Astrology with Alice: Healing with Chiron

With November's lull in cosmic activity, it's the perfect time to look to "the wounded healer" to see how it affects our ability to turn pain into wisdom

Words by Alice Smith

Astrology with Alice: Welcome to Astrology with Alice, a monthly astrology column aimed at helping readers understand the vibes of the month ahead in plain English. As a Taiwanese immigrant who grew up in Los Angeles, I specialize in combining western astrology with eastern philosophy. I’ve taught modern astrology through the lens of Buddhism and Taoism, and I also draw from the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. Knowing the movements of the planets can help us make decisions around our careers, relationships, family. As the planets move around in the sky, they shift the energetic vibes we experience on Earth, and I believe in flowing with energy instead of fighting it—to work smarter, not harder. So join me on our monthly planetary lowdowns and learn how you, too, can ride the cosmic waves!

After a splashy month of dramatic eclipses, we’re going to enjoy a lull in big cosmic activity this month. So, instead of talking about what to expect this month in particular, let’s talk about a celestial object that I always bring up when reading the charts of people of color, folks from immigrant families, and anyone from a group that’s experienced displacement.

Let’s talk about Chiron. Not many outside of the astrological community know about this small icy celestial body, but it speaks to intergenerational wounding. Understanding the meaning of Chiron is especially important for marginalized groups because it provides insight on intergenerational trauma—something that minority people and immigrants often experience on a magnified level as a result of uprooting and (sometimes) poverty.

(Note: This, of course, is not to say that intergenerational trauma doesn’t happen outside of these groups. Regardless of race and gender, we all experience intergenerational trauma, and it’s often unintentional. The point of Chiron is not to attribute blame, but to facilitate healing.)

First, what is Chiron?

Chiron was initially thought to be an asteroid, until we realized that it has a comet-like center. Now, we classify it as a centaur, which is a group of asteroid-esque, comet-y objects that orbit in the space between Jupiter and Neptune. Chiron was discovered in 1977 and has since taken the astrological world by storm because of the deep insights it provides regarding issues of mental health and trauma.

Chiron’s nickname among astrologers is “the wounded healer.” To understand Chiron, it helps to know the mythological backstory: In Greek mythology, Chiron was an immortal centaur (half horse, half man) who was a master of the healing arts. Chiron accidentally suffered a severe injury, retreated into a cave to try to heal himself, and eventually was granted the ability to die by Zeus, king of the gods, who subsequently honored him by placing Chiron’s soul in the heavens as the constellation Centaurus.

From Chiron’s story, it’s important to extrapolate one important point: Chiron’s injuries were done to him and inflicted upon him. He didn’t invite punishment. Greek mythology is riddled with cautionary tales warning against hubris and human folly, but Chiron’s story isn’t one of them. He was a wise teacher who didn’t let the awful things that happened to him make him hard and brittle. Legendary heroes such as Jason, Achilles, and Hercules were among his students. And yet, despite his wisdom, he is wounded again and again by circumstances. This reflects a key characteristic of astrological Chiron, which is that it represents hurts that were done to us—usually in childhood.

Ultimately, Chiron tells us how we can turn pain into wisdom by being our own therapist and healer instead of waiting for someone else to fix us.

Ultimately, Chiron tells us how we can turn pain into wisdom by being our own therapist and healer instead of waiting for someone else to fix us. Indeed, another characteristic of Chiron in the birth chart is that it identifies the wound that only we ourselves can heal.

Chiron and intergenerational healing

Chiron was a key factor in understanding my own intergenerational trauma. Like so many Asian American kids, knowing how much my parents suffered to bring me to the United States and how hard they worked to provide us with a living manifests in a whole lot of guilt. My mother has four planets in Taurus, so she’s extremely frugal, even for an Asian. Therefore, I grew up in an environment dominated by a strong scarcity mindset, which I absolutely inherited and internalized.

I decided a few years ago to address this scarcity mindset because it was affecting my mental health and my business. Many people are uncomfortable with money, but I experience above-average anxiety whenever people start talking about interest rates, credit scores, retirement plans, etc.

It wasn’t until I sat down with my chart, however, that I realized that I wasn’t dealing with a simple mindset issue that could be fixed by a simple change of outlook. I looked at my Chiron, and I realized that I was dealing with intergenerational trauma. My Chiron is in the sign of Taurus, which rules wealth, material assets, food, land, and security. Taurus is a sign concerned with having enough, and my Chiron in Taurus indicated inherited trauma around enough-ness.

Now armed with this realization, I recalled stories of how my grandfather lost a lot of money when he traded his Japanese yen for the New Taiwan dollar when the Japanese occupation ended in Taiwan. My mother, being a new immigrant to a country that didn’t acknowledge her degree, went from being a corporate executive to waiting tables for pennies in the United States. My intergenerational trauma was also their trauma, and in true Chiron fashion, it isn’t my fault just as it wasn’t their fault. Life happened to them. Thus, framing my scarcity mindset to my Chiron wound freed me from the need to blame, which released me from shame.

The healing of inherited patterns and intergenerational wounds never ends—it’s an ongoing process that’s meant to awaken our sensitivity, softness, and empathy.

Understanding my Chiron wound also made me stop putting undue pressure on myself to conquer my scarcity mindset. My instinct as an Aries is always to fight and try to win, and that wasn’t going to work here, because just as mythological Chiron couldn’t heal his own wound, we never finish healing ours. The healing of inherited patterns and intergenerational wounds never ends—it’s an ongoing process that’s meant to awaken our sensitivity, softness, and empathy. And it’s in those qualities that we find the medicine to ease our own hurts.

Chiron gives us permission to hurt and heal in our own way and in our own time. We explore our tender hurts on our own Chironic journey as a way to awaken our compassion and kindness.

Want to know what your Chiron sign says about your healing journey? Find your Chiron sign using this free birth chart calculator and find the description below!

Chiron in Aries

Those with Chiron in Aries question their right to take up space. As a result Aries Chiron people are healing a wounded belief in their right to not just occupy space, but to be, to exist, and to be seen.

Chiron in Taurus

Those with Chiron in Taurus worry about their material security. Their insecurity around having enough isn't greed-motivated, but motivated by the fear that it could all go away.

Chiron in Gemini

Those with Chiron in Gemini often doubt the validity of their thoughts. They don’t feel listened to, and they’re healing their belief in their ideas and right to be heard.

Chiron in Cancer

Those with Chiron in Cancer have a wound around their cultural roots or how they were nurtured. On some level, they feel under-nurtured, and they must learn to “mother” themselves.

Chiron in Leo

People with Chiron in Leo feel unvalidated and unseen, and there’s a need to heal their creative expression. They are reconnecting with their carefree, spontaneous inner child.

Chiron in Virgo

Those with Chiron in Virgo are hard on themselves and drive themselves to an exacting standard. They are healing a compulsive need for control. (Note: I’ve also noticed a pattern of Virgo Chirons experiencing complicated relationships with food.)

Chiron in Libra

An individual with Chiron in Libra struggles with separation and isolation. They’re always trying to figure themselves out based on others’ reactions. Relationships aren’t easy for them because of this push-pull between wanting autonomy and fearing being alone. They must address this fear and make peace with it in order to heal.

Chiron in Scorpio

Those with Chiron in Scorpio are intense. They have a simultaneous fear of mortality and a fascination with it, which is rooted in an intense desire to experience catharsis and transformation. Releasing the grip on control and making peace with change—no matter how scary or confronting—is an essential part of their healing process.

Chiron in Sagittarius

Individuals with Chiron in Sagittarius are constantly searching for meaning. At some point, they were wounded by either their cultural beliefs or the religious beliefs of their family, and their path towards healing is all about establishing their own beliefs and finding meaning in life in their own way.

Chiron in Capricorn

People with Chiron in Capricorn can be SO SERIOUS. Loosening the grip and allowing space for fun is so important for them.

Chiron in Aquarius

Those with Chiron in Aquarius see the disconnect between their ideals and reality. Their challenge is to connect with the imperfect, grounded version of reality—even if it doesn’t hold up to the standards of their ideals.

Chiron in Pisces

People with Chiron in Pisces experience existential grief because Pisces is sensitive and spiritual. Their psyches are more in touch with the mystical and the magical, but they’re stuck in physical bodies and a 3D world that is often anything but mystical and magical. Like Aquarius, their healing involves grounding into this world.

Published on October 31, 2023

Words by Alice Smith

Alice Smith has loved astrology ever since she read her first horoscope as a kid. She’s a certified, professional astrologer who reads birth charts for clients all over the world and has spoken at events throughout the Pacific Northwest. Alice learned to write horoscopes from her mentor Rebecca Gordon who was herself mentored by the grande dame of horoscope writing, Susan Miller. Alice has a degree in sociology from the University of Washington and is (too) obsessed with her “Furgo” (furry Virgo) cat, whose birth chart she often interprets on social media.