Chiron, The Wounded Healer

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The sun is in applying conjunct with Chiron in Pisces.

Of course you feel like crying.

That’s been my response to the persistent question I’ve fielded from astrology clients the past several days. You are entering a period where your strength shows, and yet the Sun, your ego-consciousness and the heart of who you see yourself to be, is drawing near the inter-planetary asteroid, shining light on the place where you were wounded and have learned to heal yourself and others.

The Greeks knew Chiron to be a centaur, with a legendary ability to heal wounds and raise boys to be heroes. Yet in spite of his incredible powers, he suffered forever from the poisoned barb of one of Herakles’ arrows. His pain and his mission have ever since been intertwined, as he endured his own wound while healing and guiding men to change the course of history.

Among his famous protégés was Asclepius, considered the patron of all healing arts. The origins of this character shed a powerful light on the Wounded Healer’s power, as you will see through the ancient Sicilian poet Pindar’s ode, Pythian III.

But, mark you, she wanted things that were wanting: such things many suffered. There

is a kind among men, most empty, who despising things in hand look after things far away,

hunting with fruitless hope what is borne on the wind. She caught such a great delusion, the

desire of beautiful-robed Koronis: for when a foreigner came from Arkadia she lay in bed.

But she did not escape the notice of the watcher: and although Loxias, king of the temple,

happened to be in sheep-accepting Pytho, he heard, persuading his heart in the presence of

his straightest partner – his mind – which knew all things: he did not fasten himself to lies:

neither a god nor a mortal deceives him, neither by deeds nor desires. And then perceiving

the stranger’s lawless adultery and deceit, those of Ischys son of Eliatus, he sent his raging

sister with irresistible force to Lakeria, since the maid dwelt beside the bluffs of Boebias.

And the hostile daemon turning to evil conquered her: and many of her neighbors had a share,

and at the same time were destroyed, even as much fire on a mountain leaping out of a

single seed lights a forest. But when (her) kinsmen placed the girl on the wooden pyre, and

the furious flame of Hephaestus was running around (her), then Apollo said, “I will no

longer suffer in my soul to destroy my own relation by the most pitiable death of his mother with

deep suffering.” (Pindar, Pythian III, my translation)

To clarify: Apollo took the princess Koronis as a lover. Out of the union, she became pregnant with Asclepius. Apollo disappeared for a time, and left alone with her pain, Koronis had an affair with a traveling foreigner.

When Apollo learned of these events, he sent his sister, Artemis, to destroy the princess and those around her. And yet when Koronis’ body was placed on the funeral pyre, Apollo recognized that his child was still in her womb. His statement, “I will no longer suffer in my soul to destroy my own relation by the most pitiable death of his mother with deep suffering,” indicates that he had had enough. Justice has been served, and his own child should no longer suffer. He removed the infant Ascelpius and then gave him to Chiron to raise. From Chiron’s upbringing, Asclepius became one of the greatest healers of all mythology.

How many of you have encountered the divine, only to feel deserted and alone afterward? I know I have. When I translated this passage years ago, I remember being struck by the deep injustice I felt had been dealt to Koronis all these years. And yet in the end, the god is the one executing some higher order of justice and mercy.

The female of this story succumbs to the great Female Goddess, Artemis. Have you ever felt desperate and inadequate as a woman, pursued by the tormenting arrows of the female archetype from whence you come? Who will ever be good enough to meet the standard of perfect womanhood in the face of a world of injustice?

In the end, Koronis, with all her imperfections, is destroyed. So must our idea of ourselves as women eventually be consumed by divine fire. Yet out of this corpse, the corpse that once felt the touch of the divine, is a seed of potential. The divine knows this, and will entrust your own transformed new life to the part of you that knows how to tend and heal through the pain.

That’s Chiron. The mysterious, mythical, half-animal healer. The healer who received the wound and did not flee the pain.

As the Sun (Apollo) now approaches this great healer, we are reminded of our wounds. We also see our strength. In watery Pisces, the depth of these aspects can feel murky and tearful, but don’t despair. We are greater than this moment. And at our core, through the injustice and inadequacies and hurts, we are very strong. We can change the course of history in the people we raise, tend, and touch. And while we may never fully heal ourselves, we will go on to heal many others.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Gede Prama says:

    Thank you my friend, I am proud to be able to read the writing on your article!


  2. Leslie R says:

    I’m so thankful you can!


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