Chiron, the Wounded Healer: Security Through Insecurity

Chiron the asteroid is retrograding through Aries for the next few months (July 2021 through December 2021). This brings the energy of the wounded healer archetype to our collective field. This is an opportunity to review, revisit, explore stories (narratives) around wounding, healing, and teaching. Where in your life does this constellation of experience emerge?

Take some time to read this blog, then write out a reflection about what resonated with you, what didn’t resonate, and where you are in your journey, especially your relationship with Chiron. An archetype is a pattern of thoughts and behaviors. Chiron’s placement in a chart reveals the thoughts, patterns, and potential for deep healing and learning in an individual’s life.

Chiron moving through Aries (11th house) is, on a collective level, the potential to initiate deep learning in our society. What are the collective wounds of being and belonging in a group?

Chiron sits in my natal chart in Taurus (12th house). This placement brings up wounding around self worth, fulfillment, and security. I often feel like I exist in two worlds. I am mentally healthy, although at times in my life I have not been. Periods of depression and extreme mood states made me insecure. I had trouble establishing routine because I didn’t trust myself to show up. Now, my life revolves around a self care practice—a culture—that helps me cultivate stability through dedication to lifestyle, diet, and behavior awareness coupled with a practice of reflection, creative expression, and a spiritual worldview. I feel good. My relationship to mental health, wounding, and purpose changed.

The myth of Chiron, the wounded healer, tells us that he was a centaur—half human, half horse. He existed as a creature in the world of humanity and the world of animals. He was immortal, but wounded by a poison arrow launched by Hercules. Death, to abate the pain of the wound, wasn’t available to him. He couldn’t cross the final threshold and be relieved of the pain. In order to transform his situation—an eternity of pain—he offered his immortality to Zeus.

Death is a threshold, an exit from pain.

In 2017, when a friend’s sister committed suicide, I found an activation of the medicine of my Chirotic experience. Her family was in mourning. The healing they needed would come from finding meaning in the illogical—that their seemingly happy family member would take her own life.

I arrived to the funeral. It was a bitter cold night in January. I entered the funeral parlor, turned corner around the row of chairs, and then my friend’s mom saw me, and she broke out in tears, so I broke out in tears, and my friend saw her mom crying and then saw me and then my friend broke out in tears.

Sounds suddenly got louder. Choking breaths of airs between sobs were bombs going off.

“She wasn’t as strong as you,” said the mother of the deceased between tears.

My friend and her family knew about my own mental health struggles. But hearing those words unleashed a shockwave in me. My mind went blank. My heart opened. I remembered the time in my life I felt utter desperation. I held that in me, and held that feeling as compassion for my friend and her family. That’s what I radiated that night. That was my healing transmission.

Chiron glyph

I remembered my own suicide attempt during my early twenties—anything to get out of the pain of being human. I walked into the sea one day with no intention of coming back. I remember blacking out and then seeing a bright white light and waking up on the beach, wet and covered by sand. I felt, for the first time, a deep seated knowing that there was something I had to do in this life and that the pain was part of it.

I made the conscious choice to explore the experience of insecurity in myself through mental health challenges, the likes of which make me feel like I am at times in two worlds—somewhere between sane and insane. I’ve learned that I can trust myself and manage the experience, and that it is important to share my experience. It is from that orientation that I write my story around mental health challenges. The story doesn’t write me. I hope to galvanize further conversation around a taboo subject (mental health) and reject the stigma around talking about it in the public sphere. These steps will, I hope, open space for collective healing in the conversation around mental health. I hope the perpsective that a teaching is in the wounding around mental health distress, that this idea reaches our global culture, and that we might hold each other with compassion when bearing witness to individuals who are at different points in their journey with mental health issues.  

The conversation broadens when we connect to our experience of being human in the cosmos. Archetypal language, that which we speak when we invoke evolutionary astrology and muse on “the Chiron in our charts” translates myth to the mundane. Chiron, and my engagement with the archetype and energy, taught me that if I surrendered to that which caused me pain, it caused me less pain. Chiron taught me to consider the idea that the wound could be a teaching. I stopped fighting that which was fighting me. I gave in. I give in. I’ve learned to find hope, even in the thick of anguish, because part of the anguish is feeling utterly alone in the inner world. Feeling as if you are the only one going through something is pain. So whatever gets me to the threshold, through the pain of the wound and the pain of being, and to the other side, is what I do. I don’t want out. I want in and through.

I was reminded at the funeral, as I am now, of the importance of inner work and sharing stories. Doing the inner work is writing your own story. I have a tattoo on my neck—the key glyph that represents Chiron—so that each time I look in the mirror, I remember who I am. I am a survivor. I reflect back into the world the light and integrity of my own inner journey. I am writing my own story. I have been in the position of holding the wound, and I’ve gone through a deep a healing process. Now I can articulate some of my lesson, and that lesson has value for others. The wounding, the healing, and the teaching are one in the same, even though we experience them at different points in our journey.

Go in, go through. Trust yourself and trust the process.

The ability to stand in the wound without reacting to it is the most exalted form of the Chirotic lesson. Chiron represents our wound, our medicine, and the teaching for all.

Om lokah samastah sukinoh bhavantu // may all beings be happy and free