Chiron and the Tarot
by M.Z. (Mary) Hawkins
As a professional Tarot reader and psychic who has been studying and working extensively with Chiron for over a year, I am always very interested to see how other Tarot readers / astrologists define Chiron in relation to the Tarot.
It has been noted that in Tarot, Chiron can be associated with Major Arcanum I, The Magician, Major Arcanum XII, The Hanged Man (who voluntarily "hangs him/herself up" in order to gain wisdom for the good of mankind), or Major Arcanum IX, The Hermit.
Teresa Archuleta-Sagel notes that The Hermit seems to fit Chiron like a glove, as both are associated with Virgo, the sign of healing, work (duty) and the environment. The Greek words for Chiron mean "the hand," and many astrologers look to Chiron's placement in a chart to determine what, if any, role one might play as a healer (generally as an alternative, or holistic "hands on" healer).
Mythology of Chiron
Chiron's mythology tells us that Chiron was a centaur -- half horse and half man -- a product of an illicit union between Saturn (Cronus) and the sea nymph, Philyra. When his mother saw "the monster" she had given birth to, she abandoned him. Nonetheless, the little orphan grew up to be a master teacher of many subjects including astrology and medicine. He founded the first healing temple, The Chironium, at least a thousand years before Asclepius, purported to be the founder of Western medicine, founded the Asclepium. Thus, Chiron is actually the founder of Western medicine.
Chiron taught his students how to become "sacred warriors"; how to follow their quests and then go to death peacefully when the time comes. He taught his students how to access multidimensionality and balance polarization and duality. Today we might call such people "shaman," - Those who have learned to walk in other dimensions, work with duality, synthesize male and female, human and animal, mind and body, life and death.
Chiron, the Natal Chart and Tarot
In the natal chart, Chiron will point out where a person will suffer his or her "soul wound." The wound will be opened in order to gain the wisdom necessary to help heal self and others of physical or psychic pain. Barbara Hand Clow (and other astrologers) has heavily researched Chiron. She notes that Chiron squares, oppositions and returns are key life passages that will show where/when/how a person will be "wounded, healed or wound others."
Getting back to the Tarot, in Liquid Light of Sex, Barbara Hand Clow theorizes that there is no Tarot card for Chiron in the Tarot deck -- that Chiron is the Tarot card reader!! (Hand Clow also associates Chiron with Virgo and postulates that Chiron, not Mercury, is the ruler of Virgo.)
In The Tarot Book, Jana Riley, draws on previous research by Gary Ross, editor of the Tarot Network News, theorizing there are two new archetypes emerging -- or ancient ones re-emerging. Ross suggested these *new* archetypes have already been depicted via the *extra* cards in the Crowley - Thoth deck, where coincidentally, the artist painted and included two extra Magicians (Magus) cards! Ross speculated that the additional Magician in the Crowley-Thoth deck is 000-FUSION, relating to Chiron -- and the alternate Magus in that deck is 00-STARMAKER, relating to Persephone. If Ross, Riley and others are correct, this would result in there being 24 archetypes in the Major Arcana instead of the 22 Tarot professionals are familiar with.
I have come to believe that 000-FUSION in the Crowley-Thoth Tarot deck is indeed Chiron, making it Major Arcanum XXIII and that 00-STARMAKER is Nibiru (the 12th planet) and Major Arcanum XXIV.
That 000-FUSION of the Crowley -Thoth Tarot deck is Chiron resonates deeply with me. In The Tarot Handbook, Angeles Arrien shows the nine archetypal constellations of the Major Arcana found within the Tarot. For example, the High Priestess Constellation consists of 2 of Discs, 2 of Wands, 2 of Cups, 2 of Swords, II-High Priestess, XI-Lust/Strength and XX-Aeon. The universal shape, or matrix of the High Priestess Constellation is theThe Arrow, with the keywords sense of direction known, intention of hitting the mark. As far as I know, Arrien has no constellation to date that incorporates 000-FUSION or 00-STARMAKER. However, I propose that these additional constellations exist.
As the 23rd Major Arcanum, I propose that Chiron would be part of the Hierophant Constellation. This is the universal shape or matrix of The Staff or The Rod currently consisting (according to Arrien) of V-Hierophant, 5 of Swords, 5 of Cups, 5 of Wands, 5 of Disks and XIV-Art (Temperance). Placing 000-FUSION (XXIII-Chiron) at the top of the rod literally turns the constellation into a lightening rod (bridge) to higher consciousness! At the bottom of the rod is V-Hierophant symbolizing wisdom, teaching/learning challenges that are met internally and expressed externally when the principles of integration, synergy and alchemy (XIV-Art/Temperance) are at work. Art/Temperance is the union of opposition, polarity and paradox out of which a greater whole is created. Chiron, at the top is the focal point to accessing the transformational energies of Uranus and bringing them down the lightning rod into form. Five is the number of the bridge -- the connector -- of matter/form (Saturn) to spirit (Uranus) and vice versa. Interestingly, in the Native American Tarot, Arcanum V is the Shaman -- the master teacher of initiates and the healer. What is Chiron if not a healer and master teacher of initiates? So by accessing our wisdom (V-Hierophant) we learn to use the principles of integration, synergy and alchemy (XIV-Temperance), opening ourselves up to contact, receive and conduct (like a lightening rod) the healing energies of Chiron, thus transforming our lives.
I use the Crowley - Thoth and Native American Tarot decks extensively in my work. I have found that when 000-FUSION shows up in a reading using C-T, it is always indicative of the wounding/being wounded/healing Chirotic principle. The position of the card in the spread gives further insight. More recently, I have begun checking Chiron's placement in the natal chart, its house position and aspects, to give more information on the issue. (In such a reading, accurate birth time is critical.)
Chiron as the Soul Number in Tarot
Lately I have begun experimenting with the possibility that Chiron in other Tarot decks is the soul number of the person being read for. The soul number is deduced by taking the birth date and reducing it to a single digit. For example, January 3, 1970 would reduce to 1 + 3 + 1 + 9 + 7 + 0 = 2 + 1 = 3, or III-EMPRESS. Should III-EMPRESS show up in a spread I do for a client born January 3, 1970, I would evaluate III-EMPRESS from a Chirotic perspective as well as for its traditional meanings. If I am correct in my hypothesis that Chiron is represented by the soul number of the person being read for, Tarot readers who do not use the Crowley-Thoth deck could apply this technique to another Tarot deck they may use. When using other Tarot decks, I would also consider V-HIEROPHANT (SHAMAN) and XIV-ART/TEMPERANCE from a Chirotic perspective.
I also have impressions about 00-STARMAKER (Major Arcanum XXIV), but that is beyond the scope of this article. The Sumerians knew Nibiru as "the planet of the crossing." The essence of 00-STARMAKER is co-creation and working with the sixth dimensional energies (sacred geometry) to transform thought into (three dimensional) form. Working with 00-STARMAKER is much more intuition-dependent since Nibiru has not been *officially* sighted and no ephemeris exists for it. I am, however, leaning strongly towards Barbara Hand Clow's opinion that Nibiru rules Libra and the 7th House.
BTW, I believe that blending the disciplines of astrology, tarot and numerology is highly Chirotic and sooner or later, sustained and serious work with one of these systems will lead to exploration of the others.
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