Chiron in Aspect to the Moon

Chiron Moon Aspects: Saint Eulalia by John William Waterhouse
Chiron Moon Aspects: “Saint Eulalia” by John William Waterhouse (1885)

This article analyzes Chiron Moon aspects in the birth chart from a psychological and evolutionary perspective:

As mentioned in the previous post, Chiron symbolizes an opening, a chasm, a bridge. The Chironic wound, the wound which is a site of possibilities, can also be interpreted as life itself: life begins with a wound, the wound formed in the womb of the mother as the embryo burrows herself into the walls of the uterus. This wound is open and thus full of potential. It keeps changing and growing, exhausting all the possibilities presented to it, wholesome, yet fragile.

Individuals with Moon Chiron aspects in their natal chart have been imprinted with this primordial image, even though they are not conscious of it: birth is a wound. By our sheer existence, we inflicted pain upon our mother, our first safe link to life. Could we help it? Probably not.

Depending on the exact nature of the aspect, this image may be modified, but what remains will still reflect a variation of the same theme: the inevitability of life without wounding.

Chiron Moon: Conjunction

The Chironic dilemma here has such a pre-verbal, unmediated quality which makes it almost impossible to define, yet potent on the level of sentiments. As Paul Verlaine, the French poet who had this configuration in his natal chart tried to describe it, sometimes teardrops fall into one’s heart just the same way rain falls over town (“Il pleure dans mon coeur / Comme il pleut sur la ville”). Sometimes all one can do is to feel unsettled by that formless, nameless feeling which is aroused randomly, transient yet persistent, strange yet familiar. Sometimes none of the languages we know can help us decode that incident which is quietly taking place at the very heart of our existence. It is just life as we know it through our Chironic filter.

But the question remains: with this configuration in our natal chart, can we ever feel “at home” without opening ourselves to the possibility of wounding? Can we bypass this primordial condition?

As with all Chiron contacts, the wound cannot and should not be avoided. The Chironic wounds serve an evolutionary purpose and have been built into our composition by design, not by chance. In this case, Moon Chiron conjunction serves as a supremely sensitive point in our psyche, a one-of-a-kind receiver finely tuned to the needs of others.

The individual with a well-functioning Moon can intuitively understand what others need to feel at home, safe and comfortable. Chiron here adds an extra layer of perception by turning sympathy into empathy. This empathy, however, is not of the Neptunian kind which is often accompanied by a subtle glamorization of the spiritual process fueling it. It is rather triggered by immediate recognition of the universal awkwardness embedded in our human neediness. We all have basic needs, embarrassing needs, needs which may hurt others. Moon Chiron conjunction opens a space for reciprocity here: “Let me handle your needs with sensitivity because you will handle my needs the same way.”

Such an innate sensitivity to the concept of “neediness” can make these individuals brilliant therapists, healers, guides, and gurus. In many cases, even if the individual is not engaged in any of these activities professionally, she feels attracted to helping and healing fields.

Parenting and especially motherhood can be a significant process for individuals with Moon Chiron contacts: the birth of a child can trigger all the psychological sensitivities around the concepts of neediness and dependence, and can thus offer a unique opportunity for using the wound as a means of deep bonding with our offspring, and generally all those who come to depend on us later in life, including our aging parents.

Regardless of how Moon Chiron may function in the psyche, the individual with this conjunction in her natal chart will often display sensitivity concerning those who are connected to her by blood: family function or dysfunction, parental expectations, child-rearing, and understanding one’s past and biological roots will remain sensitive themes, no matter how old one gets.

Chiron Moon: Square

With this configuration in the natal chart, our emotive responses may have been deeply conditioned by our understanding of the wounding process involved in fulfilling our basic needs. In other words, that which makes us feel safe and secure is constantly challenged by the Chironic umbilical cord which keeps us attached to life itself. Now and then, we may experience an unnamed, unsettling feeling lurking around in our stomach, leaving the impression that our needs can not be truly fulfilled without endangering our very connection to life.

How do we deal with such a predicament? According to André Gide, the French novelist who had this placement in his natal chart, we cannot truly explore life if we are not ready to let go of that which makes us feel secure. (“On ne découvre pas de terre nouvelle sans consentir à perdre de vue, d’abord et longtemps, tout rivage.”)

Perhaps this is the attitude we have to adopt in handling the conflict between our security needs and our primordial connection to life, no matter how awkward the effort may prove to be. In an utterly “unsafe” gesture, we are to plunge into the ocean of life and let go of the illusion of security that our little boat has provided for us. This seems to be the only “safe” way out of this square.

From a psychological point of view, an individual with this configuration in her natal chart is likely to experience profound empathy for the mother or prominent female figures in her life, and at the same time may be embarrassed by them or for them. The imperfection of such figures often mirrors one’s own awkward manner of handling the affairs of the heart, and in turn, can serve as a catalyst for emotional openness and vulnerability: if that which we love is imperfect, perhaps we are imperfect too, and that is just fine.

As the individual grows older, she may develop quite a deep, sentimental appreciation of her roots, homeland, women, and children in her life. She may be able to eventually register the not-so-obvious fact that what we need and what maintains us in contact with life may be two different things, but not necessarily mutually exclusive. We just need to accept the challenge and throw ourselves in, trusting that life will offer us something more fulfilling than what we need. In the words of Vladimir Nabokov (the Russian novelist and the celebrated author of Lolita) who had this configuration in his natal chart: “Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture.”

Chiron Moon: Opposition

“In times of happiness and pleasure, we are usually ready enough to be aware of the moment and to let the experience be all. In such moments we “forget ourselves,” and the mind makes no attempt to divide itself from itself, to be separate from experience. But with the arrival of pain, whether physical or emotional, whether actual or anticipated, the split begins and the circle goes round and round.”

These were the words of Alan Watts, the renowned Zen teacher and author of The Wisdom of Insecurity, who had Moon opposing Chiron in his natal chart.

Likewise, individuals with a similar configuration in their birth chart may perceive pain as a dividing force which makes them aware of the fact that they are not one with the other.

We have certain needs that we seek to fulfill, but simultaneously we have fear of wounding and pity for the imperfections of the other. Therefore, with our needs standing in opposition to the archetype of woundedness, our sense of security may have been formed only in relation to the woundedness of the other: our psyche has to perceive the other as wounded for us to feel safe.

In other words, this configuration may be a signal that we are predisposed to a reductionist view of the other: if the other is not wounded, we have no business relating to him or her on an emotional level. In this process, of course, we are also conveniently distracted from our own woundedness, awkwardness, pitifulness. The other is the needy one, the poor thing, the insecure. We are the one observing the other, trying not to fall into a similar predicament, always quite sure that we are not what the other is.

In most cases, individuals with this configuration in their natal chart stay unconscious of their Chironic projection until they become parents or caretakers. Interaction with a child may close the gap between our needs and the helplessness of the other, because a child is an “other” who, in fact, is simultaneously an extension of ourselves, so her helplessness will become our helplessness, her pain, our pain, her awkwardness, our awkwardness.

If understood and integrated correctly, this psychological shift usually is the beginning of a life-long process of reorienting oneself towards oneself and the other. This is when the true gift of Chiron becomes evident: the insecurity which was once excluded now becomes included in our psyche. Perhaps we even grow wiser as a result of it. There is, indeed, wisdom in the insecurity that has been recognized and re-appropriated.

Quincunx (Inconjunction)

This configuration may signal that one’s sense of self has been overpowered or diminished by one’s wounds or sensitivities. In some cases, the individual may intuit that she simply can not show her emotional vulnerability to the outside world and that she must suppress any ugly aspect of her raw sentiments in order to actually feel secure in the circle of her nearest and dearest.

In other cases, the individual may have felt abandoned by the mother or the primary caretaker as a result of a limitation or disability in that figure or the individual herself.

Alternatively, the mother or prominent female figures in the life of the individual may have found it impossible to be genuinely themselves without invoking embarrassment. The vulnerability, in this case, has not been denied or projected (as was the case with Moon/Chiron opposition) but simply dismissed. The mother may have been quite uncomfortable revealing certain vulnerabilities, therefore she may have simply dismissed those aspects in herself or her ancestral line.

Either case, an individual with this configuration in her natal chart has to bring forth a sense of pathos for the mother or female figures in her life, and above all, for all that is ugly or awkward in herself. We all have sentiments which are not sanctioned by our society, family or our own conscience; dark and dirty impulses coming from somewhere deep in our unconscious, making us blush when no one is looking. Moon Chiron contacts, especially the quincunx aspect, invite a sense of pathos towards these sentiments.

Semi-Sextile

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, the mother or prominent female figures in one’s life may have lived their life in spite of a certain innate vulnerability by keeping their sentiments separate from their wounds. Yet, since a semi-sextile aspect hints at the presence of a subtle force in the periphery of consciousness, the wound could have been somatized, acted out, or lived practically, rather than psychologically digested.

In some cases, the individual may perceive herself as emotionally tough or may appear to be so in the eyes of others, while, in fact, she has a fragile side that may not be easily detected. This may expose the individual to unexplained distress or sentimental turbulence. The key to working with such Chironic blind spots is to recognize the presence of the inexplicable in oneself and to allow space for integration of all the undefined and disturbing sentiments within one’s heart without being scared of losing touch with oneself.

Chiron Moon: Trine

With this configuration in the natal chart, there usually exists a smooth psychological connection between the awkward side of our character and our sentiments. In other words, the wound is accepted in a motherly fashion without too much embarrassment.

The harmonious energy flow between the Moon and Chiron may also imply that the mother or prominent female figures in one’s life have accepted their own vulnerabilities or woundedness. The child raised by such a caretaker has often received a subliminal impression that it is OK to be awkward, ugly, dysfunctional, handicapped, or simply different. All that is considered Chironic has been welcomed and permitted to grow naturally without much agitation.

In some cases, however, the wound may have become the only form of protection the individual has formed against the harshness of life, the only means of feeling secure and wanted, and the only known link to the mother. To learn that there is more to life than empathy and comfort in one’s wounded is the key to working with this configuration in the natal chart.

Chiron Moon: Sextile

With this configuration in the natal chart, one is often presented with opportunities to emotionally mature through developing empathy for that which is wounded, dysfunctional, or unaccepted in oneself or others early in life. One’s environmental influences may have facilitated exposure to Chironic themes, or a sibling or close friend may have displayed Chironic qualities affecting one’s sentimental relation to the concept of “wound” during the early stages of life.

Alternatively, the mother or prominent female figures in the individual’s life may have been students or practitioners of healing arts, such as counseling, energy healing, acupuncture, or psychotherapy.

In either case, the wounds in one’s environment, family, or ancestry can become a topic of study and the individual may become quite curious about concepts such as nurturing, motherland, and caring in relation to wounding and woundedness.

Such individuals may choose to take this curiosity to their professional life by getting involved in healing arts, investigating alternative medicine, or becoming an advocate of conscious examination of one’s own wounds and psychological sore points in order to operate better in this world. In this sense, Chiron here symbolizes the gift of knowledge imparted through the “opening,” the rupture, and the vulnerability implied in the wound.

You can read about Chiron Signs and Houses in my other articles.

If you are interested in understanding your own birth chart or if you have specific questions, you can book a consultation session or take a class.

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