©June, 2009 by guest blogger, Mimi Christ
Donna says: Just as a good story gets better in the retelling, so can a good article. Mimi’s take on Chiron’s role in comedy was orginally published here last June, before many of our readers joined us, and it seems a natural for humor month.
It takes an outsider to make us see things from a new point of view. Someone who isn’t one of the herd; whose perceptions are different—but more than that, someone who wants to share their perceptions with the rest of us as a guide or teacher. In astrology, Chiron represents that maverick teacher and guide.
Society has its creative outsiders who guide and inspire us—poets, artists, musicians, visionary leaders in different fields. But in terms of broad reach, mass appeal, and using the pain and tragic ironies of life as fodder for art, I think no one plays the Chiron role better than comedians.
Chiron as healer and teacher
Chiron in a birth chart represents the part of us that doesn’t “fit in”; an area of life where we need to walk our own path. It’s grounded in a life circumstance that we cannot change. The nature of the circumstance is shown by Chiron’s sign, house and aspect configuration. Unlike Saturn, which shows what we struggle with but can eventually master, Chiron is what cannot be cured or made to fit.
In response, we can grow bitter because life is so unfair, or say “that’s life” and laugh. Sometimes both at the same time!
Chiron’s symbol is a key. A key can either lock or unlock a door. Chiron is both the pain of isolation and the means to heal it. Chiron the healer appears when we unlock the door by accepting the inevitable with grace and a sense of humour, and allow empathy to grow in response to it. Chiron the teacher appears when we unlock the door by seeing the inevitable as a source of wisdom.
“A clown is like aspirin, only he works twice as fast” – Groucho Marx
Comedy helps us cope. If a problem is incurable, we can be healed on another level by laughing about it. Finding humour in the human condition helps when you’re having a hard time.
Comedy and truth
“We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.”
Comedy helps us see the truth. When society is ailing, satirists hold up a mirror to it and with humour inspire us to challenge the status quo. More and more these days, people want satire with their news. This is healthy, I think. A satirist punctures pretensions and exposes hypocrisy. As long as we can laugh at our human foibles, there’s a chance that our consciousness can still be raised.
Comedy changes our perceptions
“[Humor] is a more significant process of mind than reason. Reason can only sort out perceptions, but the humor process is involved in changing them.” – Edward de Bono (a leading authority on creative thinking, he coined the term “lateral thinking”— Chiron conjunct the Sun)
Comedy is a tool for creative thinking. In that moment of instant comprehension when we “get” a joke or riddle we are lifted out of our ordinary mental state, outside linear thought. With a few deft words, pictures or movements, a comedian can illuminate a concept and shift our perception of it.
Key images for Chiron
The workings of Chiron can be seen in the way comedians interact with society, and often in their personal histories as well. Consider these images associated with Chiron:
– a maverick; separate from the herd; unaligned with any group
– a key to open the doors of perception
– a wise one who lives among us but who has access to a higher perspective
– a link; the bridge between the transpersonal and personal
– a teacher; also the inner teacher
– irony — being an immortal who is subject to the laws of mortality; being incurably wounded by your own foster son with a weapon that you taught him to use
– accepting mortality
– the difference between “healing” and “curing”; the idea that one can heal or have healing without being cured
Chiron in comedians’ birth charts
In studying birth charts for this article, I looked for Chiron in aspect to a personal planet or, if I had a reliable time of birth, an angle. I expected to find Chiron strong in the charts of satirists: the bitingly funny social critics who keep us honest. There is an element of teaching and moral correction (Chiron) in their work that isn’t necessarily in that of other types of comedians.
As expected, Chiron is prominent in the charts of satirists that I looked at. But I also found a strong Chiron in the charts of many of the other comedians I looked at — the clowns; the characters; the ones who riff about everyday life and relationships; the self-deprecating ones.
I’ve selected some comedians to show you how Chiron operates in their lives and work. (All chart data is from Astro Databank online and, unless otherwise noted, Rodden rating B or above.)
– As a child, Jim Carrey kept tap shoes under his bed in case his parents—who had fallen on hard economic times— needed cheering up in the night. (Chiron in Pisces in the 4th house of home and roots, opposite both Uranus on his late-Leo Midheaven and Pluto in Virgo a bit further into the 10th; Chiron is also trine Neptune rising in Scorpio.)
– Another comedian with a 4th-house Chiron is Drew Carey. He was 8 years old when his father died, and has suffered from depression. He comes across as a humble, friendly, down-to-earth “regular guy”. (Chiron in Aquarius tightly conjunct the nadir, opposite Pluto in the 10th, conjunct the Midheaven; Chiron exactly trine Jupiter in Libra in the 12th and sextile Venus in Aries in the 5th/6th.)
– Whoopi Goldberg played the bartender Guinan on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Guinan’s people are scattered throughout the galaxy, having lost their home world to the Borg. She is ancient and wise—a “listener” whose counsel is valued. (Chiron in Aquarius in the 12th, in a T-square opposite Uranus in the 6th and square Neptune in late Libra and Mercury in Scorpio in the 9th — and Mercury is linked in a stellium to the Moon, Sun and Saturn, also in Scorpio in the 9th.)
– Chris Rock’s breakthrough TV special was titled “Bring the Pain” and his comedy series “Everybody Hates Chris” is based on his school days. (Chiron conjunct Saturn in Pisces in the 12th, opposite a tight Moon/Uranus/Pluto conjunction in Virgo in the 6th.)
– Ellen DeGeneres’ friendly comedy is full of quirky observations about people and everyday life. She has a generous spirit and has said that she feels good knowing that she brings enjoyment to her audience. (Sun/Venus/Chiron conjunction in Aquarius in the 2nd house, opposite Uranus in Leo in the 8th, and in a T-square with the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in Scorpio in the 11th. Note: birth time was determined by rectification, so houses may be off—Rodden rating C.)
How do Chiron and comedy work in your own life?
I hope this article inspires you to look at Chiron in your own birth chart. How do a sense of humour and an appreciation for the absurdities of life help you to cope? Where are you able to turn your pain into insight? Tell us about it in the comment section.
Mimi Christ says this about herself: “I have been interested in astrology for over 30 years, at first inspired by my younger sister when we were still living at home in Chicago . Then I let the astrology slide. Around 15 years ago I picked it up again and got more deeply absorbed in it. I can’t remember exactly when I first became aware of Chiron. I know that early on my interest was sparked when I noticed that transits to or from Chiron corresponded to certain “coming of age” events in my own life. My Chiron return in 2006 brought some profound and wonderful changes to my life. It also triggered an urge to write that I am hoping to fulfill. This Chiron article is my first step on that path.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.