I. Greek Mythos
Chiron was the son of the titan Cronus (Saturn), and Philyra, a sweet and innocent sea-goddess. Cronus’ only interest was his own power and after his violent lust, would often devour his own children for fear of being overthrown by them. Philyra was so disgusted by the memory of Cronus forcing himself upon her, she could not bear to look upon Chiron. She begs the gods to forgive and relieve her, and is transformed into a Linden tree.
Chiron was a half-man, half-horse, but unlike the violent, chaotic Centaurs he identified with his humanity. Apollo found him young and abandoned, and raised him with the kind of love one would expect from the god of music and poetry. Becoming a gifted healer and teacher, Chiron had many students, Dionysus, Achilles, Heracles, Perseus, Odysseus, and Castor and Pollux. He mentored Asclepius, the god of medicine. The Star of Life, with a serpent coiled around a staff, emblazoned on ambulances today, was Asclepius’ symbol. While Chiron held a vast influence within the Greek Pantheon, and was loved by Gods and humans alike, he is mostly remembered today for his death. His final act was one of both self-sacrifice and self-compassion.
He had been struck by an arrow tipped with vile poison extracted from the Lernaean Hydra. Mortals would die from just the scent of the venom. Being immortal, Chiron was then forced to live a life of continuous and severe pain. His own wound was the only ailment which was beyond his power to heal.
Prometheus, another deific friend of Humanity, had been sentenced to eternal suffering by Zeus for stealing fire from Mt. Olympus and gifting it to humankind. He was chained to a rock and feasted upon by a vulture. When the vulture flew away, Prometheus would regenerate and the vulture would return. Transforming his suffering into healing, Chiron chose to trade away his immortality to free Prometheus from his perpetual agony. Zeus then placed Chiron in the sky as the constellation Centaurus. One of these stars, Alpha Centauri, is the closest star to our own solar system.
II. Other Doctrine
Carl Jung believed in the power of the wounded healer. This is the basis of his work on countertransference, the (deleterious if left unacknowledged) effect of the therapeutic relationship on the therapist. You can read my interpretation of this process in more depth here https://wp.me/p9O661-9x
Jung is credited as having said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” We seek our healing, even if unaware of the wound. Our subconscious desire to be healed will direct us towards situations which force our growth until we become brave enough to look at our own woundedness and own it.
The myth of Chiron carries the theme of transformation throughout. Transcending our own personal experience by connecting to the universal suffering and joys experienced by all is a common theme in religion. We can find evidence of our own liminality in all the ancient teachings; in Buddhism, the Tonglen practice and exploration of the intermediate states between Samara and Nirvana; in Hinduism, with the balance of Brahman and Atman; even Christianity, with Jesus shedding his blood to pay for the sins of Humanity. Chiron symbolizes our journey to recognize we straddle the Earth and the Heavens.
2060 Chiron was discovered at Aphelion, the furthest point in it’s orbit from the Sun, in the sign of Taurus, in 1977. First designated an asteroid, then a comet, it is now considered a minor planet. It was the first of a new class of objects whose path through our solar system falls between outer planets. These objects are now known in the Astronomical lexicon as “Centaurs.” The discovery was of even greater impact on the astrological community. Considered the “Rainbow Bridge” between Saturn and Uranus, or our deterministic, base selves, and our transcendent, universal existence. It is now one of the most important objects in one’s natal chart, representing our inner wounds as well as our connection to the collective unconscious pain of existing as individual humans among an otherwise undeniably interconnected consciousness-ruled universe.
The elliptical path of Chiron means it spends unequal times transiting signs, the least amount in Libra, the longest in Aries. This follows logically if you consider Libra as the sign of balance, diplomacy, equality in partnership, and fidelity to social conventions. There’s not much room for introspection, much less the difficult edges of sacrifice vs need here. In Aries, however, the Martian desire to grow at all costs is fertile ground for Chiron to manifest. Becoming all action and instinct, as Chiron moves out of subconscious, dreamy, aloof Pisces into the raw, pure cardinal fire energy of Aries, any work we have hidden from instead of faced will show up in our renewed quest to define our identity.