Many of the readers of this newsletter have begun to see how astrology can be a helpful tool in looking at various cycles we go through in life and how these connect to deep archetypal patterns that humanity as a whole shares. We see this reflected in the world around us such as the events in the Middle East, Japan, and China as well as in our own personal lives such as a change in a job or relationship. What you may not know is that astrology can also provide insights into your health.
When most people think of astrology they do not think of it in relationship to their health. However, until the 17th century there was no separation between astrology and health. You could not have one without the other. Hippocrates once said, “A physician without a knowledge of astrology can not rightly call himself a physician”. For centuries, many of humanities greatest thinkers such as Galen, Aristotle, Culpeper and Paracelsus all explored the relationships between medicine and astrology. A Greek philosopher and astronomer named Ptolemy (2 AD) wrote the Tetrabiblos (which means four books) on astrology. He was maybe one of the first to express the astrological influence between health and disease. In one of these books he showed the close relationship between the human body and one’s astrological chart. He also started to define how various planets, signs and houses related with the glands, organs and body parts of the human body. How can this be so?
There is an ancient saying, “As above, so below”. This implies that everything happening in the heavens has a definite relationship here on our Earth. Since astrology itself is an archetypal representation of everything in the universe then it too must have some relationship to the human body as well as to the dynamics we experience on Earth. This is exactly what Ptolemy and many other astrologers discovered.
What was known then is still true today for those who combine medical knowledge and astrology but this begs the question: what caused the separation between medicine and astrology? As humanity evolved science and medicine became more linked with one another. Astrology, which once was a respected profession, became increasingly marginalized as scientists were not able to show a connection to human disease using scientific method. In fact, they refused to attempt such research. Astrology, along with other ancient wisdom, was apriori regarded as quackery and mere superstition. Thus given this situation it would only seem logical to separate them. But what caused humanity to change their thinking and embrace this scientific view of health and disease? It is this view that has created a chasm between astrology and medicine. One of the principle factors was the work of Sir Isaac Newton.
In the 17th century Sir Isaac Newton introduced what is now called mechanical physics. According to Newton’s worldview, the universe could only be defined by material reality and its operation understood through reductionism – the process of taking matter apart and studying it piece by piece. Medicine followed suit and proceeded to view health and disease as a machine. The body and diseases were studied as isolated parts rather than from the whole. If it was not something we could see, feel or touch it became excluded from the field of medicine. In a way it took the humanness out of medicine and treated the body as a mere ‘cold machine’ without any feelings or thoughts. Psychological processes became completely separate from physical ones. I feel this has been one of the great downfalls of what we now call Western Medicine. Medical astrology could not survive when such an ideology dominated the philosophical systems of Europe and the West, even though it had been in use for over more than 1,500 years by some of the greatest minds of that time.
Unfortunately, for the most part Newton’s worldview is still held to be true today in conventional medicine but it appears that a new paradigm may be emerging. Newton’s discovery, although valuable, was not taking into account what we now know as quantum physics, which has opened up the possibility of new kinds of thinking. In this worldview, the universe is seen from the point of holism – an integration of both the physical and ‘immaterial’ aspects of reality. With this understanding, health can now be seen from a holistic perspective which will take into account, not only the physical issues being presented but also any vector of life that could affect a person… such as their relationship, the environment they living in, unresolved stresses, the food they eat, traumatic events, psychological issues, mental issues and even spiritual matters. In this paradigm, all of these areas would now become a very important aspect to address when looking at the overall health of a person. Any one of these factors could then provide a potential clue as to what causes dis-ease or ill health.
Interestingly, we are returning to some of the knowledge of the ancient medical astrologers trained in both the field of medicine and astrology who took note of these matters. They were attuned to the reality that any factor could be causing problems with one’s health, whether it was something they could or could not see. Fortunately more and more doctors are seeing a need for a more holistic perspective and slowly the view on Newton’s reductionist method is being questioned for its validness as a medical model. Maybe in the future there will be more doctors who also incorporate astrology with their health care practice.
In the next article we will explore some of the physical astrological relationships to the Sun signs. Then in part three of this series we will look more closely into what astrology can tell you about your health and the benefits this model of looking at health and wellness can provide for you.
Feel free to let us know any thoughts you have about his article and any questions it may have brought up for you.
Good health to you!