The Upside of Chiron

It’s easy to think of Chiron as the asteroid that always hurts. Maybe that’s true; maybe it is the arrow that will always find you, the hurt that will never entirely heal. If you have Chiron strong in your chart you likely identify with this. Chiron feels very Plutonian in that it is a wound. But it is different from Pluto, and I can always observe the difference during a client or personal transit. Unlike a Pluto transit, where we are a lone and sole dustmote in the galaxy wrestling with our own irrelevance, toxicity, shame and rage, with Chiron, healers are waiting in the wings. Always, within a stone’s throw, there are shamans and acupuncturists, astrologers and masseurs, energy healers and coaches. If we are on a Chiron journey, there are Chironian figures who have been there, who have been or who are wounded their self, who spend a lot of time attempting to heal their self, then use those skills to mend the world.

Many are called, few are chosen, and with Chiron, it’s a dubious honor. Indigenous cultures had Chironian figures: shamans, medicine people, druids. These people often experienced a life-endangering illness or psychological break at a young age which marked them as a wounded healer, by the tribe. The reason for this: if they made it back from the underworld alive, they were regarded as having secret knowledge. If they healed from an illness, they understood it and so had the power to heal others. Not just other humans but animals, living systems and whole tribes.

Alas, modern culture fears those who have psychotic breaks or chiron-ic illness. It think it’s because many subconsciously think “it could happen to me” and turn away, never recognizing the precious calling of illness in the lives of those who experience it. When fear (and helplessness) is the establishment’s prescription, it teaches Chironics to fear our own healing journey–which is a sad shame because illness is an (life-changing) invitation, as the skills we learn can become a vocation, the inner work, an act of soul mending. As Joyce Mason at her recent lecture on Chiron and Vocation in San Francisco said, “The stuck-ness of intolerable pain will set you forward into inner work.” Or not, I would add. As many people whine about the pain, all the reasons why they are stuck and so do nothing.

According to quippy Life Coach and Chironian Martha Beck, modern day shamans are needed in greater numbers right now. In her book, Finding Your Way In A Wild New World calls these people The Team. The Team share a slew likely demographics. Here, a partial list: high creativity; passion for the arts, music etc., difficult early life often with history of trauma or abuse, very high emotional sensitivity leading to predilections for anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, persistent or recurring physical illness, often severe, with symptoms that fluctuate inexplicably, intense connection to particular natural environments and animals, loneliness stemming from a sense of difference, a strong sense of mission or purpose involving human transformation even if its hard to articulate what that might be… it goes on, but if you recognize your self in most of these, you’re on “The Team”.

She also calls members of The Team, Wayfinders and Menders…which reminds me of sewing, a line in a song by Tori Amos “Calling for my soul, at the corners of the world…” when I think of Chiron, and the holy task of personal integration –the one word I’d use to describe the end result of Chiron’s teachings, healings and ministrations.

I’m identifying with Chiron more than I ever have before. My Birthday Solar Return this year features none other than Chiron strong, and Moon in Virgo in the Twelfth, oppose Jupiter, square Neptune/Chiron on the IC angle. With my progressed Twelfth House in the Twelfth House this all essentially  means I’m learning, hibernating, convalescing and integrating at a deep level. Along with studying at the Institute of (yes) Integrative Nutrition (don’t you love synchronicity?), I had a recurrence of an illness I thought I had healed back in 2008. Fibromyalgia, it turns out, may never go away but go into remission for months, years. There’s a lot more information out there on Fibro than even 4 years ago, from other “Team” members, so I’m getting new tools.  Also, the word “teacher” keeps coming up for me in my coaching. Like Chiron in his mentor guise (Chiron, a multi-talented fellow, mentored Apollo, Achilles and many others), I’m teaching clients new health skills, but not everyone is at the same place or learns in the same way. The onus is truly on the teacher.  My Aries Chiron-Moon takes action, and wanting others to follow my expert advice, take action and get most excellent results, is very surprised when they don’t do my homework! I’ve been watching The King’s Speech, Anger Management – watching maverick teachers use “unconventional” teaching methods.

One question I’ve oft wrestled with: how can a person who is sick, be a healer? How is a person who needs help, be helpful? A: how else would we find the tools to help others? A Chironic individual is wounded and whole (those of you who have read my book recognize this paradox). We get out of our own pain, or even stop it altogether, through helping others. Healing, integrating, mending the world is our mission, so getting to work is not optional – unless you want to get sick. Every time I’ve strayed from this strange calling, which always involves helping others, I’ve gotten sick. This is paradoxical and flies straight in the face of the logic, which says: if you’re sick, there must be something wrong with you (therefore how could you possibly help others?) so stay home, in bed. This is probably the best way to stay sick. While I have very specific physical needs that need special attention, if I let my pain stop me from seeing clients and living on purpose, I get a heck of a lot worse. Weird? Apparently, my community needs the healing skills I am developing for my self. In myth, Chiron sacrifices his own life so Prometheus can live. Huh, there must be something to this.

Joyce Mason also said sometimes we choose pain because we need it’s gifts – and that if we have a
series of theme-related pains its to hone the rare gem of an authentic Self. I pretty much loathe it when people tell me I created my illness, in any capacity. I believe, unless your name is God, it’s impossible for you or anyone to know this about another being, and to tell someone they created their illness is a cruel and unfortunate side effect of the new age “you create it all” movement. However, there is another paradox here: suffering can become deeply meaningful, and any form of suffering –  relationship, career or physical- can be used as a jewel-cutting tool. Earlier this year I began a process of  understanding how I had not been valuing my self by not honoring my own thoughts, feelings, wants and needs in my marriage (Sixth/Seventh House Aries Chiron conjunct Moon). I thought “I” was disintegrating. It turns out I’ve been re-integrating the authentic Self that has been well-trained in meeting everyone’s needs but her own. From inner work, I’m seeing new facets in the rare gem of my authentic Self. Synchronously, my clients often need reminders about the power of their own choices. I’ve created a mirror, now hanging in my office, as a reminder for me and all.

Today I’m looking more and more for the upsides of Chiron. Because while the downside just sucks, the upside offers a path forward. I don’t feel as alone in this journey as I used to, say twenty-one years ago, when I experienced my first Chironic initiation; we may be a rare Centaur tribe, we’re not single Unicorns anymore. I read books, am taught by amazing Team members; my best friends are Team members. Team members are all around us — teaching, healing, hurting, creating and loving. Plus, I’ve got Chiron in Aries. Even though I need a lot more rest than I have in my younger, perkier and bloggier years, rest assured the healing journey is an active one, and it’s meant to be shared.

Comments

  1. Hi Jessica! I too have Chiron in Aries! 6th House….

    Thank you for sharing! Great article!

  2. I feel like you are talking directly to me…Thanks…I needed that.

  3. I think this may be my all time favorite Moonkissd post. Thank you so much for sharing and finding the language to paint my life as such a beautiful reflection of your truth journey.

  4. Thanks I needed that too. xo

  5. The more I read about Chiron, the more I feel that it is significant in my chart. First of all, it’s the focal point (22 Taurus) of a near perfect yod with Neptune (22 Sag) and Pluto (23 Libra). My Chiron is also retrograde.

    More than a decade ago, I had a psychotic break (including self-harm and being sectioned; also the death of a parent). I didn’t initially see any astro explanation for this time period until I examined Chiron (which I had long ignored in my chart). Saturn was conjunct my Chiron, Chiron was conjunct my Neptune, and Mars was conjunct my Pluto. The yod was activated and it was time for the “wounding.”

    For so many years afterward, I was deeply deeply ashamed of this period of my life. Even though I pulled out of it and ultimately became successful in my field despite a destroyed reputation. Since I began studying astrology about a year ago, I’ve been able to reframe this experience as “making it back from the underworld alive,” so to speak.

    In any case, thank you! Because this post really spoke directly to me and has given me so much more information about Chiron and what it really means. I’m able trace the the most disruptive times in my life right back to a Chiron transit, and any new info I can get on it is greatly appreciated. Nice work 🙂

  6. I love your new mirror/art.

    Thank you for the comment about the New Age ‘hooey’ of ‘you created this illness.’ Ugh. Sometimes, I’ve found, sh*t happens. Maybe it’s karmic, but I’ve also found there is no individual karma – it’s a collective happening and we have no personal control over such a profound thing as a major illness. I’ve been there before with seemingly incurable family illnesses, too, and let us not forget that those diseases include addictions. While “I” may not have created or caused a particular illness, like you’ve shared in this beautiful post, I can find the gold in the pain, and share my discoveries and recoveries with others – as you are. Thanks, Jessica. xo

  7. Geoffrey Bourne says:

    Hi Jessica,just want to say thanks for sharing your astrological knowledge and insights,it has been helpful for me to read other peoples experiences of Chiron and Saturn.I have been into astrology for many years.It is good to be sharing with others.
    Love,
    Geoffrey

  8. Jessica – I love the way you write and say it just how it is. The world doesn’t feel like such a lonely place now – knowing there are a team of people living the same journey I am 🙂 – all the power to you and all of us Wayfinders. Rest up
    Tracy

  9. Jessica,

    Thank you, what a beautifully, integrative saturated description of what and who we are as Unicorns and Team members! I too am a Chiron in Aries, 6th house!
    So, lots going on here.

    Appreciating you!
    Thank you sister!

    Lórien

  10. Rasha Hasan says:

    Thanks a lot Jessica for this wonderful article.

    How could I know if Chiron is strong or not in my chart?
    My Chiron is 17 Aries conjunct my ASC, opposing Uranus in Libra and Trine moon and Venus in Sag. Can you please guide me for more information.

  11. It is good to hear of others who through their own wounding heal others. I am in a Chiron return lasting 18 months. Can it go any longer? Thank you for this perspective. I recognize where I’ve been and like where I am going. I am present, diving deep and manifesting this transformation.

  12. Hi Jessica, great article.

    It may not be in this lifetime that we become the healer. It may, but these qualities are absorbed by our higher self, ready to be used in future lives.

  13. Wow. This really hit home with me as I am in remission from Fibro, myself and have heard the call to bring my experience to others to help the be well also. There is a ton of new information out there. Take a peek at my blog. If I can be of assistance to you, please let me know.

  14. Hi Rasha, If your Chiron is conjunct your ASC you have a strong Chiron. You embody the wounded healer archetype and you may be a teacher, healer for others. Does your life manifest these Chiron themes? Jessica

  15. Thank you, Joy. I look forward to perusing your website! You have probably noticed mine – http://www.jessicashepherd.net. Perhaps we can link up in the future 🙂

  16. BlackMoonChick says:

    Beautifully written! Thank you. <3
    So many of the Chironic aspects you have touched on here I have been exploring this year.
    Re the fibro: I think that when in remission it's just biding it's time until the next learning/healing cycle is ready to happen ~ it certainly seems to have happened that way for me each and every darned time and the pain right now is pretty intense although I've been worse. 🙂
    Blessed be.

  17. Thanks for your sweet comments, Anita. The fibromyalgia cycle does seem to work that way, doesn’t it? I’ve been in a pretty bad pain cycle lately, too. It is a hard path, but this time it’s making some of the spiritual learnings from the journey more apparent to me. Soothing music and healing love to you, to me, to everyone suffering. <3

  18. Fantastic article, Jessica! I have an Aries Chiron conjunction to my South Node/Venus in the 5th (Placidus) or 6th (Koch). Sometimes it seems a mixture of both those placements. But I too share the Chiron journey and agree about the ‘you created it yourself’ school of thought that oversimplifies and misses the deeper significance of these experiences. After losing everything in a house fire (pets and possessions) in May of this year, I am fast learning that pain is like a wake-up call that opens you up and helps you access new layers of yourself, not something to be used to blame ourselves for doing something wrong. It’s a gift and in turn we can provide that same knowledge to the tribe around us. And the larger tribe of the collective. Thanks for sharing your Chiron journey. Love, Neil

  19. Hello Jessica,

    Great posting for sure. But like you I question the idea of “a healer who can’t be healed”? My Chiron is in Pisces- conjunctions- Moon, Mercury and Venus- 3rd house on the cusp of the forth. I too have been through the mill, and yes it was life altering for sure. Am I healed? YES I am… there is light and peace out side of “hell” waiting I can assure any one because I made it there… and here I am 😀

    Am I still learning, discovering new things about my Self? Of course I am… this is Earth after all… a school yard in the Cosmos of mind and spirit (as I see it). And that is all well and good to me…because life is about seeing what you are made of and what true powers you possess in your spirit. Someday I gather we will be really rocking and rolling when we stop playing stupid games with our selves and live on the other side of the veil of self delusionmenst! lol

    My feelings in regards to healing the world? I don’t buy into it any more. The world is what it is… and it is fine… besides you can not fix something that isn’t broken. But as too your world… my world… any one else’s world? That can be fixed, mended, altered… and yes healed. However that is an individual choice for any one of us to make. NO ONE can heal your world but you that responsibility is yours alone… but there are some that assist you in your efforts to do it… and really the best way to do that is by being a manifestation of a different choice… the more choices we have the more we have to choose from. Well at least that is the route I took from the guidance within my self. It worked and this what I tell others when they come to me for help. What more can I say… the power is always with us within… we jut have to own it and use it 😀

    Thank you so much Jessica for your postings, it is a joyful gift to receive. Enjoy your day with a smile *XOX*

    Angela “Morningmoon”

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