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Conversations with the Magi 6

Through the Doorway 2: Chiron through the Signs

In last month’s article, we began to look at interpreting the message of Chiron in the horoscope of an individual. We focused upon the houses and noted that the house in which Chiron is to be found in a natal chart will indicate the area of life in which the perspectives of the soul challenge those of the personality. To a person who is just beginning to respond to spiritual impulses, this will be an area of special interest ; to a more developed person it becomes an area of trauma and perceived inadequacy; and then when he has turned the situation around - and this is always done by taking the focus off self and giving out to others - it becomes the point of interface between the soul and personality.

In this article, the last in the series, we are looking at Chiron in the signs. By way of introduction, it is appropriate to make a point that, generally speaking, is not well made in conventional astrology books, even though it is fundamental to horoscopical interpretation, and that is that the zodiacal signs represent a higher level than the planets. Their influence is weak is the life of an undeveloped person, and gains in strength relative to the influence of the planets as the level of development increases.

If an averagely developed person has Sun in Sagittarius in the sixth house, for example, then the dominant features of this placement will be provided by the sixth house, the natural ruler of which is Virgo. The influence of Sagittarius will be the third and least influential level of influence in this blend. (The fact that people will nearly always claim to be ‘typical’ of their sign is something that we can disregard as being a product of that enthusiasm for identification that popular writing about astrology seems to encourage).

As a person increases in awareness, then the influence of the sign increases and in the life of a very advanced person the planet is merely a focal point through which the energy of the sign flows along the arms of the cross of the heavens. The house placement no longer contains the energy of that planet. But this level of development is far in advance of where most of us are at present and our concern, quite properly, is the middle stage when the energy of the sign is having a conditioning effect upon the energy of the planet, and when the house placement determines the field of expression.

Where Chiron is concerned, the influence of the sign is more marked than is the case in another planet because it is of the nature of Chiron to be expressive of zodiacal energy. It is is function to display the qualities of the higher to the the lower (which is why the Magi call this planetoid the Lightbearer.)

I had reached an agreement with my Magian friend that he and I would examine the signs together. This proved to be easier said than done because, by the Spring of this year, the differences between East and West were showing themselves again in the different ways that we use time. My friend has a tendency to vanish on what I can only call walkabouts, without saying where he is going and, more importantly, when he will be back. And we are not just talking about up the road; half way round the world is more like. Equally unintelligible to him, are my commitments at the close of the financial year that claim the best part of two months every Spring. My friend is pleased to view this enforced labour as a form of self-indulgence. So it was in a mood of not entirely well concealed exasperation that we finally fixed up a mutually convenient time in order to discuss the zodiacal signs.

Although in most respects he remains a closed book to me, I have learned a number of things about my friend in the five or so months of our acquaintance, and one of those things is that he will keep silent when he clearly does not agree or if he does not approve of something. He rarely expresses anything negative; he simply declines to say anything at all.

‘The twelve signs, shall we handle them, say, four at a time?’ I proposed when we met up.

My suggestion was greeted with total silence. The next thing I knew was that he was rattling through the signs at an astonishing rate, and at that same time creating a diagram. This, of itself, was a source of surprise because, in our earliest conversations, pictorial presentations proved to be source of hopeless confusion. Our spacial perceptions, being influenced by cultural conditioning, are so very different that we soon abandoned diagrams. Here he was, however, calibrating something as he spoke and what was appearing looked like a graph. Subsequently, I have come to recognise this ‘graph’ as describing the shape of the constellation Capricornus, but comprising twelve stages, rather than the twenty eight stars contained in that constellation.

There is a significance here to be unpacked carefully and over time.

The sign Capricorn governs the mental plane upon which the human personality is assembled (i.e., man’s concept of himself is held in the mind).The personality is the first aspect of the soul.

Egoic consciousness is built on the mental plane as the result of interaction between the personality and its informing life, the soul. In this process, the zodiacal signs (as distinct from the zodiacal constellations) play their part. According to D.K., they were anchored on the mental plane in the Atlantean era.

For the Magi, the mental plane is the lowest level of consciousness. The astral and physical levels are mere reflections, not principles. It is worth repeating this point that has been made in earlier articles because it explains why the Magi cannot follow Chiron through the sign Sagittarius which deals with the astral reflection.

Between Scorpio and Sagittarius, the graph that my friend drew turns downwards. Sagittarius marks its lowest point and then it turns upwards with the re-ascent to Capricorn and the mental plane.

The approach to the signs that my friend offered to me was that of the soul’s intention re the process of incarnation. Chiron is the messanger and the spokesman for that intention. In each of the signs, therefore, Chiron is describing the twelve stages of the incarnating experience. Those who have grown up with Catholicism may be put in mind of the first twelve stations of the Cross.

The comments in the first column are those of my Magian friend, put into terminology that will be intelligible to Westerners. Those in the last are my comments on the significance of this in a natal chart. The sign in which Chiron is found will bring the spirit of the sign into whatever house it is found.

Finally, it needs to be observed in passing that the Magi do not use our tropical zodiac with its moving vernal point. They use the static sidereal zodiac which, of course, is more closely aligned with the constellations of the same name. This means that, for them, as for the Hindu astrologers, a planet coming towards the close of a sign in the tropical zodiac, as is the case with Chiron in the Spring of 2001, is not far from the beginning of that sign. Although, for us, Chiron is now preparing to leave Sagittarius, for the Magi it is in only the first decanate. For all practical purposes, however, this state of affairs does not affect the influence of the twelve signs.

It remains to be seen if there is anything further we can work on together when Chiron for us is in Capricorn and in Sagittarius for the Magi.


Chiron through the signs

Zodiacal sign

The intention of the soul/ stage of the incarnating experience


Spirit of sign/significance in a natal chart


engaging with idea of descent into incarnation


stage 1

preparing to move outwards

concerning assertiveness and self projection


envisioning the path of decent and re-ascent


stage 2

understanding is like a search light illuminating the way and up

concerning understanding of the process and point of incarnation


the coexistence of the higher and lower



stage 3

the lower and higher exist side by side, they do not interpenetrate (c.f. Libra)

concerning the awareness of the lower and the higher/duality


building a home (billet) on the lower for the higher


stage 4

recognising the need to work in time and with time

concerning continuity and perpetuation


celebrating the true self, remembering from where we have come


stage 5

the point of turning back towards the higher

concerning the recognition of soul qualities in the personality


engaging with the work required to re-ascend


stage 6

the higher informs the lower of what is required

concerning the use and mobilisation of the personality’s substance and attributes


the synthesis of the lower and the higher



stage 7

appreciation of the blend created by the lower and higher c.f. Gemini where there is only co-existence

concerning the appreciation of opportunity and potential for the personality that has aligned with the soul





i) understanding the nature of soul


ii) the second descent, to the astral plane



stage 8

i) appreciation of the role of mediation


ii) adding depth to the incarnating experience / going further out for experience

i)concerning the ‘second aspect’ i.e., that created by the interaction of spirit and matter


ii)concerning desire and emotion


finding a way up ‘from this low place’





stage 9

organising the mind to bring release from the grip of the ‘reflected’ self

concerning the adoption of strategies (question) that will release the personality from the grip of emotion and physical need.


beginning the re-ascent


stage 10

regaining mental control

concerning mastery on the mental level


rising higher




stage 11

acquiring an awareness of the ‘third aspect of soul’ through group activity

concerning the merging of the individual in the group


preparing to shed the lower


stage 12

acquiring insight into what it is to be beyond form

concerning absorption of the personality by the soul


And so with this final contribution from the Magi, our first effort at collaboration came to a close. Whatever we might do in the future we will know that this kind of joint venture will not be without its difficulties, but the problems that we encountered on the Chiron project, in my mind at least, have rapidly paled into insignificance. I await the next development, if there is to be one, with interest.

The question that I cannot answer is whether the Magi got from us what they wanted.

We know from the above tabulation that, according to the Magi, in the sign Sagittarius, the intention of Chiron is to motivate those in incarnation to find their way ‘out of this low place’. The inference here is that every 50 years, i.e., each time Chiron enters the sign Sagittarius, there will be new surge of spiritual ideas and a renewed interest in such ideas. This would mean that, in this respect, the years immediately before and after 1900 and, again, 1950, were dates of significance. I cannot comment on this here but it is an interesting idea to explore.

The ideas that have been released in the past two years are those that belong to what Madame Blavatsky called the Turning of the Third Key . The Turning of the Third Key involves the acknowledgement and organisation of personality consciousness.

What the Magi wanted from us was insight into the nature of the ideas in circulation at this time .But on hearing them described, they appeared to recoil from them. So perhaps my real question is not, in fact, whether they got what they wanted but, rather, what they will do about it, having got it.

Maybe time will tell, and my eye is caught by a comment made in my notebook in December 2000, shortly after our working association began: ‘ What we share, us and the Magi, is a sense that the more people with their faces turned towards the sun the better.’

Many, many things separate us, but to share that at this time, is to share a lot.

Suzanne Rough

May 2001

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