7 principles to bring more balance into your life
In naturopathy, there is a system of healing known as “Nature’s Seven Doctors”: seven principles to live by to create health, wellbeing and balance. In astrology, there are seven inner planets which influence you on a personal level. By using modern medical astrology and symbolism to combine these two systems, I hope to explain how working with your seven inner planets can help guide you on your journey to better health.
The plan is simple: if you work with these Seven Doctors you will do a lot to improve your health and longevity.
- Sunshine / Get adequate safe amounts
- Wholefoods / Good nutrition
- Clean water / Hydration
- Fresh air / Proper breathing
- Exercise / Movement
- Sleep / Rest
- Mental and emotional wellbeing
Putting health first
I use the above list when I teach naturopathy as well as in corporate health lectures. Often, when people first read the list they say, “Well, that’s obvious and a bit simplistic.” It’s true, the Seven Doctors are simple, but how many of these steps do you actually follow on a daily basis? On average, most people make it to three or four if they focus. Our modern, busy lives make it difficult to find time to take care of ourselves. Yet I’ve found that people can start honouring five or even six of the Seven Doctors when they understand how they connect to their personal planets.
How can you make your good health a priority, and how does medical astrology fit in? Let’s look at each of the Seven Doctors and their connections to the seven inner or personal planets. You don’t need your chart to be inspired to improve your health through the following tips. However, if you know your natal chart, look up where each planet is by sign and house. If you don’t know your birth time, you can still find out the sign of your planets through one of the many free astrology websites, like astro.com.
1. The Sun: sunshine
In astrology, the Sun is who you are at your most basic level. This corresponds to your “vital force” or vitality in naturopathic philosophy. How often do you take the time to go out in the sunshine, to relax and “take sun” as the Europeans do? Taking sun, which involved resting in the rays of the early morning sun, was considered a treatment for many ailments in the early 1900s. When you stop to do this, you make time for yourself and that resonates deeply with your vital force or Sun energy. It also allows your body to synthesise vitamin D through exposed skin. Vitamin D is needed in the body to help regulate calcium usage and create strong bones, and to support the immune system. It’s also linked to the prevention of some cancers, multiple sclerosis (MS) and diabetes.
For just 30 minutes per day, take your body outside into the early-morning sunlight and do something that enriches and supports it. I like to say to my medical astrology clients, “If you keep a planet happy and use it, it is less likely to use you in an unhealthy way!” An easy example for this is to think of a Taurus, an earth sign, who gets out in the sun and gardens. Consider the element of your Sun sign for tips:
- Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius): Sports, hiking in nature
- Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn): Gardening, walking pets, reading
- Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius): Reading, sitting and socialising
- Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces): Meditation, walking near water, going to the beach
2 & 3. The Moon: wholefoods/good nutrition & clean water/hydration
Yes, we are covering two of the topics with one planet (or luminary to be exact). The Moon has so much sway astrologically that it seems a good match. The Moon rules your digestion, diet patterns, emotional eating and of course anything to do with water in the body. These two topics are at the core of good health yet are so hard to stay on track with. By giving your body the right “nourishment” it can then give back to you with good health, energy and vitality.
What would you consider a great vacation? This may give you a hint as to what makes your Venus “let go and relax”.
How does your Moon like to be expressed? Whether you know your chart or not, think about what nourishes your soul and gives you emotional strength. These will be Moon needs and can be a key to healthy eating and drinking. When you take the time to give “soul food” to your lunar energy, you may find you make healthier choices with more ease. When you “feed” yourself energetically, you won’t have the urge to over-feed or drink to make up for the short fall. This won’t fix all your dietary habits but it is a great starting point. If you know your Moon sign, read on for personal tips. If you don’t, read the list and see which signs feel most like you.
4. Mercury: fresh air
The planet Mercury has a connection to the brain and nervous system, as well as the lungs and respiration. It is interesting that, when you get stressed, one of the first things that happens is you unintentionally hold your breath or breathe in a shallow manner. These systems are closely related on an energetic and a physical level.
Consider what activities make you want to take a deep breath of air and feel great to be alive. Getting out in the sunshine (Sun) and exercising (Mars) will help you take in more oxygen and revitalise your spirit. When you feel stressed or anxious, try sitting quietly and take seven breaths from deep in your belly, not just the chest. Stopping for this short time can help re-oxygenate a foggy brain and relax a stressed nervous system.
If you know your chart, consider what your Mercury needs to be happy. What helps you express the energy of your Mercury, by sign and house? If you don’t know your chart, consider the “brain food” you want. This will feed your Mercury. No matter the sign or house of your Mercury, you can benefit from some quiet time to breathe deeply, meditate and let your mind and lungs regenerate.
5. Mars: exercise
“Get your Mars on,” is what I say to my clients and students. Get it going, fire it up and get moving. Mars rules your muscles, the burning of energy in your body, your drive, confidence and warrior spirit! Finding a sport or activity that your Mars sign enjoys is vital to help you get moving.
For example, Mars in a water sign will be drawn to swimming, surfing or other water sports. Mars in fire signs wants action, to run or to enjoy a competitive sport so they can do “battle”. Mars in air sign people are often drawn to dance, yoga or a team activity. Mars in earth signs can take any of the above — they just need to find the motivation to make it a permanent habit!
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your long-term health. It decreases your chance of many cancers by as much as 50 per cent, it stimulates your immune system, makes you breathe more deeply, is an antidepressant, speeds up your metabolism and makes you feel better about your body. Who doesn’t want all of those benefits? So get your Mars on and into action — or at least start by walking every day. Being active means using your Mars energy which, in turn, can give you a confidence boost to be more decisive, bold and assertive in other areas of life.
6. Saturn & Venus: sleep, rest & relaxation
You would think that sleep, which is free and feels so good, would be a top priority for most people. The human body needs on average seven-and-a-half to eight hours of sleep a day. Anything less can lead to decreased performance in many areas of your body, including memory, mood, blood sugar stability and immune function.
Saturn is the original ruler of sleep; I think of him as the backbone or strength of the body. Saturn also helps create stability and structure. When you are overworked and stressed, one of the first things to suffer is sleep. Saturn represents time, boundaries, routines and responsibility. By acknowledging Saturn and working with its energy, you may find you stop worrying as much and in turn will sleep better. Think of your Saturn as a place you need to go to regenerate yourself and find your centre.
Getting out in the sunshine (Sun) and exercising (Mars) will help you take in more oxygen and revitalise your spirit.
Venus is about relaxation and rest. She is the goddess of love and beauty and enjoys herself with life’s pleasures. So if Saturn is a bit hard to work on or tap into, maybe go for the restful and relaxing nature of your Venus.
If you know your chart, consider what pleasures make for a happy Venus. If not, think of the things you love to do that involve a little luxury, indulgence or pampering. Rest is as good as a holiday and your Venus will not argue with that. What would you consider a great vacation? This may give you a hint as to what makes your Venus “let go and relax”. It is ok to do this! When you get your Venus in the groove, it in turn can make you more open and magnetic to attract what you desire.
7. Jupiter: emotional & mental wellbeing
Jupiter rules growth, optimism, aspirations, vision, and can be playful. Jupiter likes a great adventure or philosophical conversation and was known in ancient times as the great benefic, or good planet. The sign and house of your Jupiter provides insight into what creates fun, adventure of spirit and expansion for your soul. Learning to play with your Jupiter can greatly assist your wellbeing.
- Jupiter in fire: Sports, adventures, creating something new
- Jupiter in earth: Building, nurturing, organising something
- Jupiter in air: Study, socialising, inventing
- Jupiter in water: Connecting emotionally, creating, immersion in a fun project
No one planet can really be in charge of this final category. I think all planets have a role to play in your mental health and wellbeing, though Jupiter would like to take credit for it all. If you do a little something every day from the previous six categories, you will find that this last one starts to take care of itself. Using your planets in symphony rather than working with each solo can go a long way to improving your overall wellbeing.
Energy & vitality
Are you ready to start working on enhancing your health and vitality? Have a play with your chart, write down each of your planets as well as their signs and houses, and then create a list of key words and activities you could do for each category.
You might see how many things you can do in a week, or choose to focus on one planet per week to see how you feel. Pay special attention to those that you are not good at giving attention to. It doesn’t have to be a huge overhaul of your health, just small steps to nourish each planet and your vital force.
Food & lifestyle tips for your Moon by sign
Adventure, time to yourself and sports. Brain foods such as olive oil, coconut oil, walnuts and iron-rich foods. Make sure you don’t become dehydrated with all that “fire”. Keep caffeine and alcohol to a minimum.
Creating, cooking, music and art. Foods such as salads, fresh fruit, seaweed and prunes. Nothing too heavy or in excess. Opt for hot water and fresh lemon slices and try to limit red wine!
Socialising, reading and study. Food for the nervous system, such as raw seeds and nuts, olive oil and whole grains. Carry around a water bottle for hydration as it’s easy for you to forget to drink.
Being near or in the water, emotional expression, writing or journalling and relaxing at home. Foods to strengthen the digestive system, such as bitter greens, warm, hearty soups, stir-fried vegetables and fresh fruits. Herbal teas are great for hydration, as is warm water with fresh lemon slices.
Using your creativity, playing sport and listening to music. Foods for strength, such as spinach, eggs, beetroot, salads and the broccoli family. Be aware of dehydration; as with all fire signs, you need good amounts of water due to excess heat and sporting endeavours.
Routine, feeling useful and productive, mental stimulation. Foods for easy digestion like bitters, lemon, lightly cooked vegetables, fennel and olives. Water is ideally warm, or opt for digestive herbal teas like dandelion or chamomile.
The arts, socialising and helping others. Include foods like seaweed, fresh salads, berries and celery. Try to restrict sweets. Fluids such as vegetable juices help limit the consumption of alcohol and sweetened drinks while socialising.
Deep conversation, research, time to oneself for reflection. Foods of a cleansing nature, like vegetable juices, citrus and salads, cherries and beetroot. Herbal teas, filtered water and limiting alcohol are vital for you as a water sign.
New activities, freedom and inspiration. Foods for energy, like oats, greens, seeds, nuts and iron-rich foods. Fresh water in substantial amounts depending on how high your activity and sport levels are.
Being productive, responsible and being a leader. Foods of a warming nature, like soups, stews, root vegetables and leafy greens. Water is best at room temperature, warm in a herbal tea or consumed hot with fresh lemon.
Independence and being original. Foods for grounding and the nerves, such as root vegies, seeds and nuts and good oils. Remember to drink plenty of fluids. Chamomile and lemon balm tea are soothing.
Imagination, creativity and connection. Foods of a warming nature, like soups and stir-fried vegetables. It’s also important not to over eat or drink. As the sign of the fish, you’ll need plenty of water. Remember, alcohol does not count as fluid intake!
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