What does it mean to have a Sun Chiron aspect in the natal chart? As mentioned in a previous post, Chiron symbolizes an opening, a wound, a rupture through which the soul comes to develop a sense of divine pity (from “pathos,” which I will further explain in this section) for oneself and others.
As such, Chiron may represent a psychological shift that takes place over time with regards to a particular type of wound: at first, the individual experiences an inexplicable form of embarrassment regarding this wound, trying to deal with it in an awkward manner, frustrating herself in the process. At the time of Chiron return (around the age of 50), however, most individuals start resigning themselves to the inevitability of this embarrassment, eventually realizing the futility of trying to heal this wound. At this age, a subtle psychological change of attitude towards the wound occurs, i.e. the individual is given opportunities to intuit that the wound is not there to be healed, but it actually serves another function: pathos.
Pathos has various implications, but fundamentally, it suggests an appeal to emotions. This word comes from the Greek “pathea” which, interestingly enough, has a double meaning: “suffering” and “experience.” It seems that Greeks were aware that experiencing anything fully would imply a degree of making oneself vulnerable. The concept of “pathos” is also contrasted with “logos” (logic, represented by Saturn) and “ethos” (ethics, represented by Jupiter).
In my view, pathos is associated with the energy of Chiron, and in this context, it can be understood as a form of emotional vigilance. To me, it represents a capacity for being triggered on the level of pre-verbal sentiments and not just ideals or morals. It points to an immediate registration, at the gut level, of the impossibility of human perfection, and the inevitable presence of fragility and futility in oneself and others, no matter how glorious, famous, successful, wealthy, spiritually elevated, loved by millions or “happy” one may be.
Therefore, in this sense, Chiron is not simply about surrendering to the suffering indicated by the wound (which would be a Neptunian gesture), but it is about a constant vigilance in the presence of the wound and thus developing a prodigious level of sensitivity about the theme represented by the wound.
Chiron Sun: Conjunction
As Shakespeare stated in Macbeth, life is like “a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.” This statement beautifully encapsulates the theme represented by Sun Chiron contacts: it implies the solar idea of being on stage, our yearning for being seen and cherished, while, in fact, we are just awkward players, strutting and fretting upon stage, naively thinking that we are engaged in the most glorious performance the world (i.e. the small circle of people who matter to us) has ever witnessed.
This anecdote elicits pathos. Sun Chiron is about this particular type of pathos which not only implies our own awkwardness in rising and looking bright as the Sun but also the naivety of our audience who desperately wants us to shine, despite the impossibility of it. From a psychological point of view, the “audience” in this equation could very well be our father, a father figure, any prominent male figure in our life, or simply the Yang side of our own psyche.
In evolutionary astrology, the Sun is perceived to be the symbol of creative self-actualization (according to Jeffrey Wolf Green’s teachings). The proximity between Chiron and the Sun can thus be translated as an extraordinary level of sensitivity regarding one’s creative potential, one’s brilliance, or one’s ability to leave a personal mark on the world. The Sun, being the creative force, the bestower of life, the generosity, warmth, and affection of the heart, stands for the amount of “cheering” we received upon entering the world. Was our father happy to see himself continuing in us? Was he beaming with joy to be the origin of our life? Was he proud of us?
With Sun Chiron conjunction, the answer to these questions may not be very clear. Our father could have felt a mixture of contradictory feelings at our birth, not necessarily negative thoughts, but certainly uncertain thoughts. There could be an “opening” in his heart, like a wound, which could have hindered his generosity in cheering us, announcing his absolute pride or immense joy because of our arrival.
The pathos was formed then and there regarding anything connected with pride, talent, joy, and brilliance. We registered a vulnerability, a sensitivity regarding our own solar functions and others’ solar functions. We intuited that joy and pride could be mixed with awkward sentiments of uncertainty and pity. Therefore, we naturally formed an antipathy towards bashing others regarding their creativity, joyfulness, talents or personal mark on the world, because we knew how sensitive those topics were.
In fact, as we grow older, we may naturally demonstrate appreciation and encouragement regarding the solar functions of others, so that we can feel better about our own vulnerable Sun in the process. We may not be conscious of what we are doing, but this is probably what we are doing anyway. We may even make a career out of cheering, encouraging, and celebrating the solar functions of others: we can be talent hunters, teachers, counselors who help others establish a healthy sense of ego, coaches who make it possible for others to shine in a certain field, father figures (regardless of our gender) whose job is to cheer on, to lead others to their highly-personal, brilliant destiny.
Either case, the proximity of these archetypes in the birth chart symbolizes a holy wound at the heart of the ego, which renders one vulnerable in her own ego functions, yet open to life with a rare sensitivity: the sensitivity required in any profession in which one has to handle other people’s sense of self with care.
Chiron Sun: Square
With this configuration in the natal chart, one’s sense of self may have been challenged by one’s sense of pathos. In other words, the space of pity and care opened in the soul as a result of the Chironic wound does not seem to directly connect to the ego structure, and in fact, may be at odds with it. This may lead the individual to feel an unfathomable degree of loneliness, which is different from the loneliness associated with Neptune or Saturn:
Neptunian loneliness has a hint of spiritual pleasure in it. It is similar to the loneliness of monks who cut themselves off from the material world in order to attain higher pleasures of the spiritual world.
Saturnian loneliness is usually imposed, i.e. the individual has not chosen it, but the external conditions require it. It is similar to the loneliness of a jailed man who has to endure a period of isolation as punishment for a crime.
Chironic loneliness, associated with this particular configuration in the natal chart, is similar to the loneliness of Jesus on the cross: he knew he had to “pity” those who put him on the cross, and in that knowledge, he was feeling cut off from the ordinary, imperfect crowd, as he could never be one of them. There was no Neptunian pleasure for him in being crucified (if we consider his mortal side as a man, similar to Nikos Kazantzakis’ version of him). He had no other option, even if he seemingly chose to be crucified: he had to do what he had to do, and in doing that, he was lonely. The metaphoric Sun/Son on the cross would be an apt image symbolizing the psychological aspect of Sun Chiron square.
From a psychological point of view, an individual with this configuration in her natal chart may experience the father or prominent male figures in a similar manner: she may have to pity them for their imperfection, and yet she can never extend this pity to herself in order to soothe the wounded ego she has developed as a result of the woundedness of these male figures in her life. The result is an inexplicable sense of loneliness, which will prevent the individual from fully identifying with her parental or ancestral line despite the sympathy she may feel for them.
As the individual grows older, however, this Chironic gap between the head and the heart may seem easier to handle. The individual may develop a sophisticated understanding of her relationship with her father, a parental figure, her homeland or her roots. She may be able to use this understanding in helping others come to terms with a similar sense of loneliness or to use the psychological push generated in her psyche doing good work in the world without having an ego-centric necessity to be identified as the active agent behind such work.
Chiron Sun: Opposition
With this configuration in the natal chart, one’s sense of self may have been formed as a result of excluding pathos for one’s own inevitable imperfections and registering it only in relation to the other. In this case, the other may be delegated to the position of the receptor of pity and care without having a chance to trigger a similar sense of vulnerability in us regarding our own awkward traits. As such, the other becomes the conduit of pathos for us, keeping us connected to a sense of human imperfection, while simultaneously impeding our recognition of the fact that we, too, participate in this imperfect, unpolished human condition.
It is not difficult to see why many individuals with this configuration in their natal chart seek professions that allow them to be in the position of a healer or mentor without being simultaneously affected by such an interaction with their students or clients. There may exist an unconscious tendency to focus on the other as wounded (and thus deserving pity and care), which conveniently distracts one from addressing or acknowledging her own wounds.
In most cases, individuals with this configuration in their natal chart stay unconscious of their Chironic vulnerability until they form an intimate, sentimental bond with the other and have their Chiron touched by a planet or point in the other person’s chart. This usually opens a space for recognition of the wound and helps the individual accept her sensitivity or awkwardness with regards to that wound. This very event can truly cement the relationship between the individuals involved, regardless of the duration of association. As always, there is an interactive quality about Chiron which can help both people intuitively “see” and appreciate each other in all their human awkwardness or imperfection.
With Chiron in opposition to the Sun in the natal chart, sometimes the relationship with the father or male figures in one’s life has been as such that pathos has been altogether excluded or projected. The father may have been in denial of his own vulnerability or he may have projected it onto the child, treating the child with pity and care, yet not quite accepting the wound. A child born with a handicap, for example, may have a Sun in opposition to Chiron in her natal chart if her father treats her as if she is not disabled. On the one hand, this can be extremely positive, helping the child form a sense of ego outside of her wound, but on the other hand, there is an implied denial of vulnerability in the behavior of the father which can eventually take its toll on the psyche of the child.
Either case, with this configuration in the natal chart, one has to invite Chiron back to one’s life without fear or regret. “The other” serves as a divine mirror, in this case, showing us where we are ready to share our rare sensitivity regarding the topics represented by the archetypal axis Sun and Chiron reside on.
Chiron Sun: Quincunx (Inconjunction)
This configuration may signal that one’s sense of self has been overpowered or diminished by one’s wounds or sensitivities. In some cases, the individual may intuit that she simply can not show all aspects of her personality to the outside world; that it is necessary for her to suppress certain sides of her personality in order to be admired or respected.
In other cases, the individual may have felt abandoned by the father or father figure as a result of a limitation or disability in the father or in the individual herself.
Alternatively, the father or prominent male figures in the life of the individual may have found it impossible to be fully themselves without invoking embarrassment. The vulnerability, in this case, has not been denied or projected (as was the case with Sun/Chiron opposition) but simply suppressed. The father may have been quite uncomfortable revealing aspects of himself which could lead to awkward speculation, therefore he may have simply kept things hidden (for example, he may have never revealed that he had a homosexual encounter, a stammer as a child, or a prostitute mother).
Either case, an individual with this configuration in her natal chart has to learn how to develop a sense of pathos for the father or male figures in her life, and above all, for her own struggles in defining herself: we all have awkward secrets, which is precisely why we should invite pathos as human beings doing our best in an imperfect world.
Chiron Sun: Semi-Sextile
This configuration signals that one’s sense of self may have been polarized from one’s wounds or vulnerabilities. Alternatively, one’s sense of self may have been formed as a reaction to one’s sense of pathos.
With this configuration in the natal chart, the father, or prominent male figures in one’s life may have lived their life in spite of a certain innate vulnerability by keeping their sense of self separate from their wounds. Yet, since a semi-sextile aspect hints at a subtle force present in the periphery of consciousness, the wound could have been somatized, acted out or lived practically, rather than psychologically integrated into the ego structure.
In some cases, an individual may identify herself as soft and delicate, and others may also regard her as such, while, in fact, there is a tough streak in her personality, making her quite capable of handling all types of Chironic predicaments and gory scenarios. In this sense, the individual may identify herself as fragile and yet demonstrate an absolute lack of sensitivity or embarrassment regarding situations that are normally awkward for others to address.
The key to working with this configuration is to understand that the individual is both and that it is possible to live out both of these qualities simultaneously rather than having to necessarily identify with one or the other.
Chiron Sun: Trine
With this configuration in the natal chart, there usually exists a smooth psychological connection between one’s vulnerabilities and one’s conscious identity. In other words, the wound is welcome to exist, as the individual perceives it as a defining part of her ego structure.
Of all the Sun Chiron aspects, this one is most inclined towards arts and literature: the Sun is the urge to create and Chiron offers a unique perspective on the nature of life as imperfect and yet beautiful. Many artists, writers, fashion designers, and musicians have this configuration in their natal chart. Perhaps one of the best examples would be Gustav Doré, the French artist who illustrated many literary works, including Dante’s trilogy, Divine Comedy. His fantastical illustrations of the Chironic hybrids and monsters in Purgatorio and Inferno are especially noteworthy.
The harmonious energy flow between the Sun and Chiron may also imply that the father, father figure or prominent male figures in one’s life have accepted their own vulnerabilities, for better or for worse, as in some cases, this acceptance may go as far as woundedness becoming a form of identification. As the sense of pathos is in harmony with the ego structure, in this case, an individual with this configuration in her natal chart may find it easy to connect to others through their wounds, but may also miss traits and qualities in them which are not related to the wound.
In some cases, pathos may become the only form of relating to oneself or to the world at large or the only route to pleasure or knowledge. The individual may, therefore, display a certain type of naivety regarding the nature of life, love or joy. To learn that there is more to life than pathos and to allow oneself to operate outside the realm of pathos every now and then is the key to working with this energy exchange in the natal chart.
Chiron Sun: Sextile
With this configuration in the natal chart, one is often presented with opportunities to develop a sense of self through pathos. One’s environmental influences may have facilitated exposure to Chironic themes, or one’s vulnerabilities may have turned into a subject of study.
The father, father figure or prominent male figures in the individual’s life may have been quite curious about the nature of woundedness or may have been life-long students or practitioners of healing arts, such as physical therapy, energy healing or psychotherapy.
Either case, the individual usually displays an intellectual openness towards the concepts of wounding and healing, medicine, mentorship or any other Chironic endeavor. Part of the ego structure, may, in fact, has been formed around this openness and impetus to research such topics. There may also exist an urge to talk or write about Chironic themes or to find like-minded people who may appreciate such topics.
Alternatively, a sense of pathos may have been developed as part of the conscious identification of the individual with someone in the immediate environment, such as a sibling or a close friend who displays Chironic qualities (such as being disabled, wounded or vulnerable in any form, or being involved in a healing profession). In this case, the individual may have defined herself in response to the pathos aroused in this relationship. The risk here is to identify with the other person to such a degree that one cannot form a sense of identity outside of this pathos-based connection.
It is, therefore, important for individuals with this configuration in their natal chart to stay vigilant regarding this possibility and analyze any Chironic encounter with others in their environment with a healthy dose of curiosity and observance.
You can read about Chiron Signs and Houses in my other articles.