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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chiron: Key to Relationships and Story of the Wounded Healer

 Chiron: the Key

Peter was supposed to arrive by evening, though I didn’t know just when. Sophie had just left me alone in her apartment as she went out to get us some food for supper--maybe something for Peter too if he showed up as planned. I wondered if it would be awkward, and if we would all be making small talk instead of being with everything that had just happened. I hoped not. I had spent the day talking with the insurance adjustors about the fire, and started making arrangements for mother’s funeral. Sophie had been a constant help and ally.

I had a few moments for myself, so I took the time to look at the charts again--to see the aspects for the fire, Mom’s passing, and even now. I wasn’t surprised to see a harsh aspect between Mars, Uranus, and Pluto had just passed. And Jupiter was there, helping to release the past with mother, and my tendency to hold on to all the ways I cling to my old ways of thinking. Jupiter held promise for new possibilities. What interested me most though, was Chiron.

Chiron is a strange little astrological symbol that looks like just like a key—but in reality, it is a “planetoid” between the two major opposing planets of Saturn and Uranus. Not all astrologers use Chiron, because it’s not a major planet, but it has a story to tell us. It’s in-between place alludes to the place in our Soul that is infused with a sense of aloneness, introversion, and independence. It can reflect the wound of feeling isolated even when with others.

The mythological story is that Chiron was a centaur, half man and half horse, who was the son of Saturn. He had been shot with a poisoned arrow by his friend Hercules, and was never able to heal himself. Yet in his attempts to heal his wound, he ended up saving the life of Prometheus (sometimes thought to be like Uranus) and in the process of his learning how to heal himself, he became a teacher/healer to the other centaurs. Chiron reminds us that there is nothing to fix, to cure, or get rid of---sometimes healing is all about acceptance, another word for love. The key to finding “the wounded healer” may be to simply remember and use the wisdom that we already have inside us. To accept what is, and to use it.

And so I poured over my chart, Sophie’s, Peter’s chart and even Thomas’s Chiron. The symbolism seemed to fit with what I knew about each of them, and of course, the most telling of it was in my chart. Chiron was in the 7th house of relationships, in Scorpio, the sign of death and rebirth—of forgiveness and deep healing—or bitter resentfulness. I knew I needed to turn the key to life, not death, to forgiveness and love. But knowing something is not the same as doing it. Yet it seemed as if something larger than us had orchestrated this moment in time, and I simply didn’t know what to “do” with all the feelings that were coming up for me.

And so, while Sophie was out, I opened the only book I had retrieved from the fire—the one that was in the bottom of the box of “Kendra’s” email letters. I read: “Chiron implies that the inner wound contains a gift and that the healing journey is the process of discovering that gift. By embracing Chiron, we move from fear and holding, to love and sharing. When the gift of the inner wound is embraced and accepted in ourselves and each other, we can use this key to open the door. Sometimes the key moves in the direction of Saturn: of doing what we need to do to gain more security and honoring limitation, and sometimes it moves in the direction of Uranus, to freedom and inter-dependence rather than dependence.”

I needed to decide. How was I going to play out my Chiron in the 7th house of relationships? What could freedom look like for me? What could security look like? Would I want to truly open my heart again to Peter, or would I be happier exploring the mystery of Thomas? And….a different life?

Just then Peter walked in the door. Sophie had left the door unlocked, so it was just us—our moment. He looked nervous.

“I’m sorry Isabelle.”

“For what?” I answered, as if I didn’t have a hint of what this was about.

“For breaking our story; for not being there when you needed me most. For saying ‘no’ to you in so many little ways, instead of finding a way of saying ‘yes’.”

“…instead of yes?” I smiled. What a good start I thought, but then, I too was sorry and more than a little scared. It all seemed so much out of my control.

And then I heard myself saying: “I’m sorry too. Really sorry for all the ways…for all the ways I…didn’t love you too…for when I wasn’t there for you. For the ways I said ‘no’ to you or made you seem less.”

He handed me something. “I went to the store today for something to bring you tonight—I didn’t know what to bring or say. Flowers or….I just didn’t know. But I ended up standing in the card aisle, and I saw this one and then I started crying, so I knew…well, I knew then.” He handed it to me. Hallmark would love this, I thought for a second, but then I stopped my cynicism.

I saw that it was a part of a poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer—I read it aloud: “It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it’s not pretty…and if you will stand on the edge of the lake with me and shout to the sliver of the moon: Yes!” Inside the card it simply said: I love you.

That’s what I always wanted from Peter. And this was what he was saying he wanted that from me. Could it be that we were now ready to love in a new way--a way that wasn’t just about “young romance of wine-tinged dreams?” A love that included birth and death, old age and sickness, fires…and even long airplane flights—or simply doing the boring but necessary things that need to be done next? For us, it seemed to be about the willingness to give each other freedom—the feather of a bird; our wings as well as our nests…

I had been carrying the wing of the kingfisher bird ever since the day Peter took it from the dead bird on the shores of Jung’s lake. I barely understood why it meant so much to me then, but now a bird’s wing was the most valuable possession I had.

“Ooh…” I sighed, as years of anger and hurt began opening, melting, and pouring away like warm amniotic fluid flowing down my body and onto the floor. It felt the same as when those birth liquids released themselves with a sudden shock that signaled the arrival of Sophie. And then it was as if my spirit soared and took flight. Now we could each stand in our freedom as well as our closeness.

“And here—“He reached into his pocket and took out a key. “This is yours if you want it. It’s the key to the place I’m staying in now. But it’s big enough for two.” I could see his hand trembling slightly, but his voice was confident in his intention. “You can stay there as long as you want, till you decide…about us.”

I took Peter’s key in my hand and stared down at Chiron. He was offering to give me the key to his heart—the key to all our woundedness as well as to all our love. I could take it; he was ready to take mine, to re-embrace the history of our common story. The blood rushed up to my face, as I hugged him.

And so I took this key, this object that could open a door. The synchronicity of it all drove my answer out again and again ---

“Yes, Peter, yes…” We pulled apart for a moment and looked at each other. My eyes squinted at the closeness of his face, thinking how aged we must look to each other now. “Is that you in there?” he asked, as he pulled our eyes together, lashes fluttering against each other.

“Yes, this is me in here, is that you in there?” Behind the gray hairs and wrinkles, it was still us, and it was our best kiss ever. ~

© Elizabeth Spring  (Excerpt from book: Private Papers of A Reluctant Astrologer)

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