Chiron Mercury: Conjunction
“When it’s in a book I don’t think it’ll hurt anymore… exist anymore. One of the things writing does is wipe things out. Replace them.”
– Marguerite Duras
Chiron coming into contact with the archetype of communicating, thinking, writing, and speaking symbolizes a space for healing, cleaning, and replacing through words. All mental functions will be colored by an openness to that which is awkward, out of balance, or difficult to express.
Wounds may take an expressive dimension, and words may be perceived as means of wounding or healing. The individual with this placement in her natal chart may harbor an innate sensitivity to language, written or spoken, and thus may perceive communicating not only as a means of conveying meaning but also as an attempt to heal and become whole.
Writing can often be a process of working with incompatible elements torn away from their conventional context and glued together in an unprecedented and unruly fashion. After cleansing the language from its conventional cobwebs, the Mercury Chiron individual prepares a clean canvas on which she can then splash new concepts to communicate meaning in a fresh, albeit unsettling manner. The syntax may be broken and the remained pieces can be patched together in an unusual, clunky, or awkward manner, and this may indeed become a new aesthetic standard.
Mary Shelley, who created the Chironic character “Frankenstein” had a prominent Chiron in her natal chart, including Chiron conjunct Mercury, and stated: “Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of the void but out of chaos.”
Etymologically speaking, the word “chaos” means “abyss, that which gapes wide open.” The same concept is carried over in “Chiron” which is etymologically related to the Greek “surgeon,” the person who cuts and opens (in order to heal). Therefore, one can intuitively understand why Mary Shelley perceived invention as some form of recognizing and reordering a chaotic space: according to her, the wholeness represented in any new concept is possible because of the fearlessness involved in the process of going into the “abyss” of chaos, the “wide open” space severed from that which is neat and organized. One arrives there to mend the irregular edges of this open “wound” to make it “healed,” i. e. presentable enough to the residents of the neat and organized world.
Other than sewing that which is torn, Chiron can also represent various forms of crossing and bridging (which was initially discussed in my article “Pity and Rupture: Introduction to Chiron in the Birth Chart”).
Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman who won Fields Medal in mathematics, had Chiron conjunct Mercury in her natal chart and stated, “I like crossing the imaginary boundaries people set up between different fields. It’s very refreshing.”
Likewise, individuals whose perception of the world has been colored by Chironic chasm are more prone to respond to the call of the “wide” which invites them to cross the known boundaries and enter chaos, groping for knowledge, no matter how inconvenient the effort may prove to be.
As with all Chiron contacts, some experiences may also coincide with wounding and hurt: the Mercury Chiron individual may find it awkward to get her meaning across, may feel perpetually misunderstood or unable to understand others, or may simply feel disconnected from her immediate environment. As the Chironic wound serves an evolutionary purpose and has been built by design and not by chance, with this configuration in the natal chart one is meant to develop empathy for her own unique mental functions (as well as those of others) when the mind wanders into awkward territories or poses questions one is ashamed to ask.
Regardless of how Mercury Chiron may function in the psyche, the individual with this conjunction in her natal chart will display sensitivity concerning communicative and cognitive processes, developing skills, mobility and agility, intelligence, or intellectual capacity. These topics will remain delicate to discuss, no matter how old one gets.
Chiron Mercury: Square
“In order to understand the world one has to turn away from it on occasion.”
– Albert Camus
With this configuration in the natal chart, our perception may have been deeply conditioned by our understanding of the wounding process involved in making sense of the world or connecting to others on an intellectual plane. We may constantly be aware of how wounding it is just to reach out, communicate our views, connect to those around us, or simply exchange ideas in written or spoken form.
The renowned French writer and philosopher Albert Camus, who had this placement in his natal chart, wrote novels and plays depicting Chiron conditioning Mercurial functions: the protagonist of his celebrated novel, The Stranger, is judged as a detached misanthrope for not showing enough emotions regarding his mother’s death, which eventually encourages the court to issue his death sentence in a murder trial. In another novel, The Plague, Camus portrays the individual’s lack of power and subsequent immobility in the face of an epidemic disease. In one of his plays, The Misunderstanding, family members are utterly incapable of communicating with one another. Regardless of details, all three texts share the same Chironic theme: how we awkwardly try to connect, move, or express ourselves and we tragically fail at that.
From a psychological point of view, an individual with this configuration in her natal chart may experience profound empathy for a sibling, friend, teacher, relative, or someone else in the immediate environment. Such figures may have displayed certain Chironic characteristics and the individual may have decided to “take care” of them because of their vulnerability or limitations. In a way, through caring for such figures, the individual is “mothering” her own psychological wounds, hoping to heal and somehow become acceptable, presentable, or lovable.
One has to be careful, though, not to “nestle into pain” as the Icelandic singer Bjork, who has this placement in her natal chart, sings:
It’s sometimes just like sleeping
Curling up inside my private tortures
I nestle into pain
Caress every ache.
One may make sense of the world through the process of nursing one’s wounds. The wound is to evolve, however, from a comfort zone to a zone of awareness and empathy.
Chiron Mercury: Opposition
“I am the love that dare not speak its name.”
– Lord Alfred Douglas
Individuals with this configuration in their natal chart may form a mental perception of the world based on the impossibility of connecting with the other. Likewise, that which is awkward or unintelligible is projected onto the other and then re-framed as “impossible” to understand.
The cognitive function standing in opposition to the archetype of woundedness further hints at the necessity of the woundedness of the other as part of our cognitive process: our psyche has to perceive the other as wounded for us to feel connected or understood.
Such projection, of course, is a convenient distraction from our own mental or cognitive woundedness. “The other” may be reduced to the position of the brute or the one who is not as sophisticated as us. We may be quite sure of our opinions and perceptions in the face of this “stupid” world. We may even feel pain or pity for the infinite stupidity which has surrounded us and even secretly forgive all these “imbeciles” for their awkwardness.
In most cases, individuals with this configuration in their natal chart stay unconscious of such a mental projection until they get involved in the process of teaching, learning, communicating, or adjusting to an unfamiliar environment. Interaction with others in such contexts may trigger the individual’s pain or awkwardness regarding her mental capacity, social skills, intelligence, or wittiness.
If this projection is analyzed and integrated correctly, the woundedness or embarrassment one may feel regarding her own intellectual functions can serve as the best platform to connect to others. In accepting the cognitive clumsiness of others without feeling separate from them, one can heal others and oneself gracefully, in a humble, human way without falling into a vicious cycle of pity, forgiveness, exclusion, and projection.
“Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him.”
– Cardinal Richelieu
This configuration may signal that one’s cognitive function has been overpowered or diminished by one’s wounds or sensitivities. In some cases, the individual may know that she simply can not show her cards to the outside world and that she must suppress any opinion that is not in harmony with the overall mental image she has of herself or of the world at large. In some cases, the individual may have felt abandoned by a sibling or friend as a result of a limitation or disability in that figure or the individual herself.
Alternatively, some people with whom the individual has established a mental or intellectual rapport may have found it impossible to reveal their true nature without invoking embarrassment. It is also possible that the individual simply dismisses the presence of embarrassing qualities in oneself or one’s company.
In any case, the individual with this configuration in her natal chart has to develop an unbiased understanding of that which is intellectually “unwelcome” in herself or others. Dismissing dirty thoughts may be considered a sign of mental discipline, but analyzing such thoughts in order to understand why they exist in the first place is a sign of healed and wholesome wisdom.
Mercury Chiron contacts, especially the quincunx aspect, invite us to bypass the Saturnian censorship and peek into the dark abyss where thoughts are born, slimy and awkward, yet crying for inclusion. To miss out on this opportunity is to let a mental process die without a trace. Acknowledging that such thoughts exist will enable them to continue their process, albeit as orphans on the peripheries of consciousness.
“I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.”
– Georges Bataille
This configuration signals that one’s sentiments may have been polarized from one’s wounds or vulnerabilities. Alternatively, one’s emotional reactions may have been subtly affected by one’s sense of pathos.
With this configuration in the natal chart, a sibling, a close friend or some other important figure in the immediate environment may have lived despite a certain cognitive vulnerability, immobility or handicap, by keeping their thoughts separate from their wound.
In some cases, the individual may perceive herself as mentally tough or intellectually open, while, in fact, she can be mentally fragile or intellectually “stuck.” This may expose the individual to unexplained bouts of stress or anxiety. The key to working with such Chironic blind spots is to recognize the presence of the inexplicable and to allow space for integration of all “taboo” thoughts through various means of communication such as writing and speaking.
Chiron Mercury: Trine
“Every artist is linked to a mistake with which he has a particular intimacy. All art draws its origin from an exceptional fault, each work is the implementation of this original fault, from which comes a risky plenitude and new light.”
– Maurice Blanchot
With this configuration in the natal chart, there usually exists a smooth psychological connection between the awkward side of our character and our cognitive function: the wound is seamlessly integrated into the process of understanding ourselves and the world around us.
The harmonious energy flow between Mercury and Chiron may also imply that Mercurial figures in our life, such as siblings, friends, comrades or coworkers have either come to terms with their own vulnerabilities or they visibly display such vulnerabilities rather than trying to hide them.
Our immediate environment may be marked by Chironic imagery, or we may be creatively involved in Chironic processes regarding woundedness, rupture, deformity, or ambiguity.
The creative potential of this configuration in the natal chart cannot be overstated: when our mind establishes an effortless rapport with that which is awkward in us, the conditions imposed on our thinking process(symbolized by Saturn) will take a back seat and we can process the absurd as joyously as that which makes perfect sense.
The multi-talented Lewis Carroll, who is best known as the writer of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, had this configuration in his natal chart and was recognized as one of the most creative individuals of his time. The genre he so prolifically contributed to, the “nonsense literature” is precisely possible because of the ability of the mind to approach that which is labeled as “ugly” or “nonsensical” and re-label it as “entertaining” or “humorous.”
In some cases, however, Chiron may become a highly preferred color on the cognitive palette with which the individual paints her perception of the world. In this case, the question arises, if the entire universe works in a Chironic fashion, will there ever be a place where things can be understood outside of the “wounded/healed” dichotomy?
To learn that our palette also contains colors that do not represent such dichotomy is the key to manifesting the creative potential of this configuration without being limited to the cognitive comfort zone it represents.
Chiron Mercury: Sextile
“Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein
With this configuration in the natal chart, one is often presented with opportunities to mentally engage in observing that which is wounded, dysfunctional, or unaccepted in oneself or others early in life. One’s environment, linguistic background, or cultural input may have facilitated exposure to Chironic themes or learning through interaction with Chironic figures.
Alternatively, a close friend, sibling, or another Mercurial character in one’s life may have been involved in therapeutic or healing professions or may have adopted a lifestyle echoing Chironic themes.
Either case, the Chironic wound can stimulate the individual’s curiosity and become a topic of study. Concepts such as language, learning, and communicating in relation to the process of wounding and healing will entertain the mind, and the individual will not normally shy away from that which is placed outside the boundaries of “proper” research and exploration. Anything is allowed to be contemplated and observed, as long as it proves to be stimulating to the mind.
A conscious examination of the nature of language and cognition concerning that which is constantly censored may prove to be an attractive topic as well. Censorship in any form may trigger quite a strong reaction in individuals with this configuration in their natal chart, as knowledge is perceived to represent a democratic ground where all concepts are equally invited to have a voice and play.
Any profession in which sensitivity to language and awareness of the cognitive process is a requirement may also prove to be fulfilling.
You can read about Chiron Signs and Houses in my other articles.