Saturday, 1 September 2012

Chiron: the wounded healer

In these times of great change and transition on our little planet many of us are seeking ways to improve our beings, heal our past hurts and strengthen our souls. Of course there are countless methods and practices from which to choose, all offering something a little different. Astrology is one such means, used for centuries in various forms and at best to offer guidance, solace and hope. In today’s society it has transformed into a powerful metaphysical tool that can assist with our psychological development. Most of us are perhaps rather savvy with the lingo now, rhyming off such conversational pieces as ‘What sign is your Moon?’ or ‘What house is your Sun in?’, or even ‘Not another Mercury retrograde!’  But of course there are greater depths to astrology and somewhere down near the bottom you will find a little, seemingly insignificant, body lurking called Chiron.

In astrological circles, the recent Chiron headlines concerned his step into Pisces, which occurred briefly between the 20th April and 19th July 2010 and then again after February 9th 2011. However you may still be wondering, what is Chiron? Well get yourself cozy, for his story goes a little something like this...

In Greek mythology Chiron was a half-man/half-horse, more commonly known as a centaur. They were infamous for their revelry, lust, indulgence and unintelligence and were also quite aggressive when under the influence. But unlike all the other centaur Chiron was caring, cultured and smart not to mention a dab hand at medicine, healing, teaching and astrology (of all things). He did not have a very pleasant upbringing though; the god Cronos (Saturn) took a liking to a beautiful nymph called Philyra, daughter of the sea gods. But Philyra was not interested and turned herself into a horse to avoid Cronos’ advances. The god cleverly disguised himself as a mare and successfully mated with her. However when Chiron was born, Philyra was so repulsed by his appearance that she abandoned him. Despite his tragedy, Chiron was blessed with immortality (being the son of a god) and grew to become a great tutor with many famous students of the times, including Jason, Hercules and Achilles. Most of us have perhaps heard of the term Achilles heel, which means a principal weakness. This is because Achilles had been immersed in the river Styx, by his mother Thetis, hoping that he would become immortal. But because he was dipped in by his foot, this part of his body remained vulnerable. And so it came to pass that he was later wounded by an arrow that struck his heel. Chiron suffered a similar fate to his student, after he was also wounded by an arrow in the leg that had been coated in the blood of the Hydra (a vicious water beast with several heads). Anyone unfortunate enough to be struck by such a tainted weapon would suffer a wound that never heals. Even though Chiron was a master of the healing arts he could not heal his wound and so, being an immortal, he was doomed to live an eternity with his injury. He later sacrificed his immortality in a noble act to save Prometheus, who was punished by the god Zeus for revealing the secret of fire to mankind. This allowed Chiron to escape his eternal wound and he was commemorated through the constellation Centaurus. Like the mythological counterpart, the planetoid Chiron shares similarities. He is a slightly battered half-planet/half-asteroid that nevertheless defiantly orbits between Saturn (Cronos) and Uranus.

In astrology, Chiron has come to represent healing, teaching, bravery and strength and of course our primary weakness or downfall. From 2005 he was in the sign of Aquarius, which concerned our ‘wounded community’ and individual issues of how our thoughts create and control our feelings. He recently teamed up with the Sun and Neptune, which many speculated was a sign for the beginning of great healing times on Mother Earth. But the move into Pisces heralds a period when we can individually confront our real weakness in life and better yet, heal our broken Achilles heel! Pisces favours alternative and complimentary medicines so you may find yourself seeking out such therapies to mend your wounds at this time, which is ideal. New spiritual teachers may come forth too and offer wisdom and healing. Empathy and kindness is paramount when Chiron swims with the Fishes; both planetoid and sign are well known for their benevolence, gentleness and charity so together you can see how we’re entering a time of offering a healing shoulder to lean on. Chiron’s bravery will come through learning to release our ego judgments and show empathy to all humans and causes (not an easy task), thereby promoting healing over hatred. Ultimately the Centaur and the Fishes could bring many of us together and refresh the true spirit of humanity – our underlying unity.

Below is a guide to what you can expect from Chiron by his Sign and House placement in your personal astrological chart. If you are unsure of where Chiron falls in your chart, there are a number of free websites that offer a basic chart drawing or you may like to have a chart reading constructed. Alternatively you might be able to intuit your Chiron placement by reading from the following descriptions.

Chiron in Aries
If you were born when Chiron was in the first sign of the zodiac, you will likely contend with a surplus of energy that needs to be burned up and a desire to accomplish every job you commence. But fleeting enthusiasm and a tendency to act without forethought can be common pitfalls. It may be hard for you to allocate tasks and share responsibilities and you may often feel restless in the search for your true identity. However you can discover your inner hero through healthy competitions, such as in sport and accepting every challenge to win and succeed. You may show false bravery to cover your secret insecurities. But Chiron wants you to dig deeper, be honest and find your real courage by facing your fears with control and caution.

1st House Chiron
When Chiron occupies the first house of your chart, you may be something of an exhibitionist or display a bit of bravado. Hasty and forceful action comes naturally and feelings and emotions can be sharp and delicate, often expressed impulsively and passionately. However, outbreaks of powerful emotion can be overpowering and all of this may just be a front to conceal your inner fears. Chiron here says you are a prospective leader, with the ability and energy to influence others – just be sure not to abuse such a gift for selfish reasons. You can gain positive direction in life through a hobby or career that you love.

Chiron in Taurus
Chiron in the sign of the Bull points to a strange sense of never feeling successful or secure enough, no matter how much money or possessions you acquire. A controlling or materialistic attitude can develop - tendencies you must learn to release. Chiron asks that you perhaps change your definition of what true wealth means, to give more of yourself, help those less fortunate or even make sacrifices. A healthy diet or eating regime is very important when Chiron falls here, as is looking after the body. Discovering your physical weaknesses is essential, so that you may learn to heal. You may have a subtle sexual charisma and creative and artistic work is especially enjoyable.

2nd House Chiron
With Chiron in your second house, you will find that self-assurance comes through developing a strong sense of security and material gain. But you will most likely have to contend with a judgmental nature and the risk of becoming conceited with your triumphs and focused on superficial values. There is a tendency here to be rather obstinate in refusing to accept others’ opinions and people consequently may feel uneasy around you. Chiron wishes you to practice humility, become more conscious of your behaviour and choose love, warmth and kindness over greed and selfishness.

Chiron in Gemini
Chiron lends a strong mentality, intelligence and endless curiosity when he is in Gemini. You are perhaps someone who constantly asks questions and seeks to learn. However negativity can prevent you from communicating freely and you may repress your natural inquisitiveness, for instance, if you were often silenced as a child. Chiron wishes you to ask yourself questions, to develop your feelings and get to know the real you. You may find you experience synchronicity often and have a deep desire to beget changes. By being brave and using your communication skills, you can help others to improve and become more conscious of certain issues affecting their lives.

3rd House Chiron
With Chiron in house three of your chart, you can be quite a cynical and guarded person.  You may prefer your own ideas but making these a reality will often prove challenging. It may seem that you are always searching for answers and having to learn from your mistakes, which is difficult because you do not like to admit to being wrong. So you may frequently try to validate your blunders, become fanatical about minor details or feel under pressure. An ability to manipulate others or win people over with words should be avoided. Chiron asks that you perhaps learn to use your communication skills to teach others what you know.

Chiron in Cancer
Chiron here points to prominent feelings. Being part of a family, group or club or simply having a strong sense of belonging is crucial to your wellbeing. A structured environment will also make you feel safe whereas anything new, startling or strange can make you feel vulnerable and weak. A good career may provide further stability and you ca be very obliging in work. But, at times, you may give more than is required. You like your private life and may often retreat from the social world. Being sensitive to the suffering of others, you must learn to be open to emotional support. Chiron asks that you release nostalgic tendencies and attachment to your past. A dislike of others’ independence means that you need to be brave in developing your own sense of autonomy.

4th House Chiron
Chiron in this house points to someone who is susceptible to powerful feelings that can be dark and worrying. You may be afraid to do your own thing and be independent, suggesting a lack of self-confidence that constricts your actions. Chiron wishes you to overcome these fears. You are a true humanitarian, aware of the suffering of others and wishing to help. But, it seems, coping with your own inner conflicts is difficult, as you face a struggle between boundaries and free expression. Chiron’s lesson is to call upon your inner strengths and be open to receiving support from others whilst enjoying the freedom of independence.

Chiron in Leo
With Chiron in this regal sign, you are likely to find yourself centre of attention – whether that’s good or bad! There is much creative potential, even if you have no real talents; however your goals in life may frequently feel stifled. Chiron asks that you find your forte and constantly seek new interests that allow you to be productive. Indeed, creative work will bring you much contentment if you learn to do it for pleasure rather than adoration or to impress others. Women with this placement may often feel disappointed by men and must learn from broken relationships not to attract the same partners. Chiron instructs you to take charge in changing your life’s direction instead of dwelling on setbacks.  

5th House Chiron
There is a natural innocence and spontaneity when Chiron resides here however quite often it has been repressed from childhood, due to negative programming from authority figures like parents or teachers. This either leads you to feel self-conscious or to act with distorted pride. Nevertheless, a pure sense of awe and a great deal of creativity is at your fingertips and requires urgent expression. Chiron wishes you to learn to stand up for what you truly want in life and reject the ideals forced upon you by elders. You will have opportunities to become self-aware, allowing you to break free from your inhibitions or pretentiousness and then your life will begin to improve.

Chiron in Virgo
The tendency to become a workaholic is prominent with Chiron here. You often feel dominated by habits, schedules and a need for precision but these compulsions must be released, as they can adversely affect your health. Chiron advises you to try and perform your everyday essential tasks with calm, ease and good management; disciplines such as meditation or yoga can prove very effective. You likely possess natural healing abilities and adopting kind, caring roles in your community, along with guidance from a mentor, can provide much satisfaction whilst allowing you to help those in need. You are intelligent and quick-witted but with a tendency to be critical and cynical, in learning, Chiron suggests you think before you speak.

6th House Chiron
Chiron highlights your methodical mind here and gives you the skills to examine and study. And by learning to recognize and evaluate the roots of your own inhibitions you can free yourself from habits; however there is a risk of becoming obsessed with these problems. Chiron advises you to search for what has gone wrong and why then employ whatever tools necessary to move forward. Understanding how your body works and prioritizing your wellbeing is vital, particularly in healing disease and resolving negative conditions. Your body and mind must function in harmony and although it is likely you will accomplish this feat, the assistance and guidance of a metaphysical teacher is best advised.

Chiron in Libra
A Libra Chiron focuses on relationships and overcoming the fear of upsetting their balance and harmony. This fear creates problems because you hold back on speaking openly and honestly with others, in case you cause offence. Chiron tasks you with gaining true awareness of what it takes to make a healthy relationship work by realizing that if others are upset at you this is their choice. Learning to give as well as receive generates greater harmony in any partnership but first you may have to release attachment to past hurts and old resentments or being too polite and overly-considerate. Show bravery by having clear-cut discussions about any relationship problems and avoid provoking your partner deliberately simply because you enjoy making-up. Your hidden strength lies in developing a sympathetic rapport with others, leading to a sense of freedom, fairness and accord, essential for mental and emotional fulfillment. 

7th House Chiron
The primary risk with Chiron here is a tendency to fuse so deeply with a partner that you loose your individuality. There is typically an urge to commit rashly in relationships, which leads to heartbreak and meaningless encounters. Chiron suggests you learn from your past experiences, which will be difficult because you often see your partner as an extension of your self. Continuing on this path will eventually lead to great selfishness because ultimately you will repress your partner’s independence. In such cases you will attract people who are vulnerable, weak or dependent thereby submitting to your power and control. Chiron’s bravery and strength comes into play by teaching you to be with a partner through selflessness and unconditional love, setting your partner free so that he or she will return; equality and sharing are essential.

Chiron in Scorpio
Chiron in Scorpio tends to lend a rather clear-cut outlook on life, seeing everything as either one or the other. However it can also point to intense moods and emotional outbursts or acts of ultra-bravery, creating an impervious front, which are all actually ways of masking your deep insecurities and uncertainty. Chiron’s challenge can manifest as a troublesome illness in early life or feelings of depression and displacement and there could be a strong desire to be reborn. Chiron teaches you to embrace your ambitious, competitive streak to become successful in business. An intrinsic urge to be the boss can be tenderized through learning to recognize others’ needs and feelings. Chiron asks you to step back from extreme action and over-reaction, whilst your potent sexuality, passions and charisma must not be abused but used as strengths.

8th House Chiron
The presence of Chiron in the eighth sector can indicate a strong fixation with materiality, gain, sex, power and risk-taking. In fact you may feel that nothing can stop the pursuit of your personal desires. You may be a very private person preferring to keep secrets or you could become quite submissive and cowering. Chiron teaches you to be a deeply self-seeking soul and grants you a strong, latent psychic ability. With courage and commitment this can become an extraordinary asset. Chiron reminds you to work on taming or releasing the desires that threaten to consume you and once you achieve this goal you will become a powerful force, using your authority for the greater good of all.

Chiron in Sagittarius
When Chiron meets the Archer there is often an overpowering urge to search, study and progress endlessly throughout life. And if you do not find, or even know what you are looking for then this will lead to a great deal of frustration. Chiron tasks you with finding a sure direction, which will require learning to make wise judgments and overcoming the urge for careless action. If you do not, you will constantly change your direction and sabotage whatever you have achieved so far. Chiron wishes you to see that you have much to offer and to courageously embrace the lessons that teach you about your true self. Then you will achieve a sense of inner harmony and wholeness.

9th House Chiron 
The pursuit of information and enlightenment can be rather overwhelming when Chiron falls here. This results in anxiety and stress, preventing your from assimilating whatever it is you are trying to learn and from sharing it with others. Stubborn or rigid beliefs and views will have to be relinquished if you wish to learn Chiron’s wisdom and achieve balance in life. You will likely undergo extensive changes in your thinking and by the journeys you take because of a very daring and adventurous nature. There may well have been disagreements with your parents or authority over religious matters and consequently you will either venerate your spirituality or abandon it entirely.

Chiron in Capricorn
With Chiron here you are perceived as very dependable and have the ability to instill great confidence in others. However you may become too fixated on the material or business world, elevating yourself to levels where others will admire you. Chiron suggests you take great care when undertaking such roles because you can easily loose control. There may have been difficulties with your father or harsh authority figures when growing up, leading to certain inhibitions. Until these problems are healed you will not feel free nor be able to fully express your strengths, such as ambition and fortitude. Chiron reminds you there is plenty of time to achieve these goals and that you will never give up on your ideals or attaining your wishes.

10th House Chiron
Chiron invariably brings your attention to the future from this house. You will frequently feel compelled to embrace all that is unique and alternative, whilst not upsetting old conventions, always aiming for what you feel is appropriate and just. This can make you a very pleasant and attractive person, but your penchant for trying to help those you perceive as hapless may lead to resentment when they do not achieve similar success. You may be very drawn to roles of authority and will have the power to gain successful control. But Chiron asks you to embrace this love of leadership with a positive, humanitarian attitude, using creativity and practicality to influence worthwhile causes.

Chiron in Aquarius
Chiron works well here with his healing abilities in affording you the same gift. A strong positive attitude helps you to manage any sickness and recover quickly, although the downtime can give you necessary space for self-analysis. Instead of disregarding your flaws, Chiron teaches you to accept them and this will lead to victory. You may have problems accepting others people’s views on life and more so if you perceive them as being less intelligent. There can also be a fear of commitment and you cannot stand anyone confining you, as your sense of personal freedom is highly valued and this can encourage sexual liberty. Chiron asks that you learn to respect others’ differences and remain open to finding the ‘right’ partner for you, by promoting balance in any relationship; otherwise you can exile yourself from a life shared with someone else.

11th House Chiron
In this house Chiron highlights the great importance of setting aside ‘me-time’; in other words, you need to create a space for yourself, physically, emotionally and mentally. This will allow you to get in touch with your unique and innovative thoughts and theories. You also need to bring order and concrete realism to your ideas and avoid being vague or impractical, if you wish to make progress. Chiron’s lesson here is learning to accept fair criticisms and to turn arguments into healthy debates; otherwise you can end up the loser. You have what it takes to show the way, with a friendly nature, vibrant charisma and morals and values that will likely appeal to the masses.

Chiron in Pisces
Chiron sits strongly in the final sign of the zodiac. He encourages continual learning and study, granting you great intelligence, wisdom and a passion for spirituality. However this can clash with the mundane material world and practical tasks of daily life. Dispelling confusion and organizing your thoughts can be difficult because you prefer to work from your emotions, whilst commitments to your loved ones can be neglected because of an irresistible urge to help others. This can drain your energy and cause you to make personal sacrifices. Chiron suggests you allow time to focus on your own needs, such as your exceptional creative talents. New Age paths or alternative therapies can offer great healing, which you can then use to aid others. And by establishing a strong sense of direction in life, you will eventually discover and heal your own wounds. 

12th House Chiron
If you have Chiron in the last house of your chart, there are likely to be periods of dissatisfaction and a sense of inferiority. These can prove difficult to understand and as a result you may isolate yourself at times, to deal with your hurt. You may be drawn to negative escapism but it is essential you avoid such behavior when feeling sad, or there could be resultant problems. Chiron gives you a powerful imagination, which you can use effectively in creative or artistic works to express your feelings, but encouragement may be required from others. Chiron also suggests you consider studying esoteric and metaphysical disciplines, which can prove greatly beneficial in improving your courage and strength. But ensure you seek the guidance of a skilled mentor and be wary of the Achille’s heel to exploit your special gifts for selfish or ulterior motives.

Chiron himself may not be around anymore to teach us his wisdom, but we can follow his passage in our astrological birth charts. Here, he points the way to greater insight about our personal life lessons - how we can become braver, embrace our strengths, heal and manage our weaknesses. And by doing so we learn to contribute our best to humanity, with a sense of purpose and value, in these revolutionary times.