By Mary Plumb | February 14, 2011
In deference to Valentine’s Day, I have steeped myself in the language of the heart for these past few days. Astrologically, I’m taking Chiron’s entry into Pisces as an invitation to consider matters of the heart.
Last spring I wrote a blog on Chiron’s entry into Pisces:
“April 20 was Chiron’s entry into Pisces, the day of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. Chiron is the shamanic journey, the wisest teacher, and the traveler out of ordinary time. Pisces’ greatest strength is to open the doors of perception, and, if conditions are lined up, can bring a glimpse of interconnectedness.
Last week I was listening to early news reports about the oil spill: the scramble to figure out what was happening and the impending economic catastrophe that it would bring. After the technical and business commentators, an environmentalist spoke of the water, the complexity of the sea life, and the fragile coastline. When he mentioned the sea turtles, I started sobbing. I know nothing about sea turtles, but somehow their plight and vulnerability opened me up to a grievous sorrow for the whole sea life.”
On February 8 Chiron entered Pisces again. It is obvious that the painful plight, and restoring to health, of the oceans and waterways is a pronounced ongoing theme in our world until 2019 when Chiron moves along into Aries.
For now, we have the wisest of the centaurs, the wisdom teachings of Chiron, moving through the deepest, most complex, most mysterious, most maddening sign of the zodiac, Pisces. We all can draw upon the archetypes suggested by this placement, where we are all pulled towards the possibility of experiencing mystical union with all that is.
Adam Gainsburg captures this well in his profoundly titled book, Chiron: The Wisdom of a Deeply Open Heart. He writes about Chiron as the “sacred wound.” Others have written on the principle of the wounding and healing process associated with Chiron’s passage.
In a group last week, we looked at Chiron’s capacity to open us to a higher awareness. We all have the Chiron return around the age of 50, but its very elliptical orbit makes the timing of the first square to the natal position quite unique. The first square of Chiron to its natal position can occur anytime between about 5 and 22 years of age. This can be an interesting time to look back on. For some, it marks an event or time in life where we first began to get a glimmer of our path. Sometimes it is a painful experience of isolation or a marked physical or emotional wound, sometimes a gentler prodding towards our own inner guide and teachers.
But now, it is Valentine’s Day and we are surrounded with romance and flowers. As my friend Norma Nakai Burton said in her sermon on Sunday at Unity here in Ashland, a few lucky ones may have a romantic partner today to shower that loving attention upon.
And we can think more widely about the heart on Valentine’s Day through the language of the chakras. In the seven-kundalini chakra system, the yogis speak of the 4th as the heart chakra, the Anahata. This is the meeting point, the balance between the lower and higher chakras.
Anahata means ‘unbeaten’ or ‘unstuck.’ At a workshop yesterday on the Anahata chakra, my yoga teacher spoke about the very innermost place in the heart, as “the place that has never been hurt.” It is a place of deepest stillness, way down inside each of us; the place that the mystics and yogis have cultivated for life times.
Venus, the goddess of love, is exalted, or most sublimely placed in Pisces. If it doesn’t accomplish anything of permanence or material wealth, Pisces certainly beckons a deeper consideration of all matters of the heart. As a developmental stage, Pisces holds the experience of the dissolution of separation. It is the one heart that unites us all — the mystics, the madmen, the lovers of all that is.
And, in these times of great alignments, both inner and outer, we know that science is verifying what has been known since the beginning of time. Apparently only as recently as the ’90s has western science described the neural pathways that connect the heart to the brain. According to this view, the heart receives impressions, which then travel up to the brain — not the other way around.
(For those interested in the science supporting some of these ideas, an organization called The Institute of HeartMath has a web site with many (free) resources and ideas to help you stay connected to your heart. Many wise ones are saying that the path of the heart is going to show us the way forward.
There are lots of research project results, including a PDF to download called Science of The Heart: Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance: An Overview of Research Conducted by the Institute of HeartMath.)
The followers of the mystical poet Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi are the whirling dervishes, whose “turn” is an intricate and graceful meditative movement to open the heart for spiritual awareness. My friend, who has an intimate connection to this path (and who, by the way, will spend Valentine’s Day delivering hundreds of beautifully crafted, handmade Valentines to the elder communities in her town), told me that the turning practice requires that one stays centered in the heart. If not, you’ll loose your balance and fall over.
And for one more toast to encourage (the etymology of which means, “to make with the heart”) the wisdom of love, from Rainer Maria Rilke:
“For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.”
As we may remember, there is sometimes a hint of distress at the heart of the experience of Pisces; we are empathic beings, after all, and do feel the suffering of others. With the wisdom guide Chiron now leading us all through the experience of empathy and ecstasy that Pisces holds, let us walk through any feeling of distress or loneliness and go deeper into the still place within “that has never been hurt.”
Happy Valentine’s Day, may your heart be fully in bloom.
Here’s a sample of Rumi’s ecstatic love poetry:
Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy,
absentminded. Someone sober
will worry about things going badly.
Let the lover be.
from Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks
Visit this Peaceful Rivers web site to read many others.
Mary Plumb is available for personal astrology sessions or tutoring. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org