After Pluto was discovered in 1930, astronomers and astrologers would often talk about one more Planet X yet to be found. There were even some astrologers who hypothesized Transpluto, and started using it’s theorized positions in charts. But neither the astronomers nor astrologers ever expected the multitude of new bodies that would be discovered in the neighborhood of Pluto and beyond.
When Uranus was discovered in 1781, it shattered our preconceptions and added a whole new dimension to astrology. Sixty-five years later, the discovery of Neptune showed us our universe was much larger than we had dared imagine. In 1930, Pluto exploded into our consciousness with an intensity that made the previous discoveries seem almost pale by comparison. Each of these pushed the borders of our solar system further outward, and at the same time there was a corresponding delving deeper and deeper into our inner psyche.
But we thought we knew the area within the borders quite well. That is, until 1977, when Charles Kowal stunned the world by finding a possible planet orbiting between Saturn and Uranus! We didn’t really know the immediate neighborhood at all! And a few years later, in 1992, the discoveries of the first body out past Pluto (nicknamed QB1), and another body in between Saturn and Uranus (named after another Centaur, Pholus) marked the beginning of a whole new wave of discoveries, one that is still going on. During the past 20 years, so many new bodies have been discovered that the mind boggles.
Our ancestors, the astrologer/astronomer/priests, only had to make sense charting the motions of the Sun, Moon, five planets, and the Moon’s Nodes. Most of what we know of today as astrology is based on the findings of those early skywatchers. We adapted somewhat in 1781, and the Uranian shockwaves are still being felt. We adapted again after Neptune’s discovery but while some things became more clear, others became much more fuzzy. We are still trying to adapt to all that Pluto has brought to us, and it has been quite often a very painful experience. But in each case, humanity and its astrologers have had several decades to begin comprehending the new perceptions of how our world fits in the largest universe.
Chiron’s coming into our consciousness changed the dynamics, forcing us to take second and third looks right here in our immediate neighborhood. Those who were brought up to read the Christian New Testament are probably familiar with Luke 6:42, which advises us, before we can help another person, we must first the splinter from our own eye. You can interpret this on many levels, but it’s very much Chiron, which is telling us that in order to truly step outside of our own limits and be of use to the rest of the universe we must first work on our own selves, our own immediate issues. And, thick and fast, more and more Centaurs have been showing up, showing us our own darkest sides….the areas of ourselves we really need to work on. Just as they are being discovered in our own backyard, relatively speaking, in parts of the solar system we thought we knew well, we are having to look at parts of ourselves for the darkness we once tried to assume was always in ‘the other person’….and acknowledge that, no, it’s in all of us too.
The Neighborhood is Changing. It can be terrifying. But just as in art, the empty spaces help define the artist’s work, the darkness helps to show us what is truly good about us as well.
In the new neighborhood, we are all human, all wounded….but all have the potential to help each other help ourselves heal.
Say hello to some of your new neighbors. These are all the Centaurs that have been named so far: Chiron, Pholus, Nessus, Asbolus, Hylonome, Chariklo, Pelion, Okyrhoe, Cyllarus, Elatus, Echeclus, Bienor, Thereus, Amycus, Crantor