star’s vibrations can be seen as total evil. Their alternate realities bear no relation at all to our reality, and we are unable to survive by trying to live under their rays. This can affect our physical reality as well, causing blindness for example.

The most alien reality is that which comes from the rays of Algol (26Tau18 in 2010), described as the most evil, violent, dangerous star in the heavens. But is it only a case of dire fate of Algol is strong in your chart?

It is possible to use the star’s energy in a positive way. Look at the lives of these noted individuals, for example: astronomer Carl Sagan (Algol conjunct Ascendant), children’s author L. Frank Baum (Algol conjunct Sun), songwriter Cole Porter (Algol conjunct Mercury), and showman PT Barnum (Algol conjunct Jupiter.)

Yes, it is possible to make use of the energy from any star, even Algol, by remembering to keep it in its place, as a teacher of other realities---yet remembering also that the Sun is our reality, and we must not let ourselves be tempted to let the star take over.

I am sure you are wondering by now what all this has to do with Chiron?

constellation Aries

Chiron was discovered at 30 degrees 08 minutes of the Tropical Zodiac sign Taurus. This happens to be very close to the fixed star Sheratan (sometimes written Sharatan), a pearly white star in the left horn of the constellation Aries, which was at 3 degrees 39 minutes Tropical Taurus at that time. Astronomers know it as Beta (β) Aries. The Arabic astrologers saw this star, and the neighboring Mesarthim (Gamma (γ) Aries) as the pair Al-Sharatain – ‘the two signs’, referring to the fact that these stars marked the vernal equinox around the time they were named, thus they were signs of the new year’s beginning. These stars marked the 1st manzil (or Arabic Lunar Mansion) in the list of the renowned Persian astronomer Al Biruni.

One would think that such an important star would have been given a positive description. But look at how two of the most referenced experts on fixed starts described its influence:

In "Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology", Vivian E. Robson didn't have a single nice thing to say about this star, "Of the nature of Mars and Saturn. It causes bodily injuries, unscrupulous defeat, destruction by fire, war or earthquake."

Elsbeth Ebertin was not much better in “Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation,” describing the star as indicating "Daredevils and bold, danger is indicated when acting impulsively and in a foolhardy way."

If that was all to this fixed star’s influence, I wouldn’t think we’d find much positive at all in the nature of a body discovered in conjunction with it. Imagine trying to integrate the vibrations of so negative an influence into your consultations? But Chiron has been shown to be a doorway to great healing, not destruction by war.

Let’s look at Chiron’s origin for a moment. Most astronomers feel that Chiron was not always a part of our solar system; it was captured many thousands of years ago either from outside completely, or from the Kuiper Belt. From time to time, a close approach to Saturn or Uranus perturbs its orbit, changing it completely (as happened some time in the second decade of the Eighth Century, so we cannot know where Chiron was in charts before then.) One day it will again leave when its orbit is altered enough by Saturn and Uranus. So it is, and has been called, a maverick, or an outsider.

Athough we did not know of its existence before November 1, 1977, we have seen as we put it into charts of people born before that date that it always has acted like an outsider in charts, always showing those who did not quite fit. And time and time again, Chiron shows up representing a doorway to other realities.

In the scheme of things, the year 1977 was the time for mankind to, finally, become aware of Chiron. And SO when it was discovered, it was conjunct a fixed star so that we would realize that this was Chiron’s purpose….to understand that there are indeed alternate realities, and to try to learn how people can deal with it when they just don’t ‘fit’, for one reason or another, with the commonly accepted perception of what reality is.

One of the astrologers today who is most knowledgeable about the fixed stars, Diana K Rosenberg does not see Sharatan as all negative. True, she does see it as connected to fires, wars, earthquakes, and even acts of hatred and terrorisim. But she also mentions several things we have come to see as part of Chiron's nature.

Chiron shows us our woundedness, and Diana sees Sharatan focusing on wounds. Chiron ties into using the hands for such things as healing (ala Chiropractic), and Diana mentions that the star has to do with the hands. The heroic journey from fragmentation to wholeness is Chiron, and Diana associates Sharatan with courageous rescues, and with "transformative events that become powerful historical myths."

One of psychologists whose books had the greatest impact on me was Fritz Perls. Fritz was born with Sharatan closely conjunct his 10th House Moon, and is perhaps most well-known for creating what he called “Gestalt Therapy” which promotes the awareness of the unity of all present feelings and behaviors, and how one’s personal reality is impacted by the contact between the self and the environment, and everyone within that environment. If you don’t recognize the name, perhaps you might be familiar with a part of Gestalt Therapy that became the theme of a huge selling wall poster in the Sixties:

I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.

I first became acquainted with Fritz through his autobiography, “In And Out Of The Garbage Pail” when it was published in 1981 (while Chiron was squaring my Pluto), but Fritz began working on this book a few years before, when Chiron was conjunct his Moon/Sharatan conjunction at 2-1/2 Taurus. And if you think about it, Chiron’s discovery position was on his Moon as well. So tell me….just how negative an influence was Sharatan on Fritz’s career house?

During the past few centuries, mankind's awareness has been growing tremendously, as seen by the discoveries of Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and the asteroids as well. But so has his capacity for both good, and evil. Now, for the first time, man has the potential to travel off the earth, and possibly to other suns.

So it is now that we must become consciously aware of other realities, the effects they can have on us, and we on them. With Chiron's discovery, we are no longer simply a part of the solar system, with occasional influences from other stars. Now, we must become aware, as a race, of what lies beyond our reality.

Being between Saturn and Uranus, Chiron is naturally a bridge or door between these two bodies. But being conjunct Sharatan, it is also a doorway to something much bigger….to help us see the universe as a super-reality, encompassing many different energies, many different realities.