Wound-Healing Chiron Is About To Go Retrograde—Here’s What To Expect for Your Sign During This ‘Cathartic’ Time

Photo: Getty Images/Xavier Lorenzo
Retrogrades—or transits during which planets appear to move in reverse—tend to be a doozy. When any planet shifts into one of these cycles, the backward energy can quite literally impede forward progress in areas of life over which it rules. The same is true for Chiron—a small, planet-like asteroid circling our solar system—which signifies our deepest inner wounds. Its retrogrades can be personally intense, pushing us toward confronting whatever lies within. And we’re due for one right about now: On July 23, Chiron goes retrograde in Aries and chugs backward through the sign until December 26.

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What does Chiron symbolize in astrology?

Named after the centaur Chiron in Greek mythology, who was known to be a great healer but when wounded, ironically, could not heal himself, the celestial body of Chiron in astrology similarly reflects the biggest weakness, personal struggle, or past-life trauma that we're destined to carry throughout life. The sign of your natal Chiron, or where Chiron was located when you were born, can lend insight into just what that cosmic baggage may be for you. “Chiron is our core wound,” says astrologer Lisa Stardust, author of The Love Deck. “And it is also that which we heal for others but often struggle to mend in ourselves.”

“Chiron is calling us to embark on a journey of conscious awareness of the insecurities that are holding us back.”  —Alexandria Lettman, astrologer

When Chiron is retrograde, it tends to surface these hidden wounds in different ways and push us to find new avenues of healing. “Chiron is calling us to embark on a journey of conscious awareness of the insecurities that are holding us back from completely embracing who we are,” says astrologer Alexandria Lettman, founder of spiritual-wellness platform Jupiter Jewel.

What can we expect from Chiron retrograde in Aries?

Rather than feel doomed or overwhelmed by the wounds that Chiron can surface, we can expect to feel “motivated and empowered to help ourselves” this year, says Lettman, thanks to Chiron’s current location in the active, fearless sign of Aries. That could mean becoming more understanding of our weaknesses and the ways in which they influence our feelings, and more capable of showing ourselves love and compassion, regardless, says Stardust: “It’s a very cathartic time.”

Still, don't expect immediate change or epiphany. The growth prompted by Chiron retrograde in Aries is bound to occur slowly, which is why astrologer Maria Marmanides suggests not rushing the process. After all, exploring and healing deep wounds isn't a linear process. "Sometimes, to get out of the mud, you have to reverse in order to go forward," says Marmanides.

We'll all get a bit of additional Aries fire to do exactly that this year, as the Chiron retrograde also aligns with the shift of the north node—a point in the sky associated with destiny and fate—into Aries. This "double shot of fire power" can push us toward healing, says Marmanides. "We're being collectively asked to tap into the positive side of Aries energy." Think: ambition, bravery, and curiosity.

Which zodiac signs will feel the Chiron retrograde most intensely?

Though we could all feel encouraged to embrace an internal healing journey this season, those with strong cardinal-sign placements (sun, moon, or rising in Aries, Capricorn, Libra, or Cancer) will likely feel this retrograde most powerfully, according to astrologer Alex Caiola. Why? At some point in its journey through Aries over the past few years, Chiron has formed a tough square with each of these signs, creating tension in areas that they'll now be pushed to explore.

"This means that, at some point [in the retrograde], they'll have to deal with how they self-express and may need to address deep wounds closely tied with their personality," says Caiola.

As such, this retrograde will have a more "in your face" effect for the cardinal signs—but everyone else can still expect to encounter its energy in different ways, says Caiola. Exactly how this cathartic transit may show up in your life depends on the astrological house (aka area of life) in which Chiron in Aries falls in your birth chart. Read on for both your sun and rising signs to get the fullest picture of what to expect.

How Chiron retrograde in Aries will affect each zodiac sign


Because it's happening in your sign (aka your first house of self-identity), Chiron retrograde will have the strongest impact on you, Aries. "It may encourage you to reflect on any recent experiences that knocked your confidence or caused you to doubt your potential," says Lettman. To get as clear on the direction of your life as others tend to suspect you are, take this time to slow down and reevaluate. "This is a good time to meditate and focus on your needs as you figure out the next steps you wish to take," says Stardust.


Tough interactions with others that left you reeling in the past could re-surface during this time, Taurus. Chiron is activating your 12th house of the inner psyche, pushing you to confront the emotional responses you may have buried. "This is an opportunity for you to heal without needing closure from others and also to move forward without ignoring how you feel," says Lettman. Though you may be tempted to spend time alone, Stardust suggests avoiding that path to keep from stewing. Instead, take a solo trip to the beach or a café, she says, "to be around people without them being in your direct orb."


With this transit highlighting your 11th house of community and social circles, you could feel some insecurities around your sense of belonging (or lack thereof), Gemini. Consider whether there are certain people in your circle around whom you feel like you can't be your true self, says Caiola.

This is also a great time to assess how you feel about the time you're spending on social media, says Marmanides. Perhaps this retrograde makes you realize that it's time for a social media break.


Doubts surrounding your career, ambitions, or aptitude could swirl around this time, Cancer. With Chiron touching your 10th house of work and reputation, it's possible that insecurities rooted in your childhood could have you questioning your capability of leading a new project or taking on more responsibility at work, says Stardust. Take a beat to determine if those hesitations are actually warranted—or if a fear of failure is what's really holding you back.


As your ninth house of learning and intellect is hit by this transit, prepare for your beliefs to come into question, Leo. "This is really about opening your mind and considering, 'What if I'm wrong about this?' or 'What if I don't know everything there is to know about this topic?'" says Marmanides.

This may be tough for you to do as a fixed sign known for harboring firm beliefs. But remember: There's nothing wrong with changing your mind when you receive information that supports a new perspective; in fact, that's a sign of growth. Connecting with new ideas—whether by reading, asking questions, or traveling, for example—will liberate, rather than restrain you, says Lettman.


Take a deep breath, Virgo. Given that Chiron retrograde in Aries will touch your intimate eighth house of taboo, karma, debts, and transformation, this transit could be particularly intense for you. There might be something you're due to let go of, or a forgiveness you owe someone, says Marmanides. "It's important to remember that forgiveness is not just about absolving another person; it's also about allowing yourself to be free of the burden of a grudge."


Your relationships could be shaken up by this transit, Libra, as it activates your seventh house of partnerships. "Any imbalances that may exist in your partnerships could come to a head during this time, pushing you to consider how you might get on more equal footing," says Stardust.

Perhaps your own insecurities are getting in the way of you truthfully sharing your feelings with a partner—and it's about time you speak up. Or, maybe you're stuck in a people-pleasing cycle, and the acts you're doing in service of a partner aren't being reciprocated. In either case, Stardust suggests setting aside time to explore the origins of those behaviors in yourself.


Tending to your overall physical and mental health will be of the utmost importance during this time, Scorpio. Chiron retrograde highlights your sixth house of wellness and daily rituals, "illuminating the harmful lifestyle patterns that may be facilitating a poor relationship between you and your body," says Lettman. Consider how you might divorce your sense of self-worth from your productivity, and instill stronger boundaries to take care of your well-being, she suggests. In general, this is a well-aligned time to rest and seek comfort from pets or nature.


Because this transit touches your fifth house—which is all about external sources of pleasure—you could find that you've been inadvertently depriving yourself of that joy, Sagittarius, perhaps by catering to others and forgetting yourself. "Setting boundaries is tough, but it may be more important for you to do so now than ever," says Stardust. That is, you shouldn't feel obligated to help others when your own cup isn't full.

Instead, focus on doing more of what you love during this time—any projects, hobbies, or just-for-fun pursuits that you may have pushed to the back burner as of late, says Marmanides.


Prepare to revisit your childhood, Capricorn. Given that Chiron is so deeply linked with hidden wounds, in general, and this retrograde touches your fourth house of familial roots, it's possible that early-life or even generational trauma could bubble up during this time.

Examine any wounds that may stem from your childhood or family dynamics, suggests Marmanides. "This could mean noticing how you parent others, how you parent yourself, and how you might break cycles that you don't want to be a part of or to continue."


If you've held your tongue recently or hesitated to say your piece, you may feel the need to explore why, Aquarius. Is it, perhaps, the potential judgment of others or an internal insecurity that's holding you back? Either way, Chiron activating your third house of communication will push you to consider how you can better stand in your truth, says Lettman. "It's important for you to be heard by those whom you care about," says Stardust. "The more you can muster up the confidence to share, the better you'll feel in the end."


The way you measure your own self-worth could be due for review, Pisces. This transit highlights your second house of finances and value, which could push you to consider how your spending and saving habits impact your goals and in turn, your conception of self, says Marmanides. "If you have a scarcity or lack mindset, you may have a deep wound around money, perhaps causing you to feel like there's never enough." This is an aligned time to figure out how you might reframe that perspective.

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