INTERPRETATION AND SYNTHESIS
Putting It All Together
The medical interpretation of a natal horoscope must be a more thorough and exacting process than a general reading of the mind and personality. After all, you're dealing with the body and its state of health or disease, so you want to be as sure of your judgement and conclusions as possible.
A good medical horoscope interpretation is woven together from a wide variety of factors to get a complete, panoramic perspective. These consist of a general assessment of the basic temperament, terrain and predispositions of the native on the one hand, and specific indicators of imbalance and pathology on the other.
Because most people are very anxious, concerned and vulnerable when it comes to matters of personal health or disease, the Medical Astrologer must be very cautious and conservative in his pronouncements and not say anything unless a multitude of factors, both general and specific, point inevitably towards a certain conclusion or judgement. If not absolutely sure, it's better to keep silent about it, inquire about it in a tentative manner, or let the patient bring it up as a concern.
The Medical Astrologer needs to have a definite, orderly and thorough protocol when interpreting and judging a nativity. I have outlined one here, which starts with the general terrain and predispositions of the native and gradually zeroes in on the more specific:
Step One: An Overview of Element and Modality
In the last section of the article on Assessing Constitutional Temperament, called Assessing Natal versus Evolving Temperament, I gave a simple, rough point system procedure for assessing one's natal temperament, as depicted by the sign placements of one's planets, versus one's evolving temperament, as depicted by their house placements. Do this to get a general overview of the individual's natal makeup of element/temperament and modality, and how that will change over the course of his/her lifetime. With this information, and knowing the general age and life stage of the patient/client, you can then counsel him/her appropriately on general themes and objectives of hygiene and self care.
Step Two: The Vital Core - Sun, Moon and Ascendant
After the general background or terrain of the native is assessed, the next step is to check out the Vital Core: the Sun, Moon and Ascendant. This gives the Medical Astrologer a feel for the individual's overall potential for health and vitality, as well as his/her basic constitutional resiliency and resistance to disease. At this vital core level lie the native's greatest strengths; it can also contain the native's greatest weaknesses and vulnerabilities as well.
Although the Vital Core involves a whole complex of various points and factors, the Medical Astrologer should first limit himself to just the Big Three themselves. Are there any predominances of element, polarity or modality here? What does this say about the individual's health potential? Which one - Sun, Moon or Ascendant - is the real strong point, or Rock of Gibraltar, and which of the Big Three is the weakest or most vulnerable? Are the Big Three as a whole strong or weak, and, if weak, what is their weakness?
Figuring in the auxiliary points, planets and factors associated with the Big Three will further refine, develop and qualify the basic picture of qualities, tendencies and predispositions presented by the Sun, Moon and Ascendant. These auxiliary factors include the Ascendant Ruler, Sun / Moon Midpoint, Natal Moon Phase and Part of Fortune.
Next, look at the various planets that are in aspect to the Sun, Moon and Ascendant. Planets aspecting the Sun, or the Solar Complex, will work together to support the solar functions of metabolism, pepsis, vitality and immunity. Similarly, planets aspecting the Moon, or the Lunar Complex, will participate in the lunar functions of body fluid and anabolic metabolism. Planets in the Ascendent Complex will pertain to the structure and appearance, constitution and temperament of the physical body.
In many, if not most, horoscopes, most of the planets will be related to the Sun, Moon or Ascendant. What relates to them is central to the medical interpretation of the natal chart; what doesn't will be peripheral and secondary.
Once you've sized up the Vital Core of an individual's natal chart, you know how well he/she will stand up to the various pathogenic stresses and challenges of life. As a general rule, overt pathology tends to manifest more easily if the Vital Core is weak than if it is strong. Other more specific indicators of imbalance or pathology pose greater threats if the Vital Core is weak than if it is strong.
Step Three: Planetary Dignities and Debilities, Focalizers
Now, size up each of the other planets in the birthchart for their various dignities and debilities, strengths and weaknesses. The more dignified and strongly placed a planet is, the more likely it is to be a source of health, strength and constitutional resistance to disease. The more debilitated or weakly placed a planet is, the more likely it is to be involved in pathology.
Factors that strengthen or dignify a planet are direct motion; smooth: flowing and supportive aspects; and dignity by sign and/or house placement. Factors that weaken or debilitate a planet are retrograde motion; hard, challenging or afflicting aspects; and debility by sign or house placement.
Focalizers are planets that play an important and central role in the birthchart, exerting a strong influence, for better or worse. A focalizer is usually heavily "wired in" to a chart with a lot of aspects; being angular, or conjunct one of the cardinal angles, automatically makes a planet a focalizer.
Step Four: Aspects, Axes and Configurations
Next, look at the aspects and planetary configurations in the natal chart. The first and foremost to consider are the hard aspects, especially the conjunction, square and opposition; drop all the other aspects until you have thoroughly digested and understood the major hard aspects and configurations.
Planetary oppositions should be first on your list; they indicate or activate the Medical Axes, or axes of pathology. One axis or opposition that everyone has in their natal chart is the one formed by the lunar nodes, or the nodal axis. However, it is latent or dormant, and doesn't actively manifest pathology unless another planet is in hard aspect to it, usually squaring it.
Also, the identities of the planets in hard aspect need to be considered: Mars and the Sun wil indicate Choleric pathologies, Venus and Jupiter Sanguine pathologies, and so on, according to the inherent temperaments of the planets involved.
The sign and house terrain of the aspecting planets is also important; with hard aspects, it will usually be factors of polarity and modality: Vital or energetic pathologies for emissive signs, nutritive or metabolic ones for receptive signs; allergies and sensitivities for the Mutable signs; chronic stresses and tensions for the Fixed signs; and critical or pivotal conditions for the Cardinal signs.
If the Sun, Moon or Ascendant are being aspected, they will be central and most important, and the core factor affected by the aspect. The aspect should be analyzed from the perspective of the the most central and important planet.
Aspect configurations involving three or more planets are naturally more powerful and influential than simple aspects. In a T-Square, not only its modality, but its apex planet will be an important focal point of the pathological axis activated by the two base planets. The modality of Grand Crosses is an important factor to consider.
Aspects must be analyzed with a keen eye towards aspect orb, with very tight aspects being much stronger than aspects with wide orbs. Also, aspects applying towards exact in the nativity will be much more keenly felt than those that are separating.
Step Five: Reading the Houses of Health
The most important houses to read from a health and medical viewpoint are the First, Sixth, Eighth and Twelfth houses. Although having planets in these houses does not necessarily indicate pathology, the denser and more intricately woven the web of planetary afflictions and debilities concerning these houses, the higher the probability of pathology.
First, look at the planets occupying the Sixth, Eighth and Twelfth houses, if any. Are they debilitated by sign or house placement? Are they afflicted by hard or challenging aspects? Are they in retrograde motion? The more positive responses you have to these questions, the more likely a planet is to be involved in pathology.
Next, look at the planets dispositing the signs on the cusps of the Sixth, Eighth and Twelfth houses. Are they in retrograde motion? Are they debilitated by sign or house placement? Are they afflicting any planets in the houses themselves? The more positive responses you have to these questions, the more likely these houses are to be involved in pathology.
The cusps of the opposing Sixth and Twelfth houses form a potential axis of pathology, according to their signs. But this axis won't usually manifest active pathology unless it is beset by planetary afflictions and complications; the more tightly woven the web of such indicators, the more likely is pathology.
Step Six: Midpoints
Midpoints are the most specific indicators of pathology in the natal horoscope. Midpoints will bring into focus any points of pathological potential that haven't been uncovered by the planetary afflictions, oppositions and debilities uncovered so far.
Midpoints that point to specific weaknesses that have already been supported by the more general terrain of the birthchart are especially important, and act as red flags for pathology. Those that don't have such strong background support may not always manifest active pathology, but they probably will if activated or challenged by major hard aspect transits and progressions.
The base planets of the midpoint will specify a certain domain of pathological potential, and the planet targeted or activated will indicate the focal point of that pathology in the organism. If the planet activated is one of the Vital Core or a key focalizer in the birthchart, that midpoint needs to be taken much more seriously than if the activated planet is of secondary or peripheral importance.
Step Seven: Transits, Progressions and Prediction
The birthchart should then be assessed for upcoming transits and progressions, as well as those in the recent past. The latter will indicate health problems currently being dealt with by the client, whereas the former will indicate the priorities and objectives for prevention.
Many pathologies, even those involving key midpoints or hard aspect configurations, are often latent or dormant in the individual until awakened by transit or progression. This will be revealed in the client's medical history.
The Medical Astrologer should take a holistic approach, and always put transits and progressions in the context of the birthchart as a whole. Transits and progressions that activate key planetary configurations in the birthchart will always be more powerfully felt than those that only affect a single planet.
The Medical Astrologer shouldn't forget hard aspects forming between transiting planets, especially the outer planets. If these transiting hard aspects activate sensitive planets or points in the natal chart, they will be felt, and precipitate medical events and health crises.
Planetary transits should also be put in the context of the individual's life stage and its inherent nature and temperament, as well as certain basic, generic transitis that happen to everyone at certain ages. These include the Saturn return, which happens right before one's thirtieth birthday, or the Uranus opposition, or midlife crisis, which happens around age 42. Saturn transits to other planets, for example, will be much ore keenly felt if they occur around the time of the Saturn return, or other key turning points of the generic Saturn life cycle.
Step Eight: Conclusions, Judgement and Presentation
By now, you should have thoroughly analyzed the client's natal horoscope and seen what it has to reveal about his/her health problems and concerns, both major and minor, latent and manifest. Now, it's time to start putting all these points and concerns into priority and perspective, to prioritize them and plan your consultation with the client.
The client may have come to you for a general health consultation. If this is the case, present his/her health problems and concerns as you see them.
Or, the client may have come for guidance and help with a particular health problem. Although this will be the client's primary concern, don't hesitate to point out other, possibly hidden or latent health concerns, or ones they may have been denying or ignoring, if you feel that these are just as important or more important, and can find a way to do so. Even regarding the client's primary health concern, Medical Astrology is great at uncovering the deeper, latent causes for the condition, and at pointing out fresh, new approaches to therapy that the client may not have considered.
In presenting the consultation, always start from the health concerns that are central and primary, then work your way towards the ones that are peripheral and secondary. Write down notes, or an outline of your findings, in the above order of priority, and give your consultations from these notes.