The Myth of Chiron, the Wounded Healer

Chiron Greek: Χείρων was a mythical character in ancient Greece.   He was said to be the best centaur among his brothers, as he was called as the “wisest and most just of all the centaurs”.

Yet Chiron is born of a rape:

His father, Cronos, the chief of the gods, had changed himself into a horse to chase a woman, then caught her and raped her.

The son born from this is a monstrous-half horse, half man who is rejected by his mother.
Chiron is born into ignominy and suffering. At first he copes by denying the terrible truth.
With the help of Apollo, he cultivates everything that is noble and intelligent – his human side. He becomes an expert in the arts of medicine, herbs, astrology, archery. His fame spreads so that kings want him as a teacher for their sons and daughters. But one day Chiron is accidentally wounded in the knee by a poisoned arrow.

Were he merely a man, he would die, but he is son of a god, therefore he cannot die. He
can only suffer. He suffers unspeakably:

  • His mobility is compromised, and he becomes dependent on his daughter.
  • The arrow has struck him in the lower part of the body, the animal part, of
    which he is ashamed, and which he tries his best to forget since it reminds him of his painful rejection.
  • In such a state, Chiron cannot be a teacher of kings, but can only help the poor and the suffering.

He carries out this task with extraordinary skill. Try as he may to relieve his own suffering, he fails. But with his knowledge, sensitivity, and his capacity for empathy
acquired through pain, he succeeds in healing and leads a life of meaning and care.