Chiron, Lilith and the Asteroids

© 2002 - 2012 by Melanie Lichtinger                    



Major Asteroids



Astronomically, Lilith is considered an asteroid. Yet, some astrologers identify Lilith with the “Black Moon” which will be addressed below too.

Asteroids are small rocky bodies (“mini-planets”) situated in the belt between Mars' and Jupiter's orbit (asteroid belt), therefore with an orbit around the Sun (as well as from Earth perspective) of between 2 and 12 years. There are thousands of them! Astronomical theory assumes they are remnants of a former planet that shattered into pieces.

The most well-known asteroids are named after Roman / Greek goddesses, and they represent in astrological symbolism psychological qualities in us that relate to their themes which are particularly interesting for women. For men, they represent certain components of their anima (inner feminine), often experienced via (and projected onto) relationships with women.

Some (rather feminist) astrologers would say that the physical fragmentation of that planet parallels a fragmentation of the feminine spirit that got split into pieces by the patriarchy. We women of this time are therefore called upon to pick up the pieces and reclaim them.

In my opinion, the astrological word view and its application in chart interpretation and consultation mirrors the transformation in society throughout time and history. Nowadays, more and more options and ‘roles’ are available in society for both genders to embrace and explore, and as human consciousness is evolving, we move into seeing the bigger picture beyond the ‘battle of the sexes / gender polarities’.

The asteroids and their symbology are interesting to explore, particularly if, in an individual case, one or more of them are situated at a sensitive point in the birth chart (AC, IC, DC, MC), or in conjunction with one of the planets or nodes.

The astrology program I use shows Lilith. If you are interested in checking out where the major asteroids where situated when you were born, please visit the excellent Swiss site “Astrodienst”  ( You find there many options for ‘extended charts’, including ones that display the asteroids.



Her mythology dates back to Sumerian and Hebraic creation myths.

She was considered the first man's (Adam's) wild and instinctual female consort who animated his sexual longings and claimed equality with him, “because we were created from the same earth”. When he wanted to dominate her, she left him and chose loneliness and exile rather than subjugation. As ‘punishment’ for her rebellious act against the masculine, Lilith was regarded as a personification of the ‘feminine evil’, a demoness and ‘vamp’ that attracts and then devours male energy, the raging, ‘out-of- mind’, uncontrollable feminine, uncivilized woman who cohabits with men at her own will. The witch in her role as devil’s consort and the temptress and bitch / prostitute are some of the prominent dark Lilith archetypes and (particularly male) phantasies and projections in our Western societies.  

Psychologically, Lilith brings up deep and primal issues like unbound sexual power, repressed feelings of rejection and rage, and yet refusal to submit. In a ‘Lilith state’, we are very irrational, but sometimes it seems as if that’s what it takes to bring out the truth from underneath. Perimenstrual times can guide us women to Lilith’s realm. I would suggest acknowledging themes that come up, and finding a safe, creative and transformational outlet.  

The association with 'Black Moon' which some astrologers attempt to justify  with calculations round the Moon's shadow in my view has to be regarded symbolically and psychologically: In mythology, Lilith got enraged about the 'diminishment of the Moon', in other words, about the treatment and self understanding of the feminine as secondary and inferior: As 'Moon', lots of women have been (expected to) merely reflecting back the sunlight of the creative, Sun-like masculine. Lilith's causes for claiming equality for the feminine were dual - for herself, and for her 'Moon sisters'. It reminds of feminists who fight also for equality on behalf of their home and family bound woman 'sisters'. Therefore, the 'Black Moon' speaks of the alliance of Lilith and Moon. It is always interesting to consider the relationship between Lilith and the Moon (and also Venus) in one's birth chart, to find out more about the dynamic of the inner 'feminine trinity', in women as well as in men (as their 'animas').

Many traditional men tend to avoid going to these muddy emotional (esp. Lilith and Moon) places; they let women ‘specialize’ on it and rather stay ‘in control’. Thereby, they perpetuate a projection of the demonic dark feminine onto ‘women out there’, while an aspect of their own inner feminine (the ‘anima’ ) cries for acknowledgment and integration. I would like to encourage men to deeply explore what brings out their ‘inner Lilith’.  

Most of the (major asteroids, like the planets, are named after Roman deities, which refer to the earlier Greek mythology.



Ceres (Roman) / Demeter (Greek)  

 Demeter and Persephone

The first discovered asteroid (1801) and the largest.

In Greek mythology, Demeter represents the fertile Earth Mother and goddess of agriculture. She is the mother of Persephone, the youthful maiden who was abducted by Pluto (Roman) / Hades (Greek) into the underworld and kept there over the Winter which made her mother Ceres furious, and she refused to produce crop until Persephone would be released. So Pluto agreed after initiating her into his realm, to release her into the ‘upper world’. The blossoming of meadow flowers in Spring announce the yearly return of Persephone.

In our charts, Ceres shows where fertility and feminine, ‘earthy’ creative expression can be experienced, but also how we as mothers are protective of our daughters, and yet have to let them make their own initiating experiences.


Pallas Athena (Greek) / somewhat paralleled by Minerva (Roman)

Athena born out of Zeus's forehead

Protectress of Athens; daughter of Zeus (born from his forehead/third eye!), a wise warrior goddess, usually depicted in armour and with an owl.

Psychologically, Pallas Athena relates to our ability to trust our intuition and inner wisdom, to stand up for our integrity instead of dwelling in the emotional (victim) mode. A prominent Pallas Athena can indicate a ‘father daughter / privileged ‘first girl’ agenda, issues around expectations from the paternal side, how one copes with an intellectually focused male environment, as well as a strongly career and/or political orientation.


Juno (Roman) / Hera (Greek)  

Jupiter and Juno

Wife of the 'Top God' Zeus (Greek) / Jupiter (Roman), who kept dragging her unfaithful, freedom loving husband back from his escapades to matrimonial duties.

Issues relate to honoring relationship commitment, Juno’s position shows your view on ‘marriage’ in a wide sense, reputation, and also the committed relationship with matters of the house and sign she’s in.


Vesta (Roman) / Hestia (Greek)  


The brightest and only asteroid visible to the naked eye.

In mythology, Vesta is the original vestal virgin, chosen to guard the hearth fire in the temple. She was devoted to keep the eternal flame alive.

She symbolizes an inner sense of duty and devotion to a certain task, inwardly directed ability to focus, a meditative single-minded vision and contemplation.



Another asteroid? Actually, it is not.

Chiron is a planetoid (small planet, not a fragment of a former planet). It is not situated in the asteroid belt, but traveling between the orbs of Saturn and Uranus (with an irregular orbit that averages 50 years) and was only discovered in 1977. Its symbol, a circle with a ‘k’ on top resembles the traffic sign that gives priority to the disabled. Synchronistically, in the 1970’s a stronger public awareness of an integration of the disabled grew. They carry a message for us, very similar to the Chiron myth.

What does the theme of being incurably wounded bring up? Chiron’s archetype of “Wounded Healer” or “Shamanic Initiation” can best be understood through the process it represents, as shown by its mythology:

Chiron’s archetype of “Wounded Healer” or “Shamanic Initiation” can best be understood through the process it represents, as shown by its mythology:

Chiron was a centaur, with the lower half of a horse out of which grew a human upper body. This figure as an outsider made him feel awkward and ashamed to start with, and he did his best to cover the ‘animal side’. Yet, as he started to acknowledge his ‘differentness’ and out of compassion for others who suffer, he gradually grew into his healing and teaching role. Once 'adopted' by the gods, he became a revered healer and teacher of many sciences at Mt. Olympus, particularly to Solar heroes, like Apollo. One day, on a hunting trip together with Hercules, one of his most devoted protégées, ‘accidentally’, yet fatally, Hercules shot a potent, poisoned arrow into Chiron’s horse leg. To his surprise and embarrassment, it turned out that he was unable to treat or heal his own wound. In agony, he was longing to die, yet unable because as an Olympian, he was immortal. Ultimately, a solution came through a trade of places with Prometheus, the mortal who had stolen the enlightening flame from the gods to bring it to humanity and was punished for his rebellious act. By trading places with Prometheus, the latter was released and freed, and immortal Chiron was also redeemed: Through his symbolic death, he became transfigured into the star constellation of Sagittarius, the centaur who shoots his arrow into the heavens!

What does that myth symbolize, in terms of the archetype and human condition? In my interpretation, the half animal/half human body stands for our connectedness to nature and possibly to a power animal, and to our lower chakras that ground us. Chiron was initially embarrassed by that ‘animalistic’ side, before he understood it as a gift that would help others. In the process of the now acknowledged healing and teaching ‘career’, Chiron became rather an ‘academic’ though, in terms of teaching and healing from a theoretical know-it-all perspective, rather than really connected to his ‘power animal down below the waist’. Also, he let himself be put on a pedestal and into a superior role and function.

The accident that happened during a hunting trip – a venture into the nature realms with the intention to subordinate nature and animals - turned seemingly against him, but actually set out his own healing journey, by inflicting a wound to his animal body part. In fact, it just pointed (with a poisoned arrow!) to an already previously painfully neglected side that at this stage called for even deeper attention. In other words, the neglect and woundedness of his always potentially available connection to nature and to the wisdom of his ‘animal body’ brought him not only to the end of his intellectual wits but also into embarrassment and agony. This state describes the experience of “healer /teacher /professional heal thyself” that often arises in consciousness when the Chiron return is reached round age 50, but also at other times when the personal Chiron position in the birth chart gets triggered.

Yet, every true shaman has to undergo his/her journey into experiencing what it feels like to be wounded and suffering, in order to truly empathize with the people whose healing they facilitate. What happened in that state was ultimately a surrender of his own powers and a meeting with the enlightening spirit and its redeeming qualities.

There is a quite potent symbolism in the mysterious trade of places with Prometheus and its effects that I would like to illustrate: Both Chiron and Prometheus were outsiders to start with; Chiron the awkward and embarrassed one who doesn’t fit in and discovers his gifts via retreat, and Prometheus the rebellious one who challenges the ‘establishment’ and ‘insider gods’, by attempting to bring their privileges and understanding to everyone so that the people could equally access knowledge and enlightenment. The fire of the gods, stolen as a torch of enlightenment by Prometheus, turned into a burning poisoned arrow in the immortal Chiron’s leg.

When Chiron decided to offer himself for the release of Prometheus, he transcended his own godlike state of the famous healer / teacher. He integrated Prometheus’ mission which entails the paradigm that healing and spontaneous release come through insight that is accessible to everyone, the healer and the healed, the guru / teacher and the disciple, and in fact requires a meeting of healer / healed or teacher / disciple in that field. This piece was missing in Chiron’s initiation. Once integrated, the free Prometheus spirit could spread to everyone, and the once arrow wounded Chiron became Sagittarius, the ‘hero centaur’ who shoots arrows of aspiration to the divine realms to bring forth insight, understanding and healing for everyone.

I would suggest meeting one’s own particular inner Chiron with a willingness to come in contact with the wisdom of one’s ‘animal body’, and also acknowledge the wound that comes from the disconnectedness with it, rather than trying to control or ‘analyze it away’, or hide it beneath all kinds of available ‘band-aids’, and to surrender with an openness for spirit that might turn this wound into deep knowing and compassion.

Chiron’s orbit is between Saturn, the last personal planet visible by the naked eye, and Uranus (the archetype of Prometheus!), the closest transpersonal planet and first one that humanity discovered in 1781. This suggests that Chiron might be considered a ‘transpersonal planetoid’, a seemingly small but significant factor that shows us experiences beyond our personal control that shape us in our humanness and soul evolution.

© 2002 - 2012 by Melanie Lichtinger

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