Astrology and Herbalism
“Different species of plants will affect different organs and parts of the body. According to all ancient traditions, including the herbalism of the West, organs are not just accidentally evolved globs of specialized tissue, but are the loci upon which different planetary forces play, centers of different forms of consciousness. Indeed, they are energy confluences where the planets build themselves dwelling places in the microcosm. According to Paracelsus, plant substances can be messengers from the greater wholeness to these centers, restoring the state of health in them.”
Wolf. D. Storl, The Herbal Lore of Wise Women and Wortcunners.
We often think that astrology relates only to planets and their movements, but did you know that astrology and herbalism (or the study of plants) have been linked for centuries? Astrologers have long recognized a strong relationship between the natural world and its synergy with astrology, and both herbalism and astrology are ancient schools of thought which have been used by humans through the ages.
Astrology is an ancient belief system that can be traced back to Babylon, Egypt, and Israel and it has continued to be used in the modern age thanks to its wisdom and ability to link events on earth with movements of the celestial bodies. Astrology predates astronomy although for much of history qualified astronomers were also astrologers. They would have observed how the planetary movements had an impact on the earth and how the gravitational pull of planets would have influenced biological, emotional, social, and spiritual endeavors.
In the modern day astrology often loses its way, just think of the awful daily horoscopes that you can read in newspaper which is completely hit and miss. Nowadays astrology is often used for entertainment purposes more than anything, or people think that it can somehow be used like fortune telling, although this misses the point that all astrology is reliant on free will of the person involved. In its earliest and purest form however astrology has always been used as a way of looking at past events and seeing how future events may then manifest again as a result of the same planetary movements. Its other main function is to paint a picture of how the earth (and its events) is closely linked to the celestial bodies. The best way to explain this is to look at the saying ‘As above, so below’.
Over time, the movements of the planets and how they influence us on earth have been studied and documented relentlessly and we can see how astrology is in fact a true science. Unfortunately this has not gained traction in the modern world but in the days of old for example doctors would also have been trained astrologers.
This also linked into herbal medicine which was twinned with astrology as physicians realized the link between physical, spiritual and mental health as well as planetary movements and the natural world. Many herbalists were also astrologers and one of the most famous of these was Nicholas Culpeper who lived in the 1600s and worked tirelessly to document the relationships between the planets, plants, and parts of the anatomy. Even today, modern herbalists still look to the work of Nicholas Culpeper as some of the most important information that we have as to how plants and astrology can be used together to cure a wide variety of illnesses.
What is astrological herbalism?
Astrological herbalism basically works on the premise that there is a relationship between the plants and the planets. Astrology also believes there is a link between the planets and parts of the human body and to the different zodiac signs, so we can put all of this together to use plants to cure different illnesses. Each human organ has the character of one of the planets and these also translate to qualities found in plants.
The first part of how astrology is linked to herbalism can be seen through the zodiac signs and their rulers. These are as follows:
Aries = Mars
Taurus = Venus
Gemini = Mercury
Cancer = Moon
Leo = Sun
Virgo = Mercury
Libra = Venus
Scorpio = Pluto
Sagittarius = Jupiter
Capricorn = Saturn
Aquarius = Uranus
Pisces = Neptune
In astrological herbalism it is believed that every plant has a planetary ruler and that this plant will then have a therapeutic affect on the part of the anatomy that the ruler is linked to. Here are some examples of this:
Plants ruled by the Moon: Mugwort, Moonflower (Datura), Lotus.
Plants ruled by the Sun: Calendula, Goldenrod, St. Johnswort.
Plants ruled by Venus: Pomegranate, Wild Rose, Plantain.
Plants ruled by Mars: Nettle, Ginger, Garlic.
Plants ruled by Mercury: Lavender, Parsley, Skullcap.
Plants ruled by Jupiter: Dandelion, Sage, White Cedar.
Plants ruled by Saturn: Mullein, Comfrey, Solomon’s Seal.
Plants ruled by Uranus: Echinacea, Coffee, White Pine.
Plants ruled by Neptune: Cannabis, California Poppy, Kava Kava.
Plants ruled by Pluto: Trillium, Fig, Ghost Pipe.
The final piece of astrological herbalism is to then look at the body part associated with each zodiac sign:
Aries = head, brain, and face
Taurus = throat, neck, ears, nose
Gemini = arms, legs, kidneys, lungs (usually double body parts)
Cancer = stomach, digestion generally
Leo = heart, blood, and spine
Virgo = bowels, intestines, stomach
Libra = bladder, kidneys
Scorpio = reproductive organs, hormones
Sagittarius = hips, thighs
Capricorn = skeletal system, bones, knees.
Aquarius = arms, legs, nerves, circulation
Pisces = feet, reflexes, nervous system
When we put this all together we can see how astrological herbalism works. An example of this would someone who is suffering from joint pain or arthritis. This is linked to the sign of Capricorn who has the ruler Saturn. We can then look at Saturian plants and find that Solomon’s Seal is well known as it can cure dryness which causes stiff joints or arthritis. As such, all of these elements are interconnected which is something that our ancestors used to their advantage for centuries.
Unfortunately, in the modern world, we have lost sight of this the deep connection between our earth and the heavens, and this has sadly also impacted how we use modern medicine to treat all and any illnesses without turning first to herbal remedies to help us.
By using a potent fusion of the power of herbal medicine and the power of astrology, we can harness centuries of knowledge and wisdom to emerge healthier and more spiritually aware. We can also look out for potential health issues, and know how to treat these when they arise. Finally we can spot predisposition and use herbs and plants topically to ward off recurring infections or to stop ourselves from getting sick in the first place.
Unfortunately we tend to dismiss astrology’s link to plants, but there is a reason why physicians for centuries studied the planets and used herbalism to treat patients. In both the Western and Eastern world herbalism has always played an important role in astrology and we now have the ability to take this information and to use it to our advantage so that we are healthier, happier, and healed.
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