The Chiron Effect

Review by Lalia Wilson

Chiron Cover

Book Review The Chiron Effect: Healing Our Core Wounds through Astrology, Empathy, and Self-Forgiveness by Lisa Tahir, LCSW.

Published by Bear & Company 2020.

ISBN print: 978-1-59143-395-8
ISBN ebook: 978-1-59143-396-5

224 pages, 6” X 9” trade paperback

Before getting into the importance of Chiron (pronounced “Kyron”) in the horoscope, and specifically how non-astrologers can benefit from just knowing the sign of their natal Chiron, let’s recap the astronomy of Chiron. Originally designated an asteroid and named “2060 Chiron,” this small Solar System body in the outer Solar System, orbits the Sun between Saturn and Uranus. Discovered in 1977 by Charles Kowal, it was the first-identified member of a new class of objects now known as centaurs (because Chiron, the mythical being for whom the now minor planet Chiron was named, is a centaur, a being of half man-half horse). Chiron was the first of many centaur bodies to be found in our solar system. After initially being classified as an asteroid, Chiron was later seen as a comet, and now is designated 95P/Chiron, both a minor planet and a comet.

Given Chiron’s discovery in 1977, many astrology charts and many astrology books ignore Chiron altogether. Nonetheless, Chiron lives up to its name. The mythical figure Chiron, a great healer, astrologer, and respected oracle, was the tutor to many cultural heroes (Greek mythic figures): Asclepius, Aristaeus, Ajax, Aeneas, Actaeon, Caeneus, Theseus, Achilles, Jason, Peleus, Telamon, Perseus, sometimes Heracles, Oileus, and in one Byzantine tradition, even Dionysus. For astrologers, though, in addition to Chiron’s acclaim as the wisest of centaurs is the story of his wounding and subsequent death. Chiron was accidentally hit in the thigh by a poisoned arrow. Since Chiron was immortal, he was grievously wounded but could not die. It was left to Heracles to arrange a bargain with Zeus to exchange Chiron's immortality for the life of Prometheus, who had been chained to a rock and left to die for his transgressions. Thus in the horoscope, Chiron stands for hard-fought wisdom, usually following a deep wound indicated by Chiron’s sign, house, and aspects.

Chiron has been equated to The Hierophant card by some deck creators, an association that fits with my image of Chiron and the Hierophant in ways that saying The Hierophant equals the sign Taurus does not. You may want to give this association a try in your own readings.

The Hierophant Mythic Tarot

It's been more than forty years since Chiron was discovered. In that time astrologers have refined their knowledge of Chiron's impact in the horoscope. Here, with The Chiron Effect, we have a good summation of Chiron's effects, and they are in a form that non-astrologers (as well as astrologers) can benefit from. 

The author is a clinical social worker, a therapist, and uses the position of Chiron to enlighten her understanding, and her client’s, of that person’s core wounds. The first four chapters tell about Lisa Tahir’s early struggles and contain standard advice about self-help. Tahir's childhood and adolescent wounds resulted in her becoming a therapist and working with Chiron. 

We will look at some specifics involving Chiron in Aries, which typify how Tahir treats each placement of Chiron. Chiron was in the tropical sign Aries from April 1968 until June 1976. It is currently in Aries, in a passage that began in May 2018 and lasts until June 2026. (This book lists dates for all the Chiron transits. If you were born in a month in which Chiron changed signs, look on the internet, or your app store, for free or low-cost ways to get your birth chart, complete with Chiron.) Note for non-astrologers, your “sign” in popular culture only relates to your Sun’s placement in the zodiac. Each and every planet can be in any of the 12 signs. So having the Sun in Aries does not mean that you have Chiron in Aries, you need to check the chart given at the beginning of chapter five to see where Chiron was when you were born.

Chiron in Aries has a core wound relating to one's value and self-worth. A wounded Chiron in Aries feels like the person has no right to exist, is somehow fundamentally "wrong," and has an over-emphasized need to be self-sufficient. A healed Chiron in Aries feels loveable, worthy, and sure of one's right to exist. The chapter on Chiron in Aries deals extensively with the Aries's wounds and applied healing. The chapter ends with affirmations attuned to the Chiron in Aries wound. Tahir continues in a similar fashion through the remaining eleven signs of the zodiac.

There are a number of things I like about this book. We will start with the clear Table of Contents, then the diagrams at the beginning of each Chiron-in-a-sign chapter summarizing the core wounds of that placement, ending these chapters with appropriate affirmations. Also of note are the always helpful index, bibliography, and resources appendices.

Astrologers may object to the very short discussion of Chiron in the houses of the horoscope, but this topic is difficult for non-astrologers. Astrologers, remember Zip Dobyns’s “Zip Code” in which she equated the First House to Aries to Mars, and so forth around the chart. To apply it here, if you want to know how Chiron conjunct Mars will work out, look for clues in the Chiron in Aries chapter.

I recommend this book.

Chiron instructs young Achilles - Ancient Roman fresco (1)

Image, titled The Education of Achilles by Chiron, courtesy of By sconosciuto. Il prototipo era probabilmente un gruppo scultoreo esposto a Roma nei Saepta. - Unknown source, Public Domain,

The Tarot image is the Hierophant card from the Mythic Tarot by Juliet Sharman Burke and Liz Greene, 1992 edition. (This card looks similar in the more recent and widely available edition.)

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