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Home > Astrology > Chiron > Wounded Healer

Here's the full story...

The Mythology Chiron - The Wounded Healer

The Greek mythology encircling the figure of Chiron, The Wounded Healer, is of great assistance in helping us acquire a deeper understanding of the archetypal energies reflected by the Chiron in our sky.

Chiron, a centaur, was known as a wise teacher, healer and prophet.

Chiron's father was the Greek god Kronus (Saturn) and his mother was a beautiful nymph named Philyra.

Kronus was a cruel and devouring father god – and he met the nymph Philyra during one of his many searches for his (then) baby son, Zeus. Kronus was hoping to have some "baby Zeus kabob" for supper that night.

However, upon seeing Philyra, Kronus managed to get sidetracked - instantly getting a serious case of the hots for the nymph. Problem is - though - that the nymph Philyra did not share in his lusty desires.

So Philyra turned herself into a mare in the attempt to flee the unwelcome desirous advances of Kronus. But Kronus likewise transformed himself into a stallion and thus was able to consummate his overwhelming desire to mate with Philyra. Satisfied, Kronus left, never to return.

Initial Wounding
But here comes the dreadful tearjerker (pull on your heart strings) part of the story…

Philyra, upon seeing her newborn son Chiron (obviously a centaur), is so disgusted and appalled that she rejects and abandons her child. That's the really bad, tragic news for young Chiron… a child born of a violent rape, is abandoned and rejected by both his parents, the very ones who should have been there to love and nurture young Chiron.

The really good redemptive news is that Chiron was later adopted by the Greek sun god Apollo.

Perhaps I should mention here that time and chronology in Greek Mythology is often a wee bit... er… unusual – since Kronus was Apollo's grandfather and Chiron's father. So Apollo is actually Chiron's nephew. So go figure…

Upon becoming Chiron's foster parent, Apollo (god of music, prophecy, poetry and healing) taught Chiron all that he knew.

As a result, Chiron later in life became a powerful mentor to the sons of kings and many of the most famous Greek heroes, including Jason (of the original Jason and the Argonauts), Asclepius (that became a famous healer in his own right), Achilles and Hercules.

Second Wounding
Speaking of Hercules (Herakles, for you purists)... Hercules plays a starring role in the continuing saga of Chiron becoming a wounded healer. Good old Herc always seemed to be at odds with the centaurs (and it was eventually to be a centaur that did him in).

During a skirmish with a rowdy bunch of centaurs (who were all scattering and heading for the hills) – Hercules carelessly, accidentally wounded his friend and mentor, Chiron, in the knee with one of his arrows.

The arrows Hercules had chosen to use on this particular day were arrows coated with the blood of the monster Hydra. Arrows coated with the blood of the Hydra were known to cause painful wounds that would never heal.

And being an immortal, Chiron having a wound that would never heal was a way serious problem... Chiron would never be able to heal from the wound caused by Hercules, and being immortal he could never die...

A seriously bad Catch 22...

And so after a long passing of time, with no relief, the wound caused Chiron much severe pain... Hercules (who'd been the one responsible for wounding Chiron in the first place) worked out a deal.

(Note: For incredibly alert folks - what comes next is a different version, than the one given in the Uranus Rebel section of this site, regarding how the god Prometheus was released from his torment of being daily liver snacks for the eagle of Zeus.)

The Titan god Prometheus had been chained to a rock by Zeus, the chief Olympian god. Being chained to the rock was to be his (Prometheus') punishment for having previous stolen fire from Olympia as a gift to mortals.

Each day (some versions say every other day) Zeus' eagle would come and eat Prometheus' liver. Each night the liver would heal itself. Then the eagle would come again for his liver snacks.

As stipulated by Zeus - Prometheus could only be released if (and when) an immortal offered to go to Tartarus and take his place. Going to Tartarus would mean the immortal was giving up his status as an immortal and would die.

Chiron, being the son of Kronus and half-brother of Zeus, agreed to take the place of Prometheus, and then eventually died. Upon his death, he was then released from his wound that would never heal.

Chiron was then honored with the constellation of Centaurus.

(Back to Please Don't Squeeze the Shaman)

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