This is an excerpt from my forthcoming ebook, “Beyond the Wound: Chiron in Synastry.” This section deals with typical patterns in Chiron-dominant relationships. You’ll recognize some of it if you’ve been reading this blog for a few years. Much of it is new.
When Chiron is prominent in a synastry, particularly if it makes conjunctions to relationship planets or hits an angle, we are drawn into the relationship because we sense we are separated from the divine world and we have a strong instinct to heal the rift. We sense that something is missing in our lives, and we want it back, now. This is true to some extent of all relationships—we sense the divine through ‘other.’ But only Chiron contacts whisper that elusive promise of spiritual completion. We may not recognize Chiron’s pull, at first, as a desire to heal an inner rift, but we sense that this particular relationship is the only thing that can make us feel whole again, just in the place where we feel most empty, rejected and forlorn. This is very seductive. The other person promises to become the vehicle for all the transforming powers of the universe, our own personal conduit between the earth and the stars and back again. This person will deliver the goods that we didn’t think we would/could ever get. It’s not the illusion of spiritual melding that Neptune implies, or Uranus’s promise of perpetual excitement. The initial impetus with Chiron contacts is deliverance: this person appeared in my life specifically to take me where I need to go. The implied thought being: ‘and I don’t have to be hungry, inadequate or rejected anymore. This relationship is the answer. The Struggle Bus stops here.’
Chiron contacts are powerful and passionate at first, with the combined promise of innate hungers fulfilled and innate flaws mended. There is also a physical, earthy element to Chiron that taps into his animal nature, and Chiron contacts can be highly sexual. Like any planet or asteroid in the chart, Chiron has his good and his bad side, and Chiron contacts indicate that a great deal of healing can be achieved. Unfortunately, the process involves hitting all the most sensitive, painful buttons whilst trying not to lose love for one another. Chiron can be a real test of the depth of feeling between two people, because the hurt, usually, is inadvertent. They say, “ I’m not so much targeting you in a Plutonian way as I am constantly, accidentally, shredding your heart, because I can’t help it.” The cruelties that are expressed in Chiron’s name can be shocking. Chiron contacts can be remarkably long-lived as well, depending on how much we have been taught to associate pain with love. For some of us, it will seem endless.
What begins as a promise of wholeness often ends with a ruthless tearing–real healing can occur only when whatever is festering inside can be cleansed. Only then can a wound be closed. Chiron contacts can feel and serve just like those procedures where an already painful and distorted wound is re-opened and probed, so that the poison can be burned out. Chiron-dominant relationships provide this soul-searing. Without this cleansing, we cannot have the kind of inner balance that translates to spiritual strength. Whether or not a relationship can be salvaged, with Chiron, we are given a choice: we can move through the world as the limping, distorted god-in-exile, or we can take our new found knowledge and negotiate our world with grace and strength, like the immortals we are.
There are some typical relationship patterns and signatures that are associated with Chiron:
Unequal and Inadequate
It is often the case with Chiron-dominant relationships that one partner is more conscious and spiritually aware than the other, and it is often this more aware partner who suffers the most from the partnership. Chiron, the wise healer and teacher, is always pushing us towards the awareness of what is best in us, and burning away what is holding us back. This may sound rather Plutonian, but Pluto has a different agenda. Pluto wants us to lose the ego in favor of a higher perspective. It wants us to stop grasping at small straws. Chiron relationships place us smack in the middle of our own limitations. The ‘burn’ of the Chiron-carrying partner can be humiliation, shame, and self-abnigation. “I am not, nor will I ever be, good enough.” We are so busy chanting this mantra that we cease to notice that the person we believe we are not good enough for is not fit to shine our shoes, spiritually speaking.
Unfortunately, with Chiron, the process is always painful, and unlike the pain of outer planet lessons, Chiron contacts hurt us exactly where we are the most sensitive. Much of this has to do with whatever else Chiron hits in our natal charts. If Chiron is opposite our Moon, for example, and we have issues about body image, Chiron may draw to us a partner who is undeniably cruel to us in this respect. If Chiron is square to Mercury, our intelligence may be questioned. The keyword, again, is transcendence: we are meant to get beyond this pain in order to learn the strength and compassion we have learned through and because of the pain. When we are involved in Chiron relationships, Chiron is often whispering the word ‘sacrifice’ in our ear, but we misunderstand his meaning. We are being asked not to sacrifice ourselves, but our attachment to the wound.
In a relationship of this type, typically the Chiron person will subjugate themselves over and over again. He or she will shake the pain off only to be hit by it again the next time around. They will make excuses for the cruelty, claiming the partner doesn’t realize the hurt they are causing. Many times, the wounding partner is blissfully unaware. Often, the Chiron person lives in a world of potential and possibility for the relationship. “If only” and “when.” The sad truth is that the Chiron person sees the full potential of the relationship. Chiron’s shamanic gift gives the ability to see beyond the mundane, through to other worlds and other levels of awareness. When Chiron is activated between charts, the planet person inadvertently fires up these special abilities, causing Chiron to see the planet person for what they may become, not what they are. Unfortunately, Chiron mistakes the potential for reality, and relates to the planet person on this level. This causes the planet person to begin to itch under the Chiron person’s scrutiny. Sadly, again, the Chiron person will not realize why.
The ‘planet’ person may feel inadequate, or in need of healing, vulnerable, when they were perfectly okay before the Chiron person came along. Mainly, they sense that they don’t measure up in some mysterious way. The Chiron person may declare desperate, undying love, and yet the planet person will only hear and feel the negativity, the lack. The more the Chiron person declares, the more the planet person will want to remove him or herself from the uncomfortable situation. The planet person will ultimately want to escape Chiron—imagine being scrutinized through the eyes of a god all the time. Often, the planet person reacts with fear, a fear of their own potential.
This may all sound very Neptunian, especially to those of us familiar with Neptune’s ways. But Neptune’s blindness to reality is a different breed than Chiron’s. Both are living in a world of potential. Yet with Chiron, our blindness comes from a desperation to heal, to be released from the pain and limitation of this world while still remaining within it. Its relationship is not based on self-deception, disillusion and betrayal. Neptune’s blindness is rooted in a need to be delivered, to escape reality and experience divinity directly. Neptune’s hunger for the divine turns the partner (temporarily, at least)into a living god. Chiron is desperate to assuage a long-felt inadequacy and exile from union with the universal, to heal the wounds of abandonment. It wants to belong. Neptune creates false gods, but Chiron’s love is rooted in a level of reality, and can be more painful for it.
When Chiron ultimately discovers that the planet partner is blind to its own divinity, Chiron sets out to test that divinity, to prove it exists. Chiron relationships can get very messy at this point. Chiron says, “You are be wonderful, look how I cherish you, look at the worship in my eyes.” The planet person will then do its best to deliberately and cruelly rip that worship away, consciously or unconsciously. At some point, the Chiron person will wake up to the fact that the planet person was not yet the person in their imaging, and may never be that person in this lifetime. Sometimes the Chiron person won’t see this at all, and will be forced to surrender the relationship without realizing that the longed-for healing will never take place. Instead of transcendence and awareness through pain, Chiron surrenders its wisdom to the wound—and the cycle will begin again.
The other way Chiron declares itself in relationship is in one partner clearly acting as teacher/guru and the other as student. These can work well when the relationship is literally student/teacher. This kind of Chiron contact is also common between family members. It doesn’t matter which way the contact goes, sometimes the student can become an important teacher to the teacher. But in a romantic relationship, this dynamic has its limits. One party worships at the other’s feet, and the receiver of the worship leads and guides. Each can stimulate the qualities of wisdom, patience, and understanding in the other. However, at some point in a romantic scenario, the worshipper begins chafing at the bit. He or she has experienced the required growth and wants to break free, and it is the instinct of the teacher to cling to the student, to do anything to keep them dependent and near. Ultimately, the teacher will have to sacrifice its dominant position and let the student go. It will feel like a betrayal, with the teacher’s ego inflation exposed, and there is often an element of humiliation involved. When the Chiron person is the student, it is asking deliverance through the planet Chiron touches in the other person’s chart; that planet can become inflated in importance in the relationship, and this can be difficult if it is one of the relationship planets: Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars or Saturn. Again, there can be feelings of inadequacy in both parties, which can lead to anger.
It becomes complicated when Chiron reflects the Svengali syndrome—one person (usually the planet person) expresses the untapped and unrecognized talents of the other (often the Chiron person); The Chiron person has a painful need to be seen, to be recognized in this particular way. The hunger for recognition can be palpable, yet the Chiron person must watch the other person live out what he believes is rightfully his. Think of Salieri in the play and film, Amadeus, convinced he was betrayed by a god who gave genius to an immature and ungrateful Mozart. There is often envy of skills and abilities where Chiron is concerned.
Chiron and the Sixth House
Chiron relationships are often dramatic, with great highs and lows. This is often because so much is at stake, and we sense it. Whether or not we later (post Chiron return) make a contribution to the world, whether or not we have a legacy of wisdom to leave behind us, has a great deal to do with what we gain in our daily Chiron interactions. Chiron is related to the sixth house, and the sixth house is a house of crisis. The sixth house is a testing house, where we sort out the chaff from the grain in a very Virgo-like manner. The sixth house brings things to a head in order to heal. Any planet in it will be tested for readiness and strength. Any planet in the sixth house must be engaged in service. In the sixth house, we face our inadequacies and imbalances and pull ourselves together. Chiron in relationships focuses on this dynamic. The goal of Chiron in relationship is to help us heal. When we are whole, we can serve from a position of strength.
Sometimes with Chiron there is literal illness that repeatedly affects a relationship. One party becomes the one who is ill, the other steps in as the healer/caretaker. If this is the case there is often a mutual need to recognize that healing comes from within an individual. If we are ‘broken,’ we may never be the same, but do we want to be? As Leonard Cohen puts it, “Forget your perfect offering; there is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Accepting this lack of perfection in and through ‘other’ is a large part of this dynamic.
Chiron contacts between charts often bring out experiences of the other-worldly kind. If we are open to these metaphysical experiences, it can be an adventure to see how far out into the realms we can go. But with most Chiron relationships, there is a fear barrier, a reluctance to experience things not of this world. Knowledge brings responsibility, and we don’t know what we will find. We may have past life visions, lucid dreaming, messages from beyond, out of body experiences that urge us to alter our current habits and behaviors. We may not be willing to do that.
The most common question asked about Chiron in synastry is: Who inflicts the hurt, the person with the Chiron or the person with the planet/angle? The answer is, “both.” Much depends on what our pain has made of us. Has our suffering caused us to become better, wiser, more compassionate individuals, or has it caused us to turn our backs on others and become numbed by the inner dynamic of “I, me, mine”? I have seen a completely unconscious Chiron wreak havoc throughout a family, and I have seen many a strong, developed Chiron turn individual confusion and loss into enlightened contribution. Chiron is a blessing– if it is not strong in our charts we may succeed, but we may never find our real purpose. Each Chiron relationship is a little rehearsal for what is, ultimately, the relationship between our deepest inner being and the outer world. And when our inner world and our outer world are in sync, we have contentment at the very least and the possibility of joy. We have Chiron to thank for that.