“Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
The Chiron Return happens to us all at the age of around fifty, a deeply emotional transit where we find ourselves standing at the threshold between life and death, a liminal place between the worlds. It is there that we are faced with the spectral shades of all that has gone before, and witness them as they blend and dance, merge and become indistinct in the face of the enveloping darkness of the unknown that lies ahead.
Although it is widely accepted that ‘nothing is certain, apart from death & taxes’, like Janus, the “Chironian” looks both forwards and back, seeing the duality of light & dark, life and death, all around, as he/she struggles to walk bravely into a future that has only one possible ending. We come to recognise with a gradual and painful finality , that our paths are now limited, that fewer options are possible; in the darkest hours of the night, we are assailed by the bang and clatter of closing doors.
This can be seen as limitation, perhaps through physical, or mental atrophy which are the the most obvious physical manifestations of our fifty years of physical life on earth. We begin to notice in our bodies, signs that are clearly no longer the product of our imagination. We have stiffer joints, greying hair, and skin that is losing the elasticity of youth; for women, the fact must be accepted that we are unlikely to bear any more children.
In the face of this obvious indication of our mortality, we enter a place of grief; we grieve for the person that we were, we anticipate our death, for we understand at last, that when we have gone it will only be others, those who remain, that will shed their tears over our mortal bodies.
From this place of grief and loss, we learn much, as anyone who has lost someone close to them can testify. Anger, Sadness, Rage, Denial; all are present…. together with the momentary bliss of amnesia, the magical moments when we go for a period of time “forgetting” where we are in life. And then we glimpse something that reminds us; the stranger that glances back with shadowed eyes from the mirror, the hands that belong to someone else, and the friends that we haven’t seen for years, that we barely recognise. They all stand with us, assistant mourners, clamouring silently for justice, for a reprieve, another chance, a silent beseeching, that falls on deaf ears amidst the thickening gloom.
For women especially, this time is painful, age has become a sin. No longer is age respected, as it was in times gone by. We have become seduced by a culture that is obsessed with physical appearance, the body beautiful reigns supreme, along with the beautiful life, the perfect relationship, the dream job and maintaining it all effortlessly through positive manifestation! Today, more than ever there is huge pressure in today’s “social network” to stay young, stay fit, not to age, to stand steadfast at the threshold, to hold back the tide…not to “let yourself go”, to deny, but to deny what? to deny death? to deny life? who are we trying to fool? why do we feel guilty about letting go?
This new vista, opening up, is likely to have first made its appearance at the Uranus mid life opposition. Often a tumultuous time of life, this phase marks the emergence of a new direction, new feelings, and is notorious for upheaval and life change in order that the necessary reorientation can begin. There is often a race to recapture our “lost youth” as we sense it slipping from our grasp, something that can manifest in a variety of ways. There is the old cliche : “relationships with people you would have dated 20 years ago”, the current favourite: “I can still run up that mountain” and a far less known about manifestation: “the race to finally get that education, because I dropped out when I was younger”. All these behaviours has its own pinnacle of attainment, and yet at its root, the same deep yearning to let the world know that we can “still do it” and that time is definitely NOT running out, not for us; because we know, that somewhere very deep inside of us, we have heard the small quiet voice………. that speaks of death.
For the Chironian, at age fifty, comes the task of putting the “idea” of change that started to emerge at forty two, into physical practice. The last seven years have been the “warm up”, “getting used to the idea” and “setting the scene” for the rest of our physical lives, even for the second half of our lives, if we are healthy and optimistic! Now begins the task of letting go of anything further. that is hampering us in our journey, and as I have found through experience, “if we do not go willingly, then the universe will drag us kicking and screaming regardless”.
As Chiron returns, we finally come face to face with our “primal wounding”, an event from our earliest life, which often lies too deep to be consciously remembered. It is this that lies at the heart of our search, as, like Chiron, who made his life as a teacher and healer through the search for his own cure, we look in our latter life for the essence of “who we are”; a yearning to understand our place in the universe, and what we can offer back to others, to the world, before, like Chiron, we return again once more, to the stars.
Join me after Christmas for the next part of my Chiron series, which will explore some of the manifestations of the Chiron return, and what then, comes after.
Header Art: Vasilisa & Baba Yaga: Vania Zouravliov
My name is Joanna Grant, I am an Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Writer, who lives on the beautiful Beara Peninsula in the South West of Ireland. I can often be found at home, deep in arcane research, or practicing some new form of divination whilst burning the dinner! My children probably wish that I was “normal” but may well remember my eccentricities fondly when they come to face the challenges of their own paths. My long knowledge of Astrology leads and informs my practice, in offering guidance, empowerment and healing, helping others to lead a more authentic and magical life. You can read more about me here.
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