Posted by: Donna Cunningham | February 3, 2011

Chiron Cycles and Life’s Purpose

 (c)2010, An Excerpt from Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer by Joyce Mason

Note: Joyce hosted two Question and Answer sessions about natal Chiron and Chiron transits on Skywriter at the links below.  She  provided this material as background.   

Many astrologers consider the Chiron Return a major astrological life cycle. The Chiron Return occurs when Chiron has made a complete orbit around the Sun and goes home to the position it held at an individual’s birth.

The Chiron return is one of three major astrological life cycles. The cycles are, ages approximate: the Saturn Return at 30; the Uranus Opposition at 40; and the Chiron Return at 50. Chiron pioneer Barbara Hand Clow gives these three cycles the following key words: physical crisis (Saturn), emotional crisis (Uranus) and consciousness crisis (Chiron). [1]  

 At the Saturn Return, we look to find the right forms and foundations for our lives, very physical things like where we live and who lives with us. At the Uranus Opposition, we want to break out of those forms, because they have become too constricting. This is one of the astrological factors behind the midlife crisis. Finally, at the Chiron Return, we must complete how we relate to others, including the Divine.

In the course of its 50.7-year orbital period, however, Chiron also makes a series of major aspects to its own position in the natal chart—transiting Chiron squares, opposes, and again squares natal Chiron, leading up to the Chiron Return at approximately age 50. These aspects represent the process of deepening ensoulment, remembering that we are spirit in physical form.[2]

 The process starts with birth, where we are each born into the circumstances that catalyze our inner growth—physical, cultural, racial, religious, socio-economic, and psychological imprints. Whatever pain we encounter from this point forward can only be transcended with “the right spirit.”

 At the First Square, you begin to have an inkling or actual awareness of the Chironic wound and its impact on you. Chiron’s orbit is so erratic, this can happen anytime between the ages of 5½ and 23½. At some level, this pain always has to do with feeling disconnected.

 Your specific Chironic wound, which the sign and house placement in your astrology chart can help you understand, will only trigger the existing birth trauma we all share, as mentioned before—feeling cut off from spirit. That pain of separation has certain qualities according to Chiron’s sign in your birth chart.

 For example, since Cancer is the sign associated with mothering, Chiron in Cancer’s wounds typically come from over-protectiveness, abuse, abandonment, or other inappropriate nurturing issues, usually connected with the mother.

 Because Mother is normally our literal lifeline to survival and the initial source of our feeling life and human warmth, these are the Wounded Feelers. An example is Christina Crawford, adoptive daughter of famous actress Joan Crawford, who wrote her account of an abusive childhood in the book, Mommy Dearest. Both Christina Crawford and Faye Dunaway, who played Joan Crawford in the movie version of the story, have Chiron in Cancer.

 Events around the Chiron Opposition [3] will often replicate the original wound in some form, piquing awareness of the mechanism that will nag, if not force you to grow.

 The next in these series of aspects, the Second (or Upper) Square is when you can begin to realize that you can reinterpret the pains you have suffered in life, especially if the earlier cycles have succeeded in nudging you to do your spiritual work.

 Hopefully, you begin to reframe the areas of your life impacted by the wounding. The Chironic wound starts to heal, and it becomes less knee-jerk. The person with self-esteem issues gains more courage after joining Toastmasters, an organization devoted to helping people master public speaking. People with disabilities no longer think of themselves as different or isolated, but as individuals with muscular dystrophy or hearing loss as part of their physical characteristics.

 Lastly, at the Chiron Return, around age 50, the more evolved way of viewing old wounds, physical or emotional, should have taken hold. You’ll have assurance divine intervention is there for you whenever you need it. You’ll have found your “holes”—what’s missing in your life—so you can patch them up and experience wholeness and fulfillment. (Sometimes words are so literal!)

 This is the perfect window for grappling with any unfinished business when it comes to healing—to catalyze that chain reaction toward wholeness. If you’ve been working on it, your Chironic wound has become more of a sore spot than an open sore. It will always be there for biofeedback, like an old war injury, but by now, you know its purpose is truly divine.

Posts about Chiron:

 About the Author: Joyce Mason has consulted, written, and spoken on astrology for three decades. Recently, she has published two e-books on Chiron that can be purchased in the sidebar of her blog, The Radical Virgo. She’s the President and CEO (Catalyst, Enthusiast, and Organizer) of Sacramento Area Astrologers, a newly forming chapter of the National Council on Geocosmic Research (NCGR). She’s seeking volunteers for her Chiron Research, part of a new book she’s writing.


  • [1] Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets by Barbara Hand Clow (1988: Llewellyn), p. 33.
  • [2] Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People, Part 5:  Chiron and Life’s Purpose (Spirited Living) by Joyce Mason.This article also suggests life’s purpose by Chiron sign.
  • [3]  Chiron’s orbit is so elliptical, it takes 8.25 years to go through the sign of Aries and 1.75 years to pass through the sign of Libra, its longest and shortest sojourns in the signs. Just like the wide variance of the first square between 5 and 23 years of age, Chiron’s opposition and second square to itself are too variable to predict without casting a chart with the assistance of an astrologer, astrology software, and/or astrological computing service. There is a chart in Barbara Hand Clow’s Chiron book on these dates that you can also consult.


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