Article by Gonzalo Romero
This is an article about the current transit of Chiron in Aries, and the Chiron archetype in general. References are made and some few quotes are included in the article relating to some metaphysical and psychological aspects of the archetype, some of which have not to my knowledge been referenced very much in the astrological literature. The article came out a bit lengthy and has the following parts: Introduction / The Myth of Chiron / Chiron discovery chart / Chiron and Individuation / Chiron and body-mind integration / Chiron and Narcissism / Carl Jung and the Wounded Healer / The Nodes of Chiron / Chiron in Aries
Introduction – Chiron in Aries
Chiron is transiting the Sign of Aries since February 2019 (with a brief prior stay in Aries where it entered on 17 April 2018 before it retrograded back into Pisces). Chiron will be transiting Aries until April 2027. Chiron’s orbits the Sun along its own elliptical, eccentric and atypical path in a cycle of 50 years. The last time Chiron entered in Aries was April 1968. This means that people who have natal Chiron in Aries are already 50 or will be turning 50 as they experience their Chiron return with the current transit of Chiron. Chiron was first observed by Astronomers in 1977 and his symbolism has enriched the work of Astrologers and the understanding of the psyche since then with a very potent and primal archetypical message. The symbolism and meaning of Chiron in Astrology is complex and very important for individual and collective evolution. Here we will look at some of the Chiron’s archetypal meaning as reflected in Chiron’s myth and in the discovery chart of the planetoid.
The Myth of Chiron
It is well known that Chiron was a very ancient being, a son of the Titan Saturn, called Chronos by the Greeks, and thus a half-brother of Zeus or Jupiter. He was not a God, though, but a rare immortal kind of Centaur born to the Oceanid Nymph Philyra who mated with or was raped by Chronos who had taken the form of a stallion. When Chiron was born, Philyra rejected the creature as a monster and abandoned him in the wilderness in shock and disgust. Chiron’s nature as a child was strong and resilient. Abandoned by his parents, he was found by the Sun God Apollo who adopted him like a son and taught him many things like music, mathematics, astrology, martial arts, and medicine and healing arts.
In time Chiron became a wise and expert teacher and a consummate physician and healer, who in turn had the role of training many extraordinary heroes like Orpheus, Jason, Achilles, Theseus, Heracles, Asclepius, or even Dionysus.
Destiny wanted that Chiron, being an expert in the arts of causing and healing wounds, became accidentally wounded by Heracles with an arrow poisoned with the blood of the Hydra. Heracles was Chiron´s friend and disciple and accidentally wounded Chiron when he was shooting his arrows to repel a band of Centaurs led by Nessus, that had gotten intoxicated with the smell of the wine Heracles had asked Pholus to pour, which had been given to Pholus by Dyonisus. The poison of the Hydra caused wounds that could not be healed and that produced overwhelming pain. It is the same poison that would kill Heracles himself time later, at the hands of Nessus and Heracles’ own wife Deianira. Chiron’s wounds led him to renounce immortality in order to find relief in death. Having become mortal, he voluntarily replaced the Titan Prometheus who was tied at the top of Mount Caucasus and whose liver was devoured every day by an eagle, as punishment for having given fire to humans. Chiron took for himself Prometheus’ punishment in order to meet death, and when he descended to the Underworld he was allowed to bring Prometheus back. Chiron was turned into a constellation in the sky – an archetype or energy complex within the resonant field of human collective consciousness/unconsciousness.
Chiron discovery chart
Chiron as a celestial body was discovered on 1 November 1977, 10:00 am (PST +8:00) at Pasadena, California. Discovery charts for mythologically named asteroids – the astrological charts for the moment the celestial body has entered into human awareness – can be used to understand the nature of the archetype and its evolutionary themes, similar to a natal chart, and can be used together with the mythology of the character that serves as a biography of the character in question. Thus, we can relate the themes within the myth to the discovery chart in order to gain insights or a deeper understanding of the inner dynamics belonging to the archetype.
I have asked myself this necessary question about Chiron’s myth, and have tried to find an answer in the discovery chart: why would a masterful self-actualized healer and teacher generously devoted to the needs of others, create for himself the experience of being hurt with a wound that cannot heal, and a pain so intense that would lead him to choose mortality and death instead of immortality? In other words, what kind of inner dynamics would create the need for such a radical and intense and painful metamorphosis?
When looking at the charts of clients, the astrological Chiron in the context of the individual chart – specially Pluto, the Moon Nodes and their planetary rulers – will correlate with the individual reasons and inner causative dynamics of the Chironian dimension in each case. When looking at the discovery chart of the asteroid, in turn, we are inquiring into the nature of the archetype itself, the energy complex that we call Chiron. In other words, we are looking for ways to make a deeper sense of the individual described in the myth, in a similar way to looking in to a birthchart to make a deeper sense of the life of the client or of someone’s biography.
Is it possible to use Chiron’s discovery chart as a means to learn about archetype? Some objections can be made to such procedure. One objection says it is not possible to interpret the chart as the actual birthchart of the mythological character because Chiron is not an actual human being – or even, an existing being of any kind. Second, it may be objected that it is not possible to ascertain the evolutionary state or condition from the chart, which is necessary for chart interpretation from the point of view of Evolutionary Astrology. I agree in part with these claims. Without going so much into this discussion, let’s agree that the actual existence of Chiron is not a necessary premise to take the asteroid’s discovery chart as a valid means to understand more of the archetype. However, there are authors and mystics that consider Chiron an actual being from ancient times, like Rudolf Steiner whom I will quote in length in this article because his views seem very interesting to us and have not been much referenced in astrology. It seems undeniable, though, that Chiron was not human, and the astrological archetypes we use most often correlate with human experience, and not necessarily reflect the experience of non-humans. However, we should not forget that our inquiries concern the experience that we as humans can have of Chiron, and that all that we can know or experience about Chiron, or any experience we can have that we can call Chironian, will be filtered by our human structure of consciousness. In this sense, the myth of Chiron and its variations, as we have received from the classics, relate to aspects of the human experience of the Chironian, just as any other astrological or mythical archetype involve aspects of the human experience, conditioned by the human structure of consciousness. This is not different than understanding that the astrological Neptune correlates with the individual human experience of the Divine, as experienced by the individual Soul, rather than representing the Divine in itself. When explaining spiritual archetypes, Jung clarified that he was talking about the contents of the psyche and not about metaphysical entities beyond our experience. Jeffrey Green, founder of Evolutionary Astrology, also explained that Neptune orbits within Pluto’s orbit because it correlates with the subjective experience of God that occurs within our human matrix of experience, rather than the actual Creator. These considerations may allow us to recur to Chiron’s discovery chart in order to penetrate aspects of Chiron in a metaphorical way, ‘as if’ it belonged to a being akin to our human nature. Possibly, the fantastic portrait we would obtain would look similar to some kinds of highly Chironian individuals.
Determining the evolutionary condition of the individual – its stage and sub-stage – is needed In Evolutionary Astrology in order to analyze the chart. However, what changes as the soul progresses through these stages is the nature of fundamental soul desires, while the psychological dynamics and the ‘impurities’ that exist at the level of the “false self”, personality, or ego, remain in place until they are addressed, elaborated and resolved or purged.
In order to understand the core themes in Chiron’s discovery chart from an evolutionary point of view, we need to observe in first place the following symbols:
* Pluto conjuncts the North Node of the Moon in the 10th House in Libra, ruled by Venus in Libra in the 10th House conjunct to Pluto and Vesta
* The South Node is in the 4th House in Aries ruled by Mars in the 8th House in Leo square to Scorpio planets and asteroids in the 10th and 11th Houses: Pallas, Hygeia, Sun/Uranus.
* We need to take note from the start that Jupiter Rx conjunct the Moon in the 7th House in Cancer, are square to the Moon’s Nodes.
* Chiron itself is Rx in the 4th House in Taurus, opposing the Scorpio planets and squared by Mars in the 8th House in Leo.
If these symbols pertained to a normal birthchart of a human being, they would speak of a highly skilled and self-actualized individual who has been devoted to serve the needs of others in unique ways while trying to address his own unresolved emotional needs on his own.
As we see it, there is in Chiron’s psychology a compensatory need to be special or important to others by being a teacher and a healer. Being defined by a special role for others, has served to conceal or lose touch with the own unresolved emotional insecurity originating from emotional and psychological wounds and trauma caused by abandonment, rejection or childhood abuse (Pluto X House, South Node in Aries 4th House ruled by Mars in the 8th House Leo square Sun/Uranus in Scorpio 11th House, Jupiter/Moon conjunct Nessus Rx square the Nodes; also Chiron Rx in the 4th House in Taurus opposite the Sun in Scorpio in the 11th House of traumas, and square to Mars in Leo in the 8th House, a clear signature of childhood abuse). These are conditions and potential underlying dynamics that would be reflected in the chart in general, in various evolutionary states.
As we already know, Chiron has a direct correlation with transpersonal processes, and with the connection between the personal and the transpersonal levels of experience. However, we can see here that Chiron also speaks about the pre-personal or pre-egoic development and how they impact on the personality structure, further conditioning the process of transpersonal integration or realization. Three levels need to be considered that I will describe succinctly:
* a pre-personal or pre-egoic level, relating to the intensity of inner psychological and biological forces that allow the newborn and infant to attach and bond with the mother and caregivers, in order to survive, and the intensity of states that are triggered in the process of attachment to a caregiver or in its failure or absence. The newborn experiences himself united and undifferentiated from the mother – they form a unity – and early stages of development are concerned on one side, with creating a bond that will attach mother and infant in a diadic relationship necessary for survival, equaling reproductive success. Progressively, the child will learn to perceive himself as a different being separated from the mother, just as he learns progressively to perceive the mother as an independent being from which he is absolutely dependent to survive, but that, however, he cannot control. Powerful psychological and biological forces are at play both in the infant and in the mother, that will mold the ways in which the relative and progressive separation takes place. Before the separation is complete the child does not perceive the mother as a whole being, but relates to her by ‘parts’ – nipple, breasts, eyes, face. The mother at some point will display behavior or affects of a different charge: positive or negative. The child’s affects and libidinal investment connected with each ‘part’, and with each aspect of the mother, good or bad, may in turn evolve as partial aspects of the perceived mother, and partial aspects of the self. Progressive perceptual and affective occurring in natural development will at some point allow to form a more or less integrated and complete sense of self, accompanied by a more or less integrated and complete image of the mother that unifies its parts and unites its ‘good’ and ‘bad’ aspects as pertaining to one and the same person.
* Basic egoic development is reached more or less around year 5. Formation of a complete personality or ego involves the creation of a structure in which some aspects of the psyche will be at the forefront in consciousness, while other aspects of the psyche will remain in the background of consciousness. Aspects that remain at the forefront or at the background of conscious awareness can be psychological experiences, memories or, as described in psychoanalysis, types of desires of a different nature emanating from different dimensions or psychic ‘centers’ like the instinctive, feeling and thinking centers described by Fourth Path authors like Gurdjieff, Ichazo and Naranjo or Almaas, or different psychic contents emanating from different Soul faculties like sensation, feeling, intuition or thinking as described by Carl Jung. In all cases, the different types of ego or personality will create a sense of personal separated identity that one feels familiar with as it represents the most known aspects of the individual psyche. At the same time, the level of the individual ego or personality also relates to a sense of personal agency and a role within society in connection with a social persona or social mask. Development of the personality allows the individual to have a name and a self-image within the societal context. In patriarchal times the formation of a complete personality structure occurs in the context of a patriarchal family structure, or society, and involves ‘learning’ or introjecting regulations that correspond to the Oedipus complex as described by Freud.
* a transpersonal level relating to the conscious relationship of the individual consciousness with the depth of its own Soul, and with the Cosmos, with ‘larger forces’ in general, and with the Source of consciousness.
Personality structure of ego gets more or less fixed or stable, provided that the personality structure has sufficient development. However, Soul evolution, and Soul healing, may demand reorganization of the Soul or psyche to take place at key developmental times, rather than only working at the level of the known self definitions and structures. The depth and intensity of the Chironian wound is such that it can break or crack aspects of the personality structure, and in varying degrees involve the re-enacting of deep primal affects that will reorganize the whole personality and self-image, inducing a need to work on the three levels at the same time. This will imply a need to re-elaborate material coming from pre-personal development – the intensity of affects related to early childhood survival instincts and their connection with attachment and primary object-relationships. In turn re-elaboration of childhood stuff results during Chironian processes in new ways of putting together the personality or ego structure, allowing further Soul dynamics to be integrated in the conscious. This also modifies the individual involvement with the transpersonal dimensions, since, in our view, relation with the transpersonal is conditioned by the subjective ego or personality. In this process, inner psychological forces break or crack the prior existing personality structure and operate through the three levels. This reminds us about Humpty
Dumpty, or the Zen koan that presents the developmental levels as the egg’s component parts, like the white, yolk, the shell. However, the egg is broken and its component parts are intermixed and cannot be separated. Scrambled eggs. Such state of affairs will create inner existential intensity and will provide increased inner search for spaciousness or liberation, sudden and radical destruction of prior perspectives, constructions or values, but also, their sudden re-connection with other parts involving long-distance connections, nomadic migrations occurring on an instinctive, spontaneous basis, impossible to resist, extremely powerful yet painful. In all cases, awareness of larger forces will be induced, through the cracks produced in the personality or ego, and in life. Thus, the possibility will exist at least to discover or actualize new levels of the meaning of life and the place of the individual in relation with the Cosmos, or the spiritual.
In all cases, the Chironian process will involve a level of paradox, based on the heteroclite or inherently unintegrated nature of the archetype. In a sense, the non-integration is archetypical, and demands an underlying trust and surrender to something that feels inconsistent with the self-image of personality, which is something that, depending on the fixity of the personality structure can feel very strange or even awkward. In all cases, something belonging to the ‘higher’ levels of existence or the spiritual, is being integrated or known or actualized by means of something belonging to the ‘lower’, primitive or primal, and animal nature and archetypical energy. There is a pact between the higher cognitive or spiritual nature and the lower animal nature that proposes itself or that stalks the individual (or his ego) in the form of an anomal animal, a special and unique beast, or a power animal.
At the level of the personality or ego, the Chiron psychology is connected in part with the archetype of Prometheus, another very Uranian immortal being whose ‘good intentions’ were punished by the Gods with eternal suffering. Chiron and Prometheus are connected archetypes as revealed clearly by Chiron taking Prometheus’ place. Taking the place of other implies assuming the destiny and nature of the one who is released or whose place is taken. Prometheus stole the fire of secret knowledge from the Gods and gave it to mortal humans in order to accelerate their evolution. Some consider that Prometheus punishment is based on his own guilt for having stolen knowledge from the Gods. This aspect of the Prometheus myth, also closely associated with Chiron, speaks of fears and threats from the consensus that can exist in the Individuation process that make it safer to keep going with the herd. Courage and clarity are needed in order to embrace one’s own individuality and separate from ‘normalcy’. The fire stolen from the Gods is also a symbol of having attained or actualized one’s own and unique individuality.
However, there is other aspect of the myth that reflects that Prometheus’s punishment may have been necessary in order to enforce lessons of objectivity in terms of learning to give others what they need, relative to their own reality. In the discovery chart for asteroid Prometheus, this is indicated in the North Node conjunction with Pluto in Virgo, ruled by Mercury in Libra, correlating with an emphasized lesson of discrimination about which types knowledge, information or technology are needed, and which not. A similar lesson is indicated in Chiron’s chart in the Pluto/Venus conjunction in Libra in the 10th House, with the north node of Venus in Virgo in the 9th House, ruled by Mercury conjunct Uranus in the 11th House.
As an example, Albert Einstein had asteroid Prometheus in Capricorn in the 6th House square to Mercury in the 10th House in Aries, and Chiron in Taurus in the 11th House, square to the nodal axis, with the South Node in Leo in the 2nd House ruled by the Sun in the 10th House in Pisces, and the North Node in the 8th House in Aquarius ruled by Uranus Rx in the 3rd House in Virgo. These symbols correlate with the shock he experienced and the deep feelings of guilt when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were atom bombed by the US, because of the indirect role he had in the theoretical developments of atomic technology and because of his having written to the US president warning him about a Nazi project for production of atomic bombs, which lead to the Manhattan Project that allowed the US to take the lead in the use of atomic technology for war purposes (a theme indicated in the US chart in the Pluto opposition to Mercury that form a T-square to Chiron in Aries in the 11th House, and Uranus in Gemini in the 1st House, correlating with pioneering military technology of massive destruction including atomic technology).
In Chiron’s myth, we can associate the Hydra with deep dark unresolved issues or energies within the Soul that have become embedded in the psyche on its shadow side and that have many manifestations. In other words, Hydra represents deep unresolved psychological complexes, that even though remaining in the dark, threaten to take control or even possession of the personality. Hydra is the name given to one of Pluto’s moons and correlates with fundamentally subconscious material that needs to be removed or purified. In a more general sense, the poisonous blood of the hydra and the nine heads of the monster speak of the polymorphic and pervading source of all poisons or passions, by which the ego experiences itself as separated from its source, the Self or Soul, as is described in the Enneagram of the Fourth Path, like greed, anger, fear, etc. that in each case become a dominant feature within the neurotic personality and sub-personalities of each individual, ie. the specific ways in which each individual obscures the light of its pure and spontaneous awareness and limits itself to only some aspects of reality when developing a personality or ego.
Chiron’s experience of being wounded with the poison of the Hydra reflects a need to embrace deep metamorphic process or ‘death’ in order to penetrate psychological defenses of the ego that have prevented deeper change or individuation in the past, and actualize inner Soul reality in order to effect a total transformation and renewal. Heracles tactic to raise the Hydra out of the water can be a symbol of bringing to light the desire nature or soul energy from which the ego structure emanates. According to Alice Bailey, “(Heracles or Hercules) seeks to raise his problem to a higher dimension, not to stir endlessly on the slough of the subconscious. Endeavouring to see his dilemma in the light of that wisdom which we name the soul, he confronts it from a new angle of vision. By so doing, he breaks the Hydra’s grip, and eventually subdues the beast”. If the Hydra is the polymorphic source of the ego, that experiences itself as separated from source, the poison that kills Chiron is one of the nine poisons of neurosis as described in the Enneagram. Dante places Chiron together with Pholus, Nessus, and other Centaurs, in the 7th circle of Hell, that gathers the different kinds of violent Souls. It is presented in the 12th Canto, which is concerned with the pride souls. Brockman comments “The souls here are punished for sins of bestiality by immersion in the boiling Virgilian bloody river Phlegethon just as in life they were consumed by bloody acts of war, robbery, and highwaymen-type murders. Achilles who had been a killing machine in the Trojan War is still under threatening surveillance by the chief Centaur Chiron, his wise old nurse. Thousands of other half-man/ half-horse centaurs threaten all the other shades to remain immersed else they will be shot full of arrows. A non-threatening Centaur, Nessus, is assigned to transport Dante and Virgil over the river of blood. The assistance of magical creatures like the centaurs might suggest to the modern reader the medical use of psychotropic drugs to facilitate and enhance the therapeutic process. If the reader isn’t already convinced of the horrible sins of violence, Dante adds the unmercifully cruel murdering tyrants from history …”.
Christian Moevs comments beautifully: “The Centaurs (…) are the only non-devil custodians in all of Hell, assigned only to this ring of the violent against others, and here they hunt humans, as in the world they hunted animals (‘come solien nel mondo andare a caccia’, l. 57). Humans, indeed, have become animals here. As the early commentator Benvenuto da Imola and others point out, Centaurs, who are human to the navel and horse below that, look like mounted cavalry: they are an image of the mercenary mounted troops that pillaged Italy at the behest of tyrants, hunting men. It is as if the tyrants are being hunted by their own troops. In fact, these Centaurs are a mini military: they run in ranks, they dispatch exploratory platoons, and they have a commander.”
“Chiron (…) (‘il gran Chirón, il qual nodrì Achille’) is thoughtful, grave and wise; he alone notices that Dante is alive, asking his companions, ‘Siete voi accorti / che quel di retro move ciò ch’el tocca?’ [‘Did you notice that the one in back moves what he touches?’] and the other Centaurs are kept in line by him. But Dante emphasizes his double nature: Chiron gazes at his breast where the two natures are conjoined, or rather ‘associated’ (‘consorti’), not fused as one. This divide is again an image of failed revelation, the failure to know body as the soul made visible, matter as spirit; the failure to recognize consciousness made flesh, the human as divine. Intellect dissociated from oneself, from one’s animal being, is part of the torment of the violent, that both makes violence possible, and punishes it. Here, in effect, the rational dimension of the violent souls is running on the bank of the river alongside them, keeping them immersed in blood. As Dante observes in the Convivio, we must ‘cavalcare’ [ride] our primitive appetites with reason. But it is only the fusion of reason and passion, of our higher and lower natures united as one, that drives the perfection of man, not their separation. One of the ironies of the canto, as Baldassaro points out, is that the bestial Centaurs have become human in order to guard the humans who have become bestial.
“While Inferno xii is the first of the five cantos of the circle of violence, Purgatorio xii is the last of three cantos devoted to the terrace of pride, the first terrace of Purgatory proper. Pride is the foundational vice, from which all others, and all sin, flows. As we saw, it is a failure of self-knowledge: it is to conceive oneself only as an autonomous and self-subsistent finite entity, resulting in insatiable desire, cupidigia, instead of knowing oneself as sharing consciousness itself, the reality that spawns and is all things. In the first two cantos of the ledge, Dante has seen a triptych of carved reliefs, depicting examples of humility, with David the singer of God at the centre; then he has met a trio of penitent souls, with an illuminator of texts, Oderisi da Gubbio, at the centre. The theme of the ledge is artistic representation and artistic pride, related to names and naming, to identity”.
Chiron and Individuation
Chiron is an individual in the first place, and this is clear in the myth and in the asteroid’s birthchart. Chiron as an astrological archetype is directly associated with the Individuation process, which is the process of becoming a minority that segregates from the normalcy of the peer group or social consensus, as a means to discover and actualize the personal unique individual nature and liberate form conditioning and pressures to conform or adjust. We can see Chiron´s association with individuation in the planetoid’s orbit cycling between Saturn and Uranus, given that Saturn correlates with normalcy and the social consensus, while Uranus (and Mercury) are the primary significators of Individuation and differentiation. Chiron even crosses the orbit or Uranus and extends in direction to Neptune’s orbit, implying further rarity. As a celestial body Chiron´s situation is also anomalous as it shares traits of a minor planet and of a comet coming from beyond our solar system. Being unique, equaling being abnormal, a Centaur that is man and horse, and further, an atypical centaur not part of the tribe of the Centaurs.
In Chiron’s discovery chart, the intensity of the individuation requirements is indicated in Sun/Uranus, Mercury and Ceres in the 11th House. These planets are in Scorpio, revealing intense struggle to individuate and liberate, the potential for compulsive attachment dynamics originating in the abandonment story. The stellium in the 10th House with Pluto/North Node, Vesta and Venus, demonstrate the intensity of the desires or psychological need to conform in order to belong and be accepted – Libra – which is confirmed by the Moon in the 7th House in Cancer squaring the Nodes, etc. and how this has created attachment to serving a social role. This dual kind of desires and needs have shaped the individuation story, creating the need for an intense sense of personal purpose of a psychological nature that is focused on liberating from compulsive attachment before further trauma is created.
We can see here the signature of an outcast or an individual that is singled out, excluded or excommunicated, and that needs to become a group for himself. Being abandoned by the rapist father Saturn and the disgusted mother who saw him as a monster were primary experiences that would later produce a compensatory need to rise above circumstances and become ‘somebody’ by himself, to be exceptional in order to avoid the pain of not being loved or wanted. Thus, Chiron is an immortal that is not a God, a compassionate and wise Centaur who does not belong with the tribe of the Centaurs, an immortal who needs to embrace death, a healer that carries a wound that cannot heal.
In first place, Chiron is a monster, too animal to be a human, and too human to be an animal. He does not fit within an existing natural category or species that would make him akin and belonging to his own family of birth as a source of identity. We could say that Chiron as an individual was also in his own becoming-animal in order to be a human in a new way, and viceversa, becoming-human in order to embrace more of his animal nature. There has been too much emphasis on conscious control or repression of impulses as indicated in the 10th House stellium in Libra, and in the Saturn sesquisquare to the South Node in Aries. Now, as a child lost in the wild that becomes a wild human, at every moment in need to connecting to some larger natural power, learning from the animals and making an alliance with a wild beast or an extraordinary animal taken as a model or teacher in order to become stronger and capable to survive, forcefully needing to connect with the full force of the own animal nature in order to extract an extraordinary potency to face survival without a containing tribe of akin individuals; while at every turn carrying the stigma of cognitive superiority, astuteness and control creating solitude and unfair imbalances and unusual chances but at the same time preventing a full merging with the instinctive stream of natural life that still beats within himself with an ever stronger call.
Chiron embraces within himself the interplay of evolutionary and involutionary forces, and exemplifies the principle that there is no evolution without involution. In turn, evolution and involution occur not only through filiation – which plays a secondary role in Chiron’s becoming – but through alliance, mimesis and disguise. Becoming an extraordinary, fully actualized individual implies merging with a larger power, with something that the individual is not or has not yet become, another abnormal animal or ‘anomal’, another being who has segregated from his species or tribe and has become its own tribe, and who possibly is within his own becoming through his own alliance or pact. Relationship between nature and culture are shown in a new light through these becomings, and in them, rather than reaching any sort of definite form, what really counts is the speed of the metamorphoses by which becomings occur, and by which the animal finds new ways of expression through the human form, and vice versa. This is of course the path of Shamanism and Totemism. At this point, though, we need to focus on the role of these alliances with an extraordinary or abnormal animal – one that does not fit in his series – that create a new series of extraordinary beings by which the individual initiates a new becoming, one that still segregates him from the starting series – ‘I am not a human, I am not a horse, I am not a Centaur …’ – into its own becoming an Individual.
In order for this idea to be understood clearly, I need to clarify one point. Jeffrey Green presented a model of evolution in which Individuation reached a point of resolution or completion before the individual entered into the spiritual stages of evolution. While Individuation is concerned with liberation from consensus and actualization of the individual’s inherent nature, Spiritual evolution is concerned with merging with the Whole. While I agree with the existence of these stages, and the shift that occurs in the individual desire nature that creates a different evolutionary pull at the different stages and sub-stages of evolution, I have observed in myself and in others that Individuation as a bottom-line necessary evolutionary process can be still in place intensively even at advanced stages of evolution, or within Spiritual stages.
In any case, for these Chironian becomings and metamorphoses to occur at the right speed in order to be adaptive, the individual must explore and discover the connections within himself between his animal and human parts. ‘Given these hands, how can they be used in order to have the power of a tiger or a jaguar’s claw … given these legs to run and these cognitive abilities to predict and anticipate, how can they be used to emulate the hunting power of a pack (like using traps and ambush)’. It is never a matter of achieving a definite state in which animal and human would reach a uniform or homogenous condition. Quite the contrary, it is always a matter of the relationship between different matters and their mutual becomings, evolution and involution, losing ground on one side of the relationship or becoming in order to find new ground on the other side, and then the other way round, time after time. That is the way of Nature, and this is in general a fundamental way in which Individuation occurs, leading to the creation of true individuals. In a way, true individuals are ‘monsters’ – always irregular, too large or too evolved in some aspects, too small or involved in some other aspect, as a result of their own becomings and alliances – conceived and created contra-natura (against the constructed human understanding of the natural order) – who challenge the mandate of their filiative origin and give themselves a new origin through abnormal mixes, becomings or pacts. Thus, they become their own tribe.
Being Chiron a son of Saturn, representing the principle of form and structure, and an Oceanid Nymph representing the dissolving forces of the formless, he reflects two abstract poles of development needed to produce all transitional stages and forms by means of the individual’s inner, ‘embryonic’ kind of becomings and inner migrations through analogical relationship or alliance. From a biological point of view, we could say that a kind of symbiosis between the animal and the human is occurring.
In this part, please allow me a few extensive quotes about the possible nature of Chiron and the Centaur archetype according to Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy.
“What kind of being is Chiron the Centaur? He is a being of the kind that existed before man descended in Lemurian times: a being half man and half animal” (Rudolf Steiner, The Being of Man and His Future Evolution).
“Man was an animal then, which for the first time could move about on the islands that were forming in the water. In his upper parts he became ever finer, and at the top he actually preserved the flower-form. He was illuminated from above by an organ that he carried on his head like a lantern.
“The then human form is rightly conceived if we see the upper part as etheric and the lower part as animal-like. In older pictures of the Zodiac, the form of the Archer is shown as an animal below and a man above. Thus, the centaur was once an actual human form. When man looked like this, the moon had not yet withdrawn.
“When the moon withdrew from the earth, sexuality appeared. The centaur-man was still sexless. Sexuality appeared when the sun stood in the sign of the Scorpion, and this is why we always connect sex with this sign. The Scorpion is what in the animal kingdom corresponds to the stage of evolution at which man stood when he had developed sexuality. In his upper half, man was turned toward the cosmic forces, but in his lower half he was a bisexual being.”
“Man (…) was illuminated from above by an organ that he carried on his head like a lantern (…) The moon force was still in the earth, and in man was still what had formed itself during the sun period, the shining pineal gland, which he bore like a lantern on his head.
“(…) Then began the time when, through the forces of the moon, the nerve-filaments appeared in the region where the spine now is. The formation above the spine, the present head-region, had condensed and changed itself into the human brain; that was the completely transformed light-organ. Attached to this was the spine, from which the nerves proceeded, and attached to this in turn was the lower man whom we have described (…) This shape was then such that one still, saw that light-body, that remarkable head-ornament, the Lantern of Osiris which has been described in a pictorial way as the eye of Polyphemus. This is the organ, the lantern, which at first was outside the human body, and which then transformed itself into an inner organ in the brain” (Steiner, The Myth of Osiris).
“The centaur is a truth, an etheric truth (…) It is important to bear in mind that a relatively great wisdom is active in this being — a wisdom connected with the entire cosmic rhythm. The head belonging to this centaur sees the cosmic rhythm in which it is embedded, also during the existence between death and a new birth (…) But in spite of his wisdom, this centaur is equipped with all the wild instincts of the animals (Steiner, Historical Necessity and Freewill)”.
Chiron and body-mind integration
It may be because of Chiron’s ‘in-between” or ‘third-time’ nature bridging different or heteroclite movements or matters, that he also speaks about the integration of the body-mind. The relationship between body and psyche can be very important in healing and therapy. In a way, body-mind integration concerns the Centaur archetype, which deals with integration in human consciousness of the animal or instinctive nature of the individual as a biological being, and the human capacities for behavioral control, abstract thinking, and higher cognitive capacities.
From spiritual or religious points of view, the Soul is different from the body. At death, the Soul leaves its material or physical body and travels into the astral realm. The Soul can leave the body in dreams too. In various ways, we can have the experience of consciousness as separated from the physical body. In fundamental ways, human species has evolved beyond purely animal consciousness. Conditioning by cultural or social factors has created a self-awareness potential in which the individual perceives himself as separated from Nature, rather than as a part of Nature. Most humans are not capable to rely on their instincts, or their bodies, to make choices on an ongoing basis within their socially filtered reality. The body itself can be experienced or interpreted as a problem. From an ultimate point of view, the body is a creation by the Soul. Each lifetime, the Soul creates a physical body as a vehicle for the embodied experience the individual will have in that lifetime relative to its evolutionary and karmic lessons. Within patriarchal culture, the body has been interpreted as a source of evil and spiritual downfall. The body represents darkness. Even though patriarchal spiritual viewpoints consider the body as a source of downfall, darkness or evil, we can also consider that it is the conditioned consciousness of the soul that projects its unresolved issues on the nature of the natural physical body. Patriarchal cosmologies and religions created a spiritual conflict between spirit and the body, in a process beginning around 8.500 years ago. The feminine, the body, emotion, sensation, and sexuality, were devalued, while ’spirit’ and thought were placed in a superior position, supported by the creation of solar gods. Polarization between the higher and the lower began permeating culture as a result. A new form of the ‘body-mind problem’ can be found in neuroscientific discussion concerning the role of the brain in the production of the individual subjective experience.
For any individual, the complete spectrum of experiences that he or she can potentially have within the incarnated state, all correlate with bodily states which, in turn, are made possible at a physiological level and are orchestrated by the nervous system and brain, creating an embodied experience that combines and integrates different elements of the subjective experience that interact between them and are integrated in various circuits in the brain and nervous system in order to create the resultant subjective experience the individual or Self can have as a whole. In turn, various aspects of the embodied experience can exist in diverse degrees of integration or non-integration within the psyche and the brain circuitry. Dissociation created by intense traumas results in failure to integrate all or some of these factors, leading to ‘compartmentalization of experience’ in which ‘elements of the traumatic experience are not integrated into a unitary whole, a complete memory, or a resulting integrated sense of self.
Chiron correlates with the ‘pool of peak memory imprints’ (Rose Marcus) of any individual generated along its ongoing Individuation. The feeling of being made up of non-assembled, or incompatible parts, or parts of a different nature, can be intensified by unresolved emotional states, or by psychological fragmentation, of the effects of trauma. Non-resolved traumatic memories are hosted in the psyche, brain and body, involving physiological defensive responses that have gone dysregulated, with a direct impact on the individual experiential or existential becoming in its life, and his sense of being an individual, all of which operates at the implicit and non-verbal levels of experience. In turn, Chiron’s pragmatic and existentialist nature demands healing to be attempted at any level that is at hand, and within his, demands to work at the body level and not only at a verbal level, as needed to access the unresolved states that live beyond the borders of the conscious psyche. Also, in this way the Chironian process serves to ‘create psyche’, to bring the body into the Soul and the Soul into the body.
In Chiron’s discovery chart, the topic of body-mind integration is indicated in the South Node in Aries ruled by Mars in Leo in the 8th House, with Pluto and the North Node in Libra ruled by Venus in Libra, all in the 10th House.
Chiron and Narcissism
We see a direct link between the Chiron archetype and the psychological topic of Narcissism. In the Chiron myth, we can see Chiron as a narcissist and, in many ways, the Chironian wound is a narcissistic wound. There are different meanings for the word narcissism, possibly all of them related with the development of the ego and different aspects of the ego or personality structure, and Chiron is possibly associated with different aspects or forms of narcissism. In general, there are introverted or deflated kinds of narcissism and extraverted or inflated kinds of narcissism. Narcissistic dynamics that create a fluctuation between extraverted and introverted forms, can also exist. In general, narcissism is associated with the Fire archetypes, especially with Aries and Leo. These archetypes correlate with extroverted or inflated forms of narcissism. Introverted or deflated forms of narcissistic dynamics in general correlate with the yin archetypes, specially Cancer and Taurus. The whole chart needs to be understood in order to establish the potential for narcissistic dynamics. Chiron can be part of the configurations correlating with narcissism or prevalent narcissistic dynamics. Deep soul wounding can create a response of withdrawal from social participation in which psychic energy and consciousness are introverted and involved with the self, and thus Chiron can be part of signatures in charts of introverted narcissistic personalities (or even in charts of people with Autistic dynamics or in Asperger’s connected with unresolved traumas from prior and/or the current lifetime).
Within this kind of introverted narcissism is the individual “who is labeled the deflated, thin-skinned (…) narcissist is usually someone who in development has suffered severe damage to their self-esteem system, and whose self-esteem regulation is therefore inconsistent and precarious, subject to the internal persecution of the split-off protector self. (…) this person is more aptly deemed a sufferer of cumulative, developmental, post-traumatic stress. These patients are inhabited and often tormented by the ghosts of their traumatizers. To struggle desperately to regulate one’s self esteem, to become lost and hopeless about being loved and desired, to fear that only by subjugating oneself to seemingly more powerful others can one hope to be able to rely on human connection—these are survival attempts for people whose sense of subjectivity has been traumatically co-opted, who cannot confer legitimacy upon themselves, but must go begging for it from others. Speaking of these developmentally traumatized patients as pathological is sharply discordant to the ways that most psychoanalysts speak of any other traumatized patients” (Shaw).
On the other hand, deep wounding can promote or trigger a compensatory expansion of the ego and extraverted functioning that seeks external validation or recognition in different ways, like in the wounded child archetype that Chiron can be part of, or the “overinflated narcissist (who) is often someone much more like the original Narcissus of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, as I understand the Narcissus myth: reveling in being wanted and adored by others, contemptuously deeming no one good enough; reinforcing his grandiose overvaluation of himself by sadistically negating the value and worth of others; and ultimately trapped and destroyed by his delusional obsession with what he perceives to be his own perfection. This narcissist in real life, a myth in his own mind, is so well defended against his developmental trauma, so skillful a disavower of the dependency and inadequacy that is so shameful to him, that he creates a delusional world in which he is a superior being in need of nothing he cannot provide for himself. To remain persuaded of his own perfection, he uses significant others whom he can subjugate. These spouses, siblings, children, or followers of the inflated narcissist strive anxiously to be what the narcissist wants them to be, for fear of being banished from his exalted presence. He is compelled to use those who depend on him to serve as hosts for his own disavowed and projected dependency, which for him signifies profound inadequacy and is laden with shame and humiliation. To the extent that he succeeds in keeping inadequacy and dependency external, he can sustain in his internal world his delusions of shame-free, self-sufficient superiority” (Shaw).
‘Primary narcissism’ is a natural early developmental stage in which the child naturally expects and needs to be the center of the attention of mother and caregivers, which according to Freud is associated with a sense of “megalomania: an over-estimation of the power of their wishes and mental acts, the ‘omnipotence of thoughts” (Freud). Primary narcissism is considered a natural phenomenon and is different from ‘secondary narcissism’ that involves a complication of primary narcissism by which narcissistic dynamics remain in place long after infancy. Primary narcissism itself as a natural developmental stage is part of the mammalian adaptive survival strategy of the species based on intensive care of the offspring and the physiological regulation of attachment that creates a dyadic, mutual attunement between mother and child, and intense emotional responses or reactions when such attunement is disrupted. Dynamics of primary narcissism are fully operative within the pre-personal level of functioning described above. Primary narcissism and the psychic state of union with the mother correspond to the primary “self”. Since at this level of psychic development there is no differentiation between Self and objects, and the mother operates a part of the Self, there may be no clear distinction between introverted or extraverted manifestations, or one attitude may prevail based on primary inclinations that arise from temperament.
Psychic and biological development allows the infant to become able progressively to perceive the mother as different and separate from the self. Before this point the mother existed for the infant as ‘someone who was once part of himself’ (Freud). Before perceptual or psychic separation from the mother takes place, the infant can only feel love for himself. Once separated, the child can feel love and attachment for something different than the self. The process that allows for this separation is the same process that allows the individual ego of the child to take form, and to perceive objects (and people) outside the self. From the point of view of object-relations, narcissism in adults correspond with a withdrawal of psychic energy or interest in external objects (including other people), and a concentration on the self. Many times this occurs as a defense against potential projected aggression originating in the self and projected externally because of a failure to integrate in a whole image the positive and negative aspects of the mother – and of the self – allowing for a defense against the aggression perceived as originating from the outer world while finding refuge in the idealized ‘good’ aspects of the self and the internalized incomplete mother. In some cases, the mechanism called projective identification will be involved, depending on the level of development and type of structure of the individual.
Unresolved complications of narcissism are part of ‘secondary narcissism’, and operate at the personal level of psychological functioning, however, it involves pre-oedipal dynamics and in turn can compromise or affect the functioning at the transpersonal level. Freud considered that withdrawal of psychic interest or involvement from objects outside the self can result in megalomania. “This megalomania has no doubt come into being at the expense of object-libido”. A defensive denial of vulnerability or dependence on any other is implied. Mature interpersonal love requires acknowledgement of the other as an equal, and relative degrees of mutual dependence. Thus, the relationship may become a means for self-knowledge and individuation, before it evolves further into dynamics of unconditional love or love without any expectation. “A choice of partner carried out in the ‘attachment’ mode presupposes the ability to experience the mother as a distinct and separate ‘object’. This is a later maturational phase [as compared with narcissistic Self-love], in which dependence and the need for attachment become conscious, sometimes painfully so, as a result of which M. Klein and D. W. Winnicott have dubbed it the ‘depressive position’ (Jacoby)”.
In Chiron´s discovery chart narcissism is indicated in the South Node in Aries in the 4th House ruled by Mars in Leo in the 8th House, the Libra stellium, the Sun/Uranus conjunction in Scorpio, Chiron itself placed retrograde in the 4th House in Taurus opposite the Sun, or the Moon/Jupiter conjunction in the 7h House square the nodes. These symbols speak of cycles of introverted and extroverted forms of narcissism – for example, Mars in Leo in the 8th House, ruler of the South Node in the 4th House in Aries correlate with intense dynamics of confrontation with larger forces beyond egoic control that, at some points, induce a shift from extroverted to introverted functioning. Also, Saturn in Leo in the 8th House is conjunct Apollo asteroid, in Virgo in the 8th House, being other indicator of parental dynamics related with the ‘wounded child’ archetype in connection with childhood abandonment and rejection or parental dynamics with a narcissistic parent (or with a parent that is Apollo or that is defined by an ‘Apollo complex’).
In a way, narcissistic dynamics are a polarity to borderline dynamics. Both can coexist as poles within of the unresolved or wounded ego development, and coexist or alternate in cycles within the personality. Borderline dynamics are related with a personality structure that is not complete, or is broken or fragmented, in relation with extremely intense unresolved emotional states originating in early childhood conditions, that have not been consciously integrated and elaborated. In a sense, Chiron’s heteroclite nature is a metaphor of non-integration, and the kind of process that must be embraced in order to reach a more ‘coherent sense of self’. Same time, the Chiron process is necessary to achieve a sense of wholeness or ‘integrity’, resulting from self-knowledge and sufficient degrees of ‘integration’ or relatedness with the own psyche or Soul, especially those aspects of the self that cannot be fully brought to light and that are more connected with the unconscious.
We can se the relationship of Chiron with his disciple and friend Heracles as a metaphor of projective identification at work within narcissistic dynamics of personality. Chiron died as a result of the wound unintentionally inflicted by Heracles with an arrow treated with the poisonous blood of the Hydra. This happened during a visit of Heracles to Pholus home at Mount Pelion, at the time of his fourth labour, that consisted in capturing the Erymanthean Boar. Capturing the Boar has been considered as a Libra labour, and we can see its connection with owning the unresolved anger that results from Libran archetypical dynamic of yielding to the demands of others because of desires to please. At other level, the Libra theme may relate with unresolved anger originating in the conflict between masculine and feminine, and the patriarchal and matriarchal traditions. Heracles had been taught by Chiron to prepare his arrows with the poison of the Hydra. Unintentional wounding is a result of the unconscious. Unconscious contents became more active in search of conscious acknowledgment or integration through a ‘lowering of the mental level’ (Jung) induced by the wine that Dionysus had given to Pholus, which was poured on the occasion at Heracles request.
Carl Jung and the Wounded Healer
As we have seen, it may have been because of the interplay of attachment and desires to liberate that Chiron created intense experiences of loss or abandonment. The interplay of ‘attachment and detachment’ has occurred in ways in which emotional and overall feminine aspects of the psyche have remained out of touch – the Jupiter/Moon square to the nodes. The union or marriage between aspects or different natures inherent to the Centaur archetype and deepened in Chiron´s archetype, also points to the individual wholeness and the integration of psychological opposites. With Pluto conjunct the North Node in Libra there is a fundamental intention in place to learn balance, to learn to be receptive, to consciously integrate the yin polarity in order to be complete. Integration of the receptive pole implies learning to be ‘vulnerable’. Because of its individuated state and resulting rarity, and because of his intensity, Chiron is often a target for all sorts of projections. With the North Node in Libra conjunt Pluto, Venus and Vesta, and with Jupiter/Moon in the 7th House, it seems necessary to create further integration and Individuation through relationships. This aspect of Chiron relates to the “Wounded Healer” archetype that Jung talked about. Jung said that “a good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply consists in the doctor’s examining himself… it is his own hurt that gives a measure of his power to heal. This, and nothing else, is the meaning of the Greek myth of the wounded physician”.
Being wounded can provide a deep understanding of pain and suffering, and about the limitations of life and personal power, inducing compassion for the suffering of others. Knowledge of the own wounded nature allows for vulnerability and empathy instead or the potential projection that can occur from a position of superiority because of being a healer who represents healing capacities, or knowledge and wisdom for other, thus remaining in a position of security and without actual involvement. Also, knowledge of the own wounds is necessary because the own wounds can wound or hurt others, even those others that Chiron desires to heal. Without an accurate and deep understanding of the own wounds the therapist can also take the clients wounds as his own or make it difficult for the therapist to perceive the actual needs of the client. Thus, psychological knowledge of the own wounds is initiatory for healing wok at a psychological or Soul level. Jung proposed that a therapist should be open to its own exploration and growth through the vehicle of the therapeutic relationship, which he came to see as mutual between therapist and client since both could project unresolved or subconscious material in the other. Without vulnerability within the therapeutic relationship, Jung noted that therapists could easily become inflated at an egocentric level through psychological polarization and projection in which the therapist uses the relationship to assure his own safe position of delusional superiority.
For Chiron, the projection of unresolved emotional contents and states, and his own introjected feeling of being a ‘monster’ or an ‘anomal animal’ that deserved rejection or abandonment, could be easily triggered by the client’s own wounds, and activate the compensatory defenses on the healer’s side, inflating the ego and preventing further growth. In spiritual stages of evolution, Chiron can even be part of a signature of ego-intoxication.
The Nodes of Chiron
The South Node of Chiron oscillates between 26° degrees of Aries and 2° degrees of Taurus. The North Node of Chiron oscillates between 22° degrees of Libra and 6° degrees Scorpio. To my knowledge, it was Bradley Naragon at the School of Evolutionary Astrology who first observed that the oscillation of the planetary nodes has a yearly cycle, implying that the same day let’s say 20 July, has the same nodal positions in any different year, let’s say 2019, 2020, 2021 and so on. A practical consequence of this is that, if you are aware of the zodiacal positions of your Chiron’s nodes – or the nodes of any other astrological planet except the Moon and Sun – in your birthchart, you also know the exact nodal positions by Sign and degree of any other person born in the same day.
Chiron Nodes are in Scorpio – Aries between 29 October and 16 April. On 16 April Chiron’s North Node moves to Libra, and thus, Chiron Nodes are in Libra – Aries until 30 April, when Chiron´s South Node moves into Taurus, and then Chiron’s Nodes remain in Taurus – Libra until 29 October. Thus, regardless of the natal position of Chiron itself in the birthchart:
* people born between 14 April – 28 April: South Node of Chiron in Aries and the North Node of Chiron in Libra. For these people, the planetary rulers of Chiron’s Nodes are Mars and Venus.
* people born between 28 April and 14 October: South Node of Chiron in Taurus and the North Node of Chiron in Libra. These people have only one planet as the ruler of Chiron´s nodes, ie. Venus.
* people born between 14 October and 28 October have the South Node of Chiron in Aries and the North Node of Chiron in Libra, having Mars and Venus as the planetary rulers of Chiron´s nodes.
* people born between 28 October and 14 April have the South Node of Chiron in Aries and the North Node of Chiron in Scorpio. Chiron´s nodal rulers for these people are Mars and Pluto.
Chiron in Aries
Chiron in Aries emphasizes and intensifies fundamental aspects of the Chiron archetype connected with the integration of the animal instinctive nature. Given that these are themes central to the Chiron archetype, most of the general topics of the archetype can be highlighted when Chiron is in Aries. Aries is an archetype by which subconscious contents become able to reach conscious awareness, and thus, Chiron in Aries involves a primary intention to become aware of the Chironian wounds.
Aries, Mars, the 1st House archetypes correlate with defensive dynamics operating at an instinctive level, and with the instinctively conditioned systems that evaluate the nature of external danger, and pick appropriate defensive responses based on prior ‘learning’ within the “fight or flight or freeze” possibilities. Again, these responses are based on prior learning and subconscious cognitive evaluations and memory associations – Aries natural inconjunct to Scorpio, sextile to Aquarius and trine to Sagittarius. Emotional responses adequate to such instinctive drives are also connected to the Mars archetype, and thus Mars correlates with anger and rage whose physiology fuels defensive aggressive responses (against the stimulus), but also the emotion of fear that triggers defensive responses (away from the stimulus) when the cognitive evaluation deals with a known threat that is perceived as superior in force; or a response of anxiety when the nature or intensity of the threat are not know. Aries correlates as to the instinctive center of the psyche in the model of the three centers as used in the Fourth Path, and thus correlates with dynamics of the personality that are prevalent in types defined by anger and those defined by fear, and further, with the counterphobic response to threat in some fearful characters. Thus, with Chiron in Aries fear, anger or anxiety can be highly intensified, as various forms of aggression, withdrawal from aggression, and counterphobic aggression can also be intensified to the extreme. Intense unresolved issues can also exist relating to the sexual energy or instinctive sexuality, and its suppression or repression based on consensus social beliefs and morals. In all cases, an intention exists to allow for integration of or elaboration of those archetypal energies which will induce an intense need to deal with and heal prior wounds. The nature of the said wounds and pre-existing responses will have found their way to condition or distort psychological growth and Individuation, and have created the basis for social integration of the individual at some key points in development. This is true in general, from the point of view of the archetype, and can be especially emphasized for individuals experiencing their Chiron return during the current Aries transit because Chiron transited in its prior passage through Aries in opposition to Uranus in Libra most of the time. This means that for these individuals the themes of monstrosity and awkwardness, exclusion, alienation and excommunication, and all forms of projections, introjections and projective identification, many times in relation to the values or expectations of the social consensus, can be very intense topics.
Many times the necessary integration of aggressive energy has created extremes in the past, and dynamics of cyclic withdrawal that are followed by forceful or aggressive self-affirmation. Same cyclic orientation has existed in some cases in connection with sexuality. Chiron in Aries, and the Aries South Node of Chiron in its transit through Aries, form archetypical squares to the south and north nodes of Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter, in Capricorn and Cancer, speaking of intense evolutionary stress resulting from these dynamics, and how this issues underly severe collective unresolved problems that have created massive consequences for the species. For example, intense gender issues manifesting in current times as a “war of the sexes” can have extreme manifestations as a result of this collective unresolved energies. Conflict between the masculine and the feminine has had serious impact in the evolution of sexuality for many Souls, that has been reinforced by spiritual belief systems. On the one hand, natural sexuality or sexuality based on the ancient religion of the Goddess and Shamanism, and Earth, Ctonic and Daimonic sexuality, connected with magic and occultism, firmly grounded in the physical body and the life of the senses. Religion of the Goddess is about immanence, its about being at home in our planet, and in our bodies. On the other side, “spiritual” attitudes about sexuality, based on desires for ‘transcendence’, desires to leave this world behind, transcending the physical body – the simple body which becomes a target for projections – because of on an induced conflict between spirit and the ‘flesh’ in which the body is considered inferior and impure. The milieu in which integration could occur – the emotional and feeling nature of the individual – have been wounded, repressed or suppressed.
Chiron in Aries can also intensify the compensatory need to get ahead, to be successful or a ’number one’ in whatever field, including excessive self-assertion without a capacity to consider other people’s needs, or the individual own needs in general, or their own needs as they are satisfied by other people. Chiron in Aries can experience a felt need to be totally independent and reject what the individual needs to receive from others. As I mentioned before, many times this attitude will be based on insufficient healing of a narcissistic wound, translating into a fear of vulnerability or pain, rather than an expression of the individual’s potential. On the other extreme, Chiron in Aries can correlate with a wounded feeling around the individuality that prevents self-actualization. Narcissism is of course an intensified topic for Chiron in Aries, that can manifest, despite being a fire archetype, in both introverted or extroverted forms depending on the whole chart signature. At the introverted extreme the wound in the self involves a feeling of not having a right to be one self, or to assert one’s individuality even when it is demanded by external circumstances, or that individual desires or wishes are ‘wrong’ or inadequate, limiting the natural exploration and self-guided development. Intense inner compression of desires and emotional fuel of cyclic anger and fear can lead the way to intense or even painful experiences, in which the individual can wound himself again, or he can wound others, that will create a need for healing. Many times the healing will make it necessary to recover or reconnect with primal energies that were not fully integrated in early development when personality was formed, and to understand their manifestations in life. Many times this may include experiences of violence, or abuse, at either ends.
Within the induced need to get ahead and be a number one the topic of “spiritual materialism” that Chogyam Trungpa spoke about also needs to be considered, especially for spiritual types. We can view spiritual materialism as a consequence of spiritual bypassing. The notion of spiritual bypass became central to Evolutionary Astrology taught by Jeffrey Green, who spoke about the impact of patriarchally conditioned spiritual life and how it perpetuates emotional and sexual alienation and repression, and about the need to embrace deeper levels of emotional self-knowledge and healing in order avoid severe spiritual pitfalls. Speaking about Milarepa, Chogyam Trungpa tells that his story “is an example of the destruction of spiritual and psychological materialism. You have to recognize your attitudes of psychological and spiritual materialism, and both of those have to be cut through. If you have too much desire to gain a higher goal using your own authority, you are still standing on ego’s territory. You are still trying to become a better person, so you still have the tendency for enlightened ego, or egohood, which is the same as being an egomaniac. The tendency for enlightened ego is the desire for ego to become indestructible, which is spiritual materialism. So sooner or later you have to let go of this desire to constantly become a better person from the ego’s point of view.”
Individuals with Chiron in Aries can manifest great courage and have a natural capacity to stand apart from the mainstream and follow their inner guidance. Many of them have a natural capacity to lead or to rebel against outer authority. Also, they can have a compelling need to stand forcefully for their values and for what is needed at the collective level, their tribe, or people in their individual lives. Thus, they can be very brave in fighting against injustice and unfairness.
These dynamics can reach extremes as we have discussed before. As an example that is relevant for many individuals that will experience their Chiron return within the current transit of Chiron in Aries, who have their natal Chiron conjunct Eris and opposed to Uranus in Libra, is one of projection of anger against the system that creates a feeling of being excluded or persecuted by society. These individuals can have the subconscious feeling that their own individuality or essence is at stake in their involvement with the social consensus or can become diluted or lost if they immerse themselves too deeply within social reality. This results in desires to exclude themselves from interaction with the mainstream, which in turn, can be projected on society and can be perceived back as being excluded or persecuted, fueling intense anger and alienation. Even though this dynamic is prevalent at some stages of the Individuation process as described by Jeffrey Green, they can exist at all evolutionary stages for some individuals relative to their own nature and evolutionary path. In some cases, this has created or may create the paradoxical situation of alienated groups or individuals that recur to violent ways of the very consensus they want to rebel against, in their fight against the existing order.
At a collective level, we can see in the Chiron ingress chart of 18 April 2019, the intensified potential for a cycle of massive violence indicated in Uranus in Aries conjunct Mars, squaring the Nodal axis of the Moon and Pluto and Saturn at the South Node, reflecting the collective need to rebel against the power of the global elites that control societies by controlling the economies. Intense collective revolt is manifesting in some countries against the existing order, that potentially will evolve into a generalized state of social rebellion against the existing order, as Pluto transits into Aquarius and progressively opposes Pluto in Leo in the charts of many current political and economic leaders, while squaring the natal Plutos of the Pluto in Scorpio generation. Before that, the US will experience their collective Pluto return, and transiting Jupiter will unite with Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn, reflecting the unyielding efforts of the controlling elites to subjugate social revolt and continue to ignore collective needs and demands, and the intention to create a ‘new world order’ with a central government that is being proposed and pushed from different ideologic corners. Intense, violent confrontations may be unavoidable at the collective level. At some point the intensity of confrontation and destructive consequences will demonstrate the collective need to embrace social change. Hopefully, the wisdom of Chiron in Aries arising from direct experience about the nature, and the roots and consequences of violence, may serve to find better avenues for the desires and need for collective evolution.
Jeffrey Green, Pluto, The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus
Carl Jung, Symbols of Transformation
Carl Jung, Psychological Types
Thomas Ogden, Projective Identification and Psychotherapeutic Technique
Tansey and Burke, Understanding countertransference
Daniel Shaw, Traumatizing Narcissism
Mario Jacoby, Individuation and Narcissism
Michael Washburn, Embodies Spirituality in a Sacred World
Rudolf Steiner, The Being of Man and His Future Evolution
Rudolf Steiner, Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner, The Myth of Osiris
Rudolf Steiner, Historical Necessity and Freewill
Christian Moevs, The Metaphysics of Dante’s Comedy
David Brockman, A Psychoanalytic Exploration of Dante’s Divine Comedy
Claudio Naranjo, Character and Neurosis, an integrative view.