Astro Journal · Dharma Diary

Chiron Return in Aries: a personal reflection on healing a broken heart

If you were born between 1968 and 1977 you probably have Chiron in Aries so over the next few years you’ll be experiencing your Chiron Return. Chiron entered Aries in 2018 and will stay there until 2027, giving us middle-aged folks a good hard look at our wounds. My Chiron Return hits next year but I’m already feeling it – hence this series – so this post explores some of the insights I’ve been processing…

With Chiron in Aries your wound is to your identity and will. You may feel as if you don’t have the right to exist or be yourself, which leads to problems with self-sabotage, rage, crippling insecurity and self-doubt. The gift hidden within this wound is the opportunity to discover your true identity as a spiritual being and to share that awakening with others. (More on Chiron in Aries here)

I have Chiron in Aries in the 2nd house which focuses the identity wound in my body. With Chiron in the 2nd you tend to have issues with emotional and material security, difficulties feeling safe, and lack of self-worth. Here’s my full Chiron configuration:

  • Chiron retrograde in Aries in 2nd house
  • Ruled by Mars in Leo in 7th house
  • Chiron trine Moon, Chiron opposite Uranus, Chiron sextile Ascendant, Chiron trine Midheaven
  • Pisces on cusp of 2nd house, ruled by Jupiter in Scorpio in 8th (and Neptune in Scorpio in 9th conjunct MC)
  • Chiron is on the midpoint between the Ascendant and IC
  • Saturn and Uranus midpoint in 6th house in Cancer

I won’t unpack this in detail because it would take too long – and be boring as hell for anyone who isn’t me! – but I included some of the highlights of my Chiron Cycle here. In that post, I mentioned my wound in passing: I was born with a heart defect and had an operation to correct it when I was about 18 months old.

I don’t know anything about Medical Astrology but the basics of my chart are: the 6th house of health is in Cancer, ruled by the Moon in Leo, which rules the heart. Chiron is trine the Moon and ruled by Mars, which is also in Leo.

But this isn’t just about Chiron in Aries. The wound could also be symbolised by other parts of my chart, like Saturn in Taurus and Capricorn in the 12th house, and experienced through Chiron. Saturn is the chart ruler and it’s in opposition to Neptune, which is the dominant planet at the Midheaven.

Also, the fact I was born with this problem suggests a karmic payload carried over from previous lives. This could be indicated by my Sun (which rules the heart) conjunct the South Node in Virgo. (full chart here)

Something was determined to wake me up in this life and it worked…

Obviously I don’t remember the heart operation, but according to my mother, it had a profound – and wounding – effect on me. Here’s the gist:

I was born with a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) which means one of the little tubes in my heart failed to close properly. This meant my heart had to work extra hard to pump oxygen around my tiny body, and if they hadn’t fixed it, I would’ve had serious problems later in life.

These days the operation involves keyhole surgery, but back in the 70s it meant slicing me open to close the duct. Because I’m a girl, the surgeon went in via the back rather than cutting open my chest. I now have a lovely (massive!) scar on my back and under my left arm. But it wasn’t the operation itself that caused my Chiron wound, although it may have exacerbated and physicalised it.

For some reason, the hospital wouldn’t let my mum sleep in the same room as me. When she came to get me up on the morning of the operation, somebody had beat her to it. I was sitting on a chair looking pale and terrified. I had no idea where she was or what was going on, surrounded by strangers and alone.

It’s taken years to dig through the layers of defences and avoidance to finally touch this primal wound and understand it. The heart of the wound is a feeling so it’s hard to put into words: a maelstrom of rage, terror, guilt, and shame, and underneath it all, loss and despair. It felt like I was abandoned because there was something wrong with me. You could summarise it as:

I’m bad so Mummy has gone away.

Something in me recoiled from life in that moment and shut down, or my spirit simply refused to fully enter my body. Part of me has never trusted anyone, or life, since. And I can’t trust myself either, since I’m the cause of the problem – I was born broken.

The initial wound was reinforced by more wounding events in my childhood until it became an obvious fact – to my mind, at least. I grew up convinced I should never have been born and that I don’t deserve to exist.

Me age 8-9 months – pre-wound (unless you count birth) – unfortunately, those dungarees no longer fit me!

The trauma happened at the age you begin to differentiate yourself from the world and feel yourself to be separate. It coincided with a Chiron Return because I have Chiron retrograde, and as we saw in an earlier post, Barbara Hand Clow says this tends to make you “systemically mystical.” Early wounds can damage your relationship to the body and instincts, and leave the psyche wide open to the imaginal realm. This messes up ego development and can trigger breakdowns and/or illness in later life.

I wasn’t aware of being ‘mystical’ during my early years – I just didn’t want to be alive and was longing for something I didn’t understand. Most of my energy went into proving I was good and worthy of existence. It seemed to work but I was in denial and heading for disaster.

The breakdown started at age 20 when I realised I didn’t know who I was. Chiron was transiting my 6th house, and Uranus was square my natal Chiron. But the main culprits were Saturn, Uranus and Neptune transiting the 12th house, Pluto opposite my Saturn, and the progressed Sun conjunct my Pluto. It was an incredibly tense time.

(oh, how I wish I’d known astrology back then! I began to study it when Saturn crossed my Ascendant a year after the breakdown…)

During that period, my false identity collapsed and the wound erupted into my consciousness. Luckily, I was also given a glimpse into my true nature, although I didn’t understand it at the time. (You can read about that here: First Contact) This started me off down the spiritual path and I slowly began to heal – so I believed.

Now that my Chiron Return is approaching, I’m rethinking my whole life. I’ve become aware that almost everything I’ve done has been an attempt to make myself feel better by changing something external. Relationships, music, sound recording, astrology, writing, and even spiritual practice were all motivated, at least in part, by avoidance of the pain of the wound. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have done those things, just that I’ve been tormenting myself unnecessarily.

As I’ve got older, various health problems have shifted my focus and forced me to take better care of myself and come back into my body. A series of failures and disillusionments have made it clear that I can’t heal the wound by running away from it (duh!) and nothing external will fix it either. It’s also brought me back to the spiritual path I believed I was on – turns out, I’d wandered off into the bushes. 😉

I fell off the path because I wasn’t grounded in my body and was trying to hold the realisation of truth in my head (Aries!). This made me top heavy and I fell back into my shadow, into the wound. The darkest part of my wound – a death wish – even manifested literally and attacked me from the outside to wake me up. (You can read about that here: Shadow Attack: Instant Karma & a Wake-Up Call)

Now I need to bring the truth into my body and hold the realisation in my heart – where it belongs. That means accepting the grief and terror and rage, and giving that lost little girl some compassion.

When I was too small to understand, I took the pain of the wound as a judgement against myself. But it wasn’t. It’s just a fact of life – an existential wound to the soul. That rupture is what happens when you squish an infinite being into a tiny little body and plop it into existence.

It’s bound to break your heart.

I don’t feel bad because I am bad. I feel bad because I’m out of alignment with my true Self.

In cultures around the world, the heart is seen as a symbol of life and love, as well as the seat of the soul and a source of courage and truth. Jung saw the heart as central to the process of individuation and the place where the conscious and unconscious become united. It has an alchemical function that allows you to transcend and commune with the divine by turning inwards.

The Upanishads say the whole of life is held within the heart, which unites the opposites. It’s also the abode of the Atman, or the higher Self, so the heart is where Braham and Atman meet – or God and the Self. In Tibetan Buddhism the soul is carried in the indestructible drop that exists in the heart. This is your spiritual essence or the eternal part of your being. It’s indestructible because it’s one with the ultimate nature of reality.

Buddhism also refers to the importance of developing bodhichitta, or an awakened heart and mind. In a similar way to Brahman and Atman in the Upanishads, bodhichitta is divided into absolute and relative. Absolute bodhichitta is your Buddha nature and it underlies everything that exists, while relative bodhichitta is how you put that love into action. (More on that here: Lojong for Writers)

Pema Chodron says those who train in awakening bodhichitta are known as bodhisattvas or spiritual warriors – which could be a definition of Chiron in Aries. In this article she talks about how we can work with our pain and compares bodhichitta to an open wound, then goes on:

“An analogy for bodhichitta is the rawness of a broken heart. Sometimes this broken heart gives birth to anxiety and panic; sometimes to anger, resentment and blame. But under the hardness of that armour there is the tenderness of genuine sadness. This is our link with all those who have ever loved. This genuine heart of sadness can teach us great compassion. It can humble us when we’re arrogant and soften us when we are unkind. It awakens us when we prefer to sleep and pierces through our indifference. This continual ache of the heart is a blessing that when accepted fully can be shared with all.”

This is the gift hidden in the wound of my broken heart, and I wouldn’t have woken up without it. Although the pain of it almost drove me crazy, it also motivated me to search for the truth by asking the ultimate koan: Who am I? At first, I used the search to escape the wound, but the truth kept bringing me back to my body and the broken places within myself.

You can’t awaken fully without a clear energy channel in the body so I need to dissolve my lingering blockages and bad habits. But I can’t do it by force – it needs to happen spontaneously. In other words, I must act from my true Self, rather than from the wound. And that means getting out of my own way and acting without acting.

As Lama Surya Das says, there’s nothing to do but enjoy the View. The ‘View’ being the truth of who you are and always have been.

I never needed to become someone else or prove myself worthy or any of that shit. I just needed to relax and recognise what was already there – and then act on it. The ‘real me’ that I searched so hard for, was always there. It was there when I was born. It was there in the hospital when I was traumatised. It’s there now and always will be.

To finish this ramble, here’s some practices that will help me (and perhaps you) to ground the truth in my body and remember who I am:

Best of luck if you’re having your Chiron Return – let me know how it’s going in the comments below. More on the Chiron Return here.

Next, we’ll finish this series of posts with an exploration of Chiron on film in The Intouchables

39 thoughts on “Chiron Return in Aries: a personal reflection on healing a broken heart

  1. I loved this! Thanks for sharing your journey. I’m in my Chiron return as well and in the no-man’s land of “who am I?” I’ve realized I have been seeing myself solely through other people, “Show me who I am.” I’ve been knocked down so much these last six years that I feel I’m striped clean and ready to build anew. I was born six weeks early and in an incubator for a month, rarely having and skin on skin contact. I think my wounding started then and it has taken a lot of diving deep to reach that primal pain. I’ve developed Hemi-Facials Spasms that I feel are connected to that pain as well. So interesting. Thanks again for this piece, I am going to do the meditations you shared to become more clear and embodied.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jessica,

    Your story is ‘brutal’ open and vulnerable. I hope it is helping you too, to write this down. So that is not only helpful for us readers, having the privilege of being coaching by your insights and your knowledge. I stopped telling ‘my story’. more so since I’m aware of having my Chiron return. In the spirit of Tolle: to heal, lose yourself from your life story/your past.

    Kind regards, Bridget

    Am Mo., 20. Mai 2019 um 18:58 Uhr schrieb Jessica Davidson :

    > Jessica Davidson posted: “If you were born between 1968 and 1977 you > probably have Chiron in Aries so over the next few years you’ll be > experiencing your Chiron Return. Chiron entered Aries in 2018 and will stay > there until 2027, giving us middle-aged folks a good hard look at our” >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In seeking to understand how the Chiron energy manifests in different individuals I have found your article to be very very insightful and valuable and I feel inspired to look into the aspects and connections to my own Chiron placement. Thank you for sharing this Jessica! Very well written and I’m for sure going to come back and read it again and extract more insights there are many layers here!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I only had to read paragraph two to become terrified of my own details. This will take some time to process…into the adult womb I go.

    I was born with a sort of birth defect, too, and my life has been a rippling puddle of incidents.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel like just about everything that could be good with my charts and whatnot is outweighed by all the bad I keep discovering, the more I explore this Pandora’s box of astrology and all the other secret methods of re-looking at myself. Maybe that’s just it. Maybe we are better off not bothering with such sciences. Maybe this is the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Certainly not fruit from the tree of wisdom.

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        1. Nothing in the chart is inherently good or bad – it depends on how you relate to it and how self-aware you are, etc. The more challenging parts of your chart help you to grow and become who you’re supposed to be. While the apparently easy stuff can make you lazy and complacent and take things too easily. So it all depends.

          Astrology is incredibly complex and it takes a lot of work to understand it and use it effectively. I’ve had moments when I’ve wondered if it’s worth bothering with it, but then something happens and astrology helps me to figure out what’s going on.

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        2. Hmm…so what the books say is negative I can imagine or turn positive?…eruh??

          I get the feeling my life is so challenging that I may not live beyond my 60s. Same with you?

          I don’t think any aspect of my chart makes me lazy. Rather, it might leave me paralyzed in a state of probing thought. But, lazy? I don’t think so.

          So complex, anyone who isn’t instantly into it deems it false. And, most I’ve encountered who are into it are either SO into it that they turn my brain into a Sudoku puzzle or so casually interested that they only see horoscopes and palm readers.

          Maybe it’s not the astrology that opens your eyes to good feelings but someone’s perspective? Maybe all that is good and bad for us is in how we interact with our world, both in the elements/foods we intake and what we exchange with other humans like us. So, if we know something is not good for us, all we have to do is either relocate or alter our way of looking at the bad thing…now I am hearing Bill and Ted in my head. We can change time by talking about what we will do once we get out of this current mess.

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        3. Obviously it depends what kind of books you’re reading. I do psychological astrology, which probably isn’t fashionable anymore, but I don’t care about that because I find it helpful.

          I wasn’t saying anything specific about your chart in terms of making you lazy, or whatever. I just meant there are things in a horoscope that can seem positive – like a trine aspect, for example – that is so easy for you to access that you take it for granted and that makes you lazy with that particular thing, depending on what the planets are, etc.

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        4. Psychological astrology? I think someone has a branch of astrology for every concept in existence. Next, someone is going to show up with a case on Dinner Astrology, with spaghetti in the seventh plate aligned with Menu.

          I have not seen any books on psychological astrology, just psychology and art therapy, which apparently is a deputized version of psychotherapy.

          Oh. So, you’re saying I might overlook a positive because it comes like breathing. It’s lazy awareness of my positives. So, people say I am good at drawing…and something in my chart confirms that…and I take for granted how well I can draw and don’t hone or apply myself as well as I could…even if the jerk at the art school I tried to enter shot my best work down as amateur at best.

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        5. Psychological astrology was big in the 90s when I first started studying astrology – Liz Greene is the obvious and first choice for psychological astrology books. She’s a Jungian analyst as well as an astrologer, so she knows of what she speaks. Jung did astrology too.

          As to your chart – I don’t know anything about it. I was just making a point about astrology in general. Don’t take it personally.

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        6. Let’s just try a quick pop quiz of Western Astrology basics. Which sign would you most likely trust with:

          Cooking dinner?

          Picking out your weekly wardrobe?

          Filtering the creeps from your online Friend lists?

          Providing sage advice?

          Sniffing out secrets and/or the truth behind gossip?

          Let’s see if your answers match mine. [Which I will obviously supply once you answer.]

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        7. This is exactly the kind of dumbed-down bullshit that gives astrology a bad name. ‘Sun sign’ columns and the kind of crap that passes for astrology online in many places isn’t astrology. Stop wasting your time (and mine) and either give it up or study it properly.

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        8. Hey, I am not trying to create a Quizmania or whatever cootie-catching quiz thingy that turns random questions into what superhero or Disney hero you may be. I was just tossing out an astrological surface test.

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        9. Astrology is the study of spacial//frequency relationships using math as the language to describe those relationships and patterns..

          There is no negative without positive.

          Your birth chart is just a transit of an ordinary day billions of others experienced.

          Astrology is psychological. 🙂

          If you look at this life as a day in your soul journey, wouldn’t you look at your schedule planner to see what things you planned to do? 🙂

          I was just kind of being funny with this post. I am a programmer all day, so sometimes logic can be funny. haha

          Liked by 1 person

        10. And, how should I perceive or digest a “transit of an ordinary day?” ‘Like a daily horoscope? I was born on a cold, icy day when the Mets lost…so did many other people…it means nothing unless I have money bet on the Mets?

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        11. Lots of people are born with the same horoscope but they’re born into different circumstances. They have different genetics, different families, different economic status, etc, etc, etc. The horoscope shows the archetypal blueprint but it can manifest in multiple ways and on multiple levels. Nobody knows exactly how it works because nobody knows exactly what reality is.

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        12. Shouldn’t astrology be dictating the circumstances in which we are born, if it’s in the birth chart?

          So, if astrology is just one side of the coin, what dictates the other side? And, how does the template even matter if the circumstances…well, just suck? Or, are we all flower seeds scattered on different soils, some of us growing fully while others wither on sand and stone?

          And, if nobody really knows anything, what good is giving stars meaning or looking for patterns?

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        13. So, two people have the same signs and whatnots but have two very different lives…person A is doing great and living the high life while person B feels like the world threw him a bag of rocks and wants him dead. And, somehow, both understand the same sign lot differently. Is that it? Does that sum up all that I’ve been grasping or not grasping from my casual study of astrology?

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  5. Some random looking at your chart, I see the basic cusp Jupiter Scorpio/Libra.

    I have Jupiter cusp Gemini/Cancer and own my own(home) business for quit a while. Using some of my own observation of this, don’t discount this at all. The Jupiter position IS this site, you are probably aware of that.

    That said, it is the key to you unlocking your own transformation. Using the collective to mirror your own teaching, is basically what I do with my audio dev and 3d work. Going to get back into music and 3d art in a major way this year.

    So what I am trying to say is the site IS YOU. This site and what it symbolizes was you reaching out into the naked world and owning your independence from the idea to action.

    I am guessing your past life Karma dealing with your heart is “In action due to not following your heart”.

    You are now laundering that karma and using it as a key to expressing your will with action. Since you have decided that fastest way to do this is share information and writing, your Virgo, you can then use other’s confidence to validate your truth you discovered life times ago and transform the masses and give them your new found confidence and security.

    IMHO 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow – yes! Jupiter in Scorpio in the 8th has been instrumental in pulling me out of some very dark places over the years. It’s a kind of natural buoyancy that always takes me by surprise. There’s a strong feeling of having been doing this for a looooong time. I’m quite fixed so it takes me a while to get the message 😉

      But I wouldn’t say this site IS me. I wouldn’t identify with anything outside of myself, but it’s certainly a means of expression and a way to reach out to others.

      Thanks for the insight – much appreciated 🙂

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      1. Funny story about the “is me” reference, since you might actually think I didn’t mean it literally.

        Gumby;

        “As journalist Sean Elder describes it: “On that day in t979, Clokey and his wife, Gloria, were among the faithful hundreds sitting outside Baba’s ashram, awaiting… a glimpse of the Master. Once or twice a day Baba would make the rounds, pouring ash from his hand onto objects thqat the devot held up to be blessed: books, photographs, religious statues. That after noon, Sai Baba found Clokey in the lotus position, holding a small likeness of Gumby. Ash poured forth from his hand onto Gumby’s sloping head, and the master moved on. “Then I want home, and things began happening”.

        Clokey is clear about who’s responsible for his tunr in fortunes, Satya Sai Baba. “He’s the epitome of cosmic creation in human form, he explains. “He taught me that Gumby is me, and in a sense, we’re all alike, Gumby is everyone.

        We all have that place in life, this dimension, that we “plug into the grid” and that is your “Is Me”. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sorry the reason he was there was because Gumby fell out of popularity and he lost confidence in himself. After these revelations, he realized it was his own confidence that needed adjustment.

          Gumby was his socket into the universe, he unplugged it unknowingly. My socket is music and audio applications to enable others to make happiness.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Funny enough, Uranus is exactly conjuncting my Chiron in Taurus right now as I am talking to you about astrology and my Asc and Chiron Taurus. Hmm.

          Yeah, ok, I love life .

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Chilling read.

    I know we are all over the planet and such but, I have about 30 years of study in astrology and what you described in this post is me as well and I am an Aries with heavy in the fixed signs Venus Taurus, Mars Leo, Uranus Scorpio and Saturn Leo, that gives Aquarius a run for it’s money every winter.

    I have a grand fire trine with (Aries)sun, mercury, (Leo)saturn and (Sag)neptune/(Cap 4 degrees)ascendent. My chiron is around 4 degrees Taurus.

    Aries energy is the key to surviving this next decade. In the last 10 months I have had everything inside ripped out and thrown to the outside. My wife has been in the hospital with PTSD for 5 months and the whole coming back to each other is huge right now, in regard tow hat you wrote.

    Moral, I to just got slapped for thinking I know more than the universe with the “I can fix it myself” thing as well.

    Coming from another cosmic friend this entry is astounding and you laid it out like you really want a new life. Cool 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes and with my Venus pretty much conjunct my Chiron, I know it has to do with her and damn, this is the hard part of life. I have gone through this with her 7 times now in the last 20 years.

        I am her anchor as she puts it, all my fixed signs have caused much pain but what they gave me is the ability to support a really dynamic metamorphosis of my best friend.

        I am almost crying here and to make an Aries cry means he has a broken heart. This is exactly what you wrote.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow and you just made me revisit my chart, I have an exact trine with my Capricorn Asc. and Chiron in Taurus. Maybe I SHOULD hold onto this feeling and feel it!

          Liked by 1 person

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