Before and After Chiron

By Eric Francis

When Chiron was discovered in November 1977, its position was the exact degree of the Taurus Full Moon happening this week. Events that involve the Chiron discovery degree evoke the theme of “before and after Chiron.”

The Education of Achilles by the Centaur Chiron, by Jean-Baptiste Regnault (French, 1754-1829).

The Education of Achilles by the Centaur Chiron, by Jean-Baptiste Regnault (French, 1754-1829).

This is the degree with the symbol, “The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” which image is the namesake of Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets by Barbara Hand Clow. The symbol is a reference to linking the celestial and mundane orders of reality — which is Chiron’s speciality.

I have observed that the discovery of Chiron describes the tipping point where matters of a holistic nature, including alternative forms of healing (almost all of which strive to be based in some holistic concept) are beginning to get some recognition.

You can think of Chiron as the first healing practitioner of Greek mythology. He was taught medicine by Apollo, and then teaches the art to Asclepius, the god of medicine. In the distant past there was something called Asclepian manipulation, similar to what today is practiced as osteopathy or chiropractic.

Chiron was more than a healer (mostly, you can think of him in his role of mentor and teacher), however he was also renowned as a surgeon, herbalist and innovator of battlefield medicine.

The era of the Chiron discovery came with the first crumbling of the facade of traditional medicine being the only option. To give a few random examples, Bastyr University (which teaches naturopathic medicine) was founded the next year, in 1978.

Dr. Chester Wilk, a chiropractor, brings his first antitrust lawsuit against the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1976. It takes him 14 years, but the AMA is finally banned from claiming that chiropractors are “unscientific practitioners” who are part of “an unscientific cult.” Up to that time, medical doctors could be banned from the AMA for so much as playing golf with a chiropractor. Its “Committee on Quackery” is revealed as a fraud, and the AMA is ordered to pay damages and apologize (in the form of letters to MDs) to chiropractors annually for five years.

Organic foods, health food stores, massage therapy and many other forms of group and individual therapy were becoming prevalent.

And astrology itself began to evolve from a form of fortune telling and spiritualism to something taken more seriously as an authentic intellectual discipline. This was prompted by the efforts put into research into Chiron. To the extent astrology is practiced today as a healing art, we can thank the discovery of Chiron and the early astrologers who took note of its existence and did original research.

All of this is the spirit of the Chiron discovery degree. When you have alternative healers available to you, when you can get anything you need in a health food store, when you have access to organic food or even the idea that it exists, remember that before the late 1970s none of this was widely known or availab

2 thoughts on “Before and After Chiron

  1. Deborah

    So grateful to have access to all these things that bring us closer to nature, thus ourselves. We now question where our food comes from, giving us connection to earth and animals, and our humanity. All the 70’s tree-hugging sure payed off in multiples didn’t it. I see my chiropractor tomorrow…

  2. Pisces Sun

    Chiron’s discovery brings awareness to those who require it, mostly us in Western society. But think back before our present-day scientific community ruled our minds and pocketbooks: there was a time when our grandmothers were the keepers of the medicine. They knew what to put into our bodies, our minds, our hearts and souls. They also took the medicine from the earth and administered holistically, with love, wisdom and reverence. But then grandmothers and their wisdom became a thing by the wayside, ridiculed, put down, unappreciated. They and their wisdom have been discarded.

    In contrast to western society, natural remedies remained a part of eastern traditions as evidenced by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) (a hallmark of Bastyr Univ.) and something that is also becoming more prevalent in the Western World. Ayurveda preventative medicine is more than 5,000 years old and it is of course rooted in nature. TCM, Ayurveda, Native American Indian (all of the northern hemisphere continent), Australian Aboriginal peoples, Amazonians, and all Shamans are attune to the earth acutely knowing of its natural healing properties. Each of these populations’ belief systems and other non-traditional medicinal practices including chiropractor are grounded in the whole self: symptoms alone are not treated, the emotional state is not divorced from the physical state, and food consumed is not discounted from the physical state either. Chiron’s discovery to me is an awakening of the western world to realize our myopic beliefs. How ironic it is that we reversed what is traditional and non-traditional in what we term as “medicine.”

    One school/work morning a few years past, my children and I left our Seattle home to step out into a golden-hued state of being, everything around us was truly golden. We took time to revel in it, spin in it, move in it, and feel its present aura state. It was an amazing site and experience. As we drove through it, we realized we had emerged from the pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow-arched sky. I have never looked at a rainbow since then without considered the golden hue at its end (or beginning). I share this because it is true that there is gold at the end of the rainbow and that the spectrum of colors are required to achieve that golden state of being, just as Chiron provides us a spectrum of perspectives to ponder our own life state of being and healing. But it also has now occurred to me that a rainbow is quite simple for it is also just that, a rainbow in and of itself. A rainbow is fleeting, there is no permanence, just as our life has no permanence. We are all a spectrum, a spectrum of energy of light that will appear in the form of a rainbow at another place and time, brilliant in color and always having gold at its end (or beginning). Rich in color (and experience) but still only appearing for a fleeting moment.

    For me, Chiron is a sense of knowing that there is not just one color in a rainbow just like there is not just one aspect to medicine, to yourself or to others.

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