THE FUTURE AWAITS OUR RETURN
All manner of manifestation is influenced by the invisible realm and contains a stellar imprint, known by ancient physicians as the Doctrine of Signatures. Many have applied these signatures to plants, fruits and vegetables and their medicinal effects on the body. However, little attention has been paid to planetary effects on health.
When we examine Pythagorean concepts of number expressed through geometry, music, and astronomy, it allows us to look at the astrology chart as geometry, as music frozen in time. Therefore, music is a most effective means for restoring harmony to dissonant angles and aspects representing “parts of the self.” By freeing up those harmonic relationships, the individual engages an awakening process that, not only connects neglected parts of the self, it also awakens one’s perception of the greater whole.
This awakening of the self provides access to the intrinsic communication network already existing between humans, animals, plants, earth, and the cosmos. The natural science, upon which the ancients drew to advance all manner of living, is available to us today. There is much to rediscover, and it requires not only asking the right questions but questioning what we are certain we know. Embracing the mystery is the first step toward creating a more wholesome future for medicine.
THE DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURES
Our current medical model is completely out of sync with those who are by nature “spiritual,” and to whom the notion of separating parts in exclusion from the composite body is equally absurd. Knowing the operations of energy, especially in terms of the morphing process of the four elements, we must consider the metaphysical properties of form, particularly that of the human body.
For relevance regarding the practice of medicine, it’s helpful to remember that from the scientific viewpoint, no matter the “first cause” of creation, life force is energy. The laws of physics and thermodynamics show that energy is conserved--it does not die, but merely changes forms. Taken from this perspective, the idea that human life force energy (or any living creature’s) can change form once the physical body dies is plausible. From a strictly scientific perspective, this continuation of life energy does not require a theological mediator or savior. From the Hermetic perspective, whatever governs the subtle realms and higher octaves of space also governs the lower physical octaves of life.
What is helpful, if not required, is having a language that provides a roadmap for understanding the human being’s connection to the cosmos.
This is the relevance astrology brings to the process of responding to the larger cycles and hierarchical influence. It also facilitates understanding in the application of the doctrine of signatures to each human’s life and, as applied by both Paracelsus and Agrippa Von Nettesheim (1486-1535), provides alchemical information regarding the process of healing.
Despite its controversy, we have to consider the longevity that has been demonstrated by astrology. While its popularity has waxed and waned over the centuries, like the moon, it remains ever present, orbiting the mainstream.1 For this reason alone it deserves consideration as part of the historical, medical, and philosophical milieu of human inquiry.
THE THREE-FOLD NATURE OF HOROSCOPES AND HUMANS
In The Culture of Astronomy, Dietrich posits that cosmic law informs natural law. Cosmic law expresses the inherent order, harmony, and interrelationship of all things. The ancients believed that the heavens were the divine expression and means of communication between humans and their creator. They believed that the human body, created in the image of the cosmic body of the creator, was imbued with divine characteristics.
Not only the human body, but Earth, as a celestial body moving through the precession of the equinoxes, experiences the attributes of the twelve zodiacal houses that represent the cosmic body: Aries (head), Taurus (neck), Gemini (shoulders/arms), Cancer (breasts), Leo (heart), Virgo (intestines), Libra (forearms, navel, lumbar), Scorpio (genitals, reproductive system), Sagittarius (thighs), Capricorn (knees), Aquarius (calves, ankles), and Pisces (feet).
In her 1894 book The Influence of the Zodiac Upon Human Life, Eleanor Kirk reminded us that the human constitution is three-fold in nature: spirit, soul, body (or father, mother, son), and echo the Hermetic terms objective, subjective, and passive. Within the context of astrology,
these attributes were expressed amongst the three zodiac signs that are assigned to each of the four elements:
Fire - Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Earth - Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air - Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water - Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Regarding spirit, soul, and body, Kirk states that the mind has power over matter:
. . . there is a mind more interior than the animal mind . . . quickened by the solar fluids or planetary action, for it is the genius of the natural man. And there is a still more interior mind, the spiritual, which is absolute over all earthly or planetary conditions, which glows and continues to ripen the divine human into celestial man.(2)
No one element or single event holds the answer for the state of disease or restoration. Neither can we say that there is only one medical system or “magic bullet” that will provide relief. It is always a combination of factors that culminate to reach a point of extreme (crescendo to use an Italian term in musical notation) as well as the return to cadence (harmonic resolution) and health. Without practice, there remains an inability to recognize warning signs (symptoms in body or mind) that help one tune into the body as an instrument built for change.