How astrology can support your health and healing
The history of medicine is as old as the study of astrology itself. In fact, the development of Western medicine, from the Greeks onward, has intrinsically relied on astrological insights for understanding the body in all its complexity. While advances in modern medicine have come a long way, there is still much to be learned about general health and wellness through an astrological chart. Understanding how your chart reflects your potential state of health can be both useful and pre-emptive.
There is one ancient system of Health in use today that still relies upon astrological principles for diagnosis and treatment. Ayurveda, the science of wellness developed in India, incorporates astrology as a fundamental tool for maintaining good health. You can combine Ayurvedic and astrological insights to discover practical tips that will help you stay healthy.
Planets & your body
The first thing to understand about astrology is that planets don’t make you do anything. Instead of thinking the position of the Moon at your birth will make you fat, thin or otherwise, it is better to see the position of the planets as reflecting the subtle systems within your body that organise and maintain health.
The placement of the planets and signs in your chart will show how your constitution is arranged, and therefore how (and when) you are likely to respond to triggers which can affect your wellbeing. Astrology teaches that there is a connected pattern between the structure of the solar system and the biomechanical structures of the body and mind. It is a study of relationships within systems, where the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm; where the “body” of the solar system is accurately reflected in the human body.
Medical astrology (traditionally known as iatromathematics) is an ancient therapeutic system. It associates various parts of the body, diseases and drugs with the influences of the Sun, Moon, planets and the 12 signs. Each sign and planet is connected with different body parts. To maintain good health, you can work with your own astrological signatures to understand what foods or medicines will work well for you, where your weaknesses will probably lie and when you could or should take extra preventive or cautionary measures.
Four tools for health
Before we look at how you can work with your own chart for better health, let’s see how astrology is used in a broad sense to augment healing. There are four general applications where astrology can be applied for health purposes. Let’s explore each.
1. Timing of disease
Your birth chart can reveal when you are more susceptible to disease. Through your chart, you can learn the best time to undertake a detox or exercise regime. You can also identify when you may be more vulnerable and can benefit from preventive measures such as flu shots or extra immune support.
Your chart will indicate periods where you can more easily lose weight or gain muscle mass. It can show when a cleanse or detox may be appropriate, or reveal times when you may need to avoid such extremes and take extra care of yourself. An astrologer can predict the types of disease that are likely to manifest, as well as the organs that are likely to be affected.
In Ayurveda, this is recognised as an individual’s khavaigunya: an area of weakness that is most likely to become imbalanced should preventive measures not be addressed. Your individual temperament shows which body systems are most likely to be affected when you fall ill, and therefore how a disease is likely to progress.
Based on whether you have more of your planets in cardinal, fixed or mutable signs, or if symptoms appear when a planet in one of these signs is triggered, here are the likely areas of imbalance, issues and disorders:
(planets in Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn)
(planets in Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius)
(planets in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces)
|Adrenals, kidneys, bladder, hormone regulation, metabolism, skin, teeth, bones, issues to do with absorbing nutrition
|Metabolism, reproductive system, circulatory system, neural pathways
|Colds, sluggish liver, digestive concerns, psychosomatic disorder
2. A diagnostic tool
One of the most accurate uses of astrology comes from pinpointing underlying causes of disease based upon planetary positions. A medical astrologer has at their fingertips a quick and reliable diagnostic tool that can help you understand the root, and possible remedy, for a huge number of common complaints.
Recognising the subtle patterns which connect planetary positions with body systems can be extremely useful, especially when conventional tests fail to deliver conclusive results. In addition, because astrology explores the synthesis of psyche and soma (body and mind), the psychological underpinnings of disease can be recognised before physical symptoms present.
Your chart can reveal underlying emotional, genetic and environmental factors which may lead to disease, and show where weaknesses are likely to manifest. Astrology should never replace allopathic medicine as a diagnostic tool; however, when used in conjunction with modern medicine, subtle yet essential information can be quickly brought to light.
3. Duration of illness
When the planetary triggers that coincide with the onset of a disease are understood, the medical astrologer can gain a good sense of its duration. This can be especially beneficial for chronic conditions, or when working to clear the body of underlying infections or weaknesses that will take time to heal.
Dynamic influences to the birth chart can show how symptoms may progress and working with natural cycles can help improve your rate of recovery. The phases of the Moon come into play, too, and the medical astrologer can help their client schedule time-elective surgery or understand how long recovery may take based on lunar phases as a disease progresses.
4. Treatment protocol
Perhaps the jewel in the crown in terms of medical astrology is its ability to recognise individual temperament and therefore decide on a treatment protocol that is optimal for the person involved. This differs vastly from the allopathic model, which tends to treat disease as a uniform condition that is typically alleviated through pharmacological or surgical intervention.
A medical astrologer can assist you with your health and healing by working with the unique qualities of your body-mind balance, and by developing a strategy to be used in conjunction with conventional treatments. Consultation with a medical practitioner is highly advisable once symptoms have appeared, but an astrologer can help maximise the healing process through creating a personalised treatment protocol to support allopathic means.
Vitality in the chart
There are four primary chart considerations to examine through medical astrology:
- The Sun, the sign and house it is in, and any relevant aspects.
- The Moon, the sign and house it is in, and any relevant aspects.
- The 6th House, the sign on its cusp, any planets located in or associated with that house and any relevant aspects.
- The Ascendant or rising sign plus any planets in the 1st House.
Your Ascendant or the 1st House shows your body type, build and level of vitality. The 6th House relates to any health problems or concerns in general that may affect you, and offers important detail in a health chart. Knowing the planets, signs and qualities of these areas of your chart can give valuable information about your general level of health and the kinds of problems that may need your attention. Be careful not to draw any drastic conclusions from what you might find. To really understand your chart from a health perspective, it is best to consult with a professional.
Daily rituals & doshas
Ayurveda, which includes astrological principles, can provide a down-to-earth approach to everyday wellness. You can use these insights to provide yourself with better daily care.
Ayurveda is based on an individual approach to health. Its core premise is that everyone has a unique constitution. When you understand this, you can choose experiences or diet and lifestyle combinations that are tailored to your temperament.
Each person is a complex blend of subtle qualities (or doshas) called vata, pitta and kapha. Your predominant dosha influences how you experience health and wellness and describes what may trigger imbalance. This can be equated to the astrological model.
To identify your likely dosha, consider the factors emphasised in your birth chart:
· Fire emphasis
· Cardinal emphasis
· Strong Sun or Mars
· Water or earth emphasis
· Fixed emphasis
· Strong Moon, Jupiter or Venus
· Air emphasis
· Mutable emphasis
· Strong Saturn or Mercury
Pitta types are driven, results oriented and quick to act. You may have a sharp intellect, can maintain focused goals and will respond to internal stimuli with the need to achieve. As a pitta, you’ll tend to be hot by nature and can become inflamed. You are often healthy, active people but may be prone to over-work and related stress. You enjoy competition and like to be right. You may be argumentative, especially when you try to get others to agree with your point of view. You’ll need physical outlets for your abundance of energy but can easily “burn out” when under pressure.
As a pitta type, you tend to manifest imbalances or illnesses that reflect an increase of heat in the body. You may suffer from eruptive skin conditions, inflammation or hyperacidity or be accident prone. Metabolic rates are often high, but can be too vigorous.
You’ll do well to avoid too much spicy food, excess heat and working prolonged hours. Instead, you need cooling and sweet foods to balance your temperament. You may respond well to therapies which calm the mind and remove excess heat from the body. Pitta/cardinal/fiery types do best with a vegetarian diet, should try not to work too much once the sun has gone down, and benefit from short bursts of activity rather than strenuous exercise or prolonged endurance tasks.
Kapha types tend to have the strongest constitutions and are generally quite healthy, but may also tend to hold weight, have very tight muscles and be prone to excess. Kaphas are placid, easy-going folk who like to “lie back and smell the roses”. You can have strong physical appetites and will be patient, resilient and generally slow to respond. As a kapha/fixed/water-earth type, you may be prone to coldness and can become sluggish. You may tend to want to sleep during the day and can overindulge in sweets or comfort foods.
You may manifest imbalances with excess weight and “holding on”. Constipation can be an issue as well as mobility problems from being too sedentary. Kaphas often get colds and may show signs of fluid buildup. You should generally eat less than what you think you want and can easily skip breakfast. Ideally, you would avoid cold, sweet, sugary or processed foods, as well as any kind of excess. You will do better with small portions of warm food.
Kapha types absorb nutrients easily so have no trouble skipping meals. You need to stay active and should be encouraged to get more exercise. Once you get started, you have great endurance. You should avoid spending too much time being sedentary, especially sleeping in the day, and will do best with therapies that are vigorous and get your body to move. Strong massage helps you, especially when the treatment is followed with heat. A steam therapy is ideal. Movement is the antidote to any feelings of heaviness. Generally speaking, as a kapha you have a strong body and enjoy good health.
Vata types tend to be creative and/or dreamy. You may be prone to anxiety and tend to vacillate a lot. You may have a sharp mind but poor memory, and will be quickly influenced by the environment around you. You adapt well and thrive on change.
Vata types often have the weakest constitutions. You can become easily imbalanced if you do not take good care of yourself. Often tall, short or asymmetrical in build, vatas can be mentally oriented and you may forget yourself as well as your commitments. You tend to have dry, cold skin and will often have problems with the digestive system, especially proper elimination. You may find it hard to sleep at night and will be easily disturbed by wind, cold and dry conditions.
Typically, vata types manifest imbalances which show up as nervous system disorders: tremors, anxiety, fibromyalgia and psychosomatic problems may present. You may be prone to problems with the skin and bones, especially joint problems, lack of flexibility and dryness of skin.
As a vata, you may have sensitive digestion and should take care to get the nutrients you need. Avoid cold, dry and rough foods. Juice cleanses and raw food diets are not well suited to you. You benefit the most from touch and massage therapy, especially with quality oils. Try to keep warm and grounded, eating only fresh, well-cooked foods and avoiding leftovers, which can become poorly digested owing to their erratic digestive rates. Stillness helps to calm your mind and meditation is a great way for you to come back to the here and now. A shirodhara treatment (a continuous stream of warm oil poured across the brow) is an excellent traditional therapy that will help settle your fluctuating mind.
Astrology for wellness
The links between astrology and healing go back a long way. In fact, the history of medicine is intrinsically connected to the study of the planets and stars. The first doctors were first and foremost astrologers, who built their understanding of the body’s systems from watching correlating patterns of planetary motion.
Simple astrological knowledge, coupled with time-tested natural approaches to healing such as those found within Ayurveda, can be effective. Try using what you know of your chart to build a picture of your unique constitution. Then, find out more through learning what Ayurveda can teach you about living a long and healthy life.