The proposal to rename and also reinterpret the small planet Chiron does not spring from an opportunistic mood of the author. He is aware of the responsibility of his action, and offers with the following empirical experience much exciting material summing up 10 years of research (1979-89). In its drastic and thematic similarity, it had to provoke completely new conclusions in relation to the mythological analogies and cosmogonical age group of this comet. It is not the author's intention to put the results of other researches in a bad light. Especially since Hypnos (Chiron) also embodies characteristics like 'separation', 'space and time variations' or 'deep sleep experiences', which, for example, the Chiron pioneer Zane B. Stein was able to observe. But Stein and others did not put into question the mythological analogy that Kowal chose. Strangely enough, it worked with the discovery of the 3 newer planets (Ura- nus, Neptune and Pluto). But it seems that in the late 20th century we are going to lose much of our deep instincts and former Neptunian sensibility, which are more and more replaced by intellectual intuition (Uranian sensitiveness), which has a higher margin af errors. Nor does the author think it is necessary to change the well-known graphical symbol of 'Chiron', which among other analogies excellently reflects the double nature af deep sleep (Hypnos) and Ego-Death (Thanatos). Within the very successful trend of interchange and mixing eastern and western esoteric knowledge, the author also would like to put the word 'Bardo' up for discussion.
'Chiron' - The Creative Black-Out
First Empirical Observations of 'Chiron' Transits (1982):
The planetoid 'Chiron' was discovered by the American astronomer Charles T. Kowal (* 8. 11. 1940, 05h 20m EST, Buffalo/NY/USA) on the 1st of November 1977, 10h 00m PST, Pasadena/CA/USA. 'Chiron' follows an extremely eccentric orbit between the giant planets Saturn and Uranus. Like all asteroids resp. comets, it is of irregular shape. Its approximate diameter is estimated to between 150 and 700 kilometers. It takes 50.7 years to orbit the sun, travelling the zodiac signs with varying speeds (e.g. it stays just 2 years in Libra and 8 years in Aries). Several astronomers speculated, whether 'Chiron' could be a comet captured by our solar system, which in time to come might leave our system again. At the moment (1989), it is moving through the first 20 degrees of Cancer. By comparison, in 1977 it was in the beginning of Taurus. Newest theories understand 'Chiron' as a member of the Kuyper-belt, with thousands of comets or planetoids (-like Pholus) which orbit between Saturn and even behind Pluto.
(Editors note: On May 9, 1989, the "Science Watch" column in the New York Times stated that astronomers had reclassified 'Chiron' as a comet).
Since 'Chiron's' discovery, much research has been done (especially in the United States), and important pioneering work was produced by the astrologer Zane B. Stein (* 17. 6. 1951, 23h 44m, EST, Philadelphia/PA/USA). He gave 'Chiron' the keyword 'Maverick', however this describes only a small facet of 'Chiron's' nature. In trying to get first clues for the interpretation, astrologers began to draw on mythological analogies, like it had been successfully done with the newer planets Vesta, Neptune and Pluto (Chiron is in the Greek mythology a wise centaur skilled in the healing arts). But for the first time, at least in my opinion, the chance hit for an adequate name seems to have missed. This is not very surprising with a maverick and eccentric like 'Chiron'! The fact is that so far, by analyzing several hundred horoscopes, I have not been able to find conclusive evidence for 'Chiron' and healing, or skills in medicine. Even so it is persistently claimed by authors like Barbara Hand Clow, Zane B. Stein and many others. In a wider sense, it is possible to interpret any planetary energy as a healing force.
So there it was, an empty page and the exciting chance to study this planetary eccentric via transits on my own natal (* 15. 10. 1944, 06h 35m MET, Görlitz/D), and the horoscopes of a small group of co-workers (provided that there was any effect noticeable at all). My initial ambivalence changed rapidly, when during a journey to India I had one of my first and most important experiences. 'Chiron' with a sledge-hammer so to speak! Originally the reason for travelling to India was to get deeper teachings on meditation and tantra, but somehow I was lacking the drive and spirit, the right motivation (I was exactly on my Neptune-MC line). I felt depressed, so I separated from the group I had been travelling with by retreating a few miles away from the village where we stayed ('Chiron' the maverick). The whole network of relationships I was in during that time felt strange, alienated from myself in a desolate state of disorientation and with no alternative in sight. The small village (Dharamsala), the busy people, even the familiar Tibetan atmosphere which normally made me cheerful and relaxed, felt to be an unreal and empty scene. Everything was lacking heart and soul. This outer situation reflected my inner feelings. I lost all roots with my inner personality. I just functioned like a robot. As I later found out, this is an all typical omen for 'Chiron' transits. I must add that the years before I had been living as a single and I was so much used to this that I didn't have any desire for partnerships. All this was far away. But then the absolute unexpected happened.
A man sat down beside me at a table and I welcomed him with the question whether he was a Gemini. This he confirmed with some surprise. It was the starting signal for an intensive talk. We had the immediate feeling that we knew each other since endless times, and inside minutes we found ourselves discussing how and where to emigrate, settle down and live. In no time we decided to live together and leave Germany. All this with the spontaneity and ease as if we had planned this a thousand years ago. This happened shortly before the exact opposition from transiting 'Chiron' to my Venus in my natal chart . Two days later my new partner travelled on. As we found out later, at this time he was experiencing the exact conjunction with his 'Chiron'-radix following the field progressions (6 yrs. per house, starting vom 1st to 12th house, using equal house system).
Everything converted into a paradoxical dream. I felt like a moonwalker or a puppet, and then it happened: on the 16th and 17th of April, very close to the the exact 'Chiron' - Venus transits, out of the blue I had two very strong fainting attacks. The first time was in a tea house from where my friends had to carry me out with considerable effort. Just 15 hours later during a shopping trip in the village, the same story! As I had never before in my life experienced such complete black-outs, I naturally thought that my last day had come. In Ireland these fainting attacks happened repeatedly in summer and autumn 1985 during 'Chiron's' exact transit-conjunction on my natal Uranus in the 8th house. They all followed the same pattern: first of all a feeling of a complete loss of the normal outer and inner reality. The reality seems to have the nature of a film and this film (including the sounds) blackens in small but continuous steps until nothing is left. (During 'Chiron' transiting Uranus reality dissolved into white light.) One can compare it with a slow motion film fading out on a movie screen. At the end, the body gives in, one loses all control and crashes.
A very minute part of consciousness tries to fight this fearful Black Emptiness until even this part gives in. In a Buddhist sense (see later Bardo descriptions) a natural meditative level! But when this happens unprepared and not in a meditative connection, one experiences exceptional fears. During this state of Black Emptiness which is just occasionally enlightened by a few red and white sparks one has the vague feeling of the whole brain electricity shortcircuiting. Following a timeless half hour a slow awakening! At first the sound comes back and then, like in a magic projection step by step and square meter by square meter the film of reality appears to ones mind like a puzzle.
Inside one's head and body one finds a new energetic landscape. It seems as if one went through a dozen pole-changes. Old problems and neurotical knots have lost their painful tensions. Energy channels and thought associations inter-connect, which before were completely separate. You feel like after an inner tectonic earthquake. Overused incrusted and useless habits of thinking and feeling are released. One goes through a kind af brain-washing which couldn't happen with years of psycho-analysis and other techniques. The outside world looks small, far away and without importance. All former priorities (also common moral values) dissolve into ridiculous nothingness. It seems as if one awakens from one dream state into another dream state while having the feeling of being unconnected with either of them. You find yourself back in a body which doesn't belong to you, in a dream world further away than the remotest galaxy.
Experiencing this has also its funny aspects. You rediscover suddenly your legs and try to remember how to walk with them. You speak mechanical nonsense to get in contact with this new arising world, and wander about like 'Alice in Wonderland' wandering about the concerned faces looking down on you. Even days after these black-outs you need your whole concentration to find out how rather simple everyday things function.
But, independent of these side effects, you yourself are reborn in a really changed world. Without noticing it yet in detail, you discover an irreversible change of consciousness. Whether you like it or not: you are transformed! The older parts of your personality have died; something new is forming. Many answers carried in the depth of your unconsciousness, unreachable by normal and logical thinking processes, find their way into your mind and offer you easy solutions for problems which blocked your spiritual growth. Long lost dreams become real! With 'Chiron's' help it was possible to exchange the 'above with the below', mix it all together creating new connections. That all this happened in synchronicity with exoteric events (building a distance to your home country and planning this years before, finding a new life partner, and so on) is one of the many miracles which are provoked by the big astrological game, where future and past meet in one point. Readers who never experienced 'Chiron'-like black-outs can compare them with an anesthesia, but following this example you miss the month-long alienation and spiritual rebirth. That 'Chiron' helps to build up also Saturn-like realities is demonstrated by the fact that Thomas and I have lived for the past six years in Ireland: the result af a two-hour decision under 'Chiron'-opposition-Venus.
Certainly not everybody reacts so intensively and dramatically to 'Chiron' influences, which I have tried to describe as authentically as possible. Many exact 'Chiron' transits happen e.g. during our natural sleep phases or you just feel slightly disturbed and chaotic. But everyone can experience the self-estrangement and renewal which 'Chiron' transmits. Becoming aware of the strong and empirically provable 'Chiron' effects I became curious if some of my friends had similar experiences. Thereby our little Irish research group came to similar results as Zane B. Stein in America. (Some of our key-words: Self-alienation; relativity of time and space; black-outs; arhythmical evolution leaps; bondlessness; esoteric and exoteric breaks in the spiritual development; distancing from the world; disorientation of ones own life; etc.). After this article was published in various magazines we've got a lot of feedbacks of people who had similar experiences under 'Chiron's' influence. Those precious protocolls fill a big file for future research.
Even if it seems that 'Chiron' originates in another trans-zodiacal time-space-dimension, it fits exactly in the middle of Saturn and Uranus, elevating us from our old reality into a vacuum of primordial chaos and from there simultaneously helps us to find new ways in life. Like Uranus he embodies principles of invoking evolutionary mutations and can be compared to a circuit-breaker, a healing-narcosis or a paternoster-lift allowing our different consciousness levels to come into contact with the deeper streams of the psyche.
Regressions in Archaic Dimensions
- Further Observations of 'Chiron'-Transits: 1985 - 1989
It happened during July 1985. In the meantime, we had settled in lreland to work more intensively on Astrological and Buddhist studies. While working on many house and garden renovations as well as on the organization of a comprehensive data-archive and some Vesta-studies, I completely forgot about 'Chiron'. I would like to mention that we were surprised to find out that each member of our triple-team had a Moon-'Chiron' conjunction in his chart (in Virgo, Aquarius and Pisces). We discovered as a common characteristic that we were without feeling for our home-country, that we were able to break the contacts with our past without any problems or emotions, and we loved our situation as mavericks in the remote and rural area of the northwesternly end of Europe.
There it happened again! I was sitting with some friends around the coffee table, listening to some music and discussing several projects. All of a sudden everything changed into an unclear film. I worked against this phenomena with all my will power and concentration but I didn't have any chance. First of all, the more distant corners of the room dissolved into a radiant milky-white emptiness, which by coming closer and closer, transformed the whole reality with its vibrant and fluorescent light beams. As fast as I could I left the room to get some fresh air, shouting: 'Quick, quick... look in the ephemeris; some powerful transit tries to drive me mad'. Since I was on the verge of collapsing someone placed me down on a chair. The last thing I was able to do was make an excuse that nobody should worry about my strange behavior. My heartbeat became quicker and quicker and my Ego gave up to fight against this White Nirvana.
It was just a matter of a few minutes until all sounds stopped. At the end my friends, myself including the chair, and nearby details became white space, open and timeless. No above, or below, no left or right, nor thoughts, but a good and deep feeling of inner harmony and peace, connected with feelings of ecstasy and great bliss. It completely differed from the Black Emptiness in India. So this time I was a little bit dissatisfied when reality came back, starting with dull sounds. According to the observations of my friends I had been leaning over the table for about 30 minutes not reacting to the outer world. In the meantime they looked through all ephemerides without finding any exact transit. At last somebody remembered the 'Chiron' ephemeris. And there it was! Exactly to the minute of arc: Transiting 'Chiron' in Gemini stood in conjunction with my natal Uranus in the eighth field. In a majestic and slow mood, outer reality built itself up again like a landscape clearing of the white morning mist and I emerged from the deep and dreamless state back into the dimension of time and space. Due to 'Chiron's' retrograde movement the same constellation happened again in spring 1986. But beside strong sleepiness as well as some phases of high blood pressure the repeated Uranus conjunction did not show the same dramatic effects. I guess that I overslept the second regression into the White Emptiness. What a pity!- Generally speaking 'Chiron's' journey through my eighth house was accompanied by self-alienation as well as fears of death and melancholy. The initiation into the White Emptiness lifted me out of a midlife crisis. In contrast to the Black Emptiness which brought electric changes to all body chakras, the White Emptiness caused euphoric electric storms inside the heart chakra.
In late spring 1989, I discovered another facet of 'Chiron's' activity. In the meantime he had changed into Cancer and came closer in conjunction with my natal Saturn in the ninth house. But before reaching Saturn he activated my Libra Neptune (12th house) in a square (May 1989). Again: Strong emotions of self-estrangement attended by melancholy, weakening of will-power and a strong need for sleep, day dreams, apathy or to put it in simple words: an enormous laziness. It probably is also of some interest that I suffered in this period from temporary short-sightedness. The smallest every day task took all my energy and self-discipline. With growing enthusiasm I took refuge in bed and fell from one deep sleep into another.
I was completely fascinated by this bizarre and adventurous dreams which kept me in their bond. Non-stop magical mystery tours! A deep friendship with the world of Morpheus developed!
When 'Chiron' came closer to my Saturn, things became worse and I started sleep-walking, and instead of awaking in my bed I found myself sitting in a chair somewhere in the house. I remember that as a child, especially between the age of four and ten I went through similar experiences. But in this time 'Chiron' was in opposition to my Saturn. (The last exact date of moon-walking was in July 1967 when 'Chiron' was in opposition to my 12th house Virgo moon (29° 50'). During an overnight stay in an Austrian hotel I gave a gala performance by knocking at all doors and asking the people out of their rooms. Standing in the hotel hall I gave a lecture about lacking fire preventions. Everybody was fascinated by my concerned address, but the main joke was that I was standing there completely naked. I'II never forget the laughter during next morning's breakfast, unaware of my night's activity, until I was told.)
Now, there isn't a strong argument against sleeping while sitting but the whole thing was more dangerous than it sounds. Waking up often enough was painful by falling off the chair, out of the bed, or by hitting my head on the edge of a table, on the wooden floor or the wall. In other words: The danger of injury was alarming! During my somnambulist state I developed the habit of holding a glass of milk or lighting a cigarette. As I lost control over my muscles, everything fell to the ground. The house became dotted with bumed marks and wet carpets. Reaching the midst of July 1989 (the first 'Chiron'-Saturn conjunction) the situation worsened and I frequently fell in deep sleep states in nearly all kinds of situations. I became afraid that it might even happen while driving a car.
Meanwhile, the dream life became so strong that I wasn't able to differentiate anymore between dream and 'reality': Both films mixed with each other. So it could happen that while being awake a huge ocean steamer was gliding through the room, dead friends started a conversation standing close by or I found myself sitting in a chair in the middle of a crossroad in New York, etc.. The only fact that did help in this situation and freed me from the understandable fear of a permanent madness, was the knowledge of the limited influence of the 'Chiron' transit (a few weeks). Medicine calls such states of consciousness narcolepsy or sleep-paralysis. But it doesn't know anything about the causes and, on top of this, it just recommends one to take very strong speed drugs for the day and sleeping pills for the night. So I did not expect any help from this side. In the end we exchanged all the chairs in the house with armchairs so that it became impossible to fall off. My friend got used to the fact that I spoke to imaginary people in the room, and he had some sleepless nights preventing me from gripping glasses or dropping cigarettes which could have set the house on fire. Even so, personally I felt well, it was an unforgettable time, lasting a period of some ten weeks.
Back to normal I tried to reconstruct the energetic struggle between the time-space transcending 'Chiron' and the time-space setting Saturn. The coming together of those two completely different principles must have resulted in problems. The only surprise is that a miniature rock like 'Chiron' can affect such a planetary giant like Saturn.
But it is another example that 'small' and 'big' doesn't necessarily say anything about effectiveness. Even a tiny microscopic AIDS-virus can destroy a whole human body. For astrology in general it means we have to sharpen our senses also in the direction of planetoids as well as other active points like the Galactic Center, Supergalactic Center, fixed stars and so an. We shouldn't be too impressed by the eight conventional planets.
Coming back to my expsriences, it was Saturn with his sense of duty, who started moon-walking and gave the impulses of drinking, smoking and sitting on a chair, in order to stay in contact with the physical reality, a 'reality' which exists only through the functioning of the embodied senses. On the other hand 'Chiron' had intentions of inducing the emptiness of deep sleep, where the senses are in a state of disintegration. And they both met in the middle, a twilight-zone where personal, archetypical and 'reality' dreams mix. This composition of dreams worked like a triple exposed film, a technique which becomes more and more common in recent pop-videos and which was introduced by the surrealistic movement of the early 20th century. By experiencing the strange visions of my 'Chiron'-Saturn transit the fascinated consciousness and some remaining ego stay awake and are hindered, falling into the deep emptiness. In a way a very clever trick, Saturn! Even the hard awakening (falling off chairs) can be understood as a rough but friendly reminder not to drift away from the earth bond and karmic ruled reality of Saturn.
What I experienced on a personal level could be transferred to our modern times in general! We can interpret our whole century as a slow introduction or initiation into the primordial state of 'Chiron' (this includes also the beginnings of psychanalysis, psychology, the psychedelic movement and its far reaching after-effects, the spreading of Tantra-Buddhism, Taosim, etc. and into the new and exiting dimensions of the internet, where your dreams become real). The world is in the middle of a big process of self-alienation and already on its way to conquer the Saturnian rule of time and space (e.g. by modern sciences like astrophysics) and is thereby preparing for a positive experience of chaos, or in Buddhist terms 'The Open Dimension', new forms of enlightenment. The actual world (including the human race) could be seen as a huge nature reserve which by and by becomes so artificial that we will reach a point where we are unable to differentiate between 'real' and 'unreal' and where everything which is thinkable will manifest simultaneously. I even doubt that we need physical bodies in the future, just states of consciousness which work beyond time and space. Science fiction dreams?-Thinkable!
I think it is worth while to study natal charts of narcoleptics in correlation with 'Chiron'-Saturn aspects. Thanks to the relatively slow motion of these two planets, one could work with the pure birth data, ignoring time and place of birth. So I would like to invite all physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, therapists and neurologists to send us data material together with same keywords of case histories. Of special interest would be data of patients who suffered only a short period (a few weeks or months) from narcoleptic experiences ('Chiron' transits!). In those cases it would be important to have the approximate period of time added to the basic data.
New Conclusions: 'Chiron' - Alias Hypnos, Alias Bardo, Alias Thanatos, Alias Morpheus
I could add a lot more 'Chiron'-experiences which all point to the same directions. E.g. my first very deep and intensive psychedelic experience at the end of June 1966 (under exact 'Chiron'-'Chiron' opposition) which catapulted me directly to the inner world of mystical archetypes, fantastic visions of mandalas, Buddhas and the unspeakable - hard to find paradises beyond time and space. Also this happened in a typical 'Chiron' setting far away from home in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, sitting on a park bench in front of Buddha statue. A friendly stranger set beside me and without any word or comment put me a piece of LSD-sugar in my mouth and left with a smile. At this time I also was on a crossroad, a situation of challenge, having given up my plans to become an artist and just a vague idea to start to study psychology, astrology, comparative religions and philosophy. And meeting my first important meditation teacher (Lama Thubten Yeshe) in early March 1975 (with 'Chiron' in exact opposition to my natal Sun), could be understood as meeting my 'Chiron'-guru, who taught me all about Nirvana and how to reach those states of mind in a rather intensive three month course during which I experienced very deep light states of orange or peach-red emptiness which I couldn't classify as Bardo-states at that time. I could even explain important stages of my life just following the 'Chiron' transits (adding just here and there some Pluto influences). This doesn't necessarily happen with everybody, so I had to find an explanation! My 'Chiron' is located in the 12th house and in conjunction with Moon and Neptune. So there is a natural need to get in contact with the world beyond, and one is probably more sensitive to experiences which open these doors. In general everybody is able to use 'Chiron' as a bridge to other dimensions if he allows it to happen and if he looks on it as a natural process, which is not very different from the daily sleep and wake rhythm. Just falling into deep sleep (non-REM phase) means giving up your ego-control and trusting the leadership of 'Chiron'. It is much later that the phases of dreams start (REM phases) and other planetary energies like Moon, Neptune, Pluto or even Mercury etc. take over. The small cycles of waking and sleeping are the same as the bigger cycles of life, death (e.g. experiencing Nirvana-states) and rebirth (giving up Nirvana-states, searching for a new personality, grasping a new dream reality, which is ruled by the laws of time, space and karma to bring to an end old karmic tendencies).
The Buddha Samantabhadra, Symbol of the primordial Space or Highest Emptiness
Without going too much into the Buddhist world-view you can say that 'Chiron' is a main key to all people who share the view that the whole universe is a big dream, based on its real nature of emptiness, and to all people who want to experience this primeval state af Nirvana. By any means this important key cannot be symbolized by a simple centaur like 'Chiron', a mythological figure of the late Jupiter era. It must be connected with a much earlier cosmogenetic or mythological dimension, which belongs in an epoch long before our zodiac system and hierarchy of planets was formed. 'Chiron' must be something like a petrified radiation-fossil, which found its way into our solar system, giving us possibly the only realistic chance to disrupt the normal astrological magic and lead us to our deeper roots, the emptiness which is the mother of reality.
To find out something about 'Chiron's' real mythological analogies we have to study the earliest scripts handed down, of cosmogony and theogony, which are available in the Occident. Those go back to the Greek poet and philosopher Hesiod, who lived around 800 B.C. in Boeotia. The 'Theogony of Hesiod' consists of over a 1000 verses which are structured in 3 main parts: a) archaics and cosmogenesis of the universe, rulership of Uranus and Gaia; b) the rulership of Chronos-Saturn and c) the lineage of the Gods of the Olympus (rulership of Jupiter). These three chronological stages of the universe are also called 'World of the Old Gods', 'World of the Gods of the Middle Period', and 'World of the Young Gods'.
In a simplified summary: Hesiod describes the cosmos in its earliest stage as Chaos. Out of Chaos comes Gaia, the earth (following my understanding not the planet Earth but the primary mud, home of Jung's chthonic animal archetypes), Erebos (the subterranean darkness) and Nyx (the terrestrial darkness). The children of Nyx are Hypnos and Thanatos (deep sleep and death) while out of Erebos comes the ' Pure Skylight' (ether- element) and Hemera (the day- light). Then Gaia created the sky-god Uranos (a personification of the ether-element) as well as heaven, mountains and Pontos (the salty sea). The main god of this era is Uranos. In a later period Uranos and Gaia created the titans and planet gods with Chronos-Saturn as their main ruler. Together with his wife Rhea (Moon) Saturn overthrew the rulership of Uranos, castrated him and created 'The World of the Gods of the Middle Period'. The dethronement of Saturn through his son Jupiter signals the start of the hierarchy of planet gods (like Venus, Mercury and Mars), their characters, moral attitudes, their equivalent zodiac signs etc., which includes all basic keywords and rules of astrology up to our modern interpretation. The centaur Chiron is a being of this late Jupiter world and embodies the ethics and spiritual orientation of the Sagittarius theme - quite in contrast to our Hypnos- 'Chiron', who acts beyond criterions of good and bad.
The Greek and Roman art symbolizes the twins Hypnos (Somnus) and Thanatos (Mors) as two winged adolescents. The white Hypnos has temple wings and bears as attributes, a poppy-flower as well as a sleeping-horn. Black Thanatos has shoulder wings and carries a reversed torch. They are often attended by the mythalogically much younger Morpheus, god of dreams and son of Hypnos. (Hypnos and Thanatos symbolize dreamless states of mind.) Concluding, from its characteristic effects what we called 'Chiron' is a member of the earliest part of the theogony of deep sleep, death and dream. Following his triple function it is difficult to make a choice. In our modern Western civilization the name death (Thanatos) unfortunately is connected with something ultimate and not so much with change of the state of mind or rebirth. On the other hand Morpheus, the 'dream state' is too vague and besides a few studies by academic outsiders (Freud, Reich, Jung) as yet unexplored or differentiated.
I would like to suggest to replace the former name 'Chiron' for our Greek-orientated western society by Hypnos. Hereby we have to associate alongside its main attribute, the nirvana-like state of healing or deep sleep its other two components: death (Thanatos), the dying af willpower and ego, another state of nirvana-like mind which also can lead to the dimensions of archetypical dreams (e.g. mandalas, gods, demons, animal archetypes like dragons, snakes, turtles etc.) that manifest outside the limits of normal time and space as well as Morpheus which describes an intermediate state of mind between deep sleep and awakening, a sphere which we call the world of personal dreams (e.g. a surrealistic collage of past events, loosely connected with willpower, ego and emotional identifications).
The concept of Bardo would be the most appropriate. But choosing Bardo as a replacement for 'Chiron' we would have to break with the tradition of using Greek and Roman mythological names. 'Bardo' originates in the Tibetan culture of Bonpo Shamanism and Tantra Buddhism and translates as 'Intermediate State' (of mind), describing a state of being in between the cycles of life and death.
Buddhist psychology differs between six main Bardos: The 'Bardo of Life' (-also Satunian reality is seen as an illusionary dream state, seen from the view of primordial emptiness), the 'Bardo of the Dream State', the 'Bardo of Meditation', the 'Bardo of the Process of Death', the 'State after (physical) Death' and the 'Bardo of the Search for Rebirth'. The last three Bardos (-or states of mind) are the main subject of 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead'. This treasury of subtle esoteric knowledge describes the different levels of mind, the transformation as well as the dissolvement of the senses and the equivalent elements water, earth, fire, air, and ether, during the process of dying and becoming (whereby the Bardo of Becoming is just the reversed Bardo of Dying). Those processes explain the particular kind of experiences which have special light character (-like black, white, lightblue etc.) and correspond exactly with Hypnos ('Chiron') experiences described earlier. The 'Tibetan Book of the Dead' relates the first phase with the dissolving of the earth element into the water element, where outer reality becomes like a fata morgana, a mirage or a surrealistic film. (In a broader sense this state of mind already starts weeks before the actual Hypnos transit in the form of self-alienation.)
During the second phase everything dissolves into a vision of smoke, as the sense of hearing stops functioning. This is called the dissolving of the water etement. (Even though the loss of the hearing sense was always an important preliminary I never ex- perienced it together with the smoke vision as described in 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead', but a vision of a flimmering and vi- brating air.) The dissolving of the fire element is accompanied by a vision of red sparks mixing into the dark smoke. With this you lose the sense of smell (see earlier text of Hypnos-Venus opposition in April 1982). During the dissolving of the air element the dying person experiences a vision like the flickering light of a candle and loses the sense of taste and the contact to the outer world. With the fifth phase you will lose all dualistic ways of thinking and feeling (ether-element?). This is called the experience of 'White Emptiness' or 'Wisdom of Joy' and is accompanied by the extinguishing of all kinds of anger (see Hypnos-Uranus conjunction). The esoteric explanation for this kind of experience is the coming together of the left and right Kundalini energies at the crown chakra.
Strangely, I had this crown chakra activation more during the Black Emptiness experience, and the heart chakra activation which goes together with the Black and Red Emptiness more in connection with my White Emptiness experiences. So it seems to be that there exist certain individual variations, depending on the planetary mixings of Hypnos transits. In addition it reflects the uncertainty amongst different Buddhist traditions, whether the highest Buddha- or Nirvana state is of white or black light character or a simultaneous union of both. Further on you experience the state of clear Yellow-Red Emptiness which is called 'Red Increase' or 'Supreme Joy', a mind level of immense beauty and happiness (see Hypnos-Sun opposition, meeting my first main Buddhist teacher). Followed by this you fall in the state of 'Black Near- Attainment' in which all the inner Kundalini energy reunites within in the heart chakra (see black-outs during Hypnos-Venus opposition and Hypnos-Saturn conjunction). It can go along with fears (as in my case) because you lose complete control over all functions of your consciousness (level of Thanatos). The last phase of the 'Bardo of Dying' is called the 'Clear Light', or state of meditative balance, which is described as a blue-white diffusing sky without any center, above or below, which can lead to enlightenrnent or the realization of Nirvana. It is a confrontation with our mind in its pure state, our inner ether or space element called in the Greek mythology 'Pure Sky- light', personified by the god of heaven:
Uranos. In Buddhism this state is called Dharmakaya and is symbolized by a naked dark blue Buddha embraced by his white female consort.
In another interpretation, Hypnos represents the mind of the white Buddha Vairocana (ether element) who has his equivalent in the Hindu god Brahma and his different Nirvana-levels. What a coincidence between three world religions! To break the magical circle of death and rebirth, it is a main goal of Buddhist psychology to merge one's mind completely with the Clear Light! In failing this the mind is in danger of following the reverse process back into the elements and senses, dualistic thinking, illusionary dream pictures, etc., looking for rebirth and coming under the influence of Morpheus and the 'World af the Young Gods'. So the highest goal af Buddhist yogis is to train their minds in reaching the meditative balance (Samadhi, Mahamudra, Tzogchen, Tao) learning certain techniques of dream yoga, working with the inner elements, trying to bring together the Kundalini energy into the heart chakra, using sexual visualizations or deity mandalas, losing the fear of death, trying to pre-experience the different Bardos.
Through the discovery of Hypnos we have found a very important (if not the most important) key which enables one just by simple calculation to find suitable times for coming into contact with states of enlightenment (-in the truest sense of the word). I don't want to exclude Pluto (!), Neptune and Uranus transits, but their energies invoke more certain levels of archetypes of the Sambhogakaya or dream states, enforce mind activities of special chakras or initiate ego transformations, but they don't lead to direct experiences of Emptiness. Following my own experiences with Hypnos, which in many cases didn't occur during meditative training, I found that it is possible, even for 'non-believers', to verify empirically different Bardo states which are the very fundaments of the Indo-Tibetan depth psychology! There is a surprisingly strong intercultural connection between the esoteric teachings of the East and the West, between Hesiod's 'Theogony' and 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead'!
Besides the most important esoteric value caused by the core of the comet Hypnos, he also effects very strongly the exoteric developments by his tail. Therefore the study of Hypnos is equally important for all kinds of astrologers, scientists, meditation practitioners, psychologists, etc.. Following Hypnos needs a lot of encouragement and bravery because he catapults you out of the usual orbit of your ego's thinking and feeling habits. In a philosophical sense he might even question the status of the ego itself. He is capable of bringing it to a standstill and of conquering time and space. In this way he can be seen equally as an enemy as well as a helpful friend to our Western culture which is based upon an exaggerated ego-cult and an extreme Nirvana-fear! This ego-cult can cause a lot of suffering and wrong views and needs a revision and careful investigation by our modern thinking. 'To be and not to be, that is the answer!'