"A physician without a knowledge of astrology cannot rightly call himself a physician ." Hypocrites, Father of Medicine (460-377 BC).|
"The study of the natural world by which to attain the knowledge to heal extends as high as the stars," Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654), famous English herbalist, astrologer, medical practitioner and author.
"Anything born in the moment of time carries the quality of that moment," Carl Jung (1875-1971), famous Swiss psychologist who privately used astrology for over 25 years.
For over 3000 years, the ancients blended the wisdom of the earth (the herbs) and the heavens (through the planets and the language of astrology) to promote healing and a natural state of balance, as they recognized the interconnectedness of nature. This empirical tradition researched and promoted harmony between the energy patterns of humans, plants, elements, colors, planets and signs.
The Egyptians are considered to be the first to have used medical astrology. In fact, a representation of the "Zodiac Man," illustrating the correspondence of body parts and systems for each Zodiac sign, was found on Egyptian hieroglyphs around 500 BC.
Later, the Greeks anchored this medical tradition with the work of two famous physicians: Hypocrites (460-377 BC), the famous doctor and philosopher regarded as the Father of Medicine, and Galen (130-200 AD), who developed further Hypocrites methodology and whose authority prevailed for 1400 years. Claudius Ptolemy (around 200 AD), perhaps the most famous Greek astrologer, was a practicing medical astrologer. He emphasized the importance of studying the natal chart, as well as the chart drawn at the time of illness, to diagnose a medical case.
It is worth noting that the Greek school reflected the ancient thoughts and observations of its time as seen in the Five Elements of Oriental Medicine.
As the medical tradition of using astrology to heal flourished in Western Europe, much research was also done to further the understanding of the association between herbology and astrology, particularly in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In England, Nicolas Culpeper (1616-1654), the most famous herbalist astrologer, wrote the "Compleat Herbal" and many other books still in print today!
By the end of the Seventeenth Century, this tradition came into decline with the advance of "modern medicine"! It took some two hundred and fifty years for astrology to be brought back into favor as a holistic tool to comprehend people's health patterns. Carl Jung (1875-1961), the famous Swiss psychologist, was one of the leading modern practitioners to use astrology with his patients. Today, there are about 200 practicing medical astrologers. It is our belief that there will be a renaissance of this tradition in the 21st century.
THE CORNERSTONE OF MEDICAL ASTROLOGY
Astrology, being a language of interconnectedness, demonstrates in a profound way, how everything; health, people, signs, planets, herbs etc. are all interconnected!
Just like planets, signs and herbs contain elements found in nature; so does the human body. The body contains all of the four elements found in nature: Fire, Earth, Air and Water, and incorporates their energetic qualities: Fire is hot and dry; Earth is cold and dry; Air is hot and moist and Water is cold and moist.
Good health is represented by all four elements being in harmony, or eucrasia ("a good mix") as it was known to the Greeks) and both herbs and food can have an affect upon this balance.
Poor health comes from imbalances arising from the placements of certain planets in our natal chart or in a chart calculated at the time of illness. A chart analysis can indicate that 1) a person may have an excess of or deficiency in a certain element and 2) a person may suffer from the body and emotional sensitivities associated with signs identified as challenging in the chart, or signs they don't fully express, or aspected planets.
1) The placements of planets in one's chart are indeed likely to show a dominant temperament or personality. For example, a person might be too choleric, melancholic, sanguine or phlegmatic and may suffer from ailments associated with the energetic quality represented by the temperament.
&&&2) The placements of planets in one's chart are also likely to show one's body and emotional sensitivities. As mentioned earlier, the Zodiac Man is a very ancient illustration of this concept. Each part of the body or body system, based on its function and its energetic quality, has a relationship with a sign and/or planet. So a medical astrologer would know which organ or body system to treat.
Since ancient times, herbs were the treatment of choice. Plants, like people, are part of the cosmic drama. They were selected to help with a medical condition based on the plants' association with some of the four natural elements and with a planet or sign, which determined their healing virtues. This association with a sign or planet ruling the sign was based on the type of place the plant grew, its most important physical feature, its taste and smell, in other terms, its "signature" which in turn indicated what this plant should be good for.
There were two lines of thought to treat an imbalance. One was to cure by the contrary (i.e. if your body had an excess of heat, you needed a cooling herb), the other, like homeopathy, was that like cures like ((i.e. if your body had an excess of heat, you needed a hot herb).
HOW CAN WE BENEFIT TODAY FROM THIS ANCIENT TRADITION?
If indeed we believe that our patterns of personality are reflected by the placement of the planets, and that our personality and our health are interrelated, then we can certainly benefit greatly by giving consideration to our natal chart. Personally, I consider it a blessing that we can use this ancient knowledge to adopt a preventive program and eat the right herbs and foods to "counteract" the sensitivities we might not otherwise be aware of.
To take the example of one's sun sign, as I meet with people and discuss their sun sign along with their health sensitivities, the majority of them confirm being prone to the ailments associated with their sun sign. This may come from the fact that many people are not connected with the energetic qualities of their sun sign: they repress it and do not feel at ease with it. Of course, the placement of the sun in one's natal chart is just one of many placements to consider. Nevertheless, it is important to our health to be connected to and nourish our sun, as it represents our vital spirit that gives us the enthusiasm and power to create our lives.
I also see medical astrology as a powerful spiritual healing tool. As we all want to adopt a holistic approach to life, it feels good to nourish our sun sign, moon sign, rising sign or any "challenging sign." By ingesting the herbs associated with that sign, we increase our ability to connect with nature and the cosmos. We partake of the celestial intelligence, consciousness, knowledge and power of that particular sign or planet. As is well recognized, there is much evidence that a strong state of mind and spiritual well being induces better health.
To conclude, medical astrology is as relevant today as it was during ancient times and can be used for preventive or curative purposes. One can read some great books written on the subject, or visit these web sites: www.AstrologicalHealth.com, www.astroheal.com, www.medicinegarden.com. For curative purposes, the help of a medical astrologer can be invaluable! Medical astrologers have saved or prolonged the lives of many people. For a list of accredited medical astrologers, consult the American Federation of Astrologers: www.astrologers.com
Veronique Foster, owner of Astrological Health™, which has formulated herbal wellness formulas for each sign based on this tradition. The line is called the Zodiac Sign Wellness Formulas™. They are available in selected stores and on the web: www.AstrologicalHealth.com.
Disclaimer: This article is a reference work not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe. The information contained herein is in no way to be considered as a substitute for consultation with a duly licensed health care professional or medical astrologer.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Copyright: Veronique Foster
Bio: Veronique Foster
Veronique Foster, who for years was in corporate finance, birthed the concept of Astrological Health™ a few months after recovering from a serious car accident. In retrospect, she views the accident as a blessing and an indication from the Heavens that it was time for her to re-examine her life purpose. After self-studying metaphysics, herbology and experiencing several powerful healing therapies, she followed her holistic vision and launched Astrological Health™! Veronique has her Sun in Sagittarius, Rising in Scorpio and Moon in Pisces. Her natal chart clearly indicates that she was destined to be the leader of a holistic enterprise that would have a positive impact on peoples' health.
You can find Astrological Health™ on the web at: www.AstrologicalHealth.com.