To celebrate transiting Mercury going retrograde in Sagittarius, I thought I’d do a bit of a review, a retrospective, remember, recall, and perhaps have a rethink of experiences and issues connected to that other centaur, Chiron.
You are invited to join me and play along with me… I know I’m a tad on the strange side, a smidgen scary, rather odd, off kilter, and other weird things but I’m really quite harmless…
unless you’re afraid of your own shadow, then you may come to view me as being not harmless at all. No matter how much I try to stop it from happening, there’s something about being around me, in my company, interacting with me, which makes people’s shadows want to come out from hiding, from being ignored, and play, be noticed, acknowledged, heard and faced.
Partly because of that and the reaction it causes within people, I have spent a lot of time alone… but not lonely (although I have been that as well, particularly at school, and in other social environments full of people who would rather ignore me, pretend that I’m not there, don’t exist).
And because of that time spent alone, I have gotten to know myself well, talked with myself, played with the different me’s inside of me, and become friends with my own shadow.
Although the shadow is an innate part of the human being, the vast majority of us are willfully blind regarding its existence. We hide our negative qualities, not only from others but from ourselves. To do this we often criticize and condemn others to ensure our focus does not fall on our own faults and destructive tendencies. We go through life with a false air of moral superiority and a belief that while others act immorally and destructively, we ourselves are wholly virtuous and always in the right.
– excerpt from Academyofideas: Carl Jung and the Shadow: The Hidden Power of Our Dark Side
“Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions.” (Carl Jung)
I first met myself when my mother decided to place me in front of a mirror. I was a baby (so I don’t remember this) and apparently on seeing my reflection I gasped, held my breath, and my face turned blue.
I was an only child…
“When I was a little kid we had a sand box. It was a quicksand box.– Steven Wright
I was an only child….eventually.”
but I didn’t use Steven Wright’s tactic for acquiring that status.
Up until I was about 5 years old, I spent most of my time either on my own or in the company of adults. Every now and then a child would appear, brought along by an adult.
One of the first children I met when I was a toddler, apparently (I don’t recall this either and was told this story a few times by my mother) decided that the best social greeting was to shove me, which made me fall over onto hard cobbles.
That child was a boy, older than me by a year or two thus much bigger, his father was a friend of my father’s and had been brought along so the kids could meet and play.
According to my mother (who liked telling me this story because it proved to her that she had succeeded in stemming my childish and annoying tendency to cry), I picked myself up off the cobbles, faced the boy and just glared at him which made him run to daddy crying about the meanie girl.
I don’t know if any of that is true (my mother was not a reliable source… and it just occurred to me that most of her stories about shit happening to little me have her there standing on the sidelines watching while shit happened to me and doing sweet FA about it, leaving me to figure out how to deal with it all by myself… she was like that when I was older too. She did however always expect me to rush to her rescue when shit was happening to her, even when I had tiny little legs.), but… it does sound like me.
When I get hurt, when a bully shoves me, when someone treats me badly, when I fall down… I get back up without any help and just glare at the person, and then they run away crying about the meanie who just hurt, bullied, and treated them badly.
“If you have a Capricorn child, you’ll notice the inconsistency soon enough. From the time he’s an infant, your self-contained little Cappy will make you feel somewhat uneasy with his strange maturity. You’ll say something cheerful to him, like “Does itty bitty Baby Boo want a nicey sugy cake?” and he’ll give you a serious, thoughtful look, as though he’s wondering just how silly you can get. It doesn’t take many of those looks to shame the average parent right out of baby talk.
Capricorn youngsters are strong-willed and positive in their tastes, but they don’t make a big fuss in expressing them. Your little goat won’t throw a temper tantrum or dramatically pound his fist in the mashed potatoes, but he’ll manage to communicate his negative reactions quite plainly.
A mother may feel vaguely intimidated by a Capricorn baby, but she can’t put her finger on the exact reason. Somehow he makes her feel – well, he makes her feel foolish and flighty. Let’s be very truthful. He makes her feel like the child, instead of the parent.”– Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, The Capricorn Child
People often assume that I’m impervious to hurt, that nothing they say or do to me injures me. They can be quite aggressive about it, and have on occasion gone out of their way to inflict pain just to see if I have feelings. Those times when I have shown them just how many feelings I contain, and how strongly I feel, they’ve run away crying to complain to someone else about me. I know they did that because someone else then gets sent to tell me what a meanie I have been.
Pop psychology would probably diagnose me with antisocial negative asshole disorder, and recommend that others dump my toxic ass and soothe and protect themselves with positive affirmations mostly given to them by others to whom they are offloading their trauma of being with an evil villain like me.
I’m exaggerating… or am I? One day many years ago, a female friend of my mother’s whom my mother had finally broken, decided to come clean with me and tell me everything my mother had said about me behind my back.
Even though I knew my mother and her modus operandi of damsel in distress seeking knight in shining armour to kill her latest dragon (and I knew I was often the dragon when I refused to save her once again from another dragon… because the real dragon was saintly mother), it hurt deeply with the sharp slice of betrayal to find out that after everything I did to help my mother she was going around telling people I was evil and making her miserable (narcissists always love to talk about themselves even when talking about others).
Astrology on the other hand would take one look at my chart, and say: Well, there’s some bad news (hard aspects) and there’s some good news (soft aspects), and the two sides are intertwined together to create the whole…
One of those bits of bad news is the placement of my natal Chiron.
Chiron in the 7th shows that your unhealed wound is to how you relate to others. It may manifest through one-to-one relationships, social interactions, and social justice.
Other possibilities include:
A major relationship experienced as wounding which colours all subsequent relationships
Longing for relationship but also a strong desire to be separate
Find it hard to see yourself without the mirror of another
People pleasing and being too polite which masks a hidden hostility
Defensiveness and avoidance of painful feelings in relationships
Inadvertently provoking conflict and power struggles
Attraction to lost souls and wounded partners
Periods of isolation or separation that provide healing and creative inner balance
Ability to heal through therapeutic relationships
– excerpt from Jessica Davidson: Natal Chiron in the 7th
Healing comes from reconciling the needs of yourself and others, and being willing to accept some of the darker sides of human emotion.
My natal Chiron makes four (well, five if I include the South Node) hard aspects:
- a conjunction with the North Node (which means it is in opposition to the South Node) – the NN is the karmic lesson you’ve come to learn, it’s a new thing you won’t want to learn because you’re used to living the vida South Node. My SN in lovely looney Libra wants to be loved, popular, and please everyone all the time, to keep the peace, to see happy smiley faces. My NN in bossy gung ho Aries just wants to go there and do that, say what it wants to say, and everyone else be damned and get out of my way. The trick is to balance these two… and to find the sweet spot between the extremes of this: People pleasing and being too polite which masks a hidden hostility
- an opposition to Pluto Rx in the 1st house of self – this is very much a case of what the excerpt above said here: Inadvertently provoking conflict and power struggles – Pluto Rx drags you to your internal hell and forces you to face your own darkness. Ultimately what it’s trying to create through destruction is to teach the right use of power, personal power since it’s in a personal house in my chart.
- an opposition to Uranus conjunct Jupiter in Libra – this is two separate aspects to Chiron, but they’re so closely tied together on their side of the seesaw and Jupiter tends to enhance, expand what it touches, that I tend to see them as one, as inseparable. I sometimes joke about these two and have called them the crazy twins, but underneath the laughter there’s a seriousness, a deep dark desire to be free and a terror of being trapped. Basically this: Longing for relationship but also a strong desire to be separate – only with added oomph. At the moment these two have been squared by transiting Saturn and it’s been a time of learning at last how to tame the wild within which often bursts out and causes havoc.
This morning I was messing around with one of those silly personality quizzes which dare you to let them tell you who you are based on a few answers and an algorithm. This one asked: How Rare Is Your Personality?
So, I decided to find out. And apparently my personality is medium rare (see image below). I really like the result, I like the idea of having one foot on one side and one foot on the other, of straddling a divide and bridging it.
I struggled to answer a couple of questions since (I’m an INTP and our MBTI always struggles with personality tests and quizzes due to lack of relevant options… and arguing with the questions) they didn’t have an answer option which matched my answer, so I had to randomly pick one to get a result.
One of those was the one below shown with what I picked highlighted in blue:
I went to high school in Paris. In retrospect it was both an incredibly stupid decision on my part and an excellent learning experience (but not necessarily the way it was supposed to be).
I’ve explained some of the story somewhere on my blog, the quick version is – once again I made a choice in an effort to help my mother fix her relationship with my father, and once again I failed to fulfill the purpose of my birth.
My mother didn’t want to live in Rome where my father lived most of the time (on his Mount Olympus). My father didn’t want to visit London which is where my mother lived most of the time (having used my schooling as an excuse to get the fuck off Mount Olympus). My father had a studio in Paris – Paris was the middle ground between London and Rome. But as soon as we moved there my father suddenly hated Paris… we weren’t living in his studio as it was a bachelor pad, but… sigh! those two crazy kids!
“He turned to Frank who was trying to pull his fingers out of the Chinese handcuffs…
“Okay,” Frank relented. “Sure.” He frowned at his fingers, trying to pull them out of the trap. “Uh, how do you—”
Leo chuckled. “Man, you’ve never seen those before? There’s a simple trick to getting out.”
Frank tugged again with no luck. Even Hazel was trying not to laugh.
Frank grimaced with concentration. Suddenly, he disappeared. On the deck where he’d been standing, a green iguana crouched next to an empty set of Chinese handcuffs.
“Well done, Frank Zhang,” Leo said dryly, doing his impression of Chiron the centaur. “That is exactly how people beat Chinese handcuffs. They turn into iguanas.”
― Rick Riordan, The Mark of Athena
The first year I was there I was in a smallish class of oddballs, so I was an oddball among other oddballs. We didn’t have time to socialise (plus I was a painfully shy person) because it was a cramming class – we were all foreigners who had to learn French ASAP so that the following year…
The following year the oddball group was split up and all of us were plopped into different classes within a grade (there were about five classes of about 30 students in each grade).
I landed into a class mostly full of very cool, sophisticated French kids who didn’t socialise with the foreign kids because we were ‘snooty’ (French people appreciate it when foreign people in France speak in French, if you don’t speak in French in France as a foreigner you’re considered snooty). All the classes were in French (except for English), and although I was fairly fluent by then it was all a bit too much for me because the curriculum in French Schools was densely packed. You go to school at 9am and work through to 6pm with an hour for lunch – extra curricular activities are done after 6pm.
I was a loner who didn’t really want to be a loner, but I didn’t know how to become part of a group in this huge and busy place where everyone else seemed to know where and with whom they belonged. I ended up joining the American group and they were mostly preppy.
But I didn’t belong or fit in with the American Preppies… they were nice enough, friendly once I got passed their initial mistrust of foreigners and distrust of people who were not exactly like them, dressed like them, walked like them, talked like them.
I made a couple of good friends, but… the problem with foreign kids who go to a school in a land foreign to them is that they’re usually just passing through while their parents are on sabbatical or conducting business.
And the problem with me is that it takes me an age to warm up to people, get comfortable, come out of my shell… and then figure out how to not freak anyone out with me being me.
“Chiron’s presence in the seventh house signifies a dynamic of knowing the self through significant relationships on the personal level, and strongly affecting other people on a mass scale. This position is the essence of charisma: these individuals have enormous potential to express the collective unconsciousness of their times, and they have an uncanny ability to mirror the self-image of other people.
This is a voracious placement; the presence of Chiron encourages the native to crave the adoration and adulation of others, and more than any other position of Chiron, identification of this energy is a revelation to the native. They need to understand how they are affecting people around themselves, or the intensifying adulation will attach to the personal ego and destroy them.
Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Fidel Castro, and Richard Nixon have Chiron in the seventh house, and all are excellent examples of the power or confusion inherent in this placement.
Opposite the house of the self, the first house, is the place of maximum distortion about who we are, the seventh house. Who we are will always be distorted in the perceptions of the self by others until we master polarity. The truth is, each end of the polarity is the same: I am you and you are me. This is the essential teaching that natives with Chiron in the seventh must master.
Mastery of the other side, true comprehension of polarities, only comes with deep wisdom about life. Natives with Chiron in the seventh have a crisis about knowing who they are in relation to the other side.
Relationships are the big teacher for all of us, and that is why we work so hard at them. For those with Chiron in the seventh, the hardest issue, relationship, must be learned in the hardest way, with a Chiron crisis about who we are in this place, Earth.
The only way the learning can occur is in a relationship, so the astrologer must gather more information on significant relationships than usual. Chiron in the seventh is also very involved with mass consciousness, and often some really valuable work is going on in that area.
The degree to which the client is conscious of this work is critically important, for their concrete awareness of the effect they have on others will release their inner gift. This is an essential teaching about this position because the difficulties over interpersonal relationships are usually so potent and distracting that this individual is more blinded to the mirror source of knowledge than most of us. They literally cannot see the forest for the trees, so they need powerful and sympathetic help with the difficulties they are having interpersonally.
They need encouragement to become more conscious of the potent effect they have on others so they can know that the response from others to them is their teacher. And they need to become more conscious about the gift that the culture sees within them.
The key to Chiron in the seventh house is to carefully analyze relationships, identify what the inherent teachings are, and then help free the native from the astral grip while also identifying the palpable gifts to the culture which are occurring.
In the old mastery schools, awareness only came with concrete identification of actual magical acts such as moving stones with the third eye or levitating. This principle is very helpful for work on Chiron in the seventh house.
These natives do not see the power of what they are doing; they are not conscious of the effect they have on other people. If made conscious, they get control over their lives and they are tremendously empowered to give their gift.
They often feel bad about the long line of complex and seemingly disastrous emotional encounters.”– excerpt shared on the linda-goodman forum discussing: Anyone have Chiron in the 7th House?
I know this is a really long post, but I don’t mind (and I don’t mind if you mind and give up on reading it), I’m writing all of this for me…
I’ve been going through my Chiron Return…when transiting Chiron returns to the position it was in when you were born.
I can’t remember when it started or when it’s supposedly going to end. Doesn’t matter, it started when it started and will end when it ends.
Before my Chiron return I’d read up on its possible effects and freaked myself out a bit (which is why I normally avoid predictive astrology of any kind). The last decade of my life has been… oooh what a ride! Fun, frantic, frenetic, freeing, and flummoxing. I was looking forward to that moment when how exhausted you are hits you, but it’s okay because you can relax now… and then I read up on the Chiron return and thought – I’m too effing tired for and of this!
But the actual Chiron return has been very relaxing… it has thus far been the plateau reached after a long and arduous climb, the tiredness hits you, but it’s okay you can rest and… look at that view!
I’m going to stop now and… play a video game with a good friend.
Oh, I just remembered that last night while playing that game (Assassin’s Creed Odyssey) there was a riddle to solve which involved finding a centaur statue in the middle of a lake, then moving in the direction where the arrow in his bow was pointing to find another centaur statue, and then pursuing his point to another, to another until you found… well, that would be spoiling the fun for you 🙂
Thank you for letting me play with you and for playing with me… it’s been and now it’s gone!
‘Til next time… over to you.
And a song from the Sagittarius rising Bob Dylan:
*Featured image is an illustration by Heinrich Kley featured on the front page of Jugend Magazine 1910, volume 5.