Chiron Mars: Conjunction
“To be, or not to be: that is the question.”
Chiron coming into contact with the archetype of primal instincts, the force to initiate, our urge to be, and our style of acting and asserting symbolizes a degree of sensitivity with regard to “yang” functions in one’s psyche or eros: any act of initiation or assertion will be accompanied by a sensitivity to that which is awkward, ugly, out of place or unusual.
With this configuration in the natal chart, the very principle of the instinctual urge to self-assert may have been wounded, i.e. the psyche may register such an instinctual drive as unavoidably awkward or out of place. In contrast to individuals with Venus Chiron contact, whose desire nature may have been sensitized and they may display vulnerability regarding self-preservation, Mars Chiron individuals experience a sensitization of their drives and the rudimentary function of self-assertion. In other words, these individuals may simply hesitate to function in the world in an autonomous fashion.
At first glance, the statement “I am” may seem quite simple. We tend to take it for granted that we are. However, this smooth recognition of the fact that we are is the result of a complex psychological function that enables us to be sure that we have a right to exist in the first place. This function is symbolized by Mars in the context of psychological astrology. When this function is scarred by the presence of an energetic “wound,” one may not be quite sure anymore how to be.
Regardless of how an individual asserts herself, Mars Chiron contact symbolizes an unease in this process: there is always a default mode of action in place which can stay intact for years if not consciously addressed, and that involves an instinctual doubt at the root of one’s being which rises to the surface at the very moment of asserting oneself. Since this process is largely pre-conscious, it can stay undefined and therefore un-conscious until Mars is energetically triggered through interaction with another individual. This can be the beginning of recognition and registration of the Chironic wound.
As with any other Chironic predicament, one should be ready to walk the road less trodden in this case: as infeasible as it may sound, with Mars Chiron contact one can learn how to be without a necessity to assert oneself. To be in this sense is to be in the cleft symbolized by Chiron, on the edge of the precipice, down into the impossible space where to be is not to be. This is perhaps where Hamlet was, seeing himself unable to take action even though he knew that action had to be taken.
Yet, Chiron Mars contacts do not have to symbolize Hamlet’s fate. They can symbolize an alternate ending: Hamlet could simply accept his inability to act and gracefully live with that realization without abhorring himself or driving Ophelia to suicide. He could be happily married, become a father, or even a grandfather, knowing that he was not capable of killing Claudius. Knowing that, accepting that, and living gracefully with that recognition was the key for him. Likewise, recognizing where we cannot act and yet not re-acting to this recognition, staying in style despite “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and living our life knowing that we are who we are is what Chiron Mars conjunction invites us to consider.
Chiron Mars: Square
“Please do not mistake sensitivity for weakness.”
With this configuration in the natal chart, our drives and instinctual urges may have been deeply conditioned by our understanding of the wounding process involved in asserting ourselves. To be the way we are or to establish our presence in the world may simply feel awkward or uncomfortable.
From a psychological point of view, an individual with this configuration in her natal chart may experience profound empathy for all that is alive, simply in motion, breathing, and thriving. A parent with a highlighted Mars in his or her own chart may also be the locus of this empathy. This parnetal figure may have had his or her own “yang” functions wounded or curtailed, might have been ridiculed for who he or she is, or might have been simply ignored by his or her own parents.
More often than not, the Chiron Mars individual may instinctively trigger confrontations with the environment in which she operates, just to see how far she can assert herself. Through assuming risky roles or seeking positions of leadership, these individuals may launch an unconscious competition with themselves, and by extension, with life in general, trying to “win” life and outwit themselves. Here lies the seed of success and forward motion, as long as there are proper outlets for the metaphorical blood and sweat involved in such battles.
Chiron in aspect to Mars in the natal chart may also symbolize wounds regarding one’s sexual function or the flow of libido. Again, a parental figure may be the carrier of this wound, and the individual may have simply inherited the psychological charge associated with it.
Individuals with this configuration in their birth chart are capable of achieving a lot by doing the minimal amount of work in a highly effective manner, yet the key is to understand the nature of the “battle” they are involved in: this is about them, and not others. Even if they are rectifying an inherited, parental wound, the battle is still personal and they are the only ones to be accounted for.
The “friction” symbolized in the square aspect between Mars and Chiron can be regarded as a constant catalyst, propelling the individual to define and redefine her sense of agency in the face of adverse conditions. If this aspect is consciously understood and psychologically integrated, as these individuals grow older, they become more confident and develop a natural assertive attitude which will only become more polished with every passing year.
Chiron Mars: Opposition
“There is hardly a single action that we perform in that phase which we would not give anything, in later life, to be able to annul.”
Individuals with this configuration in their natal chart may operate from a psychological standpoint which deems the relation with the other as inherently impossible, as there may exist a polarization between I and the Other on a level that is pre-conscious and thus hard to address. With such an instinctual predisposition, co-existence with the other without jeopardizing one’s own sense of agency may seem like a daunting task. Consequently, such individuals may choose relationships in which the other is reduced to the role of a trigger point for their sense of agency, rather than someone autonomous, operating from his or her own right to be.
Sometimes, the Chiron Mars individual may register the other as utterly indispensable for her process of individuation, asserting who she truly is or in order to simply thrive. In this case, relationships may become so important that the individual cannot operate in the world without at least one significant other who is ready to be there, no matter what, to “fuel” the individual’s engines, to motivate and to champion her on a constant basis, and to yield to her sense of agency by letting go of their own if necessary. Furthermore, this significant other may be unconsciously held in the position of someone whose sense of agency is wounded, so that the individual can gain perspective on her own sense of agency by relating to this “wounded” other in the capacity of a romantic, intellectual or spiritual partner.
In the absence of modifying aspects to Mars, Chiron may become the only “fuel” available to us: relationships can “fire” us, can make us alive, and can impel us to assert ourselves in the world only if they fit within the Chironic paradigm explained.
If this projection is understood and integrated correctly, the seeming impossibility of the co-existence of I and the other may be replaced by a conscious utilization of such polarity in a professional field: therapists, psychologists, trauma workers, social workers, teachers, trainers, and coaches may all benefit from interaction with the “wounded others” without initiating an intimate relationship with them.
These professions are suitable outlets for what is symbolized by Mars/Chiron polarization because they let us “fuel” our sense of agency and autonomy by witnessing the precarious scenarios lived by others on a daily basis. In this case, we will not need to hold the other in the position of the wounded in fear of losing our own sense of agency; such professions will rather provide us with a steady flow of Chironic characters who can keep us “alive” through their wounds and vulnerabilities, as in our attempts to heal them, we will incessantly and passionately address our own incertitude regarding our right to be.
“I hate being on my best behavior. It brings out the absolute worst in me.”
This configuration may signal that one’s drives or instinctual impulses may have been overpowered or diminished by one’s wounds or sensitivities. In some cases, the individual may feel that asserting herself is unavoidably linked to hurting herself or others. Sexual urges may be equally held at bay, neither because of a sense of shame, nor because of external circumstances, but because there is a psychological link between such urges and a particular sore point in the psyche that is painful or awkward to address.
In some cases, the individual may act knowing that pain is an inevitable part of the equation, and therefore, may do her best to perfect the art of acting despite the pain it evokes. There may be a single-minded focus on achieving great things in life, despite the awkwardness or the embarrassment involved in the process, as the inherent imbalance indicated in the quincunx aspect in itself symbolizes an urge to “make things right” and this further fuels the fire of Mars.
With conscious work, the individual with this configuration in her natal chart has a great potential for moving forward and setting an example. On the other hand, if this energy is not addressed consciously, there may be a chance of somatization of the wound symbolized by Chiron’s placement, most typically connected with motor skills or libido. As Mars also symbolizes muscles and blood, Chironic vulnerability may manifest in conditions affecting these aspects of the physical body as well. In this case, massage, bodywork, and acupuncture may prove to be effective in addressing the energetic imbalance.
“The sexual act is in time what the tiger is in space.”
This configuration signals that one’s drives and impulses may have been subtly affected by one’s psychological vulnerabilities. In this case, the individual may want to achieve great things in life but at the same time may feel unable to act in the direction of her goals, often for reasons not quite clear to the individual herself. Alternatively, a parental figure may carry a certain instinctual or sexual vulnerability (or even illness) that polarizes their view of themselves: on the one hand, they may display great bravado in the face of difficulties, and on the other hand, they may be unable to carry out the most ordinary tasks.
A similar polarization may also exist in the psyche of the individual herself: either one acts passionately or one acts only when provoked. This may symbolize an unconscious need to keep these two spheres (action and reaction) separate from one another, thus acting based on personal will in dire scenarios may seem impossible, or actions may be performed dispassionately and only in response to imposed circumstances.
The key to working with such an instinctual chasm is to recognize that one may indeed act passionately and autonomously even if the circumstances are imposed. One may still laugh in the face of misery, or die with an unrelenting attitude. Passion and personal will can indeed operate in the face of that which is obligatory, out of control, or simply unavoidable. A recognition of this possibility and acting accordingly signals the psychological integration and motion towards “healing” regarding one’s will to live as autonomously as possible.
Chiron Mars: Trine
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
With this configuration in the natal chart, there usually exists a natural connection between our sensitivities and our instincts, drives, and will to live. The Chironic wound is, in fact, in harmony with the individual’s manner of self-assertion or sexual conduct.
There is a tremendous creative potential present with Chiron trining the planet of action and initiation, and such abundant energy can often be channeled through physical, political, or social outlets. One may “fight” for one’s rights, or one may champion the cause of those who are fighting on the same front. Either way, one has to “fight” for something worthwhile.
In some cases, however, Chiron may represent the only battle worthy of fighting for us. Our engines may not run when triggered by that which is not wounded, out of place, or awkward, and we may never feel an urge to play or participate outside of the Chironic league. In this case, we may need to train our action muscle to work for us of our own volition rather than only in response to pity or pathos. The first step, as always, is to become conscious of how we are driven by our Chironic sensitivities, and the next step is to exercise our will regardless of these sensitivities. Every opportunity to act is an opportunity to stretch our will muscle despite our inertia to do so. Mastering this process may take a while, but in the end, this is a battle well worth winning.
Chiron Mars: Sextile
“Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.”
Michel de Montaigne
With this configuration in the natal chart, one is often presented with opportunities to get actively involved with that which is wounded or vulnerable in oneself or others. Curiosity about the nature of our action in relation to our wounds can also be present, as well as an objective attitude towards the process of wounding and healing.
Alternatively, someone with a dominant “yang” energy in one’s immediate environment may have been involved in therapeutic or healing professions. It is also possible that a sibling or friend carries a sexual wound or has been dealing with Mars Chiron themes such as self-assertion or initiation.
A conscious examination of the nature of our drives or libidinal urges may also prove to be an attractive topic: what fuels our actions or fires our sexual engines? What informs the yang functions in our psyche? In the case of Michel Gauquelin, the French psychologist who had this configuration in his natal chart, the intellectual curiosity towards Mars was quite literal: he discovered the “Mars Effect,” the statistical correlation between the athletic distinction and the position of the planet Mars on the Ascendant and Mid-heaven in the natal chart.
Any profession which allows explorations of Mars-related themes in their various forms will be an apt choice for someone with this configuration in her natal chart.
You can read about Chiron Signs and Houses in my other articles.