UPDATE! Selma Blair kindly provided her birth time after reading and approving this post: 8:45 am. I’ve written a great deal over the years about the way the energies of the personality, as reflected in the natal chart, affect our health. The planetary position of Mars in the chart seems to have a great deal to do with ailments of all kinds including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other such immune system disorders. The way in which we respond to our health problems are also connected to our Mars placements. Mars in the birthchart shows the ways in which we assert and defend ourselves, and how we process anger and resentment.
A reader turned me on to the work of Dr. John Sarno who writes on this very subject from a medical perspective and if this topic is of interest to you I suggest you do a Google search for his work.
In any case, Selma Blair has been in the news for the past few years due to her advocacy for sufferers of multiple sclerosis and that is another disease in which I have found a connection to Mars. Mars is a fire planet, and fire is the element of action and initiation – it creates the drive and ambition that inspires us and stimulates desire and need. When a chart lacks the fire element, or if there is a strong Mars that is afflicted by a challenging aspect from Neptune, Saturn or Pluto without other supporting factors, the fire energy is more difficult to express and can back up into energetic blocks in the body. You can read more about that in this earlier post.
But let’s get back to Ms. Blair. The birth time that she provided to me of 8:45 am is not far off from the 8:30 am time listed in astro.com which was taken from a comment on her Twitter account. Her chart itself shows a lack of the fire element, but Leo is rising in the chart (ascendant). Leo needs recognition and to be SEEN, and is a fiery addition to the chart which helps to bring the other dynamics to the forefront, but it does not add fire to the personality which is revealed by the seven traditional planetary bodies. The ascendant is like a window – you can look through the window, but you are not the window. The elemental influence on the ascendant informs the way we live our life, but it doesn’t provide fuel for the personality – in this case the fire element.
The natal chart itself is heavy on water and the only planet in fire (other than Neptune in Sagittarius which is generational rather than personal) is Chiron in Aries. Chiron, planet of wounding and healing, in Aries which is ruled by Mars, shows that a core wound is in one’s ability to defend and assert oneself. Mars itself is in Cancer where it is said to be debilitated – the Cancerian sensitivity hampers the Mars aggression and can breed resentment and frustration. Her Scorpio Moon (ruled by Mars) of intense emotion trines Mars in the chart, helping to facilitate the flow of that Martian energy which is a big help in this chart, but that Mars energy is in the 12th house where it tends to be hidden and submerged, and flows through emotions (water) rather than action (fire).
She also has an opposition of tension between Chiron and Uranus, an aspect that can denote an electrical tension that needs to be brought into balance. This aspect is found in the chart of healers since the energetic system within the body can be united with the electromagnetic field, but there also can be an extreme energetic sensitivity. I am not a doctor and have no medical training but it appears as though MS has an electrical component since the myelin sheath on the nerves is damaged and electrical impulses are not able to transmit properly.
Ms. Blair had a widely reported breakdown on a plane in 2016 in which she seemed to have a psychotic break which was blamed on alcohol, and this was followed by a similar breakdown at a gas station in 2017. At the time, transiting Pluto and Uranus were in a square aspect to each other, and both planetary behemoths were was in a challenging square aspect to both her natal Mars and to Chiron which can bring all of the psychic debris out of the recesses of the subconscious as well as potentially trigger extreme anxiety and psychic breaks.
Transiting Chiron was also nearing an opposition to Pluto at that time, a transit which tends to bring out any emotional soul wounds and reveal them so that they can be healed, although this aspect didn’t culminate until early 2018 after she revealed that along with other women she had been abused by James Toback who threatened to kill her if exposed, which is a pretty horrific event to have suppressed for 17 years.
It was at this time that she began to feel terrible pain and a loss of sensation in her leg. The body tells the story of the psyche, and according to Ms. Blair this is when she realized that something was wrong. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in August of 2018 and then revealed that she had been in pain for quite a long time but had been dismissed by her doctors since there was no visible cause. This is what Dr. Sarno describes as chronic pain which comes from what he calls a “reservoir of rage.”
Since Ms. Blair revealed her MS diagnosis she has been very much in the public eye, calling attention to the plight of so many sufferers of undiagnosed and misdiagnosed pain and illness. There is so much that the medical field still doesn’t know about why certain diseases occur, and the idea of psycho (mind) somatic (body) illness is still denigrated as nonexistent. Thanks to Ms. Blair, there is more and more discussion about these illnesses and perhaps that will lead to greater understanding of the importance of healing the mind and soul along with the body.
“the idea of psycho (mind) somatic (body) illness is still denigrated as nonexistent.”
I would respectfully disagree with you on this. In my experience, in the world of medicine the idea of psychosomatic illness is rampant. It takes the form of “Your lab tests/scans are all normal. If you feel chronic pain or abnormally great fatigue, it’s all in your head. It’s your mental health that is the problem. There’s not anything going on in your body, other than your poor mental health. Fix that, and all the other symptoms will disappear.”
I have Mars conjunct my Sun in the 10th house, in the early degrees of Cancer. Not overly well-aspected, I’m afraid.
Interestingly enough, my real physiological issues didn’t start until I’d moved to NC from the Midwest. I’ll grant that there was probably an element of mental health that played into the situation. But that was not at all the sole component, as eventually was borne out. And there was no amount of improving my mental health that made things better. I’ll look more into Dr. Sarno’s ideas on this.
Thanks Brenda, but your comment proves my point that the idea of psychosomatic illness is denigrated.
I think we’re defining what “psychosomatic” means a little differently.
How about we agree on a meeting point half-way?
I agree that it is denigrated. But I don’t agree that it is thereby considered nonexistent.
As someone who has been told that it was “all in my head,” only several years later to find out it was Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and not just something that I felt because my mental health was bad…. For me, psychosomatic is a dirty word. It’s a junk box, black hole “diagnosis” that denies the legitimacy of a person’s suffering and places the entire responsibility for it upon them–more specifically, upon their poor mental health. And it absolves the physician and the medical world from lifting a finger to try to find a physiological cause that might be remedied through appropriate medications or procedures.
All the improved mental health in the world wasn’t going to change the fact that my thyroid gland was being attacked by my immune system. But you’d be amazed at how my mental improved when the physiological cause of my extreme fatigue was corrected!
I believe you may not understand what I mean by denigrate. “transitive verb. 1 : to attack the reputation of : defame denigrate one’s opponents. 2 : to deny the importance or validity of : belittle denigrate their achievements.”
I mean, I think Holistic approach has been steadily denigrated my the AMA (which has plenty of corruption issues of it’s own), but I do think it’s clear that physical health is one manifestation of many factors, including “genetics” (a.k.a. ancestral karma), predispositions (soul karma), and environment.
And yes, I’ve had the experience of being told symptoms were “all in my head”, and it can be profoundly invalidating. Most allopathic doctors get pretty limited and one-sided training that tends toward material fundamentalism (if it can’t be observed with the 5 defined senses or measured with a human-made instrument than it doesn’t exist).
Brenda, I just wanted to respond to you because in my observation, plenty of thyroid issues relate to ancestral lineages of not speaking one’s truth. I’ve known a few people whose known ancestors were pathologically polite and did not speak up for themselves or others. I think many of us are here at this time to heal ancestral lineages so that we humans can make the necessary leaps.
I’m just offering this in case it is useful along with some good thoughts and blessings!
Actually, some of what you wrote does ring right for my lived experience. I don’t know about my ancestral lineages, but I do have a “speaking up” issue that I’m wrestling with in my life. (Believe it or not, Lynn! LOL!) I have lots of dreams. I dream every night, and generally wake up knowing what my dreams were about. Some of them consistently fall into one of three “themes” — and not being able to phone out to get a message out or get in contact with someone is one of the three. Over and over and over again, I have dreams about this.
As for the invalidation of the “IAIYH” response from doctors, yeah. That was my point. However, it is correct, in my experience, that Western medicine is very limited in how it thinks about and treats the mind-body thing. And when it does use that framework, it is most often to the denigration of the patient (“It’s just your poor mental health and nothing more.”).
The last time I had this happen was late May, when a physician I’d consulted about tooth/jaw/bone pain suggested it was just me being stressed out…it was all in my head. If I weren’t so stressed, I wouldn’t have such pain. And then he took an x-ray and voila! There were two anomalies suggesting that I have actual physiological causes for my pain and it is not all just because I’m stressed. This threatened to become