Balance must include the body. If you are a practitioner of the magickal arts, you know this firsthand. Overload your circuits with enough energy over time without self-care and your body betrays your magick. Likewise, caring for the body and using it as a tool to enhance your direction of the various forces connected to your intention can amplify your abilities quite drastically. The meeting of subtle and gross shouldn’t be viewed as…well…gross. Especially if you view yourself as a holistic practitioner, it is essential to respect your rootedness in the physical frame.
What is Medical Astrology?
Pisces is the sign that experiences interconnection firsthand. It’s one thing to ‘know’ that everything is connected, but something completely different to experience yourself as a single wave that is cresting from an infinite ocean of physical and non-physical life. Medical astrology is the art and science of seeing the signs, planets, houses, and aspects as a tool to investigate the various body questions that you and your clients have along the course of life’s journey. Instead of asking about love, money, and success, our query is aimed at the symptoms present, duration of illness, and understanding the deeper lessons within ailments.
That last part is what fascinates most astrologers. How can we as practitioners use the body as a tool to navigate our spiritual journey? What does a disability, chronic illness, or period of physical upset mean in the larger picture of our latest incarnation? The ethics and conversation surrounding these questions are delicate, just like the other range of topics that we as astrologers may be asked to handle during a session.
Astrology can be a life raft, bringing some semblance of steadiness to an unforgiving deluge of personal weather on an already rough patch of life’s sea
What astrology does very well is bring the power of story, and potential astrological context, to otherwise uncontrollable situations. When someone is drowning, astrology can be a life raft, bringing some semblance of steadiness to an unforgiving deluge of personal weather on an already rough patch of life’s sea. If you’re like me, you’ve accumulated a few personal and professional examples of how helpful these astrological conversations can be during those tough times. Medical astrology is no different and can be just as helpful by using a different set of vocabulary. The first step to understanding this new vocabulary is to define and outline what this expansion looks like, so let’s do that now.
The Signs in Medical Astrology
When beginning to delve into the physical behind the spiritual, it’s best to take small bites, especially if you don’t have an anatomy background. Maybe pick up a book and familiarize yourself with the deeper functions of these body areas and have it on hand for reference, in case clients want to speak that language. There are many layers and opinions about which body parts are ruled by which signs, but the below list is a great place to start contemplating:
Aries: Head, Muscles, and Blood
Taurus: Neck, Ligaments, and Thyroid/Metabolism
Gemini: Arms/Hands, Central Nerves, and Lungs
Cancer: Stomach, Breasts, and Reproductive Areas (when pregnant)
Leo: Heart, Spine, and Eyes
Virgo: Small Intestine and Co-Ruler of the Liver
Libra: Kidneys and Hormones
Scorpio: Bladder, Colon, Sinus, and Reproductive Areas (when not pregnant)
Sagittarius: Hips, Blood Vessels, and Co-Ruler of the Liver
Capricorn: Bones, Teeth, and All Joints
Aquarius: Calves, Skin, and Peripheral Nerves
Pisces: Lymphatic System and Feet
From here, you can start to bridge the gap and integrate what natal chart and transits may have to say about the body’s ability to function. A great place to start witnessing this physical phenomenon is by watching the Moon. Follow the Moon through the signs each month and see what her influence brings up as the tides of our skies pull fluid and sensitivity into those respective body areas. The best teacher is always personal experience, so start there and then branch out.
The Planets in Medical Astrology
This is where classic medical astrology gets tricky. Planets are said to also rule body systems, just like signs, adding layers of complication and finger-pointing, which makes a medical reading muddier and less successful. Instead, I invite you to start by examining the signs as body systems and the planets as energetic influences occurring within those body systems. From here, we also get to explore the fundamental holistic concept of identifying Hot, Cold, Wet, and Dry patterns.
Sun: Hot-Dry, Energizing
Moon: Cold-Wet, Sensitizing
Mercury: Contextual-Dry, Adapting
Venus: Cold-Wet, Soothing
Mars: Hot-Dry, Inflaming
Jupiter: Hot-Wet, Expanding
Saturn: Cold-Dry, Restricting
There is so much nuance that we could get into, but it’s best to stay broad at the outset. For example, Mercury’s temperature is adaptive and will adjust based on the planets Mercury is surrounded by. The Sun and Moon’s temperature can also be thought of in relation to their seasonal phase. In this article, we will expose you to the theory and then seek validation through your work in the field. All of the books and texts in the world can only take you part of the way.
One of the major grievances with medical astrology is that so many books contradict each other. It’s frustrating as a student of the stars to have more access to this art than ever before, but also to be surrounded by volumes of conflicting information. Therefore, it is important to make this work your own and allow it to mesh in a Piscean way.
The Houses in Astrology
Although the entire chart is important, medical astrology emphasizes only three or four houses. For beginner purposes, I will introduce you to the top three and leave out the 8th house of Death. When contemplating the health of the native, my experience is that death techniques prove to be unreliable and distracting when wellness is the goal. That said, we must honor Death and keep this token in the back of our minds always.
1st house: The Body & The Primary Body System
6th house: Illness & Secondary Symptoms
12th house: Hospitalization & Emergency Conditions
The progress of illness through the body begins in the 1st house where we find the body system that is most tied to the native’s physical core experience of health and disease. The Ascendant’s sign shows us where we need to nourish, protect, and seek healing first to relieve and reverse all secondary symptomatology. It’s where we begin to see the onset of unprocessed tension and where we find the root of all illness.
Should the 1st house body system be neglected, our lovingly intelligent temple will then manifest secondary symptoms.
The 6th house is the classic house of health, but I find it even more useful to show where the evolution of symptoms will take place. Once our body has had enough of us ignoring the primary body system, the 6th house oversees getting our attention another way. Look to the sign on the cusp of this house to see where the second layer of illness will emerge. Remember that this is just an extension of the root cause in the 1st house.
What knocks us flat, also known as the decumbiture, is located within the 12th house. After we let our symptoms come to a full boil, the most dramatic and life-threatening condition appears as a sign that our body is losing its patience with us. The sign on the 12th house is the red light, the body system that is our harbinger. Again, we can always reverse this process, as the body is a healing organism, but it requires that we return back through the procession of the health houses.
Aspects in Medical Astrology
Aspects in medical astrology behave just like in traditional astrology. Isn’t that wonderful? Instead of hard/helpful aspects, I would like you to think in terms of “circulation.” A positive aspect (sextiles, trines, and conjunctions) indicates familiarity and connection, which leads to body systems and planetary energetics supporting one another through an exchange of resources. Hard aspects (squares, oppositions, and aversion) indicate a blockage or disconnect of that vital movement of resources, just like we would see on a spiritual level. In this way, it is probably the easiest medical astrology vocabulary to master.
Conjunction: same area, same circulation
Sextile: lesser, but helpful connection
Square: impeded circulation
Trine: easy/excessive circulation
Opposition: circulation weakened by distance
Of course, we know that no part of our body is truly disconnected from any other part. However, when the planetary energetics form strong or loose bonds, we can then use that as a frame of reference for:
1) Where circulation is most accessible and;
2) How to engage other parts of the body to reroute circulation.
As an example, if Jupiter in Pisces makes a trine to Venus in Cancer, there is a strong connection between the feet/lymph and the stomach. But if there is also a square from Mars in Leo to Jupiter in Pisces, then we know the circulation may be disrupted due to heart/spine issues. So, we use the circulation from Cancer, via food choices, to support the cardiovascular and lymphatic friction.
It’s important to respect that learning medical astrology can feel like learning astrology all over again. Take the time to look at charts, do some self-reflecting, and practice your new language just like you did at the beginning of your astrology work. Taking these baby steps to expand your awareness of how astrology extends to every part of our experience is a valuable asset that will only serve to enhance your sessions, and your connection with the world around you. Be inspired by how mutable this system is and how the depths of this practice just keep getting deeper.
Jupiter in Pisces and Medical Astrology
Let’s zoom out as this article comes to a close and apply what we’ve discussed to the upcoming tidal wave that is Jupiter moving into Pisces. This is a great example of how larger planetary shifts can produce a set of palpable symptoms that we experience as a human collective. Also, this slower transit is packed with multiple conjunctions in Pisces, which can give rise to ebbs and flows within that same story. All we need to do is apply the medical astrology vocabulary we’ve already discussed.
Jupiter is a planet of expansion and has a hot/wet energetic. It’s the gas giant whose airy influence trumpets the surge of energy in whatever sign this force of nature is located. In medical astrology, Jupiter can cause great amounts of circulation, but also be related to harmful expansive conditions like swelling and tumor growth. Whatever Jupiter touches becomes bigger, bolder, and louder in the body, so let’s look at what that means for Pisces.
The body system associated with the sign of the fishes is our lymphatics, immunity, and feet. My one red flag is that we have already been seeing immunity as a huge concern due to Covid and its variants. As Jupiter rises the tide of our lymph, we will see a rise in cases of lymphatic swelling, foot conditions, and immune hyperactivity. It’s said that a rising tide lifts all ships, but if you have holes in your physical boat, Jupiter’s rush may feel like you are drowning in symptoms. Likewise, for those who are looking for an energetic boost to push the immune system into action, this period may provide an ‘over the hill’ moment as the currents of Pisces are flooded and able to carry those prepared towards the shores wellness.
There are a few pointers I would like to add regarding watching for medical transits. The first is in relation to the Moon. She of perpetual phases is the astrological anchor for the heavens’ ability to take root in our physical frame. Any time the Moon conjoins Jupiter in Pisces, or even trines via a water sign, there will be a wave of the swelling, foot, and immune conditions that Jupiter will be provoking. Jupiter may put the pot on the stove, but it’s the Moon who brings it to a boil.
Likewise, any conjunction with Jupiter will flavor the medical transits according to that planet’s nature. For instance, the Venus-Jupiter conjunction towards the end of the cycle will bring a final stamp of healing, closure, and rescue from the harsher side effects of the first quarter’s events. Mercury conjoining Jupiter, so close to the New Moon events, leads me to believe that issues may be more mischievous around that time. Yes, Mercury brings circulation and flexibility, but the archetype of trickster and psychopomp may stir the pot during this celestial family reunion. The Sun’s influence will dry the rivers slightly, but also shine a spotlight on the root cause of any conditions (spiritual, mental, emotional, physical), as Sol sees all.
Have fun thinking about the range of possibilities and prepare to mitigate accordingly. Watching your fluid intake, exercising to stimulate the movement of stagnant lymph, and meditating to channel excess psychic pressures are all wonderful places to start. During these coagulations of body and spirit, it’s important to make sure you are respecting both sides of the astrological coin. That way, whatever side these energies manifest on, you’ll be ready. The cold and dry energies of Saturn are no longer separating and defining, it’s time to merge.