Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chiron’s Key Word Corner: Hero

This is the first in a series of periodic posts on Chiron’s Key Words. Since Chiron is my astrological specialty, I am delighted to share materials previously printed in “Chironicles” newsletter (1992-95) and newly developed writings about the centaur planet. Some astrologers believe Chiron is Virgo’s ruler.

Chiron was a mentor of heroes.
The New American Heritage Dictionary (NAHD) defines mentor as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” Among the future heroes taken to Chiron as boys for his sage guidance were Jason, leader of the Argonauts, who brought the Golden Fleece from Colchis; Hercules, renowned for his great strength; and Asclepius, the Greek god of healing.

Although the key word, here is hero, it is important to remember that behind every hero is a mentor. Hero and mentor are tightly interwoven terms that need to be taken together to enhance our understanding of why the Chiron myth was rediscovered in 1977 at a crucial juncture in human history—and what it has to tell us about our own lives.

Heroes aren’t born, they are cultivated … Behind every hero is another hero.

NAHD contains three definitions of hero that can help bring home Chiron’s message: (1) In mythology and legend, a man, endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods; (2) Any man noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his life; and (3) A person prominent in some event, field, period, or cause by reason of his special achievements or contributions.

Mythical Chiron himself fits all these definitions.

In other words, behind every hero is another hero. It might be your mother, who sacrificed her life and own pursuits for her children. One of mine was a priest who told me my conscience was my most important authority, even when because of it; I disagreed with the Church.

Your hero may be a special teacher, aunt, or uncle who somehow showed you the ropes, taught you to do your best, and how to live life to the fullest. An excellent example was the teacher played by Robin Williams in the 1989 movie, Dead Poet’s Society. The hero behind the hero teaches us how to seize the day and make the most of our gifts. He or she identifies and nurtures our special skills—what, deep down, we’re really good at and absolutely must share to feel whole. Even the suicide of the young man in Dead Poet’s Society, whose father would not let him express his acting talent, is a strong metaphor. It parallels Chiron’s message:

If we do not do what we love, we die—if not literally, we die in spirit, bit by bit.

Mentoring is what astrologers are supposed to do for their clients. Even though Chiron was an astrologer, this assignment isn’t just for stargazers. We’re all supposed to get it and pass it on—develop our ability to cope creatively, to become living examples of overcoming, not just for ourselves but also for those less experienced. Heroes in training are those who have not yet conquered what we have managed to overcome.

Living on this planet is a heroic adventure, and in the School of Life, the roles of teacher and student are intertwined and ever reversing. Often, teachers learn as much from their students as they teach them, sometimes more. Their dance is a pas de deux.

Now, for the new definition of hero (mine). It is a spin-off from Barbara Hand Clow’s synthesis of the Chirotic energy and what it does for us at best:

A hero is someone who acts unselfishly from his or her Higher Self in urgent circumstances.
Nowadays, everything is urgent. As just one example, time is running out to heal our ecological crisis. Heroism is the epitome of being in the now (one Chironic concept) and fully in your body (another of Chiron’s concepts). Heroism is the ultimate right/left brain merge. It is a product of developing intuition, what Clow calls “…our lost oracular and divination skills reaching a holistic level of integration where we act without the intervention of conscious thought.” (Rainbow Bridge, p. 7.)

Imagine going through life knowing that whatever comes up, you will know instinctively just what to do—when and how to do it.

Instinct doesn’t mean you have to become Nostradamus. Instinct combines knowledge, wisdom, and those signals you get from the pit of your stomach. If you could trust you’d always know just what to do, what would there be to fear?

Life without fear is Heaven on Earth.

The real reason for heroes isn’t to create some sort of idealized knight in shining armor, a Neptunized, mythologized god we always expect to save the day and keep us codependent. Rather, heroes are there to reflect the best in us—our own magnificence. They shine the spotlight on the superlative nature of our own masculine/feminine merger, where we save ourselves by being there for ourselves and trust inspiration to flow through us the very second it is needed.

There’s a hero in everyone. Chiron is here to turn each and every one of us into a star.


© 2009 by Joyce Mason. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Credit: SUPER DAD © Dragon_fan...

Coming Attractions on The Radical Virgo Blog

Chiron’s Keyword Corner is just one of several recurring features that will appear between stand-alone posts. To whet your appetite, here are some of the others. Many of the Toolbox Basic articles are beginner-friendly, yet still helpful to those with a lot of astrological savvy as a quick review tool when scanning for interpretations while reading charts. In fact, the Toolbox series, whether Basics, Rituals, or subcategories yet to come, will tend to require little prior astrological knowledge for understanding or use.

Hope this “preview” keeps you coming back for more at The Radical Virgo!

Toolbox Basics
Getting Your Chart Done
Signs & Houses

Toolbox – Rituals
New Moon
Solar Return

High Signs
A series about how to bring out the best in each of the 12 signs and how they work together as a process for self-fulfillment.


Pop Art Diva Enterprises said...

I have a lot of personal heroes - I even do art tributes to them, but to this day I remember two of my art teachers inspiring me to follow my passion and become an artist.
We all need people to look up to and inspire us and we should strive to be one of those people ourselves!

Here's to the heroes of the world whether they be unassuming or famous, small or large.

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks for sharing about your personal heroes, Pop Art! "Unsung heroes" are the stars of so many human interest stories. Maybe we are finally becoming more aware of the fact that true heroes don't have to be on TV or in the movies to change lives. Each of us needs heroes--and to be a hero to others.