How I Broke My Achilles Heel
|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?”
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.
Six more weeks to go….