Chiron in mythology was the wisest teacher on earth; so he tutored the children of the gods, including the mighty Hercules. Chiron was a centaur, half man and half horse.
One day Chiron and Hercules were out to dinner with some of the other centaurs. A fight erupted and Hercules pulled out his sword to make his point in the disagreement with the rowdy centaurs. In the process, he accidentally stabbed Chiron in the leg with it.
Tragically, the sword had recently been used to kill the dreaded hydra and so it was covered in dried but still deadly poisonous hydra blood. Having been stabbed in the thigh with a hydra-poisoned sword, Chiron was in mortal agony. However because he was immortal, he was unable to die. It looked as though he would be doomed to suffer agonising pain for all of eternity. Being such a wise one, he decided that the only thing to do was to search the whole world to find a cure for his condition.
Chiron’s wound kept him journeying, and the more he searched, the wiser he became and the more proficient he became at healing. The irony was that, despite his amazing skill, he was unable to heal himself of this persistent wound.
The Chiron story is: “If only I could get rid of “the thing” (insert wound, in his case, his leg) everything would be all right”. However, “If only” will never be a healthy position statement.
The goal is to accept the physical, emotional or mental challenge that we are repeatedly faced with, and to learn as much as possible to assist ourselves, and eventually others, to recover from this condition. In doing so, we may never defeat the demon, but we get really wise and strong in the process. The demon becomes secondary to all that we have learnt, and because we don’t give it any energy, it withers and shrinks in our particular energy field and conscious focus. Instead of being a pervading beast, it becomes an occasional visitor whom we can greet as an old friend!
How Chiron eventually became free of his problem is a story in itself. He agreed to help the wounded god Prometheus. Prometheus invented humans and loved them. Zeus, the head god, didn’t think much of humankind. Out of a sense of duty to care for the comfort of his creations, Prometheus had stolen fire from the gods and given it to humankind. Zeus was outraged and as a punishment had Prometheus tied to a big rock, and every day a giant monstrous bird would come and rip out his liver. It would then be replaced so that it could be ripped out again the next day. Nice. The only way he could be freed is if another immortal would do two things: give up his immortal status and take the place of Prometheus! Zeus thought this was a pretty safe bet. He had not counted on Chiron.
Chiron, who had learnt all there was to learn and who was sick of his sore leg, agreed to swap places with Prometheus, who was thereby freed, and after a few days Chiron died, and therefore, finally became free of his wound. Hercules the hero re-enters at this stage. Having wounded Chiron, Hercules asks his father Zeus to immortalise Chiron. He who was the instrument of the wounding becomes the instrument of the ultimate transformation. Zeus agreed, and Chiron was raised up and became the stellar constellation, Centaurus, forever visible to all who care to look.
For Chiron it was the ultimate transformation, death, which not only freed him of his wound, but transformed him into everlasting greatness. We too, must die to the old us, to transform into the new us. Symbolic death is usually required so that we can change beliefs, attitudes, jobs, our patterns in relationships or other things that hold us right down in the bog of our wound. For those who refuse to transform, there is always next life, and the next few hundred lives, in which we can learn and master what our higher soul and the divine plan want us to. It is usually more graceful to learn sooner rather than later, as the more we resist change, the more pressure the universe will bring to bear, until finally we relent, stop banging our head against brick walls, and follow our destiny. Your highest destiny is ultimately to be found upon the path of relative ease and grace, but only when our false security, that which we strenuously cling to, has been removed or reframed as a preference instead of a necessity.
And so it is that during the cycle of death and rebirth we, like Chiron, learn what there is to learn and eventually our work on earth is complete. We also get liberated, seemingly killed as we walk through the valley of death, through which we find new life and new wisdom. In the end, we go onto other things, bigger things, things for which we need the wisdom we learnt in the cosmic nursery school called earth. In all probability, we never would have made the effort to learn these things if it were not for our bothersome wound.
What is your Chironic wound this time? Chironic is only an “I” away from chronic. What persistent issue is it that drives you on to continue learning and thirsting for spiritual and emotional growth? Please stop and consider this, and make a note in your spiritual journal about what it could be.
What follows is a check list of things that I do when my Chironic wound recurs.
- I check and see if I am using any of the seven self-defeating strategies discussed in ‘hydra heads’ article last month. If so, I have a laugh, and decide not to do it that way any more.
- Do not become identified with the problem. This is not who I am. It is just an experience I have chosen to grow through. Breathe deeply, accept it (and the people who come wrapped up in it): I grit my teeth and smile, particularly at the problem.
- Understand that the spiritual growth accelerator has just been pressed. Like a game of snakes and ladders, will my vibration become lighter or heavier as I deal with this again? Just add forgiveness, love and compassion; my vibration goes up, my energy gets stronger and I expand in love and consciousness. My inner child might want to engage in some instant gratification in the form of point scoring. This might be fun, but it is negative fun. When I add vitriol, condemnation or any form of spite to a challenging situation, I can feel myself sinking slowly into darkness, separation and heaviness in vibration. There is nothing actually wrong with doing it this way; it just gets painful, and I am no longer personally into pain. So, I am gentle but firm with my younger self, and try not to play the negative game.
- Anything to do with “poor me” has to be eradicated like a weed in the garden, not with fear or hatred but with an attitude of, “oh, you again, sorry, out you go”. In fact, my Chironic wound will most likely be the main thrust of my poor me story (and also of my continued growth).
- I try not to become identified with one particular end of a polarity spectrum. All human characteristics exist in polarity. Some polarities that mix people up are: pride/humility, power-over/empowering, kind/mean, arrogant/humble, sensitive/insensitive, responsible/irresponsible, creators/destroyers, etc. Truly powerful people can only be powerful when they face and admit to their vulnerability (not necessarily to all and sundry but to themselves and their advisors). Those who do not are eventually headed for a fall. When a powerful person can own the experience of vulnerability, he or she can safely hold a great deal of power. Both are equally important. Understand that we are mastering the polarity, not just the wound but the strength as well. When looked at this way, my own Chironic wound gets easier to deal with.
- Affirm that the wound has no power over me, that it is a small problem and that I am a huge and powerful soul (perspective is important right now). The affirmation taught by the great Indian sage Patjanjali is useful in all situations. This is: “I am not my body. I am not my mind. I am not my emotions. I am my soul, a being of divine intelligence, divine love and divine power. I am one with my higher soul, I am that I am” Of course we are undoubtedly our body, mind and emotions as well, thank goodness, think of all the fun these things can be! However, when the consciousness of this more tangible part of us runs our lives, it is usually limiting and chaotic, which is why it is useful to place our awareness instead on the divine part of ourselves, from which solutions to all situations eventually will flow. When we ask for help from our divine self, help will come. Remember that the goal is not the eradication of the wound; it is the getting of wisdom. In the end, the getting of wisdom will cause the magical cure of the wound; the cure is the outcome of the inner work.
- Most useful of all, I look back at how things were before I started my inner work and compare this to how life is now. For this purpose it is essential to keep a spiritual diary, in which I record how I feel at regular intervals, and the spiritual experiences that I have. Armed with this, I have a library of my own information which can be the evidence I need to counter the persuasive arguments of the ego that I should give up this crazy spiritual stuff.
If you have tried all of the above, and you still feel bad, get a healing. Don’t be an isolated hero and try to deal with it yourself. There are plenty of great healers, see the ads in this magazine for example. We all need help from time to time. No one can do the inner work for you, but it’s really valuable to have a helping hand out of your old stuck energy patterns and identify a new perspective.
Horses have played an important part in many old myths and legends which were taught in various spiritual traditions. Demeter of Mycenae, a famous face of the goddess, also had the face of a mare. Amazons in North Africa worshipped the goddess in mare form, the horse was a sacred animal to do with fertility in Ireland and Britain, in Scandinavia horses were sacrificed to carry their warrior masters to heaven, in North American Indian tradition magical horses existed in the happy hunting ground, and Muhammad is said to have ridden a mythical mare called Buraq. The horse is also associated with the World Tree, the Tree of Life, and in the Vedas, Ghandarvas were the Indian equivalent of the centaurs. They represented the part of the soul which continued through the different reincarnations. For more on centaurs and Chiron read Chiron and the Healing Journey by Melanie Reinhart, Arkana Contemporary Astrology 1989.
Shakti Durga is the founder, spiritual head and inspirational leader of Shanti Mission (Peace Mission), with its head office based in Australia. Her teachings focus on the development of spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health and well-being with the goal of igniting the divine spark within everyone. Shakti Durga was previously known as Kim Fraser, with a successful career as a barrister, prior to her awakening as a guru.
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