Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Medical Horary Astrology -- Go See a Doctor, Not an Astrologer

Medical astrology is an ancient medical system that associates various parts of the body and diseases as under the influence of the Sun, Moon, and planets, along with the twelve astrological signs. For example (from Wikipedia):
  • Aries - head, face, brain, eyes
  • Taurus - throat, neck, thyroid gland, vocal tract
  • Gemini - arms, lungs, shoulders, hands, nervous system, brain
  • Cancer - chest, breasts, stomach, alimentary canal
  • Leo - heart, chest, spine, spinal column, upper back
  • Virgo - digestive system, intestines, spleen, nervous system
  • Libra - kidneys, skin, lumbar region, buttocks
  • Scorpio - reproductive system, sexual organs, bowels, excretory system
  • Sagittarius - hips, thighs, liver, sciatic nerve
  • Capricorn - knees, joints, skeletal system
  • Aquarius - ankles, calves, circulatory system
  • Pisces - feet, toes, lymphatic system, adipose tissue
 The planets are also associated with certain portions and functions within the body: 
The anatomical-astrological human:
  • Sun - heart, spine, and general vitality
  • Moon - stomach, digestive system, female organs, lymphatic system
  • Mercury - brain, central nervous system, thyroid gland, five senses, hands
  • Venus - throat, kidneys, thymus gland, sense of touch, ovaries
  • Mars - muscles, head, adrenal glands, senses of smell and taste
  • Jupiter - liver, thighs, feet, growth, pituitary gland
  • Saturn - skin, hair, teeth, bones, the body's defenses, spleen
  • Uranus - parathyroid gland, neural activity, aura
  • Neptune - pineal gland, psychic healing
  • Pluto - pancreas, metabolism, elimination
After examining an individual's natal chart, a medical astrologer may give advice to the client about the areas of the body in which they are most likely to experience trouble. (1)
Medical astrology has its own set of rules and understandings separate from horarythe two shouldn't even be considered distant cousins--since the inroads into interpreting the chart, and the houses and aspects, for example, take on very different meanings than "regular" horary. But the medical questions are absoutely horary-like, and run the gamut of:

"What's causing me to feel X symptoms?"
"Are X symptoms because I have Y disease?"
"Do I have X cancer or something else wrong?"
"Should I see another doctor about X symptom?"
"Will the tumor be malignant or benign?"
"Will the tumor be successfully removed?"

The questions are legitimate, but astrology NEVER EVER supersedes medical science. Medical astrology has its roots in traditional astrology, which means it's based on an incomplete system. Just as ancient astrologers did not know Uranus and Neptune existed (let alone Pluto, regardless of its classification), their medical knowledge was incomplete and inaccurate by modern standards. (E.g., modern medicine does not recognize humors, a staple of ancient medicine). Medical astrology flourished in an era when people believed prayer to a merciless god, or a pocket full of posies, could cure bubonic plague, when in reality, a few good housecats would have been a far better preventative measure, not to mention the curative antiobiotics to wipe out the plague hadn't been discovered yet. So pre-modern medicine, astrology provided a frame of guesswork with little practical value. To be fair, modern medicine is only roughly 200 years old, but medical astrology's obsolescence is underscored today, as doctors have access to all sorts of diagnostics and technology that the physicians and astrologers of eras past could only dream of (Defibrillators, anyone?).

The "problem" with contemporary medical astrology is that to be able to correctly translate the symbolism to reality, the astrologer has to have a solid background in anatomy and physiology. If that is lacking, the attempted diagnosis will be wild stabs in the dark, along the lines of, "Taurus is on the 6th house; therefore you have something wrong in the throat area." That's enormously vague and unhelpful. Worse than that, even, without the necessary A&P background, I've seen astrologers excuse this ineptness with haughty lectures to the querent about how it's unethical to diagnose health problems, etc. It isn't if the intent is to parallel or verify the actual medical diagnosis. In truth, there are serious liability issues, as it's illegal for a non-physician to diagnose and treat. That being said, it happens all the time. So if you don't know the difference between a larynx and a lymph node, don't interpret the chart. Instead, refer out to someone with more experience. How do you get more medical astrology experience? Look at case studies where the outcome is already known, to know what to look for and see how to do it.

So the best rule of thumb with medical astrology (if you have the sufficient A&P understanding) is to refuse to interpret any medical horary questions (or natal for that matter) until the querent has first seen a doctor. Usually, by the time the querent is resorting to horary questions, they are getting unsatisfactory results or treatment. Make sure they've had the appropriate labs and bloodwork, or x-rays. And remember that reality always supersedes astrology. Jupiter conjunct the ASC, or in the 6th, is no guarantee of any cure. So speculate medically all you want on a chart, but know that it's never a substitue for a real medical care.

NOTES: (1) See also: http://www.rosicrucian.com/zineen/magen324.htm