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Transform Your Life

by Donna Taylor(more info)

listed in astrology, originally published in issue 57 - October 2000

Laurence Le Shan sums it up nicely when he says that "a disease from the viewpoint of holistic medicine is a sign that something is wrong with your life. Your task is to find out what that something is and take appropriate action."

Astrological birth chart for 'Madie' (the name has been changed to protect identity
Astrological birth chart for 'Madie' (the name has been changed to protect identity

The origins of disease may not be a topic of conversation hot on everyone's lips, but since more than one in three of us will contract cancer and as increasing numbers of people succumb to stress related illnesses, it is perhaps an issue worthy of debate. Few people would dispute the link between mind and body and we are now edging ever closer to people being open to the idea that physical symptoms are a sign that we need to make changes. Laurence Le Shan sums it up nicely when he says that "a disease from the viewpoint of holistic medicine is a sign that something is wrong with your life. Your task is to find out what that something is and take appropriate action."

This belief produced the birth of a revolutionary new therapy – Astro-Synthesis – which is primarily geared towards helping people discover what is wrong with, or missing from their lives, and helping them to make changes. It differs from other therapies in the sense that it isn't just one single tool for creating wellness – it is several therapies rolled into one and tackles all the difficulties that people have in overcoming negative physical, mental and emotional patterns.

Astrology and Healing

The reasons people become ill are as varied as the individual, but I believe that virtually all illness has its roots in one common area – failure to fulfil our potential and be true to ourselves. If we deny a part of ourselves for long enough, we will eventually become frustrated, depressed or unwell. Fine, you might say, but how does an individual who is confused about their reason for being discover their true purpose in life? Well, this is where our first tool – astrology – proves to be invaluable.

The moment we take our first breath is the moment when our souls become infused with the energies of the planetary formations. This frozen point in time creates our 'cosmic DNA', within which lies every ounce of our potential, our important life lessons and any negative patterns that may develop. It also shows what we need in order to become happy, fulfiled individuals – and this includes our purpose. This of course is a far cry from the general perception of astrology – good for assessing forthcoming trends and trotting out a few personality characteristics but not much else. But how many people are aware that, only a few hundred years ago, you couldn't be a doctor unless you were an astrologer? This may seem strange now, but when we consider that the birth chart not only reveals our physical constitution, but our mental, emotional and spiritual make-up as well, we are presented with an astonishingly insightful tool that drives us right to the heart of the matter and cuts out the need for infinite therapy sessions because everything about the patient is there before your eyes. It doesn't matter if a client neglects to share something of importance, because it's visible in their chart; no matter how much a client hides behind a mask, their real self sits before them on a sheet of paper in the form of planets, signs and aspects.

On a physical level, the planetary positions within a chart can identify areas of weakness, but rather than stopping at highlighting what can go wrong, we are also able to identify why it goes wrong – perhaps the most important factor in healing. When two planets form a relationship with each other, they create a type of energy. This energy can flow easily or it can be tense and stressful, depending upon the nature of the relationship and the planets in question. We always have a choice of expressing energy in a positive or a negative way. When illness occurs, we are usually either blocking energy, or expressing it in a negative way, and need to find a more positive way of channelling the energy. A good astrologer will be able to identify the areas of tension and translate this into a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual diagnosis as well as being able to offer suggestions for positive change.

The second therapy we use in Astro-Synthesis is homeopathy, which is a natural complement to astrology because it works on the same principle of energy and personality types. This form of vibrational healing is effective in creating change because when the right remedy is prescribed, blockages are lifted and energy is shifted. Homeopathy – like many other therapies – may not always be successful on its own because the patient may omit certain important factors, but, when used in conjunction with astrology, the homeopath can 'see' the type of person along with the underlying cause of the problem, and is then more able to find the remedy that best matches the personality and symptoms.

The third component of Astro-Synthesis is what we would call the re-programming process. The astrological chart forms the diagnostic tool, homeopathy gives us the remedy that will ease physical symptoms and help the patient to make a shift, and the re-programming techniques help the client to take action and make lasting change. These techniques range from action plans, vision statements and treasure maps to the latest psychological methods of breaking negative patterns and releasing fears.

The Process of Astro-Synthesis

In Astro-Synthesis, the first port of call is always the birth chart. Here we can get a feel for the individual, and then as they begin to talk, we can identify the root of the problem – i.e. where, when and how the problem first occurred and the subsequent beliefs which followed and were allowed to take root in the subconscious. Usually, when we have an issue or a negative pattern, we are unaware of what originally caused it and this is why many therapies and techniques, such as affirmations and visualization, don't usually work on their own with serious or long-term issues. If the subconscious blocks have not been cleared, all other techniques are like papering over cracks. There might be an initial improvement but the person will usually slip back into their previous pattern because the underlying beliefs have not been altered and will pop up to sabotage any efforts to the contrary.

Changing our beliefs, then, is the most crucial step in the process of change and transformation, and although beliefs are often very powerful, they can be altered quite easily once a person is able to see what caused that belief to occur, and is able to realize that their particular belief was formed as a result of their perception of an event and isn't actually an absolute truth. An example at this point may help to clarify what I mean. If a person was abandoned in some way as a child, either through a death of someone close, adoption or a divorce, they may grow up with a fear of rejection and so have difficulty forming relationships. Either they will cling in an over-dependent fashion, or there will be an extreme reluctance to commit because the old fears of loss will arise when a person becomes too close. For the child who witnessed his or her parents fighting over money, a negative belief may form around having money, since in their mind, it only leads to arguments and unpleasantness. Once the belief can be traced back to source, we can experience a kind of mini-enlightenment as we realize that such beliefs are irrational and were formed as a result of our subjective experiences. Of course this knowledge of beliefs forming our reality is nothing new. What is new is the use of astrology in highlighting our hidden beliefs and needs combined with a variety of psychological techniques such as NLP, Psychosynthesis and Psychocybernetics, which 're-programme' a client and help them make rapid progress towards healing and transformation.

Planetary Cycles

Another useful advantage of astrology is the awareness of phases that a client may be going through, and this can give us an immediate insight into how the client is feeling. For example, between the ages of 28 and 30 we go through what is known as a Saturn Return. To put it at its most basic, this means that Saturn – the planet of responsibility, restriction, hard work and insecurities – returns to its original position in the birth chart signifying the end of a phase of life and a time for facing those issues which we've previously got away with ignoring. Saturn urges us to look at what's not working and to improve our lives, and so at this time we feel compelled to make certain changes whether it be in our external lives or to some area of our personality.

Of course this isn't the only time we feel the weight of Saturn's presence in our lives – the other times depend on our own individual charts and unique placement of planets. But when a person does experience the negative energy of Saturn, we can expect a variety of physical, mental and emotional symptoms. Physical symptoms of a Saturn aspect include feeling cold, having a lowered immune system, feelings of lethargy, aches and pains and a poor digestive system. For this we could advise the client to include some warming spices into their diet such as ginger or cayenne, a certain amount of exercise to get the circulation going and maybe to introduce warm colours into their life – whether this be items of clothing or redecorating. An aromatherapy massage with warm invigorating oils might also be beneficial at this time.

Mentally and emotionally, a person undergoing a Saturn aspect may be feeling depressed, frustrated, fed up, discontented or fearful and insecure. The essence of Saturn is cold, heavy, dark, leaden, serious and pressuring, so we would seek to balance this by encouraging the client to incorporate the opposite – light, warmth, colour and laughter – into their lives. We may advise St John's Wort for the depression, whilst working with the client on what's really at the root of their depression and frustration.

We are also able to gauge how long symptoms will last, but more importantly what changes a person needs to make to their lives in order to 'pacify' the planet in question.

The Importance of Fulfiling Our Needs

The important thing to remember when looking at illness from an astrological point of view is that, generally speaking, a person will not encounter problems if they are living out their chart – in other words – being who they came here to be. Unfortunately, few of us can claim to be so self-aware that we know exactly what we should be doing for our own happiness and well-being – sometimes we get a little lost and confused, unable to see the wood for the trees. We fall into the comfort zone and neglect those parts of us that thrive on growth and challenge.

A quick peek at the person's chart will usually highlight our needs and areas of imbalance. For example, we all have what are known as subpersonalities lurking within our complex natures. A sub-personality is a part of us that needs to be recognized and quite often we have sub personalities who have conflicting interests. An extremely common one is the 'freedom versus closeness' subpersonality. Here we have a need for closeness and intimacy, and yet at the same time we also desire freedom and independence. If we get the balance right there isn't a problem, but many people deny one or other of these important parts and so problems with relationships arise – namely either a reluctance to commit, or an overly dependent attitude that harbours fears of not being able to cope alone.

Some people forget about their creative needs whilst others deny their need for freedom and adventure because the demands of a family aren't compatible with such desires. But what tends to happen when any part of us is denied is that the suppressed subpersonality starts asking for attention, then shouts, and finally, if the shouts are ignored, a sense of unhappiness, frustration or a feeling of 'there must be more to life than this' sets in. If this continues unchecked, physical symptoms may arise and illness can follow if action isn't taken.

Once a person's needs are identified via the chart, we can then start working on what's blocking and preventing them from being able to express this part of themselves. Some people may simply have succumbed to laziness or fear, and just need a gentle prod in the appropriate direction. Many people though, are blocked by their beliefs and find themselves unable to act no matter how hard they try. This is where regular sessions would be advised to remove the blocks.

Techniques for Change

Astro-Synthesis works on the principle of inner work combined with outer action. Four sessions are recommended for the client to benefit fully from the process. During the first session we ask the client a series of questions which help us to identify the problem on an inner as well as an outer level. The birth chart is explored and that client is asked to identify their long-term goal or vision, along with their intention to achieve it. They are asked to write this down and sign it. In other words, if they are ill, they might say, 'I intend to be well and healthy,' and give a date by which they expect this to have occurred. Quite often at this early stage, there is a reluctance to write down the goal and to sign it, which tells us that the client is not yet ready to achieve what they want. If this happens, we would ask the client to ponder on why this might be. We would employ certain psychological techniques such as a spider chart, to help them explore their fear and resistance to achieving their desire. For example, becoming well and healthy might mean they have to take care of themselves, deal with responsibilities and become self-sufficient. Once these sub-conscious blocks have been identified, we can help the client make rapid progress towards their goals.

A Case Study

Maddie arrived with various complaints. From the age of 16 she had one health issue after another, from a lump in her breast to gynaecological problems including polycystic ovaries. She was also diagnosed with candida and ME, thus leaving her feeling exhausted and very unwell for much of the time. She was unhappy in her work, and her symptoms were making her life miserable. She was prescribed a homeopathic remedy to help bring her menstrual cycle into a more regular pattern and which would also help with bringing fears and blocks to the surface. What became apparent very quickly was that Maddie craved attention and her illness was a way of allowing people to focus on her and for her to absolve responsibility and be taken care of. This, we realized, was due to her childhood associations of illness when she received special treatment. Normally she played second fiddle to her brother who received all the attention, but when, as a child, she was ill, attention turned to her and she received more love and care.

What is apparent looking at Maddie's chart is that she needs to shine and radiate. Her Leo ascendant craves a certain amount of the limelight and the cluster of planets in the lower section of her chart denotes a need for self-expression. Her moon in the sign of Virgo along with her Leo ascendant shows a strong need for control – perhaps too much – and being able to just let things be is one of the important lessons she needs to learn. Perhaps the most troublesome area in her chart is the aspect between her Sun and Saturn. The energies between these two very different planets don't get on at the best of times, and as the aspect is a 90-degree square, indicating tension and challenges, Maddie has an innate belief that life is hard. People with such an aspect tend to see the clouds instead of the sun and focus on problems rather than on the positive areas of their life. Helping Maddie to change this belief as well as working on her childhood issues formed the basis of our work with her.

The breakthrough came in the fourth session when we suggested to Maddie that her illnesses were a method of getting attention, which provoked an initial angry reaction. However, once she'd had some time to dwell on our suggestion, she allowed herself to explore the reasoning behind it and began to make substantial improvements. We had one more session with her whereby we tied up a few loose ends. The change in her physically and emotionally is remarkable. She is now living out much more of her chart in the sense that she radiates warmth, energy and enthusiasm and is now able to work a five day week as well as enjoying a busy social life – something which was impossible for her previously. She enjoys her work much more and, although she isn't yet in the ideal job, she is expressing her creativity by taking singing lessons and is working steadily towards the other goals in her life.

Further Reading

1. Cancer statistics taken from Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation. Government White Paper. July 1999.
2. Greene Liz and Sasportas Howard. The Development of the Personality. Arkana. 1990.
3. Keyes Jonathan. Planetary Transits and the Healing Process. The Mountain Astrologer Magazine. Oct/Nov 1999.
4. Edwards Gill. Living Magically. Piatkus. 1991.
5. Stepping into the Magic. Gill Edwards. Piatkus. 1993.
6. Assagioli Roberto. Psychosynthesis. Aquarian Press. 1993.
7. Ridder-Patrick Jane. Medical Astrology. Arkana. 1990.
8. Robbins Anthony. Lessons in Mastery. Nightingale-Conant. Audio Cassette. 1998.
9. Arroyo Stephen. Astrology, Karma and Transformation. CRCS Publications. 1992.
10. Sasportas Howard. Direction and Destiny in the Birth Chart. CPA. 1998.
11. Gawain Shakti. Living in the Light. Eden Grove Editions. 1999.
12. Tyl Noel. Astrological Timing of Critical Illness. Llewellyn Publications. 1999.
13. Greene Liz and Sasportas Howard. The Inner Planets. Samuel Weiser. 1993.
14. Weiner Errol. Transpersonal Astrology. Element Books. 1991.


  1. Lakshmi said..

    Much useful-well written thanks

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About Donna Taylor

Donna Taylor is a professional astrologer and metaphysician dedicated to helping people lead healthier and more fulfiling lives. She teaches her subject at various levels and has had many radio appearances. She is based in Yorkshire and offers private sessions or postal chart interpretations. Donna can be contacted on Tel: 01484-400872 or e-mail: Astro-Synthesis was created by Donna Taylor and Trevor Morris BSc, MNCHM.

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