Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chiron: The Search for a Mentor; The Wounded Healer

Chiron's name ("KY-ron") is from Greek mythology, for the centaur who lived on a high mountain, acting as a tutor and teacher to various youths who were to become heroes in their own lifetimes.  Jason, who sought the Golden Fleece, Achilles, near-immortal warrior at Troy, Hercules, strongest man alive, and the musician-poet Orpheus all learned their skills from Chiron.  But Chiron taught (and signifies) values and knowledge; the union of intellect and instinct.  He taught medicine, fighting arts, music and astrology, among other disciplines.  But practically speaking, discipline itself: to show how to change oneself to create a better destiny, a radical transformation of attitude towards life, was Chiron's true purpose.  (The word "chiropractor" comes from his name.)

    Chiron, as a centaur, has bearings towards the sign of Sagittarius, the Archer.   The Archer is indeed a centaur, holding a drawn bow, aimed at a target.  The similarity is no coincidence.  Chiron was the chief centaur, the first of his kind.  He was wounded accidentally by the poisoned arrows that belonged to Hercules.  Chiron’s agony and pain were excrutiating, but he was partially immortal and could not die without permission from the gods.  He voluntarily gave up his immortal life, they granted his request, and at his death, was placed in the sky.

    Chiron is the key to a Cosmic quest for learning higher Universal values to promote growth of our soul by searching for a Teacher.  It is also a search for the way to heal psychological wounds and integrate the lesson into whole-ness.  This is done by blending the skills of a teacher (which is also Sagittarian in nature) and the quest for truth (also Sagittarian) as a separate identity.  Last, consider the glyph, or symbol for Chiron.  It appears to be a stylized key.  It represents an esoteric key or tool to open a door:  the doorway of change in a very personalized search in our lives for answers.  And to find answers, we seek a Teacher, a Mentor, to help us learn those mysteries of Life.  So we find Chiron in our Chart, to help us find what and why and whom we are searching, in that role of a Guide.
    Chiron’s role as a Healer, especially one who has been wounded by another’s unintentional actions, find a concurring role in atypical childhood development.  As mentioned in a prior post, Alice Miller speaks of an early developmental awareness of other people’s pain in her book The Drama of the Gifted Child.  She theorizes that children who are sensitive, compassionate, and emotionally empathic to others often become the focal points of their parent’s disparity as a functioning family unit.  The parent who provides the most nurturing, and therefore acts as a Moon-Ceres role model, transmits to the “Gifted Child” that the adult cannot cope with the stress of raising a child and handling the demands of a family.  The child therefore becomes insensitive to his/her own needs and acts as a support system for the parent, sometimes exchanging psychological roles.  This could be thought of as a child who “grows up old before their time.”  Obviously, there can be many factors for this kind of parental role transference:  financial limitations, the loss of a spouse, patterns of abuse or neglect, or simply an emotional lack of strength.  The result is that the child takes on the painful experiences of the parent and identifies with them as their own, and cuts off their own child-like innocence.

    Chiron’s role here is to allow the grown adult who suffered as the Wounded Child to confront their hidden agendas of pain and resolve the issues that have been buried in the subconscious (symbolized by the Moon and the first impressions by the nurturing parent), and the unconscious (symbolized by the 12th house of retreat, psychological issues, the 4th house of early home awareness, the rulership of the sign Cancer as the 4th sign, and lastly, the 8th house of ‘other people’s values’).  These Wounded Children often grow up to become adult healers in the psychological and therapeutic fields, such as social workers, psychologist-psychiatrists, abuse counselors and nursing-nurturing.  They often are unaware on a conscious level of why they have chosen these avenues, but the need to continue to bring ‘treatment’ still lingers (Chiron also taught knowledge of art, martial arts and music, which has a positive healing virtue of achievement, obviously a factor lacked by the parent).

    The mechanics of Chiron come under various divisions within the chart, apart from the houses.  First, there is the nocturnal or diurnal Chiron.  The nocturnal Chiron can be found in the lower half of the chart, from houses 1-6.  With this placement, Chiron brings on the role of the subjective, psychic nature.  Such a person can be expected themselves to play the role of a mentor, or be more intuitively aware of their Higher Guidance.  They may find themselves playing the role of a friend to a younger person to offer the insight of age and maturity.  Or they may simply be attuned to the need for progressive, significant change in their life for reasons that they are not consciously noticing.  Examples of this Chiron are John Lennon, hailed by millions for the messages he brought through his music, and Mahatma Gandhi, who altered the legacy of the British Empire and his native India with his passive means of non-violent change.

    A diurnal Chiron represents an opposite alignment with the principles of the Centaur planet.  This placement will be in the upper half of the chart, from houses 7-12.  This person may actively seek a teacher, and there will be association with those who will fulfill this capacity.  This search will be underlined by the need for self-transformation, yet it may be set aside until the individual finds in their life a catalyst to signify this change.  The spark of momentum may be an event or ideal to strive for, not just a person's presence.  Examples of this Chiron can be found in the literary work of Carlos Castenada, who wrote of a shaman's journey with psychedelics, or novelist Jack Kerouac.

    Another division of the chart for Chiron's placement can be found in the rising or setting hemisphere.  The rising hemisphere are the 1st-3rd houses/10th-12th houses, or the left side of the chart.  The setting hemisphere are the 4th-9th houses, or the right side of the chart.

    A chart with a rising placement of Chiron shows a person who will exhibit more intuitive and idealistic opportunities of the Chironian nature.  The social and intellectual talents will dominate the materialistic and practical side.  This person may be a better teacher than an actual practitioner of medical arts, or a musical historian or critic of a select period, rather than a virtuoso performer.  This Chiron placement will also indicate a search for a mentor who is dramatic and outstanding in personality, a visible beacon for the worldly seeker's quest.  It is therefore vital for one's chart with a rising Chiron to be wary of those who appear in the guise and mantle of Teacher!  Chiron as a mentor is always charismatic but fair in ethics, following the objectivity of the centaur who taught his mythological students.  The lesson was given for a general, holistic and practical education, to prepare the student for a balance of idealism and practicality.  Left-side Chiron hemispheres are found in charts of controversial figures, such as Aleister Crowley, Uri Geller and former California governor Jerry Brown.

    A setting Chiron placement, on the right side of the chart, indicates a person who seeks a mentor/teacher with a sense of practicality and logical order.  This person would expect the quest for Chiron's truths to be found over the course of a lifetime.  They take the careful examination and repeated effort of trial by experience to study cause and effect, and prepare themselves.

    We can therefore see two sides of the Chironian influence.  The left hemisphere takes on a Uranian quality, of an unexpected, unusual quest for a mentor, and the teachings to follow.  The right hemisphere is more Saturnian, giving the individual the steady, determined outlook in their search for a tutor and truth.  This two-sided concept can be further considered as a measure of the two planets in whose orbit we can most easily find Chiron:  that of Uranus and Saturn.  Astrology operates in triplicity: (3 cardinal/fixed/mutable qualities; 3 fire/earth/air/water elements; 30 degrees in each house; the trine, or three 30-degree arcs as a favorable aspect).  So where is the third side to the Chiron puzzle?  The answer is Neptune, a co-ruler with Jupiter of spiritual seeker Pisces.  (Jupiter also rules Sagittarius, our first awareness of Chiron).  Chiron's orbit takes it near Neptune, which represents the mystical, spiritual side in our chart.  All Chironian quests we face ultimately bring us towards a refinement, an upgrade, based on evolving our soul and the world around us.  This growth, and the desire to achieve it, is directed by a Higher Source.  Mankind's quest to return to our Creator carries the Neptunian illusion, as well as the elevated measure of faith found in that planet's higher vibration.

    Chiron's qualities may also be measured by the elements of fire, earth, air and water.  A fire sign Chiron native approaches his or her destiny as a supreme act of will, and that the search for the truth has a moral obligation that can be found by self-sufficiency and independence.  These individuals can be convinced of their direction by sound, logical reason.  They take their quest as a personal goal, putting their (fire) energy into it with all their might.

    An earth Chiron individual places emphasis on the here and now, with lesser regard for past example or the future.  They seek their quest on the basis for a practical, immediate, tangible destiny, undergoing the transformation with determination, endurance and perseverance.

    An air Chiron categorizes a person whose quest gives them visions of the future, and what may come to pass, if their pursuit of their destiny can be brought to man's attention.  They are impatient with the current flow of thought, and seek ways to bring ethereal dreams into the present way of thinking.  For these people, self-transformation is more on a mental level, to paraphrase, "As a man or woman thinks, so they are."

    A water Chiron brings momentum for the quest on the basis of emotion and feeling.  This person tends to live in doubt, even worry, about the present and future.  For them, the destiny they seek to find is spurred on by mystical, illusionary guidance (with Neptunian emphasis).  Compassion and feelings for mankind, whether good or bad, are crucial to the direction taken to find the key to Universal truth.

    Chiron's influence can also be found in the examples of cardinal, fixed and mutable signs.  A cardinal Chiron indicates a person who has a motivating, personal quest to explore, as well as initiating a course for others to follow.  Others (a mutable Chiron as an example) are likely to sense the originality of such a person and the mission of their destiny, adapt the teaching quality as their own, and then place the initiating cardinal Chiron as their own mentor.

    A fixed Chiron shows steady application as they adapt a plan for self-transformation by a mentor who exhibits transcendental or exemplary objectives to uphold.  The fixed Chiron person will firmly adhere to their quest, as the destiny they seek to accomplish becomes purposeful by endured effort.  They may say, "I can have a dream I wish to see come to life, and I believe that it can be true, as long as I never stop trying."

    A mutable Chiron is the most flexible seeker of the quest for destiny and personal change.  This person may not be consciously aware of the rebuilding of their character, nor may they directly seek it or actively try to sustain it, like their cardinal and fixed counterparts.  Instead, they may feel that it has been a fated destiny, and one that has been influenced by undercurrents of subconscious force.  These people may not understand or realize the magnitude of the results of their personal transformation.  The search for the truth demands a paradox:  crisis is necessary for change; destruction must precede it.

(c) MDLOP8 2010

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