Until the late 17th century the practice of astrology was closely linked with medicine. From as far back as 470 BC Hippocrates of Cos, the Greek physician who established medical schools in Athens believed that the heavenly bodies affected man. A medical diagnosis could best be determined by a person’s birth map. The person’s nature, as shown by his chart, was aided to react against the disease which was believed to be an imbalance of the four ‘humours’.
Hippocrates Medicine and Astrology
Hippocrates, who was as much an astrologer as a doctor, believed, as put forward by Empedocies, that man consisted of the balance of four elements: Fire (relating to hot and dry), Earth (cold and dry), Air (hot and wet) and Water (cold and wet). Related to these were yellow bile to Fire, black bile to Earth, blood to Air and phlegm to Water. If one ‘humour’ was to upset the body, the treatment would be to apply its opposite.
This Greek physician upon whose oath is sworn by all physicians on graduation from medical school once wrote, “A physician without knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician.”
Claudius Galaen, born around 130 AD, another physician, proposed that every doctor should make use of astrological medicine. He regarded the Moon in relation to the planets and signs as having a definite affect on health. He also based his medicine on the theory of the ‘four Humours’ and this basis continued until the 16th century when the physician Paracelsus was to criticise Galen and other traditional medical authorities.
Paracelsus introduced the Magnet into his medical practice. Like the stars and other bodies of the Universe, the Magnet could have a favourable influence on man’s health. Paracelsus also related the signs of the Zodiac and the planets with certain parts of the body, much the same significance remains today.
Health Medicine and Astrology
In the 1800’s health and medicine veered away from astrology but the belief that the heavens influenced health continued until well into the 19th century. Dr Howard Cornell’s Encyclopedia of Medical Astrology (1st ed., 1933) is an inexhaustible compendium of traditional medical astrology. Moving on to the 20th century and medical astrology was viewed from a more scientific perspective with more research being put into the subject, for instance in the 1950s Dr Eugene Jonas tested 10,000 women in a successful effort to link the Moon’s cycles with fertility.
In his book Astrology, Nutrition and Health Robert Jansky explains how the Sun Signs relate to different parts of the body, how the houses in a birth chart can be related to food preferences and nutritional needs and how the links between the planets represent the flow of energy through the body which can indicate potential health problems.
Medical astrology is a fascinating and timeless subject, enabling the astrologer to locate and help prevent medical conditions and disorders. The Birth Chart provides an insight into a person’s constitution giving indicators of health and possible weaknesses in a particular part of the body that could manifest as a serious illness.