Jupiter and Sagittarius
Sagittarius is depicted as a centaur, a creature who is half man and half horse, holding a bow and arrow. That centaur is most often associated with Chiron.
Chiron was the child of the nymph Philyra and Cronus (sometimes Kronus or Kronos and known as Saturn in Roman mythology). Cronus took the form of a horse during Chiron’s conception, so Chiron was born a centaur. However, unlike the other centaurs he was not a wild partier. I’m sure his fellow centaurs considered him a nerd, for he was intelligent and civilized. Despite his traumatic childhood (his mother cast him out in horror when he was born and she saw his form), he was someone very gifted with many skills, including medicine, and was a teacher to many of the gods’ children.
One day Chiron was hanging with his pal, Heracles (sometimes Hercules or Herakles), and there was a scuffle, during which Chiron was accidentally hit with an arrow that had been dipped in the blood of the Hydra (a multi-headed serpent). The blood was magically poisonous, so even though Chiron was immortal, it wounded him. However, being immortal, he could not die, and so was stuck in an endlessly painful situation.
In some versions of this story, Chiron went in search of a cure, and it was in this way that his skills in medicine came into their full power. Many sought him out for his healing abilities, but his own wound consumed his attention. To end his pain, he made a deal with Zeus and traded his immortality for Prometheus’ freedom. Without his immortality, the poisoned wound ended his life.
In some ways, the verdict about the astrological meaning of Chiron is still out. Astrologers have only been studying this object for a few decades, which is not that long in astrological history, if you think about it! The consensus of Chiron’s essence, though, seems to be that of the ‘wounded healer’. But which wound are we talking about here? What is the moral of the story, if there is one?
There is a lot of rich symbolism in this story and its versions. There is the wounding that happened in childhood, where he was rejected by his parents. There was the wounding that happened with the arrow, and how it came about. In some versions, he did it to himself, in other versions it was Heracles; either way, it appears to have been an accident, just a turn of the wheel of fate. Then there is the symbolism surrounding his trade to free Prometheus. Was it a noble sacrifice or just an end to his suffering? Does it matter since, in the end, it was a tremendous gift to he who received it—Prometheus?
While it may be common place for the gods, to have physical immortality may be a challenge for humans to truly understand. What would it be like to know you could not die? Would it remove some essential vulnerability from the human experience? Doesn’t our own awareness of our mortality give us a kick in the pants that sometimes we need to get our spiritual and emotional priorities in order? Perhaps just as Chiron gained this curse/gift from being wounded, we can understand where our own vulnerability lies, but we can learn to live with it and even thrive with it.
It is said that the location of Chiron in your chart is where you carry a wound, often inflicted upon you accidentally, from your early years, and learning to cope with it and live a rich life despite it is the lesson. The nature of the wound, and its gifts, lie in the sign, house, and planetary aspects of Chiron. Perhaps the Chiron story can teach us that when life has dealt us a blow, we can stay fixated on it and remain a victim, or we can decide to not only live through it, but beyond it, and even use it and what it has taught us to heal others in need. Hopefully without throwing ourselves into Tartarus!*
Jupiter has many mythological associations, usually with different gods that were considered the Big Guys, such as the Zeus in the Greek tradition. It is easy to see why, since Jupiter is a very large planet! Zeus fathered countless children, including some of the most commonly recognized Mount Olympus gods and goddesses, such as Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite (Venus), Apollo, and Hermes (Mercury).
Zeus became known as the King of the Gods because it was Zeus who was responsible for freeing his other siblings from the stomach of Cronus (Saturn) as well as the Giants and the Cyclopes to and they all defeated the Titans. The Cyclopes were so grateful that they gave Zeus thunder and the thunderbolt, and Zeus is often depicted holding a bolt of lightning.
*Tartarus is a sort of hell, underneath Hades.