“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; The most massive characters are seared with scars”
Taking Fifty years to complete a full cycle of the horoscope, Chiron, maverick wanderer of our solar system, has been identified since his discovery, with the archetype of the wounded healer.
His natal placement and cycle through the horoscope, weaves a poignant story of both wounding and healing in our lives, as we encounter our “differentness” our “distance from the herd” and our “expulsion from the garden”. Images of wandering accompany both the mythical Chiron, and the physical asteroid that bears his name.
On December 6th, very quietly, Chiron moved direct again, signaling his final departure from the mid twenties of Mutable signs. Anyone who has placements around 25 degrees of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces, will have been experiencing challenging Chiron aspects over the last couple of years, and will be glad to hear that closure of this particular phase comes soon.
I see Chiron as a powerful astrological indicator for healing in the chart, and his sign, house and aspects in the natal horoscope can give acute insight into the life challenges and learning opportunities of the native. Often, it is the crisis triggered by the transits of Chiron, that bring a person to seek astrological guidance, they are brought by the pain that they are in, in the hope of finding ease and healing.
For a better understanding of the dynamic of Chiron in the chart, I will quote astrologer Mary Bridges, from her unpublished work: “Chiron A Myth For Our Times”.
“As children we see our caregivers, educators and spiritual advisers as gods, but they are flawed gods, capable of wounding us from their own place of woundedness. We in turn wound others, as we continue in the same cycle of learned behaviour, perpetuating the pattern down through the generations. If we are wounded during any of the stages of the important stages of transition, we can become stuck in the behaviour patterns of that particular age, carrying its immaturity with us into adulthood.
Our challenge is to learn to see that we are not yet gods, only gods in the making, and it often only when we see this truth, that we are finally able to forgive ourselves and those who have hurt us. In healing and re- educating ourselves, we are then able to take personal responsibility for ourselves, for each other and for our mother Earth.
The images of the myth of Chiron are very illuminating. He was a centaur, half man, half horse, a healer priest who educated the children of The Gods. He was wounded accidentally in his thigh and ankle by his friend and pupil Hercules. Because he was partly divine he could not die from the wound, and had to endure its agony for the rest of his life. Whilst searching for a cure he became wiser, and his healing knowledge greater, and this knowledge and wisdom he used to heal others. Eventually it was Hercules who pleaded with Zeus for an end to his suffering and he was allowed to die, and Chiron was then immortalised as the constellation Centaurus.
What does this myth tell us about ourselves? Chiron is both human and Divine as we are, he is animal and human, biological and psychological, as we are. His wound was inflicted by accident and not by intent, the arrow that wounded him had been dipped in the blood the Lernaean Hydra, a nine headed serpent, so the wound is a poisonous one to which we need to find an antidote. It’s interesting that it was Hercules who wounded him, and also it was Hercules who was responsible for his release. This indicates that “What hurts us can also heal us” Homoeopathic medicine also works in this way.
Chiron was a maverick, a loner, one-of-a-kind, and we ourselves can feel alone with our pain. In our isolation and helplessness, it can be easy to fall into the belief that no one else could understand it. Our wounds are many and varied, sometimes experienced as shameful, when we hide them from each other, carrying on as best we can whilst seeking release in negative and self destructive behaviours that often only increase our suffering in the long term. Most of us are unaware that we wound each other simply by being human, and that our search for healing, like Chiron’s will last a lifetime. The positive energies of Neptune’s compassion and Pluto ‘s regeneration and transformation will also be needed, although unfortunately the negative manifestation of these planets will also be seen in Chiron’s journey, where we may turn to drugs and alcohol to drown our sorrows, or to chaos and degeneration, before we seek aid.
The Myth of Chiron is a good metaphor for our way forward, both individually and collectively. When he left his cave in the Kuiper Belt, Chiron took up his orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and became a bridge linking the two. Saturn’s element is earth, the body; Uranus’ air, the mind, and it is only when we can link these two aspects of ourselves, sometimes through painful experiences, that a holistic consciousness is born. We need to heal the split between these two diverse energies within us, if we are to save ourselves and our planet.
Since Chiron was discovered in 1977, we have been realising that we cannot go on the way we have been, that we cannot continue to do what we want, when we want and how we want, but neither can we stay in the old worn out structures of the past. Many of us know that we are in pain, and causing pain to our environment, and our planet, and feel at a loss to know what to do about it. THEN…. A Chiron transit comes along and some personal insight is gained.
On its fifty-year journey around the chart it will make contact with each of the other natal planets by transit. These contacts highlight the wounds that we carry and show how we may go about the healing or deepening of them according to the planets they aspect. If we are receptive to these transits we may intuitively comprehend what our wounds are really about, which in itself is a healing experience. We may meet someone who offers this insight to us, we may join a yoga or meditation class, undergo psychotherapy or some other transformative practice, sometimes we meet Chiron through an accident that requires hospitalisation or a complete change of lifestyle, sometimes we may inflict pain upon others also. Whatever we do to find meaning and healing for ourselves must also add to the healing of our world; for it is only when we are ill or distressed that we search for healing.
The myth of The Wounded Healer is indeed a wonderful one, for if we are to survive individually and collectively, we need to address not only our own pain but the pain of the entire collective…. in healing ourselves, we heal the world. Hopefully when we have paid enough attention, the planetoid Chiron will no longer be needed, and will leave our solar system as easily as it came.” – Mary Bridges.
My name is Joanna Grant, I am an Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Writer, who lives on the beautiful Beara Peninsula in the South West of Ireland. I can often be found at home, deep in arcane research, or practicing some new form of divination whilst burning the dinner! My children probably wish that I was “normal” but may well remember my eccentricities fondly when they come to face the challenges of their own paths. My long knowledge of Astrology leads and informs my practice, in offering guidance, empowerment and healing, helping others to lead a more authentic and magical life. You can read more about me here.