How I Broke My Achilles Heel

Thursday October 18th 2012
The boy hero was educated by Chiron, the centaur. Here depicted by John Singer Sargent

Silver-footed Thetis, the sea goddess, leaned over the the River Styx, and dipped her demigod baby into its dark current. The magical water made the boy invulnerable. But there was one spot that stayed dry – and mortal – Achilles’ heel.

I broke my heel on Sunday.  I’ve been expecting something to happen (I’m not an astrologer for nothing), but obviously it was still a shock.

This is what was happening in the sky. Chiron (wounds), Mars rising (accidents) and Uranus (shock) were all at 5°. I always look for Mars-Uranus contacts when there’s an accident. And these two were both in impulsive fire. Mars in Sagittarius is inclined to risk-taking; Uranus in Aries is never going to look before she leaps. And Chiron, of course, is currently transiting Pisces, the feet. So I bet I wasn’t the only person to hurt her feet that day. At the moment I fell, the Moon on the MC was just separating from an opposition to Uranus, and applying to a square to Pluto.

Now this is all very well, but how does it key in to my own chart? I have no planets or angles natally at 5°, My Pisces Sun is at 10°.

I was wrestling with this when I Skyped my friend Dharmaruci, and he shed some light on my broken foot blues.

“It’s obviously Chiron in Pisces applying to your Sun.”

“But it’s still 5° out.”

“Don’t you find stuff often happens before the exact conjunction?”

Christ’s stigmata.

I had to concede his point. It’s true, the build up to an exact aspect is often when action takes place, and the conjunction can be like a conclusion sometimes. (I wonder what will happen when Chiron actually reaches my Sun!)

“What do you think of Chiron then?” I asked.

DR said he’d most truly felt the energy of Chiron when he was doing shamanic work; that it seemed to open a way to the outer planets.

“The Wounded Healer,” he added. “Your wounded heel; an Achilles heel. Hey, Chiron is your Achilles heel.” And there, he’d put his finger on it. That was the point.

Chiron in any chart must be a kind of Achilles heel. It is said to be the place where you are most vulnerable. A lot has been written about Chiron, much of which is purely speculative since it was only found in the 1970s. In my experience, it does have a correlation with healers, alternative or otherwise. It also does seem to indicate a vulnerable place in the psyche, but to define this as an Achilles heel seems to me quite enlightening. It’s your weak spot.

Maybe, to carry on with the parallel to the original Achilles, it is the spot where we are most human. And perhaps by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and fully human or humane, we open ourselvesl to the divine. Actual physical injury, or extreme pain as in childbirth, is said sometimes to open a psychic door. It’s used in initiation rituals around the world.

Ballet dancers sacrifice their feet for art.
This is by Degas.

For me natally, Chiron in Pisces conjuncts Saturn (bones) and Mars (action). I have always loved my feet for their reliability – rare blisters, no aches or pains, bunions or veruccas, comfortable in stilettos or birkenstocks – and for their dancing, a trine from Neptune to Mars. They have carried me far and gracefully through life. So in fact my feet have never seemed to be a weak place at all, which you might expect with Chiron in Pisces. Perhaps it’s the Saturn-Mars conjunction has made them feel strong and perhaps protected that Achilles heel. It’s as if the weak spot has a bodyguard on either side.

My actual Chiron Return is several years away, but I find that with transits from slow-moving planets, you start to feel the energy affecting your natal chart as soon as they change signs. So I have been wondering about the arrival of Chiron in Pisces for some time, but it has been submerged by the powerful Neptune transit in the same spot. While Chiron takes about fifty years to make a circuit of the Zodiac, Neptune takes more than three times as long, so the Neptune transit is that much stronger.

So my own wounded foot is clearly an expression of Chiron in Pisces, and with the help of Dharmaruci, it has revealed itself to me precisely as an Achilles heel, which I see as both a weak spot and a way through. (I’ll let you know if God starts talking through my heel. Ha ha)  It brings to mind the hexagram in I Ching called “the Receptive” which is made up entirely of broken lines.

Yet this injury feels potent and full of meaning so I was sure there must be some exact contacts to my personal charts, so I had another look.

Secondary progressions – still nothing really.
Then I looked at the transits to my Solar Arc directions and the whole event snapped into focus. Solar Arc directions are the Keep It Simple Stupid method of moving a natal chart forward in time, a method so simple in fact that you can do it very quickly, just visually. You move all the planets, points, angles etc in the natal chart forward one degree for every year of a person’s life.
If you don’t think it works, take a look at this. From the spiritual end of astrology, we move swiftly to the matter-of-fact.
In my SA chart, my Saturn-Uranus opposition (bones-shock) is just shy of 5° Taurus-Scorpio.  Chiron has moved on to 7° Taurus, so it’s at a lovely angle to transiting Pluto at 7° Capricorn,  and the Moon at 7° Libra, which was on the MC at the moment of my accident. And let me tell you, my relationship (Libra) has changed (Moon) since I am currently lying in bed with a comfrey poultice on my foot, and D is doing everything. I am totally dependent.
Pluto is also transiting the very bottom of this chart, where the foot touches the earth. – and at an exact inconjunct to the SA Jupiter also at 7°.

Six more weeks to go….


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  1. Great article!! Thanks also for reminding us about solar arcs–I’ll put that on my “to do” list right now!

  2. Christina says:

    No kidding Mitch. I have sorely neglected them myself.

  3. Morvah says:

    Only an astrologer would be noting the time having just broken bones! Interesting article ~ hope it’s not too painful and that the rest will do you good!

  4. Sabrina says:

    Oh Christina, I’m so sorry. Wish you a smooth as possible recovery. Hope your sweet girls are brushing your hair and telling you funny stories!
    SO true about feeling the transits before the aspect is exact. wondering if it’s true for most people.
    I had to be on bed rest for over 6 weeks earlier this year (not easy, I feel for both of you) and my husband also had to do everything…his progressed moon was in libra exactly conjunct transiting Saturn.

  5. Jules says:

    Poor you, I hope you’re OK and not getting too frustrated. Whenever my mum was ill, and Dad would have to do the cooking, we’d all lose about a stone 🙂 Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  6. Christina says:

    Thank god D is a great cook! But now he really gets how time consuming being number one career is… And that is most satisfactory. I feel so lucky to have someone to look after me.

    Sabrina … I’m rushing to look at his progressed moon now.

  7. Sabrina says:

    Please do tell! 🙂

  8. Tsandi Crew says:

    Now I know why stuff happens to me always, 4 days before it is forecasted. Thank You for that!

  9. Christina says:

    Sabrina – his progressed Moon is in….. Libra! Bingo

    Actually his asc, Sun, Moon (and Lilith) are in a tight conjunction in Libra. What is more that Lilith (eek, could that be me!) is at the crucial 7°. On the midpoint of the Sun and Moon (that’s a separating New Moon).

    Thanks for making me look at that.

    But enough of me and mine…..

  10. mm says:

    Commiserations. Wishing you a peaceful recovery.

    And of course Chiron is particularly powerful right now as he slows right down to a crawl and heads towards his station direct in mid-Nov. (I’m feeling his effects as well). Hopefully once he starts moving forward again, so will the rest of us!

  11. Isy Aweigh says:

    Lilith? I can see that, mythologically rather than astrologically … Never been exactly a standard-model Eve, have you? 🙂

    There’s so much depth in this post I’m going to have to read it a few more times. It really deepens my understanding of each of these forces. Especially my dear old frenemy Chiron.

  12. Christina says:

    mmm – thanks for pointing out that Chiron will be stationing direct. I am going to be paying serious attention.

  13. Christina says:

    Isy – hou have Chiron in Pisces too don’t you. With the Saturn conjunction….

  14. Gilly says:

    I haven’t had any special trouble recently, but my feet have been painful for weeks now, with painful swellings on both. I’ve had 2 X rays, an MRI scan, seen a specialist and no one can decide what’s actually wrong with them. Treatment included a fantastically painful steroid injection, to no avail. I’ve been told I’ll probably have to learn to live with it.

    I don’t know if this could be why, but I have Pluto at 5 Virgo (4th house). My rising sign is 4 Cancer. Mars is loosely involved at 0 Capricorn…? I have no idea.

  15. Jules says:

    I agree with Isy – really deep and interesting post re. Chiron – I have it squeezed between Saturn and my Midheaven in Pisces. I’ll be holding my breath!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Would you apply solar arcs to retrograde planets as well? I have 4 natal retrogrades and it doesn’t feel right to simply push them forward like that…

  17. Christina says:

    Aha – that’s a good question. I know what you mean. Solar arcs are kind of counter-intuitive, which is why I have, until now, generally stuck to secondary progressions. For example, I find merc ret in the progressed chart is ver telling.

    However, I am so convinced by the results here that I will pay close attention in future. I think you should do the counterintuitive thing and push everything forward.

    So what I suggest is this. Choose an important event from your past and test the solar arc chart for that. Test it, like this one, using transits to the solar arc chart.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I tested it with my big injury. So far I can see that my Solar Arc Pluto was on my progressed ASC.
    Other than that transiting Uranus was on 6th house cusp and Saturn was 2 months away from hitting my 12th house Pluto. At the time I thought it was Saturn approaching Pluto. The event occurring before the exact transit- as you mentioned in your blog.

  19. Christina says:

    SA Pluto on ASC – injury to the body.
    And Uranus on 6th house cusp – unexpected blow to health.
    Saturn approaching pluto would be pretty generational wouldn’t it? Even if Pluto’s your ruler.

  20. Sabrina says:

    So, I was thinking about someone important for me and your post about Chiron sneaked into my thoughts and Bam! It made so much sense!

    Is in Aq. Squaring mercury in 3rd, so intelligent and creative, yes! but has trouble with expressing certain ‘chironic’ (?) emotions and is quirky in an aquarian fashion, which can be ok for me and my Venus in Aq but can be hard for others to understand…

  21. […] physical, emotional or mental. For a personal story on the Chiron transits around my broken foot, click here – (although I’d add that my love affair with Solar Arcs ended soon after this […]