Introduction to Medical Astrology


Margaret Penner Choinski

Declare the past, diagnose the present, foretell the future; practice these acts. As to diseases, make a habit of two things—to help, or at least to do no harm."[1]

-         Hippocrates


     Ancient astrologers , well versed in the nature of the planets and signs through the doctrine of correspondence [2], came to regard the human body as containing the universe---one example of the hermetic aphorism: “As above, so below, that the unity of the one may be perpetrated.” The zodiac, as it ran through the body from head to toe, provided a map for reading the internal and external physical body. This idea came to be known as the Zodiacal Man [3] where organs and bodily parts came under the influence of a particular sign.
  From a reading of the horoscope, the ancient astrologer-physician could perceive the origin of disease, the habits of the native, and/or future health. Unfortunately, much priceless astrological information was lost through the destructions wrought upon the library of Alexandria. The carefully compiled data regarding herbal application and planetary placement, sign dominance, aspects, and other zodiacal information largely vanished. However, the spread of astrology from
India to the Arab world allowed for the survival of the thread of knowledge, and astrology’s reintroduction to the western world in the Middle Ages brought a renewed interest there in its usefulness with medicine. The great 17th century astrologer-physician Nicholas Culpepper compiled a huge database of correspondences, and his efforts made him a shining light in the resurgence of knowledge of herbal lore combined with astrology .

      With the advent of secular science, by the 18th century astrology as a whole fell into disregard and only a few physicians took advantage of the body of knowledge available. And so it has been, until relatively recently. Now, many people study astrology with the intention of using its insights to guide them toward healing. But there is a caveat inherent in the practice of medical astrology: we who would call ourselves medical astrologers have an enormous amount of ground to cover in terms of adequate knowledge. Not only that, but medicine is legally the domain of physicians, and they themselves have the continuing benefit of experience and access to vast amounts of information. Does this mean that we astrologers (those without full medical training) should not offer our services in this area? Not at all! Astrology offers a highly individualistic portrait of tendencies.

 Tendencies are the most likely direction in which we are heading, and our health reflects inner tendencies too. With the reading of a natal chart from a medical perspective, a client can be informed as to the more subtle influences underlying their possible health concerns, likely weaknesses that could affect their well-being and general comments as to the overall balance of energies. With this kind of assessment the client can be directed toward various healing treatments that are now readily available to those who want an adjunct to allopathic care.

      Medical astrology is one particular speciality where the question “What brings you here?” is greatly pertinent. The astrologer needs to know---is the client ill at that moment? Have they previously sought treatment? If so, has the treatment helped or not? What does their doctor think? If they are not currently ill, it should be noted that a client does not present for a medical reading without some health concern(s) in mind already.

     In medical astrology there is a clear procedure with which to begin the assessment. One looks at the Ascendant, its ruler, aspects to the ruler, the sign of the ruler and its mode, the Sun, the Moon, the sixth house and any planets therein. Since the Ascendant is the “point of life” [4] it reflects the vitality of the native and their ability to recover from illness. The sixth house cusp sign describes the physical place of weakness, and its ruler adds further information about the nature of any potential illness. The Sun is the giver of life and its condition is very important to knowing the basic strength of the life force. The Moon offers a subtle comment on the emotional well being of the native, as well as anything to do with fluids in the body. The mode of the Ascendant’s ruler is noted; any afflictions in its sign will affect the entire quadrature. In turn, the predominant quadrature will indicate the type of illness and description of its physical location.

     There are no precise formulas to correlating one’s astrology with specific illnesses, although tendencies can be noted. Generalized observations only are to be expected from those astrologers who are not certified in health care. My aim is to assist in medical investigation by pointing the way.  However, and with that in mind, the efforts of many astrologers with an interest in healing have provided us with a better understanding of how people follow their chart’s indicators into illness, and how they might be helped out with hope of better health. Much statistical information has been gathered in the last century [5] and so, just as we now accept that cranberries can assist in clearing up urinary tract infections, we also generally agree that Saturn-Moon afflictions often cause depression. The amount of work done in the alternative health fields to find ways of pinpointing an exact diagnosis to match the individual, cannot be overstated.

The reading of transits and progressions can often offer warnings of critical times for one’s health; in the lexicon of the modern physician, timing is based on statistics. One should be getting better in so many days, for example, based on how most people react to a given medicine. But astrologers can at least give a fairly confident prediction as to when the crisis may pass---and when it might come back! Not only that; there will interesting and potentially liberating revelations about the life context into which the health crisis falls.

     My work as an astrologer seeks to find the philosophical truth behind the tendencies---“I am not a doctor, nor am I medically trained in any way”---and so my recommendations for a client’s health are on this basis. If this seems inadequate in the face of a manifested ailment, if the advice comes all too late for a particular health crisis, then perhaps hope can be placed in the client’s modified future response to life, as a conscious being. As Hippocrates said, “at least do no harm.” In all astrological work, medical or otherwise, this is really the bottom line.


Bob Marks



Beyerly, Paul, The Master Book of Herbalism, Phoenix Publishing, 1984

Culpepper, Nicholas, Culpepper’s Complete Herbal, Omega Books, 1985 (1653)

Brau, Jean-Louis; Weaver, Helen; Edmands, Allan, Larousse Encyclopedia

of Astrology, McGraw-Hill, 1977

Cramer, Diane, Medical Astrology: An Introduction to Medical Astrology:

de Vore, Nicholas, Encyclopedia of Astrology, Astrologic Research Society, 1947

Garrison, Omar V., Medical Astrology, Warner, 1973

Goldstein-Jacobson, Ivy, Simplified Horary Astrology, Pasadena Lithographers, 1960

Houlding, Deborah, The House: Temples of the Sky, Ascella Press, 1999

Lawlor, Gretchen N.D., Your Health and Moon Sign

Nauman, Eileen, Medical Astrology, Blue Turtle Publishing, 1982

Raphael, Medical Astrology, Spica Publications, 1999, (1924)

Spencer, Neil, true as the stars above, Victor Gallancz, 2000

Tyl, Noel, Synthesis and Counseling in Astrology, Llewellyn, 1998

Copyright: Margaret Penner Choinski

                  Earth Elephant Astrology


[1] Hippocrates, Epidemics, Book I, Section XI, Translation from the Greek original, one of many translations of his medical Hippocratic Oath. Considered the “father of modern medicine.”

[2] Spencer, Neil, true as the stars above, Victor Gallancz, 2000, p.10 People are ruled by planetary configurations and so too is everything else on Earth. Thus like can correspond with like.

[3] Manilius, introduced this concept in his Astronomicon

[4] Houlding, Deborah, The House: Temples of the Sky, Ascella Press, 1999, p.

[5] Garrison, p.186

Organic Divination for the Urban Jungle

Thank you for visiting Earth Elephant Astrology
Copyright Earth Elephant Astrology 2006-2008