In November 1977, the eyes of the astronomical and astrological worlds turned to the skies to observe the newly discovered celestial body we now call Chiron (pronounced Kie-ron).
Astronomically, Chiron has been a mystery for reasons we will touch upon briefly in a minute. Astrologically speaking, Chiron has become the symbol for personal and planetary healing—for the reconnection of ourselves to our inner divinity through the healing of our inner wounds and blockages. Let's look at Chiron and its timely discovery a little more deeply.
With an orbit between Saturn and Uranus, Chiron was first thought to be a small planet (or planetoid). Astrologically speaking, it was first classified as an asteroid. Its orbit is highly elliptical and steeply inclined to the plane of the ecliptic. It has an orbital period of about 50-51 years. It also wanders periodically inside the orbit of Saturn. These unusual attributes have perplexed astronomers until recently.
In May 1989, astronomers at the University of Hawaii, having observed a coma (or halo of light) around Chiron, now believe that Chiron is a giant comet. With this, Chiron's otherwise unusual attributes begin to make sense. Astrologically, this may dismay some astrologers who have considered it to be a planetoid or asteroid. However, from an astrological point of view, it makes no difference; the influence of Chiron is the same. Interestingly, if Chiron were to have been classified as a comet straight away upon its discovery, it may not have attracted the eyes of the astrological world at all.
A New View of the Solar System
Before we go any further with Chiron, though, let's take a look at a new view of the solar system that is emerging; this new view, I believe, is partially attributable to the discovery of Chiron, our consciousness of Chiron, and Chiron's influence upon us. This new view of the solar system and our place in it can be called a holographic view. By this we mean a view that regards everything in the universe as interconnected and part of one big picture. Furthermore, this total interconnected picture is a living picture composed of living parts. Consider the following.
Biologist, Rupert Sheldrake, recently postulated the theory of 'morphogenetic fields'—fields of 'information' and awareness that lie outside of our normal concepts of space and time. 'Morphogenetic fields' are kinds of storehouses for the 'patterns' of individual species of animals and plants.
When a new genetic aspect evolves, say, in a sunflower, the morphogenetic field 'stores' this aspect and 'transmits' it to all the sunflowers in the universe. He suggests that things that we normally consider to be inanimate also have morphogenetic fields—the Earth itself, for example. It follows that the other planets must also have morphogenetic fields.
Sheldrake goes so far as to suggest that these morphogenetic fields have a kind of consciousness—a 'livingness'—that is organic, evolutionary and intelligent. He even makes the quantum leap to suggesting that these fields represent the divinity that lies behind every species of life—kind of like the oversouls of each of the species.
Furthermore, he suggests that life itself is in all things—not just what we normally consider to be 'alive'. What we are leading to here is the idea that the planets are alive.
I further suggest that consciousness is in all things. It is only a matter of degree and relativity. The consciousness of a rock, a human being and a planet are each on a different scale. The consciousness behind each living species—the morphogenetic field or oversoul—can be contacted if we are in the right state. This includes the planets. Not only are the planets alive, but they have consciousness.
The possibility and actual process of conscious living contact with our planetary friends is facilitated by the healing of our wounds and blockages and by our reconnection to our divinity within. Chiron facilitates this healing and reconnection whereby we can hear the messages of the planets and work with them consciously for our mutual spiritual evolution.
Our whole conditioned idea of a universe made up of innumerable discrete components, all separated by space and time, all divided into 'alive' and 'inanimate', is gradually giving way to this new paradigm. The new paradigm states that everything is connected to everything else in a living way. The search for a Grand Unified Theory is reaching its culmination. Time, space, gravity, matter, energy, consciousness, life, etc., are all connected. Furthermore, they are each unable to be examined or understood properly without being put into the total picture. Also, that total picture must include us as the observers.
We are not separate from the universe. We are all an integral part of the universe. Everything that we do, think or feel has an influence on the world around us. Everything that happens around us has an influence on us. To study anything properly, we need to begin with ourselves.
We need to acknowledge that the world comes into focus only to the degree that we understand ourselves as the observers; and that the very act of observation is part of that picture and affects that picture.
The whole emerging body of this new paradigm is coming to be referred to as a holographic scheme of existence. We live in a holographic universe where every smallest part of the whole is a direct reflection and microcosm of that whole. In this way, each of the planets has a reflection within us. There is a correspondence within us to each of the planets; this is why astrology, when done correctly, works.
The macrocosmic scheme of our solar system is a picture of ourselves—our exact internal construction on all levels. Furthermore, the solar system, when studied in the right way and when contacted in a conscious way, is an exact map of our potential spiritual evolution. It literally traces a path that we can follow.
Discovering our Healing Abilities
Coming back to Chiron now, it follows, according to the holographic view of the solar system, that if we discover a new planet in the skies, that, on a microcosmic scale, we are discovering a new part of ourselves.
When we discovered Chiron, we discovered a path to the healing of our inner wounds and blockages; we discovered that we have within us the capacity to heal ourselves. Chiron teaches us that path of healing.
Astrologically speaking, that path leads us from the inner planets to the outer planets, from the affairs of our ordinary lives to the fulfilment of our extraordinary potential. Chiron, at the halfway point, is the bridge between our lower and higher selves.
Using the tool of astrology—particularly soul-centred astrology—we can, with Chiron's help, discover the nature of our inner wounds and blockages. We can identify and acknowledge these parts of ourselves that are in need of healing and reconnection. This healing may be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual; they are all connected.
This healing is the stepping stone to higher consciousness—higher consciousness that is the answer to such diverse problems as disease, war, ecological disaster and human suffering. Chiron gives us a method, a process, by which we can immediately proceed with our own healing. We will discuss this process shortly.
Chiron in Myth and Symbol
We can discover much about Chiron by looking at some of the mythology, archetypes and symbols that have already been associated with it. It is, I believe, no accident that planets and the like end up with the specific names that they do; this, too, is an example of the holographic universe at work.
The name Chiron comes from the centaur in Greek mythology. Chiron was born half man (upper half) and half horse (lower half). The myth of Chiron contains many symbols. We will look at some of these symbols after recanting the most common version of the myth itself.
Chiron was born to Philyra, the nymph and Kronos (also known as Saturn). When Philyra saw that her child was half man, half horse, she was so disgusted that she abandoned him.
Chiron never knew his father. Later, he was taken under the wing of Apollo, the god of the sun, healing, prophesy, music and poetry, who raised him and tutored him in these arts.
At some stage in Chiron's life, he was wounded in the leg. Some versions have him accidentally wounding himself; in other versions he was wounded by others. In all cases, though, the wound was considered incurable. Chiron sought out his own healing ceaselessly, increasing his knowledge of the healing arts. However, in the original story, although he became a great healer of others, he was never able to be healed himself.
The first symbol we have here is the symbol of the centaur: half man, half horse. This is the symbol of being cut off from our earthy and animal roots. It is the symbol of the march of intellectual evolution at the expense of our emotional, instinctual and intuitive capacities.
The Age of Reason has brought, alongside many modern comforts and scientific and technological miracles, a distrust of, and a disconnection from, these capacities. We are cut off from these parts of ourselves. The journey back to ourselves and our divinity is our reconnection to our earthy roots, to our emotional life and to our intuition. It is the reacknowledgment of the mystery, the wonder and the aliveness of Creation.
In a sense, it is also our reconnection to our dark sides: to our unconscious—to the parts of us that express through archetypes, symbols and dreams. Taken as a whole, all of the above is a reconnection to life; it is to rejoin life after our trip into the cold, calculated and lifeless realms of pure thought disconnected from the heart.
The next symbol is the symbol of abandonment. Chiron was abandoned by his mother, never knowing his father. In a sense, we all suffer from the original wound of abandonment when we incarnate. When we incarnate, we are cut off from our divine roots; we descend into the darker and colder waters of the Earth plane.
The journey back to our divinity is the healing of this sense of abandonment. This sense of abandonment in our lives is often amplified by abandonment issues of this lifetime—circumstances and events that amplify the wound and create new wounds in the process.
Fostered by Apollo, Chiron was nurtured to a point where he could heal this sense of abandonment. Apollo, in our lives, symbolically represents the helping hand, the healing hand of others who are there to guide us and nurture us back to a point where we can then take responsibility for our own healing.
Chiron, after being nurtured and helped by Apollo, now offers us a helping hand—a healing hand—so that we, too, can reach a point where we can take conscious personal responsibility for our healing, reconnection and further spiritual evolution. In turn, we will be able to offer healing assistance to others in need.
The symbol of Chiron's incurable wound is the symbol of the Wounded Healer. The wound itself inspires the constant search for healing. Unable to heal his own wound, the 'woundee' turns his healing powers towards others. The suffering of the wound brings about an awareness, a compassion, an understanding of others' wounds and a desire to help others to heal.
Mythical Chiron's wound was not healed until he gave up his immortality. In dying, he freed Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods to give to Humanity. In the 20th century, with the discovery of Chiron the comet/planetoid, the symbolic gift of the fire of consciousness is expressed through our search for alternative paths of spiritual growth and healing. Symbolically, every time we heal ourselves, in whatever small way, we are reincarnating Chiron within us, healing the incurable wound. Chiron's message in the 20th century is that total healing is possible.
Wounds and Blockages
What do we mean by 'wounds and blockages'? Taken simply, wounds are parts of ourselves that have become disconnected and cut off from ourselves because of painful or traumatic experiences that we have had in the past.
For example, as children, we are sometimes subjected to such circumstances. As children, we are unable, at the time, to deal with these situations and the pain of them. As a result, we unconsciously wall off these experiences in our psyches; we protect ourselves from having to reexperience these events. We also unconsciously develop protective patterns that we feel will prevent us from experiencing similar events in the future. These patterns become blockages that not only do what they were intended to do, but also cut us off from some of the good stuff within us.
By the time we are adults, we have innumerable ways in which we avoid feeling and reexperiencing our original wounds and we have innumerable ways in which we avoid further pain. The result of this, in terms of our possible spiritual fulfilment and well being, is that we end up sacrificing our very lives for the sake of safety, comfort, painlessness and pleasure. These blockages and protective patterns cut us off from the true life that awaits us.
The answer to our spiritual fulfilment and well being, Chiron teaches us, is to take conscious personal responsibility for our wounds and blockages. We need to see and understand our protective patterns, to break them down so that we can go back into our wounds. By going back into our wounds with the intention of understanding and healing, we allow healing to take place. We need to reexperience these painful issues in our lives, to relive them with the intention of finally resolving them. In this way, we reconnect with the good stuff that was walled off when we initially tried to protect ourselves from the pain. In this way, we find our true selves again.
The Planets and Chiron Within Us
We have within us correspondences to each of the planets. This is part of the holographic reflection of the solar system. Each of the planets corresponds to specific areas in our lives. Each of the planets has specific messages for those particular areas of our lives. We can explore the map of our lives by studying the map of the planets within us.
One way of approaching this, and there are many ways, is by understanding the chakra energy centres of the body and their planetary correspondences.
The chakras, according to Eastern wisdom, are energy centres in our bodies, each corresponding to a different aspect of ourselves. The seven major chakras (there are others, too) are to found in 1) the base of the spine 2) the spleen area 3) the solar plexus 4) the heart 5) the throat 6) the brow and 7) the crown of the head. Each area corresponds to the functioning of a different aspect of ourselves. (See diagram.)
|THE HEALING PATH||Chiron|
(In-flowing energies of life move from base to crown chakras and from crown to base. If the flow of these energies is impeded by our wounds and blockages, eventually it manifests as disease—physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual illness. Chiron is the key to restoring the free flowing of life energies within us—the key to our healing.)
The three basic areas of our earthly existence are encapsulated in the lowest three chakras: the base = our physical existence, the spleen = our emotional existence, and the solar plexus = our lower mental existence. These areas correspond primarily (there are other correspondences, too) to Mars (physical), Venus (emotional) and Mercury (mental).
Here is the important part: our basic wounds and blockages lie primarily in these first three chakras. The flowing of energy and life within us is impeded by these wounds and blockages. There are many ways in which energy flows within us.
The two primary ways, in terms of the chakra energy centres, are 1) from the base chakra, through each higher chakra, to the crown chakra and 2) from the crown chakra, through each lower chakra, to the base chakra. If either flow—ascending flow or descending flow—were to be totalled cut off, we would die. If the flow is impeded, we become eventually experience dis-ease-we become ill.
Our primary blockages of energy lie within the first three chakras, eventually creating illness within the physical, emotional and mental bodies. The healing of these wounds and blockages facilitates the enhanced flowing of these energy streams within us: health, harmony and well-being.
Our blockages end up, primarily, at one particular point in the chakra system. That point is in our middle; it is the halfway point—the symbolic point between man and horse in the centaur; it is the halfway point between the inner and the outer planets; it is the halfway point in our chakra system.
It is at this point that Chiron sits. Between the solar plexus and the heart, at the point within us where in-breath becomes out-breath, Chiron resides. Chiron points to our wounds and blockages, offering us a path of healing and reconnection. If the energy that ascends from the base chakra meets blockages in any off the first three chakras, that energy cannot fully ascend further. It also cannot remain static. In this case, it turns around and descends back through the chakras, poisoning them as it goes; the result is disease.
In the same way, the energy that descends from the crown chakra, meeting blockages in the lower chakras, similarly cannot fully descend further. Not able to remain static, it turns around and goes back towards the crown, poisoning us as it goes.
Knowing Chiron's place within us can help us to work in a conscious way towards the breaking down of the blockages and the healing the wounds that prevent us from becoming whole again. Before we describe the healing process itself, let's take a quick look at the use of the horoscope in the healing process—in particular, with respect to Chiron.
Chiron in your Horoscope
Chiron's place in your natal horoscope can give clues as to the exact nature of your specific wounds, blockages and inner pain. The zodiac sign that Chiron resides in, in your personal horoscope, tells of the nature of the wound itself—its content, its origin and its history. The zodiac house that Chiron sits in tells of the area of your life that this wound is most likely to express itself; it gives the wounds and blockages a context in everyday life.
The aspects and angles that Chiron makes to the other planets in your horoscope will tell the ways in which your wounds and blockages affect other areas of your life. It will also give a series of pathways by which healing can be consciously undertaken. If Chiron is retrograde (apparent reverse motion in the skies at the time of your birth) or it is in an intercepted house then it tells of the past life connections of your wounds and blockages.
In an astrological reading, with the soul's path as the focal point and using Chiron as a guide for the potential healing and resolution of those things in your life that keep you from spiritual fulfilment and well being, the aim is to illuminate the protective patterns, the blockages and the wound itself. This aim is accompanied by the intention of understanding, healing and reconnecting.
A reading done in this way is a process—a healing and spiritual process that needs to be undertaken with the utmost care, compassion and understanding. Once the blockages and wounds are uncovered and illuminated, a healing path can be traced, specific to your life and difficulties.
The Healing Process
It is possible, even without the benefit of an astrological reading, to begin to work towards the breaking down of blockages and the healing of inner wounds by listening to Chiron's message. The process is a simple one, although not necessarily easy.
The way to proceed is to take whatever you are feeling at any given instant in time and to work with that feeling alone. With attention to your breathing, without changing it, and attention to the point in your middle, between the solar plexus and the heart, ask yourself what you are feeling.
What are you feeling? What is your state at this instant? Remain with that feeling, allowing it to have expression within you, but with the specific intention of understanding, healing and resolving the issue. This is the most important point.
Try not to be judgemental and critical of yourself and the feelings that you might experience; just experience them. Try not to allow negative reactions to what you feel overwhelm you; self-pity, poor-me, depression, judgement, feelings of inadequacy, etc., are all counterproductive. Come back to your Wish for healing.
Try not to analyse and categorise the feeling in your head; just feel it. Don't try to change or avoid the feeling; just feel it. Attend to your breathing and the place between the solar plexus and the heart. Your attention to this place and to the feeling is the secret. Your intention for understanding, healing and resolving is the fire of alchemy that will facilitate the healing process.
You can do this as a meditation practice, and you can also try this in the midst of life. It is a question of attending to whatever you feel at a given moment, unconditionally, compassionately and lovingly, with the intention of healing.
By the way, you can work with physical wounds in the same way by bringing your attention to bear upon the pain of the wound whilst proceeding in the same way as above. This can be used as an adjunct to traditional medical treatment.
Messages from Chiron
Finally, let's listen to the channelled words of Chiron. Chiron says,
"Here is the key to your healing: whatever your painful issues are, right now, today, whatever your wound is, go into the wound. With all the courage you can muster up—and I will be there to help you—go into your wounds.
"This means reexperiencing them. Acknowledge your feelings, no matter how painful they are. Acknowledge them in a way that is non-judgemental, that is loving and compassionate. Stop punishing yourselves. It is OK to feel whatever you are feeling. It is not a crime, and it doesn't make you a bad person.
"You need to forgive yourselves and the others that may have caused you pain in the past. You need to love yourselves and love the others that caused you the pain. You can only do this by having the courage to feel the pain. You need to be gentle and compassionate with these parts of yourselves. Only then can they grow in a positive way.
"By feeling the painful feelings, in a spirit of love, compassion, and forgiveness, you are allowing these wounds to be healed. You become your own nurturer—your own carer and healer.
"You need to love yourselves and nurture yourselves in the same way that you would wish to love and nurture a small child or a wounded animal. Not to be condemning and harsh, not to be critical and judgemental, but to be unconditionally loving with yourselves.
"Bring your tool of attention to bear upon your wounds—upon those difficult feelings and issues. When you put your attention here, new energy and understanding are possible concerning these issues.
"Bring your intention to bear upon these areas. The intention is for healing. The intention is for a reconnection of all of those disconnected parts of you. The intention is for the total healing of your pain. The intention is for the loving and compassionate development of your consciousness and well-being. The intention is to become whole again.
"Let me tell you the secret of spiritual alchemy: by agreeing to consciously and intentionally remain in the place of your pain, remembering your wish for healing and remembering your wish for Joy, Love, Expansion, Wisdom and Consciousness, new energy and understanding come into you. The power of the Holy Spirit enters into this place. Healing takes place here. Alchemy takes place here. Spiritual growth and evolution take place here.
"When you remain in this place, aware of your pain, aware of your disconnection, aware of your desperate need for healing, in the face of whatever is troubling you, with a simultaneous wish for healing, alchemy takes place.
"The pain, the wounds, the difficult issues, the sense of separation and the aloneness, are all transformed into positive energy; they are transformed into Joy, Connection and Love."