This month, we reflect on the key transits and 84 year cycle of Uranus, the great Disrupter of the zodiac. We also take time to consider the Chiron cycle of 50 years, and its impact, sharing some moving stories. Chiron is best known in his mythical garb as the Wounded Healer; we also consider him in his perhaps lesser well-known role as the Inconvenient Benefic.
In this conversation, we share some very funny personal anecdotes regarding Uranus transits’ capacity to turn life upside-down with (eventually) positive outcomes. We also share some deeply moving personal stories both from our client work ( anonymously of course) and from our own lives where one can see both the wounding and healing dimensions of the Chiron archetype at work.
So – take a break, settle down, and enjoy our dialogue as you reflect on how those two great planetary forces have impacted on YOUR life…
Chiron moved into Aries on 17th April 2018, settling in to go direct by February 18th 2019, just before the whole world was upended and traumatised by a world-wide pandemic, and is now half way through his journey in that sign just as we are emerging from the havoc generated by Covid-19 to the accompaniment of the worst war on European soil since the end of World War Two.
Chiron remains in Aries until his final exit in 2027. This half way point seems good timing for taking stock as covid-related deaths (upwards of 3 million at the last estimate), economic damage and social devastation take their toll with world financial stability looking less than reassuring . We are a very wounded human community at present; we seem intent in many ways on wounding rather than healing both ourselves, our communities and nations, and most seriously of all, our Mother Planet.
I find it compelling that a century ago (i), as the world was emerging traumatised from the ghastly upheaval of the First World War of 1914-18, Chiron was preparing to move into Aries on February 18th 1919, co-inciding with the deadly Spanish Flu of 1918-20 in which 25–50 million (generally accepted) people died.
As Dr Liz Greene says in her eagerly awaited new book on Chiron (ii):
“…Healing Chiron’s wound, in my understanding, doesn’t lie in trying to create a perfect society or never experiencing suffering again, but in each of us coming to terms with the roots and nature of our own individual pain, bitterness, and sense of victimisation, and finding ways of working with these experiences creatively rather than trying to make them go away or finding someone or something to blame…”(iii)
As Chiron currently moves through the middle degrees of Aries, I thought it might be apt to share my own reflections back in 2018 on the nature of Chiron, as he prepared to leave Pisces and begin his long traverse of Aries. The essay was published on Astrodienstthen, offering some perspectives as well as addressing a number of questions raised in my own practice and teaching, including:
What does Chiron mean to you? Have you experienced his symbolic energy as healing? Wounding? As the ‘inconvenient benefic’, kicking open doors to places you’d never have thought to go?
I hope you enjoy the essay – feel free to share your own thoughts and experiences of the workings of this most complex, paradoxical astrological archetype as we eagerly wait for Dr Liz Greene’s new work on Chiron.
(i) The orbit of Chiron is pretty irregular, but it returns to its own place every 50 years: The last time Chiron was in Aries was from 1968–1977, and before that, it was 1918–1927.
(ii) ‘Chiron in Love: The Astrology of Envy, Rage, Compassion and Wisdom‘ is due to be released on September 20 2023 byThe Wessex Astrologerwhere copies can be pre-ordered. Happily, other Liz Greene titles are now also available from Wessex Astrologer including ‘The Astrologer, the Counsellor and the Priest’ by Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke. Must-have books!
(iii) Quoted from UK’s The Astrological Journal, July/Aug 2023, p15, from an extract taken from ‘Chiron in Love: The Astrology of Envy, Rage, Compassion and Wisdom‘.
Weaver – Mentor – Centaur – Stuck – Stringed Instruments – Healing Humor – Shame – Left and Right Brain – Abandonment – Evolution: just a few of the keywords Joyce Mason uses to unlock the doorway to deep, deep wisdom contained within the archetype of the mythical being known as Chiron: half man, half horse – best known in Western popular culture as the Wounded Healer.
Joyce is a healer herself with many strings to her lyre: prolific writer, seasoned astrologer, flower essences practitioner, dreamworker, to name but a few. Here in her own words is the essence of her book:
“ Seldom in life do we get such a personalised prescription of what’s wrong and how to fix it. These 50 keyword essays will help you identify where you’re stuck and suggest how you can get from pain to breakthrough and healing–and ultimately to being yourself in your full glory. Your personal message lies in which keywords ‘hit home’ for you.”
As the reader will discover from Other Astrology Books by Joyce Mason on pp 279-281, Joyce has written extensively on Chiron in the past, both in published books and on her blog The Radical Virgo. This book, however, is somewhat different in that Joyce’s focus is on the Chiron archetype itself and an exploration of 50 branches arising therefrom.
Chiron symbolises the deep wound present to a greater or lesser degree in all of us, fallible imperfect creatures, uneasy blends of body and spirit; endlessly curious, forever seeking answers to why we are here and what we are supposed to do with our brief time on Earth. Chiron also symbolises the depth and wisdom we can gain by addressing and seeking to heal that wound, both in ourselves and others.
Ultimately, facing and accepting our vulnerability, together with realisation of our inter-connectedness with the whole of life, and the healing power of love: these are our salves and our saviours.
Joyce’s Keywords to Unlock Chiron is surely a ‘wisdom book’. It is a wonderful distillation of her knowledge, personal and professional experience drawn from a deep and wide range of sources: science, myth, symbol systems including astrology and Tarot, astronomy, and culture both contemporary and ancient.
She writes so well, with wit, reverence, irreverence and above all compassion both for her own frailty and ours. Open sharing of core aspects of her personal story demonstrates that she is not trying to tell us how we should live from her somewhat higher plane of existence. She makes it clear that, in the struggle to come to terms with the wounding which hopefully in the end makes us a bit wiser and more skilled in the fraught business of living, we are all in it together.
There are many examples which I could quote of deeply helpful wisdom offered in this book. In Chapter 24, Disowned, there is a very challenging question posed: ‘What would you rather die than do?’Joyce’s answer to this is ‘I’d rather die than move (house)’ which leads into a discussion of how we all to a greater or lesser extent, disown parts of ourselves, to our detriment.
Joyce then offers seven “Tips for Not Disowning Yourself” including ‘Listen objectively to things others point out that you’re missing or denying, especially if you hear the same thing from several different people.’I commend this section to any individual honest enough to be working towards personal growth and change, as well as any therapy practitioner looking for some inspiration to bring to their client work.
In Appendix 3, p273, Joyce provides information for people with little or no knowledge of astrology who wish to obtain a copy of their own horoscope and find out where Chiron is placed in their case.
The whole book is also filled with useful web and other references to a wonderful range of resources – arising from the core Chironic keyword of Wholeness.
The book is of value also to students and practitioners of astrology. From that perspective, this reviewer certainly felt as though she had been comprehensively re- acquainted with the depth and practical value of understanding Chiron’s natal position as well as Chiron transits.
But it is important to stress that Keywords to Unlock Chiron shouldnot be seen primarily as a book for astrologers or those interested specifically in astrology.
As I said earlier, it is a ‘wisdom book’, a great resource for anyone of a reflective nature, who may be practising as a healer of others, to have in their library to turn to for inspiration, information or support in difficult times. Be guided by how you are feeling in seeking help from the book’s wisdom. As Joyce says herself: “Your personal message lies in which keywords ‘hit home’ for you.”
Joyce, thank you for this wonderful compendium. It truly deserves to be widely read.
As per her original book release announcement, Joyce is offering this book in PDF in order to make the material available, at least in some form, sooner rather than later. The announcement describes her book in detail, including contents, other brief reviews and the advantages/disadvantages of the PDF format, including the ways to access it on various reader devices. Due to extensive other commitments, I understand that she may be unable to print it to paperback and eReader (Kindle, Nook, etc.) until 2015.
900 words copyright Anne Whitaker /2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page
I am delighted this month to be introducing that distinguished Radical Virgo, Joyce Mason, long experienced in-depth astrologer and fine writer. She has just completed and E-published “20 years of work with Chiron distilled into 40 pages“…...‘Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer.’ It is a fine piece of work which introduces the archetype of Chiron, the Wounded Healer, in a deep, lively and accessible manner which will be of interest to practising astrologers and their clients, astrology students – and the open-minded general reader.
Joyce’s Guest piece will tell, in her usual humorous style, how Chiron “hooked” her, becoming a life-long preoccupation. Over to you, Joyce!
I’ll never forget my goose bumps. I was reading Barbara Hand Clow’s book, Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets.Actually, I was reading it out loud to my best friend while she drove. We were returning from an astrology workshop on Chiron, where I’d just bought it. Both of us were complete novices on the asteroid, comet—whatever. Nobody was even sure what this little rock was that seemed to be orbiting in the wrong place, yet I was already in love with it! Then there was that strange myth, a story about a half-man/half-horse—a centaur who was wise, wounded, and wonderful. He turned out heroes by the dozen: Jason, Hercules, Asclepius.
That was 1988. For over 20 years, Chiron has remained my astrological passion. I discovered Chiron just as I launched my astrology career. Ever since, he’s been the compass of my star trek. From 1992-95, I edited an international newsletter on Chiron’s “continuing discovery” called Chironicles. In 1996, I organized and facilitated a journey of 18 astrologers from four continents to the Pelion region of Greece, Chiron’s mythical homeland. The Chironic Convergence celebrated Chiron’s perihelion or pass closest to Earth in its orbit. It was a “shareshop.” Participants swapped what they’d learned to date about Chiron in a variety of ways that included ritual, chart interpretations, and informal presentations.
What would turn me into such a Chironoholic?
Surely we ask this whenever we fall in love, whether it’s with a man, woman, cat, dog, or mythical creature. “What does she see in him?” we wonder, while karma and the law of dynamic attraction have their way with us. (I swear; I hear them laughing!)
Chiron was an underdog in the astrological community during the first decade or two after its 1977 discovery. Many “serious” astrologers weren’t ready to let some upstart into their orderly system of chart analysis. I have always been a sucker for the underdog (or centaur). I suspect that was part of the initial lure.
Most of all, I had a strong inkling that there was “something there.” Barbara Clow’s book ignited and inspired me. Early on, Chiron was nicknamed the Wounded Healer because of the lingering wound he incurred at a wedding feast. He was accidentally shot by a stray, poisoned arrow from the bow of his most beloved student, Hercules. Immortal, Chiron could not die; he had to soldier on. Despite his pain, Chiron continued to mentor hero after hero, bringing out the best in each of them so they could contribute their special skills to society.
I usually “get it” when “something is wrong with this picture.” The accent was on the wrong syllable. It wasn’t just about Chiron’s wound; it was about helping others become all they could be. If heroes save the day, society can only be revived when we each give our unique gifts, things we do like no one else. Together, each bit of individuality can be woven into a warm quilt of societal wholeness. We do the same thing with inner growth, integrating our unrelated, unique aspects until we’re fulfilled, embodied spirits. Of course, sometimes in the process, this tapestry feels more like a crazy quilt. Then there’s the pain, for which humor and making the best of things is the only antidote.
Soon, I agreed with those who saw Chiron as the missing link in chart interpretation. Chiron was the first astrologer. Modern astrologers have his same mission: to bring out the best in their clients by helping them identify their greatest gifts. Only when we become busy making our unique difference does pain fall into the background. Then we begin to heal ourselves by helping others.
Astrological Chiron confirms the wounds we have to overcome. Our wounds hold the hide-a-key to our healing. Chironic people often serve society thanks to their pain. Example: Candy Lightner’s daughter was killed by a drunk driver. She went on to found Mothers Against Drink Drivers (MADD). MADD’s influence has since led to a 43 percent reduction in US drunk driving deaths. Chiron in your chart will tell you about the pain you need to overcome to deliver the gifts you gained from it. No pain, no gain—as the saying goes.
Chiron is my gift, one that never stopped giving. Recently, I wove twenty years of learning about Chiron into a primer. It’s a meaty and lushly illustrated synthesis called Chiron and Wholeness. Drop by my blog, The Radical Virgo, anytime to learn more about it and read many of my articles on Chiron and other subjects on becoming the best you.
Chiron and Wholeness gives you the essentials on Chiron. I hope it leaves you wanting more. If at least one idea in my e-book gives anyone the goose bumps, I’ll feel like I’ve come full circle.
(written by Joyce Mason for Anne Whitaker to use)
1000 words copyright Joyce Mason 2009
Joyce Mason has been an astrologer for over 20 years and a writer ever since she could hold a pencil. Her astrological specialties are Chiron, the sign of Virgo, and living on the upside of the zodiac. Her trademark is depth with humor. Learn more about Joyce, her two blogs, and her library of articles on topics from A to Zzz (astrology to dreamwork) on her Writer Joyce Mason website: www.joycemason.com.