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OUTERPLANETARY (EXTRAORDINARY) PEOPLE

Chiron and Life's Purpose (Spirited Living)
Part V

By Joyce Mason




Chiron's importance to outerplanetary people can hardly be overstated. It is the thread that weaves together the tapestry of the outer planets as a living aggregate in our charts. Chiron is the glue that makes outerplanetary people solid and capable of handling the strong energies that we are asked to bring down to Earth day by day -- first for ourselves, then for others, inspiring them to enter courageously into their own encounters with Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Chiron's binding influence with the trans-Saturnian planets is reason enough to want know your Chiron -- for if you do, the outer planets and their combined meaning will simply fall into place in one grand got it!

The Power of Fifty

Since my Chiron Return, I have deepened my understanding of the Chiron archetype and the possibilities of its 50-year cycle by transit through a natal chart. My great-nephew was baptized on Pentecost Sunday, the Christian celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit fifty days after Easter. I knew this was no accident for Zachary -- or for Auntie Joyce. The parallels between the lives of Chiron and Jesus are legion.[1] Chiron is an earlier, Greek mythological version of the same archetype -- the one so many cultures venerate as the spiritual ideal.

At Zach's christening, I felt like I was living Chiron's progressed chart -- the Pentecost as the 50th day after the death of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles is a metaphor for the 50th year of life and the Chiron Return.[2] As Zach was chrismated -- anointed with holy oil on his crown -- I thought about the tongues of fire over the apostles' heads at Pentecost -- such a living symbol of spirit and inspiration, hovering over their crown chakras. Watching our family's new baby become initiated into his spiritual life, I saw his godparents as Chiron and Chariclo, now entrusted with his Godlink. I was moved to tears, as I realized that by our 50th year, the descent of Spirit must be upon us -- we must be aware of it -- if we are to accomplish what we came here to do.

And somehow, it all goes back to the fact of our birth and the spiritual connection baptism and Pentecost both represent. Our mission is merely to realize that we never lost that connection with All That Is when we left pure spirit for a physical body. We brought our spirits with us. In Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets, Barbara Hand Clow reviews the symbolism of the number 50 from many sources. Fifty often symbolizes attainment of a difficult task. Learning to live spiritually in a material world for half a century sure qualifies! In the end, it is our spirits that will get us through the rest of our lives and the continuous challenge of these rapidly changing, end-beginning times. We are being asked to evolve beyond light speed.

But we'll get to high-speed growth later on in this article. For now, let's slow down to focus on Chiron's meaning.

Life's Purpose

The Chiron cycle provides the underlying framework for developing our spiritual awareness and putting it to work (literally) by discovering and living our life's purpose. Of the many things Chiron represents, I want to focus on this one in particular in this article, because Outerplantary People (PUNCs) [3] have a very special general purpose, in addition to the more specific purpose suggested by their personal placement of Chiron. That general purpose has been mentioned many times in this article series-to lead the way to global change and spiritual awakening. They go together, because the global change called for is spiritual awakening, where recognizing our living spirits in our bodies is the rule, not the exception.

But as we seek our more personal style and methods for expressing our life's purpose, there's something important to remember. Just as we often look for love in all the wrong places, we sometime dredge for years, looking for purpose in deep ruts where we'll never find it. For one thing, we tend to have lofty ideas about it -- to connect purpose with a fabulous, famous, or at least highly satisfying career. This misunderstanding can cause us a lot of grief on the path to "living light."

Sometimes our purpose can be as simple as to inspire, to learn to give and receive friendship, or to just be there for others. Besides, not everyone can do the sexiest, most exciting jobs. Someone has to collect the garbage or deal with the disgruntled customers at the department store return window. Chiron teaches us to find the sacred in the most mundane -- and never to forget that finding the spiritual in everyday life is to live in a spirited way. Finding purpose moment by moment ultimately leads to living big -- as in fully.

Purpose is much more pervasive and cumulative in an incarnation. It's too big to confine to just one area of your life (career) or house in your chart. To sample the life's purpose of people you have known, think of the last funeral or memorial service you attended. The eulogy and testimonials tell the story of why that person came to Earth. You'll notice that while careers are mentioned, the qualities of character and capacity to love are the focus of this bittersweet ceremony.

The good news is that you don't have to wait to die to discover your purpose. While you may express your purpose in an interesting, influential, or high-profile career, the context doesn't matter as much as the content. We look for fullfillment, to feel we are giving our gifts in a way that matters. This releases our inner light and shines it like a beacon to everyone around us (and it feels good to sit in that lighthouse.) Often we have opportunities right in front of us that we overlook because they don't seem glamorous or big enough. As Mother Theresa said, "We can do no big things, only small things with great love." Purpose is reflected in our careers, but also in every role we play and everything we do in life -- and it is an ongoing accumulation of our small deeds. Because of Chiron's strong connection to life purpose, Chiron is about being here now -- living in the present, completely incarnated in this moment. The present is the present (gift). In every moment, you have the opportunity to shine your light into today's proceedings.

From a mythical standpoint, Chiron the hero-maker taught us that if you work with what you have, day-to-day, honing your gifts to become true skills, when they are needed by society, you are there for the people -- and the people is there for you. To live life in that fully spirited way is to become our own heroes, being our best, and trusting spirit to deliver what we need to know through our open minds in every moment (heaven to earth link intact).

The Chiron Cycle

Imagine our souls have the astro-spiritual equivalent of genetic material. At birth, our soul is encoded with the pain, loss, and longing for wholeness that suits each of us best to reach total ensoulment -- remembering who we are, even in physical form. This code is contained in the placement and sign of Chiron in our charts.

But before we focus on the microscopic view, let's start with the big picture. Much like the familiar lunar cycle, there are four quarters or significant turning points to Chiron's movement by transit through your chart in your lifetime:

Birth - The Starting Point

Here you receive your Chironic imprint, the circumstances into which you are born physically, culturally, racially, religiously, socio-economically, or psychologically that will work as a bio/spiritual feedback system catalyzing your inner growth. You are imprinted with it, like a genetic code , and its purpose is to remind you that pain can only be transcended with the right spirit -- and spirit is what you have to keep coming back to, both in and out of the body.

First Chiron Square

When Chiron squares itself the first time, you will begin to have either an inkling or actual awareness of the Chironic wound and its impact on you. With Chiron's erratic orbit, this can happen anytime between ages 6 and 24, [5] so your maturity and ability to handle the message may vary widely. You might get anything from a moderate wake-up call to a devastating shock, as your pain can no longer be denied. At the base of it, this pain always, at some level, has to do with feeling disconnected. The Chironic wound in its most generic sense is the separation from spirit we feel when we incarnate.[6] Your specific wound only triggers this existing birth trauma. Mine was the stunning shock at eight years old of finding that I was adopted.[7]

Chiron Opposition

Chiron's opposition to itself will often replicate the original wound in some form, piquing awareness of the mechanism that will nag, if not force you, to grow. At my Chiron opposition, my adoptive mother -- my "real" mother in the sense of bonding -- died. This loss replicated the original Chironic wound and began to trigger the need to resolve the unconscious abandonment issues that contributed to a nonstop cycle of pain and suffering in my relationships.

Upper (Second) Chiron Square

When Chiron squares itself the second time, if the preceding cycles have nudged you to do your spiritual work, you'll begin to realize that you can reinterpret the crucifixions you create for yourself. You begin reframing the areas of your life impacted by the wounding, and you start using a different spiritual perspective to catalyze a new pattern for handling your chronic discomfort. You begin getting positive feedback as you change the action/reaction patterns. The wound starts to heal, and it becomes less knee-jerk.

Chiron Return

By the time Chiron returns home to its natal position, again, if you're doing your work, the preceding years of viewing your old wounds in a new way will have taken hold. You will be a more spiritual and spirited person-older, wiser, ready to take on the rest of your life with the assurance that divine intervention is there for you whenever you need it. You'll have found your "holes" -- what's missing in your life -- so you can patch them up and experience wholeness and fulfillment. (Sometimes words are so literal!) Your Chironic wound has become more of a sore spot than an open sore. It will always be there for biofeedback, but you have learned to live with it like an old war injury -- and that its purpose is truly divine. This can only be good news in these days of increasing longevity. You might get to repeat the whole cycle all over again if you live to be 100!

Personal Pain and Group Benefits -Down But-Not-Out Heroes

The climax of the Chiron myth is near the end of the story, when the wise centaur offers to trade places with Prometheus, the mythological character associated with Uranus, symbolizing society or the collective. In Outerplanetary People II, I talked about how Prometheus was punished for stealing fire from the gods. He was tied to a rock daily, where an eagle pecked at his liver -- which regenerated each night for an endless cycle of suffering.

After his own years of suffering without let-up (Chiron was half-immortal so he couldn't die, but the mortal half could feel pain!), Chiron offered to trade places with Prometheus. Chiron reasoned that since he was suffering anyway, why not do it for Prometheus, and at least make something productive of his misery? Prometheus is unbound/freed, and the gods are so impressed with his unselfish act, they in turn free Chiron from the bonds of his immortality. He is allowed to die and ascend -- to become a "star" (constellation). All of this, again, is parallel to the later life of Jesus who sacrificed his own life to "die for our sins." Jesus was the sacrificial lamb -- another phrase for scapegoat -- upon which the sins or pains of many are offered up ritually.

We don't necessarily have to become scapegoats in the most negative sense of the word to live the message of Chiron, but his teaching is to benefit others by our pain. In fact it is our responsibility to do so. This is a good time to review the meaning of archetypes, since both Chiron and Jesus are variations of the same one. Archetype is defined as … an original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype. Archetype is derived from two Greek words meaning first molded as a pattern or exemplary.[8]

Beyond that, an archetype is a universal principle that keeps repeating itself because it is an expression of the human psyche that longs for fulfillment. Periodically representatives of a specific archetype crop up to give us a booster shot of this particular human psychological imprint -- especially at times when it is most needed. For most humans, suffering is inherent in change, because we fear the unknown and the disorientation and disconnection we associate with it. A planetary body was discovered and named after Chiron, so that we could rediscover his story and face these rapid-fire, turning-point times with wisdom and his tools for training heroes. What does that mean in everyday, down-to-earth terms? Chiron in your chart has to do with being heroic by being your best for the collective, but that also includes learning to overcome your pain -- to make lemons out of lemonade and to give a big gulp of it to fellow travelers on hot days. Just a few modern examples of inspired wounded heroes who have made gifts of their pain to all of us include:

Christopher Reeve, Actor -- Our fallen Superman, (Ch)ironically wounded in a horse riding accident, has dedicated his life to raising funds and awareness about spinal cord injuries. He directs movies from his wheelchair, and he is dealing with his quadriplegia hopefully. Chris's wife, Dana Reeve, has become the new standard for women who stand by their man. She has done so with grace, dignity, humility, and incredible class.

MADD Moms, Crusaders -- Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded by a small group of California women in 1980 after a 13-year-old-girl was killed by a hit-and-run driver. He had been out of jail on bail for only two days for another hit-and-run drunk driving crash and had three previous drunken driving arrests and two convictions. Because of this organization, drunk driving laws have been tightened, drinking and driving is now socially as well as legally taboo, and countless other mothers have been spared the pain of losing their children in senseless accidents involving alcohol.[9]

Itzahk Perlman, Violinist --Would you believe that this man has a physical disability, if you didn't see the crutches with your own eyes? To quote one biography: Perlman is collaborator and friend to countless young musicians, he is an invaluable ambassador for the human spirit. That he has accomplished so much with a crippling disability is a source of amazement and admiration for all who come in contact with this remarkable man. For musicians everywhere, he remains the "fiddler's fiddler".[10] (Like Chiron is the healer's healer.)

Heroes don't have to be famous. Heroes are everywhere. You know them, I know them, and if we aren't already, we have to become one of them. It's what Chiron calls for. It's can-do in spite of it spirit. It was the mythical M*A*S*H* doctors, making jokes with -- and comrades out of -- torn-up soldiers in Korea. It's laughing and loving each other, even in the face of what seems totally senseless. It is the Special Olympics athlete, the formerly battered wife who staffs the domestic violence shelter, and the painfully shy individual who overcomes his or her fear to become a speaker or actor in demand. It is the stuff that has spawned one of the most popular phenomena of heartwarming books ever written in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

And the bottom line is this: If we can be heroic and happy despite our pain, how great can our lives be-and how much might we actually accomplish -- when we're not hurting? This truly is the key to heaven on earth and Chiron's bridging function between the two planets that represent them (Uranus/Heaven and Saturn/Earth).

Your Chiron: Your Special Brand of Heroism and Help

Purpose by Chiron Sign

Chiron was an amazing teacher who made heroes out of young misfits. (Talk about lemons from lemonade!) [11] As Chironic types, we bridge Saturn and Uranus through step-by-step changes that encompass the best of the old and new. This is the alternative to the extremes of authoritarianism and revolution that Saturn and Uranus represent. Given this role of "weaver," Chiron is a very creative and mitigating force-ever changing.

Consider these capsules only as starting points of possibility as go on your own hero's quest to find Chiron's special curriculum for you. Consider house placement and aspects with other planets. In each case, the help you need is the help you need to give:

Chiron in Aries
Teaching others to overcome the loneliness of the pioneer's path and any marks left by issues of violence.

Chiron in Taurus
Overcoming discomfort with your body or issues around material possessions.

Chiron in Gemini
Transcending communications challenges, whether of ideas, differences in language, culture, or the overall ability to connect with others through self-expression.

Chiron in Cancer
Getting beyond overprotectiveness, abandonment, or tendencies toward eating disorders or other manifestations of inappropriate nurturing. Mother issues.

Chiron in Leo
Getting past a wounded ego or creative function or problems with self-expression, fertility, or parenting. Father issues.

Chiron in Virgo
Learning to separate the helpful from the harmful, mentally, physically, emotionally and morally. Transcending healing challenges through many integrated modalities.

Chiron in Libra
Transcending pain due to relationship issues or lack of beauty or balance.

Chiron in Scorpio
Learning how to transmute the pain of been cut off or cut on -- of surgery, violence or loss, sometimes including the death(s) of loved ones.

Chiron in Sagittarius
Overcoming pain due to isolating beliefs, culture, or religious persecution or abuse.

Chiron in Capricorn
Overcoming a harsh or overly disciplined environment and its impacts.

Chiron in Aquarius
Transcending the pain of being different and transmuting it into a celebration of uniqueness.

Chiron in Pisces
Taking the hurts of being too open and compassionate and using them as the building blocks for setting appropriate boundaries and healthy giving.

It's easy to see how these issues of purpose can be taken to work with you. Imagine Chiron in Aries lobbying for gun control … in Taurus as a bodyworker or stock broker … in Gemini as a sign language translator … and so on.

Rapid Growth in Outerplanetary Times

This article series began, "We live in extraordinary … outerplanetary times." Even if you don't have Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, and/or Pluto strongly emphasized in your natal chart, just by being here now, we have all accepted an invitation to become extraordinary, due to the strong impact of the outer planets in these Interesting Times.[12] The problem is we can't do it alone when it comes to mastering the earthplane as spirits on assignment. We cannot excel in every issue and facet of being human. Here is where we have to rely on community, where others can bring some of our issues to completion for us vicariously in the same kind of sacrificial offering to humankind made by Chiron and the Christ. When we can learn from their mistakes and triumphs, we can lighten our own load of heavy life lessons.

Chiron's heroes and Chiron himself also tell us volumes about the issues of collective talent and fitting in. Paradoxical as it seems, when we become the most self-actualized -- the best individuals we can be -- is when we have the most to offer our group. Chiron himself went from rejected outcast to the Yoda of Mt. Pelion, cranking out Jedi Knights like it was all in a day's work. And speaking of Yoda, he had this to say about the can-do-in spite-of-it spirit: "No try -- do. No can't -- can."

Times are changing rapidly because the end is near for duality. Wholism is now an option-even a necessity. Each of us is a weaver in our own complex of pain and purpose in the collective patchwork of advancing large groups of souls to the next big evolutionary adventure. Like Jason or Hercules, Chiron has prepared us for a quest whose outcome we don't know, but one we are ready for, trained by a master.

Part of Wholeness Is Being Part of the Whole

In Wholeness and the Inner Marriage, [13] I proposed a new theory that Chiron rules the sector of the zodiac from Virgo through Sagittarius, spanning sequential mastery of Me, Us, and Them issues as we grow in spirit. We have to become fully ourselves before we can give ourselves, then once we grow in one-on-one relationships, we want to know how we fit into the larger whole, where we express our life's purpose at large.

As we weave our soul stuff from solo to tandem to interlacing it -- and interjecting it -- into the life's blood of our entire tribe, we actualize in these interrelated contexts. The world is shrinking at breakneck speed. Never before has our ability to be an integral and integrated part of the whole been more crucial. Today we're citizens of the world-tomorrow of galaxies. Chiron suffered, never skipping a beat, while sharing his talents. Then Chiron didn't just become a star -- he found his place in a constellation -- a group of stars where you connect the individual dots and finally get the whole picture, and when you look up at the sky, it is beautiful.

Author's Note:
This is the final installment in the Outerplanetary People series, which started with -- and came full-circle back to -- Chiron. There was a separate article on each of the outer planets in-between, all published in previous issues of The Wholistic Astrologer. Due to the positive feedback I have received about these articles, I am expanding the material into a book in the near future.

NOTES

[1] Dale O'Brien, "Chiron, Christ, and the Christmas Season," Chironicles, Vol. 1, #2-3 (Dec. 1992), pp. 4-6.
[2] Barbara Hand Clow discusses the parallel between Pentecost and the Chiron Return in Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets (Llewellyn: 1987), pp. 37-38.
[3] If you are joining this series in progress, PUNC is the acronym for Plutonian, Uranian, Neptunian, Chironic people-people with the outer planets prominent (or outerplanetary people). For more information, see Outerplantary People I, The Wholistic Astrologer, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (August 1999), pp. 3-10.
[4] The genetic code analogy isn't an analogy at all, but a literal fact where the Chironic wound is a genetically transmitted physical disability. Likewise, if we really consider the body-mind-spirit connection, there is some level of truth to the idea that all Chironic wounds are imprinted down to a cellular genetic level from the originating point of mind-spirit.
[5] Clow, Barbara Hand, Liquid Light of Sex (Bear & Co.: 1991), p. 135.
[6] I am indebted to my friend, astrologer Gregg Castellucci, for this profound insight.
[7] I give examples from my own life, because I don't have to get permission to reveal the information, but also because my life has been so classically Chironic.
[8] American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin: 1976), p. 68.
[9] Mothers Against Drunk Driving Home Page: http://www.ssnewslink.com/link/madd.html
[10] See Itzahk Perlman, Violinist: http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/1066/perlman.html
[11] Dale O'Brien has done the most comprehensive research on the Chiron myth that I know of, and this is one of his many original ideas based on that work. He has a taped telling of the myth from The Mountain Astrologer's Planet Camp in 1991. Contact the author for more information.
[12] See "Outer Planetary People I", cited in footnote #3. Two of the many ways the outer planets have been prominent in these millennial times is Chiron's conjunction with Pluto at the Big Turn and the current transit of Uranus in its own sign of Aquarius.
[13] This article first appeared in Chironicles in 1992 and The Mountain Astrologer in 1993. You can access it on A Place in Space web site at http://www.aplaceinspace.net/Pages/JMWholeness.html

Copyright © 2000 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JOYCE MASON is an eclectic astrologer, writer, metaphysician, and certified flower essence practitioner with a BA in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA). She has over 30 years' combined casework and astrological counseling experience. Her star studies began in 1980 and quickened in 1988 when she discovered Chiron. The missing link to understanding herself and the bigger cosmic picture, Chiron quickly became her passion and life’s work. Joyce was editor of the international newsletter on Chiron called Chironicles from 1992-95. Joyce lives in the Sacramento, California area. Contact her by e-mail: chironicle@aol.com



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