Thursday 19 September 2013


I must confess I find Okyrhoe the most difficult of the three female Centaurs to connect with. Perhaps if I'd discovered her when I was about twenty, approaching her first return, I'd have felt differently. However, though I have to try harder with her I will admit to a shiver of excitement when I do manage to attune to her energy.

Let's look at her vital statistics. Okyrhoe was the third of the female Centaurs to be discovered, on 19 September 1998. She moves between Jupiter and Saturn, whose orbit she crosses. She comes closer to Jupiter than any of the Centaurs named so far, although she doesn't stray inside his orbit. Her orbit is the most elongated of the female Centaurs, which gives a clue to her nature – she is more adventurous and more impetuous. In myth, she's the daughter of Chiron and Chariklo.

(Click to enlarge)
Note: It's 15 years to the day since she was discovered!

What's immediately obvious is that Okyrhoe is riding high with Jupiter at the top of the chart. They are, in fact, right at the beginning of a 24 year cycle that began just a couple of months earlier. But there's something even more interesting going on here. Okyrhoe is also conjunct the star 51 Pegasi, which was the first star similar to our own discovered with a planet orbiting around it, back in 1995. With this discovery, we learned that our solar system was not unique.

More interesting still, the exoplanet, informally named Bellerophon, is of a type known as a Hot Jupiter because – as the name implies – it has Jupiter-like characteristics but because it orbits much closer to its sun, it's much hotter.

Incidentally, Bellerophon was the Greek hero that tamed Pegasus (the flying horse) and killed the monstrous Chimera but then pushed his luck too far by deciding to fly to Mount Olympus, the abode of the gods. As punishment for this hubris, Zeus/Jupiter sent a gadfly to sting Pegasus, who then continued on the journey to Olympus. Bellerophon, however, was thrown and fell to earth. His final days were spent in misery, living as a hermit.
So we have themes of Jupiter, horses, hubris and punishment, all of which are relevant to Okyrhoe. We've already seen her relationship to the planet Jupiter. As daughter of Chiron, she is at least part-Centaur (her mother, Chariklo, being a nature spirit), and the story that comes to us from Ovid is that she was punished by the gods for revealing to Chiron his fate. Her punishment was that she was turned into a horse:

'The fates forestall me, and forbid me to say more. My words are checked; too dearly bought were these powers which have drawn down heaven's wrath on me. Would that I did not know the future! Now I seem to see my human form stolen away; now meadow grass is my food, to gallop over the broad plains is my delight. I am changed into a mare, a creature to which I am already akin. Yet why should I be wholly such? Surely my father is half human?' Even as she spoke, the last part of her lament was barely intelligible, for her words became blurred. Then the sound seemed to be neither human speech, nor yet the neighing of a horse, but it was like someone trying to imitate a horse. In a little while, she gave vent to shrill whinnyings, and drooped her arms towards the grass. Her fingers grew together and a thin hoof of smooth continuous horn bound her five finger nails. Her head grew larger, her neck lengthened out, the greater part of her trailing robe became a tail, and her loosened hair, as it streamed down her neck, fell as a mane on her right shoulder.

What does all this mean when looking at Okyrhoe and what she represents in astrology? Well, I see her as a young, swift energy, impulsive and impetuous – reckless, even. She comes close to Jupiter in terms of her orbit and she also has a link to a greater, hotter Jupiter – the exo-planet Bellerophon. I see this as her ability to move between different worlds and different realities. She has a prominent position in the charts of both the Large Hadron Collider and the discovery of the Higgs boson, for example. The meaning of her name ('swift running' or 'fast flowing') is reminiscent of sub-atomic particles which move and change form in ways that confound our understanding of reality. However, she crosses the boundary into Saturn's territory and I see this as overstepping the mark and coming up against the full force of the law. She had the gift of prophecy and, with the impulsiveness of youth, saw no harm in using it. Only when it was too late did she begin to regret her actions.

There again, maybe she would have spoken out anyway, regardless of the consequences.

The final example I'm going to give is one that not only exemplifies Okyrhoe in action, but which also has the two other female Centaurs prominently placed. It therefore seems a fitting way to end my exploration of the female Centaurs. The individual concerned is Malala Yousafzai, and for further details of her life you can click here:

(Click to enlarge)
(Birth time not know, so I've done a chart without houses and of course the Moon's position could be considerably different).

I'll begin by saying that she was named after a Pashtun poetess and warrior woman, and her name means 'grief-stricken.' Now look at the Centaur Hylonome in her chart: it's in very close conjunction to Mars. I find that quite extraordinary.

Her father has apparently described her as ' something entirely special.' From an early age he allowed her to stay up late, after her brothers had gone to bed, and talk politics. This is unusual enough, but remember that Malala lived in the Swat Valley at a time when the Taliban were moving in. She started speaking publicly about education rights as early as 2008, when she was about ten or eleven. Her speech was publicised throughout the region. By the end of 2009 she was appearing on television to advocate publicly for girls' education. This is clearly Okyrhoe operating in her chart, and perhaps the ease with which she stepped into this role at such a young age is due to Okyrhoe's conjunction with the South Node. This was something she obviously felt comfortable doing – had she perhaps done it before?

By 2012, when she was 14 or 15, she was planning to organise the Malala Educational Foundation, which would help poor girls go to school. This is probably not the first thing you'd expect the average teenage girl to be devoting her time to. Then she started to receive death threats. When these failed to silence her, the Taliban set out to kill her. A gunman shot her in the head on 9 October 2012. She survived the attack, was flown to England for treatment and has been allowed to remain in the UK, along with her father.

I think this, and her subsequent speech at the UN on her 16th birthday, is a sign not just of Okyrhoe but also of her Chariklo energy emerging. Chariklo is conjunct her Mercury. She spoke out as an advocate for the education of children world-wide. She herself said she will not be silenced and she is not afraid of the consequences.

By progression, the Sun will be conjunct her natal Chariklo in April 2017, when she is a little short of her twentieth birthday. It will be interesting to see if she really comes into her own then.

It's also worth pointing out that she was born just five months after Chariklo was discovered. Maybe there's a new energy coming into the world, and the combined energies of Chariklo and Okyrhoe will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about these three Centaurs and that some of you will be tempted to explore them further. Thank you for your interest.

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