Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chiron: Key to Our Careers

 © 2015 by Aubrie De Clerck, Guest Blogger
All Rights Reserved

Mythical Chiron coaches Achilles on how to play the kithara.

We’re taking a break from the Radical Reposts this month for some shares on Chiron, the “patron saint” of this blog. There’s nothing like Mercury Retrograde to remember and revisit how healing and the quest for wholeness are the gifts of astrology.

In this first article, it’s my honor to introduce Aubrie De Clerck, who combines career coaching and astrology with an understanding of Chiron’s importance in this essential area of life. Consider Aubrie when you need a consultation. She's as an astrologer whose work you’ll want to read and get to know.  Her insights and integrity are impressive, and for you big fans of Chiron, you’ll want her on your radar—and Centaur—screen!    ~ Joyce

In the Career Coaching profession, few of us talk about the deep pain that career and work can cause. There are how-to’s and prescriptions on LinkedIn every day, but not much conversation around the feelings of hopelessness that conflicts on the job, purposeless tasks, or layoffs can bring. 

In one-on-one sessions, clients speak more openly about this pain and it has become clear to me that it is a bigger barrier than ageism, gaps in work history or any other common concern. Underneath their worries was a universal feeling that there was something wrong with them, something Adam Gainsburg calls a “subconscious belief or pattern of assuming we are permanently damaged, wounded, broken or unfixable in specific ways necessary to our fulfillment.” Work troubles can trigger this pattern in short order. 

I looked to astrology to help me find a commonality in client charts that would help explain the pain, change the lens they were seeing through and help them see possibilities. At first, I looked to Saturn, where fear and work can overlap. It seemed especially obvious with the material losses and hard times people were facing. Yet Saturn placements, aspects and transits were not indicative of the pain they were describing. 

Then I looked for transits of Pluto and/or Uranus and they came up short as well. Houses associated with work and career, while important, didn’t hold the key. Informed by intuition and years of hearing the hurt underneath my clients’ fear, anger and despair, I looked at Chiron.

Since that first look, I include The Wounded Healer in my career readings for clients and use it as the focus of talks and workshops. Over and over, I see clients shift when Chiron is added to the picture. They were able to see not only their inner challenges, but also their innate gifts and talents.

Let’s look at a client example, a woman with Chiron in Aquarius in the 5th:
This client continually worked in toxic non-profit environments over her career. Her creativity and innovation were unwelcome in each workplace, the very things she identified as giving her energy and satisfaction in life. She wondered if no healthy non-profits existed out there, but when she went deeper she shared her worry that there was something wrong with her that was causing this struggle—something she couldn’t fix. Her Chiron placement affirmed that she was here to contribute her ingenuity. 

She realized that she was wired up to give this gift and had been choosing organizations that only supported the woundedness. She was able to conduct a search that focused on understanding the culture of the organization and how to find the place that would welcome her fresh perspectives. She landed in a healthy non-profit that was a fit. A year later, she sent me a note saying that leadership was changing the organization in ways that might limit her contributions and that she was keeping a close eye on it, ready to move on if necessary. 

There are a few things I love about this example. 

1.   It shows how applying Chiron placement simply can be powerful.
2.   It illustrates the practical career applications of the placement.
3.   It shows how the client is empowered, using the knowledge as her career continues. 

How clients orient towards Chiron is important. I think of it as two sides of the same coin—the wound and the gift. Many people identify with the wounded side  (especially prominent when Chiron has harder natal aspects) and stop there, trying to protect their vulnerability from the light of day. When we can acknowledge, as in the Chiron myth, that we all are born with the notion that we are separate and imperfect in a way that will cause rejection, we can look at the wound differently. It can inspire compassion for ourselves and others. Once in the light, we can see that in actuality, the wounded place is exactly what is key to our fulfillment—and our purpose. By going into the wound, we find the very thing we are here on the planet to contribute. 

How do we know when Chiron might be at work in our clients’ work lives? The following are some of its telltale characteristics: 

• What they do well for others is difficult to do for themselves
• Inability to identify how they are unique and special
• Feeling understood more by people who are older than them by about 50 years, such as grandparents or mentors
• Swinging between denial and over-achievement

Chiron shows up uniquely for each person, however there are common ways it has been pivotal in my work with clients: 

• Identifying gifts: Giving name to the gifts and the comforting idea that they are innate within the client already. This paves the way for motivation and self-acceptance.
• Defining healthy work environments: Encouraging clients to advocate for themselves at work in a balanced way and guiding clients to structure searches that support the expression of the gift, rather than furthering the wound.
• Finding empowerment: Helping clients understand that the key to change is right in front of them and does not require outside circumstances to change in order for them to access it. 

To deepen your understanding of Chiron’s influence on the careers of your clients, consider looking at sign, house and natal aspects to start. It can provide specific information about a client’s gifts, areas that create roadblocks and paths to healing and purposeful expression. Why not look at your own, too? :)

Aubrie De Clerck is a career coach and astrologer with over 8 years’ experience in corporate, non-profit and education environments. Aubrie was featured in Willamette Week’s 2012 Best of Portland as “Best Cosmic Career Coach” and named of one of the 100 Most Powerful Women by the Northwest Women’s Journal. Aubrie is known for being highly inspirational and deeply practical—with an innate capacity for supporting people in going after what brings them joy. Visit Aubrie’s website at www.coachingforclarity.net.

Photo Credit: Chiron and Achilles by Pompeo Batoni,  Commons.wikimedia.org

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