Chiron, a planet/comet between Saturn and Uranus, is known in the astrological world as the “wounded healer.” It has a 50-year cycle.
Earlier this month while sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Chiron and Neptune were all swimming in the Pisces ocean of all-that-is, I had some insight into what Chiron might be about. Still processing, but thought I’d throw out these thoughts and see what returns.
Astrology contains an inordinate amount of detail as an Indian astrologer pointed out at an American Federation of Astrologers convention many moons ago. This astrologer asked why we can’t, with all the detail of astrology, tell someone what he/she is going to eat for breakfast next Thursday.
Better astrologers than I can tell you what color shirt you will wear next Tuesday. Although plenty of people would be impressed with you for providing this knowledge, what is the purpose of knowing and providing this information?
Because of the incredible amount of information provided through the analytical discipline of astrology, I’ve ignored many aspects of the art. When you look back on your life, you forget hundreds of Tuesdays but you remember the important events in your life or the little moments that meant something emotionally or spiritually.
Research on this “wounded healer” planet revealed why it seems like everyone has Chiron in Pisces. Chiron’s orbit is elliptical and spends fifty percent of its time in Aries, Taurus, Aquarius and Pisces. [This pdf link seems to be from Astro*Synthesis, but I’m not sure]. Aries and Taurus are the first two signs of the zodiac and Aquarius and Pisces the last two.
Chiron spends the most time in Aries (eight years) followed by Pisces (seven years).
Why does the wounded healer spend so much time in these signs? Are these the signs where we show the most wounding? Are we most wounded coming into life and leaving life?
AstroDienst writes that “Liz Greene sees Chiron as essential in deepening our understanding of solar consciousness; for in order to choose to live life to the full, we have to face that part in us that would rather seek death.”
Normally Greene’s thoughts are the “a-ha” moments in my astrological thought process. This time I’m wondering is she’s seeing it this way because of the preponderance of Chiron-in-Pisces folks walking the globe. Her example chart does have Chiron in Leo, but the scapegoating she describes rings of Pisces.
Eric Francis writes about Chiron’s discovery and expanded ideas of healing involving emotional, spiritual and physical components.
Bob Marks writes about Chiron that “It is an indicator of where we have problems that tend to keep recurring, in one form or another, throughout our lives.” He also believes “It shows where we can do things better for others than we can for ourselves,” and that “Chiron shows where we can have an affinity for teaching, but, ironically, that is where we can teach others how to do things better than we can do them ourselves. This can be maddening if that happens to be an area in which we want to excel.”
Wounding and Healing
“Healing” is a word that has a lot of connotations. I admit it’s a pet peeve of mine to see the new age community focus on “healing” because it assumes we’re wounded. It also can lead, unintentionally, to excessive focus on problems, the opposite of the intent.
Are we all wounded?
For the record, I believe there are victims. There are people who are harmed by others, did not bring it on, and are defenseless to the harm. Then there are people on the other extreme who are slighted by every sideways glance because of self-centeredness.
And then there is the mass of feelings in between.
Chiron-in-Aries Angelina Jolie describes how a visit to Sierra Leone changed her from an individual focused on her own problems and “wounds” to an individual focused on the needs of those who have more severe problems in comparison to her own life’s problems.
In this article on HuffingtonPost.com Jolie says of her change in perspective:
“I was young, and I was bold, but I didn’t have a sense of use. I didn’t understand the world, and I didn’t understand a sense of perspective that you gain as you get older. I started to travel, and I started to ask questions,” she recently told the Orange County Register. “About 11 years ago, I went to Sierra Leone for the first time. It was the first time I was in a war zone. I went to a refugee camp, and I was shell-shocked. Suddenly, the world changed for me. My understanding of the world changed. I never woke up again wanting to be self-destructive, self-possessed or self-pitying in any way. I realized that it was important to wake up every day feeling grateful for your family and for your opportunities.”
Jolie also has Mars, moon and Jupiter in Aries which can lead to great self-absorption. To have overcome the self-absorption of Aries but maintain a sense of self is a feat of alchemy or evolution.
Jolie isn’t saying she doesn’t have personal problems to solve, she has simply put them in perspective which frees the energy used to be “bold” into energy used for a different purpose.
Problems in this world can range from the leak under the sink to the futility of living in a torturous environment.
Where do your problems lie?
Thoughts on Chiron
In China and other parts of Asia and Southeast Asia there is a concept called “qi.” Wikipedia defines it as “an active principle forming part of any living thing. Qi is frequently translated as ‘life energy,’ ‘life force,’ or ‘energy flow.’ Qi is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts. The literal translation of ‘qi’ is ‘breath,’ ‘air,’ or ‘gas.'”
In the West, I believe some call it the “energy body.”
Chiron, moving between Saturn and Uranus, I’m thinking represents the energetic body. Saturn is the end of the corporal world and Uranus is the awakener into the transpersonal realm of Neptune and Pluto. Chiron, I believe, represents the energetic awareness of life that precedes the awakened state.
To get from Saturn to Uranus, you must travel through Chiron. It’s the shower you must take before getting into the pool.
Is the energy body wounded?
If the physical body buffers physical life, then the energy body buffers energetic life. If I walk in the cold without a jacket, my body will hurt. If I take my energetic body to a negative emotional environment, it will get hurt.
Because we in the West do not even acknowledge an energy body, we are more prone to putting it in bad situations unaware. Meditation, yoga, acupuncture and a host of practices are, I believe, truly energy practices that clean the energy body.
In the West there is no belief in the energy body so that body is never given a nice bath. Possibly that lack of energetic cleaning is what rises to our consciousness as “wounds.” Possibly that sense of a dirty energy body is what makes us so fearful of germs.
Liz Greene, assessing the myth of Chiron, believes the astrological planet relates to the will to live because of the mythical Chiron’s choice of mortality to end the suffering caused by pain from a wound.
Rather than Chiron representing a will to live or to seek death, I think Chiron is the choice between accepting the world in its physical manifestation only or accepting the world in both its physical and energetic manifestations.
If you have ignored the energetic body and become aware of it, it can be a painful experience. Retreat into the predictable, solid world of Saturn feels more than comfortable.
Think of a nightmare. When you wake to see the walls of your room, feel the bed beneath you and hear the sound of life outside, don’t you feel better?
I don’t think Chiron is a wound. I think Chiron feels that way simply because we ignore its existence. I think Chiron represents the energy body which must be healthy for us to travel into transpersonal realms. Its placement in the chart is where we have a tendency to be energetic fly paper and need the most energetic cleansing.
If we don’t cleanse, we have a buildup of wounds and pain, some the simple wounds of living in an energetic universe, others, major wounds of attack from forces outside of ourselves.
As Chiron spends much time in Aries and Pisces, possibly most energetic cleansing involves ideas of self and selflessness. Or possibly the cleansing of energetic junk from the collective unconscious.