Healing by the Stars
What if your body came with its own owner's manual - a personalized guide for optimum health maintenance and disease prevention? It does! That personalized owner's manual is your natal horoscope, or astrological birthchart.
Medical Astrology has a long tradition of use in Greek Medicine, as well as in other traditional healing systems like Ayurveda. In ancient Greece, Medical Astrology was called Iatromathematica, or "Doctorly Calculations", since it involved calculating the positions of the planets to arrive at an assessment of the patient's condition.
Medical Astrology grew out of Hermetic philosophy, with its guiding principle: As above, so below. As within, so without. In other words, the microcosm of the human body reflects the macrocosm of Nature and the cosmos. The aim of Medical Astrology, like all the world's great traditional medical systems, is to harmonize the health of the individual with with the Universal Life Forces of Nature and the cosmos.
Medical Astrology could be considered as a subspecialty of Greek Medicine. Some, like Hippocrates, were staunch advocates of Medical Astrology, whereas others, like Galen, were of a more dubious and skeptical bent.
Medical Astrology encompasses all uses of astrology in health and healing. Either the natal chart, or horoscope, is used, or a decumbiture chart, drawn up for the place and moment the patient first fell ill, is used.
Uses and Benefits of Medical Astrology
Medical Astrology has a number of distinctive uses and benefits:
Socrates said, "Man, know thyself." The natal horoscope depicts one's individual constitutional nature and temperament, which is the key to all diagnosis and treatment in Greek Medicine, with incredible depth and sophistication.
Medical Astrology also elucidates the psychosomatic relationship between mind and body with unparalleled sophistication and depth. The deeper psychological and karmic reasons behind the individual's illness or condition are also revealed.
Each person, according to their own individual psychosomatic makeup, will respond differently to different therapies and treatments. Individual affinities for various therapeutic modalities are also shown in the natal horoscope. Truly, each individual's life is a personalized healing journey.
Through planetary transits and progressions to the natal horoscope, the Medical Astrologer can also tell what kinds of health challenges the individual will face, and when they are likely to manifest. Through astrological forecasting, preventive medicine is taken to a whole new level, and the client can take specific preventive measures beforehand.
Special decumbiture charts are drawn up for the exact time and place the patient first fell ill; an interpretation of this chart sheds valuable light on the nature of the illness or affliction, and its prognosis and probable outcome.
A knowledge of the cycles of the Sun, Moon and other planets is used to choose the best time to undergo surgeries, fasting and purification treatments, conception and pregnancy, or any other major medical procedure. This maximizes chances for a positive healing outcome, and minimizes the risk of complications.
The Four Dimensions of Astrological Symbolism
Astrology is a symbolic language with four dimensions, which are like the four parts of speech. Each part or dimension has a different role and function within astrology's symbolic language.
The natal horoscope depicts the basic nature or essence of the individual in body, mind and spirit. While most forms of astrology read the natal horoscope to divine the nature of the individual's mind and spirit, Medical Astrology focuses on the body and its state of health or disease.
And so, every planetary configuration in the natal horoscope can be read in two ways: psychologically and physiologically. Actually, the two - mind and body - are interconnected, and nowhere does this show with as much depth and sophistication as in Medical Astrology.
The four dimensions of astrological symbolism are as follows:
Planets are the What, or the nouns of astrological symbolism. They're the main actors on the stage of the birthchart. Each planet is a significator that depicts an essential function of the individual's bodymind. Planets also have affinities of humor and temperament, and associations with certain internal organs and organ systems.
Signs are the How and Why, or the adjectives, adverbs and modifiers of astrological symbolism. Basically, signs deal with qualities, conditions and perspectives. In Medical Astrology, these are primarily conditions of humor and temperament affecting the overall physiology and metabolism of the organism. In addition, the signs also rule certain parts of the body, which often have a deep archetypal or symbolic relationship to the sign's essential meaning.
Houses are the Where of astrological symbolism, and function somewhat like predicates and prepositions. The houses divide the stage of life up into several different areas or arenas of outer activity and manifestation, and show where the planetary energies tend to play out in the individual's outer life. In Medical Astrology, the houses show how these life areas impact on the individual's health, through their associated pathogenic risk factors, as well as the healthcare relationships involved. In addition to showing how the the individual's nature and temperament will evolve over the course of his/her lifetime, the houses also have affinities with various parts of the body.
Aspects are the conjunctions of astrological symbolism, and weave the natal horoscope together into one interconnected whole. They show the essential functional relationships between the planetary energies in the birthchart, and the essential structure of the individual's bodymind. Midpoints, a very useful and highly specialized type of aspect, pinpoint certain specific areas of health weakness and vulnerability.
The secret to all clear, effective interpretation of the natal horoscope, medically or otherwise, lies in a clear differentiation of the four dimensions of astrological symbolism and their respective functions. Interpretation is a fine art, involving the integrated use and interweaving of all four dimensions of astrology's symbolic language. In Medical Astrology, more general factors showing the basic physiological and metabolic terrain of the individual and their basic predispositions are combined with more specific indicators, like planetary signatures and midpoints.
Your Natal Horoscope as Your Guide
So, join me on a journey as we explore the fascinating field of Medical Astrology. Your guide on this journey of discovery will be your own natal horoscope - the personalized owner's manual to your own body and mind.
You should know your body well, because you've been living in it for so many years. Likewise, you should also be familiar with your own medical history, and with your own health strengths and vulnerabilities. But even as well as you know your own body and its health, Medical Astrology may shed light on certain deeper aspects of it about which you may have only been dimly aware.
Your natal horoscope will give you the golden opportunity to verify the truth, accuracy and usefulness of Medical Astrology for yourself as you read through these pages. Don't accept whatever I'm saying blindly on faith; test it out on your own natal astrology chart!