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Anja Salonen

The Key of Chiron

Los Angeles | October 26 - December 21 2019
Press:   Flaunt

In 1977, a small planetoid named 2060 Chiron  was discovered in our outer Solar System. Although a photographic record of it reaching back to the 1890s has been assembled, no one had noted it before that day at an observatory in Pasadena. In Greek mythology, the centaur Chiron embodies Jung’s ‘wounded healer’ archetype. After facing  early life abandonment, Chiron is fatefully pierced by his own poison arrow, incurring an unhealable wound that he carries with him for the rest of his life. This injury propels Chiron to a resurrection and transcendence of the physical experience, leading to a lifelong journey to discover and share the healing qualities inherent in nature.

In Shamanic traditions, the journey from victim to healer necessitates deep engagement with the sacred nature of our wounds. In this view, symptoms of mental illness signal the birth of a healing proclivity, and these disorders must be regarded as spiritual crises rather than pathology to aid in the process. What we would deem illness may have the potential to become an initiatory process of true empowerment and service. The dominant western paradigm of mental health treatment was born from a reductive and mechanistic world-view, although science has shown us that living systems instead function as a symphony of infinitely complex and interrelated processes. This paradigm shift is being called to occur on the most fundamental levels of our collective narrative and belief systems in order to bring about the mass healing that is now required on the planet.

Not only do these archetypal dramas play out in our unique life experiences, but the shifts and transits of cosmic bodies enact them on the macro as well. 2060 Chiron’s orbit is erratic, generally lying between Saturn and Uranus, and is often described as a bridge between our time/space reality (Saturn) and transcendent impulse (Uranus). Thus Chiron reminds us that our wounds stem from earthly concerns (the horizontal axis), and the transcendence of these wounds stems from acknowledging oneness in our suffering and integrating with its enlightening potential (the vertical axis). This archetype holds the key to a major doorway of evolution for humankind, calling us to understand the nature of our individual pain and the pain of the world in a way we may never adequately have before.

These works are moments in a transpersonal mythology of the well-worn path, the fool’s journey, the great work of awakening, and a reminder of those who are present to support us along the way. Our relationship with animals and nature are sources of deep support and guidance for us when we can feel our oneness with them. Mythologies have long held an archive of knowledge, pointing to universal forms and experiences that express the structure of the human psyche through the language of symbol. The drama and omnipotence of the gods is counteracted by the trickster figure’s self referential mockery: to point to their own transparency and thus to the illusion of it all. An element of humor may be what frees us when the image of god becomes our final obstruction to oneness. My personal evolution of consciousness is intrinsically entangled with the evolution of my art practice, and creatin and recreating images of an avatar self has been an integral tool for me to begin to know my true self. What I have found is beyond words or images, so I can only point to its feeling.

The eternal principle finds itself in the human journey, and our radiant bodies are the vehicle for consciousness to become conscious of itself. The spiral form inherent to growth and evolution is expanding in both outward and inward directions, the still center being that from which you came and where you are going. When the totality of a circle becomes a repeating loop of the past, it may need to rupture in order to rejoin the flow. A rupture may create pain, and it also creates space, in which we may realize that who we truly are is limitless, pure awareness - and like water, we can individuate into pluralities and just as easily reunite with the ocean. When we know ourselves as space, our utterly intrinsic equality and oneness with all is apparent.