Health & Healing

The astrology of vaccines and the Saturn/Neptune square

vaccines astrologyAs an astrologer it is interesting to watch how current planetary cycles play out in the news.  Saturn just moved into Sagittarius where our belief systems (Sagittarius) are being challenged, and right now Saturn is within two degrees or so of a challenging square to Neptune.

Saturn as many of you know is the Celestial Teacher of the astrological pantheon – he is the voice that scolds us when we are unrealistic and the guide who allows us to make stupid mistakes in the name of learning.  In the sign of Sagittarius over the next couple of years he will challenge our ideas of what gives meaning to our world, and threaten our most closely held belief systems – all for the sake of greater mastery of the material world which is the true goal of Saturn in our lives.

Neptune is the planet of spirituality and imagination, but also delusion and addiction.  Under Neptune’s influence we seek an experience that goes beyond the material world – ideally through the higher practices of meditation, art or music but sometimes through fantasy and an unrealistic approach to life.  When Saturn and Neptune form a challenging aspect in the sky, the reality factor (Saturn) conflicts with the desire to escape that reality (Neptune).

The recent flareup of concern over unvaccinated children at this particular time shows the confusion (Neptune) around the area of vaccine safety, and Saturn in Sagittarius is challenging our belief systems that guide us.  The federal government provides a religious  (Sagittarius) exemption for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children which is likely to be challenged under Saturn’s influence.

Right now this whole issue appears to be mostly centered in political rhetoric, but later in the year when the Saturn/Neptune square tightens this issue is likely to take more of a central role in mainstream discussion.


New book on healing trauma is wrong!!

Chiron healingMany of you know that the process of healing trauma is the domain of Chiron and as such is an important part of the work I do with clients as well as an important focus in my own life.  When Chiron was first discovered we astrologers believed that Chiron represented the unhealable wound, but during 30 plus years of readings I realized that these wounds DO heal, but it’s not a simple process.  They don’t just magically go away but instead require a conscious embrace and welcome of the old feelings and emotions into a mindful release.

This kind of healing of trauma is now called Somatic healing.  One of the first practitioners to use this approach, and the first I heard of, was Peter Levine whose first book Waking the Tiger introduced a radical new approach to trauma therapy.  In this approach the patient is encouraged to awaken the fears that have been numbed by the body’s response to trauma so that these feelings can be processed and the trauma released, exactly as I have for years talked about the Chironic effect.  Somatic healing is now widespread and a valuable tool in the arsenal of therapists working with patients with PTSD.

So I was distressed to hear about David Morris’s book on his own PTSD experience (The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) in which he states “There is no cure for trauma.  Once it enters the body it stays forever.”   Mr. Morris was an embedded journalist during the war in Iraq and having observed countless deaths and all manner of frightening events returned home with a severe case of PTSD.

I myself have been working to heal my own PTSD for most of my adult life.  It is an onion that I continue to peel, with multiple layers and levels of healing and transformation.  But it is a mistake to believe that trauma is locked in the body forever.  Dr. Levine reports that after a traumatic event the energy of the event is locked into the body memory and trapped until it can be released.  Energy healers know that this locked energy becomes stuck in the body’s energy centers where it can create not only mental and emotional distress but also physical disease and chronic pain.

I have said for years that it is the work of Chiron to trigger this body memory so that the energy of these old wounds and traumas can be released and healing can occur.  Transits of Chiron to sensitive points in the birthchart can activate the body/mind system to release bits of stuck energy in the form of emotion, and if we allow these feelings to emerge they can be released permanently.  This is why I call Chiron the “Soul Healer.”

I would never argue the fact that when one is in a state of post traumatic stress it certainly feels that it will never end.  It feels that you will never be able to function as a normal human again. But these feelings are not reality, and sometimes we find that the greatest traumatic event eventually turns out to bring the gift of wisdom, transformation and ultimate healing.

By | 2015-02-04T06:04:53+00:00 February 4th, 2015|Health & Healing|4 Comments

Anger and heart disease

mars retrogradeConnections between anger and heart disease are nothing new, and a recent New York Times article announces that anger can set off a heart attack.

Researchers combined data from nine studies of anger outbursts among patients who had had heart attacks, strokes and related problems. Most of the studies used a widely accepted anger assessment scale; one depended on a questionnaire administered to patients.

They found that in the two hours after an outburst of anger, the relative risk of angina and heart attack increased by nearly five times, while the risk of ischemic stroke and cardiac arrhythmia increased by more than three times. The findings appeared in The European Heart Journal.

One might read this and decide that squelching one’s anger is the best way to ward off heart disease, and that concerns me.  I have a bit of a specialty in healing what I call “Mars problems” – issues in the astrological chart where Mars, the planet of desire and need, is afflicted in some way and unable to find its best expression.  What I have seen (and I have to add a big disclaimer here that I have no medical training and this is not to be construed as medical advice) is that when people have Mars problems in the chart they are often more prone to medical events.  (See this article for more information on that subject.)

All emotions hold energy – whether that emotion is fear or grief, or the continuum of Mars emotions which begins with frustration, moves through anger and eventually becomes rage.  When we try to avoid feeling an emotion that begins within us, the energy of that emotion lacks an outlet and builds up internally where eventually it will need release.  If we are unable to release it through the emotional body it will attempt to break through the physical body in health problems and sometimes through the astral body (in which case it can feel like a psychic attack).

Using a more mindful approach to be as aware as possible of what we are feeling and breathing through the energy of those emotions seems to me to be the most effective way of clearing these problems.  Sometimes when we are dealing with anger and rage there are things that need to be expressed – ideally, in a way that is productive and appropriate.

I have clients with Mars problems who tell me they don’t like to get angry because when they do they explode, which in itself is a sign that their anger has gone on too long without an appropriate expression.  If something makes us angry, ideally that problem needs a solution.  Swallowing the anger is NOT a healthy reaction since it neither solves the offending problem nor eliminates our reaction to it.

Mars teaches us to set good boundaries and to express our needs when necessary and appropriate.  If we learn how to befriend Mars and learn the art of self-assertion, there will be no need for Mars to escalate into anger and rage.  It’s a tough lesson to learn, and one that likely takes an entire lifetime.

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By | 2014-03-19T08:08:28+00:00 March 19th, 2014|Health & Healing|6 Comments

The Mindbody Connection

sarnoOne of my brilliant readers recommended the work of Dr. John Sarno to me because of my interest in energy and healing in the birthchart. After a quick Google search I was hooked and ordered his book: Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection. I like the way he melds the words “Mind” and “Body” to show that the two are really united rather than two separate entities.

This is the third of three books Dr. Sarno has written on chronic pain.

His premise is that many of the health problems that plague our modern culture are the result of repressed emotional pain and anger that we are unable to bring to a conscious level, so the body creates a distraction in the form of back pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, gastrointestinal disorders etcetera. Dr. Sarno’s program consists of first eliminating any medical cause for the presenting problem and then encouraging his patients to examine their emotional motivations to see where they might have an underlying emotional conflict that is not being expressed appropriately. In 75% of the cases that he treats this mere attention to the patient’s emotions creates the cure; 25% are referred for psychotherapy to uncover the unconscious root of the problem. Dr. Sarno has found that individuals who have a high need to be perfect, or “good” and who impose strict pressure on themselves develop a “reservoir of rage” that without expression is converted into physical problems.

Dr. Sarno writes:

What is actually causing the pain in these people is not the herniated disc, or some of those other structural things, but a condition of mild oxygen deprivation, which is brought about by the brain simply altering the blood flow to a particular area. This mild oxygen deprivation is what causes pain in muscle.

Take sciatica as an example. There are a number of spinal nerves going into the leg via the sciatic nerve and the brain would mildly oxygen-deprive them. That would then, of course, give you pain in the leg, and give patients feelings of numbness and tingling. It would also produce actual weakness. But doctors have assumed that these changes and symptoms in the leg were the result of some damage to nerves in the low back — as a result of herniated discs and things of that sort. . . .

He calls this syndrome tension myositis syndrome or TMS.

This is extremely exciting to me because of my research into the astrology of health problems which nearly always stems from an unexpressed or repressed Mars or some other block in the flow of energy in the body that results from emotional blocks. I’m only halfway into the book but already it is helping me to understand more about the way the energy system operates in the physical body from a medical point of view.

This is another example of how science and real healing have diverged in our twentieth and twenty-first century world of science which denigrates the role of the mind, body and spirit and prefers to believe that the physical body is a machine for which emotions play no role. I believe that this idea is the root of our spiraling health care costs and an associated deterioration of health and I am so glad to see more physicians stepping out to connect the dots between the body, mind and spirit.

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By | 2013-09-09T06:51:31+00:00 September 9th, 2013|Health & Healing|3 Comments

The astrology of Rosie O’Donnell’s heart attack

Rosie O'Donnell heart attackRosie O’Donnell, the well-known comedienne, suffered a heart attack this week at the age of 50.  I have profiled Rosie in these pages before, especially about her “Mars problem” as I call it:

It’s no secret that the most brilliant comedians are often depressed and angry individuals who release their frustration through comedy, and Rosie O’Donnell is no exception. Rosie was born with the Sun in Aries, the sign that is ruled by the god of war. The Aries influence is dynamic and inspirational but can also be rebellious and impulsive. Rosie O’Donnell exhibits all of these character traits.


Mars in her chart, the planet that rules her Aries Sun, falls in the mystical and adaptable sign of Pisces. When the fiery god of war (Mars) is expressed through the watery sign of empathy and the subconscious (Pisces), there is a tendency for unconscious resentments, anger turned inward into depression. In addition, Pisces tends to shrink from conflict so Mars in Pisces can produce passive aggressive behavior that doesn’t confront a problem directly but instead is outwardly peaceful (Pisces) but subtly sabotages a situation.


Mars in Rosie’s chart is conjunct Mercury, the planet of communication and transmission of ideas, a combination that links her aggressive instinct (Mars) with her thoughts and words (Mercury). Because Mercury is also in sensitive Pisces, Rosie is extremely empathic and compassionate to those around her, but she can also become a warrior (Mars) with words (Mercury) when she is crossed. Both Mars and Mercury are conjunct Chiron, the god of wounding and healing, which suggests a hypersensitivity that can be very reactive.


This Mars/Mercury/Chiron combination is opposed by Pluto, the planet of power and transformation. When the god of war faces off with the god of the underworld, there are power struggles and a sense of frustration that both generates a tremendous amount of physical energy but also can lead to an underlying rage. Mercury in opposition to Pluto shows an individual with an intensely probing mind who can become overly obsessive. Because in Rosie’s chart her frustration and rage is difficult to express through the watery Pisces influence, she carries that frustration around within her where it leaks out at inopportune moments, such as Rosie’s recent feuds with Donald Trump and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.


Rosie is in the middle of her Chiron return right now – the planetary cycle of Chiron that occurs for everyone when they are 50-52 and Chiron in the sky returns to the same degree as it is in our individual charts.  Chiron cycles tend to bring out issues that need resolving – it is known as the “wounded healer,” but more than that I like to call it the Soul Healer” because as these old wounds are wounds of the soul as well as the psyche and their healing helps us to advance in our soul evolution as well as personal development.
Our resistance to this evolution can create problems for us, both psychological and physical and nowhere is this more true than in Chiron cycles which are often associated with health problems.  It’s commonly said that “after 50 the body goes downhill” – astrologically, this is due to the shifts that occur at the Chiron return.
For Rosie, this is made more complicated by the fact that her Chiron is part of this major system in her chart as described above, so when Chiron returns to its place in her chart it is also transiting her Mars, and opposing Pluto where soul surgery is necessary.  This is an intense time that requires a great deal of internal work to navigate.
Uranus is working on Rosie too with an awkward (inconjunct/quincunx) aspect to the Mars/Chiron/Pluto system.  Uranus is electrical in nature, and because the pumping of the heart is an electrical process, challenging transits of Uranus can sometimes interfere with this mechanism and create heart difficulties where there are energetic blocks.
For Rosie O’Donnell, and others with the kind of pent-up rage that is the hallmark of a chart like this, regular physical activity is critical so that the energy that builds up can be released in a positive way.  Rosie is overweight, but in my view this is a symptom of the Mars problem rather than the source of the health problem since the Mars problem causes frustration to build up to a point where it needs to be addressed in some way, and many of us turn to food for that release.
The fact that Rosie didn’t take her chest pains seriously and didn’t know she had had a heart attack until she went to the cardiologist the next day could show that this kind of stress is more familiar to her.  Stress is indeed a killer, and I hope that she takes advantage of this event to do some critical inner healing work.
Disclaimer: I have no medical training and nothing in this article is intended as medical advice.  
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By | 2012-08-22T07:27:12+00:00 August 22nd, 2012|Health & Healing|3 Comments