Perhaps it’s just a “coincidence,” but last week as Chiron (the “wounded healer”) entered the sign of Pisces (spirituality and the soul) one of my favorite podcasts, the People’s Pharmacy, broadcast an interview with Dr. Allan Hamilton called The Scalpel and the Soul. Dr. Hamilton has written a book called The Scalpel and the Soul: Encounters with Surgery, The Supernatural, and the Healing Power of Hope.
It’s unusual to find an established medical professional talking about the supernatural and healing powers, but it coincides perfectly with the entry of Chiron into Pisces. At a time when the field of medicine is spiritually bankrupt and desperately in need of an overhaul, perhaps this infusion of spiritual awareness into the way we think about our physical bodies is emblematic of what Chiron in Pisces has to offer.
I like to think of Chiron as the “Soul Healer” rather than the wounded healer – Chiron is instrumental in helping to clear the emotional and physical wounds that we bring into this life so that the soul can progress. Chiron presides over the body/mind/spirit connection – the triad of influences that come together to make up the Human Being. Physical health alone is not sufficient to provide balance – the mind and spirit must also be well integrated in order to achieve optimum health.
Chiron was in Pisces in the late 1960s when Elisabeth Kubler Ross was waking up the medical establishment to a new sensitivity of death and the process of dying. Her book On Death and Dying was published in 1969 as Chiron was completing its passage through Pisces and helped to popularize the hospice care movement.
All of the talk today about health care reform is more about how to pay for health care than how to actually reform the health care system. Dr. Hamilton cites statistics in this interview that Americans have a better chance of dying in a hospital from medical malfeasance than in a traffic accident. As I wrote in 2009:
Research by John Wennberg and his team from Dartmouth over the past forty years has proven that wealthier parts of the country spent more on health care, but were not any healthier. Wennberg’s colleague Elliot Fisher demonstrated in 2000 that people in areas that spent more on health care were dying at a higher rate. They were not getting more surgery; they were getting more tests, more pharmaceuticals and more unnecessary procedures. Fisher determined that the 2-6% increase in deaths was directly attributed to more time spent in the hospital.
Maybe Chiron’s journey through Pisces this time will provide true healing and an acceptance of spiritual forces to the field of medicine.