Chiron, the Wounded Healer


The author of this article, Rob Tillett, has been an astrologer for more than three decades. A poet, musician, magician, healer, dramatist and composer, he is the editor and publisher of Astrology on the Web and has written many of the articles on this website.

Rob lives in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia.

Chiron, the Wounded Healer
In very ancient times, Chiron, the Wounded Healer, was originally a god of healing. In later mythology, as a teacher of heroes and an oracle, he survived as one of the centaurs. These wild creatures, half man and half horse, were not noted either for their sensitivity, or their intelligence and represented mankind's attachment to the lower animal passions. In modern astrology, he stands for the deep karmic wounds in the subconscious that we have come to this life to heal.
Immortal Son of Saturn
Chiron, immortal son of Kronos (Saturn), governs healing and relationships; he teaches us, as he did with Jason, Achilles and Heracles, to fulfil our ultimate potential. Chiron taught his secrets to Asclepios, the divine healer, but in modern astrology he profoundly stands for the deep wounds we have brought into this life to be healed and so to enable us to heal others. His emblem represents holistic understanding. The area of the chart in which Chiron is located is the focus of the karmic healing process, which is often very painful.

A comet-like planetoid now called Chiron was discovered in by Charles Kowal on November 1, 1977. This rara avis flies between the courses of Saturn and Uranus in a highly elliptical 51-year orbit, closer at perihelion to the Sun than Saturn and at aphelion travelling out beyond Uranus. This has the effect of moving him swiftly through some signs, such as Libra, but very slowly through others, such as Aries. The current scientific position is that Chiron probably originated in the Kuiper Belt, a disk of objects orbiting beyond Neptune. The first of many such minor planets (Centaurs) to be discovered, Chiron still remains the largest and most significant of these in terms of human destiny.

An Inner Teacher

Unlike the drunken centaurs, Chiron was wise, with extensive knowledge of the healing arts, astrology, music and medicine. Heracles (Hercules) unintentionally wounded his teacher in the knee, during his battle with the centaurs. Thus his wound was in a sense self-inflicted, for he himself had taught the hero to make the poisoned arrow by dipping it in the blood of the Hydra. The last of his kind, Chiron relinquished immortality so that the titanic rebel Prometheus (who brought the gift of fire—stolen from the gods—to the human race) could be released from his eternal torment. Thus he died so that humanity might live. After his death, he was placed in the firmament as the constellation Sagittarius.

Chiron is a knowledge holder who transmits higher teachings either as an outer teacher (Saturn) or as an inner teacher or spirit guide (Uranus). Embodying the archetype of "the wounded healer", Chiron stresses the importance of going within to find an answer—and then sharing it with others.

In education, music and medicine, Chiron unites the body and mind, instinct and intellect. His ancient teachings are now resurfacing through the advent of holistic health and education.
A more detailed examination of Chiron can be found at Chiron and Friends, Zane B. Stein's exploration of this new zodiacal factor.

NOTE: Chiron, recently discovered, is not a traditional planet, so has no essential dignities, and no long history of research. Interested astrologers are at variance with regard to his influence and even his name! See Hypnos (Bardo) vs Chiron.

Modern astronomical discoveries like Chiron are sometimes seized upon by those who are dissatisfied with the way traditional astrology operates, thinking that if it's new, it must be important. This approach reveals a lack of understanding of astrological principles. The new discoveries (even Pluto, Neptune and Uranus) are still under consideration and are external to the framework of astrology, even though they clearly have effects on human behaviour and significant roles in generational transitions, natural events and so on. The jury is still out on them, as it is on Chiron, the Centaurs, the Asteroids and other notables such as the Galactic Centre
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