Chiron, known as the wounded healer in astrology or metaphysics, can show us why things happen to us in life.
In mythology, Chiron was the god of healing. Ironically, Chiron was the best of the centaurs (and immortal) but was wounded by Hercules with a poison arrow Chiron himself had taught Hercules to make.
Chiron, though he was the god of healing, could not heal himself. He was forced to live with incredible pain until he chose to give up his immortality (for Prometheus who eventually stole fire from the Gods and brought fire to mankind).
The psychology of that story is delicious.
Ultimately, Chiron represents something we all carry in our subconscious mind. He is that which will kill us if we don’t heal it—our deepest wounds, our fatal flaws.
In the solar system, Chiron is an asteroid/meteor that orbits between Saturn and Uranus. Again, it represents our deepest wounds that, when overcome, become our biggest strengths.
I was born with Chiron directly on my north node, which means astrologically that I came to this lifetime to heal my deepest wounds and transcend my subconscious mind. For many, these wounds present as low self-esteem and insecurity, traits that I know all too well. Perhaps you experience these issues in your own life. If so, I wager that you have Chiron lurking in your astrological chart as well.
We all struggle with understanding our purpose in life and how we are supposed to succeed.
Since I became a spiritual healer and teacher, I have spoken to thousands of people who wrestle with this same condition. It appears that we are all born with these deficiencies which force us to sink or swim. If we swim, we excel at life. If we don’t uncover our psychological wounds and sink, we suffer. Astrologically, those of us who are born with Chiron at influential places in our chart seem to suffer more than others and our subconscious, psychological wounds wreak havoc more than most.
Here are some of the lessons and blessings of Chiron, the wounded healer which I have wrestled with in my spiritual journey, and perhaps you are too:
We tend to take things more personally than others.
Most people who run into criticism tend to shrug it off if it is irrelevant. For those of us with wounds of insecurity and low self-esteem, these barbs feel poisoned and hurt us far more deeply. When we can learn through meditation and self-analysis that we don’t need to feel this way, we can learn to be compassionate and empathetic to others. If we can heal these flaws, we can help others heal their wounds as well. It is the very sensitivity that causes us such deep pain that helps us understand others that are suffering.
Many times I encounter people who struggle with deep emotional and psychological wounds that have been dismissed and disrespected by more emotionally healthy friends or family. I however recognize that the pain these people are suffering is real, even though the cause of that pain may not be. I can hear these people and understand what they are going through because I have endured it myself. When I am able to show these people that their pain can be healed, it dignifies my own pain and struggles as well.
We cause our own suffering.
This can be the most difficult aspect of the wounded healer archetype. Like Chiron, we allow others to shoot poisoned arrows at us, and we don’t seek shelter because we think we are immortal. What we don’t realize is that we make these poisoned arrows and let other people use them. In other words, we are the architects of our own destruction. Until I learned to take responsibility for my own wounds, I could not heal them. I had to stop blaming other people for hurting me, just as Chiron did not blame Hercules for his pain.
Chiron gave up his immortality to heal the pain, just as I had to let go of my illusions about my own immortality and become real. Probably one of the hardest things I had to learn to say was “ouch that hurt!” Until we start communicating in an authentic way, other people probably don’t realize that they are hurting us. Not only do we have to take responsibility for our pain, we have to take responsibility for our recovery.
We have to give something up.
Like Chiron, I had to give up something very precious to me, my image of myself to heal the suffering. While Chiron gave up his immortality, I had to give up my projections of superiority and stop competing with everyone.
Being in competition only creates winners and losers, when we start cooperating there are only winners. However, until I gave up the desire to be better than everyone else, that would not work. It is incredibly freeing to give up our opinions about ourselves and others, because it frees our minds to see what and who we really are, not what we assume or fantasize we are. I was trained by my parents to think I was better than others. This was not who I was. When I let go of my preconceived notions about what the world was supposed to be and started seeing it for what it is, the struggling stopped as well as the pain.
We have to learn to shrug it off.
Chiron was more highly evolved than other centaurs. Most centaurs, beings that were half-man half-horse, were concerned only with earthly pleasures, especially sex and mind/mood altering drugs. Chiron was only interested with healing and higher planes of being. Ironically, Chiron was attacked by others of his kind when he opened a jar of wine to serve to Hercules. The others’ addiction to pleasure forced them to attack, and it was a mindless and fatal decision for most of them.
Similarly, we have to let go of our addictions and attachments to worldly pleasures. That doesn’t mean we have to avoid them, but when we are addicted, we will be attacked when we least expect it and usually by those we thought loved us. Wounded healers also have to be careful of being attacked by other human beings who are not wounded healers. Many spiritual teachers and healers are ridiculed and criticized by others, that is the wound they must heal. Persecution comes with the territory. I no longer care what other people think of me. I am who I am, and I only wish to be the best version of myself.
Having been born with the Wounded Healer in my mid-heaven (an astrological term meaning “at the top of my natal chart”) means I have to heal the subconscious wounds which I suffered from my birth. It is not an easy path, nor is the responsibility of being a healer, but the point is, our biggest challenges always become our greatest strengths.
Whatever we fear the most always becomes our greatest source of courage.
When we are blessed with these challenges, we have to remember that, though they may appear to be challenges, they are really blessings.
There is no stronger healer than a healed Chiron.
Author: James Robinson
Apprentice Editor: Kristen Bagwill / Editor: Renée Picard