Way out in our solar system, careening between the orbital paths of Saturn and Uranus, there flies a small comet-like object that we have carefully named Chiron. With a diameter roughly the distance between Key West and Miami, Chiron is pretty tiny when it comes to the colossal objects moving through outer space. Despite its diminutive size, however, Chiron has a deep and wide-ranging interpretation in astrology: The Wounded Healer.
When I look to Chiron in a birth chart reading and drop the phrase, “wounded healer,” more often than not my clients are excitedly curious about what this distant object has to say about their own psychic makeup and life experience. Something about the wounded healer resonates deeply with folks, and I think that is because we are all wounded in some capacity, whether from childhood traumas, awareness of society’s ills, mourning environmental destruction, or other pains.
Where Chiron was in the sky relative to the time and position of your birth (the location of Chiron in your birth chart) has much to tell you about the paradoxical nature of your core, existential wound and your greatest gift as an arbiter of healing. Chiron represents a deep personal vulnerability, a consistent feeling in a particular area of experience that you are not good enough. To use myself as an example, Chiron falls in the sign of Gemini in my chart, and I have always had a visceral, sweaty-palmed fear of speaking in front of people, feeling like my voice and ideas were inconsequential at best and laughable at worst. Over the years, however, when I have pushed through the tightness in my chest and dry throat and shared my questions and thoughts with others, I have learned that my input and methods of articulation have a helpful and positive impact on those around me. This is how Chiron operates in our psyche: to teach us that the way to our greatest gifts is through our most tender insecurities and traumas.
In Greek mythology, Chiron was a wise centaur, a creature that was half-human and half-horse. He was the son of the Titan Cronus, giving him immortality. He was a great warrior, teacher, and healer. One version of his story tells us that, in a kerfuffle, Hercules accidentally shot Chiron in the thigh with a poisoned arrow. Unable to heal the wound and destined to be in pain forever due to his immortality, Chiron decided to sacrifice himself to help another tortured immortal. Chiron asked Zeus if he could exchange his immortality to free Prometheus, the Titan whom Zeus had sentenced to having his liver eaten out by an eagle every day, forever, because Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gifted it to humans. Zeus agreed, and Chiron was honored for his sacrifice by being placed among the stars in the constellation Sagittarius (or Centaurus, depending on who you ask).
This myth carries with it a method for understanding and working with your own Chiron placement. The constancy and incurability of your core wound is a deep lesson – focusing your energy trying to fix something that is inherently unfixable is a waste of your precious energy. Rather, by learning to live with this consistent vulnerability frees you to redirect your healing energy outwards. Ultimately, learning to love this vulnerability and make it sacred empowers you to support others struggling with similar pains.
In order to find your Chiron placement, you can use a free birth chart website like astro.com or astro-charts.com. The glyph or symbol for Chiron looks like a K with a circle at the bottom, or a key pointing upwards. Alternatively, you can simply find the sign your Chiron is in using the Chiron sign tables on cafeastrology.com. There are many factors that go into interpreting Chiron, including the house, sign, and any planetary angles related to it, but here is a description of Chiron through the signs that can help you get started:
Chiron Through the Signs
Your core wound and greatest gift for healing has to do with themes of:
Aries: individuality, self-esteem, courage, confidence, anger, aggression
Taurus: material needs, sensory pleasures, stubbornness, inertia
Gemini: intellect, communication, social anxiety, sociability
Cancer: nurturing and being nurtured, home, emotional stability
Leo: being seen, creative output, affirmations, being a center
Virgo: being of service, feeling needed, ability to focus, preparation
Libra: social justice, balance and counterbalance, relationships
Scorpio: truth and lies, deep emotions and unconscious needs, taboo
Sagittarius: faith and belief, ego, inspiration,
Capricorn: success, ethical concerns, authority
Aquarius: being an outsider, radical ideas, renegade impulses,
Pisces: escapism, isolation, emotional flux, visionary
Astrologically, getting to know the lessons that Chiron has to offer is a process of confronting fear and pain in order to emerge empowered. As Brené Brown says, “We can’t rise strong when we’re on the run.”