Chiron is the archetype of the wounded healer. Since we all have Chiron in our natal chart, we are all wounded healers – but the path to healing what has been wounded is not always linear, but rather confusing and counterintuitive.
A wounded healer is someone who embraces the darkness and suffering – and from that place of acceptance, finds the path to healing and recovery.
To heal, we have to UNDERSTAND and ACCEPT the wound. If the wound is not reconciled and integrated, healing is not possible.
If we don’t accept and ‘make peace’ with the wound, we will never heal, no matter how hard we try.
Whether we will self-inflict pain, or try to “overcompensate”, by working harder, doing more, or trying to prove ourselves – we will not heal, because these attempts don’t come from a place of awareness and acceptance.
Thankfully, Chiron can help us understand the underlying themes of our wound – so we can heal it.
To understand what the Chiron wound stands for, let’s recall Chiron’s myth. Chiron was the son of Cronos (Saturn) and a nymph, Philyra, and was born half-man, half-horse. Disgusted by his appearance, his mother abandons Chiron at birth.
The Chiron’s wound is, therefore, the primal wound of rejection.
We are all born with this wound, because no matter how much our parents love us, it will come a time when they will eventually reject us, because rejection is part of the identity development process.
Some go as far as to say that the birth itself is a “rejection” from paradise – since we leave the comfort of the womb, and are thrust out into what we perceive to be the cold, cruel world.
In the first two years of existence, the infant lives in a pure narcissistic state. The word “narcissistic” may have negative connotations, but it is a normal phase in our psychological development.
We wouldn’t survive if we would not be in a complete state of “feed me” and “take care of me”. Starting the age of two, the child develops some independence and self-awareness, but he or she is still in a semi-narcissistic state until adolescence, depending on grownups to survive.
During early childhood (usually in the first two years of life, but sometimes later), it comes a time when the infant doesn’t get the attention, the nurturing and the validation that he or she needs, and will internalize this experience as “rejection”.
This “rejection” is the primal narcissistic wound, the Chiron wound.
This wound of rejection affects the child at an identity level. The child comes to believe that there is something fundamentally wrong or flawed about him or her, and that being who they are is “not enough” to get the love and the attention they need.
Because the feelings of rejection and disgrace are so powerful, the child starts to doubt him or her worthiness and develops a self-defeating attitude.
Because we are so young when we suffer the narcissistic injury, we don’t have the necessary cognitive capabilities to make sense of it – so we don’t properly process the wound, and stuff it down instead.
As a result, we adopt a false sense of self in order to protect our true, wounded self. The “true self”, our true identity, is a painful reminder of unprocessed feelings of shame, guilt, humiliation, or rejection – so we will try to hide it in the deepest corners of our psyche, not only from other people, but even from ourselves.
As we grow up, we attempt to reconcile this primal rejection wound in two different ways:
- We develop a narcissistic personality, a.k.a we continue to deny the wound as if it doesn’t exist and get on with our lives as if we have never been wounded
- We develop a co-dependent personality (or its more evolved form, empathy).
Chiron Wound – The Narcissistic Personality
Let’s start with the narcissistic personality. The narcissist acts as if they are ‘perfect’ because they identify only with the ‘desirable’ part of their psyche. The ‘undesirable’ part of the psyche – associated with the wound of rejection – is not integrated, but projected onto others.
The narcissist will do whatever it takes to flee from the shame and self-hatred, so they will develop a false self, a pseudo personality, a ‘mask’. To everyone else, they are ‘perfect’, but of course, what hides behind the narcissistic mask are feelings of insecurity and self-doubt.
These are those people who appear to be extremely confident and to have high self-esteem, however, no matter how validated and successful they are, they still feel empty inside, lacking a sense of true fulfillment.
This false sense of self is nothing but a shell “I don’t want to feel those feelings ever again”. The narcissistic wound is so deeply hidden, that even the narcissists themselves are not aware they are wearing a mask – hence the projection and the need for constant validation.
Chiron Wound – The Co-dependent Personality
Let’s move on to the 2nd Chiron wound profile: the co-dependant or the empath. If the narcissists try to cut themselves off from the wound, the codependent personalities internalize it, and live their entire life through the lenses of the wound. They believe they are flawed and inadequate, have low self-esteem and a lack of identity. Their self-worth comes from people-pleasing and taking care of other people.
Unconsciously, co-dependent people look for a narcissist to take care of, in the hope that in the process, they can figure out their own narcissistic wound, and heal their own fear of rejection and inadequacy. Co-dependent people believe (unconsciously, of course) that they will heal by healing the other.
But as long as someone is trapped in a narcissistic-codependent relationship, healing is not possible.
Healing only happens when we heal ourselves, by integrating the broken parts of the Self into the whole we’ve always been.
Trying to heal another person when you haven’t healed yourself first can be counterproductive and will only perpetuate the wound further.
People who aim to heal others without healing themselves first are not the “wounded healers”, but the “walking wounded”.
Time doesn’t heal the narcissistic wound. It is only the act of confronting and embracing the wound that heals it. When we have Chiron transits, this primal narcissistic wound is brought into our awareness. A Chiron transit is a great opportunity to gain awareness of – and heal – the narcissistic wound.
Chiron In Aries – The Identity Wound
Chiron is now in Aries, and will stay here until 2027. Aries is one of the most important Chiron placements, because Chiron has a special ‘relationship’ with Aries, since it spends the longest time in this sign.
Unlike other planets (with the exception of Pluto), Chiron doesn’t have a regular orbit, so he spends more time in some signs than in others. Chiron spends the least amount of time in Libra, and the most time in Aries. Therefore, the Aries-Libra axis is a Chiron-sensitive axis.
Aries is the sign of identity, the sign of “I am”. Libra is the sign of the “Other”. Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, will do whatever it takes to develop a confident sense of identity. The Sun (our identity) is exalted in Aries after all.
Libras, on the other side, will strip their identity and aim to find it through others (the Sun is in fall in Libra). In the Aries-Libra dynamic we witness again the very essence of the narcissistic wound, which is an identity wound – with its two extremes, narcissism and codependency.
Chiron – Healing The Wound
Chiron is a symbol of the conflict that arises in the process of healing the identity wound.
Chiron, a half-man, half-horse Centaur, represents the never-ending process of reconciliation between our animal nature, and our spiritual, divine nature.
When we don’t integrate Chiron, we don’t reconcile the broken parts of the Self, and we identify either with the villain, or with the victim.
When we embrace Chiron, when we bring together the broken parts of the Self into a whole, we learn that we are perfect in our wholeness, and that includes our scars, wounds and weaknesses. We learn that we are enough, and we will always be enough. And this is when healing happens.