In my last email, I briefly introduced the 3 Chiron archetypes: the Wounded Healer, the Shaman, and the Alchemist.
The 3 archetypes represent the transcendental journey of the soul: we firstly suffer and explore our primal wound (the Wounded Healer). We then attempt to heal it and embrace it (the Shaman). Only after we explore the first two Chiron archetypes can we transcend the wound and turn it into a gift (the Alchemist).
You can resonate with one, two, or all 3 Chiron developmental archetypes, depending on where you are in life with your wound and your life’s circumstances.
Let’s take some examples.
I will share with you 3 stories – one for each Chiron archetype.
The Wounded Healer: The Wounded Healer describes our first experiences with the primal wound. In this stage, the wound is not yet acknowledged.
Adriana, one of my friends, was born with Chiron in her 4th house, the house of home, family, roots and nurturing. Because she was born in a large family, she never got the level of nurturing she needed. At a deep level, she didn’t feel taken care of.
When she grew up, she decided to become a doctor. Becoming a doctor was her way of coping with the pain. She wanted to take care of others so she could experience, over and over again, the primal wound of nurturing.
Years passed. She tried hard to take good care of her patients, but no matter what, she felt like a fraud. There were always people suffering, people dying, and she thought that if she would only work hard enough, she would feel better about herself. But that never happened. What she was really doing, was taking less and less care of herself. She was not healing her wound, but going into a downward spiral of self-destruction.
One day, she had a wake-up call and decided to completely change her career, so that she could have more time for herself. Her life changed for the better, but her initial struggles to deal with her wound without fully understanding it are characteristic of the Wounded Healer archetype.
The Shaman: The Shaman describes our ‘healing crisis’. A healing crisis, or healing reaction, is a temporary worsening of symptoms when we go through the process of healing. In this phase, we become aware of the wound, and in this way, we finally heal it.
You usually experience this phase when you go through a Chiron transit. The Chiron return at the age of 50 is the most important transit, but you can also experience it when you have a Chiron square, a Chiron opposition or when Chiron transits other planets in your natal chart.
I have a personal story with this archetype. As I mentioned in my previous email, I was born with Chiron on my ascendant. I was transitioning from childhood to adolescence when I had my first Chiron square, and like many other adolescents, I started developing acne.
The first Chiron square usually brings changes to the physical body. Girls have their first period, boys’ voices change.
I was very aware of my acne problem and I started putting foundation to my face to try and hide it. Years passed, and my friends’ skin got cleared, but mine did not. I started piling on more and more foundation to hide my pimples.
I tried everything to heal it – medication, healthy diets, sports, yoga, spiritual healing, homeopathy. But no matter what I did, the pimples didn’t go away. I am still grateful for my first attempts to heal the wound because in the process of healing I developed several healthy habits that still make my life so much better now.
Finally, one day I decided to stop wearing foundation. In the beginning, I was horrified. I still remember when I first left the house, without any makeup. I felt so vulnerable! Only a few weeks later, my face cleared up.
The Shaman describes our attempts to heal the wound. Ultimately, we heal the wound when we accept it and integrate it within us.
The Alchemist: in this phase, we transcend the wound and turn it into something greater. No one is born an Alchemist. We firstly need to go through and learn from the previous phases – only then we are able to transform the wound into a gift.
Becoming an Alchemist is not about trying to heal the wound. You know you are an Alchemist when there is no more conflict. This phase is about effortlessly shining out your light. It is about giving back and healing others, from a place of awareness and compassion.
My client Tom was born with Chiron in the 10th house, the house of status, career, and the role you choose to play in the world. His grandfather and father were very successful businessmen and powerful leaders. In the first 48 years of his life, this is exactly what he tried to become. He graduated from a top university, got a job in a top company and worked hard to climb the corporate ladder. He didn’t want to disappoint his father.
But no matter how hard he tried, he never reached the top. Yes, he was earning a top salary, and he even became an advisor to the board of management, but he never became a leader himself. He was in fact intimidated by power and always struggled when he tried to assert himself.
His father died a few years ago and while he suffered a big loss, he also felt a sense of relief. When he had his Chiron return, he decided to leave the corporate world to become a Kung Fu master. He finally realized that he was never the assertive, powerful leader his father was – his best weapon was his defense, was his ability to stay strong in times of struggle.
He feels happy and accomplished now. Although he finally got the status and the respect he was looking for in his early life, he doesn’t care about it anymore. His passion is to help other people become strong and resilient. He turned his wound into a gift.