Chiron in Aries: Healing the Fragmented Self.

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”

Today’s full moon is in Virgo which is under the rulership of Chiron. Chiron himself at 7 ° Aries is involved in a Yod aspect with the Moon and Saturn.

Intuitively I feel that while we may have a longing to break free from restrictive conditions, the restrictions we perceive to be on the outside are also within. Paying attention to our primal emotions (moon) and allowing them to lead us back to the root can illuminate our fears and self-sabotaging tendencies. This process is “chirotic” as it takes us back to preverbal experiences not understood by the mind but expressed in our physical, emotional, and mental bodies.

Relationships are strongly highlighted in this lunar cycle initiated with the Venus Jupiter conjunction at the new moon on 11th February. There is an opportunity to penetrate the mechanics at work in our personal (often unconscious) style of relating and consider if we are getting our moon needs met through dysfunctional, regressive or co-dependent ways.

With moon inconjunct Chiron it can be difficult to identify our habitual ways of acting out as part of our core wounding. With Saturn inconjunct the moon we may feel restricted and judged for expressing our feelings and emotions unconsciously spending a lot of energy trying to repress them while feeling that someone or something is doing this to us.

Chiron is currently moving through Aries where he spends the longest period of time- 8 years. The last time Chiron was in Aries the world, as now, was a shifting reality.

In 1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated (JFK was assassinated five years earlier), students all over the globe were protesting, and Apollo 8 orbited the Moon as the space race reached its crescendo sending the first human to the Moon. On the outer planes rockets explored space while psychonaunts fuelled with psychedelics and visionary ideas opened new frontiers in inner space.

In 1969 Woodstock, billed as an “Aquarian Explosion”, attracted almost half a million people keen to “turn on, tune in, drop out” and find a more authentic root of their “Human-Be-In ness”

Joni Mitchell’s anthem for an increasingly traumatised youth- “Woodstock”- underscored the mood of a world ready to cast off the shackles of Saturn and go beyond the bounds of known reality to a Uranian awakening… some people never came back. This entire movement was itself chirotic as forces from the unconscious rose in protest of ways of being that no longer accommodated the collective need for authenticity, freedom, and a more holistic perspective of the human experience.

For the first time we saw on mainstream media footage of the carnage of war; We witnessed veterans returning from Vietnam in various states of dissociation and fragmentation. As the reverberations of “Shell Shock” were felt far beyond military personnel, collectively we began to acknowledge our own traumas which paved the way to new modalities in depth psychology and alternative spirituality.

Though Chiron remained undiscovered until 1977, in the late 60’s and early 70’s when Chiron was last in Aries, the world is seemed was preparing to cross the “Rainbow Bridge”.

What “Bridge” are we crossing now?

With the discovery of Chiron, the doors of perception while not necessarily cleansed had certainly been thrown wide open and the new age was birthed. Holistic practices, Eastern spirituality, astrology, rebirthing, primal scream therapy, and the anti- psychiatry movement were all instrumental in shaping a new era of soul searching boldly going where no man had gone before (at least not in the modern world). It was a time to rediscover technologies of the soul as the anima mundi- the world soul- Gaia, and countless individual souls were screaming out for healing.

The publication of “The Primal Scream” by clinical psychologist Dr Janov was the voice of the age- a “kairos” moment that demanded attention to human suffering. Janov focused on neurosis caused by repressed trauma from early childhood and one’s upbringing which he called “primal pain,” responsible, he felt, for a cornucopia of ills including mood disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcerative colitis, drug addiction, stuttering, and more.

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”, depicts the terrifying existential angst of a soul in captivity with seemingly no way out.

Coinciding with Primal Scream therapy, the anti-psychiatry movement pioneered by Thomas Szasz, R.D. Laing, and Michel Foucault, among others was taking hold. The premise was twofold-

  1. Mental illness is a myth.
  2. Reasons for disturbed behaviour were considered beyond the individual and reviewed in the context of oppressive system of power. Psychiatry itself was viewed as repressive and controlling.

The movement was fairly short lived though I wonder what those pioneers would make of our current situation.

As Chiron journeys through Aries once more- before reaching his own Chiron return in Taurus in 2027-what layers of consciousness are being unfolded as we spiral onto the next rung of Chiron’s crossing?

According to Astrologer Melanie Reinhart, the Chiron return is a reset moment which can be equated with rebirth. The period of time leading up to the return then can be viewed as the pre-birth or in utero experience. When Chiron reaches his own return in 2027, it is possible and perhaps likely that we will experience a collective rebirth. We know that the energy surrounding the in-utero experience is profoundly important and while there is much disturbance in the environment each of us can create the conditions to consciously midwife ourselves. Shielding ourselves, not from a virus, but from the prevailing toxic energies is crucial. Now conscious of epigenetics we may also have some power in deciding what old patterns are ready to be healed in us and therefore the collective so they don’t carry forward into the birthing process.

On a personal level I am just about to enter my Chiron return in April. I have also worked/ am working with clients who are also about to enter their Chiron return, or are experiencing it now.

We are the Chiron in Aries generation born between 1968-1977, now in middle age crossing a threshold into a new phase of life in which our youth is waning but something else is rising. While the physical luminescence of youth fades an inner light begins to rise and with that the wisdom of age… of being comfortable in our skin and a richness of being that no longer depends on the world’s approval. There is a certain freedom here… it is a force to be reckoned with.

Astrologer Barbara Hand Clow talks of a spiritual awakening…a kundalini rising at the time of Chiron’s return, a time when most women are either in peri menopause or full menopause. Women conditioned to believe that at middle age they are one step away from the scrap heap often attempt to control the aging process rendering themselves vulnerable to manipulation… think of the billions spent on anti-aging products and pharmaceuticals. The rejection of aging is a mass pathology of our culture… though I have long suspected the reason for this has little to do with the prize of youth and more to do with the fear of power that possesses a person who has awakened to their true nature.

Chiron’s medicine heals our deepest wounds, our core wounds, the primal ones that got etched into us at an early, often preverbal age, and beyond that too weaving back into our ancestral field. These wounds are ours and yet they are also more than ours, they surface from the systemic lesions in our kin, bleeding out in behaviours, attitudes, neurosis, beliefs, and repressions of our family of origin, communities, and cultures.

Transforming Chiron wounds serves not only our own healing but can also have a profound effect on others too… and our ancestral lineage. A well-integrated Chiron can be our call to a life of service- Chiron after all is the ruler of Virgo and is connected with the 6th house- the house of service.

As Pharmakon, Chiron knows that the cure is in the poison; as Alchemist he knows the necessity of the Nigredo stage, “the blackening” an ever-deepening descent into the unconscious to find illumination. As Hierophant, Chiron is the conduit between the material and spirit world, the one who knows the rituals, rites, and tools to invoke the divine.

Carl Jung- who had Chiron in Aries- coined the phrase, “The wounded healer” which has now become synonymous with Chiron. In Jung’s definition it refers to a need of the analyst to heal others because he or she is wounded. This interpretation focuses on the part of Chiron’s myth where a poisonous arrow shot to his thigh causes a wound that can never heal but facilitates his mastery of the healing arts. Chiron  passes on these skills and technologies to many young heroes and demigods including Achilles and Hercules.

The sometimes-overlooked part of Chiron’s mythology is his initial core wound of rejection at birth by his mother, Philyra, who horrified to discover that she has given birth to a horse/human hybrid wants nothing to do with him. The Chiron wound points to the places we may actually have been, or where we felt rejected. This is particularly strong with Chiron in Aries as rejection can be felt as a fundamental denial of the self and one’s very identity.

In healing our Chiron wounds- which I believe is possible- we get to choose consciously to be a healer rather than being driven by compulsion to try and heal our wounds through others… sometimes becoming the scapegoat or the sacrifice in the process. While our wounds remain unconscious, we are vulnerable to a host of abuses and manipulation.

As part of the Chiron in Aries generation I have been reflecting on my own wounds and also on the collective wounds. I’ve been wondering about the implications of experiencing the Chiron return in these “critical times”. Initially as I talked with others, I was stuck by phrases such as, “a raging fire that I don’t know what to do with”, or “ I just feel so angry”, or “I cannot handle the authority and being told what to do”. My initial thought was that experiencing the Chiron return during this time was above all a call to the Sacred Warrior archetype … even more so in Mars ruled Aries.

As I near my own Chiron Return, I realise without a doubt that whether the call is to the “Sacred Warrior”, “The “Shaman, “The Healer”, or any other archetype involved with Chiron, there is first the task of integrating ourselves before taking our place in the world as a beneficent influence.

Chiron’s blessing if we are able to accept it restores the fragmented parts of ourselves back to wholeness.

The Chiron return is a soul retrieval, it is the crossing between what we consciously acknowledge (our ego) and the parts of us that lay in the outer reaches of consciousness, both dark and light. The journey to integration can be painful and there is a danger of refusing the call by checking out into addictions and other self-denying behaviours. But… if we can open to the opportunity we are guided in a rare and sacred opportunity to become who we were always meant to be.

Rumi says,

Sorrow… it pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.

Are you part of the Chiron in Aries group?

I am offering a seven-week Chiron in Aries support group beginning on the Aries new moon on  12th April and running until 24th May. The sessions are via Zoom and includes group participation, exploring particular charts, handouts, notes, and recommended reading. Please contact me if you would like to join.

 

 

Hygeia: Reclaim Your Body

Hygeia by Peter Paul Rubens

Yesterday as the moon reached her peak, asteroid Hygeia merged with Luna in a tight conjunction at 9 ° Leo.

Hygeia, goddess of health is involved with maintaining good health through right living and connection to nature. Daughter of Asclepius, god of medicine, whose father and mother are Apollo and Coronis, Hygeia comes from a long line of healers associated with the serpent mysteries of renewal.

Robert Graves suggests that Coronis’ mythology represents the suppression of medical practice by women and its transference into the hands of the patriarchy which I feel is worthy of consideration in light of ongoing medical dispute.

Where, we might ask, is the voice of the wise woman in this wrangle?

Yesterday I had a conversation with my father who shared with me his experience of visiting his doctor who suggested that he start taking vitamin B12 supplement. My father informed her that he was already taking B12 and had been for some time. This apparently surprised her, and she wanted to know what had caused my father to do that.

My father’s exchange remined me of my own experience last year- I don’t often visit doctors but after a self-examination, I noticed something potentially concerning and decided to get it checked out. The female doctor asked me how I had come to know about the issue, and I told her I’d discovered it through self-examination. She was surprised… and almost cross; she demanded to know why I had carried out a self-examination as if I had no right to intimate access of my own body.

In that moment I collided with the shadow of entitlement at the core of allopathic medicine. The belief that we are ignorant to the workings, needs and spirit of our bodies is conditioned into us from early childhood, and before that in the womb where for the most part our mothers succumbed to often detrimental birthing practices.

It is this shadow of entitled authority that expects people to comply without question with procedures such as mass vaccination. These expectations are reinforced by government and other authorities who strongly advise consent. Whether the strong advice turns into enforced obligation is a very real question of our time.

In the myth of Coronis, when Coronis is pregnant she falls in love with a mortal man which enrages Apollo who ends up killing both her and her lover. As she lay burning on her funeral pyre, Apollo performs the first caesarean section by cutting baby Asclepius from her womb thus saving him from certain death. For Graves, the death of Coronis heralds a point when wisdom originally carried by the wise woman now passed only from father to son.

In the hands of the wise woman health is a holistic, multi-dimensional state of being, an interplay between body, mind, and spirit, with cause and effect reaching far beyond the temporal world. The wise woman knows that it is our vital spirit and care of it that nurtures health and wellbeing. Health is fostered by inter relational wellness and harmony with our family/community and environment, and of course ourselves. There is much that can be done to keep spirit alive and embodied which does not involve allopathic medicine. In the wise ways we know that we are connected to the web of life and understand the transformative processes of renewal. Ritual and observing the natural thresholds of life aid us in healthy development and the ability to integrate evolving consciousness. In preparing for death we are freed into life.

Recent events have highlighted more than ever how we have given too much power to the medical establishments in matters of health… we have been indoctrinated to believe that our bodies are the property and responsibility of medical experts. It appeared as if we had no choice in the matter and for the most part, we didn’t think to question it. We accepted as part of normal life, the routine check-ups, the inoculations, the prescription medicines, and the surgical procedures. We accepted the diagnoses of our doctor gods as incontrovertible. We were intimidated by remote science clad language and the superior detachment of many health professionals (please note, I am not implying that all health professions are remote and detached, and neither am I implying that all medical procedures and allopathic medicine are bad).

At school we were, after a very crude fashion, taught sex education. Wooden phalluses and copulating primates explained nothing of the exquisite sensitivity and confusion in our budding sexuality and changing bodies. There was no initiation or rites of passage except for the often-destructive self-initiation we put ourselves and each other through. We died of humiliation and shame. And maybe it is that shame of our bodies and our lack of connection to them that led to the slow but sure dissociation which primed the way for the professionals to take over.

So out of touch did we become from our bodies that we did not know what foods to eat to keep us healthy, what herbs to use to heal, or what practices to adopt to promote physical and spiritual integration… none of this was taught at school and rarely by our poor indoctrinated parents.

We forgot that dancing and singing and star gazing and belly laughing and river swimming and campfires and praying and dying and being reborn and truth and integrity and emotional release and forgiveness and nights without light and the wild, wild spirit and the contractions that gives way to the birthing of great art and touching the void and stepping out of time and space and holy pain and the heartbreak that leads to God and the spirit messengers of illness and discovering our true name and the changing of the seasons and ceremony and the swirling of the cosmos and our part in it are some of the wisdom keys to unlocking good health.

As Hygeia and Luna conspire to shed light onto the processes of renewal, an invitation this lunar cycle through Aquarius is to reflect on how in or out of touch we are with our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health. It is also an invitation to review how and where we have given ourselves away at the most fundamental level of being.

In claiming sovereignty of our physical bodies we also claim sovereignty for our lives and our Selves on the most profound level.

As mystic and liberated soul William Blake reminds us,

“Enlightenment means taking full responsibility for your life”.

Spica & the Witches Well

Image by John Duncan

Friday 16 October, New Moon at 23 degrees Libra

New Moon Insights: What will it take for you to own your witch?

Today in the ancient part of the city of Edinburgh, my mother and I visited ‘Witches Well’ on Castlehill in the precincts of Edinburgh castle.

A cast iron plaque made by Celtic revivalist John Duncan in 1894 depicts the faces of evil and healing turned against each other while a serpent -a creature embodying both wisdom and poison-slithers between the two. Above the heads is foxglove, a potent medicinal plant capable of curing or killing.

The site of the well marks the place where 300 people- mainly women- were burned at the stake for suspected witchcraft. King James VI, the ruling monarch of the time harshly punished any activities thought to be connected with the dark arts. In reality many of women were tortured for being a bit different, eccentric, or knowledgeable in herb lore and other natural magic.

Five times more witches were burned in Scotland than any other country in Europe and 32% of Scottish witches came from the Lothians.

To be there with my mother whom I have not seen in a few years on this balsamic moon felt significant. Our own relationship has been painfully challenged…  we carry in our female line that which has the power to destroy or to heal. Both of us have at times been crushed under the weight of our shared trauma… and yet today we are choosing to heal.

I think of all those women, of all women, in various states of embodiment, of owning and disowning themselves, remembering and forgetting themselves, rising and falling. I think of the power they hold to transmute poison into medicine.

A few days ago, the question came to me… What will it take for you to own your witch?

Tomorrow the new moon is conjunct Spica, the brightest star in the Virgo constellation, revered by the ancient Egyptians who aligned temples to her. Spica is thought to be one of the most fortunate stars, associated with religious and spiritual qualities. According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Venus and Mars- a rare blending of masculine and feminine. The warrior. The power of the actualising masculine principle channelled through the feminine principle. The power to create from spirit- the witch.

Spica is placed in the wheat sheaf in the left hand of the Virgo constellation, physically representing harvest and symbolically representing the alchemical act of transforming spirit into matter.

I see this new moon as potent time to channel and transmute poison into medicine. The ability to do so lies within ourselves when we make a conscious choice to heal and reclaim ourselves as autonomous and powerful beings, aware of what we are creating or destroying in our lives.

 Hurt and pain then become the Prima Materia, the raw material, from which we birth a new vision.