(Editor's Note: Please consult your health care practitioner to ensure that the information given in Medical Alchemy is appropriate in your individual case.) |
The Alchemy of Cancer involves working with the water element; Cancer is a sign of nurturing and motherhood. The Sun enters the sign of Cancer at Summer Solstice, June 21 this year. With Summer Solstice, we begin a new cycle, a new season, as we understand what water is about, how to balance the fluids in our bodies physically, and how to deal with the watery element emotionally.
Cancer rules organs connected with nurturing like the stomach (digestion) and the breasts as well as other protective areas such as the sacs around the eyes. Just as the crab, the symbol of Cancer, is protected by its shell, so too are we protected by these organs. The fluids in these organs nurture the rest of our body the way that mother's milk nurtures a baby.
There are many ways that we can replenish these fluids at this hot dry time. Eating lighter foods, particularly leafy green vegetables and some fruits, is helpful. The green leafy vegetables also contain many minerals which our bodies lose in sweating. We don't need lots of heavy carbohydrates in the summer months; neither do we need hot spicy foods such as salsa, cayenne, ginger, and cinnamon. These hot spices heat up the liver, which may be called for in the winter months. Now is a time for eating lightly, getting lots of fluids, and appreciating the taste of fresh summer produce without all the spices and flavorings.
This is the season when we water our gardens, search out swimming holes and cool places to balance the seasonal heat. We also camp out and spend more time outdoors, watching the cycles of the Moon, which rules Cancer. At this time, we are able to follow the cycles of the Moon and feel the ebb and flow of our own emotions.
Another way to get our fluids and provide extra minerals is through drinking herbal teas. Spearmint, peppermint, and papaya leaf soothe the stomach and are good after meals for digestion. Golden seal leaf is a bitter herb which helps to de-toxify the liver. If one is sweating too much, or for women having hot flashes, golden seal leaf helps to cool off the liver heat. This is also a good time to harvest herbs such as mullein, which is mucilaginous, and helpful to the lungs and colon. Stock up on mullein for winter colds and flus.
The time of Cancer is a very emotional time; emotions can become hot and out of balance as well. To help "cool out" our emotions, we can use flower remedies. Bach flower remedies that work well include Chicory, which helps in letting go of old emotions and developing more compassionate feelings; Honeysuckle, which counteracts nostalgia and living in the past, and Larch, which is good for lack of confidence and anticipation of failure. The Larch, a pine tree indigenous to Central Europe, is a hardy tree which is used as a "nurse" for less sturdy trees. FES remedies (from the Flower Essence Society, Nevada City, CA) include Mariposa Lily, for those who have suffered trauma in parent child bonding and feel unloved; Golden Eardrops, for dealing with early patterns of emotional experience and old memories; and Pomegranate, for bringing out the creative force and nurturing.
Aromas and essential oils also work well to bring calm and inner peace when we are emotionally over wrought. Essences can be placed in a distiller or a pan on the stove so that their fragrance permeates the whole house. They can also be rubbed on the skin directly and sometimes a few drops are put in water and taken internally. Chamomile is one of the oldest known herbs; its fragrance is like apples. It contains Azulene when distilled, which is made up of intense blue crystals and is a good anti-inflammatory agent for burns and dermatitis. Chamomile oil is also good for digestive disorders, nervous problems, and childrens ailments such as colic, spasm, and teething. Juniper makes a refreshing bath oil, strengthening the nerves, and good for insomnia. Internally, it is good for the digestive and respiratory systems.
Alchemically, a good time to take flower remedies and essences is during the hours of the day ruled by the Moon. On Monday this would be from 3:26-6:52 AM, Tuesday from 5:10-8:36 PM, Wednesday from 6:52-10:16 AM, Thursday from 8:36 PM-12 AM, Friday from 10:18 AM-1:44 PM, Saturday from 12-3:26 AM, and Sunday from 1:44-5:10 PM. (See the June issue of The Sun for the table of planetary hours.)
Here is a letter from one of our readers:
I have trouble eating certain foods. My stomach will burn and I often get cramps. I have eliminated meat and other heavy fats from my diet. Still I have this problem. What are your suggestions? I was born June 21, 1953 at 6:40 PM in Seattle, WA.
Your Sun is in Cancer conjunct the planet Mars, which is hot and fiery. Mars in Cancer often indicates too much acid in the stomach. You probably need to eliminate foods which are acidic including all fruits and fruit juices, tomatoes, vinegar, nutritional yeast, raw green pepper, and spinach, high in oxalic acid. You also have Sagittarius rising, which is a fire sign and rules the liver. So there is too much liver heat in your body. Using golden seal leaf tea as mentioned above and lots of steamed dark green vegetables like collard greens, mustard greens, kale, and arugula will help to reduce the liver heat and cleanse the liver.
Copyright: Marcia Starck
Bio: Marcia Starck
You can write to Marcia with your health questions c/o Medical Alchemy, The Sun, 1807 Second St. #29, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Please include your date, time, and place of birth.
Marcia Starck is an astrologer who works with Medical Astrology, psychological astrology and relationships, and Astro*Carto*Graphy®. She also facilitates and conducts rituals. Marcia has authored six books on astrology, healing, women's rituals, and the shadow side; the most recent being Healing with Astrology.