Centaur Spotlight: Cyllarus & Hylonome

– I have been sitting on these guys for so long- Originally they were going to be my first foray into the Centaurs, not Nessus! But here we are, almost at the end. It seems more poetic this way.

The Astronomy– 10370 Hylonome is a minor planet orbiting in the outer Solar System. The dark and icy body belongs to the class of centaurs and measures about 75 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 27 February 1995 (H: A Pisces!)  Currently, Uranus controls Hylonome’s perihelion and Neptune its aphelion. Hylonome is a carbonaceous C-type body that orbits the Sun at a distance of 18.9–31.3 AU once every 125 years and 9 months (45,936 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.25 and an inclination of 4° with respect to the ecliptic. It is a Neptune-crosser, and an outer-grazer of the orbit of Uranus, which it hence does not cross. Its minimum orbital intersection distance with Neptune and Uranus is 0.35854 and 0.52875 AU, respectively. It is estimated to have a relatively long orbital half-life of about 6.37 million years. In the year 3478, it will pass within approximately 85 gigameters of Uranus and its semi-major axis will be reduced from 25.1 to 23.5 AU.

52975 Cyllarus is a centaur discovered on October 12, 1998 (H: And a Libra… No wonder!), by Nichole Danzl at the Kitt Peak Observatory near Sells, Arizona in the United States. It is named for the centaur Cyllarus of Greek mythology. In November 2009, Mike Brown and his team using the Keck telescope took a spectrum of Cyllarus (apparent magnitude 23), giving it “the record for the faintest spectrum of a Kuiper belt object”. Cyllarus came to perihelion in September 1989. Cyllarus orbits the Sun in the outer main-belt at a distance of 16.3–36.0 AU once every 133 years and 5 months (48,739 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.38 and an inclination of 13° with respect to the ecliptic.

The Myth- Cyllarus and Hylonome were two centaurs who were very much in love. In his “Metamorphoses”, Ovid paints a picture of the beauty and tragedy of a Centaurean love story:

[In the battle of the Kentauroi and Lapithes:] Nor did his beauty ransom [centaur] Cyllarus, fighting that day, if hybrids such as he be granted beauty. His beard was just beginning, a golden beard, and golden tresses fell down on his shoulders reaching to his flanks. High-mettled grace shone in his face; his neck, chest, shoulders, hands and every manly part seemed like a sculptor’s much-praised masterpiece. Unblemished too his equine shape, nor less fine than his man’s. With horse’s head and neck he’d make a fit mount for Castor, so high stood his chest-muscles, so rideable his back. Jet black he was, the whole of him, save that his tail was white and legs were milk-white too. Many a centauress would be his mate, but one had gained his heart, [she-centaur] Hylonome. In the high woods there was none comelier of all the centaur-girls, and she alone by love and love’s sweet words and winning ways held Cyllarus, yes, and the care she took to look her best (so far as that may be with limbs like that). She combed her glossy hair and twined her curls in turn with rosemary or violets or roses, and sometimes she wore a pure white lily. Twice a day she bathed her face in the clear brook that fell from Pagasae’s high forest, twice she plunged her body in its flow, nor would she wear on her left side and shoulder any skin but what became her from best-chosen beasts. Their love was equal; on the hills, they roamed together, and together they would go back to their cave, and this time too they went into the Lapithae’s palace side by side and side by side were fighting in the fray. A javelin (no knowing from whose hand) came from the left and wounded Cyllarus, landing below the place where the chest joins neck – slight wound, but when the point was pulled away, cold grew his damaged heart and cold his limbs. Hylonome embraced him as he died, caressed the wound and, putting lips to lips, she tried to stay his spirit as it fled. And when she saw him lifeless, she moaned words that in that uproar failed to reach my ears; and fell upon the spear that pierced her love, and, dying, held her husband in her arms.

Why They Matter– Well, we essentially have the Romeo and Juliet of the Centaurs here, can you guess where I am going to go here? If we explore the idea that each Centaur is representative of a human failing or fatal flaw, then these two have a story rife with meaning. Obviously you have the showcase of toxic or codependent love, and we’ll get to that- but if we go deeper, we see that there is a vein of Pridefulness running through these two, coloring their decisions. Cyllarus and Hylonome didn’t want to fight, all they wanted was to just be together and be a famous Instagram couple (or I guess AmphorGram, since the Classical Hellenes didnt exactly have iPhones), famous for being like, really really pretty. But the story goes that Cyllarus was pressed into the fight and Hylonome went everywhere he did. so they rode into battle together- and died together. The one we have more to go on is Hylonome- She couldn’t stand the idea of living without him, and instead of trying to move on from the loss, proceeded to die of her own hand. There is an air of “better than you” to these two, and they seemed to think their love made them better than all the other centaurs (pride again- specifically the vanity form). Though since the rest of them were all wild, rowdy assholes….

Of course, we have to look at these two in the context of relationships. Codependency, obsessive love, chasing those who don’t want you and going overboard for a lover who rejects you- these are all in the realm of these two. I have noticed pronounced Hylonome in the charts of those people who CANNOT be alone- jumping from relationship to relationship to avoid facing who they are and growing on their own. Conversely, I have noticed pronounced Cyllarus in the charts of serial cheaters, jumping from lover to lover to keep things fresh and exciting. These two are like the toxic version of Eros and Psyche- they are the worst of us in love: A vain, self-centered man who loathes any blemish or sign of age with an overdramatic and histrionic woman who cannot be alone. Sounds like a recipe for success, no?

These two are most likely to show up prominently in synastry most of all, and contacts to each will highlight the dark sides of the planets they touch with regard to vanity and need. Transit and natal, less so- though natal may show a predisposition to those types, like with Eros and Psyche.

To find out where she shows up in your chart, go to astro.com, put in your birth details and in the extended options, at the bottom of the next page, there will be a menu of additional objects. To the right of that is a blank space where you can enter the number 52975 for Cyllarus and 10370 for Hylonome. Once you have it entered, generate the chart! Where do Cyllarus and Hylonome affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!

Tags: , , , , , ,

One Comment

  • Michelle says:

    Well, I just found out that for me, Hyolonome is in Cancer & Cyllarus in Aquarius. I’m going to have to think awhile as to how these impact my life..but I’m grateful for you piquing my interest in these two! Great article, Helios!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.