Rumi says, ‘it’s the cracks where the light gets in’ which has always really resonated with me. I am also reminded of the saying, ‘it’s from our greatest wounds our greatest ability to heal comes’. This brings me to the story of Chiron the wounded healer.
Chiron comes from Greek mythology and was a centaur- half man and half horse. He was the son of the Titan Cronos who took the form of a horse when he lay with (or rather raped) and impregnated the ocean nymph Philyra.
When Philyra first saw her son Chiron was born a centaur she was so disgusted and angry that she abandoned him. Chiron, who had done nothing but be born was now abandoned and rejected by both parents, shamed and outcast.
Adopted by Apollo and under his care, Chiron became renowned for his gift and skills in the healing arts, a master in medicine, prophecy, astrology, botany, pharmacy and the science of herbs and medicine. The emotionally abandoned, neglected and wounded soul turned his attention to healing others and this gift allowed him to serve many through his healings.
The tragic irony of Chiron occurs in his death after being fatally wounded by Hercule’s arrow and yet unable to heal himself.
We can look upwards to see Chiron eternalised by his Stellular Constellation, Centaurus.
I have always had a keen interest in the wounded healer archetype as I found myself being called from a young age to work in a caring profession. I studied Psychology at university and knew from my first lecture that this was my path. I started my professional training in Counselling and it was during that course I began to notice all my peers had experienced trauma. They were all called to this work due to personal trauma.
Therapists tend to be rescuers, an idea that was brought to us by Stephen Karpman in 1968. The drama triangle suggests that there is a certain dynamic that occurs between victims, rescuers and perpetrators. For the purpose of this blog, I am going to focus on the rescuers as I can see a connection to our wounded healer archetype. Rescuers are like moths to light when it comes to the victim. They tend to be the first to reach a helping hand and can sense when someone needs something. They tend to over-focus on others and be less aware of their own needs, their own wounds. Rescuers are always fine, they are copers. They quickly turn the conversation back to you.
You can see how therapists have a sticky road to avoid this trap.
It amazes me also how the universe seems to be in on this healing cycle as I notice the type of client that is attracted to a certain therapist will often share a wound or trauma. This happens so frequently and to so many of my colleagues that I hold the belief that we are all here healing. Yes, I said healing which was a big trigger word for me a self-confessed rescuer, cause you know I am fine. I hated the word healing, it was too spiritual almost religious for my empirically based training. I was not trained to use the word heal, we treated.
After almost 20 years of therapy, self-exploration I can now take a step back and away from hiding behind a scientific blank screen. I can humbly say the word heal with the respect and honour it deserves. I can step down from the rescuer’s pedestal and see my wounds. I am constantly discovering new blind spots, no longer hiding behind my profession.
I am not ashamed to admit I have wounds nor am I afraid. I am so grateful for my wounds as they allow me to deepen into myself and they keep me humble. They brought me on a personal spiritual path that has given me such beauty and connection. It has allowed me to be messy, emotional, intuitive, compassionate and be ok with that. It has also allowed me to walk some very dark and lonely paths and yet find my way through with gifts and wisdom. And finally, it has allowed me to walk with others on those dark and lonely paths. So to Chiron and all those other wounded souls I salute you and wish you well on your journey, may you find the gold as you go.