A.K. Reader: My Chiron Return (1993)

Amazing. In this work of unearthing, retyping into word docs and sharing hundreds of essays and manuscripts from 75 years of living, starting when, prompted by the raw authenticity of Anais Nin’s Diaries, I began to keep a journal myself back when I was 26 years old, I have just come across an essay written during the exact month of my 50- to 51-year Chiron Return, in August 1993.

Amazing. Because, this month, and actually for nearly a year now, and going until December of 2018, transit Chiron has been crisscrossing 27-28° Pisces, which itself happens to be 150° (inconjunct) from Chiron’s original location, in the 9th house at 28° Leo,  and square (90°) my first house natal Sun at 27° Sagittarius. In my natal chart, Chiron in dramatic, self-expressive Leo is trine (120°) to my natal Sun, so originally in harmony with my powerful fiery drive — and path! North Node at 29° Leo — to express my own philosophy, despite Chiron’s original spiritual wound. More on that in the essay.

Perhaps I’m getting too far “into” the synchronicities involved in the timing of the rediscovery of this old essay. So let me just say that synchronicity is the name of the game in astrology. If there’s anything designed to let us in on the fact that events inside this multiiverse really do appear to be mysteriously choreographed, and not in any boring, mechanical, linear way, but multidimensionally, it shows up via this stunning symbolic language of astrology.

And, in honor of the potency of my original Chiron in 9th house Leo, once I transformed my own feeling that my original ideas were of no value (thanks, Dad, and nuns and priests of the Catholic religion), I now gift you with this synchronous tweet, which I put up this morning in response to Roseanne Barr’s tweet, and she then sought fit to retweet my tweet. I’m so very honored, as she is definitely one of my heroes. 

Darn. Can no longer remember how her tweet ended. Only part of it is reproduced below. But something like this: “Nobody gives you power. You TAKE power.”

Here’s my response, something I said to Alex just the day before:

So yeah, 25 years later (one half-cycle of Chiron later, although given its extremely elliptical cycle, it’s now 30° beyond the halfway point from its original position) I’d say that I’ve taken hold of my Chiron during this second cycle, unstoppable. YES!

Oh, and BTW: in the first part of this essay I speak of letting go of an addiction to caffeine. See A Metaphysical Approach to Addiction. Yet a few years later, I was and am again caffeinated. Mildly, but it’s there. It turned out that my liver couldn’t handle caffeine while in menopause, but now it can, especially when combined with an infusion of ganoderma mushroom.

Chiron Returns (1993)

By Ann Kreilkamp

Published in Welcome to Planet Earth, Winter, 1993

This spring my faithful old Subaru finally bit the dust. I’ve been lucky with used cars. So of course I would get another one. So, you can imagine my complete bewilderment when I received an inner directive to buy a new car. “A new car?” I sputtered. “Brand new?” “Yes.”

“You want me to become a materialist? This is totally unnecessary. A stupid luxury. Besides, how can I afford it?!!”

“Just buy it.”

So I did. I became a regular American citizen, with payments every month for the next five years.

Why did I need a new car? Because cars, at least in my dreams, symbolize my body. The new car would symbolize my new body.

New body? I am 50 years old. I never tire of saying it, amazed at this accomplishment. All my life I have wanted to be old. I have wanted to “get beyond the bullshit females in this culture are subject to”; wanted to “focus on reality rather than appearances.” Ever since I was a little girl, I figured that in old age I would enter a blessed time when finally others would have to see through my “outside” to encounter the real me.

So here I am, 50 years old, on the verge of achieving my long-awaited goal, and what happens? I get a new car. “To symbolize my new body.” Isn’t this exactly the opposite of what I was so wanting to achieve? More on this later.

It is August, 1993, the month of my Chiron Return. For me, Chiron is at 29° Leo, 9th house, conjunct my North Node at 28° Leo, square Mars/Uranus at 1-2° Sagittarius/Gemini, trine Sun at 27° Sagittarius.

In the past month I have formally resigned from my original family system, or, I should say, I have formally resigned from my antagonistic relationship to the kingpin of that family system, my German Catholic father, his near-biblical judgments against who I am, what I believe, and what I do.

I’ve “left home” many times before, of course, but never have I made a conscious decision to separate out from my family and do it with love and respect. Simply, I must now follow the impulse of my 9th house Chiron in Leo conjunct North Node and trine my Sagittarian Sun.

I have also, within the past two weeks, let go of my final substance abuse, addiction to caffeine. My body demanded that I let go of coffee four or five years ago. But I had hung on to black tea. “Two teabags a day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon,” I would say, laughing, uneasy. “This is my final vice. I don’t want to give it up!” I was clinging to my addiction as a life raft in the sea of infinite possibility. I couldn’t bear to contemplate such freedom. I had to keep that one anchor to my old ways of surviving.

Now, my body demanded that I let go of caffeine in all forms. That was three weeks ago. I remember that first morning, lying in bed contemplating life without my familiar, comforting, initial pot of tea. I dragged myself out of bed, put myself on automatic. That whole day I felt spacey, slightly headachy, unable to focus. The second and third days I was still dragging around with little or nothing to motivate me. By the fifth day, I began to open my eyes. On the sixth and seventh days, I began to focus in a more sustained manner. By the second week, I was astonished to realize that I was already burning a different sort of fuel. It was as if I had gone from a low-grade variety which put me through zig-zag highs and lows to something much more serene and powerful.

What a contrast! I realize now that what has fueled me since I began to drink caffeine, as a high school senior, was anxiety. Anxiety kept me on edge; danger lurked everywhere. Stay alert! Caffeine kicked in the energy of adrenalin, which then overrode the feelings of anxiety. I was busy, doing something, making something happen. Nervous. See-sawing between panic and relief. Trying to stay on top of things so I wouldn’t have to feel. So I wouldn’t have to sink down under the adrenalin to the pain pooled there.

Then, after an hour, or an afternoon, whoosh — I would go down, crashing down. One minute hyperactive, the next exhausted, ready for bed — or another hit of caffeine.

Every time I’ve let go of an addiction, I’ve had to shove something else into its place immediately, as a substitute, in order to keep the anxiety masked. When I let go of cigarettes, I brought in sugar. When I let go of marijuana, I doubled the caffeine load. This is the first time in my life I have not been sucked into the anxiety as soon as I entered withdrawal from the addiction. Instead, what I have noticed is space. A sense of great spaciousness.

[I wrote the above paragraph three days ago. Since then I have noticed symptoms of the old anxiety returning: there is a vague feeling of something missing — something drastic, an extreme high or low, a crisis. As if life isn’t as interesting as it was before. As if only in crisis do I feel alive. Feeling anxious is like stumbling through fog, knowing the edge of a cliff is somewhere near. But where? “Be alert! Grab that cup of caffeine!” “No! No! Just keep going, let the fog surround you. Trust the process. Move through it.” Yes, for the first time in my life I can do this. Why? . . . Something about this new sense of internal space . . . creating an enclosure within which I feel safe. There is no cliff. I walk on level ground, despite this temporary dimming of vision.

As the serenity of the new spaciousness unrolls from my center in out to the horizon, so does my subconscious, long familiar with conflict and difficulty, seize up with fear. Fear of loss of the familiar. Fear of loss of old survival mechanisms. This is a crucial time. I know it. I hang between two worlds. I have not yet completely let go of the one. I have not yet fully embodied the other. Meanwhile, with the return of anxiety, life loses its sharpness, its clarity. Inside, unease. Outside, boredom. I plod along, minute by minute, hour by hour, waiting for relief, knowing it will arrive eventually.]

During the month of my Chiron Return, I have released (or begun to release) two immensely old patterns, both of them symptomatic of my original wound. One pattern is external, the energy system of my family of origin; the other internal, the withdrawal of caffeine from my physical and emotional bodies. In exchange for these great losses, I begin to sense the presence of an enormous internal space.

Which came first? The decision to release the old patterns or the new sense of spaciousness? Both, I would say. They evolved together. I have been feeling inner stirrings from both of them for months, but only now are they both actually present, as new realities, in my life. It feels as if the new sense of space opening has itself created — or is identical with — a new context, or field of meaning, one which no longer sustains the ancient patterns; it is made of finer stuff. Likewise, the old patterns created a heaviness in my life. As this heaviness drops away, I am able to sense the more subtle quality of the new field.

I imagine the small repeating patterns of addictions themselves as spaces, tiny closed systems that become more and more clogged, suffocated with the contents of their particular addictions as the years pass. Perhaps that’s why my family system feels so claustrophobic. The same or similar feelings had gotten packed over and over again into the contained spaces created by the repeating patterns so tightly that at some point there was no more room to move. Either I resigned myself to the death-in-life of my own mechanicalness — over and over again reacting to the same sorts of situations in the same sorts of ways — or, I set myself free.

In the past, when I have thought I set myself free, it was only to enter the tiny space of a new addiction, which then, in turn, I would gradually fill to the point of bursting, etc. etc. There was no end to this repeating process. My addictions structured my life, so that I wouldn’t drown in the chaos of feelings. My addictions were survival mechanisms, enabling me to function in the world. I could not really set myself free, because to do so was to become filled with the anxiety attending extreme disorientation. I would fall off the cliff, either plunging into the void, or shooting into space — the space that knows no circumference, and in which the center is everywhere and nowhere. I had no capacity for the infinite. My Moon is in Taurus. Emotionally I needed the feeling of being supported and cushioned by earth’s gravity.

Given these constraints, the astonishing thing about my Chiron Return has been this sense of space which has opened up internally for me. The space feels both enormous and yet not anxiety-producing, because it is contained; contained by the circumference of my entire life! The space of 50 years: Chiron’s space. Paradoxically, it is as if I feel myself both beginning to encompass (and to feel comfortable within) that enormous space now, and I feel myself beginning to accept the discomfort of infinite possibility that the future presents. I feel both the fullness of this space as something already accomplished, and the emptiness of this space as the new matrix for future action. Thus, my overall feeling is what astrologers would expect with the Chiron Return: an extraordinary sense of completion and new beginning.

I struggle with talking about this, because we astrologers are so glib in talking about cycles, and about the feeling of completion and new beginning that happens as a result of the return of any planetary body to its natal place. Our talk threatens to become a cliché. We expect certain things to happen and they do. It’s as if we see the universe as a giant clock, and our job is to tell the time. We get so focused on the structural aspects of cycles, on our ability to tell people when things are going to happen, that we lose sight of the unspeakable mystery at the heart of things. The mystery is what is contained in those spaces, the wondrously subtle and complex interplay of our feelings. Our feelings, no matter how uncomfortable, are our lifeline; they move us out of mechanicalness and into the heart, the soul, the spirit.

What I have been fascinated by here is that fact that I began to feel these sensations — of enormous space, of completion and new beginning — a few months ago. At that time I was not consciously thinking about the fact that my Chiron was returning. Of course, for years now I had known that Chiron would return in August 1993, and had wondered about it, how it would feel. But this feeling I am talking about here came from lived experience alone, uninterpreted. I had not yet put a name to it, not yet painted it with the patina of astrological language. And along with the sense of spaciousness, another feeling has sifted in, a feeling of immense awe and gratitude. It is as if I am being gifted with this spaciousness. As if it is a reward for a job well done. I sense this space as the matrix within which all my experiences have taken place, each one taking its place now as a “point” within the space, connected to all the other points in a radiating dance of feelings. I sense the uncanny coherence within this dance, as if it were choreographed by some kind of subtle genius, so that only at the end of the 50-year dance do I realize it as one, a unity, whole.

Again, when I attempt to talk about this, I grow frustrated. For the way I am talking about my Chiron Return is exactly the same way as I talk about the first Saturn Return (age about age 30) to others who are going through it! Though I struggle to find words which will invoke the feeling of this grand Chirotic event, all that I am able to come up with is the same words which I would use to describe the feeling which attends the close of another, smaller cycle. The fact that a certain space has now been contained — through the closing of the cycle for the first time — is what the two events have in common. It is the actual space itself that is new. The space of 50 years is not merely 1.666 . . . times the space of 30 years. The difference is not merely quantitative. It is qualitative. And this qualitative difference is what the structural aspects of the astrological language — of any scientific language — cannot describe. The feeling of the whole. With each whole there is a feeling appropriate to that whole alone. That’s where the meanings of these astrological symbols, the planetary energies, come from in the first place, from the space/time which each of them describe. Once again I am reminded that I cannot comprehend any cycle until I literally “go through it.”

A great 50-year cycle is ending for me, and a new one begins. The new one will be molded from the ashes of the old. Those ashes contain the distillation of 50 years of experience, a nugget of gold, the seed of my new life.

Now, during the month the Chiron Return is actually taking place, I feel as if I am undergoing a month-long ceremony and celebration (despite my temporary dullness these last few days). I am releasing what has wounded me, the judgmental world-view of the Patriarchal Catholic family system. I am freeing myself up to actualize my ninth house Chiron in Leo trine Sagittarian Sun, to actively express my own world-view, the gold gleaned from 50 years of survival through adaptation to my original woundedness. I survived it; my spirit has come through intact. This itself is quite an accomplishment. Now I am to thrive. I feel I am on the brink of an entirely new life, one in which I hope to take that gold and spend it on a new beginning.

In the first cycle of Chiron, I experienced the spiritual and emotional wound that results when a fiery philosophical self-centered personality interacts with the staid, stuck tradition of the world’s oldest and most powerful organized religion. I was attempting to both find my own way and yet remain loyal to the past. The result was paralysis, pain. One cannot do both at once.

In the first cycle of Chiron, I was learning about the interaction between my Sagittarian personality and the cultural world I was born into. In the second cycle of Chiron I wish to help to create a reality that reflects the vision of Sagittarius: a continuously expanding, more and more inclusive, world-view that begins inside the radiating center of each and every unique individual.

Which brings me back to the beginning. The new car. My new body. A body cleared of old survival mechanisms, which kept my body operating in fits and starts. I am learning to appreciate the new high-test, smooth performance fuel of natural energy, supplied by the universe. That energy fires a new, more efficient, more spacious, more joyous body. Fires it with truth-telling, true love.

I look forward to the next 50 years.



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2 Responses to A.K. Reader: My Chiron Return (1993)

  1. Fascinating! The Chiron Return makes me think about my Grandma Van who passed at the ripe old age of 101. Her 100th year was full of such deep healing and peace, a real turnaround and full circle celebration with family and extended family. I hadn’t made the connection of a second Chiron Return, but I bet this transit is what finally allowed this stubborn Capricorn to release the fierce hold she held on life, many decades after her body called it quits. Few people make it past 100, but the ones who do are usually amazing in their level of peace and wisdom.

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