Chiron and the Tarot

topic posted Sat, September 2, 2006 - 3:33 PM by  Celestial
I found this when I was looking for a Rider-Waite image. I thought this was interesting.

Chiron and the Tarot
by M.Z. (Mary) Hawkins

As a professional Tarot reader and psychic who has been studying and working extensively with Chiron for over a year, I am always very interested to see how other Tarot readers / astrologists define Chiron in relation to the Tarot.

It has been noted that in Tarot, Chiron can be associated with Major Arcanum I, The Magician, Major Arcanum XII, The Hanged Man (who voluntarily "hangs him/herself up" in order to gain wisdom for the good of mankind), or Major Arcanum IX, The Hermit.

Teresa Archuleta-Sagel notes that The Hermit seems to fit Chiron like a glove, as both are associated with Virgo, the sign of healing, work (duty) and the environment. The Greek words for Chiron mean "the hand," and many astrologers look to Chiron's placement in a chart to determine what, if any, role one might play as a healer (generally as an alternative, or holistic "hands on" healer).

Mythology of Chiron

Chiron's mythology tells us that Chiron was a centaur -- half horse and half man -- a product of an illicit union between Saturn (Cronus) and the sea nymph, Philyra. When his mother saw "the monster" she had given birth to, she abandoned him. Nonetheless, the little orphan grew up to be a master teacher of many subjects including astrology and medicine. He founded the first healing temple, The Chironium, at least a thousand years before Asclepius, purported to be the founder of Western medicine, founded the Asclepium. Thus, Chiron is actually the founder of Western medicine.

Chiron taught his students how to become "sacred warriors"; how to follow their quests and then go to death peacefully when the time comes. He taught his students how to access multidimensionality and balance polarization and duality. Today we might call such people "shaman," - Those who have learned to walk in other dimensions, work with duality, synthesize male and female, human and animal, mind and body, life and death.

Chiron, the Natal Chart and Tarot

In the natal chart, Chiron will point out where a person will suffer his or her "soul wound." The wound will be opened in order to gain the wisdom necessary to help heal self and others of physical or psychic pain. Barbara Hand Clow (and other astrologers) has heavily researched Chiron. She notes that Chiron squares, oppositions and returns are key life passages that will show where/when/how a person will be "wounded, healed or wound others."

Getting back to the Tarot, in Liquid Light of Sex, Barbara Hand Clow theorizes that there is no Tarot card for Chiron in the Tarot deck -- that Chiron is the Tarot card reader!! (Hand Clow also associates Chiron with Virgo and postulates that Chiron, not Mercury, is the ruler of Virgo.)

In The Tarot Book, Jana Riley, draws on previous research by Gary Ross, editor of the Tarot Network News, theorizing there are two new archetypes emerging -- or ancient ones re-emerging. Ross suggested these *new* archetypes have already been depicted via the *extra* cards in the Crowley - Thoth deck, where coincidentally, the artist painted and included two extra Magicians (Magus) cards! Ross speculated that the additional Magician in the Crowley-Thoth deck is 000-FUSION, relating to Chiron -- and the alternate Magus in that deck is 00-STARMAKER, relating to Persephone. If Ross, Riley and others are correct, this would result in there being 24 archetypes in the Major Arcana instead of the 22 Tarot professionals are familiar with.

I have come to believe that 000-FUSION in the Crowley-Thoth Tarot deck is indeed Chiron, making it Major Arcanum XXIII and that 00-STARMAKER is Nibiru (the 12th planet) and Major Arcanum XXIV.

That 000-FUSION of the Crowley -Thoth Tarot deck is Chiron resonates deeply with me. In The Tarot Handbook, Angeles Arrien shows the nine archetypal constellations of the Major Arcana found within the Tarot. For example, the High Priestess Constellation consists of 2 of Discs, 2 of Wands, 2 of Cups, 2 of Swords, II-High Priestess, XI-Lust/Strength and XX-Aeon. The universal shape, or matrix of the High Priestess Constellation is theThe Arrow, with the keywords sense of direction known, intention of hitting the mark. As far as I know, Arrien has no constellation to date that incorporates 000-FUSION or 00-STARMAKER. However, I propose that these additional constellations exist.

As the 23rd Major Arcanum, I propose that Chiron would be part of the Hierophant Constellation. This is the universal shape or matrix of The Staff or The Rod currently consisting (according to Arrien) of V-Hierophant, 5 of Swords, 5 of Cups, 5 of Wands, 5 of Disks and XIV-Art (Temperance). Placing 000-FUSION (XXIII-Chiron) at the top of the rod literally turns the constellation into a lightening rod (bridge) to higher consciousness! At the bottom of the rod is V-Hierophant symbolizing wisdom, teaching/learning challenges that are met internally and expressed externally when the principles of integration, synergy and alchemy (XIV-Art/Temperance) are at work. Art/Temperance is the union of opposition, polarity and paradox out of which a greater whole is created. Chiron, at the top is the focal point to accessing the transformational energies of Uranus and bringing them down the lightning rod into form. Five is the number of the bridge -- the connector -- of matter/form (Saturn) to spirit (Uranus) and vice versa. Interestingly, in the Native American Tarot, Arcanum V is the Shaman -- the master teacher of initiates and the healer. What is Chiron if not a healer and master teacher of initiates? So by accessing our wisdom (V-Hierophant) we learn to use the principles of integration, synergy and alchemy (XIV-Temperance), opening ourselves up to contact, receive and conduct (like a lightening rod) the healing energies of Chiron, thus transforming our lives.

I use the Crowley - Thoth and Native American Tarot decks extensively in my work. I have found that when 000-FUSION shows up in a reading using C-T, it is always indicative of the wounding/being wounded/healing Chirotic principle. The position of the card in the spread gives further insight. More recently, I have begun checking Chiron's placement in the natal chart, its house position and aspects, to give more information on the issue. (In such a reading, accurate birth time is critical.)

Chiron as the Soul Number in Tarot

Lately I have begun experimenting with the possibility that Chiron in other Tarot decks is the soul number of the person being read for. The soul number is deduced by taking the birth date and reducing it to a single digit. For example, January 3, 1970 would reduce to 1 + 3 + 1 + 9 + 7 + 0 = 2 + 1 = 3, or III-EMPRESS. Should III-EMPRESS show up in a spread I do for a client born January 3, 1970, I would evaluate III-EMPRESS from a Chirotic perspective as well as for its traditional meanings. If I am correct in my hypothesis that Chiron is represented by the soul number of the person being read for, Tarot readers who do not use the Crowley-Thoth deck could apply this technique to another Tarot deck they may use. When using other Tarot decks, I would also consider V-HIEROPHANT (SHAMAN) and XIV-ART/TEMPERANCE from a Chirotic perspective.

I also have impressions about 00-STARMAKER (Major Arcanum XXIV), but that is beyond the scope of this article. The Sumerians knew Nibiru as "the planet of the crossing." The essence of 00-STARMAKER is co-creation and working with the sixth dimensional energies (sacred geometry) to transform thought into (three dimensional) form. Working with 00-STARMAKER is much more intuition-dependent since Nibiru has not been *officially* sighted and no ephemeris exists for it. I am, however, leaning strongly towards Barbara Hand Clow's opinion that Nibiru rules Libra and the 7th House.

BTW, I believe that blending the disciplines of astrology, tarot and numerology is highly Chirotic and sooner or later, sustained and serious work with one of these systems will lead to exploration of the others.

Mary Hawkins

Copyright 1997 - 2002 Mary Hawkins. All rights reserved.
Ms. Hawkins does tarot readings and psychic counseling by E-mail. She has a web site at
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  • Re: Chiron and the Tarot

    Sun, September 3, 2006 - 5:10 PM

    I have never worked with the Crowley deck, but the thoughts are intriguing.

    I tend to be of the mind that we can't pigeonhole one card for a particular sign or planet, because there are some situations where such an association will not fit. But as a general rule, the associations are a good framework (as long as we do not get trapped within it, limiting our perceptions.)

    With this in mind, I have sometimes felt that Chiron comes through the Magician card, when the moment is referring to the Greek concept of Kairos (time outside of chronological time.)
  • Re: Chiron and the Tarot

    Sun, September 3, 2006 - 5:50 PM
    Thanks Celestial, its interesting info... there a defacto-standard tarot site somewhere?

    thanks in advance,
    • Re: Chiron and the Tarot

      Sun, September 3, 2006 - 8:01 PM
      I thought it was a neat article, tho it's not my personal belief.

      I used to be heavily into the tarot for a time, from age 12 to about age 28. @ the time I purchased my first deck, only the Rider-Waite, perhaps one other was available (and then only in certain places - after the James Bond phenomena, the Aquarian deck became available as a game in game stores) so the Rider-Waite is what I grew up using and I still have that deck. Tho I have a few others that is the homiest for me. They still smell like incense and my altar from my early occult years.

      After what was probably an obsessively extreme amount of research, the info I'd recommend would come from the Brotherhood of Light. They actually have a deck as close to the source (ancient esoteric Egyptian images) as is possible. They are a nice resource because they make an entire course available that actually uses astrology and other methods coming as close to the source as possible and providing an ethical education with it.

      There is a tarot tribe. I haven't been over there but maybe it'd be a good resource.

      This may cause some arguments, but before the days of the internet; I learned a bit about about Crowley and Golden Dawn and chose not to use the Thoth deck .While Crowley did come close to the source, it's believed he changed two of the suits and two of the major arcanum around and published afterward, which is unfortunately common in serious occult circles.. I know some ppl who swear by the thoth deck; I was turned on to the BOL deck in my 20s by someone who'd gone through the course in it's entirety and I feel that of all tarot this is the most authentic way to go - it comes in black & white with the colors to be added as you progress thru the course in your meditations etc. I no longer use tarot but this is still my view.

      So having said all of this, in short - I do not believe there is a de-facto website on tarot. I think that if someone leads you to believe that you should be suspicious. I'm sure there is a ton of info out there on it's origins, however. You'd need to sift thru and decide for yourself.

      (I saw this recently: I liked it, but I remember seeing a Duhrer exhibit in the Louvre with tiny framed pieces that were obviously major arcanum, so it kind of shoots a hole in the trionfi theories. **I am STILL blown away by the Duhrer pieces - Duhrer was a man of G-d and did commissions for the church, yet here were these tarot pieces - amazing!! *)

      Zane, I'm looking @ A BOL deck and the RW deck's Magician - it's interesting that in BOL there's a shooting star over the priest's orb - there's a Mercury glyph and a Aleph.

      What energy comes thru the Magician card when you look @ it?

      • Re: Chiron and the Tarot

        Sun, September 3, 2006 - 11:58 PM
        I use a deck called "Tarot of the Old Path". Look at the Magician card in this deck:

        The Magician here is a Shaman. Shamans have been connected with Chiron for quite some time.

        This Magician is wearing animal antlers and animal skins, thus he is in touch with the animal kingdom. And yet he is also risen above the animal, casting runes to seak an answer from the universal.

        I won't go into all the symbolism on this card, but there is much that speaks to me of Chiron here.

        But that's just me.
        • Re: Chiron and the Tarot

          Mon, September 4, 2006 - 6:42 AM
          It's a beautiful deck -
          Zane -

          Do you see him as a centaur? I see him as the old god. Do you see the old god having evolved from centaurs?

          ..come to think of it I think it was Waite who switched the 2 suits and 2 maj arcs originally on purpose so i can't say this was an original idea for Crowley. Most decks you see now are based on / copies of RW so no one knows about the switch. It was a path like any other path but it's been subverted @ this point..

          CC Zain's The Sacred Tarot is a good starting point but written long ago so one must be patient wading thru it.

          OK I'm off for the day.
          • Re: Chiron and the Tarot

            Mon, September 4, 2006 - 11:19 AM
            Way back when I played w/ Taroh, the Crowley deck made my uncorfotible. Almost like I felt to much of someones personallity in them. The one I fould that I liked was an old one. The visonary was very simple, almost cartoonish. I don't remember the name of it. But I do remember it's simplicity let me see focus on the one I was reading for, rather than the deck or piticular card.
          • Re: Chiron and the Tarot

            Tue, September 5, 2006 - 8:43 PM
            "Do you see him as a centaur? I see him as the old god. Do you see the old god having evolved from centaurs? "

            Not so much as a Centaur, as the sage who emulates the Centaur by merging his animal and human selves and in doing so, becomes something more than either.

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