Personal Reflections on Chiron’s Journey through Pisces
Chiron entered Aries on February 18th, 2019. Several weeks ago now. But since it will be hanging out there until 2027, we’ve got plenty of time to write about it! The upcoming full moon at the equinox for example, will land right on top of Chiron – a loud activation of what Chiron in Aries means for you, and for us.
I have lots of thoughts regarding both Chiron in Pisces and Chiron in Aries. I’ll start with Chiron in Pisces because I want to publicly offer some gratitude for this transit that was so important for me. Plus, its Pisces Season, so these reflections are still relevant generally and especially pertinent for March’s Mercury retrograde in Pisces, which may highlight some of the same material for you that Chiron did.
For me personally, writing up this meandering Piscean Re-flection feels like stepping into appropriate alignment with Mercury currently stationing retrograde a few degrees from my Pisces Sun-Mercury rx conjunction… while also conjunct Chiron, newly in Aries.
Some of this I’ve shared before, but it has been on my mind recently as we close this chapter.
Gratitude for Chiron’s Transit (& this Mercury rx) through Pisces; awakening us to necessary truths while inviting us back into relationship with Source
I am an 8th house Pisces Sun, Mercury, and Jupiter. Pisces is on my 8th house cusp, the house of the Shadow and all that we repress. Therefore, I’m acutely aware of Pisces’ shadow side, both with myself, and in the broader society.
Not always, but frequently, people have trouble reconciling themselves to the sign on their 8th house cusp, regardless of whether they have planets there or not. They may talk about how much they don’t like that sign in other people, or they have some sort of resistance to embodying that energy. Even if they have their Sun in the 8th, they may have spent their first 2-3 decades trying to suppress or reject that part of themselves. They may be one of those people who say “I don’t really identify with my sun sign.” They likely are not fully owning that part of themselves or expressing it. Maybe they fear that energy in their life – both the positives and negatives of that sign.
Numerous times when I first meet an 8th house Sun person (especially when under the age of 30), I’m completely baffled that they are born under the zodiac sign they claim to be (similarly, I sometimes have the same reaction when people’s Suns are in the 12th house, or even 4th house).
Often times (again, especially when they are under 30) I feel like they are expressing the EXACT OPPOSITE of everything that sign represents. Then, over time, as they work through 8th house shadow material, they grow in their sign and it becomes more obvious in their life’s expression. We are all growing into our Sun signs really, but it can take longer for 8th house Suns to externalize this growth process.
The 8th house is the chart’s power house. There’s a loooooot of energy stored up in there just waiting to find an outlet – whether consciously or unconsciously!
Back to Chiron: Whether Pisces is on the 8th house cusp for you or not, one of Chiron’s tasks through Pisces has been to highlight its shadow side so that we might enter into a more balanced relationship with these deep Piscean waters.
As Mercury stations retrograde in Pisces, we may again be alerted to Pisces’ shadow side so that we can address deception, confusion, and misalignment. In areas where we are struggling for clarity and discernment, the veil may finally drop from our eyes – even if it requires some initial fumbling around, or struggling through experiences of cognitive dissonance.
I grew up immersed in a very religious environment. And not the type that is regimented by patterns of ritual and habit necessarily – it was a religious environment that was more of the “spirit-led” variety. I witnessed and experienced many strange supernatural occurrences in my younger years that cannot be reasoned away and stay with me today.
There was lots of good that came out of that environment, and certainly it instilled in me a belief in the unseen world that would not be shaken, even when I left the faith community.
And yet I also witnessed the shadow side of spirituality growing up. Channeling and interpreting Spirit (or Source, whatever name you give it), and integrating its messages into words and action… through these animal bodies with sensitive nervous systems, layers of conditioning, trauma histories, various chemical interactions, and stubborn ego structures…. can be quite tricky to navigate.
To be a pure conduit is difficult. We so often project our familiar frames, biases and worldviews onto supernatural experiences (arguably, how can we not?), and we may manipulate auspicious synchronicities, symbols and signs into what we want them to mean. Our egos can develop ravenous hunger for spiritual gifts, power and prestige, and people can really go quite wild in ungrounded, unhealthy ways, in response to the huge intoxicating rush of otherworldly energy experienced at a place of worship or during a ritual.
Pisces, the sign of spiritual surrender, the dissolving of the separate ego, speaks to experiences where we are completely consumed by some form of blissful spiritual high and access peak states of oneness with the universe.
Without balancing this out with some grounded Virgo discernment and insight (Pisces’ opposite sign), we may be vulnerable to being controlled by charismatic spiritual leaders who claim to have all answers… we may overlook and opt out of uncomfortable – but necessary – healing and justice work, by choosing the more scenic, always-positive spiritual bypass… and we may interpret and welcome all encounters with energy, with the supernatural, with the numinous, as inherently good and beneficial, because we’re so in entranced with having an experience that taps us into something beyond the structures of everyday human reality.
As I’ve written about before, in my early twenties I stepped away from my childhood faith quite abruptly when I suddenly reached a decision-point precipice where I realized the interpretive framework in operation within this religion, had become too constraining for me. I didn’t feel I could trust any human, or human-crafted system or tool, as a reliable gateway to deeper spiritual understanding.
It was an enormous loss for me at the time. I lost my all my spiritual tools and practices, which I depended on daily. I lost my worldview. I lost my community and friends. And I lost my familiar relationship to Source, which I grieved deeply.
Yet, I could not deny the validity of the many mystical experiences I had had. I decided to just “shelve” them for the time being. They are valued memories for me, but without a framework or tools to interpret and work with them, I didn’t really know what to do with these experiences.
I then spent the next decade or so in intense left-brain mode, trying to work with the beast that is academia.
However, you take mysticism and magic out of a Pisces’ life, and they begin to wither and dry up like a forgotten plant! I believe we are all spiritual beings, but holy, a Pisces-type without magic, mysticism, wondrous beauty and regular experiences with the spiritual realm, is really in a tight, dreary corner. They can get by for a while by using their imagination, or perhaps some not-so-healthy escapist habits, but Pisces is the sign of the mystic, the dream-worker, and the channeling artist. And we must feed the signs what they need to thrive.
Chiron’s transit through Pisces, on one hand, may have illuminated the shadow sides of spirituality and fantasy so that they could be addressed with clear vision and discernment (as this Mercury rx may also do).
But on the other hand, Chiron’s Piscean transit could have also correlated with a deep soul call to visit the infinite well of Source energy and drink deeply from its healing waters. This is what it was for me.
Walking out the illness and death of a parent was the first point of return in many ways, as I struggled with questions about meaning, purpose, and the afterlife during the initial chapter of Chiron in Pisces (in my 8th house).
However, Chiron’s work will always be more noticeable and powerful when it makes a strong contact to a personal planet. From 2016 to the end of 2018, Chiron was within a few degrees of my Sun and Mercury in Pisces (making 4 exact conjunctions).
I had something one might call a breakdown (or a painful dismantlement of all my core egoic identity structures) beginning in April 2016. By June 2016 I was still hoping that maybe all I needed was a bit of rest and recovery, and then I’d be back to my “old self”.
I was doing terribly though.
I accepted an invitation to go to a friend’s cottage by the ocean for a few days to clear my head and see if I could speed up my “rejuvenation”.
Chiron, the wounded healer of the zodiac, was moving through 25° Pisces at this time, only arc-minutes away from my Sun and Mercury in the 8th House (the first of the four conjunctions).
I do not often remember my dreams, and when I do they typically slide easily from my consciousness with little reflection or integration. However, in the early morning of June 18th I had a dream that left a powerful imprint on my psyche.
I dreamt that I awoke to find a long, shiny black feather beside me in the bed – the same bed at the cottage that I was sleeping in, overlooking the ocean. The feather was about three feet long.
One’s emotional state and reactions to the dream content is key to its interpretation. In this case, I remember being surprised, but in a pleasant way. I was curious, intrigued, and a little in awe at this beautiful feather that I immediately felt was a gift of some sort. The dream felt incredibly real, especially with it mirroring my exact location. I woke up, marvelling at the experience and the imprint it had made on me.
When I looked into the symbolism of black feathers I read that they are associated with protection and that they may appear in meaningful ways when you are undergoing times of great transition. The color black signifies, as Scorpio does, the theme of death and rebirth. The closing of one chapter and the beginning of another. They may mark a spiritual initiation and time of significant inner growth.
I treasured this dream and held it close to me. Its sweet, magical, psychic aftertaste lingered for a long time. I returned to this memory often during difficult moments.
I do not live in an area that is swathed in bird feathers, but following this dream I began finding feathers in the strangest synchronistic ways.
Chiron moves slowly through your chart highlighting areas of wounding, but its transits also direct you to the resources you need to heal– particularly at its retrograde pivot points. Chiron turned retrograde nine days after my feather dream.
Within a couple days of Chiron’s rx station, I happened upon an astrology article that showed up on my news feed, indicating the dates of the 2016 Mars retrograde. I was startled by some extremely pertinent correlations to my life, and immediately dove head first into intense astrological study.
I associate Chiron’s transit over my Pisces Sun and Mercury (identity and mind/communication), with my feather dream, my renewed interest in astrology, falling in love with creative writing again… and some intensive therapeutic work.
I had been introduced to astrological natal chart work during a Uranus transit to my Sun/Mercury around 2009/2010 (astrology entering one’s life with a Uranus transit is so cliche!), but my schedule didn’t leave me much room to really explore it and it quickly went on the backburner despite my fascination with it.
Now, in 2016, astrology quickly became a powerful tool of healing for me. It is not an exaggeration to say that it changed my life and gave me a new sense of meaning and purpose.
The few weeks after (re)discovering astrology were blissful. I was giddy with excitement. I was on an astro high; buried in charts, and webinars, and podcasts, and books. Through learning the language of astrology, I felt like I had found a missing part of myself – or had found the key (Chiron symbolizes a key) to opening up parts of myself that had been stagnant and neglected.
I don’t think any healing modality could have given me the amount of insight that my chart immediately provided me. Astrology can speed up the process of self-discovery in a major way!
I had found a treasured blueprint for understanding my personality, a map for effectively journeying the terrain of my life, and a prescription for healing and freeing up areas of wounding. Where I had come from and where I was going, my greatest strengths, my most troubling challenges, and the life directions that would most fulfill me — they were all there, in my chart.
Furthermore, astrology connected me in a very concrete and tangible way with something that was bigger than me. How wild is it that planets millions of miles away could be correlated with certain personality traits and life events for each individual living on the planet?!
Astrology became a type of spiritual discipline for me, as I began to track my transits and design little rituals for planetary activity and moon phases. Astrology re-enchanted my life world with a glimmer of mysterious magic.
In other words, I felt like a Pisces again, basically.
I felt like I had found a place of solid and meaningful belonging within this vast universe; in a world, which on the surface, seems to be spewing constant meaningless chaos. Learning astrology helped me to see a hidden universal order and coherence through synchronicity and correlation that defied explanation. I finally had a spiritual framework and worldview to work with again. Astrology enabled me to make sense of my experiences by framing them within a series of symbolic and archetypal cosmic stories.
The remaining three Chiron conjunctions to my Sun (my chart ruler) and Mercury were really important moments in my journey where my identity and voice were challenged (Chiron transits always involve airing out a wound), but in ways that prompted me to dive deeper into what was true and vital within me.
I launched Lilith Rebellion as a blogging platform within a few days of the second conjunction (reawakening my love of creative writing). The third conjunction occurred alongside some panic attacks I had as I entered into a conference setting where I had to show up as my other professional identity (which I feel quite uncertain about), highlighting my internal cognitive dissonance in this area and challenging whether or not this path reflected my Piscean soul yearnings. I also established peace with my sister (mercurial symbolism) with whom I had a major conflict with many months prior.
The fourth conjunction occurred at the time of a job interview I was extremely conflicted about – again my identity and my voice (Sun and Mercury) being challenged… Who am I? What am I here to say in the world? How should I use my voice and skill-sets?
Clarity arrived with an amplified message immediately post-job interview. It was clear this job would not be a good fit for me, and at the current time, it was right for me to devote my energies toward building an income sources around my emerging passions.
Taurus rules my 10th house of career, so this is where I can expect to see major shake-ups and disruptive, liberating change, with Uranus’ ingress. And I did see changes here as I broke away from the safer more mainstream path that I had spent years and many dollars of investment on, in order to offer astrology consultations for a few months.
[P.S. I gotta say though, Uranus’ preview of Taurus last year (May-November 2018) really got tangled up in those intense Mars and Venus retrogrades (it made strong contact with both of them numerous times throughout). It felt like this car revving and going forward in short defiant bursts, only to stall again and again.]
I’m hopeful for Uranus committing to its Taurus journey this week! Chaos is always part of the package, but I need some liberating leaps of disruption. Perhaps we all do in various ways.
One of the things I am most thankful to Chiron’s transit for, is the regaining trust in my intuition.
My childhood was full of seeing and knowing things that reached beyond consensus reality.
And yet Pisces is an incredibly sensitive sign, absorbing high volumes of information and stimuli from their environments, oftentimes without an appropriate filter or boundary. Therefore, receiving otherworldly premonitions, visions and divine messages in a human body can be awfully confusing…
What’s real and what is fantasy and imaginal projection? What’s true here? What is “truth” anyway? What happened in my dreams and what happened in real life? I’m experiencing deja vu… did this actual happen before, or did I have a precognition about it? What’s the other person’s emotion and symptom, and what’s mine? Where do they end and I begin? When is my intuition speaking to me and when is my anxiety speaking to me?
These are questions that Pisces, sign of the boundless ocean, may struggle with. Pisces-types arguably may have a higher risk of experiencing moments of paranoia/anxiety, confused, delusional thinking, and a tendency toward spacey dissociation, as a result. The urge to surrender all sense of separate self and identity, can be rather dangerous for the human brain (at least without the proper training, supports, context, etc.).
Having witnessed a lack of spiritual clarity and discernment accompanying the use of spiritual and energetic gifts, and after being exposed to how easy it is for the human body, brain and language-power to provide a poor translation of downloads or divine messages in ways that caused harm, I was really wary of listening to “intuition” and very suspicious of many spiritual practices. I fought my natural tendency to make meaning out of synchronicities, signs and symbols because confirmation bias felt unavoidable with the risk of manipulating “reality” to conform to the projection of my worldview and the narrative I was invested in developing.
One of the reasons I think I gravitated easily to astrology as a metaphysical tool, was because it is so technical and academic-seeming. Its historical roots are impressive and the education required to gain astro-literacy is fairly rigorous. Furthermore, it had close ties to astronomy (the two only went separate ways in the 17th century). It utilized information from NASA about the speed of planetary movement, for example. It seemed so tangible, rational, objective, scientific, trust-worthy, contained. It seemed… safe.
A friend asked me recently whether astrologers relied on their intuition or not during their consultations, after hearing me explain some of the technical parts. My answer was essentially that I think many astrologers do rely on intuition as they synthesize the chart’s puzzle pieces, but you don’t actually have to. You can really do it all by-the-book through applying a series of technical tools and steps.
I continued to avoid other tools such as Tarot, which seemed so more subjective to me and relied much more heavily on intuition – therefore seemingly more liable to untrustworthy human interference… until the Venus rx in Scorpio last fall as I mentioned (Chiron was again within a few degrees of my Sun/Mercury at that point).
I had a traumatic experience with Tarot 5 years ago (a terrible reading), which really turned me off it. Unexpectedly beginning to study the Tarot last October, was another step toward freeing and trusting my intuition. I’m actually really appreciating that Tarot has far less rules and technicalities compared to astrology, because I’m invited to open up more to my intuition.
I’m really grateful for Chiron’s work in my Pisces’ 8th house, and the re-awakenings and transitional initiations it has catalyzed.
And yet the idea of Pisces energy as symbolizing complete surrender to Spirit, as an open conduit and channel for otherworldly communication, somewhat still scares me!
Edgar Cayce, for example, had an 8th house Pisces Sun, Pisces Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and North Node (5 major Pisces placements). He was a famous American psychic referred to as The Sleeping Prophet who communicated messages and diagnoses from the unseen world while “asleep” (this is so hilariously Pisces). His experiences included falling asleep on his textbook at age 13, and then realizing he had a photographic memory of every single page and so he didn’t really have to study!
Edgar had to be informed of the messages he had communicated after he awoke because he had no memory of them (his conscious ego was therefore removed from the process). Even Edgar sometimes had trouble believing the things he had channeled while “asleep” (basically in a trance state).
I really have no desire to have any sort of extreme Pisces experience like that at this current time! That sounds very destabilizing, tbh.
And yet I’m beginning to trust my Pisces gifts again, thanks to Chiron’s transit.
Alongside regaining trust in my intuition, I’m also restoring trust in my skills of discernment, which I’ve had since childhood. I was known for challenging esteemed spiritual leaders on their lack of alignment or abuse of stage power, and continuously investigating the validity of my own beliefs.
I’m learning to trust in my growing ability to recognize what is ego projection and a runaway imagination energized by fear and anxiety, and what is a clear intuitive message coming through.
Despite my reservations about the human body’s capacity to channel anything without interference, I’m learning that my brain, my body, my communication capacities, can continue to develop as strong, reliable vessels, drawing from the deep Source well of divine guidance.
My ongoing prayer, however, is that the (re)emerging and development of my intuitive and psychic abilities would not out-pace the somatic, psychological and grounding healing work I continue to do. Ideally they would complement each other. I have very little earth in my chart so staying grounded is essential, especially with a North Node in Taurus. The other realms I’m capable of drifting into can be extremely unnerving.
Pisces is a sign that can suffer from a lack of center and sense of unique selfhood. Innately aware they are connected to everything in the universe, Pisces’ ability to function in the world, attending to practical necessities as a individual autonomous human who is paradoxically, simultaneously, a separate self… is something most Pisces-types need to intentionally work on. Grounding tools are important!
What other things have I learned or returned to throughout Chiron’s transit through Pisces? Here’s just a few other points…
- Spiritual “surrender” is a (sometimes controversial) Pisces concept that brings to mind passivity, waving a white flag in conflict, and giving up. Surrender feels vulnerable and the word made me uncomfortable for a long time as it inherently involves some loss of autonomy, control and protective capacity. I’ve learned to conceptualize spiritual surrender as surrendering to an active, conscious and benefic universal force (rather than a passive stream of fate or an overpowering nebulous energy mass) that invites us into acts of co-creation and collaboration. Interestingly during this Pisces Season, I’m currently reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (tight Neptune-Sun trine and Pisces North Node), It’s not Your Money: Living Fully from Divine Abundance, by (former astrologer) Tosha Silver, and Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, by Toko-Pa Turner (Pisces Moon). All three speak beautifully to the power of spiritual surrender in the various realms of art, money, and creative belonging – in ways that open the door to beautiful co-creation and collaboration with Source. In just the past year, surrender is a word that has acquired deep sweetness for me.
Here’s Ted Talk of Elizabeth Gilbert’s perspective on surrendering to a magic divine force that offers creative inspiration:
- Pisces often gets a bad rap for remaining in helpless victim identities and giving up their power, endlessly repeating circuitous “woe is me” self-pitying tales (I’m referring to instances where this state of being is used as an ongoing defensive, protective strategy rather than referring to the process of grieving and honouring losses, and sitting with depths of human pain and discomfort as it calls for us to do so). Clinging to victim stories and roles can also function as an escape hatch from being accountable for one’s actions, taking responsibility and making constructive repairs for the harm one may have caused. It’s a human shadow, but zodiacal teachings suggest that Pisces-types may be more vulnerable to it. Pisces-types can also be quite vulnerable to getting overly, empathically tangled with the energy of others who are caught in victim stories.
As I have moved through the shell of this shallow stereotype to what lies below, I have come to understand how this state of being develops as a very powerful coping strategy (speaking from experience here). And to truly release coping strategies that no longer serve us, we often need to acknowledge how they are seeking to protect us. We can thank them for their efforts, and gently let these parts of ourselves know that we have other tools to move forward now (providing we’ve had opportunity to develop these replacement tools).
Learned helplessness is a real thing where, after repeated attempts to escape suffering with no success, the human being learns it is safer not to try and risk the emotional pain of disappointment and the reminder of failure, powerlessness or entrapment. It’s neuroscience.
“Learned helplessness is behavior that occurs when the subject endures repeatedly painful or otherwise aversive stimuli which it is unable to escape from or avoid. After such experiences, the organism often fails to learn or accept “escape” or “avoidance” in new situations where such behavior is likely to be effective. In other words, the organism learned that it is helpless. In situations where there is a presence of aversive stimuli, it has accepted that it has lost control and thus gives up trying, even as changing circumstances offer a method of relief from said stimuli. Such an organism is said to have acquired learned helplessness. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from such real or perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation.” (~Wikipedia)
Getting “stuck” in a despairing victim identity (or a victim story/ victim mentality) is learned behavior (even if Pisces-types are more vulnerable to it). It is a set of neural pathways that developed for a reason, and in order to move beyond this state, we may need to compassionately empathize with the root cause (for ourselves and for others), as well as address the dis-empowering context that may have contributed to our state of learned helplessness. It takes time (and often some acts of truth and justice) to develop a sense of self-efficacy, an internal locus of control, and step into your power, when perhaps at some point, you learned that it was not safe to do so.Serving yourself dopamine hits by setting and achieving small bite-sized goals, really helps!
(again, I’m not advocating a positivity-only bypass – I’m referring to the sustained reliance on a victim worldview and life story as a defensive coping strategy that shows up as self-disempowerment, self-betrayal, self-sabotage, self-undoing, etc.)
- I’ve always been so sensitive to other people and my environments, and so easily overwhelmed by incoming stimuli and information (typical Pisces probs). In the last couple years I’ve been absorbing the stories and tools of others who have walked the life path of an empath. I’ve been learning that there are ways to get better at working with this sensitivity. I can protect myself without shutting down this part of myself. With study and practice over time these skills can be learned. In particular, it has been so helpful for me to learn how to recognize when the distressing emotion or energy I’m experiencing actually belongs to someone else I’ve encountered and did not originate within me. I’ve also been learning to patiently accept when my body is reacting to an implicit nonverbal memory and going into a heightened state of hypervigilence, contraction, or dissociation, even when my rational brain is completely bewildered because it doesn’t see the need for this response (Pisces is associated with the subconscious and implicit memory). I can then move toward applying the most effective tools with more self-compassion, without forcing myself to rationally, consciously pinpoint why I’m reacting so intensely.
Chiron’s transit through Pisces has brought me so much goodness. I hope for you too, despite the pain that Chironic vulnerability and healing can expose, that it has awaken you to many Piscean gifts.
As Mercury stations retrograde at the 29th degree of Pisces, we’re all going to get another reminder of the amazing potential of this sign we are invited to partake in – the bliss of surrender and moving with flow, the sustaining grace of spiritual faith, the creative inspiration and vast imagination, the deep compassion and empathy, and intuitive, psychic sensitivities.
But also too, may we have the courage to remove the rose-colored glasses from our eyes, and clean our life’s windows and mirrors, in order to see more clearly what needs to be brought to light (even when it hurts).