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-
- Mental illness is a myth.
- 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.
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.