A friend of mine turned 50 on Christmas Eve.

Writing to her about it, I remembered that Chiron has a 50 -year cycle; and that 50 is about the age at which we come to terms with our early wounding, in order to heal it once and for all.

Let’s unpack this: in each of our charts—in each of our lives—the Centaur Chiron marks the place in which we were wounded when we had no defenses.  We couldn’t have seen it coming or prepared for it if we had: it was simply outside our experience; and yet it was this early wounding that shaped us by our response to it, something we spend our first 50 years trying to understand.

In my friend’s chart, Chiron occupies 29* Pisces: “Light breaking through a prism.”  All her life she has possessed the inconvenient gift of analysis, of being unable to accept ideas at face-value; and that quality, coupled with a stubbornly courageous compulsion to speak her truth, has frequently brought her displacement and pain—but it has also made her the remarkable activist that she is, fierce in the face of injustice and tenderly loyal to others who would stand up to it.

Which brings me to Chiron’s second gift: becoming aware of how we treat others with similar traits.

Chiron demands that we choose: we can perpetuate the cycle by wounding them for being like us, or we can shield and support them, and so be healed ourselves.

The third gift of Chiron is renewal.  With every aspect-in-transit, our Chiron theme is repeated, in a mysterious echo of the original hurt; and we get another chance to help and heal.  At 50, when Chiron returns to its natal position, there is a reckoning.  We can choose to heal—or not.

The lump of coal is regret.