astrology of mid-life chiron & what jupiter rx wants

The best example of Aries in action is currently seen across media… the young women who are survivors of mass school shooting speaking fiercely, honestly, and holding accountable the entire country, in front of an audience of thousands of activists and protesters. It’s so Aries-in-action to watch, it’s breathtaking. Children holding our culture’s terminal apathy accountable, righteous anger peppered with ferocity, correct, outraged youth.

Jupiter’s retrograde in Scorpio has a role here too. Jupiter is a planet that enlarges everything it touches or passes through. Jupiter through Scorpio (coupled with Mars which finally left the sign) is what gave us #metoo and the deluge of finally illuminated truth-tellings and stories of assaults perpetrated by scores of high profile men last year. It’s given us people speaking and living their truth, releasing it from shadowy places, finally. Scorpio is liminal, where painful secrets, hurt, and anger reside – feelings and subjects we as a culture consider taboo.

Think back to November of last year when the Sun was also in Scorpio. How much did we learn about those around us and our own truth? What was brought to light that had previously been just a resonant subtext? Jupiter still in Scorpio, continues to pluck that string in a big way and on a grand scale. What have we changed since then? Jupiter’s current retrograde in Scorpio says that we aren’t done yet, facing what’s true, unpleasant, difficult, and desperately needing to be addressed, both personally and culturally.

Whether #metoo or outraged shooting survivors or our own realizations about our ability to look at our own emotional shadows , Jupiter is saying, ‘Yeah not so fast. I’m not leaving until I’m sure you can’t deny this any longer. You can’t unsee.’

A note about the 12th house — I’ve been asked by a few friends recently to explain the mysterious 12th house. It’s been called the ‘house of suffering,’ ‘house of self-undoing,’ ‘house of subconscious,’ house of death.’ It’s the house where we face ourselves, whether we want to or not and whether we are aware of it or not — where we are our own worst enemies or create narratives about ourselves and our lives that we cling to, even when they are outdated, preventing our own real happiness and growth, sort of like emotional and psychic security blankets. Comfy, same or similar, safe choices that ultimately work against us.

No matter what sign is in this house, trying to understand it will probably feel like trying to grab at fistfuls of fog. What the 12th house wants you to know is likely functioning like a rider on the other running themes in your life, asking to be addressed by the choices that we actively make towards our fulfillment and wholeness, instead of our stagnation and undoing.

pablo neruda.

A lot about Chiron returns after the clicky click

After the supreme tumult of my Uranus opposition, I’ve been on-and-off researching the astrology of mid-life to try and gain a heads up for what’s next. Not surprisingly, there are several more mid-life transits of significance than at earlier points in our lives, since it’s roughly halfway through our existence (more or less). It’s sort of like half-time adjustments, asking us to consider what we have learned so far, what we still want to be or build, to identify regrets or squandered opportunities for remediation, and asking us to tune and calibrate ourselves toward the much bigger image we hold of what balance, true wholeness, and harmony would mean to us… not comfortable, but deeply fulfilled.

My dear friend Steph posted the above Neruda piece today, after we spent the afternoon yesterday eating phở and doing tarot readings for each other and talking about the craft of poetry. She is 9 years younger and just starting to feel her upcoming Saturn square, one of the kickoffs to the middle age transits. But when she posted it today, I immediately thought of my sister, chest deep in her Chiron return (age 48-50 ish), so weary, but completely brave and persevering toward the vision she holds of her deep truth and love.

She won’t give in. Will not turn towards the easier paths or mindsets that would maintain the status quo and equate a half-hearted wishing and a shrug, or settle for choices that make her ‘sort of happy.’ Happy-ish. She’s working for the real deal — toward a true, mutual, vulnerable love and life. And her life is turning brilliant, impossibly beautiful shades because of it.

One of my strengths has always been observation; watching others, especially those older than me and learning from their choices and subsequent results. Thus, I’m paying attention as my sister navigates her path. My other sibling’s Chiron return will start soon as well. Chiron gets so much attention for being the seat of the wound/s in our lives — the ones which deeply shape us — that it’s easy to forget that it’s also the healer. Chiron is the problem that holds it’s own answer. The old: “Your wound is your gift.” .

I don’t know how other people’s Chiron returns look or manifest. I’ve no doubt if the wound has been acknowledged, worked, and healed over time, it’s a transit that isn’t particularly notable. In retrospect, I can see people I’ve known pass through that age window and their differences before and after, some for better, more “them” in a sense — a purer form of them, somehow more vibrant. And some of them more resigned, making expected, same sorts of choices, seemingly wondering why day after day, their chests ache in the same place, the same way it has for as long as they can remember. It seems like for the latter, the wounds they never recovered from can become slowly calcifed, keeping them stuck at the metaphorical, emotional crime scene and running the same narratives that they are tethered to in an effort to maintain a mirage of safety.

One of these types of pains for me, is H-‘s birth. If someone catches me off guard and asks me how birth and delivery were, I’m struck mute and visibly shatter in a way I do about absolutely no other topic. Part of me is still stuck there. Part of me still blames my body and myself for failing him. I know it’s a wound I need to deal with, but I tuck it away and figure I’ll get around to it at some point. I always figure I’ve worked on my primary wound so much and yielded so much healing, that the rest is not as pressing. But Chiron says that’s not so. I know this because of my reaction when the topic arises. It takes me out entirely. That’s a wound of the Chiron variety. It’s one I have to address or I will never transcend. And I’ll leave part of me there, in the past, tending that pain, never truly whole or available to the present.

Personal transits are just that. One person’s Chiron return will not look like another’s. And, all primary wounds are not equal and none are unable to be remediated. I’ve seen people with beautiful natal charts stuck in negative places they can’t escape and people with absolutely difficult natal charts work them so beautifully and positively. Certainly if we work on healing consistently and over time, issues that arise which push those same buttons will not feel as annihilating. We will have many of the tools to navigate the terrain. And that’s what being aware of our upcoming transits can do, help us be prepared for the areas of life that will be arising for our attention so that we can encounter that period of life with intention.

I can see what house my sister’s Chiron return is happening in, and the aspects Chiron makes to other planets in her chart, but that’s only the framework of the transit… the themes, like in the natal chart which portray the foundation of the person, but not the image created. Chiron, along with other aspects and planets in the chart, asks us to heal ourselves. It reminds me of that Anais Nin quote: 

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud 

was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Watching my sister through her Chiron return is hard. It’s hard that I can’t fix it for her, it’s hard that she’s so far away and I can’t often soothe her, or cook for her, or take her to a movie to escape for a few hours. It’s hard when she makes choices that are going to hurt her or are just noisy, busy decisions that function like quicksand. But, I can listen, and energetically hold her and send her strength. It’s a separate essay on watching loved ones go through trying transits, but for now, hopefully, it’s enough to say that parenting ourselves through them is paramount. Pushing ourselves to grow and work toward the vision we hold for ourselves and our future (and thus family and community) is important, but it’s also important to be kind and loving to ourselves and to know when we just need sleep or to have a Netflix binge or to take a sick day and head to the coast and let the negatively charged ions do their thing. Chiron asks us for that balance in healing… address the issue, and thereby heal ourselves. Be braver.

A great guide to Chiron placement in our charts.