Chiron in the Natal Chart
Reflections on Chiron in the Natal Chart
I think interpreting Chiron in the natal chart can be very revealing, especially, of course, if it makes some strong aspects or is otherwise prominent. There are quite a few excellent resources for learning about Chiron available. I’ve leafed through a number of books on Chiron over the years, and different authors focus more heavily on different Chiron themes, but they’re all very interesting and useful.
I’ve written a few articles about Chiron, including Chiron in Aspect. Where Chiron is in the natal chart is where we might feel ineffective, wounded, guilty, or otherwise unable to express ourselves naturally and confidently (without some work). Often it has to do with early and painful experiences, but there are people with Chiron “issues” who can’t pinpoint a particular incident or experience in childhood to explain them, and really it’s not necessary to do so.
Chiron as the Wounded Healer often does push a person towards healing others, through personal experience and deep sensitivity to the particular planet’s energy that it aspects. Wisdom that is often associated with Chiron comes from this sensitivity and the lifelong learning process. I have a friend who is a marriage counselor by profession (he has Venus conjunct Chiron), and is considered to be a very good one. He’s in his forties and on his third marriage, and you can imagine, takes some flak for this fact. However, he is learning from his own personal struggles, and is able to bring what he learns into his work with couples, and very effectively at that.
Early expression of Chiron hard aspects is often choppy, unnatural, and ineffective. As we learn to accept this part of ourselves as valid and deserving, it becomes easier to express it without consequent feelings of guilt or shame. As an example: Chiron-Mars. The ability to assert ourselves and our desires, and to express anger, come into play with Mars. With Chiron in hard aspect to Mars, we are somehow ashamed of expressing our desires directly and confidently. Perhaps we don’t expect our desires to be met. My friend has a child who would rarely ask for anything from his parents directly. Instead, he would convince his sisters to ask his parents for what he wanted. Although mostly even-tempered, he would sometimes have huge angry outbursts with tears following the outbursts–nothing violent or alarming, but nevertheless choppy. When asked by his mother why he always seemed to enlist the help of a sibling to ask for something that he wanted, he replied that “you wouldn’t do it if I asked”. The mother didn’t think that was true, but the issue here is that it is a personal reality for him–that’s how he perceives things. He has Mars in Pisces conjunct Saturn and opposite Chiron. Mars in Pisces on its own can be roundabout, but I think Chiron complicates matters considerably.
Another child I know who has Mercury conjunct Chiron in Libra (and widely opposing Saturn) asked why it seems that every time she has the courage to state her opinion on something, it seems to completely backfire. She feels that others around her can easily express an opinion without negative feedback, but when she says something even slightly provocative, it’s met with raised eyebrows. It’s hard to say whether it is due to extreme sensitivity to feedback (where Chiron is, there is usually extreme sensitivity to others’ responses, and sometimes imagined negative feedback), or if it’s because others sense her fear of expressing herself. If we don’t feel that our needs or feelings are valid when we express an energy, it can most certainly come out the wrong way, with a tone that almost invites negative feedback. It reminds me of the interplay of two of my cats that I had years ago. They were brothers, and one was terrified of the other. The scared one wouldn’t just walk past the tough one normally, he would slink past him. I watched this interplay and wished that the scaredy cat would walk confidently past the tougher cat, because by slinking he would get the very negative attention that he was fearful of. A fight would then ensue. There were a few times when the scared cat didn’t notice the tough cat was around and he was able to pass him without incident. No slinking=no fight.
So it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing, and can very much be a vicious circle. If we’re scared of expressing ourselves, when we do summon up the courage to do it, it can come out either too aggressively or too emotionally–unnaturally–and is thus somehow ineffective. This then feeds the very feeling of ineffectiveness that is at the root of the unnatural expression. Something that stands out for me (with Sun opposite Chiron) was an incident that really shouldn’t have been considered an incident at all. However, the sensitivity of Chiron can be extreme, especially in our early years. I was with a group of friends at a birthday party as a young child, and although I was typically rather shy, I was feeling goofy, and did a silly little dance. My mother said, “stop showing off”, likely in a playful tone, because she is not a vindictive person. I shrunk–I felt like a complete idiot. Another person might take it for what it was–playfulness–and it’s unlikely they would carry this memory to adulthood, either. I can’t imagine my mother was putting me down, but I perceived it as such. With Sun-Chiron in hard aspect, there can be a feeling of embarrassment following a Sun-style expression of “shining”–of strutting your stuff. Chiron is closely conjunct my Moon (in Pisces, within one degree) and opposes my Sun-Uranus-Pluto. I think it’s one of the reasons why I spent a good portion of my life feeling guilty for almost everything I did (or didn’t do)!
Moon conjunct Chiron in Pisces, I believe, is “responsible” for spontaneous tears at anything remotely touching or moving (amongst many other things). As a kid, I hated this tendency of mine with a passion, finding it embarrassing and awkward, and making every attempt to cover it up. I blamed it on migraines (the pain is tearing me up), on remembering my cat’s death, on anything I could, really. Many times I would cry for no particular reason. I have a memory of one of my teachers in elementary school approaching me in class and asking me why I had tears in my eyes, and I said, quite honestly, “I don’t know”. This wonderful woman took me out of the class and talked to me in the teacher’s lounge at length. I loved her for it, just because she seemed to sincerely care, but I truly didn’t know what it was that moved me to tears. It was perhaps a fleeting thought or feeling that caused me to cry that I sincerely didn’t remember. Finally, in true Piscean fashion, I offered her a story for why I was sad, entirely fictional, but just because she seemed so eager to want to know and help, and I didn’t want to let her down! As I grew older, I learned to accept it–I stopped fighting it–and now I can just let the tears flow without having to apologize or cover up. My kids and I went to a movie (a pretty corny but entertaining one) just the other day and my youngest made a game out of it, counting how many times I teared up. I also possess the ability to laugh and cry at once, which is most of the time. And, the up side to this story is that I can just as readily laugh and smile as I do cry, often without reason, too. While laughing at anything even remotely absurd or “off” was also a problem growing up (when I had laughing fits at totally inappropriate moments), it was easier to accept than the spontaneous crying. I don’t think crying spontaneously is necessarily a signature of Moon-Chiron, but there is a deep emotional sensitivity there that is unmistakable and expressed in different ways. Similar to the outbursts of temper with hard Mars-Chiron I mentioned above, one of the challenges of hard Moon-Chiron aspects is to express the emotions naturally and evenly, instead of holding onto them in fear, bottling them up, until emotions come out in a dramatic moment, after which there is embarrassment and awkwardness. With Moon-Chiron, we can have a real feeling that others don’t care about our emotions, but this feeling is on some level self-fulfilling.
It’s the vicious circle thing again. Holding onto your feelings to the point that when you express them, it comes out as an outburst, is baffling to others. They don’t know how to react, and this feeds the feeling of ineffectiveness or lack of validation that caused the pattern. I think of Chiron energy as similar to the nature of the inconjunct (quincunx) when it comes to feelings of guilt–of not doing enough. People with Chiron strong in their charts will often give a lot, but never feel satisfied with how much they’ve done. They have to stop from time to time to remind themselves just how much they have given, because otherwise they won’t necessarily see it, or believe it. There is often a strong need to help, to be useful, to teach or enlighten. And the ones who do teach or heal in some manner generally totally throw themselves into the process. Venus-Chiron people might attach themselves to partners who need help, or who demand a lot from them. With the hard aspects, their need for affection and fear of rejection can be tremendous.
At the heart of Chiron “wounds” is a feeling that we’re just not good enough or deserving enough. It’s humility, but unhealthy humility borne of low self-esteem. Humility is also found when Chiron is strong and mostly flowing in the chart, but it’s healthy and confident. With Chiron, there is often a quest and sincere motivation to learn, grow, and heal, and this is why Chiron’s conjunction with Neptune (and Jupiter) this month is so interesting. It brings with it an opportunity period for understanding our addictions, whether they are addictions to substances, dreams, concepts, or relationships. I’ve personally been experiencing unusual psychic/intuitive prompts and pokes by the scores that I have yet to completely make sense of, although some things can’t and possibly shouldn’t be defined. It’s a period of great psychic openness, which can be fabulously healing on one level, and challenging on another in terms of the possibility of being led astray. Hard Chiron transits can sometimes coincide with periods when we seek a teacher, guru, or leader, because of our own uncertainty or feelings of ineffectiveness/unworthiness, so we need to be wary of attaching ourselves to the wrong person or cause. On the other hand, maybe it’s exactly what we need to do in order to learn. I know quite a few people born close to me with Jupiter square Neptune natally, including myself, and we have all sorts of interesting plans, visions, and dreams. What’s missing is the will to make them happen. There’s a lot of procrastination and avoidance, and in some cases, a bending of personal philosophies to explain what is probably essentially a lack of motivation and follow-through. With Chiron in the mix, there may be a little more motivation to do something productive with our ideas and plans.
We offer a Midpoint Report – this computerized report lists and interprets all of the midpoint pictures in the natal chart, as well as midpoint pictures created over time: transits, progressions, and solar arc directions to midpoints in the natal chart, for 6 months.
References & suggested further reading:
(1) The Combination of Stellar Influences by Reinhold Ebertin offers interpretations of midpoints and planetary pictures. A classic.
(2) Midpoints: Unleashing the Power of the Planets by Michael Munkasey offers interpretations and keyphrases for midpoints and planetary pictures. More modern definitions.
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