Musings in the Olive Grove

Chiron: Our Deepest Wound


Until my mid-thirties I could safely say I was sleepwalking through life. A chronic illness abruptly woke me from my slumber and brought me back into my body.  I have no doubt that over the years I was receiving wake up calls from my soul in various forms which I promptly ignored until I couldn’t. The good news about this story is that the illness set me off on a remarkable odyssey of self-discovery and healing. I explored a diverse range of philosophies and practices, from which I began to transform my life and create my soul praxis.

One of the invaluable and practical healing tools I discovered was the ancient art of astrology, which I still consult. I discovered that astrology offered deep insight into personal development from an energetic and soul perspective.

Yes, astrology is about right timing, divination and planning. It is, however, so much more.  From a psycho-spiritual perspective astrology provides an awareness and understanding of our unique gifts, our challenges and how to work with the energies of the planetary deities to achieve a higher level of consciousness and healing. Astrology is another way in which we are invited to enter a conversation with the soul through mythology, archetype and the imaginal world.

Chiron in our birth chart represents our deepest, most tender and persistent psychic wound in this lifetime. This injury is often created in childhood, forming a specific part of our shadow and causing us to struggle in life. The wound is deep and can leave us feeling ashamed, self-conscious, vulnerable, trapped and ostracised. 

When I first learned about this placement in my chart, an issue that I had been struggling with for most of my life started to make sense. I was given a new language, insight and alternative ways in which to work with it. Over the years I have conscientiously engaged with Chiron in both the physical and imaginary realms. He has shown himself to be a patient and compassionate mentor. 

Before we explore Chiron from an astrological perspective.  Let’s briefly discuss the myth and archetype of Chiron as the Wounded Healer. Mythologically Chiron was a centaur; half man, half horse.  In the Illiad, Homer refers to Chiron as the “wisest and just of all centaurs.” His wisdom however, was hard earned through two deep wounds; emotional and physical. 

Firstly, Chiron was a product of rape, considered a monster, rejected by both his parents and left to die. Fortunately for him he was found and reared by the god Apollo who taught him the healing arts, prophecy, and music.  He was taught archery and hunting by Apollo’s sister Artemis.  Chiron excelled in all fields of learning including astrology, and is also credited in the invention of surgery, medicine and pharmacy. Intelligent and of good temperament, he was widely sought after as a tutor.  

Accidently shot by a poison arrow Chiron’s second wound left him with an terminal and agonising condition.  With all his knowledge and skill, he was unable to heal himself. Being immortal, Chiron was powerless to escape the enduring pain and struck a deal with Zeus. He renounced his immortality and in exchange Prometheus was released from his life of anguish. Upon his death Chiron was raised to the heavens as the constellation of Sagittarius. 

What happened to Chiron speaks to the unfairness of life. However, instead of allowing his wounds to alienate and embitter him, Chiron turns to the healing arts as a means of restoring himself and those of who sought his assistance. Through empathising with the pain of others, he finds a source of inspiration and motivation that leads him to deep insight and achievement. 

Being half man and half horse, Chiron bridges the divide between the instinctual and domesticated qualities of our psyche. Further to this he represents the ways in which we integrate our mind and body. Chiron restores our fragmented conversation between the nature kingdom and human kingdom. He teaches us to communicate and listen to our bodies and the natural realms.  Here we not only discover remedies from herbs, minerals and plants, we meet wise teachers and guides.

Chiron is not mainstream. He represents the principle of holistic knowledge.  Therefore, his healing comes from an alternative path and his placement in our charts is an indicator of what this pathway requires of us. Chiron guides us on a personal quest to find our road less travelled in which we learn to trust, follow and find healing. 

Chiron was discovered in our Solar System in 1977, in an orbit between Saturn and Uranus.  This orbit is significant from a psycho-spiritual perspective because Saturn is the planet of tradition and outer teacher of the establishment, and Uranus represents freedom, our inner teacher, intuition and sovereignty. Chiron as a psychopomp is present every time we undergo deep transformational experiences. He is our intuition forming a bridge between the known and unknown, urging and guiding us to think outside the square in our quest to heal what ails us.

How do we find Chiron in our birth charts?  To create a natal chart, you require your date, time and place of birth.  There are many free birth chart calculators online.  I do, however, recommend that you find an astrologer who can accurately cast the chart for you and offer a foundational understanding for you to build on.

Building on this foundation is central, because at the end of the day we are responsible for bringing to light the gifts that have been entrusted to us in this lifetime.  Chiron generously rewards us for our efforts.  Don’t take my word for it.  I invite you to pursue Chiron and find out for yourself. 

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