Kerrie asked: “I’m wondering if you could give an example of a chirotic awakening?“
I would say that it is a difficult process to accurately describe and it will certainly be accompanied by considerable projected difficulty. If you understand the phrase “as above so below” and apply that to your understanding of astrology, you will very quickly see that the peculiar (by which I mean unique and often self-defeating) psychic conditions within the nativity manifest outwardly in the mundane conditions of the life experience. This is why your psychic precondition to being intensely sensitive to artistic criticism (for example) with Chiron in Aries in the 5th will manifest out of your consciousness and causally connect to other people and situations who will oblige your expectations and compound and reinforce that experiential discomfort. Put way more simply, this means that your sense that others do not take your art seriously becomes justified. Chiron is very good at this, it creates a single point of intense sensitivity, more like the uncomfortable sensitivity felt from a broken bone though than the deep and quite profoundly moving sensitivity of Neptunian experience.
Thus as you begin to activate Chiron in your life, his issues and themes as denoted by sign, house placement and aspects will become increasingly unbearable; imagine it like having somebody punch your broken limb every few hours: there will eventually come a tipping over point where you feel that you simply cannot take the pain anymore and you simply let it all go. I do not have a much better way to describe it; it is a giving up quality but without giving in. It is when you stop fighting, railing and struggling against all the pain in your life and realise the futility of resistance and that the only way that you will be able to continue is to accept your pain and actually to treasure it for being the medium that has awakened your compassion, because once we have recognised and reconciled our own pain then we become immediately open and sensitive to everyone else’s. Once you experience that reality, that we are all connected with a common bond of pain and suffering then it is never so easy again to judge another out of hand. We begin to forgive people, even the very wicked.
Etty Hillesum, who survived the Nazi concentration camps , writes of the healing surrender of Chiron: “And you must be able to bear your sorrow; even if it seems to crush you, you will be able to stand up again, for human beings are so strong, and your sorrow must become an integral part of yourself; you mustn’t run away from it.
Do not relive your feelings through hatred, do not seek to avenge on all Germans, for they too, feel sorrow at this moment. Give your sorrow all the space and shelter in yourself that is it’s due, for if everyone bears grief honestly and courageously, the sorrow that now fills the world will abate. But if you do instead reserve most of the space inside you for hatred and thoughts of revenge- for which new sorrows will be born for others-then sorrow will never cease in this world. And if you have given sorrow the space it demands, then you may truly say: life is beautiful and so rich that it makes you want to believe in God.”
From “Etty: The Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943” William B Eerdmans Publishing Co (2002).
For students of Chiron though the key phrase here is “your sorrow must become an integral part of yourself; you mustn’t run away from it.” It is this quality of letting go, of accepting and facing the pain rather than attempting to avoid, suppress or push it away that is the key to awakening.
Astrologically Etty’s Chiron is in Pisces and the 9th house, but opposed by the Moon and trined to Mars in Cancer, thus themes of awakening via violence (Mars) against the clan or tribe (Cancer, thus the Jewish people) causing deep sorrow and spiritual awakening (12th house). I should also mention for completeness that Etty has peregrine Pluto (ouch) at the anaretic 29th degree of Gemini in the 12th; thus writing or communicating (Gemini) the experience of her people (pull to the sign of Cancer) in the Holocaust (Pluto) runs away with the chart.
She also spoke directly to the awakening of Chiron in her life when she said: ““One should want to be a balm on many wounds.” The horror of the holocaust is what tipped Etty over into her Chirotic awakening. You will see then that within our greatest weakness, that one thing, condition, experience that is most painful and uncomfortable to us lies the potential to find our greatest strength. That is the true power of Chiron.