We find Chiron and Pluto in a dark cave, by an underground pool that glows with a magical light. Chiron appears as a gentle, matronly woman with a kind face, dressed in green, flowing robes. Pluto is dressed in flowing magenta robes and is wearing a fond, open expression that softens his harsh, hawk-like features. They are beside the pool, stirring it with long staffs, occasionally tasting its contents with small spoons they carry in their pockets.
Pluto (putting his spoon away in a pocket): That’s a very good blend, if I do say so myself.
Chiron: Yes, this should work nicely. Oh look, here comes the next one.
A Human Being, eyes closed and deeply asleep, shambles into the chamber.
Pluto: I’ve got this one.
Pluto takes Human Being by the arm and guides him to stone steps that lead down into the pool. When he’s fully immersed, Pluto seats him on a stone bench built into the pool that brings the water just to his neck.
Human Being (sighing deeply): I didn’t know this was possible.
Chiron (whispering to Pluto): They always say that.
Pluto: Yeah, they just don’t get that change is possible. Do you know that’s one of the biggest questions humans go around asking themselves and each other?
Chiron: Which question?
Pluto: “Is it possible to change, really change in a deep way.” They habitually doubt it. It’s like an epidemic down there on Earth.
Chiron: They also doubt that it can be done without pain, and they don’t believe trauma and wounding can really heal completely.
Pluto: It makes me sad. My business is change—
Chiron: —Well do I know it!
Pluto: —and it’s frustrating to do all my good work in the world and have it go unseen and unappreciated.
Chiron: Humans are mere mortals. They have such tiny life-spans. Your 250-year cycles are too long for them to make use of. They can barely make use of my 50-year cycles. They don’t have time to come to understand themselves through your long-term alchemical process of change. At least they try.
Pluto: They die trying.
Human Being stirs, murmurs, his eyelids flutter.
Chiron (grabbing Pluto’s sleeve): Hey, I think something unusual is happening!
Human Being wakes up and looks around himself in alarm.
Human: Where am I?
Chiron (takes his hand calmly): You’re in the Alchemical Pool of Healing. It’s going to be all right. You’re only changing.
Human (fearfully): I’m changing?!
Pluto: Yes, for the better. And it won’t hurt. You could have slept through it.
Human: Can I do that while awake?
Chiron: You are one of the unusual ones.
Pluto: Yes, but most people don’t want to. Even if it doesn’t hurt.
Chiron: Most people don’t want to change at all, anyway, anyhow.
Human: I do. I’m ready. Please tell me what I can do to help it along.
Pluto and Chiron look at each other in surprise, then back at Human Being.
Pluto: Well, ok. It begins with a full-being scrubdown. It happens on all levels—emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. It goes way deeper than words. I’m in charge of that part.
Chiron: You have to trust and be vulnerable for that.
Human: No kidding!
Pluto: It’s about purging and letting go of the old.
Chiron: You have to find the old thing that’s still stuck today. That’s my department.
Human: How do I do that?
Chiron: It’s usually disguised as something painful that’s happening right now, a sort of trigger-point.
Pluto: You’ll know because it’s a place in your life where you feel like a victim, where you haven’t taken your power back.
Chiron: Then you have to get clear on which aspects of the experience are current and which are old, crusty grime from your past.
Pluto: Then you have to remove that old grime.
Chiron: —but gently!
Pluto: —and you have to really let it go, along with resentment about it. You can’t afford to continue holding onto resentment, entitlement or victimhood. These are the final things that hold you back when you try to grow your power and initiative.
Chiron: When you let it go, the new thing that’s bothering you in the present—the thing that triggered you and set you off—will go with it.
Pluto: Then you have to practice not passing it on to someone who reminds you of yourself.
They pause to stir the pool a little, then tuck their staffs into a notch at the side of the pool.
Pluto: A human being is a library of experience. You can take an old book off the shelf anytime. You call this memory; we call it the eternal Now because we know there is no difference. The past, present and future are all one thing wrapped up together, written in your heart and in your very cells. Your body remembers—ask it.
Chiron: To survive, you’ve had to press down the pain. Now it’s hardened—is it dross or diamond? It’s up to you to recover it and find out.
Pluto: I see we’ve made you think, but don’t think too long—take action.
Chiron: Yes, take action towards your own healing, because we don’t usually operate as gently as this. If we have to come back and do surgery, you won’t like that very much.
Pluto: Are you sure you want to be awake for this?
Human Being climbs out of the pool and puts on a robe that’s lying there.
Human: Yes. I’m ready to go back to my life and do the work.
Chiron: Then you have our blessing.
Pluto and Chiron touch Human’s forehead, and show him the way back to his everyday life.