ON International Tiger Day, July 29th, we remember that the famous Centaur Mosaic from the grand dining pavilion of Hadrian's Villa at Tibur has intrigued art historians for decades. The mosaic is on view at the Altes Museum in Berlin, along with stunning sculptures of Hadrian and Antinous. But few people have had the opportunity to view it up close with commentary by eminent art historians ... until now!
Astrologically, Chiron represents a person's healing energies and, indeed, the word for "surgery" in many European languages (chirurgie in French and German, cirugya in Spanish, chirugia in Italian and Portuguese) comes directly from the Ancient Greek words for "Chiron Hands" — a healer with the skilled hands of the Titan Chiron.
Astrologically, the asteroid Chiron currently is in a highly fortuitous aspect to Pluto — an aspect of cosmic healing which will last on and off through September. Hadrian, who was obsessed with astrology himself, could hardly have looked at this mosaic without pondering cosmic implications.
Zucker and Harris, founders of Smarthistory, aptly point out that this mosaic ... only a tiny fraction of the dining pavilion's mosaic ... must have been a profound source of dinner conversation.