Saturn, Chiron and the Centaurs - To the Edge and Beyond
Melanie Reinhart's groundbreaking work, Chiron and the Healing Journey, opened the eyes of the astrological world to the importance of this recently discovered 'planetoid' in understanding both individual and collective experiences of suffering and the potential for distilling wisdom and healing from those situations which cause us the greatest pain. In the seminars in this volume, she explores not only the importance of Saturn as the boundary between individual and collective realities, but she also brings exciting new insights about Chiron and the group of newly discovered bodies lying between the orbits of Saturn and Pluto, which astronomy calls the Centaurs. These small 'messengers' from deep space are connected with experiences of transpersonal reality which demand that we redefine our relationship with the instinctual side of our nature.
Saturn, Chiron and the Centaurs brings together intuitive perspectives with solid case material in a lively seminar format. Including an ephemeris listing the planetary placements of the two largest Centaurs, Pholus and Nessus, this book offers profound new insights into the mystery of human suffering as it is reflected in the symbolism of the horoscope.
Review by Jamie Macphail: Astrological Journal, January/February 1997
Melanie Reinhart's new book consists of two transcribed seminars on Saturn and Chiron (including a study of two newly discovered Centaurs - Pholus and 1193 HA2 or Nessus).
In the first section she explores the mythology and psychology of Saturn in a clear but deeply philosophical manner, showing how it represents, as the principle of manifestation, part of the creative process. It is the alchemical alembic within which we take responsibility for our ability to master the lessons of Time. Through such a positive approach we can avoid the false casualties which ensnare us within our fears and which (like Kronos) castrate our creative potential, swallowing down that which wishes to be expressed.
Reinhart describes in detail the cycles of Saturn - in which we first acquiesce with the authority of our parents and society (well, some do!). The second is more about ourselves as carriers of authority, while the third is more about the kind of Higher Authority that we answer to. She then studies the planets which are in exaltation, fall, dignity and detriment in Capricorn, and where Saturn holds these positions, and this is followed by a group discussion of Saturn through the houses, before finishing with a guided meditation. Melanie has clearly grappled deeply with Saturn and her observations will enrich both the beginner and the adept.
In the second section, Reinhart extrapolates on her recent research into Chiron. As its orbit is very elliptical, during one third it passes inside Saturn's orbit. She describes in depth how those with Chiron as an inner planet need to express to the world something of the spirit which they already feel anchored within, while those with Chiron as an outer planet need to grasp a sense of the spirit which has always been projected or seemed rather remote. She explores the Chiron cycle and describes how through this process we work on what has been spoiled in our lives and develop understanding through it.
Reinhart introduces us to two new Centaurs and explores their mythology and likely astrological significance, concluding with three persuasive case studies and ephemerides for Pholus and Nessus. She describes these Centaurs as "bits of the Underworld (beyond Pluto) that are flung into the Solar System, to become part of our own Underworld, that we are being asked to integrate". The explosion of this new astronomical information can be seen as a metaphor for the expansion of consciousness taking place.
Briefly, Pholus represents impulses of which we are only partly conscious. It is where we have to enter chaos and allow transformation to occur through the awakening of the quality of detachment that comes through compassionate self-enquiry - although the process may lead us down a self-destructive path until we become aware of it.
1993HA2 (Nessus) seems to unlock the tomb from which the ghosts of our long past arise, and its process includes dealing with the power of lust and vengeance, showing where and how we develop integrity and character through power over ourselves.
Reinhart sees the Centaurs as the emissaries of the Underworld, representing the consciousness that can help us integrate the high-voltage frequencies of the outer planets, which, without mediation, tend to destructively blow apart our Saturnian reality. The orbit-crossing characteristic of the Centaurs symbolises this, and she has linked Chiron, Pholus and Nessus as mediators of the energy of Saturn/Uranus, Saturn/Neptune and Saturn/Pluto respectively.
On first reading, I thought Reinhart had gone beyond her senses (which she clearly has, in one way), but on re-reading the book and doing my own tentative research into the impact of these two Centaurs, I have to applaud her bravery and perspicacity in presenting this new material. Clearly, it will take a considerable period of time to develop and integrate Pholus and Nessus (after all, most of us have only recently integrated Chiron) But, once again, like a true Centaur, Reinhart is blazing a trail for the rest of us to follow.
© Copyright 1997 The Astrological Association of Great Britain
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