Seasoned astrological writer Joyce Mason is the "Radical Virgo," your flight attendant on many round trips from Earth to Sky. This blog is about developing the best potential of your star map, whatever your signs or signatures. Better You = Better World.
Dear Radical Readers, Happy Chiron Return to all our fiftyish readers. This is a gift to you and a mantra for the rest of us to explore for the current cycle of Chiron in Aries. I see it expressing the potential for healing as we reel from a time of bullying, harshness and the need to cut through some pretty cruel crap and in-fighting so we can protect what we call wholly. This is one of 12 poems in my ebook, Poems to Heal the Healer: The 12 Chiron Signs. You can purchase via the link just cited or in the sidebar for $4.99. It makes a great gift for people who speak astrology and especially those in the healing arts. It's a condensed course in understanding the Chiron signs. Feel free to share this poem with attribution. With hope for a sweeter world, Joyce
Healing is the process of becoming sound or whole again.
—From a fusion of definitions on healing
We are all part of the Great Wheel of Heal. Life itself, as depicted by the seasons and the zodiac, is the Constant Wheel of Change. It isn’t forever spring and summer. There is autumn, where at the peak of beauty and bounty, we “lose our leaves” and begin fading into winter, a time of dormancy and pseudo-death.
Wellness—even joy—come from being in sync with these seasons of change, not just surrendering to them but celebrating them. And I don’t just mean the literal seasons. I mean changes in every moment of every day. In Chinese medicine, wellness is all about energy flow, the movement of chi. This supports the idea that to be well and whole is to move with the energy of the moment. As Eckhart Tolle calls it in his seminal book, it’s the Power of Now. And that power heals—makes whole again—or finally. It is about being hospitable to what is.
One of the most healing statements we make that has become a popular saying nowadays when dealing with a difficult situation expresses the healing gold standard: “It is what it is.”
There is a lot to this idea of healing, acceptance and energy flow, but I think it’s easiest to start with a visual of people in a park doing t’ai chi or qigong. They are learning to bend to the flow of their energy, to let it flow through them and awaken them. I have gotten as much healing from a qigong session as an acupuncture treatment. These centuries-old healing modalities are steeped in wisdom and the reality of what works.
To bring astrology and its cousin mythology into it, let’s talk a bit about Chiron.
Chiron: Surgeon and Vocational Counselor
Some people might find Chiron’s jobs on Mt. Pelion in ancient Greece to be a bit of an odd combination. He was a surgeon, herbalist and mentor of heroes. As a hero maker, he honed the special skills of each of his mythical charges. He prepared them to use those talents in the world to help themselves and others. Chiron was quite literally a vocational counselor.
For instance, Hercules had strength and Asclepius had medical skills. Forget the dough in do what you love and the money will follow. Chiron knew that doing what you love is the real gold, the key to wholeness for both individual and community. Doing what you love and are good at is simply another way of going with the flow. You are who you are, and you are simply being yourself. Interesting how difficult it is for most human beings to fathom that being yourself is not only enough; it’s the one thing you can do to feel at one with yourself and everyone else. If you’ve had the experience of those magic moments where you’re “on,” being 100% you, you know there’s nothing in the world like that feeling. It is electrifying. No circuits are jammed, no energy flow is constrained. You are a pure expression of universal spirit humming in your own skin.
The Lemonade Stand. Perhaps of all the keywords that unlock Chiron, my favorite phrase is, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Wholeness asks one simple thing from us. Accept what-is and find the good in it, the life flow. There are many things in life we can have considerable influence molding. And then there are the monkey wrenches, the unexpected slings and arrows that, at first blush, look like they are derailing our plans and direction. Often they are giving us a side trip to bigger more important lessons. They come with those “difficult” transits. They are invitations to your next level of mastery. Sometimes they demand that we put everything aside that mattered to us in order to focus on something we didn’t even know we needed to learn or do. In that sense they are shocking. (Do you smell outer planets here?) Your energy is full-boar in one direction and bam! Roadblock, detour—construction zone.
Surgeon. Mythology is one of the main sources for interpreting astrological meanings. Why would Chiron be a surgeon? Sometimes energy flow is blocked, backs up and gets obstructed. At times the only cure is to remove the block or diseased tissue, bone, cells—whatever—in order to make the body whole again. Surgery comes in when other methods fail to restore the flow. This is the part of Chiron’s work that was Scorpio-tinged and why Chiron is connected with holistic medicine. Natural methods, when woven with man-made technology, help to achieve optimal wellness. Another Chiron key phrase comes to mind: It’s not either/or. It’s both/and.
Herbalist. Similarly, why was Chiron a natural pharmacist? We are surrounded with substances
for the picking that contribute to harmonious energy flow. I had the most interesting conversation this past week with a woman in her 70s who has had multiple medical conditions since the 1970s, including epilepsy and lupus. She was supposed to be gone long ago, but here she is, still full of spirit. Our conversation was about how marijuana has helped her enormously and how many people in California are now accessing the cannabis pharmacies since it became legal. “It grows everywhere on Earth,” she said. “God put it here to help us heal.” It makes sense to me along with countless other herbs, often gentler in their natural state than drugs derived from them that must be modified to be patented. Yet we don’t want to ignore modern pharmaceuticals because they are sometimes the thing that restores energy flow better than others. It’s all about balance—and a balance constantly moves before it reaches a point of temporary stasis.
Community: Your Personal Wheel of Heal
During recent years, both my husband and I have had major healing crises. I like to observe how healing works when I’m not calling the Fire Department or an ambulance, having a surgery, or putting on Band-Aids and Bactine. Lately Transiting Chiron has been opposite my Sun. I believe oppositions help us have clear views of planetary energies because they are right across the table from us where we can see them best and how they operate.
One of my major communities is Facebook. I talk about Facebook wisdom—inspiring sayings and posts—and I love the ability to reach out to others to share both joyful and stressful times. I saw a fascinating article about the role of Facebook in helping people grieve. Here are some other articles on social media and grief—but social media friends also are a balm for healing from medical conditions, surgeries, broken hearts and all kinds of other dis-ease. For those who are isolated or somewhat so, forums like this provide a connection that is essential to becoming whole again.
Back to Chiron for a moment, while he provided plenty of one-on-one mentoring and instruction, his heroes in training were at a coming-of-age boot camp on Mt. Pelion. Just like any other troopers about to take on life, they must have bonded deeply with their “platoon” and found support in their special school for growing heroes. And do the rest of us life warriors.
“Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger.” When we interrupt someone’s isolation during a major life challenge to share or own similar stories, both the teller and listener heal. This is the essence of healing—to eradicate a sense of aloneness. The original dis-ease is feeling disconnected from Source. It is our fear that Source—God/Goddess, All That Is, however you see Higher Power—has abandoned us. With others to share the journey of healing, the Source in others is the light that heals. Many people sharing this light at a time of crisis is as sacred and comforting as a full installation of votive candles in any church.
Chiron and Prometheus. After 30 years of studying Chiron, I am still learning new things about the part of the Chiron myth where the centaur-healer trade places with Prometheus. Promie was chained to a rock for eternity for having the gall to steal fire from the gods. Every night an eagle pecked out Prometheus’s liver, a painful suffering. Every morning, it had grown back for a vicious cycle of misery.
Chiron offered to trade places with Prometheus, since he was suffering himself anyway with his incurable wound. What does that mean? Are we really supposed to suffer for other people?
I have come to see this more as a reminder that your suffering is mine and mine is yours. We all suffer. It’s about compassion and when I was in your shoes, chained to your rock. Pain is universal. In sharing our experiences with suffering, we are lifted up, we divide our sorrow. The gods were so impressed with Chiron’s generosity in pinch hitting for Prometheus, after three days they lifted Chiron up to the sky in a constellation, breaking his bonds of immortality and ending his pain. We lift up others by sharing painful or scary experiences. We want to relieve the pain because it’s human suffering—a piece of all our pain.
Compassion: Feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, along with a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
In astrology Prometheus is the mythical character most often associated with the planet Uranus and society. The rebellion that Uranians are famous for is often the spark of genius that moves us forward as a civilization. Unfortunately, those that want to keep the status quo and their place in the existing power structure often punish those living on the leading edge. They could be the people behind the next cancer breakthrough or the newest application of machines to healing. Others may have at one time thought them crazy or criminals, but the great healer Chiron knew they were the leaven in the loaf, the essential ingredient to make new ways of healing rise up. They had to be free to be themselves, too.
We can’t leave others on the block to suffer alone because we are too busy to get involved. Being part of the Wheel of Heal, whether the community is our neighborhood, social media networks or family, is a ritual reenactment of our own suffering that redeems us. (Do you hear a Christian parallel here?) Remember that Chiron volunteered, as did Jesus. As we must.
May compassion and lightening the load of all suffering eventually be as easy for you as all other ways of being there for others—in sickness and in health.
I walked into a metaphysical store recently and, to my surprise, the only thing I walked out with was a thank-you card for a friend. Nothing rang my chimes; I felt there was nothing there I needed.
In direct contrast to the early days of my spiritual quest, I would walk into one of these stores wishing I was as rich as Oprah so I could buy the entire lot. Every crystal, every inspirational plaque, every stick of incense, bottle of essential oil and sage called my name. And let’s not get started on the jewelry and t-shirts. I craved reminders and symbols of what I knew, instinctively, would help me feel better, loved, less anxious, and cured of past relationship pain. At one with a divine essence that didn’t feel ominous or a life that seemed to demand such difficult psychological work.
The day/night contrast made me look back on 40+ years of finding myself through my relationship with God/Goddess/All That Is, or my shortcut word for the Invisible, the Universe. I guess that’s the first big takeaway from years of studying mysticism, Edgar Cayce, astrology, tarot, meditation, and religions, among other tools. God and the Universe are One.
Science and spirituality are not enemies but simply the visible/invisible twins that run the Earth Show.
Reflecting on all this, I now realize that the accoutrements, whether they are crystals, Mala beads, statues or mantras, are simply keys to help us get inside ourselves—to unlock the God Within. That’s what Jesus meant when He said we could do anything he could. I don’t need another crystal necklace to help me find God; I just need to get quiet and open my mind to the Infinite. I can speak or listen or just hang out in the Divine Oneness.
This small observation with big ramifications feels like a good report card. I’ll never know everything (who could?), but in this part of my life, I have passed many tests and am comfortable in my own soul, just like I’m getting more comfortable in my own skin. The skin is just the shell that houses spirit, so it makes sense that there is penetration between the two.
Another sign of how I’m doing is that religion or spirituality has become integrated into my life. They are no longer separate quests or subjects in Earth School. I use the tools less, including astrology, and I find All That Is in my everyday interactions with my fellow humans. Gone is the snobbery of only wanting to hang out with “people who are evolved,” an idea that now is now laughable. As the Dalai Lama says, “Kindness is my religion.” I try to meet every body-and-soul wherever they are and find ways to bridge any language or belief barriers.
Lest I start sounding too angelic, rest assured I still fight with my husband, say things I regret, cut a little too sharp with my witty remarks at times and observe my own pride, envy, jealousy, vanity and a host of other imperfections. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about finding the divine in human form—in every one of them.
I invite everyone reading this to take out the scrapbook of your spiritual journey. Look where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you are in this moment in time. What do you love? What is embarrassing? What came as a surprise?
If you’ve grown even an inch in loving kindness and in breaking down the barriers of Them and Us, you deserve a star on your forehead, just like the good sisters used to give me as a kid.
If you find your evolution needs a boost, do some random acts of kindness for others to show yourself you’re made of star stuff in more ways than one. Just as I finished this piece, I found this posted on Facebook that seems to frost the cake of this conversation: