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Herbs and Astrology

Garlic and Nettles
'Three times a day...'
Chart of the Decumbiture


Garlic and Nettles

by Holly

In Europe, before the scientific revolution in the 16th and 17th centuries, astrology was a daily part of life, and was a subject studied by every educated man.

Just as diseases were said to be caused by certain astrological factors in a person's birth chart, so the cure could be found in a herb or seed or bark which either countered the planet which ruled the disease, or sometimes by finding a planet which was in sympathy with the cause of the disease (somewhat like modern homeopathy).

Nettles and Garlic were both considered to be herbs ruled by the planet Mars. The nature of Mars is hot and fiery, so these herbs would help the body to resist diseases which are cold and wet.

In England, in the spring, nettles were used for internal cleansing, getting rid of the cold, wet phlegm which had accumulated in the liver and lungs during the cold, wet English winter.

Garlic was particularly recommended for external cleansing of boils and other skin eruptions, these being considered to be caused by an excess of heat in the body.

For information on purchasing:
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'Three times a day...'

by Holly

Herbs are ancient medicines, both curative and prophylactic. Their healing energies have always been linked with the healing energies of the universe. As above, so below.


In Europe, before the scientific revolution in the 16th and 17th centuries, astrology was a daily part of life, and was a subject studied by every educated man -- and by many an 'uneducated' woman.

Before the discovery of the planet Uranus in 1781 and the development of industry and artificial lighting, the heavens appeared to shine more brightly than they do today. Without the competition of industrial pollution and night lighting, the cycles of the sun, moon and planets were more obvious to everyone.

Against the nightly, seasonally-changing, pattern of the 'fixed stars', could be seen the erratic patterns of the five visible planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

From these five planets and the sun and moon sprang the potent healing energies of plants.

But the power of a planet was understood to vary. It was considered to be at its most potent at the moment it crossed the eastern horizon (rising), when it reached its highest point in the sky (culmination), and as it crossed the western horizon (setting). So if, for instance, you wanted to use the energies of Venus through its herb, mint, you would want to know at what time of day Venus was rising, culminating and setting. At the end of July of 2001 in Ontario, Venus rises at 2.00 a.m. EDT, culminates at 9.30 a.m. and sets at 5 p.m. Mars, on the other hand, rises at 5 p.m., culminates at 9.30 p.m., and sets at 1.30 a.m., -- this you would need to know for taking your garlic or nettles.

We still take our medicine three times a day, but do we know why?


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by Holly

The tradition of using herbs for healing goes back many centuries and many civilizations.

About four thousand years ago, there lived a legendary healer whose name was Chiron. He was one of the race of Centaurs, whose destruction he lived to see, but not before his teachings were passed on to pupils whose fame stretches down to the present day.

Chiron was the original 'holistic healer'. He lived at the end of the Taurean Age and passed on his skills to the young 'heroes' of the newly-emerging Greek City States who would epitomize the Age of Aries.

Chiron knew all the plants and their properties. He diagnosed illnesses and prescribed his own healing formulas. He was skilled in the arts of war, and he instructed his pupils in warfare and in how to make poisons for arrow tips, as well as antidotes for poisons and how to heal war wounds. He also taught them astrology.

By the time of his death, Chiron had achieved the status of a demi-God; the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer, commemorates him.

The herb Centaury is named for his race and was always believed to be good for healing wounds. It is said to be under the dominion of the Sun -- vitality.

Another herb linked to Chiron is All Heal, (or Hercules' All-Heal or Hercules' Woundwort). This is said to be the herb that Hercules learned to use when he was a pupil of Chiron. All Heal is a herb of Mars so would be used to counter the evils that Mars inflicts on the body, which would include wounds.

In 1977 an astronomer (not an astrologer) by the name of Kowal found a new small planet with an unusual orbit between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. He called it Chiron. The discovery of a new planet indicates a new energy coming to the surface of human consciousness. It is not always immediately apparent how this energy will manifest, but the name given instinctively to the planet is generally a good clue. Have we rediscovered the concept of holistic healing and understanding of what the plants give us? And is this something we need in order to make the transition from one Great Age to another just as Chiron did four thousand years ago?


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Chart of the Decumbiture

by Holly

A birthchart describes not only a person's personality, but also their body and its strengths and weaknesses. In the present day, not many astrologers study this physical side of the birth chart, although there are a few who specialise in it.

Before the modern study of the body and its functions developed, there was a long tradition of using herbs to heal the body. First the disease itself had to be analysed, but also an astrological chart would be used. This was not the birth chart, but rather 'the Chart of the Decumbiture'. Decumbiture means the act of taking to one's bed because of an illness. The chart drawn up for that place and time enabled the physician to make a prognosis about the disease - its timing and its ultimate result. The chart also gave an indication of what herbs would be the most helpful.

Several different herbs would be indicated by a decumbiture chart. For example if the Ascendant in the chart were Libra, then herbs of Venus would be helpful as Venus 'rules' Libra. If the l0th house in this case had Cancer on its cusp, then the moon would rule it and moon herbs could be useful, but only if the moon were in a strong position in the chart.

To analyze a decumbiture chart took a great deal of knowledge and skill. But being a physician has never been easy.


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by Holly

Wormwood is an herb of Mars.

Mars is the yang, personal active, principle of the universe. This herb is therefore a strong, bitter, stimulating and invigorating herb. It is tonic in its action. It is considered "hot and dry" so it warms one up and dries up "damp" humours. It is said to give a good appetite, and to stimulate the liver. It has always been used to expel worms. It has a general strengthening and tonic effect on the body, making you feel more "martial."

Herbs can cure by antipathy or by sympathy. Venus is the planetary principle opposed to Mars, so therefore Mars can affect Venusian conditions, as well as Martian conditions. One of wormwood's ancient uses was to keep moths out of clothes, moths being "ruled" by Mars. However, it is also said to be very effective a treatment for drunkenness, this being a Venusian excess. (But use the wormwood before you drink, says Culpeper!)

A good astrologer/physician would gather wormwood when it is at its most potent, and that is when Mars is at the zenith.


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by Holly

Rosemary must surely be the Queen of Herbs. Just to rub it between the fingers and inhale that wonderful aroma is so invigorating, but at the same time comforting. It gives confidence and warmth. It brings back memories of better times in the past, and hopes for better times in the future.

Apart from its wonderful flavour with lamb or in other culinary treats, Rosemary's distilled oil is a favorite with aromatherapists. But you don't need to distill the oil to get the benefit of Rosemary - just crush it and rub it on your forehead when your vitality is low!

In astrological terms, the source of our vitality is the Sun, so it is not surprising therefore that Rosemary's astrological signature is the Sun, and its "ruling" sign is the fiery Aries. The Sun represents the principles of life and vitality. Aries is the hot, dry, "go for it" sign. Sun and Aries work well together.

When astrological principles were used to determine the best method of healing a person, the first rule was that, in order to strengthen any part of the body, herbs that "matched" that part of the body should be used. But where there was a disease in the body, the herbs called for were those that were antithetical to that disease. Rosemary, being ruled by Aries, would support the head, principally the brain, so it was conceived as being good for memory or general mental functioning. As a warming herb of the Sun, it was used where there was perceived to be coldness or dampness adversely affecting the body: sinus conditions causing pain in the teeth and face for example were perceived as being caused by the damp and cold infecting the sinus cavities; runny eyes; coughs or consumptions; drowsiness and dullness; cold and stiff joints and limbs, -- all called for Rosemary.

Even grief was helped by Rosemary. The Sun rules the heart, and Grief has always been linked with the heart. The heart was known as the sol corporis (sun in the body) as opposed to the sol coeli (sun in the heavens) so it is logical that Rosemary would be a help to a grieving heart.

Being associated with the Sun, Rosemary should be picked at noon, which is when the oils are said to be at their most potent.

In any event, Rosemary is one of the most wonderful gifts of the Creator and there for our delight and our good health.


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by Holly

You might think Sage would be good for the brain, but in fact the name of the plant (salvia) comes from a different root from that of the word meaning "profoundly wise", and means healing plant .

Sage was always considered to be good for the liver, and as Jupiter is said to "rule" the liver, so sage came to be linked with Jupiter. The link makes sense as Jupiter is an immensely powerful planet, in some ways the protector* of the earth and the other inner planets, just as the liver protects the body.

In a horoscope, Jupiter shows how we "digest" our experiences; and with its link to the liver, it can also show how well we digest our food. It is therefore an important culinary herb; it is not just the great taste that makes it such a good accompaniment of rich meats; it is meat which puts the greatest strain on the digestive process and the liver, so to eat sage with meat gives the liver support in the digestive process.

While Saturn constricts, Jupiter opens up. Sage is used by herbalists today to clear the throat and mouth of the discomforts that arise when we have a cold or have not been eating properly. ( These problems arise, however, because the liver has become overburdened).

Sage is a strong, "hot", healthy herb - Enjoy!

*Recently an asteroid came tearing into our solar system and could have hit the earth, but the magnetic attraction of Jupiter is so great that the asteroid was drawn to it and crashed into it; thus saving earth.

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