by Haley Smith
Astrology is one of the most ancient and intricate means of understanding and articulating the human experience. The same sky that we all look up at has reflected back to us the vast interwoven scope of what lies within us and our daily lives, including emotions, higher wisdom, wealth, and soul. A whole lot of soul.
Chiron is one of many asteroids that can be found in the sky, and it is the foundation from which we deepen our connection with our soul.
Mythologically, Chiron’s tale is that of a centaur who lives a life marked by excessive physical and psychospiritual pain.
He’s the son of Cronus – also known as Saturn – and Philyra, a nymph who, upon giving birth to Chiron, was so disgusted by his appearance that she abandoned him.
As if parental rejection weren’t enough, later on, Chiron got shot with an arrow drenched with the blood of Hydra, known for causing wounds that never heal – and this shot was a complete accident wrought by Hercules.
This pain was excruciating. This pain would never heal. This pain was no fault of his own.
And… it was his greatest gift.
You know what Chiron did? He became a dedicated student of his wound.
He delved deeply into his pain – the blood, scarring, shame, pus, tissue, the inevitable stench, and likely the resultant humiliation of being a centaur who couldn’t fully centaur it up.
In his arduous studies, he became more masterful and more wise, more masterful and more wise – until he became a vital reservoir of knowledge for kings and warriors and laymen alike.
Chiron became a leader and teacher to those with the same wound – the ones who needed him most.
Within astrology, Chiron points to your deepest, most fundamental wound, and is a vital link between Saturn and Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto.
Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto are all representative of higher consciousness in all of her expressions – universal love, electric intuition and downloads, ego death, spiritual transformation, necromancy, sex magick – all of the things that we magical folk tend to be able to tap into with great ease.
Saturn, our karmic lord of responsibility, is much more earthly and traditionally a lot less sexy – and a lot more difficult for us magical folk to get down with.
He’s restrictive, pragmatic, emphatically grounded and cold and patriarchal and orderly and no-fun and damn does he have much to teach us about anchoring all of that higher consciousness down into the physical realm.
In my own reflection, and in the work I’ve done with my clients, I’ve noticed a pattern of a strong dynamic between difficult expressions of Chiron, immense trauma, and immense gifts to give to the world.
As the son of Cronus/Saturn and Philyra, Chiron endured unspeakable amounts of shame.
Likewise, we witches and healers have lived lives where we have been shamed, mocked, abused, and betrayed for embodying the truth of who we are. This shame solidifies and imprints itself across generations.
We’ve been raised in a world where the less evolved themes of Saturn run rampant and express themselves in numerous ways – racism, denigration of the feminine, war, transphobia, and environmental degradation are just a few examples of the warped expressions of the Saturnian theme of control.
Centaurs are half-beast, half-human. Chiron represents the call to integrate the shadow – the nonlinear, potently feminine, creative, and animalistic aspect of us that contains so much of who we are – often unbeknownst to us, and often deeply shamed by the human half of who we are.
That human half of us often contains internalized beliefs of shame, restriction, and denial that are all undeniably Saturnian in nature.
Many of us within the occultist community – myself included – want to skip right to all the beautiful, transcendent experiences that Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto bring. Especially among those in the New Age set, this adage reveals itself most notoriously in the “Think positive!” arena – which almost always means “Avoid pain!”
Because of this ingrained message of shame, we end up woefully split – and often spend an imbalanced amount of time dabbling in themes of higher consciousness.
Living within this split means that our enormous potential for magical prowess goes squandered.
But… remember the part of Chiron’s story where he had to deal with the blood, the pus, the scarring, the humiliation of being a wounded centaur?
That’s the key.
The astrological glyph for Chiron is interestingly shaped like a key. ;) image source
That’s the key to gradually weaving together earthly Saturnian themes and those of higher consciousness – two seemingly “separate” realms that are actually in dire need of each other, and that are the key to your empowerment.
The astromyth of Chiron shows us that there is no power nor virtue to be found in bypassing your wound.
By sidestepping the stench of your blood and pus and humiliation, you are essentially sending a message to your unconscious of conditional love – the same Saturnian message you received and embedded to be true.
You are are denying yourself and your world the expanse of the bounty of your magic – the magic that we need from you.
You have to stick your hands right in your wound and be willing to pull out hands turned crimson – and to look at your wound with real, focused love.
This is what Chiron did, and this is the magic of intensive shadow integration. Day in and day out, he attained a deeper understanding of what it meant to live with pain. In doing so, he got free.
And he became the healer that the world needed him to be.
About the Author:
Haley Smith is an astrological consultant, witch, writer, and soul scholar. She empowers clients through astrology readings and essays at Cosmic Counsel, and she’s endlessly jazzed by the notion that furthering self-understanding is fundamental to furthering the collective. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
featured image: art by Mati Klarwein
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