As Mercury turns retrograde today, I thought it would be a timely moment to pay tribute to people in the medical profession — those practising nowadays and physicians from earlier centuries. It was thought that periods of retrograde motion were connected somehow with healing, and the Rx prescription symbol we use today, the symbol for a planet in retrograde motion, continues that link with astrology.
Centuries ago, it was thought that any physician who did not practise astrology was considered a quack. People put great faith in how their physical conditions were somehow under the auspices of the heavens, and that timing of the onset of an illness was extremely important. The timing of the moment the physician learned of the illness was also important. When the urine was brought to the doctor, and when the patient had to stop daily routines and go to bed were also important moments to be analyzed astrologically. Skilled medical practitioners, then, were astrologers as well as herbalists, homeopaths, and the like.
Having purchased a grand total of two books on medical astrology, and having read only portions of each, by no means gives me any authority to do what could be interpreted as practising medicine, so please do take what I am about to say for entertainment purposes only. I don’t usually like to use that phrase for my work in astrology — it devalues it — but here I think it is absolutely necessary.
This morning I read a post from an astrologer-friend on Facebook. He wasn’t feeling well and he listed his symptoms in his status update. I took note of the time that I read his question, “Head aching, muscle aching, then stomach upset now, what’s next?” Here is my reply to him:
The chart ruler is Mars in Sagittarius, which is a hot and dry planet in a hot and dry sign, so that’s okay. It’s ruler, Jupiter, is in Gemini — a hot and moist planet in a hot and moist sign. No info from that either.
Jupiter is in mutual reception with Mercury in Sagittarius — a cold and dry planet in a hot and dry sign. Aha! Something is out of balance!
The Moon is separating from a trine with Mercury, giving us more reason to look at Mercury. Plus, as you know, Mercury is stationing today to go retrograde. I think Mercury is the culprit here.
According to 17th century medicine, Mercury in the first 12 degrees of Sag causes a number of things, including “dry and hot burning Fevers, pains in the Reins [what are Reins?], the Stone in the Reins, dryness of the mouth with clammy Flegm, pains about the Navel”. How’s your navel doing, by the way?
Good thing Mercury wasn’t in the 11th or 18th degree of Sag and chart ruler, with the Moon separating from Venus and applying to Saturn in Virgo… otherwise you’d be in for the great Pox, breaking out with great Scabs on the head and feet, full of holes and kernels. Yuk. When’s the last time you saw anyone full of holes and kernels?
The cure? “Sweat the Parties well, digest the Humour, and purge and let blood.” I guess this is instead of taking a Tylenol.
Hope you are feeling better soon. And take it easy on the blood-letting.