Saturday, March 26, 2016

How to Use Your Chiron for the Highest Good




Article © 2016 by Joyce Mason


The divine domino effect:
One healing
hand reaches out to heal others, a chain reaction for healing the world.


A reader recently asked me for some direction on how use her Chiron better. I know many of you have the same question in the back of your minds, maybe even in the front. Here are my thoughts on making optimal use of your Chiron.

Chiron, the Sun’s Shadow

First, for context, Chiron in the signs is like the shadow of the Sun in that same sign. Since Sun signs are where most of us first start to understand astrology, I think this is a powerful insight about how Chiron works. For instance, Aries Sun is a warrior, innovator and doer. Chiron in Aries may be wounded through violence of some sort (war, abuse, bullying) and may be stuck, unable to start things or answer the ultimate Aries question, “Who am I?” Chiron in Leo may not be able to shine. Chiron in Gemini has pain around issues concerning the mind or communication. You get the idea. It’s an inability to be that signature type of solar hero, which may be why mythical Chiron had a school that turned young boys into some of the greatest heroes in Greek mythology. Speaking of …

Connecting the Mythical Dots

Next, let’s look at the structure of the Chiron myth. Of all the places we derive the meaning of astrological Chiron, the myth of the centaur planet’s namesake is primary.

Chiron starts out being a misfit—considered ugly, a freak—neither a man nor a horse. He’s some sort of pieced-together creature from disparate parts like Frankenstein’s monster. He’s a shocking sight no one has ever seen before. Abandoned by both parents early on, who would even be his friend? There wasn’t anyone or anything else like him on earth, no one who had faced the struggle of being two species in one body. Yet from a metaphorical perspective, this is the plight we all face. We live in a world of duality, and there is more than one of us living in our skin.

Despite his rocky beginning, Chiron carries on, and his many gifts evolve. Gossip of his talents catches fire and his ability to make a vital contribution to the community cannot be denied. He becomes a teacher and mentor of heroes. He goes from the shadows to a mountain top to turn out stars. Somewhere along the way he catches a poisoned arrow to his thigh during a scuffle where he’s a bystander. The arrow was misaimed by his most beloved student, Hercules. This is how Chiron incurs his incurable wound. It almost makes me cry.

And so it is with your Chiron and mine. We start out feeling hideous with our gaping wound. Sometimes it’s so deep; it hides in the cave of our subconscious for a long time. Because it’s so painful, we can barely look at it. Often those closest to us pierce our scabby cover-up, not even meaning to, and open the carefully guarded sore. Once the pain becomes excruciating, with or without a catalyst, we have to at least peek at it for any promise of relief. As this process of hide ‘n’ peek continues, we keep on inching forward. In doing so, others eventually see inside us as we open up—past our warts and all. At some point, if we keep at it; we see past our warts, too. With the beginning of self-acceptance, our learning in the shadows comes to light. Our essential mission is as dual as Chiron’s body. Part 1, we have to salve our own wound and get as far beyond being stuck in it as we can. Part 2, we must share with others what we learned about overcoming our pain in our “cave.” Part 2 is the completion step of our own healing. The twelve generic types of wounds are reflected in the twelve Chiron signs.

Scapegoats

One of the most confounding parts of the Chiron myth is why Chiron trades places with the suffering Prometheus, the archetypal character associated with Uranus. As if suffering himself from a wound and malady tantamount to systemic blood poisoning wasn’t painful enough to an immortal, who cannot die to get out of it; Chiron volunteered to replace Prometheus who is being punished for stealing fire from the gods. The torture Prometheus endured almost makes water boarding look humane. Our archetypal Uranian was chained to a rock where an eagle pecked out his liver nightly. Each morning, he’d find it regrown, and the agonizing process repeated over and over again. Chiron was already suffering from lingering pain, and he signs up for this?

What is the symbolism of Chiron’s doing such a thing? The idea of a “sacrificial lamb” has been repeated in various cultural mythologies, probably best known to us in the biblical story of Jesus. But the Chiron myth predates Christ’s “dying on the cross for our sins” by thousands of years, as do many other similar mythical sacrifices. A dying and rising god also has been a common theme among religions for millennia. Chiron is only a demi-god (godly via his immortal father, Chronos), but ultimately Chiron dies and rises, too. The gods are so impressed by Chiron’s generosity toward Prometheus; they release him from the bonds of his immortality and his pain. After three days, he is raised up to the sky as a constellation.

But I’m getting ahead of myself to the resurrection. (I’m writing this during Easter week.) Back to the suffering. Let’s look at how Dictionary.com defines the term scapegoat. This is another word for a sacrificial lamb, an archetype that repeats itself in so many cultures.

Scapegoat


Noun

1. A person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.

2. Chiefly Biblical. A goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. Lev. 16:8, 10,26.

Verb (used with object) to make a scapegoat of.

As with most mythology, the answer about how this relates to Chiron is more figurative than literal. (You’ll be glad you don’t have to cut off an arm or leg or offer your organs to a vulture to make good use of your Chiron.) We simply have to, at some point, switch focus from ourselves to offering up our suffering to our tribe and the world. I believe this is the symbolic meaning of changing places with Prometheus/Uranus. We let what we learn from our lingering wound become a balm for humanity at large. Both the pain and healing curve we encounter in our Chiron configuration are meant to be shared. That’s why so many people write memoirs about how they overcame this or that malady, abuse or alienation. How they lived through excruciating physical and/or emotional pain. This is the sense in which we become “scapegoats” and carry pain for others. I, for one, am grateful that I only have to do one of Chiron’s healing assignments for myself and my world—not all twelve. The universe is designed so that we don’t have to learn every single lesson or every aspect of our major lessons the hard way. It’s preferable, if not essential to sanity and survival, to get some of this knowledge by example.

In life, we encounter more than one source of pain, even though there is one that’s primary, what we often refer to as the Chironic wound. It’s our Achilles heel, the tender spot where no matter how much we’re “over” the worst of it, there will always be a vestige reminder, like your grandfather’s old war injury kicking up every time there’s a storm brewing.

Each One, Teach One—or More

To make the best use of Chiron and its network of sign, house and aspects: we simply have to heal enough to start to teach and mentor others about the ins and outs of our own Chironic material. How we overcame. How we got from pain to acceptance to finding our place in our communities, which in some way, involves sharing our process. It involves exposing the worst days of our lives and our deepest vulnerabilities. (And remember, to be as Chironic as the guy who started it all, you have to volunteer.)

There are examples of this phenomenon all around us. There’s a feature in the March 28, 2016 issue of People on Nia Vardalos of My Big, Fat Greek Wedding fame. She tells of the pain she and husband Ian Gomez endured struggling with infertility. [1] They ultimately adopted a foster child. Since Nia is one of my favorite actors and I’m half Greek and adopted; I couldn’t resist reading her memoir that came out a couple years ago, Instant Mom.  She has Libra Sun with Chiron in Pisces conjunct Jupiter. Dealing with the health issue of infertility had to be painful for her. Imagine a Greek woman unable to conceive or a Leo Moon with no heir. Or a Chiron in Pisces who couldn’t merge with a child, especially when she comes from a culture where moms often practice smother love. I know from direct experience that women with Mars in Cancer can live for mothering, whether or not they have biological children. (Just ask my cats.) Nia is more than willing to share this Chironic story with us through her Leo Moon, now that most of the suffering is in her rearview mirror—and her daughter is ten, happy and well-adjusted. The experience of becoming an instant mom ultimately led Nia to write her latest movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, opening this month.



        Click chart to enlarge

In fact, People magazine is one of the best sources to read these stories. Not only does it cover stars; it covers ordinary people who overcome—perhaps the biggest stars of all. Some examples include the annual issue highlighting people who have lost tons of weight, usually over 100 lbs. apiece. There are stories about how the loved ones of murder victims have dealt with their loss and gone on with their lives. Trans people’s sex changes and how they help others with identity issues, gender or otherwise.

We have many parents and grandparents to thank for turning their tragedies into charities or laws to help others. For instance, Megan’s Law, requiring public registry of sex offenders, grew out of the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl by a known pedophile. Her parents’ crusade to save other families from this horrible pain resulted in the federal legislation named after their daughter. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) grew out of the death of Candy Lightner’s 13-year-old girl, a victim of a hit and run by a drunk driver. MADD’s mission is  … “to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking." [2] Its efforts have been influential in legislation and other methods to reduce these senseless deaths.

But you don’t have to take it on stage or screen or write a book about how you dealt with your suffering in order to make good use of your Chiron. You don’t have to carry a placard or start a nonprofit. The greatest healing often takes place, one-on-one by small deeds done with compassion. Knowing another’s pain and conveying that empathy is one of the greatest gifts we ever share. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:


We can do no great things, only small things with great love.

 ~~ Mother Teresa


Maybe you’re a Chiron in Libra who can’t stand injustice, so you give moral support and advice to friends as they go through the legal channels, righting wrongs. Maybe, like the Chiron in Aries reader who inspired this article, you care for a wounded warrior relative—literally, a soldier with war wounds. Perhaps you’re a Chiron in Sag whose family had a very different worldview from you, and now you enjoy helping people learn to question their beliefs in a positive way until they arrive at a philosophy that’s truly their own.

In other words, you don’t have to make a career of your Chiron, though that’s fine, too. Healing opportunities are all around us. We are each other’s best teachers and healers. Offering up our experience to help one another is the most positive expression of our encounters with our Chiron configuration.

Making Poor Use of Chiron

Let’s not leave out Chiron’s shadow, if for no other reason than to help you recognize your choices and to give you some pointers, if you don’t want to stay in lingering pain.

A personal example that pops to mind are the poetry groups I frequented in the 1970s. I learned early that writing could help me express my seething feelings, and I did this almost ad nauseum in my twenties. I wasn’t alone. My poetry critique groups were more intense therapy than any session I attended with my psychologist. The raw angst expressed by a room full of sensitives was thick and piercing. It went on and on. My first husband called me on it, how I used my poetry to stay stuck in anger. It was like a slap in the face that made me “come to,” and I still thank him for it. (I didn’t start with gratitude, though, believe me. For an example of a Chironic healing curve, read my poem in the article Take Back Your Poems.) Though I was so hurt by my husband’s “making me wrong” about what was actually healing me; I think it was my wake-up call. I began to see that agony is a phase in a process of growth. It doesn’t have to be a destination.

There are endless examples of how we can do the downside of Chiron. Chiron in Taurus might unconsciously set up issues with money and possessions to keep the pain percolating, making bad investments or trusting poor advisors. Underlying is an internal belief: I just can’t get my act together about money. Chiron in Cancers might alienate their children, fulfilling their abandonment fears: You never write. You never call! Lastly, there’s a generic Chiron issue where we seek or enable broken people just to have someone to fix. Compulsive fixers are the folks who still need to tend to their own fixin’. (Those who watch Scandal, where Kerry Washington plays a professional fixer with a very messed-up personal life, know what I mean.)

Learning More about Your Chiron

All anyone can do is to aim you in the right direction when it comes to understanding your Chiron. That’s because Chiron is an inside job, why the image of the “cave” and isolation are such huge themes in Chiron’s mythical story. Of course, this is the path to the generic truth that all the answers lie within. In the end, we each have to figure out the meat of it for ourselves, though I’m certainly grateful for the individual and group shares that make Chiron easier to decode and navigate. Chiron is above all, experiential. You won’t unlock it just by using your head. Lead and listen with your heart.

Below are more annotated resources of the books I’ve written that I hope will offer you more insights. There is also a library of articles here on The Radical Virgo. Just pop the keyword Chiron into the search engine.

It sounds corny, even clich√©, but we’re in this world together. The journey to healing and wholeness is a group effort, and if you stay stuck in your pain, you never get to experience or share your gifts that come out of it. And you won’t get to ease the way for us all to live well and rock our world.




Books on Chiron by Joyce Mason

Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer. This is my “Chiron 101.” It offers an overview of how Chiron works and explores Chiron in each sign, the typical wounds you experience and the gifts you acquire from each of the 12 healing paths from Chiron in Aries to Pisces. Five stars on Amazon. (Formats: PDF, Kindle)
   
Poems to Heal the Healer: The 12 Chiron Signs. These poems describe the pain-to-wholeness healing curve of each Chiron sign. Taken together, they describe how each of us fulfills ourselves and contributes to our collective Chironic journey. (PDF)

Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People. An update of the article series of the same name, two of the five parts are about Chiron and its bridging role to help us handle the high resonance of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. For those of us with numerous personal planets in relation to the outers (I call them PUNCs for Plutonian, Uranian, Neptunian Chironics), it’s tool to help you go from feeling different to understanding your special role in these fast-changing times. Much of the Chiron material in this book is not replicated elsewhere. (PDF)

Keywords to Unlock Chiron. My ultimate Chiron book that helps you explore your experience with this archetype by way of your resonance with 50 of Chiron’s keywords. A depth exploration of the words than enable us to make sense of (and sentences about) Chiron. There have been two excerpts of Keyword chapters on The Radical Virgo, Maverick and Embodiment. A guidebook for your Chiron journey. (PDF)





Photo Credit: Volunteer design © djvstock - Fotolia.com

Notes:

1.   Nia Vardalos, “My Long Road to Becoming a Mom,”People: March 28, 2016, pp. 64-44.

2.    www.madd.org




Now, How About a Little Healing Laughter?
The Crystal Ball, my first novel in the Micki Michaels mystery series, is now on sale for only $0.99 in Kindle format. You don’t have to own a Kindle to read it, as the app is free to download on any device: computer, smartphone or tablet. Paperback is $14.99. Why is Micki—a do-gooder, astrologer and longevity enthusiast—living with Curt Stern, an ex-FBI agent? Watch this odd couple bust crimes in progress at the costume party of the Millennium, a “come as you’ll be in the future” party. Chiron is even a character. A fast paced romp and read with 4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. (Kindle, Paperback)

6 comments:

Tammy said...

Wow! This was soooo good...thank you! I will print this out and use it for future reference. I have never seen Chiron explained so well.

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks for letting me know this article hit the mark, Tammy! After studying Chiron for 28 years now, a lot of the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place for me to see a more complete picture. It's exciting to share, as I have been truly "seized" by this archetype, as Joseph Campbell would say. I love how Chiron bridges us from our personal pain and concerns to the good of the collective.

Anonymous said...

Well I have Aries chiron conjunct Sun and north node and have been bullied from babyhood till now (almost 50) never been loved, failed at everything, I wish I had never been born

Joyce Mason said...

Dear Chiron in Aries conjunct Sun/North Node,

My heart goes out to you for the pain you’ve experienced. I can’t begin to imagine the damage to your self-esteem. Yet I know that you can turn this around, especially now, during your Chiron Return. It is an amazing window for doing that. The first thing that came to mind for me to share with you is this line from The Desiderata: “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.” I’m glad you’re here and courageous enough to share your Chiron content with the writer and readers of this blog. In our own way, we are a healing community. The courage to share is the beginning of how we all heal. Thank you for that, expressing your bravery--one of the finest Aries qualities. I have no doubt that other readers will be positively influenced by it.

I urge you to seek professional counseling, if you’re not seeing someone already, to help you on your healing curve. If money is an object, start with clergy. If you’re not a believer, try your local Unitarian Universalist Society. Unitarians welcome agnostics, atheists and ex-everything else. (Their emphasis is to help you identify your own beliefs, whatever they are, and to be true to them.) There are many hotlines where trained individuals will listen and help. One suggestion is http://www.communitycrisis.org/programs-services/crisis-hotline/. For others, search “crisis hotlines.” Chronic bullying *is* a crisis.

While it’s hard to realize from where you’re sitting and how you’re feeling now, the universe acts as a mirror. How we feel about ourselves influences what we draw to us. Because of the damage caused by the bullying, your image of yourself has been distorted. (Imagine sending and receiving the distorted images of a circus mirror.) As you receive assurance of your value, your core self will be strengthened and your experiences will turn around. That’s why it’s so important to seek help. When a person has undergone so much battery to the psyche, it’s all but impossible to do this on your own. Thank you for reaching out here, so we can send you healing energy on your journey. Remember, Chiron started unloved, abandoned and made fun of and ended up a beloved member of his community, bringing out the best in young people who went onto be stars.

Use your Chiron Return toward healing yourself, and before you know it, you’ll be helping others—maybe even working on an anti-bullying hotline, helping troubled teens get off this negative merry-go-round as early as possible.

If I can offer other suggestions or direction, feel free to email me: joyce [at] joycemason.com.

Much love and healing,
Joyce

Hm H said...

Hi Joyce...as a radical Virgo myself (merc,Uranus/Pluto/sun) born in the 7th and an astrologer of over 20yrs .... I am assuming you are also born in the 60s when virgos were being born w outer planets in our sign (connected to Neptune/Sco. And oppose sat/Pisces) unlike any other generation of Virgos of the century...yes?
I wanted to add a piece of wisdom I've learned over the years about a Virgo keyword that is underused and I think the primary descriptor of the sign- that being ASSIMILATION moreso than ANALYSIS. I learned this from more than one great teacher/mentor in my journey and I think it helps w the over simplified "analyze/criticize" label that only describes a mental aspect of a physical earth sign at a very important angle transitioning from that I/Me houses to the WE/US houses ...and gives a fuller picture than the traditionally limited 'right brain' adjective that I have found many MANY Virgos NOT to be .... Since Virgos represents the gut/intestines and therefore the immune system and processing it is very fitting word. Analysis may be the starting point of the Virgo talents for the process of assimilation to actually happen- and being on the cusp at the end of the ego driven signs we are the first sign to be considered the ' helpers' / behind the scenes ....taking and transmuting all the information of the first six houses to convert into the next and all important House of self and otherness (Libra) harvest time !!! Our sign combines mercury in physical earth and processes the combined mind/body connection and information of all the previous signs so we are ready to then relate to otherness and go beyond the self...I wanted to share this (albeit abridged) way of seeing Virgo w you since you've taken the trouble to name your site after this all important sign and so that the myth of the sign doesn't continue to be perpetuated ! Thank you for your writings! Very pleased to have come across your site, your new Radical Virgo fan (W a Chiron return happening amongst other things...lol)

Joyce Mason said...

Dear Hm H,

I just love your comment and regret it has taken me so long to respond. (Crazy week or so.) We must belong to the same soul tribe. I couldn't tell if you were quoting my article, Wholeness and the Inner Marriage, or had come to many of the same conclusions yourself. I assume the latter. It is always a thrill to "meet" someone whose mind is on the same beam.

Also, I love your emphasis on assimilation rather than analysis. If it's true what they say about the final degree of the sign being the culmination of the archetypal experience, as a last-degree Virgo, I can attest to assimilation being a near vocation and often a challenge. As I mentioned in the original article called The Radical Virgo, it is this ability to assimilate and digest information that's so essential now that we live on information overload with all our multiple communication devices. (See Information Indigestion.) I often have tummy trouble--not just from food but from digesting and synthesizing experiences.

You're so right, too, about the unique breed of Virgos born in the '60s. I only wish I were one of them! I'm quite a bit older than that (late '40s), but I like to think that having an outer planet closely aspecting my Big Three and that last-degree Virgo Sun as my radicalizing factors. I think Sun square Uranus is responsible for the channeling of the original title of the article that I named the blog after! (People also call me "the Radical Virgo.")

So glad to have you as reader and re-visionary of our sign.

Blessings and come back often,
Joyce