What it is and how it works


Medical astrology helps discover, illuminate and articulate problems.


In ancient times and in many cultures, people stared at the night skies and over time, found and named patterns and pictures in the stars. Cave paintings show that star images were identified more than 17,000 years ago. Drawing imaginary lines among the stars, they would see a bull, a crab, a scorpion, a bear, a lion and more.

Gradually, they began to make correlations between what they observed of the changes in the Moon and stars with events in their lives. They built stone features to track when the sun in the sky was at a particular point every year. Stonehenge may have served that purpose. The Mayans had ephemeris (calculations of the position in the sky) of Venus that was as accurate as what we have now! Over time, the inner planets would be named and identified: Mercury, Venus, Mars.

Thoughtful consideration showed that there were qualities and behaviors that could be associated with these planets. It was realized that, for instance, Mercury was about communicating, language and the meaning of words; Mars addressed a person's energy level; it showed their way of expressing anger and what moved them to take action.

These ideas were combined with the signs (Aries, Taurus, etc.) that most closely resembled the expression of the planet. For instance, Aries the Ram and Mars or the Goat with Saturn. As time wore on, other planets were discovered and were added for observation and, eventually included in charts. Planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto found their way in to the astrological lexicon. This process continues.


A chart is a kind of "picture" or map of the planets (and asteroids) at the time and from the place of a person's birth. These days, that "picture" or chart is calculated and generated by a computer. The arrangement of the planets and other factors on the chart is determined by the star constellation that is on the horizon at the birth moment: be it Taurus the Bull or Leo the Lion. If, for instance, it is Leo, then the person is said to have "a Leo Ascendant." The "Ascendant" is "the Rising Sign" - the sign that is rising on the eastern horizon at the time of birth.

Whatever degree of a constellation that is directly overhead is taken as the Midheaven. So a person might have seven degrees of Aquarius as their Midheaven or MC. Similarly, the chart notes the degree and sign of the planets and other celestial objects. This is termed the Radix or the Natal Chart. There are methods to move the chart in time and incorporate current planetary positions in order to do predictive work.


There are relationships between the signs and degrees, and these "relationships" are about the kind of interaction the energies or planets would have. These relationships are called Aspects and they are determined by the mathematical distance between two points. Some mathematical distances produce congenial pairings; other distances tend to cause the two planets or factors to readily disagree with one another. Maybe you know someone who's really easy to talk to; you just feel like they're listening and readily agree with you. They might have Mercury and Venus in a congenial aspect.

But then you also know that person who gets feisty and seems to constantly object to or find fault with whatever you say. This is a huge simplification, but they might have Mercury in tense aspect to a planet like Mars. An astrological chart is, in a sense, the story of a person's life. The interaction between the planets or factors are episodes in that story. They can tell the tale of a marriage, the birth of a child or the interest in a career.


At one time in history, only Kings and Rulers had astrologers - people who would "read the stars" and offer thoughts about the impact on the Kingdom. Then even "the common people" gained access to this kind of information. Gradually, physicians were astrologers and used the information they gleaned to treat their patient.

Likely you have heard of Nostradamus. Born in 1503, he was a French physician. He was also an astrologer as were many physicians for hundreds of years. Although they were often in the employ of kings, their knowledge was rudimentary compared to what can be seen in a chart today.


The state of the art of medical astrology has been greatly enhanced by the research capability of computers. Today it is possible to look to a chart and see such things as:

  • Periods when the onset of disease is more likely
  • Issues with the ability to metabolize vitamins and medications
  • Physical sites weakened by inflammation or immune failure
  • The general status of mitochondria and its role in disease manifestation
  • Digestive status (and causes of various problems)
  • Specific and individual sensitivities that fuel a disease process
  • Individual receptivity to potential healing modalities


Here is a configuration or pattern (a set of factors that are mathematically related and that tell the story of their potential) from the chart of a woman who developed breast cancer. This pattern was in her chart from birth. That means that the potential for cancer was present and contributory issues could be addressed.


If you start with the factor, Lynch, on the top right, you see that it is accompanied by the asteroid Nemesis, which goes to the matter of The Undoing or Cause of a problem - in this case, the cancer potential. Look directly down and across from this and you see two factors: Hodgkin (Vitamin B12) and Wu, which stands for the ability of the liver to metabolize medications, foods and vitamins. These two are not in congenial relationship, so they speak of that metabolism issue as problematic. And because they're in the pattern with Nemesis and Lynch, part of the story of the chart is that this inability for the liver to properly metabolize vitamin B12 can contribute to cancer.

Now look to the mid portion of the chart on the left and you see an indication of DNA issues with a factor, Howard, that stands for mitochondria. The mitochondria in cells have many jobs; one of them is to assist the messaging of your DNA to ensure that cells continue to perform their assigned tasks. Because these two are in discordant (astrological) signs, Libra and Capricorn, the chart suggests the existence of a problem. The assumption is that other points in the pattern will help explain why the mitochondria are not in harmony with the DNA.

Across the chart to the opposite place, you see Saturn, Chiron and Sutton. Most factors have, as you see with Saturn here, several meanings. Here, we're just going to use the "old or aging" meaning of Saturn. The Chiron is speaking of the idea that something is not playing by the rules; somehow it's "odd" as it (Saturn) ages. We add the Sutton and it tells us that there is concern about the ability of the chromosomes to ensure that DNA remains intact as new cells replace old, worn-out cells. Some cancers are caused by defective, mutated or unusual pieces of chromosomes. (Did you hear the role of Saturn and Chiron with Sutton here?)

All of the factors in this pattern are one part of a story; there are other mathematical relationships that would add detail. But just in this sample we see the mitochondrial issue and the problem with outworn cells lacking integrity and becoming odd by fragmenting or mutating. And we see the tie of the metabolism complication (which can also affect treatment choices).


If you are a doctor, nutritionist, or patient seeking further avenues of help, I would be happy to assist.


If you're an astrologer interested in learning more about medical astrology consider subscribing to Tools of the Trade where many other examples are explained in depth.



January 2017: Alignment in Mid to Late Sag

Happy New Year! I wanted to mention some configurations that are forming as we start the New Year. There is a lengthy alignment in mid-Sagittarius that really tests delineation. Even if we take just part of it, we have Askalaphus, Astraea, Odysseus, Saturn, Juno,...

Mid-January 2016: A Factor Means Everything it Can

Happy New Year! I thought I would take some aspects from mid-January 2016 and offer delineations; then you can run your Lunar Returns to see which of the configurations are angular-- or you can figure that they are if the aspect combinations are showing up in your...

July Decisions and Health & Relationship Pathologies

Early July features an alignment of Melpomene, Lilith, Atlantis, Podalarius, Rx and Poseidon, Rx from 02 - 10 Scorpio.  IF these energies are "angular" on one of your July return charts, here are some of the things you can expect (and they'd come through the...