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.


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 defines the term scapegoat. This is another word for a sacrificial lamb, an archetype that repeats itself in so many cultures.



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 cliché, 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 -


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


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)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sounds of Spring

A 2016 Equinox Poem

March eclipses
sing back-up to new beginnings.
Aries fire heats up the groundswell
of rooting medium.
Trees shout greenery.
Buds clap to the beat,
don’t care an iota about
the patterns in the sky.
Spring comes like clockwork
ticking hope.


Poem by Joyce Mason  © 2016

Photo Credit: © |

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Do You Have a Code in Your Nodes?

Yours, Mine and Our US Presidential Candidates'

© 2016 by Joyce Mason

I’ve long felt unsure whether I’ve ever fully comprehended the lunar nodes in astrology and their degree of impact.  I used to hold the general idea that I’ve read in most astrology books and heard in many lectures. The North Node represents where we’re heading in life. The South node relates to where we’re coming from or have been. They are always opposite points, but more importantly, they’re part of the same continuum. For example, you can’t have Aries individualism without its complement, Libran relationship. Even if you could be a pure 100% of one or the other, it wouldn’t make sense unless you considered the characteristic you lack. (What is night without day for comparison?) These nodal pairings are about balancing related areas of life. So, perhaps the South Node represents the side of the paired issues spectrum that was emphasized in a prior life—or earlier in the current one—and the North Node suggests where we need more development.

The zodiac is really comprised of six archetypal pairs. Nothing makes this more obvious than the nodes. If you take it down to basics without discounting those delicious complexities and multi-levels of astrology:

These are the six paired inner and outer activities we juggle to make the best of our Earth experience. To:

1.   Be/Relate – Aries/Libra
2.   Possess/Create – Taurus/Scorpio
3.   Think/Perceive – Gemini/Sagittarius
4.   Feel/Build – Cancer/Capricorn
5.   Will/Question– Leo/Aquarius
6.   Analyze/Believe  - Virgo/Pisces

Of course, there are many other key words and concepts for each of these pairs, but the main idea is that they relate to each other and development of both constitutes a sense of wholeness along that complementary spectrum. We don’t want to throw out the South Node as passé, but rather as the part of the continuum where we probably already have bigger muscles while the North Node asks us to work out more on that side of our “issue body.” We actually don’t want to “move away from” the South Node but, rather, to carry it forward, perhaps with a little less gusto, to complement the North Node.

If the Nodes are a teeter totter of related issues that you need to balance in your life, which side is up in the air and on what playground is it housed?

Let’s look at the leading US presidential candidates, as of this writing, for some examples. Note that these are speculative, as we have some unsubstantiated birth times.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has South Node in Scorpio in the 1st, North Node in Taurus in the 7th. I used to wonder 20 years ago why so many people just couldn’t “take” Hillary. Her 1st House South Node in Scorpio supports my conclusion. Many individuals, both men women, are put off by a powerful woman who’s “out there.” It goes against everything many people of a certain age were taught about what’s ladylike. While she’s an obvious born leader, I think Hillary developed her 7th House North Node as First Lady and Secretary of State. While she was hardly a secretary in the traditional sense, in both these jobs in supportive roles to Presidents Clinton and Obama, she expanded her relationship and team player skills. (Add NY Senator.)

These skills are as invaluable to any leader as the ability to inspire and decide. I could argue that social evolution has taken the edge off some people’s feelings about Hillary, which I view, overall, to be improved today for the most part. But it also might be that seeing her in her full power while playing supporting roles made her feel less threatening and allowed those still struggling with gender issues a chance to see her in a new light and to adjust to her potential as President.

Unfortunately, Hillary’s 8:02 AM birth time has been bandied about for a long time, yet it never has been verified to my knowledge. Many astrologers are becoming believers that this is her time stamp, as they watch her in action. The Nodes for that chart sure fit!

Bernie Sanders has North Node in Virgo in the 10th, sandwiched in-between his Sun and (closer to) Neptune. South Node is in Pisces in the 4th. The code in his Nodes marks him a Radical Virgo, the kind capable of reorganizing the world. That’s his vision, and I believe his South Node in Pisces is an asset to him. He believes in the family of humanity, that we are One, and in the vision of an ideal America for everyone. His North Node in the house of career expresses his ability to stretch from this base to help his fellow Americans throw out what no longer works, keep what does, and to develop new ways of living that nurture all citizens.

Donald Trump has a most interesting Node Code with his Nodes conjunct the Lights. North Node is in Gemini in the 10th closely conjunct his Sun. South Node is in Sag in the 4th, tightly conjunct the Moon. Note that, so far, the main presidential candidates have the Nodes in angular houses. It’s not surprising that Mr. Trump’s worldview and what he thinks about people is right out front in flashing lights. His Leo Mars conjunct ASC adds a forceful, often roaring and theatrical delivery style. Like Bernie, he is willing to take on his 10th House potential as a change agent. I’ve noticed there are two Donalds, as his Gemini Sun suggests. One is the performer, when he’s at his brashest. The other is more reasoned when he’s interviewed one-on-one or in any smaller encounter that doesn’t involve a stage. And his nodes ride on the teeter-totter of his Sun/Moon opposition. What strong signatures of duality.

Marco Rubio’s Nodes are unknown, as I’m unaware of any solid information on his birth time, even on the two standard astrological data sites, and Astrotheme.

Ted Cruz breaks the angular Nodes trend among the presidential candidates with North Node in Aquarius in the 5th and South Node in Leo in the 11th. Interesting that the signs of Cruz’s Nodes are in the oppose houses of where they would naturally “feel comfortable.”  The Aquarian theme of not fitting in resonates in the common knowledge that he is generally disliked in Washington and the question whether Cruz’s Canadian birth place even qualifies him to run. Keeping up our metaphor throughout this article, does he even belong on the playground? If yes, will he serve the collective good or play King of the Hill? Emphasize the needs of his constituencies, evangelicals and conservatives (his court) or humanity/Americans at large?

Finally, as I write this, there is the wildcard of a coalition coming together within the Republican Party I call ABT—anyone but Trump. If the ABT Republicans can’t derail Donald from getting the electoral votes he needs to lock up the nomination on the first ballot; there are rumblings of a brokered convention or a contested nomination, a complex scenario that’s rare. I refer you to the article on NPR, “Is A Brokered Convention The Most Likely Way Republicans Can Stop Trump? to learn more. And if this uprising continues, check for the charts of the Trump alternatives being bandied about. I’ve already heard rumblings of John Kasich, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and even House Speaker Paul Ryan. Be sure to zero in on what their nodes have to say about their orientation and chances.

Since the Moon is so related to fulfillment, I believe that balancing the Moon’s Nodes is a major assignment in any lifetime. Evolutionary astrologers, such as Steven Forest and Jeffrey Wolf Green, relate the South Node to past lives, which supports its being the side of the continuum that’s more developed. The evolutionary style of astrology measures soul growth from life to life and assumes a belief in reincarnation. We have a popular article on the South Node from that perspective on The Radical Virgo, a guest post by British astrologer Lana Wooster, called Astrology and Past Lives.

I also attended a recent workshop with Eric Meyers on the Nodes. He has many unique insights about how the Nodes work as a system with the Moon. I’ll leave you to his website and books to discover more of his perspective, also derived from the evolutionary school of astrology. He’s a great resource on this topic.

If you want a hint of how you need to balance your life and fulfill what you came to do here on Earth, look to the code in your Nodes.

Observing the Nodes of the presidential candidates provides limelight examples, easy to observe. It’s fascinating and adds insights to the ongoing fights on the playground that the primaries have become, but what about you and me? Do the sign pairs at the beginning throw any new light on your own seesaw? I love how that metaphor fits, down to the word seesaw itself: see (looking ahead – North Node) and saw (looking back – South Node).

I have Taurus North Node in the 1st and Scorpio South Node in the 7th. What I “got” in writing this is that I’m generous to a fault with my creativity and sharing what I learn about the mysteries of life (South Node in Scorpio conjunct Jupiter), but I have a lot to learn about my relationship with my own possessions, self-care (Venus ruled Taurus) and my physical body. Too much Scorpio/7th house, not enough Taurus in the 1st.

And I had to muse: Do my angular nodes, flipped North/South from Hillary’s, mean I should run for President someday? We were born less than a month apart in the same place, and this is the first year I’ve ever followed politics with a passion. (I normally avoid them like the plague.) An astrologer in the White House.

Hmm. Who Nodes? 


Photo Credit: Starry background of deep outer space © Clearviewstock |