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Medical Astrology - The Four Elements in Therapy

by Anastacia Sampson(more info)

listed in astrology, originally published in issue 166 - January 2010

Medical Astrology has been utilized for centuries and to this day we may apply it, regardless of where we may live. Although hard scientific studies have not been conducted, there are numerous accounts that show accuracy with Medical Astrology in diagnosis and treatment.


It does depend on the interpreter and practitioner though, as we know, medicine can be subjective. In addition two patients with the same labelled disease can display an array of various diverse symptoms. Success of treatment is influenced by the patient and therapist/medical or alternative medicine practitioner communication. One aspect is to be able to comprehend the patient and advise a unique and applicable therapy. The suitable and chosen therapy may be one of many, such as invasive (surgery), mental (Counselling), wholistic and non-invasive (Nutritional Medicine), or touch application (Reflexology or Acupuncture). It is complex to measure the effects of whole foods on our health, yet nutritional studies are abundant on the properties of nutrients and phytonutrients within whole foods.

It is in Astrology that the 12 zodiacal signs are grouped into the 4 elements: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are fire signs; Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are earth signs; Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are air signs; Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are water signs.

There may be people you know, or even yourself, who exclaim that they are not much like their zodiacal sign. Well there are 7 major planets and 12 houses that form a birth chart. The exact angles and degrees of their placements at your time of birth do all have a say in why and how you may be. It is just not the Sun's placement that counts, as we so often like to do and read in horoscopes. Horoscopes are generalizations. Let's say that someone has 4 planets in Cancer; this person is likely to be maternal (even a male can be maternal). Surely you've met parents where you sense the woman wears the pants in that coupled relationship, or the father seems to have a softer response to his children. The father is the one to approach for a 'cheering up feel good talk' with a warm hug. Within any Western zodiacal wheel chart, including the birth chart, we tend to find more planets in some elements. The seven major planets are the Sun (actually a star), Moon (a satellite), Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

The Sun is fiery and when we see it in Aries, Leo or Sagittarius we have a person who is likely to be physically active or to enjoy revving themselves in a favoured pursuit. Imagine an excessively quick-to-anger person; they always seem to be on the brink of a flare up. They are more than likely exhibiting a load of fiery Mars in a strong position. Mars is the God of War and these chaps need to cool down. They need to cool down! They should avoid alcohol (or restrict consumption) and eat cool watery foods such as sweet fruits. Their body temperature is likely to be higher and they may be more aggressive in warmer weather. Thank goodness there are other planets and signs that usually take the edge off and can balance out the temperament. There all are times when we feel pressure and need to throw a tantrum! As long as not any harm is done upon another, express yourself, express your emotions. It is healthy and we let off steam. Some do it via artistic creations, work, sport, drawing or whatever is personally favoured.

The seasons can be aligned to the elements. Fire linked to summer, Earth to autumn, Water to winter and Air to spring. Spring is a period of lightness; we usually have a 'spring to our step' as we sense the spring season and it is a great time for cleansing. Lemon fresh cleaning fluids for spring cleaning of the home can be additionally utilized as fresh lemon fruits for the liver. Lemons not only wipe away grime on surfaces but also stimulate the liver in its numerous functions to vitalize health. Winter with water brings us in close recall of 'runny' noses! There is sluggishness in winter. Earth is dry and autumn is often a display of brown, yellow and orange hued dried leaves. While energizing summer fuels us with the radiance of solar energy, Fire is affiliated with the digestive process and enables us to be energized.

It is through food that we can feed into our bodies the practical, material application of the four elements. You may well know of the old age remedy of lemon and honey for the flu. At the time when one has the flu there is a rise in the fire element. Metabolic processes are quicker, an accelerated burning of calories occurs. One's body is in a state of consumption; that is implying the immune system is literally engulfing viruses and toxins to cleanse and heal. This state of elemental imbalance is not pleasant to experience, and often a suppressive remedy may be taken. Sometimes we need drugs, but often we may well do to gently support the system be re-balancing with cooling foods. Honey is sweet and may be linked to the planet Venus (this planet is also affiliated with pleasure and leisure). Mars (a fiery planet affiliated with action) has been usually stationed as the pole opposite of Venus (Male – Female). To counter the Fire element we bring in some honey and a cooling food, such as lemons. The use and value of the elements is ideal in the preparation of food.

Let us take a person who desires to lose weight, yet struggles. This person may also suffer from a stuffy nose and enjoy spicy foods. Usually weight loss requires Fire and Air based foods; do note that we can not survive on one food alone! Foods have various elements, but one element usually predominates and has subtle effects. Spices are generally heating in effect and may aggravate ulcers, while some such as cayenne pepper and curries are known to raise metabolism. There are studies that have shown the efficacy of cayenne pepper in raising the metabolism. Indeed some weight loss tablets/capsules in North America have included cayenne pepper. An accelerated metabolism increases inner body heat through heightened metabolic functions. A higher metabolism incurs elevated calorie burning/cellular respiration. A higher temperature can dry up fluids or irritate mucous linings. As we may well know, a mosquito bite can be aggravated in sunnier hot weather.

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In this case the spicy foods are being eaten, the stuffy nose indicates that there is an excess of Fire that is further upsetting an imbalance in the Water element. Water is linked to the mucous membranes of the nasal passages. This person probably requires light airy foods that are also cooling! Think of a fire; then pouring water over which produces all the smog; it blocks and suffocates the passage way. In this person, the nasal passage ways are blocked, so to speak, and the rule of reflex indicates the colon is prone to sluggishness. Peristalsis is the natural muscular contraction of the intestines that propels food along the digestive tract to be digested and excreted. We need foods, namely fibre to support peristalsis. There needs to be a brushing of the passageways along the digestive tract and clearing of the nasal tract. We need to clear the passage ways with air when there is smog from the mix of imbalance within water and fire.

Do try not dash for the fruit, as fruit may not be the best initially! Fruit brings in more sugar, which is linked to the Water element and will propel a sluggish state in this case. There are other valid reasons why fruit may not be desired initially to heal this case, and as we are being general it is neglected from this topic. Rather, use salads and certain whole cereals grains (generally cereals are linked with the Earth element) with sprouted pulses (the lentils and beans often found in salads).

By having a birth chart drawn up, one may know the aspects of the planets and notify where the imbalance of the elements will probably erupt at times of illness/disease. Unfortunately many women partake in weight loss promoters, to be left with a less healthy body. To address any state of the body, the key is to know the individual's inherent elemental composition and elemental lifestyle. Wearing certain colours and being around them, while eating pinches of herbs and spices do all have a role in affecting the elements.

It is imperative to not apply one rule all the time, as times change. Believing Fire equals weight loss is not always applicable! Adjusting food preparation can have drastic effects. For efficacious foods in medicinal practice, to treat ill health realize the implication of balance. In our quest for health we need to strive for balance. The four elements are not only to be appreciated at special events or celebrations. They are constantly shifting, which is ideal, as life is linked with flowing energy. At certain times we may consciously access the Fire element, as more of it may be needed. Imbalance rectifies imbalance! Balance is not about a fixed state. Our state of health, especially biochemically, implicates the constant alterations to maintain a state of the ideal environment (the blood, within cells and so with each type of tissue requiring its own unique equilibrium or optimum state), known as homeostasis.

Health is about balance, and this shows that the slight ups and downs are all involved and not to be feared, yet rather supported in maintaining the constituents within the ideal. The ideal can alter as our needs alter in line with being influenced by our ambience and as we influence our ambience. This is so the more in need to be appreciated, as we tend to believe that we need a set level of nutrients or that our level of blood volumes within the body is fixed; blood is associated with the Air element. Do know that even our bones are regenerating constantly; the bones cells are alive and need care beyond the notion of calcium.

Our elemental balance is boundless and transmits through all things. The 12 signs of the zodiac ruled by planets and assigned to one of the four elements just begin to reveal the nature of one's vitality. The station of the other planets is highly pertinent in one's unique state. It may be of value to respect and inspect past teachings to a degree. Then to garner the application of that knowledge through overall scientific studies; we may more generally appreciate the four elements in practical well-being.


  1. Wanda Sellar said..

    Hello Anastacia, I wonder whether I could appropriate your article for our newsletter 'Astrology & Medicine Newsletter', published by the Astrological Association in Gt Britain. I've been editor for 18 years, always looking for articles. Will of course, put in your details and anything else you might like.
    Many thanks
    Wanda Sellar

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About Anastacia Sampson

Anastacia Sampson DN Med Dip SC D Iridol lives in South Africa and qualified in Nutritional Medicine, Iridology and Slimming Consultancy through the Plaskett International College based in the UK. After qualifying as a DN Med she has written for various regional newspapers, in health columns and has had 'A Calendar of Nutritional Tidbits and Nourishing Plants', her health book published. is her website portal and she works for a national pharmacy. Anastacia may be contacted on Tel: +27 793530393;

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