A year ago I released part one of this series of articles on Chiron. If you're new to Chiron I recommend reading (or re-reading) that article for some of the basic astronomical and astrological background on this currently highly relevant archetype.
If you would like a Chiron reading — looking at the issues of wounding and paths to healing indicated by Chiron in your personal chart — please submit a reading request.
When we are unconscious of the effects of our psychological wounds we tend to either identify with them as a victim or vigorously deny them. In either case we are resisting their resolution. Who in their adult years wants to look again at the pain of trauma suffered decades prior? Yet our wounds do not simply go away nor can they be let go of on a whim. The kinds of wounds represented by Chiron are not healable by taking a pill, reading a self help book, finding that special lover or having something cut out with surgery. These things may help, or even be necessary for our survival, but they will not "cure" us. We cannot simply apply a salve to soothe that centaur beast within. We must look it in the eyes, dare to mount its back and ride it as it teaches us, like Chiron carrying Achilles, gaining wisdom, strength and healing power. By consciously engaging our wounds, the debaucherous, sabotaging centaur becomes wise and gentle and we begin our journey towards wholeness.
The astrological glyph for Chiron looks like a key: . This gives us some insight into the archetype of the wounded healer. But a key to what? Looking at Chiron's placement between Saturn and Uranus, we can understand that Chiron represents the key to unlocking the door to our inner liberation. When we look at our wounds with sincerity and listen to what they have to tell us we allow them to catalyze our growth towards greater self realization. Perhaps ironically, it is our wounding that saves us, awakening us to our full powers as a soul on Earth.
The healing Chiron represents has little to do with "fixing" the body. It is the kind of healing that brings us into a state of fully embracing our life experience, whatever it happens to be. It is about igniting our passion for who we are and what we're here to do. This occurs through a process of reintegration of the wounded aspects of our consciousness. When we experience trauma we tend to fracture, separating the part of us that has been wounded. In psychology this is termed disassociation; in shamanic terms it's known as soul loss. What is happening here is a blocking of a piece of ourselves, erecting a wall to protect a part of who we are that is in pain. This is typically a defense mechanism — we can't afford to be bogged down by our pain if we need to be alert to keep ourselves alive. But when that wall gets fortified and stuck, such that no matter what our situation we remain fragmented, then our vital energies leak out and we are unable to be fully awake and present to our lives. We become depressed, listless and angry. This is the effect of post traumatic stress syndrome, a condition most people are living under, even if they are unaware of it.
But when those lost parts of our soul are rediscovered, nurtured and revitalized, we awaken not only to the joy of our full vitality, we actually understand the reasons for the trauma in the first place. We are able to automatically release ourselves from our past because we can finally make sense of it, put even our worst traumas into proper perspective, and move forward into a brighter future. But to get there we must undergo a powerful Chiron-led initiation.
Chiron's healing path is a fierce one. It requires that we look into the dark of our deeper subconscious and meet with total humility the broken off parts of our psyche. The planet Uranus represents the subconscious memories that can emerge when diving into this work. For example, memories of sexual abuse can remain hidden for decades, until a major Uranus transit sets off a process of remembering. This can appear as a difficult process at first, but it is an opportunity to begin the Chiron work of healing the effects of that abuse, an opportunity that only comes when we are ready for the journey inward. We then have a choice: we can rise to spiritual warriorship in healing, putting down the alcohol, the marijuana, the television, the relationship control — whatever vices of the debaucherous side of Chiron we use to medicate ourselves from our wounds (vices are typically indicated by Neptune) — or we can choose to ignore the calling, giving more of ourselves to our vices and feeding our fears of the past. While the path to inner reintegration is not an easy one, with patience, self love and commitment we can do the work and find it wasn't nearly as scary as our fears want us to believe.
When the lost parts of our soul are rediscovered, nurtured and revitalized, we awaken not only to the joy of our full vitality, we actually understand the reasons for the trauma in the first place. We are able to release ourselves from our past and move forward into a brighter future.
Whatever our traumas, the way to healing them requires opening ourselves to feeling the pain that we've walled ourselves off from. This can bring up feelings of terror as we step into those murky waters, but if we hold ourselves strong and allow the energies to discharge — such as through crying, intense meditation, prayer, or sacred lovemaking — then we discover that the pain we've feared for so long guides us to an expanded awareness of ourselves that finally releases us from the pain of the past. Not only that, we gain a stronger and wiser heart, and the power of our life force increases. And then comes the next bit of Chiron work, and the next, and so on.
The work of healing our Chiron wounds can last a lifetime. But there are astrological markers when we can make significant healing strides, and when we can finally step forward as healers for others, wizened and strengthened by taking the journey through our own wounds. The process does get easier, and the more healing work we do the more we strive to continue our healing with gusto. This frees us from our prior state of victimization and awakens us to a whole new level of personal empowerment. This becomes the Chiron Bridge, from Saturn's conformity to society's ideas of who we should be to the liberation of Uranus's inner awakening to who we actually are. Our wounds then no longer define us — they propel us forward, guiding us like Chiron's arrow straight to the transcendence of all prior limitation.
In the next and final article, we will look at specific Chiron strategies for healing, the significance of the Chiron Return and some of the more esoteric meanings of this strange and mystical planet.