Chariklo’s Love: Healing the Pain of “I Am”

1-take-a-bow-yolanda-holmon

Painting- I take a Bow by Yolanda Holman

A big part of Chiron’s medicine and particularly when Chiron is in Aries is the healing of the Self. Aries boldly proclaims, “I AM!” while Chiron points to our deepest wounds- Chiron in Aries therefore indicates a wound to the Self on a core level. In this case the Chirotic journey is about healing through claiming, or reclaiming of the Self.

Chiron wounds are of a particular quality, they seem to permeate the body and seep into our mind becoming etched in our soul as distorted identity signatures. In working with the Centaurs there is often a thread of ancestral pain weaving through the generations and like puppets on a string it can feel like forces beyond our grasp are controlling our lives. This is a deep programming that needs to be excavated and released before we are finally free from the past. The Chiron return is an initiation that facilitates this process if we are open to it.

Collectively too there is trauma-based conditioning that affects whole generations of people… what will be the long-term effect of children born in the current Chiron in Aries group? The last Chiron in Aries group, particularly in the US, were born into a society in the grip of an increasingly brutal and shadowy war, racial violence and protests, and covert government social experiments. These psychic legacies infiltrate the collective consciousness shaping our societies and form the matrices that influence, either positively or negatively, our shared reality.

The pain of reclaiming the Self is the pain of “I Am”.

Recently a Chiron in Aries woman referred to herself as “Marmite”, and I knew exactly what she meant… not everybody loves her, and yet, she, like many of us are finding a way through the pain of “I AM” and learning to stand proudly in who we are regardless of whether we are liked, accepted, or approved of.  No matter how strong the individual, wounds of rejection run deep in our human need to belong; to leave the comfort and acceptance of the tribe and set out on the hero’s or heroine’s journey is no small undertaking. To see it through is a great achievement, it is the liberation symbolised in the Grail mythology… the Grail being the sacred vessel of the Self.

When it comes to reclaiming the Self we are essentially alone in our quest as we strive to release the heavy baggage of shame, guilt, not being good enough, being wrong, bad, faulty, less than, unworthy, mad, as well as many other denizens of self-loathing and sabotage.

The keys of Chiron can birth us into being our own loving parents who may have been sadly absent; the unconditional lover who never showed up because we were busy sending a message to the world that we are undeserving and unlovable. In the highest expression of Chiron’s initiation we become our own beloved loving ourselves unconditionally, recognising and cherishing our sacred divine essence.

From this state of grace no one can dislodge us from our seat of power.

This magical transformation is seen in the myth of Chiron specifically through the unconditional love and devotion offered by his wife Chariklo. If we accept Chariklo as an archetype existing on the inner planes and not an outside influence (although she can be), she is a symbol of the unconditional love that we finally uncover in ourselves.

Originally a naiad or water nymph, Chariklo shapeshifted into a Centaur so that she could become one with Chiron. For Chiron, this gesture of devotion is utterly healing and transmutes the initial wound of rejection by his mother.

In his book on Chiron, Zane Stein says,

Here was a woman who not only accepted his centaurean form, totally, completely and without judgment, but actually saw him as beautiful and willingly took his form herself so that she could be close to him. How could he not love her back with all of his being? And his unconditional love was the beginning of his healing, from that first deep wound of his mother’s rejection.

When go through the sometimes-excruciating pain of “I Am” and learn to love ourselves unconditionally, we activate our inner Chariklo. Of course it is wonderful if another person sees and loves us so deeply, but the true marriage is within. It is only by discovering union with ourselves on the deepest level that we can accept an outer union of the same depth.

The fact that Chiron is able to transmute the poison of rejection through Chariklo’s love speaks of our journey to wholeness when we finally realise that all the shame and self-loathing we have been carrying was a projection from the outside, and sadly often from our families of origin and communities. Chariklo’s love is the panacea needed to discover that the greatest love of all is found in the exquisite healing relationship with ourselves.

The Chiron return at around age 50 is the threshold over which we can begin the journey of self-reclamation. The Chariklo return at age 63 is in its highest expression an opportunity to radiate our love from a sphere of wholeness that is neither weakened or diminished by sharing our unique gift with others.

Are you part of the Chiron in Aries group born between April 1968 -April 1977?

If so, perhaps you would like to join me on a seven-week odyssey with a band of fellow travellers exploring the myth of Chiron and discovering how he operates in your life… and asking the question: what does it mean to experience the Chiron return during these times?

Chiron in Aries: Reclaiming the Self in a Time of Awakening begins on the Aries new moon on April 12, 2021 through to May 24th.

You can send me a message if you’d like to find out more, or if you would like a Chiron/Chariklo focused astrology reading.

The Dark Dance

MK Ultra Image

In 2017 Scottish born Choreographer Rosie Kay produced a dance piece called MK Ultra– which has been described as a “thoroughly researched exploration of the rise of the Illuminati conspiracy in modern culture with filmmaker Adam Curtis’ documentary elements to create a new kind of dance work.”

Although the piece was on tour four years ago, the subject matter seemed to pre-empt an explosion in conspiracy theories about to come out of the closet and divide an entire populace. In case you are not aware, MK Ultra was a secret CIA operation developed to carry out mind control and behavioural modification experiments on an unsuspecting American Public from the early 1950’s to the early 1970’s. Much of the information has now been declassified and can be easily found through a simple search on Wiki… although most of the documents were destroyed in 1975. While the experiments apparently stopped in the early 70’s many people believe the project and others like it continue in ever more sophisticated forms and is particularly prevalent within the pop industry…hyper sexualisation being one of the chief features.

MK Ultra the show toured all the big theatres in the UK, receiving rave reviews in mainstream publications such as the Guardian and The Evening Standard. High school kids at GCSE level were interviewed about their thoughts on MK Ultra and some of the comments were used in the production… teenagers were encouraged to see the show. What I find interesting is that while most of the population were unaware of MK Ultra, the show easily entered mainstream performance & Art. When asked, many of the audience said they didn’t know if there was any truth to the story but had enjoyed a vibrant and dynamic performance, nonetheless. Ms Kay said she had taken her research ‘with a pinch of salt’.

The intention of this post is not to debate the truth or untruth of a continuing MK Ultra, but to consider the cultural phenomenon of a society divided between a growing number of people known as ‘truthers’, and those who refuse to tolerate what they consider to be ridiculous, crazy nonsense. There’s not much middle ground here it would seem, and this is reflected in the disparity between only a small section of society even knowing about MK Ultra and the show becoming a box office hit. I think that’s quite odd.

Whether MK ultra continues to brainwash society, or the experiments did indeed stop 50 years ago, I am in no position to say but from a psycho-spiritual perspective a deep strata in the human psyche has been awakened and is now alive in our consciousness.

There is much I could say about this… I’ve been looking into MK Ultra and other ‘black ops’ as part of my Chiron in Aries in research. But more personally, in 2012 I came within the orbit of these so-called conspiracy theories in a very real way when I was asked to help a woman who was ‘waking up’ from her programming. Through getting to know her and her husband I was ‘educated’ in the details of the operation; I met other women claiming the same thing. It blew my mind. The events and experiences of that time took me down a deep rabbit hole… I got lost in the mystery for years. I found no resolve, resolution, or answers to explain the experiences of these women and consequently my own experiences. Instead I was led on an incredible journey into a mysterious realm where things were not as they seemed and reality was not, as typically presented, a single thread but a multi-dimensional tapestry.

Perhaps these anomalous phenomenon have always existed, manifest in the Gnostic Archons, the Jinn of Islamic theology, or UFO’s, crop circles and alien implants- I am thinking here about the books written by Whitley Strieber and his remarkable account of alien communion. American college professor Jeff Kripal takes this on in his book with Strieber- The Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained.  But the paranormal, black ops, and the supernatural are still relatively unexplored territory. I am guessing the reasons for this are 1. Because it’s so vast; 2. It is met with ridicule and not taken seriously… and people don’t want to be labelled crazy; 3. It is so hidden; 4. Our culture insists on the scientifically proven;  5. The unknown has always been feared with the gap liable to be filled with fantastic images from the human unconscious; 6. There is a very real danger of getting lost/going mad in the uncontained and endless space.

But we are curious. Is it not compelling to hear accounts of people who have crossed over to the other side, sailed even for a moment on the great abyss and lived to tell the tale?  

One day I will write about my own experiences- I know they changed me. I am grateful for developing a symbolic and shamanic perspective, it has allowed me to journey with this material much more deeply and richly that I might have done if I had chosen one side of the fence or the other. I came to realise that things can be both real and not real, that there can be a difference between what is real and what is based in reality… reality being consensual.

It is in the fertile middle ground of the imaginal that I have most benefitted from this anomalous and frankly intense experience. The MA in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred programme at Canterbury Christ Church university was hugely beneficial to this regard; these subjects were not shied away from and in fact a whole module was dedicated to the exploration of such phenomenon. I know some people might disagree but for me the way to approach this strange territory is with a symbolic perspective; literalism and overly rational left-brain thinking doesn’t seem to take one very far. Neither it seems does fear where we can become paralysed or easily triggered.  

Still, Rosie Kay just went right in there and made a dance piece which I think was a bold move. Then again, maybe she was somewhat protected by her scepticism… or perhaps she wasn’t so sceptical afterall.

Here is a clip of the show-

The Warrior, The King, & The Lover.

king-arthur-C.E. Butler

 

On the full moon on 28th March at 19.48 GMT, the Sun will be at 8 degrees of Aries conjunct Chiron and Venus also at 8 degrees of Aries.

The Sabian Symbols are a set of 360 phrases and interpretations written by Marc Edmund Jones in 1953 that correspond with each of the 360 degrees of the wheel of the zodiac. Words and images convey the inner meaning of each degree making the Sabian symbols a creative resource when working with astrology.  

The symbol for 9 Aries  (round up to the next degree) is-

PHASE 9 (ARIES 9°): A CRYSTAL GAZER.

KEYNOTE: The development of an inner realization of organic wholeness.

When the Sun is in Mars ruled Aries, the Warrior archetype is active. In archetypal psychology the Sun is the Self around which the other planets orbit (other parts of the psyche). The duty of the Warrior is to protect the Self; by nature the Sun/King is generative, fertilizing, and benevolent. The wisdom of the good King resides in the heart and is fully connected to the mind and mental faculties.

In many fairy tales and myths such as the Grail legends, the story begins with a sick, wounded, or lame King- a symbol that the Self as organising principle is not functioning properly indicating that other aspects of the psyche are in control. The Wasteland is a symptom of the wounded King, the land is devastated, laid bare, nothing grows… if the King is wounded all are wounded.

The image of King Arthur and his 12 Knights of the Round Table is a beautiful mandala symbol of the the psyche’s wholeness where Knights/Warriors are operating in full concordance with a central unifying and fertilizing principle- the King. Each of the Knights in his way must endure trials, tests, and challenges to be brought to the level of excellence required to serve the Crown. In reality this is the long tender, often painful process of refining the personality and overcoming the demons of ego.

When the ego runs amuck and assumes superiority over the Self there is sickness and imbalance. A sign of this is seen in a lack of generative energy, vitality, and creativity. Poverty, inertia, and over rigidified control are just some of the signs of a wounded King. When this happens, dysregulated aspects need to be slayed (with compassion) to allow the true harmony of the Self to flourish. The King himself must also to be periodically sacrificed to make way for a new King- we see this in the Celtic ritual of the Holly King and the Oak King, or in the myth of the Corn King- in the natural world this reflects the cycles of life, death, and renewal.

The shadow King is the tyrant or weak King; Warriors working on his behalf are ego aspects that have taken over the true Self or essence. Inflation is another downfall of the shadow King, for the good King works for the benefit of all and not only for himself.

If a culture is not thriving and the people are sick, this is a sign that the central organising principle-the King is also sick.

The King archetype exists in women as well as men, in both it is a generative energy with the capacity to protect what one knows to be true; fertilizing the new and ensuring harmony among the people, which can be read as coherence between body-mind-spirit. The journey to Kinghood for men and women, which is another way of describing maturity or individuation is a tough call and usually does not happen without sacrifice.

Chiron on the same degree of the Sun offers the possibility of healing fragmentation restoring the Self… who are those renegade parts of ourselves operating from the shadow or wounded King and what needs to happen in order for them to be brought back to the round table? 

The answer may simply be to ask what ails them, or whom they serve.

Presiding over the coronation this full moon is the Goddess Venus, magnetising to her all that is needed to set the house in order and create a heart centred space. Like the ever-benevolent Queen in true harmony with the good will of the King, Venus bestows forgiveness, pleasure, joy and offers inspired ways of bringing together that which has split apart, with kindness and forgiveness.

In this scenario the King, Queen, and Warrior are all on board with the life-giving principle of Eros.

Questions to consider this full moon:  

How aware are we of our inner organising principle, is all of us on board with our goals and dreams and are they born of our Kingly Self, or are renegade Warriors running the show and protecting the ego?

Do we have our Kingdom in order- how organised are we. Are we able to put conditions in place to successfully achieve our goals?

Is our speech and conduct in alignment with the vision of our higher self. Are we impeccable with our word?

What parts of ourselves do we need to bring home across the bridge of Chiron and into the arms of Venus?

Chiron: Bridging the Gap of Cognitive Dissonance

Image by Kelly McKernan.

Mars is the ruler of war and warriorship, when Chiron who is involved with healing fragmentation and claiming the true self is in Mars ruled Aries, things are likely to get heated in the quest to integrate disparate realities.

Cognitive dissonance is a mental state caused when cognition- beliefs, thinking, perception, etc. is not reflected in our behaviour and external realities. Collective dissonance is when the external reality is at odds with the feelings and experiences of sections of society. Forced compliance behaviour is one of the main causes of cognitive dissonance, such as being forced to comply with ethics or beliefs that go against our values. In societies where it becomes increasing difficult to challenge authority or social norms the tendency is to turn the conflict inward, or out to our communities leading to the fracturing of the individual, society, or both. Under these circumstances protest is likely

On 10th March 2021, the Home Office issued an updated Policy Paper on protests- Police, Crime, Sentencing and Court Bill 2021: Protest Powers Fact Sheet, in which an official is recorded as saying,

“Ever since the first large-scale Extinction Rebellion protest in April last year I have been talking publicly and with the government about the potential for change to powers and to legislation that would enable the police to deal better with protests in general given that the act that we work to – the Public Order Act – is now very old, [dating to] 1986”.

Clause 1 of the policy sates,“The measures in the Bill will allow the police to take a more proactive approach in managing highly disruptive protests causing serious disruption to the public.”

In researching the period of history when Chiron was last travelling through Aries- between 1968- 1977 it has become clear that the first decan of Aries (1-10 degrees) is a political and social hotspot for the Centaur. Social unrest, protest, war, government manipulation, collective shadow, mass distraction, assassination, and a radical shift in consciousness all underpin Chiron’s placement in early Aries… not just in the last Chiron in Aries transit during the extremely turbulent late sixties and early 70’s but also in the previous Chiron in Aries cycle 1918- 1926.

An example of collective dissonance was in the summer of 1969 (Chiron at 6 Aries) when the horror felt by many Americans in relation to the Vietnam war was offset by pride and patriotism inspired by the Apollo moon landing. For many there was a deep distrust of the government who were exposed as lying to the American people, and yet it was a momentous occasion that placed the United States as winner of the space race. As the country was still recovering from the shock of the assassination of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, for a jaded youth the possibility of dissociation through psychedelics and getting high at Woodstock was an seductive invitation to drop out.

At the outbreak of the covid-19 epidemic on 31st December 2019 when the World Health Organisation (WHO) was informed about a number of cases of what was thought to be pneumonia was reported in Wuhan Chiron was at 1 Aries. On 12 January 2020, it was announced that a novel coronavirus had been identified as the cause of the outbreak and by the time of the launch the vaccination for COVID-19, Chiron had moved into 4 degrees Aries.

Despite many people including a large number of health professionals who did not believe that masks offer any protection against the virus, the wearing of masks was nevertheless mandatory. This along with other enforcements during the pandemic caused individual and collective dissonance.

Chiron’s medicine is the panacea for healing cognitive dissonance, it helps us to claim our authentic selves bringing us into wholeness though integration of the shadow and light, conscious and subconscious. Synthesis requires vigilance and a willingness to confront the truth no matter how painful.  It is not always easy for humans in our modern material culture to face the darker aspects of life… and yet while we do not, they run us a mock and the expression of the shadow is writ large.

Between the orbit of Saturn and Uranus Chiron is the bridge between the limitations of our personal and cultural worlds and the transpersonal or collective realm influenced by powers beyond our control. Uranus, the great awakener, and liberator offers release from the vice like grip of Saturnian oppression. Crossing the bridge between these two states requires untangling from worldly illusions created by ourselves or others which impede our true expression, or as Jung calls it individuation. Reclaiming the truth of who we are individually and collectively exposes the falsity and illusion that we have either presented or accepted as reality.

Events such as the Harvey Weinstein case (Chiron at 1 Aries) sent ripples of anger through the collective because it touched our deepest personal wounds. The merging of the collective and personal shadow opens a channel for catharsis when for a brief moment attention is given to issues that have been long festering in the collective psyche. But there is a danger here of the energy being co-opted by forces and powers that use the emotional charge to fuel other agendas and propaganda. The subtle illusion of the issue is in the appearance of things being “dealt with” while in reality only the surface is being scratched. That’s why the same themes surface in an almost constant loop, though each time they do we are presented with an opportunity to penetrate things more deeply and see more clearly. But while we remain unconscious of our wounds, we are vulnerable to manipulation at the drop of a news headline or traumatic image.

At the heart of these complexities is a prevailing dissonance- we arrest Harvey Weinstein and countless woman open up to tell their story of sexual abuse and harassment in the #MeToo campaign. We continue to watch Hollywood movies that depict sexual violence offering no recourse to a deeper engagement with the issues presented… in short, we normalise it. That’s just on screen… since the arrest of Weinstein many women involved with Hollywood have come forward to expose the institutionalised misogyny at the heart of the industry. On the silver screen perhaps more than anywhere we live out the fractures of duality… good guys/ bad guys, and sometimes the ones who are meant to be good are the bad guys and the picture’s not so clear. But Hollywood is not an adequate receptacle for our shadow, it’s a hall of smoke and mirrors… as indeed is the whole of mass media.

The most recent event to send shock waves through the collective is the murder of Sarah Everard at the hands of a Metropolitan police officer. People who believe that the police force are operational at least in part to protect society- an image that is fast unravelling- are naturally horrified by this. Adding fuel to the fire of society’s unhealed wounds around safety and abuse of power is the police handling of female protestors who gathered yesterday in a vigil for Sarah Everard. On Mothering Sunday as men and women honour mothers and the Mothering principle, a sense of vulnerability, anger and shock coloured the day.

The reaction to Sarah Everard’s death is complex, there is bold talk of “putting a stop to this threat to women once and for all” but so far there is no proposal of how this might come about. One measure to ensure the safety of women against violence might involve more social control, and age-old technique of problem, solution that sometimes has other less tangible motivations in the mix. Failing that it would take a shift of consciousness and not just a media buffered campaign with a hash tag and a slogan.

While it was no doubt cathartic for women to share their history of sexual abuse and harassment in #MeTo, and while Hollywood as an industry of corruption was exposed, I wonder how deep the healing went. Alongside the campaign a proportion of men voiced their concerns at feeling attacked as the shadow masculinity fell under scrutiny. I noticed the same reaction rising in the wake of Sarah Everard’s death too. There is a disturbance in the field of our most intimate lives as the ancient wound of the masculine and feminine is repeatedly re-opened.

And yet, on the same day of Sarah’s murder, the University of Manchester issued a statement advising against the use of gender specific terms at all. Terms such as man/woman, mother/father, his/hers, etc are encouraged to become obsolete. On the one hand we are polarised and fractured precisely and obviously on account of gender while on the other hand we are being asked to move away from gender distinctions all together. Will rape and sexual harassment diminish in a gender-neutral society? Are women less likely to be abused if they renounce their womanhood? Here is another obvious case of cognitive dissonance.

It is our job to be vigilant and alert in how we respond to the heady cocktail of information and disinformation that is constantly filtered through the multiplex of society. If we are personally triggered by worldly events it is a clear indication of where our individual wounds lie, and there’s a good chance our personal wounds overlap with the collective- this is Chiron’s territory. In healing our own wounds we are in a stronger position to be part of society in positive and empowered ways. The problem with cognitive dissonance is that when it becomes too much, we simply switch off and become incapable of critical thought. Obviously from here we are easily led and all too easily hand our decision-making power to outside agencies.

The influence of these collective authorities is powerful and when through manipulation or coercion the collective unconscious is recruited in support of the cause, dissent is treated with contempt and sometimes violence.

Chiron reconnects us with our instincts giving us the opportunity to tune in with our true selves and discern what is real for us. Chiron is a bridge across which we learn to trust ourselves and stand confidently in who we are.

The Age of Pegasus: Winged Horse and Spirit Guide to the Stars

Pegasus by Artist Laura Jeanne.

 “At the end of this cosmic age Vishnu will change into a white horse and create a new world. This refers to Pegasus, who ushers in the Aquarian Age.”

~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 607

The new moon on 13th March at 10.21 am GMT, is at 23 Pisces 3’, closely conjunct two of the fixed stars in the Pegasus constellation-

  • Sadalpheratz 23 Pisces 02’
  • Markab 23 Pisces 28’

The precession of the astrological ages occurs as a result of the constellations and their fixed stars moving forward through the degrees of the zodiac at about one degree every 72 years. Whatever fixed star is at zero degrees Aries is known as the “Star of the Age”.

Fixed star “Scheat” in the Pegasus constellation is currently the “Star of the Age”, and the last star on that point was also in Pegasus.

According to Astronomers we don’t technically enter the Age of Aquarius for another few centuries.

In his book on Chiron, Zane Stein says,

“Due to the precession of the Earth’s axis, part of the tropical sign Pisces currently coincides with part of the sidereal constellation Pegasus, and the 24th degree of the tropical sign happens to be the location of the fixed star 51 Pegasi […] the first Sun-like star found to have a planet orbiting it. The planet around the star has been given an official name, Bellerophon, after the Greek hero who tamed Pegasus, the winged steed,”

~Chiron Healer and Wholemaker, p. 421

In mythology Pegasus is the winged horse that is born from the severed head of the gorgon Medusa who was impregnated by the sea god Poseidon. Pegasus is connected with poetic inspiration, brilliance of mind, ingenuity, and a certain blind faith.

When the hoofs of Pegasus touched the ground on Mount Helicon (which means spiral), four sacred springs were formed. From the springs the nine Muses, goddesses of inspiration were born. The muses reigned over the liberal arts and sciences, and in particular poetry.

An engraving from a painting by Italian artist Baldassarre Peruzzi (1481-1536)

Pegasus may well be the leap of consciousness needed to transcend the Age of Pisces and move into the Age of Aquarius, however as with many stories involving the gods there is a caution in the tale…

When the young prince from Corinth named Bellerophon wished to ride Pegasus, he had to call upon the help of the gods to do so, as no mortal could ride the magical Pegasus from his own volition. The goddess Athena touched by the Prince’s devotion gifted him a golden bridle that would entice Pegasus to be tamed. Bellerophon and Pegasus had many wonderful adventures together including slaying the Chimera. In time Bellerophon became bold and in his hubris wished to visit the gods on Mount Olympus. And so, against the better judgement of Pegasus, they set off to call upon the gods in their lofty abobe. Zeus who was watching from above saw what was happening and sent a fly to disturb Pegasus who startled and threw off his rider. Injured and desolate, Bellerophon wandered the earth in search of Pegasus but never found him again. Pegasus on the other hand travelled freely between the heavens and Earth and was welcomed on Mount Olympus. Favoured by the gods he was eventually turned into a constellation.

The boundaries in such great epochs are wide, the transition is a long gradual process, so the energy of Aquarius is already with us. The Astronomers are far more scientific in their approach. I love the symbol of Pegasus carrying us from one age to another, and in himself a very powerful symbol. The horse (instinct) with wings (spirit) are in alignment, the part that needs attention is the Rider (the ego). I feel we acknowledge Pegaus within ourselves, healing the splits- for me that is what this time is about for the individual and the cllective.