Centaurs -

Keys into new dimensions of astrology

© Symbolon-Publishing & Robert von Heeren 2000-2012

Foreword to the 7-Centaur-Ephemeris, licensed by the publishers.

Available at Symbolon-publishing and Chiron-Verlag.

Reproduction or copying this article into other websites only with the written permission by the publishers.


Since the discovery of Chiron in 1977 and the gradual exploration of its astrological meaning the "Astrology of the Centaurs" has developed itself a lot. For a long time we had believed that the healer and educator of heroes would be forever the unique and single "maverick" among the planets: the discovery of the 2nd Centaur Pholus in 1992 told us something different. Since then the Centaurs became more and more public.

In 1993 astronomers sighted the third Centaur. Four years later this one brought the astrological community a sensation: in April 1997 the International Astrological Union (IAU) accepted for the first time in its history a naming proposal submitted by astrologers. The third Centaur 1993 HA2 was given the proposed name Nessus. Never before astrologers had gotten a new interpretation factor which they had named and therefore pre-defined!

The Centaur Research Project (CRP[1]), founded by myself in 1999 in the Internet, with its wellknown astrologers Zane B. Stein (Chiron pioneer in the USA), Melanie Reinhardt (Chiron specialist in Britain), Dieter Koch (Swiss philosopher, astrologer and co-author of the first book about Pholus[2]), Karen Hamaker-Zondag (Centaur-researcher in the Netherlands, publisher of the 7-Centaur-ephemeris) and many others, follows up and studies carefully the many Centaurs[3]. It also had the privilege to name three other Centaurs: Asbolus and Chariklo in 1999, Hylonome in 2000.

This unique naming history – why just the Centaurs of all minor planets? – and immediate astrological research of this double entities is a proof for the deep and close relationship between the Centaurs and astrology. Some examples should point this out: very untypically for the astrological scene the minor planet and giant comet Chiron occupied the astrologers so intensive only some weeks after its discovery. Thanks to the technical support of Dr. Brian Marsden, head of the Minor Planet Center, by American astrologers around Zane Stein and Al H. Morrison soon received a preliminary ephemeris for Chiron. This gave birth to an important cooperation and bridge between astronomy and astrology at the end of the seventies, without which the later naming cooperation would have been impossible. Soon it turned out that Chiron is connected with topics like e.g. health-healing-illness, vulnerability and a process of realization and ripening: here we have to accept for example physical changes we cannot reverse (uncurable handicaps for example). Another interesting fact is that Chiron’s symbol was chosen during a democratic election in which more than 50 American astrological associations participated – unique in astrology’s history.

After the astronomers had found Pholus and Nessus it was soon clear that the discovery and astrological decoding of Chiron had marked only the beginning of a voyage of discovery into new dimensions of astrology. The Centaurs turned out to be even more complex than we had expected for Chiron: they are referring with impressive intensity and subtle differentiation to the core of our human nature. Like the Centaurs in Greek or Roman mythology we also have a animal-chtonian, wild and instinctive (represented by the horse) and a conscious, spiritual and godlike side (represented by the human upper part of the body). Finally the human dilemma has its roots within the tension between these poles. How can we live such barely controllable elemental forces? And how can we make them usable without beeing overwhelmed and flooded away? Here we have the whole spectrum of brute force, despicableness and blind madness on one side and productivity, creativity and culture on the other side – every single Centaur embodies different syntheses and ambivalences in its own style.

with the From an astrological point of view the Centaurs are disturbing our daily routine and definitive philosophy of life by joining us from our vulnerability and mortality transblessing? No -Saturnian. In general the "wound" is a key symbol for all Centaurs: alien energies are "getting under our skin", attacking and finally transforming us. Ruin or wonder that Centaurs are sometimes connected with modern epidemics, viruses and "progresses" in gene-technology[4].

With their – in most cases – very elliptical orbits they furthermore do not only physically build bridges into the realms of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

According to astrological experiences Pholus for example symbolizes among other things the preparedness for spontaneous separation from the former life (Uranus) often even with euphoria. In the same time we also let us be transformed by the new and unknown (Neptun/Pluto). With Nessus we unconsciously seem to seek for pain. On this path we experience periods of enormous inner turmoil and affect. But in the end we gain a deep realization, even passionate enlightment and an inner change. Finally this is leading us towards a release from old dependencies and fixations.

The Centaurs are confronting the astrologer with the need to assimilate the new. They ask us to exceed our previous boundaries in astrology and to throw bridges between very different shores. Their astronomical properties for example are so unusual: It is far more productive and important to study them than it is for the main planets. The fact of cooperation with the astronomers also shows: Centaurs are joining and mixing the most different worlds. And they appeal on our sense of unity and tolerance. Prejudices against "new planets" are of course understandable. On looking more carefully they are out of place. It is also important to get over fears of beeing overwhelmed by new interpretation factors. Finally we should realize that it is an illusion to believe that life and nature in all its complexity can be reduced to some few astrological factors. In the face of the increasing heterogeneity of nowaday life this attitude has by any means become an anachronism.

From the very beginning of my examination of the Centaurs I have always been fascinated by the quest for the best research methods. Right here we go back to the roots of astrology and associative thinking. How can we determine whether a new planet is relevant for astrology? To what extent is the Centaur’s mythology, name, astronomical property? So many questions. We need a good combination between critical frankness, communication, years of experience and patience. In the end only future generations will be able to evaluate the astrological status of the Centaurs from an objective point of view. To my opinion at least the first Centaur-trinity Chiron, Pholus and Nessus will belong to the major planets in astrology.

To support a wider public in its research of the Centaurs I present an ephemeris with a selection of Centaurs whose orbits have been well (1994 TA) or very well (all other Centaurs)[5] determined. To make it easier to access the Centaur themes I add the next chapter with abstracts of their mythologies, orbit properties and other infos.

Hopefully this ephemeris will enable the interested reader to find important insights into the fascinating world of Centaurs to enrich his astrological observations and life.

Robert von Heeren, November 2000

[1] English and German Homepage of the CRP is: http://www.centaurresearchproject.de/menu/

[2] "Pholus - Wandler zwischen Saturn und Neptun/Die Wende ins Unerwartete", Chiron Verlag Mössingen 1995.

[3] At the end of 2000 more than 20 Centaurs are discovered.

[4] At the end 2000 the European Patent Office published that it accepted a patent for mixing cells of humans and animals, so a cross between human and animals is principally possible.

[5] The input for computing the ephemeris were the so-called osculating elements for every Centaur orbit, which were published by the International Astronomical Union, Minor Planet Center and Lowell Observatory when sufficient observations had summed up. Perturbation of the Centaur orbits caused by the main planets are taken into account. See for the title page of the ephemeris for more details on the used calculation methods.