What is the self? And what is its true purpose? How many of us have asked that existential question ‘Who am I?’ And how many of us have sought the answer through spiritual teachings, psychology or other forms of self-enquiry? From the perspective of astrology the entry of the planetoid Chiron (known as Wounded Healer or Rainbow Bridge) into Aries in mid February is calling our attention deeper into this question. Over the next eight years Chiron is guiding us in another spiral of growth. It’s an opening into deepening understanding of what makes us who we are and how we express that.
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac. It represents the self and the experience: I am, I exist, I act. Being a cardinal sign Aries is about action. It’s the fire of initiative; it’s the beginning point; it’s passion and drive; it’s immediate response or reaction. When Chiron journeys through a sign its energy highlights any wound to the expression of that sign, along with its potential for healing. With Chiron – the paradox of the wound and its healing – the revelation is the jewel already contained within the wound. It’s similar to the grit in an oyster shell creating a lustrous pearl. The process of discomfort eventually gives rise to a new form. With Chiron in Aries until 2027 we are uncovering the fundamental wound to our very sense of self: I am, I exist, I act. What is that wound? It is our feeling of separation from our self and its instinctive expression of being alive. Chiron’s presence in Aries opens the potential revelation of where we’re not fully alive and expressive of our self. It can show us where our experience of life has led us to believe that the self, the ego – and in that, myself – is somehow wrong, damaged or not enough.
To give that context let’s look at Chiron’s recent journey through last sign of the zodiac Pisces. Pisces is where we dissolve our sense of separation. Very simply that may be through meditation or spiritual awakening, through love, connection with nature, being in ‘the zone’ or through the shadows of co-dependence or addiction. Every human being knows the dissolution of separation in some way, even just momentarily, but we may not recognise it, or be conscious of what’s taking place. Pisces is where we have the potential to experience the placeless place of no separation between oneself and All-That-Is. Pisces (last sign of the zodiac) represents the dissolution of self and is followed in the infinite spiral of evolution by Aries as the arrival point. Here that no-self has a self through which it may express, move and act: I am, I exist, I act. It’s the experience of individuality with its potential for full aliveness.
Chiron transits, no matter which sign they traverse, activate the wound of separation within us. They are never resolved by external action, but only in facing and embracing the core wound within. In the sign of Aries that wound is connected to our core existence, expressing as a wound to self-confidence and self-assertion, but even deeper than that to the very fact of ‘I am’ with its natural expression of being fully alive. Witness a young child in the fullness of itself as joyful or in pain; there’s no holding back. That child is aliveness itself. This is the fullness of Aries energy. Naturally as we grow we learn to temper that full expression yet for most of us that involves a core separation from our self at a very young age, through the first experience of pain, judgment or abandonment. We begin to hold a core belief that we are unacceptable, unlovable, unworthy in some way, or that the world is an unsafe place to be our self. It could be said that this is the essential journey of losing oneself to re-discover oneself. Yet it’s also where we begin to learn to limit our self, to hide our light and hold back from being fully alive.
The gift with Chiron is that it represents a touch of magic within our wounds, even whilst opening up the vulnerability of our sense of lack or failings. Chiron is known as the Wounded Healer after all, aka the Rainbow Bridge. His signature is paradox – even its glyph looks like an upside-down key – and paradox is the key perspective that opens the magic. If you’re reading this blog it’s likely you’re very familiar with paradox. If we’re awake to our true nature it’s a requirement. New physics is filled with paradox. Wave or particle? It seems the core of life is both/and rather than either/or. Paradox is a key to living consciously – for can you say without any shadow of doubt that you are only a human being? Probably not? For to be an awakened human is to recognise that we are more than human. Chiron’s realm covers the whole of our experience, from our places of suffering, disconnect and pain to the compassionate balm of divine grace
How would your life look different if you were to view every form in it – from your self with your thoughts, feelings, emotions, quirks, problems, gifts and challenges, to the people in your life – simply as energy? Energy vibrating at different frequencies of fluidity and density, energy that is constantly flowing, moving and changing, if we are open enough to allow it to? It would change everything wouldn’t it? For when we see the whole of our experience and everything in it as energy, magic happens. For we loosen up the ties that bind us and respond to what happens as it happens with freshness.
So although Chiron in Aries shows us where we have chosen to cut ourselves off from the source of that aliveness, to disconnect from Source and plug into belief in separation. Chiron in this first sign of the zodiac is also about new beginnings, a fresh direct response. It’s a gateway to rediscovering the vibrant aliveness that is our natural birthright, simply for being here. We don’t have to earn it or be a certain way to deserve it, at our core aliveness is who we are. It is innocent and fully itself. Chiron in Pisces for the last eight years has opened many of us to the deepening understanding of our true nature, one with Source. Now that knowing is to be consciously brought into the wounded self.
The link between last and first sign of the zodiac, Pisces and Aries, is the synergy of being and doing. The sign of Aries does not consider or reflect on action; it simply acts and reacts. Chiron beginning his journey through this passionate yet innocent fire sign offers us the opportunity to explore where we act from, or where we don’t and why. It’s a time to remove the mask of self. There will be many more opportunities for self-transformation through vulnerability over the next eight years. Skilful understanding of the nature of self and the paradox of unity/separation is the potential gift of this journey, as is our capacity to be fully alive in the joyful innocence of our natural self and its expression.