Nessus: The Asteroid of Ancestral Healing

nessus astrology

Nessus is an asteroid that orbits between Saturn and Pluto. It was discovered in 1993, traveling through the zodiac of Scorpio. 

The discovery of Nessus in Scorpio seems quite fitting, as it does hold a similar theme of working through our shadows and traumas in order to keep transforming into higher states of consciousness. 

There is however, no sugar coating the energy of Nessus. 

In Greek mythology, Nessus was a Centaur and trusted to ferry Hercule’s wife, Deianeira, across a river. While Nessus agreed to help, he also took it as an opportunity to try and rape her. 

Hercules noticed, and coming to Deianeira’s rescue, he shot and killed Nessus using a poison arrow. As Nessus lay there dying, he gave some of his poisoned blood to Deianeira, telling her that it was magical and she could use it if Hercules was ever unfaithful and he would always come back to her.

Deianeira, trusting Nessus and desperate for a solution, placed some of this blood on Hercules’s shirt after she suspected he had been unfaithful. 

Hercules wore the shirt and ended up being killed by the poison that Nessus had tainted it with. Deianeira, so distraught by what she had done, committed suicide.

This story is one of revenge, violence, abuse, betrayal, mistrust, guilt, and death, all of which can be themes linked to Nessus. 

Whenever Nessus is strong in our cosmic skies, it is not that we are more likely to experience these themes, but we may find that they filter into our consciousness more, allowing us to see where they may have played out in our lives or ancestry, or how they are playing out in the world around us.

In astrology, when we are working with the Centaur asteroids, their energy usually represents something we have come into this life with, or something we have inherited from our family bloodline or soul contract. 

Wherever Nessus sits in your natal astrology chart can indicate some of the work you have come to clear in this life based on your ancestral traumas.

It can also shine a light on the root of your shadow side, and where you may struggle with some of the darker energies and emotions that life can sometimes trigger within us.

It is easy to look at the energy of Nessus as scary, or something to be afraid of, but it’s important to keep in mind that planets are never responsible for what happens in our lives. Instead, they are simply prompts for greater self-discovery.

We all come into this life with ancestral traumas and things we inherit from the generations before us, but by working with the energy of Nessus, we can hopefully gain more insight, awareness, and freedom when it comes to breaking these patterns and freeing ourselves and future generations from ever having to live through them again. 

Nessus allows us to see the origin story of our shadow side, and reminds us that even though the origins may not be our own, we can either keep perpetuating the cycle or end it once and for all. 

As Nessus is newly discovered, there are very limited resources when it comes to diving in deeper in order to understand and work its energy. But, a good place to start would be with the work of astrologer, Melanie Reinhart. She is considered the leading astrologer on Nessus and says this about its energy-

“Nessus- the buck stops here. The 3rd Centaur to be discovered is one that seems to address issues to do with the abuse of power, and it too has ancestral implications. It seems that Nessus brings opportunities to understand and release deep patterns of helplessness, being taken advantage of, and being oppressed. This is particularly relevant for people raised in a culture where they are in a minority group. Nessus processes really do seem to bring to an end the unfathomable ties that bind us to people, places, and situations. We can psychoanalyse our bonds, do tie cutting exercises, sweat and strain to be free of situations which burn with relentless continuity, but only when such endeavours are in harmony with the deeper timing of the soul will they result in deep release. And when they do, the healing is unmistakable. Nessus activations correspond with times when things really do end, finish and transcend to another level.”

We usually come into awareness of Nessus’ energy when we are clearing a deep-rooted ancestral trauma of our own. Perhaps as you have found this article, you too are going through some sort of rebirth or cleansing of old traumas and pains that appear to run deeper than just you?

How to Find Nessus in your Chart 

1.) Visit and go to their extended chart selection

2.) Enter your birth information 

3.) On the next screen, click “Additional Objects”

4.) Using the box on the left, scroll down to Nessus 

5.) Select “Click here to show the chart”

6.) Your chart will appear with the position of Nessus 

Nessus has an orbit of about 123 years, which means that it moves very slowly, and the zodiac sign that Nessus is in will therefore be similar for your generation. 

In order to get started with understanding Nessus in your chart, you will want to pay attention to the house it is in, as well as any aspects it is making with other planets. 

The house Nessus is in can indicate clues around where your traumas and triggers may be showing up for you in this lifetime.

Confused? While I don’t go into Nessus in my book, The Ultimate Guide to Astrology, can help you to get started in working with and understanding the planets. Once you have the basics down, it will then become easier for you to explore some of the lesser-known asteroids in your own chart. 

At the time of writing this article, Nessus is in the tropical zodiac of Pisces, where it will remain until 2033. 

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About the author


Tanaaz is the creator of Forever Conscious. She is an intuitive astrologer and aims to use her writing to heal and inspire. She is also the author of several books including the Power of Positive Energy, Messages for the Soul, and My Pocket Mantras. She also runs online courses and in-person retreats.