The following guest post is by Jeremy Neal, an astrologer and blogger whom I have recently discovered to great delight. Since the name of his blog is Chirotic Journal, I asked him to write a post about Chiron and relationships. To learn about his astrology services, visit Chirotic.
Love, in the words of the song, is a many-splendored thing, but it is hardly true or even desirable that our experience of love ought to be singularly blessed. That is to say, the idea of attraction, the fundamental principle of what it is that draws us into the intimate life of another human being cannot be, and absolutely is not, solely based upon positive qualities.
If you are in love with somebody, and you have moved past the initial stage of simple attraction to them, then undoubtedly this love that you feel is not composed entirely of the wonders that this person projects. If that were true or possible, then we could all love film stars and have no need of real, difficult, messy and all too human relationships. Love is as much about fulfilling our needs, shoring up our weaknesses and compensating for our insecurities as it ever is about existing in a state of perpetual rapture about your partner’s marvelous sense of humor, bone structure or ability to look hot in uniform. Fundamentally, it is about how they make you feel, and if you consider that, then your love for that person will be based equally for the way that they stop you from feeling insecure and negative as it is about how they make you feel secure and positive, too.
Put simply then, this means that our ability to love is based as much on what we need as it is upon what somebody else can give. Ultimately, it ought to be like two pieces of a jigsaw, a compensatory mechanism where your strengths support your partner’s weaknesses and vice versa.
Astrologically, it is clear that Venus alone does not tell us the whole story in the rarefied realms of human love. Mars adds spice and passion, but he too does not complete the picture. The Moon is helpful — she speaks to those deeply habituated needs we have learned — but even under her pale influence we do not yet have the complete formula for this most elusive of elixirs.
True love cannot be made without Chiron.
Chiron is a centaur, a wild and wise being who in our astrology highlights our most untamed weakness and our most supportive potential. It is where we are most vulnerable and most in need of sustenance; so inevitably, if we find some other person who in some way soothes that vulnerability or wound, then they are going to become an intimate acquaintance in some sense, and what could be more intimate than the bond of mutual respect and support that is formed between lovers? By understanding Chiron in our astrology, we can very quickly begin to grasp some of the very fundamental support requirements that are thrown up as a result, and the type of person who might be able to address them.
Whilst an examination of every placement of Chiron would be exhaustive (and exhausting), it is always insightful to look at the placement of Chiron by house in order to understand something about the area of life in which you require the most support from your partner.
Editor’s Note: To find the house placement of Chiron in your chart, visit astro.com. You must enter your exact time of birth and location of birth to get an accurate picture of your houses. Then look for the Chiron glyph, which can be seen at the right. (In this image, it is to the right of the numerals connoting 5 degrees and 3 minutes of the sign in which Chiron is placed.)
First House: Here we are most particularly sensitive to our body image. Our partner needs to be extremely tactful whenever he talks about any aspect of our looks. A lover who is overly fussy or demanding about our appearance is going to create significant difficulties for us later on in the relationship, so it is especially important with Chiron in the First that the relationship is based on more than a simple physical attraction. Here there are issues of self-worth which need respecting and working through.
Second House: Here we require a partner who will take up some of the monetary strain. Natives with Chiron in the Second require a partner who will not be critical of our financial contribution to the household budget, but who at the same time does not belittle or take our contribution for granted. Our values ought to be treated respectfully, and this requires a partner who will listen to our views about what is important to our lives and to our relationship, and take them seriously. More broadly than this however, Chiron in the Second speaks to a theme of security, and not necessarily one of material or financial origin. If we feel insecure in our most significant relationship, this placing will be tweaked and the result will be an ongoing relational crisis.
Third House: Here is a tricky placement, because it puts the foundations of our relationship in the spotlight. Here, Chiron demands that our partner be sensitive to our intellectual insecurities. Maybe we felt that our schooling was lacking, or that we’re not as smart as other people, or even that our actual speech and manner of communicating is awkward or in some sense difficult. Clearly then, for the native with Chiron in the Third, a partner who encourages us to communicate, who is sensitive to our shyness when speaking our thoughts and who never, under any circumstance, corrects us except in the kindest and most sympathetic of ways, is absolutely crucial to the success of the relationship.
Fourth House: In this situation, we have a great deal of sensitivity to the conditions surrounding our home, family and background. We might also have some hidden calamity from childhood to contend with, so this requires careful handling in the context of our relationship. There is a great measure of trust needed here, because the Fourth House rules our most private self, and therefore those things about us and our lives that we are least inclined to share with anybody. Any partner who abuses that trust will quickly destabilize the entire relationship. More than anything, this placement speaks to a need for trust within the partnership.
Fifth House: The Fifth is the house of creativity, children and romance. With Chiron placed here, these themes become especially important within a close union. Our partner should be sensitive to our shyness in expressing our feelings, and our sense that we might be lacking somewhat in our romantic nature. This is a very difficult placement for the more free expression of romantic sentiments, because anyone with Chiron here will really struggle to express it, or even to find it. For this reason, it is best to find a partner who is not going to be put out if they don’t get flowers, who doesn’t care too much for candlelit dinners and long walks along the shore at dusk. If your relationships lack passion, then Chiron in the Fifth is not the easiest place to find it, so choose your mate accordingly!
Sixth House: Here the sensitivity is to work and small, everyday habits and behaviours. There is also an influence on matters of health. Those with Chiron in the Sixth can become quite unwell if their relationship is not supportive. Usually, the result is a tendency to workaholism as a compensating strategy. Of course, that doesn’t help the relationship either, so your partner must be made aware that your environment is especially important. A chaotic, disorganized home kills the romance for Chiron in the Sixth faster than a speeding bullet, so a partner who is capable of doing their fair share of the housework is helpful. But more importantly is one who is sensitive to the small habits, needs and rituals of life and who can give you the space to follow them.
Seventh House: Here Chiron is especially hard on relationship issues, because this is the natural house of marriage. Enormous sensitivity to the partner’s needs and projections is the result, so a self-absorbed, selfish and moody lover is not the way to go here. This placement requires a partner who is both self-sufficient and loving. Unfortunately, because of the Seventh House tendency to outsource, we may simply end up courting the person who is least suited to us, simply out of a need to disown our own pain. Chiron very close to the Seventh House cusp makes an excellent counsellor, incidentally.
Eighth House: Shared resources are stressed here, so every item or issue which is subject to the needs of both parties in the partnership are potential sources of conflict, from the bed to the bank account. This means that both sex and money are likely to create some measure of difficulty, because they will be sensitive areas for one reason or another. A sharing, open and honest partner is essential with this placement, one that is neither too financially uptight nor too sexually impatient.
Ninth House: This is one of the more comfortable placements for Chiron, although religion, qualifications and foreign travel may all cause upsets within the relationship. If you do have any spiritual or religious views, then it’s important that you find a partner who is tolerant and open-minded, otherwise this will make grounds for future conflict. The partner’s family may also be a source of difficulty with Chiron here, and their religious views might also cause some upset within the relationship. Crucially, there is a difficulty here with feeling as free as we would like. Therefore, a relationship that is overly cloying, constricting or repressive will be disastrous.
Tenth House: Matters of career and status are the battleground for Chiron in the Tenth, thus your own career (or conversely, lack of one) will become the focus of some measure of stress and sensitivity within the partnership. Alternatively, a sense that you are of low or insignificant status in life — or even within your relationship — will cause a rift at some stage. Your sensitivity to matters of status and career will need careful handling. A partner who is able to positively encourage your ambitions, to not feel threatened by them and certainly to not denigrate your efforts, is essential to the success of the union.
Eleventh House: Here in Aquarius’ house, there is great sensitivity to the idea of feeling as though you are a unique and individual person, because all too often, Chiron here manifests as somebody who struggles to feel special. Normally this will manifest out onto the collective: groups of friends, the people at the office, the broad family unit. The difficulty of it can play out as a sense that you are simply taken for granted by everyone. Therefore, the last thing you need from your significant other is to feel that they take you for granted, too. A partner who can make you feel special, unique and valued is absolutely essential in this context.
Twelfth House: We tend to suppress whatever is in the Twelfth, which is why those with Chiron in the Twelfth will not easily recognize that they have a great sensitivity inside them. Or it might simply express as a very vague sense of discomfort that somehow colors the entire life experience. There may be a deeply internalized traumatic event associated with this placement, one which the native themselves does not acknowledge or consciously relate to. So, more than most, this position is especially difficult. A tendency to reclusiveness is also a factor here, thus a partner who respects our privacy whilst at the same time demonstrating a willingness to bring us lovingly out of our introspection will be enormously helpful to the success of any relationship.
Chiron in aspect to Venus
Finally, I would like to make mention of Chiron in aspect to Venus, because here there is a psychic correlation between the principle of love and attraction and our deepest insecurity, sensitivity and inner hurt. Any aspect will be difficult in that it will sensitize the affections, creating a difficulty in love. Albeit, it does give a transcendent possibility, if the wound of Chiron can be brought into the light and transformed with compassion.
The conjunction will probably be felt most keenly as the “pain of love.” Perhaps our relationships cause us continual anxiety and uncertainty, or we feel insecure even when we know we should not really. Mostly, with the conjunction it creates an intense longing for love, but crucially, even when love is found, it does not feel secure enough. For this connection, it seems that no amount of love is ever enough. We feel others’ pain and unhappiness, too — especially in close personal relationships — and may tend to take ownership of it, and feel that it is a sign of wrongness in the partnership. We may try to heal those with whom we are in love as a means of avoiding the necessity to heal ourselves, and we might become quite difficult to love as a result. Both Kurt Cobain and Marilyn Monroe shared this aspect.
With the opposition, this tendency is magnified due to the tendency to outright projection implicit in the aspect. Indeed, we often attract the exact type of partner whom we require to outsource our own pain of love, and we may become so hypersensitive in our affections that we have to be wrapped in cotton wool by our lover, who must not ever denounce us or criticize our affections in any way. Thus, with the opposition, our love life will inevitably manifest as long periods of repressed stress punctuated by sudden outbursts of pain and intense upheaval. Of course, with the opposition aspect, we are going to try and attract a partner who balances us in some way, and that might stave off the necessity to fix ourselves for a long, long time. But eventually, the strain on the relationship will begin to show, and we will be forced to face our pain once and for all. Antonio Banderas and Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, both evince this aspect.
The trine will demonstrate many of these same issues, but the healing that is required by the contact will come more easily and naturally, and with less upheaval and stress. This does not mean that all will be roses of course, because we still have pain to face up to. But providing we can acknowledge the need to change and heal, this aspect will be very helpful in easing the course. That said, any relationship for the Chiron trine Venus native will demand a great deal of compassionate intimacy. You simply cannot be standoffish or cool in love if this aspect is in your astrology! The sextile too will have something of this quality, although it will be more innate and less easily felt, and almost certainly taken somewhat for granted. Candice Bergen and O.J. Simpson share this aspect.
With the square, our sensitivity becomes a blocking hypersensitivity that creates obstacles to the smooth progress of love and intimacy in our relationships. There is a tendency to avoid intimacy due to our unwillingness or inability to expose our vulnerable core, and we can therefore come across as cold, distant and unloving — which will very quickly put the brakes on much of our relationship potential. This aspect can make us especially high-maintenance, because we demand a partner who can feed our sense of wounded affection whilst we are simultaneously unwilling to give very much in return. Sophia Loren and Dean Martin share this aspect.
The quincunx is rather difficult because our attempt to address our insecurity in love is never quite
right, so we simply feel that something is wrong and we can’t really fix it. Dissatisfaction in love is usually the clear result, therefore, of this particular configuration. The feeling then, in intimate relationships, is one of frustration and annoyance that can never quite be dealt with to anyone’s satisfaction. As ever, awareness of this tendency will go a long way to alleviating it. If you can understand that you have this tendency, then some measure of acceptance can be cultivated to, if not fix it, then at least learn that it is not necessarily a real problem so much as it is a perceived one. Sean Connery and Will Smith share this particularly difficult configuration.
About the Author
Jeremy Neal is a full time astrological counsellor with more than 25 years of experience in dealing with a wide range of life difficulties and potentials. He has a measure of expertise with themes of Chiron and other lesser understood points in the astrology. Read more of his articles on Chiron.