When you first begin to dip your toe into the basics of astrology, you'll learn about your moon sign, your rising, and even other details of your natal (birth) chart. But at some point, whether thanks to TikTok or a professional astrology reading, chances are you'll hear someone mention Chiron. The "Wounded Healer" of the zodiac might not get the same buzz as big players like Mercury or Saturn, but it can certainly prove helpful, whether you're looking for next-level intel from your chart or a feel for the astroweather of the moment.
Here, all the details on the unique and intriguing comet.
Chiron Is a Relatively New Addition to Astrology
There's a reason you might do a reading with a pro astrologer or read your horoscope all the time and still never come across a mention of Chiron: The comet, which sits between Saturn and Uranus, was only just discovered by American astronomer Charles Kowal in 1977. So astrologers who've been studying for decades — or whose mentor was soaking up their own core knowledge pre-Chiron — might opt not use it in their chart or predictive readings. (Case in point: My dad, who was my first mentor, began studying astrology in 1969, almost a decade before the comet was noted by Kowal, and therefore, it didn't come up at all during my own introduction to astrology.)
Upon its discovery, Chiron was named for the centaur in Greek mythology who, despite being a healer to others, could not heal himself, notes CafeAstrology. And that ironic symbolism is now at the core of how the comet is now interpreted and used in astrology.
What Chiron Speaks to In a Birth Chart
Now that it's an established part of our solar system, Chiron is used by some astrologers to pinpoint the wound you carry with you throughout your life, which is possible to heal and draw from — to help others. In other words, it speaks to how you could potentially both heal and teach others once you've done your own self-work. (Related: How to Explore Your Dark Side Through Shadow Work)
Just like any other planet or luminary, you can look at your birth chart and see what Chiron's position was in the sky when you were born. By noting the sign and the house (which speaks to the area of life in which it'll manifest) it was in, as well as its relationship to other planets, luminaries, and points on your chart, you can get a sense of your wound as well as path to healing and teaching. It also illustrates something that you might be particularly sensitive or insecure about. And when it comes to your Chiron placement, you're more than well aware of this sore spot.
An example: Say your Chiron is in Gemini — a super-communicative air sign ruled by messenger Mercury — and in your second house of income. Perhaps you could struggle with expressing your thoughts and second-guess yourself, particularly when it comes to earning money. But once you face these insecurities head-on and own your voice, you might end up being a career coach or financial advisor.
Or perhaps it is in Aries — a dynamic fire sign ruled by bold Mars — and located in your seventh house of partnership. You might struggle to assert yourself, especially in the context of one-on-one relationships. But by facing your shadow side and bolstering your own self-image, you could very well turn out to be a couples' therapist — or, at the very least, the person your friends turn to for tips on owning their personal strengths when as one-half of a pair.
Zero in on your own personal Chiron placement by taking a glimpse at your birth chart (its symbol looks like a K over an O or a key) or by using CafeAstrology's online calculator.
And it also bears noting that you can also work with your own personal Chiron placement — aka natal Chiron — by seeing how it's "hit" by transits that come up as the planets and luminaries move through the signs. A full moon around the same degrees and sign as your Chiron could bring up a flood of emotions around your wound and serve as a time to release what's no longer serving you in your Chiron work. Or the sun sitting opposite your Chiron could require that you face aspects of your identity that are affected by unresolved pain and self-doubt.
How Chiron Functions In Everyday Astrology
You might already know that Mercury's transits through the signs and interactions with other planets and luminaries will influence communication, thinking, technology, and transportation. For example, Venus' transits are all about relationships, beauty, and money. And when it comes to Chiron, its movement through the sky is meant to nudge you to look at and address wounds in all different aspects of your life.
The comet takes about four years to move from one sign to another, but it spends 7 to 8 years in Aries and Pisces and just one to two years in Virgo and Libra. It kicked off its trip through Aries on April 17, 2018 — retrograded back into Pisces on September 25 of that year — and finally reentered the sign of the Ram on February 18, 2019. It'll hang there until June 19, 2026, bringing a fiery and impatient but passionate and motivated vibe to our personal — and collective — wound-healing missions. Think about how many of us are seeking therapy in an assertive, go-getter way, and looking for freedom from intergenerational trauma once and for all. But Chiron isn't exactly built for speed, so we'll be learning to use the driven, courageous side of Aries — versus its innate lead foot — to make the most of the next several years.
How to Make the Most of Chiron
From learning about how you intuit from your moon sign to understanding how you take action through your Mars, every aspect of your birth chart presents an opportunity to build self-awareness. Although Chiron may sound like it's signing you up for a lifetime course load, it's actually presenting you with a path to stepping into your power. After all, once you've owned your flaws and tender spots, you'll be able to show up a more self-actualized, albeit gorgeously imperfect, person.
Maressa Brown is a writer and astrologer with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to being Shape's resident astrologer, she contributes to InStyle, Parents, Astrology.com and more. Follow her Instagram and Twitter at @MaressaSylvie.