Wholeness and the Inner Marriage

The Chiron Sector and Relationships

The many keywords for Chiron fit into a one-word concept—wholeness. For instance, Chironic people and things act as a ‘rainbow bridge’ between Saturn and Uranus, synthesizing the best of the old and new. Chiron’s job is to intercede between tradition (the way things have always been) and (r)evolution (the way things need to become). Chiron is the ambassador between these clearly Saturnian and Uranian extremes, helping us to weave all polarities within the fabric of ourselves, to become whole. These polarities include male/female, light/dark, and the pairs of astrological opposites (Aries/Libra, Taurus/Scorpio, etc.).

Another key word, alternatives, clearly points to Chiron’s balancing or equalizing function. When the Establishment becomes too Saturnian (like the American Medical Association), we seek alternatives (in this case, we even call the alternative holistic medicine, another Chironic term).

One of my favorite Chironic words is shamanism. The shamanistic journey creates wholeness by dismembering the shaman. The dark night of the soul includes being ripped apart, facing death and/or demons, and then being put back together again. Only when a member of the tribe has successfully faced this initiation does he or she become convincing (and trustworthy) as a healer and guide to help others become whole. Metaphorically, astrologers and other healers fulfill this function by dealing with their own ‘stuff,’ be it physical or emotional dis-ease or other issues. To be perceived as authentic, modern-day shamans must be willing to face their own darkness, often by recreating the original wounding (Chiron’s wounded healer dimension), and thereby experiencing some form of psychic death in order to be resurrected.

Interestingly, shamans were often required to cross-dress and live as the opposite sex. [1] In a modern-day parallel, we’re all being asked to put the shoe on the other foot—to try on the recessive characteristics of the opposite sex within us. We still aren’t used to this, the real sexual revolution, but perhaps if we remember the Chironic balance-to-wholeness function, we’ll keep trying to walk in each other’s moccasins until we find a pair of comfortable ‘cross–trainers.’ This thought may be difficult to hold while the fabric of how we relate as men and women is being ripped apart, like the shaman-in-training. After all, new shoes often pinch until they’re broken in.

Kicking off our shoes for the moment and getting back to key words, some of the following are things that Chiron does that are associated with signs of the zodiac: syn-thesizes (Virgo), balances (Libra), dies and resurrects (Scorpio). Not previously mentioned is the fact that Chiron was a teacher and mentor, dispensing a balanced ‘higher’ education (Sagittarius). Chiron’s charges learned physical, metaphysical, and artistic skills—out of this whole brain, body, and spirit training came heroes.

A hero is someone who demonstrates the ability to contact and act unselfishly from his or her Higher Self in urgent circumstances. Perhaps the height of whole-ness is to be able to give your best spontaneously, trusting Spirit to flow through you, where instinct and knowledge merge into just the right action. This ability comes from the development of intuition, and is part of our lost “…oracular and divination skills … This level of skill is simply reaching a holistic level of integration where we act without the intervention of conscious thought.” [ 2]



How can wholeness be just one thing?

While Al H. Morrison suggested that the subject of rulership is moot now that we know Chiron is a comet, [3] I still believe that any astronomical body can be linked by metaphor to any sign, idea, or process. Because many signs of the zodiac can be seen in the myth of Chiron, single-sign rulership is precluded, but those ‘signs of many signs’ support Chiron’s consummate keyword, wholeness. In previous writings, I’ve suggested that Chiron is most strongly affiliated with Virgo, at least ‘for now.’[4]  From this conviction, coupled with my belief that the sign Virgo has been horrendously maligned and misunderstood, [5]  I’ve lived up to my Catholic confirmation name, Joan (of Arc), jumping on my white charger to save the sign of Virgo. At first, I thought this mission was self-serving due to my Sun’s placement in Virgo. It took awhile before I realized that I was on to something much more: Virgo is the key to understanding Chiron’s connection to a process of inner marriage that ultimately leads to wholeness. The process of becoming whole—Chiron’s process—is linked with the Virgo-to-Sagittarius sector of the zodiac, with Virgo as the pivotal sign.

From as far back as the first years following discovery, the major theories on Chiron’s rulership have focused on Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius. Collective first instincts often give us the best information we’ll ever get about the meaning of symbols in our culture. There have been two primary assumptions about Chiron. Because mythological Chiron was a centaur and a great teacher, some astrologers (e.g., Melanie Reinhart)  [6] believe Chiron rules Sagittarius. Others (particularly Barbara Hand Clow) [7] make a case for Virgo rulership based on Chiron’s work as a holistic healer and herbalist, as well as his unselfish service to the many heroes he mentored. The surge in holistic healing and the reawakening of esoteric knowledge around the time of Chiron’s discovery further supports this connection.

Yet others presume some link between Chiron and Libra, the sign it occupies at perihelion. [8] Since Chiron guides us to wholeness by way of a balancing act, this is easy to see (and will be more so as this article touches on Chiron’s role in relationships). A less held, but significant early theory focused both on Chiron’s legendary skills as a surgeon and the observation of Chiron’s transits, which can involve pregnancy and birth, sex, parenting, illness and death. Tony Joseph thus made a case for Scorpio co-rulership (with Sagittarius). [9]

My answer to the question, ‘Which sign does Chiron rule?’ is ‘all of the above,’ with this qualification: I agree with Dale O’Brien that the concept of rulership is inconsistent with Chiron’s mythological character. [10] To rule at some level implies ‘lording it over,’ which Chiron never did, even with the other rowdy centaurs who were so different than him (and who could have well used a dose of Saturn). So rather than ‘rule,’ I think of Chiron instead as enlightening. In other words, Chiron enlightens us about this special one-third of the zodiac, where we begin to shift the focus from Self to Other. If we choose to, we can take the trip to wholeness, which centers on integrating the masculine and feminine, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Chiron can even tell us the steps we have to take to get there.


The Inner Marriage

The path to wholeness and Chiron’s purpose cannot be understood until we correct our centuries-long misuse of the word virgo. Liz Greene writes that virgo once meant intact or self-contained. Virgo was represented by the Great Goddess, the Magna Mater, the Great Harlot… and in a sexual sense, she was ‘no virgin.’ [11] As an archetype, she is her own person, offering her femininity freely, as she chooses.

To clarify, a virgo or virgin is not someone who doesn’t have sex. She isn’t a whore, either, as she does not have sex for money or other gain, or for any reason except wanting to give herself. Note the importance of the fact that she does not use her sexual power to manipulate; her purity lies in her integrity. She is whole in and of herself, and therefore has her whole Self to offer.

This kind of woman (or ‘virgoness’) drives the patriarchy wild because no one can control her. A woman in total abandon, uninhibited in her ‘shakti’ or life energy, is awe-inspiring, and can raise fear, even in the heart of the maleness within women. Historically, the matrifocal earth religions, in part characterized by shakti running rampant in drumming and ceremony, scared the male powers-that-be enough to bring on the Inquisition. (Their charbroiled past lives could be why some of today’s women have had the shakti scared out of them.) Psychologists speak of men’s envy of women’s creative function, which is much more than baby-making. The path to wholeness starts at Virgo, where (and women with dominant male energy, can develop their feminine and full creative potential.

A true Virgo has done the difficult work of self-betterment, aiming for perfection or the best possibility. She chooses carefully to whom and to what she will give herself. She is very self-reliant, merging the mental (left-brain) aspects of traditional Mercury rulership with her feminine (right brain) sign. (It is the same, of course for the male Virgo. I am using the feminine because of Virgo’s female symbol.)

This is the first step to wholeness and can be easily skipped due to our desire for instant (Cup-a-Soup) relationships.  For love to work in the ‘romantic’ sense lack of a better term, a person needs ‘good material’ in a partner. The Virgo of the zodiac symbol would not have a successful harvest if she planted her seeds in poor soil. This aspect of Virgo asks us to analyse our chances, to be sure we take calculated reasonable risks in love.

Virgo also tells us this about the Chironic process to wholeness: we will not find salvation in another. In order to find joy and happiness with another, we first find our own integrity, or integrate ourselves—that means balancing our masculine and feminine. We think of Virgo as often choosing to remain single. An evolved Virgo will remain single until she finds ‘good material,’ because masculine and feminine are in balance.  She has relationship because she wants to because she needs to. She partners for synergy, where two wholes are more than sum of their parts.

When we enter relationship basically intact, a tremendous number of problems are solved. Most of us try to do Libra and the 7th house before we have successfully learned the Virgo lessons. For sure, marrying ourselves is hard work. Inner marriage means we can’t blame anyone but ourselves for our happiness or lack thereof. It demands tough-loving our inner child, the sometimes bratty part in all of us that wants his or her own way (and someone else to be wrong). We all talk about how we have to give 100% in relationships—we know that at some basic level-but if we don’t do Virgo first, we don’t have 100% to give.

Typically, Cupid-struck, we enter Libra, unaware that we are looking for qualities in our partners that we have not personally developed. Here’s where we begin to get into a lot of trouble. I think the reason the sexes have been at war for eons boils down to the fact that they’re sick and tired of doing each other’s work. When we project (hand over) our recessive inner male or female onto our partners, we are asking them to be responsible for us instead of developing our own wholeness. Then we get mad as hell that a piece of us is missing. No wonder we feel controlled. No wonder when we break up, a part of us dies.

Perhaps the most important point about the inner marriage is that it must come before a successful outer marriage or romantic partnership is possible. The ‘Chiron sector’ of the zodiac not only gives us a step-by-step prescription to wholeness, but also requires that those steps be taken in order.

When we develop Virgo (and the 6th house) first, the partnership in Libra (and the 7th house) is much more positive. Our partners then tend to reflect our recessive qualities back to us in a gentler way—we see our Selves in the mirror of the Other. This brings a sense of merging, and focuses on our likenesses instead of the alienation that invariably comes with projection, which involves not owning our recessive masculine or feminine sides. So, when you or someone you know verbalizes a lot of sentiments like, “men are jerks” or “women are bitches,” you know there is major projection going on. The prescription is to go back and do Virgo—get self-contained and develop the inner opposite before the next trip to Libra.


Outer Marriage

Once we’ve mastered Virgo, we’re ready to give our Selves in partnership, but before you breathe a sigh and figure you’ve arrived at Happily Ever After, here’s another caution. It won’t work if you let lust dominate and try to skip over to Scorpio and the 8th house before you’ve done Libra and the 7th. While the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s was so crucial for balance—to counteract the repressive upbringing most of us did not enjoy—it created the lousy Neptune-in-Libra illusion that sex is synonymous with intimacy.

Brian Clark gave a brilliant presentation on the 8th house at the April 1992 United Astrology Congress (UAC) in Washington, D.C. According to Clark, the 8th house (and Scorpio) is where we touch into our infantile rage. In a nutshell, we were bonded to mother in utero, and then she abandoned us (kicked us out by the contractions of birthing). Later, we awake to find out she’s in love with somebody else! (Father)  All 8th house relationships replay this scenario and the Oedipal triangle. There can be no passion without anger, and death, jealousy, and possessiveness go with the territory.

This is a very charged area of life, and if we go there before getting to know one another and developing the romance and trust that goes with the 7th house and Libra, we’re bound to have high drama and the worst of Pluto. With a strong 7th, there is such a basic bond of good will that we’re likely to acknowledge the other’s faults and darkness (and our own), and allow each other to express them and therefore to let go of them. Libra has to do with merging based on an ideal, whether that ideal is a shared project, children, or a similar world-view. There’s something about being ‘in it together’ for a purpose larger than ourselves that minimizes the tendency to project our darker parts onto the other. When partners view each other as the enemy, it’s a sure sign this step has been skipped.

The sexual revolution separated the body from the mind and spirit. Without the entire trinity, though, sooner or later sex becomes empty. In the 7th house, we have an opportunity to become companions and close friends—the best kind of relationship for facing all that of 8th house darkness that comes with the white light of intense sexual merging.


Microcosm to Macrocosm

Why is one-to-one relationship so important? If we learn to love an individual, perhaps we can extend love to other ethnic, religious, and political groups, to other na-tions. The 9th house is the boundary between ‘one other’ and ‘many others’ (the 10th, 11th, and 12th, where we can better the world by giving ourselves to the collective). It is connected to the sign of higher philosophy (Sagittarius), and ruled by the planet of prosperity (Jupiter). Now married, both inside and out, we receive the cornucopia of blessings, and in typical Jupiterian fashion, we generously want to give them back by sharing the higher view we’ve learned from our experiences. We may want to travel—now that we can relate to one human being intimately, we can relate to the rest of the world.

Chiron seems to have had a positive relationship with his wife, the sea nymph Chariclo, [12] and he gave his students a well-rounded education, the kind they would need to balance anima and animus—to become heroes. In these turning-point times, good relationships, both inner and outer, are becoming a must to equalize the masculine and feminine principles on a global level, to assimilate polarities for the sake of wholeness and survival.

Comets throughout history have been viewed as omens. The comet Chiron, discovered at this critical juncture, points to the balance needed to move humanity into an alternative lifestyle of holism that will support Earth and all life upon Her in abundance. (There’s that horn of plenty again.)

In the 1960s, we were ahead of our time. We started a sexual revolution, but it was only the beginning. We are on the brink of a revolution in relationship to ourselves and others that demands nothing less than a whole new world. In the 1990s, our time has come.

– by Joyce Lee Mason



[1] Rogan P. Taylor, The Death and Resurrection Show, Anthony Blond, 1985, pp. 28-30.
[2] Barbara Hand Clow, Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets, Llewellyn, 1987, p.7.
[3] Zane B. Stein, Essence and Application: A View from Chiron, 3rd Edition, CAO Times, Box 75, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10013, 1988. Update/Forward by Al H. Morrison, publisher. Note: Since this article was written in 1992, astronomers have confirmed that Chiron to be the first discovered among a new breed of composite planetary bodies, aptly called centaurs—half-comet and half-planetoid or asteroid.
[4] Joyce Mason, ‘The Radical Virgo,” The Mountain Astrologer, April/May 1992, pp.57-60.
[5] Joyce Mason, “A New Look at Virgo,” The Mountain Astrologer, April/May 1990, pp.31-33.
[6] Melanie Reinhart, Chiron and the Healing Journey, Arkana, 1989, 431 pp.
[7] See Clow, Reference #2.
[8] Erminie Lantero, The Continuing Discovery of Chiron, Samuel Weiser, 1983, p. 50.
[9] Ibid., pp. 25 and 51.
[10] Dale O’Brien, The Myth of Chiron, recorded 6/21/91 at The Mountain Astrologer’s Planet Camp Conference in Philo, California.
[11] Liz Greene, Star Signs for Lovers, Stein & Day, 1980, p.194.
[12] See O’Brien, reference #10.