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Wounded - healer

This is Part 2 of 2.

Please click here for Part 1.

The Education of Achilles by Chiron, fresco from Herculaneum, 1st century AD (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples). Please click on lime-link above to return to Wikipedia page about Chiron.

As I was waking, relishing the gentle awareness of the liminal space that connects the waking ‘mind’ with psyche, the word came into being, ‘chiron’. Not knowing what that meant, it was stored until a later date. Some part of me communicated to my waking mind the intent of his calling out to me and the uncloaking that followed, in the mythic story of Chrion.

Chiron was a centaur. A child of Gods, abandoned by his mother for his disfigurement, he was trained by Apollo in all the cultural, healing/ medicinal/ botanical, and prophetic arts of the time. He was revered as a great tutor and mentor. Wounded by one of Hercules's arrows and being immortal, he could not die, and yet he could not heal. Chiron travelled wide and learnt all he could of botanical healing and still he could not heal his own physical affliction and lived in agonising pain. Through this suffering he developed compassion and empathy for the anguish of others and offered his healing art for relief of psychic and physical wounds.

Carl Jung drew upon the myth of Chiron to illuminate the archetypal human experience of the 'wounded healer'. That is, the understanding we gain of our wound and how we suffer, and the psychological integration that comes from deeply learning about our depths and who we are, allow us the real empathy and compassion to offer healing gifts to others. This human interconnectedness offers healing across many levels, across the plurality of who we truly are.

"Chiron the wounded healer reminds us of this since as a shaman and alchemist, he is able to redeem the true self, hidden within the wounded, rejected and marginalized part of the psyche. Shaman is the custodian of a heritage of direct access to realms of the sacred inaccessible to most people, and the guardian of the soul history of a people. In the encounter, both patient and doctor are transformed by entering the timeless nonphysical dimensions of consciousness. Since the suffering of the wounded healer enables him to empathise (rather than sympathise) with his patient, this triggers a transcendent or numinous energy that constellates healing." (Benig Mauger, . Please read this beautiful article in the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy.)

This little boy who visited me, I call Chiron's apprentice. Although in his physical form, he was severely disabled, he obviously had a great healing Soul. And, in his solitude, developed healing gifts to offer to others. He travelled the cosmos. Guided by empathy and compassion he offered the healing balm of uncloaking, to show us to ourselves, so that we could take this living gift back with us to nuture, grow and heal, perhaps even becoming wounded-healers ourselves.

The WHOLENESS and GIFTEDNESS of this little boy was completely known to me. And, nine years later, when I found out that the child I was carrying had disability, I knew this child was here for his own joy and purpose, that he was whole and wonderful, and despite the unknown terrain, even through difficulty we would cope and all was well. Such is the growing gift from Chiron's apprentice.

With grateful and eternal love to you, my friend.


The previous post, Chiron's apprentice, took place in 2000 during a 10-day interfaith peace retreat in an old manor in southern England.


"If our ego-self is our natural identity in the physical world, the Oversoul is our natural identity in the spiritual ... The Oversoul is our bridge into the cosmos" (pp. 110-114) Chris Bache, Lifecycles: reincarnation and the web of life, 1990.


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