Summer Solstice Grand Cross
(Saturn & Chiron's Final Opposition June 21, 2006)

by Anthony J. McGettigan
Shamanic Astronomer

Chart for Summer Solstice from West Coast of North America

Summer (Northern) Solstice

"Solstice" literally means Sun standing still. The summer solstice happens when the Sun's daily movement through the sky reaches its highest point (greatest distance from the celestial equator). In the northern hemisphere, this is also the moment when the Sun reaches zero degrees of Cancer. This year the precise moment of the solstice will occur at 5:25 a.m. PDT on June 21.

At that exact hour, a grand cross will be formed by Saturn, Jupiter, the Moon and Chiron. Saturn will be opposite to Chiron forming one polarity. Jupiter will be opposing the Moon forming the other. Mars will also be involved in this formation, making a conjunction with Saturn.

Saturn and Chiron

Saturn and Chiron are opposing each other for the final time in their current cycle. This cycle began when Saturn and Chiron were last together in our sky in 1966. This cycle will end when Saturn and Chiron conjoin again in 2028. Saturn orbits the Sun in 29.5 years. Chiron is a small object orbiting the Sun from outside the orbit of Saturn in a 50 year cycle. While Saturn's orbit is almost perfectly circular, Chiron's orbit is relatively elliptical--more like a comet than a planet--and for a brief period in each orbit Chiron actually moves faster than Saturn through our sky.

In their current cycle Chiron has been in exact opposition to Saturn more than 20 times. The first opposition happened in 1986 when both objects were moving at about the same speed. In the 1990s Chiron entered the faster part of its orbit, outpacing Saturn for a short time. In 2003 Saturn again opposed Chiron as Chiron began to slow. This summer solstice is the last time that Chiron and Saturn will oppose each other in their current cycle. The next opposition for these two bodies will not happen until 2067.

Image generated with Starry Night Software -

Orbits of Chiron and Saturn Depicting Current Alignment with Earth, Mars, and Jupiter (June 2006)


Mars, Jupiter, and the Moon

Jupiter will be at a 90 degree angle to both Saturn and Chiron (forming a "T"-square). At the exact time of the solstice the Moon will be within one degree of an exact opposition to Jupiter. The moon in this formation is the fastest moving element and the one which will complete the grand cross or grand square. The formation is unusually exact--Saturn, Chiron, and Jupiter will all be at 9 degrees in their respective signs. Mars will be at 10 degrees, having made its exact conjunction with Saturn on June 17.

Note: The close alignment of Saturn and Mars will continue to be visible in the western sky after sunset through the end of June 2006.

Image generated with Starry Night Software -

Saturn-Mars Conjunction (Exact on June 17 and visible in the western sky after sunset through end of June 2006)


Lessons of the Past 20 Years Highlighted

The Saturn-Chiron cycle is long and very irregular due to Chiron's elliptical orbit. Typically planetary oppositions happen one to three times during a cycle involving two planets. This particular Saturn-Chiron cycle has involved 27 different exact oppositions! One could say that the Saturn-Chiron cycle has been resonant with something that has been hovering in the atmosphere of our collective experience since 1986.

Astrologically speaking, Saturn represents structure, conditioning, and karma. Chiron represents healing, wholeness, and the deepest aspirations of heart and soul. This pattern of oppositions over the past 20 years has presented a persistent stimulus toward striking a balance between our conditioning and our wholeness. It has enhanced within us the drive to realize soul-level aspirations--aiding us in transcending the limitations of our current structure and karma.

The blessings of the past 20 years include the growth that our particular experiences have led us through. That growth has taught us that we have the innate ability to develop far beyond the boundaries we set for ourselves. Perhaps the two most obvious practical developments in the past 20 years have been the increasing availability of personal computers and the simultaneous development of their interconnectedness via the Internet. These innovations alone have already made a vast difference in our daily experience and have facilitated transformative effects globally.

What we are experiencing presently is resonant with all of our experiences and wisdom gained over the last 20 years. This time marks a transition from learning to utilizing. According to E. Alan Meece (author of Horoscope for the New Millennium), we have reached a season for new awakening and healing. According to Tiger Windwalker, the coming months are likely to be marked by revelations of truths previously hidden (Chiron) by societal institutions (Saturn) accompanied by an increasingly energetic response (Jupiter) from the public (Moon).

Note: The effects of this event will continue into the Autumn and into 2007 as Saturn and Jupiter move into a T-square with Neptune beginning in August 2006.


This event marks the completion of a process that has been ongoing since 1986. It is also an important milestone in the larger cycle which began in 1966. The effects of such events are not complete by the date of the event itself. As with any experience, if we are aware of our participation in it we gain in wisdom. Astrologically speaking, this event highlights an opportunity to strike a new balance between our seeming limitations and our deepest desires and aspirations. Chiron is reminding us of what is greater within us--what is larger and more beautiful in everything. It brings us the message that our greatest potentials are not lost, but only hidden from our attention. If we seek them with an open heart, we will surely find them.


Related Items:

2010 Northern Solstice & Lunar Eclipse

Northern Solstice 2008 to 2012 and Beyond

Audio Archive of Interviews with E. Alan Meece and Tiger Windwalker


Blessings for your journey through this season.



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Copyright 2007 AJ McGettigan