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As any human mother can tell you, the human fetal head could not be one centimeter bigger. Those little beanies are barely getting out now.

Thus, Nature has set a cranial/pelvic limit on just how big a brain humans can have in their starter set.

Other mammal babies do not have the same restrictions. And can arrive with four legs and all kinds of helpful neural hard-wiring that lets them know instinctively how to stand up, nurse, and run away from predators.

They can also can be pre-wired for function in specific habitat, looking for specific food intake, interacting in specific kinds of territories in specific ways. Humans have to function all over the planet in limitless kinds of environments. Pre-wiring not possible.

Human brains – as long as they emerge through human birth canals – don’t have room for this pre-wired luxury. Humans have to learn everything.

Stairway to the Stars

Before we get to Astro Chiron, we need to visit some of the Science and Sociology of human brain growing. Chiron is a planetoid only recently discovered – 1977 – and like all symbols it is imbued with its surroundings. It’s a modern addition to the Astro Wheel, and modern knowledge can help interpret its psychological riches.

So let’s start with a little Brain Science.

Nature’s Choice: Grow ‘em on location.

From ages birth to three, the human brain doubles in size. And all that time it is laying down hardwiring appropriate to its experiences. The brain maps out connections as it decides what is most useful behavior for surviving and thriving in whatever life surrounds the child.

Thus humans, unlike many mammals, can live any where on the globe. The human brain gets wired on location to fit the situation.

Babies are born knowing how to do a few things. Sucking is almost instinctive, though some infants suck at it. But highly pre-wired is the amygdala, the brain’s fight or flight center. Which is why infants are very good at feeling and crying.

Imagine feeling lost, scared, hungry, hot, cold, terrorized but not knowing where it came from or how to stop it or actually being able to control any aspect of your body much less move? And what is moving, anyway? That’s a baby.

Imagine feeling a wonderful feeling yet not understanding why it happened. Welcome to infanthood.

Emotional responses are pre-wired. Everything else – including what to do with these feelings – has to be taught. And the only teachers are the ones on site: the people taking care of the babies. Frequently, these are parents.

If It Feels Good, Do It

The way we learn is through our feelings. If it feels good, we do it. And try to figure out both what we did and how to do it again. If it feels bad, we try to avoid it. A logical and elegant system. Certainly, the opposite wouldn’t really work.

The human brain is associative. Each new skill is built on the foundation of things learned before. Which is a clever short cut for using what is known to quickly guess at how to perform something new. “Oh, this is like that”.

Every new pathway is connected in some fashion to an old one. No new neural territory is opened out unattached in some remote location. The brain builds on the reliable information it has.

Learning happens through repetition. Doing things over and over. And each time a particular hook-up of neural pathways is used to perform a certain action or reaction a substance called myelin is laid down. Myelin creates faster and smoother connections. Thus, the most used pathways become the easiest. And get used even more.

Evenutally, the myelinated pathways become “second nature”. Just like happens when we learn to type, play the piano, or throw a fastball.

Do It, Baby, One More Time

As the growing brain recognizes certain behaviors create happy results – food, hugs, change of diaper, smiles, fun – the child tries to do that again, perfecting the action. Unhappy results produce avoidance. If it feels bad, the growing brain warns: Danger, danger, don’t do that. Ever.

Really bad, physically and emotionally devastating experiences produce iron-clad avoidance that is so ingrained on memory that even the merest half-trip of associative outskirts of the possibility of a repetition of that trauma causes the brain to Red Alert, react now! And all kinds of fight or flight physical sensations kick in to high gear.

Even if nothing bad is happening at that moment. Because the signals are from the time when something really bad absolutely did.

Infantile Editing

Around age three, the first pathway prune happens. Hormones spring into pre-wired action and neural pathways that aren’t hooked up to anything else, and ain’t got no favorited myelin coating, are simply dumped. Not useful, so not needed. On to learning more stuff to hook up and go with the good stuff already learned.

Now this learning and creating new brain cells happens all life long. The brain is plastic and never stops making new cells. (Very modern knowledge. Proven by a woman at Princeton. Who was scoffed at by, surprise, established authorities of the male persuasion. Not to be sexist, just accurate. Cause goodness knows, we all love men. And have the vids to prove it.)

But the process of creating new brain is much slower, the older we get.

Children’s brains are hard-wired to learn hard-wiring

Learning is easy during the pre-planned growing time. That’s why languages are a snap for kids.

Current research indicates there there is another big prune at puberty. And a final trim right before we launch into so-called adulthood.

The hard-wiring takes a long time because it’s supposed to. It’s supposed to be valuable information that will help us forever. It’s supposed to last a lifetime.

And it does. Absolutely does.

Forever & Ever

The primary hard-wiring you learned as a child is NEVER going to leave you. You will always be able to feel it and access it.

Because it was supposed to serve you, to help you thrive.

But here’s the wrinkle: Babies feel good if their caretakers feel good.

Habits – self-nurturing and self-sabotaging – get hard-wired for the same reason: To create that good feeling. Even if “good” means making pain stop. That “less pain” equals good. Actual good may never even be experienced in some environments.

Babies growing up in impaired environments are not taught the truth about what feels good. They are taught what makes the adults feel good.

Babies that are used as a vehicle for their caretakers own emotional satisfaction do not learn how to prosper their own best selves. In some cases they may not even know they have a best self. Or a Self at all.

They learn how to make pain stop. Or may daddy smile. Or mommy stop crying. Or hitting them. Or since that isn’t actually something they can control, they weave fantasies that seem to produce some kind of order in the chaos. They learn how to pretend and disassociate and weave stories that seem their only hope for continuing another day without breaking.

They can, literally, stay energetically outside their bodies. They can, literally, refuse to consciously remember anything bad at all happening, even while it’s occurring.

When survival is on the line, learning who you truly are is way too risky. Stick to hiding.

Degrees of Difficulty

While all too many children grow-up in dreadful – even horror-inducing – environments, not everyone does, of course.

Some of us, miraculously, have wonderful parents who understand their job is to love their kids and help the children learn who they are and fully express that.

But even well-meaning parents, because 1) they’re human and 2) they were taught to listen to the opinions of society more than their own inner truth, can think they are doing the best for their kids to by defining “bad” behavior as not “fitting in.”

So a child is taught a certain set of emotional states as “being good”. The narrower this range, the harder it will be for the child to hardwire emotional tools that will serve a happy, fulfilling adulthood.

This “be good” instructing may be about useful things. Or it may be about the things you would actually like to feel the most, but your parents liked the least.

It may have been just a frown, or non loving response when you didn’t perform as expected. Or it may have been constant beratement that you were a disappointing pile of shit. To lesser or greater degrees, we may have been denied access to the innate “I gotta be Me-eee-eee!” song of Aries. So we never got to try stuff, experiment, learn, grow, when the growing time was good.

Because parents are human, we all get a little something. And some of get crippling levels of horror.

Plus everyone has different levels of resiliency. Some kids who get just the most-well-intentioned “guidance” feel destroyed. And some wretchedly abused children bounce forward into adulthood.

Parents want their kids to succeed. But they can also create a definition of “success” that has everything to do with the parents’ emotional desires, and nothing to do with the child’s individual personality or abilities.

We’ve All Got Our Own Pollution

Chiron is the planet of primal wounding. The early wiring gone not to authenticity but survival. For some of us, a little thing. For others, deep and hard.

But fascinatingly, Chiron is also an indicator of your “personal solution”.

Chiron represents both your greatest potential wounding and your greatest potential strengths. Clueless and Talented at the Same Time.

How can your wounds be your strengths? Survival instincts.

As a baby, when emotionally fraught situations occur, you’re going to respond with your best stuff. Things that might be near innate for you. You can’t use weak response to dire circumstances. You’ll die.

Thus, great abilities and skills get associatively wired to dreadful emotions. The more dire the environment, the fuzzier reality gets. It becomes difficult to know what is reality. In constant emotional chaos, the more entwined and inaccessible become strengths that you should have been allowed to develop for your own support.

The house and sign where your natal Chiron appears can tell you a lot about what you got. Both wounds and strength.

For some of us, the wounds will be crippling. For other of us, just a little thing. And everyone’s chart has other placements that can assist, augment, and challenge our accessing our assets.

Modern Knowledge

The knowledge of how the human brain works only came to be common in the so-called “Decade of the Brain”, the last one of the 20th Century. Not everyone connects the science to Chiron. But your humble faculty thinks it explains the planet’s impact well.

Some say Chiron is the wound that never heals. The official policy of Creative Astro School is that this is crap. Because through dedicated effort and practice, we can heal and change anything. It may take decades. But you can do it.

But if you think of Chiron’s “forever there” reputation as indication of primal wiring of the lies you should never have been told, then the implications make more sense. Because the primal pathways never cease to exist. They just don’t have to be our default response anymore.

Even if these pathways were burned way down inside in dreadful, repeated experiences. Like trauma.

Trauma Hides & Overrides

Soldiers and abuse victims have PTSD because they are reliving unbearable experiences. Seared neural pathways are mistaking current situations for past devastating ones. Triggers fire and the associatively wired brain screams down the entire pathway instantly, overriding all focus except: Not again! Red Alert is on and it’s not turning off, ever. Way too risky.

Some traumas are so early in life and/or so deep, details of their actual occurrence cannot be clearly recalled. But the body and psyche never forget. So seemingly irrational and destructive behavior occurs.

Frequently in our society these emotions are self-medicated by drugs of choice including – but not limited to – food, alcohol, ambition, sugar, sex, over-work, and repetitive involvement in feels-like-home-and-maybe-I’ll-win-this-time familar abusive relationships.

Repetitive, early traumatic experiences can especially blur together into one generalized blur. There isn’t one experience to pinpoint, there was a constant atmosphere. And all of the not wanted to be remembered hell is covered by one lie: Something’s wrong with me. I’m bad. The perpetrating caretaker, relative, or authority figure is often not recognized as the source of evil, because a child cannot do that. A child needs its caretaker. So the child – whose brain is doing its prewired job of trying to figure out how its behavior creates emotional states – internalize they’re at fault and flawed.

Amygdala’s Never Quit

Growing brains that experience terrors and traumas – emotional or physical/emotional – hard wire these signals of bad things to Be Absolutely True. Their terror experience gets wired as a the Fabric of Reality.

Because, again, that’s the point of brain grow: To determine the nature of reality in the surrounding environment. All reality is perceptual. Twenty people can interpret one moment twenty ways. A child’s brain is making those “What’s going on” decisions all the time. So, like they’re supposed to, every child engraves the pathways of “How the World Really Is”. Even if that’s not actually true beyond the limited overtly traumatic insanity of home. “How the World Was” for baby brain gets wired to “How the World is Always”.

And there are no perceptual tools to see things differently. Except one: pain.

The body never forgets. And the triggers always fire, to the point that many adults simply stay on round the clock Emergency Threat Security Alert. Intensely hyper-vigilant. Not actually understanding why.

Some Pathways Aren’t Pruned

There is some evidence – not currently substantiated either way – that children who were severely abused are on such red alert, and had such constant need to be aware of everything, while at the same time needing to stay out of their bodies and pretend this horror wasn’t happening, have such screwed-up hormones that their little brain myelinated as much as possible and didn’t prune at the usual times. And help onto every possible pathway. And sometimes “Disassociative Disorder” develops. What used to be known as Multiple Personalities.

Now we all have multiple personalities in a way – different, sometimes diametrically opposed – aspects of our inner make-up. And Astrology shows how we can be oh, so, many varied things at once.

But some adults with histories of almost-impossible-to-believe-they-survived abuse also report being able to physically heal conditions in their own body. They may not be able to change the first shattering of their tiny personalities, but they can create a peace within their inner factions. And, for unknown – and not necessarily validated by classical Western Medicine – reasons, their brains can actually feel the pathways of communication with cellular processes in their body. They can find physical problems and heal them.

This, too suggests, IMHO, how Chiron is the planet of primal wounding.

Chiron the Shaman.

In mysterious ways, people with psychological wounds in certain areas can actually help others heal from the same situations. Yet, not always be able to give this gift to themselves. That “I’m good with other people’s problems” situation.

That’s because the individual’s knowledge in this problematic area is thorough and can thus be passed along completely. They’ve kind of “seen it all”. But the knowledge wiring didn’t get connected to the take action wiring in any kind of straight forward way. Wonky emotional by-passes were established.

The deeper the wound, the more people learn about the complete range of human experience. Which means road kill childhoods can bring more knowledge of how the world works than is acquired by the much narrower experience of lovely, happy homes.

So this knowledge can help others. But you were never taught how to use it for yourself. There is simply no wiring inside to tell you what to do next.

Except hurt.

Pain is a Signal.

Pain and despair, just like fear, spacing out, wanting to run, or more ordinary continuing to shoot yourself in the foot or having a bit of a blind spot are sometimes the only mechanisms one’s wonky wiring have to get your attention.

These things are saying: Something’s wrong. Don’t know what to do. Want it different. Don’t know how.

And you have no clue. You don’t know what to do. The behavior pathways simply weren’t wired. So you gotta learn now.

Good body-oriented psychotherapy can help people start the practice of re-wiring and re-claiming one’s great strengths. But all change is a practice.

Just like the repetition that myelinated the original foundation, you have to keep doing healthy, nurturing things over and over until reality starts to be recognized.

You have to use your child-wired hyper-vigilance that was looking to survive an impending bad feeling to now be simply: Aware and paying attention. Not to the now no longer there “Bad things out there” but to your own sweet self. Those small, long-squashed stirrings of something unique and rare about you.

And just like a baby learns to handle its body and emotions, so do you. By practicing over and over and over and over until the new brain cells and new pathways are familiar and connected.

That’s how good therapy works. Not by talk, but by newness. New situations where good stuff happens this time. Where your “caretaker” doesn’t hurt you. Where you come first. Where your nurturing is experienced. For some people, good therapy is the first good parenting they’ve ever had.

Centaurs for Centaurs

In AstroLand, Chiron is much debated. Some believe Chiron is ruled by Sagittarius. A savvy choice as mythological Chiron is a Centuar and Sag’s symbol is also a Centaur. And both higher education and learning to integrate conflicting natures – in Sag’s case animal & intellectual – are Sagittarian/Ninth House realms. And myth Chiron was a great teacher.

Others prefer a Virgo rulership. As Virgo rules Health. Virgo and the Sixth House are concerned with the body, physical things, discernment of details, and healing. (And small animals.) All logical associations with inner healing.

Until we have, as a planet and society, renovated our basically sexist and outdated ideas about Virgo, it’s difficult to make a final call. But your Creative AstroSchool faculty leans to Team Sagittarius.

The Galactic Center is in Sagittarius. And the only perspective we humans currently have on the Galaxy is from Earth. Chironic situations are very Earthly. Humans affecting other humans cause both wounds and healing. And early wiring creates our “Center of the Universe” perspective.

And learning how to practice justice, balance human behavior, and see things from a broader, wider perspective are Sagittarian/Ninth House concerns. This is not to say that the tangible, personal, bodily healing processes of addressing Chironic issues do not require Virgo. Quite the opposite.

But while communication and expansion are both necessary for Chironic healing, Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of expansion. Healing cannot happen without reframing old ideas from a larger perspective. Without a commitment to Truth from a bigger, wider viewpoint, even the most eloquent messages from Mercury – Virgo’s ruler – will never be heard.

Only You Can Be You

Among the foundational realities of both Astrology and being human is that One Size Never Fits All.

Everyone is different.

And while “Everybody Hurts”, for some people this is just a little hang-up. For others it’s a howitzer perpetually aimed at both their feet and they’re constantly – even when they don’t want to- firing away.

But for everyone this wound is an opening. Fertile ground for new growth. Growth you can choose as an adult, even if you have no idea how to do it yet. This opening allows access to newness.

Without a Door, There’s No Way In

Enter your own deepest wounds, bring love, find a “personal solution”, teach yourself Reality & Truth, and you’ll find your great strengths freed to help yourself and the world.

It takes time. But believe it can be done. And know that it’s your job to do it. For all of our benefits.

To learn more about your own Chiron, click here, to go the Chiron Interpretation page.

If you need a Natal Chart of you own, info on getting a free one is here.

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