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The solar system body, Chiron, known as the mythological Wounded Healer, is a large asteroid, or more likely, a comet that got caught in the Sun’s gravity field, yet which does not come much past the orbit of Saturn (it has an elliptical orbit but we can never see its tail as a result of its distance from the Earth). Actually it is quite fascinating that the asteroid-like bodies (or comets) that are beyond the main asteroid belt are known as “Centaurs.” However, the reason I am writing this post is to discuss the Astrological (and psycho-spiritual) significance of Chiron.
Mythological Chiron was a Centaur chieftan and great warrior, who was actually a half-brother of Zeus, and therefore immortal (his father was Chronos or Saturn). As an immortal, he had time to practice healing, herbalism, chivalry, martial arts, poetry, philosophy and the arts. And, unlike his Centaur brethren, he was a bit more civilized. He trained numerous Greek heroes in medicine, the art of war and heroism, among other subjects – names like Asclepius, Ajax, Achilles, Jason, Peleus, and occasionally Heracles. Chiron was also an astrologer.
Chiron was said to have died due to an arrow that was poisoned with blood of the Hydra (instantly lethal to anyone except immortals). However, as an immortal, Chiron suffered in great agony rather than perishing immediately. Because it turns out there was no cure for Hydra venom, even among immortals. Therefore, the story goes that he exchanged his life (immortality) for Prometheus who at the time was chained to his rock, and to make a long story short, granting man-kind fire in the process of freeing Prometheus. Heracles (or Achilles depending on your source) was the archer who accidentally shot Chiron in the thigh, which is ironic due to his being one of Chiron’s previous disciples. Hence the story of the Wounded Healer.
Astrologically, as a tiny planetoid (or asteroid or comet), one must use a very small orb to see what aspects Chiron makes in the natal horoscope (for the purpose of determining how strong Chiron is in a birth chart). I use a 2 – 3 degree orb, maybe stretching it one degree further when the Sun or Moon are involved. Needless to say, using such a small orb, there are not many charts in which you will discover numerous, major aspects with Chiron involved. Therefore, when you do discover such a chart, it is rare and probably poignant. Here are some examples of having a strong Chiron: numerous major aspects to planets (at least two or three aspects), Chiron conjunct the Ascendant or MidHeaven, Chiron in the 29th degree of a sign (and even stronger when it is in Sagittarius or Pisces) and making a major aspect to the Sun / Moon / Ascendant. Occasionally (very rarely) you will find someone whose chart shows a Yod pointing at Chiron – another indication of their Chirotic personality. And interestingly, one of the most common Yod configurations with Chiron is from Pluto and Neptune, due to their being in relatively sextile positions for several decades.
People who have a strong Chiron in their charts can manifest Chiron’s energy in numerous ways, but the one distinguishing characteristic of all of these people would most likely be an innate ability to learn – rapidly absorbing information when they are interested in the subject (see below for what these most likely will be) and people who are very dynamic – having multiple jobs for instance, or people who have several “hobbies” which bring in some income. As I mentioned above, Chiron was associated with philosophy, poetry, archery, martial arts, herbalism, medicine, chivalry, warfare and healing in general, so the subjects which Chirotic individuals might study are just as broad. One underlying theme is an interest in alternative healing – which again is not saying anything specific because this broad category can include energy medicine, herbalism, acupuncture, astrology, bodywork, alternative healing facilitation modalities, etc etc.
And now for the reason I named this post “Chiron’s Curse.” The curse of having a strong Chiron is often that one is able to heal and be of great benefit to others, but there will be one area of life that the individual truly suffers in and they can’t seem to get it straight in that regard. For instance, Chiron grants great healing abilities (outwardly) but the person may have a blind spot regarding one area of themselves. This is not always the case, but I find it to be true time and again.
One person I knew of studied nursing – disambiguation (breast feeding) and she was known as one of the top specialists in her field. However, when she had a daughter, who would not breast feed, she could not decipher the “problem.” It turned out she had a strong Chiron, and whether or not this has to do with her exquisite skills and knowledge being of use for others, but not her own (daughter), I don’t know. However it is quite a curious phenomena.
Then there is myself as an example. I have Chiron conjunct my MC (midheaven), trine my Saturn and squaring my Ascendant / Descendant axis. I consider myself to have a strong Chiron. And the interests that I mention above have nearly all been in my life at some point, having studied Traditional Reiki, energetic medicine, Craniosacral Therapy, Astrology and I even spent some time studying Shamanism before getting into Tibetan Buddhism (which believe it or not tends to show up in people’s lives when Chiron makes a major transit in their charts). And off and on, I have written some pretty graceful and potent poetry.
I have studied academic psychology, which helps to allow me to objectively, and empirically, analyze myself and others – watching for bias and eliminating it or at least naming it. This helps in my astrology practice as well as my healing facilitation practice. And I feel it helps back up the statement I am about to make: I seem to be an accomplished and skilled intuitive healing facilitator. I say this because my clients tend to have break-throughs (Ah Ha! moments) and they keep coming back to see me, at least for a series of sessions.
However, in spite of this fact (providing it is true), I had serious money problems. The fact that I didn’t advertise might be a part of the problem, but I did not have much success with that in the past. How is it that someone can be of such great benefit to others and yet not be able to take care of their own financial needs? Ouch! Chiron anyone?
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[Edited Nov 2017: I have done some incredible inner work on my little parts – pre-nate self, baby self, toddler self, young child self etc. Working with Myrna Martin and Pre- and Perinatal Therapy has done wonders for my awareness of the psychological double binds that I was cycling through, oblivious to their effects. So today, I am much clearer financially, I am much more stable in my work efforts and therefore I am more balanced in my awareness of my capacity and my motivation! Yay!]
As the reader can see, there are many facets to the astrological Chiron, and it is a subject I feel worth delving into and studying for the deeper nuances and trends. Astrology is a science of cycles and trends (yes, I just said “science,” on purpose) and when one put’s time and effort into studying the cosmic patterns, one discovers layers of meaning and reflection. And Chiron is one of the newer members of the astrological pantheon, having been discovered astronomically in 1977, so there is much research that can be done on this curious planetoid.