About Chiron & Career
We have many cultural symbols for identifying the gifts inside of our wounds. Think about the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. His shiny nose was the source of pain and ridicule, until there was an opportunity for him to use it in a way that positively affected children around the world. Think also of the metaphor held in an oyster—the irritation of a grain of sand producing a beautiful pearl.
There is a powerful archetype in astrology that speaks to this dynamic, too -it is called Chiron, the wounded healer.
In Greek myth, Chiron is a centaur whose story represents a deep wounding that exists for all of us since birth. Chiron was abandoned by his mother, who, overcome by her shame at giving birth to a child who was half man-half horse, asked the gods to turn her into a linden tree rather than continue as Chiron’s parent. We all are born with the notion that we are separate and imperfect in a way that will cause rejection. Adam Gainsburg calls this the sacred wound, explaining it as a “subconscious belief or pattern of assuming we are permanently damaged, wounded, broken or unfixable in specific ways necessary to our fulfillment.”
In actuality, the wounded place gives us vital information about fulfillment—and our purpose.
Many times we will try to protect this place from the light of day, by either succumbing to hopelessness or overcompensating and coming on strong. Either reaction moves us further away from the gold that lays hidden.
Chiron shows up uniquely for each person; however there common ways it shows up in our work lives:
- Inability to see our uniqueness
- Easy to support others in a particular way, difficult to do it for ourselves
- Consistently painful experiences
On the other side of this coin is the:
- Ability to name our gifts, articulate them to others and use them more freely
- Creating meaning and purpose in our careers
- Finding more empowerment, perspective and centeredness to weather the changes we inevitably experience
When we apply the myth of Chiron to our work lives, we can choose the gifted side of the coin, rather than the wounded one. We can choose healthier work environments. We can share genuine, compelling communication about ourselves and what we do. We can create new, healthier cycle.