Posted by: Donna Cunningham | April 9, 2010

Chiron: Send in the (Wounded) Clowns

 ©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.     

 Comedy heals     

“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 mariechrist@gmail.com     

free astrology booklet by Donna CunninghamIf this post was helpful,  sign up for a subscription, and get a FREE EBOOKLET for Skywriter Subscribers Only: Mothers, Daughters, and the Moon, a 50-page excerpt from The Moon in your Life. Read more about it here: New: Free Booklet For Skywriter Subscribers!       If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at moonmave@spiritone.com. To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.”  Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post with a request for the booklet in the subject line.    

Responses

  1. Hello,

    I have Chiron at 3 degree taurus conjunct mercury at 9 degree taurus in the sixth house semisextile sun in 7th and a wide opposition to uranus in 8 degree scorpio in 12th, Its ruller vinus in fifth in Aries detriment parallel to mars in aries with AC scorpio…

    I realy can’t figure out how my chiron apply in my life.

    Any help?

    • Hello, Tarek. Every astrologer has their own areas that they specialize in, and Chiron isn’t one of mine. For a wealth of material about Chiron, I’d suggest you visit Joyce Mason’s blog, The Radical Virgo. YOu’ll find a link on the blogroll at the side of this blog. Donna

      • Thank you so much Donna…
        I will check this blog.

  2. I’m not exactly sure how this applies to Chiron’s placement in my chart (12th house Taurus), BUT I feel as though I AM a kind of Chiron for the people I meet. I feel like an outsider in most situations in general in life and I am an artist (photography, clothing design, graphic design) and I’ve noticed that throughout my life, almost every person I come into contact with, wether it’s a 10 year friendship/relationship, or even a very brief encounter at the grocery store, my very presence seems to affect people.

    It’s not consciously intentional at all, and I’m normally pretty shy, so I don’t get “involved” with or talk to people I don’t already know well, and the people I’m friends/aquaintances with have mentioned to me that I always seem to stir things up a bit, without really trying to. More often than not, it feels like a negative thing (though I realize it probably really isn’t) because at a certain point it seems as though my very existence causes people to be jolted out of their comfort zones and forced into dealing with things they don’t want to even admit are happening.

    Sometimes it has to do with our personalities interacting in such a way that makes the other person have to look really deep inside and re-evaluate their core beliefs, which SOUNDS really great, but when you’re in that moment, can be kinda scary and uncomfortable.

    I’ve also been told that I am an “Indigo”, and that a core characteristic of this kind of incarnation is being a catalyst for change in others, so I guess it would make sense. It’s just kind of lonely sometimes because I’m always worrying if I’m being “too much” or too annoying for people. Anyway….I guess it’s a good thing that I’ve been able to recognize this effect I have on people and hopefully I’ll be able to learn to “work with it” in some capacity instead of it controlling me;-)

    • Samantha, I don’t know whether you’ll think it’s bad news or good news when I tell you it will take years to figure out all the pieces of your chart. For me, it was good news–astrology has kept me fascinated for over 40 years, because there is always some important new insight to be gained. That first year, I took classes three nights a week and spent all weekend holed up with my chart and the charts of everyone I knew. Donna

      • Ha ha ha!!! Yah I hear ya!!! It’s good news;-) I just need to work on my patience a little….and hopefully when my financial misfortunes are turned around, I will be able to finally meet with a good astrologer and go over the things in my chart that are confusing to me;-) Thanks!!! Sam

  3. My Chiron is in AQ/8th hse and has fewer aspects than I remember it having – maybe that’s its joke on me…
    It squares my Scorpio N Node in 5th
    is Opposed parts of my Leo stelium with Uranus, Venus and Mars
    and is aspected w/ the lesser sesquadrate (sp) to my AC
    and Semisextiled (sp) my MC.
    I am always trying to show folks things that I my self am still enjoying the act of mastering.
    and I see this is my path to do so. Even my website has the Chiron glyph in its design to show this about myself.

    • It does sound strong, EJ. Well, there is some key to why that should be, and maybe since it squares your nodes, those people who point to the nodes as part of your life purpose aren’t so far off base. I have Uranus square the nodes, and once I got introduced to astrology in my late 20s, there was no question what my life purpose was. Donna

  4. Hi there!

    My Chiron (1rst hs. in Cap, conjunct my 2nd hs. cusp) is part of a T-square–square my 10th hs. stellium, Mideaven/Nept/Merc/Saturn, and Chiron’s opposing my Uranus.

    (BTW, just for “fun,”(cosmic humor) transiting Pluto is opposing my natal Moon, squaring my natal Sun.)

    I can relate to the clown theme (and the tears of a clown concept.) As the youngest child of a high functioning alcoholic, womanizing father(and super strong Neptunian–Pisces rising with Neptune conjunct,BTW), I did the family mascot/family clown role quite well growing up. I was also a bit of a class clown. My dad was fun and I was referred to as the fun one of the family. I never cried, except if injured, etc.

    The downside:

    Felt it was MY JOB to cheer up my family, to make them happy. Just as strong a sense of responsibility to make people happy as the oldest child can have to be responsible in other ways.

    And, this translates into feeling like I’m ‘sposed to make EVERYONE happy–the clerks at the grocery, etc. And I became a therapist, a psychologist to heal my clients and feel responsible to heal the earth. Kinda a tall order! And I’m only 5’2”!

    Alanon, learning to take better care of myself and a 6 years hiatus from being a therapist are helping me change this imperative to cheer up.

    To me, it appears that Chiron,part of this t-sqaure, is positioned to heal my 10th hse stellium, square Uranus?? Or, is that wishful thinking? C.

    • HI, Cynthia, the whole ball of wax you describe about feeling responsible to cheer up your family is also tied in to the Neptune-Saturn aspect. Did you also see the article a week or so ago called “Getting a Grip on Neptune-Saturn aspects? Donna

  5. Thank you, Donna, for your generous commitment to the well-being of others.
    With asc. 7 degrees Capricorn and Sun/Chiron both 4 degrees Cap, topped off by 12th house moon in Sag., I have often been described as having “heavy vibes”, being “quietly intimidating” or even “scary”…by people with whom I have not even conversed!

    Those who get to know me say that they were surprised by my “great” even “wacky” sense of humor. I’ve always chalked this up to the Sag. moon…but this Chiron interpretation gives another slant. People have often told me, “I feel so much better after having this talk with you”…when, actually, I barely got a word in edgewise, just listened.

    Yes, I am feeling the effects of Pluto. Many years ago I marked this transit in my ephemeris with a feeling of dread–but have outlived my youthful fears and am ready to “break the shell”…to reach out of it and volunteer myself to the service of others. So FAR, …so GOOD the journey!

  6. It would be interesting to look at natal Chiron in the people who have Coulrophobia (fear of clowns). This fear has been documented to affect at least 8% of the population. (Think about it…in a room full of 50 people, there are probably 4 people who have some level of fear at the very thought of a clown.)

    Anyone have the charts of these celebrities who openly admitted their fear?
    P. Diddy, Johnny Depp, Carol Burnett and Anthony Bourdain.

    • Hi, Zane, welcome! Folks, Zane is one of the earliest and finest of those who interpreted Chiron for us. Zane, some of those charts are on AstroDataBank, which is now online for free under AstroDienst. There’s a link to it Under Useful Sites near the bottom of my blogroll. It would be interesting indeed. Donna

  7. I use Chiron all the time, whether I want to or not. I have Venus Rx & SN conjunct Chiron Aries IC, it’s sextile Aquarius Mars, and trine Neptune.

    There’s something about how I tell stories that makes all my shocking, horrible real life experiences really funny and light-hearted across the racial divide. My Father’s side of the family were very racist especially against “blacks”. I ended up pregnant as a teen by the blackest man I could find, who happened to
    be a sociopath who is now serving life in prison. I ended up having 3 biracial children at a very young age, never married, and I had a GED. I was disowned by my family and totally on my own. I went from having a career as a stripper in bars to working in Neurotrauma as a county RN, and so much in between and before that most rational human beings would not dare…and I can do the best impersonations of all the people I’ve known (Maybe that’s my 1st house Aquarius Moon square Uranus 10th—mixed with all my Pisces?)

    A lot of the stories/experinces come out when others ask me basic questions during the small talk that goes on in day to day life in the community, school, hospital (workplace) etc. Someone may say “where’s your husband”? I answer in truth. Plain and simple. I don’t have one. “Then what about the childrens father”? He’s in prison. For what? Robbing banks? What do you tell the children? I tell them the truth but in a very funny and dramatic way. I just don’t lie or try to hide anything.

    People (family, friends, patients, coworkers, strangers, etc) often find my life really entertaining and want to me to keep telling stories (all with a moral in mind😉 and before I know it I’m entertaining the whole unit. Bringing races and different strokes together in laughter.

    I’m often called “weird” or “strange”, but easily loved and a lot of people even end up coming to me for life advice all the time. Though, mine is always seemingly screwed up. It’s really just funny, and I don’t believe there should be any shame in truth.

    • Thank you for telling us your story, Ur-anus! You are such a perfect example of a Chiron clown. The humor that comes from so much pain. Donna


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