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In Canada, They Call it Therapy 

click to enlarge Looking at the events and experiences surrounding several past Chiron transits is one of the most efficient ways to get an understanding of a person and of their chart.
  • Looking at the events and experiences surrounding several past Chiron transits is one of the most efficient ways to get an understanding of a person and of their chart.

At Omega Institute last weekend, I did something that in retrospect was pretty daring—started a bunch of relatively new astrology students working with Chiron transits. Looking at the events and experiences surrounding several past Chiron transits is one of the most efficient ways to get an understanding of a person and of their chart.

These transits include Chiron’s squares, oppositions, and return to its own natal position (each of which happens for a brief phase once per 50-year cycle), as well as Chiron conjunct the ascendant, Sun and Moon.

A friend made up a nifty 100-year Chiron ephemeris that fits on six pages (for easy copying), I brought a new, very fast printer so we could have instant charts for the class and—with a little bit of mindfulness—we had everything we needed to get going.

After a brief introduction, I demonstrated the process on one student whose transits turned out to be quite dramatic and timed precisely to the 50-year orbit of Chiron. The themes of these events all related to his Moon/Chiron conjunction in Capricorn in the fourth house; the result being a long sequence of events involving his home, family, and security base. This was astrology in real life, not in theory; and it was astrology connected to a living client we could all see and dialogue with, rather than case study in a book.

Usually, astrology studies begin with the rote memorization of the planets through the signs and houses. Each placement is presumed to have a “meaning,” and that meaning is presumed to be static and definitive. For example, I have Venus in Taurus, and once I read in a book that this means I will go to the same restaurant every day and order the same thing. Which is precisely what I do, but I think it’s purely a coincidence.

The themes of Chiron, as I mentioned last week, are apropos of Omega Institute because it’s a holistic studies center dedicated to the raising of awareness, the two most important themes of this archetype. The risk of using Chiron is that material “too deep” will come up, but the friendly part is that when we’re truly serving as a facilitator, we don’t need to fix anyone or do very much, but rather bear witness to the human condition, and serve as an honest reflecting pool. I also thought it was excellent that Mercury in Gemini was stationing retrograde in an exact trine to Chiron as we began the class Friday night.

It can take an hour or two to do this process; I recommend that newer astrology students set aside a full session, and strive to accomplish nothing but hearing the client’s account of their biographical material.

At this point in my work, I can usually spot check the transits in about half an hour and get a feel for how someone who has come to me processes their changes. Once the lifetime Chiron transits are out in the open, the choices the client faces in the present moment, and the factors influencing them, are much more obvious. The name of the tune is pattern recognition, and seeing where the current experience of life fits into a larger, often hidden pattern—then bringing that pattern to light.

With this done, an astrologer and client can then work with the awareness of what has happened, what it represents, and what is happening—then use that information to look at options, consider possible courses of action, and to understand recurring issues much more clearly.

I think this is more effective and far more ethical than an astrologer picking up the chart and telling the client who they are. Yes, there are times to read a chart; Saturn in Capricorn has a different sense of existence than Saturn in Aquarius, and you need to factor that. An astrologer needs to be able to feel the Moon in a chart and be aware of the way that it can dominate the personality. But in a process workspace, the sense of existence needs to come from the client’s experiences rather than from the astrologer’s projections.

When I teach this process in Canada, they tell me it would be defined as “therapy,” and therefore questionably legal to practice without a therapist’s license. To which I reply, if there is an astrologer in the room with an ephemeris, a horoscope chart, and a client who thinks you’re an astrologer, who happens to be chasing a comet around the solar system, then that is clearly astrology. It may be “therapeutic,” but on the right day, so is going to the movies, a prostitute, or the gym. That an astrologer might listen to the client for an hour or two before making any pronouncements at all might be considered radical, but I think it’s common sense.

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