Doesn’t everyone belong
In the arms of the sacred?
Why do we pretend we’re wrong?
Has our young courage faded?
Shots were fired on the street
By the church where we used to meet
Angel down, angel down
But the people just stood around
Right now, the nation is reeling from tragedy after tragedy, and none more than my own community. From hate rallies to deadly weather events to senseless slaughter, my little city has experienced so much pain. And what has struck me throughout all of it is the incredible strength and compassion I’ve seen each and every time. What is it about this kind of horror that somehow brings out the best in us? And why does it sometimes seem to fade so quickly?
To me, this is a Chiron phenomenon. Chiron, of course, is the wounded healer, and it represents our permanent wound, as well as the way we provide healing to others. It seems to me that Chiron’s effectiveness has to do with the immediacy of the wound.
Most wounds, thankfully, heal. Maybe not fully, maybe not without scars, but at a certain point we are able to get up and get on with living. But Chiron wounds don’t operate that way. They never scar, they never heal over. We never get to put up our boundaries and say, “Thank goodness that’s behind me.” No. Chiron wounds stay raw and wet and sticky. They are with us every day, soft and vulnerable. And therein lies our strength.
One of life’s painful realizations is that compassion and empathy are often born of pain. It is difficult to truly comprehend suffering until we’ve experienced it ourselves. And that experience, for most of us, motivates us to help others going through the same thing.
Each of us has a personal tragedy. I don’t mean the tragic things that have happened to us, but rather an innate pain, a way that we simply do not fit with the world. It’s the little child in us, bewildered and hurt, the tiny voice that says, “But all I wanted was…”
In my own chart, Chiron is conjunct the Moon in Gemini. I have always had pain around feeling heard and validated when sharing emotions. “All I wanted was to be understood.” It is a wound I carry with me always. Because of this, I try so hard to understand others. I must say some version of “I get it, I understand, I know how you feel,” at least 20 times a day. Because the pain is immediate. It’s always right beneath the surface, and I can never, ever forget what it’s like to feel small and alone at the exact moment comfort is needed most. This is what drives me. This is what makes me a great astrologer.
As much as I’d like to think that my skills would remain intact even if this wound were somehow resolved, I know that’s not true. Eventually the pain would become ephemeral, abstract, a memory. I might still understand, but it wouldn’t be the same.
So with our collective tragedies, like the ones we’re grieving right now, the question is, how do we keep the compassion alive? How can my community, the nation, humanity as a whole, keep our wounds raw enough to continue to inspire change, but healed enough to live and rebuild? How do we become the wounded healers the world needs?