Before this year, the last time Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune got together was in 1945, then in the sign of Libra. However, that was before Chiron had been discovered. Chiron — an asteroid traveling between Saturn and Uranus — was discovered in 1977. The myth of Chiron is that of the Wounded Healer, and this archetype has been living large this year.
In brief, here’s the Greek story: Chiron, a Centaur (half-horse, half-human) is accidentally shot in the leg by Hercules. The arrow bears the poisonous venom of the Hydra, so the wound hurts like hell and, despite his best efforts, Chiron can never heal it. Yet in the process of trying to heal himself, Chiron becomes a master healer and teacher of other healers, including Asclepius, the father of Greek medicine.
Astrologically speaking, Chiron shows the places where we feel the most deeply and hopelessly wounded. And yet, because of our own attempts to heal this wound, we gain the skills, powers and compassion to help others with the very thing we can’t heal in ourselves.
With Chiron so activated in the sky right now — as for all of this past year — the Wounded Healer part of each of us is readily available. Which is to say — our deepest places of wounding are being triggered, opening opportunities for healing. We may not be able to fully heal these wounds, but we can see them in a new light, expand our understanding of their purpose in our lives, and perhaps recognize and utilize the gifts they offer.
Trusting Our Wounds
“Chiron’s story underlines the need for acceptance of our woundedness as a precondition for any healing that may follow…. Eventually it is that within us which wounds us which must repent and come to our aid, or we remain victims of our own fate and oblivious to our own destructiveness.” – Melanie Reinhart, Chiron and the Healing Journey
As long as we’re repressing, ignoring or otherwise rejecting our wounded places, there is no possibility for healing. This is what we tend to do with “Chirotic” wounds because they feel so deeply and hopelessly entrenched. We develop coping mechanisms to protect ourselves from feeling pain or from revealing our vulnerability to others.
The Aquarius Super-Conjunction — combining the energy of Jupiter and Neptune with Chiron — opens the door to another approach. Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, represents the principle of expansion. Teaming up with Chiron, his role has been to make our wounds so big and obvious we can’t possibly ignore them anymore. (Thanks, Jupiter!)
At a deeper level, Jupiter represents TRUST — the sense of expansiveness that connects us with something bigger than ourselves. Ideally, Jupiter’s conjunction with Chiron can give us a higher perspective to help us trust in the wound itself – that it has important information, is in our lives for a reason, and contains a gift.
Meanwhile, Neptune, God of the Ocean, representing consciousness, compassion, oneness and Spirit, shows us that we are not alone in our wounds. Neptune is the Great Dissolver, eroding perceived boundaries between Self and Other to reveal the inherent interconnectedness of All That Is.
Neptune’s conjunction with Chiron suggests the potential for healing by softening our defenses. Our wounds can make us feel more separate and alone when we close down around them. But when we take the risk of letting down the walls of protection and revealing vulnerability (this is where TRUST comes in) we realize that we are not alone, and we may even discover previously unimagined resources for healing.
The power of this current Super-Conjunction lies in opening the wound, and the key to utilizing this influence is to soften, connect and practice compassion for ourselves and others.
Aquarius and the Collective Connection
“I have such a feeling of solidarity with everything alive that it doesn’t seem important to know where the individual ends or begins.” – Albert Einstein
Neptune in Aquarius (1998-2012) has been dissolving the barriers between science and Spirit. Quantum physicists are scientifically demonstrating what mystics have been saying for millennia — that All Is One. Our separateness from one another is an illusion. The potential of the Aquarius Super-Conjunction is to heal the wounds that keep us from feeling and acting on a genuine sense of connection with all of humanity.
As with the personal “Chirotic” process, the healing requires entering the wound. Opening up to feeling our own personal pain is daunting enough, let alone feeling the pain of humanity. (Hence the American pastime of partaking in a vast selection of mind- and heart-numbing substances and activities.)
I had a strong emotional reaction to the news about sending 30,000 more Americans to the “war” in Afghanistan. I took some time to try to imagine what it would be like to live in a place that’s being invaded and bombed, in fear for my life, watching my family and friends suffer and die around me. I thought about Danielle Trussoni’s memoir Falling Through the Earth, about her father’s tour in Vietnam as a “tunnel rat” and how the trauma he experienced affected the entire family, well into future generations. The wounds of war go far beyond the individuals who are in actual combat — as one big human family, we’re all affected.
I also noticed my resistance to really feeling the pain. It seemed overwhelming, like a feeling I could get lost in, and it made me feel powerless. If I feel it, I’m acknowledging it, and if I acknowledge it, then I think I have to do something about it. And when I think of doing something to stop the Empire’s military machine, I feel powerless.
The amazing Barbara Hand Clow — astrologer, scholar, and Mayan Calendar researcher — spoke in Portland a few weeks ago. Commenting on the movie 2012 — and other apocalyptic fear-mongering around the end-date of the Mayan Calendar — she said something like (I’m paraphrasing here), “If only these changes were only happening in the physical world! That would be easy. The work we have to do is on the emotional level, which is much harder.”
Doing our emotional work — processing the fear and pain that have been so deeply entrenched in our psyches — means staying present with the uncomfortable feelings that come up. The alternative to feeling is numbing ourselves, closing down, putting up walls. This is a truly powerless, lonely place to be — there is no hope for connection, compassion or healing when we’re shut down.
Opening the door to healing the wounds of the world starts with opening our hearts. The potential — particularly this month, during the last hit of the Aquarius Super-Conjunction — is to dissolve the barriers to oneness and expand our “feeling of solidarity with everything alive.” From this felt sense of connection, new possibilities for collective evolution and transformation can emerge.
- Emily Trinkaus