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Wounding, Healing and Liberation

Uranus and Chiron have a very unusual planetary cycle, from conjunction to conjunction. Their cycle varies dramatically in how long an aspect lasts, and how long the cycle itself lasts. Right now we're in a fascinating cycle, and a remarkable part of their cycle! It shows the evolution of climate change, women's right, technological development and more. What happens when the planet of liberation and disruption (Uranus) dances with the planet of wounding and healing (Chiron) around the zodiac?

The cycle of Chiron and Uranus (conjunction to conjunction) brings together two very different energies. Chiron is associated with wounding and healing. In a way, Chiron healing is like a homeopathic principle where like cures like – to heal the wound, embrace it in a new way that changes how you relate to it. Or it could be compared to the Japanese practice of kintsugi, the method of repairing broken pottery by turning it into a whole new, even more beautiful, work of art. In the same way, Chiron can heal by making the wound beautiful, useful or transformative.

On the other hand, Chiron can also be the process of wounding itself. By accepting the existence of the problem, we can break free of being stuck in the wound. In that sense, we need to "think outside the box" to find a fresh, unusual way to deal with the problem. So, to repair the wound, we must embrace disruption, unfamiliarity, and dramatic change.

Uranus is also about breaking out of the same-old-same-old, not so much in the name of healing but in order to allow room to grow and evolve. Uranus shakes things up in order to break the Saturnian mold that maintains consistency, stability and endurance. Too much Saturn can mean you get stuck, so Uranus comes along to enable us to move forward.

Saturn needs Uranus to ensure that there's always the potential for something new. Uranus needs Saturn to build the sandcastles that he loves to stomp on and break down. Chiron becomes the process by which those pieces are pieced back together in a new way.

Chiron crosses the orbits of both Saturn and Uranus. As a result, Chiron has been called the Rainbow Bridge (Barbara Hand Clow), since it bridges the gap between the traditional planets (those visible to the naked eye) and the modern or transpersonal planets (those requiring a telescope to see them). (Uranus is a sometime exception since it is possible to see him under pristine optimal conditions.)


The Uranus-Chiron Cycle

Chiron signsUranus and Chiron have a rather curious combined planetary cycle. The current full cycle of Chiron and Uranus, from conjunction to conjunction, lasts 144 years, but even the number of years per cycle varies dramatically from 100 to 146 years (taken from the cycles from the 9th to 46th centuries). So this current cycle is one of the longer ones.

However, the aspects they make as they go through their combined cycle can last from one year (a single pass) up to a few decades long. This is largely because Chiron has a very eccentric orbit that weaves back and forth between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. Chiron's length of time in each sign varies from 1.7 to 8.3 years (in Libra and Aries, respectively).

Uranus signsUranus, by comparison, has very little fluctuation, taking roughly between 6.3 and 7.8 years per sign. As a result, there are times when Chiron and Uranus are travelling close to the same speed, and they often have long periods when they make the same repeating aspect.

Our current cycle of Chiron and Uranus began with their conjunction in Sagittarius in 1898. It seems to coincide with both the beneficial and toxic effects of technological development, as well as societal change. The turn of the 20th century saw a rapid rise in the use of new technologies, including electricity, the light bulb, the automobile, air flight, and the ability to record and play back sound.

This was also a time that began increasing social change. The turn of the century was the start of what became known in the US as the Progressive Era. This period saw considerable political and social changes, such as women's rights, prohibition of alcohol, increasing prosperity, and expanding urban areas.

Lopsided Aspects

As mentioned above, the number of years, and the number of passes, that Chiron and Uranus spend in a particular aspect varies dramatically throughout the cycle, and varies from cycle to cycle as well. In the current cycle, there are very long periods in both the waxing and waning semisextile, as well as the opposition.

Compare this with the previous cycle (1794-1899) when the waxing square lingered for 33 years (1804-1837) and the waning trine continued for 34 years (1852-1886). Or the cycle before that (1662-1796) when the beginning conjunction remained in-orb for 28 years (1662-1690) and a long waxing quincunx for 33 years (1707-1740).

In our current cycle, the initial long semisextile (1903-1934) saw the waxing development of the political, social and technological changes that were just starting to rise at the conjunction (1898). The next extended aspect period occurred during the long opposition that made a total of 41 exact passes between 1952 and 1989. These oppositions started when Chiron and Uranus were in Capricorn/Cancer (respectively), and continued as they progressed halfway around the zodiac until they had swapped places, with Chiron in Cancer and Uranus in Capricorn.

This long opposition was a time of tremendous technological advancement (Uranus), notably involving computer equipment. Unfortunately, this also generated enormous damage to the environment (Chiron) which we are still struggling to recognize as an urgent need for planetary healing, and to find the best ways to rectify this.

It was also a time of dramatic social changes that leaned in a progressive direction. Women's empowerment saw a dramatic rise, due in part to the invention of the birth control pill and the legalization of abortions in many countries. This released women from having their lives defined by pregnancy and motherhood. This took place during a time of sexual liberation (60s and 70s), all of which opened up whole new possibilities and options for women that had eluded them before.


AspectIn-orb YearsTotal YearsExact YearsUranus SignsChiron Signs
Conjunction 1898-1899 2 1898 Sag Sag
Semisextile 1903-1934 31 1904-1905 Sag > Ari Cap > Tau
Sextile 1938-1941 3 1939-1940 Tau Can
Square 1942-1944 3 1943 Gem Leo > Vir
Trine 1945-1946 2 1945-1946 Gem Libra
Quincunx 1948-1949 2 1948-1949 Gem > Can Sco > Sag
Opposition 1951-1991 40 1952-1956, 1964-1974, 1985-1989 Can > Cap Cap > Can
Quincunx 1991-1993 3 1992-1993 Cap Leo
Trine 1994-1996 3 1994-1995 Cap > Aqu Vir > Lib
Square 1997-1998 2 1997 Aqu Sco
Sextile 2000-2001 2 2000-2001 Aqu Sag
Semisextile 2006-2039 33 2009-2021, 2036-2038 Pis > Can Aqu > Gem
   Undecile 2020-2025 5+3 2020-2025, 2035-2037 Tau > Gem, Can Ari > Tau, Gem
   Decile 2025-2035 10 2025-2035 Gem > Can Ari > Gem
Conjunction 2042-2043 2 2042-2043 Leo Leo

Long Waning Semisextile

Uranus Chiron Long SemisextileAnother long aspect phase is happening now, as Chiron and Uranus make a total of 31 exact semisextiles between 2009 and 2038. This phase is the waning semisextile at the end of the current Uranus-Chiron cycle, leading up to the start of the next cycle. This suggests that we are in a winding-down process which is about dissolving the lessons of the cycle as a whole – separating what we learned and accomplished from the lessons that brought us to this point.

It's interesting that as this cycle stretches to the finish line, we are seeing a strong pull away from a progressive approach to politics, social norms, and technology, and an ardent push toward a more conservative approach. Considering that we still have 19 more years before this cycle is through, it seems this stage of the cycle is giving us more time to sort through our collective priorities, needs and intentions, and find a negotiated solution to our persistent conflicts.

Semisextile aspectQuincuns aspect

The semisextile aspect is a bit like the quincunx (150°), in that it occurs between signs that have nothing in common – not the element, not the modality, not the gender. The only thing that semisextile signs have in common is "the neighbourhood" – they live next door to each other. But neighbours don't always have much in common beyond their proximity, and may not even get along other than polite civility.

So, planets in semisextile are kind of in each other's blind spot – hard to get them working together. Or they might catch a glimpse of each other in their peripheral vision, but unless other factors intervene their influence is usually pretty subtle and easily missed. Therefore its influence is likely to be a bit sporadic and hard to get the planets working together effectively. It can be marked by ambiguity, ambivalence, skepticism and/or indecision.

So, it's also not surprising that we have seen such a reluctant, tentative response to the now-urgent need for us to deal decisively with climate change. The growing reality of this damage was becoming known during the Chiron-Uranus opposition in the latter half of the 20th century, yet we are still struggling to find the best way to address it that will be effective while minimizing the detrimental effects on the world economy.

Considering this dilemma, along with the long semisextile phase, it might take another 2 decades before we really get our collective act together – in other words, when we get through the semisextiles and arrive at the next conjunction in 2042-2043. That conjunction will be in the middle degrees of Leo, a sign that's determined to celebrate life and get the most out of it. It's also a very creative sign, so hopefully we will see some fresh, innovative strategies that can sustain our planet going forward.

Liminal Spaces

There's a bit of a gap from 2022 to 2035 when Chiron and Uranus dip in and out of orb but have no exact semisextiles (30°). They fall somewhat out of sync during this time because Chiron goes through the slowest part of its orbit, in Aries and Taurus.

During this time, they do make many exact passes of two minor aspects. There are 18 passes of the undecile aspect, and 20 passes of the decile aspect. Unfortunately there's little in-depth information about these aspects, so we are left to intuit their meaning.

The undecile is based on dividing the circle by 11, or the 11th harmonic. It calculates to an irrational number: 360° / 10 = 32°43'37" or 32.727272... degrees. The fraction never resolves into a clean number or fraction. (Don't worry, there won't be a test at the end...) We could say it's neither here nor there, but in some liminal space in between. As a result it's associated with intuition, perhaps psychic ability, and creativity, although it could also be difficult to focus on clear logic when searching for clear solutions.

The decile is based on dividing the circle by 10, or the 10th harmonic (also called a semi-quintile: half of the 72° quintile). This aspect calculates to a clean 36°. It is associated with a quest for power, which can make interpersonal relationships difficult (and I could see this being true of the relationships between different groups, like political groups, countries, cultures, religions, etc).

That said, when hard work is applied, the success and rewards that are sought do tend to happen. Considering that Hitler and Stalin both had numerous decile aspects in their natal charts, it's a matter of interpretation whether that is necessarily constructive or destructive.

By the time Chiron catches up to semisextile Uranus again, he has gone though Taurus and is then in Gemini (as of July 2033). By that time, Uranus is in Cancer (starting August 2032). They finish up their exact semisextiles from 2036 to 2038. And just 4 years later, in 2042-2043, they reach their next conjunction in Leo and kick off a brand-new cycle.

So, I think it's safe to say we have a couple more decades of precarious difficulty in getting our conflicts resolved, as Chiron and Uranus complete their semisextiles, as well as the undeciles and deciles in the middle of that phase. Be prepared for some passionate efforts to end the arguments at one extreme or the other. None of the 3 aspects are known for their ease in negotiating a clear win-win situation. The best we can do is try to really listen to our opponents using a minimum of moral judgment.



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