My mother, the real Mrs. Malaprop, once said to me with love and pride, “When they made your father, they threw away the mole.”
It’s irrelevant whether it was a rodent, a birthmark, or a pan for forming Jell-O that got tossed. The point is; I am a one-of-a-kind person, raised by equally original parents. What other characteristic can you inherit that’s still uniquely your own?
In mythology, Chiron had a birth defect a lot more serious than some puny mole. He was born half-horse—his lower half. Abandoned by both parents, he was left on a hillside to die. (In ancient Greece, they apparently did not think much of uniqueness.)
Chironic people and things tend to be absolute originals. They struggle with where they belong, because they really don’t fit in anywhere, at least at the beginning. Like Chiron, they are neither man nor horse, though they share characteristics with both beings they resemble. They don’t just think out of the box. They are out of the box.
Ultimately, Chironic types go from fitting in nowhere to feeling at home anywhere. In order to survive, they have to learn how to get along with people very different from themselves. Feeling like an outcast at first seems like a heavy karmic debt. Like Chiron, we might tend to “go into a cave.” This early turning inward takes us to the source of the real answers about life and the only acceptance that ultimately makes us feel whole--self-acceptance. From this inner work springs wisdom. The once-isolated individual ultimately is sought after as someone wise who understands the mysteries of life.
Chiron’s connection in a natal chart to life purpose also comes from his mythical one-of-a-kindness. Each of us has unique talents to contribute to the world. Everyone has a variety of lessons to learn from different levels on the evolutionary spiral. Chiron is connected to healing and wholeness, and the world needs a full menu of therapeutic choices. While counselors, astrologers, medical practitioners, and those with similar occupations may be especially attuned to Chiron, a good cook, accountant, or mechanic contributes immeasurably to the needs of a well-rounded human being. (We all need each other’s talents to become whole.)
Life purpose is merely living your uniqueness for fun and/or profit. It’s the ultimate fulfillment. Here’s how you know you’ve got it: The more you express your true self, the less time you’ll want to spend doing things that don’t reflect your real essence.Chiron taught young boys in a balanced way, as he was taught himself by Apollo and Artemis, who appeared to him as the Sun and Moon, the ultimate archetypes of Inner and Outer. His all-male heroes’ school on Mt. Pelion reminds us it is our masculine or extroverted energy that takes us out into the world, thus the career and worldly implications of astrological Chiron.
But from the integrated dualities that lead to wholeness, our most rewarding careers often come from championing a cause that originates from resolving pain. This is clearly derived from the feminine, introverted energy, the figurative cave where we have gone inside ourselves to work things out.
In other words, true vocation is the reward of both inner work and life experience. While it seems paradoxical, Chiron can tell us about both the inner and outer manifestations of this process—about our learning curve and our ultimate contribution to the collective.
As they learn to love themselves, horse-half and all, “Chironics” draw plenty of other one-of-a-kind people to learn and play with. In the Baskin-Robbins of Life, who would want to be just plain vanilla, anyway?
This article first appeared in the April 1993 edition of Chironicles.
Photo Credit: WOMAN WEARING UNIQUE GLASSES© Iofoto Dreamstime.com