“Your defects are the ways that glory gets manifested.” -Rumi
It is the mid 1970’s. White coated doctors symbolize superiority, perfection; patients, the inferior victim to be healed. And then, an asteroid comes zooming in. The old paradigm falls. Modern astrology will name this asteroïd Chiron, and Chiron will come to symbolize a time when western society got back on course with what it truly means to be healer and to be healed.
In Greek mythology, Chiron–born half man, half horse– is abandoned by his mother Philyra at birth. The nymph Philyra conceives Chiron while being raped by Zeus. Thus, Chiron, deserted as a baby by a mother who doesn’t want him, suffers the original wound of rejection and unlovability.
Later, Chiron’s friend Hercules accidentally shoots him in the thigh with a poisoned arrow. The immortal centaur is now in tremendous pain that will never heal — Chiron’s secondary wound. In his search to stop the pain and heal his wound, Chiron becomes the most skilled healer the world has ever known.
It is in times of greatest vulnerability that a deeper intelligence comes through.
We all have Chiron within us. We all have primary and secondary wounds as well as the ability to heal ourselves. We possess the ability to take what we learn from moving toward that which is wounded in us and offer it to others.
But it is not so easy to get to and once there, not so easy to stay.
Just last week, I made a decision that put me right into the center of my most vulnerable self. Raw and unprotected, how quickly I scrambled to re-find solid ground. But in that scramble back to the known, comfortable and stable, what treasures did I miss?
While the ego–that which dictates our everyday life and being– defends itself, asserts primacy and power and stands in rulership, our Chironic capacity lurks in the shadows waiting to be awakened.
“In order to awaken the transformative aspect of the archetype of the Wounded Healer, we have to move through our wounds to find the wisdom hidden there.” -Mauger
There is nothing more vulnerable than standing in the center of our own woundedness.
In the ethos of our time, a time where modern medicine attempts to cure all illness and inoculate us from pain, what teaches us to endure our suffering long enough to learn its important lessons?
Valuable aspects of the true self are hidden in the shadow. We need a practice that will help us go there and stay a while, then lead us back.
Like Chiron, we are both wounded and divine.
In Anusara yoga, https://www.anusarayoga.com/, one way we support and develop our capacity to endure the rough stuff is by practicing Muscular Energy. Instead of abandoning ourselves when it gets challenging and raw, we draw in towards the midline of our bodies to move closer to our experience. As we pull muscle to bone, we engage more fully with what is, whether it be the messiness of suffering or the deliciousness of the sublime. We draw in and remember that all that we feel and know originates from the same source — the source of life itself.
And to that, we bow.