A comet discovered in 1977 whose existence has been integrated into contemporary astrology. Chiron, as originally observed by astronomer Charles Kowal, is an estimated 150 miles in diameter, by far the largest comet-like body in the solar system. It was thought to be a planetoid traveling in its orbit between Saturn and Uranus and only in 1990 discovered to be a comet.
Believed to be a new planet, astrologers moved quickly to integrate it into traditional astrology. A volume detailing its movement through the astrological signs was quickly compiled and made available at the 1978 meeting of the Astrologers' Guild of America. Zane B. Stein founded the Association for Studying Chiron and published initial speculations in the association's periodical, The Key. He also authored the first book on the planet, Interpreting Chiron, in 1983. It was immediately followed by several others in the attempt to offer psychological insights into the new factor in the horoscope. The story of the ancient Greek mythological character for whom the planet was named was detailed by Dale O'Brien, who saw him as the first astrologer, trained by Artemis and Apollo.
By the time that Chiron was discovered to be a comet, an estimated 20 percent of practicing astrologers were regularly ad-ding it to their clients' charts (astrologers being quite conservative in making any major alteration to the preparation of charts). The discovery that Chiron was a comet did not lead to any demise in its popularity, though it may slow any further acceptance by the next generation and inclusion in twenty-first century astrological textbooks. In the 1990s, The Key was superseded by Chironicles: A Newsletter Dedicated to the Myth and Astrology of Chiron, and the Practice of Astrology from a Chironic Perspective (available from P.O. Box 41127, Sacramento, CA 95841).
Clow, Barabra Hand. Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 1989.
O'Brien, Dale. The Myth of Chiron. Temple Hills, Md.: The Author, 1991. Audiotape.
Reinhart, Melanie. Chiron and the Healing Journey: An Astrological and Psychological Perspective. London: Arcana, 1989.
Stein, Zane B. Interpreting Chiron. New York: The Author, 1983.